my favorite

The Amish Quilter by Leslie Gould & Mindy Starns Clark; 2018; $14.99; 336 pages; Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, OR; 978-0-7369-6294-0; Provided by the publisher for review; 4/16/18-4/18/18

Why did I read this?  One half of the author team is a friend of ours and I like the authors writing, they are good storytellers.

Linda is the youngest daughter of an Amish family, a perfectionist and a straight edge rule follower.  She puts the other Amish folk to shame with her ability to judge others and herself when it comes to following the rules.  She finds herself confronting some facts that challenge her perceptions of the rules and of those closest to her.  In doing some genealogical research she discovers even more about balancing truth and justice.  She also tends to assume too much and speculate too much.  She is an amazing quilter who perfectionism even mandates how she quilts, she is creative but only in a certain way.  As she is confronted by new truths in her life and as her relationships grow with her family and with her beau the truths she learns about life also expands her creativity.

Grade 10/10

What is with the title of the review?  I really enjoyed the way the authors talked of art here and the word pictures they painted of paintings and quilts were quite moving.  r


we have met

Seward Unleashed, Volume 1 by various authors, 2014; 102 pages; Seward Senior Center, Inc, Seward, AK; given to me by Dana Paperman, Director of the Seward Senior Center; 4/15/18-4/16/18

Seward Unleashed Volume 2 by various authors; 2017; 100 pages; Seward Senior Center, Inc, Seward, AK; given to me by Dana Paperman, Director of the Seward Senior Center; 4/16/18-4/16/18

Why did I read this?  This was given to me by my sister in law, Dana Paperman, Director of the Seward Senior Center, which published these.

A collection of non fiction memoirs, Volume 1 asks the question why did you come to Alaska? and Volume 2 asks the question why did you stay?  These stories provide insight into the people who live in Seward, it is a group of individual memories that combine to provide a history of Seward.  Each of these stories is intriguing in its own way.

Grade 10/10

What is with the title of the review?  While we were in Seward in February of 2018 we got to meet at least one of the people who are profiled here.


Secondhand Summer by Dan L. Walker; 2016; $12.99; 182 pages; Alaska Northwest Books, Portland, OR; 978-1-943328-42-0; given to me by my sister in law, Dana Paperman; 4/12/18-4/15/18

Sam, lives with his Mom, Dad, brother and sister on Alaska’s coast, where they eke out a living fishing.  Sam has grown up in the same town and has grown close to his friends as they are going through middle school. Sam’s father passes away from a heart attack and his mother moves what is left of the family to Anchorage.  Sam has no friends and is unsure of himself and his is plunked down in a new town and a totally new situation.  He make three new friends that take him into several questionable situations.  One of them suffers a trauma that Sam is able to help him through.

Grade 10/10

What is with the title of the review? One of the themes of the story is what is missing from the life of the characters.  Each of the characters seems to be missing something in their lives.




4 for 4

When Crickets Cry by Charles Martin; 2006; $15.99; 336 pages; Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, TN;978-1-59554-054-6; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Central; 4/11/18-4/12/18

Why did I read this?  Because I am reading all of Charles Martin’s books.

A man who has dedicated his life to one thing has abandoned that thing because his heart has been broken. When he encounters a new reason to renew that dedication he fights a battle within himself.  From a young age Reese has studied the biology of the heart so that he can heal his friend Emma.  Emma, her brother Charlie and Reese form a childhood trio that last into adulthood.  Years later a miracle is needed and Reese is the only one who can help, but he is emotionally crippled by a trauma that he needs to overcome. Through the love of family and friends and the prayers of many Reese recovers from his trauma in time to help with the miracle that is needed.


What is with the title of the review?  This is the fourth book by Charles Martin that I have read and I have cried while reading all of them.



Promoting Wellness for Prostate Cancer Patients, A Guide for Men and their Families by Mark A. Moyad, MD, MPH; 2013; 216 pages; Spry Publishing, LLC; Ann Arbor, MI; 978-1-938170-03-4; provided free of charge by Portland Clinic; 4/10/18-4/

Why did I read this?  Because I have been diagnosed with an intermediate threat prostate cancer.

A well meaning but overly technical book with oddly stilted medical jargon.  I was reading it to find the treatment alternatives for my diagnosis.

What is with the title of the review?  When I was first diagnosed with the Big C, it temporarily drove me into a short depressed time.

Grade 6/10

been reading this since 1967

The Bluejackets Manual, 25th Edition by Thomas Cutler; $34.95; 2017; 784 pages; Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, MD; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Central; 4/2/18-4/10/18

Why did I read this?   I wanted to see how the Navy had changed since I separated from the service in June of 1979.  It doesn’t seem like it has been thirty nine years since I got out of the Navy.

This is a good reference book for those going into the Navy or already in.  It has a lot of good information in and a quick reference section for things that you might need intermittently.  Many things have changed since I left the Navy in June of 1979, but there are many that have not changed at all.

What is with the title of the review?  I remember reading my Dad’s copy of this when I was ten and then reading it before I enlisted in the Navy in 1975 and referring to  it during my three years, eleven months and twenty-three days of active duty in the United States Navy.

Grade 10/10


absolute power and all that entails

First Family by David Baldacci; 2009; $27.99;449 pages; Grand Central Publishing, New York, NY; 978-0446-53975-3; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Central; 3/30/18-4/2/18

Why did I read this?  Because I enjoy David Baldacci’s books and am reading my way through his many series.

Sean King and Michelle Maxwell are contacted by the sister in law of the First Lady.  When they arrive to meet with her, they find her dead, her husband knocked unconscious and one of their daughters missing.  The action runs all over the southeast part of the United States and runs through the FBI, the Secret Service, the Oval Office, mailboxes, etc and the US Army and a vengeful old man.  While King and Maxwell are investigating and dealing with a bunch of duplicitous people a tragedy befalls Michelle’s family.  This tragedy ties up loose ends from the previous stories and gives us some insight into her character.  This is  another thriller from Baldacci that I look forward to reading more of.

Grade 10/10

What is with the title of the review?  The story stretches to the highest point of the United Government and that power has corrupted those at the top.

Batting 1.000

Maggie by Charles Martin; 2006; $15.99; 307 pages; Thomas Nelson, Nashville, TN; 978-1-59554-055-3; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Capitol HIll; 3/28/18-3/30/18

Why did I read this?  Because Pat Conroy passed away and Charles Martin is moving up to be my second favorite author ever.

This is the sequel to The Dead Don’t Dance  which thoroughly gripped and moved me.  After the events of the previous books things change again for Maggie and Dylan and their friends.  Maggie and Dylan have to try and figure out how to reconnect after what happened in D3 and deal with new challenges that come through their friends and the choice of livelihood.  Once again Martin writes a book that is a slice of life this is part thriller, part motivator and damm good.

Grade 10/10

What is with the title of the review?  I have now read three books by Charles Martin and he has managed to make me cry while reading all three books, so in baseball parlance he is 3 for 3 or batting 1.000.  He also grabbed me by referencing Pat Conroy and baseball in the story.    




The Bishop’s Pawn by Steve Berry; 2018; $28.99; 340 pages; Minotaur Books, New York, NY; 978-1-250-14022-7; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Fairview; 3/25/18-3/27/18

Why did I read this?  Because it is Steve Berry’s newest book and I have read all his previous books and enjoy the way he intertwines historic events with the current day.

Cotton Malone meets someone he met back at the  beginning of his time with the Magellan Billet.  He meets them with files he has been saving for the last fifty years or so.  The majority of the book is set around the time of Dr. Martin Luther King’s assassination and details the corruption of the FBI, and J. Edgar Hoover.  Hoover was a racist who hated King and did everything in power to facilitate a fall from power.  Illegal wiretaps, lies, misinformation and other sleazy methods.  This story provides a alternate theory of the killing of this civil rights icon.  There is a bigger degree of suspension of disbelief than I could deal with.  Most of the story is suspenseful and thrilling but the conclusion left me cold.

Grade 8/10

What is with the title of the review?  Berry’s purpose is to write an intriguing story by positing an alternative to the accepted narrative, however I had a problem buying into the alternative.

do not get on his bad side

The Terminal List by Jack Carr; 2018; $26.00; 408 pages; Emily Bestler Books, New York, NY; 978-1-5011-8081-1; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Central; 3/23/18-3/25/18

Why did I read this?  I read a glowing review of it at The Real Book Spy.  The author is a former Navy Seal, so that is a recommendation to me to at least give it a try.

James Reece and his team are tasked with tracking down a Taliban stronghold in Afghanistan.  They are not given sufficient time to properly plan the mission and are ambushed by the Taliban.  Reece and one other member of the team are the only survivors.  As he talks to the doctors he finds that every member of the team has a brain tumor.  It seems peculiar that every member would have the same type of tumor, but he is told to move on.  He goes home and reconnects with his wife and young daughter.  As he is readjusting to not being in a war zone, the only other survivor, commits suicide.  Things don’t add up for Reece though and he begins to investigate and as he does those close to him are harmed.  This drives him deeper into the investigation and as he finds those responsible he adds them to the Terminal List.  With help from a muckraking journalist, a Mexican millionaire and some others he begins to take revenge on those responsible.  The parties responsible see him coming but can’t get away.

Grade 10/10

What is with the title of the review?  James Reece is a man driven to do some very bad things by those responsible for destroying his life.  You would not want to wrong someone like this.


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