Capital Gaines, Smart Things I Learned Doing Stupid Stuff by Chip Gaines; 2017; $24.99; 191 pages; W Publishing, An Imprint of Thomas Nelson Publishing, Nashville, TN; 978-0–7852-16308; Checked out from Multnomah County Library, Hillsdale; 11/7/17-11/9/17
Why did I read this? Because we like watching Fixer Upper and would like to meet Chip and hang out with him.
Part biography, part memoir and a whole lot of inspiration. Chip Gaines tells how he has learned some very important lessons in business and in his personal life sometimes from circumstances that have caught up with and occasionally by not thinking things completely through. He tells of his and Joanna’s decision making process and how they tend to balance each other out. It is just like sitting at a table with him and chatting with him. I would still like to hang out with him and talk.
Dragon Teeth by Michael Crichton; 2017; $28.99; 295 pages; Harpers, New York, NY; 978-0-06-247335-6; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Sellwood; 11/3/17-11/7/17
Why did I read this? Because Michael Crichton was a very good author before he passed away in 2008. This is a book that he had been working on for fifteen years when he passed away. His wife discovered it when organizing his archives.
Entitled rich kid, Yale student, William Johnson, goes west on a bet with an early paleontologist and ends up in an three or four episode arc of the TV show Deadwood. Johnson gets caught between two egomaniac and paranoid paleontologists. He has to learn photography and what it is like not to be a spoiled rich kid. He ends up in a showdown with a Dick, Dick Curry, that is. This is not up to Michael Crichton’s usual level and it feels like let’s see how much we can make with another Crichton dinosaur book. This should have stayed in the archives. As with most Michael Crichton books you will learn something.
The Escape by David Baldacci;2014; $28.00; 472 pages; Grand Central Publishing, New York, NY; 978-1-4555-2119-7; checked out from Multnomah County Library,Troutdale; 10/31/17-11/3/17
Why did I read this? I had read some Baldacci books in the past and I picked up one while we were on vacation. I need something to balance some of the heavy non fiction I read, so I am going to use the prolific David Baldacci for that purpose. This will finish all the books in the John Puller series and I will move on to another one of Baldacci’s series.
John Puller, Army CID investigator extraordinaire, gets pulled into an investigation that he shouldn’t be anywhere near. His brother, Robert, an Air Force officer has been languishing in a maximum security military prison for the last two years after being convicted of treason and espionage. One dark and stormy night all the power goes out at the prison and after some confusion it turns out there has been an escape. Robert Puller has escaped and in the process of escaping killed someone. A large, believable conspiracy is uncovered by John with the help of his brother and an attractive intelligence operative and Robert is cleared of all charges.
The Forgotten by David Baldacci; 2012; 424 pages; $27.99; Grand Central Publishing, New York, NY; 978-0-446-57305-4; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Fairview; 10/26/17-10/31/17
Why did I read this? I had read some Baldacci books in the past and I picked up one while we were on vacation. I need something to balance some of the heavy non fiction I read, so I am going to use the prolific David Baldacci for that purpose.
John Puller is a member of the Army’s Criminal Investigative Division (CID) and one of their best. His father is a three star general who is currently in a VA hospital suffering from dementia. He thinks he is still in command and that John is his executive officer. John’s brother, Robert, is doing time in a military prison for treason and espionage. John’s father receives a mysterious letter from his sister, one of John’s favorite Aunts. John takes some leave time to go to Florida to help his aunt.. When he arrives he finds she has passed on under what he thinks are mysterious circumstances. As he investigates all sorts of weird things begin to happen to and around John. He has stumbled into an incredibly well run human trafficking business. He puts together a rag tag team and fights against the traffickers.
A Plain Leaving, The Sisters of Lancaster County, Book 1 by Leslie Gould; 2017; 344 pages; $15.99; Bethany House, Minneapolis, MN; 978-0-7642-1969-6; direct from the publisher in exchange for a review; 10/19/17-10/26/17
Why did I read this? Because Leslie Gould is a very good storyteller and I enjoy reading her stories.
Two stories of an Amish family, one set now and one set during the Revolutionary War. Jessica has left her family and Amish community when her beloved Dat passes away. She returns to Lancaster County to pay tribute to her father and to prevent her older brother Arden from selling part of the farm for apartments or lease the land to an oil company for fracking. As she is dealing with mistrust, cold shoulders and outright deceit from members of her family her Aenti Suz tells her the story of her ancestor Ruby during the Revolutionary War as a cautionary tale. Both stories are intriguing and gripping. Looking forward to book two.
Sleeping Beauties by Stephen & Owen King; 2017; $32.50; 702 pages; Scribner, New York, NY; 978-1-5011-6340-1; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Hollywood; 10/8/17-10/19/17
Why did I read this? Because I think that Stephen King is one of the greatest storytellers of our time.
Women all over the United States are falling asleep and being enveloped in cocoon like webbing. Most of the action in this takes place in a small rural town named Dooling. The main action takes place at the women’s correctional institution there. A women walks nude out of the woods after destroying a meth lab and the cooks at the lab. She has some kind of immunity to and control over what is just happening. There are confrontations between the forces of good and kinda good with a couple of psychopaths thrown in for measure.
I was thinking that this might be like The Stand, which had a great deal of action leading to the climax, unfortunately it was not to be so. Much of the action seemed forced and some of the characters felt shoehorned in. A good two to three hundred pages could have been left out.
Enemy of the State, A Mitch Rapp novel by Kyle Mills, created by Vince Flynn; 2017$28.99; 388 pages; Emily Bestler Books, New York, NY; 978-1-4767-8351-2; Checked out from Multnomah County Library, Midland; 10/5/17-10/8/17
The Saudi’s have pissed off the President of the United States and he unleashes Mitch Rapp on them. However as with the IMF if Mitch is captured the President will disavow any knowledge of him. Mitch assembles a team to assist him in his endeavor, many of whom we have met in previous adventures. They come from all sides, friends and enemies, only people Mitch can trust. Since he has resigned from the service of his country, (wink, wink) gets no official help from the Agency or from Scott Coleman and his crew. The action goes from Langeley to Africa to Saudi Arabi and back. Mitch saves Saudi Arabi and prevents an ISIS takeover of the kingdom.
Don’t Let Go by Harlan Coben; 2017; $28.00; 349 pages; Dutton, New York, NY; 978-0-525-95511-5; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Hollywood; 10/4/17-10/5/17
Why did I read this? Because I have read every book that Harlan Coben has ever written (as far as I know). I would probably read his to do list.
Nap Dumas is a small town detective who is like a dog with a bone when it comes to an investigation. His brother Leo and his girlfriend died there senior year when they were hit by a train, or so they said. Also that night Nap’s girlfriend Maura disappeared and hasn’t been seen since. After a policeman is murdered, the crime scene yields Maura’s fingerprint, which results in the unearthing of a conspiracy that has remained hidden since the death of Nap’s brother 15 years before. Nap’s investigation comes at the price of his strongest relationships at work. The villain is not who you think it is.
Empty Branch, Finding Hope Through Lament by Marilyn Weisenburg; 2017; $17.99; 270 pages; Credo House Publishing, Grand Rapids, MI;978-1-625860-79-8; purchased from the author at a signing;10/1/17-10/3/17
Why did I read this? Marilyn is a good friend and we were on the edges of what was going on.
The week before I read this I was visiting with the author’s son and he told me that I was going to cry reading this. He was right I didn’t make it to the second page before I couldn’t breathe because I was crying so much. This is a story of unimaginable loss, as Marilyn and Jim’s son David was killed in Iraq on September 13, 2004. This is the story of how Marilyn, her family and friends leaned on the arms of their eternal father. There are no simple answers given here, it is a story of extreme emotion and lament and how hope was found. I don’t think that there is anyway I can convey the emotion that permeates the book. As Marilyn said it is difficult to read when you are reading about people you love going through a difficult time.
Thunder in the Mountains; Chief Joseph, Oliver Otis Howard and the Nez Perce War by Daniel J. Sharfstein; 2017; $29.95; 613 pages; W.W. Norton & Company, New York, NY; 978-0-393-23941-6; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Belmont; 9/18/17-10/1/17
Why did I read this? I have always been a fan of Chief Joseph and always to learn more about the people that we have displaced.
An interesting story of two men who lived parallel lives during a time of great change. General O.O. Howard, founder of Howard University fought in the Civil War on the Union Side and then headed up the Freedmen’s Bureau during reconstruction. He believed in the betterment of the freed slaves but did not believe in that same equality for the indigenous people of America. Chief Joseph was one of many leaders of a band of Nez Perce peoples. He was not the War Chief that conducted the war, he came to be acknowledged as the leader after the War Chiefs died. I did not realize that the battles took place over such a vast territory.
There is more information here than needed, especially on C.E.S. Wood, the generals aide. I wish the book would have concentrated on more just the actual action and not be so much biography of the palefaces that threatened a way of life, disingenuously ignored laws and treaties, and lied.