the definition of a page turner

The Last Mconfile by David Baldacci; 2016; $29 .00; 420 pages; Grand Central Publishing, New York, NY; 978-1-4555-8645-5; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Gregory Heights; 1/23/18-1/25/18

Why did I read this? I have read several of Baldacci’s books and I enjoy them especially this series, Amos Decker is a engaging series.

Amos is heading from his home to his new job in Quantico when he turns on the radio and hears about the imminent execution of Melvin Mars in a Texas prison.  Melvin was convicted of killing his parents and he is about to be executed when someone in prison in Alabama confessed to the killing. The confession contains details that only the actual killer would know.  Amos decides to ask his task force teammates if they can take on the case to find the truth in the case.  As they dig into the case, things start getting dicey.  People attack them and political strings are pulled to prevent further investigation, but Decker insists on staying with the investigation even when he has no legal protection.  As Amos pulls at the threads he has found more and more things in peoples pasts.  The threads run all the way to Washington D.C., through a multi millionaire defense contractor and to a racist police chief in Alabama.  I stayed up late, and did everything I could to keep reading.

Grade 10/10

Boris Karloff and Peter Boyle Helped

Frankenstein, How a Monster Became an Icon, The Science and Enduring Allure of Mary Shelley’s Creature Edited by Sidney Perkowitz and Eddy Von Mueller; 2018; $28.95; 238 pages; Pegasus Books Ltd., New York, NY; 978-1-68177-629-3; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Central; 1/15/18-1/23/18

Why did I read this? I was intrigued by trying to figure out how a two hundred year old story written by an eighteen year old woman became such a seminal part of 21st century culture.

This is a series of essays about many different aspects of the Frankenstein story.  There are essays on the theological, psychological, philosophical, medical and entertainment aspects of the story.  The essays are written by a wide range of people from a wide range of disciplines and includes an interview with Mel Brooks.  Some of the essays are easy to read and some not so easy to read.  As in any collection the quality of the essays is uneven.  Cool thing about the cover, all that green on the cover glows in the dark.

Grade  7/10

High Plains Sheriff

The Cold Dish by Craig Johnson; 2005; $16.00; 354 pages; Penguin Books, New York, NY; 978-0-14-303642-5; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Belmont; 1/11/18-1/15/18

Why did I read this?  I had read the latest book in the series, The Western Star,  and I enjoyed it and decided I would read the series.  (As if I didn’t have enough books in my to be read pile.)

Sheriff Walt Longmire is wrestling with an over exuberant deputy, the populace, political forces, a romantic life that involves many different women.  The backstory is that there was a severe sexual assault on a developmentally developed member of the first nation, whose reservation is in the county Longmire is serving as sheriff.  At a trial the young men who perpetuated the attack got a slap on the wrist.  Then one of them shows up dead, shot from long distance with a Sharp’s rifle.  Many of the Sharp’s are owned by people in the county.  Longmire’s list of suspects is long and many are friends or acquaintances.  As the carnage continues, Longmire seemed to be assisted by ghost of the Cheyenne.  The ending is unexpected.

Craig Johnson is a great author who is a great storyteller who I look forward to reading more of.

Grade 10/10


Defining Moments in Black History, Reading Between the Lies by Dick Gregory; 2017; $24.99; 236 pages; Amistad, New York; 978-0-06-244869-9; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Gresham; 1/7/18-1/11/18

Why did I read this?  I am always trying to learn more about the African American experience, Dick Gregory is a respected civil rights activist.  He just passed away in August, 2017.

This was very educational but hard to take seriously because Mr. Gregory is a also a conspiracy theorist  to the nth degree.   I found out a great deal, but like I said he had some great and wild conspiracy theories.

Grade- 5/10

something rattled, something new

Memory Man by David Baldacci; 2015; $28.00; 405 pages; Grand Central Publishing, New York, NY; 978-/01-/4555-5982-4; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Technical Services; 1/4/18-1/7/18

Why did I read this?  I am trying to read as many of David Baldacci books as I can, I finished the Shaw series and am starting on the Amos Decker series.

Amos Decker was good enough to make it to the NFL but only lasted one play.  That play ended his NFL career and rattled his brain in such a way that he never forgot anything ever again.  He also now see numbers and colors in his memories and sometimes hallucinates numbers and colors.   After he recovers from his multiple injuries he marries his physical therapist and becomes a police officer and works up to become a detective.  His phenomenal memory and abilities enable him to become a great detective.  One night he comes home and finds his brother in law, wife and young daughter cruelly murdered.   He begins a downward spiral the ends with him living on the street in a box and sees how far he has fallen.  He pulls himself partway back up and becomes a private investigator.  A Columbine type shooting happens at the local high school and the police chief requests Amos help.  The massacre ties back to the killing of Amos’s family and he begins to work with a journalist and the FBI to solve things.

Grade-8/10 It starts kind of slow but picks up and gains steam quickly and finishes well.

Wow, what a way to start the New Year!

The Force by Don Winslow; 2017; $27.99; 482 pages; HarperCollins Publisher, New York, NY; 978-0-06-26641-9; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Hollywood; 12/28/17-12/4/18

Why did I read this?  I read a review of it somewhere that was a rave review.  Thought I would try it, glad I did.

Denny Malone is a policeman on the NYPD who has worked his way up the ranks to become a detective on a task force in Manhattan North.  Denny knows where the skeletons are buried and has plenty of them in his own closet.  His interactions with his partners, superior officers, family and other cops is generally two parts, what he actually says and what he is thinking. He gets caught in a sting and begins to rat out others.  Things don’t go the way you imagine they would for our anti hero. The main attraction in the book is not that story, so much of the book takes place in the thoughts of Denny Malone.  This was just breathtaking, it is going to be a movie, but I will wait for the Blu Ray, since I don’t think they can do the book justice.

Grade I am going to change my grading system.  I will be rating books on a 1-10 scale, hopefully this will give me a greater range of grades.  So my first book in the new year gets a 10/10