what a cliffhanger

Spymaster by Brad Thor; 2018;$27.99; 327 pages; Emily Bestler Books, New York, NY; 978-1-4767-8941-5; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Northwest; 7/16/17-7/17/18

Why did I read this?  Because I anxiously read each Brad Thor book, I have waited a year to read this and will anxiously await the next book, because I think Scott Horvath will have a completely new motivation for doing what he does.

Illegal US weaponry is found in a Scandinavian country and Scott Horvath starts to track down people who are trying to steal them.  There is lots of intrigue and action as is expected in a Brad Thor novel.  I don’t remember all the details, but it was an exciting read with an unexpected ending.

What is with the title of the review?  The ending of the story was unexpected and a cliffhanger.




what you don’t know will hurt you.

Give Me Your Hand by Megan Abbott; 2018; $27.00; 342 pages; Little, Brown and Company, New York, NY; 978-0-316-54718-5; checked out from Multnomah County Library; Library Outreach Services; 7/17/18-7/21/18

Why did I read this?  Because several authors that I like recommended the book.

Two young cross country bond at a running camp and then one transfers to the others high school.  They become best friends and competitors for a science scholarship.  One tells the other a secret that puts a kink into the relationship.  Many years later after they have graduated high school, college and become scientists they work together at a research facility.  Their relationship is strained due to the secret, however later things happen that forces them together.  They find another secret about their employee that stresses out the relationship.


finding your family

The Innocent by David Baldacci; 2012; $27.99; 422 pages; Grand Central Publishing, New York, NY; 978-0-466-57299-6; checked out from Multnomah County Library; Hollywood; 7/13/18-7/14/18

Why did I read this?  Because David Baldacci is a great thriller storyteller and I am working my way through his various series and this is the first book in a series I haven’t read yet.

Will Robie is an assassin for the United States government, taking about people who are threats to the United States.  He is given a mission that he refuses to carry out to kill a US government employee and her children.  Once he refuses to carry out the assignment he is targeted and has to go on the run.  As he begins his run he encounters a fourteen year old girl who is also on the run.  Someone is also trying to kill her, Robie saves her and then they team up to solve two mysteries that end up being connected.  Will is an orphan as is she, and together they become somewhat of a family along with an FBI agent who becomes embroiled in the case.



Leave out chapter 128

The President is Missing by Bill Clinton and James Patterson; 2018; $30.00; 513 pages; Little, Brown and Company & Alfred A. Knopf, New York, NY; 978-0-316-41269-8; checked out from Multnomah County Library, North Portland; 7/11/18-7/13/18

Why did I read this?  Because it seemed like an interesting pairing of authors.

The President hear seems to be a composite of John McCain, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton.  The President gets advance word of a cyber attack against the United States that completely cripple the country.  To deal with it the President must go underground to work out who is behind the attack and how to combat it.  At the same time he has to figure who in his cabinet and inner circle has been engaging in treasonous behavior.  It is an exciting thriller with little politics, except for the long speech to a joint session of Congress in chapter 128.


less is not necessarily more

Less by Andrew Sean Greer; 2017; $26.00; 260 pages; A Lou Boudreaux Book; New York, NY; 978-0-316-31612-5; checked out from the Multnomah County Library, Troutdale; 7/2/18-7/7/18

Why did I read this?  That is a question I have been asking myself ever since I finished it.  The only reason I read it was it won the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for fiction.

Okay, an aging mid level writer is suffering a mid life crisis as his young lover prepares to marry.  He decides to accept invitations to various parts of the world for conferences to avoid the wedding.  He travels to Germany, Italy, Mexico, India and Japan for all kinds of various literary reasons.  I can’t find anything I liked about the book, even after it was pointed out that some think it is a satirical look at the literary world.


reading in two parts

Stamped From The Beginning, The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by Ibram X. Kendi; 2016; $32.99; 515 pages; Nation Books, New York, NY: 978-1-56858-463-8; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Troutdale; 4/26/18-5/8/18 & 6/30/18-7/2/18

Why did I read this? I wanted to read a complete history of the United States racist ideas.  So many times I tended to think they began with the advent of slavery in the United States and that the racism was predominantly in the Southern United States.

Ibram Kendi shows how anti Black racism (and other isms)  predate even the founding of the United States.  He traces the racism using cultural touch points (people) to show how racist ideas we either cemented or fought against my multiple people in the history of the United States.   Cotton Mather, Thomas Jefferson, William Lloyd Garrison, W.E.B. Du Bois and Angela Davis are the people he uses to trace  the history of racism in the United States and show how prevalent is in the United States.  It would be interesting to see this book in another 10 or 15 years with chapters focusing on how racism in currently expanding its public face in the United States.  The most recent election seems to have released the Kraken of racism and it is trying to devour whatever gets in its way.  This book is a great teaching point and most of those who need to read it most will never hear of it.  This book makes me ashamed of some ideology that i have held in the past.