i’ve missed a few things

Depth of Winter by Craig Johnson; 2018; $28.00; 292 pages; Viking, New York, NY; 978-0-525-52247-8; checked out from Multnomah County Library, North Portland; 10/8/18-10/10/18

Why did I read this?  Because I have been reading this series from both ends, the beginning and the newest.  And this is the very newest in the series.

Longmire is on his own as he goes into Mexico to retrieve his daughter Cady from a despicable narcolord who has kidnapped her.  He and his men upset Longmire’s small town in Wyoming and caused grievous injury to his family.   Longmire has assembled a rag tag team to assist in his rescue attempt.  Craig Johnson incorporates the indigenous population and their culture into the story.  Everything you would expect  in a Longmire story.


What is with the title of the review?   I have read several of the books at the beginning of the series and the newest two books.  There are evidently somethings I have missed in the interim.


Is this where we are headed?

Vox by Christina Dalcher; 2018;$26.00; 326 pages; Berkley, New York, NY; 978-0-440-00078-5; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Hillsdale; 10/3/18-10/8/18

Why did I read this?  Because I read a good review of it, somewhere.

Women have been entirely removed from the work force, they are restricted to one hundred words a day.  Their words are counted by an electronic monitoring bracelet that acts as a shock collar if they surpass their mandated limit.  Young girls are taught that the letters of the alphabet are bad and aren’t taught to read.  Only the males in a household are allowed to read, books are locked up.  Those who are homosexual are either force to marry someone of the opposite or go to a work camp where they are housed in a cell with someone of the opposite sex.  Women who commit adultery are forced to become sex workers for the powerful.

All of this is done by order of the patriarchy in the U.S. Government at the behest of an “evangelical” pastor who has the ear and the mind of the president.  Those who protest are jailed or killed.  The president’s brother suffers a head injury which causes him to suffer aphasia , a problem of speaking and understanding speech.  The leading scientist researching this syndrome are women who are offered all kinds of incentives to come to work on the problem and help the president’s brother.  They discover that they are a part of a program that would also create a way to cause aphasia in women and those who oppose the government.  Their team manages to make a serum that will cause aphasia and manage to get it into the water supply of the president and his cabinet.

9/10, I didn’t like the ending.  The whole story was about the main character, a woman, but in the end a man had to step in and save her and become a martyr.

What is with the title of the review?  After the Supreme Court confirmation hearing and the #Metoo movement it seems that the patriarchal government is trying to mute the voices of women.




Johnny Horton sang about it

Formula of Deception by Carrie Stuart Parks; 2018; $15.99; 303 pages; Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, TN; 978-0-71808385-4; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Midland; 9/3/0/18-10/3/18

Why did I this?  Somewhere I read a good review of this.

Murphy has moved to Kodiak, Alaska seeking clues to the murder of her twin sister.  She finds several clues and also discovers that her sister’s killer has escaped from prison in Alaska.  Murphy manages to get a job as a forensic artist with a local department through a little bit of deception and some lies of omission.  She gets involved with a cold case that leads to some of the most important members of the community.  As she investigates more and more, the bodies start to pile up.  As the story climaxes a twist comes out of absolutely nowhere, there are no clues that I saw coming that leads to this reveal. I rated it an 8 of 10 because to me it seemed that the author didn’t know how to end the story and made an inexplicable conclusion.


What is with the title of the review? Johnny Horton sang a great song, North to Alaska, which is where this story takes place.



He did it again!

Wrapped in Rain, A Novel of Coming Home by Charles Martin’; 2005; $14.99; 317 pages; Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, TN; 978-0-7852-6182-7; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Hollywood; 9/28/18-9/30/18

Why did I read this? Because Charles Martin is my second favorite author, just behind Pat Conroy.

Tucker Rain is an award winning globe trotting photographer who had a horrendous childhood.   He and his brother Matt, were raised by an old African American woman because their father did nothing but drink and beat and ignore the three of them. After he grows up he starts photographing things all over the world, and attains a measure of success.  His brother Matt however is an institution and heavily medicated.  One night Tucker comes a woman and her son who are obviously running from something.  Just as he offers to help them his brother escapes the institution. After Tucker brings his brother home, things become more and more difficult yet fulfilling.


What is with the title of the review?  Once again Charles Martin has made me cry while reading one of his books.



Mitch and Grisha

Red War by Kyle Mills; 2018; $28.99; 370 pages; Emily Bestler Books, New York, NY; 978-1-5011-9059-9; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Central; 9/26/18-9/27/18

Why did I read this?  Because Kyle Mills is doing a great job of carrying on the series that Vince Flynn started starring Mitch Rapp.

When the President of Russia starts suffering symptoms of a brain tumor he decides that he must do something to cement his place in world history.  He drops off the grid but not before putting into motion a plan to remove all those who he views as a threat to himself or his place in history.  He begins with Grisha, his former assassin, who has assisted Mitch in operations before.  Mitch is tasked by Irene Kennedy to track down the President and end the threat.  The action circles the globe  This is the very definition of a page turner.


What is with the title of the review?  Mitch Rapp and his Russian counterpart Grisha work together to find the Russian President and prevent World War III.

Don you were right!

  • The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena; 2016; $26.00; 308 pages; Pamela Dorman Books, New York, NY; 978-0-7352-2100-6; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Hollywood; 9/23/18-9/26/18
  • Why did I read this?  My friend and co-worker Don Bradley said that he read it in one sitting and he never does that, so I thought I would read it.

Two couples share a duplex and one night they are celebrating a Birthday together.  One couple is childless and likes to party.  The other couple has a baby who they live in her crib with a baby monitor while they party next door.  When the wife goes to check on the baby in the night she is not there.  So begins a mystery.  The biggest mystery is how do you know your neighbors, your parents, and even your own spouse.  There are a lot of twist and turns right up to the last sentence.


What is with the title of the review?  Don Bradley is a coworker who recommended this and I agreed with his review.



The Gulf, The Making of an American Sea by Jack E. Davis; 2017;$17.95; 592 pages; Liveright Publishing Corporation, New York, NY; 978-1-63149-402-4; Checked out from Multnomah County Library, St. Johns; 7/7/18-7/11/18 and 9/8/18-9/23/18

Why did I read this?  Because in 2016 I decided that I was going to read the five books that win the Pulitzer Prize. This is the 2018 Pulitzer Prize winner for History.

This covers the history of the Gulf of Mexico from the Big Bang to about 2015.  It covers everything from fisheries, tourism, oil, and much more.  It covers almost every acre of land that is touched by the waters of Gulf of Mexico.  It presents how man has influenced so many parts of the life in the Gulf, not just what they have actually done in the Gulf, but what their actions on the Mississippi River, the Rio Grande and other rivers that feed into the Gulf.  How canals and other waterways that have been cut into the deltas, how jetty’s and levees upriver have affected life in the Gulf. It is a very complete history of the Gulf of Mexico.


What is with the title of the review?  James Michener  was well known for his novels beginning before the history of the world actually began going to the time of the end of the novel.




I almost made it

Chasing Fireflies, A Novel of DIscovery by Charles Martin; 2007; $14.99; 340 pages; Thomas Nelson, Nashville, TN; 978-1-59554-325-7; purchased from SmileAmazon.com; 9/5/18-9/8/18

Why did I read this?  Because Charles Martin is a gifted storyteller who moves me and makes me think.

One day a drunk woman kicks a ten year old boy out of a car before driving in front of a train killing herself.  He becomes a ward of the state and is taken into a foster home.  A reporter who grew in that same foster home is assigned to find out what is going on with the mute boy who is an awesome artist.  In cooperation with the agent assigned to the boy they begin to fill in his background.  At the same time the reporters cousin comes back from Hollywood and seek a change in her life.  There is another mystery from the past that also plays into the story.

Charles Martin has woven a wonderful parable of a Father’s love into a couple of mysteries that made me think about my own life and how it affects those around us.


What is with the title of the review?  This is the fifth book by Charles Martin that I have read and I made it 3/4 of the way through this one before I cried.  I have cried some in every book by Charles Martin that I have read.  I believe that each of his books is a parable and they make me about my own life.



Unoffendable, How Just One Change Can Make All of Life Better by Brant Hansen; 2015; $15.99; 201 pages; W Publishing Company, Nashville, TN; 978-0-5291-2385-5; purchased to read with Fellowship Group from Shepherd’s Gate Church; 1/15/18-8/23/18

Why did I read this?  Our fellowship group at church is reading this together and discussing it.  We have been meeting and discussing two chapters twice a month.  We took the summer off and I decided to just finish it and I will go back and reread the chapters as they come up.

Brant Hansen posits that we have no right to get angry.  This is directed at those who say they follow Christ, but is a wise choice.  What if we didn’t get offended, what if we simply loved everyone.  Brant makes the argument much better that I can even begin to.  He also makes more sense than I just did.  This book holds the possibility of being life changing.

10/10, written in a witty conversational style that makes a great deal of sense.

fact is stranger than fiction

The Golden Spruce, A True Story of Myth, Madness and Greed by John Vaillant; 2005; $16.95; 255 pages; W.W. Norton, New York, NY; 978-0393-32864-6; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Woodstock; 8/10/18-8/22/18

Why did I read this?  It was recommended by a friend of my sister in law, Dana Paperman, Angela Brown.

Grant Hadwin had worked for years in the logging industry in British Columbia.  He had a knack for knowing just where to put the roads that would allow the logging companies to maximize their ability to clear cut forests.

Growing on an isolated island was a Sitka Spruce that was unlike any other of the trees around it.  For some reason this spruce was golden, when all the trees around it were green.   This tree was storied and sacred to the indigenous people who inhabited the island.  The logging companies had set aside some forest land around the tree so that it would never be logged.

Grant Hadwin began to see the damage his roads were allowing to the forests and became an environmentalist.  He also suffered from paranoia and other mental illnesses.  After putting together supplies and under cover of night he cut the Golden Spruce so that it would topple in the wind.  He said he did these to draw attention to the clear cutting of so many forests.  He was supposedly unaware of the spiritual connection the tribe had to the tree.  He was due to appear in court to face charges in connection with the cutting of the tree, but he disappeared and hasn’t been seen since 1997.

10/10, John Vaillant does a great job of melding history, politics, logging and more.  Probably one of the best books I have read this year.

What is with the title of the review?  There is so much here that has to be factual because you could make it up and make it make sense.