I would have a houseful of guests

The Island of Dr. Libris by Chris Grabenstein; 2015; $16.99; 242 pages; Random House, New York, NY; 978-0-385-38844-3; Checked out from Multnomah County Library, Northwest;6/7/15-6/9/15

Read this with Rod Serling talking in your brain.  Imagine if you will what you read comes to life and interacts with one another.  Robin Hood, Maid Marian, Hercules, The Sheriff of Nottingham, The Three Musketeers, Tom Sawyer, Pollyana, Jack and his giant and his beanstalk are all involved in the plot of the story.  Dr Libris invites a young man and his mother to vacation at his home on a lake.  He ensures that the young man has no access to technology and that his only escape is into books in the library of Dr. Libris. As he reads he hears the sounds of what he is reading happening on an island in the lake.  Taking advantage of a rowboat he visits the island and discovers that the characters he had been reading about have come to life.  He interacts with them a little day becoming friends with some and running afoul of others.  His neighbors and family get involved and are able to create characters from other mediums than books.

Grade C

Did I enjoy it?  It was an interesting premise but not well executed, ending seemed rushed.

What  is with the title of the review?  If everything I read came to life I would have a 7 foot black millionaire, zombies, vampires, warlocks, presidents, and many  others in my home.

Why did I read this?  I read a good review of it and the premise seemed exciting.



Our view

pt surAdventures at Pt. Sur by Carol O’Neil; 2002; $9.99; 58 pages; Central Coast Lighthouse Keepers, Carmel, CA; 0-9722763-0-0;purchased at Big Sur River Inn General Store, June 10,2013; 4/17/15-4/17/15

That picture below the book cover was our families view out our front room window at the Point Sur Naval Facility.  The NavFac was 5 miles north of Big Sur and about 30 miles south of Carmel. On the far right of the rock is the Pt. Sur lighthouse you can also see what used to be the keepers houses.  Now that I’ve covered that let me tell you about the book.  The story is about the son of one of the lighthouse keepers who moved onto the rock in 1905.  It tells of his adventures on and around Pt. Sur.  It is an entertaining light story that doesn’t take long to read.

Grade C

Did I enjoy it?  Yes I just thought it was way too short and too simple.

What is with the title of the review?  The last place my Dad was stationed in the U.S. Navy was at the Point Sur Naval Facility and Pt. Sur Lighthouse was our view.

The First is Latest

idol timeIdol Time, Profile in Blazermania by Larry Colton with letters from Tom Meschery; 1978; $1.50; 347 pages; Timber Press, Forest Grove, OR; purchased at Multnomah County Library Title Wave Used Bookstore; 3/12/15-3/16/15

Larry has said he is glad that this book is out of print.  He wrote it chapter by chapter, sending each chapter to the publisher without rewriting.  It is the first book that he wrote and he discovered that rewriting is crucial to the process of writing a good book.  Larry’s following books are gems that have emerged from the chrysalis of this book.   He traces the Blazers from the time they won their lone championship through their off-season and into the next season.  He interviews all of the members of the championship team and many of the fans that were affected with Blazermania.  The most compelling story is that of an inmate at the Oregon State Correctional Institution who was able to connect with his children through the Blazers.  Many of the stories seemed forced and contrived.


Did I enjoy it?  Only because I knew the author and the background of the story.  Much of the language used seemed dated, some of the language seemed like that used by a gumshoe in a Raymond Chandler novel.

What is with the title of the review?  This is the first book that Larry Colton wrote, but it is the latest  one that I have read of his.  His other books are awesome.


not much room for imagination

Operator by David Vinjamuri; 2012; free for attending event; 176 pages; Thirdway, San Bernadino, CA; 9780985775605; given away by the author at a speaking event; 2/12/15-2/15/15

A former member of an off the books government agency goes home for the funeral of a former high school girlfriend.  While there he gets sucked into an investigation of a mob run child sex ring which is used to compromise members of the US government.  It involves corrupt law enforcement, the FBI, the Russian mob, the operator’s family and clandestine government agencies.

Grade C

Did I enjoy it?  Not really.  There was often too much detail given, each time the main character got in a car we got the number of speeds and the size of the engine, when he arrived in New York many of the stores he walked by were brand names.  I also didn’t buy the voice of the main character, it didn’t ring true to me.

Why did I pick this up?  It was a free book from someone I heard speak.

What is with the title of the review?  I felt almost like I was reading a screenplay with too many details specified.

Much like Jumbo Shrimp

Blood Doctrine by Christian Piatt; 2014; $14.99; 183 pages; Square Core Media; 978-1-938633-55-3; backed on Kickstarter; 1/31/15-2/2/15

As I understand it there wouldn’t be a body if someone was resurrected and ascended into heaven.  Christian Piatt uses the idea that Jesus came back to life and visited some of his friends and family and then disappeared and his body was rediscovered.  Thousands of years later someone was able to clone Jesus and the clone appears to be able to do divine stuff like healing.  However I have trouble accepting the central premise of the book, which appears to me to be, Jesus died, came back to life, and then died again.  But by all that happening I don’t think a clone of Jesus would be divine.  The clone is raised in an orphanage and is never given any moral guidance, he is a sax playing, free wheeling guy who sleeps with his girlfriend and smokes bud.  The story also seems to be the beginning of a series and does not come to a satisfactory conclusion.

Did I enjoy it?  Not really because several ideas seemed to be in conflict throughout the story as I detailed above.


What is with the title of the review?  Several aspects of the story seem to be in conflict with them selves as in the oxymoron, Jumbo Shrimp.