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.




The Demon Crown by James Rollins

The Demon Crown by James Rollins; 2017; $28.99; 441 pages; William Morrow, New York, NY; 978-0-06-238173-6; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Hillsdale; 12/11/17-12/16/17

Why did I read this?  Because I have read most of James Rollins previous work and especially enjoy the Sigma series, which always combines history, science and current events.

A new, yet ancient species of wasps are wreaking havoc in the state of Hawaii.  The operatives of the Sigma Force are tasked with tracking down the origin of the species, who is responsible for unleashing the wasps and how to contain them all the while dealing with personal issues of varying types. Rollins deftly combines scary science, historical insights and modern life in a page turning suspenseful story.

Grade A



Three Things I learned

The Bone Labyrinth by James Rollins; 2015; $27.99; 471 pages; William Morrow, New York, NY; 978-0-06-238164-4; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Fairview; 12/16/15-12/20/15

Spanning the globe to bring you the constant adrenaline of a good thriller is the Bone Labyrinth.  Genetically modified creatures, the onset of human intelligence, the relationship between animals and humans, the lost civilization of Atlantis, language, Sigma Force and more.  As three separate groups of Sigma operatives chase one secrets from France to Croatia to Ecuador and China.  We get a great story that combines history, science and military espionage.  I will not spoil the story, there are so many disparate parts that Rollins pulls together to make a compelling story.  The hardest thing about reading his books is putting them down.

Grade A

Did I enjoy it?  Immensely.  This is a book that defines the word pageturner.  I couldn’t stop reading until I dropped the book.

What is with the title of the review?  1. 37 is the answer to life, universe and everything.  2. One of my favorite characters gets married.  3. One of my favorite characters dies.

Suffering Sophomore Slump

Codex Born, Magic Ex Libris, Book Two by Jim C. Hines, 2013; $24.95; 326 pages; DAW Books, Inc, New York, NY; 978-0-7564-0816-9; Fiction; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Woodstock;2/11/14-2/12/14

Why did I pick this up?  I had read the first book in this series and was looking forward to this one.

What is the story?  The father of someone who died in the first book is out for revenge.  He only kinda knows about magic so he is about to unleash some really evil stuff.  He uses some magic that is unknown to Isaac and the other Porters.  He is targeting Isaac and Lena and unleashes all kinds of stuff against them.  Isaac has to rely on werewolves and friendly vampires and ancient Libromancers like Gutenberg to win.  It is interesting to see what can be pulled from books to fight evil.

Did I like it?  Yes, but not as much as the first book.  Much of this seemed more forced, this might have a good idea for just one book but not a series.  See if there are any more coming and give them another chance.


What is with the title of the review?  Often athletes have a slump in the second year, sequels are not usually as good as the first book or movie.  This series seems to be suffering a sophomore slump

Stevie Wonder nailed it!

A Brief History of Thought, a philosophical guide to living by Luc Ferry; 2010; $14.99; 282 pages; Harper Perennial, New York, NY; 978-0-06-207424-9;purchased from Amazon.com; 11/5-11/9

Why did I pick this up?  It is the book the corner reading society is meeting to discuss next weekend, otherwise I probably wouldn’t have finished it.

What is the story?  A comprehensive history of philosophy from Aristotle and Socrates to the current day.  As with much of philosophy there is a lot of circular talk and obscuring language made to make the reader feel inferior.

Did I like it?  Yes and no, I thought it was a good history but I thought it talked down to the reader.


What is with the title of the review?  This book reminded me of Stevie Wonders’ song Will It Go Round In Circles.