Friday, December 19, 2014

Book Review - Certainty by Victor Bevine


SYNOPSIS

When you’re fighting an injustice, can it be wrong to do what’s right?

Inspired by the scandalous true story that shocked a nation at the close of WWI.

With America’s entry into World War 1, the population of Newport, Rhode Island seems to double overnight as twenty-five thousand rowdy recruits descend on the Naval Training Station. Drinking, prostitution, and other depravities follow the sailors, transforming the upscale town into what many residents—including young lawyer William Bartlett, whose genteel family has lived in Newport for generations—consider to be a moral cesspool.
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When sailors accuse a beloved local clergyman of sexual impropriety, William feels compelled to fight back. He agrees to defend the minister against the shocking allegations, in the face of dire personal and professional consequences. But when the trial grows increasingly sensational, and when outrageous revelations echo all the way from Newport to the federal government, William must confront more than just the truth—he must confront the very nature of good and evil.

Based on real-life events, Certainty recalls a war-torn era when the line between right and wrong became dangerously blurred.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Book Review: The Unforgivable Fix by T. E. Woods


SYNOPSIS

The killer won’t come for you, you fool. He’ll come for me.

Detective Mort Grant of the Seattle PD has finally decided to sell. The home where he and his late wife raised two kids feels too large and too full of old memories. His son is married and raising a family of his own, and despite desperate efforts to find her, Mort has lost touch with his wayward daughter. That is, until the day she walks back into her childhood home and begs for his help.

For the last four years, Allie Grant has been the lover—and confidante, confessor, and counselor—of one of the world’s most powerful and deadly men. But a sudden, rash move has put Allie in the crosshairs of a ruthless Russian crime lord. Mort knows of only one place where Allie will be safe: with The Fixer.

As a hired desperado, The Fixer has killed twenty-three people—and Mort was complicit in her escape from the law. She has built an impregnable house, stocked it with state-of-the-art gear, armed it to the teeth, and locked herself away from the world. But even The Fixer may not be able to get justice for Allie when real evil comes knocking.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Book Review: The Resurrection of Tess Blessing by Leslie Kagen


SYNOPSIS

The Resurrection of Tess Blessing is by turns heartbreaking and heartwarming, emotional, perceptive, slightly magical, and funny. It’s a redemptive story about second chances and realizing what—and who—is really important, before it’s too late.

After she is diagnosed with breast cancer, fifty-one-year-old Tess sets forth on a mission to complete her final “to-do” list before, what she’s sure is, her impending death. She needs to make peace with her estranged sister, say goodbye to her mother’s long-kept ashes that she keeps in the garage, rescue her daughter from the grip of an eating disorder, help her son grow-up, and reignite the spark in her marriage. One factor she never considers is that she might have to stick around and deal with her handiwork.

Tess is aided on her quest by narrator, Grace, who lends the story its most brilliant elements: subtle magical realism and deep psychological complexity. Is Grace an “imaginary friend,” guardian angel, or a part of Tess who knows better than she?

The Resurrection of Tess Blessing is authentic, funny, sad, and at its heart… redemptive.

2015 - 8th Annual Graphic Novel/Manga Reading Challenge


The 8th Annual Graphic Novels Challenge is hosted by Nicole on its own blog!  Click the button to go to the site, get all the details and to sign up!

From the blog:

What counts:  graphic novels, collected trade editions, manga, comic strip collections, comic books. In print or digital. Anything else you feel is suitable.  My criteria is if it has either frames OR speech bubbles it counts.  I'm not going to be the comic police but if you are unsure, ask me in the comments any given month.

~~~oOo~~~


Here are the levels:

Modern Age: read and review 12 books during the year

Bronze Age: read and review 24 books during the year

Silver Age: read and review 52 books during the year

I usually start at the lowest level (due to signing up for a LOT of challenges), which in this case would be 12 books.  This will be some new territory for me, as I have not read graphic novels or comic books in a long time.  Probably the last time was when WhiteWolf introduced Vampire:  The Masquerade.  That, and possibly one or two of "The Walking Dead" graphic novels.

I'm sure I can get all the material I need from my sons. ;)

Monday, December 15, 2014

Book Review: The Language of Hoofbeats by Catherine Ryan Hyde


SYNOPSIS

  • Paperback: 342 pages
  • Publisher: Lake Union Publishing (December 9, 2014)

From the bestselling author of Pay It Forward comes a story of the heartbreak and healing power of family. New to a small town, Jackie and Paula envision a quiet life for their kids: a young adopted son and two teenage foster children, including the troubled Star. However, they quickly butt heads with their neighbor, Clementine, who disapproves of their lifestyle and is incensed when Star befriends her spirited horse, Comet. Haunted by past tragedy and unable to properly care for Comet, Clem nevertheless resents the bond Star soon shares with the horse. When Star disappears with Comet, the neighbors are thrown together—far too close together. But as the search for the pair wears on, both families must learn to put aside their animosity and confront the choices they’ve made and the scars they carry. Plumbing the depths of regret and forgiveness, The Language of Hoofbeats explores the strange alchemy that transforms a group of people into a family.

REVIEW: Moriarty by Anthony Horowitz


SYNOPSIS

• Hardcover: 304 pages
• Publisher: Harper (December 9, 2014)

The game is once again afoot in this thrilling mystery from the bestselling author of The House of Silk, sanctioned by the Conan Doyle estate, which explores what really happened when Sherlock Holmes and his arch nemesis Professor Moriarty tumbled to their doom at the Reichenbach Falls.
Internationally bestselling author Anthony Horowitz’s nail-biting new novel plunges us back into the dark and complex world of detective Sherlock Holmes and Moriarty—dubbed the Napoleon of crime” by Holmes—in the aftermath of their fateful struggle at the Reichenbach Falls.

Days after the encounter at the Swiss waterfall, Pinkerton detective agent Frederick Chase arrives in Europe from New York. Moriarty’s death has left an immediate, poisonous vacuum in the criminal underworld, and there is no shortage of candidates to take his place—including one particularly fiendish criminal mastermind.

Chase and Scotland Yard Inspector Athelney Jones, a devoted student of Holmes’s methods of investigation and deduction originally introduced by Conan Doyle in “The Sign of Four”, must forge a path through the darkest corners of England’s capital—from the elegant squares of Mayfair to the shadowy wharfs and alleyways of the London Docks—in pursuit of this sinister figure, a man much feared but seldom seen, who is determined to stake his claim as Moriarty’s successor.

A riveting, deeply atmospheric tale of murder and menace, Moriarty breathes life into Holmes’s dark and fascinating world.

I Love Library Books Reading Challenge 2015


The I Love Library Books Reading Challenge is hosted by Gina at Book Dragon's Lair.  The button up there leads directly to the sign-up page.  Here is the info from her site:

Our love of reading can be expensive! Not only are we purchasing books but some of us also need space to keep them. I had so much fun with this challenge last year. Let's do it again!
There are a number of levels, for those who don't have a library card yet to those that live there. Enjoy!
 Requirements:
  • choose a level - you may move up as needed, just not down.
  • read books you checked out of the library
  • books may overlap with other challenges
  • reviews are not necessary but a list of books read is. (post with review linky is coming in January)
  • a blog is not necessary, just comment that you want to join in or link up another way
  • Levels:
    • board book - 3
    • picture book - 6
    • early reader - 9
    • chapter book - 12
    • middle grades - 18
    • Young adult - 24
    • adult - 36
    • just insert IV - 50 
Since I'm trying out a new record-keeping system next year, I'm starting at the "board book" level.  I tend to sign up for a lot of reading challenges and my records in 2014 were...um...not very skilled.  We live in a rural part of the state and there is like one library per county.  There used to be a bookmobile - I wonder if they still run.  That would make things a LOT easier! ;)