Thursday, December 15, 2011

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Thursday, September 1, 2011

Kill Me If You Can

Author: James Patterson
Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company (August 29, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0316097543

Book Description:

Matthew Bannon, a poor art student living in New York City, finds a duffel bag filled with diamonds during a chaotic attack at Grand Central Station. Plans for a worry-free life with his gorgeous girlfriend Katherine fill his thoughts--until he realizes that he is being hunted, and that whoever is after him won't stop until they have reclaimed the diamonds and exacted their revenge.

Trailing him is the Ghost, the world's greatest assassin, who has just pulled off his most high-profile hit: killing Walter Zelvas, a top member of the international Diamond Syndicate. There's only one small problem: the diamonds he was supposed to retrieve from Zelvas are missing. Now, the Ghost is on Bannon's trail--but so is a rival assassin who would like nothing more than to make the Ghost disappear forever. From "America's #1 storyteller" (Forbes) comes a high-speed, high-stakes, winner-take-all thrill ride of adrenaline-fueled suspense.

My thoughts:

Wow! This book starts out with a BANG and ends just as strong! The Ghost has just killed Walter Zelvas, a high ranking member of the Diamond Syndicate. An innocent art student by the name of  Matthew Bannon finds the diamonds Zelvas has left behind-- diamonds Ghost is looking for.  Will Bannon hold onto the treasure he has stumbled upon? Will they make his life more comfortable? Don't count on it!!

Kill Me If You Can is an exciting read from start to finish. The chapters are short and quick and filled with thrills. I liked it very much!

Thank you to Hachette Book Group for my review copy.

Bitter End

Author: Jennifer Brown
Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
(May 10, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0316086959

Book Description:
When Alex falls for the charming new boy at school, Cole -- a handsome, funny, sports star who adores her -- she can't believe she's finally found her soul mate . . . someone who truly loves and understands her.

At first, Alex is blissfully happy. Sure, Cole seems a little jealous of her relationship with her close friend Zack, but what guy would want his girlfriend spending all her time with another boy? As the months pass, though, Alex can no longer ignore Cole's small put-downs, pinches, or increasingly violent threats.

As Alex struggles to come to terms with the sweet boyfriend she fell in love with and the boyfriend whose "love" she no longer recognizes, she is forced to choose -- between her "true love" and herself.
My thoughts:
Sometimes we fall in love and find the person who seemed perfect turns out to have serious flaws. Alex finds herself in that very situation when Cole starts to treat her in demeaning ways. What should she do? Should she stay in the relationship or move on?
This should be a "must read" for teenagers! What is true love? When should a relationship be terminated? What are the signs of abuse? Teens will relate to the well-developed characters and storyline. This is a book every girl should read.
Thank you to Hachette Book Group for my review copy.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Summer of Fear

Author: Lois Duncan
Reading level: Young Adult
Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Revised edition (April 19, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0316099074

Book Description:

From the moment Rachel's family takes in her orphaned cousin Julia, strange things start to happen. Rachel grows suspicious but soon finds herself alienated from her own life. Julia seems to have enchanted everyone to turn against her, leaving Rachel on her own to try and prove that Julia is a witch. One thing about Julia is certain-she is not who she says she is, and Rachel's family is in grave danger.

My thoughts:

I love Lois Duncan's books and pass them on to the young people in my family as soon as I'm finished reviewing them. Summer of Fear stands up nicely along side the author's Stranger With My Face; I Know What You Did Last Summer; and Down A Dark Hall. Filled with suspense and horror, Summer of Fear completely held my attention. A young reader in my family is going to love it. 5 stars***** (Thank you to Hachette Book Group for my review copy.)

Stranger With My Face

Author: Lois Duncan
Reading level: Young Adult
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Revised edition (April 19, 2011)
Language: English

Book Description:

Laurie Stratton finally has everything a sixteen-year-old could ever want. But just as her perfect summer comes to a close, things start to unravel when her boyfriend insists he saw her out with another guy-when Laurie was really home sick! More mysterious sightings convince Laurie someone very real is out there, watching her. . . .
The truth reveals a long-lost sister who has spent the years growing bitter and dangerous. She has learned how to haunt Laurie, but the visits soon become perilous. She wants something from Laurie-her life!

My thoughts:

I can always count on Lois Duncan to bring her best to any novel she writes. Stranger With My Face is about a young woman who is haunted by someone who appears to be her. How can that be? Who is this mysterious person? And will our main character be harmed? This book is solid all the way through. It begins strong and ends strong. I think teens and adults alike will enjoy anything Lois Duncan writes, especially, Stranger With My Face. 5 stars***** (Thank you to Hachette Book Group for my review copy.)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Long Night (William L. Shirer and the Rise and Fall of the Third Reich)

Author: Steve Wick
Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan (August 2, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0230623182

Book Description:

The story of legendary American journalist William L. Shirer and how his first-hand reporting on the rise of the Nazis and on World War II brought the devastation alive for millions of Americans.

When William L. Shirer started up the Berlin bureau of Edward R. Murrow’s CBS News in the 1930s, he quickly became the most trusted reporter in all of Europe. Shirer hit the streets to talk to both the everyman and the disenfranchised, yet he gained the trust of the Nazi elite and through these contacts obtained a unique perspective of the party’s rise to power.

Unlike some of his esteemed colleagues, he did not fall for Nazi propaganda and warned early of the consequences if the Third Reich was not stopped. When the Germans swept into Austria in 1938 Shirer was the only American reporter in Vienna, and he broadcast an eyewitness account of the annexation. In 1940 he was embedded with the invading German army as it stormed into France and occupied Paris. The Nazis insisted that the armistice be reported through their channels, yet Shirer managed to circumvent the German censors and again provided the only live eyewitness account. His notoriety grew inside the Gestapo, who began to build a charge of espionage against him. His life at risk, Shirer had to escape from Berlin early in the war.

About the author:

Steve Wick is a senior editor at Newsday and the author of Bad Company: Drugs, Hollywood and the Cotton Club Murder, among others. He has been a journalist for 30 years and has won dozens of writing and reporting awards, including sharing in two Pulitzer Prizes for local reporting.

My thoughts:

This is definitely a story worth reading; the story of a courageous journalist, William L. Shirer, and his exceptional message to the world. It is very well-written, historical in nature...a page turner. Highly recommended for the history buff.

Thank you to the author for my review copy.

Down a Dark Hall

Author: Lois Duncan
Reading level: Young Adult
Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Revised edition (April 19, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0316098981

Book Description:

Kit Gordy sees Blackwood Hall towering over black iron gates, and she can't help thinking, This place is evil. The imposing mansion sends a shiver of fear through her. But Kit settles into a routine, trying to ignore the rumors that the highly exclusive boarding school is haunted.

Then her classmates begin to show extraordinary and unknown talents. The strange dreams, the voices, the lost letters to family and friends, all become overshadowed by the magic around them.

When Kit and her friends realize that Blackwood isn't what it claims to be, it might be too late.

My thoughts:

I didn't know what to expect when I started reading this book, but it did not take long for me to become totally involved with the characters and the mysterious events within the story. Ms. Duncan has created a book that will appeal to readers who can't resist a hauntingly dark, spooky adventure...which is most of us. Down a Dark Hall churns with chilling suspense and the anticipation of evil lurking around every corner. Once I started reading, I found it to be a quick, exciting read.

(Thank you to Hackette book group for my review copy.)

Monday, August 8, 2011

The Bourne Dominion / Review

Author: Eric Van Lustbader
Hardcover: 640 pages
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
(July 19, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1455500100

Book Description:

Jason Bourne is searching for an elusive cadre of terrorists planning to destroy America's most strategic natural resources. He needs the help of his long-time friend, General Boris Karpov, the newly appointed head of Russia's most feared spy agency, FSB-2. Karpov is one of the most determined, honorable, and justice-hungry men that Bourne knows. But Karpov has made a deal with the devil. In order to remain the head of FSB-2, he must hunt down and kill Bourne.

Now, these two trusted friends are on a deadly collision course. From the Colombian highlands to Munich, Cadiz, and Damascus, the clock is counting down to a disaster that will cripple America's economic and military future. Only Bourne and Karpov have a chance to avert the catastrophe-but if they destroy each other first, that chance will be gone forever.
My thoughts:

When I started reading this book, I had not read others of the series, so I was going into it quite cold. It did take several chapters playing catch up, but I finally got into the story-line and characters and enjoyed it. I do think a reader would be happier reading the full series for continuity and context. On the upside, the novel flows nicely and is well-written. Thank you to Hachette Book Group for my review copy.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Forgotten / Review

Author: Cat Patrick
Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
1 edition (June 7, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0316094617

Book Description:

Each night at precisely 4:33 am, while sixteen-year-old London Lane is asleep, her memory of that day is erased. In the morning, all she can "remember" are events from her future. London is used to relying on reminder notes and a trusted friend to get through the day, but things get complicated when a new boy at school enters the picture. Luke Henry is not someone you'd easily forget, yet try as she might, London can't find him in her memories of things to come.

When London starts experiencing disturbing flashbacks, or flash-forwards, as the case may be, she realizes it's time to learn about the past she keeps forgetting-before it destroys her future.

My thoughts:

After reading Forgotten by Cat Patrick I came away feeling that it was original, unique, and absorbing. It is well-written and definitely held my attention. No doubt, young people will find this psychological drama a super cool, fun read.
There are a lot of twists and turns here which will keep the reader on their toes until the end. A well-deserved 4 stars for this young adult novel. Thank you to the publisher for my review copy.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Ex-Girlfriends United / Review

Author: Matt Dunn
Age: Young Adult
Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark;
Original edition (June 1, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1402245041

Book Description:

Faced with the prospect of a lifetime of singledom, Dan must track down his many exes in order to put things right. Along the way, he discovers he has much to learn about himself. Particularly when he meets up again with Polly-and realizes he wants her back. Can Dan convince his former love he's changed? Can his friend Ed convince him he needs to change in the first place? And can the two friends use their newfound knowledge to help other men in the same boat?

My thoughts:

This book will appeal to young men and women alike. It certainly gives the reader some insight into male thinking and hopefully some life-lessons by the time it is finished. An entertaining read.

Spoiled / Review

Author: Heather Cocks and
Jessica Morgan
Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: Poppy; 1 edition (June 1, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0316098256

Book Description:

Sixteen-year-old Molly Dix has just discovered that her biological father is Brick Berlin, world-famous movie star and red-carpet regular. Intrigued (and a little terrified) by her Hollywood lineage, Molly moves to Los Angeles and plunges headfirst into the deep of Beverly Hills celebrity life. Just as Molly thinks her life couldn't get any stranger, she meets Brooke Berlin, her gorgeous, spoiled half sister, who welcomes Molly to la-la land with a smothering dose "sisterly love"...but in this town, nothing is ever what it seems.

Set against a world of Redbull-fuelled stylists, tiny tanned girls, popped-collar guys, and Blackberry-wielding publicists, Spoiled is a sparkling debut from the writers behind the viciously funny celebrity blog

My thoughts:

I wasn't sure I was going to like this book, but as a reviewer I gave it a try and was pleasantly surprised. It is well-written, humorous, and filled with fashion that will interest most teenage girls. Will give it to my granddaughter. Thank you to Hachette Book Group for my review copy.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Flashback / Review

Author: Dan Simmons
Hardcover: 560 pages
Publisher: Reagan Arthur Books;
1 edition (July 1, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0316006963

Book Description:

The United States is near total collapse. But 87% of the population doesn't care: they're addicted to flashback, a drug that allows its users to re-experience the best moments of their lives. After ex-detective Nick Bottom's wife died in a car accident, he went under the flash to be with her; he's lost his job, his teenage son, and his livelihood as a result.

Nick may be a lost soul but he's still a good cop, so he is hired to investigate the murder of a top governmental advisor's son. This flashback-addict becomes the one man who may be able to change the course of an entire nation turning away from the future to live in the past.

A provocative novel set in a future that seems scarily possible, FLASHBACK proves why Dan Simmons is one of our most exciting and versatile writers.

My thoughts:

Some of the book's reviewers seem to say they believe this is a political statement by the author. I saw it differently. It is a seriously well-written, action-packed novel that certainly gives the reader plenty to think about. I found it a very good read.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Our Summer Reading List

Great summer reads. Enjoy!

1.The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

2. The Complete Short Stories of Flannery O'Conner

3. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

4. Maine by J. Courtney Sullivan

5. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

6. Summer Rental by Mary Kay Andrews

7. Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese

8. Now You See Her by James Patterson

9. The Help by Kathryn Stockett

10. Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

11. Please Look After Mom by Kyung-Sook Shin

12. Thursday at Eight by Debbie Macomber


Thursday, June 30, 2011

Now You See Her by James Patterson

Author: James Patterson
Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
(June 27, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0316036218

Book Description:

The perfect life
A successful lawyer and loving mother, Nina Bloom would do anything to protect the life she's built in New York--including lying to everyone, even her daughter, about her past. But when an innocent man is framed for murder, she knows that she can't let him pay for the real killer's crimes.

The perfect lie

Nina's secret life began 18 years ago. She had looks to die for, a handsome police-officer husband, and a carefree life in Key West. When she learned she was pregnant with their first child, her happiness was almost overwhelming. But Nina's world is shattered when she unearths a terrible secret that causes her to run for her life and change her identity.

The perfect way to die

Now, years later, Nina risks everything she's earned to return to Florida and confront the murderous evil she fled. In a story of wrenching suspense, James Patterson gives us his most head-spinning, action-filled story yet--a Hitchcock-like blend of unquenchable drama and pleasure.

My thoughts:

This is definitely one of Patterson's best books of late. His last couple of novels have been, in my opinion, disappointments. I am happy to see the author has gotten back in touch with his muse. As with most James Patterson's books, this one moves along quickly with short chapters. This tale is straightforward; exciting; suspenseful; an emotional roller-coaster ride; a quick read. I'm so glad to have the master of supense back with us at his best. Congratulations Mr. Patterson on one of your best works in a while!! Thank you to Hachette Book Group for my review copy.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Magnolia League

Author: Katie Crouch
Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: Poppy; 1 edition (May 3, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0316078492

Book Description:

After the death of her free-spirited mother, sixteen-year-old Alex Lee must leave her home in northern California to live with her wealthy grandmother in Savannah, Georgia. By birth, Alex is a rightful, if unwilling, member of the Magnolia League, Savannah's long-standing debutante society. She quickly discovers that the Magnolias have made a pact with a legendary hoodoo family, the Buzzards. The Magnolias enjoy youth, beauty and power. But at what price?

As in her popular adult novels, Crouch's poignant and humorous voice shines in this seductively atmospheric story about girls growing up in a magical Southern city.
My thoughts:

Alexandria Lee's mother has died and she has gone to live with her southern grandmother. Thus starts a story of secrets, southern tradition, and rituals.  Delightful. Set in Savannah, it is a fast Southern read, from sweet tea to black magic, a book I think teenagers, especially will like. Thank you to Hachette Book Group for my review copy.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Ripe for Pleasure / Review

Author: Isobel Carr
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Forever
1 edition (May 1, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0446572756

Book Description:

Second in line, first in loveA secret society of younger sons, sworn to aid and abet each other, no matter the scandal or cost.... Their fathers and brothers may rule the world, but they run it . . . and when it comes to passion, they refuse to accept second best.

Searching for hidden treasure,
finding forbidden fantasy.
London's most sensual former courtesan, Viola Whedon, is incapable of being seduced-she does the seducing. Until she meets Leonidas Vaughn. Her salacious memoirs have made her the target of half the lords in England, and Vaughn is the only man she can turn to. When he promises to protect her-and to make her beg for his touch-the alluring beauty finds both offers impossible to refuse.

Leonidas Vaughn secretly believes Viola possesses a fortune given to his family by the King of France. So the strong and sexy Vaughn charms his way into Viola's life . . . and her bed. But when their arrangement is consummated, he'll experience pleasure far beyond his wildest fantasies-and realize his heart may need the most protection of all.

My thoughts:

Hot sexy novel by Isobel Carr that you will not soon forget.

(thank you to Hachette Book Group for my review copy.)

Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Sixth Man by David Baldacci / Review

Author: David Baldacci
Hardcover: 432 pages
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
(April 19, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 9780446573108

Book Description:

Edgar Roy-an alleged serial killer held in a secure, fortress-like Federal Supermax facility-is awaiting trial. He faces almost certain conviction. Sean King and Michelle Maxwell are called in by Roy's attorney, Sean's old friend and mentor Ted Bergin, to help work the case. But their investigation is derailed before it begins-en route to their first meeting with Bergin, Sean and Michelle find him murdered.

It is now up to them to ask the questions no one seems to want answered: Is Roy a killer? Who murdered Bergin? With help from some surprising allies, they continue to pursue the case. But the more they dig into Roy's past, the more they encounter obstacles, half-truths, dead-ends, false friends, and escalating threats from every direction. Their persistence puts them on a collision course with the highest levels of the government and the darkest corners of power. In a terrifying confrontation that will push Sean and Michelle to their limits, the duo may be permanently parted.

My thoughts:

Another riveting novel by the author of Stone Cold; True Blue; Deliver Us From Evil; and Hell's Corner. I enjoyed it and think it is one of Baldacci's better works. It has everything a reader of suspense can ask for: nice story development; interesting characters; page-turning drama. I give it 5 stars****.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Smells Like Dog

Author: Suzanne Selfors
Reading level: Ages 9-12
Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers;
Reprint edition (April 12, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 9780316043977

Book Description:
Meet Homer Pudding, an ordinary farm boy who's got big dreams-to follow in the footsteps of his famous treasure-hunting uncle. But when Uncle Drake mysteriously disappears, Homer inherits two things: a lazy, droopy dog with no sense of smell, and a mystery.

Why would his uncle call this clumsy dog his "most treasured possession?" And why did he put a gold coin on the dog's collar?

And who will continue Uncle Drake's quest-to find the most coveted pirate treasure in the world?

Join Homer, his sister Gwendolyn, and Dog on an adventure that will test their wits and courage as they leave their peaceful farm and head into a world where ruthless treasure hunters hide around every corner. Where they discover that Dog has a hidden talent and that treasure might be closer than they ever imagined...

My thoughts:

Great read for boy or girl age 9 through 14.

(Thank you to Hachette Book Group for my review copy.)

Monday, April 18, 2011

10th Anniversary

Author: James Patterson
Hardcover: 448 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company (May 2, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0316036269

Book Description:

For every secret
Detective Lindsay Boxer's long-awaited wedding celebration becomes a distant memory when she is called to investigate a horrendous crime: a badly injured teenage girl is left for dead, and her newborn baby is nowhere to be found. Lindsay discovers that not only is there no trace of the criminals--but that the victim may be keeping secrets as well.

For every lie

At the same time, Assistant District Attorney Yuki Castellano is prosecuting the biggest case of her life--a woman who has been accused of murdering her husband in front of her two young children. Yuki's career rests on a guilty verdict, so when Lindsay finds evidence that could save the defendant, she is forced to choose. Should she trust her best friend or follow her instinct?

There's a different way to die

Lindsay's every move is watched by her new boss, Lieutenant Jackson Brady, and when the pressure to find the baby begins interfering with her new marriage to Joe, she wonders if she'll ever be able to start a family. With James Patterson's white-hot speed and unquenchable action, 10th Anniversary is the most deliciously chilling Women's Murder Club book ever.

My thoughts:
Three words...suspense, suspense, suspense!!

(Thank you to Hackette Book Group for my review copy.)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

A Heartbeat Away / Review

Author: Michael Palmer
Hardcover: 416 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
(February 15, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 9780312587529

Book Description:

On the night of the State of the Union address, President James Allaire expects to give the speech of his career. But no one anticipates the terrifying turn of events that forces him to quarantine everyone in the Capitol building. A terrorist group calling itself “Genesis” has unleashed WRX3883, a deadly, highly contagious virus, into the building.

No one fully knows the deadly effect of the germ except for the team responsible for its development—a team headed by Allaire, himself. The only one who might be able to help is virologist Griffin Rhodes, currently in solitary confinement in a maximum security federal prison for alleged terrorist acts, including the attempted theft of WRX3883 from the lab where he worked.

Rhodes has no idea why he has been arrested, but when Allaire offers to free him in exchange for his help combating the virus, he reluctantly agrees to do what he can to support the government that has imprisoned him without apparent cause.

Meanwhile, every single person in line for presidential succession is trapped inside the Capitol—every person except one: the Director of Homeland Security, who is safely at home in Minnesota, having been selected as the “Designated Survivor” for this event. With enemies both named and unnamed closing in, and the security of the nation at stake, Griff must unravel the mysteries of WRX3883 without violating his pledge as a scientist to use no animal testing in his experiments…and time is running out.

Tense, thrilling, and entirely plausible, A Heartbeat Away will make you reflect, wonder, and be truly afraid.

About the Author...
MICHAEL PALMER is the author of fifteen novels of medical suspense, all international bestsellers. His books have been translated into thirty-five languages. In addition to this writing, Palmer is an associate director of the Massachusetts Medical Society Physician Health Services, devoted to helping physicians troubled by mental illness, physical illness, behavioral issues, and chemical dependency. He lives in eastern Massachusetts.

My thoughts:

A Heartbeat Away is a true to life drama with all the suspense and thrill you would expect from a seasoned, best-selling author like Michael Palmer.

This book grabbed me at the first page and wouldn't let go; I hadn't changed my mind on the last page either. This is definitely one of Palmer's best. There is everything a good suspense novel needs to keep the reader happy--edge of your seat action, drama, and believability. This has it all. 5 stars*****

(Thanks to the author for my review copy.)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Toys / Review

Author: James Patterson Hardcover: 400 pages Publisher: Little, Brown and Company (March 14, 2011) ISBN-10: 0316097365 Book Description: James Bond and Jason Bourne have just been topped! A battle for the world is set into unstoppable motion and Hays Baker is the only one who can save it. Hays Baker and his wife Lizbeth possess super-human strength, extraordinary intelligence, stunning looks, a sex life to die for, and two beautiful children. Of course they do--they're Elites, endowed at birth with the very best that the world can offer. The only problem in their perfect world: humans and their toys! The one with the most toys--dies. The top operative for the Agency of Change, Hays has just won the fiercest battle of his career. He has been praised by the President, and is a national hero. But before he can savor his triumph, he receives an unbelievable shock that overturns everything he thought was true. Suddenly Hays is on the other side of the gun, forced to leave his perfect family and fight for his life. Now a hunted fugitive, Hays is thrown into a life he never dreamed possible--fighting to save humans everywhere from extinction. He enlists all of his training to uncover the truth that will save millions of lives--maybe even his own. James Patterson's Toys is a thriller on a hyper plane--with a hero who rivals both James Bond and Jason Bourne. My Thoughts: Although, the Book Description gives Toys a glowing review, my own experience is a bit different. Patterson seems to be putting out books faster than he can come up with good solid material. Yes, indeed, he may be smiling all the way to the bank, but it would be nice to if he would sit still for awhile and reconnect with his muse. Having said that, true Patterson fans will never turn down another of his works-- if only to add it to their personal collection. (Thank you to Hachette Book Group for my review copy.)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Coming Economic Armageddon / Review

Author: Dr. David Jeremiah
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: FaithWords
(October 1, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0446565946

Book Description:
Never before have we read such jarring headlines, distressing news analyses, or dire predictions concerning the world's financial future. The American housing market -- or, more sentimentally, the American dream -- began to collapse in 2006, taking with it large chunks of the global financial system. Millions of jobs worldwide have vanished forever. Did Bible prophecy predict this catastrophe? Are there biblical clues to how soon, if ever, a viable, long-term recovery can be sustained? Is the financial collapse just one of several signs that we are living in the final days of Earth's history In THE COMING ECONOMIC ARMAGEDDON, David Jeremiah says we can know the meaning behind what we see in the daily news -- and understand and prepare for living in the New Global Economy.

My Review:
Caution: This book may be disturbing to sensitive readers.

The Coming Economic Armageddon is very sobering and even heartbreaking as we see that America is very likely on the verge of economic collapse.

Chapters include: The Fall of the American Economy; The New World Order; The New Global Economy; Satan's CEO; The Mark of the Beast; Financial Signs of the Times; God's Ultimate New World Order; and more.

This book has had very good reviews from other sources and appears to have solid facts which point to the "end times." 5 stars*****

(Thank you to Hachette Book Group for my review copy.)

Tick Tock / Review

Author: James Patterson
Hardcover: 416 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
(January 24, 2011)
ISBN-10: 0316037915

Book Description:
NYC's #1 detective, Michael Bennett, has a huge problem--the Son of Sam, the Werewolf of Wisteria and the Mad Bomber are all back.

The city has never been more terrified! Tick--a killer's countdown begins. A rash of horrifying crimes tears through the city, throwing it into complete chaos and terrorizing everyone living there. Immediately, it becomes clear that they are not the work of an amateur, but of a calculating, efficient, and deadly mastermind.

Tick--Michael Bennett is on the chase. The city calls on Detective Michael Bennett, pulling him away from a seaside retreat with his ten adopted children, his grandfather, and their beloved nanny, Mary Catherine. Not only does it tear apart their vacation, it leaves the entire family open to attack.

Tock--your time is up. Bennett enlists the help of a former colleague, FBI Agent Emily Parker. As his affection for Emily grows into something stronger, his relationship with Mary Catherine takes an unexpected turn. All too soon, another appalling crime leads Bennett to a shocking discovery that exposes the killer's pattern and the earth-shattering enormity of his plan.

From the creator of the #1 New York detective series comes the most volatile and most explosive Michael Bennett novel ever.

My Review:
As a James Patterson fan and collector, I'm always excited when another of his books comes out in print.

This one is not quite a good as some of his others, yet it is still a fun read. I enjoy, too, his style of short chapters. His writing is always mesmerizing and to the point--pager turners!

I'm giving this one 4 stars****(5 being the highest).

(Thank you to Hachett Book Group for my review copy.)

Friday, February 11, 2011

The Inner Circle / Review

Author: Brad Meltzer
Hardcover: 464 pages
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
(January 11, 2011)
ISBN-10: 0446577898

Book Description:

Beecher White, a young archivist, spends his days working with the most important documents of the U.S. government. He has always been the keeper of other people's stories, never a part of the story himself...Until now.

When Clementine Kaye, Beecher's first childhood crush, shows up at the National Archives asking for his help tracking down her long-lost father, Beecher tries to impress her by showing her the secret vault where the President of the United States privately reviews classified documents. After they accidentally happen upon a priceless artifact - a 200 hundred-year-old dictionary that once belonged to George Washington, hidden underneath a desk chair, Beecher and Clementine find themselves suddenly entangled in a web of deception, conspiracy, and murder.

Soon a man is dead, and Beecher is on the run as he races to learn the truth behind this mysterious national treasure. His search will lead him to discover a coded and ingenious puzzle that conceals a disturbing secret from the founding of our nation. It is a secret, Beecher soon discovers, that some believe is worth killing for.

Gripping, fast-paced, and filled with the fascinating historical detail for which he is famous, THE INNER CIRCLE is a thrilling novel that once again proves Brad Meltzer as a brilliant author writing at the height of his craft.

About the Author:
Brad Meltzer is the author of seven New York Times bestselling thrillers: The Tenth Justice, Dead Even, The First Counsel, The Millionaires, The Zero Game, The Book of Fate, and The Book of Lies. He is also the #1 bestselling author of the critically acclaimed comic books Identity Crisis and Justice League of America, and is the co-creator of the TV series Jack & Bobby. A graduate of the University of Michigan and Columbia Law School, he currently lives in Florida. To learn more about Brad, please visit him at

My Review:
If you are looking for a thriller...this is it! Meltzer continues to write quality novels. 5 stars*****

(Thank you to Hachette Book Group for my ARC.)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Hell's Corner / Review

Author: David Baldacci
Hardcover: 448 pages
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
(November 9, 2010)
ISBN-10: 0446195529

Book Description:
Oliver Stone and the Camel Club return in #1 bestselling author David Baldacci's most stunning adventure yet.An attack on the heart of power . . .

In sight of the White House . . . At a place known as . . . HELL'S CORNER John Carr, aka Oliver Stone-once the most skilled assassin his country ever had-stands in Lafayette Park in front of the White House, perhaps for the last time. The president has personally requested that Stone serve his country again on a high-risk, covert mission. Though he's fought for decades to leave his past career behind, Stone has no choice but to say yes.Then Stone's mission changes drastically before it even begins. It's the night of a state dinner honoring the British prime minister. As he watches the prime minister's motorcade leave the White House that evening, a bomb is detonated in Lafayette Park, an apparent terrorist attack against both leaders. It's in the chaotic aftermath that Stone takes on a new, more urgent assignment: find those responsible for the bombing.British MI-6 agent Mary Chapman becomes Stone's partner in the search for the unknown attackers. But their opponents are elusive, capable, and increasingly lethal; worst of all, it seems that the park bombing may just have been the opening salvo in their plan.

With nowhere else to turn, Stone enlists the help of the only people he knows he can trust: the Camel Club. Yet that may be a big mistake.In the shadowy worlds of politics and intelligence, there is no one you can really trust. Nothing is really what it seems to be. And Hell's Corner truly lives up to its name. This may be Oliver Stone's and the Camel Club's last stand.

About the Author...
David Baldacci lives with his family in Virginia. He and his wife have founded the Wish You Well Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting literacy efforts across America. He invites you to visit him at and his, and to look into its program to spread books across America at

My Review:
Well-written, filled with political narrative, and action, this book is sure to bring excitement to the reader who enjoys a good thriller. 4 stars****

(Thank you to Hachette Book Group for my review copy.)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Hollywood Hills / Review

Author: Joseph Wambaugh
Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
(November 16, 2010)
ISBN-10: 031612950X

Book Description:
The legendary Hollywood Hills are home to wealth, fame, and power--passing through the neighborhood, it's hard not to get a little greedy. LAPD veteran "Hollywood Nate" Weiss could take or leave the opulence, but he wouldn't say no to onscreen fame. He may get his shot when he catches the appreciative eye of B-list director Rudy Ressler, and his troublemaking fiancée, Leona Brueger, the older-but-still-foxy widow of a processed-meat tycoon. Nate tries to elude her crafty seductions, but consents to keep an eye on their estate in the Hollywood Hills while they're away.

Also minding the mansion is Raleigh Dibble, a hapless ex-con trying to put the past behind him. Raleigh is all too happy to be set up for the job--as butler-cum-watchdog--by Nigel Wickland, Leona's impeccably dressed art dealer. What Raleigh doesn't realize is that under the natty clothes and posh accent, Nigel has a nefarious plan: two paintings hanging on the mansion's walls will guarantee them more money than they've ever seen.Everyone's dreams are just within reach--the only problem is, this is Hollywood.

A circle of teenage burglars that the media has dubbed The Bling Ring has taken to pillaging the homes of Hollywood celebutants like Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan, and when a pair of drug-addled young copycats stumbles upon Nigel's heist, that's just the beginning of the disaster to come. Soon Hollywood Nate, surfer cops Flotsam and Jetsam, and the rest of the team at Hollywood Station have a deadly situation on their hands.

Hollywood Hills is a raucous and dangerous roller coaster ride that showcases Joseph Wambaugh in vintage form.

(Thank you to Hachette Book Group for my review copy.)

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Scorpions / Review

Author: Noah Feldman
Hardcover: 528 pages
Publisher: Twelve
1St Edition edition (November 8, 2010)
ISBN-10: 0446580570

Book Description...
A tiny, ebullient Jew who started as America's leading liberal and ended as its most famous judicial conservative. A Klansman who became an absolutist advocate of free speech and civil rights. A backcountry lawyer who started off trying cases about cows and went on to conduct the most important international trial ever. A self-invented, tall-tale Westerner who narrowly missed the presidency but expanded individual freedom beyond what anyone before had dreamed. Four more different men could hardly be imagined. Yet they had certain things in common. Each was a self-made man who came from humble beginnings on the edge of poverty. Each had driving ambition and a will to succeed. Each was, in his own way, a genius. They began as close allies and friends of FDR, but the quest to shape a new Constitution led them to competition and sometimes outright warfare. SCORPIONS tells the story of these four great justices: their relationship with Roosevelt, with each other, and with the turbulent world of the Great Depression, World War II, and the Cold War. It also serves as a history of the modern Constitution itself.

About the Author...
Noah Feldman is the author of four previous books: The Fall and Rise of the Islamic State (Princeton University Press, 2008), Divided By God (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2005); What We Owe Iraq (Princeton University Press, 2004); and After Jihad (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2003). In 2003, he served as senior constitutional advisor to the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq, and subsequently advised members of the Iraqi Governing Council on the drafting of an interim constitution. Esquire named him among seventy-five influential figures for the 21st century and New York magazine designated him as one of three top "influentials in ideas." He is currently a professor at Harvard University, a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine, and an adjunct senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.

My Review...
A well-written and fancinating overview of the times, politics, and personalities of four of America's most liberal judges. Well worth reading!

(Thanks to Hachette Book Group for my review copy.)

Friday, January 14, 2011

Lies The Government Told You

Author: Judge Andrew P. Napolitano
Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
(March 2, 2010)
ISBN-10: 1595552669

Book Description:
What new crisis will the federal government manufacture in order to acquire more power over individuals? What new lies will it tell?

Throughout our history, the federal government has lied to send our children off to war, lied to take our money, lied to steal our property, lied to gain our trust, and lied to enhance its power over us. Not only does the government lie to us, we lie to ourselves. We won't admit that each time we let the government get away with misleading us, we are allowing it to increase in size and power and decrease our personal liberty.

In acquiescing to the government's continuous fraudulent behavior, we bear partial responsibility for the erosion of our individual liberties and the ever-expanding federal regulation of private behavior. This book attacks the culture in government that facilitates lying, and it challenges readers to recognize that culture, to confront it, and to be rid of it.

My Review:

I found the book to be an interesting take on the relationship between government and citizens. Having said that, I did take exception with Judge Napolitano's gratuitous criticism of the Constitution when he stated "many Americans, including the Founding Fathers, recognized that it was wrong, in a way, makes us even more responsible for the crimes committed against the African-American race." Who is "us"?

In fairness to the Founders and the Constitution, the reality of the world in which it was created must be acknowledged. Never the less, Fredrick Douglas said that the Constitution "paved the road to abolition...." In other words, it was actually an anti-slavery document. Instead of a work producing shame and quilt, the Constitution should be looked upon with deep reverence, gratitude, and respect.

Lies The Government Told Us contains seventeen lies Napolitano feels we have been told. All Men Are Created Equal; Every Vote Counts; Your Body Is Your Temple; It's Only A Temporary Government Program; I'm From the Government, and I'm Here to Help; We Are Winning The War on Drugs; and America Has a Free Market are some of those he discusses in detail.

All in all, Judge Napolitano's book is a good read. I recommend it to anyone, irrespective of political persuasion. 4 stars****

(Thank you to Thomas Nelson for my review copy.)