It's been a lazy sort of Saturday. The weather has been lovely, bright sunshine and mild. I watched one footie match on NBC, the Toffees lost unfortunately. Brighton managed a 1-1 draw with Liverpool which was important for them. Of course they missed an early penalty so could have won the game. I read a bit, then dozed a bit. Jo and I dozed some more.. lol
I went out yesterday to run a couple of errands and dropped off some books at our local used book store. I managed to flesh our a few of my ongoing series while I was there. I also got a book in the mail, an interesting looking Sci-Fi alternate history story. I have also finished two books since my last reading update. I'll provide my reviews for those, update my currently reading thread and also provide synopses for the new books on my shelves. I'll get back to my ongoing look at favorite authors next entry, I hope.
"A Symphony of Echoes is the 2nd book in the St Mary's Chronicles by Jodi Taylor. It's an excellent mix of history, adventure, romance, time travel and a great story. I enjoyed this book as much as I enjoyed the first. It was an excellent, well-paced page turner.
Dr Max, now no longer a trainee historian, is Chief of Operations at St Mary's. She's an intelligent, spunky young lady. She has some issues but they just make her more determined. In this story the team will have a confrontation with Jack the Ripper, battle to help St Mary's in the future against Max's arch enemy, try to find the Hanging Gardens of Babylon and also to Glasgow to meet Mary Queen of Scots.
It's hard to describe the story, just that it will engross you, teach you a little history and have you on the edge of your seat at times. It's never too technical, never too lost in the history of the events. The cast of characters are colorful, smart, a great team and you find yourself drawn to them. Max is wonderful, causes all sorts of problems, and leads her team with knowledge, verve and pure chutzpah. Jodi Taylor knows how to spin an entertaining yarn. The story is a pure joy to read and is every bit as great as the first book. Number 3 is on my bookshelf (4.5 stars)"
"What Happened to the Corbetts was English author Nevil Shute's 5th published book. Suffice it to say that it was excellent. Written in 1938 and published April 1939 it was a cautionary tale about the impact of aerial bombing from the anticipated WWII. Much later he wrote a similar story about his fears for a nuclear war, On the Beach. Both stories are to the point, excellent and thought-provoking. At the time, Shute worked in the aeronautical industry and had a feeling about the possible impact of bombing.
The story focuses on the Corbett family, Peter, Joan and their 3 small children. The family lives in Southampton where Peter works as a solicitor in a small firm. One night the aerial bombardment commences. Southampton and other cities in England are subjected to vicious bombing attacks. Power is lost, water is affected, sewage pipes are damaged, etc. The story deals with the family's efforts to survive and to decide on what they need to do; stay in Southampton or move somewhere safer? They are an average, normal family and put into a situation that forces them to make decisions that they never thought they would ever have to. While the story focuses on the Corbetts, we also meet their friends and neighbours and see their interactions and acts of selflessness.
Due to water and sewage problems, disease (cholera and typhoid) begins to assert itself and the family moves away from Southampton to live on their small boat. There is a daily struggle to find food, fresh water, milk for the baby. The family will make some decisions that are against their values but it's a rationalization they have to make.
When the bombings come ever closer, they move again and the story moves along in fascinating fashion. What can Peter do to save his family? In its mild way, the story shows a dedicated, loving family forced into heroic actions. Shute describes them in his usual way. What they do might not be heroic, but it makes you wonder if you would be able to in their situation.
It's such an excellent story. It draws you in. There are so many fascinating, intelligent, interesting people. Shute doesn't hide the dangers of the bombs, but he prefers to show acts of kindness, selflessness, hopefulness, even in such trying situations. Is it realistic? He could have focused on people who take advantage of people but he prefers to show the other side of life. There is tension, adventure, great people and a great story. What more can I say? (5 stars)"
"Appie Knoll is the kind of suburb where kids grow up right. But something is wrong. Fourteen-year-old Kevin Bartlett disappears. Everyone thinks he's run away -- until the comic strip ransom note arrives. It doesn't take Spenser long to get the picture -- an affluent family seething with rage, a desperate boy making strange friends...friends like Vic Harroway, body builder. Mr. Muscle is Spenser's only lead and he isn't talking...except with his fists. But when push comes to shove, when a boy's life is on the line, Spenser can speak that language too."
"By turns moving, playful and wise, the poems gathered in Dearly are about absences and endings, ageing and retrospection, but also about gifts and renewals. They explore bodies and minds in transition, as well as the everyday objects and rituals that embed us in the present. Werewolves, sirens and dreams make their appearance, as do various forms of animal life and fragments of our damaged environment.Before she became one of the world's most important and loved novelists, Atwood was a poet. Dearly is her first collection in over a decade. It brings together many of her most recognizable and celebrated themes, but distilled - from minutely perfect descriptions of the natural world to startlingly witty encounters with aliens, from pressing political issues to myth and legend. It is a pure Atwood delight, and long-term readers and new fans alike will treasure its insight, empathy and humour."
With the notion of bringing together the most bitter of enemies for his own amusement, a bored, mischievous millionaire throws a house party. As a brutal snowstorm strands the unhappy guests, the party receives a most unwelcome visitor: death. Now the brilliant inspector Roderick Alleyn must step in to decipher who at the party is capable of cold-blooded murder..."
The first was a local PI of suspect reputation. He’d been gunned down near the beach at Santa Teresa. It looked like a robbery gone bad. The other was on the beach six weeks later. He’d been sleeping rough. Probably homeless. No identification. A slip of paper with Millhone’s name and number was in his pants pocket. The coroner asked her to come to the morgue to see if she could ID him.
Two seemingly unrelated deaths, one a murder, the other apparently of natural causes.
But as Kinsey digs deeper into the mystery of the John Doe, some very strange linkages begin to emerge. And before long at least one aspect is solved as Kinsey literally finds the key to his identity. “And just like that,” she says, “the lid to Pandora’s box flew open. It would take me another day before I understood how many imps had been freed, but for the moment, I was inordinately pleased with myself.”
In this multilayered tale, the surfaces seem clear, but the underpinnings are full of betrayals, misunderstandings, and outright murderous fraud. And Kinsey, through no fault of her own, is thoroughly compromised.
W is for . . . wanderer . . . worthless . . . wronged . . .
W is for wasted."
Selby's investigations led him to a hit-and-run motorcycle accident, to blackmail, and to the doorstep of DeWitt Stapleton, the local big-wig, who ran things in that part of the country by and for himself. "
"Over the many years that Inspector Brant has been bringing his own patented brand of policing to the streets of southeast London, the brilliant but tough cop has made a few enemies. So when a crazed gunman, hired by persons unknown, pumps a magazine full of bullets into Brant in a local pub, leaving him in grasping at life (but ornery as ever), his colleagues on the squad are left wondering how to react.Brant's old partner Inspector Roberts, the man who may know him best, finds himself wondering why someone didn't shoot the hateful detective years ago. In Ken Bruen's Ammunition, they're all about to find out that the answer is quite simple: if you come after Brant you'd damn well better kill him the first time--because if you don't, you won't want to stick around to find out what happens next."
When he's offered the chance to return to that fateful turning point his actions change history as he knows it, leaving him in an all too familiar past. "