Friday, December 22, 2017

read: The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell (4 stars)

The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell: A NovelThe Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell: A Novel by Robert Dugoni
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When I heard that Robert Dugoni, one of my favorite thriller authors, had a different sort of book coming out, I had to have a look at it, too. The rich characterizations in his plot-driven thrillers have kept me enthralled for many an hour. I figured he could pull off a more character-driven story. He does.

I give this story four stars, which on is supposed to mean "I really liked it" (on my personal scale it means "I would recommend it"). I ultimately did like it. As expected, the characters and settings are richly drawn. The prose is crisp and clear. The dialog and action are realistic. On the other hand, Mr. Dugoni is never kind to his characters and in this character-driven story he's positively brutal. Saying too much about that would ruin the story. Suffice to say that anyone who had to deal with elementary school bullying will be squirming during the early chapters.

As the saying goes, it gets better. Sam and his few friends grow up and cope. Life continues to throw hardship at them and they deal with it. They don't always make the best choices. But they keep going. They wrestle with meaning and faith and love. They have extraordinarily ordinary lives. I do recommend this book.

Disclosure: Thank you to Netgalley and Lake Union Publishing for providing a free copy of this book in return for my honest review.

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Tuesday, December 19, 2017

read: Lost (And Found) In Space (4 stars)

Lost (And Found) In SpaceLost (And Found) In Space by Angela Cartwright, Bill Mumy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The cover says 'A memoir in photographs'. That's exactly what it is. Light on prose. Abundant with rare photos. And full of memories from the two youngest members of the 'Lost in Space' cast. More than likely, only fans will enjoy this. That's exactly who they wrote it for.

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Saturday, December 9, 2017

read: Travel as a Political Act (4 stars)

Travel as a Political ActTravel as a Political Act by Rick Steves
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Rick Steves' thought-provoking ramblings about politics and travel are well summed up by a quote from Mark Twain he includes in the last chapter, "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness." Don't be narrow-minded. Read this book and consider broadening your views and expanding your tolerance. Travel and meet people you wouldn't normally meet. You don't even have to leave the country (but, if you can, you should).

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Thursday, December 7, 2017

read: Typhoon Fury (4 stars)

Typhoon Fury (The Oregon Files, #12)Typhoon Fury by Clive Cussler
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Another rip-roaring adventure, well-researched and well-told.

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