Monday, July 29, 2019

read: The First Conspiracy: The Secret Plot to Kill George Washington (4 stars)

The First Conspiracy: The Secret Plot to Kill George WashingtonThe First Conspiracy: The Secret Plot to Kill George Washington by Brad Meltzer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Brad Meltzer tells a very compelling story. I liked the detailed explanations of political relationships and the chronological revelation of the story. It does almost read like a novel. But it's also very interesting history for a reader that is not well-read on the era.

I do agree with other reviewers that the narrative is very repetitive and overblown - very much like the author's breathless television shows, including frequent [chapter] breaks [for commercials].

A pretty solid 4-star book, with a half star off for being a pot boiler, and a half star back on for keeping me reading to the very end.

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Saturday, July 27, 2019

read: Infinite Tuesday: An Autobiographical Riff (4 of 5 stars)

Infinite Tuesday: An Autobiographical RiffInfinite Tuesday: An Autobiographical Riff by Michael Nesmith
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ramble on, rambling man. This rambling riff on his life fits the man, the music and the career that I had previously perceived and that comes to life in its pages. Mike has never fit anyone's preconceptions of what a musician, writer, producer ought to be, even his own. It seems like most things that happened to him came as surprises, pleasant and otherwise. And here he lays it all out in a not-quite-chronological order that lets the reader in on the surprise, too. Devoted Monkees fans will likely be disappointed. But readers interested in a true story of semi-success will be fascinated.

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Friday, July 12, 2019

read: The Toll (3 stars)

The TollThe Toll by Cherie Priest
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Don't go driving into the Okenfenokee Swamp when it's dark. That was the first mistake that Titus and Melanie Bell made. Not paying attention and turning around when things get a unfamiliar and weird was their second. As a result, Melanie goes missing and Titus winds up in the town of Staywater, filled with odd folks that don't always give him a straight answer. Two of the odd folks are a pair of spinster grandmothers and their godson Cameron. It all makes for a great set up for a creepy Southern Gothic horror story.

Cherie Priest knows creepy and she keeps ramping up that factor, with a friendly ghost in the local bar, an abandoned house full of dolls and a other oddities. But the story feels too rambly and repetative and lacks tension. It's mostly Titus not getting any answers and Cameron puzzling about his lot in life. Either the book should be shorter or the various back and side stories need expansion and depth. When everyone finally starts taking action toward the end, it finally feels like a real story and comes to a reasonable finish.

I found this to be an easy, entertaining, but a little frustrating read.

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

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