Saturday, July 25, 2020

read: Target 100: The World's Simplest Weight-Loss Program in 6 Easy Steps (4 stars)

Target 100: The World's Simplest Weight-Loss Program in 6 Easy StepsTarget 100: The World's Simplest Weight-Loss Program in 6 Easy Steps by Liz Josefsberg
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I heard Katie Couric recommend this book on her podcast and checked it out. It's pretty legit. Nothing too Earth-shattering here. But it does present many well-known principals in a way that's easy to read and digest and implement. The author has long experience in this field, distilling and refining this approach over many years.

The trick is that there are only 6 things to keep track of and they all use 100. And they are all just targets. No beating yourself up if you don't hit them all the time. But they are all supposed to work together to set you up for success in losing weight and being a happier, healthier person. And you're not supposed to jump into all of them all at once. You ease into them over a period of several weeks, tackling one (or even just part of one) at a time.

I like how another reviewer called this an 'anti-fad' diet. I'd also add that it's really an anti-diet. Only some of what is discussed is food. This is all about making lifestyle adjustments (less scary than changes) that should bring success. It's worth checking out and probably worth a try.

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Friday, July 24, 2020

read: The Last Agent (5 stars)

The Last Agent (Charles Jenkins, #2)The Last Agent by Robert Dugoni
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a direct sequel to Dugoni's excellent first spy novel, The Eighth Sister and somehow it's even better. The stakes are higher. The suspense is heavier. The twists are twistier. It's Mission: Impossible with a team of one.

Ex-CIA agent Charles Jenkins is home from his previous, disastrous trip to Russia, recovering physically and emotionally from the ordeal, enjoying life with his loving wife and two children. Why would he even consider taking on another assignment from the agency that abandoned him and put him on trial for espionage? Why would he ultimately insist on taking the assignment? Such are the questions of loyalty and honor that drive him to discover the truth about the woman who helped him escape Russia the first time. At least this time, he's going into the situation with eyes wide open and an apparently trustworthy ally. But all the odds are stacked against him, too.

How is a known spy, who is physically unable to disappear into the dominantly white population of Russia, supposed to infiltrate the country, get information about a prized prisoner at their most secure military and political prison that the CIA can't even obtain, possibly help that prisoner to escape an inescapable facility, and get out of the country alive? Why he turns to his previous adversary in Russian intelligence, ex-spy Viktor Federov. Along the way in and out, Charles also relies on old and new allies and friends and his top-notch spy craft. This is a non-stop thrill ride. Hold on.

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

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Monday, July 13, 2020

read: The Relentless Moon (4 stars)

The Relentless Moon (Lady Astronaut #3)The Relentless Moon by Mary Robinette Kowal
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have to admit right up front that Mary Robinette Kowal is one author whose books I will buy practically sight-unseen. This goes double for books in this series, which are already tickling my desires for hard science fiction, retro settings, alternate history and realistic space flight action. This book did not disappoint.

But it did surprise. Since I obtained the book without learning too much about it, I didn't realize that the first-person narrative had shifted to a different astronaut in the IAC, International Aerospace Coalition. The scene switches from Elma York, The Lady Astronaut, currently on her way to Mars, to Nicole Wargin, who is not only a veteran astronaut, but the wife of the governor of Kansas, who may also be considering a run for President. Nicole is just as capable as Elma, but she comes with a different set of strengths and weaknesses that the author uses to great affect throughout the story.

One of this books unique charms is that it becomes essentially a locked-room mystery. After plenty of politicking and setup on Earth and an almost routine flight to the Moon, the action is firmly set at Artemis Base, a growing and thriving outpost of mankind. The first step of our escape from a soon to be uninhabitable Earth. Soon, what seem to be a set of unrelated accidents start developing into a pattern of sabotage and attempted murder that is probably the work of an outlaw group known as Earth First. But who among the highly trained astronauts and specially picked colonists is or are the saboteurs? The clues come slowly, but compellingly. This is a great story with almost everyone acting rationally.

Recommended for fans of early space flight, NASA and good writing.

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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