This book surprised me. The main character is a man well into his seventies; a troubled POW who spent an eternity in a dreadful camp in Korea. He is a former lawyer, drunkard, and womanizer. He passes time by acting as a small time sheriff in a more small-time town. One night nine young immigrant Asian women are lined-up in a ditch and brutally executed by a gang of sociopaths. Their bodies are bulldozed over and a nonverbal message is sent to a mob boss. A lone witness contacts Sheriff Hackberry Holland's office and the hunt is on. Immigration and the FBI fight to take over the investigation. Holland and his deputies are pushed aside; viewed as flies on a farm animal. The team of killers are all guns-for-hire. In-fighting amongst them begins. Sides are drawn. The most dominant killer, called the Preacher, has the ability to stay a step ahead of the law while dishing out his own form of twisted justice. He is trying to backtrack and make certain that all witnesses leading to him are eliminated. There is the usual assortment of colorful characters that Burke brings to all his novels. This is the first in a new series for Burke. It is a spin-off of the Billy Bob Holland books. Billy Bob is mentioned a few times, but is not a character in this story. There are three pairs of improbable romantic relationships; all with their flagrant flaws. This 430-page novel flows. I snuck away to read it when I was supposed to be cleaning house. It was worth the time invested. I don't know if our future house-guests will concur.
This is the newest in the Myron Bolitar series. The sports agent gets a frantic call from a former lover who he hasn't seen in eight years, she needs him to come to Paris to help her find her ex-husband. Myron obliges and learns there is a lot she hasn't told him, when her ex shows up dead Myron try's to find the killer. The search leads to Myron and Therese being chased and getting invoved with French Police, Interpol, Mossad and terrorists, it's fast paced and has great locales in both Paris and London. A fun , fast, page turner
Andrew Grant is the younger brother of Lee Child. This is his first novel. Reviewers say that his main character, David Trevellyan, is a cross between Jack Reacher and James Bond. I disagree. The only similarities between Trevellyan and these characters is that he is tall, dangerous and a commander in the Royal Navy, ie. an English spy, with the license to kill. This is a good 1st novel. Grant has an easy-going writing style. His words flow. He starts each chapter with a lesson learned in the past, which is then applied to that chapter. I applaud the fact that Grant found his own publisher and editors without having to drop his successful brother's name. The plot is a little thick. There are a lot of characters, but they are not confusing. What is confusing is where this story begins and when it ends. The setup is very slow and the results are left open for the hopeful sequel. Trevellyan is in NYC having just completed a job for Queen and Country. He cannot walk by a body that he spots dumped in an alley. His brief investigation gets him arrested for murder. Trevellyan is a wise-arse who, if he wasn't so deadly, would be slapped around daily by offended strangers. He is a loner, but a man of his word. Like most fictional heroes, he lives and will die by an inner code that is not always transparent. In the book, he fancies a female friend, but their relationship never develops. There are two major villains that he must battle: Taylor, who runs a supposed security business in Iraq and Lindsey, who likes to keep certain anatomical parts of her failed employees in a jar full of formaldehyde as a reminder that she doesn't like to be let down. I confess I got duped. When I thought there were several pages left to read, they turned out to be all blank pages. I will be awaiting the sequel.
This is a beautiful book. In fact, you might mistake it for just another big, beautiful coffeetable book. But gardeners will discover a wealth of information.
Did you know that almost every type of stone used in one of these courtyard gardens has a name, and that garden connoisseurs in Japan would recognize each type and know it's geographic source? That water basins and stone lanterns come in several distinct styles- and each may have it's own specific name and proper use? Every illustration has descriptive text that details the classic design principles built into that garden. And the (few) pages devoted to text cover details on materials and construction that you will find very useful if you decide to add a bit of Japan to your own yard... or balcony.
There is so much here. It has taken me more time to read through this book, and inspect and consider each of the (spectacular) illustrations, than I spend on some novels. And it's a great investment of time.
Much to see. Much to think about.
Jack Reacher is minding his own business late one night riding the subways of New York. There are only a handful of passengers in his car and he has to observe the one that is demonstrating 11 of the 12 universal signs for a terrorist on a suicide mission. Jack is compelled to intervene and this lights the fuse for the 12th Reacher novel by Lee Child. I read recently that Hollywood has optioned all 12 novels and I can't wait to find out who will play one of the world's most famous fictional characters on the big screen. The actor will have to be about 6 ft. 5 and weigh a muscled 250. Thank goodness this will eliminate Tom Cruise and Mark Wahlberg as choices! This story is more cerebral than most of the others. Less action and more introspection.
Daniel Tammet is considered by many to be the most intelligent living human being, but why? In this fascinating book, Tammet examines the very nature of intelligence and how our social values determine what we consider to be intelligence. Tammet has Asperger's Syndrome and is a mathematical savant, but he is quick to debunk the notion that he is so different from anyone else. He explains clearly how his thinking processes and perceptions differ from typical thinkers. Tammet has had to make conscious choices to adapt his thinking to be able to interact socially and he asserts that typical people have every potential to adapt to think more "savant-like" for things like memory, math, physics and improved awareness. Throughout the book there are interesting and fun mind puzzles and games to test and improve one's mental acuity. Tammet gives some hints on how to improve memory by thinking more like he does. He also discusses many different types of intelligence tests, showing how most of them completely neglect intuition, wisdom and adaptability and are culturally biased. Embracing the Wide Sky is a very pleasant read. Daniel Tammet is a poet, mathematical savant and a fairly witty guy for a super-genius.
This is a food-travel book by the host of the Travel show No Reservations. The author takes us on a world tour in search of the perfect meal,from poisonous Fugu fish in Tokyo to live Cobra heart in Saigon to sothern France where 40 years ago he had his first oyster. This book is funny, he writes like Hunter S. Thompson, and would be enjoyed by travel and foodie fans alike. I also would reccomend Kitchen Confidential by the same author.
In this new book, Leonard brings together three of his more memorable characters from three of his past novels. Reading this book is like watching crossover sitcoms on CBS. Jack Foley, the bank robber with over 127 successful bank robberies on his resume meets up with a Tony Montana wannabe in prison. This short, 50-something Cuban gangster with the greased black ponytail takes a liking to Jack and they become road dogsfor three years while behind bars. Each one has the other's back covered. Jack is serving 30 years and Cundo Rey using his money and influence, springs Jack. Rey soon follows, having served nearly 8 years. Waiting on the outside is the supposed psychic, Dawn Navarro, who has been waiting those 8 years for Rey to get sprung so she can bilk him outta his fortune. All three are on a collision course that only Leonard could create. Leonard, like David Mamet has a gifted ear. He is a master of capturing dialog spoken in real-life words, not just words written as prose; which is the failures of so many less talented published authors today. For a man who lives in a quiet town in Michigan, Leonard sure has a handle on the underworld and what makes criminals tick. A must read for all his fans.
Many lives intersect in Virginia's fictional Manchester County before the Civil War. Blacks, whites, and Native Americans, from every level of society and every kind of family background. Edward P. Jones introduces a multitude of remarkably distinct individuals.
Particularly interesting: some are free blacks who own black slaves.
This remarkable book changed the way I see people. A Finalist for the 2003 National Book Award for Fiction. It won the 2003 National Book Critics Circle Award- and the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.
A great book for discussion - your group may find a wide range of subjects to probe!
Zivitar is a small town in Hungary that was never touched by World War II. But its mayor wants to bring it into the 21st century. Valeria, the 68 year old curmudgeon of the village could not care less. But then she sees the town potter, as if with new eyes, and finds herself reluctantly and frighteningly falling in love. The potter has been having an affair with the tavern owner but finds himself drawn to Valeria who seems to understand his pottery as art just as he sees it.
This town is not big enough for two strong women in love with one man. One of them will have to go. Valeria and Ibolya the tavern owner make their stands and the town will never be the same. A beautifully written story about how love changes all, but one must change to admit love.