Blog Posts by jfreier

Posted by jfreier on 12/08/08
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This is the first in a series of three mysteries featuring Mo Bowdre, a blind sculpture who lives in Santa Fe with his Anlo-Hopi girlfriend Connie Barnes. This book involves the theft of some Hopi artifacts from a upscale art gallery and the murder of the galleries owner. The murder gets Mo and Connie involved and leads to a great look at Santa Fe and it's art scene, and it also gives a peek at Hopi culture and rituals. I liked this series very much and was sad to see it end at only three book, if you like Tony Hillerman this would be a good read alike.
Posted by jfreier on 11/03/08
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I picked this book off the shelf because I was intrigued about Mexico City and know little about it. I found it charming and illuminating in it's portrayal of the megalopolis, the author is a journalist who has lived in the city for fifteen years and knows all of it's charms , problems and many eccentric and powerful residents. He introduces you to the artist Phil Kelly, Mexico's wealthiest man Carlos Slim, a second generation Lebanese whose impact on Mexico is hard to imagine. Mr. Lida also takes the reader to the old colonial neighborhoods as well as the new upscale yuppie enclaves, the book doesn't delve deep into the the City but gives you a great feel and taste of a fascinating Capital of the new Mexico.
Posted by jfreier on 10/07/08
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This is one in a series featuring Cork O'Connor , a retired sheriff in the small rural town of Aurora, Minnesota. The story of a missing teenage girl whose body is found 4 months after her disappearance on New Years Eve. The clues all point to a young Native American boy, but Cork is convinced otherwise. This story is well written with great characters, well fleshed out with complex problems. The mystery itself is also satisfying with some good twists and turns, and a wonderful description of rural Minnesota. This is the first time I've read this author but not the last.
Posted by jfreier on 09/03/08
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The newest book by one of the best and funniest new travel writers. This book takes the author on a strange and illuminating journey through China, he goes to some of the usual tourist sites, but also goes off the beaten path to visit some smaller towns, and mingle with some indigenous hill tribes. The reason he wrote this book was he realized how little he knew about the world's most populous country. It's a well written and very entertaining book.
Posted by jfreier on 08/04/08
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An interesting look at the rise of China, India, Brazil and the rest of the worlds developing countries and their impact on America. I thought at first it might be a bit depressing but rather than being a doomsday scenario for America it's really how the success of the emerging nations will also benefit America. The author writing is very informational and still easy to read.
Posted by jfreier on 07/01/08
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This is the authors debut novel, it takes place at a  prestigious Indiana College, as students attend their Logic and Reasoning course they are given an unusual assignment. Their is an 18 year old girl named Polly who has been kidnapped and if the students can't find her in six weeks she will be killed. They are give weekly clues by their mysterious professor and all is not as it seems, an interesting but flawed story.
Posted by jfreier on 06/09/08
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This is a collection of columns, observations and opinions from the host of Travel Channels No Reservations . I found the book very funny and also showed a somewhat kinder and gentler Bourdain, his writing was better than I expected and wasn't as cynical as he is on his show. A nice, funny and fairly light summer read.
Posted by jfreier on 05/01/08
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This book is by one of my favorite travel writers, in this book he travels the world with the Dalai Lama. The book gives a very personal and insightful look at the Dalai Lama and his daily life, it shows his humor, compassion and humility plus his boundless energy. This book would appeal to not just to fans of the Dalai Lama or travel , but to anyone interested in the human condition.
Posted by jfreier on 04/01/08
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This is the fifth book in the John Rain series and they just keep getting better. John Rain is a half Japanese, Half American ex C.I.A. agent who is now an assassin for hire, his specialty is death by appearing to be natural causes or accidents. This book reunites him with Dox, a former sniper who also now is a killer for hire, in this story Rain and Dox along with Delilah, a Mossad agent they try to rid Tokyo of it"s most powerful Yakuza and also keep Rain's former lover Midori and his son safe from the Yakuza. This series is fast and the Rain character grows more complex and conflicted with each book, if you like Ludlum or Le Carre this might be for you.
Posted by jfreier on 03/05/08
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This is the third in the Cotton Malone series, Cotton, Cassiopeia Vitt, and Hendrik Thorvaldson are back on yet another quest. They are racing against Irina Kovastina, new President of the Central Asian Federation, a new powerful group of the former "Stans". This time they are looking for Alexander the Great's tomb and his lost magic healing elixir, which can cure any disease. The book is predictable if you've read Berry, yet still fun reading.
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