Saturday, September 29, 2007

Riptide - Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child

Pirate treasure brings out the best and the worst in people. In this novel the authors do a great job of building suspense. The setting is the coast of Maine and the treasure has an interesting twist. In addition to two billion in gold and jewels there's the infamous St. Michael's Sword. This is a great book. Highly recommended.

Monday, September 24, 2007

The Devil in the White City - Erik Larson

If you like historical novels this is a gem. This book chronicles the 1893 World's Fair that took place in Chicago, also known as the World's Columbian Exposition. This book also follows the exploits of the serial killer Dr. H. H. Holmes who used the fair as a hunting ground.

The amazing history that took place building up to and during the Columbian Exposition is fascinating reading. The historical figures and technological firsts are like finding hidden prizes throughout the text. The dark side of the book, the young women who went missing before, during, and after the fair, make an interesting counter point. If you're interested in the history of the city of Chicago this book is a must read.

The book gets bogged down in minutia at times, but it was hard to put down when Larson was writing tight. I really enjoyed the stories it contains. Highly recommended.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Double Take - Catherine Coulter

This is another FBI thriller featuring the agents Coulter has made famous: Sherlock, Savich, and Cheney. Sheriff Dix is a pivotal character in this one too. Murder and psychics make an interesting mix. Highly recommended.

If you're interested in the other FBI thrillers Coulter has penned check out her web site. Reading them in order is a big plus.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Luck in the Shadows - Lynn Flewelling

This is the first book in Flewelling's Nightrunner series. Unfortunately I read the series in the wrong order but it was still excellent. If you like fantasy and intrigue this is a worthy read. Highly recommended.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Many Bloody Returns - Charlaine Harris and Toni L. P. Kelner

This is an anthology of short stories based on the theme vampires and birthdays. The volume is edited by Harris and Kelner. The book contains 13 stories by 13 different authors. Some authors I'm very familiar with. Harris is one of them. Others I've never heard of but I'll definitely be reading more of their works.

This book is kind of like an hors d'oeuvers smörgåsbord for readers. You get a little taste of a lot of things. There wasn't a story in here I didn't really enjoy. Some stories were self contained like Vampire Hours by Elaine Viets and The Mournful Cry of Owls by Christopher Golden. Others gave you a peek at a deeper story and I'll be following up for sure. Examples of these are The First Day of the Rest of Your Life by Rachel Caine and Blood Wrapped by Tanya Huff. I can't wait to read more by these authors. Very highly recommended.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

It Takes a Village - Hillary Clinton

Before you can comment on a book you have to have read it. That's as good a reason as any to read this chronicle of Mrs. Clinton's vision for America. After reading it I found the book includes some very interesting pieces that illustrate problems with education, health care, families, and other areas of life in America. My conflict with this book is the premise that more government can solve all of these problem. Government is the root cause of almost every problem this book exposes. Less government will be the solution, not more.

Then there are the wild statistics with no comments in the notes section to justify them. Take for example the assertion on page nine that "135,000 children bring guns to school each day." Just think about that and scratch your head. If this wasn't pulled out of thin air then cite the origin. To compound the lack of credibility, some of the references cited in the notes section are the news media. It's bad enough the Associated Press is cited but when I saw the New York Times I laughed out loud.

I read the 10th anniversary edition of It Takes a Village. I recommend reading it so you'll know what kind of person is running for president this year and what you're likely to get if she's elected. More government, higher taxes, and less freedom.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Bones to Ashes - Kathy Reichs

This is another Temperance Brennan novel. This time the setting is Canada instead of the Carolinas. This book has multiple threads that all converge into an interesting conclusion. There's plenty of mystery and suspense, and Tempe's sister Harry shows up to add some spice to the story. Harry's presence almost makes you wish for illustrations :)   Highly recommended.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

The Collectors - David Baldacci

This is another Camel Club novel. These are great books. Baldacci is an excellent writer and the mix of characters in the Camel Club is great. This novel features a little spying, a little con artistry, and a lot of murder. Just in case, the first book in this series is titled The Camel Club. I look forward to many more. Highly recommended.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Traitor's Moon - Lynn Flewelling

This is book three in the Nightrunner series. Unfortunately, last year I started with the second book in the series, Stalking Darkness, and now it's on to the first book, Luck in the Shadows.

This is the continuing tale of Seregil and Alec, the lords/thieves/spies that are the main characters in this series. In this novel they make it all the way to Aurenen, Seregil's homeland. If you like fantasy this is an excellent choice. Highly recommended.

One caveat. Flewelling has chosen to make the main protagonists in this series homosexual lovers. There are no explicit sex scenes in this book. Unlike some authors, Flewelling makes the relationships in her stories important to the plot, but the emotional connection between couples is the thread woven into the plot, not their sexual activities. However if you have a problem with this life style you may want to think twice about this book. Especially for teens and younger readers.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

The Ruins - Scott Smith

This one will give you the creeps. I had to finish it tonight. Now I'll be dreaming of vines! If you like Stephen King and Dean Koontz you'll like Scott Smith. Highly recommended.