Books

Book 600: Shortest Way Home – Pete Buttigieg

Damnit. Now I want to move to South Bend, Indiana—well, maybe only a bit. I love my “mid-sized” Boston and “quaint” Cambridge, liberal East Coast elitist state a bit too much, to really consider it. I reached out to the publisher for a copy of this book after Mayor Pete announced his exploratory run for U.S. President.*

As the first openly gay (married, veteran) person considering a run for this office, of course I wanted to read it. I wanted to know why he felt he could go from being the mayor of small Midwest city to running the United States; I wanted to know his coming out story (it’s what binds us gays [broadly LGBTQ+] together); and I wanted to see what his vision was for the future. Did I get all of this? Not quite. Was it worth reading? Definitely.

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Books

Book 584: The Eagle of the Ninth (The Roman Britain Trilogy #1) – Rosemary Sutcliff

I picked this up on our July trip to the UK. Multiple places along Hadrian’s Wall sold it as a souvenir and I thought why not?I wanted something that wasn’t a usual souvenir and the cover of the omnibus version I have (Goodreads link) kept catching my eye, and so I bought it, along with way too many other books that visit.

I wasn’t 100% sure what to expect with a historical fiction young adult series originally published in the 1950s. How different from today’s young adult literature would it be? The closest in publication that I’ve read were L’Engle’s Time Quintet and O’Keefe Family books comprising the Kairos series.

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Books

Book 546: All Systems Down (The Cyber War #1) – Sam Boush

When the publicist reached out to me with this way back in December I wasn’t 100% sure I wanted to read it.* At the same time, I knew I wanted to try to read a little broader this year so I said yes anyway. What I didn’t expect was to start this at 9pm one night and finish it by noon the next day on my lunch break at work!

This book starts with a bang and then continues with a series of gripping chapters that keep you engaged. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t perfect, you could tell this was a debut novel, but there’s definitely more to come from Boush.

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Books

Book 502: Jane Austen, the Secret Radical – Helena Kelly

Perhaps I’m too smart for my own good, but overall this book was a bit disappointing. With a title like Jane Austen, the Secret Radical, you’d expect there to be revelations of sorts and yet there weren’t. I mean that’s why I requested a copy from the publisher.* I was hoping as the 200th anniversary of Austen’s death rapidly approaches there’d be something completely new and innovative to talk about, but there wasn’t.

Sure Kelly highlighted a few things that I missed when reading Austen, but really she just expounded upon the things that those of us who don’t read Austen ONLY as a romance novelist, but as a social commentator hopefully picked up on. She provided more detail of course, especially when it came to names and places, but overall there just weren’t a lot of revelations.

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Book 433: Fool Me Once – Harlan Coben

Coben, Harlan - Fool Me OnceThis is one of those books where you have to wonder where people get their ideas from. I’ve read far creepier books and far more suspenseful books, but Coben’s way with slowly building up to a crescendo and crashing denouement is superb! I know how cliche it is but when I hear someone say they want to read a page turner this is the type of book I think of. I started this at lunch on Wednesday and finished Thursday afternoon, working two full eight-hour days!

As I said in my response to The Stranger, after receiving an advance copy of this from Dutton*, AND hearing my friends Hayley and Kennedy liked Coben, I bumped these up my list and they were totally worth it. I will most definitely be keeping an eye out for any of his other ridiculous number of novels next time I’m at the used book store or local library sale 😀

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Book 292: The Bridge Over the River Kwai – Pierre Boulle

Boulle, Pierre, - The Bridge Over the River KwaiAnother great selection from my library’s Books into Movies book group. I’m not the biggest fan of war novels and I wasn’t convinced I would enjoy this one, but the writing was simple and easy to read and the juxtaposition/tension between the captured/surrendered British troops and the British commandos was enough to keep me flipping sides about the bridge throughout!

The book centers around the building of the Burma-Siam railway during World War II and specifically around the building of the bridge over the river Kwai, a fictional river in Thailand. I could not remember which modern country was Siam until this past weekend when we walked past a Thai restaurant called House of Siam! I should probably be embarrassed I couldn’t remember that, but let’s blame it on my American-ness and complete lack of knowledge around most Asiatic countries and cultures.

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Book Group, Books

Book 106: First Blood – David Morrell

Everybody loves a quick read, whether it’s because it’s light or because it’s well written everyone loves one! I would not have gone out of my way to read this book, especially with the cover looking as it does, but my Books into Movies book group chose to read it and here it is. As usual it will be very interesting to hear what book group has to say about the novel and the characters!

Taking place over a span of 3-4 days we follow John Rambo, a former Marine back from Vietnam, and Will Teasle, a veteran of the Korean war, and their battle in Kentucky. The premise makes sense – a soldier with Post-traumatic Stress Disorder is picked up for being a vagrant and when pushed around a bit too much he snaps. And the mayhem that follows is what this book is all about.

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