Colossus: Hoover Dam and the Making of the American Century

colossus

Forever To Boulder Dam To Me..   *****

 

First, this is an incredibly well researched account of the politics, engineering, and human achievement that went into creating this dam. Hiltzik combines excellent documentation with a personal writing style that compels one to keep turning the page. After reading this I will always call it the Boulder Dam.

Read for yourself and see if you agree!

The Fifth Witness (A Lincoln Lawyer Novel)

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Welcome Back, Michael   ****

 

Michael Connelly is back in true form.

After being disappointed in his last book, he redeemed himself with the “Fifth Witness”. It is hard to write a court room drama and do it well, Connelly has succeeded in doing just that. With shades of a Perry Mason type story and a somewhat surprising ending this is a good read and fans of “The Lincoln Lawyer” will be pleased.

Welcome back Michael.

Play Dead

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Don’t Always Believe What You Read     ***

 

Someone had suggested I read Harlan Coben’s books. When I find an author I have not read I start with their first book and work forward. The reviews I read were mixed on “Play Dead” and my expectation was not high knowing this was the authors first book. It was surprising to find a disclaimer by the author telling me not to read it. My personality is such that had I had no other reason, that gave me the impetus to read this.
This is not the best book I have read nor the worst. It is a good read, held my interest, a bit predictable, and I would recommend it to anyone. I look forward to reading the rest of Coban’s books and if he truly writes better, then I am in for some good reading.

Carte Blanche

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A Bond By Any Other Name..   *

 

First, there is no relationship between the real (Ian Fleming’s version) James Bond and the character portrayed in this farce. Second, even if Deaver had used a different name for his character, this is a poorly written spy novel. There is no suspense, the villain is boring, and there are no surprises. This is probably the second worst book Deaver has written, the first being “Garden of Beasts”.

I am a fan of Deaver, especially the Lincoln Rhyme series, but this falls way short of his ability. I am also a major James Bond fan and can only say Ian Fleming must be rolling over in his grave.

Sorry, but this one gets two thumbs down.

The Cabinet of Curiosities: A Novel

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Free Was Still Too Much To Pay   *
I only read this novel, using the term loosely, because it was attached to “The Inner Circle” by Brad Meltzer as a free bonus read. As I struggled through some of the worst writing and lazy character development ever, my wife kept asking me why are you still reading the book. My only thought was, surely, this can’t be as bad as I think it is. I wasn’t disappointed, it was.
This has to be the worst book ever written. Not only is it predictable, disjointed, unbelievable (no matter how good you are at suspension of disbelief), and can hardly qualify as professional writing. The authors, editors, and publisher owe the literary community an apology for this one!!

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Junkie (A Cal Rogan Mystery)

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A Refreshing Read    *****

A common theme in crime books is a cop with issues, a broken marriage, or saving the day in the end. While all of these things are in French’s “Junkie”, he adds enough new twists to each that the reader can only hold on and enjoy the ride. Just when you think you know what is going on the author surprises you and takes you in a different direction.

Anyone who reads very much also knows you don’t write a story with multiple first person viewpoints. If there was ever an exception to that rule, “Junkie” is it. Not only does French pull this off, it becomes a way of giving us better insight to each character than I can ever remember reading. The only negative is that it would have helped to put the character name with each chapter so the reader knew when the change in perspective occurred. Sometimes it took a while to realize in which characters head we were in. But once you realize what the author is doing it becomes a mute point and a great read!!

I look forward to reading more from this author.

The Affair (A Jack Reacher Novel)

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Thankfully Lee Child Is Back   ****

Send up the flares!! Lee Child is back to writing a good book again.

The last two Reacher novels had me wondering if Child had hit his prime and was getting lazy. The Affair re-establishes him as a true story teller and he gives us the Reacher we have come to expect. Always one step ahead and able to handle any situation, without being unbelievable, Reacher comes through as we would want him to.

Except for some repetition and overly chauvinistic comments, this is one of Child’s best. Let’s hope he continues to stay on track.

The Drop (A Harry Bosch Novel)

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Bosch Is Back   ****

After being disappointed in the last few books by Connelly, it is nice to see him back in his past form. He is a good story teller, I would not say suspenseful, but he weaves a good story.

Harry Bosch is one of my favorite characters to read about and “The Drop” is a good example of his mindset. My only negative comment is in the editing. It seems as authors become famous, editors get sloppy. There are several phrases that are repeated and should have been caught by an editor. But that aside, the novel reads fast and kept me intrigued, it only took me a day to read it. Connelly does leave a few threads undone, but then that just makes us anxious for the next book.

Welcome back Harry!!

11/22/63 : A Novel

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Will “Stand” The Test of Time    *****

Having read all of Stephen King’s books, my favorite and his best is “The Stand”. Up until now I would have said his second best is “Cujo”. Sorry puppy but “11/22/63” is now his second best.
I haven’t sat engrossed for a couple of days reading a book since I read “The Lord of the Rings”. King’s latest is a page turner and a book I couldn’t wait to get back to when I had to break from it.
This isn’t horror or by any means scary, but is simply a good read, a roller coaster of emotion. Thanks Mr. King for taking me from this time for at least a while.

Steve Jobs

stevejobs

A Book Everyone Should Read   *****

Having read Isaacson’s bio of Einstein, I knew he was a good writer. This book is his finest. One can only hope that every CEO and every member of every corporate board will read this.

I kept wanting to mark pages where profound thoughts emerged but couldn’t bring myself to mar the text. Guess I need to go back thru and put notes on a separate piece of paper. An incredible read!!

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