Books – 4-Star

Title Author Genre Rating Description Date Reviewed
A Hope in the Unseen  Ron Suskind Non-Fiction **** The true story of an inner city DC kid from Ballou High School, one of the worst DC Public schools, who makes it to Brown University. Suskind wrote a Pulitzer Prize winning article about the same kid’s high school experience and this book covers his first two years at Brown. A very inspirational and eye-opening book. 2010 or before
Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness Susannah Cahalan Non-Fiction **** The author, a journalist, with no history of mental illness, suddenly begins displaying serious behavior changes, including paranoia and amnesia, along with physical deterioration. The cause,finally diagnosed as Anti-NMDA-Receptor Autoimmune Encephalitis, is an autoimmune disease rather than a mental illness. After a long recovery, of which the author has little memory, she pieces together the story, which is both fascinating and terrifying.  2013-12
Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth Reza Aslan Non-Fiction **** Written by a religious scholar, this book focuses on Jesus the man and the historical time in which he lived. It neither attempts to confirm or deny whether Jesus is the son of God; rather it provides a look at the politics and environment during his lifetime and explains much about how and why stories in the bible were contracted the way they were. I found it a fascinating book, revealing much about the times that I did not know.  2013-12
A Long Way Gone Ishmael Beah Non-Fiction **** An amazingly well told first-hand story of the civil war in Sierra Leone. The author, now in his 20’s, lost his family and was displaced during the war in which rebels opposing the government rampaged the countryside, killing and terrorizing innocent civilians. Young boys were often recruited by the rebels, or in the author’s case, by villages trying to defend themselves from the rebels. At age 12, the author became a soldier and relates his horrific experiences, including his rescue and subsequent rehabilitation by Unicef. This book should be required reading for anyone living a life of privilege and luxury (and that is indeed ANYONE who is reading this review).  2010 or before
A Piece of Cake Cupcake Brown Non-fiction **** The author has a happy family life until her mother dies when she is 11, she discovers her father is not her biological father and is not granted custody, and she is thrown into the foster care system. This leads to abuse, running away, prostitution, and drug and alcohol addiction. However, the story has a happy ending if you stick with it. The author is not a professional writer and the book is a bit longer than it should be, but it is a gripping, well-told and inspiring story.  2011-04
A Short History of Nearly Everything Bill Bryson Non-Fiction **** Audio Book. Popular travel writer Bill Bryson tackles an unusual subject – science. Learn about the creation of the universe, cosmology, geology, chemistry, molecular physics, atomic physics, quantum physics and more. Packed with great stories of obscure scientists and their discoveries, the book is educational and entertaining.  2010 or before
A Single Yellow Rose Anna Koczak Non-Fiction **** A true story written by the mother of a good friend of ours. In the aftermath of WWII, Hungary is embracing communism. Anna is kicked out of school for refusing to sign an offensive statement and is then only able to secure work as a maid working for a US diplomat. Soon she is the target of a secret police investigation. Though not a professional writer, the book is very well structured and flows well. What comes across is the reality of Anna’s personal situation and that of many of her friends and family in Hungary during that time.  2012-09
A World Lit only by Fire William Manchester Non-Fiction **** A historical view of medieval Europe. Well written and eye opening! 2010 or Before
Abraham Richard Feiler Non-Fiction **** Written by the author of Walking the Bible, this book examines Abraham, the common ancestor of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. It tries to find common threads between the religions and ways they might better communicate and co-exist. A good book for all to read. 2010 or before
Against Medical Advice James Patterson Non-fiction **** The true story of Corie Friedman, a child diagnosed with severe Tourette’s syndrome and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. His family tries multiple doctors, treatments, and drugs, with no positive result. A story that is interesting, disturbing (with respect to the medical system), and inspiring, I recommend it for all.  2011-04
Beethovan’s Hair Russell Martin Non-Fiction **** Part biography of Beethovan, part the story of a journey of a lock of his hair snipped on the day he died. The hair eventually made it into the hands of two Americans. Includes a great story of the Danes and how they helped the Jews in WWII. A short, easy read too. 2010 or Before
Behind the Arches John Love Non-Fiction **** A very pro-McDonald’s story about the founding and subsequent success of McDonald’s. I read it quite some time ago and found it truly fascinating  2010 or before
Benjamin Franklin  Walter Isaacson Non-Fiction **** (Kathy’s review) A new and comprehensive biography of Benjamin Franklin. Gives a very good overview of his life and role in the shaping of America. An enjoyable and well done book, but I ofund the writing just a notch below thatof the great biographers such as McCullough.  (Bradley’s review *****). An engaging book that should be read after reading David McCullough’s wonderful read on John Adams, our second president.  Franklin was one of several key people who, without his wisdom and skill I doubt the United States would have been born.  He retired at 42 and committed the rest of his life to public service.  He made the United States and the world a better place by his efforts.  This is a must read in order to understand the true struggle the founding fathers faced.  I recommend reading this book where you have good internet access, as you may want to read some the original documents written by Franklin.  Isaacson does an excellent job of providing good internet sourcing information. 2010 or before
Between Two Worlds Zainib Salbi Non-fiction **** The author grew up in Iraq, her family part of Sadaam Hussein’s inner circle. She provides a great account of life in Iran – quite an eye-opening account. In an effort to save her, her parents convince her to marry an Iraqi man living in the US and that becomes another nightmare. Salbi ultimately founded Women for Women International, and organization dedicated to helping women affected by war. This is a must read for all who want more information about the Middle East and what life was like there.  2011-04
Beyond the Beautiful Forevers: Life, death, and hope in a Mumbai undercity Katherine Boo Non-Fiction **** When I began this book I had no idea it was non-fiction. The Beautiful Forevers is the fence that separates the town of Annawadi from the Mumbai Airport and nearby luxury hotels. The books chronicles a number of characters in this slum, giving an eye-opening glimpse into the Indian underclass. Young boys collect garbage to sell for recycling, families try to co-exist in close quarters with tragic results, local politics play into all aspects of life and it is quite an amazing tale. Superbly written, if it was fiction it would not be believable. Next time you think you have it rough, read this book.   2013-08
Blind Side Michael Lewis Non-Fiction **** A fascinating book that details the changes in value and responsibility for the left tackle position in professional football, the position responsible for protecting the quarterback’s “blind side” from ferocious pass rushers. Left tackles have come from complete anonymity to become some of the highest paid athletes in sport. The main character in the story is the top high school lineman prospect in the country, a large, very athletic black kid from the poor side of Memphis who is ultimately adopted by a white Chrisitan family and begins a football career in his junior year in high school. The book is a fascinating look at professional football as well as a great story about the overwhelming odds facing even the best athletes.Not just a sports story, this book is also a great story about people and how love can changes lives. 2010 or before
Born to Run Christopher McDougall Non-Fiction **** (Bradley) This is a fascinatingly captivating story that combines current science with great history to create an extremely interesting story of great long distance runners.  I am not talking about such short distances as a 26.2 mile marathons, but rather the extreme races we occasionally hear about in the press; 50, 100 or more miles in length.  Chris does an outstanding job of weaving science, history and  the reclusive Tarahumara Indians of Mexico’s deadly Copper Canyons into a must read story for anybody who exercises or who wants to exercise.  Maybe the science we know today about exercise & health is just as wrong as the science about smoking was in the 50’s.  If you select only one book from our list to read this year Born to Run should be your choice. 2013-08
Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Ever Seen Christopher McDougall Non-Fiction **** What “The Wave” was to surfing, this book is to running. Some science, some medicine, a reclusive tribe of Mexican Indians, and a cast of crazy characters who run ultramarathons, this is a fascinating book for anyone – not just runners. You will laugh and you will learn and you may also just be inspired!  2013-01
Charlie Wilson’s War George Crile Non-Fiction **** Fascinating book about the 80’s war in Afghanistan and how one congressman and one CIA agent came to the aid of the Afghan rebels, allowing them to drive out the Soviets, a key event in the fall of the Soviet Union. If this book wasn’t true, you would never believe it. 2010 or before
Citizens of London Lynne Olson Non-Fiction **** (By Bradley)This is a wonderfully interesting book for those who enjoy history or are fans of Winston Churchill.  Ms. Olsen does a thoughtful job of showing us the complexity of the relationship between the US & the UK in the lead up to WWII.  She focuses her story on three key individuals with the primary one being the US Ambassador to the UK, Winant.  While most Americans will not have heard of him, any English citizen  above the age of 10 in 1940, will know and highly respect Ambassador Winant.  He was an amazing individual and did as much as Gen. Eisenhower to help the allies win the war. 2012-06
Crashing Through Robert Kurson Non-Fiction **** An amazing true story of a man who list his vision at age 3 in a chemical explosion. For the next 43 years, he lived as a blind person – and a very successful one, setting speed records for skiing, being a somewhat successful enterpreneur, even driving his sister’s car! Then, a new procedure, using stem cells, restores his sight. Amazingly, that’s where the story really starts. Both inspirational and educational, I highly recommend this book to anyone. I selected it because I so thoroughly enjoyed the author’s previous book, Shadow Divers, which also earned 5 stars from me! Please don’t ask me to choose between the two!   Bradley adds: One of the most motivation and inspirational books I have ever read.  What holds you back from reaching your full potential, will definitely be weakened after reading this book.  This is a must read book in life. 2010 or before
Dear Hermit B. McClenon Clark Non-Fiction **** A collection of correspondence between my mother (the author) and her long term pen-pal, a self-described hermit who lived in the hills of North Carolina. The two never  met, but through their letters they get to know each other in special and uniwue ways 2010 or before
Devil in the White City Erik Larson Non-Fiction **** The author weaves together two stories of the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair. First, the incredible story of the planning and preparation of the World’s Fair, filled with incredible characters and stories of true American ingenuity. Second is the story of a serial killer who is quite active at the same time. He is eventually tracked and apprehended 2010 or before
Diary of a Reluctant Political Candidate B. McClenon Clark Non-Fiction **** Any book written by my mother is going to get 5 stars! Actually this is an excellent semi-biographical book about the author’s experience running for political office. The book takes the reader through the diffult decision to run for office, then a day by account of the campaign and life at home.  2010 or before
Dog Man Martha Sherrill Non-fiction **** The true story of Morie Sawataishi, a Japanese man who in 1944 got his first Akita, though it was illegal to own a dog during the war. The population of Akita’s had dwindled to dangerous levels and Sawataishi helped to save the breed. Good story and well told; will appeal to anyone who likes true stories and dogs.  2011-04
Escape from Camp 14 Blaine Hardin Non-Fiction **** The true story of the only known North Korean to have escaped from a labor prison camp, this book offers a rare glimpse into North Korea. It tells the tale of a man, born in prison as the result of a “reward marriage” between two inmates imprisoned for the sins of their relatives and his life as a prisoner in a “non-existent” labor camp. His ultimate escape to China then to South Korea and the US is quite a story. This book is a good dose of reality as to what North Korea and China are capable of and why China continues to support the North. The only downside for me was that I listened to the audio book, which is read by the author. He is not a professional narrator and initially I had some difficulty with his cadence – he did not pause at the end of sentences and it was a bit annoying. Mid-way through I either got used to it or he got better, but despite this, it was a very eye-opening read. 2013-08
Eye of the Albatross Carl Safina Non-Fiction **** A fabulous book centered around an albatross named Amelia and her journeys as she raises her chick on a remote island. A satellite transmitter allows Amelia’s travels to be tracked, revealing incredible information about the range of these largest seabird 2010 or before
FDR Jean Edward Smith Non-Fiction **** Well researched and well written biography of FDR. Provides great insight into the man, the major US and world events that were occurring at the time, and the effects of FDR’s leadership and decisions on those events.Worth a read – but it is not a short or easy one to get through! 2010 or before
Fighter Pilot Robin Olds Non-Fiction **** The memoir of Robin Olds, an Ace fighter pilot who flew in both WWII and Vietnam. This is simply his story – from his perspective. It provides a great glimpse into the mentality of a successful fighter pilot and a fair amount of scorn for many in the heirarchy. It’s not right or wrong, but a good read of one man’s story.  2012-09
Flyboys James Bradley Non-Fiction **** This is a very gripping story about WWII, that follows the history of 9 pilots in the pacific ocean.  The most famous one, went on to become the 41st president of USA, George H. W. Bush.  Bradley does an excellent job in the first 125 pages helping set up 2010 or before
Franklin and Winston Jon Meacham Non-Fiction **** (From Bradley) For those of you who love history and hold either Franklin Roosevelt or Winston Church in high regard, this is a must read book.  This is a very honest look at the epic relationship between two men, which clearly saved the world from Fascism.  It shows both men in their brilliance and their weakness, and how working together, they mobilized the free world to win World War II.  Jon shows the deep, intense and sometimes complicated nature of a relationship that flourished amid cataclysmic global events and occasionally competing national interest.   Hope you enjoy this as much as I did.   2010 or before
Fraternity Diane Brady Non-Fiction **** (By Bradley) Very powerful book.  This is the true story of how one Jesuit priest had an immensely constructive impact on a group of black men who then became leaders in their own right.  Father John Brooks of Holy Cross College, set out to use the killing of Martin Luther King to integrate his college, with the reluctant blessing of the president.  In 1968 just after King’s murder, he personally recruited 19 black youths, predominately from the east coast cities. Each year after that, he recruited more and learned much.  This is the story five of those men, their struggles, failures, successes and how it impacted the campus.  This is a very positive story of how societies can overcome prejudice, be it color, tribal, religious or sexist.  This is a story the whole world needs to read.  An individual can improve the world! 2012-06
Ghost Soldiers Hampton Sides Non-Fiction **** (From Bradley) True story of the Baatan Death March and the rescues of some of the survivors 4 years later by the US Rangers.  This is both a timely book for the challenges we are now facing and an excellent tribute to those brave solders who were sacrificed 2010 or before
Guns, Germs, and Steel Jared Diamond Non-Fiction **** One the best books I’ve read. It explains how the white European people ended up conquering the world. A very easy to read and understand history of why people in the “fertile Crescent” area were able to get a head start on farming and domesticating animals and therefore develop their civilization more quickly. Bradley’s comment – 5 stars. This book should be required reading for high school seniors as it offers an important perspective regarding race, timing, place and luck in the outcome of history. 2010 or before
Hellhound on His Trail Hampton Sides Non-Fiction **** This is a very detailed account of the man who assasinated Martin Luther King in 1968. Sides does a great job of presenting the story, including great insight into King’s final months as well as the path taken by his killer. Following the assasination, the FBI embarks on one of the largest manhunts in their history, finally getting their man. As I was quite young when King was assasinated, I really enjoyed reading the details of the time and the events. While there are still many people who believe there was a conspiracy and/or that the killer at least had help, Sides concludes it was primarily one person acting on his own. I found his version very credible.  2012-11
Hope and Honor Major Gen. Sidney Shachnow & Jann RobbinsSid  Non-Fiction **** (From Bradley) This is a must read book, especially for anyone who has been in the military or who parents served while they grew up.  It is an incredible story of Major Gen. Shachnow’s experiences from the notorious concentration camp Kovno in Lithuania from age 7 until 10.  He and his whole family not only lived through the experience, but escaped just before the German command ordered the complete destruction of the camp and those in it.  However there problems were far from over, as they were now back home, but behind what was to become the Iron Curtain.  Again his family escaped to West Germany where they struggled to survive, before immigrating to the US.  For anyone who does not understand the price the free societies must pay for the freedoms we enjoy, there is no better example, than that of Major. Gen. Shachnow’s life. 2010 or before
Horse of a Different Color James D. Squires Non-Fiction **** Written by the breeder of the 2001 Kentucky Derby winner Monarchos, this is a good book for anyone who wants an inside look at the racing industry. The author (who also narrates the audio book) is at times quite annoying. Though the book is about himself he writes it in the third person and refers to his wife throughout as “the dominant female”, but he does succeed in telling an intriguing story which is gripping and educational. When the big race is finally run, it is still exciting, even though you know the outcome in advance.  2011-04
I Shouldn’t Even Be Doing This Bob Newhart Non-Fiction **** I listened to the audio book read by the author. It recounts his career as a comic in his typical dry but very funny style. If you are a Newhart fan, you will enjoy it immensly.  2010 or before
It’s Not About the Bike Lance Armstrong Non-Fiction **** Personal account of Lance Armstrong overcoming serious cancer and going on to win the Tour de France bike race two years in a row (He’s won a 3rd straight since writing the book). An unbelievable and inspirational story.                                                              Bradley’s Comments:  3.5 Stars                                                           With so few true heros around, this is a wonderful book written by a modest young man (as compared to the many fake heros our press covers) who has demonstrated some old world values anew.  Focus, determination, hard work and possitive mental attitude can accomplish much.   2010 or before
John Adams David McCullough Non-Fiction **** Excellent biography of our second president. Very few people realize the impact he had on this country.                                                         Bradley’s Comments:  4 Stars                                                                  Had this been written by Adams himself, we would think how self inflated an ego he had, but because this is by David McCullough, we come to realize just how significant an impact this Adams had on the successful founding of the United States. This a  wonderful book to give one and inside look on the struggles our founding fathers faced, as they created a new nation.  Much better then any history book every read during high school, or college.   2010 or before
Look Me in the Eye – My Life with Asbergers  John Elder Robison Non-Fiction **** Written by the elder brother of Augusten Burroughs (Running with Scissors), this incredibly insightful book sheds light on Aspergers syndrome, a mild form of autism. The author, clearly highly intelligent, was not diagnosed until he was close to 40. He shares his life with his whacky parents, and the challenges of growing up without understanding many of the social norms and structures. Highly recommened as the book is both educational, inspirational, and entertaining.  2010 or before
Marley and Me John Grogan Non-Fiction **** Entertaining story of Marley, “the world’s worst dog”, and exuberant yellow lab. Anyone who is thinking of getting a dog should read this book first – it is an accurate portrayal of what life with a high energy creature can be! Guaranteed to have you alternately laughing and crying, this is a great dog book. 2010 or before
Merle’s Door Ted Kerasote Non-Fiction **** (From Bradley) If you are a dog lover this is a must read book.  If you do not have or like pets, then you can skip this, because you will not understand or agree with Ted’s observations and experiences.  Not only does Merle’s Door raise some very interesting questions it also helps reset the philosophical foundation regarding the love and care of our Canine friends.  Ted is very observant and anyone who has a dog, will recognize many of his experiences, but hopefully in a new light.  I must warn you, that it does end on a sad note but it is still worth the read.  Lots of licks for all.  2010 or before
Miracle in the Andes Nando Parado Non-Fiction **** Fantastic personal account written by a survivor of the famous plane crash in the Andes in 1972. There were 19 members of a rugby team who survived for 72 days before two made an incredible trek across a 17000 ft peak to obtain help. A previous book, called Alive! provided a factual account of the ordeal. This book, written more than 30 years after the event, is a wonderful, gripping, amazing, and well told story that I highly recommend. One caution – there are some graphic descriptions of injuries and what they did to survive, so be prepared for a vivid and emotional ride!                                                                                                                                                                                                                   2010 or before
Night    Elie Weisel Non-Fiction **** A new translation of this classic book first published in 1958 that gives a first hand look at the horrors of the Jews who endured Nazi camps. The author and his family were transported from Transylvania and the author is the only survivor. A short, but graphic and poignant story that should be required reading for all. 2010 or before
Outliers Malcolm Gladwell Non-Fiction **** A fascinating book that examines many successful – and some not so succesful people – to attempt to determine the effect of luck and privilege versus talent and hard work on success. There are many great stories that support the authors conclusions and obviously a great deal of truth behind his research. Not to say you’ll believe in all his conclustions and therories, but they are all certainly interesting. You’ll learn, among other things, why most hockey stars are born in January through March, why the Beatles were so successful, the common factors that made Bill Gates, Bill Joy, and other techie Whiz Kids successful, and why the guy with the world’s highest IQ never even finished college. Highly recommened as it will get you thinking! 2010 or before
Overboard Michael Togias Non-Fiction **** Well told story of a disaster at sea which occurs when a sailboat with a crew of five sets sail from NY to Bermuda and encounters a terrific storm, leaving some crew onboard a damaged vessel and others in the water. The ensuing struggle for survival and search and rescue operation is enthralling. A must read for anyone contemplating offshore sailing.  2012-01
Pursuit of Happyness Chris Gardner Non-Fiction **** Subject of a recent movie (which I haven’t seen) this is an autobiographical story about an African American man, going nowhere, with an infant son to care for, who becomes a very successful Wall Street stockbroker and financier. Inspirational and well told, it’s a terrific story.  2010 or before
Red Sky in Mourning Tami Oldham Ashcroft and Susea MacGearhart Non-Fiction **** (Reviewed by Bradley)This is one of the best survival books I have read. A true story of a couple caught in a storm and how she survivied and sailed the boat without a mast or navigation equipment for 42 days to find the Hawaiian Islands. This is a must read book for anyone considering blue water passage making.  2010 or before
River Town – Two Years on the Yangtzhe Peter Hessler Non-Fiction **** Written by a Peace Corps volunteer teacher who spent two years in Fuling in Schezuan province of China where there are no other foreginers. A very revealing book about Chinese culture. Worth reading for anyone planning to visit China or who wants to understand more about the Chinese people. Well written and entertaining. 2010 or before
Running With Scissors Augusten Burroughs Non-Fiction **** A hilarious yet disturbing autobiographical tale of a young man from a troubled family whose emotional unstable mother sends him to live at various times with her psychiatrist, a man whose methods are unorthodox to say the least. Poor Augusten goes from one dysfunctional family to another, but tells the tale with a great sense of humor. An enjoyable tale well told. 2010 or before
Sandy Koufax  Jane Leavy Non-Fiction **** A biography of one of baseball’s most famous pitchers, the book interweaves the story of Koufax’s life with a recap of the perfect game he pitched in 1965. It’s a great story of an incredible athlete who also became a Jewish hero for refusing to pitch the opening game of the World Series because it fell on Yom Kippur. It also gives a great view of professional baseball before the days of free agency and huge salaries for players. A must read for all baseball fans. 2010 or before
Seabiscuit Laura Hillenbrand Non-Fiction **** (Bradley’s Review)So much better then the movie and truly a great uplifting weekend read. What a wonderful horse must have been and how great he was for the country.

Also a very eye opening book on the dark secrets of the horse racing. (Kathy agrees with the rating) 

2010 or Before
Seven Years in Tibet Heinrich Harrer Non-Fiction **** True story of an Austrian mountaineer in India at the start of WWII. Imprisoned as a POW, he escapes and makes his way to Tibet where he spends the next seven years, ultimately becoming a confidante of the young Dalai Lama. The book offers an incredible view into life in Tibet, which even today is hardly known. Highly recommended. 2010 or before
Shadow Divers Robert Kurson Non-Fiction **** For anyone who has an interest in history, diving and U-boats, this is a must read book.  Expertly researched and written, Kurson does a good job of keeping you on the edge you your seat, with being fake or flashy.  While there is much sadness in the book 2010 or before
Ship of Gold in the Deep Blue Sea Gary Kinder Non-Fiction **** The first part of the book re-creates the shipwreck of the USS Central America during the California gold rush. The boat sinks off the coast of North Carolina in a hurricane. The second part of the book deals with the efforts to locate the wreck and to salvage the treasure. The boat sank in 8000 feet of water. It wasn’t easy! You won’t be able to put this book down.                                                          Bradley’s Comments:  4;.5 Stars                                                         Agree with Kathy, a wonderfully engrossing book to read.  It offers great insights into the complexity of deap diving.  It also offers some discuss, that could have been expanded regarding the issue of whether treasure should be recovered and who owns it.   2010 or before
Six Minutes to Freedom Kurt Muse & John Gilstrap  Non-Fiction **** (from Bradley)This is a wonderful thrilling easy and quick read.  It this the true story of Kurt Muse an expat American living in Panama who was arrested by Noriega.  While he was not without some responsibility as he had been running a liberation radio station, he quickly became a pawn that Noriega tried to use against the US.  This is the story of one mans struggle to survive nine months in prison, how his wife and two children dealt with the ordeal and there own late night evacuation from Panama.  It is also the story of his rescue by Delta Force, that is far better then any fiction movie.  Strongly suggest you read this you do not have to stop. I read in less then 24 hours 2010 or before
Space Race Deborah Cadbury Non-Fiction **** (By Bradley) An outstanding book that for the first time gives you a real look behind the scenes of both the American and Russian space programs from their inception at the end of World War II until the US landed on the moon.  “In this exhilarating, fast- 2010 or before
Steven Jobs   Walter Isaacson Non-Fiction **** First let me admit I have always been a fan of Mr. Jobs.  I was lucky enough to have an Apple II on my desk early in my career and had often wished the business world had gone with Apple.  For those interested in the evolution of computing, technology, Steve Jobs, and his leadership style this is an excellent read.  Walter does an exceptional job of presenting Steve as both brilliant and flawed.  He also  a very effective at putting Apple and Job’s successes and failures in perspective both at the personal and corporate level.  If more US companies produced products of the quality and simplicity of Apple & Pixar the US would again be a booming economy.   A worthy a read for any aspiring leaders. 2012-05
Stolen Lives Malika Oufkir Non-Fiction **** Malika Oufkir was born in Morocco and at age 11 moved into the royal palace where she was a companion to the young princess and adopted daughter of the king. Her father, a general in the army, was later involved in an unsuccessful coup to overthrow the king. The general was executed and his family was imprisoned in horrendous conditions for nearly 20 years before escaping and later being allowed to leave the country. This is Malika Oufkir’s first hand account of the ordeal. 2010 or before
Tears of the Desert Halima Bashir Non-fiction **** The author, now a refugee in London, tells the story of her life in Darfur. From a loving family, her father bucks tradition to provide an education for his daughter and she becomes a doctor. But all is not well in the country and she becomes embroiled in the violence and horrors of war. All Americans should read more books like this – it will provide a better understanding of the rest of the world and make us more deeply appreciate what we have.  2011-04
Tears of the Desert: A Memoir of Survival in Darfur Halima Bashir & Lewis Slave Non-fiction **** (Bradley) This is a heart breaking story about a young black woman who came of age during the GENOCIDE in the Darfour region of Sudan.  Her father, a local goat herder, was a very sharp man and early on recognized Halima as an exceptional student who should be given every opportunity to succeed, even though they were Muslim.  In the process of telling her life’s story, Halima provides first hand detailed information of the atrocities inflicted on the Blacks of Sudan by the Arabs (Janjaweed horseman) with the backing of the elected government.   All the while the UN and world did little more than issue declarations to prevent the disaster, even refusing to use the work Genocide, for that would require the UN to act.  This is a must read for anyone who believes there remains value in the UN.  Harsh in her honesty, Halima’s story is both shocking and  very disturbing. It is amazing what one person with power can do to another! 2013-01
The Age of Sacred Terror Bernard Lewis Non-Fiction **** For anyone who truly wants to understand the core issues the world is facing the in the middle east, this is a must read.  Lewis does an excellent of trying to help us understand the issues from many perspectives and the challenges we face.  Given our nee 2010 or before
The Airmen and the Headhunters Judith Heimann Non-Fiction **** Well researched and well told story of two WWII bomber crews shot down in Borneo, which was occupied by the Japanese. The men are taken in by the local tribesman, whose culture involved headhunting. A really incredible story, with far more to it than I expected! 2012-05
The Airmen and the Headhunters: A True Story of Lost Soldiers, Heroic Tribesmen and the Unlikeliest Rescue of World War II Judith M. Heimann Non-Fiction **** (Bradley’s review) It is the fascinating true story of some lost US airman, their rescue first by the headhunting natives of Borneo and then months later by an incredible Australian Major (who’s team, while killing more Japanese than all the Australian “special forces” combined did not lose a single soldier while behind enemy lines).  This book provides one a realistic look into the cost of the war on the solders, their families, and the natives.  What an amazing story of personal sacrifice, bravery, and team effort.  When their plane was shot done while on a mission, the local tribes people, the Dayack faced a very difficult choice.  Do they rescue these strange Americans or turn them over to the Japanese.  The heroic efforts of these strangers at great personal risk, give one a little hope in human nature (something we need today).  I highly recommend this book to those who appreciate non-fiction and believe the free world owes a serious debt to those who purchased our freedom today with their actions and selfless bravery. 2012-11
The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind William Kamkwamba Non-Fiction **** Story of a 14-year old boy in Malawi who, when his family can no longer afford his school fees, visit the local library to continue his studies so he won’t be too far behind. He reads physics books and becomes interested in windmills. Ultimately he builds a windmill from scraps he collects over time and it works! An amazing and inspiring story. However, a word of caution. The book is mostly in the words of the boy, 19 when it was written. It starts a but awkwardly with tales of magic and strange beliefs and you may have to force your way through that part. But having done that, it makes the end result that much more incredible. Highly recommended.  2012-09
The Deeds of My Fathers Paul David Pope Non-Fiction **** The story of three generations of the Pope family, whose patriach immigrated to the US and became a successful businessman and power broker. His son purchased a small newspaper, the NY Enquirer, which ultimately became the National Enquirer. A fascniating story of the American Dream, Italian mafia, journalism, family trials and tribulations – a great read.  2012-07
The Discoverers Daniel Boorstin Non-Fiction **** Excellent book that examines mans history as discoverers. It includes many great adventures and scientific discoveries and bring to life many heroes of discovery, both well-known and not so known. It also parallels the path of discoveries on a world-wide basis, incorporating fascinating information on Asia that many Americans have never heard of. It does take some time to get through, but you will find it time well spent. 2010 or before
The Ditchdigger’s Daughters Yvonne S. Thorton Non-Fiction **** Story of a poor African American man who has five daughters. He worked briefly as a ditch digger but mostly as a janitor. He says to his co-workers that all his daughters will become doctors, then sets out to make that happen. Written by one daughter (yes, a doctor) this is the story of incredible wisdom, commitment, and parenting. One of the more inspirational books you’ll ever read and recommended for every parent. 2010 or before
The Gates of November Chaim Potok Non-Fiction **** (Bradley’s review) This really makes one appreciate their US Citizenship, flaws and all.  This true story is a short but very revealing history of the Soviet Union, beginning in 1900 until 1991, as seen and experienced through the eyes of the Slepak Family, Volodya and Masha.  Voldoya’s father was a Jew, and one of the founding fathers of Soviet Communism.  Volodya and Mashsa became one of the most famous Refusnik’s of the 70’s and 80’s.  This is the story of their lives, and the brutal repressions that occurred in the USSR.  Could it happen again? 2010 or before
The Gifts of Jews Thomas Cahill Non-Fiction **** (Bradley) This is the most difficult review I have yet to write.  Clearly, ones impression of this book is shaped by their personal religious and historical views.  Thomas does an excellent job of bringing some of the stories of the old testament to life and offering some very interesting insight into their meaning and impact on society, both at the time and the later repercussions.  It does create some desire to go back and reread the old testament, maybe with a history book at your side.  I would very much enjoy hearing from others who read this. 2013-08
The Good Women of China  Xiran Non-Fiction **** Eye Opening, depressing, shattering!  – The Good Women is a series of true stories of women’s lives in China since the “revolution”.  They are told by Xiran who became a well-respected women journalist in China before moving to Britain in 1997.  This should be required reading for all American diplomats, working in China as it provides a critical insight into the Chinese society.  No wonder the current government is so afraid of an awakening by the people.  The abuse of power the past and existing leadership has exercised in the name of the “revolution” is as great an insult to humanity and human rights as anything in history.  Let’s hope the Chinese people wake up soon, for their and the worlds sake. 2012-05
The Greatest Game Ever Played David Frost Non-Fiction **** A great true golf story about the 1913 US Open won by amatuer player Francis Ouimet. A combination biography of Ouimet and his British foe, Harry Vardon, combined with a great history of the game, Frost combines stellar research with a great writing style 2010 or before
The Inextinguishable Symphony Martin Goldsmith Non-Fiction **** Reviewed by Bradley. True story of a Jewish family in Germany from 1930 through the 1990’s. What makes the story so potent is rather than focusing on the horror of the camps, Goldsmith follows his own family’s journey through the evil of Germany leading up to the war. By taking us through the daily impact of each new law we are given a new understanding of how a country could become so evil while the world stood by. 2010 or before
The Innocent Man John Grisham Non-fiction **** John Grisham’s first attemp at non-fiction tells the story of two me falsely convicted for a rape and murder in a small Oklahoma town. One was sentenced to death and was within several days of his execution when he was granted a new trial and eventually exonerated. It is a well researched and well told story which should scare even the staunchest proponents of the death penalty. The story touches on all aspects of the criminal justice system, from police investigation to prosecution, to corrections facilities, to the appeals process, and includes much about mental health issues. Definitely worth a read! 2010 or before
The Man on Mao’s Right Ji Chaozhu Non-Fiction **** Written by a man born in China whose family came to the US in the 1930′;s when China was invaded by Japan. After spending his childhood here he returns to China where he becomes a translator for the Foreign Ministry during Mao’s rise to power. A regular translator for Cho En Lai, he also translates on occasion for Mao and provides a incredible first hand account of China during the Great Leap Forward, Cultural Revolution, and transition to a more open environment during the Nixon administration. Totally true but reads like a novel – one of the best and most interesting books I’ve read. Highly recommended. 2010 or before
The One Percent Doctrine Ron Suskind Non-Fiction ****   (Bradley) This is a very powerful book.  If you are a fan of the current administration it is an eye opener as to how they shot down legitimate discussion to find the best solutions. But it also clearly shows why the superficial solutions the Democrats’ have offered (and are about to offer again in 07) will not work against an enemy focused on the long term.  We must find was to keep our focus, fight terrorism, install democracy in the Middle East without losing our rights at home.  For anyone not intimately involved in government Ron does an excellent job of taking the reader inside the decision process.  One key weakness of this book is his inability to quote or document his sources for most of the work, because of this current administrations extreme desire to quell debate even among Republicans.   I gave it four stars, because it is a book that I think most Americans would benefit from reading, and then we could have a good public debate on how we want to face the challenges of the fanatical Terrorist. 2010 or before
The Other Wes Moore Wes Moore Non-Fiction **** Rhodes scholar Wes Moore comes across a newspaper article about a different man with the same name who has just been sentenced to life in prison for killing a police officer. It turns out that both Wes Moore’s are about the same age and have much in common, though their lives have turned out very different. The big question is WHY? This book traces the lives of both Wes Moore’s to try to understand. The truth is, there is very little that separates the two – a very well written and enjoyable book that will really get you thinking! 2011-04
The Perfect Storm Sebastian Junger Non-Fiction **** A fleet of fishing boats is caught in a freak storm off the New England coast. This is the story of the crew of a fishing boat that was lost and the search and rescue effort that saved others.  2010 or Before
The Professor and the Madman Simon Winchester Non-Fiction **** A great story about the development of the first Oxford English Dictionary and one of the primary researchers who was in an insane asylum. Makes what you think would be a dull subject an exciting and fascinating read. 2010 or Before
The Real All Americans Sally Jenkins Non-Fiction **** Though the story centers around a football team at the Carlisle Indian School, the book is about much more than football. It offers an insight into the debates about what to do about Native Americans, how to educate and assimilate them, the biases against them, the humilations they suffered, etc. There are heroes and villains and ultimately a football team that people cheered for until they started to beat the college football powers like Harvard. The story culminates with the game between the Carlisle Indians, with their legendary coach Pop Warner, and West Point. Whether you like football or not, you will likely enjoy this book! 2010 or before
The Sea Shall Embrace Them David W. Shaw Non-Fiction **** True story of the shipwreck of the steamship Arctic in 1854 and the actions of the crew which ranged from heroic to despicable. A well written book, easy to read. It is based entirely on factual accounts of the incident. 2010 or before
The Tiger Ladies Sudha Koul Non-Fiction **** A memoir of the author growing up in Kashmir during the time immediately following India and Pakistan gaining their independence. A beautifully written book, it tells the tale of a typical Kashmiri family living in harmony with their neighbors and the land and how that was all ultimately changed by violence and hatred. 2010 or before
Touch the Top of the World Erik Weihenmayer Non-Fiction **** True story of a man who lost his vision in his teens, struggled to “find himself” and ultimately became a world-class rock climber and mountaineer. Told by the author, the story is both fascinating and inspiring – I highly recommend it. The final chapter tells of his successful attempt to climb Mt. Everest – a controversial feat as it potentially can endager his climbing partners. Don’t pass this one up! 2010 or before
Troublesome Young Men Lynne Olson Non-Fiction **** (Bradley) This is the incredible true story of how a group of brave young men, over a period of 14 months challenged the stodgy back room politics of British parliament, ultimately bringing Neville Chamberlain’s government down and installing Winston Churchill as the War Prime Minister.  What is so revealing is to see in great detail how close the world came to losing England as a democracy, which would have clearly changed the course of history.  What is truly amazing is how loyalty and fear were used so successfully by Chamberlain and his Whips to keep the Tory MP’s in line, while Chamberlian tried to appease Hitler for four long years.  Lynne does an excellent job of presenting back room politics, where the outcome is already know as a great mystery thriller.   For anyone who is a fan of Churchill or who enjoys history and politics this is a must read.  Maybe we should make every politician running for office in the US read Troublesome Young Men, so they may play a little less politics and starting making the best decisions for this country as a whole.   England came so close to being lost, that your heart is in your throat.  Enjoy  2010 or before
Tuesdays with Morrie Mitch Albom Non-Fiction **** True story of the author who looks up an old college professor who has a terminal illness. What began as just a visit, evolves into a weekly meeting where the professor continues to teach his student about the meaning of life. A touching, well-written book about a great character, you will definitely need some Kleenex.  2010 or before
Two Years Before the Mast Richard Harvey Dana, Jr. Non-Fiction **** A classic sailing book. Dana was a Harvard graduate who had severe eye strain and signed on for a two year voyage as a common seaman in 1834. This is the story of his two year journey which took him around Cape Horn to a foreign country called “California” where he and his shipmates collected cow hides to bring back to Boston. The book is full of great details about the difficulty of a sailors life – rich in imagery, heavy on sailing jargon, and loaded with real characters, including a ruthless captain and many exotic fellow sailors. The book was a bestseller when published in 1840 and remains a classic today. Recommended for anyone with an interest in sailing the old fashioned way. 2010 or before
Unbroken Laura Hillenbrand Non-Fiction **** Amazing story of a WWII vet and the harrowing tale of his service, survival on a life raft, and capture by the Japanese. Well researched and exceptionally written to be a page turner. The story has terrific examples of the best and worst mankind has to offer and an exceptional hero in Louie Zamperini.  2011-07
Under the Banner of Heaven John Krakauer Non-Fiction **** An intruiging but disturbing book which examines the fundamentalist side of the Mormon Church in the context of two brothers who murdered a woman and infant in the name of God. The book provides a great history of the Mormon Church and points to the danger of fanatic extremism in any religion.  2010 or before
Walking the Bible – A Journey by Land Through the Five Books of Moses Bruce Feiler Non-Fiction **** The author, who is Jewish but not very religious, sets of on a journey throught the middle east to visit the primary sites of biblical events in the Old Testament in a personal quest to come to grips with his own beliefs. Along the way he comes to have a better understanding of both modern and ancient cultures, how to reconcile archeology with the events in the bible, and many different views of spiritualism and God. It is a well written and thought provoking book that will be enjoyed no matter what your religious beliefs or view of the bible. 2010 or before
Wild Swans Jung Chang Non-Fiction **** Fabulous book about the cultural revolution in China and the effect it had one one family. A great combination of history and storytelling, I highly recommend it 2010 or before
Work Hard. Be Nice Jay Mathews Non-fiction **** The story of two young teachers from the Teach for America program, who eventually found the hugely successful KIPP (Knowledge is Power Program) academies to improve the educational results of low-income children. A good tale of vision, passion, and thinking outside the box, anyone who cares about education should definitely read this – whether you agree with the principles of KIPP or not….. 2011-04
A Thousand Splendid Suns Khaled Hosseini Historical Fiction **** From the author of The Kite Runner, this is a story of two women in Afghanistan and how their lives are affected by the Russian conflict and the rise of the Taliban. While the story is sad and depressing, like its predecessor, it is beautifully written and will keep your interest. You will come away with a real feel for life in Afghanistan during that time.  2010 or before
Follow the River James Alexander Thom Historical Fiction **** Historical fiction that brings to life the journey of a woman kidnapped by Indians who escapes and makes her way home on foot, over 1000 miles away. Based on the experience of Mary Ingles, the book is very well researched. Though about 3/4 through you start to wish she would just get there, it’s overall a great story and very well told.  2010 or before
Fortune’s Favorites Colleen McCullough Historical Fiction **** This is the third (of four) book in McCullough’s First Man in Rome series and it is every bit as good as the first two. Despite its daunting size – more than 1000 pages – it goes by fast. This book deals with the period when Lucius Cornelius Sulla became  2010 or before
Half of a Yellow Sun Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie  Historical Fiction **** Beuatifully written by a young Nigerian author, this work of historical fiction assembles an array of characters who tell us the story of Biafra – the circumstances surrounding its creation, the hope it engendered, and the tragedy of its failure. As a child, I remember seeing photos of starving children in Biafra, but I never knew the history of its creation and frankly never gave it much thought. This book opened my eyes to some African history that I was totally unaware of. Highly recommended. 2010 or before
Hawaii James Michener Historical Fiction **** Excellent story of the history of Hawaii. Makes you want to shoot the missionaries!  2010 or before
In the Company of the Courtesan Sarah Dunant Historical Fiction **** The hreoine, a beautiful but aging courtesan, escapes from the 1527 pillage of Rome and moves to Venice. Interesting characters in a historical setting, the book is a bit long, but quite enjoyable.  2011-04
Master and Commander Patrick O’Brian Historical Fiction **** A great classic series of books about sailing adventures in the 19th century, recently made into a hit movie. Great fun to read! 2010 or before
Morgan’s Run Colleen McCullough Historical Fiction **** The story of Richard Morgan, a successful Englishmen who through a series of tragedy and bad luck ends up as a prisoner and one of the first people transported to Australia. A typical McCullough story, well researched, entertaining, and mostly true. Much of the story takes place on Norfolk Island, where the author now lives. 2010 or before
North and South John Jakes Historical Fiction **** First of a great series of historical fiction about the American Civil War. Others are ‘Love and War’ and ‘Heaven and Hell’. Gives a great picture of life during those times and an understanding of what happened and why. 2010 or before
Pillars of the Earth Ken Follett Historical Fiction **** The story of an architect and builder in the 13th century in England. A fascinating story which I really enjoyed. 2010 or before
Shantaram Gregory David Roberts Historical Fiction **** An autobiographical novel set in Bombay. The “hero” is a shady character who escapes from a maximum security jail in Australia and flees to India where he embarks on a series of adventures as well as lessons about love and humanity.It is very well written 2010 or before
Space James Michener Historical Fiction **** This was the first Michener book I read and I was hooked. It tells the story of the US space program and the stories of many of the scientists involved.  2010 or before
The Bounty Trilogy Charles Nordhoff Historical Fiction **** Three books staring with Mutiny on the Bounty describe (1) the journey of the Bounty and the Mutiny; (2) the incredible voyage of Captain Bligh and his crew in an open boat across the ocean, and (3) the journey of the mutineers led by Chirstian Fletcher and their settlement and ensuing life on Pitcairn Island. 2010 or before
The Covenant James Michener Historical Fiction **** Fascinating story of the history of South Africa. I was so glad I read this book before going there. It gave me such a great understanding of the whole situation. 2010 or before
The First Man in Rome Colleen McCullough Historical Fiction **** Historical novel set in Rome in the first century BC. A very entertaining book that brings the ancient Roman culture and politics to life. The main characters are real historical figuresand the actions described in the book are historically accurate. A long book (900 pages) with a complex set of characters, but definitely worth the effort. First book of a four part series. 2010 or before
The Glory Herman Wouk Historical Fiction **** A continuation of the story begun in The Hope – just as good! 2010 or before
The Grass Crown Colleen McCullough Historical Fiction **** Second in the First Man In Rome Series. It continues the adventures of Gauis Marius and Cornelius Sulla. A long book that is worth the effort. 2010 or before
The Hope Herman Wouk Historical Fiction **** Excellent historical fiction novel about the beginnings of Israel. Very good use of characters and good story-telling. 2010 or before
The Hunted Brian Haig Historical Fiction **** This book is based on a true story – if you didn’t know that you would find it completely unbelievable! Great insight into what happened in Russia following the fall of the Soviet Union. It would be nice to know how much of the book is really true – but it’s a great story worth reading. 2011-04
The Power of One Bryce Courtenay Historical Fiction **** Excellent novel set in South Africa before and during WWII. The best book by Australia’s best known author. 2010 or before
The Source James Michener Historical Fiction **** A must read book detailing the history of Israel. Gives a wonderful understanding of the history of the region, the establishment of Israel as a nation, and the underlying causes of the tensions that continue to exist.  2010 or before
Trinity Leon Uris Historical Fiction **** Great historical fiction illustrating much of the history and source of problems in Ireland. 2010 or before
Winter of the World Ken Follett Historical Fiction **** I have always enjoyed Ken Follett and he is now firmly one of my favorite authors. This is the second in the Century Trilogy and covers the period before and during WWII. I was not thrilled at the prospect of yet another book about WWII, but this one took an entirely different direction than any other I have read. It continues the saga of the five families introduced in Fall of Giants and follows them through this period. It covers aspects of the war that I have seldom seen brought to light, including Germans who tried to help the Russians to defeat the Nazis, the poor decisions made by the Russian leadership and much more. Very little about concentration camps and the typical WWII fare – this book turned out to be quite engrossing and different.  2013-08
World Without End Ken Follett Historical Fiction **** The long awaited sequel to Pillars of the Earth, one of my all time favorite books. This one is good too, though quite long – it could be subtitle “Book without end”. Like its predeseccor 18 years ago, this book is set in 14th Century Kingsbridge, where the residents endure injustice, greed, plagues, love, hate, revenge – all the things a good epic novel need. For lovers of historical fiction, this won’t disappoint. Though the characters can at times be annoying, and there is a bit too much injustice to the poor, it’s another great effort and one you will enjoy – IF you have the time! 2010 or before
A Spot of Bother Mark Haddon Fiction **** A hilarious (British humor) story of a normal family with two retired parents a gay son, and a daughter who is planning a wedding. There is virtually no event out of the ordinary – no real action, no murders, no spies, no high speed chases – yet it is a funny, moving, and gripping story. One warning – there is a son who is gay and there are a few graphic scenes with his boyfriend. A very enjoyable read guaranteed to make you laugh.  2010 or before
Atlas Shrugged Ayn Rand Fiction **** A classic tale of the goodness of capitalism and how, once success is achieved, everyone wants a piece of it. Named as one of the most influential books by many CEO’s, it is a good read, though a little long and preachy in places. 2010 or before
For Whom the Bell Tolls Ernest Hemingway Fiction **** A classic story of love and war, this puts you right in the middle of guerilla warfare in the Spanish Civil War. The hero, Robert Jordan is an American fighting to help a band of Spanish guerillas to blow up a bridge. You feel like you are part of the action. 2010 or before
Harry Potter J. K. Rowling Fiction **** I bought the first one just to see what this Harry Potter thing was all about. I couldn’t put it down and quickly bought the rest. 2010 or before
Lonesome Dove Larry McMurtry Fiction **** One of my all time favorites. I read it years ago, but have rarely found a book I enjoyed as much. It’s a novel about two former Texas rangers who decide to drive a herd of cattle to Montana. Great story and fascinating characters. And the TV mini-series was great too! 2010 or before
Middlesex Jeffrey Eugenides Fiction **** Pulitzer Prize winning novel about a Greek family who immigrates to Detroit. The story is told from the point of view of a second generation child who recounts the story of her/his grandparents and parents. A complex but exceptionally well written story, it covers a variety of interesting subjects – Greek history and culture, Detroit from the 1920’s to present, US history and culture, and family issues covering everything from incest to the hero, who was born as a hermaphrodite (unkown to all), raised as a girl, and then identified as really a male at age 14. Though it may sound a little strange, it all works and you will be very well entertained throughout the book! 2010 or before
Pride and Prejudice Jane Austen Fiction **** A classic about English sisters looking for love and marriage. Wonderfully written with a story that holds your attention. A great look at the times – the late 18th century – and what life was like. 2010 or before
The Count of Monte Cristo Alexandre Dumas Fiction **** I first read this book in high school and its just as good the second and third time!                                                                                                                                        2010 or before
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night time Mark Haddon Fiction **** Wonderful book written from the point of view of an autistic 15-year old boy. The boy finds his neighbor’s dog murdered and after at first being suspected, is determined to find the real killer. The story line is really just a forum for allowing us to see into the life of this boy and understand how he sees the world and how the world see him. Entertaing, funny, and sometimes sad all at the same time. ANd of course, he does solve the murder! 2010 or before
The Da Vinci Code Dan Brown Fiction **** Fascinating novel featuring a secret society once headed by Leonardo da Vinci and its quest to protect a secret potentially harmful to the church. The story is good but the fun is in all the tidbits of factual information about da Vinci and the church.  2010 or before
The Fountainhead Ayn Rand Fiction **** The tale of a great acrhitect and others who are very good at what they do.  2010 or before
The Girl Who Played with Fire Stieg Larsson Fiction **** Second in the acclaimed Steig Larsson series. A page turning tale with interesting characters and a good plot. Danger lurks at every turn as the unlikely hero, Lisbeth Salander, suspected of several murders, uncovers the real story.  2011-04
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Stieg Larsson Fiction **** The first in the wildly popular trilogy this is an entertaining and well written mystery about a years-old disappearance. The title heroine is a complicated and intersesting character who becomes involved as an investigator/computer hacker. Great story and not your run of the mill mystery.  2011-04
The Help Kathryn Sockett Fiction **** The story of a white woman in the deep south in the 60’s who is a budding writer. She decides to write a book about the maids – black women who work for white families. I listened to the audio version, which was exceptionally well performed. The various characters are interesting and well-developed and despite the fact that there is virtually no sex, violence, murder, or profanity, it is a gripping tale. Wildly popular for good reason.  2011-04
The Kite Runner Khaled Hosseini Fiction **** Fabulous book about a young boy growing up in Afghanistan. The author is able to educate us about the political history of the country and how it affected the people who live there as well as creating a wonderful set of characters who experience their own personal struggles and growth. One of the best books I have read in a while, this one is on the highly recommended list! 2010 or before
  1. #1 by Carl Pugh on January 26, 2013 - 12:15 am

    Awesome list! I just ordered two books from it. Thank you! We have very similar reading habits. You must read “Fate is the Hunter!”

    Like

  2. #2 by Carolee on August 8, 2012 - 11:17 am

    I still think “Lonesome Dove” was one of the best books I have ever read. Where did a gal from Queens pick up the western genes??? Of course, it has to do with the time and space one is in at the time.

    Like

  3. #3 by Randell Gerkin on January 5, 2012 - 2:26 am

    Thanks for another fantastic article. Where else may anyone get that type of information in such a perfect method of writing? I have a presentation subsequent week, and I am at the look for such information.

    Like

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