The Friends and Family

BOOK BLOG
 

Eighth page. List starts with the most recent at the top.  Page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13

Joy read: DRIVING FORCE by Dick Francis
Freddie has parlayed his career as a jockey into a thriving horse shipping business. Back and forth between Britain and the continent his vans go, and someone has found this a useful means of smuggling. Smuggling what? And who enjoys death and destruction so very much? There are so many characters that I had trouble keeping them straight. It's an interesting plot, especially when Freddie is zeroing in on the solution.

Joy read: 10 LB. PENALTY by Dick Francis
Teenager who loves steeplechase race riding. Rich father who would rather his son did something he could excel at. In the meantime, that same rich father wants Ben to help him run for Parliament. Ben respects his father in spite of everything, so he finds himself protecting his father from unexpected violence. Except that Ben rarely sounds as young as he should be, I enjoyed this as much as most Dick Francises -- that's a good thing.

Joy read: TO THE HILT by Dick Francis
Alex is blessed and cursed with a pair of trusting surrogate fathers. All Alex wants to do is paint in the wilds of Scotland, but his uncle the Laird and Ian his stepfather want him to hide their property from rapacious associates including Ian's daughter. Someone is prepared to go to great lengths to oppose Alex's stewardship. I love this one because of Francis's soul-satisfying understanding of solitude and Alex's painting; also because of Alex's cleverness.

Joy read: THE CAT WHO HAD 60 WHISKERS by Lilian Jackson Braun
This reads like Braun was clearing the decks for another fresh start in Qwilleran's life, with several significant endings -- until the end of the book. It looks like the last third of the book simply got lost on the way to the printer. No resolutions. This contribution to the beloved series is particularly lacking, in everything but charm. I will be surprised if Braun publishes another book.

Joy read: THE CAT WHO DROPPED A BOMBSHELL by Lilian Jackson Braun
The town of Pickax is planning its 150-year anniversary. A wealthy local couple has their questionable nephew visiting, and it is their household that provides the mystery. The solution to the deaths is never provided, though one is left with the impression that two different nefarious people or groups have been at work. We know who cat Koko doesn't like, and that's pretty much the solution to most of it. The series has become predominantly a series of community vignettes anyway, with cat Koko's insights to place it in the mystery classification.

Joy read: PATRIOT ACTS by Greg Rucka
From violent beginning to yearning ending, PATRIOT ACTS held my interest. My momentum even survived the torture scene. Atticus's sixth adventure is in the close company of a loving assassin code-named Drama. Atticus wants to retire. Will he be able to? Only later books (if there are any) will tell. Review.

Joy read: NIGHT WORK by Steve Hamilton
Two years after Joe's fiancée was murdered, he decides it's time he dated again. Immediately after their date, this woman is murdered. Joe thinks someone is out to make his life miserable, and the authorities think Joe has turned into a sick killer. Unlike so many thrillers, Steve Hamilton's thrillers have depth of feeling and character. Atmosphere is added by Joe's love for jazz. Review.

Joy read: THE BAD SEED by Maurilia Meehan
Agatha refuses to believe that her daughter is dead and her husband is never coming back. While she waits, her job forces her to buy a house with a big garden. Agatha Springs used to be the home of a witch, and many creepy things happen. Review.

Joy read: 90 MINUTES IN HEAVEN by Don Piper with Cecil Murphey
The personal story of Don Piper, who died in a car accident and came back to life. Don was and continues to be a pastor, so congregations are inspired by his account of the Heaven that he visited during the time he was dead. I found the story of his accident and semi-recovery very moving, even though I can't put the same interpretation on his intangible experiences as he does. He says at the end of the book that he is skeptical of studies of near-death experiences, because so many of the stories sound alike (and not like his) -- as if they were a learned script. Yet he expects everyone to see the same thing after death as he did. Well, it will be very comforting to people who need what he is telling them, and that's a good thing. Myself, I think it's a cultural thing; what one sees will depend on what one expects to see, and that depends on our spiritual conditions and/or our cultural teachings.

Joy read: OLD BONES by Aaron Elkins
Pieces of a skeleton are found in an ancient French chateau. They appear to have come from a man who was stabbed during WWII. Why the secrecy, when the war was killing so many people? The splintered family of the chateau's owner would rather not think about a body that old -- to the point that someone is committing murders to conceal the truth. OLD BONES won an Edgar for Best Mystery of 1987. Once I made a chart to keep track of the family, I found the story an interesting convolution.

Joy read: INTO THE LIGHT by John R. Ford
Inspirational isn't my cup of tea, but fantasy is, so I can enjoy the combination when it is well written like this is. There were places where it reminded me of the
Narnia books, especially the last Narnia book, except that it's definitely adult. The characterization is sharp. All of which explains why we picked out this one to publish it.

Joy read: TEACHING DAEDALUS by Bevan McGuiness
Who is Mr Monk? A middle-aged, stuck-in-a-rut teacher, yes, and a good one. But who is he really? Why are two special women attracted to him? What is it from his past that is bursting to get out? A memorable character exploration. Review.

Joy read: CREATION IN DEATH by J.D. Robb
Another serial killer. A full-length novel gives more time to develop everything, and the book is the better for it even though this killer isn't the beauty-boy of
Midnight in Death. I was swept up by the whole thing, especially the police department's determined pursuit. The torture scenes are at least bearable, and the suspense is a grabber.

Joy read: THREE IN DEATH by J.D. Robb
Combines three novellas:
Interlude in Death which I read a few days ago, Midnight in Death, and Haunted in Death.
   Midnight in Death has Eve pursuing a killer she put away once before. He got out, and wants to play again. This is a memorable portrait of a serial killer.
   Haunted in Death reads like Robb/Roberts' publisher said, "Mysteries with woowoo are selling. Write one." Not a good decision, I don't think. It doesn't look like Robb could relate to it.

Joy read: BORN IN DEATH by J.D. Robb
Eve is handling the case of an engaged couple murdered to silence them. I'm got a kick out of Eve's horror when she was dragged into the life of her friend who is an expecting mum. It's the first time I have seen Eve as someone I can relate to. It's the vigor and plot I read them for. The ending is very cute, too.

Joy read: A JOLLY GOOD FELLOW by Stephen Masse
A scam-artist in a Santa Claus suit kidnaps a schoolboy. A delightful suspense story built on personalities. I was terribly tempted to ease the suspense by looking at the end, and I'm glad I restrained myself. We got the ebook rights to this one; it won an Independent Publishers Book Awards silver medal, and deservedly so.

Joy read: INTERLUDE IN DEATH by J.D. Robb
Eve could hardly despise more the prospect of teaching a seminar on detective work on the luxury resort satellite created by her husband. As if being off-planet weren't enough, she has to deal with a veteran hero-cop determined to destroy her husband. The plot, tightened up enough to fit neatly in a novella, is sharp and pacey. Worth the cost of the novella bound into a book.

Joy read: WITNESS IN DEATH by J.D. Robb
The star in a theatrical performance of
Witness For the Prosecution is stabbed on stage, before the eyes of Eve Dallas and Rourke. The actors and their professional associates create an interesting dynamic around the thoroughly despicable "victim". Eve and Rourke relate past and present to their passion for each other. On the whole, one of the most enjoyable of the In Death books I've read so far.

Joy read: WILD HORSES by Dick Francis
A film director reconnects with his old mentor shortly before the old man's death. Filming his next movie stirs up the speculations about a trainer's wife who died by hanging. An interesting entanglement of 20-year-old relationships. The book ends with a breathtaking film concept. I read late over yet another Dick Francis.

Joy read: NAKED IN DEATH by J.D. Robb
The first Lt. Eve Dallas book explores the serial deaths of legal prostitutes, and how it affects Eve's personal life. She doesn't just meet (collide with) Rourke, but with her own rejected past. I felt a more personal presence from Eve in this book than I did in STRANGERS, as if by the time Robb (aka Nora Roberts) reached her 26th of the series she was satisfied with the surface tough gal.

Joy read: STRANGERS IN DEATH by J.D. Robb
Lt. Eve Dallas tackles a high-profile case involving a very rich man strangled in his own bed, apparently by sex-play gone wrong. The only person who seems to believe that Thomas Anders was kinky is his own widow. How little friends and family can know each other. Review.

Joy read: DECIDER by Dick Francis
Lee Morris inherits shares in a racecourse. When he shows up for a shareholder meeting the majority owners, the Strattons, all too obviously hate his guts. But the venerable racecourse and its nice employees deserve his protection. Lee's problem is, the Strattons protect their own family members no matter how insane they might be, hating each other all the while. By contrast, Lee's own engaging family is a closeknit and understanding group (with one exception). The most exciting scenes involve Lee and his young sons.

Joy read: COMEBACK by Dick Francis
Diplomat Peter Darwin, between assignments, finds himself helping some fellow travelers on the way to England, to the neighborhood where he spent his childhood. The travelers' soon-to-be son-in-law, Ken, is having deadly problems in his veterinary practice. Peter's childhood memories turn out to be important in saving some likeable people, including himself.

Joy read: FIELD OF THIRTEEN by Dick Francis
Short stories that kept me reading late into the night. My favorites are
Song For Mona with its warm emotion, Blind Chance with its original betting scam plot, and Haig's Death, in which a great many dramatic things happen that aren't supposed to!

Joy read: THE DICK FRANCIS TREASURY OF GREAT RACING STORIES edited by Dick Francis and John Welcome
Classic short stories from way-back-when until now, even including a Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. There were two that I loved:
   The Look of Eagles by John Traintor Foote about the choosing of a star racehorse. Full of great characters, and wonderfully, movingly written; with all the excitement and reverence felt by those who love the Game of Kings.
   The Splendid Outcast by Beryl Markham. A killer stallion in the bidding ring, and a washed-up jockey. "You could see in his face that he loved horses -- just as you could see, in some of the ffaces around him, that they loved the idea of horses. They were the cultists, he the votary..."

Joy read: LONGSHOT by Dick Francis
Starving author John Kendall takes on a job for award-winning horse trainer Tremayne Vickers. Tremayne wants a book written about him. John didn't expect to walk into a mare's nest of murder in Tremayne's community. Again I cared about the characters. I didn't need all the detail about wilderness survival that Francis threw in, and I wasn't sure John's final decision took into account the changes of character John went through.

Joy read: STRAIGHT by Dick Francis
Derek inherits from his brother Greville all of Greville's assets and all of his problems. Why does Greville's horse Dozen Roses run so inconsistently? And where did a million pounds worth of diamonds disappear to? I liked the people very much. I also especially like Francis's books in which the hero has to learn a new career. Derek the steeplechase jockey can't save his inherited gemstone business unless he learns the ropes.

Joy read: THE EDGE by Dick Francis
One of my favorite Dick Francises. Tor has a dangerous amount of wealth and a knack for going unnoticed. He makes this combination work as an investigator for the British Racing Commission. They want to reel in Julius Filmer, serious bad guy in the racing world, but witnesses against him have a habit of dying. Only Tor can sneak in close enough to stop Filmer bringing mayhem onto a highly publicized train full of racehorse owners.

Joy read: A STRANGER'S SMILE by Kathleen Korbel
Anne, rural nurse, finds herself caring for the injured Jonathan in her snowbound cabin. She wouldn't mind except that Jonathan is a disgusting character, exactly like her sophisticated, cold-hearted ex-husband. Unfortunately, Jonathan is so disgusting that it will take a determined reader to get through to the part where the misunderstandings are satisfyingly sorted out.

Joy read: FLASHPOINT by Patricia Gardner Evans
Ariel stands accused of killing her drug dealing fiancé. The Assistant DA doesn't think she did it, and he sends his brother Ryan to rent a room in Ariel's Montana home and protect her from any other drug dealers who might want to kill her. I thoroughly enjoyed this hot, suspenseful romance. Ariel and Ryan are stand-out characters and I loved the small town Montana setting. FLASHPOINT is easily my favorite of the 3 novels in the triple book named
Stranded!

Joy read: HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX by J.K. Rowling

Joy read: THE DAY TO DAY LANGUAGE OF LEADERSHIP by Roger Payne, OAM
A business textbook for people who want to become corporate leaders. I was especially taken with the realism: lying to your underlings causes mistrust -- what a surprise! All underlings know this, but it seems to be a mystery to corporate leaders.

Joy read: NORTH STAR by Pier Giorgio Pacifici
I was going through the book looking for any formatting errors before publication, and found myself rereading the whole book again. It was just as moving as before. Since the last time I read it, NORTH STAR won the EPPIE for Best Fantasy.

Joy read: HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE by J.K. Rowling

Joy read: HARRY POTTER AND THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN by J.K. Rowling
The necessary occasional reread. :-)

Joy read: THE SILVER SNARE by Stephanie James
Jessica and Lucas are trapped in the desert after a plane wreck. The contest starts here, because successful executive Jessica finds intolerable the way Lucas insists on taking charge. He continues to try after they are back in civilization. Stephanie James (Jayne Ann Krentz) likes to create a psychological dilemma for her heroines. Even if the solution is obvious to readers, watching the heroines solve it is still a relaxing pleasure.

Joy read: SILVER LININGS by Jayne Ann Krentz
Mattie proposed to Hugh right after her sister broke up with him. Bad timing. Now they are entangled with a revolution on a Pacific island, and Mattie discovers that Hugh has some unsettlingly soldierly talents -- but they can save her life. This was a fun race for life with some lively, interesting secondary characters. I especially enjoyed Mattie's artistic family and the stockbroking prostitute.

Joy read: THE FALL OF ROME by Michael Curtis Ford
I probably would have looked at this differently if I hadn't read it right after THE PHOENIX CIRCLE. It covers the exact same period of time, but in the first book Orestes is the hero, and in this one he is the villain. Orestes is considerably more richly written, along with the rest of the characters and settings, but a deep dyed villain all the same. Here his simplicity contrasts with the complex arc of his development in THE PHOENIX CIRCLE.
   Ford followed straight history. Most of his characters existed, they just needed life breathed into them. Very big things were happening during this time -- Ford embodied them in flesh. I'm not satisfied that he thought very far below the surface as he wrote them.

Joy read: THE PHOENIX CIRCLE by Boris Raymond
A rewrite of the interesting THE TWELFTH VULTURE OF ROMULUS, this time with the the help of someone who knows novel writing. In the fifth century a group of Roman patriots hopes to revive the strength of the failing Roman Empire. Interesting characters and good pace. Review.

Joy read: THE SEVEN HILLS by John Maddox Roberts
Follows HANNIBAL'S CHILDREN. The Roman army simply walked back into Italy while Carthage was distracted. But now the Carthaginian king has taken notice, and the greatest power in the Mediterranean world is turning ponderously north to roll over them. Can Marcus and Norbanus do enough damage behind Carthage's back? A plot with a lot of momentum -- I was horrified to discover another cliffhanger at the end of this one.
Where is the sequel?

Joy read: APHRODITE'S BREW by Delle Jacobs
How could so many confirmed Regency bachelors have fallen abjectly into marriage all at once? Gossip among the men is that there is a love potion on the loose. The Earl of Vailmont is determined to prove there is no love potion and save his friends from the parson's mousetrap, which experience has taught him to hate. The center of the trouble seems to be Sylvia, Lady Ashbroughton, with the mesmerizing green eyes, daughter of a long line of witches. Review.

Joy read: HANNIBAL'S CHILDREN by John Maddox Roberts
A parallel history. Romans were driven into exile by Hannibal, and more than a century later, they are prepared to win their homeland back. Marcus, the honorable scion of the Scipio family, and Norbanus, a New Family man hungry for glory, lead a scouting team into the Carthaginian empire to report back on the possibilities. The rivalry between Marcus and Norbanus, and even more between the Old and New Families, looks likely to affect the fate of Egypt. HANNIBAL'S CHILDREN is only part of the story, and must be followed by THE SEVEN HILLS.

Joy read: UNDER VESUVIUS by John Maddox Roberts
I have been greatly enjoying my read-through of this whole series during lunches and bus rides. The voice of hero Decius combines guileless frankness, subcutaneous satire, and a growing character worthy of respect. Author Roberts gives the impression that he is speaking to us from right there in the ancient Late Roman Republic. In UNDER VESUVIUS, a luxury community setting is used to consider Rome's relations with the rich and foreign.
   This is Roberts's most recent of the
SPQR series, but I still have two other books that he wrote, alternate histories involving Rome. :-)

Joy read: THE LISTENING EYE by Patricia Wentworth
Does anybody remember Patricia Wentworth, author of classic whodunits in the '50s? I read late last evening to finish this. A deaf woman, lip reading, eavesdrops on a murder/burglary plot, causing our detective Miss Silver to become involved with the household of a wealthy art patron. Wentworth tells a very likeable story.

Joy read: LADY OF THE ROSES by Sandra Worth
One of the admirable self-indulgences among the aristocratic Neville family at its peak was loving marriages. John Neville, whom we met in Worth's LOVE AND WAR as the uncle and mentor of Richard III, was one of those happy husbands. This is the story of John's wife Isobel. Review.

Joy read: HARRY POTTER AND THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS by J.K. Rowling

Joy read: HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER'S STONE by J.K. Rowling
I've been needing a Harry Potter fix.

Joy read: A POINT OF LAW by John Maddox Roberts
10th in the SPQR series. Here comes that plot that is beloved of crime authors and hated by me. The detective is accused of the crime and has to solve it. We'll see if Roberts can use his characters and setting well enough to make me tolerate the far-fetched, clichéd plot.
   After finishing: Yes, the characters, etc., made the book well worth reading. However, I am taking a vacation from Roman scheming.

Joy read: THE PRINCESS AND THE PIRATE by John Maddox Roberts
9th in the SPQR series. The princess is Cleopatra, studying in Cyprus. Decius's mission is the elimination of pirates, now recovering from their defeat by Pompey. Teenaged Cleopatra finds pirates far more exciting than philosophers.

Joy read: THE RIVER GOD'S VENGEANCE by John Maddox Roberts
8th in the SPQR series. Decius won the election he was campaigning for. In addition to providing showy Games for the populace, it's now his job to see to the repairs of Rome. The river men say a big flood is coming. Tenements are collapsing. Decius's sense of the way things should be is offended, especially when one of the city's big contractors dies unexpectedly. To me this was one of the most enjoyable books of the series -- yes, there can be such a thing as adventurous administration.

Joy read: THE TRIBUNE'S CURSE by John Maddox Roberts
7th in the SPQR series. Rich old Crassus still longs to win military glory by leading a war against Parthia. As he parades out with his army, a tribune curses him and the army. Such a vile curse that the entire city must be cleansed, an arduous undertaking that unfortunately includes the death of the tribune. Decius, amusingly campaigning for office, is in the thick of the turmoil.

Joy read: NOBODY LOVES A CENTURION by John Maddox Roberts
6th in the SPQR series. The family of
Decius thinks his career would benefit by some more military experience. So here is Decius, serving under Caesar against the Gauls during the memorable campaign at the lakes, inside and outside that famous blockade of walls. One centurion was just begging to be killed, and everyone is looking for someone to pin the murder on. Decius won't have it -- he demands the truth, while Gauls and Germans threaten to pour down upon the camp at any time.

Joy read: SATURNALIA by John Maddox Roberts
5th in the SPQR series.
Starting now on the section of the series that I have never read. This time Decius's family actually needs him back in Rome. His cousin and former commander has been murdered. One of the bloody old religions is influencing current politics, dragging in some of the nobility.

Carla read: THE WICKED DAY by Mary Stewart
The latter years of King Arthur's reign, as told from the point of view of his son and nephew Mordred.  Far from being the traditional villain of the piece, this Mordred is an intelligent and attractive character trapped by an implacable fate. Review.

Carla read: INNOCENT TRAITOR by Alison Weir
Straight retelling of the story of Lady Jane Grey, the 'Nine Day Queen'.  The numerous different narrators can be confusing, especially as most of them sound the same, but Lady Jane's tragic story brings a tear to the eye.  Review.

Joy read: THE TEMPLE OF THE MUSES by John Maddox Roberts
4th in the SPQR series. Decius's family has sent him to Alexandria to let Rome cool off after Decius's latest escapades. What was a cranky philosopher really up to in his underhanded hobbies? Decius always finds a way to get into trouble, even when inspired by the Muses.

Joy read: THE SACRILEGE by John Maddox Roberts
3rd in the SPQR series. Decius's blood enemy Publius Clodius is determined to rule Rome with his gang of street thugs, but he also loves mischief. This one is based on the historical incident in which Clodius intrudes on a sacred women's rite. Decius gets into trouble every time he tries to bring one of Rome's power-mad aristocrats to book.

Joy read: THE CATILINE CONSPIRACY by John Maddox Roberts
2nd in the SPQR series. Anyone who knows Roman history knows the historical basis for this detective story.
Roberts has fleshed out Catilina and his family very interestingly. Decius the detective is just too entertaining to stop reading the series.

Joy read: A STOLEN SEASON by Steve Hamilton
Alex is in the wrong place at the wrong time when a boat cracks up near a foggy shore. The men whose lives he saves turn out to be servants of a ruthless crime baron, with no gratitude. Alex's mad, suicidal journey turns into more suspenseful maneuvering. I thought I knew who committed the devastating murder, but I was wrong.
   This Alex McKnight mystery is a combination of a detective story about an ex-cop whose emotional life has been destroyed, and a thriller. I think there are too many of the former, and the latter has to be very special to attract me. There is life in Alex's friendships.

Joy read: THE GREATEST KNIGHT by Elizabeth Chadwick
12th century Europe. William Marshall's ability and character raised him to be one of the foremost nobles of his time. Elizabeth Chadwick shows him as a whole person, a practical, striving man whose successes win him enemies as well as friends. A man of honor, he is forced to serve rulers who do not deserve him. I read way late into the night to finish this.

Joy read: NO DEVIL, NO REDEEMER by Nate Fanshawe
Noir mystery. A ladies' man has been murdered, and his accused murderer has disappeared. P.I. Vic Carr chugs along into the mountains, business as usual, to find him. An array of varied characters throw him out of his comfort zone.

Joy read: AN INCOMPLETE REVENGE by Jacqueline Winspear
The 5th
Maisie Dobbs mystery. An old secret is dragging down this quiet country village. To help a friend, Maisie needs to learn why its people suffer repeated vandalism and arson.
   I love Maisie as a character, Jacqueline Winspear's wise and graceful alter ego. I think AN INCOMPLETE REVENGE is second only to the debut MAISIE DOBBS as the best of the series. It has so much heart. Review.

Joy read: APARANTA by Mark Traill
Aparanta, India. Ancient, idyllic village, expensive new hotel ... and the gods, who will have balance. You can float peacefully on the surface of APARANTA, or dive deep. It has awards potential for its moving spirit and beautiful imagery.

Joy read: SPQR: THE KING'S GAMBIT by John Maddox Roberts
Decius Caecilius Metellus is a very minor sprig on the old and noble Roman family tree of the Metellans. What brings him to the notice of men with power is his feeling that loyalty and honor should be the natural state of man. It causes him to oppose those nobles who put their personal desires above loyalty and honor. Decius is a Commissioner. responsible for keeping order in Rome. Even though the corpse is only a shady former gladiator, he can't let it go.
   I picked this up to reread when I was especially needing relaxation. It is the first of a series; I received the eleventh for Christmas, to my pleasure.

Carla read: THE GREATEST KNIGHT by Elizabeth Chadwick
The story of William Marshal, a landless younger son whose prowess on the jousting field and courage in protecting Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine earn him a place as tutor to the sons of Henry II. Royal favour brings William fame and fortune beyond his dreams, but the court is fickle and one false step could cost him everything.  A warm-hearted and colourful portrayal of one of the unsung champions of the Middle Ages. Review.

Carla read: KINGDOM OF THE ARK by Lorraine Evans
Narrative non-fiction, arguing that refugees from Ancient Egypt settled in Britain and/or Ireland in the middle Bronze Age under the leadership of Meritaten, eldest daughter of the 'Heretic Pharaoh' Akhenaten. Intriguing idea and some fascinating snippets of history, although I personally am not convinced by the theory. Review.

Carla read: THE TRAITOR'S WIFE by Susan Higginbotham
Eleanor de Clare is the beloved niece of King Edward II and happily married to Hugh le Despenser, until the untimely death of her brother at the Battle of Bannockburn makes Eleanor a great heiress. Hugh becomes greedy for ever more land, and his scandalous relationship with the king makes him the most hated man in England. When Queen Isabella, her lover and most of the aristocracy join forces to get rid of Hugh, will Eleanor survive his downfall?  Detailed and well-researched story that brings the people and events of a complicated period of history to life. Review.

Joy read: CASH by Johnny Cash with Patrick Carr
This is his second memoir, first published in 1997. Very interesting, fast read, heartfelt and beautifully written. There was too much religion in it for me, but the sincerity kept it from driving me away. He respects the privacy of his associates, so we don't get the same sense of knowing them as we do of knowing Cash himself. At least, knowing Cash as he saw himself -- between the intermittent drugs and the artistic obsession, it was probably a bit of a different experience for the people around him!

Joy read: FATAL REVENANT by Stephen R. Donaldson
Linden Avery needs the help of a dead man to find her son, who has been imprisoned somewhere in the Land. Yet here they are, dead man and son, entirely too easily, not behaving at all as she expected them to. She is only gradually learning to use her powers, and her quest is not done. Book 2 of the
Last Chronicles of Thomas Covenant.
   It took me a long time to read this because I allowed so many interruptions. While I was reading it I didn't want to stop, and when I wasn't reading it, I didn't want to start again. I think the balance between external action and internal action is off. Linden's many confusions and dismays delay her actions and slow down the plot.

Joy read: A CHRISTMAS PARTY by the Historical Romance UK Blog
A schoolmistress on holiday finds romance with a man who must be dishonest. Very light Regency, cute enough that I kept going back to the website looking for the next section. A group of authors, many with familiar names, wrote a chapter each. Quite short, a quick read. Now that all the chapters are posted, you can find the whole story at http://historicalromanceuk.blogspot.com/ .

Page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13

To Site Map

 

All cover art used at Spinoff Reviews is copyrighted by the respective publisher. All reviews and articles found at Spinoff Reviews are the sole property of the contributor and are copyrighted by the same. The Friends And Family Book Blog is hosted by Joy Calderwood.