Brief reviews for the Monthly Reading Challenge
|The Monthly Reading Challenge
1. The Brothers of Baker Street by Michael Robertson (library eBook from Overdrive)
We are looking at a series of books about a Lawyer in London, England. Do people still write letters in England to Sherlock Holmes? Are they still seeking the help of Holmes and his team of mystery followers? Reggie has an office at 221 Baker street in London. “It was in the lease,” stated Nigel.
Two bothers are the main characters in this story. Reggie, the eldest has all the success. He has arrived at a time in his life for beginning, middle age success.
Nigel is the youngest, his success is a different type of social management. He likes to eat Chocolate Smarties. Too many people seem to know this fact about him. He is always in the story but, finding him might be difficult.
Laura, an actress is also a character. She tends to grab the plot and drag it in an entirely unexpected direction. Keeping an eye on both Reggie and Nigel as she travels.
And, Reggie has a secretary. Is she like Holmes housekeeper? Does she do her job, remain available and helpful at all times?
Reggie is a lawyer and murder is not his game. The brothers don’t have to find trouble it finds them.
There are a lot of questions to answer in Book one of the series. This excellent story will take the place of a TV show any day.
2. IT IS ABOUT ISLAM (part of the control series) by Glenn Beck (a kindle book from Overdrive)
Be sure to read the statement by Glenn Beck at the beginning of this book. The book is the other side of the coin. The USA is a complicated country. It is made up of people who traversed from other parts of the world. Our statesmen are often caught in the middle of mental battles.
Beck shows us that our countries leaders have been interested in Islam for a long time. “After paying sixteen shillings, Thomas Jefferson held in his hands the holy book of Islam.”
Beck brings out the side that sees the encroaching Muslim problem. He brings out the warning side of all situations. There is always a warning side.
History shows that the citizens of the USA are used to building instead of destroying within the realm of everyday existence. Beck shows that ISIL is the opposite. They believe in destroying.
The differences between the present political stance and the possible threat to the life we now live is laid out in a clear concise way in this book.
At the end Beck presents an honest evaluation of how common citizens can change the present political scene. Read the book, the facts presented are worth knowing. One thing the book makes clear, as citizens we must take the time from our busy schedules to become educated about both sides of the problem presented by ISIL and the US policies about the Middle East.
3. Mr. Campion’s Fox by Mike Ripley (a kindle eBook from Overdrive)
In 2012 Mike Ripley made an offer to the Margery Allingham Society to complete the 3rd ‘Mr. Campion’s novel that was unfinished at the time of the author’s death.
In this novel Mr. Campion's family becomes involved in the mystery presented. His son Rupert and his bride are actors. This leads to interesting reactions within the scenes.
It is an English novel so you are presented with the societal classes. You will read interesting social statement that reveal the way the people think, such as, “He’s quite obsessed with geometric patterns on plates of canape’s poor lamb.”
There is a Fox in the story and a dog. The dog is turned loose to run and the Fox runs free all the time. The dog chases the fox and finds things along the way.
Red headed people play parts in the story for special reasons. One reason is played out in the sample cellars of a brewery, “Can’t you see I’ve got my drinking boots on?”
The murder is a mystery that leads to other mysteries that keep the reader entertained.
4. Every Fifteen Minutes by Lisa Scottoline (a library eBook for Overdrive)
“I’m a sociopath” These are the starting words of the first chapter. “we’re here , and we prey on you.”
The story follows the life of a psychiatrist. His name is Eric. He has a normal life as a hard working citizen. The beginning of the story may drag a little but still holds your interest because of the clues.
The author spent some time researching the subject. In order to write the story properly Scottoline had to learn how psychiatrists think. She researched, “practice and procedures in a typical suburban hospital.” There is a true custom written up in the novel. You can find out what it is by reading the acknowledgments at the end of the book.
After you finish the story if you are interested in further study of the subject. There is a list of reading material at the end of the book, that holds important research information, used to write the story.
The story has many twists and turns. It deals with the human emotions and actions in teen agers, the elderly, and the age groups in the middle.
Have an enjoyable time finding the sociopath. It’s a mystery.
5. Creating Plot by J.Madison Davis (A paperback edition/fo copyright 2000)
In the Introduction to this book Davis expresses how “daunted” every writer is when he begins to write. Davis says, “I think any writer worth a hoot feels this way...”
Chapter 1 is called the Elements of a Novel. Davis begins the chapter with quotes from other writers. Rita Mae Brown states, “You need to know about people far more than you need to know about mechanical plot devices.”
The numerous chapters explain many aspects of creating and writing a story line that has an interesting, vivid plot. The book guides the writer with information about outlines, chronological movement of a plot through time, the role of coincidence within a plot, conflicts within a plot, struggle and intensity within the story. It actually tells you things about the content of a story that an unexperienced writer may not recognize as they formulate the novel.
Davis says, “You are not creating the real world when you write, you are creating and artificial world.”
At the end of each chapter is an instant workshop: with exercises and questions to give the reader further guidance. I found this book helpful as I have been traveling through the Nano Prep Challenge on WDC this month. The guidance contained within the pages is helpful and significant.