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Rated: E · Review · Action/Adventure · #2091740
5 Reviews for "The Monthly Reading Challenge"
A couple of these books are by authors, that I have read before. As the summer wore on I was trying to catch up on reading by authors, whose series I enjoy.

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1. Playing to the Edge by Michael V. Hayden

This is a library eBook from the Overdrive App.

The information found in this nonfiction book is an over view of events within the National Security Administration and the CIA during the Bush Administration. Covered are situations leading up to 9/11 and the way National Security was handled after 9/11.

There are too many real factual situations covered to do this book justice in a 100-200 word review. It does convince me that facts covered by the news media concerning the way our country handles itself is not enough for the public to make solid judgments needed within the realm of the general public. I was surprise how relaxant the material in this text became as world news and the election comments sometimes referred to situations, that were covered within the chapters..

From the book I found that there is a website up,https://www.ciasavedlives.com, “so that we could make documents available to the press and public.”

I offer the following quote from chapter 20 as an encouragement to readers to make themselves familiar with the way our country is using the 16 National Security Agencies to keep Americans safe.

“The Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on Central Intelligence Agency detention and interrogation of terrorists, prepared only by the Democratic majority staff, is ...a one-sided study marred by errors of fact and interpretation--essentially a poorly done and partisan attack on the agency that has done the most to protect America after the 9/11 attacks.”

Although I do not agree with all the statements within this book. I believe the politics shown within the story proves how this country is becoming divided by the different factions involved in keeping the peace.

The book covers the detainees, how they are treated and where they were kept. It covers USA laws protecting captured terrorists and how they are legally treated. Other, parts of the story show you the way agents of our government are regulated and how dangerous their jobs can be in an on going fight against terror. Do not hesitate to read the book or the website for more information. Wading through this long story will be worth the understanding it will bring, even if it takes awhile to complete each segment.

2. Still Life by Louise Penny / Book one in Inspector Gamache series / A library eBook from the Overdrive App

Is it murder or an accident? Within the pages of the book the inspector is often just called Gamache. Gamache takes his team of investigators to the village of Three Pines.

The story is set in the Autumn where the glorious colors of leaves bring awe to different members of the investigators group as they go about uncovering the facts. Autumn brings hunters out of their lairs and daily weather changes as the season moves toward winter.

Who could want to kill anyone in this beautiful setting. Besides, the people of the village are artists, intellectuals, and poets. “Three Pines wasn’t on any tourist map, being too far off any main or even secondary road. Like Narnia.......”

The story meanders through peoples lives with facts, that you will recognize, in newer books, in the series. It is a book that gives you a view of Canada. It gives the reader a look at a village removed from ingrained technology. The people are grounded in friendship and care of each other.”Still Life” is an excellent mystery story for a summer read.

3. Garment of Shadows by Laurie R. King (Library Book)

The stories Laurie R. King tells, about Russell Holmes, follow historical events. This time Mr. And Mrs. Sherlock Holmes (Russell) find themselves in Morocco. King draws you into their lives so you can experience the reality of the action.

The story is set into the war between France, Spain, and the Rif Revolt. References to the scenery of Morocco streets, homes, and markets draws the reader into a different time and world. One that is becoming more dangerous as the technology of war grows more violent.

Of course, the prowess of Russell who is the heroine of the series becomes more increscent with each story in the series.” Oddly drowsy. Drowsy enough that the internal alarm seemed tiny and faraway.” During their many adventures, Holmes has never really kept track of Russell when she is involved in sleuthing. When they set a place to meet, she doe not always show up.

The Editor’s Notes explain the elements of the war at the end of the book. The notes are entertaining and informative. The publishing, and the contents read like real history. Don’t become confused about the elements of fiction, when comparing the elements of history, as you read.

4. Pitbull: Pitbull Training by Keith Moreno (an eBook from Amazon Books)

I was not impressed with the tone of this book. It was written by an author who wants to appear as an authority about the subject of the breed of dog called Pitbull.

I will say in the authors favor he included a lot of history, about the breed. However, I feel he could have written the information with a lot more in-depth explanations. Perhaps, he is so familiar with the historical reference that he simply assumed the reader would understand all he knew with the information he presented.

The five steps he revealed do not give specific detail when the reader is faced with teaching obedience and discipline to this type of working dog. If you know basic obedience training you will understand the subject, if you do not, you will have to invest in another book to find out how to train this dog.

I was left with the main idea that Moreno loves this breed and feels the problems they present are surmountable. I agree to a point. The background of the breed is filled with cruelty and breeding for rough use. The author ignores the DNA and breeding and feels they can be treated with out a special caution. Pitbulls are attack dogs bred to achieve certain jobs. The jobs they have been used for are ingrained as a part of their abilities.

Not all people are suited to handle this type of dog. A fact, that should have been stressed within the book. Pitbulls can lead less adventuresome lives when a person with the proper skills and temperament becomes an owner of one. They must have proper restraints and lots of daily exercise. The owner must be a person with a stable attitude who keeps the dog away from high stimulation.

I did not include a quote from this book because of the warnings within the copyright page. I also found misspelled words scattered throughout the book. In the Introduction Moreno states, “You also need to understand that as a society we are only force fed the bad and unpopular information.” I do not believe all the information about Pitbulls is bad since I have read a lot of news about them.

In my opinion the author has a manuscript that needs a lot of editing and management of information. Cautious handling of a Pitbull can only make a better life for the animal and the human, who will love it.

5. Thomas Holland and the Prophecy of Elfhaven (eBook from Amazon) by K.M. Doherty

I was looking for a new story to read when I came across this on Amazon. My curiosity was piqued when the book description compared it to the Harry Potter books.

As a story for young readers it does have an adventurous spirit and tone. I enjoyed the description of the author at the beginning. “Bellchar has wisely decided to publish on Earth using a “Quill Name.”” Within the story line, Bellchar is a Troll.

Magic and a magic school are the only things in the plot, that I can see, that compare this to Harry Potter. Like any school, this particular one has a different flavor of learning than the one in the Harry Potter stories.

The introduction of science also drags the story away from the type of adventure introduced in Harry Potter. K.M. Doherty has built an entirely different story with a different ability to entertain. Doherty should be pleased that this story will stand on its own merits and will call readers to follow it with enthusiasm.

“Tom leaned toward Avani and whispered, “Why are they all staring at me?” The reader will meet Tom, a robot, a dog, and adults that are not afraid of strange science. There are characters from an alternative universe. The adventure created suspense and kept me interested from beginning to end.
Happy Reading.

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