Five book reviews for "The Monthly Reading Challenge 10/2017
Cross the Line by James Patterson ( a library eBook from Overdrive)
“He changed identity like many warriors do before battle.”
Anyone who reads the Alex Cross series written by James Patterson will recognize “Cross the Line” as another good story. As a reader, the story made me feel as if I was watching a motion picture production. That is how vivid the pictures were that the writing produced.
The story line follows several different crimes. Crimes that are being investigated by the investigative unit of the Washington D.C. police department. They are drive by shootings, murders, and vigilante mass murders, which all seem to be killings by different perpetrators.
I always like how Alex Cross’s family life is portrayed along side of his investigative life as a detective. The family life continues in an every day progression even though the lifestyle of two detectives in the same family causes time fluctuations of how they are able to spend time together. They watch out for each other as they go about daily activities.
If you know anything about the character of Alex Cross you know he is trained as a profiler with a background in psychiatric knowledge which he uses as he efficiently hunts criminals.
In this story you can see characters such as , snipers, military persons, motorcycle riders, and regular amounts of tough people. You will be presented with lots of modes of transportation boats, expensive cars, and motorcycles. “The Maserati blew by him.” Of course guns of all sorts are a part of the story.
The Forgotten Beasts of Eld by Patricia A. McKillip (a library eBook from Overdrive)
Patricia McKillip likes riddles. She uses them in this story, as well as other stories she has written.
Some of the main characters in the story are Beasts with special talents. You will read about lions and other big cats, dragons who like gold and breathe fire, an enormous black swan, Ter, the falcon who reads minds, and a white tusked boar who talks in riddles.
There are many pieces of wisdom put forth within the story such as, “You can weave your life so long, only so long, and then a thing in the world out of your control will tug at one vital thread and leave you pattern less and subdued.”
In the Forward by Gail Carrier we find this statement, “The Forgotten Beasts of Eld” is like no fantasy novel, You have read before.”
The characters are simple straight forward people anyone might like to meet. The reader might not be able to put the story down. There are kings, warriors, intrigue, people falling in love, beasts doing beastly things galore, wizardry happening to people, and words that paint pictures in your mind throughout the story.
I recommend this story to anyone who wants to take a couple days vacation in a different land and stay on your couch while you do it.
.FantasyLand by Kurt Andersen (a library book from Overdrive)
Some points listed under the title are “How America Went Haywire” and “A 500 Year History.” This book is copyrighted in 2017 and published by Random House. There are several quotes at the beginning of the book. One that especially describes life is, “unceasingly we are bombarded with pseudo-realities. Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away” By Philip K. Dick.
Another quote is, “You are entitled to your own opinion but you are not entitled to your own facts.” By Daniel Patrick Moynihan. These quotes bring out the reason the author wrote this book.
As a reader don’t expect to stroll through this history. The story works it way through historical situations from the 1600’s to today in 2017. Chapter One is titled “Now Entering Fantasyland.”
There are so many ways to quote the material in this story. If you wade through the chapters one by one you will truly see the USA in a different way. You will see the USA the way Andersen sees it.
“People, in the reality based community, believe that solutions emerge from judicious study of discernible reality. That’s not the way the world really works anymore.” This quote to a reporter by Karl Rove explains a great deal about the book.
The last chapter has 81 PDF eBook pages. It sums up the Clinton's, the Bush's, and Donald Trump. In order to give any kind of reality to what you will find if you read this book I quote the author,Kurt Andersen, “This book has traced the route that our exceptional country has taken to arrive at this latest version of its exceptional self .”
More than the physical life of a nation of people, this book is about the evolution of the mental life of populations in the USA.
Betrayall by Tim Tigner (An eBook from Amazon)
Betrayal follows an event in the life of special agent Odysseus Carr. It is a story about sabotage and lost friends.
The story moves quickly and involves the reader. If you like espionage, government fantasy, and fast action. You will like the unfolding of the plot.
“Odi felt resentment run down his spine like boiling oil, but he could not stand up and get in his boss’s face again.” This sets up a scene that will eventually get out of hand.
The reader will find a romance that will keep you guessing all through the book. Will they wade through the trouble and find each other at the end?
There are a lot of different characters in the story. Keeping track of them keeps the action rolling along.
You get to visit Iran, Washington DC. And an island. The story moves around a lot in different types of terrain and scenes.
There is a plot to put someone in the office of President of the USA. There is Betrayal on more than one level. There is experimentation with weapons that becomes a central subject in the story.
The story takes time to wind up all the actions and reactions of the characters in the final chapter. This is an entertaining read for a long weekend or time when you want a story to unwind with, happy reading.
We Were Eight Years in Power by Ta-Nehisi Coates (a library book from Overdrive)
Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent for The Atlantic. This particular book relates historical facts about the history of black people in the United States. The book delves into the way they have been treated politically and socially since the boats that brought them here put them ashore.
Coates presents the reader with a social history of black Americans that is always in a state of needful changes. A special point of interest is the specific information about housing and prisons. The reader is drawn into the plight of the way politics has manipulated the family life of blacks over many years. Such words as “Negro Rule” and threats of “Africanized” have been used in many ways over different centuries.
About President Obama, Coates states, “He steered clear of major scandal, corruption, and bribery.” Coates was able to meet with President Obama several times over his years as president. They had many conversations about the plight of the black people within the USA. Coates explains the personality of Obama as he experienced the President. Because of the difference in their backgrounds the two men were able to view the problematic social aspects of black people in different ways.
The book is also a telescopic sight into many other personalities involved in politics; both white and black people are pictured. The rise of President Trump is spoken of in several parts of the book as an example of social threat, because of President Trump's white supremacy speeches. “He fought to keep blacks out of his buildings, called for the death penalty for the eventually exonerated Central Park Five, and railed against “Lazy” black employees.”
The book covers several centuries. It is very informative and has been fact checked by The Atlantic. It is a people’s view of the way history has been traveling for Black people in the USA and don’t be surprised to find out that same history is impacting white people as well.
Ta-Nehisi Coates wrote another book titled, Between the World and me, which won the National Book Award in 2015.