Five brief Book Reviews for The Monthly Reading Challenge
|1. The 8th Confession by James Patterson ( a library eBook from Overdrive)
James Patterson novels paint word pictures of social blends in the country. This story moves from the homeless to the wealthy and describes eating establishments and food. Prepare to be hungry during the reading of the novel.
Pay attention to the school bus in the Prologue. Just a suggestion to whet your curiosity. This story starts in San Francisco. The prologue starts the action of the tale.
There is a lot of description of the life lived between partners in the detective unit. This is a Women’s Murder Club novel. The interaction of the female law enforcers and reporters are part of the drama in the story.
Descriptions like, “The ailanthus trees shooting up through cracks in the pavement cast a netted shade on a pile of rags, old newspapers , and fast food trash, that was lying at the base of the chain-link fence.” Work in your mind to give you clear pictures of what is being viewed by the protagonist.
In this story the reporter, Cindy, works in conjunction with the detectives to solve a case that might otherwise have been ignored. “and this is off the record, girl reporter,” she said to Cindy.
James Patterson stories are all well written and persistently entertaining. (word count 220 by The Journal 7)
2. Cross Justice by James Patterson (a library eBook from Overdrive)
If you read a lot of James Patterson novels you will be familiar with his character Alex Cross.
The Prologue in this story introduces Coco. You may be interested in coco’s story from the beginning.
The main story starts with the entire Alex Cross family taking a trip south to aide a cousin who is in trouble with the law. “When I saw the road sign that said we were ten miles from Starksville, North Carolina, my breath turned shallow, my heartbeat sped up, and an irrationally dark and oppressive feeling came over me.” It makes the story interesting, when Patterson writes a lot of emotion in his main character. Cross becomes personally involved in every character’s tragedy. He is always willing to think the best about people, even though Patterson may have to shoot them before the scene is over.
It really isn’t difficult to believe that the Cross siblings would have high aptitudes for different talents, because the whole family is unusually normal, considering the type of life their parents lead on a regular basis. “She had on her blue track suit and was carrying a workout bag.” In this story you get a good look at Cross’s daughter Jannie.
The story leads you from one state to another. Introduces the FBI, drug deals, murder, and mystery at every turn. In the end, the Cross family solves the mystery. Another interesting look at and interesting character. ( 248 words counted by The Journal 7)
3. Flat Broke With Two Goats by Jennifer McGaha (a memoir and library eBook from Overdrive)
Jennifer McGaha tells a story about her life. The story flows from a lovely house with all the modern conveniences to a cabin in the woods by a waterfall. A cabin that needed a lot of changes in order to be habitable. This story is a book, that is a part of the Big Library Read, that takes place online.
McGaha tells how her first marriage turned from joy to a battered tragedy. She talks about her childhood and about raising her own children.
Even though her second husband was an accountant and McGaha was a teacher, her life took a different turn when the family went bankrupt. Large amounts of money were owed in back taxes. They lost their house, because they could not pay the mortgage, which caused a down turn in their living conditions. She tells the whole story about learning to deal with the bills and the mail. “and I knew certified mail meant only one thing: bad news.”
McGaha liked to cook and each chapter ends with a new recipe of yummy foods. Many of the recipes were created with home grown foods and goat milk.
In the story McGaha has to make a lot of living adjustments. In the end, they are raising goats for milk, making their own cheese, raising chickens, collecting eggs, and learning how to grow their own vegetables, and meeting needs by making their own soap. These adjustments had to be mental as well as physical. It is interesting how this different life was shared and partly created by her husband David. She shares her story with an openness that instructs and informs. (word count 287 by the Journal 7.)
4. Uprooted by Naomi Novik (a library book from Overdrive)
“Our dragon doesn’t eat the girls he takes, ....” fantasy always has so much to offer. It tells a story of far away places in other times. This story makes time seem as if it is drawn out beyond our own abilities, to fathom it’s depth. Naomi Novik has spun a story yarn as old as, well who knows. Even though Novik is New York born and raised, she has a background steeped in Polish fairy tales. Her first novel was published in 2006. So, as a novelist she is still a fresh writer on the scene.
I found Uprooted on a list of 10 important fantasy stories on the web. The dragon in this story seems so ordinary in many ways. The depth of the character has to be read to experience the personality. When the reader hears magician, you wonder what kind of magic is going be shown to you.
It is fantasy but the reality of war is fully described. “The generals planning how best to murder ten thousand men, and harvest glory while the crops rotted in the fields.” When Agnieszka spoke this sentence I got a vision of the wasted Syrian cities, and the barren bombed landscape of Afghanistan. The story is not just about war but about the way Agnieszka sees each event a little differently than the other people, who are within the experience near her. “All those stories must have ended this same way, with someone tired going home from a field full of death, but no one ever sang this part.”
The story is how a girl gets chosen to do a job she did not know she had to do, how she grows during the experience, and how the teacher becomes her best dependable comrade. It’s about trees, land, and the rural experience. The story draws you in and keeps you until the end. (Approximately 320 words counted by The Journal 7)
5. The Four Loves by C.S.Lewis (An audio Library eBook from Overdrive)
This is an audio book. The introduction and commentary of the readings are done by Charles Colson. The information is lectures written and read by C. S. Lewis as he presented them to an audience in person. The Greek words for the four types of love are explained.
They are spiritual readings about the subject of four types of Loves that humans experience. The book offers an ability to download an accompanying PDF from an online source that is a work study that accompanies the book.
Affection, Eros, Friendship, and Charity are the four types of loves that humans experience that C.S. Lewis lectures about in this book. Colson states at the beginning of the book that this is: “The only professional recording of C.S Lewis's voice in existence today.” It was recorded in London in 1958.
“In a real sense C. S. Lewis lives again.” A comment by Dr. Chad Walsh. It shows the respect people like Dr. Walsh and Colson hold for C.S. Lewis.
Scriptures are quoted as the lectures about love progress. It talks about God’s love for man and humans affection for friends and even pets.
The lectures show a great deal of knowledge and wisdom concerning the actions toward humans and animals. Lewis goes through a lot of definitions of words and the meanings of words as they affect different actions taken by humans to other humans and animals.
If you have never read any writings by C. S. Lewis who also wrote The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe you might enjoy these lectures. They have a great deal of wisdom and humor in the body of the writings.(286 words counted on The Journal 7)