Required Reading

Life is complicated enough without getting into hotwater with federal agencies so: TAKE NOTE Many things I review I got at no charge in exchange for an honest review. Consider this as informing you that ALL things I review may have been gotten at no charge. Realistically about 60% but in order to keep things above board just assume that I got the stuff free. I do not collect information on my readers. If cookies or other tracking stuff is used on my blogs it is due to BLOGGER not ME. Apparently the European Union's new rules state I need to inform you if cookies are being use. If they are it isn't byu me, consider yourself INFORMED.
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Books I have authored.

Many times I receive books for FREE to give them an honest review. I do not get paid to give a good or bad review. Spotlights are promotional and should be regarded as advertising for the book spotlighted. Regardless of where or how I got a book, my review will be as honest as I can make it.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Stolen Throne by Harry Turtledove

Turtledove is a master at alternative history. This is the first of three books set in an alternate earth where nomadic tribes, settled barbarians and effete romanesques clash. The relationships between man and woman, man and ruler and types of civilizations are shown with entertaining clarity. The capability and potential of all people is subtly promoted. Turtledove does a great job in writing novels that both entertain and cause one to ponder things we often take for granted. I recommend the book and am now reading the 2nd of 4.

Body of work of Harry Turtledove

Review of the book: good luck, couldn’t find one.


Monday, July 28, 2008

A Photography Book Club

I was added as a friend to Damien Franco 's blog the other day and I went out to see what he does. I'm definitively an amateur photographer but I do like looking at what the professionals can do. I particularly liked the 16 Quick Tips for New Photographers. Good tips are always welcome. I get some pretty good photos but on a percentage basis probably in the 1% to 2% of what I take. I did see that he had a photography book club which seemed particulary pertinent to this forum. He has some nice, in depth, knowledgeable reviews on photography books. Check out the book club and see if it meets your book needs. The flower photo is mine, I guess Damien's site inspired me to post one of my own photos.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Point Blank by Catherine Coulter

Coulter writes a good mystery and keeps one captivated and entertained through out the story. Dillon Savich and his wife Lacey Sherlock are reoccurring likeable characters that grace this book. If you have read other Coulter novels you will be familiar with them, if not, enjoy their interaction. This is not a book to exercise your intellect or provide you with insights into your life, it is visual entertainment. There are murders, assaults, psychotics, fires, bombs, shootings, treasure hunts, history and love stories in this book. In other words, there is something for everyone. I enjoyed the book and recommend it.

Body of work of Catherine Coulter

Review of the book:

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Old Soldiers by David Weber

Weber’s talent seems to be to evoke emotions. I find myself deeply involved with his characters and caring about what happens to them. He apparently has had some strong women in his life because a majority of his protagonists are tough as nails but yet highly feminine. Bolos are land battleships. They are so far beyond tanks that battleship fits better. This story is primarily a relationship story between the Ai in a Bolo and his commander. The setting for a story is a genocide war between mankind and aliens. The aliens are almost a sidebar for the relationship aspects. My perchance for anthropomorphism has been mentioned often, the Bolo Ai highlights that affectation. This is a stand alone story although there are other Bolo stories by other authors. Weber’s work is normally stellar, this book is no exception. READ IT!

Body of work of David Weber

Review of the book:


Monday, July 21, 2008

Blood On the Water by P.N. Elrod

This is the 6th in a series of depression era detective stories. As sequels go, this was better than average. I enjoyed it more than my last Elrod, Fire in the Blood. I find detective stories enjoyable but add the vampire aspect and it becomes positively entertaining. The Vampire aspect is decidedly underplayed. No screaming damsels or gushing blood, more of a how did I get into this fix type of Vampire. I recommend it. It is a very quick read.

Body of work of P.N. Elrod

Site of P.N. Elrod:

Friday, July 18, 2008

Dragon & Issola by Steven Brust

This is an omnibus containing the full novel "Dragon" and the full novel Issola. The main character is again Vlad Taltos and these are book eight and nine, respectively, of the series. Once again I find myself puzzled over how so much philosophic pondering takes place simultaneously with some serious action. Vlad tends to pontificate to himself in stressful situations and constantly finds himself in stressful situations. The interplay between Vlad and his familiar is reminiscent of some of the dialogue between Spencer and Hawk in the Parker novels, highly entertaining. Each book adds more pieces to the puzzle of this society. Some orgins are actually determined in these two books. I recommend reading the entire series an specifically these two as well.

Body of work of Steven Brust

Review of the books: Dragon



Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Treaty at Doona by Anne McCaffrey

A sequel to the Decision at Doona, I enjoyed this book more. The main characters are the sons of the two main characters from Decision. The interplay and political intrigue is similar. A new alien species is introduced to complicate matters and fires the paranoia of the xenophobes of the home planets. Worth reading but not one that will keep you up at night trying to finish it.

Body of work of Anne McCaffrey

Review of the book: I didn’t find a good one.

Her site:

Saturday, July 12, 2008

The Chase by Clive Cussler

I am a die hard Cussler fan. I enjoy his work and find his books in general, well worth reading. The Chase introduces a new Cussler character as opposed to his standard several. The book takes place primarily in the early 1900s. A stalwart detective in the Dirk Pitt tradition pits his skills against an egotistical murderer. As most Cussler books, I couldn’t put the darn thing down. It is a quick but most entertaining read. If you love adventure, read it!

Body of work of Clive Cussler

Review of the book:

His site:

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Decision at Doona by Anne McCaffrey

Anne McCaffrey is quite prolific. Her Pern series was one of my all time favorites. This book isn’t exactly a page turner. It is worth reading but it’s age is showing. McCaffrey definitely improved as she aged. I guess I liked it well enough that I am currently reading the sequel and frankly the sequel seems like a distinct improvement and reading this is definitely important prior to reading the sequel. Too much political intrigue for my taste, I guess because that part of it seems so darn realistic.

Body of work of Anne McCaffrey

Review of the book: I didn’t find a good one.

Her site:

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Homefall by Chris Bunch--Last of the Lost Legion

This is the fourth and last of the Lost Legion Books. The ending left me with the feeling that Bunch intended to do more books in the series. Sadly he has passed away and that won’t be possible. The series overall was good. This book seemed more like a group of short stories with a common theme. Succinctly, with their enemies temporarily subdued in the volatile Cumbre star system, the isolate Last Legion embarks on a perilous mission to find out what has happened to the Confederation, the human government that controls a thousand star systems. The boys can’t help themselves in impacting multiple governments on planets they visit. Their discovery of the “cause” of the missing confederation is pretty much anticlimactic.

Body of work of Chris Bunch


Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Simple Genius by David Baldacci

This book deals with Sean King and Michelle Maxwell again, both ex-secret service agents. If you are into butt kicking women, you will love Michelle Maxwell. The CIA figures in here as well as a revolutionary war mystery. Baldacci seems to be following Patterson’s lead in very short chapters. I’ve got mixed feelings about these short chapters, speeds up the story but seems to truncate character development. Part of the book premise hits entirely too close to potential reality, a little uncomfortably so. Good story, I recommend it.

Body of work of David Baldacci

Web Site: