Required Reading

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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.

Monday, April 28, 2014

1066 What Fates Impose by G. K. Holloway

The Battle of Hastings is well known.   This book takes those historic events and puts human faces to the participants.   William The Conqueror is portrayed as crass, the embodiment of evil and the perpetrator of atrocities   Harold II is portrayed as a much more civilized figure.   However civilized behavior is relative.  

The brutality of war is clearly and graphically detailed.   There is no doubt that that type of despicable behavior actually accompanied the wars of the times.   You don't have to look any further than the current crop of wars to see despicable behavior.

This book is one of those that makes history come alive and captivate the imagination.   One tends to forget that Machiavellian behavior came from the historic Machiavelli.   Holloway has written a captivating slice of English history.  

 This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Odd Squad by Michael Fry

First I am overcome with jealousy that Fry can illustrate his own books.   I am functionally impaired when it comes to illustrations.   I illustrated my book I Like to Whine.  The time it took was beyond belief as I had to draw the darn critters over and over until I was at least moderately satisfied   I look at Fry's characters and am practically incensed!  Ok, not incensed, just horribly envious.  Now that is off my chest.  

This is a cute book about a band of hapless kids who just want to belong.   Belong to what, you may ask, just to belong, to feel that they have a group, someone who has their back.  

The story is cute but the relationships and the feelings they represent are the meat to the broth.   Having spent time in education and as a guidance counselor, I saw so many kids who felt alone, lost and depressingly unique.   Depressingly unique because they felt they were a group of one, with no others like them and feeling unwanted.   Kids, or all of us, have a need for acceptance and regard.   Fry did a nice job showing kids and their feelings.

I recommend it.
Web Site:

This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

A Wanted Man by Lee Child

Reacher faces a mix of domestic and foreign terrorists leaved with domestic interagency incompetence and intrigue.   Once again when Reacher’s sense of justice is more focused on taking care of those who he has accepted rather than ideological issues, regardless or reason once violated, mayhem ensues.

Once again when Reacher is hitchhiking situations develop rapidly.   The interagency rivalry strikes a realistic chord.   One despairs over such bureaucratic nonsense when security is involved.  

The end game takes place in a truly interesting place.  A cursory search of the Web found a website worth checking out.  It isn't necessarily a spoiler but keep in mind it plays an integral part in the story's conclusion.   Amazon will strip the link so if you want to follow it go to my blog Pick of the Literate and check it out in the same un-stripped version of the review.

Reacher's blunt response to threat or threats to those he cares about is, again, clearly demonstrated.

This plot seemed more complex than many of the Reacher books.   Once again I enjoyed the book and I recommend the book.

Web Site:

This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Free eBooks: SILVER SKIN and COLD IRON, Both by D. L. McDermott

Book 1

Book 2
SILVER SKIN, the second book in D.L. McDermott’s sexy paranormal series, comes out Monday, April 14th. To celebrate the publication,  you are offered promo codes for free downloads of both SILVER SKIN and COLD IRON (Book 1) for a limited time.

Helene Whitney has been losing time. Not losing track of time—but finding whole blank spaces, hours, in her day she can’t account for. A year ago she would have written it off as overwork and exhaustion, but that was before she found out about the Good Neighbors, the Fair Folk, the Beautiful People, the Fae. 

Ancient, immortal, tricksy, and cruel, these creatures out of myth and legend rule the Irish enclaves of South Boston and Charlestown, and one of them has been using magic to abduct and control Helene for hours every day. That’s because the collection at her museum contains ancient objects of Fae power, and the Fae want access to this magic for their own ends. Now, Helene’s only hope of escaping this unknown assailant lies with the Fae sorcerer Miach MacCecht, a man she knows she can never trust—and who may prove impossible to resist.

D.L. McDermott is an author and screenwriter whose credits include episodes of the animated series Tron: Uprising. Her short fiction has appeared in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine and Albedo One. The director of several award-winning short films, her most recent project, The Night Caller, aired on WNET Channel 13 and was featured on Ain’t It Cool News. She is married with one cat and divides her time between Los Angeles and Salem.

If you are interested in these two exciting free eBooks fill out the form below. I will forward all names and email addresses to the publicist for these books.  They will send you the promo codes directly. 

This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Superbia by Bernard Schaffer

A cop and robbers book for the suburbs.   The relationship between two cops, their department and the perpetrators they handled.

The author claims authenticity in his story.  Not necessarily in fact of the cases or people but in the feel of the circumstances.

Schaffer made cops real live, fragile and strong people.   Post traumatic stress doesn't just plague those in the military but those who serve the public in many ways.   I don't know if Mr. Schaffer was proselytizating or not but I read a lot of humanity between the lines.  

We, the public, put enormous stress on those that we expect to protect us.  Personally I am grateful for those who are willing to give up their time, sometimes their relationships or even their lives so the rest of us can sleep at night.

Sadly Schaffer also points out the chickenshit that occurs in any organization, regardless of their laudable goals.   If nothing else besides a good story, this book clearly shows cops are as human as the rest of us and deserve more accolades than they get.

This book does have some graphic violence and gritty sophism when dealing with perpetrators.

BTW I enjoyed his book Guns of Seneca 6 too.

I recommend it.
Web Site:

This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

The Sea Without A Shore by David Drake (A Daniel Leary Book)

My standard preface for a Daniel Leary book, this book is another in the continuing saga of Daniel Leary’s career in the Cinnabar space navy.  I compare this series with that of the Horatio Hornblower series and perceive that as a compliment.  I love both of the series, one as iron men in wooden ships and the other as the carbon fiber men in the composite beryllium ships.   It is the men not the hardware that makes the series so enjoyable.

This time the Sissie's are pared down to the core and shipping out in a beat up freighter as a favor to Mistress Sands, the spy master.

It's interesting that the psychological aberrant are so prominent in the Leary books.  Adele Mundy and Tovera are both, hmm a bit odd is the kindest definition.  The general population not in the nobility seem to reflect England's Victorian population behavior.   Which carries me back to Hornblower and the fact that the spacers behave so much like the sailors of old.

Problems abound in these books and Daniel Leary frequently solves them in a highly unorthodox manner.

These books are a treat to read and I always enjoy them.  

Once again the “Sissie” and her crew are put into untenable situations and extradite themselves brilliantly.   Again, the loyalty, honor and camaraderie are what makes the books so engrossing and successful.

The books are simplistic and I love them.  (Draw your own conclusions on that.)

Body of work of <a type="amzn" > David Drake </a>

I am aware that this is scifi and should be on dwarf but I'm not into any general fiction at the moment. 

This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.