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.
Words like, “sponsored,” “promotion,” “paid ad” or even just “ad” are clear ways to disclose that you’re being paid to share information and links so BE AWARE that some of what I write can be described as an AD by the government. BTW I will NEVER say a product is great, super or even acceptable if it isn't, whether I got it free or NOT!

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.

Sunday, December 27, 2015


 “With her usual witty writing and exquisite flair for characterization, Noble offers readers the second, splendid book in her Winner Takes All series. The effortless manner in which she wrote The Lie and the Lady as a separate love story while at the same time gracefully connecting it to The Game and the Governess (2014) and cleverly hinting at what is to come in the series is nothing less than brilliant.”
Booklist Starred Review

John Turner thought only of winning a bet when he swapped identities with his friend the Earl of Ashby. He didn’t wager on winning the fiery Countess of Churzy’s heart with his lies, or on falling for her in return. Publicly humiliated when she learned of the betrayal, the impoverished countess fled, and John thought Leticia was lost to him forever…until fate brings her practically to his doorstep. Can he regain her trust—and her heart—this time as himself?

Determined to make a new life for herself, Letty knows she must avoid Turner—and his maddening kisses—in order to survive. But some things are too intoxicating to be denied. If she turns her back on her dashing rogue—again—will she lose her chance at love forever?

The Game and the Governess was dubbed a “winning novel, complete with rich characters and a multi-dimensional plotline” by Publishers Weekly (starred review), a “delicious treat” by Bookpage, “Immensely entertaining and eminently satisfying” by Booklist (starred review), and RT Reviews (four star HOT) promised “charming characters will sweep readers away into the story”.  Second in the captivating Winner Takes All series, THE LIE AND THE LADY is “nothing less than brilliant” (Booklist starred review) and will reward readers as the perfect literary escape.

Kate Noble is the national bestselling author of The Game and the Governess and the critically acclaimed, RITA Award-nominated Blue Raven series. Under the name Kate Rorick, she writes for television, as well as novels based on the Emmy Award-winning web series The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, for which she is also a writer and producer. She lives in Los Angeles. Visit, @NobleRorick,

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

Friday, December 25, 2015

Monday, December 21, 2015

FREE eBooks from Author William G. Bentrim

Merry Christmas!
Free eBooks!
19 of my eBooks will be listed as FREE on Amazon December 22-December 24, 2015 as my gift to my friends and readers. (Often the same people.)  All of my eBooks would have been free but apparently Amazon has some limit as to how many I can give away over the same time period.  Please share with anyone,  any or all of your friends!
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

A Holiday Gift from Author Ethan Jones

ARCTIC WARGAME, the first book in the Justin Hall spy series, is FREE on all major book retailers. Most of you have already read and reviewed this novel. If you haven't, now is your perfect chance. Enjoy a copy from any of these links:

Barnes & Noble:

TRIPOLI'S TARGET, the second book in the Justin Hall series, is on sale for 99 cents. I'm running this promotion in hopes of making it to the Top 10 ranking on Amazon and other book retailers.  I need your crucial help in reaching this goal. Please take a moment today to buy a copy of TRIPOLI'S TARGET for yourself, a relative or a friend. This thriller is an excellent gift for the adventure lover in your circle.
You can buy a copy of  TRIPOLI'S TARGET from these links:
Barnes & Noble:

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Hollow Gods by Kelly Jameson

This story is probably characterized as a young adult book but in spite of my being far, far far away from being a young adult, I enjoyed it.  Paul Ringo Smith discovers life as he knows it has been a very big lie.  Genetic engineering has run amuck under the direction of a demented scientist by the name of Hart and he certainly doesn't have one.

This is the first book in a series.   It has plenty of action and very interesting characters.  It takes the angst suffered by teens and combines it with powers genetically engineered from past giants.   The result is kids unprepared to deal with the skill sets that they have received. 

Unintended consequences of overly successful experimentation provides some obstacles for the nefarious Mr. Hart.  The compassion shown by characters in spite of the orchestrated conflict shows Ms. Jameson has a good grasp of the often misunderstood teen mind.

I enjoyed the book and look forward to reading the next in the series.

BTW great cover!

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, December 12, 2015

Dead in Damascus by Stephen Templin

This is a short story set with the characters from Templin's Special Operations Group series.   Chris Paladin, the Seal is back along with Hannah Andrade the CIA operative.
This time they are retrieving a USB drive with an asset that details information on Professor Mordet, a recurring villain.

Heavy on action and light on plot but that is often the characteristic of a short story.  The fact that I have read the Special Operation Group books meant that the story line was, perhaps clearer, than it would be for someone just reading the short story.   With that said, for fans of the series, the short story will be a treat.

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, December 8, 2015

Welcome to the Symphony by Carolyn Sloan

Who knew you could introduce children to orchestral music through a book?  The sound reproduction on this book is just short of amazing.  I'm sure you  have all heard the musical greeting cards but this is at least a step or few above them in sound quality.   This is a book that a parent is going to want to read with their child.  It is an interactive experience which will please both parent and child.  

I recommend it. 

From the vendor:WELCOME TO THE SYMPHONY includes a sound panel with 19 buttons that allow young readers to explore the intricate differences and relationships among the instruments. Through the narration of three mice, readers are taught the basics: What is a symphony? What is a conductor? Who was Beethoven? They learn elements of music: melody, harmony, and tempo. And they are introduced to the families of instruments: strings, woodwinds, brass, and percussion.
Author Carolyn Sloan

But the best part is that every critical idea is illustrated in gorgeous sound. The sound panel allows readers to hear the different parts of the symphony and voices of the music -- the famous beginning of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, what a clarinet sounds like, the difference between a violin and a viola, what a musical conversation is. Kids will want to match their voices to the A note that tunes the orchestra, dance to the rhythmic passages—and, of course, sing along to da-da-da-daah! 

The book is written by Carolyn Sloan, a music educator at the Berkeley Carroll School in Brooklyn, songwriter and musician. Ms. Sloan has been writing music for theater, television, and children for the past 20 years. 

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

Friday, December 4, 2015

Damnificados by JJ Amaworo Wilson

This story is loosely based on a true story that took place in the Tower of David – a half-built skyscraper in downtown Caracas, Venezuela.  The tower was depicted in the TV series Homeland as a haven for criminals.  Here is depicted more as a sanctuary for the disenfranchised.  

The characters are colorful to the extreme in this tale, each with their own sad story.  The Chinaman is an enormous enforcer type while the cerebral Nacho was saved from death by an informal step-father.  The story is full of squalid scenes and helplessly hopeless people. 

I suspect the disjointed feel of the story was to illustrate the disjointed aspects of the real story.

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.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Beetle Boy Hardcover by M.G. Leonard

This is a book aimed at kids in the 8-12 age range.  Darkus is a young man faced with the mysterious disappearance of his father.  Darkus has not recovered from the loss of his mother so his father's disappearance really impacts him.  

Darkus is a likeable young man who is befriended by Humphrey and Pickering his neighbors.  The three discover that the beetles infesting Humphrey and Pickering's home are anything but ordinary. 

The villain is the story is the mysterious Lucretia Cutter who evokes visions of Cruella DeVil although beetles are much harder to warm up to than Dalmatian puppies.

It is a cute mystery that seems fine for it's age group.  It moves well and should hold their interest.

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.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving 2015

Audacity Jones To the Rescue by Kirby Larson

A home for wayward girls is hosted by the self absorbed Miss Maisie.  Miss Maisie may also be intellectually challenged.  Audacity appears to be the only "true" orphan in Miss Maisie's care.   Audacity is pulled into political intrigue by the mysterious Commodore Crutchfield.

Audacity is a remarkably precocious young lady for eleven years old.  She is truly close only to Miniver, Min for short, her companion who happens to be a cat.   Min is not just a sidebar, Min claims a full role for her self in this age appropriate action adventure.

Audacity is no one's fool and the Commodore finds this out to his dismay.    I liked the miniature lesson in basic economics and the impact the automobile has on the fortunes of those committed to horses.

This is a book that should capture a youngster's imagination, particularly if said youngster is a pre-teen girl who loves cats.   Min has a substantial role.

This is book one of a series I am sure my own granddaughter will enjoy.

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.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Third Degree by Greg Iles

I said Greg Iles was a master of tension in my review of Dead Sleep.   I  may have to upgrade that to an elite master of tension.  Tension in this book was beyond palatable it was visceral.  This is a tale of infidelity, disease, distrust and an assortment of unlikeable characters.

I have mentioned before how likeability of characters can impact the enjoyment of a book.  Iles has a bunch of unlikeable people making horrible choices and the book was still enormously compelling.  Two marital cheaters reap the whirlwind while law enforcement is portrayed as less than professional.  Iles did offer up an apology for his law enforcement portrayal in the afterword of the book.

This was an excellent mystery, a quality plot and nothing remotely predictable.

I strongly recommend.

 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.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Michigan Roll by Tom Kakonis

 Graphically brutal crime thriller is an appropriate description for this book.  Kakonis has the ability to create deeply flawed characters that never-the-less propel an action stuffed adventure.

Waverly has issues and his soul searching leads him in a journey to his past that embroils  him in some Midnight problems.   A missing package of drugs appropriated by a minor delusional miscreant puts an assortment of escalating bad guys on Waverly's field of play.   A plethora of unnecessary roughness calls would characterize this book with some of the violence stomach wrenching. 

Surprising camaraderie plays a part in Waverly's survival.  Waverly's mentor in survival skills plays a cameo of sadness.  Midnight may play a future role in Waverly's life as short as it may be.

This was a good mystery and action adventure.

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, November 14, 2015

The Pawnbroker by Edward Lewis Wallant

This book was hard to read.  It is depressing and designed to be so.  Sol Nazerman is a survivor of the Holocaust at least physically.  Emotionally he has deadened his soul and thoroughly truncated his emotions.  This book shows his life after his emotional death and the catharsis that shatters his emotional dam.

This is a reprint of a book released in 1961.  There is no exploration of the Holocaust nor any lengthy descriptions  There are emotional Instagrams that pop up through the book of Sol's concentration camp experiences.  Those brief interludes provide the explanation for Sol's life.

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, November 10, 2015

Warrior of Fate by Debra Mullins.

This a romance novel with a fair amount of action. Tessa and Adrian are the main protagonist in this story. They are two more of the descendants of survivors of the destruction of Atlantis.  They were in the previous book but have moved to the forefront in this one. 

The war between the Seers and the Mendukati, two opposing groups from the survivors of Atlantis continues to grow.  Possession of three ancient stones of power is a major theme in the story.  The ancient lie of who brought about the destruction of Atlantis is another bone of contention. 

Once again the steamy scenes put this book into the romantic category but the action and general story help it to transcend easy categorizing.   Prodigal Son  and Heart of Stone are the preceding books.   As those two books, this  is still a good action/adventure/urban fantasy with romantic overtones. 

I recommend it.

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

Friday, November 6, 2015

Dead Sleep by Greg Iles

Greg Iles is a master of tension.   This book focuses on a somewhat famous photo journalist and her missing sister.   The FBI and New Orleans figure prominently in the story.

Jordon Glass is a twin and she is missing her sister.   She travels the world shooting misery with her lens but finds personal misery far too close.   Iles provides us with background on Glass so we have some idea of how she became the person in the story.
There is brutal action and behavior not suitable for the faint of heart.   The pace is intense with nothing as it seems.  Even the obvious doesn't always turn out to be obvious.   The author has no difficulty killing off characters to enhance the story.  Be warned, don't get emotionally involved, you don't know who will be missing in the next chapter.

This was an excellent mystery, a quality plot and nothing predictable.

I strongly recommend.

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.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Navy SEAL Training Class 144: My BUD/S Journal by Stephen Templin

I don't normally read non-fiction as I find the world around me often provides me with more reality than I care to face at any given time.  Stephen Templin writes about his SEAL training and the results thereof.  

One of the things I got out of the book was that it doesn't matter how many muscles you have, how buff you are or tough you are, what matters is how much you want a goal.  What little I have read about SEALS has impressed me.  After reading this book, I am literally in awe.   These young guys go through things that most people can not imagine.   They push themselves far beyond anything they thought they could do.   This book gives you pause, considering how you would fare in a similar situation and wondering if you could survive let alone thrive.

A thought provoking and awe inspiring book with a bit of a surprise at the end.

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.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Halloweek Reading to SEIZE THE NIGHT!

Edited by Christopher Golden
Gallery Books
October 6, 2015
ISBN: 9781476783093
Trade Paperback

Once upon a time, vampires were figures of terror…and they can be again. Legends of these dark creatures sprang from every corner of the world and infinite variations throughout history—with even more of them waiting in the farthest corners of the imagination. SEIZE THE NIGHT takes hold of a popular culture environment where the vampire has largely lost its ability to inspire fear, and now brings out the dread, showcasing twenty all-new tales of horrifying evil from an extraordinary lineup of twenty contributors:

John Ajvide Lindqvist
Kelley Armstrong
Laird Barron

Gary A. Braunbeck
Dana Cameron
Dan Chaon and Lynda Barry
Charlaine Harris
Brian Keene
Sherrilyn Kenyon
Michael Koryta
John Langan
Tim Lebbon
Seanan McGuire
Joe McKinney
Leigh Perry
Robert Shearman
Scott Smith
Lucy A. Snyder
David Wellington
Rio Youers

The dusk is upon you, and your fright-filled journey to the shadows of the hereafter is about to begin with SEIZE THE NIGHT—old-school vampire fiction at its finest.  

“The notion of the romantic vampire is transcended to chilling and even heartbreaking effect in this stellar anthology of talesThese stories move smoothly from the subtle to the horrifying…”
Publishers Weekly Starred Review Description: Description: Description: Description:

“Twenty stories of varying lengths offer quick bites of otherworldly entertainment. Edited by Christopher Golden, this collection takes vampire fiction back to its bloody, frightful roots. Readers looking for old-school horror laden with darkness will appreciate these diverse stories from some of the best writers in the genre…all are entertaining…With new spins on classic traditions and inventive, unexpected twists, it’s the perfect spooky read for Halloween — or any night that calls for a touch of terror.”
RT Book Reviews

“The twenty-one authors collected in this volume have…succeeded in returning vampires and their ilk back into our nightmares where they belong…each tale delivered the goods. And by goods, I mean terror…These are not your Count Dracula vampire stories, but thankfully they’re not of the friendly variety either. What they all have in common is that each and every story is a cut above the ordinary. My highest recommendation.”
—Cemetery Dance

Seize the Night: New Tales of Vampiric Terror is a highly successful anthology, one that puts vampires back into the shadowy, hidden corners where they belong and makes them creepy, chilling, at times downright frighteningwe’re getting back to the old-school roots of vampiric lore, going back to the heydays of Bram Stoker’s Dracula and Stephen King’s Salem’s Lotthis is a vital return to form for these stoic, and historic, universal baddies…Seize the Night has the singular aim of making vampires terrifying again, and it heartily succeeds in its mission. Golden and the contributors deserve a fair amount of applause for their work here, and this anthology is a wonderful reminder of what made vampires such a popular horror staple, and why they continue to endure across the ages.”
Michael Patrick Hicks
“Anthologies have always been one of my favorite things. A chance to read old favorite authors and a chance to also find some new favorites as well, all based on some short stories. Which is, of course, why I chose to readSeize the Night – New Tales of Vampiric Terror Seize The Night –New Tales of Vampiric Terror is slated to be released on October 6, 2015. Be sure to get your copy before they disappear! Anyone who likes tales of the creepy sort like Stephen King’s short stories in Everything’s Eventual or Nightmares & Dreamscapes should check out Seize the Night.”
—The Goth Girl Reads

“…a diverse and high quality collection of new stories from some great names within the horror and paranormal sub-genres…Quite simply, if you are a fan of vampires, do not miss this one. 4 Throbbing Carotid Arteries forSeize The Night.”
—Horror After Dark

“Sink your teeth into this collection with caution, it'll bite back.”
—Hardboiled Wonderland

“I would really recommend this wonderful book to anyone who wants to read a vampire anthology that harks back to the heyday of quality horror fiction.”
Book Nutter’s Reviews

“I thoroughly enjoyed reading Seize The Night…well-written with plenty of frights to keep any horror fan awake at night.”
—Coffee Addicted Writer

“I really prefer my vampires evil, so this anthology was just what I was looking for. It opens with a novelette by Scott Smith, and that one story is worth the price of the book. The victims are suitably disgusting and deserve their fate, which is rapid and brutal. Michael Koryta suggests a rather different cause for vampirism. Charlaine Harris has a very nice story about an energy vampire rather than a blood drinking one. Kelley Armstrong suggests there is a genetic marker for vampirism. Tim Lebbon takes us back to a particularly brutal period of history for his story. John Langan presents a time traveling vampire that can duplicate bodies to ensure it has a steady source of prey…well above average.”
—Don A’mmassa On Horror

“…Brings out the dead and dread, showcasing 20 all-new tales of horrifying evil from a coffin full of different writers who dabble in the undead from various angles, from horrific to heart-wrenching, romantic to rough. We especially feasted on Rio Youers’ “Separator”, set in a typhoon-devastated Philippines where a land developer gets a brutal taste of local legend. Ouch!”
— – A Tricky Treat for Fright Night

“I honestly had nightmares reading this anthology, which is a first for me, and found the writing samples to be strong and powerful tales that twisted an already frightening lore. I definitely recommended reading Seize The Night as a Halloween novel. This book will appeal to readers who enjoy horror, frightening tales, anthologies and short stories, gruesome and violent vampires. I would wholeheartedly recommend reading Seize The Night if you are a horror fan or a supporter of real, gritty vampire novels without the romanticism and moral questions.”
—Silk & Serif

Now, from some of the biggest names in horror and dark fiction, comes this collection of short stories that make vampires frightening once again.”
—Bookgasm – Halloween-Ready New Release Awaiting You to Treat Yourself

About the Editor
Christopher Golden is the #1 New York Times bestselling and Bram Stoker Award-winning author of such novels as Snowblind, Tin MenOf Saints and Shadows, and The Boys Are Back in Town. His novel with Mike Mignola,Baltimore; or, the Steadfast Tin Soldier and the Vampire, was the launching pad for the Eisner Award-nominated comic book series Baltimore. As an editor, he has compiled the short story anthologies The New DeadThe Monster’s Corner, and Dark Duets, among others, and has also written and co-written numerous comic books, video games, and screenplays. Golden was born and raised in Massachusetts, where he still lives with his family. His original novels have been published in more than fourteen languages in countries around the world. Please visit him at

Buy buttons for Seize the Night:
KINDLE (ebook)
NOOK (ebook)

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Author's Guide to Marketing With Teeth eBook Release

Today is a very special day with the release of Author's Guide to Marketing With Teeth, a book written by Bram Stoker Award-winner Michael Knost that features interview contributions from the likes of Charlain Harris, Dan Poynter, Diana Gabaldon and others. 

This is a fantastic reference book for authors wanting to understand more about marketing and promotion in the book world. 

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

From Russia Without Love by Stephen Templin

Once again Stephen Templin pulls his plot from current events.   Chris Paladin is the protagonist who is trying to balance his SEAL handle of Reverend with his self image, personal identity and new career when he is called back into action by his erstwhile lover Hannah.  We met the basic cast of characters in Trident's First Gleaming.

Russia is rearing it's head with adventurism in the Ukraine.   Russian paranoia is exploited by Tenplin in his plot for the financing of state supported terrorism.   The KGB is dead, long live the FSB.  One of the things about Templin's books is their plausibility.  

Sonny is also back with his irreverent and sarcastic manner.   The action is paramount in Templin's books.   Once he set the scene you are forced back into your seats by the speed of the action.  Chris's reverence is counterpointed by his lethal behavior.  He searches his soul as he deals out death.   Templin portrays a protagonist torn by his sense of honor, patriotism and religion.    

I enjoyed 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.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Shake Cats by Carli Davidson

Shake Cats by Carli Davidson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Grandcat showing Stillers Love
I don't read a lot of non-fiction. This book is amusing. It is a compilation of photos of frisky felines. Cats of all sizes, colors and furry dispositions are captured showing their stuff. We have not had cats for years but remember ours fondly. We currently our grandparents (?) to two funny furballs. One appears to love dress up and the other loves to lay under your body when you are doing a plank. Both have typical cat quirkiness.

I recommend the book to all lovers of quirky cats.

Web site:

View all my reviews

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, October 20, 2015

Ghost on the Lake by Alex Alexander FREE October 20-24, 2015

Ghost on the Lake by Alex  Alexander

I enjoyed this book.  See my review.
The author is offering it FREE on Amazon on  October 20-24.
The direct link is:
It is an entertaining read and I recommend it. 

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

Monday, October 19, 2015

Darwin's Pause by J. Gregory Smith

As much as I have enjoyed Greg Smith's books, Darwin's Pause transcends those experiences. The author has moved to a new level! This book was outstanding. It was captivating, action packed, thought provoking and more.  A photographer accepts a vacation trip with a college friend that turns out to be far more than he expected.  Think Indiana Jones meets Clive Cussler.

This book had a very complex plot that was similar to one of those nesting doll sets.  Just when you thought you had reached the last little complexity you discover that Smith just threw in another twist and turn.   Fin, the photographer, is the primary protagonist in this book.  There are other important characters but Fin is the one that holds the plot together. 

Smith clearly shows how greed is an insatiable beast that can be self devouring.  There are preposterous scenarios that upon rumination become less preposterous and more implausible.  It is exciting to think that there are still many natural wonders that lay either undiscovered or under reported. 

This was a compelling book that provided a serious amount of sleep deprivation until I finished it.  I received a complimentary copy of this book under the condition I would write an honest review.  All my reviews are subjective and honest, I see them as recommendations rather than reviews.  I didn't teach English nor have any of my own books been nominated for a Pulitzer so my expertise is only based on a life long passion for reading.   I read several books each week and this is one of the best books I have read in years and I highly recommend it.  

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, October 15, 2015

Two Dogs and a Parrot by Joan Chittister

I erroneously thought this was going to be about animals.  It is peripherally but marginally so.   I guess I would describe it as a philosophic religion oriented parable.   The author equates her experience with her pets to a road map for better human behavior.

Back in the 70's when I was studying humanistic psychology, I may have enjoyed this book.  Being on the wrong side of age 50, I suspect that I am somewhat jaded as to this type of reading.   I did not find it enlightening.  I suspect the author is a good person who wants to help others be better people.

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.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Likability or Un-likability in Book Characters​

A Truly Likable Guy
Not long ago I was criticized for citing the un-likability of a protagonist for my lukewarm reception to a book featuring that character.   Apparently if you don't find a character likable then you, yourself are flawed and most likely unlikable.  As I am widely regarded as highly likable (in my own mind but where else is it so important to be liked?), I disagree with the assertion that we must all like or dislike alike, to be capable of offering an opinion on a book.   Face it, reviews are opinions.  I have tried over the years to characterize my "reviews" as recommendations rather than reviews.  If in my opinion a book ranks high against other books I have read,  I tend to rate it with a five star rank.   Since I am not certified or accredited by any pseudo-scientific organization  to write book reviews then there should be an immediate assumption that I am posting an opinion. 

It should be noted that likability is very subjective, I liked Darth Vader for his spooky evilness.  I liked Thomas Covenant,  Stephen R. Donaldson's character for his desperately flawed self esteem.  I liked David Feintuch's Seafort due to his despairingly depressing self loathing.   Character likability may be due to despicable behavior rather than laudable acts.  So, in my opinion, it is perfectly fine to like or dislike a character and since the characters in a book either drive the plot or are driven by the plot, it is not unrealistic to dislike or like a book depending on the likability of the characters.

BTW I do find it highly unrealistic that expressing a like or dislike of a fictional character represents the personal likability of the reviewer.     You may like or dislike that point of view to your heart's content.