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.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Death at Nuremberg by W.E. B. Griffin and William E. Butterworth IV

This book takes place after the Allies won WWII.   The same characters as the last couple of books.   This one involves the Nazis trying to smuggle their cohorts out of Allied territory and the trials at Nuremberg.

The problem with Griffin books is if you have not read a good part of the series  you would not have a clue with what is going on.   I have read the series so I was fine.  I just finished the book within the last hour and frankly can’t even remember the main protagonist name.  Jim something or Super Spook as he was often referred to. 

The chaotic aspects of post WWII and the advent of Russian interference are clearly shown.  The ambivalence shown by former allies and adversaries proves enlightening.

I enjoyed the book but it was easy  to put down.  Lots of dialogue but minimal action.


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, February 23, 2018

Black Sugar by Miguel Bonnefoy

This is a strange generational tale of obsession with treasure.  It had a very intriguing start but swiftly went down hill until near the end when it regained some momentum.  The lost treasure of Captain Morgan which starts strangely and ends as strangely.   Captain Morgan was crazed with his treasure and the later hunters of his treasure shared in the craze.   A family tradition of looking for the treasure led to the founding of a dynastic farm focused on the production of rum.

The location of the country is as mysterious as the missing treasure, I'm pretty sure it is Venezuela.   It appears to be in the Caribbean but I was never sure if it was an island or the mainland.  The story is also of love, unrequited and sometimes unwanted.   The love was not just romantic but maternal and paternal as well and still often unrequited and unwanted.  

There were no characters in the book that were easy to relate to and the motivation of the characters was often confusing.

The book was mildly interesting.

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, February 18, 2018

End Game by David Baldacci

Robi and Reel are back and just as deadly.   Both are dealing with the aftermath of Mississippi in their own way.   While they are doing what they do best, dealing death to America’s enemies, the Blue Man disappears.   Robi and Reel are tasked to find out what happen to the Blue Man.

This book takes place in the wide open west and is not always complimentary regarding the wide open spaces.   There is a suggestion  that folks out there in that wilderness may not be overly friendly and possibly might be somewhat demented.   Gun control bills will not fly far.   There are skinheads, neo-nazis, religious cults and millionaire bigots to add flavor to the disappearance of the Blue Man.  

Meanwhile Robi and Reel are dealing with some personal issues of their own.

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.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

The Rooster Bar by John Grisham

This is the first Grisham I have read in years.  I don’t know if the interim books have been like this but this was a change of pace.  It was comedic, perhaps intentional, perhaps not.  Two clueless law school students and a somewhat less clueless cohort are the primary characters.  The law students are overwhelmed by debt and try and find a solution.

The solution includes many, many questionable decisions.  The problem of student debt and the willingness to loan kids far more money than their eventual career will be able to repay is current news.   Many kids today are still paying off student loans into their 5th decade.  The cost of higher education, not the quality, has soared.   This book peripherally address that issue.  

The humor comes from the blatant disregard for law and consequences from Todd and Mark.   Their approach to solving the problem while questionable was far more practical than their friend Gordy.

The book was an entertaining and light read.


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, February 8, 2018

The Midnight Line by Lee Child

Midnight Line has gotten mixed reviews from my friends.  I’m not sure why.  It may be some ambiguous ethics from Jack but that should be a surprise.  Jack Reacher goes for results with an occasional blind eye to legalities.  There is a message that may not be palatable to all.  Sometimes the government and or military may be a factor in societal ills such as the current opiate crisis.  Child does not hesitate to dive in and express his fictional take on a current situation.

Reacher finds himself being told by several sources that he is avoiding some internal issue by his footloose lifestyle.   It is also suggested he is motivated by guilt.   I do not recall previous books dwelling on why Reacher is who he is with the exception of his upbringing.  Michelle Chang, of Make Me, has a very , very brief cameo. 

Reacher becomes involved with another diminutive woman.  Of course his size means that most women would be diminutive in comparison. 

Opiate addiction is addressed in the book as well as the economics of pharmaceutical malfeasance. 

Violence and mayhem are expected in a Jack Reacher book and this book is no exception.

As in most Lee Child books, I suggest you block out some time so you can read it as fast as you will be driven to do so.   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.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Daughters of Bad Men by Laura Oles

I was unsure of what to expect when asked to review this book.   I was pleasantly surprised to discover a new author that I thoroughly enjoyed.   The story was character centric with plot secondary to character development.   Two friends have an investigation business that is not flourishing due to their soft hearts and frequent pro bono work.   A family crisis arises that forces them to use all of their talent and connections to survive. 

The author does a very good work up of the main protagonists and their motivation.  She provides the reasons for their character and behavior.  I really like an author that provides the underpinnings of the story.

The setting is a shore town in southern Texas.   This an area that I am completely unfamiliar with but the similarities to Jersey shore towns were very strong.  

Cookie and Jamie were very likeable characters with easily seen flaws that made them more real. 

I enjoyed the book and 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.