After writing 20 books about Beaumont what can an author do different? Jance certainly came up with a unique twist for the twenty first book. I found the weaving of fiction with non-fiction a distinctive idea. Beau is in the having both knees replaced and has had some hallucination with his pain medication that triggers him to ask to open a cold case, his first homicide. He is also hallucinating about his Lieutenant from his Army days in Viet Nam. What Jance does with these two plots is interesting and different from her usual stories. One is non-fiction the other is fiction, there is of course suspense, some action, and humor as she weaves her story. In this book she also brings in Bisbee, Arizona and Sherriff Joan Brady in a brief appearance. J.R. Home did a good job narrating the book. If you are a fan of Jance you will enjoy her new book.
I have not read Homer since University. I find it amazing that we are still reading in the original or in translation something written in 700 B.C. The events depicted in the epics are thought to have taken place, as early as 1800 B.C.
Nicholson explores the age old question of was there such a person as Homer or more than one person. The author covers the history of Homer, Nicholson says the linguistic analysis suggest that “The Iliad” was first then “The Odyssey”. Nicholson sums up what we still look for in Homer: “Wisdom, his fearless encounter with the dreadful, his love of love and hatred of death, the sheer scale of his embrace, his energy and brightness, his resistance to nostalgia.”
Nicholson has written a beautiful study: full of insight, generosity and unaffected passion, the book is about what Homer means to him. One of my favorite narrators John Lee narrated the book.
This is a novella that looks at the attempted assassination of Kris Longknife on New Eden by Vicky Peterwald. But this short story provides us with the viewpoint of Vicky. In prior books in the Longknife series we had the same information from Kris’s viewpoint. This story includes the death of Hank Peterwald by Kris. The story also tells a background story about Vicky and how she ends up as an Ensign in the Peterwald navy under Captain Kratz. Vicky’s brief time in boot camp is also covered.
From what I gather this is an introduction to a new spin off series about Vicky Peterwald. Hopefully Shepherd will create some interesting characters around Vicky as he has around Kris. I shall watch and see what develops with the new series; but Shepherd will need to get rid of or tone down the sex to keep me as a reader of this new series. Dina Pearlman narrated the book.
Thomas Fleming is an author I have not read in the past five plus years. In the past I have read a number of his books both non-fiction and fiction. I have even had correspondence with him regarding one of his books in the past. I have always enjoyed Fleming’s passion for history.
The basic debate between Washington and Jefferson is still an ongoing debate today on the role of government. Fleming states Washington beliefs came out of the problems he had as head of the Army, the problems of funding the Army and the country at the time. Therefore he preferred a strong federal government that could provide a strong military defense for the country and a strong financial foundation for the country. On the other hand, Jefferson preferred a confederation of states instead of a national government.
Fleming paints Washington as the practical farmer and dynamic leader and Jefferson as the dreaming idealist who failed to lead and left the country at the end of his tenure as president, in debt, without income, without an army, and on the verge of war with Britain over a trade embargo.
The book is well written, lightly documented but with the clean, snappy prose that Fleming is noted for. I enjoyed reading the book and dissecting Fleming’s views but I wonder if Jefferson was quite as scatter-brained as Fleming paints him. David Rapkin narrated the book.
This is a companion novella #10.5 and is set at the same time as “Furious” #10. The brief story follows the efforts of Senior Agent in Charge Foile of the Wardhaven Bureau of Investigation. Agent Foile is assisting Kris in her efforts to stop her grandfather’s trade flotilla. In book #10 “Furious” agent Foile was the head agent trying to capture Kris. This story sort of provides the information as to why Wardhaven Navy helped fund Kris’s new ship. This story provides some background about Grandfather Al and filler information about the Flotilla.
This trend in authors publishing novella inserted into their ongoing series is becoming very popular. Some of the novellas do provide some interesting background information but the information could have been added to the story if it is important. I have not made up my mind if reading these novellas maybe helpful to me as a reader in obtaining a broader view of the story or just a waste of time and money. Dina Pearlman narrated the story.
I found this book most interesting particularly the difference between Marine Corp leadership and the Army during the Korean War. Thomas Ricks compares the Army of WWII to the military of today, particularly looking at how General Marshall dealt with command officers compared to today.
General George C. Marshall was Chief of Staff during WWII and was ruthless in relieving subordinates who didn’t measure up to his standards. Between September 1939 and Dec 8, 1941 he cashiered at least 600 officers. Sixteen Army division commanders were relieved for cause out of a total of 155 officers who commanded divisions in combat during WWII. At least five Corps commanders were also relieved for cause. Marshall replaced them with officers like Eisenhower, Patton, and Bradley and so on.
The author says that today the military is not policing its self. The only time an officer is removed is when the politicians intervene. For example the Walter Reed Army Medical Center Scandal or the Veterans Affairs Scandal is some current scandals that politicians have intervened in.
I found the comments by Ricks about the current Army’s upper command full of tactical planners and none trained as strategical planners. The author observation that the General staff is good at winning battles but unable to win the war is directly related to the lack of training in strategic thinking. I found a comment by Ricks about the military could easily apply to the business world, “training tends to prepare for the known problems, education prepares leaders to prepare for the unknown, the unpredictable, and the unexpected.”
Ricks sets out in the book to show how the Army has changed so dramatically in seventy years. Ricks ends the book with some suggestions for reform. The book is well written, deeply researched and pulls no punches. The book is narrated by William Hughes and lasts about 16 hours.
I have enjoyed reading this series so far. Book six has us back with Stalker’s Stalker again. Nuttall is continuing to build most interesting characters. The bad guys are really bad like in the old B movies of the 1950s. Nuttall kept the story about the characters and doesn’t wander off into lots of techno babble but he does get hung up repeating his fall of the Empire causes.
The story is fast paced with lots of action. I was surprised the author killed off one of the original favorite characters.
Nuttall has the Commonwealth of Avalon expanding into interstellar space making contacts with other successor states. The leaders of Avalon and Col. Edward Stalker agree to a diplomatic meeting with a nearby world on Lakshmibai a neutral world. The Lakshmibai’s government hates off- worlders and saw a chance to rid itself of hated intruders. Jasmine Yamane must lead an untrained army on a race to the Capital City to save the diplomats from annihilation. There is lots of fighting in this book, I think maybe over three fourths the book is the rescue fighting.
Jeffrey Kafer has done a good job narrating the series.
My reading project for 2015 is to read about the First Ladies of the United States, I saw this overview audio book put out by NPR from its American Chronicles series; thought it might provide a good overview.
Cokie Roberts narrated the book for NPR with excerpts from interviews with First Lady Biographers and from the First Ladies themselves. Roberts was interviewed for her book of Women of the Revolutionary Period.
Among the First Ladies included are Martha Washington, Eleanor Roosevelt, Jacqueline Kennedy, Lady Bird Johnson, Betty Ford, Barbara Bush, Hillary Clinton, Laura Bush and Michelle Obama.
To hear the First Ladies themselves makes this a special audio book. This short audio book won the Audiofile Earphone Award for 2015.
This is a new author and narrator for me. The book has a twist I have not encountered in a legal whodunit before. Mitzner has the high powered defense attorney become the accused instead of the defender.
The author has a criminal accused of aiding terrorist use blackmail to gain his release. Defense attorney Aaron Littman is in the middle of it all. He had an affair with a Judge while he tried a case before her, and the Judge is murdered. Littman’s affair has cost him his wife, family, his law license, his law firm, and now his freedom. Mitzner leads us down a winding path; through various ideas such as was this all a manipulation by the real killer. We wander through various suspects who seem to have cause.
The book is well-written. It is a tight story with lots of suspense that keeps you looking for clues. The plot is complicated and the ending is a surprise. I enjoyed reading this book; it was a fast easy read that kept me trying to determine who did it. Needless to say, the person I thought was the killer was not. Andy Caploe narrates the book.
In 1977 Davidson in her 20s took her dog Diggity, four camels and set off across the 1700 miles of the Australian outback. Davidson starts her story in Alice Springs learning about camels. She obtains four camels called Dookie, Zelly, Bub and Goliath.
She wrote the story for the National Geographic Society that had helped subsidize the trip and paid for the photographer. Because the National Geographic provided the money she had to meet a photographer at various locations on her trip for photographs. The trip took seven months; she met interesting aboriginal people along the way.
Davidson describes how enjoyable and watchable the camels are. She writes beautifully of the majesty of the land. There is a great description of scenery such as “At times, the sand rolls on and on like an endlessly unfurling, magically variegated carpet that shifts from blood red to burnt sienna, pale pink and dung brown. At other times, it violently rises off the desert flood, swirling and churning into dusty whirlpools.”
The book is well written and is full of information and trivia such as the word whoosh means sit in Afghani. Davidson writes with an offbeat since of humor that makes the book a joy to read. Angie Milliken narrates the book.
This is a new author for me and a different type (sort of) sci-fi thriller, than my usual fare of sci-fi literature. Apparently this is the first book of a series and the book is short only 6.3 hours long.
Our hero is Captain James Drake. He commanded the HMS Ajax during the war against the Hroom. Captain Drake was court marshaled and found guilty of shooting down an innocent merchant ship. His first mate and crew believe he is being framed and rescue him and steal the Ajax.
Drake and crew seek help and safety within a plants cluster of pirates and smugglers. Drake and crew set out to find the evidence to prove him not guilty. Drake renames the Ajax to Starship Blackbeard. The crew of the Blackbeard set out to find out why the Lord Admiral Malthorne framed Drake. Drake learns that the Admiral who owns vast sugar plantation is inciting War with the Hroom Empire and attempts to keep the Hroom addicted to granulated sugar to keep them working as slaves.
The book is well written, lots of fast paced action, with space battles and chases. The crew is bold, brave and daring with lots of interesting characters. The book is highly entertaining and is easy to read. Steve Barnes narrated the book.
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