Sunday, November 29, 2020

The Christmas List

Genre:  Holiday, Fiction
Length: 349 pages (hardback)

Rating: 3 out of 5

James Kier is a busy real estate executive with a wife, son...and...girlfriend.  Kier and his girlfriend make plans to go away for the weekend, after he meets with his wife to review the final divorce settlement.  Kier arrives early and while waiting for his girlfriend, falls asleep.  He wakes up in the morning to discover that she never arrived.  The next thing he knows the paper has run his obituary.

Kier goes online where he sees all kinds of comments pouring in about him.  These are comments that you don't want to read about yourself.  The ones that are defending him and who he is, or really who he was, are from his wife.  The person who he served divorce papers to the day she had her first chemotherapy treatment.  The one who he just had a divorce settlement conversation with the day before.

Kier decides he wants to change his legacy.  He asks his secretary for help.  She arrives at a list of five individuals that were most impacted by his behaviors over the years.  He decides he wants to right these wrongs, thinking it won't take much time and that these individuals will be happy to see him.

I will admit I did struggle with a few items within the book.  How did Kier's son not know that he wanted to be a social worker when he was younger?  How did he not know the stories of the kind of man his father was?  Has the author been around someone with cancer before?  Why is the author making it appear that pancreatic cancer is much easier to go through than it really is?

Overall, the moral of this book is a good one.  You should always be aware of how you treat others.  Take time to consciously be the person you want to be, the one that leaves a legacy to be proud of!

Thursday, September 3, 2020

Miracle Morning

Title: Miracle Morning
Author:  Hal Elrod
Genre:  Self Help
Length: 135 pages (paperback)

Rating: 2 out of 5

This book was recommended by a co-worker.  After reading through the book, I realized it is because her husband works for Cutco and this is a message that they were sharing with their teams.

The premise of this is to spend an hour a day, preferably in the morning, dedicated to yourself, to help you focus and be revitalized.  Hal refers to the tools as SAVERS:


While the concept of the book is good, it took him way too many pages to get the point across.  It is clear that the target audience for this book is someone who is just entering the adult world or who has never read a personal development book. 

Sunday, August 30, 2020

How the Children Stopped the Wars

Title: How the Children Stopped the Wars
Author: Jan Wahl
Genre:  Children; Fairytale
Length: 104 pages (paperback)

Rating: 3 out of 5

Uillame is a shepherd who has not seen his father for many years.  He's approached by a stranger in a brown cloak.  Uillame offers the stranger his food and they begin to speak.  During the discussion the stranger shares, "War never - never - never - never seems to stop happening!"  The conversation continues and suddenly the stranger is gone.

Uillame decides that he cannot stay idle.  He begins on his crusade, gathering children with him as he goes.  They encounter monks who feed them, ship captains that want to sell them as slaves and a town of women who want to keep them as their own children.

The book was a quick read, less than a couple of hours.  It reads like a fairy tale.  However, I don't know that this is a book for young children.  I'm thinking more middle school age. 

Monday, August 24, 2020


Title: Migrations
Genre:  Fiction / Science Fiction
Length: 254 pages (paperback)

Rating: 4 out of 5

I received a copy of Migrations in exchange for an honest review.

Nearly all land animals are extinct.  Fishermen are chasing what is virtually the last catch.  Franny Stone is attempting to follow the Arctic Terns and what might be their final migration.

Franny has a wanderlust that she cannot quench.  She doesn't know what drives it, but feels that it has been passed down through the generations.  She has tried to stay with her husband, but the pull to leave is stronger.

Franny joins the crew of the Saghani to chase the Arctic Tern.  As they begin to follow the three little dots on of the birds Franny tagged, the crew begins to learn that Franny has several darker secrets that she isn't ready to share.

The store is told from Franny's point of view.  It alternates from the present, to the distant past and not so distant past.  It is clear when these shifts are happening so it is easier to follow.

I was pulled in by the story.  Franny's destructive nature but her hope and desire to preserve the way of life of the Arctic Terns is heartwarming.  The author brings the characters to life in a way that helps tell Franny's story and continue to have her be the center of the story. 

Sunday, July 5, 2020

Everything is an Emergency

Genre:  Mental Health; Graphic Novel
Length: 243 pages (paperback)

Rating: 4 out of 5

Jason shares his day to day experience with OCD.  At times the commentary is heartbreaking.  However, the author / cartoonist does an excellent job depicting the struggles with OCD.  While individuals have varying degrees of OCD, and obsess about different items, he does a great job providing insight into how one's mind works.

Overall, this was a quick read.  I was able to enjoy this book in one sitting.  I also appreciate the author's willingness to be vulnerable and share his experiences. 

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

Friday, June 5, 2020

Santiago: A Myth of the Far Future

Author: Mike Resnick
Genre:  Science Fiction
Length: 376 pages (paperback)

Rating: 4 out of 5

Santiago is rumored to exist in the Outer Frontier.  He is the most wanted man in the known galaxy, but very few people have ever seen him.  In fact, people aren't even sure what his real name is as Black Orpheus had taken it upon himself to put many individuals into verse, changing names as he went.  

Sebastian "Songbird" Cain has decided that he will be the bounty hunter to bring Santiago in.  When he learns that "The Angle" has come to the Outer Frontier, he knows he is in a race if he wants to receive the bounty.

Along the way, Sebastian begrudgingly teams up with individuals who convince him they can help him.  Or, in the case of Virtue, convince him that the ultimate goal is the same but the purpose is different.  Virtue wants to be the first journalist to write a story on Santiago.

The story is told from several different perspectives, as we encounter those hunting Santiago.  I honestly feel I should have seen the ending much sooner than I did, but that allowed me to enjoy the book even more.

This is the first book in a series.  I felt it was a self contained book.  As I enjoyed it, if I come across the other books I will read them.  However, I will not go out of my way to seek them out.  

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Murder in the Mystery Suite

Author: Ellery Adams
Genre:  Mystery
Length: 277 pages (paperback)

Rating: 4 out of 5

Jane Steward manages Storyton Hall, a resort catering to book lovers in the rolling hills of western Virginia.  Jane needs to determine a way to drive additional funds as the staff roof needs repairs, the orchard needs pruning, and a variety of other items need attention.  After gaining inspiration from a book, she decides to host a Murder and Mayhem Week at the resort.  This will include a variety of events including a ball, role- playing and fantasy crime solving.

The event starts off with great success!  Guests arrive in full character.  They are actively participating from the moment they arrive.

Guests are excited to participate in the scavenger hunt.  Unknown to Jane, her twin sons are bribed by Felix Hampden to help him win the scavenger hunt.  When he wins a valuable book, several other guests approach him.  The next thing Jane knows, Felix is found dead and her week turns into a real mystery to solve!

This cozy mystery was a quick and easy read.  I was able to dive in right away and be brought into the story.  I appreciate that it didn't have lots of romance so that I could focus on the mystery myself.

This is the first book in a series.  I am sure some of my unanswered questions will be answered in the next few books.  However, unless I come across these books, I do not plan to actively search for them.