Book Reviews

Late April (Book Review)

Late April by Katherine Mercurio Gotthardt

Katherine’s poetry always makes you ponder. Her latest book, Late April, ponders the celebration of seasons in life and nature.  I find this particular collection has a river of joy, with a few babbling brooks of wisdom winding through. As you float through her poems you will experience irony, joy, sorrow, irony and anger. I am grabbing the metaphor of water here and hanging on to it as I read Katherine’s poetry. She has a few fonts of Holy Water and sprinkles in some #hashtags. A poem that mentions #Amazon, who would have thought that would get sprinkled in?

OK, so enough of the metaphor, Katherine’s poetry is refreshing and relevant. It takes the reader to depths in the simple and captures your imagination to ponder the poignant. This is Katherine’s forth collection of poetry, a must read for poets and those that appreciate poetry.

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“Three Hots and a Cot” by Nancy Wyatt

Take a look at Homelessness from the Comfort of your Home!

Told against the backdrop of a homeless shelter “Three Hots and a Cot” allows you to see the impact of homelessness. This book, adapted form the stage play, is told in vignettes of short monologues. Feel the impact of job loss, chronic illness, and know that you too could become part of this story. The words will help you feel the powerful emotions of those who must live in shelters, for now. Allow this book will move you and impact your heart, open your senses and feel the stories. As a nurse that has worked in the HIV/AIDS community, taken care of patients who were homeless in parking lot’s “Three Hot’s an a Cot” is a look inside these lives that many will never experience. The glimpse goes into the dark hidden spaces of homelessness. It peaks into the reasons that we never thought of. It gives a glimmer of how the homeless children feel and answers some of the “why” do they end up like this. I found this a fascinating read that gave an open honest view of homelessness. I would go so far as to call it a must read for medical professionals and those who volunteer with the homeless. I would encourage all who dare to feel the poignant telling of these true stories and allow yourself to experience the homeless crisis through their eyes! This book has been performed on stage as well and licensing for theater groups is available.

Truth in blogging, Nancy Wyatt is in, “Write by the Rails,” the same writing group I belong to. This is the first of her books I have read and it is such a powerful book! I will encourage my student nurses to read this book! Her writing tells it like it is. I have worked in the community with the homeless and can verify the overarching stories are true to this culture. I have taken care of homeless patients in parking lots as that was the “best address” they had. I worked at a homeless hypothermia shelter and when the third person checking in that night gave the same address I asked what the deal was. “Oh we made it up, everyone needs an address. Especially if you hope to get any work,” came the reply. They had made up an address for their “camp” in the woods.

I encourage you to read this book. Experience the stories. Next time someone asks for help see if it changes your response. I have been carrying water and socks in my car for years to give out to the needy.

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Girl Last Seen ~ Book Review

This book was captivating from beginning to end! A page turner to be sure, I read it in one day. I just could not put it down. Every time I thought I might have an idea what happened, hard turn! Two kidnappings thirteen years apart, that’s as much as I want to say. No chance of me spoiling it for you! Read this thriller, it is fast paced, intense and yet plausible! Enjoy!

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Axe to Grind: Vigalante or Murderer?

Axe to Grind the first book in the Knight Shsade Series is done! Wow Theo Marsh I was captivated from begining to end! Wonderful writing! This Book is free on line for a limited time! So check out the blog link to read it. Marsh develops the carachters in a way that is reminiscent of the Green Hornet and other 1930s and 1940s Radio Shows with all the modern technology. I was enthralled the entire time I read this book!

Vigalante or Murderer? Crime Novel lover? This one is for you!

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What Are You Reading? Do CDs Count?

It’s National Book Lovers Day 2018.  Today several friends, knowing I am a book lover, asked me the proverbial question, “So what are you reading?” 8c28c7d4-bcdb-4a9d-9fcd-8a9112d0d165.jpeg It seems like such a simple question on the surface. For me it is a little more difficult.

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Let’s see, on my ipad I am reading, Dying to Read, by Lorena McCourtney. Cate Kincaide is working as a private investigator  for her uncle until she lands one of the many jobs she has applied for. She has to locate a girl named Willow. Sounds simple, perhaps. But then simple never makes for a great story line!

What happens next has a hint of romance and enough plot twist that it has been a page turner! It’s a cleverly written murder mystery “lite”, no blood and gore descriptions.

If you like The No. 1 Ladies Dective Agency, then you will like this book!

 

Next up in the car I am “reading”, 05680BD2-A80F-4C40-8C61-662677BA3831Texas Fury, by Fern Michaels. I use the term “reading” as for me listening to a book on CD is “reading” the book the way I track books read. Now for some purist they would not consider that I “read” the book in the strictest definition of reading.

I can tell you this is the third book in a series about the Coleman family from Texas. While some of the book takes place in Texas it also travels to Japan, and Hawaii. This series is about a powerful Texas oil family and the many branches of the family. The story crosses several generations and the ups and downs of the oil business. It is the story of how the family deals with lean times and gushers. Tales of well to do and the more common folk, a good summer travel read.

1F8565D5-2A48-4276-9356-98EA325D3075Lastly, I have been reading in the traditional book form, I Promise not to Suffer, by Gail Storey. I love to read hiking books and this one is a wonderful read. It is a memoir by Gail of hiking the 2,663 mile Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to Canada.

The couple leaves their secure jobs in their fifties to go and hike the trail. There are many ups and downs in their hike across numerous mountain ranges and across deserts. You get a good picture of how brutal yet beautiful this trail can be. Gails writing is an honest about adversity yet at times a hilarious recounting of their adventures on the trail. She is honest in telling of their misery in some of the situations they encounter. As most trail books do there are times they encounter wild animals, other hikers, trail angels and of course discuss the pros and cons of various hiking equipment. If you dream of hiking one of the major trails this is a great read for inspiration, if not you can day dream about hiking!

So that’s a look at my primary reading right now. I read my Bible, on my phone and in Book form regularly as well. As I experience different reading media for me my standard top choices have been books and CD. But I liking the ipad the more I get used to it for reading, not sure it will ever replace books for me! So what are you reading?

 

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We will always have the Closet

imageWe will Always have the Closet by Natalina Reis is a wonderful summer read! The main characters, Petra and Sam, are interesting and every time I thought I knew where the story was going I was wonderfully surprised with a new twist!

Petra is the ex wife of Jonas Linden and despite the fact that he was unfaithful to her she believes him innocent of art fraud. Sam Corra is investigating the art fraud case and he is hot on the trail of Jonas. When Petra ducks in a closet to avoid someone coming into the room she finds Sam is in the closet. There is instant heat and attraction made difficult when they find out they have polar opposite opinions of Jonas being guilty.

Just when you think you have it figured out, you don’t, or at least I did not!

It is well written, characters are well developed, the diaglogue is entertaining and interesting. I highly recommend We will Always have the Closet by Natalina Reis. I loved it as I soaked up the beach. Although I admit, I would like it no matter the season!

 

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Heart of Design by Ellen Butler

Smoking but not tawdry that is what comes to mind when I think of Heart of Design by Ellen Butler. The description “Love California Style” gives a hint to the romance ~ everday girl meets Hollywood star. There are several twists and turns that I shall not divulge as I hate a “spoiler”. This is a great summer read ~ after all, girls we love a summer love story and this is a great one!  I love the characters, the plot twists, the descriptions and the romance. The cover tells you she is an interior decorator, he is a Hollywood star. To know more you have to read this wonderful romance over! This book is well written, steamy romance but not vulgar. I loved this  book. It is the first book by Ellen Butler I have read but it will not be the last! I highly recommend this book. It was a great vacation read for me I Paris ~ the city of love!

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My first iBook!

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Reading my first iBook! I am reading “Grandma Gatewood’s Walk.” Love the book and really do like some if the iBook features – like making a note, hi-lighting, no book to store. I miss the feel of a book in my hand – but then I can knit and read. I was a skeptic as may friends can tell you as I am an avid “reader” of books. I say “reader” because I listen to books on tape and CD – yes my nurse-mobile has both – lucky me! Then I read traditional books as well. While I do not think I will give up any of my other methods I believe I have found a new addition to my “reading” methods. I know it will be great for travel – I tend to read two to four books on a vacation, add the ever present Bible and my Journal and that is a lot of weight for flights. So I have a Bible on the ipad, can journal (by not paint so will keep my other journal on hand) – end result will give up some of my books for my upcoming trip to KY.

 

 

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“15 Miles” by Rob Scott

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On a recent trip to Maine I decided to take along the book “15 Miles” by Rob Scott. It was an interesting summer vacation read to say the least. Generally, on vacation I stick with some light historical romance. This book is as far from my norm as I could have imagined. It is a plot twisting tale of a double murder 15 miles from Richmond, Virginia. The Virginia State Police Detective, Samuel (Sailor) Doyle, is quite a character. He is rough and rugged and this is his first homicide investigation as lead detective. This homicide is anything but “cut and dry.” Every time I thought I had it figured out there was a plot twist. Another gruesome detail, a drug induced hallucination or a new detail about the victims. Carl Bruckner, was a decorated Marine, lost his leg in Vietnam. Carl and his wife Claire Bruckner have been found murdered at their family farm.
Did I mention the lead detective, Sailor, has a drug and alcohol problem? As if that is not bad enough he has a wife and a mistress to juggle with the murder investigation. Rob Scott is able to weave a story that keeps the pages turning with a mystery that will keep you guessing. Scott grew up hearing tales of gruesome murder from his dad, a New Jersey homicide detective. Scott must have listened well to these stories as he wove this gruesome, murderous tale expertly. One thing is for sure you will never know what is next in this crime thriller.

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“How Did They Do That?” by Deborah Tompkins Johnson

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In her book, “How Did They Do That,”  Deborah Tompkins Johnson has interviewed a wide range of very successful people. She pulls inspiration out of each person’s life and shares their stories. We hear from such notables as Actor, Blair Underwood and former Governor of Virginia, Douglas Wilder to name just a few. In their stories of success we can find some common “can do” themes. I found some to be expected, such as having someone early in life that encouraged them to believe they could do anything. Conversely, some were self motivated by being told they could not do something.

Deborah has a wide range of very successful careers in her book which are all named on the cover. I believe this book would make an excellent gift if you know a student that aspires to greatness.  It would be an especially meaningful gift book if they aspire to be in one of the mentioned fields: Songwriter, Actor, Diplomat, Entrepreneur, Politician, Soldier, Teacher, Coach, Corporate Executive, Minister, Dancer, or Fashion Stylist.  For those of us that have been in our careers awhile it is an excellent reminder on finding inspiration in others. Deborah gets some great stories and inspirational moments out of those she interviewed. I totally enjoyed the story telling format of this book and was inspired by those who shared their life successes and inspiration with us. There are many more shared common experiences to success and I would encourage you to read this book to explore these commonalities.

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