Tag Archives: reading

Foreign Influence by Brad Thor

ForeignInfluenceThor

Book #28
Foreign Influence
Thor, Brad

Genre: Thriller/Spy
Pages: 560 (chunkster)
Recommend

This is my second read of this book, with the first being July 2010; and while I wasn’t quite as blown away with the story this time (too recent of a read for me to be totally surprised and *I wasn’t surprised by the ending this time), I still think my comment from then is good:

My jaw actually dropped open at the ending. Oh. My. Word! I never saw that coming*. Thor’s best book ever – bar none. Best quote? The very, very, very last 2 sentences of the book (in the Acknowledgments – speaking of his wife, Trish): “Thank you, honey. I love you.”

This book was timely in 2010, it’s even more so today. Recommend the book and the series.

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September Wrap Up

Grand month. Weather was lovely, we were able to take some nice drives, enjoyed dinner with friends and flat out had a good time. The end of the month saw the real arrival of fall, with a hint of winter and we enjoyed 3 great storms in 2 days: wind (70-80mph stuff), around 5 inches of rain—give or take an inch, lost power for a bit, and survived it all. Fun stuff.

My favorite picture this month is my new banner. Such a busy bee. Spotted him while on our way to dinner with friends. We were late while I photographed. Fortunately our friends understand my quirks.

We enjoyed loads of good movies (reviews HERE), and I read five good books. Spoiler-less reviews ahead, but first the statistics.

Recap:
September: total pages: 1673; 5 books (no rejects)
2013 Recap to date:
Total pages read: 10573
Number of books read: 27
Chunksters (over 450 pages): 10
Non-fiction: 4
Fiction: 1
Mystery: 3
Historical fiction: 1
Thriller/Spy: 14
Young Adult/Youth: 3
Pictures / Animal: 1

September Books:
Book #23
Fatal Forecast: An Incredible True Tale of Disaster and Survival at Sea by Tougias, Michael J.

Genre: Non-fiction
Pages: 244

Not quite as good as Overboard!, but still a most compelling read. Tougias give depth to each person in the story.

Recommend.

Book #24
Lil BUB’s Lil Book: The Extraordinary Life of the Most Amazing Cat on the Planet Hardcover by Lil BUB

Genre: Pictures / Animal
Pages: 128

Little book filled with 128 totally delightful pages of pics of “Lil BUB” on an adventure. Brings a smile to my face. Buy it. Buy several and give them away. You’ll be glad you did.

Recommend.

Book #25
The Apostle by Thor, Brad

Genre: Thriller/Spy
Pages: 357
Recommend

Review is HERE.

Book #26
Fire Along the Sky by Donati, Sara

Genre: Historical Fiction/Romance
Pages: 688 (chunkster)
Recommend

Review is HERE.

Book #27
Secrets at Sea by Peck, Richard

Genre: Youth
Pages: 256

I’ll admit that having spent months last year dealing with mice in our car and then rats in our garage (thanks to a neighbor who wasn’t dealing with their garbage), reading a story where mice are the main characters was almost too much to bear; but Peck created charming mice within an endearing story. Totally fun read and a nice break from the heavier read for the month.

Recommend

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Fire Along the Sky by Sara Donati

Book #26
Fire Along the Sky
Donati, Sara

Genre: Historical Fiction/Romance
Pages: 688 (chunkster)
Book 4/6 in “Wilderness Saga”
Recommend

I started this series in 2011, but I don’t remember how, why or who. Likely someone mentioned them on a book list, or a friend from the library said they were good reads. If the person who suggested this series to me is reading this: my thanks.

As with the last story in this series, this was a wonderful read with a good blending of history and the author’s imagination. There are rich characters that draw you in and make you wish you were part of this family—or at the very least, a close friend. There is suspense, danger, love, hatred—all the human emotions that make us who we are. My heart thrilled over the joyous news and events, and broke over the difficult.

My one dislike is the same as always, the intimacy is a bit much for me and I don’t think it advances the story, so I skip parts. If intimate scenes bother you and you can’t skip them, then skip this book. Otherwise, pick it up and dive in. It’s an enjoyable read for rainy weather.

Definitely recommend this series.

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The Apostle by Brad Thor

apostle

Book #25
The Apostle
Thor, Brad
Genre: Thriller/Spy
Pages: 357
Recommend

As a long time fan of Brad Thor’s ‘Scot Harvath’ series, I expect certain things in each book: patriotism, adventure, political conflicts, terrorism, and a good read that keeps me interested and entertained. The Apostle met all my expectations and then some.

The characters, both friend and foe, were well developed; the settings fit the story; and I found myself cheering at the end of chapter 60.

By the time I reached the very end, I was glad for a break—yet wishing there was more to the story. Best of all, I felt proud to be an American; and, sadly, I seldom feel that way with our current president. I’m thankful for the freedoms I enjoy, and I’m deeply grateful to every man and woman who serve (and have served) in order that I might live in this wonderful country.

I join the heroes of this book in the closing words of this book:

With that, all of the men in the room raised their bottles and in unison said, “To the United States of America.” – The Apostle (Brad Thor), page 357

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Lil BUB’s Lil Book

Book #24
Lil BUB’s Lil Book: The Extraordinary Life of the Most Amazing Cat on the Planet Hardcover
by Lil BUB
Genre: Pictures / Animal
Pages: 128
Highly Recommend

Little book filled with 128 totally delightful pages of pics of “Lil BUB” on an adventure. This book brought a smile to my face. Actually, just thinking about it makes me smile. Okay, I’m a cat lover and Lil BUB makes me smile. She encourages me. She doesn’t care that she’s different. Her disabilities don’t stop her. She never gives up. She’s a reminder of God’s grace and love. I adore this cat (who I’ve never even met), and I adored this lil’ book.

Buy this book. Buy several and give them away. You’ll be glad you did.

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August 2013: movies, books and a monster

Great month! I grew older and became a Beatles song, we enjoyed the annual quilt show, did some fun shopping, mourned my lost geraniums, went to a picnic with friends, attended the Wooden Boat show.

We watched several good movies and thoroughly enjoyed a Harry Potter movie marathon—finishing it on my birthday just as I’d hoped.

Movies:
~Enigma (see review)
~Red 2 (see review)
~Spitfire Grill (see review)
~A Blueprint for Murder (see review)

~WYATT EARP (1994)
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0111756/
Cast: Kevin Costner, Dennis Quaid, Gene Hackman
Good cast. Good cinematography. Fairly true to real life. Slow in spots. Recommend.

~MOONSTRUCK (1987)
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0093565/
Cast: Cher, Nicolas Cage, Olympia Dukakis
We like the humor, the characters, the story and the cast as a whole. However, Cage is a dork, and some of the dialogue is sooooo bad it made us cringe. Still a fun re-watch. Recommend.

~TREASURE ISLAND (1934) with a very young Jackie Cooper and Wallace Beery as Long John Silver.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0025907/
Pretty bad. Beery didn’t have that great pirate voice that Robert Newton made so famous in the 1950 version. Stilted acting. I wondered to myself why we were watching this, when finally hubby said, “Okay. What else do we have to watch?” LOL Fortunately, I ordered the 1950 version on dvd as a surprise for hubby (who adores that version of this movie, and has fond memories of the book and the movie), so a few nights later we watched …

~TREASURE ISLAND (1950) with Bobby Driscoll as Jim Hawkins, and Robert Newton as Long John Silver.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0043067/
Now then, matey, if ye haven’t yet seen this here version of the grand story from Robert Louis Stevenson, why then ye can’t be a’callin’ yerself a real pirate!

~Ever After: A Cinderella Story (1998)
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120631/
The “real” story of Cinderella. A refreshing new take on the classic fairy tale.
Cast: Drew Barrymore, Anjelica Huston, Dougray Scott
We last watched this in 2006 and found it a 5-star delight. It held up to our memory and we had a great time munching popcorn and watching.

~The Associate (1996)
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0115580/
A comedy about making it on Wall Street. Prejudices are hard to break and Laurel Ayres quickly learns that in order for people to take her seriously she has to work for an older white man …
Cast: Whoopi Goldberg, Dianne Wiest, Eli Wallach, Tim Daly and Bebe Neuwirth
One of those goofy movies where nothing makes sense, and yet it rings of reality.

Books:
~Book #19: Hidden Order by Brad Thor
Genre: Mystery
Pages: 384
Don’t recommend

(rejected The Last Man by Vince Flynn)

~Book #20: Ruby Holler by Creech, Sharon
Genre: Youth (8-12)
Pages: 310
Recommend with a caution.

~Book #21: The Astronaut Wives Club by Koppel, Lily
Genre: Non-fiction
Pages: 322
Don’t recommend

~Book #22: The Last Patriot by Thor, Brad
Genre: Thriller/Spy
Pages: 342
This was a top read in 2009 and I commented that I found it “exciting and timely”. This time I found it disappointing and unsatisfying. The ending was abrupt, several things were never truly resolved, not enough “action”, and I know that Thor writes better than this book. Don’t recommend unless you desire to read the entire Harvath series from Thor.

Recap:
August: total pages: 1358; 4 books (with 3 rejected)
2013 Recap to date:
Total pages read: 8900
Number of books read: 22
Chunksters (over 450 pages): 9
Non-fiction: 3
Fiction: 1
Mystery: 3
Historical fiction:
Thriller/Spy: 13
Young Adult/Youth: 2

Finally, on one of our drives we stopped to watch the ocean and were treated to a sea monster. Wonder who created him?

seamonster

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The Last Patriot by Brad Thor

Book #22
The Last Patriot
Thor, Brad
Genre: Thriller/Spy
Pages: 342
Don’t recommend unless you desire to read the entire Harvath series from Thor.

This was a top read for me in 2009 and I commented that I found it “exciting and timely”. This time I found it disappointing and unsatisfying. The ending was abrupt, several things were never truly resolved, there wasn’t enough “action”, and I know that Thor writes better than this book.

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