Saturday, October 01, 2022

Book Review: "Portrait of an Unknown Woman" by Daniel Silva

With Gabriel Allon's retirement from Israeli intelligence, one might think that would have to be the end for compelling stories of his exploits. One would be wrong.

By continuing Gabriel's involvement in the art world and his readiness to help a friend in need, Gabriel turns into a private sleuth who, with the help of friends and colleagues, looks into a major art forgery ring and the crimes it has engaged in, including murders.

Yet another page-turner from Daniel Silva. He's one of those writers whose style is engaging and compelling, and he's provided page-turning entertainment once again!

Tuesday, September 07, 2021

Review: Facemask Philosophy by Thomas Hankins (Buy this book! A really great one!)

I'm staggered by the wisdom in these pages, collected in a set of poems. Thomas Hankins brings us into his world, the world of a young black man with a gift for reflection and language. His emotion is evident throughout this book, from his joy at seeing the success of friends, some current and some estranged, to his pain at watching racism take its toll, to his insight as he examines where his life has been and where it may go.

This isn't a big book, but it had more impact on me than many far longer works. I'm impressed by the power of Mr. Hankins' words, and I'm sure far more greatness will emerge from him in the years ahead. This book is well worth buying and worth taking the time to sit and absorb. True food for thought and inspiration!

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Book Review: The Cellist by Daniel Silva


I very much enjoyed The Cellist. I've seen a number of reviewers on Goodreads whose political views were offended by the author's use of the insurrection we suffered in January as part of the plot and who then trashed the book. As much as I have tolerated many right-wing views in books of fictional spycraft, etc., including by Tom Clancy whose later books had characters slamming liberals or giving anti-abortion speeches, as well as more recent authors, I would think those whose views differ might understand that an author using real-world events to further his plot is just doing what he feels makes for a better story. There's a major event in this book (that I won't explain here so I don't spoil it) that turns on the extreme views of certain individuals who we've all seen on the news.

The book itself focuses largely on the efforts of our longtime adversary, Russia, and its president, a money-hungry opponent of free elections. Russia and Israel remain staunch adversaries, and the plot revolves around Gabriel Allon's efforts to upend Russian money laundering efforts and ongoing initiatives to undermine the Western countries' way of life. Clearly, from some of the other Goodreads reviews, this book isn't for everyone, but I found it well written and entertaining.

Monday, August 02, 2021

Book Review: The Professional by Evan Mandery

A good author writes relatable characters whose dialog moves smoothly and believably. A great author can do this with a subject that otherwise would be of no interest to a reader but pull them in anyhow. That's what happened here.

You would be hard-pressed to find someone less interested in golf than I am. Even so, I found myself reading The Professional and truly enjoying it, even though it's very much a golf book. It tells the story of David Howard, a very talented golfer, as we see different parts of his life, the lifelong effort to reach the top of his game, and the struggles that go on, both in his head and in the competitive world he inhabits.

If you like golf, you'll love this book. If you don't like golf, well, you may love this book anyhow.

Friday, July 09, 2021

Book Review: Arctic Storm Rising by Dale Brown

I liked Arctic Storm Rising. It's very much in the vein of Tom Clancy's early work, although it's not quite that level of writing. Even so, it was entertaining and a quick read. (3 out of 5 stars)

Wednesday, June 02, 2021

Book review: Lost in Paris by Elizabeth Thompson

I loved Lost in Paris. Normally, I'd say this isn't my type of book. Part romance, part family drama, but it really was a well-told story. This novel follows a young woman with a blossoming career and a checkered relationship with her mother, who suddenly finds them thrown together because of family history and a new, exciting discovery.

This discovery brings them to Paris and the possibility of new things for their lives, some good, some bad, in the City of Light. I highly recommend Lost in Paris, both for those into this type of story and for those who loves Paris.

Sunday, May 09, 2021

"Mike Nichols: A Life" (4 out of 5 stars)

This is the story of an extraordinary life, intertwined with other extraordinary lives. The stories in these pages are well told, and even as Mike Nichols' life draws to a close (not really a spoiler) as we reach the end of the book, there's a feeling of happiness for a life well lived, one that enriched millions of others with entertainment.