Sunday, January 27, 2008

Double Cross by James Patterson

Alex Cross does double duty. He has to capture two diabotical killers causing murder and mayhem.

It's been awhile since I read an Alex Cross novel but the villians seem far more interesting characters in this book.

If this was summer, I'd say it's a good beach read. Short chapters. Plot moves quickly. The reader doesn't have to pay a lot of attention to plot, characters etc. I knocked this book off in two days.

Not a bad book for a guy who wants to pass on TV for the weekend and read something more entertaining than the Sunday papers.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA by Tim Weiner

Weiner describes the history of the Central Intelligence Agency from its start during World War II to 9/11/2001. While it may not be as entertaining as an Ian Fleming or Robert Ludlum spy novel, it nonetheless is an interesting read.

What strikes this reader throughout the book is how poorly the roles and responsibilities of the CIA are. It is no wonder that the results of the Agency are mixed, at best.

Weiner describes, in detail, a number of different operations the CIA has been involved. Those stories make compelling reading, particularly the descriptions and actions of the characters involved.

It's not a short read (over 448 pages). If you are into our history of "spooks and spies," you will enjoy this book.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Promised Land by Robert B. Parker

This is an early Spenser mystery book published in 1976. There were references to a "leisure suit" and another to David Frye. I doubt if anyone born after 1980 could identify the references. (David Frye was an impressionist in the 70's. He was particularly good at imitating former President Nixon.)

I was looking for an easy book to read and I knocked this off in a few hours.

This book was somewhat interesting as it described Spenser's and Hawk's early uneasy friendship and business relationship. Susan is only a high school guidance counselor, not the psychologist she is in the more current books.

If you're looking for easy reading, some mystery and very good dialogue, check out the Spenser mystery series.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Brief Bytes of Book Reviews

Rules for Renegades by Christine Comaford-Lynch

Very interesting business, personal and career advice from a very smart, ambitious and talented lady. Comaford-Lynch offers a lot of unique perspectives. She was a model, a monk, an entrepreneur, a Bill Gates date and has mingled with some high level business and political personalities. (Read her encounter with former President Bill Clinton and how she handled it.) She offers a number of ideas and strategies that you will not read in other business self help and management books. Great story teller!

The Gold Coast by Nelson DeMille

I read the first six chapters and quickly leafed to the end of the book to see if I wanted to invest the time to read 634 pages. I didn't.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Day of Reckoning by Patrick J. Buchanan

I found the subtitle of his book (How Hubris, Ideology, and Greed are Tearing America Apart) intriguing and bought it. This book is part of the pile on George W's administration and Presidency.

However Buchanan was preaching to the choir (me, the reader) for the most part. I agree that our country has been "Balkanized" in terms of divisions of race, religion, income and education.

I prefer Buchanan's rants on The McLaughlin Group or MSNBC to his books or articles.

If you've been hiding under a rock the past 10 years or haven't read a book or newspaper, then you may find Buchanan's book and arguments enlightening.

Borrow it from your public library if you get the chance or just watch Pat on TV.