Category: Book Reviews

Book Review: The Fifth Gospel by Ian Caldwell

The Fifth GospelThe Fifth Gospel by Ian Caldwell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Intrigued by the premise of this book, I came at it with an open mind and wasn’t disappointed.

I starts at a dramatic and unrelenting pace and pauses just long enough for some eloquently lyrical moments of reflection into the human condition, from the loss of parents, the relationship between siblings, failed marriage, longing, reconciliation, and finally the recognition that God is at work in all of it.

Very well done, with just one or two moments required for that ‘willing suspension of disbelief’ that all good drama needs.

Actually, I would’ve mistaken this for Dan Brown with it’s twist on science and faith, and especially from the pace at which I had to keep turning the pages.

Superb stuff.

Highly recommended as a challenging and rollicking read.

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Book Review: Fierce Patriot: The Tangled Lives of William Tecumseh Sherman by Robert L. O’Connell

Fierce Patriot: The Tangled Lives of William Tecumseh ShermanFierce Patriot: The Tangled Lives of William Tecumseh Sherman by Robert L. O’Connell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’ve been fascinated with Grant & Sherman for most of my adult life.

The friendship that won the Civil War.

This book was an interesting insight into William Tecumseh Sherman, detailing all aspects of who he was: West Pointer, banker, husband, Uncle Billy, and General Sherman. It showed so much of his strategic thinking, in and out of the military, and how is life led him to the March through Georgia.

Sherman is either loved or vilified, there really is no in between. He also didn’t care. He did what had to be done.

Reading this will tell you more about the man, how he became the legend, and how he made sure the myth would live on.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone looking into studying Sherman, to learn more about his career, the war, and his life long battle with Catholicism.

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Book Review: Claude Monet by Nina Kalitina

Claude MonetClaude Monet by Nina Kalitina
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Forever and always my favorite painter.

I adore Impressionism.

And this book is a good look into Monet’s life, inspirations and ambitions.

Ahhh… to paint like that!

Highly recommended for anyone who’s interested in but as yet knows little or nothing about Monet.

Nicely written, easy style.

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Book Review: Death at La Fenice (Commissario Brunetti, #1) by Donna Leon

Death at La Fenice (Commissario Brunetti, #1)Death at La Fenice by Donna Leon
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Found this on Kindle Unlimited, and having just finished one book about characters in Venice, decided to try another.

I’m very glad I did.

I totally enjoyed this and it kept me guessing superbly.

Commissario Brunetti is a fascinating and multi-layered character I absolutely want to know more about!

I’m going to find book 2 in the series for sure.

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Book Review: The Professor (McMurtrie and Drake Legal Thrillers, #1) by Robert Bailey

The Professor (McMurtrie and Drake Legal Thrillers, #1)The Professor by Robert Bailey
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started reading The Professor. I always enjoyed John Grisham, so diving into a Court Room style book series, sounded fun and interesting.

I liked Tom McMurtrie (The Professor) instantly. He is a very real character, facing real issues and dealing with getting knocked down and trying to find his way back up. While Rick Drake is just starting to find his way in life. Their own personal history, clouds their professional lives yet, it has brought them together to take on the greed of one man.

The female characters in this weren’t two dimensional, though I would’ve loved to see Dawn take on Tyler, but maybe in the next book. He beautifully showed symmetry, while contrasting how the two star witnesses to the case handled themselves under pressure, and what they were willing to do for their kids.

I’m looking forward to the next book (already downloaded on my Kindle). Especially as it’s about Bo – who out of all the side characters was the one I wanted to get to know.

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Book Review: The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

The Song of AchillesThe Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Deserves more than 5 stars!!!

Every now and then, you find a book that changes the way you think about certain elements of life, the world and everything.

This is one of those books, and it impacts the reader on THAT level.

Told from the point of view of Patroclus, lover of Achilles, this story retells the famous myths of the life and death of the greatest hero in Ancient Greece, making it accessible for a modern audience who might not be too inclined to read The Iliad etc..

The LGBT themes running through this aren’t too heavy or angsty either, and the author has woven them in such a way that they draw on the issues that are being faced today by the LGBT community and how the world views LGBT issues.

Brilliant, exciting, and a highly recommended reading.

I’m going to be enthusing about this book for a very long time!

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Book Review: Enter the Saint by Leslie Charteris

Enter the SaintEnter the Saint by Leslie Charteris
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Who hasn’t heard of The Saint. You may have seen the TV Show with Roger Moore, or the film adaption with Val Kilmer (which we won’t talk about) … though you might not know exactly who The Saint was, you have had heard of him.

I picked this book up on my Kindle Unlimited, and was like okay lets go for it. I enjoyed these three smaller novellas thoroughly. I laughed, snorted, rolled my eyes, and had a great time while reading them. If you’re expecting more, you won’t get it with the Saint.

I wouldn’t recommend the whole series as over time there were many author’s writing The Saint, but I would recommend picking up one or two from the earlier years. You’ll fall in love with Simon Templar instantly, and his crew of Saints.

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Book Review: The Fencing Master by Arturo Pérez-Reverte

The Fencing MasterThe Fencing Master by Arturo Pérez-Reverte
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a truly remarkable book that hooked me from the first paragraph (which so rarely happens that I actually bought it without a second thought!).

Highly recommended!

Slow burning, brilliantly executed, stunningly graphic and beautiful, emotive and powerful.

I seriously want to hug the Fencing Master himself right now…

*sigh*

This piece caught me most of all, because YES!:

“We find ourselves in the last of the three generations history chooses to repeat every now and then. The first generation needs a god, and so they invent one. The second erects temples to that god and tries to imitate him. And the third uses the marble from those temples to build brothels in which to worship their own greed, lust, and dishonesty. And that is why gods and heroes are always, inevitably, succeeded by mediocrities, cowards, and imbeciles.”

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Book Review: Go by Kazuki Kaneshiro, Takami Nieda (Translator)

This is one of the books from Amazon’s World Book Day.

GoGo by Kazuki Kaneshiro
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I randomly stumbled onto this book through Amazon Crossing, and wasn’t at all sure about it, as ‘coming of age’ stories really don’t attract me at all, but being curious I gave it a try and I was drawn into the cultural relevance of this story from the start.

It’s a very easy read and not particularly long, but I feel as though I have been quite dramatically educated on Japanese culture and Japanese society.

Excellent translation! Highly recommended reading!

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Book Review: Conclave by Robert Harris

ConclaveConclave by Robert Harris
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh my Lord, I couldn’t put this down despite needing to because daily life was getting in the way!

This story is absolutely brilliant, meticulously detailed, wonderfully insightful, with a kick in the end that still has me grinning and applauding even now as I write this.

Robert Harris never fails to bring the goods, and keep you turning the pages.

Awesome!

Highly recommended. And even if you’re not Catholic, this book will resonate for sure!

Love it!

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