The Lame “My 10 Favorites of 2010” Post
Opinion / December 31, 2010

This year has been a tough year for me.  Many changes were either implemented on decided on in many aspects of my and my family’s life.  I think that starting this blog has helped me stay a bit sane in an insane year. Why end the year on a lame “top 10” list? No reason, who the hell is going to read any meaningful (or not so meaningful) post on New Year’s Eve anyway? These are the top 10 books I reviewed, not read or published this year. Without further ado – my favorites of 2010 (in alphabetical order): Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese Child 44 by Rob Tom Smith Devil’s Garden by Ace Atkins Kingdom Under Glass by Jay Kirk A Long, Long Time Ago and Essentially True by Brigid Pasulka Purge by Sofi Oksanen The Secret History of the Mongol Queens by Jack Weatherford The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón Three Seconds by Anders Roslund and Borge Hellström Washington – A Life by Ron Chernow Zohar – Man of la Book Related articles Cutting for Stone. Abraham Verghese. (regnordman.com) Eason Top Ten Ebooks ~ October 2010 (teleread.com)

Author Q and A with Steve Anderson
Author Q&A / December 28, 2010

When I started to read “The Losing Role” I immediately knew that I have something special in my hands – I couldn’t resist an espionage novel set in World War II. The author, Steve Anderson (Website | Facebook | Twitter), has been kind enough to answer a few questions about his ideas, research and social media.

Book Review: The Losing Role by Steve Anderson
4 Stars , Historical Fiction / December 27, 2010

Max Kaspar, a.k.a. failed German-American actor Maximilian von Kaspar, is fighting on the Eastern front when he is drafted by the SS for an unknown mission. Soon Max discovers that he has been recruited to impersonate American officers and cause havoc behind enemy lines.

Book Review: Corked by Kathryn Borel
3 Stars , Biographies & Memoirs / December 26, 2010

I got this book for free. My rating for Corked – 3 About: “Corked” by Kathryn Borel is a memoir of a trip Ms. Borel and her father took down the unfamiliar roads of France in 2005.  This was not just a road trip, Mr. Borel, a Frenchman, is a wine connoisseur who posses limitless knowledge of wines and ways to annoy his daughter. Thoughts: Synopsis: Kathryn Borel, having a killed a man in a traffic accident, decides to reconnect with her father who, according to her, will ultimatly die.  The father and dauther team up to visit French vineyards in an effort to connect. Throughout the trip Mr. Borel’s knowledge of fine wines shines through while his daughter feels obligated to make him proud and bond over their mutual love of wine. I liked this book much better than the other selfish and needy memoir (book review) that made far more headlines this year.

Book Review: Stories Behind the Best-Loved Songs of Christmas by Ace Collins
2 Stars , Fiction , Non-Fiction / December 24, 2010

I got this book for free My rating for Stories Behind the Best-Loved Songs of Christmas – 2 About: “Stories Behind the Best-Loved Songs of Christmas” by Ace Collins (Website) is a short book, divided into sections, each corresponding to a beloved Christmas song. The book is arranged alphabetically and includes lyrics to most of the songs. A perfect Christmas gift – Buy it here Thoughts: I was looking forward to read “Stories Behind the Best-Loved Songs of Christmas”, not only to get into the holiday spirit but also because I love this type of books since my childhood. These short stories filled with charming facts and little unknown tidbits were always fascinating to me. Not to mention a great resource in case I’ll be on “Jeopardy” one day. The premise of this book is quite interesting, that is telling the history of each carol or Christmas song. Mr. Collins is a good writer and makes the stories he writes about engaging and easy to read, but he lacks some serious research. The core fact of what the author is describing are woven with information which cannot be verified (such as putting thoughts in people’s heads) or is simply misleading…

Author Q and A with Tami Hoag
Author Q&A / December 21, 2010

Tami Hoag is the New York Times bestselling author and at the time of this post has thirteen consecutive best sellers.  Ms. Hoag was kind enough to take the time and answer a few questions, her responses are both enlightening and thought provoking.

Book Review: Secrets to the Grave by Tami Hoag
3 Stars , Fiction / December 20, 2010

While still trying to recover from the “See-no-evil” serial killer which shook the small town of Oak Knoll, CA a year ago, another gruesome murder has been committed.  Marissa Fordham is a mysterious resident of Oak Knoll, she is murdered and Haley, her four year old daughter, the only witness, barely survives.

For My Father
Opinion / December 17, 2010

My father died yesterday morning. After 27 years of fighting cancer, the last two years very aggressively, he succumbed; but not without a fierce fight. It took his heart 12.5 hours to stop beating after the tubes were taken out, his blood pressure was steady the whole time and he gobbled up 4 bags of morphine (“enough for a big elephant and a small elephant” as the nurse said). He died as he wished – in a dignified manner, peacefully and unaware. He was my hero and my role model. He taught me how to work (“it’s not done until you clean up“), how to drive and how fix everything from drywall to a water heater. This was a man who while weak as a child still got on his knees to play with the grandchildren in, what would turn out to be, the last weeks of his life. I will miss his special affection for conspiracy theories; “I know the government is tapping our line” – which many have been proven true after 9-11.  I will especially miss his sense of humor and sensibility.  On my marriage day he told me not to worry “only the first 35 years…

Book Review: A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick
4 Stars , Fiction / December 15, 2010

I bought this book. My rating for A Reliable Wife – 4 About: “A Reliable Wife” by Robert Goolrick (Website | Goodreads) is a fictional story about a 58 year old widower and his mail order bride. The story takes place in the frozen tundra of Wisconsin, as well as in the heated, burning desire of the characters’ hearts. Just how reliable of a wife she really is – click here to find out Thoughts: “A Reliable Wife” by Robert Goolrick is a wicked novel. Every character in the book has his or her own agenda, alliances and schemes. The freezing wasteland of Wisconsin is a perfect back dropfor this tale where the colder it gets, the hotter the heart and the madness becomes. This is a strange book, none of the characters are especially likable or identifiable, yet it works. The many faces of what we call “love”, a story desperation, deception and survival are all a factors. However, there are some drawbacks, there are some inconsistencies in the story and the ending is too convenient, tying everything up in a neat package. Nevertheless, the story is told in vivid narrative, it is sinful and tense, with flashes of…

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