Mega Book Review Time – Been awhile and that’s ok.

Holy cow folks, it’s been a LONG time since I’ve done a book review on the site!  I know that’s not really the main focus of our blog, but it’s still something that I’d like to do.  A couple of quick observations before I get started:

1) I really enjoy starting out blog posts with expletives, very odd really, but that’s the way I talk.

2) I apparently don’t read as much young adult fiction as I used to, but I do still enjoy it

3) I never list cookbooks in books that I read.  I simply don’t count it if I haven’t actually “read” it cover to cover.

4) I’m actually branching out and getting some non-fiction items into my reading rotation

5) I’m going to keep the reviews really short and sweet, like a couple of sentences a piece.  If you care to know more just drop a message and I’ll be happy to fill in some more comments.

6) Unless it completely distracts me from the story, I generally won’t have comments about grammar.  As you can tell I suck at grammar anyway.
Books and more books
Onto the books:

A Bard’s Oath by Joanne Bertin

I’ve been waiting for this book for YEARS.  Like 10 years in fact.  This is the third and final book in a series about dragonlords, a group of weredragons that are essentially the judges of the world they live in.  While not as focused on the dragonlords as the other books and more focused on a different kind of magic that bards possess it was a really fun read and a nice conclusion to the series.  I would give it a 7 out of 10.  It fell short of the other 2 books otherwise it would be higher.

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Future by Michael J Fox

This book was written in some context as a commencement charge.  I’ve always liked Michael J Fox and am inspired by his fight through Parkinson’s disease, so when I saw the book I thought it would be a fun read.  I wasn’t disappointed and it was a very quick read.  It’s such an encouragement to hear about a person that has fought through their trials, succeeds and yet admits that it’s not all been wonderful.  I give this book an 8 out of 10.

The Venetian Betrayal by Steve Berry

Good mindless escape fiction.  This is the 3rd book in the Cotton Malone series.  I like recurring characters, and I loved the settings picked out for this book.  There is something so fantastic and romantic about Italy.  This gives you some mystery, some action, a little bit of romance.  All wrapped around solving a puzzle related to Greek Fire.  I liked it, it made me happy, a solid 7 out of 10.

The Charlemagne Conspiracy by Steve Berry

This is the 4th book in the Cotton Malone series.  This gives us more insight into Cotton’s life back story which I think is a good thing.  It has a lot to do with German History/the belief of an Aryan society.  Other than that, see the comments above.  I found it a little less entertaining than the last one, but still liked it, I’ll give it a 6 out of 10.

White Jacket Required by Jenna Weber

This is a biography of how Jenna from Eat Live Run ended up going through culinary school and ended up blogging.  What a great story of suffering, perseverance and life in general.  I read it after Jackie suggested it to me.  She wasn’t kidding, I devoured this and just loved reading about her life and in particular what culinary school consisted of.  It was really encouraging, heart warming and just made me feel like wanting to know more.  If only the world had more people like Jenna.  I would give this a 10 out of 10.

The 5 People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom

I know this book has been around for awhile, and at one time it was on many people’s book lists.  I read through it and I found the stories somewhat interesting, but at the same time it was kind of slow.  Each of the 5 people tie the story back to one person’s life story.  Certain stories in here were better than others.  I didn’t really have much of a take away, and for the most part I was pretty ambivalent about the book.  I’d give it a 4 out of 10.  I didn’t end up just putting it down and giving up, but its not a book I’d really recommend either.

The 12th Imam by Joel C Rosenberg

This is the first book in a series involving David Shirazi.  It’s a CIA type thriller with biblical end times items mixed in.  I always love CIA/Spy type novels, and I’m a sucker for certain types of Christian fiction.  I found this to be good in its message, but it really sticks more to being a spy novel so I liked it even better.  I give this an 8 out of 10.

The Terahn Initiative by Joel C Rosenberg

2nd book in the David Shirazi series.  I enjoyed it equally with the first book and it picks up right where we left off with no gap in time.  I’d give this another 8 out of 10.

Three Signs of a Miserable Job by Patrick Lencioni

I ended up reading this book as a learning assignment at work.  Now I got a list of about 20 books to pick from and I grabbed this one, mostly just by the title.  It immediately grasped me and promised a management story in the form of a parable.  I can honestly say I’ve never read a better business book.  It was so easy to read, the power of the story drew me in and I thought there was so much to actually take away from this.  I’ve been using it with my team ever since reading.  I suggest it to anyone looking for a little enrichment in their business lives at any level.  A resounding 10 out of 10 for me.

SuperFreakonomics: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes, and Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner

I’ve always been intrigued by the Freakonomics book, unfortunately I haven’t read that yet, but this one was available for free from the library for my Kindle, so I started here.  The stories made economics theories very interesting because it tackles non typical topics.  It grabbed me, and I just kept digging in.  It’s really given me a different point of view for looking at certain problems and situations.  It also makes me paranoid of hospitals, but that’s for you to find out.  😉  I’d give this an 9 out of 10.  It was very good and made me feel enlightened at the end of the day.

Calico Joe by John Grisham

If you’re a baseball fan you should treat yourself to this little fictional work.  It’s a short novel, but it’s fantastic how Grisham weaves a story of a fictional character around many of the greats that we’re all aware of.  The book is a very easy read, Grisham is in no ways wordy or the greatest literary genius, but he sure makes books that the masses love.  I rate this book at an 8 out of 10.  I really enjoyed it, but I honestly wanted it to keep going on.

Stuff Christians Like by Jonathan Acuff

This book is really a collection of blog posts from Stuffchristianslike.net.  If you’re looking for a humorous read this works.  I definitely found certain areas of the book more amusing than others, but it was uncanny how spot on some of the items were.  We’re a fickle bunch us Christians.   I wouldn’t ever find myself going back and reading it again, but I would recommend it to people.  I give it a 6 out of 10.

The Damascus Countdown by Joel C Rosenberg

This is the 3rd  book in the David Shirazi series.  I’m hoping that its not the last, but I honestly can’t tell you after reading it.  Lots of action in here, a good plot line continues with lot of characters to root for and against.  I enjoyed it just a little better than the first 2 books.  I basically finished it on the plane on the way too and from Florida so it was engaging to say the least.  I’d give this a 9 out of 10.

 

If you’ve stuck through all these, who’s your favorite author or what are you reading?  I’m always up for something new.

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