Welcome to my blog where I share my book reviews
and life along the winding road

Friday, June 21, 2024

The Dictionary of Lost Words by Pip Williams


The Dictionary of Lost Words by Pip Williams was an interesting story but I found it didn't hold  my attention. The story is taken from the history of the Oxford English Dictionary.  James Murray (the editor) gave his children the task of sorting the slips of paper into alphabetical order. The original collection contained 10 volumes!

From the cover:
Esme is born into a world of words.  Motherless and irrepressibly curious, she spends her childhood in the Scriptorium, an Oxford garden shed in which her father and a team of dedicated lexicographers are collecting words for the very first Oxford English Dictionary. Esme's place is beneath the sorting table. One day a slip of paper containing the word bondmaid flutters beneath the table. She rescues the slip and begins to collect other words. As she grows up she realizes words relating to women and common folk often go unrecorded. She begins her own dictionary . . .

Friday, June 14, 2024

The Falling Woman by Richard Farrell

 The Falling Woman by Richard Farrell covers the investigation of a cross country flight. When the jet comes apart mid-air, National Safety Board Investigator, Charlie Radford, has the difficult task of finding the cause. To add to the mystery is a woman found alive in a barn and appears to be one of the passengers. But while the investigating team are trying to discover who she is, Erin Geraghty is intent on staying out of the limelight and prefers to be presumed dead.

Friday, June 7, 2024

The Litigators by John Grisham

 John Grisham always gives an in depth look into the seedy world of litigation. The Litigators novel focuses on the pharmaceutical industry and the side affects that many of the well publicized drugs might incur.

David Zinc works at a prestigious Chicago law firm but is already getting burned out when he comes across a boutique law firm operated by Wally Figg and Oscar Finley. The two get by with DUIs, divorces and an occasional break from ambulance chasing. Deciding to join the firm for a less stressful life, David instead finds himself in the thick of a lawsuit, which Wally Figg believes will make them all rich, against a large drug company. Unfortunately Wally and Oscar are not exceptional litigators and David has never tried a case in court. 

Friday, May 31, 2024

Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt


Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt was a lovely read. 

Tova, who had lost both her husband and son, works at night cleaning a local oceanside aquarium. In her 70s she enjoys meeting with friends once a week in their group called the Knit-Wits. Most of their meetings involve drinking tea, gossiping and supporting each other but when she becomes "friends" with a giant Pacific octopus, that frequently escapes his tank, she doesn't share the event with her friends even when they notice sucker shaped bruises on her arm where the octopus had "hugged" her.

After her brother dies, Tova starts to re-evaluate where she wants to spend her remaining life but she still has a nagging need to know what really happened to her eighteen year old son, lost at sea.

Friday, May 24, 2024

Pandemic by Robin Cook


Robin Cook's  Pandemic was published shortly before the Covid Pandemic and it shows how New York had some preparedness for such an event. 

The thriller follows medical examiner Jack Stapleton when a young woman, who had recently received a heart transplant, dies on a subway train. The case seems eerily similar to the rapid deaths of those during the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic. Although it appears to be a virus that caused her death, nothing quite adds up. Never  to shy away from a problem, Jack does his own investigating which takes him to a hospital in New Jersey where suspicious biological research is taking place. Meeting the billionaire Chinese owner of the facility leads to further concerns and Jack finds himself in the middle of unfolding events.

Friday, May 17, 2024

The President and the Freedom Fighter by Brian Kilmeade


In The President and the Freedom Fighter, Brian Kilmeade follows the lives  of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass through the unrest of America with those fighting slavery and the South trying to maintain its legality.

Both men were born into humble beginnings with Frederick Douglass into slavery and Abraham  Lincoln into poverty but both fought hard to seek an education and make significant changes in their quest to provide Freedom for All. The goal was to  abolish slavery while  keeping The Constitution in tact. 

The book is very well written and gives a deeper look into what both men endured and the sacrifices they made.

Friday, May 10, 2024

Fair Warning by Michael Connelly


Michael Connelly covers many controversial subjects in his mysteries and Fair Warning is  no exception. With the trend of discovering ancestry, and submitting personal DNA to various entities, unscrupulous companies may sell the information - the data may not be safe. In Fair Warning it comes with tragic results.

Veteran reporter Jack McEvoy has taken down killers before, but when a woman he had a one night stand with is brutally murdered he realizes he might be facing a criminal mind not encountered before. He investigates and discovers multiple similar deaths by a vicious killer hunting women using genetic data to select his victims.