Eadie B. (eadieburke) - Reviews

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2666: A Novel
2666: A Novel
Author: Roberto Bolano
Book Type: Audio CD
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 8/25/2015


Roberto Bolano's 2666 is a political masterpiece about the inescapable violence of modern life in Latin America. Written prior to his death from liver failure, Bolano asked his publishers to release it in 5 separate books because it would financially benefit his family. The heirs, however decided otherwise and the book was published in one lengthy volume. The five parts are linked by varying degrees of concern with unsolved murders of upwards of 300 young, poor, mostly uneducated Mexican women.


Part 1 describes a group of four European literary critics, the French Jean-Claude Pelletier, the Italian Piero Morini, the Spaniard Manuel Espinoza and the English woman Liz Norton and their search for the writer, Archimboldi.

Part 2 concentrates on Óscar Amalfitano, a Chilean professor of philosophy who fears Rosa will become another victim of the femicides plaguing the city.

Part 3 follows Oscar Fate, an American journalist from New York who begins to investigate the murders.

Part 4 depicts the police force in their mostly fruitless attempts to solve the crimes, as well as giving clinical descriptions of the circumstances and probable causes of the various homicides.

Part 5 takes us back to Archimboldi and explains his connection to the murderer of these women.

I listened to the audio of this novel and found it very interesting. Part 4 with the descriptions of one murder after another was a bit intense but Bolano is making a statement about how people are not too interested in solving these murders of low income women. I would recommend it to anyone interesting in Latin American literature.


6 Sacred Stones
6 Sacred Stones
Author: Matthew Reilly
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.5/5 Stars.
 42
Review Date: 5/18/2016


Book Description
THE END OF THE WORLD IS HERE

Unlocking the secret of the Seven Ancient Wonders was only the beginning...

After their thrilling exploits in Matthew Reilly's rampaging New York Times bestseller, 7 Deadly Wonders, super-soldier Jack West Jr. and his loyal team of adventurers are back, and now they face an all-but-impossible challenge.

A mysterious ceremony in an unknown location has unraveled their work and triggered a catastrophic countdown that will climax in no less than the end of all life on Earth.

But there is one last hope.

If Jack and his team can find and rebuild a legendary ancient device known only as the "Machine," they might be able to ward off the coming armageddon. The only clues to locating this Machine, however, are held within the fabled Six Sacred Stones, long lost in the fog of history.

And so the hunt begins for the Six Sacred Stones and the all-important knowledge they possess, but in the course of this wild adventure Jack and his team will discover that they are not the only ones seeking the Stones and that there might just be other players out there who don't want to see the world saved at all.

From Stonehenge in England to the deserts of Egypt to the spectacular Three Gorges region of China, The 6 Sacred Stones will take you on a nonstop roller-coaster ride through ancient history, modern military hardware, and some of the fastest and most mind-blowing action you will ever read.

My Review
This 2nd book in Matthew Reilly's trilogy has everything: ancient history, heroes, bad guys, clever plot twists, well researched locations, great humor and non-stop action. It's a page-turner that is unputdownable which ends with a major cliffhanger. Can't wait to delve into the next book in order to find out how Jack and his team work towards saving the world.


Above Suspicion
Above Suspicion
Author: Helen MacInnes
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.3/5 Stars.
 3
Review Date: 3/30/2016


Book Description
Richard and Frances Myles are preparing for their annual European summer vacation in 1939 when they are visited at their Oxford college by old friend Peter Galt, who has a seemingly simple job for them. But in the heightened atmosphere of pre-war Europe, nobody is above suspicion, in fact the husband and wife are being carefully monitored by shadowy figures.

Above Suspicion was MacInnes' breakthrough book, a bestseller published in 1941 and released as a movie in 1943, directed by Richard Thorpe and starring Joan Crawford and Fred MacMurray.

"Hide and seek with death - in the shadow of terror... The hallmarks of a MacInnes novel of suspense are as individual and as clearly stamped as a Hitchcock thriller." - The New York Times

My Review
This was a very good debut for Helen MacInnes and a very entertaining read. It was written prior to the invasion of Poland during WWII and you can definitely feel the tension of the times while reading. Richard and Frances Myles were very believable characters and it was amazing that in 1939 MacInnes was able to pinpoint the treatment by the Nazi gestapo. I would recommend this book to those interested in WW2 espionage and I look forward to reading more novels by Helen MacInnes.


The Accident: A Thriller
The Accident: A Thriller
Author: Linwood Barclay
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 74
Review Date: 6/6/2014


Glen Garber, a contractor, has seen his business shaken by the housing crisis, and now his wife, Sheila, is taking a business course at night to increase her chances of landing a good-paying job. But she should have been home by now. With their eight-year-old daughter sleeping soundly, Glen soon finds his worst fears confirmed: Sheila and two others have been killed in a car accident. Grieving and in denial, Glen resolves to investigate the accident himselfand begins to uncover layers of lawlessness beneath the placid surface of their Connecticut suburb, secret after dangerous secret behind the closed doors. Propelled into a vortex of corruption and illegal activity, pursued by mysterious killers, and confronted by threats from neighbors he thought he knew, Glen must take his own desperate measures and go to terrifying new places in himself to avenge his wife and protect his child.

My Review:
I really enjoyed reading The Accident which was a real page-turner and I read it in one day. Never saw the ending of this one and was greatly surprised. This was my first Barclay book but won't be my last.


After the Storm (Kate Burkholder, Bk 7)
After the Storm (Kate Burkholder, Bk 7)
Author: Linda Castillo
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 9
Review Date: 5/2/2017


This is a great series and should be read in order. I'm looking forward to the next one as it will be released very soon.


After You (Me Before You, Bk 2)
After You (Me Before You, Bk 2)
Author: Jojo Moyes
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 20
Review Date: 10/7/2016


Book Description
The sequel to Me Before You, which is now a major motion picture. Look out for Jojo's new book, Paris for One and Other Stories, coming October 18, 2016.

"We all lose what we love at some point, but in her poignant, funny way, Moyes reminds us that even if it's not always happy, there is an ever after." --Miami Herald

"You're going to feel uncomfortable in your new world for a bit. But I hope you feel a bit exhilarated too. Live boldly. Push yourself. Don't settle. Just live well. Just live. Love, Will."

How do you move on after losing the person you loved? How do you build a life worth living?

Louisa Clark is no longer just an ordinary girl living an ordinary life. After the transformative six months spent with Will Traynor, she is struggling without him. When an extraordinary accident forces Lou to return home to her family, she can't help but feel she's right back where she started.

Her body heals, but Lou herself knows that she needs to be kick-started back to life. Which is how she ends up in a church basement with the members of the Moving On support group, who share insights, laughter, frustrations, and terrible cookies. They will also lead her to the strong, capable Sam Fielding--the paramedic, whose business is life and death, and the one man who might be able to understand her. Then a figure from Will's past appears and hijacks all her plans, propelling her into a very different future. . .

For Lou Clark, life after Will Traynor means learning to fall in love again, with all the risks that brings. But here Jojo Moyes gives us two families, as real as our own, whose joys and sorrows will touch you deeply, and where both changes and surprises await.

My Review
This book was very good but I enjoyed Me Before You more. It was a good sequel to the first book in regards to dealing and grieving for a love one but didn't measure up to the first one which was a very emotional read. It was good to find out how Lou moves on and that she falls in love again. I would recommend this book to those who love fiction mixed in with emotional messages and I now look forward to reading other books by JoJo Moyes.


Aftermath (Inspector Banks, Bk 12)
Aftermath (Inspector Banks, Bk 12)
Author: Peter Robinson
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.1/5 Stars.
 8
Review Date: 6/23/2015


Peter Robinson, in my opinion, is one of the best writers of police procedurals. His characters are fascinating and believable. The stories get deeper and more meaningful and the characters richer and more complex with each new book. Alan Banks has grown to become a complicated man who is in conflict about his broken marriage and the demands of his job. I look forward to reading the next installment in the popular series.


Alamut
Alamut
Author: Vladimir Bartol
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.5/5 Stars.
 2
Review Date: 4/3/2015


I found this book to be a very interesting and exciting read. Even though it was written in 1938 it is very prevalent today. The characters are well developed and the plot is entertaining which makes the book hard to put down. I would definitely recommend this book to others.


The Alexandria Link (Cotton Malone, Bk 2)
The Alexandria Link (Cotton Malone, Bk 2)
Author: Steve Berry
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 126
Review Date: 10/24/2016


Book Description
Cotton Malone retired from the high-risk world of elite operatives for the U.S. Justice Department to lead the low-key life of a rare-book dealer. But his quiet existence is shattered when he receives an anonymous e-mail: "You have something I want. You're the only person on earth who knows where to find it. Go get it. You have 72 hours. If I don't hear from you, you will be childless." His horrified ex-wife confirms that the threat is real: Their teenage son has been kidnapped. When Malone's Copenhagen bookshop is burned to the ground, it becomes brutally clear that those responsible will stop at nothing to get what they want. And what they want is nothing less than the lost Library of Alexandria.

My Review
This is book 2 of The Cotton Malone series and I would have to say that it is my favorite. This book had it all - history mixed with religion and suspense. It was a fast moving plot with great characters and never a dull moment that kept the pages turning fast. I loved the short chapters with lots of cliffhangers that Steve Berry does so masterfully. Lots of twists and turns with surprises in the end make for very adventurous read. I'm now looking forward to the next Cotton Malone read and I would highly recommend this series to those who love fast-paced adventure with history and religion mixed in.


Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass (Signet Classics)
Review Date: 5/12/2015


This book is an enjoyable read for all years from 2 to 99 years old. It is a fantastic and fun read and should be read to children and grandchildren and handed down from generation to generation. Reading it as an adult, the symbolism is very noticeable in the narration. If you haven't read Alice before, you should not hesitate as it should not be missed!


All Souls (Vintage International)
All Souls (Vintage International)
Author: Javier Marias
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 5/22/2015


I love Marias' style of writing - it is like having an intimate conversation and you feel like you are in the middle of what's going on. The only problem I had with the book was that there was not much of a plot. The story was mainly an exploration of what constitutes trust, love, companionship and personal honesty. I would recommend this book to anyone who would want to find out what it's like to attend Oxford University.


All the Light We Cannot See: A Novel
All the Light We Cannot See: A Novel
Author: Anthony Doerr
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.3/5 Stars.
 49
Review Date: 9/4/2016


Book Description
WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE
From the highly acclaimed, multiple award-winning Anthony Doerr, the beautiful, stunningly ambitious instant New York Times bestseller about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II.

Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. When she is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure's reclusive great-uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum's most valuable and dangerous jewel.

In a mining town in Germany, the orphan Werner grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments, a talent that wins him a place at a brutal academy for Hitler Youth, then a special assignment to track the resistance. More and more aware of the human cost of his intelligence, Werner travels through the heart of the war and, finally, into Saint-Malo, where his story and Marie-Laure's converge.

Doerr's "stunning sense of physical detail and gorgeous metaphors" (San Francisco Chronicle) are dazzling. Deftly interweaving the lives of Marie-Laure and Werner, he illuminates the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another. Ten years in the writing, a National Book Award finalist, All the Light We Cannot See is a magnificent, deeply moving novel from a writer "whose sentences never fail to thrill" (Los Angeles Times).

My Review:
This was a very beautifully written book and one in which you love to savor every word. I found the beginning to be a tad slow but suddenly the book gets very interesting and you quickly find yourself much engrossed. The story switches back and forth between two different perspectives and comes together towards the end. It's a type of book that stays with you long after you finish reading it. The World War II history has been very well researched and this novel proves that there are many stories from that period that still need to be told. If you haven't read this masterpiece, you need to, as the story will leave you awe-inspired.


Amateurs
Amateurs
Author: Donald Barthelme, Donald Barthelme
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 2/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 4/22/2015


This book is a collection of stories by a master of deadpan wit and magical mockery. I do believe that Donald Barthelme was an excellent writer according to his qualifications, but I did not like this book at all. It made no sense to me. I kept reading hoping that soon I would understand the meaning of the book. There was no traditional plot structures, relying instead on a steady accumulation of seemingly-unrelated detail. He has been described as "the most influential unread author in United States history". I can believe that as I don't think I'll be reading another of his books. But, if you like strange fragmented ideas that may have some humor, then you should read this book.


The Amber Room
The Amber Room
Author: Steve Berry
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 72
Review Date: 3/11/2015


I found this book to be a very entertaining read. Lots of interesting historical facts mixed in with well-developed characters and action-packed plot. Steve Berry did a lot of research and it shows. Lots of information about the lost Amber Room, World War II and the search for lost treasure. I am also looking forward to reading my next Steve Berry novel.


Among the Wicked (Kate Burkholder, Bk 8)
Among the Wicked (Kate Burkholder, Bk 8)
Author: Linda Castillo
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.5/5 Stars.
 18
Review Date: 8/3/2016


Book Description
Chief of Police Kate Burkholder is called upon by the sheriff's department in rural, upstate New York to assist on a developing situation that involves a reclusive Amish settlement and the death of a young girl. Unable to penetrate the wall of silence between the Amish and "English" communities, the sheriff asks Kate to travel to New York, pose as an Amish woman, and infiltrate the community.

Kate's long time love interest, State Agent John Tomasetti, is dead set against her taking on such an unorthodox assignment, knowing she'll have limited communication - and even less in the way of backup. But Kate can't turn her back, especially when the rumor mill boils with disturbing accounts of children in danger. She travels to New York where she's briefed and assumes her new identity as a lone widow seeking a new life.

Kate infiltrates the community and goes deep under cover. In the coming days, she unearths a world built on secrets, a series of shocking crimes, and herself, alone... trapped in a fight for her life.

My Review
Linda Castillo is a very capable writer and does not disappoint. Kate Burkholder, the main character, is a very strong female Chief of Police and keeps the story interesting. The plot is very fast-paced and made the book very hard to put down. I have loved all of the books in this series and this one was a very good addition. I look forward to the next installment and recommend this book to those who like twists and turns with surprise endings.


Amongst Women
Amongst Women
Author: John McGahern
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.5/5 Stars.
 2
Review Date: 2/22/2016


Book Description
This novel tells the story of Michael Moran, a bitter, aging Irish Republican Army (IRA) veteran, and his tyranny over his wife and children, who both love and fear him. It was shortlisted for the 1990 Booker Prize and won The Irish Times/Aer Lingus Literary Award in 1991.

My Review
This was a very powerful read about a former IRA member raising his family of three daughters and two sons under very strict, controlling and violent conditions. Although he professes love for his family, the outcome of the Irish War has caused him frustration and he takes it out on his family. They in turn are very loyal to him, except for his eldest son who has his father's personality. McGahern does a great job conveying the effects of the negativity of Moran on each member of the family and their reaction to it. Although the book is a harsh look at a family, I do highly recommend it as it is a well-worthwhile read.


Amsterdam
Amsterdam
Author: Ian McEwan
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.
 174
Review Date: 12/14/2014


I was not too impressed with this book. I had read Atonement in the past and thought that book was really good but this one just left me a little bit bewildered as to why it won The Booker Prize. I will, however, check out a few more of his books because I know that he is a talented writer.


Ancestral Voices
Ancestral Voices
Author: Etienne van Heerden
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 2/12/2015


I really enjoyed this multigenerational story of a rigid patriarchal farm family in an isolated region of South Africa. It was full of history and mixed with mystery. It also dealt with age-old secrets and inherited anxieties, especially the unforgivable shame of interracial marriage. If you are interested in learning about the problems caused by Apartheid in South Arfica, then I think you will enjoy reading this book.


Angels Flight (Harry Bosch, Bk 6)
Angels Flight (Harry Bosch, Bk 6)
Author: Michael Connelly
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 326
Review Date: 11/15/2015


Book Description
An activist attorney is killed in a cute little L.A. trolley called Angels Flight, far from Harry Bosch's Hollywood turf. But the case is so explosive--and the dead man's enemies inside the L.A.P.D. are so numerous--that it falls to Harry to solve it. Now the streets are superheating. Harry's year-old Vegas marriage is unraveling. And the hunt for a killer is leading Harry to another high-profile L.A. murder case, one where every cop had a motive. The question is, did any have the guts?

My Review
This is the best so far in a great series. Harry continues to solve the crimes but his personal life is once again falling apart. Lots of twists and excellent characters make for a real page turner. I'm looking forward to reading the next book as Connelly never disappoints. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes Harry Bosch and also to anyone looking for a good book to read.


Animal Farm
Animal Farm
Author: George Orwell
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 1182
Review Date: 8/11/2015


This book is a fast, enjoyable read. The story is very simple but the message is riveting. Orwell, with the use of barn yard animals, reveals the ruthlessness and control of the communist government. It shows us how powerful leaders can stir up the people to blindly follow them and how people fail to think for themselves. I would highly recommend reading this book as it still has a relevant message even for today.


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