Ryan M. (rmadland) - Reviews

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Eight Days to Live (Eve Duncan, Bk 9)
Eight Days to Live (Eve Duncan, Bk 9)
Author: Iris Johansen
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 98
Review Date: 5/29/2013


I just couldn't get into this book. I think its because it was another book where Jane is in trouble and everyone has to gather to save her. I like when the books revolve around Eve and her mysteries.

I will give this series one more book to see if I will continue.


Eric Bischoff: Controversy Creates Cash (WWE)
Eric Bischoff: Controversy Creates Cash (WWE)
Author: Eric Bischoff, Jeremy Roberts
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3/5 Stars.
 12
Review Date: 4/22/2010
Helpful Score: 1


I was highly disappointed with this book. Where is the controversy? I expected so much more from it. There's more behind the scenes stuff about AOL/Viacom/Turner. I don't need to know what happened in the boardroom. Tell us the wrestling related information. I would definitely pass on this one. Its just not worth it.


The Escape (John Puller, Bk 3)
The Escape (John Puller, Bk 3)
Author: David Baldacci
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 64
Review Date: 8/15/2015


I don't think I've been disappointed by a David Baldacci book yet. If I have, then its long been forgotten. This is the 3rd book in the John Puller series and I will say, you may need to be patient with this one. There is allot of set up but once it gets going, it keeps the pages turning. If you're a Baldacci fan, then there is no reason you won't enjoy this one.


Extreme Justice (Ben Kincaid,  Bk 7)
Extreme Justice (Ben Kincaid, Bk 7)
Author: William Bernhardt
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 43
Review Date: 4/29/2013


This is the seventh book in the very underrated Ben Kincaid series. I have read all seven books thus far and have not been disappointed in any of them yet.

Ben is trying to escape the legal life when he is suddenly thrust upon it when a friend is being charged as murderer. Things aren't easy this time as his friend Earl, has already served twenty-two years of a murder very similar to the most recent one he is being charged with now.

Ben now has to prove that Earl didn't commit the most recent murder by trying to prove that Earl didn't prove the murder twenty two years ago. Allot going on right? It makes for a great thriller.

I enjoyed this to the very end. If you are looking for a new series, I recommend the Ben Kincaid series and start with "Primary Justice" and work your way through. Trust me, you won't be disappointed.


First Family (Sean King and Michelle Maxwell, Bk 4)
First Family (Sean King and Michelle Maxwell, Bk 4)
Author: David Baldacci
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 203
Review Date: 1/8/2010


"First Family is the fourth installment in the Sean King/Michelle Maxwell series. Once again, Sean & Michelle become involved in an investigation where the truth isn't always what it seems or easy to find.

Jane Cox is married to the Preside...more First Family is the fourth installment in the Sean King/Michelle Maxwell series. Once again, Sean & Michelle become involved in an investigation where the truth isn't always what it seems or easy to find.

Jane Cox is married to the President of the United States. They've just thrown a birthday party for Jane's niece Willa. All is find and dandy until after the party when Willa is kidnapped and Jane's sister is murdered during the abduction at their family home.

That's when Sean & Michelle enter the picture. We learn that Sean knows the first lady from a past incident, which is why he is asked into this investigation. Sean & Michelle find opposition from other government agencies, but that doesn't stop them from pursuing the truth.

This story moves along really fast and I even found myself liking the antagonist in the novel, and if you read it, you'll know why. There's also a side story involving Michelle's Mother & Father, but I won't get into that.

David Baldacci has done a great job in making us care about the Sean King & Michelle Maxwell characters once again. These two are great together and they have great chemistry.

If you've enjoyed this series thus far, then you won't be disappointed by "First Family". Even if you haven't read the previous books in this series, you can still enjoy this without feeling like you've missed out on something, but I highly recommend that you should read the previous three books, as they are pretty entertaining as well.


Francona: The Red Sox Years
Francona: The Red Sox Years
Author: Terry Francona, Dan Shaughnessy
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.4/5 Stars.
 4
Review Date: 3/8/2019


"Francona: The Red Sox Years" was a very good memoir. The reason being, Terry "Tito" Francona. He's open and honest. What you see (or read) is what you get. Terry holds nothing back which is very much appreciated.

Francona has always been known as a player's manager and reading this book gives us a reader as to why. He never throws his guys under the bus and as you read, he had plenty of chances to do so. It just isn't Terry's way of doing things and that is one of the many reasons he had and continues to have the respect of his players.

The book starts by giving us some background in Terry's childhood and being the son of big league player. Then it progresses into Terry's playing career and then his first big league managing job with the Philadelphia Phillies. Each stage, teaching Terry things and preparing him for his years with the Red Sox.

Not only do we get to read things from Terry's perspective, but also hear it from Theo Epstein, team ownership, fellow coaches/managers, and of course, his players. We get to hear both sides of some of the arguments that have been and it allows us, the reader to make a decision on if who we choose to believe.

All in all, this is a good read. You don't have to be a Red Sox fan to enjoy this one. I highly recommend it.


The Girl in the Spider's Web (Millennium, Bk 4)
Review Date: 7/24/2018


It took my awhile to finish this book, which isn't the book's fault as life was just so busy. I wasn't sure what to expect with a new author taking over the series as he definitely had big shoes to fill, but I would say that he did a pretty good job with continuing the series thus far.

It was great to see Lisbeth back in action and doing the things she does. She continues to be a badass and I look forward to seeing more.

Some of the storyline isn't all that original, i.e. savant child who is used to help solve the murder of his father, but its done in away that it felt fresh, so no complaints there.

Without giving away too much, I'd say this. If you have enjoyed the series so far, then you owe it to yourselves to read this one to see what you think and if you plan to read more if the author keeps this moving.

Overall, definitely recommend you read this one. And if you're new to the series, do yourself a favor and start from the beginning.


Girl Last Seen
Girl Last Seen
Author: Nina Laurin
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.3/5 Stars.
 13
Review Date: 2/22/2019


"Girl Last Seen" has a pretty good premise. Two girls go missing, thirteen years apart and thought to be kidnapped by the same person. Already an interesting premise that gets more interesting as the story unfolds.

For me though, at first, it seemed like the story didn't flow fast enough, but that soon changed. Then it became difficult to put the book down. The original kidnapped girl, Ella Santas, now know as Laine is the middle of all the drama. She, along with Detective Ortiz are trying to find out who is responsible for the abduction of Olivia Shaw.

Once the pace picked up, it didn't slow down. Some very good character development as we get to see Laine grow. Her flaws make her vulnerable, but likeable, at least to me.

The story will keep you guessing to the very end. I would definitely recommend this one to my fellow readers.


Girl Parts
Girl Parts
Author: John Cusick
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.3/5 Stars.
 7
Review Date: 6/14/2013


This isn't something I would typically read, but when the book first came out a few years ago, I tried to get it via the First Reads program to expand my reading horizons. I didn't win, so I put it on my wish list and received it about six months.

The concept is pretty interesting as a family gets their son a companion, which is a non-human version of a human named Rose because they believe he is disassociated. Their son, David, begins to fall for Rose.

Their relationship literally goes through some sparks and begins to go through some troubles, from there things begin to unfold, but I won't get into much of that.

I liked ninety percent of the book and may need to read the last chapter again, to see if the ending was bad, or if I may have misread it.

Either way, if you are looking for something different, then I reccomend this one to you.


In the Pit with Piper: Roddy Gets Rowdy
In the Pit with Piper: Roddy Gets Rowdy
Author: Robert Picarello
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 13
Review Date: 1/13/2010


"Rowdy" Roddy Piper is one of the loudest and biggest names in professional wrestling. He's wrestled huge stars like Hulk Hogan, Andre the Giant, and even boxed Mr. T. "In the Pit with Piper" details all those events and much more.

I've read some great wrestling biographies i.e. Mick Foley and some bad ones i.e. Ted Dibiase and I would have to say that this is one of the better ones.. Roddy Piper never bit his tongue in front of the camera and he doesn't hold back here either.

We learn about how Piper got involved with wrestling in the first place, as well as when and why he added the kilt and bagpipes to advance his character. He talks about the highlights and lowlights of his career in the squared circle. All of which is pretty interesting, humorous, and often depressing.

Its not all has glamorous as it seems in front of the camera and the details given in the book do a great job in showing that. Wrestlers in general back then often didn't get paid a lot and didn't have the best living conditions. Its amazing some of the stuff Roddy has been through.

My only complaint is that it seemed like they went over a few things to fast and didn't touch upon some of Roddy's more controversial moments. I really would have liked to hear more about his match with Bad News Brown at Wrestlemania, which saw Roddy paint half his body black. I also would have liked to hear him say more about Owen Hart, besides his confrontation with Vince Russo about the subject.

If you are a wrestling fan, I think you'll definitely enjoy reading this biography. As I mentioned before, it really is one of the better wrestling biographies that is available to read. I hope that he does come out with another one as a follow up that details his battle with cancer and some other stories of his career.


Inferno (Robert Langdon, Bk 4)
Inferno (Robert Langdon, Bk 4)
Author: Dan Brown
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 198
Review Date: 7/2/2013
Helpful Score: 1


I had to move this up my TBR pile as I was involved in a bookring and I'm glad I did.

Robert Langdon is back, but this time in Venice where he wakes up in a hospital not knowing he he got there. It doesn't take long for us get entwined in this thriller as a picks up from there.

The title get its name from "Dante's Inferno" and the story, codes, etc, evolve around that. I haven't read Dante's Inferno, but it didn't take anything away from, as I will still able to enjoy enjoy it and learn a thing or two.

If you have read and enjoyed Brown's Langdon series, then I believe you will enjoy this one.


The Innocent (Will Robie, Bk 1)
The Innocent (Will Robie, Bk 1)
Author: David Baldacci
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.3/5 Stars.
 69
Review Date: 5/17/2013


Will Robie is back and its good to have him. In this installment we see Robie get thrown into in quite the conspiracy. To make matters even more interesting, he gets a a fourteen year old, sassy, yet very intelligent girl thrown into the mix.

Innocent people are being killed? How are they connected and what is the reasoning behind it? This is what keeps the pages turning. We as readers are given just enough each chapter to keep you turning the pages.

There was one portion of the story that I thought would come together, which did, but I won't mention that here, but either way, its a great ride, and a highly recommend read.


Join Me
Join Me
Author: Danny Wallace
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 28
Review Date: 12/29/2009


I absolutely loved this book. Who knew that the words "join me", could start such a phenomenon? This book was hard to put down because I wanted to see how Danny was going to succeed in achieving his goal. There are definitely some laugh out loud moments and there are times where you can feel how this project was taking its toll on him. This book definitely inspired me and I think it can and will inspire others. A must read!


Jury of One
Jury of One
Author: David Ellis
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 30
Review Date: 1/11/2010


I had been wanting to read a David Ellis book for awhile now. I've always heard good things about his books, so I picked up the book "Jury of One".

The premise of the novel is about a lawyer named Shelly Trotter, who is asked to defend a young 16 year old boy who has been accused of murdering a police officer. She previously helped this young man Alex in a previous case and is shocked to find he's in trouble again.

There is so much going on in this book. So much is revealed, but its done at a pace that isn't overwhelming. David Ellis definitely knows how to keep you turning the pages as this one was hard to put down.

I'm also afraid that if I write anymore, that I may reveal a secret or two, so I will end this review here.

If you enjoy legal thrillers, then I can definitely recommend you read this book.


Kill Alex Cross (Alex Cross, Bk 18)
Kill Alex Cross (Alex Cross, Bk 18)
Author: James Patterson
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 162
Review Date: 2/11/2012


Love the series, but the title had nothing to do with the storyline. Just seemed to be a a disappointment, but still looking forward to the rest of the series.


Kill You Twice (Archie Sheridan & Gretchen Lowell, Bk 5)
Kill You Twice (Archie Sheridan & Gretchen Lowell, Bk 5)
Author: Chelsea Cain
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 16
Review Date: 2/28/2019


"Kill You Twice" reintroduces us, the readers, to one of the most interesting relationships in the the thriller genre. If you've read the previous books, you know what I'm referring to. If you haven't, you are about to find out.

I thought the storyline was decent and it definitely got better as the pages turned. In the end, it was a good read and keeps the reader guessing as to where the relationship is going next. I should say, this is one series that I highly recommend that you start from the beginning.


Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly
Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly
Author: Anthony Bourdain
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 165
Review Date: 4/24/2013
Helpful Score: 1


Although I cannot cook for the life of, unless you count Mac n' Cheese, I still love watching Food Network & Travel Channel's cooking related shows, hence the reason I wanted to read this book.

My knowledge of Anthony Bourdain was pretty limited prior to reading this book. I had seen him on TV numerous times and always liked him and after reading this book, nothing has changed.

Anthony goes in detail on his start in the industry and how he has moved his way up. None of it was easy, but he sure has some great stories to tell and interesting tidbits about some of the people, some unscrupulous, people met along the way.

The author holds nothing back. He gives very detailed information about the food he cooks making it seem like you can smell and taste it in front of you. The stories make you laugh and feel like you are in the kitchen with him and his comrades. A very well paced and entertaining book.

I highly recommend it.


Last to Die (Rizzoli & Isles, Bk 10)
Last to Die (Rizzoli & Isles, Bk 10)
Author: Tess Gerritsen
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 69
Review Date: 5/22/2013
Helpful Score: 1


Started this book in the morning and finished it in the afternoon. Once again a wonderful installment in the Rizolli & Isles series.

In this chapter of the series, a young boy's foster parents are killed just years after his parents were killed. It is soon discovered that there are other kids out there that have suffered the same fate beginning the riveting drama that is "Last to Die".

The investigation takes lots of twists and turns til it comes to a very rewarding end. If you have enjoyed the series thus far, then I believe you like this one.


The Latehomecomer: A Hmong Family Memoir
The Latehomecomer: A Hmong Family Memoir
Author: Kao Kalia Yang
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 14
Review Date: 8/24/2010
Helpful Score: 2


I had been meaning to read "The Latehomecomer" by Kao Kalia Yang for some time now, as I had heard great things about it. Recently my Grandma was given a copy and allowed me to borrow it, which I'm glad she did.

I've always heard bits and pieces of stories of what the Hmong people had to endure while in the jungles of Laos, but I've never read it from beginning to end. In the Latehomecomer, I felt like I was put in the middle of it all and was able to see for myself just some of the tragic things Hmong families went through just to find a safe haven. Very eye opening for this reader.

The novel begins with some background on the Secret War, but then to me it wove itself into a sort of love story as Kao's Father Bee Yang and her Mother Chue Moua's path's somehow cross during the most unexpected of time, a time of such uncertainty for the Hmong. I should add, the Kao does a wonderful job of giving background information on both her Mother and Father's family, before she gets into the story of her parents.

As Bee Yang comes upon this woman he finds so striking, the woman to shy to take notice moves along. Unwilling to give up, Bee finds this woman and they forge a bond and continue to see each other. Eventually they marry, but at large cost to Chue, as she has to give up her family, more importantly her Mother. This is a true sacrifice in life, not like alot of the menial ones we give up today.

The story moves along as the families have to outwit the Laos soldiers who are trying to hunt down any and all the Hmong they can capture. They men would surely be killed, because they were considered a threat. Eventually the family is able to make it to Thailand and to the So Kow Toe Refugee Camp. Now, there is alot that happens between that time, but I do not want to reveal to much, as I truly urge you to read it on your own.

During the next few chapters, we are given insight on life in the refugee camps. Obviously it was better then being pursued like prey in the jungles by Laotian soldiers, but life still was rough for the families confined in those walls. Kao's descriptions and ability to make the reader see in their mind what the conditions are like are amazing. I never felt like I needed more info, as it was all there for me to see.

After years in the camp(s) its finally decided that the family would move to America, a decision that is found to be unacceptable by Bee's Mother Youa, who has had to see another son move to America and doesn't want to lose another. Very understandable after reading what the family had to do to stay together. After months of preparation, which included schooling and learning the American culture, the family said their tearful goodbyes and made their way to America.

In America they are welcomed by other family members who have already began their new life. They would move in to McDonough homes and begin their schooling at North End Elementary, where I too received my Elementary education. As I read what Kao and hissister Dawb went through, it felt as if we went to two different schools. It had to be difficult to not only learning a new language, but a new culture and it seems like the teachers she dealt with didn't make this easy on her or her sister. It makes me appreciate my experiences even more.

Its not only the children of the family that have to adapt, but the parents are given the task of trying to find work with limited English or skills, but at the same time, willing to work hard if given the chance. We find out just what Bee and Chue do to help their family make it in America. Through it all they stay together and know that they will live the American dream

One thing that was hard about reviewing this book was trying not to reveal some of the wonderful and heartfelt stories that are told, so there is alot I didn't cover. There are great stories about survival, reunions, new arrivals, ghosts, death, and achievement. All and all, "The Latehomecomer" is a memoir that should be read by everyone, especially those who aren't familiar with the Secret War and the journey the Hmong, as a people, made to get to the United States.

Kao Kaolia Yang's attention to detail and ability to describe the setting is as good as any writer I've ever read and this is coming from someone that tries to read two books a week. I look forward to seeing where Kao goes next with her writing, as she's one of the most talented writers I've read.

Once again, I highly recommend you pick up a copy of this great book. Help support Kao and share her family story with friends and family.


Let's Pretend This Never Happened
Let's Pretend This Never Happened
Author: Jenny Lawson
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 80
Review Date: 7/23/2015


Lots of laugh out loud moments in this book. Definitely what I needed after reading so many dark thrillers. I highly recommend this one.


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