Showing posts from October, 2015

G653 Tiger Heart; My unexpected adventures to make a difference in Darjeeing, and what I learned about fate, fortitude, and finding family...half a world away

Title of the book: Tiger Heart; My unexpected adventures to make a difference in Darjeeing, and what I learned about fate, fortitude, and finding family...half a world away

Author: Katrell Christie and Shannon McCaffrey

Publisher: HCI

Publishing Date: 2015

ISBN: 978-0-7573-1858-0


Katrell Christie was a thirty-something artist turned roller-derby rebel who opened a tea shop in Atlanta. Barely two years later, her life would make a drastic change--and so would the lives of a group of girls half a world away.

I chose the name of my tea shop—Dr. Bombay's Underwater Tea Party—because it sounded whimsical. India wasn't part of the equation. Not even remotely. I didn't do yoga. I had no deep yearning to see the Taj Mahal or tour Hindu temples. Indian food? I could take it or leave it.

Yet on a whim, Katrell did go. She witnessed the throngs at the Ganges River, toured the tea fields of Darjeeling, and helped string pearls in conservative Hyderabad. But it was in a crowded Bud…

First Impressions: G115 The Review of Bristol House by Beverly Swerling

Name of Book: Bristol House

Author: Beverly Swerling

ISBN: 978-0-670-02593-0

Publisher: Viking

Year it was published: 2013


In the tradition of Kate Mosse, a swiftly-paced mystery that stretches from modern London to Tudor England

In modern-day London, architectural historian and recovering alcoholic Annie Kendall hopes to turn her life around and restart her career by locating several long-missing pieces of ancient Judaica. Geoff Harris, an investigative reporter, is soon drawn into her quest, both by romantic interest and suspicions about the head of the Shalom Foundation, the organization sponsoring her work. He’s also a dead ringer for the ghost of a monk Annie believes she has seen at the flat she is subletting in Bristol House.

In 1535, Tudor London is a very different city, one in which monks are being executed by Henry VIII and Jews are banished. In this treacherous environment of religious persecution, Dom Justin, a Carthusian monk, and a goldsmith known as the Jew of Holb…

First Impressions: G107 The Boxer Rebellion and the Great Game in China

Name of Book: The Boxer Rebellion and the Great Game in China

Author: David J. Silbey

ISBN: 978-0-8090-3075-0

Publisher: Hill and Wang

Year it was published: 2012


A concise history of an uprising that took down a three-hundred-year-old dynasty and united the great powers

The year is 1900, and Western empires are locked in entanglements across the globe. The British are losing a bitter war against the Boers while the German kaiser is busy building a vast new navy. The United States is struggling to put down an insurgency in the South Pacific while the upstart imperialist Japan begins to make clear to neighboring Russia its territorial ambition. In China, a perennial pawn in the Great Game, a mysterious group of superstitious peasants is launching attacks on the Western powers they fear are corrupting their country. These ordinary Chinese--called Boxers by the West because of their martial arts showmanship--rise up seemingly out of nowhere. Foreshadowing the insurgencies of our rece…

First Impressions: G105 The Short, Strange Life of Herschel Grynszpan: A Boy Avenger, a Nazi Diplomat, and a Murder in Paris

Name of Book: The Short, Strange Life of Herschel Grynszpan: A Boy Avenger, a Nazi Diplomat, and a Murder in Paris

Author: Jonathan Kirsch

ISBN: 9780871404527

Publisher: Liveright publishing

Year it was published: 2013


On the 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht comes this untold story of a teenager whose act of defiance would have dire international consequences.

On the morning of November 7, 1938, Herschel Grynszpan, a desperate seventeen-year-old Jewish refugee, walked into the German embassy in Paris and shot Ernst vom Rath, a Nazi diplomat. Two days later vom Rath lay dead, and the Third Reich exploited the murder to unleash Kristallnacht—its horrific campaign of terror against Germany’s Jewish citizens in a bizarre concatenation of events that would rapidly involve Ribbentrop, Goebbels, and Hitler himself. Bestselling author Jonathan Kirsch brings to light this wrenching story, reexamining the historical details and moral dimensions of one of World War II’s most enigmatic cases…

First Impressions: G88 The Review of The Curtain by Patrick Ord

Name of Book: The Curtain

Author: Patrick Ord

ISBN: 9780615780115

Publisher: Henry Maddox Publishing

Year it was published: 2013



Have you met Henry Maddox? He knows you — not personally of course… he really only knows your data. But from that data he actually may know you better than you think you know yourself. Henry knows where you’ve been and what you’ve bought. He knows all of your friends. Henry not only knows your behaviors, he understands your tendencies. And from those tendencies, he can predict what you’re going to do before you’ve actually done it.

Who is Henry Maddox? He is a 21st century marketing consultant and he specializes in highly personal and irresistibly persuasive advertising.

Henry’s strategies combine modern data mining (Big Data) techniques with other advanced and controversial marketing practices (Market Fragmentation, Cross Promotion, and Conglomerate Propagandizing) to the point where consumers don’t even know they are bei…

First Impressions: G74 The Review of The Cost of Courage by Joseph Cordaro

Name of Book: The Cost of Courage

Author: Joseph Cordaro

ISBN: 978-1456339951

Publisher: Self-published

Year it was published: 2010


Emily Courtland is a strong and determined woman. But, she will need all of her strength and courage when her husband returns from war.

Naval hero, Lieutenant Commander Charles Courtland, is tormented by terrifying memories of battle and is being destroyed by the severe psychological aftereffects of battle.

The ugly wounds to his body are healing. But the uglier scars on his mind are forcing him to fight the nightmarish demons he cannot speak of.

Emily sees her family being crushed by her husband's erratic and delusional behavior. Most especially, and mysteriously, it is their young son Brent who bears the brunt of his father’s irrational treatment. For the boy it has reached the point of physical abuse.

Emily is forced to choose between standing by the ill husband she loves, and protecting their child from him.

To read the first two chapters go t…

First Impressions G73 The Review of Refuge by N.G. Osborne

Name of Book: Refuge

Author: N.G. Osborne

ISBN: 9780615695402

Publisher: Cranham and Keith Books

Year it was published: 2012


On a dusty, sweltering night, Noor Khan, a beautiful, headstrong Afghan refugee, comes face-to-face with Charlie Matthews, a brash, young American aid worker. To Noor's fury, Charlie breaks every cultural norm and pursues her. She wants nothing to do with him: her sole aim in life is to earn an overseas scholarship so she can escape the miseries of the refugee camps.

However when Noor's brother threatens to marry her off, she is forced to seek refuge in Charlie's home, of all places, and suddenly everything Noor believes in is put into question.

Set in the mystical and seething city of Peshawar, where no one is without an agenda and few can be trusted, Refuge is a timeless and unforgettable love story about the struggle for love and purpose in a cruel and cynical world.


From the first few pages, I can tell that it will be an unrealistic m…

Book Review for Tree of Souls The Mythology of Judaism by Howard Schwartz Book 2 Part 5.15

General Information:

Name of Book: Tree of Souls

ISBN: 9780195086799

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

Year it was published: 2004

Overall theme:

"With only one God, heaven would be a barren place, at least in mythic terms. Yet the actual Jewish view of heaven is quite different. There are seven heavens, filled with angels and other divine beings, such as the Messiah [Not jesus!], who is said to have a palace of his own in the highest heaven. The clestial Temple can be found there- the mirror image of the Temple in the earthly Jerusalem- as well as an abundance of heavenly palaces, one for each of the patriarchs and matriarchs and sages, where he or she teaches Torah to the attentive souls of the righteous and the angels..." (xliii)

"Drawing on the full range of Jewish sources, sacred and nonsacred, ten major categories of Jewish mythology can be identified: Myths of God, Myths of Creation...Each of these categories explores a mythic realm, and, in the process, reimagi…

Part XXVII: Updated List for Asian Men/White Women Literature part 4

Part XXVII: Updated List for Asian Men/White Women Literature part 4

In Part II Asian Male and White Female Novels, I have given some examples of some of the particular in depth Asian male novels and white female novels that I have read and enjoyed. It has been three years since I published that article and a lot more books with that particular topic were published and discovered. I have thought long and hard on how to separate the books I have discovered and ones I have talked about. I think I will do five AM/WF novels/short stories per article. This article will contain five novels, few where, unfortunately, AM/WF couples either play a small or secondary role or where attraction isn't reciprocated or where they seem to be more of jerk (I'm lookin at you, '89 Walls!) Here are the novels:


'89 Walls by Katie Pierson

Love and Miss Communication-Elyssa Friedland

The Tiger Queens-Stephanie Thornton

Dog Crazy-Meg Donohue

The Queen of Sparta-T.S. Chaudhry


G652 Book Review of Girl Waits With Gun by Amy Stewart

Name of Book: Girl Waits with Gun

Author: Amy Stewart

ISBN: 978-0-544-40991-0

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Type of book: 1914-1915, women trying to be independent, life on a farm, sisterhood, survival, secrets, accident, mystery, comedy, justice, weapons, attempted murders

Year it was published:2015


From the New York Times best-selling author of The Drunken Botanist comes an enthralling novel based on the forgotten true story of one of the nation’s first female deputy sheriffs.

Constance Kopp doesn’t quite fit the mold. She towers over most men, has no interest in marriage or domestic affairs, and has been isolated from the world since a family secret sent her and her sisters into hiding fifteen years ago. One day a belligerent and powerful silk factory owner runs down their buggy, and a dispute over damages turns into a war of bricks, bullets, and threats as he unleashes his gang on their family farm. When the sheriff enlists her help in convicting the men, Constance is fo…