A Review of Roofman By John Pansini This is the true story of John Pansini a well qualified and professional librarian with a Masters Degree in LibraryA Review of Roofman By John Pansini This is the true story of John Pansini a well qualified and professional librarian with a Masters Degree in Library Science, who happens to be working as a roof repairman nailing on shingles all day in New York. The language comes across very readily as that of a native New Yorker and adds to the story and enhances his description of this work. At times it is funny as the toils of a manual worker in the extremes of a New York summer and winter takes its toll. John also runs his own company Computerized Information Retrieval which does exactly what the name suggests. After placing an advert in the New York Times John is approached by a Russian, Mikhail Katkov, to get some information for him and there the whole story starts.
A patriot I think, John approaches the FBI, this is the 1980s after all, the time of the cold war, and tells them about his Russian ´friend´. They apparently, reluctantly take an interest and the book covers the next four years of intrigue and mystery as the relationship between John, Mikhail and various Special Agents from the FBI develops.
John has more than one motive for accepting the work from Mikhail, money, he´s a patriot, he really really enjoys the thought of being a spy and finally from the start he realises that there is a book and screenplay to be written from his experiences, hence this book, Roofman.
The way things develop in the book have the air of authenticity about them. The relationship between the New Yorker and the Russian grows over time, at least that is what John believes. I gained the impression the author was being played from both sides, the Russian GRU officer and by the FBI, but he feels that he was in control. Near the end when John sees that his spying career is nearly over he makes a desperate attempt to prolong things by approaching the Customs Authorities, you just knew that wasn´t going to work.
This was an enjoyable book to read and even though John Pansini claims it is a true story I am left with the tiny thought that he´s just playing me and the rest of his readers. It doesn´t matter if he is though, you´ll still relish reading the book with the air of reality running through it. Well done John a great read.
The real world of espionage and counterespionage was not what I expected. An ordinary guy like me, a roofer with a Master's degree in Library Science and with no prior training in intelligence work, nothing in my imagination prepared me for what I faced during the sensitive time when the United States and the Soviet Union were at each others throats.
This true story includes 63 minutes of taped conversations between me and my spy handlers. A reader will see and be part of the real world of spying: of talking to the Feds, the Russians, and always watching one's back.
Wow, this book is different. It is a serious consideration of mysticism in modern religion or more correctlyReview of Peace at the Edge of Uncertainty
Wow, this book is different. It is a serious consideration of mysticism in modern religion or more correctly the modern world. The story is written in the form of a letter to the author’s father who had died fifteen years before. Partly it is in the form of a confession or rather an admission of human frailties that a young rebellious son can feel towards his parents. Plus he tells the truth when when he states the difficulty people have in uttering the words ‘I forgive you,’ and actually meaning them.
I’m getting ahead of myself. At the very start of the book Neil states clearly that this book is non-denominational. It is meant for everyone who believes in their G-d be it Christian, Muslim, Judaism or whatever. Even though I am not a religious person I can subscribe to the belief that no one religion is right. After all how can millions of Muslims be any more right in their beliefs than millions of Christians or vice versa? I would consider a person’s beliefs are more an accident of birth than anything else. Neil himself writes G-d and refers to Him, Her or It, as a way of demonstrating how little we actually know about the entity. Let’s face it belief in any G-d is a matter of faith after all. He subscribes to the view that all that has been written no matter by what religion is man made and that modern orthodox religion has lost its way in teaching the true meaning of G-d and his word.
The letter to his dead father relates three mystical experiences; I won’t go into the details as I wouldn’t want to spoil the reader’s enjoyment of Peace at the Edge of Uncertainty. All I’ll say is that Neil feels that these experiences brought him very close to his G-d and yet these same experiences are dismissed by the church leaders as nonsense. However at the end of the book in his section Suggested Other Reading Neil leads us to read books that show mysticism has its place in most religions and points out that some religions are based on nothing but mystic tradition.
Peace at the Edge of Uncertainty is a very good book, extremely thought provoking by asking you to question religious orthodoxy. Anybody who believes in G-d should read this book and consider what its subject matter could mean to them and for non believers I guarantee it will set you thinking.
This novel epitomises the worst of the traditional publishing industry. It is 663 pages of quantity not quality. A mediocre story is dragged out withThis novel epitomises the worst of the traditional publishing industry. It is 663 pages of quantity not quality. A mediocre story is dragged out with so many repetitions it became very annoying. For instance, when the main character, Lil Brodie's second child is born, she immediately feels the child, Lance, is odd and she doesn't bond with him, however her feckless mother Annie does. That piece of information is repeated throughout the book about twenty five times, not only that but the whys and wherefores too. This novel could easily have been half the length and it would not have spoilt the story. I've read other books by Martina and they are good but this later novel, number twelve I believe is a let down. Martina Cole must be surrounded by a team of professionals, editors, literary agents and publishers, how they let her get away with this I don't understand. It seems she has run out of new ideas as so many established authors do. That is why I started www.booksandnovelstoread.com so that fresh new self published authors can come to the attention of the book reading public. You don’t have to put up with this trash!!!!!
One other thing, the language in this book is appalling. Now in my novel The Catalytic Programme there is some bad language, appropriate to the characters and scene. In Close there is barely a paragraph goes by without profanity, way over the top and I’m sure this would spoil a dire book even more for a lot of people....more
I’ve got to say right from the start that I am not a religious person but respect the feelings of those who are, whatever their faith. Also I don’t geI’ve got to say right from the start that I am not a religious person but respect the feelings of those who are, whatever their faith. Also I don’t generally read “True Life Stories.” No, my reading tends to be an escape from reality, thrillers or comedy, so I approached a review of this book with a bit of trepidation. Within a few pages however I was hooked, I wanted to read it all and see what happened in the end. It is also thought provoking. What greater accolade can you give any book?
Anita Estes wears her heart on her sleeve as she details the fight against her son’s addictions to alcohol and drugs, a problem so many parents now seem to have with their kids. This was a very brave book to write and I admire Anita for having the courage to write it. Her son Ben, from late teens, began a downward spiral into addiction and just recognising the problem was the first obstacle to overcome. Once identified, what do you do about it and what effects will it have on the rest of the family? Anita has a husband and two daughters as well as Ben to consider in all this.
As the problems with Ben persisted and got worse in a seemingly endless cycle of despair and hope, at times early on in the book I felt Anita comes across as naive and I believe she should have been a lot firmer with her son, easy to say from a distance and looking in from the outside of a very complex situation. However throughout all this Anita’s faith in God’s guidance never waivered and you have to admire her for that. A lot of people would have given up on their child many times but her determination and love for Ben shines through always. At times in the book the struggle Anita has when she believes she must act in one way but feels God wants her to act in a different way makes for very interesting reading.
The book is presented in an unusual style, first Anita presents us with a Letter to God on different days and times which explain a situation or problem with Ben and Anita’s personal feelings about it. Next follows a Lesson Learned which puts a positive spin on even the darkest moments. Finally is a Suggestion where Anita leads you through things to do in the situation with quotes and passages to read from The Bible for help and guidance. The book follows this pattern throughout.
One thought the book left me to ponder on. Anita and her family were able to offer Ben financial support throughout the years of his problems, be it with schooling, housing and finally in the Transformation Life Center. Now I know God doesn’t help and guide you depending on the size of your purse but poorer less fortunate families will probably have to think and act in different ways. Perhaps I was wrong with my earlier statement; maybe God does offer you guidance and his love depending on your circumstances. I don’t know.
This book was a revelation to me, not an enjoyable read, alcohol and drug addiction can never be enjoyable, but the book was truly inspirational and anybody who has a child whose parents suspect they are beginning to dabble with alcohol or drugs should make this a must read book, for the rest of us it simply makes an interesting story. I highly recommend Letters to God, on a Prodigal Son.
Every so often you come across a book that you can’t put down; you just want to know what happens over on the next page. I warn you, this is one of thEvery so often you come across a book that you can’t put down; you just want to know what happens over on the next page. I warn you, this is one of those. It is also a story that is very relevant today considering the events in Japan earlier this year.
The writing drags you into the pages as the characters fight to survive the aftermath of a massive explosion at the White Water Nuclear Plant in Southern California following a fairly minor earth tremor. Barbara has done what one of my favourite authors of all time, Leon Uris, has done, taken solid fact and cleverly crafted an excellent fictional story around it, faction as I call it. Leon Uris used history, Barbara science. By the way I checked out the science and worryingly it is all factual.
Not that the science gets in the way of this troubling story. It is used fleetingly to explain, in layman’s terms, the dangers that follow the release of massive amounts of radiation into the atmosphere following a blast. A modern nuclear facility can release fifty times more radiation into the atmosphere than the nuclear bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, at the end of WW II. That’s how serious this problem is.
As the reality of their situation dawns on the victims of the fallout then Barbara introduces ever more problems for the characters to face. You can’t drink the water, because it is radioactive. Hospitals close their doors to new patients for fear of contaminating those already in the facility. I won’t spoil it any more but the list goes on.
One of the worst aspects of their situation is the complete lack of a co-ordinated rescue plan by the authorities. Well why prepare for something that can never happen? Like all politicians and those in authority they never seem to learn from history. The likes of 3 Mile Island and Chernobyl immediately spring to mind and of course more recently the terrible disaster in Fukushima, Japan.
Looking at politicians and their lack of understanding of the importance of history you need look no further than the conflict in Afghanistan as a prime example. The British were fighting there over a hundred years ago, the Russians tried and now the USA and Britain again. Political expediency in the USA and Britain means the troops will pull out before the job is done and the Taliban will be back in power before too long. Why did we go there in the first place? Do the powers that be never learn?
This isn’t an easy read, but you know it was never going to be, the subject is far too important. For all that it is a very good story, one that needed telling and one that should be made compulsory reading for all political leaders who are considering building more nuclear power stations. Perhaps it should be compulsory reading for all our youth also, so they can become aware of the dangers and take up the fight against this menace.
Barbara Billig is obviously passionate about this subject and this comes across in her writing. You will be swept away from the first page. Barbara must also be a keen observer of people, throughout the story her characters come to life with subtle little flicks of the hand, a look in the mirror and much more. ...more
I made the mistake of thinking this was going to be a cook book, you know the sort, page after page of recipes, weighed and measured ingredients and wI made the mistake of thinking this was going to be a cook book, you know the sort, page after page of recipes, weighed and measured ingredients and what to do with them, boy was I so totally wrong about that.
Alain starts off telling the reader about his life, how a French chef ended up in Austin Texas and then goes on to tell you about his cholesterol experience, needless to say it was high. There and then he decided to lower it, not with drugs or medication but by using good food, cooked well. Oh no I can here you say, any food that lowers cholesterol is going to taste like straw, not so with Alain’s recipes, that is exactly the reaction he doesn’t want.
The first two thirds of the book explain the reasons why LDL cholesterol is bad for you, and why HDL cholesterol is good for you. The truth is you should aim to lower your LDL number and increase your HDL number. I didn’t know that. He then goes on to detail most of the well know foods we all eat but explains how to cook them in a way to keep in all the nutrients and good things that it is so easy to lose or destroy by over cooking or by cooking in the wrong way. He even provides shopping tips to ensure you only get the freshest and best products. Along the way with a bit of humour Alain destroys some of the myths surrounding certain foods. Alain goes onto suggest a sensible eating regime from breakfast until dinner for one week. Not as a hard and fast rule but to give the reader some guidance on how to have tasty food throughout the day which is also good for you.
The last third of the book are Alain’s recipes. Plainly written the recipes are very easy to follow with step by step instructions that even I could follow. Alain’s Portobello Farcis au Jambon. Ham-stuffed Portobello Mushrooms are particularly tasty as was his Daube Provençale d’Agneau au Vin Blanc. Provencal Lamb Stew with White Wine (I am a confirmed meat eater). I could go on. Sandra my wife had just returned from the Doctor with news that her cholesterol was high and needed to come down by a considerable degree. How to lower your cholesterol with French Gourmet Food a practical guide. Arrived just at the right time.
As I said right at the beginning, this is not just a simple cook book; it is more of a guide to changing your life style to promote your own good health. While I think it would be difficult to follow Alain’s guidance to the letter, if you just follow some of his advice I believe you will see your cholesterol number dropping and along the way you’ll be eating some good tasty grub too.
My first ever Martina Cole novel to read. Very good story although the use of bad language is a bit over the top I thought. I will read more of her boMy first ever Martina Cole novel to read. Very good story although the use of bad language is a bit over the top I thought. I will read more of her books. ...more
What a great yarn. A russian Megalomaniac intent or returning Russia to the top of the superpower tree up against Major Mitchell Gant, a one man army.What a great yarn. A russian Megalomaniac intent or returning Russia to the top of the superpower tree up against Major Mitchell Gant, a one man army. Super stuff, well worth the read....more
An old fashion "Boys Own" adventure story first published in 1994, but none the worse for that, if you like stories where men are men then this is forAn old fashion "Boys Own" adventure story first published in 1994, but none the worse for that, if you like stories where men are men then this is for you....more
One of the best books I have read in ages. A wonderful super rich megalomaniac as the bad guy and a rough, tough hero as his opponent with a lot of acOne of the best books I have read in ages. A wonderful super rich megalomaniac as the bad guy and a rough, tough hero as his opponent with a lot of action, intrigue and mystery in between. If this is your type of story I recommend giving it a go....more