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ARCHIVE > JILL'S 50 BOOKS READ IN 2016

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message 1: by Jill (last edited Jan 22, 2016 06:41AM) (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) Jill, here is your new thread in 2016. Happy reading in the new year.

Our Required Format:

JANUARY

1. My Early Life, 1874-1904 by Winston S. Churchill by Winston S. Churchill Winston S. Churchill
Finish date: January 2016
Genre: (whatever genre the book happens to be)
Rating: A
Review: You can add text from a review you have written but no links to any review elsewhere even goodreads. And that is about it. Just make sure to number consecutively and just add the months.


message 2: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) JANUARY

1. Showgirls, Teen Wolves, and Astro Zombies A Film Critic's Year-Long Quest to Find the Worst Movie Ever Made by Michael Adams by Michael Adams (no photo)
Finish date: January 4, 2016
Genre: Film history
Rating: B+
Review: You have to be a fan of bad movies (which I am) to appreciate this funny, irreverent book of the author's search for the worst movie ever made........not the usual "so bad they are good" such as "Plan 9 From Outer Space" by the beloved Ed Wood, but the "so bad they are bad". These are films that are almost beyond belief in their ineptness....terrible acting,, no comprehensible story line, hysterical "special effects". look like they were filmed in your grandmother's rec room on a telephone, and the list goes on. The author, who is an Australian film critic, ponders how they ever were released or why they were even made.

His quest was to watch one bad film a day for a year and he searched data bases, talked to directors and other writers to compile his list. He admits that by the end of the year, he was almost reduced to a gibbering idiot but he indeed decided on the worst of the worst, a film of which the majority of the public is unfamiliar. This is a must-read for the bad film fanatic but be advised that it contains some pretty raw language which might offend.


message 3: by Jill (last edited Jan 15, 2016 07:33AM) (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) 2. Jane Austen's England by Roy A. Adkins by Roy A. Adkins Roy A. Adkins
Finish date: January 6, 2016
Genre: British history
Rating C+
Review: A tour through the England that existed during the time of novelist Jane Austen's life. And it touches on such diverse subjects as hygiene, transportation, religion, work, travel, etc. The authors (husband and wife) give equal attention to the rich and the poor and how each class lived during this period when the class system was very well defined and very restrictive. It also is rather depressing, since the hardships of the poor, especially the children of the poor, were almost beyond imagining and they had little or no chance of raising themselves up.

What caused me to give the book a little bit lower rating than it may have deserved is the overuse of quotations from diaries and letters, not only from Jane Austen but also from several other sources. I felt it disrupted the narrative substantially.

So, the next time you watch the film Sense and Sensibility and see all those perfect teeth and spotless homes, remember, even the upper classes had rotten teeth, seldom bathed or washed their hair, and smelled like a cesspool. It is not a pretty picture!!


message 4: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) 3. Trio for Blunt Instruments (Nero Wolfe, #39) by Rex Stout by Rex Stout Rex Stout
Finish date: January 14, 2016
Genre: Mystery
Rating: A
Review: This is a re-read for me but I often do that with the Nero Wolfe series. If you see that I have read one of the Wolfe books, you can bet that it gets a high rating. This series and the characters are my favorites of classic mystery. It is not so much the plotting of the mystery which sometimes is a bit weak as much as the ambiance of life in the rather luxurious old brownstone with Wolfe, his assistant/confidant Archie Goodwin, and Fritz, the best cook in NYC. The stories are eccentric and sometimes humorous and they hold your interest from beginning to end. There are three short stories in this book and I loved them all.....but that is no surprise since I am a dyed-in-the-wool fan.


message 5: by Jill (last edited Jan 15, 2016 05:11PM) (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) 4. Profoundly Disturbing The Shocking Movies that Changed History by Joe Bob Briggs by Joe Bob Briggs (no photo)
Finish date: January 8, 2016
Genre: Film
Rating: B+
Review: I seem to be on a bad movie kick for some reason. Most bad movie fans know the author of this book, Joe Bob Briggs, either from his tv shows Joe Bob's Drive-In Theater and Monstervision or his columns in newspapers and magazines. He is the ultimate lover of bad, obscure, strange, and underground film and here he presents the movies in those categories that he calls "shocking movies that changed history". He may be overstating the case for changing history but the 15 films he reviews in this tome certainly made the public (or a portion of the public) see film differently.

His choices are eclectic and run from The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, the classic silent German expressionist film to Deep Throat the trashy porn film that gave Linda Lovelace her 15 minutes of fame. His basis for including the films that he picked is the fact that they were probably the first films that dared to show things that were only hinted about in the mainstream......egregious violence and graphic sex were the two groundbreaking subjects that pretty much opened the floodgates for other film makers.

This is an easy read, fun for the film lover, and gives one the idea that maybe they are missing something by having never seen IIlsa: She-Wolf of the SS!!


message 6: by Jill (last edited Jan 28, 2016 05:54AM) (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) 5. When Paris Went Dark The City of Light Under German Occupation, 1940-1944 by Ronald C. Rosbottom by Ronald C. Rosbottom Ronald C. Rosbottom
Finish date: January 15, 2016
Genre: WWII history, France
Rating: B+
Review: It is almost impossible to think of the Swastika flying over the Eiffel Tower but it happened from 1940 - 1944 when the Nazis occupied the City of Light. Paris was declared an open city to save it from destruction and so began a very strange and tense relationship among the citizens, the occupiers, the collaborators, and Vichy.

How does one occupy a city as large and diverse as Paris...the Hague Convention of 1907 defined the behaviour expected with phrases such as "take all the measures in his (the occupier) power to restore and ensure, as far as possible, public order and civil life while respecting unless absolutely prevented, the laws in force in the country". Of course, the phrase "as far as possible" gave the Nazis a loophole to do as they pleased and still declare that they were abiding by the Convention.

Initially the Parisians pretty much ignored the Nazis until restrictions, food shortages, and the rounding up of the Jews began. That is when the resistance sprang to life, although there is much myth about the organized resistance and how much difference it made.

The author tackles some difficult questions.....such as the role of Maréchal Petain and collaboration vs cooperation. He is very straight forward in his analysis and raises issues that still haunt the country of France. I would recommend this book for the WWII history buff.


message 7: by Jill (last edited Jan 18, 2016 05:52AM) (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) 6. A Dance with the Devil A True Story of Marriage to a Psychopath by Barbara Bentley by Barbara Bentley (no photo)
Finish date: January 17, 2016
Genre: True Crime
Rating: D
Review: This is the tale of a woman (the author) who married a man who appeared to be the perfect catch......money, background, education, winner of the Congressional Medal of Honor, multi-lingual and friend to celebrities. Too good to be true?.....you bet. A con man of the first order, her took her money and her pride and tried to take her life. Now doesn't that sound like something that might hold your attention?

No, no, no!!!! If you are not an author or have no talent for writing, do not attempt to tell your true experiences by writing a book yourself......get someone else to write it for you. Even if the story needs told, is interesting, and would be spellbinding to read, as this book could have been, there is no excuse for amateurish bad writing, bad grammar, and content that is included to pad out the number of pages or is otherwise superfluous and boring. When errors start showing up about ten pages in, you know you are in trouble and that it will be a chore to finish. Trust me, it was.


message 8: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) 7. Mildred Pierce by James M. Cain by James M. Cain James M. Cain
Finish date: January 21, 2016
Genre: Fiction
Rating: B+
Review: After having seen the film (which brought Joan Crawford a well deserved Oscar) numerous times, I thought it was about time I read the book. Written by James M. Cain in 1941 and set during the Great Depression, it is a tale of a middle class couple caught up in the sudden collapse of the economy and finding themselves without funds to meet their financial obligations. They divorce and the wife, Mildred, must find employment but has always been a housewife with no salable skills. By a lucky chance she gets a job at a restaurant and her culinary excellence lifts her from waitress to ownership of a chain of successful dining establishments. It should be a story that ends happily but there is one problem.....Mildred's daughter,Veda, the coldest, most evil bitch imaginable who plays Mildred like a fiddle to get what she wants and she wants it all, including Mildred's second husband, Monty, a formerly rich, high society playboy. And the trouble starts.

Here is where the book and the film part ways and frankly I like both versions. The book leaves the denouement open as if the author might have planned a follow-up; the film does no such thing. Cain wrote some well received and excellent books during the 1940s but in my opinion this one is a little less hard-boiled than his other works. Read the book, see the movie.....it is worth your while.


message 9: by Francie (new)

Francie Grice Jill, I love the movie. Had no idea there was a book. Another one for my constantly growing TBR.


message 10: by Jill (last edited Jan 21, 2016 07:21PM) (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) He was a very talented writer. He also wrote these books on which fantastic movies were based......the best of the noir genre.

Double Indemnity by James M. Cain & The Postman Always Rings Twice by James M. Cain by James M. Cain James M. Cain


message 11: by Pamela (new)

Pamela (winkpc) | 621 comments I've never read the books either but they are three terrific movies. Double Indemnity is my all time favorite film noir! Who knew Fred MacMurray could be so bad!! I'm sure the books are even better.


message 12: by Skeetor (new)

Skeetor | 311 comments More for my TBR list, also.


message 13: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) 8. Poems of Childhood  by Eugene Field by Eugene Field Eugene Field
Finish date: January 25, 2016
Genre: Poetry
Rating: A
Review: This little book is one of the treasures of my childhood, along with A Child's Garden of Verses. I remember my parents reading this to me and I have continued to read it throughout my life. It contains such wonderful poems.....some of my favorites are: Wynken,Blynken and Nod, The Rock-A-By Lady, Seein' Things, and the one that always makes me get tears in my eyes, Little Boy Blue (not Little Boy Blue come blow your horn). It is a joy to revisit these sweet and sometimes sad little verses and this book is a classic of childhood poetry. I highly recommend it for your children or for yourself.

A Child's Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson by Robert Louis Stevenson Robert Louis Stevenson


message 14: by Donna (new)

Donna (drspoon) Jill wrote: "8. Poems of Childhood  by Eugene Field by Eugene FieldEugene Field
Finish date: January 25, 2016
Genre: Poetry
Rating: A
Review: This little book is one of the ..."


Aww, I read those poems to my children. They don't seem to be part of the lexicon for many of today's children though.


message 15: by Jill (last edited Jan 28, 2016 07:56PM) (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) 9. 'Scuse Me While I Kiss This Guy and Other Misheard Lyrics by Gavin Edwards by Gavin Edwards (no photo)
Finish date: January 28, 2016
Genre: Humor, music
Rating: A
Review: We have all done it........misunderstood lyrics to a popular song and can't be convinced that we are wrong. The technical term for this condition is "mondegreens" which came as a result of author Sylvia Wright, while listening to a folk song thinking that it was "They had slain the Earl of Moray and Lady Mondegreen" when indeed it was......."and laid him on the green". This little book gives us some of the funniest of these mondegreens and I found one that I had actually committed! You will laugh out loud at some of these, or at least I did. How about "the girl with colitis goes by" instead of "the girl with kaleidoscope eyes" from "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds".........or "Mice aroma" instead of the Knack's "My Sharona? It goes on and on and is a truly fun book.......and don't pretend that you have never done this yourself!

Sylvia Wright (no photo)


message 16: by Francie (new)

Francie Grice Have to read this one,Jill. Remember CCR's Bad Moon Rising and the line "There's a bad moon on the rise"? My dad was sure they were singing there's a bathroom on the right. Still get a chuckle out of that one.


message 17: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) Your dad wasn't the only one.......that one is in the book. So he wasn't alone. My biggest goof was Elvis's "Return to Sender" which I thought was "Return, Lucinda"!!!!!


message 18: by Francie (new)

Francie Grice :)


message 19: by Mike (new)

Mike Blake | 5 comments Pamela wrote: "I've never read the books either but they are three terrific movies. Double Indemnity is my all time favorite film noir! Who knew Fred MacMurray could be so bad!! I'm sure the books are even better."

Didn't know there was a book! It is without doubt the best noir of them all. Introduced a friend (who is a film/TV set director) to it and he was bowled over and none of the others I 've shown him since have been as good for him.


message 20: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) I would hate to say how many times I have seen Double Indemnity!!!! One of the greatest of the noir genre. Fred MacMurray's casting was a stroke of genius...who would have guessed that he could be such a perfect bad guy. And the perfect bad guy, Edward G. Robinson plays against type as a good guy. Great film.


message 21: by Betsy (new)

Betsy Just look at the sleazeball part MacMurray played in "The Apartment." I think most people remember him from "My Three Sons."


message 22: by Jill (last edited Jan 29, 2016 08:41PM) (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) 10. A Mad Catastrophe The Outbreak of World War I and the Collapse of the Habsburg Empire by Geoffrey Wawro by Geoffrey Wawro Geoffrey Wawro
Finish date: January 29, 2016
Genre: History/WWI
Rating: B
Review: The Ottoman Empire, known as "the sick man of Europe" had nothing on Austria-Hungary. The ruling Habsburg dynasty under the leadership of the aged Franz Joseph, was the oldest in Europe and continued to bask in the glory days of the 18th and 19th century. Made up of countries/principalities that all spoke different languages and had different priorities, the Empire had no domestic consensus on foreign policy, was deeply in debt and had a small military that still depended on mounted cavalry, sabres, and brass cannons. The assassination of the heir apparent to the throne by Serbian dissidents and Austria-Hungary's response backed by the German Kaiser Wilhelm plunged Europe and eventually the world into the slaughter of WWI.

The author looks at the Eastern Front (the Balkans) in the first year of the war (1914). It was there that the Austro-Hungarian troops were engaged and humiliated.....loss after loss, incompetent leadership, indecision, and lack of tactics and weapons. They were a toy army that didn't have the first clue about how war in the 20th century was fought and desertion and self inflicted wounds abounded. It was a sad ending to a once glorious Empire with a proud military history.

This is a slow read as the author, who did intensive research, covers each battle and skirmish in detail......thankfully he provides maps of some of the more important battles. But it is an interesting look at the Eastern Front which usually doesn't get as much attention as does the fighting in France (the Western Front). It will also astonish the reader at the total ineptitude and seemingly uncaring attitude of the leadership. A perceptive history of the end of an Empire which had no one to blame but itself.


message 23: by Pamela (new)

Pamela (winkpc) | 621 comments Betsy wrote: "Just look at the sleazeball part MacMurray played in "The Apartment." I think most people remember him from "My Three Sons.""

I had forgotten about that one! I watch it every once in awhile and am always amazed at how well Fred MacMurray plays such a rat.


message 24: by Jill (last edited Feb 07, 2016 08:51PM) (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) FEBRUARY

11. Hastened to the Grave The Gypsy Murder Investigation by Jack Olsen by Jack Olsen (no photo)
Finish date: February 7, 2016
Genre: True crime
Rating: B
Review: This is an odd book.....when I began reading it I thought it was part of a fictional murder mystery series starring Fay Faron of the Rat Dog Dick Detective Agency (no kidding!) Turns out it is true crime which can be stranger than fiction and the characters are real and unlike ones you have ever met. They are the Gypsies, in this story, located, in San Francisco.....a family, the Tene Bimbos who prey on the elderly and stick together like glue. I know very little about Gypsies but this book provides great background information about their culture, their hatred of non-Gypsies and the law, and their unbelievable cunning. It is a fascinating sub-culture with origins that are shrouded in mystery.

Fay is drawn into a case of elder abuse (in this case the bilking of thousands of dollars and property from an elderly woman) and it starts her on her quest for bringing justice to her client and all the other elderly who are victims of the Tene Bimbos. She soon learns that Gypsies are seldom arrested and the police basically ignore their criminal activities. How should she continue when the powers that be don't seem to care? A rather unusual but interesting read.


message 25: by Skeetor (new)

Skeetor | 311 comments Added to my tbr list! thanks!


message 26: by Jill (last edited Feb 11, 2016 08:27PM) (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) 12, Vamp The Rise and Fall of Theda Bara by Eve Golden by Eve Golden Eve Golden
Finish date: February 10, 2016
Genre" Biography, film history
Rating: B-
Review: Theda Bara......the name conjures up mystery and evil deeds. Not a bad start for a Jewish girl from Cincinnati named Theodosa Goodman, plain and rather pudgy with a big chin and thin lips. William Fox of Fox Studios (later to morph into 20h Century Fox) took her and turned her into the biggest silent star of all times. Yet she is practically unknown today except to the silent film fan.....most of her films have been lost so the viewer doesn't see all her work but her first huge hit "A Fool There Was" is still extant. Her character was the "vampire" (taken from the poem of the same name by Kipling), soon shortened to "vamp", a woman who led men to destruction, alcoholism and usually suicide. And the public loved it. To say that her acting, the character,her make-up. flowing hair and the stories were ludicrous is putting it mildly. Why she became so popular is rather puzzling.

This short, easy to read biography is full of information but is somewhat dull. Ms. Bara never had a breath of scandal associated with her life and married British director Charles Brabin.....and stayed married. The times soon passed and the public's tired of her films and she retired before the talkies began, after trying a disastrous Broadway outing. She lived a privileged and social life until her death in 1955. Her passing was barely noticed by film fans who hadn't a clue who she was. A bittersweet ending for a pioneer of the film industry, albeit it a rather strange one.


message 27: by Jill (last edited Feb 14, 2016 08:33PM) (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) 13. The Kidnap Murder Case (A Philo Vance Mystery #10) by S.S. Van Dine by S.S. Van Dine (no photo)
Finish date: February 14, 2016
Genre: Golden Age Mystery
Rating: C-
Review: Van Dine's amateur detective Philo Vance is America's answer to Lord Peter Wimsey except that he is really irritating. He lounges around smoking Régis cigarettes, calls everyone "old dear", affects a monocle, drops his g's, is supercilious, very wealthy, and quotes obscure poetry. The first few books of this series were wildly popular and The Canary Murder Case is usually found on most lists of important mysteries of the Golden Age. But the sheen wore off rather quickly and Vance's personality palled with the public.

I have to admit that I have read two books in the early Vance series and really liked them, so was looking forward to this late entry. When I finished it, I wondered why I was so enthralled with Philo Vance once upon a time. The story here is incidental since the Vance character gets in the way and you don't really care much about what happens to the man who has supposedly been kidnapped as indicated by the title.

I probably gave it a higher rating than it deserves but I guess I did it for old times sake!!

The Canary Murder Case (A Philo Vance Mystery #2) by S.S. Van Dine by S.S. Van Dine (no photo)


message 28: by Jill (last edited Feb 19, 2016 08:39PM) (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) 14. (no image) Jerry Lee Lewis Rocks by Robert Palmer (no photo)
Finish date: February 19, 2016
Genre: Music
Rating: B-
Review: The original bad boy of rock and roll, Jerry Lee Lewis was loved by teens and hated by their parents. He was a new brand of rocker who smashed pianos on stage long before The Who smashed their guitars. He shocked the world by marrying his 14 year old cousin and because of it was asked to leave Britain when he went there to tour. He married multiple times and when his rock and roll career began to falter, he successfully switched to country music and toned down his image somewhat. But he would always be "The Killer".

This book is not really a biography but rather chapters of pieces of his life interspersed with interviews with friends, colleagues, and enemies. Lots of pictures, not a lot of text, this is a book to read while you are also reading something a little more serious. Fun stuff for the music fan.


message 29: by Jill (last edited Feb 27, 2016 08:15PM) (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) 15. And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie by Agatha Christie Agatha Christie
Finish date: February 27, 2016
Genre: Classic mystery
Rating: A
Review: One of Christie's best books although atypical since it does not have a central character/detective. Instead we have a group of ten people, who do not know each other, invited to an island by an anonymous host who never appears. But he does leave a recording that provides the reason that they are there. One by one they are murdered but by whom? It is a great premise and Christie doesn't give us any clues with which to work out a solution. Although I read this book several years ago and know how it ends, it is so clever that I still love it.

This book has been filmed at least three times, sometimes with story changes which were neither necessary nor appreciated by those who have read the book. I never know why Hollywood thinks they know better than a classic author of mystery tales!! The original title of this book (which I will not mention here) is totally offensive in the modern world but was acceptable during the time it was written. Regardless, it is another gem in Christie's crown as the doyenne of mystery writers. Highly recommended


message 30: by Jill (last edited Mar 03, 2016 08:31PM) (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) MARCH

16. Supreme City How Jazz Age Manhattan Gave Birth to Modern America by Donald L. Miller by Donald L. Miller Donald L. Miller
Finish date: March 3, 2016
Genre: American/cultural history
Rating: A
Review: This is a huge book that has put me behind in my reading schedule but it was worth every page of it. What a fascinating history of one of the world's most exciting times in one of the world's most exciting cities......the Jazz Age (1920's and early 30s) in New York City.

The author begins that history with the day the Gentleman Jimmy Walker became the popular playboy mayor of the city...people loved him because he ignored Prohibition and his romantic dalliances were grist for the gossip mill. But regardless of his faults, it was during this time that the city began changing into what we know today. The movement of business to mid-town, the relocation of factories and slaughterhouses across the river to New Jersey and the beginning of the age of the skyscraper.

This history is divided into five parts....Power and Politics; Crime and Prohibition; The Making of Modern Manhattan; Bringing In The Future: and Jazz Age Icons. In these sections he covers everything from the Garment District to the Ziegfeld Follies. This is a wonderful book, informative, and beautifully written even if it does end rather abruptly. Highly recommended.


message 31: by Terry (new)

Terry (terryhreader) | 336 comments Sounds the perfect followup to The Poisoner's Handbook Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York by Deborah Blum by Deborah Blum Deborah Blum that I just finished. I'll put it on my To-Read list for long flights.


message 32: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) I think it will be well worth your while, Terry. So much information about things that we now take for granted in NYC.


message 33: by Jill (last edited Mar 10, 2016 07:49PM) (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) 17. Bryant & May and the Bleeding Heart (Bryant & May, #11) by Christopher Fowler by Christopher Fowler Christopher Fowler
Finish date: March 8, 2016
Genre: Mystery/humor
Rating: A
Review: The Bryant & May Peculiar Crime Unit series is totally insane, totally unbelievable and fantastic! I love these books which are a mix of obscure information, impossible crimes, and wonderful characters....led by the very eccentric Bryant and dapper ladies man, May, elderly detectives who have kept the Unit together through thick and thin. Always in trouble for totally disregarding police rules and utilizing their myriad of contacts who range from psychics to experts on the history of British ale, they are constantly threatened with closure by the powers that be but they continue to prevail and solve crimes.

I couldn't begin to explain the plot of this book (or any of them for that matter) since they are beyond the pale. Suffice it to say that it involves the theft of the Ravens of the Tower of London (which myth tells us will cause the monarchy to fall) and the grave robbing of two recently interred humans and one dog!!! And of course, only in a Bryant & May book could they be related incidents with a surreal ending. Clever and fun, I recommend this book and any others in the series.


message 34: by Peter (new)

Peter Flom Jill wrote: "17. Bryant & May and the Bleeding Heart (Bryant & May, #11) by Christopher Fowler by Christopher FowlerChristopher Fowler
Finish date: March 8, 2016
Genre: Mystery/humor
Rating: A
Revie..."


Sound good. Do these involve mysticism and fantasy and stuff like that? Or are they more reality-based?


message 35: by Skeetor (new)

Skeetor | 311 comments Jill wrote: "17. Bryant & May and the Bleeding Heart (Bryant & May, #11) by Christopher Fowler by Christopher FowlerChristopher Fowler
Finish date: March 8, 2016
Genre: Mystery/humor
Rating: A
Revie..."


Added to my TBR list, thanks!


message 36: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) Peter......no fantasy, vampire, etc. Although Detective Bryant is fascinated with psychics and likes to use them as a resource when working on a case, it is just part of his eccentric personality. No supernatural stuff, just unusual. These books are great fun.


message 37: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) I hope you like it Skeetor.......they are a different type of police procedural.


message 38: by Skeetor (last edited Mar 11, 2016 07:41AM) (new)

Skeetor | 311 comments Oh, I think I will. I took your recommendation for Agatha Christie's The Mysterious Mr. Quin and loved it!
The Mysterious Mr. Quin (Harley Quin, #1) by Agatha Christie by Agatha Christie Agatha Christie


message 39: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) I'm so glad......I wish Christie would have written more about Mr. Quin. There are only a few short stories but they are fascinating.

The Mysterious Mr. Quin (Harley Quin, #1) by Agatha Christie by Agatha Christie Agatha Christie


message 40: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) 18. War is a Racket The Antiwar Classic by America's Most Decorated Soldier by Smedley D. Butler by Smedley D. Butler Smedley D. Butler
Finish date: March 11, 2016
Genre: American politics/military
Rating: C
Review: I'm just not sure how to rate this book, so I put it in the middle category of "C". It is an odd little read and while you agree with some of the author's assumptions, others are contradictory. Written by a Major General in the Marines who won two Medals of Honor in WWI, there is no doubt that he knows of what he speaks as far as war is concerned. However, the fact that large companies and individuals reaped fortunes from the war, although somewhat disturbing, is a part of free trade and has been a side effect of war that will always hold true The author doesn't really expound on how that should be avoided. Additionally the book was published in the late 1930s, so the isolationist approach that the author takes may seem a little dated.

It is worth a try if you are interested in how business and war are so tightly intertwined.


message 41: by Jerome, Assisting Moderator - Upcoming Books and Releases (last edited Mar 11, 2016 07:34PM) (new)

Jerome | 4059 comments Mod
Jill, you might be interested in these:

The Savage Wars Of Peace Small Wars And The Rise Of American Power by Max Boot by Max Boot Max Boot
Maverick Marine General Smedley D. Butler and the Contradictions of American Military History by Hans Schmidt by Hans Schmidt (no photo)

I've only read Boot, but his book is pretty strong on Butler's military career and the history of America's lesser-known military interventions abroad (he also critiques Butler's book near the end)


message 42: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) Thanks so much, Jerome.


message 43: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) 19. Diners, Drive-ins and Dives An All-American Road Trip . . . with Recipes! by Guy Fieri by Guy Fieri Guy Fieri
Finish date: March 14, 2016
Genre: Food/travel
Rating: A-
Review: This book, resultant from the hit show of the same name on the Food Network, is a trip across the country to the best of the best small and lesser known eateries as visited by the author, Guy Fieri. Guy's sense of humor is prevalent as he describes each restaurant, their owners, and their specialties. It is a fun trip and it even has recipes! A quick, quirky, and just plain fun read. Recommended.


message 44: by Peter (new)

Peter Flom Jill wrote: "19. Diners, Drive-ins and Dives An All-American Road Trip . . . with Recipes! by Guy Fieri by Guy FieriGuy Fieri
Finish date: March 14, 2016
Genre: Fo..."


Sounds like my kind of book


message 45: by Betsy (new)

Betsy This book has some good recipes, and I enjoy reading about some of the places he has been. I love real diners, and there are several in the book.


message 46: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) I think the fun of it is also the fact that you would probably pass some of these places right by since they are neither fancy or maybe not even attractive. Good food is good food, no matter what the setting. The best hot dogs in my surrounding area are served in a ramshackle joint that everybody loves!!


message 47: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) 20. Empire of Deception The Incredible Story of a Master Swindler Who Seduced a City and Captivated the Nation by Dean Jobb by Dean Jobb Dean Jobb
Finish date: March 15, 2016
Genre: Biography, American history
Rating: A-
Review: Chicago in the 1920s.....that most sinful, colorful, and beloved of cities where "things were happening".......gangland murders, graft, corruption, the Leopold/Loeb case and one giant scam that has almost been lost to history. Smooth talking lawyer Leo Koretz set up the biggest Ponzi scheme in history (until Bernie Madoff came along) and then preyed upon his own family (even his mother) and close friends, taking entire fortunes without any remorse.

Koretz set up a fake oil company in Panama.......this was just after the Canal opened......and sold millions of dollars worth of shares in his oil fields. He was such a slick talker that few people asked for any proof that these wells existed and of course, they didn't. But it was the time of making the quick buck so investors were very careless about this investment; besides they trusted him.

A fascinating tale of greed, high living, and the slowly evolving recognition that maybe things weren't exactly what Mr. Koretz said they were. Interesting goings-on in the world of high finance and greed.


message 48: by Francie (new)

Francie Grice Going to have to move up on my TBR!


message 49: by Jill (last edited Mar 17, 2016 10:56PM) (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) 21. Scream Chilling Adventures in the Science of Fear by Margee Kerr by Margee Kerr (no photo)
Finish date: March 17, 2016
Genre: Sociological/psychological study
Rating: B-
Review: I was not sure what to expect when I picked up this book....it turned out to be a sociological/psychological study of fear mixed with the personal stories of the author's search for the ultimate terrifying situation. Why are people afraid of the dark, or ghosts, or spiders or height? And how does our brain react when we are faced with a flight or fight situation when we feel threatened by something that frightens us?

It is an interesting study but the book is uneven.......some chapters are, frankly, rather boring while others hold your attention and some of the situations in which the author put herself, make me question her sanity!!! But she certainly threw herself into her work to illustrate from her actual experiences what fear does to the human body and psyche. Pretty interesting stuff with a few slow chapters but still worth the read.

BTW, if you read in bed and put the book on your nightstand and turn off the light, you will get a bit of a fright. The title glows in the dark, so turn the book over or you will be looking at the word "Scream" all night long!!!


message 50: by Pamela (new)

Pamela (winkpc) | 621 comments How cool is that!! I haven't had anything that glows in the dark since a rosary I had when I was 7! Not sure I'm ready for a book about fright though. I'll bet there are snakes in there somewhere.


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