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Monthly "Reads" > Barry's August

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message 1: by Barry (new)

Barry (barrypz) | 2940 comments Midnight in Chernobyl: Adam Higginbothem
This is the book that formed the basis of the HBO miniseries on Chernobyl. No question this was an interest to me, I make my living on preventing nuclear disaster, and if one occurred, I would be driving to it, not away, as a matter of employment and expertise. On the one hand, the book gives enough detail on the physics of the accident that a layman can gain an appreciation, and an expert, a very good idea of what occurred. On the other hand, the book explores the influence of the people and personalities involved, as well as the politics of the time and how they played out in the recovery. (A)

Into the Raging Sea: Rachel Slade
Non fiction, this is the story of the loss of the El Faro, and American container ship that pretty much ignored hurricane warnings, and sailed a ship that was degraded to begin with into the eye of the storm. We had used this as a case study at work, being led to the conclusion that the management failures that led to this sinking were not possible in the management culture we had. Having looked at this deeper version of the tale, one can easily see how profit taking and downsizing can lead to a series of bad decisions leading to failure. The Bridge voice recorder from the El Faro was recovered, and the actual transcripts were used in the writing of this book.(A)

Shamed: Linda Castillo
Life among the Amish again, this time with a taken child, a series of vengeful murders, and no clear reason why it happened. (B+)

Dead Man’s Mistress: David Housewright
Good old fashioned mystery where McKenzie tries to solve an art heist, wit a bit of murder thrown in on the side. As always, he makes some friends, and even more so makes enemies. (B+)

A Dangerous Man: Robert Crais
Intricate plotting and a story that moves and keeps you interested. I read almost the whole book the evening I picked it up, just a bit to finish in the morning. Crais has pretty much given in to popular desire to feature Joe Pike as a main character. I can understand the strong silent type, but I've never been sure Pike was a fully developed character. The consequence, of course, is that Elvis becomes a quite secondary character. (B+)

One Good Deed: David Baldacci
Another new series maybe? This set in 1949 geaturing a innocent man just paroled from prison who gets involved in a small town murder spree, and looks to e the fall guy unless he can clear himself. Personally, I prefer the period pieces where modern sensibilities do not intrude. (B)

Shadow Woman: Thomas Perry
Jane makes people disappear, usually to escape bad people. Sometimes bad people try to get even. (B)

The Russia Account: Stephen Coonts This seemed like the end of the line for a thriller character that has decades behind him. As the book ends, all of the major characters seem to be going into retirement. But, of course, there had to be a story to lead up to this. As I read it, I recalled that I was going to give this series up due to its blatant right wing political slant. Parts of this story came right from the headlines, with Rusian meddling in the American system. Where I lose patience is that there are characters that are clearly identifiable as the Clintons, or Nancy Pelosi, of Chuck Schumer, and even Elizibeth Warren who are portrayed as evil, and scheming. What do I know, maybe they are, but fiction is not the proof of this, and I always prefer to make up my own mind about right and wrong in America. In short, I want y fiction to be fiction, and I can make up my own mind as to what is reality. (B)

Heavy on the Dead: GM Ford
Leo Waterman blunders into white supremicists and other bad dudes. (B)

Enemy Contact:”Clancy”
I have been toying with dropping this series as they have become exceedingly formulaic and lack the insight that Clancy himself used to provide. (B)

Rules of Engagement: Bruns/Olson
Typical of today’s war books, the tale is more of cyberwarfare than people, with a bit of international personal animosity tossed in for good measure.(B)

Kill Me: Stephen White
Perhaps you remember the movie (starring Jim Carey) “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” where Carey contracts to erase all memories of the girl who dumped him (and erased him), but then changes his mind long after it is too late. Substitute erase mind with contract to have himself killed, and you have this novel. The protagonist is a too rich entrepreneur who somehow manages to also be too stupid. The company he contracts with has ridiculous terms,terms written only to further the plot of the book. The end of the book, when you see it coming, just makes you groan. (C+)


message 2: by Merrilee in AZ (new)

Merrilee in AZ | 1113 comments Good month. I loved the Crais book. Was a little disappointed with Shamed


message 3: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14202 comments Barry: A very nice month for you. I will have to look out for Into the Raging Sea: Thirty-Three Mariners, One Megastorm, and the Sinking of El Faro. I read Into the Storm: Two Ships, a Deadly Hurricane, and an Epic Battle for Survival which also described the El Faro sinking. I found the story riveting.

I'm slowly reading Midnight in Chernobyl and watched the HBO miniseries. It was of great interest to me as well, and a a thoroughly chilling event. I also have been reading Voices from Chernobyl, told from the perspective of regular people living near or inside the evacuation site. I lost my library loan mid-read so will finish it later. The author has experienced severe health issues after her time spent in the area recording hundreds of interviews. What a brave soul she is and a brave group of people facing the disaster.

Barry wrote: "Midnight in Chernobyl: Adam Higginbothem
This is the book that formed the basis of the HBO miniseries on Chernobyl. No question this was an interest to me, I make my living on preventing nuclear disasters...

Into the Raging Sea: Rachel Slade
Non fiction, this is the story of the loss of the El Faro, and American container ship that pretty much ignored hurricane warnings, and sailed a ship that was degraded to begin with into the eye of the storm. We had used this as a case study at work, being led to the conclusion that the management failures that led to this sinking were not possible in the management culture we had. Having looked at this deeper version of the tale, one can easily see how profit taking and downsizing can lead to a series of bad decisions leading to failure. The Bridge voice recorder from the El Faro was recovered, and the actual transcripts were used in the writing of this book.(A)



message 4: by Barry (new)

Barry (barrypz) | 2940 comments Feel free to ask about any technical details on Chernobyl. This is what I do for a living. (No, not melt down nuclear plants, but maybe a little simulation of it)


message 5: by Melodie (last edited Sep 02, 2019 09:20AM) (new)

Melodie (melodieco) | 3587 comments Good month! Crais is next up in The Pile. Am behind on the Castillo books. Just picked up the El Faro book for my Kindle. $1.99, Ann, if you're interested!


message 6: by Dan in AZ (new)

Dan in AZ | 2614 comments I think the combination of Pike and Costello complement each other. Quiet Pike and talkative Costello


message 7: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14202 comments Thanks Barry! I will take you up on the offer of technical clarification and I hope all of the melt down simulations are little and remain only simulations!
Barry wrote: "Feel free to ask about any technical details on Chernobyl. This is what I do for a living. (No, not melt down nuclear plants, but maybe a little simulation of it)"


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