Hi All!It is time to hear about my books again! I have a varied group this time.First is a book I borrowed from a fellow ASL student. Jewish Pirates of the Caribbean by Edward Krisler. That is right JEWISH pirates! Who would have "thunk it??" This book reviews the history of the Jewish people around the time of the Spanish Inquisition when they were being expelled from Spanish held countries. These Jews were in quite a fix - they were not welcome in most European countries and, if they were allowed into the country, they were not given equal rights as Christians.A central theme in the history of these Jews in search of a "homeland" free of persecution is their financial prowess. Wherever they went, the Jews managed to succeed financially and this caught the attention of the Spanish King. While he wouldn't abide the Jews in HIS country, he was more than happy to allow them to settle in his "New World" colonies to take care of his financial interests.What does this have to do with pirates, you may ask? Well, a large part of the finances that Jews oversaw included piracy - or profiteering. They were given permission by the Spanish King to basically capture the ships of other countries and to take the cargo the ships were carrying. It wasn't only Spain that saw the wisdom of Jewish pirates. Other Western European countries also allowed Jewish sailors to act on their behalf to "loot" cargo ships.The Jewish pirates were very, very good at what they did! This is an interesting book which was researched extensively by the author. While I wouldn't go as far as to say that the writing was sparkling, if you are interested in history, particularly Jewish history, this might be a book you would like to peruse.Next up is The Light of Falling Stars by J. Robert Lennon. This book centers around the crash of a passenger airplane in the remote hills of Montana near a small town named Marshall. The book flits between several people who are effected by the crash in different ways.
First you meet Paul and Anita. They are a couple who live in an isolated cabin in the woods outside of town. They are going through a difficult time because Anita wants a family while Paul doesn't. They are arguing in their backyard, on Paul's birthday, when they see the plane. One of the plane's engines falls from the sky and actually crashed into their house before landing several yards away in their yard. Both Paul and Anita run to the crash site in the woods and what they see changes their lives forever.
Next is an Italian businessman named Bernardo who is moving to America to be with his son. His son has no idea that Bernardo is coming until he gets a call from his father from the Italian airport. Bernardo is running from what he considers disaster in Italy. His marriage ended in his wife's death. His business, a thriving market, burns to the ground due to carelessness of two young workers. His "girlfriend" is pressing him for marriage. He doesn't have any money to rebuild or to marry so he runs. To Montana. On the plan which crashes.
Lars and Toth are next. They are young men who both have a strong connection to a woman who is a passenger on the plane. Lars was her boyfriend and wanted to be her fiance. Toth was secretly in love with her and had recently told her his feelings. The two men each deal differently with the sorrow of learning that Megan has been killed in the crash.
Finally is Trixie. Trixie is a divorced woman who lives alone in a small house in Marshall. Her grown children have no contact with her and turned against her after her husband, their father, left her when they were young. Hamish, their father and her ex-husband, contacts Trixie and tells her he is coming to see her. On the plane that crashes. Trixie begins to deal with her emotions about Hamish as she waits for his arrival, learns of his death, and deals with the loss.
This book is a good read. The characters are richly developed and become real as you progress through the book. In their reactions to the crash, you begin to imagine your own reactions. Sometimes you can't understand the actions of the characters but when you look at the reasons for the actions, all centered on the crash, you begin to understand.
While this book is more literary than a good beach read, it is good and well worth the time.
Speaking of beach reads . . . 3 Love Stories is just such a book. This is the second of these collections (from Grandma's stash of books) which I have read. In this book are the stories "A Guest in Paradise" by Peggy Gaddis, "Backhand to Love" by Rebecca March, and "Treasured Dreams of Love" by Joan Garrison.In "A Guest in Paradise," a young secretary, Celia, who is in love with her boss, Brad, flies to an island to help him with a business deal. The island, Paradise, lives up to its name. Once there, Celia finds herself a pawn in a strange business deal and the interest of several men. This story has a happy ending but, I just didn't feel that the story was developed adequately to support the ending. Oh well. It is fluff and you can't expect too much from fluff, right?This story left me wanting more.The next story, "Backhand to Love," was a bit better. In this story, a former tennis player whose career was ended due to a car crash and a badly injured ankle, takes up the coaching of a young tennis player. The former pro, Bess, and the young player, Karen, are wrapped up in the creation of a woman's club which wants to sponsor Karen. Bess is hired as the director of the club and finds herself more involved in Karen's life than she ever imagined.Again, a nice story but not really as developed as I would like. I am thinking that the story length needed for the book may have some influence on the development of the plot.The final story in this book, "Treasured Dreams of Love," was actually a struggle for me to get through. To be honest, this was more due to the cumulation of feelings about the previous two stories than the merits of the final story. In this story, Cathy, the manager and owner of a fine restaurant in a small Nevada town, gets involved in the local politics of casino owners as the town experiences some growing pains. She is in love with Dan, an ambitious hotel manager, but also pays attention to Doug, a wealthy rancher, and Gary, a slick out-of-towner who comes to town to develop a casino/motel/restaurant.Again, the story ends on a happy note but . . . geesh! How in the world does Cathy get to the decision she makes? More info please!!!!If you are at the beach and just bumming around looking for some brainless reading this may work for you. If you are looking for some well developed stories . . . pass!The last book in this batch is She Went All the Way by Meg Cabot.
Meg Cabot was an unknown author to me when I purchased her book at the local book sale. I was attracted by the picture! Now, I am thinking I will search out another of her books when I get a chance.
While this book is definitely "Chick Lit," it is a good read. The main character, a screenwriter named Lou Calabrese, finds herself in an unbelievable situation with the person she would least like to be stuck with, an actor/playboy named Jack Townsend. The two find themselves stranded in the Alaskan wilderness running for their lives as unknown people are trying to kill them. Actually, Jack is the only real target but Lou is caught up by merely being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Amazingly, the pair survive several days in the wilderness due to some fabulous luck. The reason for the paid killers is unknown to both of them - and the reader - until the very end of the book.
This book is a very, very good read. I couldn't put it down! The plot is interesting even though it is incredible. The writing flows and is peppered with sex scenes (as all chick lit is) but not so many that the reader gets frustrated. The twists and turns in the plot are very unexpected and makes this book even more interesting.
Looking for some good "Chick Lit?" Get this book!
Voice Update: Still feeling like my voice isn't as strong as it should be. Still working on the exercises and massage.