Recently Read Books

  • A Delicate Truth- John Le Carre (fiction)
  • Perfect - Rachel Joyce (Fiction)
  • The Expats - Chris Pavone (Fiction)
  • An Event in Autumn - Henning Mankel (Fiction)
  • Winter in Madrid - C.J.Sansom (Fiction)
  • The Brothers - John Foster Dulles and Allen Dulles - non-fiction
  • LIfe Among Giants - Bill Roorbach (Novel)
  • Empty Mansions - Bill Dedman (non-fiction)
  • Woodrow Wilson (non fiction)
  • Lawrence in Arabia (Non-Fiction)
  • In Sunlight and In Shadow by Mark Helpren (Fiction)
  • Lesson in French - Hilary Reyl (fiction)
  • Unbroken- Laura Hillenbrand (Non-Fiction)
  • Venice, A New History- Thomas Madden - (Non- Fiction)
  • Life is a Gift - Tony Bennett Autobiography
  • The First Counsell - Brad Meltzer (Fiction)
  • Destiny of the Republic - President James Garfield non-fiction by Candice Millard
  • The Last Lion (volume III)- William Manchester and Paul Reid (non-fiction, Winston Churchill)
  • Yellowstone Autumn -W.D. Wetherell (non-fiction about turning 55 and fishing in Yellowstone)
  • Everybody was Young- (non-fiction Paris in the 1920's)
  • Scorpion - (non fiction US Supreme Court)
  • Supreme Power - Jeff Shesol (non-fiction)
  • Zero day by David Baldacci ( I read all of Baldacci's Books)
  • Northwest Angle - William Kent Krueger (fiction - I have read 5 or 6 books by this author)
  • Camelot's Court-Insider the Kennedy Whitehouse- Robert Dallek
  • Childe Hassam -Impressionist (a beautiful book of his paintings)

Friday, June 8, 2012

Recently Read Books

Last week a finished a book that I recommend.  It is Italian Shoes by Henning Mankell.  I found the following description of the book on

"From the prizewinning "master of atmosphere" (Boston Globe) comes the surprising and affecting story of a man well past middle age who suddenly finds himself on the threshold of renewal. Living on a tiny island entirely surrounded by ice during the long winter months, Fredrik Welin is so lost to the world that he cuts a hole in the ice every morning and lowers himself into the freezing water to remind himself that he is alive. Haunted by memories of the terrible mistake that drove him to this island and away from a successful career as a surgeon, he lives in a stasis so complete an anthill grows undisturbed in his living room.When an unexpected visitor alters his life completely, thus begins an eccentric, elegiac journey--one that shows Mankell at the very height of his powers as a novelist.  A deeply human tale of loss and redemption, Italian Shoes is a testament to the unpredictability of life, which breeds hope even in the face of tragedy."

The book was written in Swedish and translated into English The book is a quiet book.  Much of it presents  the thoughts of the lead character.  If you want a book with action, or suspense, this is not the book for you.  But if you want a book that presents the reflection of a life, this book might very well be one you would enjoy.

If you read the best seller lists you have seen the triology of the Fifty Shades books by E L James.  At one time all three books were in the top ten best sellers.  I finally broke down and bought the trade paperbacks of each of the books: (i) Fifty Shades of Gray; (ii) Fifty Shades Darker; and (iii) Fifty Shades Freed.  After reading the combined almost 1,700 pages, my advice is "DON'T BOTHER".  All three books could have been combined in less than 100 pages and even those 100 pages would not be worth reading.  For me it was a total waste of time.  It was about a relationship of sexually dominant man and a subservient woman. I am not prudish and the concept did not bother me, but the books were not interesting.  There were page after page of emails back and forth that basically were the same. The couple continually had arguments and then made up.  Reading the books was like the movie Groundhog Day, the same thing continue to happen over and over again.


  1. Always enjoy your book review blogs. You got me started on Daniel Silva books and now I just can't get enough of Gabriel Allon. He's my hero! With all the hype on the 50 Shades of Grey series I found your review interesting! I've never wanted to read the series. The whole intrigue just made no sense to me. That probably makes me a prude! Did you ever read Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand? I know you would really like it. I think it's my favorite book of all time.

    1. I intend to read Unbroken son. THanks for the tip.