Monday, September 17, 2012

Forgotten Bookmarks by Michael Popek

Because I enjoyed looking through the book PostSecret: Extraordinary Confessions from Ordinary Lives by Frank Warren, I thought I might enjoy Forgotten Bookmarks by Michael Popek.

Well, yes and no.  I thought some of the items left in old books were interesting.  There were a couple of letters written during the Civil War and a few things that were older than that.  I learned a little history from people who were there at the time.

I kept trying to relate the item with the title of the book in which it was found.  That didn't work.  Just like I do, those people simply took something flat and put it in whatever book they were reading.  Or they put a precious keepsake in their favorite book. 

If you like checking out the odds and ends of life, this is a book you should pick up.  If you want action and a plot, go for something else.

Kathi Linz

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

My Journey to Heaven: What I Saw and How It Changed My Life by Marvin J. Besteman

In the book My Journey to Heaven: What I Saw and How It Changed My Life, Marvin J. Besteman tells about the time he had pancreatic surgery.  He was in horrible pain since the surgeons moved all of his innards around to get to the tumor on his pancreas. 

During the night after surgery, he went to heaven for a short period of time.  He describes what he saw while at the gate of heaven and some of the people who he spoke to or who were in view of the gate. 

He wasn't able to speak to anyone inside nor was he allowed to step foot inside.  He admits to being angry that he had to come back to earth.

I've read a few books written by people who returned from death.  This book has more description and does not have the tunnel of light.  Instead, Marv is escorted to the gate by two angels.

The author is presently back in heaven.  He died a couple of weeks after finishing his part of the work on the manuscript.  He claimed that he was sent back to earth to tell people what he saw.

I enjoyed reading this book more than some of the others on the same topic.

Kathi Linz

Saturday, September 8, 2012

8 MInutes to Digital Winter by Mark Hitchcock and Alton Gansky

What would happen if a worm got into the computer systems and shut everything down.  No refrigeration, no electricity, no cars that have computer chips...  What would the government be able to do?  What would be the priorities if such a thing happened?

There are a number of players in this gripping book, but the main focus is on Colonel Jeremy Matisse, military expert on all things computer, and his wife, surgeon Roni Matisse.  When the world collapses around them, they each feel that their duties take presidence over any personal wishes they might have.  Jeremy follows President Barlow into a safe place similar to NORAD and struggles to find the antidote to the computer problems.  Roni stays at her post in the hospital - not just for a couple of extra shifts - but for months, as she tries to save people's lives with medicine gone back to WW I or before.

President Barlow tries to make executive decisions for the good of the whole country with few advisors and extremely limited information and resources.

Demonic spirits are at work in this book published by Harvest House.  They set up the story but don't overshadow it.

I'm betting this is the first book in a series based on the way the final chapter plays out.

Kathi Linz

Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Wild Girl: The Notebooks of Ned Giles, 1932 by Jim Fergus

The Wild Girl is a good book that will speak to your inner adventurer.  It is a very well written story in third and first person views (of at least 3 different people).  I loved the fact that it switched back and forth between characters.  I think it kept it fresh. 

Parts of the book were about this "wild" Apache girl (recently turned "woman") who was captured by a crazy mountain man.  Other parts of the book were based on a teenaged orphan boy turned photographer who sets out West to avoid his troubles.  He joins the 1932 Great Apache Expedition on a search for the young son of a wealthy Mexican land owner who was stolen by the wild Apaches a couple years earlier. 

The two stories merge when the Expedition encounters the wild girl in a Mexican jail cell and decide to take her along to trade for the boy.  The story continues to switch perspectives from there. 

If you like stories, based on actual events, with drama, peril, and adventure (with a bit of romance) then, give this one a try.  I give it a 9.5 out of 10.

P.S.  If you get the first edition published by Hyperion that has a red cover with a necklace on it--It has a Q&A with the author in the back that's pretty good. :)

Joanna Jackson

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Jasmine Nights: A Novel by Julia Gregson

If you like works of fiction dealing in adventure, conflict (both physical and emotional), humor, romance, suspense, and travel; this book is for you.

The main characters: Saba Tarcan (a half Turkish - half British 23 year old who has hefty dreams of becoming a professional singer) and Dom Benson (a half French - half British 23 year old Pilot Officer who learned to fly at Cambridge). 

The setting: Wales, London, Africa, and mostly the Middle East. 

This is a fictional novel based on true accounts of female entertainers used as spies during WWII.  It has just about everything you would want out of a book.  I like that the author was very detailed.  The only thing that I had a problem with was when she used British slang for a lot of things.  I kind of got lost during those parts.  Other than that... awesome read.  I give it a 9 out of 10.

Joanna Jackson