Happy Reading

Toni's bookshelf: read

The Godfather of Kathmandu (Sonchai Jitpleecheep, #4)
Ape House
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest
Operation Napoleon
Walking Dead
The Sentimentalists
The Heretic Queen
The Midnight House
Cross Fire
Peony in Love
Absurdistan
Nefertiti
Finding Nouf: A Novel
City of Veils: A Novel
First Daughter
A Place of Hiding
Amagansett
Peter Pan


Toni Osborne's favorite books »
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Saturday, October 14, 2017

"Munich", by Richard Harris

This novel is set over four days during the September 1938 Munich Conference where an agreement was signed between Hitler, Mussolini, Chamberlain and Daladier to settle the fate of Czechoslovakia.

“Munich” is a tantalising game of “what if” and a glimpse on how things might have turned out. The story is told through the eyes of two men who were friends at Oxford but are now in opposite camps. The main players are Hugh Legat, private secretary to Chamberlain and Paul Hartmann, a diplomat in the German foreign office. With a unique style, Mr. Harris skilfully weaves a gripping fiction with historical events and looks at those four days from both sides. Taking us behind close door is quite an achievement especially when taking something well documented and showing us something else. In this dramatization, both Legat and Hartman’s machinations affect the course of history.

The story is quite slow to start with. The first third of the book is hugging the actual facts with grave-faced men coming in and out of their offices and minutia details involving the procedural of the two parties as they navigate the diplomatic path towards the summit at which the Sudetenland would be handed back to Germany. In the later part, when the dual plotline converges and we inch closer to the center of powers we discover Hitler’s true agenda….and more melodramatic scenes occur giving “Munich” a tad of suspense. Even with some excitement the story never reach the level of a high-octane page-turner I love to read. The tale nevertheless brilliantly evokes a sense of place and its vivid descriptions leading to the main event highlight why Mr. Harris is a master novelist who focuses on events surrounding the Second World War.

I received this ARC for review from Penguin Random House Canada via Netgalleys

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

"The Shadow", by Ty Patterson

“Book #3, in the Warriors shorts

This 3rd novella is a fast-paced adventure filled with action introducing two wonderful characters Bear and Chloe. These two have charmed and entertained us numerous times in the main series “The Warriors”. It was nice to see where they came from, how they met and when they joined the elite group lead by Zeb Carter.

Bear is hired to protect a high profile criminal, a routine job….or so he thought. Excellent storyline of only 56 pages, packed with never ending action, suspense galore….and of course captivating to no end. Mr. Patterson knows how to tell a story in ways that can only hold us captive till the last page. This novella compliments beautifully the main series.

I never was one for short stories till I received novellas from Mr. Patterson they are tremendously well-done…….

Saturday, October 7, 2017

"The Bookworm", by Mitch Silver

This story is a bit of everything, a mystery at its base, a tad of political shenanigan to captivate us, some known historical figures to pique our interest (Kennedy, Hitler, Churchill and the French physician Nostradamus) oh…to put a smile on our faces, thinly disguised are our 2 maverick and colourful leaders in a cameo role. To top it all off which is the base of this novel is a conspiracy to keeps us on our toes. With a soupçon of reality and a big dose of fiction we have one ambitious novel that should please most readers.

The setting mainly plays out in Moscow but changes locations between London and Alaska. The mystery features Larissa Klimt, who is a professor of Geopolitical History and her twin brother Lev, who works in Alaska monitoring the oil fields. The plot comes to life when Lara (Larissa) is asked to translate six audio recordings done in the 1940’s from English to Russian and find the book, subject of the recordings. What she hears is just the beginning of her troubles…the book (Bible) contains a false prophecy of all time. Through a series of circumstances Lara and Lev become entwined in the hoax and are pulled into danger and the world of espionage…..

I have mixed feeling about this book. In great parts I liked it a lot and in others I found it dragged so much I was losing interest. It took too much time to get going although I do admit lots was happening but everything seemed to turn in circle then suddenly action and suspense kicked in and voilà you just reached the end. As for the characters they missed colours but were OK in their roles but lacked the credibility and motive to push the mystery forward and make it captivating. I liked the premise, the story is great and interesting and some of the side bars are also very good “ the Bookworm mystery”, “Conception Day”, “King takes Queen”, Lara’s events with her ex-husband the Russian spy just to mention some…..(I let you discover all this).

This novel may not have been my favourite of all times but it was worthwhile passing time reading it nevertheless.

I received this ARC for review from Pegasus Books via Netgalleys

"The Watcher", by Ty Patterson

Book #2, in the Warriors shorts

This second story may be short 52 pages or so but is packed with suspense from the opening page and keeps us glued to every word till its final sentence. Zeb Carter is in poverty stricken area of Cape Town, South Africa when he is approached by a child…. a gang is harassing his family, he needs help ….

Of course this is a fast read, action packed and well- written. It has a very interesting subject matter around drugs and child trafficking organisations and a warrior to save the day. This short story fits well between the main Warriors series and I enjoy squeezing it in my spare time. Till next time “In the Shadow”, enjoy….

Sunday, October 1, 2017

"The Shining", by Stephen King

The Shining #1

“The Shining” is the story of Jack Torrance, who is employed as the caretaker of the gargantuan Overlook Hotel in Colorado one winter. With his wife and son they hoped to spend the winter season in peace and stitch up their fractured family.

The book was first released in 1977 then made into a movie starring Jack Nicholson, just the best choice to play the main character here. I haven’t seen the movie but in the book Mr. King goes to great pains to show Jack as a good man that is simply pushed into fantasy or hallucination. Because I received its sequel “Doctor Sleep” as a gift I needed to know how this horror all started.

For 416 pages, the tense and atmospheric story centers on the family saga. Their encounters with apparitions are very visual, leaving a picture in the mind that may be scary for some and totally ridicule for others. Not only it is a very dark story, with every turn of the page things get worse and worse in the haunted resort, it also borders on the fantastical with plenty of over the top scenes rife with violence and supernatural. For some, Mr. King may be a master entertainer no matter how ridiculous his tales are or how frightening they may be, well perhaps for them but this horror did not gel with me, I simply had trouble getting through this mess. The author gets so bogged down in tedious descriptions and exposition, the story is so overwritten I fast lost interest. Don’t forget, pay attention, not only does the narration rotates between the three members of the Torrance family it is also taken over by many other characters, some human and some not so human.

I didn’t think this book was scary at all despite the considerably large cast of ghosts and creepy critters and the great amount of violence at every page. This is a tedious read, it just drags on and on, so stubborn was I nevertheless made it to the end even if I was bored to death…..evidently not my type of book.