Books I Couldn’t Put Down

lovereading

I love reading.  I don’t get as much time to do it as I’d like.  I have a stack of books on my “to read” pile right now.  I really need to stop going to the library because every time I do, I bring home three or four and the “to read” pile doesn’t go down.

I was challenged to write this blog by another blogger I follow.  Interestingly enough, a different blogger had posted a few blogs about books and we had brief conversation about doing a blog like this, and then I received the challenge from a second blogger.

I took a piece of paper out and jotted down the first few books that came to mind and stopped when I reached 5 for the three categories.  Included is a brief description of each, should you be moved to read them.

Fiction

Pandora’s Clock – John Nance

pandora

A plane carrying a “super virus” that could leave all the passengers dead within hours.  Word gets out about the plane and no one wants them landing at their airport.  Reviews I read afterward were not that great, but I enjoyed the book.

True Crime – Andrew Klaven

truec

A man is about to be executed for a crime he didn’t commit.  He tells his story to a reporter who investigates and finds the real killer.  It is a race against the clock to stop the execution.  I read this in one day!  I couldn’t put it down.  The movie made based on this book was a huge disappointment.

The One Man – Andrew Gross

one man

One of the best historical thrillers I have read.  A man is sent to sneak into Auschwitz concentration camp to save a man who has information that can start a war – or end it.  Loved this book!

The Godfather – Mario Puzo

godfather

A classic!  I can re-read this over and over.  The story of the Corleone Crime family, which was turned into an Academy Award winning film.  A story you can’t refuse!

11-22-63 Stephen King

112263

What an amazing premise for a story!  Already fascinated with the assassination of JFK, this was a must read for me.  I was not disappointed.  A high school English teacher is recruited by a friend to stop the Kennedy Assassination by going back in time through a time portal in the neighborhood diner.  This is also on my “books to read again” stack.

Non-Fiction

Hiroshima – John Hersey

hersey

Powerful and eye opening story of the bombing and aftermath of Hiroshima, Japan.  It is truly amazing to read the stories of people who survived this horrific event.

A Night to Remember – Walter Lord

remember

The minute by minute account of the sinking of the RMS Titanic.  I first read this in high school for my Survey of Non-fiction class.  It remains one of the most accurate accounts of the tragedy.

Maus – Art Spiegelman

maus

I read this for one of my first college classes.  The true story of a Holocaust survivor, as told by his son. It is a graphic novel based on conversations between father and son.

The Michigan Murders – Edward Keyes

michigan

One of the first true crime stories I ever read.  Between 1967-1969, there were many murders of young women in the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti area of Southeastern Michigan .  The killer was being called the Ypsilanti Ripper.  At times gruesome, the story was fascinating.

Exit The Rainmaker – Jonathan Coleman

rainmaker

I first learned of this book from a co-worker who was reading it one night at the radio station.  The book tells of the true story of Jay Carsey, a college president, who walked away from his wife, work, family and friends to start a new life.  I learned afterward that he not only did this once, he did it twice!  Carsey died in 2000, but his story makes you wonder just what makes someone do what he did!

Biography

Sid Caesar – Where Have I Been?

sid

Sid was a very funny guy, but boy did he have demons!  I had no idea just how many issues he had until I saw this one on a library shelf and picked it up.

Jack Benny – Mary Livingstone

jack

There are many other biographies about Jack Benny (by Irving Fein, Milt Josefsberg, and his daughter Joan Benny), but I chose this one written by his co-star and wife, Mary Livingstone.  I have read this one a few times, and even though the stories are the same, it just makes me love Benny even more.

One Fine Stooge – Steve Cox

51r5NGGTnXL__SX383_BO1,204,203,200_

Steve Cox and Jim Terry do such an amazing job with this book on one of the most underrated classic comedians – Larry Fine.  Great stories, great photos, and a wonderful tribute to my favorite Stooge.

Moe Howard and the 3 Stooges – Moe Howard

moe

Moe on Moe.  In his own words, and with lots of pictures, Moe shares many stories from his days as leader of the Three Stooges.  This was one of the first books I ever bought on the Stooges, and remains one of my favorites.

Soupy Sez – Soupy Sales

soupy

I wasn’t young enough to watch Soupy in the 60’s, but I did get to see his 70’s revival show on TV as a kid.  I also loved listening to his Moldie Oldies Show on the radio.  Soupy tells some great stories in this biography.

Closing Thoughts

I am sure if I really thought about it, I could come up with many more books I enjoyed.  For now, this satisfies the challenged posed to me.  What books are your favorites?  Tell me about them!  I’d love to add them to my list of books to read!

used-books-store-2

 

 

 

 

 

Looking for a good book??

old-books-on-a-bookshelf-paul-edmondson

I love a good book.  I once heard a teacher call a book “a movie for your mind”.  This is so true.  I touched on this in a blog I wrote on using the imagination.  As you read a book, you create a character based on the descriptions the author gives you.  You and I could read the same book, but have two very different, yet similar pictures of what a character looks like.  You take the descriptions that are given to you by the author and the “movie” in your mind brings thrills, laughter, suspense, and more.

The problem that I run into, as do so many other people, is finding the time to read.  It’s much like finding the time to blog – sometimes I have an abundance of time, and sometimes, not so much. I have been lucky enough to read three great books in a row over the past couple months and wanted to share them with you – just in case you are looking for a good one to read at your leisure.

The Escape Artist – Brad Meltzer

I stumbled on Brad’s books when I saw the book The Fifth Assassin in the library.  I picked it up because I have always been fascinated with books about presidential assassinations.  One of the first reports I ever wrote in elementary school was on the JFK assassination.  This book was a part of his Beecher White Series, and I enjoyed it.  This lead me to read more by him.

I was excited for the release of The Escape Artist this year and it was on my birthday wish list.  It didn’t disappoint. From the first sentence (“These were the last thirty two seconds of her life”) on, I was hooked.  It was an amazing book that I did not want to end.

The book is about a government mortician named “Zig”, who works on all high profile and top secret cases.  He is assigned to work on the body of Nola Brown.  Nola, he realizes, is someone who was a childhood friend of his late daughter.  When the body arrives, one thing becomes very clear – it is not the body of Nola Brown. After doing some digging, he also realizes that Nola is still alive and he begins to look for her.  It becomes clear that there is some sort of cover up happening from the government higher ups, and as Zig discovers, a prominent historical figure (Harry Houdini) plays a big role.

This was a book that I could have read in one sitting, though time did not allow for that.  If you like a good thriller – check this one out.  It’s now out in paperback, or you can nab it at the local library.

The Bishop’s Pawn – Steve Berry

I stumbled on Steve Berry also while walking up and down the aisles of the library.  I have always been intrigued with the various symbols used by the founding fathers on currency and such.  Even though it is fiction, the film National Treasure starring Nick Cage, was something I could totally see happening.  Hiding symbols and secret codes and such to point to something like a treasure makes for such an amazing story.  Anyway, I read his book The Jefferson Key, which involves an assassination attempt on the President, a cipher created by Thomas Jefferson, and a mystery from Andrew Jackson that can change the Constitution (a pretty good book in itself)!

The Bishop’s Pawn is the 13th Cotton Malone novel, and involves the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. This book takes you back to the early days of Cotton Malone.  It involves a rare coin and a secret file of papers that contain some explosive revelations about the MLK assassination, can ruin innocent lives, and threaten the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.  After Malone is hired by the Justice Department to do a simple little job, he soon discovers that the Justice Department and the FBI want both the coin and the secret files.

One of the things I love about Steve Berry is his ability to take something from history and then work it into a great book.  The Jefferson Key, The Lincoln Myth, The Lost Order, The Columbus Affair, That Patriot Threat, and now The Bishop’s Pawn are all “must reads” for history lovers.

The President is Missing by Bill Clinton and James Patterson

I have to be honest – I wasn’t sure what to expect here.  I have read many James Patterson novels and loved almost every one.  I really did not know what to expect from Bill Clinton.  The title of the book peaked my interest before I even knew who wrote it. I figured with Patterson helping, it had to be at least a decent read.  What I found was that this was a very realistic, believable, and enjoyable book.  I read it in a matter of two days.  It moved quickly and with the close of each chapter, made me want to read more.

The book opens with the President rehearsing for impeachment proceedings.  Then we learn of a threat to the United States.  The more you read about that threat, the more scary it becomes because it is a real possibility and if it happened would send the country into mass chaos. The threat involves a virus that would not only kill the internet, but would erase almost everything on anything connected to it.  Think about that!  Powerful.  At any rate, it is a race against time thriller which gives us a glance into the daily routine of a President as well as how he must juggle things and prioritize what is most important for the country and the American people.  I enjoyed it very much.

While the book itself would make for a fantastic film, however, Entertainment Weekly says that the Showtime network has actually decided to use the book as the basis for a series.  You can read about that here:

https://ew.com/tv/2017/09/22/bill-clinton-president-missing-james-patterson-showtime/

What’s Next?

I anxiously await the new book by Andrew Gross!  I stumbled on Andrew’s book 15 Seconds while walking through a local used book store. It reminded me a lot of Andrew Klavan’s True Crime.  It was a great page turner.  This lead me to pick up more and more of his books.  All of them were what Amazon calls “Suburban Thrillers”.  Then, I read The One Man.  WOW!  What an amazing book!  Imagine having to break into Auschwitz to find (and escape with) a renowned physicist, who is the one man whom the Allies believe can help them win World War II!  It was one of the best books I have read over the past few years!  He followed that with The Saboteur, which was just as good.  I would suggest adding both of them to your “to read” list.

Button Man is the new Andrew Gross book, and it just hit the stores.  I only know what I have read about it online, but I am looking forward to reading it.  Amazon describes the plot as ” a stirring story of a Jewish family brought together in the dawn of the women’s garment business and torn apart by the birth of organized crime in New York City in the 1930s.” I anticipate it being very good.

What are you reading?  Any suggestions for me?  Feel free to comment and let me know!

Happy Reading!