Note to my readers-You may find all these reviews very short, but as a writer I know how hard it is to get readers to leave any review at all so I want to post an example of how easy it can be, and maybe more folks will leave reviews. A sentence, even a word is a great boon to the author.

Charleston by John Jakes Book Review

Charleston by John Jakes


Charleston is an epic family saga. It takes place in South Carolina, in the city of the title. It follows the Bell family through many generations, a family of influence and wealth. It spans much time from the Revolution to the aftermath of the fall of the Confederacy.

If you like family sagas and you love history this is the book for you. The author paints her characters with a fine brush and gives you portraits of people you swear are living, breathing and with us in the flesh. It focuses on slavery, but as much on greed and power and standards of living.

The historical accuracy is evident and explained in detail in the Afterword of this novel. The research done in order to bring you this history is extraordinary and complete. Jakes does not miss any quirks of character or subtle meanings in expression or colloquialisms.

It saddens your heart to hear what the South went through during and even more after the Civil War, whether you were from the South or the North. How poor and how devastated Charleston’s people and city were after the war is given an accurate description and treated with honest writing and sympathy.

The struggle to bring the Negro the rights and life this war was supposed to guarantee is almost a novel on its own. No side was really changed by the war with regards to their feelings and belief. With that in mind, we are reminded what a terrible waste of men and property the war cost us as a nation.

I highly recommend this book as a chance to learn more about our history in an enjoyable way. I also suggest it is a wonderful study in human nature that is told truthfully. John Jakes is a New York Times Best Seller Author and has many more books to choose from so check out his others.

The Review of The Essential Frankenstein by Mary Shelley and Leonard Wolf





Leonard Wolf examines, in painstaking detail, Mary Shelley’s complete book of Frankenstein. It is a classic and has much to offer. It explores her ability and style as a young writer and takes apart this well-known book for better understanding.

From movies, most folks know that Frankenstein was the name of the doctor who created the monster. The doctor has so much remorse about giving life to ‘this thing’ that he tries to run away from the monster.

The main theme of the book is the bonding of parents. The focus is also on parents being responsible for the upbringing of their children. It stresses the relationship that should be there and in this case was not.

The monster chases the doctor all over as the doctor travels the world. He finds him and because the doctor will not do the monster a favor, the monster wreaks havoc on the doctor’s family and friends essentially resulting in many deaths. The favor the monster wants is for Frankenstein to create for him a mate.

If you view this as a psychological study instead of a monster story, you will find a richer plot and some thought-provoking questions.

I really loved this book and recommend it to anyone who is interested in human nature.

Review of Upstairs Downstairs by John Hawkesworth

Great book for its time, but now no competition for the world – famous Downton Abbey.

The story features a family in the Edwardian era. The head of the family is Richard Bellamy, a member of Parliament and a conservative. His wife is Lady Marjorie. They have two children Elizabeth and James. The children are trying to fight conservatism all the way. The children also defy traditions whenever possible. That makes up the upstairs, upper-class family group.

Downstairs there are the usual, for that time, number of servants. It includes a housekeeper, a cook, a footman, a small butler, maids and many more.

Of course, their major entertainment comes from scandal about the upper-class. They have put themselves in charge of seeing that everyone in the household sticks to the social rules.

Characters are well drawn. The plot consists mainly of how they run the house and how they keep the family members from being scandalized.

I recommend this book.

Book Review of Bibliophile- An Illustrated Miscellany by Jane Mount

I highly recommend this book to authors, readers and collectors.

When one of my many trips to the library, I asked a bubbly library assistant if she could order me some books on book collecting. She was so eager to help that though some were not what I wanted they were still of interest. As they came in one by one from other libraries I went to pick them up and one day this book was among the ones they ordered for me. I didn’t look at it very well at the library and waited till I got home and then began reading it immediately. I was attracted by the bright colorful pages, the fun pictures and the useful information. I’m not sure why I was, but I was so enthralled with the book that as soon as I read it I ordered it.

Whether you are an author, a collector or an avid reader, you will find this book delightful. It breaks down books into genres and then the most popular and most sold. It lets you in on some famous authors secrets and even their writing rooms. It gives you photos of some famous author’s pets. It gives you an idea of how the whole world gets its books and shows you the libraries. Some libraries are mobile, some are simply no bigger than the cart of a donkey or the saddlebags of the borough. It reveals many kinds of free libraries that sit on posts rather than in buildings.

It shows many covers of some famous books and how the covers changed over time.  It shows you books in which food takes a large part. There is a map showing the most important or popular book in each country.

The text is fun and so interesting, but the illustrations make the book. I highly recommend this 2018 book and believe any author, avid reader or bibliophile should own this fun book.

Review of The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman

Invisable Library

Note to my readers-You may find all these reviews very short, but as a writer I know how hard it is to get readers to leave any review so I want to post an example of how easy it can be, and maybe more folks will leave reviews. A sentence, even a word is a great boon to the author.

If you are a fan of the fantasy genre, you do not want to miss this book. The book is The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman published in 2016. It is a fantasy/sci fi type of book and has some neat magic tricks in it. Also, it is an adventure and mystery book also. Such fun.

The story concerns a librarian, named Irene, from The Library, an invisible place that not just everyone can enter. The library searches for books from tons of alternate worlds.
The alternate worlds the librarians search on their mission to find a single book, are filled with people and creatures of all kinds. Many people are not what they seem at first.
The female librarian is given an assistant, named Kai, as they start out on their next mission and their adventures are non-stopping. Lots of time the barriers and obstacles are easily overcome since librarians have some powerful magic given to them by the library. On some occasions, their missions are dangerous, and they come close to losing their lives.
If you like alligators of a breed you never imagined, and werewolves, and dragons who look just like human people, locks that only open when ‘the language’ is used people assuming others identity after they have ben murdered in most uncommon ways. You will love this book.
I highly recommend this book. The wonderful thing is if you enjoy this book, you will be delighted to know it is part of a series. This is the first book of five so far.

The Brethren by John Grisham -Book Review


Trumble is the name of a minimum security prison with the usual variety of inmates such as drug , bank robbers and embezzlers. This prison also has a unit called The Brethren made up of three lawyers. although they have no license to practice, they do quite a lot of  for fellow inmates.

They meet daily in the law library where they handle cases for the inmates and write briefs. They have been known to settle justice in the prison type of method.

However, with all this work, you would not think they have time for mischief, but you would be so very wrong. They have hatched a mail scheme that is very lucrative until they get caught by accusing the wrong person. They chose the wrong victim this time. he is powerful and has dangerous friends.

This causes the once lucrative mail scheme to start to fail and the flowing in of sizable cash  to diminish. What will they do?

As in every Grisham story , this one has great characters, superb  plots and keeps you glued to your seat edge till the very end.

I recommend this author because he never disappoints, This book is just another complex story made simple. you will love it.

The Confession by John Grisham – Book Review


I have never read a John Grisham book that wasn’t fantastic. The Confession is no different. Grisham is such an excellent storyteller and he keeps your attention. His books are all page turners. His plots are fresh and relevant.

This story is about an unknown person who comes to see the minister of the church to speak with him. This is not an unusual event for such talks to take place, but this turns out to be a unique event. After speaking a while, the man wants to make a confession. This is the beginning of a long story for the minister and a challenging and scary journey is taken as a result..

This stranger who confesses is confessing to a long-ago crime. His timing makes the journey a real adventure because they are on a deadline. The deadline they are trying to beat is the execution of the man wrongly accused and convicted of the crime the confessor claims is his.

The story will take you in many directions. The Confession lets you be a fly on the wall to observe the incredible story as this happened. It gives insight into the preparations for an execution. It shows you the reality of the electric chair.

If you enjoy mysteries about the law, you will find this book an eye-opener as to what lawyers are up against trying to save clients. I recommend this book to all who like lawyer mysteries and John Grisham.



Lost Horizon by James Hilton – Book Review

Lost Horizons

As I revisit my childhood classics, I found a copy of Lost Horizon. I’m sure it’s on the reading list somewhere or I read it in school, wherever or whoever recommended it, I am thankful I read it and now, reread it.

Lost Horizon takes place in an isolated monastery in the mountains of Tibet in Shangri-La. As he and his friends discovered this place, they are amazed at all the modern touches at this monastery. Those who greet them and make them welcome our almost all very old monks who seem healthy and fit.

Eventually, the main character, Conway, can meet the main monk in charge, the High Lama. The esteemed gentleman he meets with can explain much of what Conway had questioned and soon reveals some of the details that made this place so grand.

The book examines some ethical questions and it is interesting to pretend to take part in the conversation. The range of answers covers many options. Lost Horizon was published in 1933 for the first time. It has been reprinted often which shows the story is timeless and the questions this book forces you to answer are still relevant.

I recommend this book for any lover of mysteries and fantasies. I loved it and think it would be a great story for young people especially. Of course, when I read it the first time I was a young person. Rereading it at age 72 I still find it very enjoyable.

The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks – Book Review


This novel has been available for a while, since 1996 in fact. I’ve always wanted to read it, but since I read many genres in both e-books and physical books, the TBR list is long. I also never saw the movie. A rule of mind when possible is to read the book 1st, then watch the movie.

This is a wonderful love story. It spans many years that have not been without challenge, especially in the beginning. They married against the advice and family disapproval. They struggled and worked hard, but never stopped loving each other. We learn about the definition of ageless love and passion that lasts into old age.

Later in life, when his wife becomes admitted to a nursing home with the major problem being her Alzheimer’s, the husband reads to her every day and helps her regain and keep some memories.

Even later in years, his health has deteriorated, and he joins her in the nursing home. Even though, he is also ill, he still sneaks to her room and shares memories with her.

The love and passion they both feel after all these years is so touching.

I highly recommend read this book it is a celebration of love and devotion to your spouse that is incredible.