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The Confession by John Grisham – Book Review

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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

Notebook

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.

The Portrait of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde-Book Review

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Since I’m rereading old classics, and this was one of the great American Reading Books on the list I decided to work from that list for my classic reviews. Though Oscar Wilde is known for his plays, this is his only novel, first published in 1890. You will find earlier books under the name of The Picture of Dorian Gray.

Dorian Gray first published this novel as a magazine series, and it was thought to be so immoral that the publisher cut 500 pages from the manuscript. It comes in many covers and you may want to be sure you get what you wanted, the cut addition or the whole book as written by Wilde.

It is a story about beauty and conceit and vanity. It focuses on a young man known for his beauty. The young man, Dorian Gray is told every day that he has exceptional beauty. At first he was modest and accepted these compliments humbly.

Later, when an artist friend, asked to paint his portrait, he finally agrees to sit for his friend. When finished and he had last taken on ownership he is enthralled with it. It is just what he needed to reconfirm, his amazing beauty.

The young man soon discovers the painting holds a dark secret. Eventually he must hide the painting from other eyes. He does this in order that others cannot see the secret the painting reveals.

This is a great story, whether you consider it has as a sci-fi or horror book, it is a classic everyone can enjoy. I highly recommend it. Others evidentially agree as it was one of 100 picked as the favorite books of the American readers.

Book Review-The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain

 

Prince and Pauper

I recently began re-reading some classics from my childhood and it has been a joy to read this tale again.

The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain is a charming story of a bored with life Prince and a poor lad who aspires to the life of nobility. An opportunity arises and they tried changing places. The fact that they look almost identical makes this far-fetched idea believable. Before they have a chance to switch back to their own identities, they are stuck in their new roles. The unusual for them, adventures and challenges become part of their everyday life and are extraordinary.

We know Mark Twain for his humorous look at humanity and as always some still makes its way into this story. In this book, however, we see another side of the man who loved humanity and could see the humor in all we do. We see the political side of Twain. The issues he dealt with in this fun story showed that he recognized the great disparity between the classes. He focused on some of the problems that were normally judged by the Prince. He was able to show how a different approach to these issues had at its heart a caring for people and a fairness of conscience. Meanwhile, the pauper learns that being royalty is not all it’s cracked up to be. In fact, it is often very difficult.

The book is full of well – defined characters and a surplus of unique personalities that people this tale.

The Prince and the Pauper is considered a tale for ‘young people of all ages.’ I suggest you give it a try, whether for the first time or revisiting it once again at a more mature age.

I recommend this delightful book for everyone. Humor accompanies anything that is Mark Twain, but this is also a wonderful statement about what Twain sees as the problems in society, even way back then when this was written.

Book Review of The Other Boleyn Girl by Phillipa Gregory

 

 other Bolyne girl

 

If you love historical fiction is much as I do and royalty, courts, Henry VIII and his wives and lovers is your cup of tea, you must read this book.

 

Written in 2001, it explores the Boleyn, the sister and mistress of Henry VIII that was less known, Mary. Part of an ambitious family, Mary was forced into the court and shortly thereafter the bed of the King because her family played each member like a pawn in a game. She or any young girl had little say as to what became of her at that time in history and if their family wished to rise and status she did what she is told. No problem, because girls were of little importance at that time. They were of no consequence and could be moved, married or disposed of with little bother.

 

The Phillipa Gregory has brought this tale to life because of all the research she has done for her books. I recently reviewed her nonfiction on somewhat the same subject and she is a scholar who is credible in all she writes. She did an interview investigation in order to bring this is compelling to her readers and make it such an enjoyable story.

 

I recommend this book as an eye-opener as to the role women played in their families who wished to get ahead. I recommend this book for the sheer number of facts about King Henry’s court, the over-the-top lavish lifestyle, the decadence that was barely hidden and the role each person had to play in the intrigue and the court for just enabling this childish, selfish, lustful King to get his way.

 

I recommend this author since she is so authoritative and still can write a book of fiction that is enjoyable while almost being read like a nonfiction work.

Review of Rumpole by John Mortimer

 Rumpole

 

 

This is a collection of seven new stories for those who have been reading RUMPOLE for years. This volume was published in 2001. John Mortimer authored at least 10 other Rumpole books. As a former barrister at the Old Bailey, London’s Most Important Court, Mortimer writes about Rumpole with authority and credibility.

Rumpole’ s character is one that amuses us with his less than lordly appearance and his humor, wit and irreverence for all things that touch humanity. He fights for what is right beyond the impossible odds of winning and he is a solicitor you would want on your side because of his values and regardless of his appearance.

He respects the law in that he reveres justice. He disdains rules, however, and only seems to buckle under them when they are made by his wife, whom he refers to as She Who Must be Obeyed.

For a fun read, I recommend Rumpole books, but this collection contains some new cases which give another view to the mechanics of his investigating and some of them show another side to his character.

If you are a fan, this may be the last time heard from Rumpole. Please check it out now.