Good Books and the Random Movie

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23 November 2008

Eight Seconds

Eight Seconds by Jean Ferris is about bull riding and friendship.

John just completed his junior year of high school. Most of his friends are graduating because he missed a year for heart surgery. Now he is healthy and his father has surprised him with a week at rodeo camp. The five day intensive course will teach John about any rodeo event, but he chooses bull riding.

John hits it off with his roommate at camp. Kit is also a bull rider and he and John quickly become friends. But, after camp is done and they met up again at a rodeo, John finds out that Kit is gay.

John doesn't think that this one fact about Kit should change their relationship, but it does. John is worried that people will think he is gay if they keep hanging out together. When the local bully jumps to just that conclusion, John reacts in a way that even he does not see coming...

Ferris, Jean. (2000). Eight Seconds. New York: A Puffin Book.

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22 November 2008

The Marching Season (Michael Osbourne #2)

The Marching Season is the second book in Daniel Silva's Michael Osbourne series.

Michael has retired from the CIA and is starting to become restless. He has no skills that transfer into other fields. So, when his father-in-law is appointed to be the US Ambassador to London, Michael agrees to take his old job back to help keep Ambassador Canon safe.

The reason he needs protection is a group calling itself the Ulster Freedom Brigade - a new group in Northern Ireland whose sole purpose is to stop the proposed peace accords. UFB sees the peace accords as the British, Americans and Catholics (IRA) selling them out once again. They will do anything to stop the talks.

At the same time as Michael is rejoining the CIA, an assassin is killing a known enemy of Israel. When Michael sees the video of the shooting, he is convinced that the man who tried to kill him and his wife is still alive - a man only know my his KGB codename October.

With his usual skill, Silva weaves a tale of terrorism and espionage into a book that readers will devour.

Silva, Daniel. (1999). The Marching Season. New York: Signet.

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10 November 2008

The Mark of the Assassin (Michael Osbourne #1)

Daniel Silva's Mark of the Assassin is the mark of a great author! It is the first book in the Michael Osbourne series.

Michael Osbourne has been a spy all of his career - of course, he prefers the term case officer. Now he is at a desk at CIA headquarters. But when an assassin he has been tracking for most of his career strikes again he cannot sit behind a desk and let him get away.

The assassin, a former KGB operative, is the best in the business. Before his current assignment he has never killed any innocent civilians. And technically he did not launch the missile that shot a Boeing 747 out of the sky off of the coast of NYC.

Now he has been rehired by the group behind the downing of the plane - hired to kill anyone who knows about the original plot.

Will multiple hits by the assassin be enough to lead Osbourne to the identity of the killer? Or will Osbourne get in the way and have to be taken out?

The sequel to The Mark of the Assassin is The Marching Season.

Silva, Daniel. (1998). The Mark of the Assassin. New York: Villard.

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07 November 2008

The Last Patriot (Scot Harvath #7)

The Last Patriot is the seventh book in Brad Thor's Scot Harvath series.

Scot Harvath is an ex-Navy SEAL, former member of the presidential detail of the Secret Service and now a covert operative who works directly for the president - or he did until the last book, when someone he loves was shot by a terrorist who the president refused to let him go after.

Now Scot and his girlfriend are on vacation in Europe, generally avoiding the US President so he cannot give Scot a new assignment.

When they are leaving a Paris cafe, Harvath notices a man behaving suspiciously. He acts just in time to save one man from a car bomb. Now he and Tracy are caught up in a plot to stop the discovery of an ancient manuscript that could change the face of Islam.

Including history on Thomas Jefferson and Miguel de Cervantes, Thor explores the original encounters between the US government and Islam and follows the story to today.

Thor, Brad. (2008). The Last Patriot. New York: Atria Books.

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05 November 2008

Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar

Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar: Understanding Philosophy Through Jokes by Thomas Cathcart and Daniel Klein is like a crash course in basic philosophy - and the best read-aloud book in years.

This is a great book for anyone who likes jokes. The jokes are great, non-offensive and educational. Each joke illustrates a theory of philosophy.

Cathcart, Thomas and Daniel Klein. (2007). Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar. New York: Abrams Image.

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Faceless

Faceless by Martina Cole is a story of retribution.

Marie Carter has served eleven years in prison for the crime of killing her two best friends. A crime she did not commit. Now, back in the world, Marie is determined to find out who killed them.

But eleven years is a long time. When she returns to London nothing is the same. Her family has moved on. Her friends have abandoned her. Her children do not remember her.

Someone has not forgotten her. She is being followed. The real killer knows that Marie will not stop until she can prove what really happened.

Capturing the seedy side of London, Martina Cole guides readers through a world that few outsiders know exists on a twisting path to redemption.

Cole, Martina. (2001). Faceless. London: Headline Books.

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The Assassin (Selena McCaffrey #1)

The Assassin is the first book in Rachel Butler's Selena McCaffrey series.

Tulsa is having a rash of murders. With the count up to nine, Detective Tony Ceola is not getting any help in catching the killer - because the victims are all high level drug dealers. But someone else doesn't want Ceola to find the killer and has blackmailed Selena McCaffrey into coming to Tulsa.

Selena moves into the empty house next door to Ceola to keep an eye on his investigation. Selena has no desire to ever see the man she knows as William. He saved her life when she was 14, gave her a world class education, and now thinks she owes him.

As Ceola gets closer to the killer and closer to his new neighbor, clues begin to point to an insider.

Butler, Rachel. (2005). The Assassin. New York: Dell.

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03 November 2008

Birds of a Feather (Maisie Dobbs #2)

Birds of a Feather is the second book in Jacqueline Winspear's Maisie Dobbs mystery series.

Maisie Dobbs is a classic detective in the early 1900s in London. In this second book, Maisie and her assistant Billy are hired to find a runaway daughter - Charlotte Waite.

Once they start looking for Charlotte, Maisie and Billy notice that three of her friends have recently died - two apparently murdered by the same person.

Ms. Dobbs must find out what the four women have in common other than attending school together before the war. Why after all of these years are they apparently being targeted by someone. And where is Charlotte Waite? Is she in hiding or is she the killer?

For anyone interested, the audio book version read by Kim Hicks in a series of brilliant British accents.

Winspear, Jacqueline. (2004). Birds of a Feather. New York: Pengiun.

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02 November 2008

Over the Edge (Troubleshooters #3)

Over the Edge is the third book in Suzanne Brockmann's Troubleshooter series.

Teri Howe is a great pilot. She is a reservist in the Navy and she loves to fly helicopters. What she doesn't love about the Navy is the string of guys who feel it is okay to come on to her every time they see her. When Senior Chief Stan Wolchonok comes to her rescue in the parking lot, Teri thinks maybe she has finally found a man she can trust.

When Wolchonok gets Teri assigned to what is supposed to be a routine training mission with SEAL Team 16, he has no idea the team will end up in Kazbekistan trying to rescue 120 passengers who have been hijacked.

FBI Special Agent Max Bhagat and two other agents fly in to talk to the hijackers. There demands will never be met by the US, but if Max can stall the SEAL team will have more time to prepare for the rescue attempt.

Suzanne Brockmann is a master of romantic suspense. The Troubleshooter series is an example of a well thought out series of likable characters and fast-paced action. Read it from the beginning as many books overlap with both character and storyline.

Brockmann, Suzanne. (2001). Over the Edge. New York: Ballantine Books.

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