Sunday, August 9, 2009

New Reviews

Here are some reviews of the books I've been reading. Just finished another one and I'll try to get it up tomorrow. Enjoy!

GOOD NIGHT & GOD BLESS, Volume One, Trish Clark, Hidden Spring, $20, 243 pages, ISBN: 9781587680533, reviewed by Barry Hunter.

In June, 1970, Trish Clark arrives in Rome only to find her preferred hostel full. She is directed to a nearby convent as an alternate place to stay. This is the beginning of her journey into the creation of this book. It is one book I would recommend to someone traveling to Austria, the Czech Republic or Italy if they want to see the real people and sights of the countries.

The book is broken down into three sections, one for each country and lists the available convents and monasteries scattered throughout the area. There are brief descriptions of the accommodations, rates, phone numbers for reservations, and local historical spots. It also lists local eateries and their specialties.

In addition to the featured locales, there is a listing of other hotels in the area in case you decide on the traditional fare; Clark breaks each area into open houses, spiritual retreats and pilgrimages depending on how religious you wish you experience to be.

Just think, in Austria you can see where Adolf Hitler sold his paintings or scenes where THE THIRD MAN took place, In the Czech Republic there are still examples of Cubist architecture and the brewery where, in 1880, Emperor Franz Joseph proclaimed the brew “excellent”. In Italy, there is a hotel which was designed by Michelangelo. These are not the types of things that you may discover in other guide books.

There are also pictures, maps, an index and even a recipe to add to the value and enjoyment of this volume. Put this one on your list if you are planning a trip or know someone who is. Or, maybe just get it for yourself and create a dream or two.

THE BOOK OF SWORDS, Hank Reinhardt, Baen Books, $20, 238 pages, ISBN: 9781439132821, reviewed by Barry Hunter.

Here is everything you need to know about swords and sword making, their history and facts, and its myth and romance. Hank Reinhardt was one of the most knowledgeable people on the planet about swords because he studied them made them and used them in order to expand his understanding and knowledge.

This book takes us on a historical journey on the development of swords from their material, their shape, the wounds created, and the shields and armor developed to protect the sword user. Broadswords, shortswords, rapiers, the katana and exotic swords are also examined.

Many of us who knew Hank understood his interest in swords and how he sought to gain as much knowledge as he could. This book is his legacy to any and everyone who wants to see that knowledge put on display. Highly recommended.

IN THEIR BLOOD, Sharon Potts, Oceanview, $25.95, 354 pages, ISBN: 9781933515625, reviewed by Barry Hunter.

Jeremy Stroeb’s parents have just returned from visiting him in Spain and are spending their first night back at home when they are murdered in their beds. They are discovered by his sister, Elise, who had snuck out to see her boyfriend.

Jeremy arrives home after the funeral because his uncle did not want to wait for him. This only adds to his distrust of his uncle, especially when he announces he will become Elise’s guardian. Jeremy vows that his will not happen.

Jeremy takes a job at his mothers CPA firm and enrolls in night classes at the college where his father taught in order to search for clues as to who wanted his parents dead. He hooks up with his father’s graduate assistant in putting together a list of suspects due to his political leanings. Jeremy initially feels that his father was the target and his mother was collateral damage.

At the CPA offices Jeremy finds that his mothers office has not been touched and as he begins looking at her files while boxing them up, he begins to wonder about one of his mother’s clients who also happens to be the father of Elise’s boyfriend.

Sharon Potts has written a fast moving novel that is interesting and keeps you on the edge of your seat as it starts out running and keeps up the pace to the ending. It’s an intriguing tale of a youth having to grow up too fast and keep his sister safe. This is a terrific first novel and I hope there are many more novels from Sharon Potts to come.

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