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review 2020-04-03 22:21
Review of The Civil War by Bruce Catton
The Civil War (American Heritage) - Bruce Catton,James M. McPherson

A wonderful short book that is a survey of the Civil War. Catton does an amazing job of including every part of the War and every personality involved in the War without getting lost in the details. I have read quite a bit about the Civil War in my years and there was nothing new here, but it was a nice review and I completely understand why it is considered a classic.

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review 2020-03-31 02:21
Cowboy for Hire (Wishing River, #2) by: Victoria James
Cowboy for Hire (Wishing River, #2) - Victoria James




Under the skin and into the heart. Victoria James connects deeply with readers because the emotion that her stories convey is real. Cowboy for Hire should be a walking heartache, but instead turns out to be a tale of empowerment. Sarah Turner is finally learning to spread her wings after years of self-doubt. Cade Walker is at a crossroads. Trust does not come easy for this loner cowboy. When life veers off track, fate has a few tricks up it's sleeve. Cowboy for Hire is a story of hope that enlightens the heart and brightens the soul.

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review 2020-03-28 04:26
Audio Review: Lucky Inheritance (Inherit Love) by McKenna James (author), Patricia Satomasso (narrator), Sean Patrick Hopkins (narrator)
Lucky Inheritance (Inherit Love) - McKenna James,Sean Patrick Hopkins,Patricia Santomasso



Hopkins and Satomasso are quite a pair. From heart palpitations to the ever present frustration, they refused to hold back on the chemistry. Their delivery is flameworthy. McKenna James dishes out the emotions with her ever present flair and as always I was easily hooked. Lucky Inheritance sets emotions ablaze with passion, heart and humor.

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review 2020-03-26 01:52
Dead Beat by Jim Butcher
Dead Beat: The Dresden Files, Book 7 - James Marsters,Jim Butcher

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

I had a great time with my re-read of this book! I originally read this series years ago and enjoyed it so much that I decided to pick up the audiobooks to experience it all over again. I have been slowing working my way through the series for a second time often working a book into my reading schedule when I need a bit of a lift. This seemed like the perfect time for a little Harry Dresden and it proved to be a wonderful escape.

Although this was a re-read, there were a lot of things about this book that I didn't remember anymore. There were a few stand out sections of the book that I was able to recall and enjoyed being able to revisit them. This is the seventh book in The Dresden Files series which is a series that really should be read in order since the character relationships grow and change over the course of the series.

This was a pretty exciting installment in the series. Harry is put in charge of watering Karin's plants while she is on vacation and ends up working to save her reputation for a ruthless vampire. There are some powerful forces searching for a very powerful item that has the potential to do a lot of damage. Harry has to battle several necromancers and their zombies with only the help of his brother and a polka playing mortician. There were some pretty big scenes in this book and I really appreciated Harry's interactions with Sue.

James Marsters brings so much to this story. His narration is really top-notch and I found this book to be a joy to listen to. He does a fantastic job with a wide range of character voices in the series and I love how consistent he has been throughout the series. He is able to add a lot of emotion and excitement to the story through his reading. I believe that I enjoyed this book a bit more during my re-read than I did the first time largely due to his narration.

I would recommend this book to others. This is a smartly written story that is filled with wonderful characters, intense action, a bit of humor, and an interesting plot. I cannot wait to continue with my re-read of this exciting series!

Initial Thoughts
This was a re-read for me. It has been quite a few years since I first read this book and while I remember some key scenes, my memory is poor enough that it was almost like reading it for the first time. Marsters does a fantastic job with the narration and the story was really exciting. I am looking forward to tackling the next book in the series very soon.

Book source: purchased

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review 2020-03-22 19:44
If You're In My Office, It's Already Too Late by James Sexton
If You're in My Office, It's Already Too Late: A Divorce Lawyer's Guide to Staying Together - James J. Sexton

This is an entertaining self-help book that mixes anecdotes from the author’s experiences as a divorce lawyer with marriage advice he draws from those experiences. Awhile back I read some entertaining medical memoirs and wished the same was available from the legal profession, which it generally isn’t; books by lawyers about their work tend to be grim or outraged or both. Sexton is neither, and his anecdotes are entertaining and sometimes even funny, though relatively brief. (And the outrage might sometimes be on the reader’s end, like when Sexton insists that because he was once hired by a drug-dealing, abusive pimp for a child support case, he was somehow ethically compelled to represent the guy in every case he ever had thereafter, including to get custody of his young daughter. Yeah, right.) Whether because Sexton isn’t a journalist or because the anecdotes are here to illustrate the advice, they don’t have a lot of depth to them, but there is a lot of humorously-recounted drama, so there’s that.

As far as the relationship advice, it ranges from the thought-provoking to the somewhat questionable, as in probably any self-help book, with much of it being fairly banal. That said, people have been writing about relationships for hundreds of years if not longer, so perhaps it’s not fair to expect this author to have a lot of strikingly new insights. Writing about how to sustain a marriage based on a lot of stories of failed marriages at times leads the author into pessimism (he’s unconvinced marriage counseling helps anyone, a phenomenon perhaps explained by the title of his book) and speculation. For instance, many of his clients, and the author himself, have found that having their children for limited, set times makes them focus more on the kids while they’re together rather than taking them for granted as they did before, so he suggests intact couples also try taking turns “having the kids,” without any evidence from anyone who’s ever actually tried this. Still an interesting idea though. And in general, Sexton seems to take a pretty realistic and grounded view of relationships, without descending into sweeping gender stereotypes as a lot of authors on the subject seem to do.

So, not particularly earth-shattering, but interesting nonetheless. Worth a read if you’re in the market for this sort of thing.

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