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text 2017-06-27 16:07
Currently on loan from the public library!
I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life - Ed Yong
The Lost City of the Monkey God: A True Story - Douglas Preston
Often I Am Happy - Jens Christian Gr√łndahl
Down Among the Sticks and Bones - Seanan McGuire
The Essex Serpent - Sarah Perry
The Great Hunt - Robert Jordan
How Not to Die: Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease - Michael Greger,Gene Stone

Somehow, I have ended up with a stack of very large books, plus I'm reading to a deadline.  All of them have holds on them. 

 

This may become like fishing--catch & release.  I'll see how much I can read over the Canada Day long weekend.

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review 2017-06-26 13:26
Algebra Books
Algebra the Easy Way (Barron's E-Z) - Douglas Downing

Every summer I borrow books from libraries near me to see if they would be good for us with the girls for school in the fall. This book is always brought home and I do enjoy Algebra. It is fairly well written and easy to understand. 

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review 2017-06-10 18:44
The Lost City of the Monkey God: A True Story by Douglas Preston
The Lost City of the Monkey God: A True Story - Douglas Preston

A five-hundred-year-old legend. An ancient curse. A stunning medical mystery. And a pioneering journey into the unknown heart of the world's densest jungle.

Since the days of conquistador Hernán Cortés, rumors have circulated about a lost city of immense wealth hidden somewhere in the Honduran interior, called the White City or the Lost City of the Monkey God. Indigenous tribes speak of ancestors who fled there to escape the Spanish invaders, and they warn that anyone who enters this sacred city will fall ill and die. In 1940, swashbuckling journalist Theodore Morde returned from the rainforest with hundreds of artifacts and an electrifying story of having found the Lost City of the Monkey God-but then committed suicide without revealing its location.

Three quarters of a century later, bestselling author Doug Preston joined a team of scientists on a groundbreaking new quest. In 2012 he climbed aboard a rickety, single-engine plane carrying the machine that would change everything: lidar, a highly advanced, classified technology that could map the terrain under the densest rainforest canopy. In an unexplored valley ringed by steep mountains, that flight revealed the unmistakable image of a sprawling metropolis, tantalizing evidence of not just an undiscovered city but an enigmatic, lost civilization.

Venturing into this raw, treacherous, but breathtakingly beautiful wilderness to confirm the discovery, Preston and the team battled torrential rains, quickmud, disease-carrying insects, jaguars, and deadly snakes. But it wasn't until they returned that tragedy struck: Preston and others found they had contracted in the ruins a horrifying, sometimes lethal-and incurable-disease.

Suspenseful and shocking, filled with colorful history, hair-raising adventure, and dramatic twists of fortune, The Lost City of the Monkey God is the absolutely true, eyewitness account of one of the great discoveries of the twenty-first century.

 
**********
 
As a longtime fan of the Pendergast series that Douglas Preston writes together with Lincoln Child was I curious to read this non-fiction book about a lost city. Personally, I find mysteries likes this very intriguing. I mean a lost city that is mentioned in old documents, but no one has found? What's not to like? And, what makes this book so fantastic is that Douglas Preston himself was part of the expedition to what could be White City or the Lost City of the Monkey God. A place where no one has been for centuries, a place with a lot of deadly creatures like the deadly fer-de-lance, one of the most deadly snakes on the planet.
 
The Lost City of the Monkey God captivated me from the beginning, Preston has written a well-researched book, which gives the reader both the historical background as well as the impressions from the expedition. I always love books that are entertaining and learning as well, and Preston has managed that. The only thing I found a bit dreary was the technical descriptions of the equipment that they used to pinpoint the city, but I got the gist and that was enough for me. I'm just not that interested in technical things so stuff like that always makes me a bit bored. But, I fully understand the need for it to be included in the story. Especially since it pissed of archaeologists who thinks that it's cheating to use lidar to find lost cities. I loved that part of the story, how petty some archaeologists were. 
 
As much as I enjoyed reading the historical background must I admit that reading about the expedition, how they were the first ones there were very thrilling. I could easily picture the scenery and I found the discovery of the city and artifacts fascinating. Although I'm not sure I would want to travel there with all the bugs and deadly snakes.
 
The Lost City of the Monkey God was a truly great book. I loved learning more about the history of Honduras and it made me sad to think how the Europeans arrival pretty much killed off most of the natives all over America thanks to the sickness they brought with them.
 
I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy for an honest review!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

DOUGLAS PRESTON worked as a writer and editor for the American Museum of Natural History and taught writing at Princeton University. He has written for The New Yorker, Natural History, National Geographic, Harper's, Smithsonian, and The Atlantic. The author of several acclaimed nonfiction books--including the bestseller The Monster of Florence--Preston is also the co-author with Lincoln Child of the bestselling series of novels featuring FBI agent Pendergast.

WEBSITE: http://www.prestonchild.com

FACEBOOK: http://facebook.com/PrestonandChild
 

EARLY PRAISE

"A story that moves from thrilling to sobering, fascinating to downright scary-trademark Preston, in other words, and another winner.” —Kirkus, starred review

"Replete with informative archaeology lessons and colorful anecdotes about the challenges Elkins' crew faced during the expedition, including torrential rains and encounters with deadly snakes, Preston's uncommon travelogue is as captivating as any of his more fanciful fictional thrillers.” —Booklist

"For anyone who dreams of lost times and places--and who doesn't?--this is the book. Revelatory, chilling, creepy, and alive with deadly snakes and insects bearing incurable disease, it's high adventure at its best, and all true.” — Erik Larson, New York Times bestselling author of Dead Wake and The Devil in the White City

"What reader could resist a new book by Douglas Preston called THE LOST CITY OF THE MONKEY GOD? Not this reader. Preston's book offers rewards for both the mystery fan and the nonfiction aficionado. THE LOST CITY is addictive-fast-paced and riveting, but it's also important. We mustn't repeat the cataclysmic mistakes of the past. Ironically-as THE LOST CITY illustrates-that's exactly what our short-sighted civilization is doing right now.” —James Patterson

"If you're going to explore a lost city-in this case one that vultures, poisonous snakes, sand flies, and mudholes have protected for 500 years-you really only want to do it with Douglas Preston. A tale of bravado, chicanery, and impossible dreams, arresting at every turn, no less so in its unexpected, pulse-racing coda.” —David Grann, New York Times bestselling author of The Lost City of Z

"Douglas Preston is one of the most adventurous figures in American letters today. Inured to personal danger, braving venomous snakes and lethal pathogens, he somehow gets it all--the science, the history, the intrigues, the obsessive characters, the electric moment of discovery, and the haunted cries of a once-powerful civilization. Preston's marvelous story is made all the more potent by the astonishing fact that, from beginning to end, it happens to be true.” —Hampton Sides, New York Times bestselling author of In the Kingdom of Ice

"A great true adventure, filled with danger, close calls, better-than-Hollywood characters, and a lost world that reaches through time and into everyone's future. One of the best nonfiction books I've read.” — Robert Kurson, New York Timesbestselling author of Shadow Divers and Pirate Hunters

"The Lost City of the Monkey God is a throwback to the golden age of adventure archaeology, the thrilling true story of a group of explorers penetrating one of the toughest jungles on earth in search of a lost city...and finding it. Preston is a terrific writer of both non-fiction books and bestselling novels, and makes you feel the dark heart of this lost Honduran wilderness.” —John Sandford, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author of the #1 New York Times bestselling Prey series of novels
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review 2017-06-06 02:10
Where the Girls Are: Growing Up Female with the Mass Media - Susan J. Douglas
Where the Girls Are: Growing Up Female with the Mass Media - Susan J. Douglas

  

Picking it up to read in 2017, I quickly realize I have read this, lo, these many years ago. As I age it seems that everything reminds me of something similar in the past. I'm this case the thing it reminded me of was itself. It's still as good, but I don't feel like I need the refresher: I took the lessons very much to heart.

Library copy

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review 2017-05-30 09:35
Trophy Son
Trophy Son - Douglas Brunt

By:  Douglas Brunt

ISBN:9781250114808

Publisher: St. Martin's Press

Publication Date: 5/30/2017

Format:  Hardcover

My Rating: 4 Stars

 

From the author of The Means and Ghosts of Manhattan Douglas Brunt turns to the world of sports with this latest: TROPHY SON – a compelling yet haunting glimpse into the lives of professional athletes; the burdens and sacrifices they bear.

 

Written with an insider knowledge of the tennis circuit, TROPHY SON explores a young man striving to find balance in his life, navigating moral compromises, performance-enhancing drugs, and the elusive lure of wealth and celebrity.

From Wimbledon and the U.S. Open to the off-court life of elite players, Anton finds exhilarating highs and desolate lows as he searches for an identity apart from his achievements.

Anton Stratis, a tennis prodigy whose childhood is stripped away by an ambitious obsessive father who nurtures talent and resentment in his son.

“A tennis racket lurks in my earliest memories like a sick relative who had come to live with us . . . I had no sensation of milestones and the power to value a moment was never granted to me. My parents had the plan for my life from the moment my mother tested positive with me. . . “

The hard turn: When Anton was pushed to leave school after the eighth grade to play tennis full time and study some with a traveling tutor.

“I know I was born and I know that I’ll die. The in between is mine. “ – Eddie Vedder

Tennis prodigy Anton Stratis is the son of Pennslyvania parents- two former Olympic athletes. His dad obsessed beyond control is determined to make his son a star.

Anton’s parents met in the early eighties. She was an Olympic downhill skier. He an Olympic swimmer. His mom, a natural athlete. Not as intense as his dad.

In the average day he would spend seven hours on the court with this dad blasting tennis balls from a machine, then strategy, watch game film and train with weights. Then in the winter, they would rent a place in Florida with tennis courts to do the same year-round.

His dad, was a retired hedge fund manager and now his number one focus was his son’s game. By the time Anton was fourteen he was good enough to beat the crap out of decent college player— and his dad scouted out the places.

His dad taught him how to approach the court, taunt the players, bait them and then bait them into putting money on the line.

“A friendly game will ruin you. Play with adversity, with animosity. No friendly games.”

With all the drilling, this meant no friends. No normal childhood.

Tennis was about only hate and suffering.

 

 

 



Anton grew to despise the game.

His dad saw in him what he did not see in his (three years older) brother Panos. He thought Anton could handle the hate. He took the punishment and by twelve he had used it to become an elite junior player. By the age of fourteen, he was on the Penn campus to humiliate a Divison I college player.

Panos drove a Porsche 911 that cost their dad less than his tennis travel each year, so that was supposed to the balance. He liked his brother. They watched out for one another the best they could.

His dad never let anyone come to like him. He was trapped. His dad was ruthless. Obsessive. He even withheld water during the heat of the summer. Torture. There were no water breaks.

There was the beat me, love me. Over and over.

His dad would not tolerate slacking off, complaints, and no talking back. No kid stuff. He would not allow the expression of rage from Anton. His dad was his trainer and coach.

Through the torment, and grueling practice he developed a toughness, a knowledge that no opponent across the net could fathom his training, but it was all built on hate.

The only light he had was reading. If he could not go anywhere physically, he could take the journey with a book. From Hemingway, Faulkner, John Irving, Nelson DeMille, Dickens. Anton loved Dickens. Unfairness, unhappiness, suffering, heroes and villains—glimmers of hope at love and a way out. David Copperfield – the idea of being the hero of your own life.

The mandate was to succeed, win tournaments, be the best. But being the number one tennis player did not make Anton the hero of his own life. It made him the hero of someone else’s life.

“Being the hero of my own life is about something else, something internal. It’s about who has their hands on the steering wheel that’s inside me. It needed to be me and it never was then, and I didn’t understand that until much later.”

His game was not like Agassi, Rafter, McEnroe, Federer; however, he liked them. His game was more like Marat Safin. His dad said he was unique.

There would be no distractions from girls, friends, or outside influences. He did what he was supposed to do.

His whole world was small. The only thing of value was winning at tennis and losing was Armageddon. Losing was trauma. His dad was more invested in tennis that Anton. A loss to an inferior player would not be tolerated.

“Some parents feel their position of unconditional love permits unfettered abuse. They can rationalize self-forgiveness for harsh treatment because parenting is an obligation and only the parent can do certain things. . . “

From triumphs, failures, to the highs and lows. The dramatic rise through the intensely competitive world of professional tennis. From abuse and performance-enhancing drugs pushed by a domineering obsessive father pushing a son to exceed at the expense of his own happiness.

The author pulls the reader into a world filled with conflicts and struggles of a young boy, through his teenage years to adulthood, the pro-circuit and Wimbledon. A strife for happiness, self-fulfillment, and pressure to succeed.

Some may find some similarities with Stratis’s father resembling Andre Agassi’s, an overbearing former Olympic athlete and immigrant.

As in Open (highly recommend) his autobiography— Agassi reveals off the court he was often unhappy and confused, unfulfilled by his great achievements in a sport he had come to resent.

From the author:

“Trophy Son” was inspired by how childhood sports have changed since his youth to become highly specialized and competitive, as the pressures on athletes trickle down from colleges to high school to youth sports, adding incentives for them to try performance-enhancing drugs.



An engrossing tale for anyone who loves the game of tennis, and a cautionary tale for parents who utilize pressures and tactics to push a child in our overly social and achievement-obsessed society of perfectionism. Well done!

A special thank you to St. Martin's Press, and NetGalley for an early reading copy. Cover Love.

JDCMustReadBooks

 

 

 

About the Author 

 

 

Douglas Brunt is the author of the New York Times bestseller Ghosts of Manhattan and The Means. A Philadelphia native, he lives in New York with his wife and their three children.


Until 2011, Douglas Brunt was CEO of Authentium, Inc., an Internet security company. He now writes full time and is currently working on his fourth novel. 


Doug’s new novel will be released on May 30th, and is available for pre-order now.  Read More 



A NOTE FROM DOUG BRUNT

The first thing I do after I’ve finished reading a novel is to flip back to the beginning and read the author’s first sentence again.

 

All novelists try to set the trajectory for the book with the first paragraphs of the first chapter. As a novelist myself, I love the opportunity to write that first sentence.

Once readers of my books have completed the journey with me, if they come back around to re-read the first sentence, they should have a greater understanding of it.

 

Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2016/11/06/Trophy-Son
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