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review 2018-01-09 04:24
good book and characters
Catching Luke (The Outlaws of Baseball B... Catching Luke (The Outlaws of Baseball Book 2) - Debra Elise

Luke had been a major league baseball pitcher but an injury had interrupted his career  but he wasn’t taking it easy  with his wild ways on his motorcycle and being a player. He now owned a bar but had a very good person managing his bar. Lara knew to stay away from guys like Luke. Lara is a physical therapist and doesn’t go out with her clients. Lara knows Luke is hot and has a deep attraction to him. Luke wants Lara but he can’t get Lara to do as he wants  her to like he seems to be able to do with other women. Lara gives into sexual relationship with Luke but she knows it's not forever or serious. Besides Lara is still hurting some from her previous relationship. I really enjoyed this book. Sometimes I chuckled while reading this and sometimes I choked,up. I loved the description of Idaho. This is an easy to read very pleasurable read. This has a good plot and fast pace. There is a lot of action. I love the interaction between Lara and Luke. I love the characters and the ins and outs of this book and I recommend.

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review 2015-10-24 20:08
my favorite Tom Mendicino to date
# 2 - Tom Mendicino
Tom Mendicino really has me dialed in. This is one of those American-experience family stories that I just love. It starts out with a very ominous prologue but quickly meanders into a coming-of-age journey where you meet brothers Frankie and Michael growing up with a Italian immigrant father, a true Italian godfather, and a long string of stepmothers. 

The author is quite the master of settings and subplots. It features the city of Philadelphia and the suburbs which really become emblematic of the old and the new and how the old becomes new again, the cycle of life. A good chunk of the story takes place in 2008 during that endless primary season when Hillary and Obama were duking it out for the Democratic presidential nomination. This may sound a bit boring, but it makes me sorry that I don't live in a battleground state. And for those of you are keeping score, this book does feature a little bit of baseball. 

Back to our brothers Frankie and Michael. Frankie is gay, and that plays prominently in the story line, however it's not about him being gay. Michael is the star athlete and scholar, and as an adult, becomes a crime fighter as a deputy district attorney. While each of their story's are interesting, it's their story together that makes the book. At times, the book borders on being a black comedy and there are some very funny parts. But humor is only one component that builds the bond that brothers share. As you are moving along, watching Frankie's and Michael's lives play out, you almost forget about what happens in the prologue. Never fear, it comes back and things get tense and when you see a grown ass man calling his brother Boo because he is stressed out, you know you have something special.
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review 2015-09-21 05:36
KC, at Bat - Tom Mendicino

Odd pairing of a hipster nerd and a closeted jock. Unexpectedly good and disappointingly short. Tom Mendicino is a talented writer.

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review 2015-06-14 00:00
I hope this author gets noticed because this is a really good book
The Secret Wisdom of the Earth - Christopher Scotton

Somewhere in the past few months I got in the library queue for this book and when it came available, I had no recollection of how it came to my attention. I almost let it slip by when I decided to give it a quick listen, just to justify moving onto something else. Happy surprise, The Wisdom of the Earth turned out to be pretty excellent. It's a coming of age story wrapped in a semi-historical (I have a hard time thinking of 1985 has historical) setting with themes of environmental stewardship, family, healing, acceptance, community, outsiders and homophobic attitudes. It's filled with both simple and complex characters, and portrays the tension that can happen in a small community with divided loyalties.

This is a debut book for Christopher Scotton who seems to have a vibrant career that has nothing to do with writing or publishing novels. And reading his author bio, he seems to have channeled many formative experiences into The Wisdom of the Earth. Here's to hoping that he is not a one hit-wonder.

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review 2014-10-13 23:18
giving this all the stars
The Brothers K - David James Duncan

So it's fall and I decided to read a baseball themed book. Baseball is one of those sports that is a strange blend of physical, psychological, and zen and I think it makes for a good story backdrop. I had no idea I how fantastic this would be.

The Brothers K is the great American novel of the late 20th century that you have never read. What happens when you mix a baseball playing father with a Seventh-day Adventist mother? To start, you get six kids, four brothers and twin sisters. Throw into the mix an atheist grandmother, reconstructive surgery, the Vietnam war and coming of age, and you get a touching, funny, poignant and simply wonderful family story.

I have never read "The Brothers Karamazov" so I cannot draw any parallels, I will leave that to the fancy NYT reviewers. I have read Jonathan Franzen, and I did recognize a similarity in the somewhat indulgent characterization and storytelling style. That comparison might be the kiss of death for some readers, but for me it's a definite plus.

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