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review 2018-04-02 14:26
A good biography of a principled politician
Independent: A Biography of Lewis W. Douglas - Thomas G. Smith,Robert Paul Browder

Though the name Lewis Douglas may not be familiar to most Americans today, in his time he was a figure of national prominence.  The son of a mining magnate, Douglas grew up in comfort amidst the rough life of the mining towns of Arizona and Sonora before being sent east for an education at elite prep schools in New York and New Jersey.  After service in the First World War, he returned home and entered politics, winning election to Congress in 1926.  Quickly developing a reputation as a fiscal conservative, Douglas was asked by Franklin D. Roosevelt to serve as his first budget director and played a critical role in the development of the New Deal, but left the post less than two years into his administration due to his objections to the increasing amount of deficit spending.  He returned to government during the Second World War, serving a vital role in the War Shipping Administration before concluding his career as the American ambassador to Great Britain in the late 1940s.

 

Covering such a varied life requires command of a formidable body of information.  In this his biographers, Robert Paul Browder and Thomas G. Smith, prove more than equal to the task.  Using a wide array of sources, they write about issues as diverse as the fight over Colorado River water, the budget debates of the early New Deal, and the efforts to tackle postwar reconstruction in Europe with equal authority.  They portray Douglas as a charming and capable man who remained true to his principles, never deviating from his conservative beliefs even when they were out of step with the times.  Such principles won him considerable admiration but stunted what started out as a promising political career, one which could have led to even greater political heights than the ones he achieved.

 

Well written and informative, Browder and Smith’s biography is a good book about an unjustly overlooked political figure.  The product of meticulous research in a range of archives, it easily stands as the definitive work on Douglas’s life and career, one unlikely to be bettered in the future.  With it, readers can gain a better appreciation of a capable and talented man, one whose political career ultimately was defined by principles to which he held fast regardless of the limits they imposed on his prospects.

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text 2018-03-26 22:30
Found A Great New Local Bookstore!

 

For Christmas, my son and his girlfriend gifted me a certificate to this bookshop. I finally had a chance to go and redeem it yesterday and now I'm  sorry I wasn't able to go sooner! 

 

First off, fans of Stephen King will most likely recognize the name of this shop from the book Mr. Mercedes. Second, it was the coziest store ever, with exposed brick walls and cool displays. They host book signings and author events, which is pretty cool. They have a Stephen King book club and in April they're reading RAGE by Richard Bachman. I think I'm going to go!

 

Anyway, they had a small horror/sci fi section, and I happened on a few great finds.

Pics below!

 

http://www.blueumbrellabooks.com/ 

 

 

 

Below is their set up for their book group discussion of Agatha Christie's

AND THEN THERE WERE NONE

How cool is this?

 

 

 

My finds of the day! WILDWOOD is actually signed by Christopher Golden and it's in good shape. (It was only $6.00!!)

 

I am most excited about this find! Theodore Sturgeon in a Dell PB from 1978. It's in good shape too!

 

 

 

I had a nice chat with the proprietor behind the counter and we talked about some Theodore Sturgeon stories, Stephen King, Robert McCammon and Dan Simmons. It was a quiet and low key conversation, but we were both excited to talk about great books and I'm sorry, you just don't get that at the local big box (book) store. 

 

Thanks for reading this far if you're still here. Support Your Independent Book Stores!

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review 2017-05-26 12:30
Boo! by David Haynes
Boo! - David Haynes

 

Cue the circus music! Boo! was just plain fun! What horror fan doesn't enjoy a good evil clown story? I know of exactly none. 

 

A young boy has his smile stolen when a clown murders his parents right in front of him. How that affects him and those around him is the basic plot of this book. Toss in the author of a book called Clownz, a spunky police detective, and a super lovable grehyound, and that basically rounds out our main cast of characters.

 

Everything moves along, maybe not always completely believable, but that's ok-evil clowns can make up for a lot and these are especially evil. There are some nasty scenes in this book, and man oh man, it's just so darn FUN! (I may have mentioned that before.)

 

If you're in the mood for some creepy-ass clowns, characters you can relate to, and a fast paced story you can take down in a few settings, Boo! is what you need! Just don't blame me if you wake up in the night, and there's a dark figure in the shadows of your bedroom. You'll just have to hope that Sparkles decides to spare you.

 

Highly recommended to fans of creepy clowns!

 

You can scare yourself silly here: Boo!

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review 2016-12-18 15:55
Man & Beast (The Savage Land Book 1) by Michael Jensen
Man & Beast (The Savage Land Book 1) - Michael Jensen

 

John Chapman, (loosely based on Johnny Appleseed), led a pretty exciting life towards the end of the 1700's. Man & Beast makes it even more exciting by exploring the romantic side of John's nature. This was my first book containing m/m romance and I found it to be just fine.

 

Chapman isn't much of a frontiersman and when he turns up on Daniel's doorstep in Pennsylvania, alone with no supplies and winter close on his heels, Daniel takes him in. "In" being a one room, two story cabin with an outhouse and a small barn. Soon snowed in, Daniel and John get to know each other better, but that soon turns out not to be a good thing. Daniel has a very nasty side and likes to drink and John can't wait for the spring thaw to make his escape.

 

The second part of the novel is about exactly that-John Chapman's escape. He soon begins to make a life for himself in a small town, even though he still has to hide his true nature, (being a homosexual during this time in American history is about the worse thing a man can be.) But not long after his new life is established, his past catches up to him as he always suspected it would, and John is forced to finally make a stand. Instead of running as he always has before, John turns and faces the enemy. Will he survive? You'll have to read this to find out!

 

Not being a reader of romance at all, never mind a gay one, I was extremely nervous to read this book. Turns out, I needn't have worried. Most romances I've tried in the past just seemed silly and the characters rather vapid, but none of that occurred here. The story took precedence, the romance being secondary, and that worked well for me. To be honest, I was a little freaked out by the sex scenes in the first half of the book, but those scenes were distinctly different in the second half and I settled down with it.

 

For a novel entirely out of my wheelhouse, I enjoyed Man & Beast. Not having had much experience with romances or gay fiction, my opinion may not mean much, but what's important to me is the STORY, and in that regard, this book delivers. I learned a lot about history, (this book was thoroughly researched), and a bit about gay relationships as well. I learned that in the end, we're all the same and we just want to be ourselves and to be loved. How can a book with that message be a bad thing?

 

Recommended to fans of historical fiction and romance!

 

 

You can buy your copy here: Man & Beast (The Savage Land Book 1)

 

*I was given a review copy free of charge, in exchange for my honest feedback. This it it. Additionally, I've known the author online for a while now and consider him to be a friend. This did not affect the contents of my review.*

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