THE PECULIAR LIFE OF A LONELY POSTMAN

13 Jul
First published in French 2005  Soft cover edition published by Hesperus Press Limited 2014 Translated from French into the Queen’s English by Liedewy Hawke 2008 Fiction novella 108 pages

First published in French 2005
Soft cover edition published by Hesperus Press Limited 2014
Translated from French into the Queen’s English by Liedewy Hawke 2008
Fiction novella 108 pages

“Secretly steaming open envelopes and reading the letters inside, Bilodo has found an escape from his lonely and routine life as a postman. When one day he comes across a mysterious letter containing only a single haiku, he finds himself avidly caught up in the relationship between a long-distance couple, who write to each other using only beautiful poetry. He feasts on their words, vicariously living a life for which he longs.”

Stunning imagery; unforgettable characters; and a story suspended within a dream that is haunting. From the very first page, we become Bilodo. We live his lonely nights and walk his postal days, day-in, day-out. Until, that is, Bilodo the postman does the unthinkable.

This is a short book but you will be long in reading it – by choice.

THE EXTRAORDINARY JOURNEY OF THE FAKIR WHO GOT TRAPPED IN AN IKEA WARDROBE

22 Jun
A Borzoi Book published by Alfred A. Knopf 2015 Originally published as L’Etraordinaire Voyage du Fakir Qui Etait Reste Coince dans une Armoire IKEA - by Le Dilettante, Paris 2013  Translated from French by Sam Taylor - First Edition 302 pages Fiction - romantic comedy

A Borzoi Book published by Alfred A. Knopf 2015
Originally published as L’Etraordinaire Voyage du Fakir Qui Etait Reste Coince dans une Armoire IKEA – by Le Dilettante, Paris 2013
Translated from French by Sam Taylor – First Edition 302 pages
Fiction – romantic comedy

Here’s another French author I’m going to enjoy reading. Romain Puertolas effortlessly plucks us out of our own lives and slips us into the life of Ajatashatru Oghash “(pronounced A-jar-of-rat-stew-oh-gosh!)” or “( ….. A-cat-in-a-bat-suit)” or “( ….. A-jackal-that-ate-you)”, among other such illustrious pronunciations, depending on what situation the Fakir may find himself in at the moment.

With quirky humor, we set off with a professional con-artist from India, who has only one thing on his mind, get to the Ikea in Paris, purchase a Bed of Nails, then exit the country as quickly and quietly as possible.

Ah, if things were only that simple.

Armed with a fake 100 Euro-note in his pocket, the Fakir catches a Taxi outside Charles de Gaulle Airport, and instructs the driver to take him to Ikea. When they arrive, the Fakir gives the driver his fake 100 Euro note, distracts him long enough to take back the note, then exits the taxi. The Fakir, after all, is a master of deception. By the time the driver realizes he’s been stiffed, the Fakir is already long gone.

While the driver plots his murderous revenge, Aja orders his Ikea bed but must wait ‘til morning to take possession. So, with no real money in hand for a hotel room, Aja decides to ‘hide-out’ inside the Ikea over night. He’ll just sleep under one of the beds, he reasons, and come morning he’ll pick-up his bed and leave. But things don’t always work out as planned, and the Fakir finds himself hiding inside one of the wardrobes to avoid a couple of Ikea employees who arrive, after hours, to crate the wardrobe for shipping.

A jolly jaunt of a journey with delightful likeable characters.

Most entertaining.

QUEEN OF THE TRAILER PARK

16 Jun
First published in French as - Un palace en enfer - via Kindle Direct Publishing Platform 2013 Translated from French by Alexandra Maldwyn-Davies Soft cover published by AmazonCrossing 2015 334 pages Mystery Fiction

First published in French as – Un palace en enfer – via Kindle Direct Publishing Platform 2013
Translated from French by Alexandra Maldwyn-Davies
Soft cover published by AmazonCrossing 2015
334 pages – Mystery Fiction

Rosie Maldonne is an unemployed part-time, when-she-feels-like-it waitress who lives with three children and a cat in a run-down one bedroom trailer. She has no money. No money, that is, until she finds an envelope with cash in it. Lots of cash just hangin’ out in a trash bin behind a fast-food joint.

This is the first time I’ve read Alice Quinn so I didn’t know what to expect. I was drawn-in by the cover, and the blurb was kind of intriguing, ’how bad could it be?’ I thought. Well, let me tell you, this book is a roaring good time. A light fare set before me with nothing better to do than to entertain. And entertain it does. Rosie is an outspoken character who only wants what we all want in life, love and happiness. But things just keep tripping her up – like that stash of cash and a cop just a little too good to be true.

If you get on this ride, be sure to tell Rosie, the Wordman said, hey!

SKYWRITING BY WORD OF MOUTH

12 Jun
Harper & Row 1986 First Edition 200 pages including Afterword by Yoko Ono  Surreal humor -Autobiography

Harper & Row 1986
First Edition 200 pages including Afterword by Yoko Ono
Surreal humor – Autobiography

For those of you who have been living under a rock for the past, oh 50 or so years, John Winston Ono Lennon (1940-1980) was the singer, song-writer who founded the band, the Beatles, and then, after he met Yoko, ended it. “I started the band. I disbanded it. It’s as simple as that.”

After Lennon’s assassination the manuscript for this third installment of the “other writings” trilogy was stolen, then later recovered and published in 1986 posthumously by Lennon’s widow, Yoko Ono. The other two members of this trilogy are: John Lennon In His Own Write; and A Spaniard in the Works.

This writing, Skywriting By Word of Mouth includes The Ballad of John and Yoko, and in my opinion, the only reason anyone would even want to read this book (MY opinion). John Lennon’s voice is there and the genius who wrote the words behind the songs jump off the page.

The ballad talks about the infamous Bed-In; Lennon’s brush with American law; falling in love with Yoko; divorcing the Beatles; and Lennon’s mysterious withdrawal from public life. The prevailing theme is that of Lennon’s silent years off the grid. “The reality behind the mystery is simply that we are doing what we want to do. Period.” Lennon was in love with Ono, and nothing else mattered. Nothing.

The gobbledygook that is Skywriting is a compilation of words. Some don’t even make sense. And it’s not like I can tell you what Skywriting is about because I don’t even think Lennon knew.

“Words are flowing out like endless rainbow mixed grilling baron von oil field marshall tucker band wagon-ner rear end zone what you reap van winkle of an eyelid of grass blowers convention centre forward march hair raising the flag of truce is stranger than friction of a second helping.” page 114 “Be were wolf of limitations,” or … “The spirit of boogie be upon you”

And so it goes.

The pages of paragraphs that have no connection to one another – just the ramblings of what appear to be someone high on something, obviously meant something to Lennon. I don’t know. I don’t get it. Maybe I’m the one who‘s high.

If you want to get to the truth, however, The Ballad of John and Yoko will get you there.

JONATHAN LIVINGSTON SEAGULL; & ILLUSIONS

8 Jun

I first read Jonathan during the summer of 1970 when he had just begun his quest for perfection. Jonathan, you see, is a Seagull, and he doesn’t like what’s going on in his flock. He wants to fly high and circle the clouds and dive-bomb and, and ….. Well, needless to say, the others are having none of it. They are perfectly content to just fly down, pluck a fish or two from the ocean, and then just perch all day long in the glorious sun light. But not Jonathan. Jonathan the rebel wants to soar!

Before you start wondering, no, this is not a children’s book nor is it a self-help mantra. Quite simply, this is the story about a Seagull and the power of choice.

“You wanna fly, you got to give up the shit that weighs you down.” *

I was young when I first met Jonathan so, of course, a book about a Seagull was hardly going to be of any consequence. But they, you know the ones, kept badgering me to read it. I did so reluctantly, as a mere diversion, mind you – I didn’t get it.

Throughout the years, however, I began to remember things about Jonathan – so, the other day when I was rummaging through some of the overflow books I keep in the attic, I came across two of Bach’s books, which I promptly set on my night-table in anticipation of a re-read. Very glad I did.

* Jonathan Livingston Seagull via the voice of Richard Bach

Jonathan Scribner Book Company 1970 Hardcover 112 pages Spiritual (fantasy) adventure ~~~ Illusions Dell Publishing Co., Inc. 1977 Hardcover edition-Delacorte Press/Eleanor Friede 1978 -144 pages Mystical adventure

Jonathan
Scribner Book Company 1970
Hardcover 112 pages
Spiritual (fantasy) adventure
~~~
Illusions
Dell Publishing Co., Inc. 1977
Hardcover edition-Delacorte Press/Eleanor Friede 1978 -144 pages
Mystical adventure

One day, long after Jonathan, and during one of my solo flights, I met ‘the Master’. The one ‘ … with power over the illusions of the world..’

“….. we magnetize into our lives whatever we hold in our thought …..” **

This book is about ‘…a Master come to the earth, born in the holy land of Indiana, raised in the mystical hills east of Fort Wayne.’ ***

A stunningly visual portal into what it would be like to live today, on Earth, alongside the King of Kings, the Messiah. Of course He would have to be one of us.

This book skirts along the edge of non-fiction as the main character is our narrator and author, Richard Bach. “In the cloud-washed airspace between the cornfields of Illinois and blue infinity, a man puts his faith in the propeller of his biplane. For disillusioned writer and itinerant barnstormer Richard Bach, belief is as real as a full tank of gas and sparks firing in the cylinders…until he meets Donald Shimoda, former mechanic and self described Messiah …..” overview from Barnes and Noble

If you are a first timer to Mr. Richard Bach the man who, by his own admission, does not enjoy writing – wow, are you in for a treat!

Suspend your disbelief.
Let your Freak Flag fly!

And on that note, I’m off to see what kind of mischief I can get myself into today!

** the voice of Richard Bach via Illusions

*** first page/first (Journal) paragraph
Illusions The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah

STAY CLOSE

4 Jun
Dutton, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc. 2012 Hard cover 387 pages Suspense thriller fiction

Dutton, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc. 2012
Hard cover 387 pages
Suspense thriller fiction

“ ….. a stroll in excellent company along an uninspiring route.” This is how Jake Kerridge, journalist and art critic describes Stay Close (in-part).

In his usual page-turner style, Harlan Coben tells us a story about three people, Cassie/Megan, a suburban wife and mother with a secret; Ray, a once sought after photojournalist who has fallen on hard times; and Broome, the homicide detective obsessed with solving a 17 year old murder that appears to be connected to a present day disappearance. What he gets, instead, is something more than he bargained for.

There are, of course, other stunningly written, sub-characters. Amongst them, Lorraine, a prostitute; and Ken and Barbie – two lovers who don’t hesitate unspeakable torture to get what they were hired to get.

This crime-thriller moves along at a good clip, but only because of the fabulous character studies. Each one, even the minor ones, shine .…

CURRENTLY READING

29 May
SUSPENSE THRILLER

SUSPENSE THRILLER

“Three people living lives they never wanted, hiding secrets that even those closest to them would never suspect, will find that the past doesn’t recede. Even as the terrible consequences of long-ago events crash together in the present and threaten to ruin lives, they will come to the startling realization that they may not want to forget the past at all.”
Google

GALVESTON

28 May
Scribner/a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc. First Scribner hardcover edition 258 pages Crime noir - suspense

Scribner/a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.
First Scribner hardcover edition 258 pages
Crime noir – suspense

” I shot up in bed, breath trapped. Police lights flashed outside the curtains, red and blue strobing the room. The lights were silent but I was deafened by the pulse booming through my ears.” (page 126 first paragraph)

Dennis Lehane, writer for The New York Times describes Pizzolatto’s crime noir as “….. filled with so much drop-dead gorgeous writing that I felt authentic envy while reading it.”

This is the kind of storytelling that just effortlessly glides along without help. Actually, I only read the first page – because after that, I wasn’t even in the room anymore, and I certainly wasn‘t reading. I was in 1987 Louisiana. Roy just killed, more like executed, a couple of goombas who underestimated him.

“I found the address Stan had given me, a sinkhole apartment building next to a line of warehouses: pale, graffitied brick, high weeds and crabgrass blending into the vacant lot next door. Clunkers in the parking lot, that air of oil and hot garbage that circles New Orleans.”   (page 10 second paragraph)

All the characters are alive; all the emotions are raw; and, there is nothing that feels ‘wrong’. To hide from the mob after he shoots some of them, Roy Cady and an unlikely companion escape to Galveston. This is the story of that exodus.

JUDAS THE APOSTLE

26 May
iUniverse Star/an iUniverse L.L.C. imprint 2012 Soft cover (2015) 313 pages Historical Biblical thriller

iUniverse Star/an iUniverse L.L.C. imprint 2012
Soft cover (2015) 313 pages
Historical Biblical thriller

Who was Judas?
The betrayer or the facilitator?

I’m not sure what to make of this book. The telling is woven with a fine thread but something is askew. The beginning and the end – page turners. The middle stalled me – laborious detail and characters I still was unable to get emotional about (even after one hundred pages).

This is a good story based on the theological history surrounding the lives of Judas Iscariot and Jesus of Nazareth. There is a lot of information to digest. So much so that Mayhall had me going through my own theological research papers for confirmation on many of the theories set forth in the book.

An Oil Jar inscribed with the name Judas Iscariot is found in a cave by a man who, years later, is murdered for it. The daughter inherits the jar, and the race to find the true identity of the one person everyone believes to have betrayed our Savior, begins.

Judas the Apostle is a good story, but …… I never felt that punch in the gut.

JOURNAL ENTRY

23 May

For some oddity, or not, I’ve been gravitating toward self-published books lately. In light of the obvious, leaving one’s analytical cap in another room whilst reading these ‘raw’ renderings, is often best.

Otherwise, many excellent adventures will be missed.

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