Book Review : Rating Scale

A definition of the scale I use to rate the books I review (out of 5): 0 – I didn’t finish it and want to tell you why I didn’t finish it. 1 – Finished it, but won’t ever recommend it, or I wish I hadn’t finished it. 2 – Only OK, I won’t go out of my way to find another book by this author. 3 – Enjoyable. In general, I’d recommend it. 4 – Excellent. I’d recommend it to anyone. 5 – Outstanding. I’ll recommend it to everyone, and may even burn copies of it to give to people I think will enjoy it.

Book Review : The Art Of The Steal, Camel Club

The Art of the Steal: How to Protect Yourself and Your Business from Fraud, America’s #1 Crime by Frank W. Abagnale

3/5 : This was a very informative book. The chapter on embezzlement should be required reading for every business owner, especially the small business owner. The author makes the point that small business owners are more at risk from fraud than larger companies because there is less ability to absorb losses. Format : Electronic download from played at fast speed.

The Camel Club by David Baldacci

4/5 : A book that Toby had checked out from the library, I just picked it up because there was some (rare) spare time. I have read other stuff by this author, and he didn’t disappoint this time around. Format : Hardcover from Carpinteria library.

Current listening : Code to Zero by Ken Follet

Book Review : The Rough Riders, Unforgiving Sun, Magic Kingdom For Sale – Sold

The Rough Riders, by Theodore Roosevelt

3 / 5 – This memoir was written in 1899 about 1 year after the events described. It was interesting to listen to how little emphasis was placed on an action that later became part of American lore. I guess it had not been built up to legend status by the time T.R. wrote the book. Format : electronic download from Netlibrary played at fast speed.

Unforgiving Sun by Ray Malone

3.5 / 5 – An M.D. is injured in the Arizona desert after his horse dies in a rockslide. The story of what he does to survive. 2 interesting notes. First, I could not find this book at ! I don’t have any idea why not. Second, the protagonist is an avowed atheist at the beginning of the book, but at the end he believes that God saved him. At the end, his belief in God culminates in his seeking out how to become an active member at the local church. Maybe his local church is a Bible teaching church and he will come to a saving knowledge of God?? Who knows, but was a pleasant story thread to witness his progression. Format : electronic download from Netlibrary played at fast speed.

Magic Kingdom for Sale–Sold! (Magic Kingdom of Landover) by Terry Brooks

3/5 – This book’s premise intrigued me – a man buys the kingship of a fairy land. The first few chapters were fantastic. My enthusiasm was tempered a bit as the story included heavy handed moralizing on protecting the environment, but it was still a good read (listen). Format : electronic download from LAPL played at fast speed.

Current listening : The Art of the Steal: How to Protect Yourself and Your Business from Fraud, America’s #1 Crime by Frank W. Abagnale (of Catch Me If You Can fame)

Garden of Beasts

Garden of Beasts : A Novel of Berlin 1936 (Deaver, Jeffrey) by Jeffery Deaver

5/5 – This is one of my top 5 audiobooks ever. ( The Christmas Train is another, but that is another review.) I originally listened to this as a book on CD (BOCD) a couple of years ago. I was excited to find it available from Netlibrary for electronic download. As I automatically do after download, I re-recorded it at ‘fast speed’ (an increase of 40%) and began listening. This is the only book that I have listened to that I wanted to ‘savor’ the story, so I switched from fast speed to normal speed to finish the book. It was even better the second time around. Highly recommended. Note on the author: Jeffrey Deaver is most famous for the Lincoln Rhyme novels such as The Bone Collector (A Lincoln Rhyme Novel) which was turned into a movie with Denzel Washington and Angelina Jolie in 1999 ). I have listened to a couple of Lincoln Rhyme novels and I didn’t care for them so much. However, every non-Lincoln Rhyme novel by Jeffrey Deaver has been great. One such is The Blue Nowhere: A Novel. When searching for books by this author it is hard to ‘weed out’ the Lincoln Rhyme novels, so if you know of any others, please pass that info along.
Format : electronic download from Netlibrary, played at normal speed.

Twisted, Witch’s Boy, Sharpe’s Prey

Twisted: The Collected Stories of Jeffery Deaver by Jeffery Deaver

3.5/5 – I listened to about 2/3 of this book straight through on a work day. I would have been better off listening to a couple of stories, changing to something else and then coming back to this anthology.
Format : audiobook download from Netlibrary played at fast speed.

The Witch’s Boy by Michael Gruber

3.0/5 – The main story is somewhat tedious because the main character is despicable and spoiled rotten. (He was worse than the boy in The Giving Tree ) However, this story is redeemed (and gains an extra rating point) by the fact that the author weaves in classic fairy tales, but with a twist. Example, Cinderella is an ungrateful wench who is never appreciative of her step-mother’s kindness. Cinderella lives in a fantasy world and maintains that she *must* be married to a prince. No matter how many gowns her step-mother makes for her, Cinderella is never statisfied. Also, nothing is ever clean enough, and she is constantly scrubbing out the hearth.
Format : audiobook downloaded from Los Angeles Public Library (LAPL) played at fast speed.

Sharpe’s Prey: Richard Sharpe and the Expedition to Denmark, 1807 by Bernard Cornwell

3.5/5 – Book 5 or 6 of a series that has something like 20 novels in it. I am trying to read them in chronological order (the author wrote some prequels). Some of this series are available as electronic downloads, but not the entire series. I missed the one immediately previous to this, but each novel stands on its own and I enjoy this author is a great deal.
Format : book on tape (BOT) from Santa Barabara Library system. Like I said, I am trying to listen to the entire series in order, and some of the books are only available on tape.