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Archive for the ‘What I Am Reading Now’ Category

Rub a dub dub
Three men in a tub
And who do you think they be?
The butcher, the baker
The candlestickmaker
And all of them lost at sea.

Aboard the spy ship U.S.S. Argosy in the war-tossed waters off the coast of Vietnam, three young American sailors form an unlikely bond. Each has fled an America they were raised to love but somehow no longer understand. When forced to choose whether to face combat or stay and fight the war in the streets, they sign up for a war that reflects the conflict that raged inside each of them. The one thing of which they were certain was that the only people in the world they could depend on were each other.

As their friendship deepens in the bars and brothels from Hong Kong to Subic Bay, Ernie Brigham and his companions slowly become aware of a dark secret aboard the U.S.S. Argosy. Upon their return to the America they left behind, they are changed at best, lost and damaged at worst, but ultimately sobered by a war that never should have been fought.

In the tradition of Tim O’Brien’s “The Things They Carried”, Denis Johnson’s “Tree of Smoke”, and Philip Caputo’s “A Rumor of War”, “The Candlestickmaker” recalls a Vietnam that seared disenchantment into a post World War II generation who learned to question authority at all levels. A coming-of-age story bookended by revelations that shatter readers’ illusions about patriotism, government, and the nature of modern warfare, “The Candlestickmaker” takes readers on a voyage that will guarantee they never read the Mother Goose nursery rhyme to their children in quite the same way again.

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Katrina Reece Warren, affectionately known as Kitty, had the perfect career, followed by a gorgeous wedding and a blissful honeymoon. She and Malcolm, her handsome, successful husband, have only just begun to enjoy life in their exquisite Victorian dream home when tragedy strikes. As her devastating loss causes Kitty to hoard and shut out those around her with a mountain of stuff, it falls to Misty, her bad girl cousin, to keep Kitty from losing everything. But their relationship is so strained by the hoarding, and Kitty’s sanity is so fragile, it may be impossible for Misty to save her without getting herself killed in the process.

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Alois is the Chicken Thief, an intelligent young man struggling to find his way in a southern African country wracked by political unrest and a crumbling economy. A chance encounter gives Alois the opportunity to make some fast money, and hopefully improve his future. However, his assignment goes horribly wrong and he unexpectedly finds himself in the midst of a complicated and perilous struggle to rescue a war hero and transform the political landscape. Though something of an unlikely hero, Alois ultimately learns that both dreams and justice are within his grasp.

Described as a cross between Dan Brown and Alexander McCall Smith, The Chicken Thief reads at a cracking pace, is dramatic and colourful, and will appeal to lovers of quality fiction. In essence a political thriller, it is particularly topical and poignant in relation to recent events in North Africa and the Middle East. Australian author, Fiona Leonard, has travelled a fascinating road across four continents to arrive in her current home in West Africa. Her life experience, including years spent living in southern Africa, has contributed to the creation of this deeply evocative novel, the rich construction of its realistic characters, and detailed, depiction of both the political and physical landscape.

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Being hardheaded is a common character flaw, but most teenagers can’t crack a concrete curb with their skull. And while a skilled skateboarder appears to defy gravity, he can’t keep water from pouring out of an upturned cup. Unintentionally tapping into latent powers has brought Jayke Wolff to the attention of the Aduro, an ancient society plotting an apocalyptic new world order. He’s now their number one draft pick, and they’ve dispatched their most seductive member to close the deal. It shouldn’t take much convincing a hormonal teenage boy to turn his back on a cryptic covenant for a future of self-indulgence and unchecked power. But if Jayke can’t be tempted by pleasures of the flesh, the flesh can be influenced in less pleasant ways as well. Armageddon can’t wait forever. Killing Jayke will also work.
Not remembering your past and not believing in your future can make it hard to choose who you’re going to be. Jayke has to decide how much of his teenage life he’s willing to sacrifice for a greater good. After all, you’re only young once.

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Born a genius; education, wealth, and prestige came easy to Logan Richards. Actually, there wasn’t much that Logan couldn’t learn or acquire. However, he knew there was more to life than money and power. Logan was determined to find the woman who he’d dreamed of his entire life and know what it was like to love her before he died.

Amber Lewis, a waitress for a five-star restaurant in, Dana Point, California, was overworked, stressed, and wary of life since her sister, Heather, had passed away. Then, one evening while working she fell hopelessly in love with Logan Richards, a chivalrous man who felt deeply familiar.

For Amber, it was the beginning of a voyage of self-discovery and renewal. For Logan, it was the completion of life. For each of them it was the deepest sort of love.

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Avin del Bors has a problem. His brother Drew has run off to fight in a war against the wolves, even though the wolves weren’t responsible for the vicious attack against the humans on the Free Plains. Avin’s companions—the warrior Ax, one-armed sorcerer Jocen, plucky owl Ulkia, drug-addled cheetah Summon the Wind and raccoon stand-up comic Onesso—all have their own reasons for accompanying him through the animal territories across the Bladebone Mountains. Their travels will take them from the highly regimented wolf cities, to the richesse and luxury of the Equine Commonwealth, all the way to the vertiginous tunnels of the serpents’ underground Net and across the waters of the Autonomous Dolphin Collective—to whatever unknown awaits them.

What neither Avin nor his companions yet understand is that the real force behind the Free Plains attack is neither canine nor feline, nor yet crocodile, insect, raptor, bear or shark. Far to the east, in the scorched wasteland known as The Barrens, lives the ragged clan that calls itself The Godless. There, Avin will confront his brother, his companions and himself, and discover two truths: one that changes everything he understands about himself, and another that threatens the balance of the entire world.

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Local rock band Ragman is finally taking off. Stephanie Case’s flamboyant performances and scorching guitar work have started attracting crowds, and singer John Tsiboukas–aka Johnny Tango–is delivering the best performances of his life. After months of playing to dead rooms, it looks like success is at hand. The thing is, there’s something wrong with Johnny’s voice. Until just a few weeks ago, he couldn’t hit the right pitch if you painted a target on it and let him stand real close. Now he sounds amazing. . . and strange things happen every time he sings. Lights burn out. Whole rooms become cold and hushed. People get violent. For Johnny and Case, Ragman is a ticket out of a life of meaningless, dead-end jobs and one lousy gig after another, but as the weirdness surrounding Johnny begins to turn into outright nightmare, they find that the price of stardom might be higher than either of them could ever have imagined.

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