“President is Missing” by Bill Clinton and James Patterson
I have this wonderful picture in my mind: Clinton goes to Patterson and says, “Jim! Jim, we gotta write this, ya gotta help me with it! Nothing classified, a course, cain’t do that. But just something to let people know there’s stuff they don’t know!”
This book is pure fiction (if it weren’t, Mr. Clinton would be under all kinds of arrest.), but what I think is true – and what is important – is that there are very often things that no one can be told, as a matter of national security. I’m sure there are things that even Congress doesn’t know, that maybe even the president’s inner circle doesn’t know. And the public certainly doesn’t.
“Homeland Burning”: Our Nation’s Worst Fear
If you follow me closely, you may recognize the names Brinn Colenda and Tom Callahan. One man is real, the other is his creation. Mr. Colenda is the author of two other books in the Callahan family saga, Cochabamba Conspiracy and Chita Quest. He has just released the third book in this eventual sextet, Homeland Burning. And it is at least as captivating as the other two.
"Wonder" is the Real Thing
Remember when everyone in the audience cheered when Han Solo suddenly showed up to help Luke and the rebels destroy the Death Star? Or how, after watching Tom Hanks and Geena Davis play baseball for more than an hour, everyone sat through all the credits, just watching the retired women play ball? Wonder is one of those movies.
"The Scarlet Pimpernel" by Baroness Orczy
This is one of those books we’ve all heard of, but haven’t read. For the record, Baroness Orczy – and yes, she really was a baroness – wrote the book because of the success of the story as a stage play. It’s an exciting and iconic story, very well told. It is set in 1792 during the French Revolution.
"My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry" by Fredrik Backman
My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry was written by the author of A Man Called Ove, which was a best-seller a few years ago. Fredrik Backman’s newer book has a much catchier title, but the consensus among reviewers is that this is the only thing about it that’s better. While the book has some really good parts, that was also the consensus of several friends and myself.
"Take Me With You" by Catherine Ryan Hyde
August Schroeder is just starting out in his RV for his annual summer trip to various national parks, aiming for Yellowstone this year. He had planned to take this trip with his 19-year-old son, but Phillip was killed in a car crash. So, he’s taking him along in the form of some of his ashes.
"Switched On" by John Robison
The subtitle of this book is: A Memoir of Brain Change and Emotional Awakening. Author John Robison has a very mild form of autism known as Asperger Syndrome. Like all Aspies, Mr. Robison has all the emotions everyone else has, but didn’t express them the way other people do.
"Sacred Journey of the Peaceful Warrior" by Dan Millman
In his college days in UC Berekely, Dan Millman met a sage in the guise of a service station mechanic. Socrates, as he dubbed him – for the man would never tell him his name – led Dan on an incredible voyage of self-discovery. If you have any interest in that sort of thing, Mr. Millman’s book about the experience, The Way of the Peaceful Warrior, is a must-read I reviewed it here about six weeks ago.
"The Postcard Killers," by James Patterson & Liza Marklund
The Postcard Killers starts with a premise I’ve seen in a lot of cop shows: A brazen serial killer send photos of his latest murder with the “twist” that they are posed like famous works of art. But there are always of two victims. Fitting, I suppose, since this particular serial killer is two people, which we know from the start. And the globe-hopping killer announce their intention to kill again via a postcard,