Recent Books Read

"The Face" by Dean Koontz (July 2003)

The author tends to write stories that I consider "weird."  This one is more captivating than previously read ones.  It is interesting and weaves a good if strange tale.  It is written as a mystery and the plot is easy to follow.  I give it a 3 of 5 stars.

"The Company" by Robert Littell (August 2003)

A very realistic story that is fiction but contains enough real names and places to almost be a true account of the CIA. organization from the beginning to relatively modern times.  It is long but did not get boring.  It has quite a detailed plot with a good list of characters but is easy to follow.  If you like spy stores, this is a good one.  I give it a 4 of 5 stars. 

"Enders Game" by Orson Scott Card (September 2003)

One of the best science fiction stores I have read.  It is very interesting and almost believable.  It may be more true than fiction if our children get any smarter.  I give it 5 stars.

"The Paris Option" by Robert Ludlum and Gayle Lynds (September 2003)

I have tried to read Ludlum in the past and thought I would give this book a try.  It is an story about a new DNA computer.  The story is not too outlandish, but the main character can run through a sea of bullets and come home without a scratch.  I suspect Ludlum had little to do with the story.  I give it 2 of 5 stars. 

"The DaVinci Code" by Dan Brown (October 2003)

My first read by this author.  It is a very good tale with a background of religious stories that are not new, but remain highly controversial.  It is a page turner and very hard to put down.  It was a great read.  I give it 5 stars. 

"The Crisis of Islam" by Bernard Lewis (October 2003)

A very scary book to read.  The author is the reader and has a strong English accent but easy to understand.  It was very enlightening.  I want to read it again to be sure I have all the facts right.  It traces Islam from the beginning to modern times.  I give it 3 of 5 stars. 

"Life of Pi" by Yann Martel (November 2003)

A delightful story of a boy who is shipwrecked and stranded in the ocean with a few wild animals on board.  If you want to laugh and have some fun, read this one.  I give it 5 stars. 

"Flags of Our Fathers" by James Bradley (November 2003)

A son's research of the people and events surrounding the raising of the flag on Iwo Jima in World War II.  It details the mystery and events clearly.  He finds out things about his father (John Bradley) he never knew prior to his death.  It pays great homage to a father who was a hero.  I give it 3 of 5 stars. 

"The Killer Angels" by Michael Shaara (December 2003)

The story of the Civil War battle of Gettysburg.  It gives you the personalities of the generals on both the Union and the Southern armies.  It is very well done, and as an audio book, the narrator was outstanding.  I give it 5 stars. 

"The Purpose Driven Life: What On Earth Am I Here For" by Rick Warren (December 2003)

This is a forty day read that may change our lives.  It was suggested by my wife and our former pastor Mike Woods.   It should be read by every Christian.  It is a wake up call for us to spread the word about Jesus Christ.  I give it 5 stars. 

"1066: the Year of the Conquest" by David A. Howarth (October 2003)

A great short book about the events leading up to the Battle of Hastings in 1066.  It is well written and very informative of early English history.  I give it 4 stars. 

"Gone For Soldiers" by Jeff Shaara (December 2003)

A good history of the Mexican American war with great information about Robert E. Lee.  The author is Michael Shaara' son.  I give it 4 stars. 

"Prey" by Michael Chrichton (January 2004)

High tech science fiction about the possibility of nanotechnology.   Rather complicated technobabble but an interesting situation.  I give it 3 stars. 

"The Christmas Train" by David Baldacci (January 2004)

A Christmas gift written by one of my favorite authors.  A delightful love story and certainly a departure from previous Baldacci books I have read.  I give it 4 stars. 

"The Second Coming of Steve Jobs" by Alan Deutschman (January 2004)

I would not work for this man!  If this is the best leader of industry America can produce, we are in trouble! 
A shocking revelation of Jobs the man.  He alienated all of his friends, old and new.  I give it 2 stars. 

"Truman" by David McCulllough (February 2004)

A former Pulitzer prize winner and a great book about one of my favorite presidents.  It goes into detail about HST's early life.  I have also read his book about John Adams.  I give it 5 stars. 

"Pompeii" by Robert Harris (February 2004)

A good tale about the events before and during the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 A.D. http://volcano.und.nodak.edu/vwdocs/volc_images/img_vesuvius.html
I give it 4 stars. 

"Odd Thomas" by Dean Koontz (March 2004)

Another "way out" book by this author.  Each time I read one of his stores, I say it will be the last, but I keep on!  This book starts out very slowly and I almost gave up.  After you are well into it, it gets better and even exciting.  I give it 3 stars.  

"Sleeping With The Devil" by Robert Baer (February 2004)

I gave up on this book after a few minutes.  He is throwing big rocks and making very strong accusations.  I know nothing of his real qualifications to do so.  I give it 0 stars.

"Eragon" by Christopher Paolini (March 2004)

If you like J.R.R. Tokein, you will like this book.  It is fantasy at its best.  I was blown away when I learned this book was written by the author when he was fifteen years old!  I yearn for more from this author.  I give it 5 stars. 

"High Stakes" by Dick Francis (March 2004)

A book of mystery and intrigue.  It is very well written and read.  I enjoyed it thoroughly.
I give if five stars. 

"Flight of Eagles" by Jack Higgins (April 2004)

I have previously read several books by this author.  Either my taste has changed, or this is not up to his previous works.  I give it three stars. 

"Dog Training, Fly Fishing and Sharing Christ in the 21st Century" by Ted Haggard (April 2004)

A detailed account of New Life Church's "free market small group model."  Pastor Ted Haggard is senior pastor of the largest church in Colorado with a membership of 8700.  There are 800 small groups with 8000 people participating!  A remarkable effort.  The question I have is can this be replicated?  I give it five stars.

"Franklin and Winston" by Jon Meacham (May 2004)

A story about the relationship between Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt.  It developed during WWII, and was greatly influential in getting the United States involved in the war in Europe.  It also gives more understanding how men with great egos interact.  Both men came from wealthy and influential families.  The countries of England and the United States are better for having them as leaders in a very critical time in history.  I give it five stars.  

"Breaking the Da Vinci Code" by Darrell Bock  (June 2004)

Dr. Bock, a New Testament scholar, reveals the errors presented as "fact" in the book "The Da Vinci Code."  When I read this book some time ago, I found it interesting and took it for what it is....fiction.  Apparently, many others accepted the various tales in the book as fact.  The book says Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene and she was the mother of his children.  What a fairy tale!  It is mind boggling to think some people would think this was the truth.  I give it five stars.  

"Mornings on Horseback" by David McCullough  (June 2004)

A biography of the early life of Theodore Roosevelt.  I enjoy books written by this author very much.   I found it readable, interesting and gave me insight into the Roosevelt family.  I give it five stars. 

(July 2004)

A very long book with bits of scientific knowledge related to when things were invented or discovered.  If you have no interest in science, don't read this book.  I give it three stars. 

(July 2004)

An English comedy science fiction.  It leaves you hanging, waiting for the next installment.  I saw it on TV recently. 
I give it 3 stars. 

"Across the Nightingale Floor" by Lian Hearn (August 2004)

A good listen to a style of writing that is a little different.  A story of ancient Japan.  I give it 3 stars. 

"Roses are Red" by James Patterson (September 2004)

A new author for me.  A somewhat light mystery that leaves you hanging.  I give it 3 stars. 

"Charlie Wilson's War" by George Crile (September 2004)

A very interesting story of how a United States Congressman had so much influence on the war in Afghanistan against the Russians.  I give it 4 stars. 

"D-Day by Stephen E. Ambrose" (October 2004)

A detailed account of the events of June 6, 1044.  I give it 2 stars.  It is not up to the usual Ambrose book.  

"Bush at War" by Bob Woodward (October 2004)

A very interesting listen of the events starting with September 11th and how the terrorist attack was handled by the Bush administration.  I give it 4 stars. 

"American Soldier" by General Tommy R. Franks (October 2004)

This book is very long and has way too much detail and Army jargon.  It does give the reader a great insight into the politics of war and how the Bush administration handled the situation in the Middle East.  I give it 4 stars.    I give the man 5 stars. 

"Avenger" by Frederick Forsyth (November 2004)

A complicated but intriguing tale told by an expert teller.  I enjoy Mr. Forsyth's writing.   I just recently rediscovered this author.  I give it 4 stars. 

"The Devil in the White City" by Erik Larson (November 2004)

An interesting true story about the development and events surrounding the Chicago World's Fair of 1893.  How it is connected with a serial murderer who happened to live close to the fair and in the same time frame is a bit much.  I give it 3 stars. 

" December 2004)

A detailed account by the author, based upon personal interviews with leading scientists who acknowledge that there must be a supreme being.  I noted in the newspaper recently that a major award (The Templeton Prize for Progress Toward Research or Discoveries about Spiritual Realities was founded in 1972 by pioneering global investor and philanthropist Sir John Templeton) was given to a scientist, Charles Townes, who advocates the presence of God.  I give it 3 stars.  It gave me more detail than interested me! 

"The Deceiver" by Frederich Forsyth (January 2005)

Another good spy story by one of my favorite authors.  I give it 4 stars.  

"Angels and Demons" by Dan Brown  (January & February 2005)

I read the author's first book, "The Da Vinci Code", and this was his first book on a similar subject.  I find him to be an exceptional writer and he again weaves a bizarre and controversial tale with the Catholic church as the target/object.  I give it 4 stars for its ability to capture my interest. 

"Night Fall" by Nelson Demille (March 2005)

This author is new to me.  The story line is about TWA Flight 800 that crashed in mysterious circumstances off the shore of Long Island, NY in 1997.  I give it three stars. 

 

" (April 2005)

"His Excellency George Washington" by Joseph J. Ellis (May 2005)

In progress

"Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow (June 2005)

A great book about an outstanding man and his part in the early history of this country.   It should be a must read for every citizen.  Our founding fathers, and especially Mr. Hamilton, did much to establish this great country and the privileges we now take for granted.  I give it five stars. 

In progress.

"Deadline" by Randy Alcorn (June 2005)

In progress

"1776" by David McCullough (August 2005)

A great book about the American Revolution.  It should be a must read for every citizen.  Our founding fathers did much to establish this great country and the privileges we now take for granted.  I give it five stars. 

"Washington's Crossing" by David Hackett (September 2005)

A good follow on to "1776" if you are interested in the detailed accounts of one of the most important battles in the American Revolution, the battle of Trenton.  I give it 4 stars. 

"Eldest, Volume I by Christopher Paolini (October 2005)

The second book by this young author.  It extends the tale of Eragon a book read some time back.  It is almost as good as his first book.  I give it 4 stars. 

"Shibumi" by Trevanian (October 2005)

This book was published in paper form in 1979.  I enjoyed it very much.  I like the style of the author and the suspense woven into the tale.  I give it 5 stars.  I plan to read other of his books. 

"Consent to Kill" by Vince Flynn (October 2005)

My first read of the author.  It is a good tale of suspense.  I give it 4 stars. 

"No Country for Old Men" by Cormac McCarthy (October & December 2005)

I read this book twice it is so good.  It has a real message.  The author is a wonderful painter of word pictures.  Some say he is the modern day William Faulkner.  Others say less than good things about this book.  I does have a downer ending.  I liked the moral message at the end.  I give it 5 stars. 

"The Third Option" by Vince Flynn (December 2005)

Another good tale.  I hope it is not true.  I give it four stars. 

"The Lincoln Lawyer" by Michael Connelly (December 2005)

My first read of this author.  I like the story and ending.  I give it four stars. 

"The Broker" by John Grisham (December 2005)

I have read most of Grisham's books.  This book is his first attempt at a "spy" type of novel.  I think he should stick to lawyer stuff.  I give it three stars. 

"All The Pretty Horses" by Cormac McCarthy (January 2006)

I love the way this author can paint pictures with words.  This is a great "love" story.  I give it five stars.
I intend to read more of his work. 

"In Cold Blood" by Truman Capote (February 2006)

Somehow I missed this book when it came out years ago.  I read it to prepare for the movie "Capote."  It was a good read of a terrible situation of two pathetic young men who caused grief on a good family and community.  I give it five stars.  

"Whiteout" by Ken Follett (March 2006)

A tale somewhat different from other books I have read by this author, and there have been many through the years.  A story of greed within a family exhibited by a son who tries to steal from his father to aid terrorists.  I give it 4 stars. 

"Memorial Day" by Vince Flynn (March 2006)

I really like this author's writing style and content.  I understand he is one of the writers of the TV program "24."  It keeps you reading to find out what is going to happen next.  I give it five stars. 

"The Mysterious Stranger and Other Stories" by Mark Twain (April 2006)

A collection of short stories.  The author has a "different" sense of humor that I enjoy.  I particularly liked the story Adam's Diary.  I give it four stars. 

"Heaven" by Randy Alcorn (Summer 2006)

We studied this book in our Sunday school class and I thought we would never finish.  It is a great book with great information, but highly repetitive in nature.  If you ever wondered what Heaven will be like for believers, you should read this book.  It is scripturally based and is a departure from Mr. Alcorn's usual Christian novel.
It is very readable and informative.  I give it 5 stars. 

"Lion's Game" by Nelson DeMille (June 2006)

A very long book but another good tale by this author.  It is a story of the revenge of his family's death by a bombing raid that happened in Lybia in 1986.  I give it 4 stars. 

"The Journey" by Billy Graham (July 2006)

This book has something for everyone.  Dr. Graham gives advice for all stages of life.  It is a wonderful book, and again he presents the Gospel in almost every chapter.  I give it 5 stars. 

"Operatives, Spies, and Saboteurs: The Unknown Story of World War II's OSS" by Patrick K. O'Donnell (August 2006)

A collection of stories about non-soldier events in WWII.  It reveals the many men and women of all countries who fought to win the war.  I give it 3 stars.  

"Mayflower" by Nathaniel Philbrick (September 2006)

A very detailed historical book about the real story of the Pilgrims who landed on the New England coast in 1620.  It changes my view of this period of history.  The Pilgrims did not follow the teachings of any of their Christian ancestors.  They did not love their brothers.  In fact, they killed most of the native Americans to get their land.  I give it 3 stars.  It was a hard read, very detailed and many difficult names. 

"The Afghan" by Frederick Forsyth (September 2006)

Another well written and interesting book by the author.  It portrays a future terrorist event in a manner that is typical Forsyth and could really happen!  I give it 5 stars. 

"The Language of God" by Francis S. Collins (October 2006)

A fascinating account of a mans growth through being atheistic, agnostic to an evangelical Christian.  I really enjoyed the scientific content, thought much of it was over my head.  The index is a  particularly good review of the ethics associated with genetic manipulation, cloning, stem cells and other controversial issues that we see in the news frequently. 
I give it 5 stars. 

"The Innocent Man" by John Grisham (October 2006)

I have read many Grisham books, and this is his worst.  He needs to stick to his "normal" writing style.  I felt like I was reading the transcript of a court trial.  I give it one star.

"Act of Treason" by Vince Flynn (November 2006)

Another good tale by my current favorite writer.  The hero, Mitch Rapp, does it again.  I will have a hard time waiting for his next book.  I give it five stars. 

"Wild Fire" by Nelson DeMille (December 2006)

A tale that is certainly timely but not politically correct.  A rich oil man has a plan to eliminate the majority of the world's Muslims by exploding several nuclear suitcase bombs in US cities that will trigger an "automatic" response from the US.   I did not enjoy this book as much as some of his previous ones.  The language is a bit too explicit.  I give it two stars. 

"Water For Elephants" by Sara Gruen (December 2006)

A truly wonderful story and well read.  I think the readers made the story more realistic.  It has a great surprise ending.  I give it five stars. 

"Brother Odd" by Dean Koontz (January 2007)

I did not finished this book.  It is too weird.  I will not buy another of this authors' books.  I don't give it any stars.

"Appaloosa" by Robert B. Parker (February 2007)

This author was recommended by a very good friend.  I choose to read his first attempt at a "western."  I enjoyed it thoroughly.  It is very much in the style of the western writer Louis Lamour.
I give it 4 stars. 

"The Assets"    by Ted Allbeury (February 2007)

My first "read" of this author.  It is a story of intrigue within the CIA.  I enjoyed the story and it was well written and well read.  I give it 4 stars.

"Potshot" by Robert B. Parker (March 2007)

My first "Spencer" novel read.  This author was recommended by my friend Jerry Foster.  I liked "Appaloosa" better.  Light reading.  I give it 2 stars. 

"Bel Canto" by Ann Patchett (April 2007)

This book was recommended by my friend Mike Glasscock.  The author is his step-daughter.  I liked the book very much.  Interesting read.  A political thriller plot with twists.  I give it 4 stars. 

"Imperium" by Robert Harris (April 2007)

I lost interest in this book and never finished it.  Unrated.

"The Collectors" by David Baldacci (May 2007)

One of my favorite authors.  A story of Washington intrigue.  A very good story but a lousy ending.  We don't know what happened to the heroine.  I give it 4 stars. 

"Exile" by Richard North Patterson (May 2007)

The very best explanation of the Palestinian Arab/Israel/Jew situation I have read to date.  It is well written and a story that captures interest and is easy to follow.  I give it 5 stars. 

"The Road" by Cormac McCarthy (June 2007)

One of my favorite authors with a very strange tale about a man and his son wandering through the countryside after the Armageddon.  I give it 4 stars. 

"Transfer of Power" by Vince Flynn (July 2007)

One of Vince Flynn's earlier books that I had overlooked.  Another tale about the bullet-proof Mitch Rapp.  I give it 4 stars. 

"The Cleaner" by Brett Battles (August 2007)

A rather long and convoluted story.  This is the first book of this author I have read.  I am not sure I will do another.  I give it three stars. 

"Killing Rain" by Barry Eisler (September 2007)

A new author for me.  This is a well written story about an assassin for hire and the world he lives in.  I give it 4 stars. 

"The Last Assassin" by Barry Eisler (September 2007

A continued story of an assassin who is having trouble trying to change his life.  I give it 4 stars. 

"Rise To Rebellion" by Jeff Shaara (October 2007)

A historical novel about the events and people that led up to the American Revolution.  It is also a continuation of information about John Adams.  I give it four stars. 

"The Ezekiel Option" by Joel C. Rosenberg (October 2007)

The is the first paper book I have read in some time.  It was recommended by my friend and neighbor, a fellow Christian.  It is a very scary story and some of the things are too real.  It is based upon end times as found in the Book of Ezekiel in the Bible.  It is very well written and I had a hard time putting it down.  I read the last few chapters so fast I will need to read them again.  I wanted to find out how it ended!  I give it five stars.   

"The Last Jihad" by Joel C. Rosenberg (November 2007)

This is the first novel written by this author.  I should have started this one first.  It was written just before the 9-11 incident.  It is spooky how much he has in this book is similar to what really happened.  It is a good book, well written.  I give it four stars. 

"The Last Days" by Joel C. Rosenberg (November 2007)

The second novel by this author.  It is a continuation of the story started in The Last Jihad.  It is more political thriller material based on Bible prophesy found in the book of Ezekiel.  I give it four stars. 

"The Copper Scroll" by Joel C. Rosenberg (December 2007)

I was disappointed in this book and not motivated to finish it.  It was not as good as previous books.  I give it one star. 

"World Without End" by Ken Follett (December 2007)

A very long story about life in the 14th century in a small town in England.  In progress.

"Protect And Defend" by Vince Flynn (February 2008)

Another great book by my current favorite author.  Mitch Rapp at his best with a very current topic.  The Israeli's sabotage the Iranian nuclear production facility and Iran blames it on the US and tries to provoke a war.  I give it five stars. 

"Lone Survivor" by Marcus Luttrell with Patrick Robinson (January 2008)

The story of a Navy SEAL who was the only one come back alive from a raid deep in Afghanistan.  The story is ok, but way too much verbiage on how tough the SEALs are, how they survived their rigorous training and other pat yourself on the back information.  No doubt the SEALs are a tough and dedicated bunch, this story sounds like they are brainwashed and trained to think they are invincible.  There were not in this story.  Way too many four letter words for my taste.  I give it two stars.

"Brothers in Battle, Best of Friends"  by William "Wild Bill" Guarnere and Edward "Babe" Heffron    (February 2008)

If you have seen and or read "Band of Brothers" you should read this book.  It is a narrative by each of these two remarkable men who met in England and learned they grew up in the same area in South Philadelphia.  They both survived the war and have been inseparable friends ever since.  You will hear their side of the stories told in the movie.   I give it 5 stars. 

"The Winner" by David Baldacci  (September 2014)

A complicated story about a person who engineers down and out people to win 100 million dollar lottery every year for 10 years.  I got tired of reading it and failed to finish before my library loan period.  I give it 2 stars.

"A Bridge Too Far" by Cornelius Ryan (winter 2014-15)

I have watched this movie several times.  The book follows the movie, but in much more detail.  I have struggled trying to finish the book just because I have enjoyed the move so much.  I give it 2 stars.

"Christian Beliefs: twenty basics every Christian should know" by Wayne A Grudem and Elliot Grudem (2014-15)

We have been using this book as a study guide for a group named "Panthers" that began in 1985.  Wayne Harmon and I started meeting on a regular basis during a time I was under stress, trying to decide to leave the private practice of medicine for a second career.  The group has been meeting weekly since that time.  The members of the group have changed.  Wayne and C.E. Buttress are with our Lord.  I am now the senior member and there are five guys, all in retirement.  We meet on Monday at the IHOP in Plano during the noon hour.  This book was created by Elliot Grudem while he was a seminary student.  It is the "Readers Digest" version of his larger book "Bible Doctrine Essential Teachings of the Christian Faith" that is a condensation of his book "Systematic Theology."  I give it five stars. 

"The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill: Defender of the Realm, 1940-1965"  by William Manchester and Paul Reid

 

I listened to this book over several weeks while walking in my neighborhood or in my car.  It is a great book, huge detail and information I had not had before.  Paul Reid finished the manuscript after Manchester's death.   I give it five stars.

"The Trident Deception" by Rick Campbell (May 2015)

This is my first read of this author and it was a great one!  I could not put it down.  This is my first pleasure read in some time.  A very timely story of political intrigue and I predict it will make a great movie.  A story of a submarine and false information given to it that causes it to release multiple missiles with multiple nuclear warheads on the country of Iran.  A story somewhat similar to the "Hunt For Red October" one of my all time favorite movies.  I give it five stars.

"Empire Rising" by Rick Campbell (May 2015)

My second book read by this author and it too was good.  I enjoyed it, but not quite as much as the previous book.  It is a scary story about a war between the United States and China.  I give it four stars.

"Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War" by George M. Gates (summer 2015)

I listened to this book while walking, riding my exercise bike or in the car by myself.  The author was the president of Texas A&M University when he was called by George Bush to replace his secretary of defense.  He stayed on in the first Obama administration for two and a half years.  He had been in government service for many years in several positions.  He was constantly fighting the political battles in Washington while our troops were fighting in the middle East.  He became disenchanted with the Obama crowd when they could not keep the deals they had agreed to.  None of Obama's advisors had ever served in the military and they knew more about war than the commanding generals and admirals. 
I give it five stars. 

"Living the Extraordinary Life: Nine Principles to Discover It" by Charles Stanley (November 2015)

 

I think this the "best" Christian book I have ever read.  Dr. Stanley says it is written for believers at any stage of life.  It certainly seemed to me to be written for me as a senior citizen, particularly the last principle.  I gave a copy of this book to each of our children in hope they will read it and use it in their lives.  I give it five stars. 

 

"Systematic Theology" by Dr. Wayne Grudem (2015 & 2016)

 

I read this book twice and taught the Reader's Digest version "Christian Beliefs" to the Grey Panthers.  It is a very easy read on a very complicated subject.  I give it five stars. 

 

"The Wright Brothers" by David McCullough (November 2015)

 

I have read several of this author's books and they are all great.  I like history, especially true history.  I give it five stars. 

 

"Truman" by David McCullough (December 2015)

 

A very good biography of Harry S. Truman, a very good president and maybe the only one who had only a high school education.  I give it five stars. 

 

"Daniel" by John F. Walvoord  (April 2016)

I had this book in my home library.  I found it easy to read, but Daniel is not easy to understand.  It made me interested in this book and I volunteered to teach it to my Bible study group the Grey Panthers.  I found on Insights for Living the series as taught by Chuck Swindoll, very much easier to understand.  Dr. Walvoord spent too much time explaining that some liberal theologians say the book was written in the 250 B.C. era as history when it was written by Daniel starting in 685 B.C.  I give it four stars. 

 

"Studies In The Sermon On The Mountby D. Martyn Lloyd-George (May-June 2016)

 

This is a special book, I think written for anyone who wants to understand what it means to be a Christian and what you must do.  It is the best explanation of the beatitudes I have read.  I give it 5 stars. 

 

"Power Down" by Ben Coes (September-October 2016)

I looked for an author to replace the departed Vince Flynn who died an early death from prostate cancer.  I found Ben Coes and this is the first book I read by him.  It is a political thriller with a bullet proof character, Dewey Andreas.  It is centered on Islamic terrorism, a world wide problem.  A good story and I enjoyed it.  I will continue to read/listen to his books.  I give it 5 stars. 

"The Last Refuge" by Ben Coes (December 2016)

With time running out to stop the nuclear destruction of Tel Aviv, Dewey Andreas must defeat his most fearsome opponent yet.

Off a quiet street in Brooklyn, New York, Israeli Special Forces commander Kohl Meir is captured by operatives of the Iranian secret service, who smuggle Meir back to Iran, where he is imprisoned, tortured, and prepared for a show trial.

What they don't know is that Meir was in New York to recruit Dewey Andreas for a secret operation. Meir had been tipped off that Iran had finally succeeded in building their first nuclear weapon, one they were planning to use to attack Israel. His source was a high-level Iranian government official and his proof was a photo of the bomb itself.

Dewey Andreas, a former Army Ranger and Delta, owes his life to Meir and his team of Israeli commandos. Now, to repay his debt, Dewey has to attempt the impossible ---to both rescue Meir from one of the world's most secure prisons and to find and eliminate Iran's nuclear bomb before it's deployed---all without the help or sanction of Israel or America (at the near certain risk of detection by Iran).

Unfortunately, Dewey's first moves have caught the attention of Abu Paria, the brutal and brilliant head of VEVAK, the Iranian secret service. Now Dewey has to face off against, outwit, and outfight an opponent with equal cunning, skill, and determination, with the fate of millions hanging in the balance.  I give it 5 stars. 

"Coup D'etatby Ben Coes (November 2016)

Wanting only a peaceful, obscure life, Dewey Andreas has gone to rural Australia, far from turbulent forces that he once fought against. But powerful men, seeking revenge, have been scouring the earth looking for Dewey. And now, they've finally found him - forcing Dewey to abandon his home and to fight for his life against a very well armed, well trained group of assassins.

Meanwhile, a radical cleric has been elected president of Pakistan and, upon taking power, sets off a rapidly escalating conflict with India. As the situation spins quickly out of control, it becomes clear that India is only days from resorting to a nuclear response, one that will have unimaginably disastrous results for the world at large. With only days to head this off, the President sends in his best people, including Jessica Tanzer, to do whatever it takes to restore the fragile peace to the region. Tanzer has only one viable option - to set up and execute a coup d'etat in Pakistan - and only one man in mind to lead the team that will try to pull off this almost unimaginable task in the nerve-wrackingly short time frame, Dewey Andreas. If, that is, Jessica can even get to Dewey and if Dewey can get out of Australia alive... I give it 5 stars. 

Wanting only a peaceful, obscure life, Dewey Andreas has gone to rural Australia, far from turbulent forces that he once fought against. But powerful men, seeking revenge, have been scouring the earth looking for Dewey. And now, they've finally found him - forcing Dewey to abandon his home and to fight for his life against a very well armed, well trained group of assassins.

Meanwhile, a radical cleric has been elected president of Pakistan and, upon taking power, sets off a rapidly escalating conflict with India. As the situation spins quickly out of control, it becomes clear that India is only days from resorting to a nuclear response, one that will have unimaginably disastrous results for the world at large. With only days to head this off, the President sends in his best people, including Jessica Tanzer, to do whatever it takes to restore the fragile peace to the region. Tanzer has only one viable option - to set up and execute a coup d'etat in Pakistan - and only one man in mind to lead the team that will try to pull off this almost unimaginable task in the nerve-wrackingly short time frame, Dewey Andreas. If, that is, Jessica can even get to Dewey and if Dewey can get out of Australia alive...  I give it 5 stars. 

"Eye For An Eye" by Ben Coes (December 2016)

Dewey Andreas faces the toughest odds of his life as one of China's most powerful men has decided to do whatever he must to take down Dewey—and inflicts a horrifying loss.

When Dewey Andreas uncovers the identity of a mole embedded at a high level in Israel's Mossad, it triggers a larger, more dangerous plot. The mole was the most important asset of Chinese Intelligence, and Fao Bhang, head of China's Ministry of State Security (MSS), responds to the discovery and brutal elimination of the mole, by immediately placing a kill order on the man responsible—Dewey Andreas.

Dewey is tracked to Argentina, where he is on vacation with his fiancée, Jessica Tanzer, a U.S. National Security Advisor. A top-level kill team is sent in quickly and quietly, but their attack fails to take out Dewey. The collateral damage, however, is both horrifying and deeply personal. With nothing left to lose, Andreas is determined to have his revenge. Once he learns who is probably behind the attack—and why they are after him—Dewey goes rogue, using all of his assets and skills to launch a counterattack. Andreas must now face the full weight and might of the MSS, Chinese Intelligence, and the formidable Fao Bhang, if he's to achieve his one last goal: revenge on a biblical scale, no matter the odds or the armies that he will have to fight his way through. Andreas—former Army Ranger and Delta—is a man of great skills and cunning. His opponent, Fao Bhang, is ruthless, determined, and with no limit to the assets at his disposal.

In this conflict, there are only two possible outcomes. And only one Dewey Andreas.  I give it 5 stars. 

"Independence Day" by Ben Coes (January 2017)

Cloud, a high-level Russian hacker, perhaps the best in the world, has acquired a nuclear weapon. It's an older bomb from the USSR's Cold War arsenal with the power to devastate a major city. Fueled by a dark and personal vendetta, Cloud has put it onto an anonymous trawler, piloted by jihadists, headed straight to America.

Dewey Andreas, former Delta working as an agent for the C.I.A., is still drowning in grief after the tragic murder of his fiancée. Dewey has lost his focus, his edge, and the confidence of his superiors.

Learning of the missing loose nuke and picking up chatter about an impending terrorist attack on American shores, the best and most talented C.I.A. agents are now chasing both Cloud and the bomb. Acting on credible intel, two highly trained teams are sent into Russia in a two-pronged mission to grab Cloud. But it's a trap, and now America's last hope of stopping the bomb is an unofficial agent gone rogue-Dewey Andreas.

With only three days left, Dewey Andreas must find the elusive Cloud. To do so, Dewey will risk everything to find the most dangerous and skilled enemy he's yet faced. For if he fails, American will suffer its most deadly terrorist attack on the Fourth of July-Independence Day.  I give it 5 stars. 

"First Strike" by Ben Coes (April 2017)

Deep within the Pentagon, a covert, multi-billion arms-for-influence program was created. The objective was to protect the United States and its allies from terrorist acts by secretly enabling a hand-picked man to emerge as the most powerful leader in the Middle East. But the charismatic Tristan Nazir double-crosses America, twisting the program for his own violent ends to create ISIS. Now America is at great risk.

Elite operative Dewey Andreas is sent to Syria to retrieve details about the source of ISIS’s funding but his cover is blown mid-operation and chaos erupts in the streets of Damascus. Trapped and outnumbered, Dewey manages to send proof of the awful truth—unknown at even the highest levels in the government—that ISIS’s munitions were indeed provided by America itself.

This information arrives in time to for the U.S. to cut off a final arms shipment before it reaches ISIS. But the vicious Nazir, is far from finished. He launches a bold strike into the heart of America, sending a terrorist cell to take over a dorm at Columbia University, capturing hundreds of college students as hostages. For every hour that the shipment of weapons is withheld, the terrorists will publicly execute one student. The potential loss of life is intolerable. A frontal assault is impossible. Releasing the shipment is unthinkable. There is nowhere to turn…

In a situation with no solutions, there remains only one option—Dewey Andreas.  I give it 5 stars. 

"Blackmail" by Rick Campbell  (August 2017)

I have not finished this book yet.  I had read several books by this author earlier.  It is a very complicated story line, but it looks like it will end with the United States at war with Russia.  I never finished it.  I don't give it any stars.

It has been a while since I have added to this list.  I have continued to read and mostly listening to audiobooks while I am in my car.

"Origin"   by Dan Brown (April 2018)

I have read several of this author's books and this one is also exciting.  It is sort of like the Amazon Alexa on their Echo devices on steroids.  I give it 5 stars

"The Story of World War II" by Donald L. Miller, Henry Steele Commanger (March 2018)

I have read several books about WWII but this one has stories and information  I have not heard before.  Mr. Miller did an update on the original book written by Mr. Commanger.  It covers both the war in the Atlantic and the Pacific.  I give it 5 stars.

"With the Old Breed: At Peleliu and Okinawa"  by Eugene B. Sledge (April 2018)

I just finished this book.  I bought the video "The Pacific" some time ago and did not enjoy it very much. One of my all time favorites is "Band of Brothers" and "The Pacific" is not even close. I learned about this book as it's stories were used to write the movie.  After reading it, I have watched "The Pacific" again and enjoyed it more.  The Japanese were a very different enemy compared with Hitler's army and I think that is why I did not understand it better.  I give it five stars. 

“Mere Christianity” by C.S. Lewis (April-May 2018)

I recently bought a four volume set of Systematic Theology by R.C. Sproul and it recommended reading this book as background information for the first chapters.  I give it 5 stars. 

“Helmet for My Pillow: From Paris Island to the Pacific: A Young Marine’s Stirring Account of World War II” by Robert Leckie (April 2018)

This book and the book written by Eugene Sledge were used as the basis for the script of the movie: The Pacific.  It tells of the author’s experience as a Marine and his experience of the island wars he fought in.  I give it five stars. 

“Persuader” by Lee Child (January 2018

Last update: 04/20/2018

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