Monday, October 28, 2013

Adventure Here....

The Black Pearl by Peter Tonkin
Years ago a Japanese firm finds a massive oyster bed in a lake deep in the jungle of Africa that produce priceless black pearls. The lake is at the bottom of a volcano which erupts and buries the Japanese firm. The area is between two warring countries and there is also a renegade guerrilla force with a witch doctor guarding the jungles. A Russian mining group has found that the black pearl site contains a vast reserves  of coltan, a Rare Earth metal used in electronics and computers worth a fortune. They asks Richard Mariner to take a team in and claim the remote lake. Richard must cross through almost impenetrable jungle fight and survive attacks from all sides including a Chinese firm which is trying to lay claim to the same land. Who will win??? This is a nail-biting thriller, a very enjoyable read.  Great characters, excellent plotting, a wonderful thrill ride! Peter Tonkin has written other books with the characters of Richard Mariner some of which are alluded to in this book but reading his other books is not absolutely necessary to enjoy this great adventure.

Sherlock Holmes and the Needle's Eye by Len Bailey
This is a wonderful read. The author replicates Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's characters and setting perfectly. He develops a new Sherlock adventure where Sherlock has found a Moriarity built device called the Needle's Eye which allows Sherlock and Watson to travel back in time to solve ten mysteries of the Bible that they have been challenged with by an unknown source. They begin their journeys as invisible witnesses at first but eventually they become more than observers. The juxtaposition of Sherlock's almost atheism against Watson's strong belief in the Bible makes for interesting discussions between the two. The bible stories are familiar but flourish under the scrutiny of the pair of detectives.

Easy Go by Michael Crichton
 This was a fun read. (It is a shame we lost such a talented voice as Michael Crichton.) This is a plot for classic B movie Egyptian  the story of a lowly professor who translates hieroglyphics. He is translating an obscure piece of parchment when he finds that it is a puzzle, a code written into the hieroglyphs by the author. He deciphers the code and finds that the scroll identifies a location of an unknown undiscovered tomb near the Valley of the Kings. The professor finds an adventurous newspaper reporter, who recruits a crew of thieves and together they set out to locate the tomb and  smuggle the goods out of Egypt. They begin by lawfully setting up a site near the tomb under the guise of taking museum quality photographs of all the hieroglyphs in all the already excavated tombs of the Valley. This they do by day and at night they search for their tomb. Will they find it?...Can they escape with the goods?
This is a fun book and would make a great movie!

Short takes: short reviews of what I've been reading

The Noticer Returns by Andy Andrews
Andy Andrews revives his wisdom espousing friend "Jones" in a delightful book about parenting skills sort of. As in the original book, "Jones" is a notice and he watches and notices and points things out to you from a different perspective than the one you are seeing the situation from. I thoroughly enjoyed this second installment with "Jones"! He brings up thoughts for careful consideration. Thoughts to help you become a notice in your own life, a different way of looking at things. The book has an at home among friends feel to it that makes these people your friends. And if you ever visit Gulf Shores, Alabama You will feel right at home!

Wisdom for Everyday Living 365 Daily Devotions From America's Most Influential Christian Leaders/ compiled by Steve M. Woods
This is a very enlightening a uplifting devotional compiled by a great group of writers ( over 100 Christian leaders contributed). There is no set order, but there are 365 devotionals, so there is one for each day in a year. Each begins with a bible verse,  often included in print so there is no need to drag out your bible to look up the verse. The devotionals are quick, insightful , to the point and moving. I have enjoyed reading through each day so far and plan to continue.

The Gate by Dann A. Stouten

Suffering from burnout and looking to get away Richard stumbles on a real estate ad in the paper for Angel's Gate a former resort that is for sale. He decides to take the weekend and  check it out. When he finally finds it and goes through the gate he has entered a whole other world, possibly a back door to Heaven. The book is slightly similar to The Shack by Wm. Young in that Richard has conversations with God but it goes further in imagining that this place might be what Heaven is like. It is a delightful read with many values and morals passed along by the people he meets there. This is truly an adventure into the unknown.