The Stranger Beside Me

 

Chilling and thoroughly researched story about one of the most notorious serial killers in history!

~ Highly recommended especially as Halloween is upcoming!!

 

 

About The Author:

Ann Rae Rule (née Stackhouse; October 22, 1931 – July 26, 2015) was an American true crime author of The Stranger Beside Me, about serial killer, and Rule’s co-worker, Ted Bundy. Rule was also known for her book Small Sacrifices, about Oregon child murderer Diane Downs. Many of Rule’s books center on murder cases that occurred in the Pacific Northwest and her adopted home state of Washington. Read more ~ Wikipedia

 

61 HOURS -Jack Reacher by Lee, Child

Given how much I love mystery thrillers I can’t believe I never read any Lee Child’s books especially his popular Jack Reacher series. I have to tell you, all the accolades given to these series are well deserved. I borrowed an ebook copy from my local library which I read over the weekend.

Already, there are a lot of reviews about this book so I will go ahead and list some important take aways – From the title – 61 Hours you can already tell this is a count down to a major event. Jack Reacher the protagonist, an ex military man turned private investigator is a drifter. This time he hitches a ride and finds himself in a rural small town that has very limited police capabilities. As things begin to happen, a sense of an impending doom is imminent. The count down is already on which keeps you at the edge of the seat.

The author writes in simple and straight forward language – only facts that are relevant to the story – no fluff, all read meat. The book starts at a break neck speed and continues that way. The writing is third person POV, so the reader sees every angle which increases suspense.

The plot is complex where you peel away the narrative like an onion. The author creates various plot threads with each chapter ending in a cliff hanger. I love that the author takes time to build relatable characters. The reader gets to know the characters well enough where you establish some connection. As a result, I really found it hard letting some of the characters go at the end of the book.

This is a book to read when you have enough time to devote to it because you can’t put it down. Your heart’s racing and you feel you’re on roller coaster ride!

I’m not usually a huge fan of series, but I like that Jack Reacher series do not have to be read in order. Even though this is #14 in the Jack Reacher series, you can start from any book without feeling as though you’re missing anything.

If you’re a mystery thriller fan and haven’t read this book, please do yourself a great favor by grabbing one!

I really would like to read a similar book from a new author, please feel free to suggest anyone, I would really appreciate it!!

Author – Child, Lee
Publication – 2010
Pages – 528
Location – South Dakota

About the Author:

“Lee Child is the #1 internationally bestselling author of the Jack Reacher thrillers. His debut, Killing Floor, won both the Anthony and the Barry awards for Best First Mystery, and The Enemy won both the Barry and the Nero awards for Best Novel. “Jack Reacher”, the film based on the 9th novel, One Shot, stars Tom Cruise, Robert Duvall, Rosamund Pike, Jai Courtney, and David Oyelowo and debuted in December 2012. Child, a native of England and a former television director, lives in New York City and the south of France with his wife and daughter”~ Amazon

The Last Olympian

This is a guest post written by a young adult reader who I would simply call Mr. R. – Thanks for writing!

“All year the half-bloods have been preparing for battle against the Titans, knowing the odds are against them. Kronos is stronger than ever, and with every god and half-blood he recruits, his power only grows.
In this momentous final book in the New York Times best-selling series, the prophecy surrounding Percy’s sixteenth birthday unfolds. And as the battle for Western civilization rages on the streets of Manhattan, Percy faces a terrifying suspicion that he may be fighting against his own fate.” ~ Blurb from Amazon

Review:
I read the book The Last Olympian which is a fiction Greek mythology book by Rick Riordan. The Last Olympian was very good; it combines Greek mythology with modern day troubles. The book is the last in the series about a group of half-god half-humans trying to save the world from a Titan trying to rebirth. Percy Jackson; the books protagonist is a very likable hero, he is very powerful because he is the son of Poseidon but he is very modest and helpful, which makes him a nearly impossible to hate.

Rick Riordan writes this book in way young adults and adults can understand, he has tons of battle scenes but incorporates humor into the entire book to keep things light-hearted. He doesn’t make any character “invincible” and writes the characters to be like real high-school teenagers going through and awkward stage in life while finding out they are sons and daughters of Greek Gods. All in all this was a great book and one I would suggest to anyone that loves fantasy!

Author – Rick Riordan
Publication Date – 2009
Number of Pages – 432
Genre – Fantasy/Adventure
Setting – New York City
Time Period – 21st Century

About The Author:

Rick Riordan is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, the Kane Chronicles, and the Heroes of Olympus. He is also the author of the multi-award-winning Tres Navarre mystery series for adults. For fifteen years, Rick taught English and history at public and private middle schools in the San Francisco Bay Area and in Texas. In 2002, Saint Mary’s Hall honored him with the school’s first Master Teacher Award…Read More at ~ Amazon.com

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

Author – Rebecca Skloot
Publication Date – 2010
Number of Pages – 400
Genre – Biography
Time Period – 1956

She’s been dead for decades but her cells live on!

“Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, yet her cells—taken without her knowledge—became one of the most important tools in medicine. The first “immortal” human cells grown in culture, they are still alive today, though she has been dead for more than sixty years. If you could pile all HeLa cells ever grown onto a scale, they’d weigh more than 50 million metric tons—as much as a hundred Empire State Buildings. HeLa cells were vital for developing the polio vaccine; uncovered secrets of cancer, viruses, and the atom bomb’s effects; helped lead to important advances like in vitro fertilization, cloning, and gene mapping; and have been bought and sold by the billions.
Yet Henrietta Lacks remains virtually unknown, buried in an unmarked grave…” ~ Burb from Amazon

My Take:

From time to time I like to dabble into non fiction stories. Non fiction (if it’s not comic), has to be gripping and irresistible for me to want to read. This is such an awesome book to check out! I find it remarkable – the amount of time and effort Rebecca Skloot, a graduate student at the time – put into researching this first novel of hers. It is said she spent ten years doing research and interviewing subjects for this story. I have to say, the final product is well worth all the effort.

On the surface, this book sounds scientific and boring but I assure you, it is nothing like that. I personally do not like or understand science, but this book is so intriguing and quickly sparked my interest. Scientific terms are not so heavily used and even when they are, they are easy enough for any lay person to follow. I learned quite a number of significant things. For one, it is astonishing that (prior to Henrietta) no other cells had been found to behave the way HeLa cells did. Secondly, all the amazing new discoveries in medicine that has happened with the help of HeLa cells is unbelievable. Nonetheless, the fact about removing Henrietta Lacks’ cells without her consent and her family’s ignorance of this fact until twenty years after Henrietta’s death raises ethical and moral issues – which Rebecca Skloot rightly explored. Apart from this, while Henrietta’s cells grew into a billion dollar empire for the science and research world, her family are languishing in abject poverty without the ability to even afford health insurance. This is a book you really want to read for yourself. It is a story of discovery and of love and unity for family.

Notably, Rebecca Skloot’s writing is powerful and at the same time respectful for the Lacks family. Though most of the Lacks family members are of low-income and uneducated, Skloot took time to befriend them and explain in detail her findings of how their mother’s cells has been wonderful in aiding the advancement of medicine and all the diseases that can now be cured with the help of HeLa cells. She also went ahead – without bitterness or judgement – to show the injustice done to Henrietta and subsequently to some of the family members who were also experimented upon without their consent.

Hey! – this is a great book that you cannot put down. Just try a page or two – I promise you’d be hooked like I was. This is one of those true stories that keep you on the edge of your seat. It drives you to ask a lot of questions and look for answers about why and how some of the things happened in this book, it is just an eye opener. This book indeed is a non fiction that reads like fiction. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lack is fast paced, enthralling, and thought-provoking.

This is a great old favorite which has won so many awards since it was written. Readers of true stories would eat this up.

About The Author:

Rebecca Skloot is the author of the #1 New York Times Bestseller, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. Her award winning science writing has appeared in The New York Times Magazine; O, The Oprah Magazine; Discover; and many other publications. She specializes in narrative science writing and has explored a wide range of topics, including goldfish surgery, tissue ownership rights, race and medicine, food politics, and packs of wild dogs in Manhattan…Read more ~ RebeccaSkloot.com