Friday, July 26, 2013

Millionaire Women Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley, Ph.D.

Millionaire Women Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley, Ph.D. left me amused by the thought that the typical millionaire woman next door he describes would be unlikely to read his book - or at least buy it. He covers his bases and describes attributes of myriad types of millionaire women, which is nice because it leaves hope open for anyone. Yet, there's an undercurrent to what he says that feels a little off-putting. Perhaps it's because there are moments when he talks in absolutes that feel like over-generalizations. The theme of the book seems to be the same for any millionaire next door; live below one's means, don't worry about impressing others, and be persistent. The writing is often dry and academic, but that's to be expected as it is a book reporting on research. I searched the pages for inspiration but ended the book without having an major revelations. Overall, I'd say it's an interesting look at accumulating wealth and avoiding the pitfalls of consumerism.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Taken by Robert Crais

Taken by Robert Crais immerses the reader in the search for a missing girl in this Elvis Cole/Joe Pike book. Cole and Pike search for the girl and her boyfriend on behalf of the girl's mother. As they encounter human traffickers, kidnappers, murderers, and drug dealers, the dangers mount and take them on a series of twists and turns that leave the reader squirming. Even the most faithful Cole/Pike fan will find Crais takes them into doubts of whether or not Cole will rescue the girl when he finds himself taken by her kidnappers. Then the reader is left to hope Pike will rescue Cole and the girl before they die. The discovery of who the girl's boyfriend is ratchets up the danger bring on more suspense.The tension drives the reader to the edge even though die hard fans never truly doubt either Cole or Pike. As Cole faces danger, Pike hunts. As is always the case, Pike is a man of few words and Cole wisecracks in the face of danger. Crais's Taken is an enthralling and dangerous tale that at its heart explores the depths of friendship and the lengths people will go to for those they love
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Saturday, July 13, 2013

there was an old woman by Hallie Ephron

There was an old woman (I'm annoyed the publisher opted not to capitalize the title but that doesn't reflect on the book's content) by Hallie Ephron delves into a world of old grudges, secrets, and wrongs that have never been set right. Ephron creates characters the reader wants to like but doesn't and characters the reader wants to hate but doesn't. Even her most unlikable characters show some sign of redemption however slight and her most likable characters prove to have flaws. I felt uncomfortable at times as I read there was an old woman because Ephron demonstrates how ridiculous people tend to treat the elderly by making assumptions rather than paying attention. Ephron weaves a mystery through the pages with the ease of exploring a life story rather than hitting the reader with a slew of gratuitous violence. I cheered on Mrs. Yetner and wanted to smack her nephew, Brian. Evie alternately annoyed and inspired me. At times I wanted to scream at her to open her eyes because she seemed to miss things right in front of her. Other times she seemed to figure things out faster than she should. And, she also did a few things that just seemed too thoughtless for someone of her intelligence like dropping a pair of glasses through a mail slot, but those things made her more human. There was an old woman reminded me how important it is to be respectful of one another and to keep a watch on how we allow stereotypes to influences our thoughts and behaviors. Ephron creates characters the reader wants to know more about. There was an old woman puts the reader into the hearts and minds of its characters as it immerses the reader in the world they inhabit.
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