Sunday, October 30, 2016

What is Samma Reading?

Hi Dee Ho there my Peeps!!

LONG LONG TIME, no write but don't think for one minute I didn't miss you guys.  I'm going to try and ease myself back into the blogging world.  I'm going to make some changes on the blog but I'll decide the details on that down the road a bit.  For now we're just going to take it easy peasy and see where things lead us!

As you guys may or may not know, when I make a trip to the beach I read a LOT.   I do mean A LOT, with that said I think I'm going to try and start doing some :What's Samma Reading posts on the blog.    Hopefully you'll find something you want to read and then maybe you'll send me some ideas because quite frankly I'm hitting a dull spot on the reading front and struggling to find something I want to read.

Let's start with the 4 books I read on vacation last week then we'll go back and pick up a couple others I've read in the last month.
Answer #1:  I was on vacation for a week
Answer #2:  Yes, I said 4 books
Answer #3:   I will rate the books on a scale of 1 to 5   (just a hint- a 4 is a really good review, if I rate something a 5 you should know that I LOVED it and will talk your ear off about the book)
Answer #4:  The links will take you to Amazon through my affiliate link (which I'm obligated to tell you I'm using).  Allegedly I can receive compensation from those links, in many years of use I've never received any compensation from Amazon so don't think I'm rolling it in over here by linking you this way, and no, you won't pay more for buying anything through my link.

Onto the books.....

Book #1:  Tanzi's Heat

This is the synopsis provided by Amazon:
"August is the hottest time of the year in Florida, and Vince Tanzi would just as soon sweat it out in his study chair with a few beers. He's had enough of the world after losing his wife, and spending nine months in jail. He's at the bottom of a downward spiral that began when he "retired" from the Indian River County Sheriff's Department in Vero Beach, and began a second career as a P.I., which has been on hold since he got out.

He gets a call from his dead wife's friend, who has been shot at twice. She doesn't want to call the police. He takes the case, and follows her husband through the groves, beaches, golf courses,cities and restaurants of the Sunshine State. In the process he turns up a secret that changes everything.

Vince's dry humor and keen observations propel this mystery-romance across central Florida, through Buddhist temples, abandoned factories and hurricanes. For fans of mysteries with wit, and an edge."

I can't possibly add anymore to that without giving anything away.  Surprisingly I enjoyed this book and I will probably read more in this series.  A fun mystery that kept me interested, perfect beach read for me!
I give it 4 out of 5

Book #2

Amazon's synopsis:
"When Lane Coolman's car is bashed from behind on the road to the Florida Keys, what appears to be an ordinary accident is anything but (this is Hiaasen!). Behind the wheel of the other car is Merry Mansfield--the eponymous Razor Girl--and the crash scam is only the beginning of events that spiral crazily out of control while unleashing some of the wildest characters Hiaasen has ever set loose on the page. There's Trebeaux, the owner of Sedimental Journeys--a company that steals sand from one beach to restore erosion on another . . . Dominick "Big Noogie" Aeola, a NYC mafia capo with a taste for tropic-wear . . . Buck Nance, a Wisconsin accordionist who has rebranded himself as the star of a redneck reality show called Bayou Brethren . . . a street psycho known as Blister who's more Buck Nance than Buck could ever be . . . Brock Richardson, a Miami product-liability lawyer who's getting dangerously--and deformingly--hooked on the very E.D. product he's litigating against . . . and Andrew Yancy--formerly Detective Yancy, busted down to the Key West roach patrol after accosting his then-lover's husband with a Dust Buster. Yancy believes that if he can singlehandedly solve a high-profile murder, he'll get his detective badge back. That the Razor Girl may be the key to Yancy's future will be as surprising as anything else he encounters along the way--including the giant Gambian rats that are livening up his restaurant inspections."

I do love Carl Hiassen's writing style and I've never read a book of his that I didn't like.   This one was great and if you are a Hiassen fan then you won't be disappointed.   A PERFECT beach read for me and the only thing I regretted was that it was over.  
Another 4 out of 5 for me on this one.

Book #3

Amazon's synopsis:
"We expect our judges to be honest and wise. Their integrity and impartiality are the bedrock of the entire judicial system. We trust them to ensure fair trials, to protect the rights of all litigants, to punish those who do wrong, and to oversee the orderly and efficient flow of justice.
     But what happens when a judge bends the law or takes a bribe? It’s rare, but it happens.
     Lacy Stoltz is an investigator for the Florida Board on Judicial Conduct. She is a lawyer, not a cop, and it is her job to respond to complaints dealing with judicial misconduct. After nine years with the Board, she knows that most problems are caused by incompetence, not corruption. 
     But a corruption case eventually crosses her desk. A previously disbarred lawyer is back in business with a new identity. He now goes by the name Greg Myers, and he claims to know of a Florida judge who has stolen more money than all other crooked judges combined. And not just crooked judges in Florida. All judges, from all states, and throughout U.S. history.
     What’s the source of the ill-gotten gains? It seems the judge was secretly involved with the construction of a large casino on Native American land. The Coast Mafia financed the casino and is now helping itself to a sizable skim of each month’s cash. The judge is getting a cut and looking the other way. It’s a sweet deal: Everyone is making money.
     But now Greg wants to put a stop to it. His only client is a person who knows the truth and wants to blow the whistle and collect millions under Florida law. Greg files a complaint with the Board on Judicial Conduct, and the case is assigned to Lacy Stoltz, who immediately suspects that this one could be dangerous.
     Dangerous is one thing. Deadly is something else."

I'm going to tell you when I read the description of this book my first thought was "oh no, another John Grisham flop".  Fortunately I was VERY mistaken.  I have actually skipped the past few John Grisham novels because I felt like they were not quite up to his legal thriller par but this one (at least for me) brought John Grisham back into my list of favorite authors.  It was a great legal thriller written in the way we'd come to expect from him.   If you loved the old John Grisham then definitely pick this one up.  
I give it a solid 4 stars, coming very close to getting that elusive 5 for me.

And Book #4  (final vacation book)

Amazon's synopsis:
"Lee Jordan has spent 10 years on death row for a murder he didn’t commit. He’s lost everything—his wife, his dreams, his future. He finally enters the death chamber at the famous "Walls" prison in Texas. He’s strapped to a gurney and given an injection of lethal drugs in front of witnesses. Minutes later he’s pronounced dead. But that’s not the end of it. After the execution comes the shocking revelation—Jordan is still alive. And to stop him talking he has to die all over again—before he brings down the entire American justice system."

I've never read anything by this author, this one didn't come recommended by anyone I know and I'm not even sure how I found it except it was late Friday evening and I was desperate for a book to read on the flight home Saturday.   By the time our 2 hour flight was complete I was over half way finished with this book and I didn't stop reading until we were at the gate ready to deplane.   I finished it late last night.   He has several more books and I believe this will not be the last of his books that I read.  Still not getting that elusive 5 but it was pretty darn good and it gets a solid 4.

That covers vacation and I should probably wrap this up as that's quite a bit but I did want to mention 2 other recent books I've read because one is now a movie and the other was recommended and was quite good as well.

Book #5

Amazon's take:  "EVERY DAY THE SAME
Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning and night. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. Jess and Jason, she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.

And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel goes to the police. But is she really as unreliable as they say? Soon she is deeply entangled not only in the investigation but in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?"

My take:   Definitely a 4 out of 5.  No, I haven't seen the movie.  Ask anyone in my family about going to see a movie with me that I've read the book.  Let's just say I'm VERY vocal when they don't follow the book, especially if it's a book I enjoyed.  I'm looking forward to more books by this author for sure and I'll probably wait for the movie to hit the ole Netflix.  At least the book (which will probably be way better) won't be fresh in my mind by then.

Book #6

Amazon's synopsis:
"Everyone knows a couple like Jack and Grace. He has looks and wealth; she has charm and elegance. He’s a dedicated attorney who has never lost a case; she is a flawless homemaker, a masterful gardener and cook, and dotes on her disabled younger sister. Though they are still newlyweds, they seem to have it all. You might not want to like them, but you do. You’re hopelessly charmed by the ease and comfort of their home, by the graciousness of the dinner parties they throw. You’d like to get to know Grace better.
But it’s difficult, because you realize Jack and Grace are inseparable.
Some might call this true love. Others might wonder why Grace never answers the phone. Or why she can never meet for coffee, even though she doesn’t work. How she can cook such elaborate meals but remain so slim. Or why she never seems to take anything with her when she leaves the house, not even a pen. Or why there are such high-security metal shutters on all the downstairs windows.
Some might wonder what’s really going on once the dinner party is over, and the front door has closed."

Let's be real here people...this is a work of FICTION but this book for some people is apparently difficult if not impossible to read.  If you read the reviews you will note that many people hated this book, demanded a refund, etc. and I was not one of those people.   Yes, there were parts that I was like "WOW...really??" but then again I remind myself, and you, this is a FICTION book.  Just be prepared if you are deeply disturbed by psychological abuse as this one is full of it.  All in all, I'm still giving it 4 stars even if I did find myself going WTF??  several times.   Was it as good and as sadistic as Gone Girl? No but it was still good and I'd still recommend it but with a warning that it is difficult to read at times.  

Oh and I've got one more bonus book because as you can tell I do love me a really good mystery, thriller, suspense book.
As much as those types of books are my go to fave's I've never read a single Agatha Christie novel...until now.  
Bonus Book #7:

"Ten . . ."
Ten strangers are lured to an isolated island mansion off the Devon coast by a mysterious "U. N. Owen."
"Nine . . ."
At dinner a recorded message accuses each of them in turn of having a guilty secret, and by the end of the night one of the guests is dead.
"Eight . . ."
Stranded by a violent storm, and haunted by a nursery rhyme counting down one by one . . . as one by one . . . they begin to die.
"Seven . . ."
Which among them is the killer and will any of them survive?"

I'm just going to go with these thoughts: 1) Agatha Christie is indeed the QUEEN of a good thriller mystery 2) This will NOT be my last Agatha Christie 3) Thank goodness I have many, many AG books to choose from  and 4) I will not read Agatha Christie until 1 am when I'm home alone if I want to get any sleep.  She's good people, she's good!    A solid 5 indeed! 

That's all I've got for you today and if you've made it to the end of this post then you probably feel like you've just finished a novel.  So, have you read any of these, intrigued by any now?  What have you been reading and finally, I'm open to suggestions.   I'm out of books....again!  

 Peace, Love & Read On!                                        

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