Tag Archives: politics

Duplicity

Title: Duplicity
Author: Newt Gingrich
Publisher: Center Street
ISBN: 978-1-4555-3042-7

“The Falcon is real and he’s going to find a way to attack our country unless I stop him – unless we stop him,” Conner sternly warns in Newt Gingrich’s novel, Duplicity.

~ What ~
Marine Brooke Grant has always looked up to her uncle, especially after he and her aunt raised her. Loyal and patriotic, the twenty-four-year-old woman wants her protective uncle to be proud of her.

When Brooke diffuses a suicide bomber in London, she receives the notoriety that offers her a position protecting the U.S. embassy in Somalia that President Allworth prompted to open quickly to increase her polling numbers before Election Day.

Forty-six-year-old Gunter Conner may be the CIA station chief at the Mogadishu embassy, but he has another agenda. He wants to find the head of the radical Islamic group that murdered most of his family.

Being used as players and pawns in a potential cover-up, Brooke and Conner choose separate paths to protect America while back home, politics play pivotal roles in the two’s survival after eighteen hostages are taken.

~ Why ~
Knowing Gingrich served in the thick of politics in Washington, I was intrigued by him writing fiction. I found his book engaging, keeping me interested with short chapters that flowed succinctly. Earley’s help added the necessary pointers to enhance visualization.

~ Why Not ~
If you do not like fiction with minor profanity, adult situations, and scenes of torture and murder, pass on this one. With an abrupt ending, the book left me with unanswered questions to be unveiled hopefully in the sequel.

~ Who ~
Author Gingrich was Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives and candidate for president in 2012. He has written several books with three being best sellers. Reporter and author Earley was a 2007 Pulitzer Prize finalist and has written extensively about the Unites States’ government.

~ Wish ~
Since the book was written by someone who has ample experience of the backroom decisions of Washington politics, it did contain some interactions of the jockeying done between parties. I wish it provided more of the inner-workings of our government’s decisions regarding international topics.

~ Want ~
If you like political intrigue with protagonists who wish to do what is best protecting others from radical terrorists, this is a fast read regarding politics, controlling religions, and human behaviors.

Rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Thanks to Bookpleasures and Hachette Book Group for offering this book to review for my honest opinion.

Chapter Preview: http://on.fb.me/1FdsVZv

More info about the book is available here: http://bit.ly/1YAbYOZ

Landing Page: http://www.centerstreet.com/duplicity/

This review will be posted on Bookpleasures, DeeperShopping, and Amazon with links on Bookfun.org, Godinterest, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Google+.

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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Filed under **** Good - Will Be Glad to Pass On to Others, Fiction

The American Panorama

Title: The American Panorama
Author: Michael H. Collins
Publisher: Outskirts Press
ISBN: 978-1-4327-4533-2

Have you ever wondered how geography affects United States history and culture or why there are so many religions in America or even what are the main causes of crime in the country? Michael H. Collins has written a huge book titled The American Panorama that not only tries to answer these questions but a plethora of more concepts, ideas and nuances of America.

This voluminous nine hundred and three page paperback was originally designed for overseas students in Beijing taking classes to learn about America’s social, cultural and political issues. Written from an outside perspective of the United States, it is broken down into twelve chapters covering topics ranging from territorial lands, peoples, government, and economy to education, media, character, religion, the arts and world alliances. It includes questions for reflection and discussion, an extensive biography and sources section along with over one hundred page index. The largest chapters are on the economic system/social security and the arts/literature with the smallest chapters on the American character and cultural debates/social problems and solutions.

Collins divides each subject topic methodically, discussing the history of the past and how it is apropos in today’s culture in America. If it is about migration or segregation in the chapter about regions and cities, it lists population charts, place name origins and protecting the environment. The chapter on religion not only gives detailed history of explanations of American denominations such as Mormonism, Pentecostalism and Southern Baptists, but tabulates church membership, mention famous Christians such as Billy Graham, Tim LaHaye and James Dobson and mega-churches along with televangelists. In the chapter on the arts, television shows such as Guiding Light and The Simpsons are explained, art museums along with movie ratings are listed, and writings of Tennessee Williams, F. Scott Fitzgerald and John Steinbeck are discussed. No cultural stone is unturned.

Need to know that there are over fourteen hundred American newspapers but eighty-five percent of those only have fifty thousand readers daily? Or that twenty-six percent of American households are now single, living alone? Or that it costs as much as $150,000 for a six year prison term treatment program? Or that there were over two hundred thousand female military personnel enlisted in May 2009? The facts go on and on, available at every turn of the page.

To cover the myriad of topics from Thomas Jefferson, John F Kennedy or Henry Kissinger to GPS, NASA, robotics, reality TV or current divorce percentages would make this review extremely lengthy. For anyone who wants to know more minutiae about the United States, this is a perfect, well-rounded, well-researched source of reliable, dependable and abundant information about America.

 

This review will also be posted on http://www.bookpleasures.com and http://www.amazon.com.

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Filed under **** Good - Will Be Glad to Pass On to Others, Non-Fiction

The George Washington Constellation

The George Washington Constellation

Title: The George Washington Constellation
Author: Edward Correia
Publisher: Edward Correia
ISBN: 978-1469974774

Although the Bible does not specifically state “everything happens for a reason,” so many verses in Psalms imply it. In Edward Correia’s The George Washington Constellation, there is an attempt to hone in on this God-given concept.

This two hundred and fifty seven page paperback book has a photograph of the famous Washington Monument lighted up against the dark D.C. sky on the front cover and a short paragraph about the book along with a longer author biography and author photograph on the back. There were noticeable spacing (pages 147, 217 and 230) and capitalization (inconsistent application of senator) errors with minor punctuation mistakes. Due to some profanity and subject matter, the book would not be recommended for preteen age or younger.

Correia tells the story of David Buckthorn, a small town lawyer from Wyoming, who decides with apprehension to run for United States Senator. Written in first person, David mentions the underhanded corruption of power climbing to the top politically but is constantly reminded of his preacher grandfather’s repeated admonition that God has a plan for all things and He is the one in control.

After Senator Buckthorn and his wife Evy settle down in Washington, have a baby girl named Lizzy and try to blend in with other politicians, he feels comfortable in his legislative role. Having one of his bills rejected in Congress, his grandfather die of a heart attack and his daughter deal with a sarcoma, David quickly becomes despondent and decides not to run for a second six year term. However, with an opinionated, bigoted and crooked challenger and against his wife’s wishes, he feels it is his obligation to rerun.

When it is discovered that his wife had an abortion years previously from a gang rape, the couple do not publicize their reasoning, causing David to loose points in the polls. David steps up to the plate by going after the unscrupulous opponent who promoted a teenager’s supposed botched abortion death. In the end, David gets reelected, only to serve two years and quit. The last twenty pages are about his daughter’s high school tennis match.

On a positive note, because the book is written in first person, it almost reads as a senator’s daily diary of details, explaining the ins and outs of our government. The link to constellations being named after famous people gets lost in running for a political office and not mentioned often. Not being a page turner type of novel, the sometimes mundane with sporadic highlights leads to an anticlimactic, almost confusing ending.

This review is also posted on http://www.bookpleasures.com and http://www.amazon.com

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Filed under *** OK - Don't Love It, Don't Hate It, Fiction