A Light in the Desert by Anne Montgomery

Publication Date: May 27, 2015

 

A Light in the Desert by Anne Montgomery, mystery book reviewThe Amtrak Sunset Limited crashes in the desert under mysterious circumstances. In the area of the crash is a pregnant teen, a soldier suffering from PTSD, a group of Pentecostal zealots waiting for the events foretold in Revelations surely soon to happen. A Light in the Desert is the story of the people surrounding the event.

 

 

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Rabid Reader’s Reviews Holiday Musings 2016

We took the opportunity to review books and movies for the 2016 Christmas season. Be sure to check out our reviews:

 

Books

If you are you enjoy mysteries by the author Mary Higgins Clark, we recommend her holiday detective stories. In The Christmas Thief, the amateur sleuth, Alvirah Meehan, once again teams up with the private investigator Regan Reilly.

 

 

 

 

David Baldacci, known for his Will Robie and Amos Decker series, departs from his typical thriller books and takes a dive into the contemporary in The Christmas Train.

 

 

 

 

Mythology 101 by Jody Lynn Nye, book reviewIf you are looking for is a cute story that is a little cheeky with an off-the-wall humor, try Mythology 101 by Jody Lynn Nye.

 

 

 

 

Movies

Movie Review: A Nightmare before ChristmasTim Burton’s dark Christmas movie brings in Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King of Halloween Town, who is totally fed up with screaming and scaring. Instead, accompany Jack Skellington as he spreads Christmas joy. The Nightmare before Christmas has been digitally remastered and is Amazon choice.

 

 

 

 

This movie is based on John Grisham’s book, “Skipping Christmas” and it became on instant family classic. If you looking for a humorous movie, enjoy Christmas with the Kranks.

 

 

 

 

 

If you are looking for more holiday reviews, check out Rabid Reader’s Reviews Holiday Musings 2014 for more.

We wish all of our readers and subscribers a great 2017 and want to thank you for regularly visiting our Rabid Reader’s Reviews site.

Rabid Reader’s Book List for Human Rights Day 2016

If you are looking for books dealing with human rights, check out those that have been reviewed on this homepage. Our main post with an overview of books and movies were reviewed for human rights day 2016 will be published later. At the moment, enjoy the Rabid Reader’s Book List for Human Rights Day 2016 and make sure to visit this site later.

 

Contempt of Court: The Turn-of-the-Century Lynching That Launched a Hundred Years of Federalism by Mark Curriden & Leroy Phillips

Genre: nonfiction, human rights, political science, African-American studies

In 1906, a white woman was brutally raped in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Ed Johnson, a black man, was working at his restaurant job when the attack happened but was arrested and charged with the crime. When his lawyers appealed to the Supreme Court for a stay of execution and that stay was granted, local folks, led by officials, took the law into their own hands. In a history-changing move, the lynch mob faced federal legal repercussions. Ed  Johnson cleared of the rape charges 100 years later. You can read the review of a “Contempt of Court” here.

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Jeeves and the Wedding Bells by Sebastian Faulks

Publication Date: September 9, 2014

 

17910171Bertie Wooster is an expert of the “country pile” but has never seen it from the perspective of the servant’s quarters. In order to help Woody woo the love of his life, Jeeves posts as an obscure lord of the realm while Bertie is his personal gentleman. Will Woody convince his ladylove he’s worth a shot? Can Bertie serve Jeeves undetected by fellow servants and the lord of the manor?

 

 

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Secrets of Sand Mountain by Philip Elrod

Publication Date: December 10, 2015

 

PE_Secrets_of_Sand_Mountain

In 1944, the residents of a northern Alabama town are tested in a way they’ve never been before. Where some of the challenges and secrets are what men are made of, others embody a destruction that will mark the souls of the townsfolk.

 

 

 

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Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead by Tom Stoppard

Publication Date: January 21, 1994

 

TS_Rosenkrantz_Gildenstein_Are_Dead

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead is a comedy that features two minor characters from Shakespeare’s “Hamlet.”

 

 

 

 

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From Afar by Frank Scozzari

Publication Date: March 5, 2015

 

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Morgan Stanfield travels from Santa Barbara, California to Saint Petersburg, Russia in pursuit of a soulmate. For a man not so lucky in love is love from afar the answer?

The author, Frank Scozzari, gave me a copy of this novel in exchange for my review.

 

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Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer

Publication Date: April 5, 2005

 

JF_Extremely_Loud_Incredibly_CloseOskar Schell is a nine-year-old on a mission that will take him all over New York City. He has a key left by his father who died in the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. As he travels from borough to borough, he explores new ways to keep those he loves safe.

 

 

 

There are some books that people read and claim to understand in order to seem intelligent in their peer group. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is a book that received mixed reviews but did very well in sales and was made into a movie in 2011. John Updike, in his New Yorker review of the novel, called it “thinner, overextended and sentimentally watery (than Foer’s first novel).” A friend of mine who recommended that I read the novel called it “inspiring, life changing, heart-wrenching.” While Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close may have changed her life; I found it somewhat less earth shattering.

The terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 touched all of us deeply. It is one of those days where many of us remember precisely where we were when we heard the news. A story about a nine-year-old losing someone so dear to him on that terrible day and released a few years after the event could not help but evoke a sense of desperate loss from readers. Who wouldn’t be invested in little Oskar and wants everything to turn out right for him? What follows is a bouncing castle experience between Oskar’s experiences and memories. Oskar is contrived and precocious as he travels New York asking everyone he can find with the last name Black if they recognize a key that his father left behind. As he travels, Oskar invents things and his inventions are at times shamefully and emotionally manipulating the reader.

There were times that Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close read like classic Vonnegut but I think those times were more unintentionally ridiculous than esoterically surreal. While I read Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close to the end, Foer managed the impossible—he made me not care about a child who lost his father in a terrible tragedy. The story was confusing at some times, muddled at other times and generally just difficult to follow. I hesitate to mention a letter about the grandmother’s sex life read by a nine-year-old.

In more interesting news, there seems to be a lot of claims of plagiarism associated with Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close and Jonathan Safran Foer. I won’t malign the author with links but suggest a Google search if you’re interested. I find it terribly hard to believe that there is another such book out there and especially hard to believe that anyone would copy it, but that is the claim.

Scores of readers loved Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (though scores also found it overworked and under-interesting). If this is a novel for you, don’t let my review dissuade you. If I were the one standing by the shelf in the bookstore, I’d keep browsing. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close was pretentious and overly experimental or perhaps just a book I simply did not get.

Read an excerpt and buy Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer on:

Amazon U.S.Amazon U.K.Amazon Canada

For more information on Jonathan Safran Foer and his work, visit his blog. and website. You can connect with him on Goodreads, Facebook, Google+ and @EatingAnimals.