The forced “stay-at-home” situation has turned out to be a blessing in disguise for book bloggers like us. I recently read three non-fiction books – two self-help and one memoir. Here are my thoughts on them:Continue Reading
Rating – 5/5
Three women in Guatemala, 1954. An archaeological dig. An astonishing discovery that establishes a significant connection between Andes and Mesoamerica, but which also triggers a chain of events that forever changes the lives of these women.
Meg Fuente, the archaeologist’s American wife, hobnobs with a left-leaning political group, but soon realizes this could put her and her family in danger if the current progressive government falls. Patricia Baldt, the stubborn daughter of a wealthy coffee planter (a German immigrant to Guatemala), is determined to excavate at the dig, but she must keep her activities hidden from her savage, right-wing, orthodox father. Finally, there is Noemi, a girl from an impoverished Mayan town, whose family survives on her brother’s salary as a foreman at the dig.
In a country where tension has been brewing between the Spaniards and the indigenous population for years, the situation has turned gloomier due to a looming civil war supported by outside forces. In this hatred-filled atmosphere, the discovery at the dig spells doom for the three women who must show extraordinary fortitude to survive.Continue Reading
Rating – 4/5
Two seventeen-year-old teenagers, Beck and Dean, more like brothers than friends, want to run away from their small town of Clatskanie, Oregon. Defiant and reckless Beck wants to escape from the tortuous stranglehold of his abusive stepfather. For years, a world of his own has been his only refuge from the abuse. One day he discovers his deceased grandfather’s ramshackle cabin deep in the woods and convinces Dean to help him repair it.
Dean, who is still recovering from a failed suicide attempt, agrees to help Beck. He just wants to lead his life quietly, however, an unplanned pregnancy and threats from his former gang, the Howlers, hardly let him do so. Little by little, Dean’s actions and Beck’s shaky grip on reality propel both into the thick of things. Can they come out of it unscathed, or will it scar their lives forever? Read Sons of Slaughter by Brian McBride to find out.Continue Reading
On a wintry foggy morning in San Fransisco in June 1950, when the bloated corpse of Carlo Steffano, a mob lawyer, rolls out of a cargo net, Inspector Andrew Johnson hardly feels any remorse for the dead man. However, what complicates matters further is the discovery of another corpse—that of Hector Arroyo—in the trunk of a nearby car. Arroyo is a drug mule and works for the Mexicans.
This piques the interest of Johnson and his partner, Camozzi, since the mob and the Mexicans are fierce competitors. Hence, it doesn’t make any sense for these two bodies to be discovered near each other. Thus, starts a fateful investigation into these grisly murders, told in the first person from the perspective of Johnson, that plunges him neck-deep into the quagmire of drugs, brothels, and Communism in China.Continue Reading
Rating – 4/5
Monique, the daughter of San Diego Charger’s football great Earl Faison, never imagined marrying her high school boyfriend would turn out to be the most horrible mistake of her life. She also hadn’t imagined she would survive this mistake to narrate her tale.
Playing Dead: A Memoir of Terror and Survival by Monique Faison Ross recounts the author’s experience of a nightmarish marriage that culminated in a brutally violent incident. Her relationship with Chris was unstable from the beginning, but it gradually turned abusive and denigrating.Continue Reading
Rating – 4/5
Set in Boston and London and spanning sixteen years, True Freedom: How America came to fight Britain for its Independence by Michael Dean chronicles the events that led to the American Revolutionary War (1775 – 1783). Focusing on a few prominent characters, Dean provides the readers with an insider’s view into what shaped the revolution.Continue Reading