An Open Book #openbook November

Today I’m joining Carolyn Astfalk and Catholic Mom for An Open Book. Here’s what I’ve been reading and/or working on for the past month.

Synopsis: In Champions of the Rosary, Fr. Calloway has written what is probably the most comprehensive book ever published on the rosary. The author deftly negotiates the complexities of the story of the rosary, weaving the historical, theological, and devotional strands into a veritable masterpiece of scholarship and piety. This book should turn every one of its readers into a champion of the rosary!

My review: I received this book (and it’s signed by the author!) back in 2017 and have read snippets here and there. This past month, being the month dedicated to the Holy Rosary, I picked it up and started reading and couldn’t stop. It’s a fascinating and compelling history of the Rosary, of the many “Champions of the Rosary,” and how the Rosary can be used as a spiritual weapon. Throughout the book, he writes of the many wartime miracles attributed to the Rosary, as well as other unexplained phenomena, cures, and miracles. “Praying the Rosary is like praying the Word of God,” he writes. I highly recommend this extraordinary book!

Bonvida’s Awakening by C.D. Smith

Coming Soon!

Synopsis: Darkness has awakened. . . 

Eighteen-year-old Atticus wakes from a fall and learns he comes from an ancient bloodline and that he alone can wield the Sword of Bonvida. To do this, he must first travel treacherous lands to gather the shards that give the sword its power. Then he must face Luvanasis, who has escaped the dark realm of Calsriv with his army of Arcods and taken control of Bonvida. But how can he accomplish any of this when he struggles to accept his own identity as the chosen one?

Left as an infant in the hands of farmers, Atticus longs for adventure and hopes to one day become a knight. But now that the adventure lay at his feet, he’s not sure he has what it takes. Compelled to help in this great mission, others join Atticus: Daria, his adventurous sister; Zane, a scholar with knowledge of the old stories and prophecies; Prince Victor from the kingdom of El-Valr; Barlos, Victor’s army commander; Meg, a young girl sent off by her father; and Lena from the sea colony of the Brus. As the evil wakes, they must keep faith and hope, trusting one another and persevering in their quest. 

My review: I’ve been coaching this new author to publish his first book. It’s an intriguing book that will please fantasy lovers.

Amazon Synopsis: Richard Belzer (Law & Order) and David Wayne are back to set the record straight after Dead Wrong; this time they’re going to uncover the truth about the many witness deaths tied to the JFK assassination. For decades, government pundits have dismissed these “coincidental” deaths, even regarding them as “myths” as “urban legends.”

Like most people, Richard and David were initially unsure about what to make of these ‘coincidences’. After all, events don’t “consult the odds” prior to happening; they simply happen. Then someone comes along later and figures out what the odds of it happening were. Some of the deaths seemed purely coincidental; heart attacks, hunting accidents. Others clearly seemed noteworthy; witnesses who did seem to know something and did seem to die mysteriously.

Hit List is a fair examination of the evidence of each case, leading to (necessarily) different conclusions. The findings were absolutely staggering; as some cases were clearly linked to a “clean-up operation” after the murder of President Kennedy, while others were the result of ‘other forces’. The impeccable research and writing of Richard Belzer and David Wayne show that if the government is trying to hide anything, they’re the duo who will uncover it.

My review: Reading about the Kennedy Assassination is one of my guilty pleasures — that, and True Crime. This book encompasses both of those topics. I learned about this book while watching one of Richard Belzer’s (Law & Order) interviews on YouTube. Fascinating read. Recommend. 4/5.

Amazon Synopsis: #1 New York Times bestselling author Nelson DeMille returns with a blistering thriller featuring his most popular series character, former NYPD homicide detective John Corey, called out of retirement to investigate a string of grisly murders much too close to home.

In his dazzling #1 bestseller, Plum Island, Nelson DeMille introduced readers to NYPD Homicide Detective John Corey, who we first meet sitting on the back porch of his uncle’s waterfront estate on Long Island, convalescing from wounds incurred in the line of duty. A visit from the local Chief of Police results in the legendary Detective Corey becoming involved in the investigation of the murders of a married couple who were scientists at the top-secret biological research facility on Plum Island.

Fast forward through six more bestselling John Corey novels and The Maze opens with Corey on the same porch, but now in forced retirement from his last job as a Federal Agent with the Diplomatic Surveillance Group. Corey is restless and looking for action, so when his former lover, Detective Beth Penrose, appears with a job offer, Corey has to once again make some decisions about his career—and about reuniting with Beth Penrose.

Inspired by, and based on the actual and still unsolved Gilgo Beach murders, The Maze takes the reader on a dangerous hunt for an apparent serial killer who has murdered nine—and maybe more—prostitutes and hidden their bodies in the thick undergrowth on a lonely stretch of beach.

As Corey digs deeper into this case, which has made national news, he comes to suspect that the failure of the local police to solve this sensational case may not be a result of their inexperience and incompetence—it may be something else. Something more sinister.

My review: I’ve been waiting for this book for over a year. It doesn’t disappoint. John Corey, the politically incorrect detective with politically incorrect humor and unorthodox investigative skills, is my favorite of DeMille’s characters. Besides being a compelling and entertaining story, Corey’s humor is laugh-out-loud funny! Recommend. (Warning: language and graphic violence.)