Monday, January 11, 2016

Book Review: Pianist in a Bordello by Mike C. Erickson

by M. J. Joachim

Politically charged, perfect for reading this year, since 2016 is a presidential election year in the United States, Pianist in a Bordello provides a unique satire of the who, what, where, when and how regarding politicians. The story is strictly fiction, but you can’t help but wonder how much truth lies hidden between the lines. The back story is definitely entertaining, if not a little eerie as I found myself nodding that politicians really are that perverse at times, and probably more so at other times.

Dismissing a few minor and hardly noticeable typos, this book was quite compelling. The characters were all too real, as were their relationships with others. Having grown up in much of the area presented in this story, I can attest to its accuracy. Silicon Valley, Stanford University, Palo Alto and San Francisco felt like home as I read about them within the pages of this book. Even the Pacific Coastline was well represented.

If I didn’t know better, I’d almost think this book was based on actual characters and events. It rings true and extremely familiar, though I’ve never been involved in politics in my life. Fun to read, entertaining and enjoyable - plus, it’s a quick read, so it won’t eat up large chunks of your time. That’s always a bonus in today’s busy world.

In the interest of having a little political fun this year, and hopefully voting for the best possible new president, this is M. J. wishing you well and trusting you’ll be informed before you vote.

Thanks so much for stopping by.

©2016 All Rights Reserved

Monday, January 4, 2016

Book Review: The Measure of Katie Calloway by Serena Miller

by M. J. Joachim

Set post Civil War era, and addressing numerous challenges women faced then and now, The Measure of Katie Calloway provides an intense, entertaining and thought provoking story about a woman breaking free from physical abuse, while caring for her younger brother because their parents had passed away. The author apparently looked at an old logging picture and decided to give one of its participants a name, while writing a story with so many twists and turns, I could hardly put the book down at all.

Within the overall story, which is as intriguing as it gets, there are multiple shorter stories, taking readers on a journey through time and adventure. So many things happen, and like any good story teller will provide, they all link up perfectly naturally, making The Measure of Katie Calloway a real page turner, while its audience enjoys the mystery of historical fiction, delightful and challenging characters, and a full and eventful story that captures the heart, soul and imagination of anyone who reads it.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book from so many different perspectives. As a writer, it was fun to watch Katie come alive and engage with all the other characters. I simply couldn’t help but engage with her, and appreciate her compelling personality. Add in the various backdrops and other characters and events taking place, and this story kept me captivated from beginning to end. Visually pleasing, I was able to picture many of the events in my mind, as if I were a fly on the wall, watching the story unfold, and feeling the many emotions it stirred within me.

The Measure of Katie Calloway is definitely a book I recommend. It’s intense, yet light and fun to read too, and if you enjoy historical fiction, you might enjoy learning a bit about the logging industry too. I know I did.

Thanks so much for stopping by today. I hope you had magical and amazing holidays and send you greetings for a fabulous new year!

M. J.

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