Finished Reading: The Road to Gandolfo

Robert Ludlum

Good evening all. Wow… that took way longer than I expected or planned. Just finished the last of this wonderful book this morning. Anyone who’s read anything by the Borne Triology author will probably appreciate the writing, but recognize a bit more whimsy and humor in this Caper-like story of an ousted Lt. General in the first years after the Vietnam War and the more nuanced beginning of the Cold War.

Mackenzie Hawkins doesn’t take long licking his wounds for being shunted away and out of the Army after 30+ yrs of faithful and mostly clandestine service. He’s got a business to start and run… and a Pope to kidnap and replace!!

My mom always wanted me to read both this book and his follow up The Road to Omaha, written in ’92 under his own name. You may know the author and his writing better as the original creator or Jason Bourne thru his trilogy The Bourne Identity, Supremacy and Ultimatum. These have been classic for me and my bookshelf since high school and when my parents first encouraged me to read them.

But Hawkins….

This book read like one of Peter Mayle’s Caper books that I’ve read. The Vinage Caper and the Versailles Caper both had that kind of Oceans 11 vibe that had me hooked from the first page to the very last. Gandalfo by Shepherd, Robert Ludlum’s nom de plume for a couple of his earlier books, felt the same way. Even after the final plot twist was revealed and discovered, I still wanted to see it play out and enjoy the ending that I kind of figured out was coming.

So… back to Gandolfo.

The story is a comical one with a war decorated hero general getting in trouble for desecrating, or being accused of desecrating, a statue in Beijing China. He’s unfairly dismissed from an illustrious and iconic career as an appeasement to the Chinese government during a post Vietnam war trade negotiations. The book jacket says the general, Mackenzie Hawkins… or just Hawk… then lends his considerable experience, expertise and talents to help in a caper to kidnap the Pope for ransom… (what??)

The ransom part didn’t quite work out as Hawk planned, but it did end up working out. I loved this book and can’t wait to start The Road to Omaha next.

What are you reading? Have you read this book? Have you read any Robert Ludlum? In the bucket down below. You know what to do.

-mike

Currently Reading: The Road to Gandolfo

Michael Shepherd is actually…

Good morning all. I hope your holidays went well and you’ve fully Recovered from the NYE Celebration Libations. It’s now time to stop procrastinating and read some books. I’m actually following thru on my 2020 plans to read my parents books, starting with this uncharacteristically comical romp from a pseudonymous Michael Shepherd from 1975. Shhh… Don’t tell, but it’s really Robert Ludlum in disguise.

My mom always wanted me to read both this book and his follow up The Road to Omaha, written in ’92 under his own name. You may know the author and his writing better as the original creator or Jason Bourne thru his trilogy The Bourne Identity, Supremacy and Ultimatum. These have been classic for me and my bookshelf since high school and when my parents first encouraged me to read them.

Since then, they have been recently made into several films and his character has been expanded on and adapted in a series of books by Eric VanLustbader, authorized of course by the family trust. I’ve read a couple of these and they have a lot of the original flair and feel of Ludlum’s books, but I keep coming back to the originals.

So… back to Gandolfo.

The story is a comical one with a war decorated hero general getting in trouble for desecrating, or being accused of desecrating, a statue in Beijing China. He’s unfairly dismissed from an illustrious and iconic career as an appeasement to the Chinese government during a post Vietnam war trade negotiations. The book jacket says the general, Mackenzie Hawkins… or just Hawk… then lends his considerable experience, expertise and talents to help in a caper to kidnap the Pope for ransom… (what??)

Looking forward to digging in further to the book and enjoying Ludlum’s writing again. Why not read along with me.

What are you reading? Have you read this book? Have you read any Robert Ludlum? In the bucket down below. You know what to do.

-mike

Finished Reading: Christmas Books Round up

Well, doesn’t that beat all?

I’ve just finished reading the last Christmas book I’ll be able to finish this December, An Irish Country Christmas by Patrick Taylor. That makes 5 books that I was able to read in the month of the Holiday Season. My goal was to read only Christmas books this month and I succeeded:

  • The Christmas Wedding by James Patterson
  • Skipping Christmas by John Grisham
  • The Autobiography of Santa Claus
  • and How Mrs Claus saved Christmas, both by Jeff Guinn
  • And finally the wonderful and heart-warming An Irish Country Christmas by one of my favorite novelists Patrick Taylor.

I hope all you have enjoyed the Season as much as I have. There’s not much left of it besides after Christmas sales and finishing off the eggnog in the fridge. That is, if you can free yourself from the sugar and tryptophan induced coma.

Best holiday wishes to you and yours from us and ours. I’m looking forward to more reading and posting in 2020. Thanks for following along with The Bookish Recovering Know It All.

-mike

Currently Reading: An Irish Country Christmas

Saved by the Girls of Christmas

I just finished How Mrs Claus Saved Christmas by Jeff Guinn today. I know. That was quick, but it really was an enjoyable story set in 1600s England during the English Civil War when parliament overthrew King Charles and gave power to the Puritans who eventually outlawed celebrations of Christmas. The story follows Layla, Mrs Claus, as she escapes London and becomes one of the leaders of planned peaceful protest at Canterbury. You’ll have to read the book yourself to find out what happened. It’s a very fitting sequel to Guinn’s first Christmas tale The Autobiography of Santa Claus. I think I actually enjoyed this one more though. I’ll be looking forward to re-reading these two books next holiday season as well.

Now on to Ireland

But until then, next up on this Christmas reading list is An Irish Country Christmas by Patrick Taylor. I’ve read this before but just started again this afternoon. It’s the third in the Irish Country Village series of, at least as of this year, fifteen books. I have them all, and all but two now in hardback which I love. I’ve not read them all yet, only five… or is it six?

A great Holiday Escape

But I’m looking forward to spending the next week reentering the world of Ballybuckelbo, the quaint and small fictional village between Kinnegar and Bangor that these books are set it. I wonder if anyone else out there has read them? If you haven’t, you really should give it a good go. You can start in any of the books and be just fine. Although they are chronologically placed within the series, they do great as stand alone stories as well. Why not pick one up today? You’ll be glad you did.

What are you reading? Will you be reading only Christmas books this month? Why not have a go and share.

-mike

Currently Reading: How Mrs Claus Saved Christmas

The Original Wonder Woman

Having just finished The Autobiography of Santa Clause by Jeff Guinn that I read last year, a fantasy trip through history and historical persons that “helped” him along the way on his mission of giving, I now start his follow up book that I picked up at the local library sale this last year, How Mrs Claus Saved Christmas. I’m really looking forward to digging into this one. I’m planning on making it a yearly read just like The Autobiography of Santa.

I’ve got a good problem to report as well. I’ve just picked up a hardcover copy of An Irish Country Christmas by Patrick Taylor at the local Half Price Books store. I already have it in softback, but I’m trying to get all the books in the series in hardcover. I have them all now, but with this edition, or should I say addition, I now have only two that are still soft. I just love the series, the writing and the escape to 1960s small village Ireland.

My problem? I’m starting to have more Christmas books on my shelf than I can “yearly read” every December. I may have to start in November next year. 🙂 After Mrs Claus, the plan is to finish this month and season out by re-reading An Irish Country Christmas.

What are you reading? Will you be reading only Christmas books this month? Why not have a go and share.

-mike

Currently Reading: “Santa!!!!”

The Autobiography and Mrs Claus

Having just finished The Christmas Wedding by James Patterson, I move to the third and fourth books on my seasonal reading list. The Autobiography of Santa Clause by Jeff Guinn that I read last year, a fantasy trip through history and historical persons that “helped” him along the way on his mission of giving, and the follow up book that I picked up at the local library sale this last year How Mrs Claus Saved Christmas. I’m really looking forward to digging into that one but first I’ll re-read the first.

By the way… Gaby picked the brother in law Marty at the end of The Christmas Wedding. Great book. It’s a bit predictable and soft on the story, but we’ll worth the read for the family and seasonal reflection. This is the second year I’ve read it and plan to make it a yearly.

What are you reading? Will you be reading only non-fiction this month? Why not have a go and share.

-mike

Currently Reading: The Christmas Wedding

James Patterson… yeah.

This is the second Christmas book I’m reading this season. The first was my cheater read of John Grisham’s Skipping Christmas, a wonderful read. But The Christmas Wedding is a bit more serious and family focussed.

Gaby is a 54yr year old mother of four adult children with families and lives of their own. Recently widowed, 3yrs now, she sends a video to her kids telling them she’s getting married on this coming Christmas so they better all show up at the family farm in Massachusetts. The gent’s identity is a secret until that day. They have no idea who it will be and the best part for the reader is… neither does he… Which one of three suitors will it be? Not even Gaby knows yet.

Come along on this family and fun journey and read with me James Patterson’s The Christmas Wedding.

What are you reading? Will you be reading only non-fiction this month? Why not have a go and share.

-mike

Saturday Six Word Story Prompt (6WSP): “Beauty”

Hi there all you blogger buddies and readers. This will hopefully be a weekly participation post for Saturday Six Word Story Prompt.

You can read the rules and guidelines HERE.

I’m participating in this week’s prompt of Beauty. Why not join in? Here we go with my entry:

“Everyone wants to think they’re Beautiful.”

And…

“Beholder’s eyes don’t always see straight.”

Thank God for honest mommas.

Why not join in with your own entry in the comments, on your blog with a link down below or just on the original blog that startd this Hot Mess. Down below, you know what to do.

-mike

Twittering Tales #161: Halt!!!

Photo by Michael Gaida @ Pixabay.com

Welcome to this week’s Installment of my Twittering Tales participation for a weekly event from a fellow blogger at:

https://katmyrman.com/2019/11/05/twittering-tales-161-5-november-2019/

She does a 280 character challenge weekly where she posts a prompt pic and encourages creativity. Please VISIT her site for an explaination of the rules. Please let her know if you’re participating also and if you could drop a line here too for us to follow, that would be fantastic. As for my entry… Here goes.

Having just awaken from his cyber-world induced cyber-sleep after a 35yr trip inside, Josh climbed the stairs up to see what remained of his old life. He reached the top and looked out at the disaster that was his shop. “Halt!!”. Josh froze instantly in the hovercraft’s spot light. (280 characters)


Now it’s your turn. -mike

 

 

Saturday Six Word Story Prompt (6WSP): “Heaven”

Hi there all you blogger buddies and readers. This will hopefully be a weekly participation post for Saturday Six Word Story Prompt.

You can read the rules and guidelines HERE.

I’m participating in this week’s prompt of Heaven. Why not join in? Here we go with my entry:

“Only Heaven awaits in God’s grace.”

And…

“Justice requires it to be so.”

If God I all loving, understanding, gracious and merciful… Then Heaven is the only option in regards to our Life after death here.

No matter what shape or situation that encompasses “punishment” or Justice for our ‘sins’ of being human, flawed and fragile… The God who made us cannot but recognize that we are not meant or fashioned for ‘perfection’. Life is not perfect and neither are we.

If the implications of our failures go far beyond the consequences of this life, there is no way that we in our finiteness could ever be held to an infinite sentence for what we’ve done in our limited natures, circumstances and information available. It would be Unjust to hand down Infinite Justice on Finite creatures with Limited capabilities and capacities.

So I believe that if Heaven is for Any, it is for All. That is what Grace is after all. Getting what we could never deserve. I haven’t always felt this way. But I’ve learned to err on the side of Mercy.

Why not join in with your own entry in the comments, on your blog with a link down below or just on the original blog that startd this Hot Mess. Down below, you know what to do.

-mike