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My Bookshelf

2020-07-30

That Day the Rabbi Left Town, by Harry Kemelman

I’m closing in on the end of the Rabbi Small Mysteries by Harry Kemelman. I started these last year and they are amazing. As much as I love these cozy mysteries, I find I’m even more fascinated by how much the author goes into Judaism and as well as what a rabbi’s role in in the Jewish community and how it differs from clergy in other religions. So much amazing information and the author manages to relate it in such a way that you don’t realize you’re learning something.

Amazon Description: Retired from his job at the synagogue in Barnard’s Crossing, Massachusetts, Rabbi Small now teaches Judaic studies at a Boston college. Finally able to enjoy theological contemplation without the annoyance of temple politics, the rabbi is shocked when one of his colleagues is found dead in his car—and the clues at the scene point to murder.

The deceased English professor was notoriously selfish and held long-standing grudges against other members of the faculty, so the list of suspects is long. But when the rabbi who took over Small’s position in Barnard’s Crossing is implicated, it falls to Small to clear his name and find the true killer, one last time.

The Dark Before the Light, by Tim C. Taylor

I’ve been busy lately so I’m playing a bit of catch-up with the Four Horsemen series. The Dark Before the Light is part of the Omega War series and follows what the Midnight Sun merc company has been doing in the Spine Nebula. Clearly the events here will have an impact on what’s happening in the Galactic Union. I have to finish this one so I’m ready for One Minute to Midnight coming out in late August.

Amazon Description: Defeated in battle, the fractious alliance of Goltar, Spine Patriots, and the Midnight Sun Free Company are chased across the Spine Nebula by the Endless Night and their sea monster allies, the Tyzhounes.

Abandoning the nebula is not an option. For the free trader skipper, Lenworth Jenkins, the people of its fifteen tormented worlds are the cause he’s been searching for all his life.

The Midnight sisters, Sun and Blue, can’t abandon their people trapped in the nebula or its fabulous prospects of wealth and opportunity.

On a water world behind enemy lines, Branco, the former Binnig spy is dying. Can he make a difference one last time?

As Endless Night stretches across the nebula, those who still resist must dig deep and believe that however dire the situation, this is the dark before the light.

My Lucky Life In and Out of Show Business, by Dick Van Dyke

My current audio book for me is Dick Van Dyke’s memoir My Lucky Life In and Out of Show Business, narrated by him. Sometimes it seems like famous people live a jaded life where everything that happens to them is perfectly timed and seems to be total luck, and Dick Van Dyke says that much of what’s happened in his career is exactly like that.

Amazon Description: Dick Van Dyke, indisputably one of the greats of the golden age of television, is admired and beloved by audiences the world over for his beaming smile, his physical dexterity, his impeccable comic timing, his ridiculous stunts, and his unforgettable screen roles.

His trailblazing television program, The Dick Van Dyke Show (produced by Carl Reiner, who has written the foreword to this memoir), was one of the most popular sitcoms of the 1960s and introduced another major television star, Mary Tyler Moore. But Dick Van Dyke was also an enormously engaging movie star whose films, including Mary Poppins and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, have been discovered by a new generation of fans and are as beloved today as they were when they first appeared. Who doesn’t know the word supercalifragilisticexpialidocious?

A colorful, loving, richly detailed look at the decades of a multilayered life, My Lucky Life In and Out of Show Business will enthrall every generation of listener, from baby-boomers who recall when Rob Petrie became a household name to all those still enchanted by Bert’s “Chim Chim Cher-ee”. This is a lively, heartwarming memoir of a performer who still thinks of himself as a “simple song-and-dance man,” but who is, in every sense of the word, a classic entertainer.

Link for Kindle version: My Lucky Life In and Out of Show Business

Caliban’s War, by James S.A. Corey

My boyfriend and I finally finished the first book in the Expanse series, Leviathan Wakes. Caliban’s War picks up several months after the end of the first book. We are finally introduced to many of the characters we know from the TV series: Chrisjen Avasarala, Bobbie Draper, and Prax, as well as the Holden and the crew of the Roscinante. It’s always interesting to see the differences between the books and the television series and discuss why those changes might have been made.

Amazon Description: We are not alone.

On Ganymede, breadbasket of the outer planets, a Martian marine watches as her platoon is slaughtered by a monstrous supersoldier. On Earth, a high-level politician struggles to prevent interplanetary war from reigniting. And on Venus, an alien protomolecule has overrun the planet, wreaking massive, mysterious changes and threatening to spread out into the solar system.

In the vast wilderness of space, James Holden and the crew of the Rocinante have been keeping the peace for the Outer Planets Alliance. When they agree to help a scientist search war-torn Ganymede for a missing child, the future of humanity rests on whether a single ship can prevent an alien invasion that may have already begun…

Link for Kindle version: Caliban’s War

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