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Tag Archives: Maggie Gust

Washington’s Immortals

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BOOK REMARKS  Maggie Gust winetaster13@gmail.com “These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.” – Thomas Paine, “The Crisis,” December 23, 1776. Don’t let the genre dissuade you from this title. Yes, we know the outcome, but that does not take away from the fact that the author has written this account of America’s beginning in a gripping style similar to that of the most popular thrillers. O’Donnell ... Read More »

Since She Went Away

Since She Went Away
By David Bell
New American Library –
June 21, 2016 - 432 pages
Genre: Mystery/Suspense
4.0/5.0 stars

BOOK REMARKS Maggie Gust winetaster13@gmail.com Bell is an accomplished storyteller who is equally adept at both character development and plot advancement. I first read his “Someone I Used To Know” last year and was riveted by the nuances of his characters’ personalities. The same is true of “Since She Went Away.” I was invested in these characters by the end of chapter one and put the book down only once. This is basically the story of RN Jenna Barton, a single mom, and her teenaged son Jared, detailing how their quiet lives in tiny Hawks Mill, Kentucky were up heaved by ... Read More »

Charlie Mike: A True Story of Heroes Who Brought Their Mission Home

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BOOK REMARKS Maggie Gust winetaster13@gmail.com Charlie Mike:  A True Story of Heroes Who Brought Their Mission Home By Joe Klein Simon & Schuster, October 2015 – 320 pages Genre: Biography Collier County Public Library: Yes “Charlie Mike” is not the name of any person, but military shorthand for “continue the mission.” This is the story of some veterans from America’s 21st century wars and their reorientation to civilian life. Navy veteran Eric Greitens was the initial driving force behind the organization that grew to be named “The Mission Continues.” His life had been filled with a desire to achieve excellence in ... Read More »

Lilac Girls

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BOOK REMARKS  Maggie Gust winetaster13@gmail.com “Cruelty, like every other vice, requires no motive outside of itself; it only requires opportunity.” – George Eliot This is the story of a little known chapter in the European theater of the Second World War, the “Ravensbruck Rabbits.” The story is told in first person via three main characters: Caroline Ferriday, wealthy American socialite; Kasia, young Polish woman; and Herta, a young German woman just starting her medical career. The chapters alternate among the three women. Caroline is a hardworking philanthropist, carrying on a long family tradition of working for social justice and taking charitable ... Read More »

Miller’s Valley

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BOOK REMARKS  Maggie Gust winetaster13@gmail.com “There is nothing I value more than the closeness of friends and family, a smile as I pass someone on the street.”  Willie Stargell I enjoyed this book. Mary Margaret Miller narrates her story which is centered around the state’s decision to permanently flood the farmland of Miller’s Valley. During the time since the government built a dam and redirected the river, the valley was flooding every few years anyway. Every flood would drive a few more families away, those who were not willing or not able to rebuild and wait for the next flood. Mary ... Read More »

The Assassin’s Honor

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BOOKREMARKS  Maggie Gust winetaster13@gmail.com The Assassin’s Honor By Robert Macomber Pineapple Press, September 2015,  351 pages Genre: Historical Fiction Collier County Public Library: Yes “We of the sea come to know each other quickly; our loves, like our hates, are born of sudden danger.” – Lew Wallace, author of “Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ” and U.S. Civil War general. “The Assassin’s Honor” is the 12th installment of the Honor Series with Peter Wake as the protagonist. The story is set in the last decade of the 19th century and much of the action takes place at sea. Peter Wake ... Read More »

Marco Island ?Writers Meet

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Submitted by Maggie Gust March Meeting The Janice Hardy Workshop at our March 9, 2016 meeting was an astounding success. Many members of the general public joined us for the workshop and were excited and satisfied at the end of the evening. Thanks to Janice for sharing her passion for writing and inspiring us, as well as to all participants for their interest and support. April Meeting Second  Wednesday To keep those creative juices flowing, please join us Wednesday, April 13, 2016, from 6 to 8 PM. The topic is “Widen Your Scope as a Writer.” Pauline Hayton, our Anthology Book ... Read More »

Forty Martyrs

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BOOK REMARKS Maggie Gust winetaster13@gmail.com   Forty Martyrs  By Philip F. Deaver Burrow Press, March 29, 2016 – 231 pages Genre: Short story collection Collier County Library: No Deaver is a new-to-me author and a pleasant discovery. He is on the English faculty at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida. His previous publications have received acclaim and awards. This collection of nine stories centers around the small town of Tuscola in east central Illinois. Most of the protagonists are linked in some way to the college as well as to the local Catholic parish, Forty Martyrs. But believe me, these are ... Read More »

Try Not To Breathe

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BOOK REMARKS Maggie Gust winetaster13@gmail.com   Try Not To Breathe By Holly Seddon Ballantine Books, February 2016 – 369 pages Genre: Mystery/Thriller   Anyone who enjoyed “The Girl On The Train” might like this book very much. I didn’t care for the Hawkins book, but I found this one intriguing. The protagonist, Alex Dale, is a self-destructive barely functional alcoholic with an enlarged liver whose life revolves around her wine consumption and urinary incontinence. When we meet her in 2010, she has drunk her way through college, marriage to police officer Matt, a miscarriage, and a steady job as a ... Read More »

Marco Island Writers Meet

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Submitted by Maggie Gust March Meeting Please join us for a two hour workshop at our March meeting on Wednesday, March 9, 2016, from 6-8 PM. Janice Hardy of Fiction University will illustrate techniques to construct a novel that will keep readers turning its pages. Some of the areas she will focus on include creating empathic characters, compelling storylines, inspiring settings, and other components of a good read. Janice will use hands-on exercises to illustrate these techniques in the workshop. Participants will be able to go home and apply them to their writing. Bring your laptop or printed pages. Published ... Read More »

The Last Anniversary

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BOOK REMARKS Maggie Gust winetaster13@gmail.com   By Liane Moriarty Harper Collins 2006, 388 pages Genre: Domestic Fiction Collier County Public Library: Yes   “If you cannot get rid of the family skeleton, you might as well make it dance.” ~ George Bernard Shaw Warning: Do not read this book in the vicinity of sleeping babies or people with a nervous disposition. Your frequent spontaneous peals of laughter may startle them. “The Last Anniversary” is not a new book, but it is presently on the New York Times Bestsellers List. It was originally published in Australia in 2005. Apparently interest in it ... Read More »

My Name Is Lucy Barton

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BOOK REMARKS Maggie Gust winetaster13@gmail.com By Elizabeth Strout Random House, January 2016, 193 pages Genre: Domestic fiction This book is not for everyone, but if you liked “Olive Kitteridge,” by this same author (which won her a Pulitzer), or “Someone,” by Alice McDermott, chances are that you will enjoy this book immensely. It is a masterpiece, a book that you know you will re-read and notice nuances that you missed on your first visit with these people. I read it in one sitting, too engrossed to put the book down. Plus, it is less than 200 pages. Lucy Barton is a ... Read More »

Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates: The Forgotten War That Changed American History

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BOOK REMARKS Maggie Gust winetaster13@gmail.com “From the Halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli, we fight our country’s battles in the air, on land and sea..” In this nifty new book, Brian Kilmeade and Don Yaeger tell the exciting story of how the U.S. Marines earned bragging rights to include the shores of Tripoli in their hymn. Even before the Constitution was ratified and the United States of America came to official existence, the Barbary pirates were menacing our vessels. In summer 1785, the American minister to France, Thomas Jefferson, received a letter from Richard O’Brien, captain of the Dauphin, ... Read More »

“The Crossing”

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BOOK REMARKS Maggie Gust winetaster13@gmail.com By Michael Connelly Little, Brown and Company, November 2015 400 pages Genre: Suspense/Mystery Collier County Public Library: Yes   In his 20th Harry Bosch novel, Michael Connelly reunites Harry with his half-brother Mickey Haller, the defense attorney from “Lincoln Lawyer.” Connelly first matched them up in “The Brass Verdict” (2008). But make no mistake, this is Harry Bosch’s story. Maddie, Harry’s daughter, is now 18 years old, within days of high school graduation and already has plans to attend Chapman College, the same school that Mickey’s daughter will be attending. The girls will room together. If ... Read More »

“The Tears of Dark Water”

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BOOK REMARKS Maggie Gust winetaster13@gmail.com   By Corban Addison Thomas Nelson 2015, 439 pages Genre: Domestic Fiction Collier County Public Library: Yes   “The wound is the place where the Light enters you.” ~ Rumi   In “The Tears of Dark Water,” his third novel, Corban Addison proves himself to be one of the prominent authors of his generation. He has a beautiful writing style that is both intelligent and gripping, moving the story along at an almost-perfect pace while deepening the layers of the characters’ personalities with each page. It is November 2011, and Daniel Parker and his 18-year-old son ... Read More »

“Did You Ever Have A Family?”

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BOOK REMARKS Maggie Gust winetaster13@gmail.com By Bill Clegg Simon & Schuster 2015, 253 pages Genre: Family Fiction Collier County Public Library: Yes   “Seek the lofty by reading, hearing and seeing great work at some moment every day.” ~ Thornton Wilder   Lolly Reid and Will Landis are getting married in the garden of her mother June’s spacious home in small town Connecticut. Her home has never been so full. Her ex-husband Adam is staying over, Lolly and Will of course, and June’s much younger boyfriend Luke Morey. Things had wound down, everyone retired to their rooms for the evening except ... Read More »

Make Me: A Jack Reacher Novel

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BOOK REMARKS Maggie Gust winetaster13@gmail.com By Lee Child Random House, September 2015, 402 pages. Genre: Suspense Collier County Public Library: Yes   “Admit nothing, even on your death bed. You might suddenly get better.” ~ Jack Reacher Jack is back in this 20th installment of this billion-dollar Lee Child enterprise. Be forewarned that Jack journeys to a very dark place in this adventure. If you are looking for chuckles or warm fuzzies, this is not the story for you. If you have previously read a Reacher novel or two you know that Jack started out as a kind of modern-day Lone ... Read More »

The Girl In The Spider’s Web

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BOOK REMARKS Maggie Gust winetaster13@gmail.com   By David Lagercrantz English Translation by George Goulding Alfred J. Knopf, August 2015, 432 pages Genre: Scandinavian Crime Fiction Collier County Public Library: Yes   “Throw me to the wolves and I’ll return leading the pack.” ~ Unknown   Like many readers, I was eagerly anticipating the release of the fourth Lisbeth Salander book. It has been a long time since the publication of the “Dragon Tattoo Trilogy” and the release of the films. Stieg Larsson, creator of the trilogy, died of a heart attack at age 50, before the books were published. He never ... Read More »

The Quartet: Orchestrating the Second American Revolution, 1783-1789

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BOOK REMARKS Maggie Gust winetaster13@gmail.com By Joseph J. Ellis Alfred A. Knopf, 2015 – 277 pages Genre: US History   “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the blessings of Liberty to ourselves and to our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” (Preamble, Constitution of the United States, 1787.) Turns out Lincoln was wrong when he stated, “Four score and seven years ago, our fathers brought forth upon this continent ... Read More »

Badlands

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BOOK REMARKS Maggie Gust winetaster13@gmail.com   By C.J. Box Minotaur (MacMillan) July 2015, 288 pages. Genre: Suspense   This is a terrific read. If you are already familiar with C.J. Box, you will not be surprised at that. The man is a w-r-i-t-e-r and an enthralling storyteller. Every word he puts on the page moves the plot along and deepens the character development so vividly that the reader can feel the very presence of these people. This book is made for one-sitting reads. Badlands features his newer character, Cassie Dewell, for the second time. She is in North Carolina at the ... Read More »