Monday, February 3, 2014

January, 2014 Books

*Double Down: Game Change 2012 by Mark Halperin and John Heilmann takes the reader into back rooms, closed-door meetings of campaign teams developing strategy for the 2012 presidential campaign along with the public triumphs and disasters in a panoramic account of the most expensive campaign in history.  "Double Down exposed blunders, scuffles and machinations far beyond the klieg lights of the campaign trail." At 500 pages, it isn’t a quick read, but is well worth the effort for political junkies.

*One Summer: America, 1927 by Bill Bryson is 509 pages of largely interesting history about a summer in U.S. history that was truly “epochal.”  There was more about the early efforts in long-distance flying than I needed, but excellent accounts of how Charles Lindbergh became the first man to cross the Atlantic by plane nonstop and how the titanically talented Babe Ruth helped make professional baseball a profitable business with his enduring record of  sixty home runs in a single (short) season.  Bryson also provides intriguing  descriptions of Herbert Hoover, Calvin Coolidge, Al Capone, Henry Ford, Jack Dempsey, Prohibition, how David Sarnoff ‘stole’ television and lots of fascinating historical tidbits. “Bryson captures its outsized personalities, exciting events, and occasional just plain weirdness with his trademark vividness, eye for telling detail, and delicious humor.”

*Perpetual Motion by Jeff Fumer is a captivating noir detective novel featuring “Cynical” Jones who is hired by a mysterious client to find the inventor of a perpetual motion machine   His search will take him round the high stakes roulette wheels in Vegas, through the desert in a high speed chase, and across the ocean in a private jet. His search is joined by FBI agents and a professional hit squad, which makes Cynical begin to wonder if there could be something to this invention...and what it might mean to the global economy.  I could be biased, but I found the book hard to put down with “well developed characters, crisp dialogue, and an engaging plot with a subtle but important message."

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