Wednesday, 27 April 2016


Act of Treason (Mitch Rapp, #9)Act of Treason by Vince Flynn
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A very good thriller. It is my first novel of both Mitch Rapp and Vince Flynn. But definitely not the last.

Story is very simple. Alexander the President hopeful is trailing badly. His deputy Ross and campaign manager Stuart Garret are despondent. The wife of president hopeful is killed in a terrorist act and they wins on a sympathy wave. Rivera the head of their security detail is crucified. Enter Mitch Rapp with the blessing of Kennedy, CIA director and he finds Gaziach ho detonated bomb. What follows is typical politics over this and how Kennedy and Mitch deal with it.

The novel picks up pace from page one and pace is unrelenting through out. Story is somewhat outlandish but still believable. Mitch Rapp is like James bond as much as he does what he feels right and does not always play by rule.

Some excerpts from the book:

Washington was the grand stage of espionage and diplomacy, not some backwater, mosquito infested Third World hellhole. This was elephant hunting, and Gazich had tracked the real beast.
-----

Many of them killed for an idea. Often, the idea was a perversion of Islam. These were all men. No women were allowed to join their crusade of intolerance. Yes, occasionally the Palestinians had used female suicide bombers, and so had the Chechens, but they were few. Others killed for a paycheck, like Gazich.
-------

No, the target was two political candidates. And what was their crime? Did they preach death to Islam and the Arab world? Did they advocate the wholesale murder of every Palestinian? No. They did no such thing.

That was what the mullahs and clerics preached in places like Iran and Saudi Arabia. Death to America, the Great Satan. Death to Israel. Nuke the entire Zionist state and push the infidels into the ocean.
--------

Like all good reporters, I know how to keep politics out of the story.”
- - - - - -

It made him think of the old adage that sometimes it’s easier to ask for forgiveness than permission. This time around Rapp would be asking for neither.
---------

“I’ve never been one to live life with regrets. Even more so since the Parkinson’s.”

“It is one of your most admirable qualities, sir.”


View all my reviews

Tuesday, 19 April 2016


Asadhya Veena असाध्य वीणाAsadhya Veena असाध्य वीणा by Ageya
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Asadhya Veena can be loosely translated as " A GUITAR LIKE INDIAN INSTRUMENT WHICH CAN NOT BE TAMED OR PLAYED".

This is a long poem by Sachidanand Ageya. He is founding father of Proyagawad aka experimentalism in Hindi literature.

This poem is a story of a Veena which cannot be played. The king is despondent because of this. Then Keshkambli Priyamvad Gufa Geh (one who lives in caves) comes and king feels that now the veena can be played. King says that he is not sure of the origin of veena but legend says that it is made by Vajrakeerti (Vajra is weapon made of bones used by king of gods Inda + Keerti is fame) from the wood of a Kireet Taru (ancient huge tree). Vajrakeerti bound the veena with spells and made it asadhya. No artist in the kingdom is able to play it.

Priyamvad says that he is not an artist. He is a mere practitioner, disciple and an observer of untold truth of life. Then he lifts the veena and bows his head to it. Everyone wonders whether he can play or not. Was he trying to tame the veena? No, he was introspecting and surrendering to the Kireet Taru in the dense, impervious. He forgot about surroundings and became spell bound in loneliness. Then he touched the strings and veena started playing. A cold fluid fire ran into his eyes. Everyone became electrified. The music is born which encompasses creation of God the whole universe.

King heard music and felt very spiritual as opposed to king’s usual emotions of jealousy, ambition, envy, flattery. Queen heard and felt that all the jewelry, garments are false and only love is true. She vowed to seek love. Everybody else heard the different music.

This is also reference to Tulsidas chaupai of “Jaki Rahi bhawana jaisi; Prabhu murat dekhi tin taisi” ie Everyone sees idol of God as per his emotions.

All were immersed and totally spellbound. Then veena fell silent. Everybody woke up from trance and vowed Priyamvad. He said he did nothing and he just surrendered himself to the universe through veena. Whatever everybody heard was neither him nor veena but the voice of great void, super quiescence, indivisible, unstirred.

Following is the hindi text of the poem:

आ गए प्रियंवद! केशकंबली! गुफा-गेह!
राजा ने आसन दिया। कहा :
‘कृतकृत्य हुआ मैं तात! पधारे आप।
भरोसा है अब मुझ को
साध आज मेरे जीवन की पूरी होगी!’

लघु संकेत समझ राजा का
गण दौड़े। लाये असाध्य वीणा,
साधक के आगे रख उस को, हट गए।
सभी की उत्सुक आँखें
एक बार वीणा को लख, टिक गईं
प्रियंवद के चेहरे पर।

‘यह वीणा उत्तराखंड के गिरि-प्रांतर से
-घने वनों में जहाँ तपस्या करते हैं व्रतचारी-
बहुत समय पहले आयी थी।
पूरा तो इतिहास न जान सके हम :
किंतु सुना है
वज्रकीर्ति ने मंत्रपूत जिस
अति प्राचीन किरीटी-तरु से इसे गढ़ा था-
उस के कानों में हिम-शिखर रहस्य कहा करते थे अपने,
कंधों पर बादल सोते थे,
उस की करि-शुंडों-सी डालें
हिम-वर्षा से पूरे वन-यूथों का कर लेती थीं परित्राण,
कोटर में भालू बसते थे,
केहरि उस के वल्कल से कंधे खुजलाने आते थे।
और-सुना है-जड़ उस की जा पहुँची थी पाताल-लोक,
उस की ग्रंथ-प्रवण शीतलता से फण टिका नाग वासुकि सोता था।
उसी किरीटी-तरु से वज्रकीर्ति ने
सारा जीवन इसे गढ़ा :
हठ-साधना यही थी उस साधक की-
वीणा पूरी हुई, साथ साधना, साथ ही जीवन-लीला।’

राजा रुके साँस लंबी ले कर फिर बोले :
‘मेरे हार गए सब जाने-माने कलावंत,
सबकी विद्या हो गई अकारथ, दर्प चूर,
कोई ज्ञानी गुणी आज तक इसे न साध सका।
अब यह असाध्य वीणा ही ख्यात हो गई।
पर मेरा अब भी है विश्वास
कृच्छ्र-तप वज्रकीर्ति का व्यर्थ नहीं था।
वीणा बोलेगी अवश्य, पर तभी
इसे जब सच्चा-स्वरसिद्ध गोद में लेगा।
तात! प्रियंवद! लो, यह सम्मुख रही तुम्हारे
वज्रकीर्ति की वीणा,
यह मैं, यह रानी, भरी सभा यह :
सब उदग्र, पर्युत्सुक,
जन-मात्र प्रतीक्षमाण!’

केशकंबली गुफा-गेह ने खोला कंबल।
धरती पर चुप-चाप बिछाया।
वीणा उस पर रख, पलक मूँद कर, प्राण खींच
कर के प्रणाम,
अस्पर्श छुअन से छुए तार।
धीरे बोला : ‘राजन्! पर मैं तो
कलावंत हूँ नहीं, शिष्य, साधक हूँ-
जीवन के अनकहे सत्य का साक्षी।
वज्रकीर्ति!
प्राचीन किरीटी-तरु!
अभिमंत्रित वीणा!

ध्यान-मात्र इन का तो गद्‍गद विह्वल कर देने वाला है!’

चुप हो गया प्रियंवद।
सभा भी मौन हो रही।

वाद्य उठा साधक ने गोद रख लिया।
धीरे-धीरे झुक उस पर, तारों पर मस्तक टेक दिया।
सभा चकित थी- अरे, प्रियंवद क्या सोता है?
केशकंबली अथवा हो कर पराभूत
झुक गया वाद्य पर?
वीणा सचमुच क्या है असाध्य?

पर उस स्पंदित सन्नाटे में
मौन प्रियंवद साध रहा था वीणा-
नहीं, स्वयं अपने को शोध रहा था।
सघन निविड़ में वह अपने को
सौंप रहा था उसी किरीटी-तरु को।
कौन प्रियंवद है कि दंभ कर
इस अभिमंत्रित कारुवाद्य के सम्मुख आवे?
कौन बजावे
यह वीणा जो स्वयं एक जीवन भर की साधना रही?
भूल गया था केशकंबली राज-सभा को :
कंबल पर अभिमंत्रित एक अकेलेपन में डूब गया था
जिस में साक्षी के आगे था
जीवित वही किरीटी-तरु
जिस की जड़ वासुकि के फण पर थी आधारित,
जिस के कंधों पर बादल सोते थे
और कान में जिस के हिमगिरि कहते थे अपने रहस्य।
संबोधित कर उस तरु को, करता था
नीरव एकालाप प्रियंवद।

‘ओ विशाल तरु!
शत-सहस्त्र पल्लवन-पतझरों ने जिस का नित रूप सँवारा,
कितनी बरसातों कितने खद्योतों ने आरती उतारी,
दिन भौंरे कर गए गुंजरित,
रातों में झिल्ली ने
अनथक मंगल-गान सुनाये,
साँझ-सवेरे अनगिन
अनचीन्हे खग-कुल की मोद-भरी क्रीड़ा-काकलि
डाली-डाली को कँपा गई-
ओ दीर्घकाय!
ओ पूरे झारखंड के अग्रज,
तात, सखा, गुरु, आश्रय,
त्राता महच्छाय,
ओ व्याकुल मुखरित वन-ध्वनियों के
वृंदगान के मूर्त रूप,
मैं तुझे सुनूँ,
देखूँ, ध्याऊँ
अनिमेष, स्तब्ध, संयत, संयुत, निर्वाक् :
कहाँ साहस पाऊँ
छू सकूँ तुझे!
तेरी काया को छेद, बाँध कर रची गई वीणा को
किस स्पर्धा से
हाथ करें आघात
छीनने को तारों से
एक चोट में वह संचित संगीत जिसे रचने में
स्वयं न जाने कितनों के स्पंदित प्राण रच गए!

‘नहीं, नहीं! वीणा यह मेरी गोद रखी है, रहे,
किंतु मैं ही तो
तेरी गोदी बैठा मोद-भरा बालक हूँ,
ओ तरु-तात! सँभाल मुझे,
मेरी हर किलक
पुलक में डूब जाय:
मैं सुनूँ,
गुनूँ, विस्मय से भर आँकूँ
तेरे अनुभव का एक-एक अंत:स्वर
तेरे दोलन की लोरी पर झूमूँ मैं तन्मय-
गा तू :
तेरी लय पर मेरी साँसें
भरें, पुरें, रीतें, विश्रांति पाएँ।

‘गा तू!
यह वीणा रक्खी है : तेरा अंग-अपंग!
किंतु अंगी, तू अक्षत, आत्म-भरित,
रस-विद्
तू गा :
मेरे अँधियारे अंतस् में आलोक जगा
स्मृति का
श्रुति का-
तू गा, तू गा, तू गा, तू गा!

‘हाँ, मुझे स्मरण है :
बदली-कौंध-पत्तियों पर वर्षा-बूँदों की पट-पट।
घनी रात में महुए का चुप-चाप टपकना।
चौंके खग-शावक की चिहुँक।
शिलाओं को दुलराते वन-झरने के
द्रुत लहरीले जल का कल-निनाद।
कुहरे में छन कर आती
पर्वती गाँव के उत्सव-ढोलक की थाप।
गड़रियों की अनमनी बाँसुरी।
कठफोड़े का ठेका। फुलसुँघनी की आतुर फुरकन :
ओस-बूँद की ढरकन-इतनी कोमल, तरल
कि झरते-झरते मानो
हरसिंगार का फूल बन गई।
भरे शरद् के ताल, लहरियों की सरसर-ध्वनि।
कूँजों का क्रेंकार। काँद लंबी टिट्टिभ की।
पंख-युक्त सायक-सी हंस-बलाका।
चीड़-वनों में गंध-अंध उन्मद पतंग की जहाँ-तहाँ टकराहट
जल-प्रपात का प्लुत एकस्वर।
झिल्ली-दादुर, कोकिल-चातक की झंकार पुकारों की यति में
संसृति की साँय साँय।

‘हाँ, मुझे स्मरण है :
दूर पहाड़ों से काले मेघों की बाढ़
हाथियों का मानो चिंघाड़ रहा हो यूथ।
घरघराहट चढ़ती बहिया की।
रेतीले कगार का गिरना छप्-छड़ाप।
झंझा की फुफकार, तप्त,
पेड़ों का अररा कर टूट-टूट कर गिरना।
ओले की कर्री चपत।
जमे पाले से तनी कटारी-सी सूखी घासों की टूटन।
ऐंठी मिट्टी का स्निग्ध घाम में धीरे-धीरे रिसना।
हिम-तुषार के फाहे धरती के घावों को सहलाते चुप-चाप।
घाटियों में भरती
गिरती चट्टानों की गूँज-
काँपती मंद्र गूँज-अनुगूँज-साँस खोयी-सी, धीरे-धीरे नीरव।
‘मुझे स्मरण है :
हरी तलहटी में, छोटे पेड़ों की ओट ताल पर
बँधे समय वन-पशुओं की नानाविध आतुर-तृप्त पुकारें :
गर्जन, घुर्घुर, चीख, भूँक, हुक्का, चिचियाहट।
कमल-कुमुद-पत्रों पर चोर-पैर द्रुत धावित
जल-पंछी की चाप
थाप दादुर की चकित छलाँगों की।
पंथी के घोड़े की टाप अधीर।
अचंचल धीर थाप भैंसों के भारी खुर की।

‘मुझे स्मरण है :
उझक क्षितिज से
किरण भोर की पहली
जब तकती है ओस-बूँद को
उस क्षण की सहसा चौंकी-सी सिहरन।
और दुपहरी में जब
घास-फूल अनदेखे खिल जाते हैं
मौमाखियाँ असंख्य झूमती करती हैं गुंजार-
उस लंबे विलमे क्षण का तंद्रालस ठहराव।

और साँझ को
जब तारों की तरल कँपकँपी
स्पर्शहीन झरती है-
मानो नभ में तरल नयन ठिठकी
नि:संख्य सवत्सा युवती माताओं के आशीर्वाद-
उस संधि-निमिष की पुलकन लीयमान।

‘मुझे स्मरण है :
और चित्र प्रत्येक
स्तब्ध, विजड़ित करता है मुझ को।
सुनता हूँ मैं
पर हर स्वर-कंपन लेता है मुझ को मुझ से सोख-
वायु-सा नाद-भरा मैं उड़ जाता हूँ...।
मुझे स्मरण है-
पर मुझ को मैं भूल गया हूँ :
सुनता हूँ मैं-
पर मैं मुझ से परे, शब्द में लीयमान।

‘मैं नहीं, नहीं! मैं कहीं नहीं!
ओ रे तरु! ओ वन!
ओ स्वर-संभार!
नाद-मय संसृति!
ओ रस-प्लावन!
मुझे क्षमा कर-भूल अकिंचनता को मेरी-
मुझे ओट दे-ढँक ले-छा ले-
ओ शरण्य!
मेरे गूँगेपन को तेरे सोये स्वर-सागर का ज्वार डुबा ले!
आ, मुझे भुला,
तू उतर वीन के तारों में
अपने से गा
अपने को गा-
अपने खग-कुल को मुखरित कर
अपनी छाया में पले मृगों की चौकड़ियों को ताल बाँध,
अपने छायातप, वृष्टि-पवन, पल्लव-कुसुमन की लय पर
अपने जीवन-संचय को कर छंदयुक्त,
अपनी प्रज्ञा को वाणी दे!
तू गा, तू गा-
तू सन्निधि पा-तू खो
तू आ-तू हो-तू गा! तू गा!’

राजा जागे।
समाधिस्थ संगीतकार का हाथ उठा था-
काँपी थीं उँगलियाँ।
अलस अँगड़ाई ले कर मानो जाग उठी थी वीणा :
किलक उठे थे स्वर-शिशु।
नीरव पद रखता जालिक मायावी
सधे करों से धीरे धीरे धीरे
डाल रहा था जाल हेम-तारों का।

सहसा वीणा झनझना उठी-
संगीतकार की आँखों में ठंडी पिघली ज्वाला-सी झलक गई-
रोमांच एक बिजली-सा सब के तन में दौड़ गया।
अवतरित हुआ संगीत
स्वयंभू
जिस में सोता है अखंड
ब्रह्मा का मौन
अशेष प्रभामय।

डूब गए सब एक साथ।
सब अलग-अलग एकाकी पार तिरे।

राजा ने अलग सुना :
जय देवी यश:काय
वरमाल लिए
गाती थी मंगल-गीत,
दुंदुभी दूर कहीं बजती थी,
राज-मुकुट सहसा हलका हो आया था, मानो हो फूल सिरिस का
ईर्ष्या, महदाकांक्षा, द्वेष, चाटुता
सभी पुराने लुगड़े-से झर गए, निखर आया था जीवन-कांचन
धर्म-भाव से जिसे निछावर वह कर देगा।

रानी ने अलग सुना :
छँटती बदली में एक कौंध कह गई-
तुम्हारे ये मणि-माणक, कंठहार, पट-वस्त्र,
मेखला-किंकिणि-
सब अंधकार के कण हैं ये! आलोक एक है
प्यार अनन्य! उसी की
विद्युल्लता घेरती रहती है रस-भार मेघ को,
थिरक उसी की छाती पर उस में छिप कर सो जाती है
आश्वस्त, सहज विश्वास-भरी।
रानी
उस एक प्यार को साधेगी।

सब ने भी अलग-अलग संगीत सुना।
इस को
वह कृपा-वाक्य था प्रभुओं का।
उस को
आतंक-मुक्ति का आश्वासन!
इस को
वह भरी तिजोरी में सोने की खनक।
उसे
बटुली में बहुत दिनों के बाद अन्न की सोंधी खुदबुद।
किसी एक को नई वधू की सहमी-सी पायल-ध्वनि।
किसी दूसरे को शिशु की किलकारी।
एक किसी को जाल-फँसी मछली की तड़पन-
एक अपर को चहक मुक्त नभ में उड़ती चिड़िया की।
एक तीसरे को मंडी की ठेलमठेल, गाहकों की आस्पर्धा भरी बोलियाँ,
चौथे को मंदिर की ताल-युक्त घंटा-ध्वनि।
और पाँचवें को लोहे पर सधे हथौड़े की सम चोटें
और छठे को लंगर पर कसमसा रही नौका पर लहरों की
अविराम थपक।
बटिया पर चमरौधे की रुँधी चाप सातवें के लिए-
और आठवें को कुलिया की कटी मेंड़ से बहते जल की छुल-छुल।
इसे गमक नट्टिन की एड़ी के घुँघरू की।
उसे युद्ध का ढोल।


इसे संझा-गोधूली की लघु टुन-टुन-
उसे प्रलय का डमरु-नाद।
इस को जीवन की पहली अँगड़ाई
पर उस को महाजृंभ विकराल काल!
सब डूबे, तिरे, झिपे, जागे-
हो रहे वंशवद, स्तब्ध :
इयत्ता सब की अलग-अलग जागी,
संघीत हुई,
पा गई विलय।

वीणा फिर मूक हो गई।

साधु! साधु!!

राजा सिंहासन से उतरे-
रानी ने अर्पित की सतलड़ी माल,
जनता विह्वल कह उठी ‘धन्य!
हे स्वरजित्! धन्य! धन्य!’

संगीतकार
वीणा को धीरे से नीचे रख, ढँक-मानो
गोदी में सोये शिशु को पालने डाल कर मुग्धा माँ
हट जाय, दीठ से दुलराती-
उठ खड़ा हुआ।
बढ़ते राजा का हाथ उठा करता आवर्जन,
बोला :
‘श्रेय नहीं कुछ मेरा :
मैं तो डूब गया था स्वयं शून्य में-
वीणा के माध्यम से अपने को मैंने
सब कुछ को सौंप दिया था-
सुना आप ने जो वह मेरा नहीं,
न वीणा का था :
वह तो सब कुछ की तथता थी
महाशून्य
वह महामौन
अविभाज्य, अनाप्त, अद्रवित, अप्रमेय
जो शब्दहीन
सब में गाता है।’

नमस्कार कर मुड़ा प्रियंवद केशकंबली।
ले कर कंबल गेह-गुफा को चला गया।
उठ गई सभा। सब अपने-अपने काम लगे।
युग पलट गया।

प्रिय पाठक! यों मेरी वाणी भी
मौन हुई।

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Sherlock Holmes: The Peculiar Persecution of John Vincent HardenSherlock Holmes: The Peculiar Persecution of John Vincent Harden by Dan Andriacco
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Not like original ACD. but this portion of introduction is interesting :


Monsignor Knox lists eleven elements of a canonical Sherlock Holmes story. A Study in Scarlet has all eleven elements, and most stories in the Canon have at least five. Those elements are: 1. A homely Baker Street scene to start, with invaluable personal touches and sometimes a demonstration by the detective or reference by either Holmes or Watson to an untold tale of Sherlock Holmes; 2. The client’s statement of the case;3. Energetic personal investigation by Holmes and Watson, often including the famous floor-walk on hands and knees;4. Refutation by Holmes of the Scotland Yard theory; 5. A few stray hints to the police, which they never adopt;6. Holmes tells the true course of the case to Dr. Watson as he sees it, but is sometimes wrong;7. Questioning of the victim’s relatives, dependents, and others, along with visits to the Records Office, and various investigations in disguise;8. The criminal is caught or exposed;9. The criminal confesses; 10. Holmes describes the clues and how he followed them;11. The conclusion, often involving a quotation from some standard author.

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Entice (The Affair, #1)Entice by S. Layne
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Laurie husband james sleeps with her best friend becky and she is debastated. In her anxious state she meets Liam who is a playboy and start a passionate affair witj him.

This is the brief of story. Its sensuos, free flowing and keeps you interested. Its no high literature but rather a potboiler.
You can read it once.

Some excerpts :

Except counseling. I scowl. Because counseling is for people who aren’t smart enough to work out their own issues.
---------
I don’t even remember the last time someone hit on me. Has it been that long? A part of my femininity wants to preen and rub against him, have his hands run down my side at the thought that he believes I’m beautiful enough to want to have a drink with me.
--------
But there’s still a part of me that wants to be at the bar at eight o’clock and see what a conversation with him would be like.Because after feeling so used and abandoned…and just hurt…that part of me wants to give James a taste of his medicine. Make him hurt the way he’s hurt me.
-------
As soon as I unpacked, I did what any woman does and picked up the phone to ask for advice.
-------
My core clamps down on him and he groans as he sinks inside of me. My hands move to his shoulders, but he quickly grabs them, clasps them in one hand, and pushes them back to the bed.“Leave them.”I shake my head. “I need to touch you.”He rocks forward until I’m completely filled with him, and covers my body with his. I shift, needing him to move, but he stays perfectly still and his mouth drops to mine. His lips hover, not touching me, and I inhale a gasp.
“You’ll take what I give you,” he commands, and my mouth snaps closed.
I want to give him what he’s given me. I want to dig my nails into his skin and leave a mark on him, forcing him to remember this night.But his grip is strong, his eyes determined, and as his hips pull back I feel every inch of him leave me. I tighten my muscles, pulling him back into me, and when he does…I cave.I surrender to everything he wants to give me.If it’s anything like the other two orgasms he’s already given me, this is sure to be even better.“Holy…” I groan as he slides back in. There’s a slight burst of pain as he hits the end of me. He’s stretching me wide and his hand leaves my wrists with only a warning glare.“Keep them there.”
“I will.” I nod. I’ll do anything to have that feeling in me all over again.Liam smirks and his hands move to my thighs. He pulls me wide open and presses my legs into the mattress as he begins moving inside me.He pushes and pulls, harder and faster, and I can do nothing except thrash my head back and forth.Sweat from his forehead drips onto my abs, but I can’t open my eyes long enough to see what he’s doing.It feels like hours—it possibly could be—when he releases a roar and seats himself balls-deep inside me, and my insides clench and pulse around him as he releases himself inside me.My brain has turned to mush.My body melts into the mattress
and I take the moment to revel in what I’ve done.What I’ve felt.It’s powerful and inspiring…and I instantly regret that I only get this for the night.That it’s over.I turn my head to the side to hide the emotions flooding my body.
---------
hips, caressing my rear end until his thumbs spread my cheeks apart.“Liam.” I warn him, but I doubt it’d do much as he lightly brushes the skin of my crease, a forbidden area I’ve never considering using for anything other than its intended purpose. “No.”“Hmmm…disappointing.” But he leaves that area and continues until his fingers separate my folds. “So wet for me already.”
---@--
I move to walk past him into the kitchen when his arm sticks out and wraps me around the middle.Tears instantly fall down my cheeks.I love him. I always have. I hate him, too, though. And I don’t know which one is more powerful. I don’t even know if love is enough anymore.
---@@-@
I should win an Academy Award for my acting abilities. If there is ever an awards ceremony for women who dream about their bosses at night but don’t act like it during the day, I’m a guaranteed winner.Every morning I wake up, sweat lining my brow and my shirt sticking to my back. My breath heaves in quick, panting gasps while memories of Liam taking me over and over again flood my mind.I can’t stop thinking about him.Wanting him.
---@----
It exposes the side of my neck and he drops his lips to my skin, sucking hard.“Oh,” I exhale. His touch does magical things to my body.“
-------
I go to bed dreaming of sad brown eyes and heated blue ones. They fight in my head, screaming their desires until I’m curled into a ball, tortured by both of them.And when the dream shifts and disappears, I wake up the next day determined.I will get my shit together. Figure out how to make that happen and go for it, and never again will my decisions be swayed by the desires of another man.

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Ready to Were (Shift Happens, #1)Ready to Were by Robyn Peterman
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

No stars.

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Memory Man (Amos Decker, #1)Memory Man by David Baldacci
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

My rating is 4.25 stars.

It is a very good thriller and mystery. A real page turner and engrossing. I love David Baldacci better than Patterson and Cornwell.

The premise of the novel is a mental condition called hyperthymesia which relates to near-perfect recall of one’s personal or autobiographical past. The hero of the novel can not forget anything and it plays in his head like a DVR no matter how old the memory is. Baldacci starts it from here and takes you on an amazing ride.

The macguffin in this novel is the motive of villain in killing Amos Decker family and subsequent shooting in school and kills.[In fiction, a MacGuffin (sometimes McGuffin or maguffin) is a plot device in the form of some goal, desired object, or other motivator that the protagonist pursues, often with little or no narrative explanation]. Once you can make peace with that you will enjoy this book thoroughly.

The hero Amos Decker is a troubled soul whose family is killed brutally. He goes into depression and leave police force. He was a footballer who took a nasty hit which led to a mental condition which does not allow him to forget anything. This is more a curse than boon. Then there is a mindless shooting in his own school and 7 people are killed. Nobody knows how the killer entered or exited the school. He is asked to consult and he reluctantly agrees. Later on when it is found that the same gun is used in both his family and school killings he becomes resolute in finding the killer.

The pace is unrelenting and Amos keep finding new leads. You also feel the pain of everybody involved and this all lead to a satisfying climax. Everything is explained in the end except maybe why Special agent Laffertty was killed.

Highly recommended.

Some excerpts:

"I am Amos Decker. I’m forty-two years old and look at least ten years older (on a good day, of which I haven’t had one in four hundred and seventy-nine days), and feel at least a century older than that. I used to be a cop and then a detective but am no longer gainfully employed in either occupation. I have hyperthymesia, which means I never forget anything. I’m not talking about memory techniques where you can teach yourself to remember things better, like the order of a pack of cards using association tricks. No, with me it’s just a turbocharged brain that has somehow unlocked what we all have but never use. There aren’t many but never use. There aren’t many hyper-Ts—my shorthand—in the world. But I’m officially one of them.
And it seems my sensory pathways have also crossed streams so that I count in colors and see time as pictures in my head. In fact, colors intrude on my thoughts at the most random times. We’re called synesthetes. So I count in color and I “see” time and sometimes I also associate color with people or objects.
Many people with synesthesia are also autistic or have Asperger’s syndrome. Not me. But I no longer like to be touched. And jokes don’t really register with me anymore. But that may be because I don’t ever intend to laugh again.
I was once normal, or as close as humans get to that state.
And now I’m not."
"This “gift” came to me when I was all of twenty-two years old. I was a middling college football player who walked on to an NFL team carrying only fair ability, but a ferocious chip on my shoulder. I stepped on the field for the first game of the season after playing my butt off during the preseason and surviving the final cut. I’m on the kickoff team. My job is simple: Sacrifice my body to create mayhem and holes in the return team so other guys can make the stop. I run my ass down the field. I’m about to make mayhem. I’m running so hard that snot is flying from my nose and spit from my mouth. I’m being paid more money than I’ve ever made in my life. I aim to earn it. I’m about to lay some dude out, stone cold out.
And that’s all I remember. Dwayne LeCroix, a rookie out of LSU, was five inches shorter and fifty pounds lighter than me but apparently a force to be reckoned with, because he laid me out on that field with a hit I never saw coming. The dude blew me up, as they say in the NFL. He would be out of the league in four years with both knees devoid of cartilage, his left shoulder pared down to nothing but bone on bone, and his bank account overdrawn. He was currently residing in a max prison in Shreveport for crimes committed against his fellow humans, and he would die there one day either soon or distant. But on that day he walked away, fist pumping and sauntering like the cock over the hens, while I lay on the field unconscious.
And after that collision nothing for me would ever be the same.
Not a damn thing."

------

“You can’t arrest someone for thinking about committing a crime.”
“No, and sometimes that’s more a curse than a blessing.”
----

"The PD said smoothly, “A confession that he is now recanting. Mr. Leopold is bipolar, went off his medications, which resulted in some unfortunate emotional distress. He is now back on his meds and his reason has returned, hence his passing the psych exam.” The lawyer held up some documents stapled together. “And then there’s this. Permission to approach?”
--------

“Savants, autistics, Asperger’s, synesthesia, and hyperthymesia.”
“Hyper what?”
“Thymesia. In Greek, hyper means ‘excessive,’ and thymesia translates to ‘memory.’ Put ’em together and you get me. True hyperthymesia really relates to near-perfect recall of one’s personal or autobiographical past. I have that, but I also can’t forget anything I see, read, or hear. Perfect recall of, well, everything. I had no idea my brain was that big. But I apparently use more of it than most, but only because I got my ass handed to me on a football field.”
“And synesthesia?”
“I see colors where others don’t. In numbers, in places and objects. My cognitive sensory pathways apparently also got melded from the hit I took.”
------

“But I guess there were a lot of positives. I mean, a perfect memory makes school and work pretty easy.”
He looked back up at the building. “Do you like yourself?”
“What?”
“Do you like the person you are?”
“Well, yes. I mean, I could exercise more and I have yet to find the right guy, but yeah, I like who I am.”
“Well, I liked who I was too. And now that person is gone. Only I didn’t have a choice in the matter.”
Her face fell. “Right. I didn’t really think about that.”
“And it would be nice to be able to forget some things. People do, you know. Want to forget some things.”
“Decker, even someone with a normal mind would never be able to forget something like what happened to your family.”
“But I remember every single detail of it, in the color blue. I will never forget any of it, even exactly how I felt when I found the bodies. Not until the day I die. For me time does not heal, because my mind no longer allows for the passage of time to dull my memories. They are as vivid today as the day it happened. It’s like a picture that never, ever fades. Some people can’t go back? I really can’t go forward.”
“I’m sorry.”
He turned to look down at her. “I can’t process sympathy anymore,” he said. “I used to. But not anymore.”
------

Lancaster eyed with disdain the stripper, who was in the process of shedding her skintight Catwoman costume.
“Amazes me what gets young men excited.”
“It’s the same thing that’s always gotten them excited,” said Decker absently. “Pretty women in the process of taking off their clothes.”


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Mr. Monk Gets Even (Mr. Monk, #15)Mr. Monk Gets Even by Lee Goldberg
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is a funny book. I liked the monk the TV series and book is equally good.

Monk is a obsessive compulsive detective who goes into depression when is wife is killed by a car bomb. He is thrown out of police force as he was unable to function after that. But as he is brilliant homicide detective, he is appointed consultant to SFPD.

In this book Natalie, daughter Julie is acting as Monk assistant, as a temporary measure.

l doubt a person so fat as Dale the Whale exists. If it all he exists it is very unlikely surgery can help him. He has a girl friend also who is ready to kill herself for his sake????

Monk is portrayed as Sherlock but he works backwards. He first choose the culprit and then finds clues to implicate him. SO he is no Sherlock after all.

The book is an easy read. The mystery is very ordinary both in murders and in case of Dale the Whale. However the fun is in the light tone and humorous way of treatment. Monk is very irritating and gets on nerves of everyone, me included ;).

Some Excerpts from the book.

A touch of Sherlock Holmes:

“How can you possibly expect to be an effective investigator if you don’t keep up on modern technology?”


“Murder is as old as man. Look no further than Sun Tzu. It is also disorder. All I’ve got to do is look for the things that don’t belong, are out of place, unbalanced, uneven, or missing, and if I try to restore the order, and clean up the mess, the truth will reveal itself.”
-----------

That’s because he wasn’t the kind of detective who detected, at least not in the traditional sense of doing research, interviewing scores of people, and going through the forensics.


He was the kind who made his discoveries through the observation of people, places, and things, noticing what wasn’t quite right in what he saw, or what they said, or what they did, and putting it into order.

So he’d take whatever facts Devlin came up with and use them to interpret whatever he’d observed and, from that, make his brilliant deductions, seemingly from out of nowhere.


And it really pissed off Devlin, because she knew better than anyone that his startling “out of nowhere” deductions were often based on facts that she’d worked very hard to dig up, even if the conclusions that she’d reached from them were wrong.


But regardless, it was his deductions that got all the attention and that moved the investigations forward. Her work was usually forgotten or simply ignored. She rarely got any credit for any of the work she did that helped Monk make his stunning deductions.


I could understand her frustration and anger. But what she didn’t understand was that it wasn’t personal or intentional. Monk didn’t care about getting credit or attention. For him, it was all about restoring balance, cleaning up a mess, and making things right. It never occurred to him to thank or acknowledge anyone for their contribution to his process. The way he saw it, we were all fulfilling our obligation to maintain the natural balance of things. It would be like thanking someone for breathing.


That’s just my theory, of course.
-------

“That’s why you shouldn’t put anything on your skin that can’t be immediately washed off,” Monk said. “Because if you make a mistake, you have to live with it.”


“I’m not defending tattoos, but the truth is, we have to live with most of our mistakes anyway,” Ellen said. “It’s better to own them than pretend they can be undone.”
-------

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