Past Tense by Lee Child

Past Tense

Past Tense: Jack Reacher #23

Jack Reacher left the US Army as a Major (military police) at the age 36. Since then he’s been roaming the country taking odd jobs and investigating suspicious and frequently dangerous situations. No home, no possessions. This is the book where he finally goes home. Not really. It’s his father’s childhood home.. nothing is there.. except more trouble.. more people that need a beating.. by Reacher. And a big mystery that is going on elsewhere that Jack manages to stubble into.
It’s not the best story Child has told, but I like these small town stories better than Child’s ‘save the world’ stories.

400 pages

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Thanks A Lot Mr. Kibblewhite by Roger Daltrey

Thanks A Lot Mr. Kibblewhite

Needless to say I loved reading Thanks A Lot Mr. Kibblewhite. The Who are my favorite Rock artists. I didn’t know what to expect from this book. Roger comes across as a very down-to-earth guy. Maybe the only ‘regular guy’ in The Who. It’s a short book and in some ways the best book about the Who, because Roger deals with personalities and not the music, equipment, or other details in the life of The Who.
Roger also covers his personal life from childhood until now.

253 pages

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This Is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper

This Is Where I Leave You

This Is Where I Leave You

A family of adult children return to their childhood home to sit Shiva for their father and give each other grief.
It’s funny in places, but also depressing.

404 pages

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The Writing of American Military History: A Guide

The Writing of American Military History: A Guide: PAM 20-200

I had this idea to that writing Sports History would be similar to writing Military History. I wanted to see if anyone had had that thought before. No.
I couldn’t find a lot of info on writing Military History, but I did find this booklet published in 1956 by the US Army on

It was dry as toast and more than a little out of date, but it was interesting and I made some notes. (See below)
Some of tips I was already doing for my Bison Hoofbeats blog.

133 pages

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Respect by David Ritz


Respect: The Life of Aretha Franklin

A candid look at a great soul singer and troubled woman.

500 pages

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To Marry An English Lord by Gail MacColl & Carol McD. Wallace

To Marry An English Lord

From Goodreads: “From the Gilded Age until 1914, more than 100 American heiresses invaded Britannia and swapped dollars for titles–just like Cora Crawley, Countess of Grantham, the first of the Downton Abbey characters Julian Fellowes was inspired to create after reading To Marry An English Lord. Filled with vivid personalities, gossipy anecdotes, grand houses, and a wealth of period details–plus photographs, illustrations, quotes, and the finer points of Victorian and Edwardian etiquette–To Marry An English Lord is social history at its liveliest and most accessible.”

The stories of some of these women are fascinating.  There were the three Jerome sisters who all married into the Peerage – Jenny Jerome more famously known as the mother of Winston Churchill.  Even Princess Diana’s great grandmother was one of these American heiresses.

Parts of this book are terrific.  I enjoyed some of the stories of the women, and the explanations about social etiquette of the day.  But huge sections read like a society column – except the names really meant nothing to me.  I’ve seen the excellent film version of Edith Wharton’s Buccaneers – which is based on some of these heiresses.   I’d like to read that novel, and seek out a few others on the same subject.

3 1/2 stars (out of 5)
Published in 1989
403 pages

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Lafayette by Marc Leepson


From Goodreads:  “The Marquis de Lafayette is an icon of American—and French—history. Lafayette’s life story is the stuff of legend. Born into an aristocratic French family of warriors, made lieutenant in the French Royal Guard at age 14, and married into the royal family at 16, he traveled to the colonies at his own expense to fight in the American Revolution. By age 20, he was embraced by George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, who became his life-long friends. Here, historian Marc Leepson delivers an insightful account of the great general, whose love of liberty and passionate devotion to American and French independence shines in the pages of history.”

This little book reads like an adventure novel!  The Marquis de Lafayette led such an amazing life and deserves his place in American history.  I highly recommend this one!

5 stars (out of 5)
Published in 2011
224 pages

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