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The Girl on the Stairs: My Search For A Missing Witness To The Assassination Of John F. Kennedy
The Girl on the Stairs: My Search For A Missing Witness To The Assassination Of John F. Kennedy
by Barry Ernest
Edition: Paperback
19 used & new from $39.05

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting book, June 26, 2012
The book is basically two stories, the first being the author's history as a researcher in the case of the assassination of JFK. On this level it is an insightful, informative and entertaining read. The second, the story that gives the book it's title, is the search for Victoria Adams. Adams is the girl whose descent down the stairs of the Book Depository in the aftermath of the assassination has been the source of controversy and, for the author, a particular obsession within a case chock full of things to be obsessed about (Joe M Smith's encounter with a "Secret Service" agent behind the picket fence after the shooting is my own personal white whale in this case). The book's second story has it's moments, but it is by far the lesser of the two. I won't give away what happens, but suffice it to say it is not particularly illuminating. Plus, as someone who has a real interest in the case, and who was glad to read a story about a researcher who is far more interested in research than in merely using the assassination as a platform to pontificate on their personal and political belief systems, I was rather disappointed that he took no time to ponder about the logical implication of Adams' story. Adams says she did not encounter Oswald on the stairs. I certainly believe her. You either did or didn't see someone. She says she didn't, she has always said she didn't, that is good enough for me. The real controversy is the timing, she maintains that she went down immediately. Though she does admit that she of course was not looking at her watch or keeping any sort of time about her descent. Naturally, who would in the heat of that moment? This has allowed Warren Commission believers to suggest she is simply mistaken about WHEN she went down. But lets say she isn't mistaken. Let's say she went down right afterward and didn't see or hear Oswald, as she absolutely should have if he was escaping from the 6th floor. If this is true than clearly Oswald is not the assassin. The problem I have is she did not see or hear ANYONE during her descent. How can this be? One thing LN's and CT's can agree on about this case is that there was a shooter on the 6th floor. Forget whether you think there was one at the Knoll, in the Dal-Tex, in the sewers, or even in the limo, everyone agrees that there was someone (or in some cases, several someones) in the snipers nest. How did Adams not hear these other, non-Oswald, assassins make their escape. Like Oswald, they only had the stairs to go down, yet Adams did not hear anyone? For all of Ernest's attempts at honest research, and he is an honest researcher, it is amazing he does not ponder this obvious question.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 30, 2012 7:20 AM PDT


Me & Lee: How I Came to Know, Love and Lose Lee Harvey Oswald
Me & Lee: How I Came to Know, Love and Lose Lee Harvey Oswald
by Judyth Vary Baker
Edition: Paperback
Price: $16.47
80 used & new from $11.00

43 of 81 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Nonsense, April 18, 2012
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Whatever one thinks of Judyth Vary Baker and her tale of science, intrigue and forbidden romance in the Big Easy, she has been at the center of much of the discussion revolving around conspiracy in the JFK assassination in recent years. But her book would be best filed under the genre "historical fiction". Far more akin to Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter than The Kennedy Detail (a fine memoir from someone who was actually involved in these events). To believe Baker's ridiculous tale would require more than suspension of disbelief. It would require permanent brain damage.

But this might have proved worthwhile if it were at least an entertaining read, but mostly it comes off like the diary of a woman who thinks she is far more interesting than she is. One who imbues, EVERY LITTLE THING with importance and with suspicion. To believe Judyth is to believe that every person she encountered in her life was on some level involved with the assassination, or at least approved of it.

Mostly this reads like someone who regrets giving up her own dreams for a husband and kids. Which I imagine is the dull truth of her life. She took two true facts of her life, 1) that she was a promising science student in high school, and 2) that she happened to work with Lee Harvey Oswald at the Reilly Coffee Company in the summer of 1963, and just went from there. No holds barred, no detail too ridiculous.

As history this is lying garbage. As fiction it is mostly too dumb for words.
Comment Comments (52) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 17, 2015 4:35 AM PST


Love You To Death (Red Dress Ink Novels)
Love You To Death (Red Dress Ink Novels)
by Melissa Senate
Edition: Paperback
81 used & new from $0.01

0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Swing and a miss, October 5, 2010
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Love You to Death is a rare miss for the talented Melissa Senate. The problem is that mystery is simply not her forte. And unfortunately, her attempts to craft a mystery also weaken what is usually Senate's witty and intelligent writing style.


The Machine: A Hot Team, a Legendary Season, and a Heart-stopping World Series: The Story of the 1975 Cincinnati Reds
The Machine: A Hot Team, a Legendary Season, and a Heart-stopping World Series: The Story of the 1975 Cincinnati Reds
by Joe Posnanski
Edition: Paperback
Price: $10.36
82 used & new from $0.35

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book, October 5, 2010
The Machine is an incredible book, especially when one considers that the subject matter, the 1975 Cincinatti Reds and the 1975 World Series, are not exactly subjects lacking in exposure. The Machine makes its mark by putting the focus not just on the stars of the Big Red Machine (Rose, Bench, Perez, Morgan) but by also giving the lesser known Reds of that era their moment in the spotlight as well. Of particular interest is the focus on just how big a divide there was between manager Sparky Anderson and his pitchers, whom he showed very little interest in, and gave them even less respect. For anyone like me, who grew up idolizing The Big Red Machine, or for those just learning about this classic team, The Machine is a great source of information and a wonderful read.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 18, 2011 12:03 PM PDT


Baseball's Hall of Fame-or Hall of Shame?
Baseball's Hall of Fame-or Hall of Shame?
by Robert W. Cohen
Edition: Paperback
Price: $14.30
38 used & new from $2.47

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, August 6, 2009
While informative, "Baseball's Hall of Fame or Hall of Shame?" is rather disappointing when it comes to it's main selling point, which is discerning which Hall of Famers do or do not deserve induction into Cooperstown.

Frankly, the authors list of players he feels are not deserving is filled with all the usual suspects, old timers who got in for one dubious reason or another. The only "recent" player he feels does not deserve induction is Bill Mazeroski. Choosing Maz as an undeserving player is not exactly going out on a limb. Maz is the poster boy for what many feel is wrong with the selection process for the Hall of Fame.

As a reader, the only argument the author made that got my blood boiling was his belief that Jim Thome is a borderline candidate, at best. On this the author could not be more wrong, in my opinion. I was hoping for more of that type of blood boiling rhetoric, but it was not to be.

I cannot dismiss this book completely as it is a very interesting and informative look at the men who comprise the Hall of Fame. But as an argument starter, it leaves much to be desired.


See Jane Date (Red Dress Ink)
See Jane Date (Red Dress Ink)
by Melissa Senate
Edition: Paperback
195 used & new from $0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic of the genre, July 23, 2009
See Jane Date is, to me, the unheralded classic of the chick-lit genre that should hold a place alongside Bridget Jones Diary and Sex in the City as a standard of what this genre can accomplish.

Granted there are some cliches (a heroine named Jane working in the publishing industry was contrived even back in 2001), but it is Melissa Senate's creative and engrossing style and her ability to create characters of interest, no matter how small or tangenital to the plot, that grabs the readers attention.

Senate has since written many good books (The Solomon Sisters Wise Up among the better ones) but it is See Jane Date that remains her masterpiece in the Chick-Lit genre.


Sleeping Over
Sleeping Over
by Stacey Ballis
Edition: Paperback
64 used & new from $0.01

1.0 out of 5 stars The cover is the best thing about this book, July 23, 2009
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This review is from: Sleeping Over (Paperback)
There is not much to recommend here. Sleeping Over is one of the more dull reads in the chick-lit universe. Bad enough that the main characters are not very interesting, but there are five of them and quite frankly they are interchangeable. Despite the fact that each chapter is devoted to one of the 5 main characters, it is hard to tell these women apart beyond the names they have been given. And the main conceit of the book, that all of these women have a man in their life for whom sleeping together is not a euphemism but rather a literal fact, strains credibility. truth is, the cover photo is the most interesting book as there is more action in that one picture than in the entirety of the book.


20 Times a Lady: A Novel
20 Times a Lady: A Novel
by Karyn Bosnak
Edition: Paperback
Price: $12.87
130 used & new from $0.01

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Standard fare, July 23, 2009
I enjoyed Karyn Bosnak's "Save Karyn" and was interested in seeing how she would fare with her first piece of fiction, "20 times a lady". I wasn't expecting a lot and not a lot is exactly what Ms Bosnak delivered. "20 Times a Lady" isn't horrible but it lacks anything that would lead me to recommend it. I think much of the problem is that the book just seems to be the umpteenth variation on the classic chick-lit plot. Start with a 30'ish heroine (check), give her a comical (though not particularly funny or interesting)personal life (check), add a contrived plot twist (check) and then fill in the rest. This is chick-lit by numbers if ever there was such a thing. What generally elevates a routine story in the chick-lit genre is usually a good writing style and the creation of characters we can enjoy. In terms of style, what was endearing in Bosnak's first book, a memoir, turns annoying when used for fiction. And the character of Delilah Darling (cutesy name, check) is just simply one that I can't imagine anyone getting behind. At no point was there anything about Delilah that made me want to see her succeed in her quest. At no point did I believe that Delilah was truly looking for love for any reason other than the fact that she had slept with twice as many men as a magazine said was the average.
I can see the counter-argument that this book is intended to be nothing more than cotton candy for the brain, but frankly it doesn't even work on that level. There are entries in this genre that are far wittier, more inventive and just flat out more enjoyable than "20 Times a Lady".


Singletini: A Novel
Singletini: A Novel
by Amanda Trimble
Edition: Paperback
Price: $12.68
114 used & new from $0.01

4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A great read, September 7, 2006
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This review is from: Singletini: A Novel (Paperback)
Singletini, at a glance, seems like typical chick-lit. And for the most part it is. But what seperates the good from the bad is an interesting writing style. Amanda Trimble most definately has an interesting and engrossing writing style. Her wit and humor and ability to set a scene make Singletini an excellent read.

There are certainly some things to be critical about here. Like a lot of chick-lit lately, there seems to be a few too many interchangeable supporting characters who are given nothing to do. A few of the situations are a little too comical and cliched. And the ending seems a little familiar (somebody must have watched "My Best Friends Wedding" as they wrote the ending)

But overall this was a great book and I look forward to Amanda Trimbles next book.


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