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Philips Phile Book Pile

The books Jim Philips has read and his reviews.

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    Thirteen Moons Rarely do I read a book for a second time. “13 Moons" is one of the best novels ever. If you don’t enjoy this book there is no hope for you. This, in my opinion, was better than “Cold Mountain". Charles Frazier is a gift for those who relish fine writing.
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    King of Cuba Great book….a fictionalized Fidel Castro and an elderly Cuban exile obsessed with revenge against the dictator. Author: Cristina Garcia..a finalist for the National Book Award.
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    Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls One of the best essayists alive today. Highly recommend….
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    Imperial Dreams Explorer Tom Gallagher is obsessed with locating the possibly extinct Imperial Woodpecker deep inside the Sierra Madre Occidental in central Mexico….a land now now controlled by drug traffickers. Will he find the long sought largest woodpecker in North America? True story…
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    Little Known Facts From the book jacket: “Most of us can imagine the perks of celebrity but this book offers a clear-eyed view of the fallout of fame and fortune on family members". I enjoyed the first three quarters of this novel…then it meandered. The end was weak. Read it and see what you think.
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    The Love Song of Jonny Valentine Megastar Jonny Valentine is an eleven year old icon of bubblegum pop, but he knows deep down that his fans don’t love him for who he really is. Once Jonny’s voice gets into your head you’ll be hooked.
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    The Dangerous Animals Club The Dangerous Animals Club is a collection of thoughts and stories by actor/author Stephen Tobolowsky. You’ve seen his face dozens of Timez in movies and on tv. He’s a wonderful storyteller who can meld personal experiences with thoughts on time and physics which many times lead to rejections on the spiritual. His book is just as interesting as he was when interviewed on the Phile last week. I hope he agrees to a return engagement.
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    Night Moves : It’s not Hemingway or Steinbeck, but count on Randy Wayne White to write a good book while you’re on vacation at the beach.
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    Kill Anything that Moves Just finished…. It seems well researched…many footnotes. The on-line reviews are mixed. It seems to me that not very much good of anything …or for anybody…came out of this war. Just started Randy Wayne White’s book: “Night Moves"…another in his series of Doc Ford stories. His characters are much like those in the Travis Magee detective novels written by the late Florida author John D. McDonald.
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    The Things They Carried A Pulitzer prize finalist…New York Times “book of the century"…mandatory reading at many high schools. This book ranks with “All Quiet On The Western Front" and “Red Badge Of Courage". There is no glory in war, but there is something tangible among those who have engaged in combat. This book is for those of us who have never fought…not just served…but fought for their lives and the lives of their fellow soldiers.
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    A Land Remembered I hereby declare that new transplants to Florida be required to read: “A Land Remembered" by Patrick Smith. “River of Grass" by Marjorie Stoneman Douglas. The Travis Magee crime novels by John D. McDonald. And all the Florida related work by Carl Hiassen. I welcome additional suggestions….. While I’m on a roll…. Mark Holland of TM Ranch turned me on to this novel several years ago. It’s fairly well written in my opinion, but provides a historical perspective on life by those who pioneered Florida in the. 1800’s. All new Floridians should read this along with: all the Travis Magee detective novels by the late John D. McDonald…all the fiction work of Carl Hiassen…River of Grass by Marjorie Stoneman Douglas. Feel free to add to the list……
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    The Incurables I love short stories and this collection by Mark Brazaitis is one of the best I’ve read since Annie Proulx’s work. Each story stands on its own. Don’t count on a standard “ending" to any of these stories. I give a 4 “Grinning Dogs" out of 5.
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    Flight Behavior This is a novel about fluctuations in the environment can have significant impacts in the lives of people. Not too preachy, but I thought it meandered a bit. Butterflies are all the souls of dead children. I give it three “Grinning Dogs" out of 5.
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    Savages Could not put it down! 3 and a half out of 5 “grinning dogs".
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    Trapeze Just finished “trapeze" by Simon Mawer….a novel based on real life British female soldiers who trained as commandos and dropped behind enemy lines in WW2. Started off well..meandered…I lost interest. I give it 2 “grinning dogs".
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    The Master Blaster This book that I just finished gets 4 “grinning dogs" out of 5. P.F. Kluge wrote the best seller “Gone Tomorrow". His work was made into movies: Dog Day Afternoon and Eddie and the Cruisers. Read this before deciding the grass is greener on the other side of the road.