Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sunday Salon: Reviews & A Link

It’s The Sunday Salon. Time to grab a cup of coffee (or a glass of orange juice), set back and find some new exciting books to read (or listen to).

Today I’m featuring three books to appeal to readers on different levels. I have a thriller, a children’s book, and a book I think of as a ‘feel good’ book. First, let’s go with the thriller.

THE LION by Nelson DeMille
This is a story of terrorism, violence, and revenge - pure and simple. But I also took something else away from this story. I came away remembering how precious life is and how our world can be shattered in a split second.

The story is told by the protagonist John Corey, a former NYPD homicide detective now working as a special agent with the Anti-Terrorist Task Force. John is married to FBI Agent Kate Mayfield, who is also on the task force.

The task force’s current case involves a notorious Libyan terrorist Asad Khalil, also known as “The Lion.” Khalil has unfinished business in the U.S. He’s been on a mission to eliminate all the pilots involved in the 1986 Libyan bombing that killed his family. Having been stopped from this mission three years earlier by John and Kate, they too are now on his list of unfinished business.

This story is filled with humorous laugh out loud moments, as well as moments of sorrow, pain, respect, and an understanding our world as we knew it has changed forever. This story is set in post 9/11 New York City.

Author Nelson DeMille gives the reader insight into what John is really thinking at times right before he answers with a completely different, but appropriate response. It is during one of these exchanges that the story takes a drastic turn and you realize life can be lost in a mere second.

I’ve read reviews that relate that THE LION isn’t up to DeMille’s usual standard of writing. Since this was my first reading of his work, I have nothing to compare it to. However, if this is considered not his best, then his best would have to be mind blowing. Even though you have a sense of how the story will end, DeMille takes you on a roller coaster ride of highs and lows, twists and turns before you reach the climatic end.

THE LION is the fifth John Corey book and a sequel to THE LION’S GAME. This is a stand alone book. References to prior events (including the first encounter between Kahalil, John and Kate) won’t leave the reader in the dark.

This was an audio book and the narration by Scott Brick added to the intrigue of the story for me. I’m looking forward to John Corey’s next assignment.

Nelson DeMille’s website:

The Lion by Nelson DeMille, Read by Scott Brick, Hachette Audio, @2010, ISBN: 978-1-60788-220-6, Unabridged, 14 CDs, Approximately 15.5 hours

FTC Full Disclosure - I requested this audio and it was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.
ALPHABET WOOF! By Sherrie A. Madia
This is a delightful story of Moxy the dog and how his wish to talk came true one day.

The story tells how a magical alphabet soup resulted in Moxy being able to talk and the grand adventure it took him and his human family on.

The story will teach children that wishes, when granted, may not be all you thought they’d be.

The rich and colorful illustrations by Patrick Carlson will capture a child’s attention and imagination. The book is geared toward children ages 4 to 8.

ALPHABET WOOF! is published in both English and Spanish. In addition, a portion of the book’s proceeds benefit’s the SPCA. This entertaining and enlightening book of rhyming verses and vivid drawings would be a nice addition to any child’s collection.

Sherrie A. Madia’s website:

Alphabet Woof! By Sherrie A. Madia, Ph.D., Illustrations by Patrick Carlson, MommyDaughter Productions, @ 2009, ISBN: 978-0-9826185-0-9, Hardcover, 28 pages

FTC Full Disclosure - I requested this book and it was sent to me by the author in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.
GOD AND DOG by Wendy Francisco
Now this is the book that I call a ‘feel good’ book. I can’t pick this book up without smiling and once you open it up to read, you can’t stop smiling.

This book came about after the video was featured on YouTube. It’s a delight and tells a wonderful message.

The video is fun to watch but to hold the book in your hand is good too. This little 48-page book would make a wonderful gift for any dog lover, but it would also be an uplifting book for someone in the hospital or homebound. It will entertain young and old alike.

Wendy Francisco’s website:

God and Dog by Wendy Francisco, Illustrations by Wendy Francisco, Hachette Book Group, @2010, ISBN: 978-1-59995-379-3, Hardcover, 48 pages

FTC Full Disclosure - I requested this book and it was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.

Now for a BONUS giveaway link:
Sunday only, Sept. 19, comment on the following link to win a paperback of the international bestseller, Holy Cow:  An Adventure in India by Sarah Macdonald at
This link will go live at 12:05 a.m. (CDT) and will remain active for only 24 hours. 



  1. The Lion is my favorite of all of DeMille's book. Can't wait to see what he comes up with next.

  2. Mason - Thanks for these reviews :-). I'm really intrigued by The Lion. DeMille's a terrific author, isn't he? I'm glad that this one, and I'm going to definitely try to get it.

  3. Dru, after listening to The Lion I'm a DeMille fan now. It will be interesting to see where he takes John Corey next.

    Margot, I've read blurbs of DeMille's other books after reading this one and I'm definitely going to read some of his other work.

  4. I enjoy Nelson DeMille's work but don't think I've read that particular one. I wish I had someone to share Alphabet Woof! with.

  5. Kathy, Alphabet Woof! is a darling little book. I'm passing it along to a cousin's little boy who is only 2 but I think he'll enjoy the drawings.

  6. They all look great - but I'd love to get Alphabet Woof for school! :)

  7. Not many people know this about me, but I read children's books (all ages) all the time.

    I think God and Dog is pretty brilliant.

    Thanks for the reviews!

    PS My verification word is--reads. Funny!

  8. Jemi, Alphabet Woof! would be a great book for school. You are the best teacher, always thinking about your students. :)

    Teresa, I'm starting to read more and more children's books and loving it. It reminds me how my love of reading began. Neat verification word.

  9. Mmmm. I like humour - but terrorism? No, I don´t think even you can persuade me to try that.

  10. These all sound wonderful...I love a good thriller and also those feel-good books.

    Here's my salon:

    Click my name....

  11. Alphabet Woof! and God And Dog both sound like great books.

  12. Thanks Mason. I'm a DeMille fan. I could read his shopping list and be content. I'll take a look at the other books too. Always in the market for "feel good" reads, regardless of age level.

    Love getting reading ideas from you.

    Have a great day.

  13. Dorte, I would have to encourage you to at least visit DeMille's website and listen to an excerpt of the book. It is a good book.

    Laurel-Rain, thanks for stopping by. Enjoyed your Sunday Salon features.

    Susanne, both of those books are darling. They'll both make you smile.

    Lou, thanks for the kind words. Always glad to pass along any readings I enjoy.

  14. I love Dewey and I'm so happy it is out in paperback.

    I wish that the publishers would give away a copy of the book along with a bonus of a library cat! I would love to have a cat in my library (I already have a cockatiel, turtles, blue-tongued skink and chinchilla).

  15. Readerbuzz, Dewey looks like a wonderful read. Sounds like you have a fun collection for your library.

  16. Guess I need to watch the God and Dog YouTube trailer.

  17. What's crazy is the book preceding 'The Lion,' which basically forsees 9/11 with a similar incident. DeMille is an amazing writer and storyteller.


  18. Alex, it's such a cute and funny trailer. You really should watch it.

    Michele, I agree DeMille is an amazing writer and storyteller. I enjoyed this book because he gave it some much realism through John Corey's thoughts.

  19. All three sound great! I haven't heard of any but I should try the first because it's more my reading style. However, the God/Dog book sounds fun too.


  20. I did not realize DeMille had written a sequel to The Lion's Game. I've read pretty much everything he ever wrote, even though terrorism and violence are not usually topics I want to spend a lot of time with. I guess it's a testament to how good DeMille is that even though it goes against my nature to read these types of books, I can't put his down!

  21. I just came across your blog and like what I see, so I signed on as a follower. Please do the same for me.


I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's post. Thanks for dropping by.