A parrot in the pepper tree

From Jackie Cantwell
author: Stewart, Chris
 A parrot in the pepper tree
This is book two of the Driving over lemons trilogy. Now Chris and Ana are
the parents of a daughter named Chloe. Getting her to school every day is
an adventure in itself as they try different forms of transportation to
cross the river.  We follow the budding romance between Domingo, his
multi-talented neighbor, and a Dutch sculptress.  The author takes time to
smell the roses; sometimes he ditches his farm chores and goes on day-long
hikes. Picture the scene as he and Ana take a 6-hour, 5000 foot climb to
see a field of blue gentian flowers under a deep blue sky.  I enjoyed the
chapters where he reminisces about his past. We find out exactly how he
came to be a member of the band Genesis and how later he became a drummer for Sir Robert Fossett’s circus in Britain.  Read with astonishment as Chris drives over a frozen sea in Sweden to shear sheep on remote farms. Chris tries to learn flamenco guitar in Seville as a young man and is
still a novice when he goes to guitar school in Granada some twenty-plus
years later.  We fear for Chris’s safety when he interferes with a
friend’s domestic dispute, and the husband vows to come after him.  You’ll
laugh as Chris falls for the sales pitch of an “ecological engineer” who
builds him a swimming pool that is supposedly in harmony with nature.
Chris learns to love Ana’s green parrot, who steals all the cutlery and
attacks anyone who tries to use the bathroom.  For an update on where
everyone is now, read the interview with Chris at the end.  If you want to
read the third installment, The Almond Blossom Appreciation Society,
you’ll have to buy it from the UK, as it is not published in the U.S.

Imperial Cruise

From Chris Garland
author: Bradley, James
Imperial Cruise 
In 1905, to further the economic and strategic interests of the United
States, President Theodore Roosevelt green lit Japanese expansion in Asia
without Constitutional or Congressional oversight. In “The Imperial
Cruise”, the author asserts that this policy lit the fuse for the
Asia/Pacific wars that followed later in the 20th century.  The book also
examines the role of Anglo-Saxon views on race and territorial expansion
and how those ideas impacted Theodore Roosevelt’s foreign policy.

The Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet

From Rita Gross
author: Mitchell, David
The Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet 
Jacob De Zoet, to prove himself worthy of his wealthy fiancé, travels to Japan to make his fortune.  In the final years of the 18th century Japanese trade is closed to all but the Dutch East India Company.  To complicate matters, Jacob falls in love with the daughter of a Samurai, and the British want to open Japan for trade.  Wonderful writing and rich historic detail make this a very satisfying read.

The Dead Travel Fast

Ftrom Rosemarie Jerome
author: Raybourn, Deanna
The Dead Travel Fast
Theodora Lestrange wants to be a writer.  When her childhood friend, Cosmina, invites her to Transylvania she sees it as an opportunity to explore the world beyond Scotland.  Cosmina told her stories of vampires, werewolves, strange rituals and exotic landscapes, this would be the perfect place for inspiration.  She soon realizes that legend and truth are entwined and murder and secrets abound.  Who do you trust when everyone has a motive to kill?  Is falling in love with a monster?  Can she escape?  Does she want to?  This gothic suspense will keep you guessing till the end and beyond.

Best iPhone apps : the guide for discriminating downloaders

From Charlene Muhr
author: Clark, Josh
Best iPhone apps : the guide for discriminating downloaders
Recently, I purchased the newest model of the iphone.  Over the past few weeks I have slowly become familiar with this marvelous phone and it has become apparent that I needed to learn more about apps.  Josh Clark provides just this information in BEST Iphones Apps – The Guide for Discriminating Downloaders.  The book is divided into seven categories:  At Work, On the Town, At Leisure, At Play, At Home, On the Road, and For Your Health.  The Best App is given a page of description, with some instructions, and highlighted with a photo of the app screen.  In some app categories there will be an honorable mention with a brief description and sometimes a photo of the app screen.  I was amazed to find that so many of the best apps were free or relatively inexpensive.  This is an excellent book for iphone users.