Sex on the Moon

From  Rita Gross
Author:  Ben Mezrich
Sex on the Moon
This is the story of the theft of moon rocks from the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center laboratories, by an intern in the NASA Coop program.  Thad Roberts served 100 months in prison for the crime.  His capture and arrest was the result of a FBI sting operation.  The government was on to him from the beginning and we watch as he and his accomplices walk into the trap.  Mezrich is also the author of The Accidental Billionaires and Bringing Down the House.

Eyes Right: confessions from a woman Marine

Eyes Right: confessions from a woman Marine
Eyes Right : confessions from a woman Marine traces the life path of a woman determined to prove something, both to herself and to the world at large. She came from a broken family and was determined not to end up in her father’s alcoholic footsteps. She went to the recruiting offices for all branches of service and there was a wait, but she was determined to get going on her path. The author showed brutal honesty in exposing her faults and shortcomings.  I give her credit for her pursuit of a better life. I did not always agree with her actions and choices but hindsight is always 20/20. Until one walks in another person’s shoes, one cannot say she should have done this or the other thing because looking in unemotionally, it is always easier to see the better choice. Once emotions are involved, choices are not so clear cut. The book was an enjoyable, informative read and I simply could not put it aside until I had turned the last page.

Small Hotel

From Catherine Given
Author:  Robert Olen  Butler
Small Hotel
It’s amazing what the element of suspense adds to most any plot. I picked up A Small Hotel by Robert Olen Butler expecting to read the sad tale of a couple’s separation after 20 years. Instead, because the book juxtaposes flashbacks of the couple’s first meeting with a dangerous present-day situation spinning out of control, I couldn’t put it down. Butler is highly adept at capturing both male and female voices delivering a strong dose of emotional truth. The setting further heightens the novel’s impact, highlighting the contrast between the hushed luxury of a landmark New Orleans hotel, and the messy, stressful challenges of an American marriage.

Accidents of providence

From  Rosemarie Jerome
Author:  Stacia M Brown
Accidents of providence
Rachel Lockyer is on trial for murdering her illegitimate infant.  In 1649 England, if convicted the sentence is death.  The investigator, Thomas Bartwain, who charged her with murder, is questioning the legal process. Rachel is not speaking in her own defense. The young prosecutor wants to make an example of her in this very public trial.  This is a story of forbidden love, guilt and innocence, and the peculiarities and brutality of the 17th century legal system.

Leningrad : the epic siege of World War II, 1941-1944

From  Eileen  Effrat
Author:  Anna Reid
Leningrad : the epic siege of World War II, 1941-1944 
Thirty years ago I read Harrison Salisbury’s 900 Days, about the siege of Leningrad during World War II.  Since that monumental publication, the   archives of Russia, Germany, and Great Britain have opened to reveal more details.  Diaries, interviews and memoirs of those who experienced the siege first-hand have now come to light.   Using these new sources, Reid strips away decades of Soviet propaganda.  Her work is a testament to Soviet incompetence, corruption and stupidity. What is revealed is a bungling bureaucracy, where   the official fears of doing the wrong thing lead to doing NOTHING. What is so vividly portrayed is the regimes total disregard for human life. While the German bombardment wrecked havoc on the city, the Soviet   NKVD continued to imprison and execute thousands for the most trivial reasons.  As the siege raged, Leningrad’s citizen resorted to cannibalism to stay alive.   Yet for all the horrors this book conveys,   Reid reveals stories of individual fortitude, compassion and humanity during one of history’s most horrific sieges.