Photo by British Library on Unsplash This is my book review of the book ‘Ancient History’ by Sophie Penhaligon. Thanks to NetGalley for the Advanced Review Copy! The link to the NetGalley page for this book is here. #AncientHistory #NetGalley Lovely book — felt like a blend of the movie ‘National Book of Treasures’ meets Netflix series ‘Emily in Paris’ with bits of '50 Shades of Grey' thrown in for good measure! The story was quite interesting, and fast-paced without going too deep into Egyptian history or technical archaeology. Almost like a Mission Impossible or James Bond movie — exotic backgrounds and locales but nothing overwhelming! The only reason I gave it 4-stars is that I felt the book derailed a bit and went too deep into the romance part. I was not expecting that — my fault perhaps! I was slightly disappointed that the hero did most of the action in the last part. Still, I will give credit to the author for attempting a new genre. This book combines chick-lit, cozy mysteries, and romance genres. Readers from all these genres will like this book! A perfect companion for a beach stay or vacation!
Title – End Game
Author – David Baldacci
REVIEW SCORE – 4.5/5
What’s to love about the book?
A thrilling, plot twister that will keep you guessing till the end. This is a book in the Will Robie Series, although I personally have never read the other books in the series. However, I am a big Baldacci fan, and his book “The Winner” and “Absolute Power” were my favorites for years in high school! This book reminded me why I was such a die-hard fan! It’s amazing how Baldacci can keep churning out plot after plot, without losing his touch to keep readers engaged and on the edge of their seats.
There are a lot of seemingly side stories, but the author doesn’t let us lose focus of the main story. The middle dragged a bit, but the end ties all the threads together, so the narrative is truly brilliant. You don’t see a lot of stories where the main characters are both assassins and detectives – sort of Jack Reacher meets Sherlock Holmes, so I loved it!
There is a lot of action and violence in the book, but of course the good guys win against all odds, due their brilliant mercenary skills. It also showed a lot of “grey” decisions that law enforcement officials often need to make – some decisions are unethical but necessary for the greater good, and some which seem correct at the time, feel foolish with hindsight. The Doomsday argument conversations felt a bit forced, but it did present some interesting perspectives that I wouldn’t have thought about, not being the uber-rich! 🙂
As always, the action scenes are amazing, I could almost imagine the explosions and raining bullets as if it were a movie. And in all fairness, it would probably make an amazing movie plot like Fast and Furious or Jack Ryan type series.
Finally, big shout out to “BJs”, my local big box retailer which recently started selling bestselling authors at unbelievably low prices. Beats Amazon, Walmart and every other retailer, especially since my book is a mint condition hardcover copy! My bookworm soul and frugal-Indian brain are both ecstatic!
Who should try this book?
If you’ve never heard or tried Baldacci books, then you will love it if you like action or thriller books. Alternatively, folks who love the movies and authors below, will find it entertaining as well.
Similar authors – Daniel Silva, Robert Ludlum, James Patterson and Tom Clancy.
Movies & TV shows – Jack Ryan, Mission Impossible, Rambo, Fast and Furious.
Goal 2020 = Read 100 books, as part of “Clear the Shelves” Challenge.
I’ve been a GoodReads user for years now (who isn’t? ) but never really completed a reading challenge even though I read a ton of books, based on my WSJ subscription or what catches my fancy at the library or even random Google recommendations to use up my e-book credits. However, with the dawn of a new decade (Hurrah 2020), I decided to login and just check the reading challenges posted for this year. And boy, they are amazing!
GoodReads currently has reading challenges in various themes and genres. Don’t like picking any single one? Use the “Bingo” challenge to cover multiple genres. I chose the “Clear the Shelves” Reading challenge, because I realized I have a sea of books at home, on my Kindle/ BookShout/ GooglePlayBooks and other apps. I’ve started many, and some I read so long ago that I can’t recollect anything.
So the Clear the Shelves challenge seemed perfect. NO buying new books, ebooks or audible titles until I’ve cleared this list. Was not very consistent in adding my “read” shelves either, so planning to post reviews on Goodreads an Amazon. After all, as an author myself, I understand the potent power of reviews, so it makes good karma that I return the favor.
To further add accountability, I am adding the list publicly on this blog, too:
Physical books = 50
- eBooks = 40
- Audible = 10
- Total = 100
Obviously, at some point in the future I will cave in and get other books or read books by other indie authors I like, but having this “to-do” list seems like a good way of making sure I tackle this long overdue task.
Physical Books I own:
- The Star Attraction. Allison Sweeney. Romance.
- The Inseparables. Stuart Nadler. Drama.
- Evening is the Whole Day. Preeta Samarasan. Chicklit.
- The Woman who stole my Life. Marian Keyes. Chicklit.
- The Black Widow. Daniel Silva. Thriller.
- The New Abs Diet. David Zinczenko. Health & Living.
- Designing Data-Intensive Applications. Martin Kleppmann. Technical.
- Introduction to Psychology: Gateways to Mind and Behavior. Dennis Coon & John Mitterer. Psychology.
- OH, MIND RELAX PLEASE. Swami Sukhabodhananda. Non-fiction business.
- Spark of Light. Jodi Picoult. Drama.
- House of Spies. Daniel Silva. Thriller.
- Neither Here nor There: Travels in Europe. Bill Bryson. Travel.
- HBR’s 10 Must Reads on Women and Leadership. Harvard Business Review.
- The 30-Day Money Cleanse. Ashley Gertsley. Non-fiction business.
- Smart Women Love Money. Alice Finn. Non-fiction business.
- All Things are Working for Your Good. Joel Osteen. Non-fiction business.
- Secrets of Six-Figure Women. Barbara Stanny. Non-fiction business.
- You’ve Got 8 Seconds. Paul Hellman. Non-fiction business.
- You Woke up Worthy. Britny West. Health & Living.
- 12 Rules for Life. Jordan Peterson. Non-fiction business.
- Capitalism. Ayn Rand. Non-fiction business.
- The Success Priniciples. Jack Canfield. Non-fiction business.
- You are a Badass. Jen Sincero. Non-fiction business.
- The Big Book of Juices. Natalie Savona. Health & Living.
- The Accidental Creative. Todd Henry. Non-fiction business.
- Rule #1: The Simple Strategy for Successful Investing in Only 15 Minutes a Week! Phile Town. Non-fiction business.
- Connect: The Secret LinkedIn Playbook. Josh Turner. Non-fiction business.
- The Happiness Hypothesis. Jonathan Haidt. Psychology.
- Inviting Disaster: Lessons From the Edge of Technology. James Chiles. Non-fiction business.
- Invested. Danielle & Phil Town. Non-fiction business.
- The Pledge: Your Master Plan for an Abundant Life. Michael Masterson. Non-fiction business.
- The Truth About Managing People. Stephen Robbins. Non-fiction business.
- Foods that Harm Foods that Heal. Joe Schwarcz & Fran Berkoff. Health & Living.
- Zero Belly Smoothies. David Zinczenko. Health & Living.
- 10-Day Green Smoothie Cleanse. JJ Smith. Health & Living.
- The Beauty Detox Solution. Kimberly Snyder. Health & Living.
- You Can Heal Your Life. (Gift Edition) Louise Hay. Health & Living.
- Earn It. Mika Brzezinski. Non-fiction business.
- Why Not Me? Mindy Kaling. Non-fiction business.
- Kiss Your But Goodbye. Joseph Azelby. Non-fiction business.
- End Game. David Baldacci. Thriller.
- How to Talk to Anyone. Leila Lowndes. Non-fiction business.
- The Greatness Guide Book 2. Robin Sharma. Non-fiction business.
- Corporate Finance: The Core. Jonathan Berk & Peter DeMarzo. Technical.
- Big Data. Bernard Marr. Technical.
- The Capture of the Earl of Glencrae. Stephanie Laurens. Romance.
- The Marriage Clock: A Novel. Zara Raheem. ChickLit.
- Everyone Worth Knowing. Lauren Weisberger. Drama.
- When Life gives You Lululemons. Lauren Weisberger. Drama.
- Presence. Amy Cuddy. Psychology.
- Nice Girls Still Don’t Get the Corner Office. Lois Frankel.
- Obsessed or be Average. Grant Cardone.
- Ultralearning. Scott Young. Non-fiction business.
- Range. Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World. David Epstein. Non-fiction business.
- Never Split the Difference. Chris Voss. Psychology.
- The Phoenix Project. Gene Kim, Kevin Behr & George Spafford. Non-fiction business.
- The Like Switch. Jack Schafer & Marvin Karlins. Psychology.
- The Millionaire Fastlane. MJ DeMarco. Non-fiction business.
- Creating Personal Presence. Diana Booher. Non-fiction business.
- The Science of Social Intelligence. Patrick King. Psychology.
eBooks from Various Apps & Subscriptions:
- Make Money from Non-fiction books. John Tighe. Non-fiction business.
- Unlocking Potential. Michael Simpson. Non-fiction business.
- Head over Heels. Lila Monroe. Romance.
- Montana Mistletoe. Kim Law. Romance.
- Influencer. Brittany Hennessy. Non-fiction business.
- The Profitable Content System. Meera kothand. Non-fiction business.
- The Telomere effect. Elizabeth Blackburn & Elissa Epel. Health & Living.
- Creativity Inc. Ed Catmull & Amy Wallace. Non-fiction.
- Manipulation Secrets. Patrick Lightman. Psychology.
- The 1-page Marketing Plan. Allan Dib. Non-fiction business.
- The Happy Mind. Kevin Horsley & Louis Fourie. Psychology.
- Instabrain. Sarah Weise. Non-fiction business.
- Discipline Decoded. Stephen Taylor. Psychology.
- Supportive Accountability. Sylvia Melena. Non-fiction business.
- But I am Not an Expert. Meera Kothand. Non-fiction business.
- People First. Mike Nutley. Non-fiction business.
- Don’t Lie to Me. Willow Rose. Mystery.
- LinkedIn Riches. John Nemo. Non-fiction business.
- Influencer Fast Track. Gundi Gabrielle. Non-fiction business.
- Kindle Bestseller Publishing. Gundi Gabrille. Non-fiction business.
- Data Jujitsu. DJ Patil. Technical.
- The Science of Human Nature. William Pyle. Psychology.
- The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin. Benjamin Franklin. Memoir.
- To Dare A Duke. Emma Leech. Romance.
- Essentialism. Greg McKeown. Non-fiction business.
- It Doesn’t Have to be Crazy at Work. Jason Fried & David Hansson. Non-fiction business.
- Getting Things Done. David Allen. Non-fiction business.
- The Internet of Money. Andreas Antonopoulos. Non-fiction business.
- Personal Kanban: Mapping Work | Navigating Life. Tonianne DeMaria Barry.
- What you do is Who you are. Ben Horowitz. Non-fiction business.
- Cold Storage. David Koepp. Thriller.
- The Education of an Idealist. Samantha Power. Memoir.
- Squeezed. Alissa Quant. Non-fiction business.
- An Elegant Defense. Matt Richtel. Non-fiction business.
- Sapiens. Yuval Noah Harari. Non-fiction business.
- Chaos Monkeys. Antonio Martinez. Non-fiction business.
- Kissinger the Negotiator. James Sebenius. Memoir.
- Just Sit. Sukey & Elizabeth Novogratz. Health & Living.
- Remix. Lindsey Pollak. Non-fiction business.
- Iris Apfel: Accidental icon. Iris Apfel. Memoir.
This fabulous book by Rosie Nixon was one of the new acquisitions at my local library and I am so glad I picked it up! Review details below:
SCORE: 4* out of 5
A hilarious yet insightful look into the world of high-fashion and celerbrity PR (public relations) in a gripping story plot. The author uses her own experiences to portray the realities of meteoric Instagram fortunes, eccentric celebrities, and insane jealousies in high-profile industries. Everyone will relate to the scenes where the heroine’s friendships and values are tested over money, love and career. I loved the twist at the end, even if the villain was a tad bit obvious.
This book is a second in a series, but do not fret if you have not read the first book. (Neither have I, but the story is standalone).
Overall, an entertaining read, great for traveling or gifting!
If you like any of the below, you will apreciate reading this author too:
- Genres – Drama, contemporary romance, Chick Lit
- Movies – The Intern, Devil wears Prada, Legally Blonde
- TV Series – Modern Family, Friends
- Books – Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan, Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella, Right Fit Wrong Shoe by Varsha Dixit, Sweet & Bitter by Stephanie Danler