Title: Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland
Author: Patrick Radden Keefe
Page Count: 445
Publishing Date/Publisher: 2019/Doubleday
Review: This was beautifully written and researched. Not being from Ireland, I’ve never had a full understanding of the Troubles and what happened during that time between the Catholics and the Protestants (or Republicans and Loyalists). It dives deep into the history of the IRA and their crimes and motives. It gives a human side to it, detailing the lives of the people involved and their trials, convictions, time in prison, all of that. It talks about how Gerry Adams went from the head of the IRA to the head of a political party and his time as a political prisoner.
It was a very fascinating book, and I recommend it to anyone interested in this part of Irish history.
Title: Famous Assassinations
Author: Sarah Herman
Page Count: N/A
Publishing Date/Publisher: Nov. 9th, 2018
Review: There have been a great number of assassinations in human history, and Sarah Herman describes a good deal of them. She separated them by time period and job type (royalty, president, dictator, etc.), taking us from the Roman Empire to Bin Laden.
Each main assassination is broken down into victim, assassination, assassin, and aftermath (or some amalgamation of the sort), making it a relatively quick read, as well as being very organised.
Herman writes very academically, while still being easily read by the public, which is a rare skill. I highly recommend this to anyone at all curious about the history of assassinations.
Title: The Godfather
Author: Mario Puzo
Page Count: 448
Series: Mario Puzo’s Mafia, Book 1
Publishing Date/Publisher: March 1, 2002 by NAL (first published March 10, 1969)
Review: The Godfather is my best friend’s favorite movie, and she was adamant that we should read the book together. I must preface this review by stating that this is not my usual type of read, but from time to time I like to try something new, and a classic seemed like just the ticket.
After reading this book, I understand why it is so revered. Puzo is an excellent writer, and the world of violence, loyalty, and cunning he describes is positively fascinating. I found myself thoroughly engrossed while reading on my lunch breaks, and was always eager to find out what was going to happen next.
There is a lot of bloodshed in this book, yet at the heart of it, it is a tale of family, morality, and strength of character. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that this book glamorized crime, but it certainly put organized crime in a new light for me. What I found most intriguing about the character of the Godfather was that he was so well esteemed because of his reasonableness and respectfulness. He was exceptionally generous, and expected generosity in return, but he never asked for more than people could give. I found myself liking him immensely and I thought the author did an excellent job of crafting his character.
I highly recommend this book. As I said before, I do not usually read books in this genre, yet I cannot say enough good things about it! The edition I read had a foreword written by the author’s son, and I really enjoy the fact that the character of the Godfather is actually based off of Puzo’s mother. I would have loved to meet her, as she sounds like she was a true tour de force of a woman.
Title: Blood Brothers
Author: Nick Pope
Page Count: Unavailable
Publishing Date/Publisher: November 2018, Thistle Publishing
Review: This is an excellent book and reads like a TV miniseries. The quick jumps, the suspense, the action- it could easily be turned into a BBC show. The quick jumps between scenes might be annoying to some, I understand that, but the big problem I have when reading is that they focus too long on one particular thing. I blame the ADHD but at this point, it could just be my personality. Anyway, I liked that; it kept the energy up and didn’t let the plot lag any.
The plot was engaging, the characters were relatable (on the good guy’s side, obviously). Being the only main female character, I latched onto Jenny fairly quickly. She’s a strong character who knows her limits and can hold her own in a group full of Alpha men. But I felt connected to the male characters anyway. I understood Quill’s methods and motives and found him to be an enjoyable character with a good arc in terms of his development over the course of the book.
I would recommend this book for anyone who wants a fast-paced, action packed read.