Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Jesus, My Father, the CIA and Me by Ian Cron

Jesus, My Father, the CIA and Me by Ian Cron is easily the best book I've read all year, and would probably fall in the top ten books I've ever read, if I could ever sit down and make such a list. This was the first memoir I've read; I had an obviously wrong preconceived idea that memoirs were dry and whiny accounts of people who thought they'd had a unique life. I wouldn't have even picked this up if it weren't for the title. I simply couldn't resist finding out what was inside the pages of a book with such an intriguing title.

What I found was nothing short of the literary equivalent of an exquisite Pavlova - it's light but surprisingly filling, and absolutely delicious. (Thanks to my friend Kristen for the comparison!) It was a feast of imagery, humor, and poignant moments that caught me by surprise. Cron's use of language is nothing short of masterful. As he recounts growing up the youngest son of an alcoholic father who worked off and on for the CIA (a fact Cron didn't know until much later) I felt as though I was there with him experiencing each moment he recounts.

There were moments I was struck with sadness; moments when I laughed out loud so hard I startled the dog; moments when I felt the presence of Christ. I felt a strong sense of connection with this man whose life has been nothing like mine, save for the fact that we are both seekers of the One who saved us.

I recommend this book to anyone and everyone. Usually, books are enjoyed by a specific population. Jesus, My Father, the CIA, and Me however, cannot be put in such a box. It is so well written, with such a universal sense of story that anyone who picks it up will be delighted, inspired, amused, challenged, and left with a sense of appreciation for the story of humanity.

I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255

Friday, July 8, 2011

The Corruptible by Mark Mynheir

The Corruptible by Mark Mynheir is the second book in a crime/mystery series based on a private investigator named Ray Quinn. Former homicide detective Quinn is hired by a very wealthy man to recover stolen property. This leads not only to an investigation into the property, but a murder of another former police officer. Throughout the book Quinn is aided by a young protege who doubles as Quinn's bodyguard.

When I first picked up The Corruptible, I didn't realize it was the second in a series. As I started to read it, it became clear I was missing some history between the primary character and two of the secondary characters. Though I had the sense of missing history, Mynheir does a good job of filling in those holes without repeating the first novel in the series.

I enjoyed experiencing the story through the dry, slightly cynical voice of the main character, Ray Quinn. The overall story includes enough twists and turns to make it interesting, without being so complicated that it is hard to follow.

The banter between Quinn and the other characters is entertaining, and for the most part felt very natural. The only parts that don't feel natural are the discussions between Quinn and another character about faith. That little thread isn't woven tightly enough with the others to make it feel like it completely fits with the rest of what is going on.

Overall, I'd recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good mystery. It is both entertaining, and an easy read.

I received this book free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishers as part of their Blogging for Books book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255