this month i had the recently rare opportunity to actually read my book club’s first pick for the new year. yay! it was the patriot threat by steve barry and i loved every page of it. it is my first read by this author, and i enjoyed his no-fuss yet still descriptive writing style. the story, set in both washington, d.c. and, can you believe it, croatia(!), surrounds the potential ramifications and legitimacy of a conspiracy theory that the united states’ 16th amendment was never legally ratified, meaning that taxes upon the nation’s citizens have been wrongfully collected for decades. i mean, if that isn’t a headline to get you wondering, i don’t know what is!
this read is full of fact with fiction trickled here and there. mr. barry is even so kind that at the end of the novel he helps you separate history from imagination. a greatly written book makes for a great read, and that’s just what this one was. it was this cool hybrid of action from a movie like national treasure and then curiosity and intrigue from a book such as the da vinci code. no joke, as you turn to learn more about the characters and their journey, each page helps you picture the story on the silver screen. perhaps they’ll put it in theaters some day!
the patriot threat is a novel that will make you dust off your thinking cap and wear it for a while as you ponder the what if’s of life. i thought it an interesting pick for the group of ladies who i will discuss the book with on thursday, but you never know. it could lead to some of our most interesting conversations ever! or they could all think it was a flop and have a totally opposite opinion, and that’s what makes it fun! all i know is that this book is one i would readily recommend if you’re a reader like myself.
thursday morning honestly arrived a little too early for my liking. although brian’s bed is extremely comfortable, a few more hours of shuteye really would have done wonders. well, there’s no room for whiners on this vacation, so we were up and at it by 7:30 a.m. an early day indeed!
brian was going to take the later bus to work so that we’d have a little morning time together. our first destination of the day was cafe st. jorge for a little caffeine and munchies. this place was all kinds of adorable, and i’m sure i embarrassed brian with all my question asking and picture taking. hey, there comes a time when one must be a shameless blogger, and that time for me is now. this type of coffee shop is right up my alley, and if i lived here, i bet it’s where i would go to write and read.
brian went for a large black coffee and i had a small cafe au lait. it was a solid au lait, a good thing since it is my favorite coffee beverage.
for eats i had the banana bread. i didn’t want anything too filling since i was planning to eat practically all day long. i wish it had been a little more moist, but the flavors and density you come to expect from banana bread were definitely there.
brian went with his usual in the small granola bowl. it was the cutest and most homey bowl i’d ever seen in my life, and i’m lucky he let me have a couple bites. the yogurt wasn’t overly sweet, and the homemade granola was stupid good. the fruit was fresh, and everything together in a single spoonful made for a very tasty breakfast.
we grabbed lids for our coffees and began our morning hike. brian had warned me about the hills, but, yeah, i quickly felt out of shape, and i run half-marathons for goodness’ sakes! slowly my layers were stripped as we continued upward towards the heavens. all that was running through my head was miley cyrus’ hit “the climb.” remember folks, it’s about the journey, not the destination.
brian promised me the effort would be worthwhile, and after we were atop the city, i realized he was absolutely right. the view from this high up is just gorgeous, a sweeping scene of san francisco and all its neighborhoods. the breeze was cooling, and the ultimate feeling of relaxation set in as we took in everything. ah, thank goodness for vacation days!
as a software consultant, i have met many people, most of whom i like. one of those folks is mark polino, a certified microsoft mvp. mark’s success as a consultant has catapulted him into an exclusive realm of fame, a place to where only the most nerdy and dedicated are privy. he has his own fan base for goodness sakes!
after many years of successful implementations, mark began to dip his toes into fictional writing with his dynamics gp short stories. mark and i were coworkers at the time, and being a bit of a bookworm myself, he often asked me to read over his writing to critique and edit the work. it was fun to see the quirky applications of accounting software in marginally realistic settings; i soon saw he had a way with words and with capturing a reader’s attention and imagination.
so, many short stories and consulting books later, mark has finally published his first, full-length fictional novel death from above. we find ourselves on a bit of a sci-fi mystery with investigator jennifer lynch who is desperately searching for an answer to explain planes that are mysteriously dropping from the sky. on her journey, jennifer joins forces with a peculiar personality in lizard wong and inquisitive expert max gutierrez. is jennifer able to follow the clues and save thousands of more lives? or does the mayan god q’uq’umatz continue to have his way? i suppose you’ll have to read it for your self to see!
mark was kind to mail me a signed copy a couple of weeks ago, and you can bet that thing is propped up in my cube at work for everyone to see. i almost feel like a proud parent!
mark – thank you for a humorous tale of mystery and creativity. i cannot wait to see what you dream up next!
death from above is available in paperback on amazon. you can also purchase the ebook version on your kindle, nook, or kobo.
although i never exceled in my english and literature classes throughout school, i really do enjoy reading for pleasure. after i graduated from college, i found i again had time to read for myself, without any expectation for reports or exams afterwards. i did a quick search online and saw that a local book club met at the barnes & noble down the road. i found out what the fiction forum was reading that august of 2010, and although i didn’t finish the book in time for the meeting, they invited me to join them at the café table with open arms.