Airman by Colfer (2008)

Colfer is the Artemis Fowl author. This book could be classified Young Adult.

Airman is an historical adventure novel set in the 19th century.

Connor Broekhart was born to fly. In fact he was born in a hot air balloon.

Wrongly imprisoned, he invents a (highly unlikely) way to escape a prison island. By flying.

This is a lightweight but creative novel. It did keep me going.

The villain, Bonvilain, is the most entertaining character.


Charles Darwin – Voyage of the Beagle


I read this book in advance of heading down to Tierra del Fuego (Land of Fire) and did find it interesting.

For the time Darwin was an enlightened man. Though he believed the British were doing good bringing civilization and Christianity to the savages, he did come up with the theory of evolution based on this trip. Today the FACT of evolution.

Darwin was open minded enough to believe what he saw with his own eyes.

I was surprised to realize that the Beagle voyage was very late in the takeover of South America by Europeans. Population of Montevideo, Uruguay was already 15,000 by the time Darwin got there.

Magellan got to Tierra del Fuego over 300 years earlier. Cook over 60 years earlier.

Darwin’s captain was Robert FitzRoy.

Mount Fitz Roy (ArgentinaChile) was named after him … though misspelled.


The Voyage of the Beagle is the title most commonly given to the book written by Charles Darwin and published in 1839 as his Journal and Remarks, bringing him considerable fame and respect. This was the third volume of The Narrative of the Voyages of H.M. Ships Adventure and Beagle, the other volumes of which were written or edited by the commanders of the ships. …

The Beagle sailed from Plymouth Sound on 27 December 1831 under the command of Captain Robert FitzRoy.  …

Darwin spent most of this time exploring on land (three years and three months on land; 18 months at sea). The book is a vivid travel memoir as well as a detailed scientific field journal covering biology, geology, and anthropology  …

The Dictator’s Highway by Justin Walker

I survived the Gawd awful Walking Patagonia by Caspian Ray on Kindle. The worst book I ever read.

By contrast, the second book I read on Kindle was superb.

The Dictator’s Highway (2015) by Justin Walker. Well written, insightful and superbly researched.

Walker did the Carretera Austral in Chile where Ray stumbled in parallel on Highway 40 in Argentina.

Skip Ray. Read Walker.

Walking Patagonia by Caspian Ray

As I was headed for Patagonia I downloaded this eBook simply because of the title.

My review: A stupid traveler, bad writer.

Deeply flawed human being.

But for some reason his inane decisions and non-stop misadventures kept me going.

On the upside, he did meet his future wife on this trip.

Have you heard of John Grisham?

I reflexively avoid the MOST popular authors assuming they are milk toast.

I’m only now finding out that Grisham is excellent!

The only one of his books I’d read in the past was The Racketeer. And I found it only OK.

But Rogue Lawyer (2015) is a fantastic book. Almost perfect, I thought.

It is a legal thriller about unconventional street lawyer Sebastian Rudd. …

His office is a black customized bulletproof van, complete with Wi-Fi, a bar, a small fridge, and fine leather chairs. He has no firm, no partners, and only one employee: his heavily armed driver, who used to be his client …

It sounds a bit like The Lincoln Lawyer (2005). Indeed, Grisham mentions Lincoln Lawyer author Michael Connelly in his book. It’s a bit of a hat tip for the idea, I assume.

But Rudd is no Matthew McConaughey. Rudd is a low life individual constantly messing up and running from the bad guys. He represents the worst criminals in town.

Rudd is more complex and interesting than the Lincoln Lawyer. He’s brilliant … but always pushing the edge.

The ending was superb, I thought. That’s rare for any book.

Moonglow by Chabon

Moonglow is a 2016 novel by Michael Chabon.

The book chronicles the life of Chabon’s grandfather, a WW2 soldier, engineer and rocket enthusiast who marries a troubled Jewish survivor from France and lives a challenging, wandering life in postwar America.

Chabon is a great writer. A great story teller.

But the device he used here — a memoir based on interviews with his Grandfather and others — didn’t work for me. The story was too rambling. It jumps around too much in time.

I had trouble paying attention.

Woman of God – the book

Woman of God, written by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro …

What to say?

I’ve got a love / hate relationship with James Patterson already and I barely know him as an author.

The PLOT of this book is compelling and interesting.

Brigid Fitzgerald, a physician volunteering in desperate south Sudan, is a religious Catholic woman from Boston. Whom God seems to hate. She faces more challenges than Job. Her faith is tested over and over.

I enjoyed seeing a female priest. A priest married. A priest welcoming his flock to all.

It seemed fresh to me to see a priest falsely accused of child molestation.

The book is fast paced. That’s for sure.

In one chapter Brigid might get married, have a baby then lose both to an astonishing tragedy. And there are over 100 chapters like that!

Read this book at your own risk. There’s much to criticize too.