Tag Archives: Book Reviews by Bill Dahl

A Place Beyond by Nick Jans

 

 

Meaning Beyond Words


 

According to author Nick Jans, “Words, like map and compass, tell one story yet fail at another.”

 

Nick Jans
Nick Jans

 

If there is meaning beyond words – well – Nick Jans is a literary guide I urge you to read – as he details the stories of his life among the Inupiat people of Ambler, Alaska.

 

Jans has a way of writing that affords the reader the privilege to envision, imagine, see, smell, hear, taste, feel — to journey intimately to those places where – for far too many authors – their ability fails to open these mysterious dimensions for our souls to wander, to live, to explore. Jans writing creates a yearning in the reader to return to his work – to immerse oneself into the marvelous milieu that Jans is uniquely gifted to create.
A Place Beyond
A Place Beyond
A Jans writes, “It’s not the death of the elders I mourn. It’s what’s dying with them and what’s taking their place.” There is an intimacy to Jans writing that allows you to feel what he is writing about – how he actually feels about the subtleties of  his many years of  living in Ambler reveal. He possesses an uncanny ability to observe and relay for the reader the human dimension of feeling that many writers simply are unable to accomplish.

 

This book is a song. It’s music for the soul. Listen to Jans sing:

 

“And beneath it all is music – a delicate, liquid shattering, a song of returning, of breathing again after long silence. I should join the others in their celebration, but just now, I want to sit alone, to watch and listen as the winter breaks apart.”

 

Nick Jans is an artist whose literary gifts allow the reader to enjoy dimensions of meaning and sensory stimulation amidst a literary topography that has been characterized as — “meaning beyond words,” a place beyond.

 

Enjoy A Place Beyond – Finding Home in Arctic Alaska by Nick Jans. Trust me – you’ll fall in love with this book. I did.

 


 

ENJOY!!!

BLOWBACK by Valerie Plame

 


 

BLOWBACK by Valerie Plame
Plame
Plame
When you sit down to enjoy a meal in a restaurant, sometimes the appetizer is better than the entree. On other occasions, dessert is the most memorable course.

 

I happened to read Valerie Plame’s BLOWBACK between Bloodmoney by David Ignatius and Back Channel by Stephen L. Carter. Needless to say, Plame’s BLOWBACK was memorable for all the wrong reasons – it simply was bland when compared to the memorable dishes I devoured before and after her entree.

 

BLOWBACK…it was okay.

 

 


 

BACK CHANNEL by Stephen L. Carter

 

 

Back Channel by Stephen L. Carter


 

 

Spectacular. PERIOD!

 

This was my first Stephen L. Carter novel. Back Channel motivated me to buy Carter’s The Impeachment of Abraham Lincoln – which I am currently savoring.
 

Stephen L. Carter
Stephen L. Carter

 
Carter is the William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Law at Yale University, where he has taught since 1982.  His courses include law and religion, the ethics of war, professional responsibility contracts, and evidence.

 

 

This a fascinating read – my first read of what can be characterized as literary fiction. Carter uses the Cuban Missile Crisis as the central setting of this yarn. It is fast-paced, believable, inhabited by intrigue,  and crafted in a way that makes the reader legitimately enamored with the pure intellectual prowess of the author’s ability to spin a yarn like this.

 

A magnificent mystery. You’ll love it. I did. I’m now hooked on Stephen L. Carter.

 


 

 

ENJOY!!!

 

BLOODMONEY – A NOVEL OF ESPIONAGE by David Ignatius

BLOODMONEY – A NOVEL OF ESPIONAGE by David Ignatius


 

SPECTACULAR!

 

 After devouring The Director, I am an admitted fan of David Ignatius.
David Ignatius
David Ignatius
BLOODMONEY is a spellbinding, torrid, breathtaking journey submerged in the world of geopolitical espionage.

 

Bloodmoney 2

 

Like fast-paced thrillers that keep you turning pages – yearning for what will unfold in the next chapter?

 

BLOODMONEY is for you. Trust me. You’ll enjoy the wild ride!



 

 

ENJOY!!!

 

A Colder War by Charles Cumming


 

 

A COLDER WAR by Charles Cumming
Charles Cumming
Charles Cumming
Freefall Without a Chute

 

Charles Cumming has been referred to as the “Modern Master of the Espionage Novel.” After reading A COLDER WAR – I understand the characterization.

 

This is my first read of a work by Charles Cumming. It will be the first of many more.
A COLDER WAR
A COLDER WAR
Cumming has a unique way of grabbing your soul and submerging it into a reality that he creates. You will gasp for air, turn and burn pages, and yearn for more.

 

An inertia inhabits A COLDER WAR – when the story grabs you in the first twenty pages – you become a passenger in the backseat of  vehicle that is plummeting downhill toward a cliff – without a driver.

 

 A COLDER WAR by Charles Cumming – It’s a freefall without a chute! Enjoy the thrill! I did!

 

 


 


ENJOY!!!

The Guns of August by Barbara W. Tuchman

Fascinating.


 

THE GUNS OF AUGUST – THE OUTBREAK OF WORLD WAR I – by Barbara W. Tuchman

A PHENOMENAL Treatise

This work by Barbara W. Tuchman was awarded The Pulitzer Prize.

Barbara W. Tuchman
Barbara W. Tuchman

It’s rare to read a work of history that involves the level of detail, drama and insights into the human dimension of war that this volume provides.

A quote by MarechalDe Saxe (1732) at the beginning of the book really sums up it’s essence: “The human heart is the starting point of all matters pertaining to war.”

Yet, the sheer magnitude of information the author/scholar relies upon is unusually refreshing.

This book should be required reading in U.S. and European history courses. Yet, for any interested party, it is both accessible, understandable and compelling.

A PHENOMENAL Treatise. Buy it! Enjoy!


 


ENJOY!