Richer Living

Seeking a richer life, inside and out…


Book Reviews

Book Review: The Remedy by Thomas Goetz

Thomas Goetz shows us the horror of a world without a cure for tuberculosis

When I was a kid, I thought the phrase “Do Not Spit on Sidewalk” was an admonishment to practice good maremedy or cure for tuberculosisnners, especially in public. I didn’t realize the dark history that lay behind it until I read The Remedy: Robert Koch, Arthur Conan Doyle, and the Quest to Cure Tuberculosis  by Thomas Goetz. This book takes you back to the late 1800s, a time when there were no vaccinations to protect humanity from widespread infections that wiped out millions of people. Tuberculosis was one of the worst killers. Continue reading “Book Review: The Remedy by Thomas Goetz”


Book Review: Word Freak by Stefan Fatsis – Scrabble Binging at its Best

I may Scrabble binge, but I’m no word freak by Stefan Fatsis standards.

scrabbleLately, I’ve found a way to sit still (which is hard), challenge myself, keep my brain tuned up, relax AND waste time all at once – Scrabble on the iPhone. I just uploaded it on my iPhone and have to say it’s come a long way since the first versions of a few years ago. This Scrabble app, which cost under ten dollars, is designed for players of all levels, beginner to expert. It works pretty much like the actual board game, so you can be playing in no time. You can also choose to play against other online players or against the computer.

The great thing about this app is that you can release your inner Scrabble geek Continue reading “Book Review: Word Freak by Stefan Fatsis – Scrabble Binging at its Best”

Book Review: The Keeper of Lost Causes by Jussi Adler-Olsen

Jussi Adler-Olsen Pushes You to the Edge in “The Keeper of Lost Causes”

After reading The Keeper of Lost Causes: The First Department Q Novel (A Department Q Novel), a crime thriller set in Denmark, I understand why author Jussi Adler-Olsen has received so many accolades for his work. If you’re a fan of Jo Nesbo or Henning Mankell, you’re about to meet another fine writer who wields a skillful pen, crafts a clever story and creates maddeningly endearing characters that leave you wanting more.

In The Keeper of Lost Causes, Adler-Olsen introduces us to Carl Morck, a traumatized detective in the Copenhagen’s homicide division. Morck, a 25-year police veteran, has just survived a shooting that has claimed the life of one of his partners and paralyzed the other.

Now, barely recovered himself, Continue reading “Book Review: The Keeper of Lost Causes by Jussi Adler-Olsen”

Betty Crocker Recipes with a Finnish Twist

For all my Finnish-American relatives and friends – and anyone who likes delicious fresh food.

From Limppu to Miso Soup and Beyond

If you’re looking for a refreshing take on good home cooking, Edith Maki’s cookbook,  Common Sense Cooking, will be a great addition to your kitchen. I received the cookbook as a gift from my mother, who was a fan and frequent diner at Edith Maki’s café in Hancock, Michigan years ago.

As a baby boomer and a Finnish-American, this cookbook felt a little like coming home. Think Betty Crocker with a Finnish twist – although you don’t have to be a Finlander to recognize these meals. Take a peak and you’ll see what I mean. Continue reading “Betty Crocker Recipes with a Finnish Twist”

Book Review: AWOL on the Appalachian Trail by David Miller

I want to hike forever after reading AWOL on the Appalachian Trail

viewLiving in New Mexico has brought me back to one of my oldest loves – hiking. It’s not the Appalachian Trail, but I live in an area so beautiful it takes my breath away when I wake up in the morning. The longer I live here, the more I hike, the braver I get and Continue reading “Book Review: AWOL on the Appalachian Trail by David Miller”

Book Review: Snow Wolf by Glenn Meade

Snow Wolf by Glenn Meade – A Fresh Voice in Post-War II Cold War Thrillers

It’s been awhile since I’ve found a juicy book that pulled me right into the tense and frightening Cold World era of the 1950s. As an avid reader of both fiction and non-fiction based espionage stories for years, I gave it a rest when the stories started to seem alike. So I was surprised and engrossed with Snow Wolf, Glenn Meade’s tale of two troubled ex-Soviets who are sent back to Russia by the U.S. intelligence forces to assassinate Stalin. I couldn’t put it down.

The author does an expert job of creating compelling, troubled characters who’ve escaped Stalin’s Soviet Union, but not without losses so deep that they’re willing to go back, no matter how high the personal stakes are.

Also reading: The Great Terror: A Reassessment Continue reading “Book Review: Snow Wolf by Glenn Meade”

Book Reviews: We the Living by Ayn Rand and 1984 by George Orwell

Did Ayn Rand and George Orwell Predict the Future?

I’ve been re-reading some of the classic fiction that captivated me when I was a teenager. We the Living  by Ayn Rand, a novel about one woman’s attempt to keep her identity in the new Soviet Union. I’d read it several times when I was 16. At the time, I book review we the living ayn randwept for Kira, the lead character, as she watched her world fall down around her.

But before I say more, I want to add that this book should be read in its proper context. When We the Living  was published in 1936, very little was known about everyday life in the Soviet Union Continue reading “Book Reviews: We the Living by Ayn Rand and 1984 by George Orwell”

Book Review: Nothing to Envy by Barbara Demick

Author Barbara Demick Exposes The Horror of Daily Life in North Korea ~

Read Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea by Barbara Demick and you realize that life in Orwell’s book 1984 can be found here and now, in North Korea. In this non-fiction book, Demick shows us what life is like for the average North Korean, told through the stories of six people who eventually defected to South Korea. nothing to envy by barbara demick Continue reading “Book Review: Nothing to Envy by Barbara Demick”

Book Review: Killing Hope by Keith Houghton

Of Monsters and Men: Killing Hope by Keith Houghton

As all crime fiction fans know, when you’ve been a fan of a genre for decades, the hunt for an attention-grabbing new author gets tougher all the time. If you’ve been waiting for a fresh voice, read the crime novel Killing Hope (Gabe Quinn Thriller Series Book 1) by Keith Houghton. I hadn’t heard of this author before, but since the book was free on my Amazon Prime account, I decided to download it and skim the first few pages. If it wasn’t interesting, I’d just delete it.

I admit to being skeptical at the start because many of the books offered by Amazon Prime are a bit amateur, but I was hooked Continue reading “Book Review: Killing Hope by Keith Houghton”

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