Cory Goodwin A positive and spiritual, albeit imperfect, person, who seeks to do God’s will. An introvert who loves sharing his creativity via the written word.
A positive and spiritual, albeit imperfect, person, who seeks to do God’s will. An introvert who loves sharing his creativity via the written word.

Reviews and Ratings the Books I Read in January

I was on fire in January. I set my goal to read 100 books in 2020. I came out with a strong showing. I am ahead of the curve right now. I didn’t enjoy all of the books. I read too many two-star books. There were some four-star and only one five-star.

Nameless: In the Heart of the Fire. By Dean Koontz.

⭐️⭐️

A nameless vigilante goes on a mission to stop a child molester and murder. Nameless, the vigilante, goes on missions assigned to him by the, also nameless, Ace of Diamonds.

The book proceeds in an obvious way. Nothing about this book really stands out. It just is. Not one of Dean Koontz best by a long shot.

How to Write Funny. By Scott Dickers.

⭐️⭐️

How to Write Funny goes through all the different ways to be funny. Encyclopedic in nature, it details and categories different types of comedy.

I felt that the book fell short of teaching me anything about being funny. I was hoping it would at least have contained a laugh or two. But unfortunately, it did not.

Banish Your Inner Critic. By Denise Jacobs.

⭐️⭐️⭐️

Banish Your Inner Critic goes through different ways in which we hold ourselves back through self-criticism. It contains lots of assignments for the reader to work through.

It was encyclopedic in nature and didn’t really drive any of the points home. There wasn’t much personality to the writing.

Blood Money: and Other Stories. By Elmore Leonard.

⭐️⭐️⭐️

Blood Money, and Other Stories, is a western short story collection. Each story is different with different characters.

While I love Elmore Leonard as a crime writer, I didn’t enjoy his western short stories much. I am not sure if its the western genre or the short story format. I will have to read one of his western novels to find out.

The Afghan Campaign. By Steven Pressfield.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The Afghan Campaign places you inside Alexander the Great’s army. You follow one of his soldiers from the time he enlists until he goes home.

I enjoyed this story. We get into the head of a regular soldier and learn what life was like in war back in ancient times.

Death of a Salesman. By Arthur Miller.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Death of a Salesman follows a salesman who is having a mental breakdown. He has many demons in his closet and they all come out to play.

I enjoyed this book. We really dive into the Willie Lomax psyche. It was thoroughly enjoyable.

Never Be Alone. By Paige Dearth.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

An indie novel about a foster kid who runs away from home and lives her life on the streets.

This is a heart-wrenching story. We really delve into the mind of a young girl who is forced to do things she doesn’t want to do, solely to survive.

White Negroes. By Lauren Michele Jackson.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

A collection of essays about the cultural appropriation of black people by white people.

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I first picked up this book. But it did lead me to think about ways that black people are exploited. I didn’t agree with all of the conclusions drawn in the book, but some of it made me think harder about the subject.

The Artist's Way. By Julia Cameron.

⭐️⭐️

The Artist’s Way is a book about creativity. It is meant to be for all artists, from writers to painters and everyone in between.

I didn’t find much usefulness from the advice in this book. It could be that the advice is outdated or has been retold so many times none of it was new.

Help! for Writers. By Roy Peter Clark.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Help! for Writers goes through 210 different solutions to various problems that writers face. It is well put together and organized.

I enjoyed this book and took the advice given. I improved my writing. It covers both fiction and nonfiction.

Nameless: Photographing the Dead. By Dean Koontz.

⭐️⭐️

Again we follow Nameless, the vigilante. He is given another mission, this time to stop a photographer who is a serial killer.

Everything in the book is fairly linear. Nothing stands out. It just is.

From Slave to Priest. By Caroline Hemesath.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

This is a biography of the first black priest in America. We see how a Catholic slave is freed during the civil war and goes on to become a priest.

I enjoyed this story of trial and adversity. It is well written and we really experience the life of Rev. Augustine Tolton.

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