25 Women to Read Before You Die

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P.M. Bradshaw has commented on (110) products.

Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee
Go Set a Watchman

P.M. Bradshaw, September 3, 2015

Go Set a Watchman suffers from some of the minor flaws of a first novel. At times, it “tells” what has happened instead of “shows” you. The dialog is a little clunky, But besides that, it’s not a bad read. I can full-out disagree with Atticus’s racism, and still enjoy the book.

As for the argument that Atticus can’t be racist based on his portrayal in To Kill a Mockingbird:
1) This book was written BEFORE To Kill a Mockingbird. Nothing was written in stone, yet. I believe she says Atticus wins the case, which is not what happens in Mockingbird. (So, you could think of it as a alternate reality story.)
2) Believing Atticus is not a racist isn’t proven by him taking the case in Mockingbird. He was ASSIGNED the case, he didn’t pick it. He was assigned it because he would do the best job defending him. And Atticus believes he is fighting for an innocent man. And lastly, attorneys don’t have to agree with or like their clients to try a case in their behalf. It was his job to defend him.

So, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that Atticus would end up the way he is portrayed in Watchman.

Watchman is an interesting return to characters you already know and love, fifteen or twenty years down the line. It’s worth checking in on them again.
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The Green Ripper by John D. Macdonald
The Green Ripper

P.M. Bradshaw, August 19, 2015

The Green Ripper is one of John D. MacDonald's Travis McGhee series. It also won the National Book Award.

I liked it less than A Bullet for Cinderella, but it was still a good read. MacDonald sets a scene with such perfect detail! He is truly a master.
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Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth by Reza Aslan
Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth

P.M. Bradshaw, August 19, 2015

Three and a half stars.
Excellent research, no doubt. Paints a picture of Jesus of Nazareth as a man (and a somewhat political one at that), as opposed to being Christ, the son of God. You learn about the political world of the times, and Jesus's role within that world, trying to upset the apple cart of a government out to oppress and suppress his people, the Jews. Excellent insight into the man's motivations, political and otherwise.

But by not detailing any of the man's preachings, you paint only half the picture. I don't think you get a full view of the man that was Jesus of Nazareth. I think it still would have shown a man who thought deeply and held deep convictions about his people and people in general, without having to ask the question "Was he divine, the son of God?" So the leaving out of the teachings seems to me to be a major flaw in any attempt to define or redefine the man who was Jesus of Nazareth. A good book for what it is, but perhaps a little lacking.
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A Bullet for Cinderella by John D. Macdonald
A Bullet for Cinderella

P.M. Bradshaw, August 19, 2015

If you're in the mood for a noir-ish thriller, John D. MacDonald is the man to go to! This is not part of his Travis McGee series, but is a stand-alone little gem. Semi-shady guys, girls from the wrong side of the tracks, and a small fortune buried somewhere is all the set-up you need for a fun read. Highly enjoyable.

MacDonald wrote an enormous number of books like this, but his style and use of description set him apart from his peers. He is a master in the dirty little world of pulp fiction. And we are all better for him being there. I plan on reading many more novels by John D. MacDonald! Four and a half stars.
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The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
The Girl on the Train

P.M. Bradshaw, August 12, 2015

An excellent mystery, not just of whodunit, but on what's actually going on. Told from the perspective of three women, this is a great debut novel. I'm looking forward to more from this author. Four and a half stars.
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