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Beautiful home library and reading room

 Come on in and kick off your shoes!
Authors, links, lists & news -
  And lots of helpful, piffy reviews
So grab a drink, find a comfy chair -
  We have a lot of books to share.

What makes RJ's Views special?
"Old School Values!" Integrity, honesty, and respect were more than words - they had real world meaning. Back before signing your life away to make a purchase, you simply made the deal, shook hands and trusted the other person to follow through. . .based solely on their word. My GrandPa said 'keep your word and your conscience clean.' I started this blog with two goals . . .To share with readers the kind of review my book club wanted, but rarely found and stay true to my upbringing.

These days the values and standards passed on to me are called "old school." That's okay!  Because out with the old and in with the new does not and should not apply to everything. Over the last ten years I have read a ton of books, met lots of terrific people and built a reputation my Grandparents would be proud of.

We have fun here too. There's lists of best sellers, children's opinions vs educators favorites, and banned book lists. Readers are always shocked to see most if not all the books on the banned list are on their shelves. I find it amazing that the most popular books seem to always make the list. Check it out.
This is my original Mission Statement. In ten years all that's changed is the name of my blog from 3RS Den to RJ's Views. The clipart and page decorations change from time to time, but the content of the statement is the same. I invite you to take a minute and read it. 

I'm happy you stumbled upon our little blog. I hope you find the atmosphere relaxed and enjoyable. I've designed the site to read like conversations between friends. Entertaining AND informative. See ya soon!

Bookmark this page...with a click you can pull up a comfy chair and chatter awhile.

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The Great American Read

PBS Special - May 22, 2018

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 Check this out....Pre-Order Yours
Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children Are Back! | PRE-ORDERAvailable October 2, 2018

Check this out....Martin's back...

Just Announced from George R. R. Martin | Discover the thrilling history of the Targaryen family in <i>Fire & Blood</i>, the highly-anticipated companion book to A Song of Ice and Fire. | Pre-Order

Available November 20, 2018

Recent NYT Best Sellers -   

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Children's Middle-Grade Hardcover

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Have a seat & browe the most
anticipated books Summer 2018


The Female Persuasion
by Meg Wolitzer (Riverhead, Apr.) - From the author of The Interestings: Greer is a shy college freshman when she meets Faith Frank, who has been a central pillar of the women’s movement for decades. Greer, searching for purpose, finds it through Faith. PW gave the novel a starred review.

The Mars Room
by Rachel Kushner (Scribner, May)
- It’s 2003 and Romy Hall is at the start of two consecutive life sentences at Stanville Women’s Correctional Facility, where she experiences the absurdities of institutional living. This novel, from the author of The Flamethrowers, received a starred PW review.

by Madeline Miller (Little, Brown, Apr.) - In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe is a strange child who can transform rivals into monsters and menace the gods themselves. Zeus banishes her to an island, where she hones her craft and unwittingly draws the wrath of men and gods. From the author of the bestselling The Song of Achilles.

Speak No Evil
by Uzodinma Iweala (Harper, Mar.) - This PW-starred second novel from the author of Beasts of No Nation is set in Washington, D.C., as top student Niru’s life shifts when his conservative Nigerian parents find out he’s queer.

by Michael Ondaatje (Knopf, May)
- In Ondaatje’s first work of fiction since 2011, it’s 1945 and 14-year-old Nathaniel and his older sister, Rachel, stay behind in London when their parents move to Singapore, leaving them in the care of a mysterious figure named the Moth.


Green Sun
by Kent Anderson (LB/Mulholland, Feb.)
– James Ellroy calls Anderson’s long-awaited third novel, a timely thriller about policing and race relations set in Oakland, Calif., in 1983, “a literary miracle.”

The President Is Missing
by Bill Clinton and James Patterson (Little, Brown & Knopf, June)
– Former president Clinton, aided by bestseller Patterson, brings his White House expertise to a thriller about a U.S. president who vanishes.

The Word Is Murder
by Anthony Horowitz (Harper, June)
– British author Horowitz reinvents the classic crime novel, depicting a fictional version of himself as the Dr. Watson to a modern-day Sherlock Holmes.

Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror

Ambiguity Machines and Other Stories
by Vandana Singh (Small Beer, Feb.)
- Physicist and SF author Singh’s first collection for U.S. readers is a spectacular assembly of work and not to be missed by fans of cutting-edge SF with a deeply human sensibility.

Blackfish City
by Sam J. Miller (Ecco, Apr.) -
Miller made waves with his YA debut, The Art of Starving, and will make more with this rich and intense dystopian ensemble story set in a harsh near future.

The Merry Spinster
by Mallory Ortberg (Holt, Mar.)
- Ortberg’s twisted variations on popular fairy tales and children’s books are daring and skillful, and this outstanding collection of them brims with satirical horror.

Space Opera
by Catherynne M. Valente (S&S/Saga, Apr.) -
Celebrating pop culture and upending genre expectations, notorious envelope-pusher Valente brings Eurovision to where it’s always belonged: outer space.

by C.L. Polk (, June)
- This stellar debut, set in an alternate early 20th century, is an innovative mix of class struggle, magic, and war that marks Polk as a writer to watch.


Ashes on the Moor
by Sarah M. Eden (Shadow Mountain, Mar.) -
Eden’s rich, lovely story set in 1871 Yorkshire examines the many ways of belonging or being an outsider, including gender, class, and place of origin.

A Lord for Whenever
by Alexis Hall (Avon Impulse, Mar.) -
Hall shifts gears from queer contemporary romance to this intriguing historical in which an older widow begins an affair with a duke’s son that soon becomes a scandal.

My Lady’s Choosing: An Interactive Romance Novel
by Kitty Curran and Larissa Zageris (Quirk, Apr.) -
Readers can choose any number of paths for the romance heroine in this interactive story, including affairs with men and women and adventures in various fascinating locales.

The Princess Deception
by Nell Stark (Bold Strokes, May) -
Double-crosses and shocking surprises flavor Stark’s entertaining novel of a princess stepping in for a prince and the journalist who pretends not to notice.

A Princess in Theory: Reluctant Royals
by Alyssa Cole (Avon, Feb.)
- Cole opens a series with an entertaining romance between an African prince and his American fiancée who’s totally forgotten he exists.


American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin
by Terrance Hayes (Penguin, June) - The ghosts of America’s past haunt these 70 inventive, compassionate, hilarious, melancholy, and bewildered sonnets from the inimitable Hayes.

Cruel Futures
by Carmen Giménez Smith (City Lights, Apr.) -
Chronicling life in a country on the precipice of profound change compelled by manufactured media realities, Giménez Smith energetically analyzes pop culture and explores women’s many social roles.

Lake Michigan
by Daniel Borzutzky (Univ. of Pittsburgh, Mar.) - Fresh off his National Book Award win, Borzutzky returns with a collection that’s informed by the secret Chicago PD interrogation unit at Homan Square and responds to America’s long history of police abuse of African-Americans.

Not Here
by Hieu Minh Nguyen (Coffee House, Apr.) - Nguyen, a queer Vietnamese-American, confronts whiteness, trauma, family, and nostalgia in poems that ache with loneliness, desire, and the giddy terrors of love, while reveling in moments of connection.

Wade in the Water
by Tracy K. Smith (Graywolf, Apr.) - The current U.S. poet laureate challenges the nature of citizenship, motherhood, and what it means to be an artist in a culture mediated by wealth, men, and violence.

Comics/Graphic Novels

Fab 4 Mania
by Carol Tyler (Fantagraphics, Jun.) – The acclaimed creator of The Soldier’s Heart trilogy recreates the exhilaration and excitement of Beatlemania in 1965, Tyler’s personal obsession with the Beatles, and her odyssey that leads her to the famous Beatles concert in Chicago that year.

Young Frances
by Hartley Lin (AdHouse, May) - The first collection from Pope Hats tells how insomniac law clerk Frances Scarland is recruited by her firm’s most notorious senior partner and seems poised for advancement. But when her impulsive best friend Vickie decides to move to the opposite coast, Frances’s confusing existence starts to implode.

All the Answers
by Michael Kupperman (S&S/Gallery 13, May) – Eisner Award–winner Kupperman (Tales Designed to Thrizzle) tries to understand the life and mindset of his once-famous father—Joel Kupperman, the Quiz Kid who rose to fame then public derision in the ’50s—before the father succumbs to dementia.

X-Men: Grand Design
by Ed Piskor (Marvel Entertainment, Apr.) - Piskor (Hip- Hop Family Tree) applies his skill as a historian to a pulse-pounding look at more than six decades of X-Men history, from their riotous birth in the ’60s to their legendary reboot in the ’70s and their battle against extinction in the ’00s.

Blame This on the Boogie
by Rina Ayuyang
(Drawn & Quarterly, June) - Ayuyang chronicles the real-life adventures of a Filipino-American girl born in the decade of disco who escapes life’s hardships and mundanity through the genre’s feel-good song-and-dance numbers.


The Recovering: Intoxication and Its Aftermath
by Leslie Jamison (Little, Brown, Apr.) - In this PW-starred memoir, Jamison explores her addiction alongside the stories of great writers and artists who also suffered; “her heartfelt insights... underscore her reputation as a writer of fearsome talent.”

by Rose McGowan (HarperOne, Jan.) - Actress McGowan recounts her career and also her work as an activist determined to expose the truth about Hollywood.

Eat the Apple
by Matt Young (Bloomsbury, Feb. 27) - This bold memoir explores “how war transformed [Young] from a confused teenager into a dangerous and damaged man.”

A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership
by James Comey (Flatiron, May) - The former FBI director shares for the first time the details of his career in government during the past two decades.

Literary Essays/Criticism/Biographies

Feel Free: Essays
by Zadie Smith (Penguin Press, Feb.)
– Reminding readers that Smith is a gifted essayist as well as a novelist, this compilation surveys recent pivotal events in culture and politics, and in Smith’s own life.

How to Write an Autobiographical Novel: Essays
by Alexander Chee (HMH/Mariner, Apr.) – Chee traces his path to becoming a writer through such varied experiences as spending a summer in Mexico as an exchange student, working as a Tarot-deck reader, taking a writing course with Annie Dillard, participating in an AIDS march, meeting William F. Buckley on a catering job, and tending a garden.

Near-Death Experiences: And Others
by Robert Gottlieb (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, June)
– The famed book editor follows up his career memoir Avid Reader with this collection of his nonfiction writings, on subjects including authors, classic movies, and future U.S. presidents.

Sharp: The Women Who Made an Art of Having an Opinion
by Michelle Dean (Grove, Apr.)
– Dean, a journalist and critic, explores the lives and work of women writers of the 20th century, including Hannah Arendt, Zora Neale Hurston, and Pauline Kael, all of whom shared the quality of “sharpness,” or precision in thought and wit.


Behemoth: A History of the Factory and the Making of the Modern World
by Joshua B. Freeman (Norton, Feb.) - Freeman’s global history looks at the role of factories in society from all angles, with insights from critics and champions alike.

Beneath a Ruthless Sun: A True Story of Violence, Race, and Justice Lost and Found
by Gilbert King (Riverhead, Apr.) - Another suspenseful historical narrative from the Jim Crow era from the author of the Pulitzer Prize–winning Devil in the Grove. This one tells the story of the rape of the wife of a citrus baron, with numerous twists in the resulting decades-long investigation.

God Save Texas: A Journey Into the Soul of the Lone Star State
by Lawrence Wright (Knopf, Mar.) - Pulitzer Prize–winner Wright brings diligence to this ambitious undertaking, a history of the entire state of Texas, which is also his home state.

Set the World on Fire: Black Nationalist Women and the Global Struggle for Freedom
by Keisha N. Blain (Univ. of Pennsylvania, Feb.) - A survey of the tactics, ideologies, and alliances employed by a group of black nationalist women who fought for national and transnational black liberation from the early to mid-20th century.

The Woman’s Hour: The Great Fight to Win the Vote by Elaine Weiss (Viking, Mar.) - Weiss’s investigation of the final push to ratify the 19th Amendment in Tennessee draws parallels between the political landscape of the 1920s and today.

Politics/Current Events

China’s Great Wall of Debt: Shadow Banks, Ghost Cities, Massive Loans, and the End of the Chinese Miracle
by Dinny McMahon (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Mar.) – While the world sees China as a booming economic power, McMahon thinks otherwise: China’s perceived economic growth is built on a staggering mountain of debt.

Fascism: A Warning
by Madeleine Albright (Harper, Apr.)
– The former secretary of state and U.N. ambassador takes a personal look at the history of fascism and discusses its resurgence in the world today.

Political Tribes: Group Instinct and the Fate of Nations
by Amy Chua (Penguin Press, Feb.) – Chua, a Yale Law School professor best known for writing Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, examines the role of tribalism in politics and society in and outside the U.S.


Paul Simon: The Life
by Robert Hilburn (Simon & Schuster, May) - Hilburn takes a deep look into the life and career of singer-songwriter Paul Simon, examining his songs and exploring his professional and personal successes and failures.

Outside the Jukebox: How I Turned My Passion into a Viral Sensation and Rewrote the Rules of the Music Business by Scott Bradlee (Hachette, June) - Musician Bradlee tells of his early struggles as a musician and how he came to form the band Postmodern Jukebox, which has upwards of three million subscribers on YouTube.

Creative Quest
by Questlove (Ecco, Apr.)
- The music director for The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon recounts his own musical journey in these spirited reflections on the elements of creativity.

by Andrew Lloyd Webber (Harper, Mar.) - Coinciding with his 70th birthday, composer and producer Webber takes a look at five decades of his life, during which he produced The Phantom of the Opera, Cats, and Evita.


The Seabird’s Cry: The Lives and Loves of the Planet’s Great Ocean Voyagers
Adam Nicolson (Holt, Feb.) - Nicolson fuses the poetic and the scientific as he follows 10 species to understand their voyages, their ability to navigate over the oceans, and the ways they use smell to find food and home.

Searching for Stars on an Island in Maine
by Alan Lightman (Pantheon, Mar.) -
Meditating on religion and science, Lightman probes the tension between a human yearning for certainty and the uncertainty of nature, as well as the ways we’ve approached these concepts.

The Big Ones: How Natural Disasters Have Shaped Us (and What We Can Do About Them)
Lucy Jones (Doubleday, Apr.) - Seismologist Jones looks at some of history’s most influential natural disasters, assesses their impact on our culture, and proposes new ways of thinking about the ones to come.


The Triumph of Christianity
by Bart Ehrman (Simon & Schuster, Feb.)
– By considering the nature of life under Roman rule, Ehrman makes the case that the spread of Christianity comes more from a gradual migration of like-minded people than from grand acts such as Constantine’s conversion.

by Adam Hamilton (Convergent, Mar.)
– Bestselling author and pastor of Church of the Resurrection in Kansas City, Hamilton combines scriptural lessons with personal experience and current neurological research to help readers alleviate the “worry, anxiety, and fear that permeates our lives.”

The Pope Who Would Be King
by David I. Kertzer (Random House, Apr.)
– Pulitzer Prize winner Kertzer details the political upheaval that resulted from the overthrow of Pope Pius IX in 1848, effectively ending the tradition of Catholic monarchs ruling by “divine right” throughout Europe.

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The Wine Cellar

Pair it

Where We Chatter
about Pairing Wine

Maybe it's just me - but, I've always had a difficult time selecting which wine goes with what entree. Then there's special occassions and wines seem to get more specific for these. The challenge is selecting wines that pair well with the various foods. Most suggest having a selection of red and white wines available for your guests. This allows each guest to select what works best for their particular tastes. But if you are planning a 4th of July celebration - here's a few suggestions.

A long time Views visitor, asked if I was pairing our book club books with specific wines ??? It seems the trendy book club thing is to pair the book we read with a wine that compliments the book. So, I found a lil bit of information to share with you. I would love to be able to pair the book properly - because most of the time, the wine is what lured friends to join the book club in the first place. LOL

 9 Book and Wine Pairs for Your Book Club 9 Book&Wine Pairs

     What Are You Reading???

Which book(s) are on your Must read list?
Send me

RJ's Can't Wait to Read   

Scandal in the Secret City by Diane Fanning   Treason in the Secret City by Diane Fanning         

Book 1, Scandal & Book 2, Treason are available now! IF you haven't read them yet, you have time to get caught up before...Book 3, Sabotage in the Secret City will be released in the US -
July 1, 2018

Quotes I Love

Dr. Seuss Quotes"The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go." - Dr. Seuss

"What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Love is the irresistible desire to be desired irresistibly." -- Robert Frost

 Dr. Seuss Quotes"You know you're in love when you can't fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams." --Dr. Seuss

"The only way to have a Friend, is to BE one." -Ralph Waldo Emerson

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... to ALL
who have shared your books           

     http://www.hachetteaudio.comaudiophile...bibliophile ...
I just love books!

Notes & Up-Dates from RJ...


Click for 4th Facts

Happy Reading,


Anonymous said...

Love your blog. I appreciate your candor and I think your reviews are always fun to read.
Thank you,
Meg (OH)

RJ McGill said...

Thank you, Meg. I'm glad you like it! Stop by & visit often, there's a lot of good books scheduled for review.

Happy Thanksgiving!
:-) RJ

Anonymous said...

Great review of House of Secrets. Your review of the Illuminati book was awesome. Just finished it and LOVED it. Thanks for "sharing it straight."
George B.

RJ McGill said...

Thanks George! Come back soon!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for introducing me to Hachette audiobooks. I had never listened to a book before I read your wp blog post years ago. I can't imagine my day now without my headphones on listening. You use headphones all the time do you have any recommendations about headphones? Thank you again.
Happy Listener
Glendale, CO

RJ McGill said...

Thank you! I'm glad you are enjoying audiobooks. Hope you come back & visit with us often. Thanks again!!

Anonymous said...

Great info on Read Aloud. My son is 7 and he's loving the new read time. We still read a bedtime story too.
Becky in Charleston SC

Anonymous said...

Great site!
Mark, CO

Anonymous said...

Love your blog.
Kathy, NC

Anonymous said...

Love the new site layout!Thank you for your very nice email.

Views follower,
Kim's Book Club

Anonymous said...

Great site! Love your reviews!

Diane C.
El Paso TX

Anonymous said...

Great lists for kids. It's been said already but I'll say it again, Great reviews.

Joy M.(Nevada)

Anonymous said...

Love, Love, Love your site. Been a fan since the WP days.
Beth, CT

Anonymous said...

Congratulations 10 years!
Marcus D., Greenville, SC

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday! 10 years. I'm so glad you stuck it out through your injury. I'm giving you a big high five, two thumbs up and delicious piece of bday cake. Celebrate & enjoy girl, here's to another 10 years sharing good books!

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Happy Anniversary!

Anonymous said...

Happy Anniversary!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on 10 years reviewing.
Loreta B, NC

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Happy 10 yr Anniversary

Anonymous said...

Happy 10 yr Anniversary.
Cellie, MO

Anonymous said...

Congratulations, 10 year Anniversary.

RJ McGill said...

THANK YOU to everyone for all the emails and comments on the 10 year anniversary of RJ's Views. Thank You all so very much for your support, for visiting the site and making it such a success. I have enjoyed sharing books with everyone for the past ten years, and look forward to doing so for the next ten, twenty, thirty, years.



Anonymous said...

Wow You have come a long way RJ! I love the new layout & the site is loaded with information. Your reviews are still incredible. The new Wine Cellar is great, I love it. One of these days we'll meet at the ITWwe've talked about a thousand times over the years, & have a glass of wine. You can pick.

Anonymous said...

Great Review of Cuban Affair I haven't read DeMille's work in years. But I ordered the book after reading your review. I can't wait until 19th. Thank You
Any good books for the holidays?

Thank You,
Jill, Orlando FL

Anonymous said...

Agreeing with Markus *and others, thanks for helpful reviews. I am happy to have found your reviews. they are not filled with big words trying to sound important. Great job keep up good work.
Ketki, Hyderabad, India

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU. Your reviews sound great. Thank you for not using big, odd words just to try to sound important.

Yours are helpful AND sound great. Keep doing what you're doing.

Markus, Alberta, Canada

RJ McGill said...

I appreciate all of your comments and emails. Thank you to everyone from the bottom of my heart!

I will make y'all a deal - y'all keep reading my reviews and visiting me here - and I will keep Sharing It Straight.... Okie Dokie?
Big Smiles,

Anonymous said...

I love your blog.
Annie in Spartanburg SC

Anonymous said...

Great blog. You write very good reviews.
Magda, Calcutta

Anonymous said...

I love your blog. You write some great reviews. Two enthusiastic thumbs up!
Nancy R., Sarasota, Florida

Anonymous said...

Love, love, love The Views! One of my fav book bloggers. Keep up the good work.

Maryann L. Raleigh, NC

Anonymous said...

I totally agree The new Cross is great! Audio is of the hook like the way Cross books used to be years ago. Thanks for great review. Right on point as usual.

Mark Casper, WY

Anonymous said...

Hi RJ,
Love your blog! Your reviews are great. Are you going to review the new book about Woodstock?
Mary, Ontario CA

RJ McGill said...

HI - Mary *Ontario, CA
Thank you for commenting. I'm very happy that you Love my blog. Yes, I will be posting a review of the book soon. I am so excited to be reviewing several books from new publishers this summer. Stop by often there are lots of new books being added.
Thanks again for your support!

Anonymous said...

Hi RJ,

Love the blog!Are you reviewing the new Patterson collaboration with Bill Clinton?
Pat, KY

RJ McGill said...

Pat (KY)
Thank you for supporting RJ's Views! I will be reviewing the audio (published by Hachette Audio)- sometime in June. Stop by and visit us often, new books are being added all the time.
Thanks again!

Anonymous said...

Hi RJ!
I love your blog. We tried some of the wine suggestions during our last book club meeting. Everyone showed up for the first time ever and we had a blast. We served several wines but the star was the Carneros Cuvée by Gloria Ferrer. We found it through your suggested book club wine links. THANK YOU. We are reading "Circe" this month and I am hosting.
Loretta (We Still Read book club), Akron, OH

RJ McGill said...

Hi Loretta (And all the members of your book club "We Still Read")
That's wonderful! I love hearing from readers. Your "star wine" was an incredible selection. Wish I could've been there! Circe is a great choice for your book club. I hope your next meeting is even better. Let me know how it goes.
Thank you for supporting RJ's Views!