Friday, November 4, 2016

The Racketeer

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Author: John Grisham

Narrator: J. D. Jackson

Format: 10 cd's, 12 hours and 45 minutes

Published: 2012 by Random House, Inc.

Genre: Thriller, mystery

Obtained: library

Summary: Malcolm Bannister, a lawyer, has been sentenced to 10 years in jail.  He has 5 more years to serve, but has a plan to be released early.  Will it work?

Thoughts:  I have not read a book by John Grisham for many years.  I remember reading his books in the early '90's.  At the time, I loved his books because of how he combined the legal aspect and the mystery of what is really happening with action and suspense.  He also had likeable characters that were well developed.  I think I stopped reading his books because they always seemed to follow a certain pattern, and I just needed something new.  When I saw this book, I thought it was time to read another John Grisham legal thriller.
     This time around, the characters were not as likeable and some were not as well developed.  Also, I found some of the relationships between the characters to not be totally believeable.  Other than that, I was not disappointed because the rest of the novel was exactly what I expected.  The author still seems to use the same pattern and has the same writing style.
     The narrator did a terrific job with the main character.  He was able to bring the character to life and was able to make you feel the emotions the character would have throughout.  It felt like I was listening to a real person tell me his story.  The narrator was easy to understand and easy to follow.  He added a lot to the experience of listening to this story.
     If you haven't read John Grisham, try the older ones first.  If you haven't read him for awhile, you might be happy you picked up one of his books again.  Although this was not the best John Grisham book I've read, I really enjoyed it.  I'm ready for another one!


Company: Teema Teas

Tea: Moringa Green

Obtained: purchased

     I came across Teema Teas on twitter and decided to check them out.  They are a company that sells a variety of organic teas and participate in direct-trade.  Ten percent of their annual profits are donated to disadvantaged women.  Five percent goes to the woman owned plantation in northern Thailand where Teema Teas gets its tea leaves.  The other five percent goes to Grameen America which "helps women who live in poverty build small businesses to create better lives for their families".  They offer microloans (very small, short-term loans at low interest), training and support to these women.
    I wanted to order the gift pack, but it was not available.  I sent a message asking about it, and was told that it had been sold out, but that it should be back up online soon if it wasn't already.  I checked back and it was there!  The gift pack arrived within a few days.  There were six pre-measured envelopes of different teas in a burlap bag.  They also send an additional sample with each order.  The cost is $14.00 + shipping.  I thought this was a little on the expensive side since this is only for 6 cups of tea.
     I decided to sample the moringa green first.  I was not familiar with moringa, but the Teema Teas website lists that it has 4x the calcium of milk, 7x the vitamin c of oranges, 3x the potassium of bananas, and 4x the vitamin a of carrots.  I did a quick internet search and found that moringa is high in antioxidents, may reduce inflammation, and may lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
      I emptied the pre-portioned moringa green tea pack into my teapot.  The leaves were a mixture of long dark green and brown leaves that looked like they had been rolled, small light green leaves, and some grass and small twigs mixed in.  The leaves had a grassy scent, reminiscent of dry hay.   I poured 12 ounces of water, which had been boiled, over the leaves.  I let this steep for 2 minutes.  I poured the tea into my glass teacup.  The liquid was a medium yellow.  The scent was not strong at all, but smelled faintly of dry hay.  The taste was not as vegetal as most green teas, but it did have that slightly grassy taste to it.  There was no bitterness.  This tea was smooth, thirst quenching, and refreshing- delicious.  Lots of vitamins, minerals, and health benefits from something that tastes this good?  Wow! This is a tea I will purchase again.

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