Welcome to Books and Novels to Read

News, advice and conversation about the Self-Publishing book industry.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

A Review of Roofman by John Pansini

A Review of


By John Pansini

This is the true story of John Pansini a well qualified and professional librarian with a Masters Degree in Library Science, who happens to be working as a roof repairman nailing on shingles all day in New York. The language comes across very readily as that of a native New Yorker and adds to the story and enhances his description of this work. At times it is funny as the toils of a manual worker in the extremes of a New York summer and winter takes its toll. John also runs his own company Computerized Information Retrieval which does exactly what the name suggests. After placing an advert in the New York Times John is approached by a Russian, Mikhail Katkov, to get some information for him and there the whole story starts.

A patriot I think, John approaches the FBI, this is the 1980s after all, the time of the cold war, and tells them about his Russian ´friend´. They apparently, reluctantly take an interest and the book covers the next four years of intrigue and mystery as the relationship between John, Mikhail and various Special Agents from the FBI develops.
John has more than one motive for accepting the work from Mikhail, money, he´s a patriot, he really really enjoys the thought of being a spy and finally from the start he realises that there is a book and screenplay to be written from his experiences, hence this book, Roofman.

The way things develop in the book have the air of authenticity about them. The relationship between the New Yorker and the Russian grows over time, at least that is what John believes. I gained the impression the author was being played from both sides, the Russian GRU officer and by the FBI, but he feels that he was in control. Near the end when John sees that his spying career is nearly over he makes a desperate attempt to prolong things by approaching the Customs Authorities, you just knew that wasn´t going to work.
This was an enjoyable book to read and even though John Pansini claims it is a true story I am left with the tiny thought that he´s just playing me and the rest of his readers. It doesn´t matter if he is though, you´ll still relish reading the book with the air of reality running through it. Well done John a great read.


The real world of espionage and counterespionage was not what I expected. An ordinary guy like me, a roofer with a Master's degree in Library Science and with no prior training in intelligence work, nothing in my imagination prepared me for what I faced during the sensitive time when the United States and the Soviet Union were at each others throats.

This true story includes 63 minutes of taped conversations between me and my spy handlers. A reader will see and be part of the real world of spying: of talking to the Feds, the Russians, and always watching one's back.

My rating 4 out of 5.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

About Books and Novels to Read

Hello All

I´ve just completed a new search facility on the BNR website. You can now search by Author or Title as well as by genre. I´ve added all the print books and am about to start on the ebooks.

It is a long job so please be patient if your book doesn´t appear for a while, it will get there in the end.

By the way, I´ve had to purchase a new computer as my old one went bang during a thunder storm. I now have Windows 7, how posh is that? What a swizz though, as soon as I attached the machine to the internet it downloaded 89 updates from Microsoft about 550 Mbs of information. I did the uploads on my Grandson´s ADSL, at home on dial-up that would have taken about 48 hours solid.

Plus I had trouble uploading all my contacts into Windows Live Mail, something to do with my old Windows XP being in Spanish and Windows 7 is in English. I ended up doing this manually, so if I´ve lost anybody I´m sorry but I´m sure you will contact me eventually.

Have a really great day.

Best tregards - Terry

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

John Zunski

I've just added a blog John Zunski to my follow list. You can see his blog at John Zunski Blog it looks good, the content is different and you'll enjoy what John has to say. Have a look.

Here is what John had to say about the Big 6 publishing houses:-

Oct 19 For the past month, we’ve watched or participated in occupy movements across the United States. For those of us who are Indie Authors, I believe it’s time to take a page from the occupy movement’s playbook.  I’ll spare you the details of how the major publishing houses (The Big Six) have monopolized who reads what.
What I’m suggesting will not cost much time or money.  When  considering purchasing  your next read, I ask that you purchase from an Indie Author and spread the word using social media outlets.  Here’s an example:
Occupy Big Six.  Discontents – @James Wallace Birch   #Occupy #OB6
Include Occupy Big Six, Title, and Author along with hash Tags #occupy and #OB6 and whatever tags you can fit.

If you believe in the democratization of publishing, I encourage you to participate. I believe this is a simple and effective  method to get the word out.  Let’s go viral.