Michael Cavacini

An award-winning arts and culture blog.

Book Review: The Games by James Patterson

btn3-square-1536I just finished The Games by James Patterson and Mark Sullivan and it was excellent. This novel was perfectly timed as it deals with two major sporting events, one of which is right around the corner: the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. There are two parallel storylines at play in this novel, neither of which I’ll divulge in my review because I don’t want to spoil either of them. However, I can tell you that the storylines are compelling and that both are brought to satisfactory conclusions. As with all of James Patterson’s thrillers, the pacing in this book is tremendous. The pages fly by and no words are wasted. Every page and chapter move the story and the characters forward, toward the novel’s thrilling climax. The Games is one of my favorite James Patterson books, and I highly recommend it.

Book Synopsis

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil–home to beautiful white-sand beaches, gorgeous women, stunning natural beauty, and the world’s largest Carnival celebration–knows how to throw a party. So it’s a natural choice to host the biggest spectacles in sports–the World Cup and the Olympics. To ensure that the games go off without a hitch, the organizers turn to Jack Morgan, the unflappable head of the renowned international security and consulting firm Private. But when events are this exclusive, someone’s bound to get left off the guest list.

Two years after the action nearly spilled from the field to the stands during soccer’s championship match, Jack is back in Rio for the Olympics. But before the cauldron is even lit, the only thing more intense than the competition is the security risks. When prominent clients he’s supposed to be protecting disappear, and bodies mysteriously start to litter the streets, Jack is drawn deep into the heart of a ruthless underworld populated by disaffected residents trying to crash the world’s biggest party. As the opening ceremonies near, with the world watching in horror, Jack must sprint to the finish line to defuse a threat that could decimate Rio and turn the games from a joyous celebration into a deadly spectacle. 

Journey Celebrates the 35th Anniversary of Escape in NJ

IMG_7566With the 35th anniversary of the Journey album Escape, which spawned numerous chart-topping hits, right around the corner, the band is back on the road. This time they are joined by The Doobie Brothers and Dave Mason. And Steve Smith is behind the drum kit, stepping in for the band’s former drummer Deen Castronovo. For those keeping count, this is the classic Journey lineup, minus one member: Steve Perry. I’m happy to say this was one of the best Journey concerts I’ve attended (this was my fifth), and my my pre-show meet and greet with Neal Schon exceeded my expectations. Read on for all of the details.

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Music Review: Beautiful Broken by Heart

BeautifulBrokenCoverToday, Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Heart released their 16th album: Beautiful Broken. Heart has sold over 35 million albums during their impressive career, and this release is their first in four years. The album consists of reinterpretations of classic Heart tracks, as well as three new cuts. The title track and first single features a dynamic guest vocal contribution by Metallica’s James Hetfield with Ann Wilson.

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Cross My Heart and Hope To Die by James Patterson

patterson-ac2122uk-e1417455534602Cross My Heart and Hope To Die by James Patterson are two parts of one story. The first part takes place in Cross My Heart and it concludes in Hope To Die. To my knowledge, this was the first time James Patterson did this so, naturally, many fans were upset with the cliffhanger ending of the first book. I wasn’t because I knew this going in. If anything, it made me look forward to reading Hope To Die even more, so I could see how things wrapped up.

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A Conversation With Bobby Rydell

Teen-Idol-On-The-Rocks-CoverI recently had the pleasure of meeting and interviewing Bobby Rydell, pop icon and author of the new memoir, Teen Idol on the Rocks: A Tale of Second Chances. During the 1960s Rydell scored 34 Top 40 hits, making him one of the top artists of this era. From “Wild One” to “Volare” to the summertime classic “Wildwood Days,” Rydell’s music still lives on in the hearts and minds of millions of music lovers. My interview with him below touches on all of the highs and lows of his career, including his new book. I hope you enjoy it.

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Kindle Oasis vs. Kindle Voyage vs. Kindle Paperwhite

FullSizeRenderAside from the basic entry-level Kindle e-reader, there are three additional Kindles for you to choose from: Kindle Paperwhite, Kindle Voyage and Kindle Oasis. Which one should you buy? Watch my video below comparing these three models to find out.

Book Review: Encyclopedia of KISS

IMG_7213As many of you know by now, KISS is my favorite rock band so when Brett Weiss, the author of Encyclopedia of KISS, asked me if I’d review his new book I was happy to do so. With so many great KISS books available, you might be wondering, is this one worth my money? Watch my video review below to find out.

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John Oates Announces Memoir: Change of Seasons

Change of Seasons

John Oates, a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and one-half of the most successful pop duo in the world, Hall & Oates, will give readers an inside look into his life and career with his newly announced memoir: Change of Seasons. The book, set for release on April 4, 2017 will also include a bonus set of original and traditional songs that reflect the stories in the memoir, including an exclusive live version of “Maneater.”

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James Patterson Starts A Reading Revolution

IMG_7188Today, James Patterson started a reading revolution. Its name is BookShots, a new imprint under Little, Brown and Company. What makes these books so special? Each title will be under 150 pages, competitively priced at less than $5, and will be available in a new compact paperback format (and as ebooks and audiobooks). Patterson will be writing, collaborating on, or personally curating every title. Oh, and there’s already 117 of them ready to go.

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Carmine Appice: Rock’s Most Influential Drummer Tells All

IMG_6983Carmine Appice, the most influential drummer in rock and roll history, recently released his autobiography: Stick It! My Life of Sex, Drums, and Rock ‘N’ Roll. I met Carmine at his book signing here in Philadelphia and shortly afterward I interviewed him. We touched on everything from how Sharon Osbourne fired him from Ozzy’s band to the revelation that there are a handful of tracks from Paul Stanley’s 1978 solo album featuring Carmine’s drumming that’ve yet to see the light of day. Check out the interview below and pick up a copy of Carmine’s autobiography, which is available now.

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