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Book Blog

May 19, 2024

The Goodbye Cat (Review)

while ago I wrote a review for The Traveling Cat Chronicles, which I heard about in Japan (movie poster below) and found that the book had been translated into English. It was a great story form the cat’s point of view of a man and his furry companion, traveling Japan together, trying to find the cat a new home for reasons that are horribly poignant when finally revealed. It was a great story that brought tears to my eyes. Since I only seem to find better literature in other countries, I was snooping the stacks in the Amsterdam train station […]
May 12, 2024

American Gods (Review)

eil Gaiman can always be counted on to provide interesting and clever fiction. And this one, his massive tome of American Gods, shows this ability to the utmost. So figure that gods need people to make them exist. They exist through belief. Belief is what makes gods live, and brings them power. So of course, American has no gods before there are people (the rest of the world is lousy with them). And as humans arrive, across the Barents Strait, grind their longboat prows into Newfoundland, settle in Plymouth, arrive to build railroads, to escape a potato famine, or are […]
May 5, 2024

Trigger Warning (Review)

rigger Warning is a collection of Neil Gaiman short stories, perfect for the long plane trip to Amsterdam. They all are stories which the main character is surprised (sometimes fatally) by a turn of events. Often they are close calls, or cautionary notes, or just death. But they were all fun. My favorite of the bunch was Adventure Story, a cute little story where a man asks his mom about an item on his late-father’s desk, an tiny figuring, and in denying and pooh-poohing it, his mother hints of some sort of crazy Indian Jones adventure his father went through. […]
April 29, 2024

Destroyermen 9: Deadly Shores (Review)

ou’ll notice that I’ve picked up reviews again. With my two week vacation in Amsterdam and my blogging about it, I really didn’t have time for book reviews. Well, I’ve got a stack to get through so even though it’s late, let’s get started. So Taylor Anderson’s Deadly Shores is the ninth book in the Destroyermen series. In this one, the world gets bigger as we learn more about the reptilian grik locations in Africa, hints about another race further north along the western coast, and possibly more allies beyond the South American Dons. Yes, the book is busy. Unlike […]
March 24, 2024

A Highly Unlikely Scenario (Review)

his is one of my puzzled reviews. Rachel Cantor’s A Highly Unlikely Scenario was an odd little read. You can figure this by the sub-title included: “A Nestsa Pixxs Employee’s Guide to saving the World”. So Leonard is the pizza employee, and he handles call center duties in a futuristic world where fast food corporations run everything. He’s feeling a little bad about his old Jewish grandfather, whom he kinda ridiculed and chided in the last years of his life. And then, suddenly, Leonard  gets a call from someone who is in prison. The calls keeps coming in – even […]
March 17, 2024

Armada (Review)

kay, a book by the guy who wrote Ready Player One, which was made into a movie that bore little resemblance to it. In this novel, we have another cast-off modern kid with absent daddy issues, Zach Lightman, who loves the late-sixties and seventies gaming world. Of course, while he is well-versed in older games, he is an Ace-of-the-Base in the modern game “Armada”. It’s a game that pits the main character (in a drone fighter) (which makes a lot more sense than wasting a perfectly good human) (kudos to author Ernest Cline for this point) against an enemy armada […]
March 10, 2024

Are We Rome (Review)

his was an interesting one, and the sub-title, The Fall of and Empire and the Fate of America makes it even more-so. And no, this is not a work of fiction. Here, author Cullen Murphy takes apart history (particularly of the Roman Empire through 400 AD and beyond. The obvious drive – Rome fell, and are we falling the same way? Well, it might not be the same, not really. After all, the Roman borders were indeed far away and news took forever to travel. Now, events that occur are available across the American Empire instantaneously, without control and sometimes […]
March 3, 2024

Extra South (Review)

ne of the things that stuck with me in the movie The Flim Flam man (set in the “old South” at the end of the fifties) was the railroads. You saw L&N, Southern, and even Monon trains doing their small-town switching in their rural ways. I was reminded of it in Extra South, a wonderful book by author H. Reid. Here he focuses (in anecdote and pictures) of what the mid-to-late century was like on the sleepy lines of the South. From sugar cane railroads to tiny branch lines, even the railroad that went to Virginia Tech (my Alma mater, served […]
February 25, 2024

Butcher & Blackbird (Review)

ooookay. So this was a weird one. I was talking books with a surgery-follow-up doctor and I asked for a recommendation (as a reader, it is the most precious gift I can grant another reader). This female doc was listening to this book on audible and really liked it. You be the judge. So Butcher & Blackbird is chick-lit at its most extreme. The two characters (kinda from the title, but properly named Sloane and Rowan) are both serial killers. To make them sympathetic, their victims are the lowest of society – other serial killers if they can, drug dealers […]
February 19, 2024

Destroyermen 8: Storm Surge (Review)

eesh. So here we are on book eight of this series. The world (and cast of characters) keeps expanding with the realization of the existence of a new race (South Africa), mounted riders led by (of all things) a Czech (in Northern India) and a crazy change to our world over in the Dominion area (over in South America). So we resolve India and the double stalemate there (and nobody seems happy about it), our wonder weapons – those P-40s – finally get deployed (that was fun). And the crazy Silva gets to break more things (as he is prone […]