On the nightstand

Book Blog

June 29, 2014

Genesis (review)

saac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, “Father?” “Yes, my son,” Abraham replied. “The fire and wood are here,” Isaac said, “But where is the lamb for the burnt offering?” Okay, so maybe this is a touch whimsical, but I found this a pretty funny line, something like out of Mel Brooks. Still, in all seriousness, I like Genesis. Outside the beginning, with its people living incredibly long lives, it’s got some good tales twisted through it. Of course, there is the above part, where Abraham doesn’t blink when the Lord tries to poker-face him. And it’s got […]
June 22, 2014

12 Years a Slave (Guest Review)

Another review by my very good, very good friend Lynn. I have to thank her for supplying more grist to my  blogging mill (and such good grist – top notch stuff). This time, a book she gives five stars to, 12 Years a Slave. his read will ‘tear your heart out’ and make you ‘mad as hell’, simultaneously.  Written by a husband, father, educated, and employed free black man, it is the true account of Soloman’s capture and treatment as a slave in the Louisiana bayou.  This true account is more gut retching and harrowing than any work of fiction. […]
June 15, 2014

The Days Work (partial review)

haven’t read any Kipling – probably because I am a product of the American education system (nowadays, this latest generation, I’d be surprised if they read anything). But I always wanted to have a taste and found this freebie on my favorite place to get ebooks, Project Gutenberg, so I pulled it down and had a look during my gap between books in the Bible. So this review only follows the first three stories (The Bridge Builders, A Walking Delegate, and The Ship That Found Itself). Overall? Meh. I’ll start with The Bridge Builders and you’ll see why I’m saying […]
June 8, 2014

Murat (Celebrated Crimes) (Review)

his was an odd one, a short story from a series from Alexandre Dumas focused on Celebrated Crimes. I don’t know what the context of this was – unfair crimes against people? Crimes that took place and his detailed storytelling of them? Not sure. Anyway, for this one, we start high in the windswept expanse of the Gorge of Olliulles where a ragged traveler looks over the endless vista. It is June 18th, 1815, and on the other side of France Napoleon (that very day) is getting crushed at Waterloo. Two men ride up, marshals of France, and accost the […]
June 1, 2014

Book of Daniel (Review)

hen I commented to some of my Christian friends that I might be willing to read some of the chapters of the Bible and comment about what I thought of them, they all, as one, blanched. I think they thought I was going to act like River Tam from Firefly, in that I’d tell the Shepherd his Bible was broken and write all over it, trying to decode it. No, I’m just reading it. So, at a friend’s suggestion, I started with Daniel (which is odd, since a workplace Bible studies group who invited me to attend because they were […]
May 25, 2014

Louise de la Valliere (Review)

o we’re into the third book of the Ten Years After saga. We’ve seen the corruption of Louise in Court (a corruption that she, I have to say, willingly embraced – after all, it was her incessant babbling of how sexy the king was that brought his attentions around to focus on her). And then there’s Raoul, youthfully proud and making pretty much the same mistakes I, myself, made at that age. And through it all, the Musketeers (all advancing in age and power) flit about in the background (and occasionally get to make impacts to our story). Overall, I […]
May 18, 2014

The Powder Monkey (Review)

t’s been cynically stated that there are only two true plot lines, those being (a) a man comes to town or (b) a man leaves town. The Powder Monkey sees both of these come to play. Seaman Jack Jeens plods into our story along a countryside road, his dear ol’ mother at his back (he’s just given her half his wages, d’ya see, to keep the poor ald lady whole and hale), his schooner at anchor in nearby Torquay*. And that’s when he comes upon a poor little lad weeping in the lane, his mum and da passed on, his […]
May 11, 2014

Ten Years Later (Review)

‘ve noted before how confusing this series is (from a structural sense) – it’s been released as two books, as three, and including (or excluding) The Man in the Iron Mask. So the version I’m reading is the middle three of the The Vicomte of Bragelonne series, all about Athos’ son’s love for Louise de la Vallière, a confused country girl made even more confused by the glitter (and corruptive influence) of the court (she now has a position as a lady-in-waiting for Lady Henrietta, the English wife of the son of the French King, second in line to the […]
May 4, 2014

Chasing Fire (guest review)

Lynn Perry is a dear friend and a writer, and at one time a co-worker (in my rocket-scientist days). I love how she thinks and what makes her purr. And she’s getting her own little fanbase for her reviews. Enjoy her latest recommendation… e all know there are brave individuals out there risking their lives fighting forest fires.  That, however, is all most of know.  Although we read about fire fighters, see TV news clips of smoke jumpers, and pilots dropping retardant, most of us have no idea of the real job they perform. In her direct, exacting, and informative […]
April 29, 2014

Bartleby, The Scrivener (Review)

You’ll remember my love [sic] of Herman Melville HERE, how I couldn’t get his stuff down, not with a spoon-full of sugar, not at the point of a gun. I’ve read long windy lofty books, Atlas Shrugged, Anna Karinina, and currently, Quicksilver. I’ve liked them all to various degrees. But Melville, “He tasks me; he heaps me”. In other words, I could never get in tune with him. Even Billy Budd mauled me. But my crazy sometime’s daughter / sometimes groupie Denise mentioned this book years back with the old “You haven’t read ‘Bartleby, The Scrivener’? Oh, you gotta read […]