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Book Blog

April 28, 2013

The Night Circus (Guest Review)

Another Dad-review. If you were wondering where I got my voracious appetite for books, now you know. Why he has forsaken beloved paper for that glowing screen of electrons, I can’t say. Imagine, if you will, one day the field is empty, the next the circus is there.  A cluster of black and white striped tents surrounded by a tall iron fence.  You go to the main entrance where a sign states simply “Gate opens at Nightfall, closes at Dawn.”  Over the entrance in Baroque letters is “Le Cirque des Reves. You wait impatiently for sundown when the gate opens […]
April 21, 2013

A Clash of Kings (Review)

It’s easy to hate House Lannister. After all, they murdered the rightful King. They throw kids off roofs. They behead main characters. They are mercenary and cunning and bad to the bone. And now Queen Cersei has planted her slightly bastardinous (if not incestuously-created) son Joffrey on the throne. Judging from the number of self-crowned kings that spring up (four, at least, not counting Daenerys lurking off in the east with her three dragons), I’m not alone in hating them. Oh, we have battles galore, small skirmishes, sieges, and expeditions beyond the northern wall. We’ve got politics. We’ve got intrigue. […]
April 14, 2013

The Scarlet Pimpernel (Guest Review)

On my first day as a rocket scientist at Nasa, they jammed me into a pod with a fireball of a secretary, a wiry blonde with  a winning smile and a very sharp personality. After she marked her turf (and scared me silly), it came out that we were both writers. Lynn Perry and I have been friends ever since. So here is her take on Baroness Emmuska Orczy’s classic. I am a reader….my bulging book shelves, decades old library card and financially abused Kindle account reflect my love of books.  Most recently, I reached into history and re-read The […]
April 7, 2013

Guns, Germs, and Steel (Review)

Jared Diamond got a lot of flak for Collapse, and I got a Dale Carnegie pen for it. That’s the way the world works. For Guns, Germs, and Steel, he got a Pulitzer. So, the basics of the book: mankind spreads outwards from Africa. One wave goes east, along the coasts of India, up the long Russian coast, over the Bering Strait and spilling over the Americas (like Sherwin Williams covers the earth). The other wave moves north and west, settling Europe (as if religious wars, strife and a crushing feudal system can be termed “settling”). In the process, we […]
March 31, 2013

Fall of Giants / Winter of the World (Guest review)

Another guest review by my dear ol’ da. I’m stuck in the second book of the Thrones (why do I keep reading gigantic monster books?) So I’ll keep bringing in guests (and writing about old favorites) until I can get caught up. But anyway, here’s another book review for you… The first two books of a planned trilogy that covers the first half of the 20th century. This twofer follows the members of five separate families (English, Welsh, Russian, German, and American)  as they experience love, wars, depression, revolution, and all the political currents that ran through this period. I […]
March 23, 2013

Twenty Years After (Review)

d‘Artagnan puts it best- “Ah, my friends, it is not civil wars which disunite us; it is that we are all twenty years older. The loyal outbursts of youth have gone, and given place to the din of interests, the breath of ambition, and the counsels of egotism.” It”s been twenty years since the events of The Three Musketeers and time has not suited the famous friends. d’Artagnan is still a lieutenant in the musketeers. Porthos has gained a country estate but not the respect his neighbors. Aramis has taken the cloth and pines for his adventurous youth. And Athos, […]
March 17, 2013

Moby Dick – a counterpoint (Guest Review)

Mike Krzos is an old buddy of mine – we car-pooled to our rocket-scientist jobs for about two years. You get a lot of time to know someone, an hour each way. One of our biggest (and standing) arguments was about the novel Moby Dick. I reviewed it HERE. Now it’s Mike’s turn… Moby Dick. Every person claims to know the story. An obsessive madman, a madman with one leg, possessed by his obsession to the ends of sanity and, presumably, the end of his life. Moby Dick is not a story however, it is a work of art. Just […]
March 10, 2013

In Sunlight and in Shadow (Guest Review)

Captain James Raymond is a retired naval officer and voracious reader – he’s also my Pop. Given his burn rate on books, it’s a natural to ask him to stand in for me while I saw through Twenty Years After. Watch for future reviews by him. A beautiful novel set in New York City during the early post WW2 years. Henry, a young paratrooper returns from war and attempts to reestablish his family leather business. His wartime experiences leading his squad into Normandy on D-day and during the battle of the bulge establishes his character using flashbacks.  Love at first […]
March 3, 2013

The Club Dumas (Review)

The Club Dumas, by Arturo Perez-Reverte, is the second of my 3M reviews. Last week, if you’ll remember, we looked at the original, The Three Musketeers. Now we look at this author’s amazing spin on it. I remember watching The Maltese Falcon and being shocked (and delighted) at what a cad Sam Spade (a.k.a Humphrey Bogart) was (including having the sign painter scrape his partner’s name off their practice’s door before his body was even cold). But Lucas Corso goes above and beyond. He’s a ratty book-obtainer, some one you might employ if you wanted a hard-to-get copy of a […]
February 24, 2013

The Three Musketeers (Review)

This is the perfect story. It’s a foundation to the storytelling we know, crafting it so well that most stories of our era still don’t come close. Our tale begins in the classic sense; the young boy comes to town (in this case, Paris) to win fame, fortune and position. He’s young, he’s brash, and he’s mounted on a remarkable yellow nag. And he’s already encountered a dark stranger on the road (that sinister Man from Meung) who buffeted him, abused him, broke his father’s sword and stole his letter of introduction. And that sinister agent was in the company […]