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Book Blog

August 3, 2014

Trees of Change (Review)

rees of Change is the second of a three book YA series authored by Janessa Gayheart, the first of which (The Thousand Year Ghost) I gave a reserved review. The author contacted me and asked me consider the series as a whole. So, as a writer, another rung of that long ladder has been reached: I got a free review copy. Anyway, even though you could just follow the link above to remember the deal, young Hickory lives in a world a thousand years in the future, altered by some titanic change that swept everything away. Portland is buried under […]
July 27, 2014

What happened to Orlando (Review)

ne of the good things about having a local independent book market (called, surprisingly Bookmarket (get the pun?)) is that you will see all sorts of offerings that you won’t see at your local Barnes and Noble (and that you’d never find on your non-local Amazon)). Case in point: What Happened to Orlando. This is a collection of short stories by local young (teen) authors describing the end of Orlando. What a gas this is – not since Alas Babylon have I grooved in the destructions of local landmarks. As HG Wells said of War of the Worlds, in research, […]
July 20, 2014

Another Brick in the Moon (Review)

n this story, Adam Roberts does what I enjoy (when it’s done well) – he takes an older established story and polishes, reworks and updates it until it shines. And in this case, he focuses on The Brick Moon, reviewed HERE. So here, our narrator Charles Bann, so very alive in our own gritty modern-day world, is hardly cut from heroic cloth. Mentioned in passing (and by his own account) as something less than a ladies man, a blind date who dumps him tosses him a bone in the form of a contact who knows something about “The Transcript”. And […]
July 13, 2014

The Brick Moon (Review)

o you gotta understand that The Brick Moon is scifi from way, way, waaaaaaaay back. We’re talking initial publication in 1869. Think about that. Telegraphs and steam engines and horses and six-guns. The transcon had just been completed (the Union Pacific crashing in bankruptcy) and the scars were still tender from the Civil War. The Brick Moon starts with a lesson in navigation, how you can tell latitude easily by the elevation of the polar star, but longitude (east-west position) requires clocks and guesswork. But say you could build a tower on the Greenwich Mean Line, one a hundred miles […]
July 6, 2014

40 Days with Jesus (Review)

ince this blog will probably draw people beyond my normal sphere through search engines, I’d best explain. See, I’m an agnostic (meaning I’m not sure what’s out there, or even if there IS anything out there). But I’m curious, so I’ll read some religious works (I’ve got two books of the Bible queued up and back before I blogged everything I read, I’d read the Hindu Gita cover-to-cover). Anyway, the coworker who gave me this book to accompany my second Lent (I do it for the betterment of myself, and this time I failed – badly) is what I’d call […]
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 […]