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Book Blog

July 7, 2013

15 Views of Orlando (Review)

Carl Hiaasen sneers at Orlando, making it the butt of his Florida-bashing jokes. My model train club (based on Orlando) models Jacksonville (since it’s railroad-sexier). Orlando is a sprawling, simmering, distracted city. To those who use it for nothing more than the home-work drive, it’s little more than a blur beyond the I-4 guardrail. But I’ve lived here for thirty years, bicycled its streets, explored it from end to end. And when I heard about this collection of short stories punch-pinned across the city’s map, I had to check it out. In this collection, fifteen local authors have a go […]
June 30, 2013

Dick Trevanion (Review)

Readers talk about “junk novels”, novels they read for low effort and high pleasure. My brain surgeon sister reads bodice-rippers. Everyone below the age of thirty reads Harry Potter. And me? I read old adventure stories. That’s why Project Gutenberg is such a find. You can get anything there. I touched on that in my recent Dog Ear piece about a test download that caught my interest. The only thing I regret about my choice is that I couldn’t recommend it to my late father. He’d have loved this one. You see, Dick Trevanion lives on the Cornish coast in […]
June 23, 2013

The Enlightened Cyclist (Review)

Hey, I like BikeSnob’s writing – he’s a blogger who is going big with his books. Good for him. He also writes in a witty, flowing fashion. But…. (You knew there was a but coming) The Enlightened Cyclist is a look at the idea of commuting by bike (something I do two to three times a week) (see my bike blog on this site for my postings). I love cycling in the worst city in the United States for bikes. The weather is hot and/or rainy, the motorists are reckless, pushy and distracted. But it’s riding, and that’s brilliant. Beats […]
June 16, 2013

The Forgotten Soldier (Review)

My brother passed this one to me (I could have done with a guest review, too, but I only got the book). Okay, first off, make sure you aren’t depressed when you read it. I’d finished it right before my dad’s passing and it’s a good thing. I don’t think I’d have made it otherwise. So the book is Guy Sajer’s memoir from World War Two. As a young French male (in living in occupied France), it made sense to him to join the German Army. Before everyone shouts “Boo! Hiss!”, we need to put ourselves in his place. If […]
June 9, 2013

Out on a comet (Review)

I‘ll admit I was curious to read this after coming across a spin-off in The New Jules Verne Adventures. Fortunately I knew what to expect, that the story was dreamlike and possibly ludicrous in some of its scientific aspects. Forewarned is forearmed, as they say. Starts well, with two protagonists on the Algerian coast agreeing to duel over a woman. Then in sweeps a comet, one that somehow (we’ll use this word often) manages to gouge out a couple of chunks of Earth, a significant portion of the Mediterranean Sea, a dose of atmosphere, and pockets them all neatly into […]
June 2, 2013

New Jules Verne Adventures (Review)

Years ago, I read a great book by Philip José Farmer titled The Other Log of Phileas Fogg, a cool steampunky book about why Fogg was actually making his round-the-world journey and the secrets behind it. It was very interesting, but what stood out for me was the appendix by H.W. Starr entitled “A Submersible Subterfuge or Proof Impositive”. Here, the writer pluckily dissembles the Nemo legend, providing firm evidence that he was not a haunted revolutionary but a greedy (and self-centered) pirate. That I still remember it three decades later points to how cleverly it was written, and the […]
May 26, 2013

Whiskey Beach (Guest Review)

I’ve mentioned this book-elf before, a dynamic reader, writer, and good friend Lynn Perry. She’s penned (or is that key-boarded) another good review, this time for a Nora Roberts story. Enjoy!   Well, if you think Ms Roberts authors books aimed mostly about and for women, think again.  Whiskey Beach delves deeply into  life of Eli Landon, a Boston criminal attorney accused of killing his wife in a fit of jealous rage. Though there is not enough evidence to convict Mr. Landon, there are those that believe he committed the murder and got away with it.  Although judged innocent of […]
May 19, 2013

Wool (the Silo Saga) (Guest Review)

Another guest review, again from my dad (who apparently grinds through books at a predaceous rate in his peaceful retirement). The point is, the guest review is supposed to give me a break while I get books I’m reading read. Now I’m interested in reading this myself. Perhaps I’ll read it and post my views… All of the human race lives in a concrete silo sunk 150 stories into the ground of a ruined and desolate planet. The ruined land is swept by toxic winds and corrosive dust, nothing can live on the surface. The only part of the silo […]
May 12, 2013

Micro (Review)

I can just see how this came about: Michael Crichton sitting around one night, watching a documentary about all the insect life in a rain forest and some of the amazing ways bugs find to eat other bugs. And he’s thinking, Hmmmm. What if I introduced really small humans into this world? At least Fantastic Voyage had a bit more premise. So the thought is that an evil corporation needs to shrink work teams down to explore all the amazing lifeforms, drugs and properties of Hawaiian rain forests (which is like saying that someone develops commercial air transportation just to […]
May 5, 2013

Deception Point (Review)

Okay, so we’ll start with the turnoff – the suspense. It’s so thick, you can cut it with a knife. Actually, you could shovel it with a snow shovel. Intelligence officer Rachel Sexton (how subliminal!) is told that there is something wonderfully amazing just beyond the next chapter. What this wonderfully amazing thing is, we don’t know. She is led by the nose, first by her boss, then the President of the United States, then by an F-14 pilot, all the way up to the Arctic Circle. All for this wonderfully amazing thing. What is it? You’ll have to go […]