Special Offer (Over): The Eighth Scroll by Laurence B. Brown
Latest Posts / August 31, 2011

Recently I read Dr. Laurence B. Brown’s book “The Eighth Scroll”, as usual I blogged about my thoughts when I finished reading. Recently Dr. Brown wrote me offering to send a SPECIAL OFFER via email to my readers. Simply put your email address in the form below and I will forward them to the author who will send you a special offer which is only available for a limited time.

Thoughts on: Mossad: The Greatest Missions of the Israeli Secret Service by Michael Bar-Zohar and Nissim Mishal
5 Stars , Latest Posts , Non-Fiction / August 30, 2011

About: Mossad: The Greatest Missions of the Israeli Secret Service by Michael Bar-Zohar and Nissim Mishal is a non-fictionbook by Israeli journalists Michael Bar-Zohar and Nissim Mishal. The book recounts some of the great successes and failures of the secret Israeli agency. 400 pages Publisher: Ecco Language: English ISBN-10: 0062123408 My rating for The Mossad – 5 Buy this book in paper or electronic format* Thoughts: I am familiar with Professor Bar-Zohar’s writings, he is a leading Israeli writer on espionage. As most of his books, Mossad is also a fast paced, fascinating look behind thick curtains which have been previously closed. The authors’ analysis and insight are mesmerizing and usually spot on, while the new information they present, information that just recently has been uncensored, is simply amazing. One of the most intriguing aspects of the book is not the spectacular successes, but the equally spectacular failures. Some of these failures are so astonishing one has to look at the cover to make sure the book is about the Mossad and not the keystone cops. Afterwards pounding ones head – “what were they thinking”. Author Michael Bar-Zohar said that this is due to “The feeling is that we are the best in…

Thoughts on: Dreams of My Russian Summers by Andreï Makine
4 Stars , Fiction , Latest Posts / August 28, 2011

About: “Dreams of My Russian Summers” by Andreï Makine is a fictional, semi-autobiographical book. The book was originally written in French and has won several awards. 241 pages Publisher: Arcade Publishing ISBN: 155970893X The pub­lisher has made avail­able one (2) copies of “Dreams of My Russian Summers” to be given out– enter at the end of the post. My rating for Dreams of My Russian Summers – 4 Buy & Save on “Dreams of My Russian Summers” through the ManOfLa­Book affil­i­ate account on: Ama­zon  | Kin­dle |Book Depos­i­tory US | Book Depos­i­tory UK Thoughts: “Dreams of My Russian Summers” by Andreï Makine is a beautiful book, a lyrical and relatable story of the author who was born in Russia but spent his summers with his grandmother Charlotte Lemonnier. Charlotte’s stories took a life of their own and ultimately became an integral part of the author as well. The book is as much the story of Charlotte as it is of the author. Born in the early 1900s, she moved to Russia with her father who practiced medicine. Over the years Charlotte went back and forth only to be in France on the even of World War I. She soon returned to…

Fun Facts Friday: Theodore Dreiser
Fun Facts Friday , Latest Posts / August 26, 2011

Tomorrow will be the birthday of American novelist Theodore Dreiser (August 27, 1871 – December 28, 1945). Mr. Dreiser is known for many things, among them are the situations he created which resemble nature studies more than the philosophical choice of agency. 1 ) Born Theodore Herman Albert Dreiser  in Terre Haute, Indiana and was 12 out of 13 children. 2 ) Dreiser’s first novel “Sister Carrie ” (1900) was received poorly due to moral objections at the time. Since then “Sister Carrie” has been described as the “greatest of all American urban novels”. 3 ) Dreiser’s “An American Tragedy“ (1925) was his first commercial success. 4 ) “An American Tragedy” was made into a movie 1931 and again in 1951 (called “A Place in the Sun“). 5 ) The book was critical of the American justice system and was based on a true story. 6 ) Dreiser’s work as a journalist influenced his books about “murder for money” which he considered an American disease. 7 ) His short story “My Brother Paul” was the base for the 1942 file “My Gal Sal“. 8 ) Dreiser not only talked the talk, but also walked the walk. He constantly fought censorship because he…

Thoughts on: Uncle Misha’s Partisans by Yuri Suhl
5 Stars , Fiction , Latest Posts / August 25, 2011

About: “Uncle Misha’s Partisans” by Yuri Suhl is a fictional book following the adventures of a Ukrainian boy during World War II. The book is meant for young adults (YA) and should be read as such. 211 pages Publisher: Shapolsky Publishers ISBN: 0933503237 My rating for Uncle Misha’s Partisan’s – 5 Thoughts: The book, “Uncle Misha’s Partisans” by Yuri Suhl, first came to my knowledge through a post on The Children’s War blog. What caught my eye was the name of one of the partisans, Yoshke, which is similar to my great-uncles nickname (Yoseph or Yoshko) who was also a partisan during World War II. We only know bits and pieces about my great uncle’s experiences as he never fully relayed them to anyone. He was fond of saying that he was ‘jealous of dogs’ during that time. This award winning book (1973 The Sydney Taylor Book Awards, 1974 National Jewish Book Awards Jewish Book Council) reminded me of the books I used to love as a boy 10-13 or so, which is just about the age this book is recommended for. It is well written, excellent story which doesn’t insult the intelligence of young adults. What I’m surprised is…

Authors on Facebook
Latest Posts , Opinion / August 23, 2011

A few days ago I stumbled on a fascinating tweet-chat using the hashtag #bookmarket. While I’m not an active participant of that chat (I work at that time) I happen to hop on and join the conversation. The theme was authors using social media to sell books and the question asked was whether or not authors should have a Facebook page. Public relations extraordinaire Ruth Seeley (@ruthseeley) was on hand to give advice and discuss options. I put in my two cents saying that in my opinion Facebook pages for authors help them connect with readers who already read their books (most likely potential customers for their next one) than to pick up new customers. The power of social media, in my opinion, is more conversational than a sales pitch. Authors who have a conversation with their fans are most likely to keep them (I know they keep me). Several authors which I follow on Facebook are: Steven Pressfield – interaction with his fans, not only pumping up his new book but blogs about writing, research (even on older books) and most importantly, interacts with his audience. Ace Atkins – Again, not only posts about his new book, but pictures…

Thoughts on: Better by Mistake by Alina Tugend
4 Stars , Latest Posts , Non-Fiction / August 21, 2011

About: “Better by Mistake: The Unexpected Benefits of Being Wrong” by Alina Tugend is a non-fiction book which tries to explain how dealing with mistakes can benefit you and your work. While this book might be categorized as self-help, I found it to be more than that and  thought provoking as well. 304 pages Publisher: Riverhead Hardcover ISBN-10: 1594487855 My rating for Better by Mistake – 4 Thoughts: While “Better by Mistake: The Unexpected Benefits of Being Wrong” by Alina Tugend (Website | Twitter | Facebook) might be categorized as a self help book, I found it to be more of a business book or social commentary than the self help kind. Ms. Tugend focuses on the hypocritical nature of our society when it comes to the subject at hand and how one is able to overcome the ingrained philosophy which we were taught. I found it very refreshing to take an honest look into our society where we are told to learn from our mistakes, yet get penalized and punished when we make them. It was inspirational to read, an honest look about the cover-your-ass (CYA) culture we have become. How people spend more energy deflecting mistakes, cover them…

Thoughts on: The Devil’s Gold By Steve Berry
4 Stars , Fiction , Latest Posts / August 20, 2011

About: “The Devil’s Gold” By Steve Berry is a short fictional eBook original. The book follows one of the characters in Mr. Berry’s books on a short adventure. Publisher: Ballantine Books ASIN: B004U33GCW  My rat­ing for The Devil’s God— 4 Buy “The Devil’s Gold” through the ManOfLa­Book affil­i­ate account: $0.99 on the Kindle Thoughts: “The Devil’s Gold” By Steve Berry  (web­site) is another short story (I read The Balkan Escape previously – book review) in which one of the characters, Jonathan Wyatt, of his novels goes on a sidetrack adventure. The book actually takes place before Mr. Berry’s latest creation, “The Jefferson Key” (book review). I enjoyed this book very much, it is short but tells a great alternative history story of what happened to Eva Braun. I’m sure Mr. Berry could easily write a whole book just about that subject alone. Even thought the story is very short (less than 40 pages) it is very entertaining and certainly holds its own. It is fast paced and thrilling. One could even view this book as the teaser sequence before the main book. So tell me, do you like “teaser” stories? Synopsis: Jonathan Wyatt, once known as “Sphinx” has been waiting…

Fun Facts Friday: Jacqueline Susann
Fun Facts Friday , Latest Posts / August 19, 2011

Tomorrow will be the birthday of bestselling author Jacqueline Susann (August 20, 1918 – September 21, 1974). While many people had issues with Ms. Susann’s writing skills, she did write several best sellers. 1 )      Jacqueline’s father, Robert, was a portrait painter, her mother, Rose Jans, was a school teacher. 2 )      Jacqueline was known as an intelligent, but lazy student. When Jacqueline scored 140 on her IQ test it prompted her mother to predict that she would become a good writer. 3 )      Wanting to become an actress, Jacqueline participated in seven movies or TV shows. 4 )      Jacqueline hosted a TV talk show called Jacqueline Susann’s Open Door which only lasted about two months. 5 )       “Valley of the Dolls” was rejected by several publishers before becoming a hit. 6 )      The book broke several sales records (it sold around 30 million copies). 7 )      Jacqueline made a cameo appearance as a reporter in the film “Valley of the Dolls”. 8 )      Even though she was in it, Jacqueline hated the film adaptation of her book and walked out of the premiere. 9 )      Jacqueline had three books on the bestseller list all at once. The books were…

Thoughts on: Tess of the d’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
2 Stars , Classics , Fiction , Latest Posts / August 18, 2011

About: “Tess of the d’Urbervilles” by Thomas Hardy is a fictional book published in 1891 . The book follows Tess through her trials and tribulations in Victorian England. 544 pages Publisher: Barnes & Noble Classics ISBN-10: 1593082282 My rating for Tess of the D’Urbervilles – 2  Buy & Save on “Tess of the d’Urbervilles”  through the ManOfLa­Book affil­i­ate account on: Ama­zon | Kindle | Book Depos­i­tory US | Book Depos­i­tory UK Thoughts: “Tess of the d’Urbervilles” (pronounced Derbyvilles)by Thomas Hardy (Biography) is one of those books which I think bored literature professors love. There is much social commentary, hidden meanings, sinister motives and a double entendre to almost every phrase. The more you read the book, the more of you’d discover. I, however, am not bored nor am I a literature professor. The reason I am no longer bored is because I finished reading this very descriptive book. I did like the story, that of a poor, pure farm girl who is being used as a rag for every man she falls for but keeps coming back to them like a long lost puppy until she loses her mind. While Mr. Hardy does lavish the reader with his description of the…

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