Thoughts on: The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller
5 Stars , Fiction , Graphic Novels , Latest Posts / October 31, 2011

About: The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller is a graphic novel originally published in 1986. The graphic novel, written and drawn by Miller, was originally released in a four-issue limited series called Batman: The Dark Knight. 224 pages Publisher: DC Comics; 10 Anv edition ISBN: 1563893428 My rating for The Dark Knight Returns – 5 Buy & Save on The Dark Knight Returns through the ManOfLa­Book affil­i­ate account on: Ama­zon | Book Depos­i­tory US | Book Depos­i­tory UK More books by Frank Miller Thoughts: The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller, a best seller and rightly so, is a story of ideologies and how they skew people’s perceptions of what is right and what is wrong. With those ideologies and perceptions comes the sense of justice and punishment no matter how they might not fit the crime. However, for me, the major point of the book was how we decide what our role in society will be. The book is a scathing commentary on the political system at large. How boobs elected into office are being handled behind the scenes, wielding unimaginable power (nuclear warheads and Superman in this case) and how the idiotic talking heads on TV shape public…

This post is my entry in the Book Nerd Out giveaway hosted by Book Riot
Latest Posts , Opinion / October 29, 2011

This post is my entry in the Book Nerd Out giveaway hosted by Book Riot: Reviews, Recommendations, and Commentary about books and reading (but, you know, fun).   My nerd out moment is not about meeting anyone famous or notable. I really am not the type of person to worship another person whether they be actors, royalty, athletes or authors. I certainly appreciate them, their talents, hard work and will most likely make an effort to meet and create memories with those who had impact on my life but I don’t consider that a nerd out moment for me. Before I go ahead and tell you about my biggest bookish nerd out moment you must have some background. After all, as in any story, a narrative without appropriate context lacks relationship to proper events. As a boy, I lived in an Israeli Kibbutz. During that time all the children were collected and raised together in a common home called “beit yeladim” (literally”childrens’ home). We saw our parents a few hours a day but spent most of the day with our care takes and together. While it seems strange to those who didn’t experience it, heck it seems strange to me…

Thoughts on: Dracula by Bram Stoker
5 Stars , Classics , Fiction , Latest Posts / October 29, 2011

About: Dracula by Bram Stoker is a classic horror book written in 1897. The book was part of a genre called invasion literaturein which monsters tries to take over the United Kingdom. 408 pages Publisher: Barnes & Noble; 1ST edition ISBN: 1435129733  My rating for Dracula – 5 Buy & Save on Dracula through the ManOfLa­Book affil­i­ate account on: Ama­zon | Kin­dle(Free) | Book Depos­i­tory US | Book Depos­i­tory UK More books by Bram Stoker Part of the League of Extraordinary Gentle — Men of la — Book Challenge (Vol. 1) Thoughts: At first I didn’t think I’d like Dracula by Bram Stoker and I’m surprised at how much I did like it. The novel is composed of letters, journals, newspapers articles, telegrams and a chilling ship log. The story is told through alternating view points, the only person who knows the whole story is Van Helsing – and that includes the reader. At the end of the novel you still don’t know if you missed something or if Stoker purposely left something out. While I can certainly see how that would bother people, personally I thought that was part of the genius of the book. I was surprised at the…

Fun Facts Friday: Dracula
Fun Facts Friday , Latest Posts / October 28, 2011

I recently read Bram Stoker’s Dracula (my thoughts on it will be posted tomorrow), so here is a special Halloween edition of Fun Facts Friday. 1 )      Dracula was part of a genre in which fantastic creatures threatened England. At the time “Invasion Literature” was at its peak. 2)      Bram Stoker spent 7 years researching vampire stories and European folklore. The most influential was Transylvania Superstitions, an 1885 essay by Emily Gerard 3 )      Actor Henry Irving of the Lyceum Theatre where Stoker worked was the inspiration for Dracula’s mannerisms. 4 )      One of the original titles for the book was The Dead Un-Dead. 5 )      Dracula was originally named Count Wampyr. Stoker changed the name after reading the book Account of the Principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia with Political Observations Relative to Them by Willima Wilkinson. 6 )      In Romanian the name dracul (dragon + “ul”) can mean either “the dragon” or “the devil”. 7 )      Stoker failed to properly fie for copyright in the United States, hence the novel was in the public domain since its publication. 8 )      The classic horror film Nosferatu (1922) was an unauthorized adaptation of the book. 9 )      Storker’s widow sued trying…

Q&A with Publisher Nicole Langan of Tribute Books
Latest Posts / October 26, 2011

Recently I had a chance to ask Nicole Langan, owner of Tribute books about the changing publishing climate and the new direction she is taking her company to. As a person who is interested (and sometimes critical) of all aspects of books I was very glad that she agreed to answer a few questions. Q. Can you tell us more about Tribute Books becoming solely an ebook publisher of young adult titles? A. Our main reason is the explosion in popularity of e-readers such as the Kindle, Nook and iPad. Over the course of 2011, we’ve watched our ebook sales outpace our print sales by 2 to 1. The under $5 price point of most of our titles and the ease of purchase and delivery are surely contributing factors. On a business level, the young adult genre sells especially if it is well written and has a paranormal romance theme. On a marketing level, the devotion of the young adult fan base is unparalleled. On a personal level, I thoroughly enjoy a good young adult novel and review many on my blog at http://tributebooksreviews.blogspot.com. Q. Why did you make this decision? A. In 2004, I started Tribute Books. Since that…

Thoughts on: Across Many Mountains by Yangzom Brauen

About: Across Many Mountains: A Tibetan Family’s Epic Journey from Oppression to Freedom by Yangzom Brauen is a non-fiction book which follows three generations of Tibetan women. The book is an insight into Tibetan’s society. 320 pages Publisher: St. Martin’s Press ISBN: 0312600135 My rating for Across Many Mountains – 4 Buy & Save on Across Many Mountains through the ManOfLa­Book affil­i­ate account on: Ama­zon | Kin­dle | Book Depos­i­tory US | Book Depos­i­tory UK Thoughts: Across Many Mountains: A Tibetan Family’s Epic Journey from Oppression to Freedom by Yangzom Brauen (website | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube) is sort of a cross between a memoir and a family history of the author. The book starts with the invasion of Tibet by China and Ms. Brauen’s grandmother’s escape. Besides the exciting story, the book offers many insights into Tibetan society, culture, beliefs and class structure which I found very interesting. I don’t know much about the Chinese invasion or Tibetan culture and I’m glad to say I learned many things from reading this book. Even though the book tackles some complex subjects, the writing is simple, eloquent and the story is readable. Even though the Chinese propaganda makes them seem as…

Reading with Kids? Not that Hard!
Latest Posts , Opinion / October 24, 2011

Today there was a whole section on The Guardian on Reading with Kids. A subject close and dear to my heart (see my post: Classic Lit for Kids – Getting Started). Tim Dowling wrote a wonderful article titled “Reading with kids? How hard can it be?” Like many parents, Mr. Dowling had a problem reading to his kids. We all had that, that hint of doubt which roots in your mind, the knowledge that your narrative voice is absolutely nothing like the one in your head, and more. The purpose of the article though is to give parents some tips to get their kids to read. There are some excellent tips at the bottom (make sure you read the article for context), I was going to write a few more but unfortunately there is no place for comments. Focus on flow, not accuracy – when kids learn to read it’s OK to give them a book a step below their level and help them if they struggle or make a simple mistake but don’t nitpick too much. When they read it the second time, that’s when you can make the corrections. Encourage them to read to their toys – toys…

Author Q&A with Dennis Danziger
Author Q&A , Latest Posts / October 24, 2011

Den­nis Danziger (web­site) is the author of A Short History of a Tall Jew (my thoughts). The book was funny, hilar­i­ous and charm­ing . I later found out that Mr. Danziger used to be a TV writer on shows such as  Taxi and Kate and Allie. He writes a bi-weekly column in the Huffington Post and other publications and somehow finds the time to teach public high school. Q. What was the transition like from writing for TV (one of my favorites: Taxi as well as Kate and Allie) to writing newspaper columns and books? A.  I was never comfortable at writing for TV, never comfortable with the structure. And, I might add, not very good at it. So the transition to columns and books was easy because I went back to writing in forms that felt more natural to me. Q.  Is LA really that crazy? A.  Probably much crazier than the LA I’ve presented in Short History. I wrote the book when I was in my 50s. A writer in his/her 20s or 30s would probably reveal an even more out of whack world. Q. It seems to me that society doesn’t let the book’s protagonist, a public…

Thoughts on: The Attack by Yasmina Khadra
5 Stars , Fiction , Latest Posts / October 23, 2011

About: The Attack by Yasmina Khadra is a fictional book set in Israel and the West Bank. Yasmina Khadra is the nom de plume of Mohammed Moulessehoul, a former Algerian military officer. 272 pages Publisher: Anchor ISBN: 0307275701 My rating for The Attack – 5 Buy & Save on The Attack through the ManOfLa­Book affil­i­ate account on: Ama­zon | Kin­dle | Book Depos­i­tory US | Book Depos­i­tory UK More Books by Yasmina Khadra Thoughts: The Attack by Yasmina Khadra (website) is a wonderful, even handed and fascinating book. Dealing with sensitive subjects yet staying away from a militant point of view is a remarkable achievement by itself, combine that with an excellent story and you’ve got yourself a winner. The story is told from the perspective of Dr. Jaafari, a naturalized Israeli Arab who works in an Israeli hospital in Tel-Aviv and lives in an exclusive neighborhood in town. There are more than a million Arabs with full Israeli citizenship, who live between worlds and often find themselves in unenviable positions Even though Dr. Jaafari is suppose to the model of integration and peace, one day his life falls apart when it is discovered that his wife exploded herself in the…

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