Fun Facts Friday: Mark Twain
Fun Facts Friday , Latest Posts / November 30, 2012

Samuel Langhorne Clemens, who is more famous under his nom de plume – Mark Twain – was born today in 30 November, 1835 in Florida, Missouri. Twain was an interesting man, a talented writer / author, a keen observer of life and a possessed a biting sense of humor.

Book Review: Hacks, Sycophants, Adventurers, and Heroes by David Fitz-Enz
3 Stars , Latest Posts , Non-Fiction / November 29, 2012

There is much information about the war and a lot to digest. Mr. Fitz-Enz did the reader a favor by presenting his analysis in a series of short biographical chapters about key personnel in the war. Some of the key figures were competent, some simply looked for their own advancement, others took on responsibilities which they were not qualified for and caused disaster.

Tightwad Tuesday – Affordable eBooks – Science Fiction
Latest Posts , Tightwad Tuesday / November 27, 2012

I’m not much of  a science fiction reader, I used to love the genre, and maybe will again. As a former fan I still do appreciate the genre and when I saw these books, available for this week only for $2.99 I thought others would like to know about them.  These title range from hard core sci-fi, to magic to urban fantasy.   At the time of this post, the books below were free or $2.99 — please check before downloading. Nightshifted (An Edie Spence Novel) by Cassie Alexander From debut author Cassie Alexander comes a spectacular new urban fantasy series where working the nightshift can be a real nightmare. Nothing compares to being Nightshifted. Nursing school prepared Edie Spence for a lot of things. Burn victims? No problem. Severed limbs? Piece of cake. Vampires? No way in hell. But as the newest nurse on Y4, the secret ward hidden in the bowels of County Hospital, Edie has her hands full with every paranormal patient you can imagine—from vamps and were-things to zombies and beyond… Edie’s just trying to learn the ropes so she can get through her latest shift unscathed.  But when a vampire servant turns to dust under her…

Book Review: The Faithful Spy by Alex Berenson
4 Stars , Fiction , Latest Posts / November 27, 2012

Article first published as Book Review: The Faithful Spy by Alex Berenson on Blogcritics. About: The Faithful Spy by Alex Berenson is a novel following a man who was a CIA asset in al Qaeda. The novel takes place in Afghanistan and the United States. 384 pages Publisher: Berkley/Penguin Language: English ISBN-10: 0425244830 My rating for The Faithful Spy – 4 Buy this book in paper or electronic format* More books by Alex Berenson Thoughts: After finishing to read The Faithful Spy by Alex Berenson (website | Facebook | @AlexBerenson) I added Mr. Berenson to my favorite authors list immediately. The novel grabbed me from the first several pages and didn’t let go until the last sentence. Mr. Berenson is a superb storyteller and describing details which lets you feel the story and immerse yourself in it without any superfluous descriptions. Even though this story tells of a man deeply embedded with al Qaeda, I thought that it was a modern American western – the type which legends are made of. The comparison to an American western comes with flaws of course, a lot of chest thumping, the justification of torture (as long as it’s done by the good guys)…

Review: IlluStory Make Your Own Story Kit
Latest Posts / November 26, 2012

Disclaimer: I bought this kit and this is not a paid post. Last year we bought our daughter (7) probably one of the best Christmas / Hanukah gifts we could – the IlluStory story kit. Just so you understand, our daughter is hard to shop for – she’s not “into” anything except those idiotic Disney shows (“Suite Life on Deck” etc. which she is too young to watch) and doesn’t really play with toys. Sure, she likes the “idea” of toys but let’s face it – girl toys are crap, they break right out of the box and twice as expensive as boy toys (which last for years). After the initial jubilation of receiving a toy it usually gets put in storage until donated several months later. Last year, after the annual fight of “no one needs this much shit” (me) versus “it’s a holiday you grumpy old fart” (my wife) we sat down to search for presents we can get her which: 1) she’s going to like 2) she can do by herself 3) we’ll be somewhat educational 4) be something she’s not going to put away in half an hour 5) extra points if it’s somewhat educational I…

Twitter Update for Week Ending 24 November, 2012
Latest Posts , Twitter Roundup / November 25, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving! The official start of the holiday season is upon and in which we forget everything that’s important and give ourselves wholly to gluttony and consumption. Thanksgiving though is the last of the perfect holidays. No presents, no religion, no sacred text or holy rituals. Just some family, food, football and beer and remembering our history, heritage and what is really important. We might have lost our ways, but for one day a year we set ourselves straight – and that’s something! (Even though now the “holidays” start a bit early as we rush to finish our dinner and into the early openings of stores – disgusting!)     Book Review: The Good Pope by Greg #BookReview Notes from the Slushpile: To MA or not to MA, that is the question… – Check this out Today Only: 14 Kurt Vonnegut Books – #Kindle Daily Deal Free Digital Comic: #BookReview Caspar Henderson: rereading The Book of Imaginary Beings by Jorge Luis via @guardian Good books are portals wherever we find them | Book View Cafe Blog – Stolen-A witch with a reputation for stealing children, a 12-year-old appeared in the woods: – #Kindle #YA Deal We must protect and reinvent our local libraries | Jeanette via @guardian@neilhimself…

Fun Facts Friday: Paul Celan
Fun Facts Friday , Latest Posts / November 23, 2012

Today is the birthday of Romanian poet and translator Paul Celan (23 November 1920 – abt. 20 April 1970) . Born into a Jewish family in Romania (Ukraine) . Celan was awarded the Bremen Literature Prize in 1958 and the Georg Büchner Prize in 1960. 1 ) Celan was born as Paul Antschel but changed his name to Celan (pronounced Chelan). 2 ) Celan’s father was a Zionist and insisted his son learn Hebrew. Celan’s mother loved German literature and insisted that German will be spoken in the house. Paul Celan abandoned Zionism after his Bar-Mitzvah but finished his Hebrew education. 3 ) During World War II Celan and his parents were deported into a ghetto on October 1941. Celan kept busy but translating Shakespeare’s Sonnets and writing his own poetry. In the Ghetto Celan was exposed t traditional Yidish songs and culture. When the ghetto was dissolved Celan was working as a forced laborer clearing debris and destroying Russian books. 4 ) Celan tried to convince his parents to leave Bukovina, but they refused. One night Celan was so mad he slept at a friend’s house. That night, 21 June, his parents were deported to an interment camp in…

The Annual (and Lame) Manly Holiday Gift Guide
Latest Posts / November 22, 2012

Thank you all for visiting my blog, you make everyday bright with your comments and support. For the hubby who puts on his plaid shirt while watching reality “manly” shows : And Now We Shall Do Manly Things by Craig J. Heimbuch For the friendly neighborhood geek who loves stuff that you don’t understand, want nothing to do with and already has everything: Tarzan The Centennial Celebration by Scott Tracy Griffin For the music lover who insists that books are “lame”: Randy Bachman’s Vinyl Tap Stories For the trivia lover that can name all James Bond movies in order when woken up from sound sleep at 3 AM: The Music of James Bond by Jon Burlingame For the father who secretly wanted to be a history teacher and practices the profession during dinner: The Liberator by Alex Kershaw For the wife of father above who can’t stand history books  but wants to be able to prove her husband wrong at some point: Princess Elizabeth’s Spy by Susan Elia MacNeal For the musical fanatic who is forced to switch his t-shirt and jeans in order to wear a suite to the office: Conversations with Jimmy Page by Brad  Tolinski For your…

Book Review: And Now We Shall Do Manly Things by Craig J. Heimbuch

Article first published as Book Review: And Now We Shall Do Manly Things by Craig J. Heimbuch on Blogcritics. About: And Now We Shall Do Manly Things by Craig J. Heimbuch is a non-fiction book about the author’s adventures learning to hunt. The author chronicles his personal journey to while learning about the hunting culture in America. The pub­lisher is giv­ing away one copy of this book –to enter fill out the Raf­fle­copt­ter form at the end of the post. 336 pages Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks Language: English ISBN-10: 006219786X My rat­ing for And Now We Shall Do Manly Things —4 Buy this book in paper or elec­tronic format* Thoughts: And Now We Shall Do Manly Things by Craig J. Heimbuch(blog| @cheimbuch) is a hilarious perspective on the culture of American hunting which would make Bill Bryson proud. Born to a Midwestern family Heimbuch sets out to prove himself and hunt. Sadly, the author is a part of a generation I am greatly familiar with, a generation which suffered the “feminization ofAmerica”. Where boys could not be boys, and hence did not grow up to be manly men, and men were vilified for doing, well, manly things. Don’t misunderstand me, if a boy wants to play with dolls, all the…

Book Review: A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle
3 Stars , Fiction , Latest Posts / November 20, 2012

Article first published as Book Review: A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle on Blogcritics. About: A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle is the very first novel featuring English detective Sherlock Holmes and his friend Dr. Watson. The story was written in 1886 and published in 1887 and marks the first appearance of the famous sleuth. 106 pages Publisher: Aziloth Books Language: English ISBN-10: 1907523324 My rating for A Study in Scarlet – 3 Buy this book in paper or electronic format* Part of the League of Extra­or­di­nary Gen­tle — Men of la — Book Chal­lenge (Vol. 1) Thoughts: A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle is a strange book with a strange structure which is actually two stories thinly connected. The first part is the more interesting, where the legendary meeting between the detective and the doctor happens and an introduction to the characters as well as a murder mystery. The second part shifts from London to Utah where we get a somewhat sympathetic back-story to the murder and his deed. This, I feel, is one of those books where it is better to know what will happen in the future in the context of…

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