Sense and Senselessness or A DRM Love/Hate Story (OK, Hate)
Latest Posts , Opinion / April 12, 2011

Yesterday MediaBistro published an article quoting Richard Nash from Red Lemonade imprint stating that they are taking the unusual step of giving out eBooks for reviewers without Digital Rights Management (DRM) imprinted on them. Mr. Nash said: “Well, I don’t think consumer books should have DRM, so putting DRM on reviewers’ books is even dumber. I want to make it as easy as possible to get it to you, as easy as possible for you to read it, as easy as possible for you to assign it to a reviewer, as easy as possible for you to send it to a friend.” Do you get it, Mr. Nash’s thinking, common sense to you and me, is considered “unusual”. Newsflash if you’ve been in a cave/ivory tower/corporate America for the past 20 years. DRM has never worked. All DRM did is give honest consumers a hard time and waste the company’s money by fighting DRM pirates who are always one step ahead (at least). Not to mention that all you need is one person to crack the DRM and the file will be available to everybody. I can assure you that your DRM will be cracked in about 15 minutes after…

Book Review: Field Gray by Philip Kerr

I got this book for free. Article first published as Book Review: Field Gray by Philip Kerr on Blogcritics. The pub­lisher has made avail­able one (1) copy of “Field Gray” to be given out– enter at the end of the post My rating for Fields Gray – 5 About: “Field Gray” by Philip Kerr (website) is a fictional novel taking place alternatively between the 1931 and mid 1954, mostly in Berlin. The book is 7th novel starring Bernie Gunther (fan website). 448 pages Pub­lisher: Putnam Adult ISBN: 0399157417 Pur­chase “Field Gray” through the ManOfLa­Book affil­i­ate account on: Ama­zon |Book Depos­i­tory US | Book Depos­i­tory UK Thoughts: I seem to have no luck with series of books I like. I usually find them after several books have been published and feel compelled to play catch up. “Field Gray” by Philip Kerr is no exception on this front. The novel follows Bernie Gunther which has to be one of the most antiheroic antiheroes ever written. Joining Gunther are a bunch of offbeat characters none of which, it seems, have any redeeming qualities. Maybe that’s what the “gray” in the title refers to (besides the German army’s uniforms made by Hugo Boss) as there are…

Factual Friday: The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Fun Facts Friday , Latest Posts / April 8, 2011

Even though it took me a while to get into The Hunchback of Notre Dame I was very impressed with the book (book review) and thought the last 200 pages were certainly work trudging through some of it. 1) The original title of the book is “Notre Dame de Paris” which translates into “Our Lady of Paris” – a much more fitting title in my opinion. 2) Victor Hugo made it clear that the main character in the novel is the cathedral and not any of the characters. 3) Victor Hugo was strongly against the English title. 4) Dom Claude Frollo named the abandoned child he found in the chruch “Quasimodo” because he found him on Quasimodo Sunday. 5) “Quasi modo” in Latin translates to “almost standard” but actually means “similar to”. Believe it or not this name is in line with common medieval naming conventions. The Hunchback by Brian Bustard – Purchase a Print 6) Quasimodo has fifteen bells but his favorite is named “Big Marie” 7) In the novel, Esmeralda is 14-16 years old. 8 ) Esmeralda is charged with witchcraft, among other offenses. 9) One of the subplots is Esmeralda’s search for her mother. 10) There are…

Book Review: The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo
4 Stars , Classics , Fiction , Latest Posts / April 7, 2011

I bought this eBook (a Barnes & Noble Classic). My rating for The Hunchback of Notre Dame – 4 About: “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” by Victor Hugo (1802-1885 | Biography & Works) is a fictional story set in Paris, France and published in 1831. The novel became a classic and the Hunchback became a tragic hero as well as a cultural icon. Pur­chase “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” through the ManOfLa­Book affil­i­ate account on: Ama­zon |Book Depos­i­tory US | Book Depos­i­tory UK Victor Hugo circa 1880 Thoughts: “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” by Victor Hugo is a desperate and quite depressing novel. It is filled with the loneliness of 15th Century Paris, its dark corridors, streets and stench. The book tells the stories of three tragic and lonely figures. Claude Frollo, archdeacon of Notre Dame, La Esmeralda, an enchanting gypsy, and Quasimodo, the disfigured bell ringer as well as Frollo’s adopted son. Surprisingly, Quasimodo has a small role in the book which was originally titled “Notre-Dame de Paris” or “Our Lady of Paris” – a much more appropriate, yet less imaginative title. La Esmeralda and her goat Djali An Illustration for Notre Dame de Paris by Victor Hugo. Artist unknown….

Book Review: The Instructions by Adam Levin
4 Stars , Fiction , Latest Posts / April 6, 2011

I bought this book. My rating for The Instructions – 4 About: “The Instructions” by Adam Levin is a fictional book taking place over three days. This long book which tells a short story follows one very bright troublemaker in Junior High School. 1,030 pages Publisher: McSweeney’s ISBN: 9781934781821 Pur­chase “The Instructions” through the ManOfLa­Book affil­i­ate account on: Ama­zon |Book Depos­i­tory US | Book Depos­i­tory UK Thoughts: “The Instructions” by Adam Levin was a hard book to read and to get into, not due to its length but due to the difficulty of getting into the mind of a brilliant ten year old. However, once I got around that hurdle I found that not only did I enjoy reading the book, but I enjoyed even more thinking about it afterwards. If I had to pinpoint the one thing which I found enjoyable is the great care Mr. Levin took in picking his symbols, words and their meanings. For example: the name of the protagonist Gurion Ben-Judah Maccabee. Gurion is a lion’s cub, a lion which is the symbol of the tribe of Judah (Judah being Gurion’s father) and Maccabee, a famed family who reasserted the Jewish religion as the Seleucid Empire….

Book Review: Killing Rommel by Steven Pressfield
5 Stars , Fiction , Latest Posts / April 4, 2011

About: “Killing Rommel” is a historical fiction book by Steven Pressfield  which takes place in the early 1940’s when General Erwin Rommel‘s (The Dessert Fox) troops were intent on capturing the Mid East oil fields in order to support Germany’s war machine in its attempt of world conquest. Stopping the Eight Army was an essential and significant part of the Allies’ counteroffensive plan. 293 pages Publisher: Broadway Books Language: English ISBN-10: 0767926161 My rating for Killing Rommel – 5 Pur­chase “Killing Rommel” from Amazon.com* More Books by Steven Pressfield* Thoughts: “Killing Rommel” by Steven Pressfield (website | Twitter | Facebook) is not only a fascinating story about the Long Range Dessert Group (LDRG), but it is also an accurate portrayal of how war is fought – months of boredom peppered with second and moments of sheer exhilaration, disorganization and horror. Long Range Dessert Group (LRDG) Badge The story is rich in detail; the author describes the tanks, guns, trucks, tactics and more with a lot of passion and eye for the obvious and not-so obvious. The book introduces the legends of not only the LRDG, but also the contribution of the Special Air Service (SAS) as well as Popski’s Private…

Blog Now Available on Kindle
Latest Posts , Uncategorized / April 3, 2011

As of this week, all of you avid readers can get ManOfLaBook.com on your Kindle – simply subscribe here and get a 14 day free trial and then pay $1.99 per month. Why $1.99? I don’t know – Amazon.com decided on that price (I get 30% which will go towards maintaining the blog and my library). Why should you pay for something you can get for free? That’s not up to me to say, is it? If you like my blog I’d appreciate if you’d write a few good words on Amazon.com. Thanks, Zohar – Man of la Book   — Please like and follow ManOfLaBook.com —

Factual Friday: Anna Sewell
Fun Facts Friday , Latest Posts / April 1, 2011

Author Anna Sewel (30 March 1820 – 25 April 1878) was an English novelist best known for her classic novel “Black Beauty”. Below are a few facts about Ms. Sewel just in case you’re ever on Jeopardy. 1. Anna Sewell was part of a devout Quaker family. 2. Anna’s mother, Mary Wright Sewell,  was a popular author of “juvenile bestsellers” including “Mother’s Last Words” which sold millions of copies throughout the world. 3. Anna Sewell never recovered fully from an accident she had. Her love for horses is attributed to her difficulty walking. 4. During the writing of “Black Beauty” Anna became sicker and sicker. The novel was finished only through her mother’s transcription and dictation. 5.While traveling in Europe seeking to improve her health, Sewell met several artists, philosophers and writers. The exposure is believed to have contributed to “Black Beauty”. 6. “Black Beauty was Anna Sewell’s only publication. 7. Although considered a children’s classic, Sewell wrote “Black Beauty” for people who work with horses. 8. “Black Beauty” was suppose to have “a special aim being to induce kindness, sympathy, and an understanding treatment of horses” 9.  Sadly, Sewell died several months after the release of “Black Beauty” and…

Book Review: Pox – An American History by Michael Willrich
4 Stars , Latest Posts , Non-Fiction / March 31, 2011

I got this book for free as part of the TLC Book Tour pro­mo­tion. My rating for Pox: An American History – 4 About: “Pox: An American History” by Michael Willrich is a non-fiction book which traces how the smallpox vaccine was distributed during major outbreaks. Some of the vaccines were forced onto people which caused an outrage and the question made it all the way to the Supreme Court. 400 pages Publisher: Penguin Press HC ISBN: 1594202869 Pur­chase “Pox: An American History” through the ManOfLa­Book affil­i­ate account on: Ama­zon |Book Depos­i­tory US | Book Depos­i­tory UK Thoughts: To my great surprise, “Pox: An American History” by Michael Willrich is an extremely readable and fast paced book.  What I mean by “readable” is that the book does not simply recite facts, figures, laws, high level agenda etc. Yes, it does that as well but by telling stories of individuals on both sides of the debate, such as C.P. Wertenbaker, a federal surgeon who worked tirelessly to combat the deadly and preventable disease. On the other side there is Swedish Lutheran minister Henning Jacobson who took his battle to the Supreme Court battling against vaccination. Those stories, big and small, in context…

Book Review: Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford
4 Stars , Fiction , Latest Posts / March 30, 2011

I bought this book. My rating for Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet – 4 About: “Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet” by Jamie Ford (Website | Twitter) is a fictional book set during a volatile time in American history. Jamie Ford has created intriguing characters telling an extraordinary story. 301 pages Publisher: Ballantine Books ISBN: 0345505344 Pur­chase “Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet” through the ManOfLa­Book affil­i­ate account on: Ama­zon |Book Depos­i­tory US | Book Depos­i­tory UK Thoughts: “Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet” by Jamie Ford is a very good book, easy to read, written in cinematic detail and vividness. The characters of Henry and Keiko are memorable and very likable. The book touches on a part of American history which is rarely talked about, the internment camps built for Japanese Americans (not Italians or Germans mind you) during World War II. Those who were put in the camps lost all their possessions, wealth, businesses, social standing etc. The story is multi-dimensional, and explores the relationship between a first and second generation Chinese Americans (Henry and his father), second and third generations (Henry and his son) and of course the love…

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