Feedback Needed…Input Appreciated
Opinion / August 31, 2010

The dog-days of summer are almost gone and the Man of la Book website has been up and running for almost two months.  I’ve greatly enjoyed the interaction with other readers and bloggers, as well as the superb interaction within the book blogging  / reading community. That being said, I have some questions which I’d like to ask, please feel free to respond to any or all… 1) How do you like the new layout (fonts, background, colors, etc)? 2) How would you improve the book reviews format (cover art, synopsis, opinion)? 3) What else would you like to see, if anything, on the blog? 4) Any improvement on the style of wrting? 5) If you are a Twitter follower (@manoflabook) how do you like my tweets? Be critical but please be constructive. Thank you….

Book Review: The Confirmation by Ralph Reed
4 Stars , Fiction / August 30, 2010

What I found most enjoyable in “The Confirmation” was the inside knowledge on how decisions were made, regardless of the politics of parties (the liberal left are the opposition in this novel). I have not always agreed with the views of the protagonist

Book Review: Billy Boyle: A World War II Mystery by James R. Benn
4 Stars , Historical Fiction / August 27, 2010

The story centers on Operation Jupiter, the allies plan to free Norway from the Nazis.  Only that Operation Jupiter, a real event, was a fake plan to draw Nazi forces away from the real fronts.  Of course, Lt. Boyle does not know that.  He is brought into General Eisenhower’s staff because of his experience as a police officer and being Ike’s relative doesn’t hurt either.  As a former Boston cop, Boyle plays a fish-out-of-water in England. 

#helpotherbookblogs – Help Other Book Review Bloggers
Opinion / August 26, 2010

In an effort to help out our small community why not do something selfless once a day. Pick a book review you liked, which is NOT YOURS, and tweet it to your followers under the hashmark  #helpotherbookblogs Don’t forget to leave a comment to that person about how much you like their blog, and that they were your “selfless pick” of the day. Just once a day, or even less – but do it.  It won’t hurt you, I promise. Imagine the joy you’ll feel when you get picked as someone else’s daily tweet. Imagine the joy you’ll get others to feel. My first selfless tweet was yesterday – What do you think? Are you up for it?

Book Review: Son of Hamas by Mosab Hassan Yousef and Ron Brackin
5 Stars , Biographies & Memoirs , Non-Fiction / August 23, 2010

There are no good guys and bad guys in this book. Granted, Mosab portrays the Israelis as the “less bad” guys but neither side is flexible enough for a Middle East solution to actually work. The cycle of violence, an eye-for-an-eye-for-an-eye… will continue infinitely because there is an ideological difference between the sides, and a war of ideas cannot be won with tanks or suicide bombs.

The 50th Book Review Blog Carnival
Opinion / August 22, 2010

I’ll Never Forget the Day I Read a Book! reviews Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith“What do you do as an encore after writing a best seller and trend setter like Pride and Prejudice and Zonbies? Seth Graham-Smith has turned from Jane Austen to Abraham Lincoln.”   Primo Reads reviews The Ask by Sam Lipsyte “”The Ask” by Sam Lipsyte is a quick and enjoyable read. This novel is clearly “contemporary fiction” – Lipsyte drops in amusing pop culture icons throughout this novel.”   Learn This reviews Be Bodacious by Steven D. Wood “Overall, I really enjoyed reading this book. I have a few minor points against it but all in all, this is definitely worth your read.”   Spine Uncracked reviews The Best American Noir of the Century by Ellroy Penzler “This book is pretty badass. A good 700 or so pages of enjoyable noir short stories, and an introduction by James Ellroy in which he says things like, “The short stories in this volume are a groove. Exercise your skeevy curiosity and read every one.””   Digital Book Readers: e-readers guide and review reviews Breath by Tim Winton ““Breathless” might be a more appropriate title for this…

Book Review: Dirty Little Angels by Chris Tusa
4 Stars , Fiction / August 20, 2010

“Dirty Little Angels” by Chris Tusa is a short novel, or a long short story depending on how you look at it, which follows the fictional life of 16 year old Hailey Trosclair.  Hailey lives in New Orleans, but could live almost any slum in the world.  Her father just lost his job, her mother, a nurse, suffers from depression brought on by poverty (and “what could have been if…?”) as well as a miscarriage. 147 pages Publisher: Livingston Pr Language: English ISBN-10: 1604890304 Giveaway: Author Chris Tusa has kindly made free eBooks available to five(5) lucky winners who will be randomly chosen on Saturday, September 3, 2010.  Entry form below. My rating for Dirty Little Angels – 4 Buy Dirty Little Angels from* More Books by Chris Tusa* Thoughts: A confused teenager, Hailey and her older brother turn to G-d, and befriend Moses who dreams of opening a drive thru church.  However Moses drags both kids down a path of no-return. The story is told in a raw format which helps the reader to be fond of Hailey and understand when her path and choices of trying to do what’s right, turns into everything that’s wrong.  The book…

Can Literary Success and Quality Co-Exist?
Opinion / August 19, 2010

In a fascinating and insightful article, “A Novelist Re-Imagines Shakespeare’s Juliet — and Challenges Literary Snobbery” in the Wall St. Journal, author Anne Fortier talks about her visit to her homeland of Denmark and the change of perspective about art. Ms. Fortier was having lunch with friends when words like “ambitious” and “commercial” starting to fly around…but not in a good way.This was two days before Fortier’s new novel; “Juliet” – about a young lady who thinks she might be related to the teenage Shakespeare made famous – was coming out. When the book came it was hailed as…. ambitious and commercial – oh boy. Even though critics did admit that the book was descent (according to Ms. Fortier) they went out of their way criticize the idea of the book, rather than the book itself. . To their credit, the Danes voted with their money and “Juliet” sold well. Some critics are quick who damn literature which is not written to please the intellect of those sitting on the high throne of prize committees. However, they forgot that some the books hailed today as classics were either ostracized when they came out (“The Grapes of Wrath“, “Moby Dick” which are among…

Book Review: Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese
5 Stars , Fiction / August 18, 2010

 I bought this eBook. “Cutting for Stone” by Abraham Verghese if a fictional book set mostly in Ethiopia and the latter part of the book in the United States which tells the story of identical twins born to a British surgeon and a nun. Shiva and Marion Praise Stone, sons to Dr. Thomas Stone and Sister Mary Joseph Praise were born attached in the head in a rural Ethiopian hospital. Their father, the man with the golden hands and nerves of steel, panicked but miraculously they survived – unfortunately their mother died during the birth. Shiva and Marion grow up together, adopted by two surgeons in the hospital they were born in. Marion, who tells the story, is an emotional and intelligent person who learns from the past and thinks about the future. Shiva, blessed with a photographic memory, lives in the here and now. Each twin has their ups and downs, but when Shiva commits and unforgivable act against his brother’s beliefs and morals they pull apart. As we all know, circumstances choose our path more than we’d like to admit, and this is true as well. While Marion becomes an accomplished surgeon in New York, Shiva works with…

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