New Website
Uncategorized / October 9, 2010

I’m taking that big leap into bloggerdom, I decided to change from Blogger to my own domain using WordPress. I have enjoyed writing this blog, conversing with people and the whole blogosphere immensely and I thank you all for it. Unfortunately I lost some of the comments and for that I apologize, they were insightful and interesting. I’ll see what I can do to bring them back. I hope you like the new format, I have some more work to do (basically tagging & formatting posts) – please let me know if I am missing something, if something is not working or if you’d like to see something new. Thanks, Zohar – man of la book

Book Review: The Gilded Chamber: A Novel of Queen Esther by Rebecca Kohn
4 Stars , Biblical Fiction , Fiction / October 8, 2010

I borrowed this book from the local library. My rating for The Gilded Chamber– 4 About: “The Gilded Chamber: A Novel of Queen Esther” by Rebecca Kohn is a familiar story, Hadassah, a Jewish orphan, is being brought to the court of King Xerxes as a possible queen. Hiding her Jewish origins she changes her name to Esther, becomes queen and saves the Jews from certain death (now…let’s eat). Buy “The Gilded Chamber” and get a royal treat Thoughts: The book itself is very inventive biblical fiction, I must give the author credit and I really enjoyed the first part of the book. However, for me the book took a wrong turn by not sticking with the biblical timeline and taking too many liberties with the “fiction” part of biblical fiction. Part of my enjoyment reading fiction is that I learn something along the way, if I have to pick apart what’s accurate and what’s not it takes away from the experience. The female characters are drawn very nicely, but the males seemed to be a bit flat and uninteresting. That’s too bad because Xerxes, Mordechai and Haman are fascinating cultural, historical and biblical characters by their own right. This…

Walking the eBook Walk
Opinion / October 7, 2010

Yesterday an article in the New York Times stated that two eBooks were priced higher than the hard covers. These, mind you, are not the bargain bin books, but brand new titles “Fall of Giants” by Ken Follett, published by Dutton (Penguin Group USA), last week. On Amazon.com, the price for the e-book was an astounding $19.99; the hardcover edition was $19.39. Also “Don’t Blink,” by James Patterson and Howard Roughan, published by Little, Brown & Company, cots $14.99 for the e-book. Amazon priced the hardcover at $14. The Kindle crowd raised a ruckus, only for Amazon to point out that the prices are set by the publisher. They are right to raise their voices, after all we were all sold an eReader based on the premise that books which carry no overhead of printer, ink, paper, trucks, drivers, fuel etc. will be much cheaper. Of course that didn’t help since the issue is now handled as a second grade school yard fight between Amazon and the publishers with the Kindle users stuck in the middle. But are they? I’ve been doing a lot of whining and complaining on the social networks about the high cost of eBooks. We, as…

Book Review: Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World by Jack Weatherford
5 Stars , Non-Fiction / October 6, 2010

I bought this book. In ” Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World” author Jack Weatherford shows that history is not simple. It is a mistake we learn in our schools when we are taught history through memorizing dates in a linear fashion. History is alive, it is complex and there are always small events leading up to a big episode. Professor Weatherford’s book builds a fascinating story around the many achievements of Genghis Kahn, as well as his military genius and leadership skills. Even though I have heard the name Genghis Kahn before, I’ve never done much reading on him or the Mongol Empire. I missed out on a fascinating story and glad I found this book. The narrative is written in such a way which the reader understands the socio-economic realities the Mongols lived in, as well as the brutality of how wealth was won. Ihave never appreciated the genius which was Genghis Kahn, always portrayed as a brute in pop culture and by his enemies. Uniting nomad tribes to form a strong Mongolia, organizing armies, creating a working bureaucracy, beginning the concept of diplomatic immunity, understanding economical achievements and even legislating laws which he must…

Book Review: Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow
5 Stars , Biographies & Memoirs / October 4, 2010

In this massive biography, we meet Alexander Hamilton as a young boy in the Caribbean, a bastard son, soon an orphan, to a mother who has been jailed for adultery. Young Alexander soon separated himself from the rest of the boys and by the age of thirteen the owner of the shipping company he worked for felt confident enough to take a vacation and leave his business at Hamilton’s trusty hands.

The 53rd Book Review Blog Carnival

Man of la Book reviews Barefoot in Baghdad by Manal M. Omar “Barefoot in Baghdad: A Story of Identity-My Own and What It Means to Be a Woman in Chaos” by Manal M. Omar is a memoir which the author wrote of her time working as a Non-governmental organizations called “Women for Women” in Iraq. Ms. Omar is an American woman and a devout Muslim, which gives her a unique perspective.” MYSTERIES in PARADISE reviews A Beautiful Place to Die by Malla Nunn “Superb debut crime fiction novel by an Australian author. Set in South Africa in 1952 at the beginning of legislated apartheid. ” Indian Eagle’s Diary reviews The Big Short by Michael Lewis “As someone who was in the thick of these things in the spectacular collapse that happened in 2008, it is amazing how a book like The Big Short gives you a view in what happened in retrospect. I was a student while the collapse happened and we were grappling with the possibility of being unemployed despite passing out from one of the top ranked institutes in India.” Man of la Book reviews Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith “Child 44″ by Rob Tom Smith is…

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