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Latest Posts / February 18, 2012

Until March 17 2012 use MANOFLABOOK25 code to get 25% off of any purchases at www.GoneReading.com (except bookends) Gone Reading International, LLC was founded to bring the magic effect of reading and books to places where they don’t exist. We believe that when people have open access to great reading materials, life always changes for the better.  When libraries and reading materials are made available, entire villages, communities and their citizens achieve unprecedented levels of self-sufficiency. That’s why Gone Reading International donates 100% of after-tax profits to fund new reading libraries and other literacy projects in the developing world.  By purchasing GoneReading brand gifts and merchandise, you’re treating yourselfand the world at large to a wonderful gift.  All purchases from GoneReading – from our book lights to our book club gifts – help contribute to our philanthropic work. Until March 17 2012 use MANOFLABOOK25 code to get 25% off of any purchases at www.GoneReading.com (except bookends) Disclaimer: I am not an affiliate with GoneReading.com, I am just helping them promote their charitable venture for good will towards human kind. I am not recieving any monetary  reward or gifts from them.

Fun Facts Friday: Toni Morrison
Fun Facts Friday , Latest Posts / February 17, 2012

Tomorrow, February 18 we will celebrate the birthday of award winning author Toni Morrison. An author, speaker, professor, and mother, Ms. Morrison has accomplished a lot and deserves to be honored as one of American’s greatest living treasures.

Guest Review: Catch the Gold Ring by John Stephen Strange
Latest Posts / February 15, 2012

First thing’s first.  Many thanks to Zohar for letting me pontificate and obfuscate on his very cool blog.  I’ve been a reader of his for a little while now, and I’m extremely impressed by what he’s got going on here.  I’m also extremely thankful for the opportunity to be a part of it. Now that the brown-nosing is out of the way, allow me to introduce myself.  My name is Jonathan, and I’m addicted to old books.  Well, maybe not “addicted.”  Fond of?  Intrigued by?  Irresistibly drawn to?  Hmm.  Maybe “addicted” was the right word after all.  At any rate, I operate a blog called I Read a Book Once where I offer up armchair literary criticism on both new and old texts, but, as you can probably imagine, the old ones captivate me the most. Which brings me to the whole point of this exercise, a little book called Catch the Gold Ring by John Stephen Strange.  As you might surmise, that name is a pseudonym.  It’s way too cool to be the genuine article.  The author’s real name is Dorothy Stockbridge Tillett, an English writer (and female!) who published 22 mysteries over a nearly 50 year career.  Since…

Top 5 Manly Valentines
Latest Posts / February 14, 2012

 #5 Vicomte de Valmont from Les Liaisons dangereuses by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos Not only does Valmont “valentines” every woman he sets out to get (as well as use them as a writing desk), he also convinces their husbands that he has been the one that was wronged. (Image from http://www.art.co.uk/products/p13410874-sa-i2660954/manuel-orazi-le-vicomte-de-valmont-uses-his-mistress-opera-as-a-writing-desk-whilst-writing-to-the-virtuous-mme.htm) #4 Quasimodo from The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo Quasimodo loves Esmeralda so much, that he carries the little bitch’s body, lays down next to her and happily dies. While I love my wife dearly, necrophilia is where I draw the line… #3 Mikael Blomkvist from The Millennium series by  Stieg Larsson In the immortal words uttered by Carl Weathers in Predator “sexual tricerisaurus”.  Some say that Stieg Larsson will describe Blomkvist in one word “me”. However you want to categorize Mikael Blomkvist, his nonchalant way of getting almost every fictional woman in the trilogy into his bed is uncanny, predictable and awe (or is it oh?) inspiring. #2 Superman Don’t you sometimes wish you could be a fly on the wall. I’m not talking about super powers, but simply change your hair, put on a pair of fake glasses and suddenly no one knows who you are. How Clark Kent does it is still an unsolved mystery but…

Giveaway of: An Invisible Thread by Laura Schroff & Alex Tresniowski
Latest Posts / February 13, 2012

Enter at the end of the post Excuse me lady, do you have any spare change? I am hungry. When I heard him, I didn’t really hear him. His words were part of the clatter, like a car horn or someone yelling for a cab. They were, you could say, just noise-the kind of nuisance New Yorkers learn to tune out. So I walked right by him, as if he wasn’t there.  But then, just a few yards past him, I stopped.  And then and I’m still not sure why I did this-I came back. When Laura Schroff first met Maurice on a New York City street corner, she had no idea that she was standing on the brink of an incredible and unlikely friendship that would inevitably change both their lives. As one lunch at McDonald’s with Maurice turns into two, then into a weekly occurrence, Laura learns heart-wrenching details about Maurice’s horrific childhood. Sprinkled throughout the book is also Laura’s own story of her turbulent childhood. Every now and then, something about Maurice’s struggles reminds her of her past, how her father’s alcohol-induced rages shaped the person she became and, in a way, led her to Maurice. As…

Thoughts on: The Watchman of Ephraim by Gerard de Marigny
4 Stars , Fiction , Latest Posts / February 12, 2012

Article first published as Book Review: The Watchman of Ephraim by Gerard de Marigny on Blogcritics. About: The Watchman of Ephraim by Gerard de Marigny is a fictional book taking place a decade after 9/11. The book takes place in all over the United States. The author is giv­ing away one eCopy for two winners of this book— Kindle Format Only – enter at the end of the post. 429 KB Publisher: JarRyJorNo Publishing ASIN: B004KAAXXU My rating for The Watchman of Ephraim – 4 Great price on this book in paper or elec­tronic for­mat through the Man of la Book Affil­i­ate Account More books by Gerard de Marigny Thoughts: The Watchman of Ephraim by Gerard de Marigny (website | Facebook | Twitter) is a fast paced thriller full of intriguing characters and suspense. The dialog is tight and the plot moves along in a fast pace. Cris De Nero, the protagonist, is a self made man, a good father and husband. The characters, their interaction and relationships are well defined. The recruiting efforts for The Watchmen are described in a fascinating way and the way the company is transforming under Cris’ leadership could make a book by itself. There are several themes throughout the novel, patriotism, G-d and country, safety…

Thoughts on: War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy – Book 1 Part 2
Classics , Fiction , Latest Posts / February 11, 2012

  About: War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy is a fictional book first published in 1869. The work is regarded as one of the most important works of world literature. The copy I read was translated by Louise and Aylmer Maude. 1350 pages Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA; New edition ISBN: 0199232768 Great price on this book in paper or elec­tronic for­mat through the Man of la Book Affil­i­ate Account More books by Leo Tolstoy Thoughts: I liked Book 1 Part 2 of War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy much better than part 1. This part starts with the Austrian campaign where Russia and Austria have formed an alliance to wade off Napoleon’s armies. The campaign is told through the contrasting viewpoints of Andrei and Nikolai. Tolstoy is doing something here which has been done later (probably before but I’m not aware) to great success. Telling the story from the view of the higher-ups (Andrei – adjutant to Commander-in-Chief of the Russian forces) and from the point of view of the men in the trenches (Nkkolain – a cadet). The paths of the two idealistic men parallel along the story. My favorite character in this section was Dolohov. From some…

Author Q&A with Sebastian Gibson
Author Q&A , Latest Posts / February 9, 2012

Sebastian Gibson (web­site | Twit­ter | Face­book), author of Nitt Witt Hill (my thoughts), has a diverse career, from actor, entertainer to lawyer. His book is a biting commentary which, sadly enough, brings out the hypocritical truths of politics. Q. What made you write a fictional satire about US politics? A.  I can’t imagine not writing a satire about politics.  The things that politicians do are hilarious for the most part.  People say if it wasn’t so sad, it would be funny.  Well, it’s both sad and funny.  I don’t think I could read, much less write a dry political book.  And yet, by being funny, my book is probably more serious than most serious political books.   Q. Whenever I look at our current crop of fearless leaders, I shake my head in dismay. Is it just me or did the quality of people running for office has been going downhill? If so, why do you think that is? A. It certainly seems like it at times, though when you think about the stamina it must take on the campaign trail, you have to give those gluttons for punishment some credit.  I don’t know if anyone has really ever…

Thoughts on: Nitt Witt Hill by Sebastian Gibson
4 Stars , Fiction , Latest Posts / February 8, 2012

Article first published as Book Review: Nitt Witt Hill by Sebast­ian Gib­son on Blogcritics. About: Nitt Witt Hill by Sebastian Gibson is a political satire which brings forward the absurdities of today’s politics. Unfortunately we call these absurdities “news”. The pub­lisher is giv­ing away one copy to two winners of this book— enter at the end of the post. 248 pages Publisher: Sebastian Gibson Publishing ISBN: 0984777628 My rating for Nitt Witt Hill – 4 Great price on this book in paper format through the Man of la Book Affil­i­ate Account Thoughts: Sebastian Gibson (website | Twitter | Facebook) sets the mood for Nitt Witt Hill right on the first page with a warning from famed author, critic, and political satirist Mark Twain: “Persons attempting to find a motive in this narrative will be prosecuted; persons attempting to find a moral in it will be banished; persons attempting to find a plot in it will be shot”. In Nitt Witt Hill (named after Nitt Witt Ridge in California), Mr. Gibson leaves no political wing safe, he highlights the absurdity, corruption and idiocy of the political class (yes, class). While the situations in this books are twisted, they are also, unfortunately, sadly accurate. I have long maintained that the politicians…

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