Thoughts on: War & Peace Book 2 – Part 5
Fiction , Historical Fiction , Latest Posts / August 21, 2012

Pierre is getting depressed more and more with the challenges life throws at him especially when he realizes that Freemasonry is not giving him a new meaning. He realizes that he doesn’t like the person he is becoming and tries to tell himself that this is not the case, he is not becoming “that” person. However, the questions still torture Pierre.

FeedCat – A New RSS Provider
Latest Posts , Opinion / August 20, 2012

I found out two weeks ago that Google might, or might not, shut down Feedburner. Since we don’t know, I’d go with the assumption that it will. I have had my issues with Google, in which I blogged a bit in the past, and still cannot get access to my account – even if it’s just to transfer information out. Google has dropped support for Feedburner and closed its Twitter account, I know many bloggers rely on this service, unfortunately we can no longer reliably do so. In my search for an alternative I found a few good ones, all have their merits and several are much better. I chose, if you notice the RSS button on the upper right hand side of the screen. I feel comfortable enough with my move, I think it was the right decision. I might move to a paid service, but that depends – right now I don’t have access to my old Google account to transfer the subscribers. Google is pushing everyone to go on Google+, maybe that’s why they are not supporting Feedburner anymore – they see it as a redundant service. To be honest I used G+ (until my account…

Guest Review: Loki’s Daughters by Delle Jacobs
Fiction , Guest Posts , Latest Posts / August 20, 2012

Buy this book in electronic format (free for Amazon Prime members) I am usually not a fan of romance novels. I mean, I enjoy a good Austen or even an action-romance, but historical romance? Eh, it didn’t sound like something I would really like. However, I had my new Kindle and no extra money to burn, so I was shopping through the free books. After passing over some real gems (yeah, right) I came to Loki’s Daughters by Delle Jacobs. It didn’t sound as terrible as the rest of them, and it was free, so I downloaded it. I have read it three times since then, at least. I’m not saying it is the best book I’ve ever read. I’m not even saying it is up there with the greats. But, somehow, it is very compelling. The story is one of Vikings and Celts. When every man of fighting age is dead, a Celtic village is left in the hands of a young woman, who is also trying to care for her sister with failing eyesight and her young nephew. They live in fear of Viking invasion, as the last one proved devastating to all involved. Then, one stormy evening,…

Family Trip to Intercourse, PA
Family Trips , Latest Posts / August 19, 2012

Just hopped in the car and went to the shops at Intercourse, PA – we never been but we’ll come back. A lot of cute shops (and pricey) from knicknacks to kitchen items, galleries to candy. Of course there were Amish abound as well as Amish crafts, arts and furniture. Our daughter (7) proclaimed that it was “almost like we were in the 1970s”.

Book Review: Heads in Beds by Jacob Tomsky

Article first published as Book Review: Heads in Beds by Jacob Tomsky on Blogcritics. About: Heads in Beds: A Reckless Memoir of Hotels, Hustles, and So-Called Hospitality by Jacob Tomsky tells about the author’s decades of experience within the hospitality industry. Mr. Tomsky has started working in hotels as a valet, got promoted to management and worked in many other roles within the industry. The pub­lisher is giv­ing away one copy to two (2) winners of this book— use the Raf­fle­copter form at the end of the post to enter. 256 pages Publisher: Doubleday (November 20, 2012) Language: English ISBN-10: 0385535635 My rating for Heads in Beds – 4 Buy this book in paper or electronic format Thoughts: Heads in Beds: A Reckless Memoir of Hotels, Hustles, and So-Called Hospitality by Jacob Tomsky (website | @benthebellman) is a perfect book for the traveler, a look into what people in all levels in hotels go through to make your stay smooth and how you can make it smoother. The book is a quick read, funny and sometimes offensive (in a good way). Mr. Tomsky started out his career inNew Orleans, but is now living for a long time inNew York City. The writing reflects East Coast humor, jesting which in other parts of the…

Fun Facts Friday: Vernon Lee
Fun Facts Friday , Latest Posts / August 17, 2012

Vernon Lee (17 August, 1856 –1935) was a British writer of supernatural fiction. Ms. Lee was also a prolific essayist who wrote on art, music, and travel. 1 ) Vernon Lee is actually a p[pseudonym, the writer’s real name is Violet Paget. 2 ) One of her childhood friends was artist John Singer Sargent (who painted the portrait above). 3 ) Even though the author mainly wrote in English, she spent the majority of her life in Italy. 4 ) Ms. Lee was an early feminist and dressed like a man. 5 ) She was a lesbian and had long, passionate relationship with two women. 6 ) During her life, Lee was considered an authority on Italian Renaissance and wrote two works on the subject. 7 ) When writing travel essays, Lee tried to capture the psychological effects of places rather than conveying information. 8 ) Another favorite topic for Vernon Lee was the relationship between authors and readers. 9 ) She also pioneered the idea of critically assessing art in relation to the audience’s personal response. 10) After her death, Lee’s library was left to the British Institute of Florence and can still be visited today. Zohar – Man…

Book Review: The Last Israelis by Noah Beck
4 Stars , Fiction , Latest Posts / August 16, 2012

Article first published as Book Review: The Last Israelis by Noah Beck on Blogcritics About: The Last Israelis by Noah Beck is a short novel taking place mostly on a submarine. The doomsday scenario, a threat to the State of Israel, is the “ripped from the headlines” type of novel. The pub­lisher is giv­ing away one eCopy of this book in PDF format— use the Raf­fle­copter form at the end of the post to enter. 263 pages Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc. Language: English ASIN: B008HEFVI2 My rating for The Last Israelis – 4 Buy this book in electronic format Thoughts: The Last Israelis by Noah Beck (website | Facebook) could be considered a military thriller, there are some plot twists and action, however the author approaches the story more on an intellectual side. The setting is a chance for the author to engage in intellectual debates between characters of different backgrounds. The novel does have good characterization; the author builds up each character so there is some background to the debates and the reader understands who each person formulated their ideology over a lifetime of various experiences and family history. What follows is a very interesting and balanced look at Israel…

Guest Post: Becoming a Book Lover with Personalized Book Labels for Kids
Guest Posts , Latest Posts / August 15, 2012

Many parents and teachers know how difficult encouraging a child who is a reluctant reader to read can be. There are many strategies to help your child develop an interest in reading, but be patient, it may not happen overnight. Most experts recommend coming up with hands on activities that get your child involved with books and storytelling. Using a variety of interactive activities to help make reading fun for children is the first step to raising a budding book lover. Studies have shown that carving out 20 or 30 minutes to read aloud to your child every night is an important part of raising a strong reader. Once children become independent readers, they can use some of that time to read to you. Parents may wonder what kinds of books they should have around in order to spark their children’s interest. A key part of raising a book lover is to have a home with lots of books in it! Children should be able to choose from a home library of their favorite volumes and a rotating selection of new possibilities. Common advice to parents of young children is to get a library card. In my experience this has…

Tightwad Tuesday — Free or Affordable eBooks — Graphic Novels
Latest Posts , Tightwad Tuesday / August 14, 2012

I love graphic novels. As much as I read many people assume I’m a book snob, OK – maybe, but I do appreciate the graphic novel format. I haven’t been able to figure out the eFormat of graphic novels yet. I read a few on my nook but had to transfer them over to the computer, it simply didn’t work for me but it’s getting better. The story telling in graphic novels takes much talent and work. One cannot simply draw a picture of men in tights, it takes thought, articulation on at least two fronts (writing and drawing), sometimes three (color) and even more. Even though comics have a reputation of being for kids, many comics and graphic novels (a long comic or a collected series) are actually for adults. Believe it or not many graphic novels are written in college level English and several comic book series are the longest running publication using college English (The New York Times is written in 8th grade level English). That being said – below are a few graphic novels I found which are free (at the time of this post). Authors: If you’d like your book to be fea­tured on Tight­wad…

Book Review: The Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway
3 Stars , Fiction , Latest Posts / August 13, 2012

About: The Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway is a work of realistic fiction. The novel is a quick but somber read and takes place during the 1990s siege ofSarajevo. 256 pages Publisher: Riverhead Hardcover Language: English ISBN-10: 1594489866 My rating for The Cellist of Sarajevo – 3 Buy this book in paper or electronic format More Books by Steven Galloway Thoughts: The Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway is a book which is has all the right parts but for me, didn’t come together. The imagery is astounding, the characters are believable and the story telling is both haunting and poetic. After 250 pages (or so) of build up there is … nothing. The tension in the book is felt on every page, as someone who followed the events in 1990s I certainly understood the story and the context for which it was told. However, even if one is not familiar with the context, the much larger universal themes and values in the book, such as human life, decency and appreciation of the small things in life are represented. As you can tell, I really don’t know what to think of this book – it is by no means bad, but a very elegant…

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