Fun Facts Friday: Hogarth Press
Fun Facts Friday , Latest Posts / August 10, 2012

1 ) Hogarth Press was created in 1917 by Leonard & Virginia Woolf (whose anniversary happens to be today). This was on Virginia’s 33rd birthday and the couple reached another pivotal decision – to buy a bull dog (eventually named John). 2) The company was established in the Woolf’s dining room, they named it after their home in Richmond, VA. 3 ) The couple was rejected from St. Bride’s school of printing, the reason: they were not trade union apprentices. Not ones to give up easily, the visited the Excelsior Printing Supply Co. where they found machines and material for their hobby. Leonard Woolf described the moment in his autobiography “Nearly all the implements of printing are materially attractive, and we stared through the window at them rather like two hungry children gazing at buns and cakes in a baker shop wind”. 4 ) The owner of the shop sold them a printing machine, type, chases and cases. Instead of a proper apprenticeship he sold them a 16 page pamphlet. 5 ) The business grew from a hobby and Hogarth Press started to use commercial printers instead of the handpress they had. 6 ) Besides Woolf’s works, the press also…

Guest Review: The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan
Fiction , Guest Posts , Latest Posts / August 9, 2012

Reviewed by Ren Zelen Buy this book in paper or electronic format While Vampires and Zombies have been jamming the highway to the bookshelves and multiplexes, Werewolves have largely been left to idle by the side of the literary road. With Glen Duncan’s protagonist, Jacob Marlowe, you get more than you bargain for: not just a man but a werewolf, not just a werewolf, but an existentially philosophical one. The novel is, ostensibly, a diary. The tale begins after a ‘feed’ “Two nights ago I’d eaten a 43-year-old hedge fund specialist,” Marlowe states with what will be his trademark insouciance, “I’ve been in a phase of taking the ones no-one wants.” We learn his backstory, a 19th-century costume tragedy, by means of his journal entries, composed in breaks between violent action and meaningless fornication. Two centuries of living have endowed him with a vast reserve of cultural expertise and a linguistic style that moves between the wisecracking cynicism of his noir namesake and the syntactical flourishes of the 19th century literary gentleman. Marlowe imparts the contents of his inner life and his impressions of the modern world in a series of dryly succinct verbal morsels: the topography of Wales is…

Book Review: Chasing Shadows by Fred Burton

This very compelling account is not only about the murder, but a small lesson in history to put everything in context. The struggle of the US Air force against the MiG fighters, the birth of the Israeli Air force, as well as the mutually beneficial relationship between the two countries, as well as sections devoted to how Middle Eastern terrorism operated in the 70s.

Tightwad Tuesday — Free or Affordable eBooks — New York Times Bestsellers
Latest Posts , Tightwad Tuesday / August 7, 2012

I figured I’ll do something a bit different today then I usually do and instead of looking for books by a particular subject or genre, I’d see what I can find from the NYT Bestseller’s list. While there aren’t many free books from this supercilious prestigious list, there are some good bargains. Enjoy! Please note: The prices for the post are cur­rent at the time of the post, please pay atten­tion to make sure they haven’t changed before purchase. Authors: If you’d like  your book to be fea­tured on Tight­wad Tues­days please email me. The Hunger Games Tribute Guide by Emily Seife Digital List Price: $7.99 Print List Price: $7.99 Kindle Price: $1.60 includes free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet You Save: $6.39 (80%) The New York Times bestselling Hunger Games is now a major motion picture — and here is the ultimate guide to the all the tributes in the 74th annual Hunger Games!Here is the ultimate guide to the twenty-four tributes participating in Panem’s 74th annual Hunger Games. Follow the tributes’ journey from the reaping to the Games, with a look at all the highlights along the way–the Tribute Parade, the stations of the Training Center, the interviews, and…

Book Review: The Yiddish Policemen’s Union by Michael Chabon
4 Stars , Fiction , Latest Posts / August 6, 2012

A fictional alternate history book published in 2007. This book has won several science fiction awards: the Nebula Award for Best Novel, the Locus Award for Best SF Novel, the Hugo Award for Best Novel, and the Sidewise Award for Alternate History for Best Novel. It was shortlisted for the British Science Fiction Association Award for Best Novel and the Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Novel.

Book Review: An African Affair by Nina Darnton
3 Stars , Fiction , Latest Posts / August 4, 2012

Article first published as Book Review: An African Affair by Nina Darnton on Blogcritics. About: An African Affair by Nina Darnton is a fictional book taking place in Nigeria. Ms Darnton is a seasoned reporter who found herself in a Nigerian jail after her husband, a New York Times reporter, filed some uncomplimentary stories about the ruling regime. 272 pages Publisher: Viking Adult Language: English ISBN-10: 0670022888 My rating for An African Affair – 3 Buy this book in paper or electronic format Thoughts: An African Affair by Nina Darnton (Facebook | Huffington Post) might make a stirring memoir and is a descent political thriller. I truly enjoyed how Ms. Darnton captured Nigerian culture and corruption which is accompanied with vast internal tribal interests as well as vast outside ones such as oil and drugs. I have been in several places where blatant bribery is not only accepted, but expected (I’m looking at you South American border guards) and as shocked as I was the first time, I realize that not many places are that different. But please consider that I spent most of my life in New Jersey where bribery is legal. The writing style is clear, fast and easy to read. Ms. Darnton does…

Fun Facts Friday: P.D. James
Fun Facts Friday , Latest Posts / August 3, 2012

English crime/mystery author P.D. James (3 August, 1920) had a long and prosperous career. Her life, however, were full of challenges which she amazingly overcame. 1 ) James’ full title is Phyllis Dorothy James, Baroness James of Holland Park, OBE (Order of the British Empire), FRSA (Royal Society of Arts), FRSL (Royal Society of Literature). 2 ) James always wanted to write a novel, but when her husband, an Army doctor, came back from WWII with psychological scars she had to put her life on hold. 3 ) Becoming the bread winner for her family, James worked full time, raised a family and took night classes. On the weekends she visited her husband in psychological institutions. 4 ) At some point, the author realized that there will never be a good time to write a book. Her first book, Cover Her Face (published in 1962) was planned during her commute and written during the little spare time she had. 5 ) When the book was published, one reviewer said that “the author is planning a lengthy career in the business”. 6 ) The novel’s protagonist, Inspector Adam Dalgliesh, was named after James’ high school English teacher. 7 ) James’ father…

Book Review: Fragments From Iraq by Zsolt T. Stockinger, M.D.
4 Stars , Latest Posts , Non-Fiction / August 2, 2012

Article first published as Book Review: Fragments from Iraq by Zsolt T. Stockinger on Blogcritics. “[W]hen Allah created hell, it wasn’t terrible enough, so he made Iraq – and added flies.” Old Arab saying (page 81). About: Fragments from Iraq: Diary of a Navy Trauma Surgeon by Zsolt T. Stockinger is a non-fiction book which recounts the daily life of a trauma surgeon on the front line. The book is in diary format written by the doctor which seems as if he was talking to his wife. 255 pages Publisher: Mcfarland (May 3, 2012) Language: English ISBN-10: 078646951X My rating for Fragments From Iraq – 4 Buy this book in paper format Thoughts: Fragments from Iraq: Diary of a Navy Trauma Surgeon by Zsolt T. Stockinger relates the daily activities this front line trauma surgeon encountered in his base in Iraq. From the boring daily routine, to the military’s “hurry up and wait” mentality and to the serious injuries, whether from an IED, to local babies, self inflicted wounds and more. The diary is written in an informal style, but it seemed to me that it was edited and maybe sanitized to make it more palatable to a larger audience. Personally I see…

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