Guest Review: Pretty Little Dead Things by Gary McMahon
Guest Posts , Latest Posts / October 31, 2012

Reviewed by Ren Zelen Buy this book in paper format It’s all a bit bleak. Not that I’m saying that horror stories should be a walk in the park, of course not, but sometimes a little bit of light might not be a bad idea, just for contrast if nothing else. McMahon’s depressing tale begins initially as a realistically gritty crime novel. ‘Pretty Little Dead Things’ follows Thomas Usher, a man whose life is both ruined and transformed one night when he is involved in a head-on collision in his car. Tragically, his wife and daughter die in the crash, but Usher survives. He emerges with the ability to see the deceased – all kinds of deceased, except, it seems, his own wife and child. Overwhelmed by grief, guilt and depression, he considers his newly acquired ability as a curse. A sense of sorrow and loss inform all his actions, but gradually, with the help of an old flame, he begins to surface out of his despair and begins working as a kind of paranormal private investigator, hoping to help others that have died, if he cannot help his own wife and child. He investigates the murder of a shady businessman’s…

Guest Review: So Sad to Fall in Battle: an Account of War by Tadamichi Kuribayashi
Guest Posts , Latest Posts , Non-Fiction / October 30, 2012

Few people in America knew who Tadamichi Kuribayashi was before Clint Eastwood’s heartrending film, Letters from Iwo Jima.  They wouldn’t have known by name that Kuribayashi, ultimately, was the man responsible for one-third of the deaths in the Marine Corps in the Pacific theater of World War II. So Sad to Fall in Battle is available on Kindle, hardcover, and paperback. Letters from an unorthodox general Eastwood’s work (which is based on freelance author Kumiko Kakehashi’s book So Sad to Fall in Battle) makes clear that Kuribayashi was no ordinary soldier.  Interviews with widows of long lost soldiers and the very letters and pictures that Kuribayashi penned to his dying day reveal a man unlike any American-held stereotype of a WWII-era Japanese. Far from the suicidal fanatics portrayed in Hollywood (who did, admittedly, exist, though in greater complexity than typically believed), Kuribayashi refused to allow his subordinates to execute banzai charges.  Where many superiors in the Imperial Japanese Army and Navy were hyper-sensitive to class distinctions and made their disdain corporally known to all inferiors, Kuribayashi held the view that his men were not expendable.  He ate the same rations as his men, drank the same water collected in rainstorms, and walked every inch…

Book Review: Mr. Churchill’s Secretary by Susan Elia MacNeal
3 Stars , Fiction , Historical Fiction , Latest Posts / October 29, 2012

Article first published as Book Review: Mr. Churchill’s Secretary by Susan Elia MacNeal on Blogcritics. About: Mr. Churchill’s Secretary by Susan Elia MacNeal is a historical fiction book taking place in the early days of World War II. This is a debut effort for Ms. MacNeal who has a wonderful World War II blog which is well worth a read. 384 pages Publisher: Bantam; Original edition (April 3, 2012) Language: English ISBN-10: 0553593617 My rating for Mr. Churchill’s Secretary – 3 Buy this book in paper or elec­tronic format* More Book by Susan Elia MacNeal Check out this & more World War II books on Man of la BookStore Thoughts: Mr. Churchill’s Secretary by Susan Elia MacNeal (website | Facebook | @SusanMacNeal) is a very enjoyable book. The second book in the series, Princess Elizabeth’s Spy (post coming next week), is already out and I’m already looking forward to the third one. The emphasis on the book is certainly more on the fiction part and less on the history which makes it a fun ride (even though I like my books to be historically accurate). When reading this book keep that in mind, it is not meant to be substantial on the historical front. Ms. MacNeal managed to write a compelling and captivating debut, while creating a saucy…

Guest Review: In the Land of Invisible Women: A female Doctor’s Journey in the Saudi Kingdom by Qanta Ahmed
Guest Posts , Latest Posts / October 27, 2012

Pages: 464 Publisher: Sourcebooks, Inc. Language: English ISBN-10: 1402210876 ISBN-13: 9781402210877 My rating: 3.5 stars Buy this book in paper or electronic format Synopsis: Qanta Ahmed, a British-born Muslim doctor, is denied a work visa in the United States. She opts to travel to Saudi Arabia where she works in a hospital in Riyadh. Although she was raised as a Muslim, and is familiar with the teachings of Islam, nothing prepares her for the culture shock she experiences in a country under Sharia Law. The first chapter grabbed my attention immediately as it described a Muslim Bedouin woman lying on an operating table. The woman is in a coma and connected to a respirator. Although the woman is naked, her face is covered by a veil. Doctor Ahmed finds it a striking clash between technology and religion. Meanwhile, the woman’s son is pacing with worry and anxiety over her veil remaining in place. So begins the contrasts and conflicts that Dr. Qanta Ahmed encounters during her years in Saudi Arabia. In this compelling narration, Dr. Ahmed lifts the veil of the upper-class Saudi women and exposes their culture and religion to the Western eye. The story is set during the…

Fun Facts Friday: James Boswell
Fun Facts Friday , Latest Posts / October 26, 2012

Monday, October 29 in the year 1750, famous Scottish author James Boswell (29 October 1740 – 19 May 1795) was born. Mr. Boswell had a very colorful life and his vivid writing is still something to be admired. Portrait of James Boswell By Sir Joshua Reynolds circa 1785 Books by James Boswell 1 ) Born in Edinburgh. James’ father was a judge and belonged to an old Scottish family with the title Lord of Auchinleck. This made James the 9th Laird of Auchinleck. 2 ) As a supporter of the Corsican Republic, Boswell donated money, arms and went dressed up as a Corsican Chief to the Shakespeare Jubilee in Stratford-Upon-Avon (See a letter from Boswell about the Shakespeare Jubilee). 3 ) After finishing college Boswell toured Europe. On his tour he met several dignitaries including Rousseau and Voltaire. Taking careful notes Boswell created detailed profiles of the famous people he met. 4 ) In 1763 Boswell met Samuel Johnson. They remained lifelong friends. 5 ) Boswell’s book, An Account of Corsica, was published in 1768, translated into 4 languages and made Boswell famous. 6 ) Mr. Boswell liked to whore around. In 167 he wrote a letter to W.J. Temple…

Book Review: Stardust by Neil Gaiman
5 Stars , Fiction , Latest Posts / October 25, 2012

About: Stardustby Neil Gaiman is a fictional book by the master storyteller. I have read the book after watching the excellent movie and enjoyed it just as much.  352 pages Publisher: Harper Language: English ISBN-10: 0380804557 My rating for Stardust – 5   Buy this book in paper or electronic format* More Book by Neil Gaiman Thoughts: Stardust by Neil Gaiman (Web­site | Face­book | @neilhimself), one of the most prolific, successful and finest storytellers of modern times, is a work of fiction about a boy named Tristan Thorn who lives in the curious English village of Wall, a boy who’s in love with a beautiful woman and promises to bring her a falling star they both witnessed. The star falls beyond the wall in Wall, which is the entrance to an enchanted world and the star takes the shape of a girl, instead of a rock. Tristan and the star set out on an adventure, as unlikely road companions, through the faerie realm, trying to get back to Wall and Tristan’s love. Stardust is an inventive fairy-tale reminiscent of the old stories and an imaginative as the best of them; a wonderful, funny and charming book with a sweeping story which is both fresh and original. Each chapter starts with a subtitle…

Guest Review: Seed by Ania Ahlborn
Guest Posts , Latest Posts / October 24, 2012

Book review by Ren Zelen Buy this book in paper or electronic format Amazon is trying its hand at the movie business. Two-year-old Amazon Studios has optioned its first horror movie, buying the film rights to an e-book, the Southern gothic thriller, “Seed,” by Ania Ahlborn. Released in 2011 as a self-published title, “Seed” reached the top of Amazon’s bestselling horror list by ‘nothing more than word-of-mouth’, according to Amazon spokespersons. The horror novel was re-released in 2012 after Ahlborn restructured particular plot points with the help of input from fans and added another 6,000 words to the manuscript. The news of Amazon buying the film rights broke as, coincidentally, I was about halfway through reading the e-book. I can understand why Amazon decided to pick-up this particular story. It lends itself to the visual image, exuding a seedy, oppressive, Southern Gothic ambience, and offering an ideal opportunity to create a particular nasty and memorable demonic entity and a possessed child. Ahlborn has a kind of proto-Stephen-King, descriptive writing style (and we all know how often that has attracted movie-makers, though with mixed results). I consider King to be a master storyteller, a deft spinner of compelling yarns, and like…

Book Review: Light & Shade: Conversations with Jimmy Page by Brad  Tolinski

Article first published as Book Review: Light and Shade: Conversations with Jimmy Page by Brad Tolinski on Blogcritics. About: Light &  Shade: Conversations with Jimmy Page by Brad  Tolinski is a non-fiction book which is a compilation of interviews the author did with the famed and private guitarist. Mr. Tolinski is the editorial director of Guitar World, Revolver and Guitar Aficionado magazines. 320 pages Publisher: Crown Language: English ISBN-10: 0307985717 My rat­ing for Light & Shade — 4 Buy this book in paper or in elec­tronic format* More Books by Brad  Tolinski Thoughts: Light &  Shade: Conversations with Jimmy Page by Brad  Tolinski shades some light (pun intended) on Jimmy Page, mostly known as Led Zeppelin’s guitarist, his career, life and profession.  Through hours of interviews we get a glimpse into Page’s life and aspects of his life which he has had much influence (fashion, magick and more). I’m sure that if I wanted to know more about Led Zeppelin I could find an almost unlimited amount, all written by other people and maybe with a cooperation of the band. Even though the band is legendary, the members of the band rarely let the public into their private life which is why I chose to read this book. In the interviews…

Book Review: Andrew Jackson: His Life and Times by H.W. Brands

Article first published as Book Review: Andrew Jackson: His Life and Times by H.W. Brands on Blogcritics. About: Andrew Jackson: His Life and Times by H.W. Brands is a biography of the 7th President of the United States. Currently Professor Brands (@hwbrands) is tweeting the history of American in haiku, very original, entertaining, educational and highly recommended. I read this book as part of a goal to read, in order, all of the biogra­phies of the pres­i­dents of the United States who have passed away. 656 pages Publisher: Anchor Language: English ISBN-10: 1400030722 My rat­ing for Andrew Jackson: His Life and Times — 5 Buy this book in paper or in elec­tronic format* More Books by H. W. Brands Thoughts: Andrew Jackson: His Life and Times by H.W. Brands manages to convey just how complex Andrew Jackson was as a person, husband, general and president.  The book brings to life its subject by combining history and literary methods to make an interesting and fascinating profile. Even though many people have forgotten about President Jackson (even though he is much better known than other presidents) he had led a full and exciting life. Mr. Brands starts, where else, in the beginning being born into poverty, fighting the British…

Twitter Roundup for Week Ending 10 October, 2012
Latest Posts , Twitter Roundup / October 21, 2012

This week was very hectic, work was crazy and I got behind on my actual projects which unfortunately didn’t leave much time for reading.  I finished about two books during lunch, commute (van pool) and other times. However, now I’m in a mood to watch a silly movie and let my brain “rest”. RT @ruthdfw: The ruthdfw Daily is out!bit.ly/aJL9KD ▸ Top stories today via @AceAmazin @ManOfLaBook @fitirpaldi Amazon.com: 100 #Kindle Books for $3.99 or Less – goo.gl/qi9hA # Fun Facts Friday: Vernon Leetinyurl.com/czvgoxw #BookReview Star Wars: The Truce at Bakura by Kathy Tyers-Guest Review: manoflabook.com/wp/?p=7388 #BookReview #StarWars Join @Kiva: Get $25 #FREE trial and help alleviate poverty. kiva.org/i/zdNJnEBlf09 via @Kiva Today Only – Eight Inspiring Books –goo.gl/5AZIQ #Kindle Daily Deal Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul:Collection of stories,poems,&cartoons relating to teen troubles- goo.gl/zVG0t#Kindle #YA Deal What it Would Be Like if H. P. Lovecraft Wrote Fantastic Four | Tor.com – goo.gl/mglYxvia Neil Gaiman, Lemony Snicket and More Read Coraline to You | Tor.com – goo.gl/yTuvP Book Review: The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives by Lola Shoneyin tinyurl.com/2b46d4l#BookReview 6 Scary Stories Read Aloud | BOOK RIOT –goo.gl/5jLey Time-Traveling Librarians from Outer Spa… from Texas – Boing Boing – goo.gl/5CbUr Treasure These Few Words* | Confessions of a Mystery Novelist… – goo.gl/4nhiF via @mkinberg On being a finalist for the Man Booker Prize 2012 « For Immediate Release –goo.gl/9hwpu Unleashing the power…

Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial
RSS