Fun Facts Friday: Richard Ellmann
Fun Facts Friday , Latest Posts / March 15, 2013

Richard Ellmann (15 March, 1918 – 13 May, 1987) was a noted biographer and literary critic. Mr. Ellmann specialized in biographies of Irish writers. Books by Richard Ellmann Son of Jewish Romanian immigrant, Ellmann served in the US Navy during World War II. Ellman received his B.A., M.A. and PhD from Yale University. He won the John Addison Porter Prize for his PhD work. Mr. Ellman was Goldsmiths’ professor of English lit. at Oxford. Mrs. Mary Ellman was an essayist. Ellman’s most noted biographies are those of George Yeats, James Joyce and Oscar Wilde. Oscar Wilde’s biography won a Pulitzer Prize and is still referred to as a standard in biographies and is considered the definitive work on the life of the author. In his biography of James Joyce, Ellmann quoted extensively from Finnegans Wake. Ellman won the U.S. National Book Award for Nonfiction for James Joyce. In 1982 a revised editon of James Joyce was awarded the James Tait Black Memorial Prize. Books by Richard Ellmann Zohar – Man of la Book

Book Review: Capital of the World by Charlene Mires
4 Stars , Latest Posts , Non-Fiction / March 14, 2013

Capital of the World by Charlene Mires is dense, but fun book. It is no wonder the UN can’t make any decisions, if the way they decided to chose a “home” would have been any indication (committees for committees result in their resolve to make resolutions) they might would have rethought the way they do business.

Book Review: Bravo Two Zero by Andy McNab

About: Bravo Two Zero by Andy McNab is a bestseller describing a patrol by the English Special Air Services (SAS) in Iraq during the Gulf War. The book was recommended to me by Helen Maryles Shankman (http://helenmarylesshankman.wordpress.com/). 432 pages Publisher: Island Books; Language: English ISBN-10: 0440218802 My rat­ing for Bravo Two Zero— 4 Buy this book in paper or elec­tronic format* Thoughts: Bravo Two Zero: The Harrowing True Story of a Special Forces Patrol Behind the Lines in Iraq by Andy McNab (website| Facebook | @the_real_mcnab)  was recommended to me, as mentioned above, and simply by reading the synopsis I thought I’d like the book. However, as someone with military experience I have to call bullshit on some of the stories. I don’t know about the torture scenes and frankly hope never to find out, but some of the operational procedures and bravado seems to be utter machismo more to do with a Hollywood movie than with a book presenting itself as fact. For example, no way did an eight man team kill 250 people or took on a whole platoon and/or company by themselves. They might have killed a few and ran away (as would be the smart thing to…

Giveaway: Equal of the Sun by Anita Amirrezvani
Latest Posts / March 12, 2013

A few month ago I read and reviewed Equal of the Sun by Anita Amirrezvani in anticipation to the release of paperback (March 19), the publisher is giving away one copy to two lucky winners. Most of the book focuses on how the cul­tural con­ven­tions per­tain to the women in the court. The story is told through the eyes of Java­her, a eunuch (by choice!) who is work­ing for Princess Pari. Some of the graphic aspects of the story made me, as a man, feel very uncom­fort­able includ­ing a graphic descrip­tion of the cas­tra­tion pro­ce­dure which gives me shiv­ers to this day. Give­away Give­away ends: March 19, 2013 US Ship­ping Addresses Only No PO Boxes Win­ners will have 24 hours to write back with their address, oth­er­wise an alter­nate win­ner will be picked   Congatulations: skkorman, truebookaddict Zohar – Man of la Book

Book Review: Outlaw Platoon by Sean Parnell & John Bruning

This is a gritty book, not only with the vibrant descriptions of what the author has been through, but also of the enemy we are fighting. An enemy who’s goal was to decapitate the soldiers with dull knives and stick their heads on polls as warnings, or who seems to get their kicks kidnapping a six-year-old boy, gauging his eyes out, pulling his teeth and using him as their sexual plaything.

Book Review: Broken Angel by S.W. Vaughn
4 Stars , Fiction , Latest Posts / March 9, 2013

Article first published as Book Review: Broken Angel by S.W. Vaughn on Blogcritics. About: Broken Angel by S.W. Vaughn is a fictional book taking place in NYC’s underground street fighting scenes. This is the first book in a the House Phoenix series but can be read as a standalone. 290 pages Publisher: Lyrical Press, Inc Language: English ISBN-10: 1616501618 My rat­ing for Broken Angel— 4 Buy this book in paper or in elec­tronic (free at the time of this post) format* More Books by S.W. Vaughn Thoughts: Broken Angel by S.W. Vaughn (website | @SWVaughn) was an unexpected surprise. I started to read it and found myself being engrossed in the story and characters. The book explodes with violence which works great with the theme of professional street fighting tournaments. Despite the gratuitous violence and torture scenes, I found the novel compelling.  The plot is well drawn, the characters are interesting and engaging and the narrative full with enough detail to draw the reader into its world. The book has several twists which the astute reader probably guessed ahead of time.  The descriptive fights with all the smells, blood and sweat are excellent, while the protagonist if certainly not the underdog type we all enjoy rooting for, he does…

Fun Facts Friday: John McPhee
Fun Facts Friday , Latest Posts / March 8, 2013

American writer John McPhee was born on this day, 8 March 1931 in Princeton, NJ. Mr. McPhee is a 1999 winner of Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction for his work Annals of the Former World as well as the George Polk Career Award. Books by John McPhee Mr. McPhee was born in Princeton, NJ. His father was Princeton University athletic department physician. Mr. McPhee went to Princeton High School and attended Princeton University. During his time as a student at Princeton University, Mr. McPhee traveled to New York City twice a week as the juvenile panelist on the radio quiz program Twenty Questions. Mr. McPhee had several roommates in Princeton, one of them was Dick Kazmaier – the 1951 Heisman Trophy winner. His writing career started at Time magazine and The New Yorker in 1965. Mr. McPhee still writes for those magazines today. Profiling Princeton University’s basketball legend (and later a senator from NJ) Bill Bradely resulted in A Sense of Where You Are which became a classic non-fiction book. To this day Mr. McPhee teaches nonfiction writing at Princeton (2 out of every 3 years). Some of Mr. McPhee’s students included David Remnick, Eric Schlosser, Richard Preston and Robert…

Book Review: How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia by Mohsin Hamid
5 Stars , Fiction , Latest Posts / March 6, 2013

Article first published as Book Review: How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia: A Novel by Mohsin Hamid on Blogcritics. About: How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia by Mohsin Hamid is a fictional book in guise of a self-help book (but with a story). Mr. Hamid has written two previous books which were very well received, however this is the first book I have read from his pen. 240 pages Publisher: Riverhead Hardcover Language: English ISBN-10: 1594487294 My rat­ing for How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia — 5 Buy this book in paper or in elec­tronic (Kin­dle enhanced with audio) format* More Books by Mohsin Hamid Thoughts: At first I was a bit taken aback by the format of How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia by Mohsin Hamid (website | Facebook | @mohsin_hamid), but I kept on reading as the novel expended into the universe of an unnamed protagonist and his rise in the business world of Asia. Once I got used to the format and the writing style, I found a delightful book with a simple, yet rapid story full of love and hope. In between each chapter a decade or so passes, the reader is left…

Guest Post (and free books!): How Do You Decide What to Read? by S.W. Vaughn
Guest Posts , Latest Posts / March 5, 2013

Many thanks, Zohar, for having me over today! There are millions of readers in the world, and the ever-present question on the minds of each one of them is, “What should I read next?” It’s a hard question to answer in a general sense, because every reader has different influences, interests, and literary turn-offs that tumble around in their reading brains until they all come together, point at a book, and say, “THAT ONE!” I can’t speak for every reader, but I can talk about the various ways I come to my reading choices. I’m betting at least a few of these are pretty common motivations. The Love at First Sight Book I’m in a bookstore, and a pick up a book off the shelf—idly at first. Maybe I liked the cover, or the title, or something about it seems vaguely familiar. I read the back cover, and if I like the description, I open to page one. Then I realize I’ve been standing in the aisle for like 20 minutes reading this book, and there’s no way I’m putting it back. It will be mine! I’ll fight for it if I have to, because I need to read the…

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