World Book Night 2013 – Books Recieved
Latest Posts / April 18, 2013

Today I picked up my package from World Book Night at Barnes & Noble. The book I chose was Playing for Pizza by John Grisham which I have read before. The reason I picked this book is because accord to the WBN website they want the books to be given to “light and non-readers”. I feel that this book is perfect for this group, it is a light read, a fun story and not intimidating. I’m looking forward to giving out the books and seeing what the feedback would be like. Meantime here are some pictures from the package I got, including a good looking “book giver” sticker. Zohar – Man of la Book    

Giveaway & Book Review: Fear in the Sunlight by Nicola Upson
3 Stars , Fiction , Latest Posts / April 18, 2013

About: Fear in the Sunlight by Nicola Upson is a mystery novel taking place in 1936. This is the fourth book in a series starring author Josephine Tey. The pub­lisher is giv­ing away one copy of this book –to enter fill out the Raf­fle­copt­ter form at the end of the post. 432 pages Publisher: Faber & Faber Language: English ISBN-10: 0571246281 My rat­ing for Fear in the Sunlight — 3 Buy this book in paper or elec­tronic format More books by Nicola Upson Thoughts: The reason I chose to read Fear in the Sunlight by Nicola Upson (website | Facebook) was because Alfred Hitchcock was in the story, I had no idea it was part of a series and probably wouldn’t have noticed either until I read it somewhere. I was looking forward to read a good mystery which was somewhat involved in Hitchcock’s movies. However the famed director is a character in this novel much like anyone else. Granted, not everyone has his insecurities and eccentricities but there is no Hitchcock specific take on the story. The story was very slow to start but once it got going it held my interest until the end, but the large cast of characters kept me confused and I…

Book Review: Wildflowers of Terezin by Robert Elmer

About: Wildflowers of Terezin by Robert Elmer is a historical fiction book taking place in Denmark during World War II. The book is well researched and an enthralling read. 335 pages Publisher: Abingdon Press Language: English ISBN-10: 1426701926 My rat­ing for Wildflowers of Terezin — 5 Buy this book in paper or in elec­tronic format* More Books by Robert Elmer More Rec­om­mended World War II books on Man of la BookStore Thoughts: Wildflowers of Terezin by Robert Elmer (website) was an interesting read. I originally got this book due to my great interest in World War II and was delighted to find out that it takes place in Denmark because I have yet to read any WWII stories from that region. The book held my interest throughout, part history, part fiction and part religious it manages to show the best and worst of men and women when life deals them a losing hand. I have heard many books, both fiction and non-fiction about the Jews of World War II, and in comparison their treatment wasn’t as bad as the rest of Europe – but that is of course speaking as someone living in a free country 50 years later who never had to drop everything and flee for his life. Upon finishing…

Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington D.C.
Latest Posts / April 15, 2013

Finally, after years of marriage I made good on my promise to take my beloved wife to the Cherry Blossom festival in Washington D.C. Unbeknownst to her and the kids, I slyly embedded a few history lessons in there as well. How can you not when in such an environment? We all had our own agenda, my wife wanted to see the Cherry blossoms (check), my daughter wanted to go the natural history museum (delayed), son wanted to see Lincoln (check) and Daddy wanted to see the James Bond exhibit in the spy museum (delayed, probably canceled). Enjoying a $5 corn dog (that’s FIVE DOLLARS EACH!!!) My wife grew up in the mid-west so she wasn’t much into history. I grew up on the east coast where American history comes alive. You learn about the Boston Tea Party and go to Boston Harbor, you learn about the Constitution and get to visit Philadelphia’s Constitution Hall, learn about government and get to see Congress in (in)action. JeneeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeyyyyyY!!!! Once I started dragging the family along on historical field trips they started to realize that the figures in books were actual historical figures instead of the equivalent of Grimm Brothers fair-tales. George Washington…

Book Review: The Call of the Wild by Jack London
Fiction , Latest Posts / April 13, 2013

About: The Call of the Wild by Jack London is a classic short story written in 1903. Originally no one wanted to publish the book, however, Macmillan agreed to take a chance on the unknown writer and payed him $2,000 with no royalties.  Even though the publishers and editors didn’t like the title London stuck with it. Seven years later an editor wrote:  “I’ll be damned if that very muchly-rejected title didn’t become a phrase in the English language. This is only one of many experiences concerning titles, wherein editors, booksellers, and publishers absolutely missed.” 64 pages Publisher: Dover Publications; Dover Thrift Edition Language: English ISBN-10: 0486264726 Buy this book in paper or electronic format* More Books by Jack London Thoughts: I purposely avoided The Call of the Wild by Jack London as a teenager, the novel simply didn’t appeal to me. I’m glad I avoided it because upon reading this classic story as an adult, I believe I would have hated it as a teen. There is some violence and cruelty in the book, but I believe the language is what would have done me in. Not to knock down any teenage bibliophiles, but I believe that the vocabulary would have been a bit too much…

Fun Facts Friday: Beverly Cleary
Fun Facts Friday , Latest Posts / April 12, 2013

Beverly Cleary (12 April, 1912) is an award winning children’s author and one of my daughter’s favorites. Ms. Cleary’s birthday is recognized nationally as D.E.A.R. – Drop Everything And Read day. Ms. Cleary was born in McMinnville, OR as Beverly Atlee Bunn and later moved to Yamhill, OR. The town was so small it didn’t have a library Beverly’s mother ran a small of her own books, which is how Beverly got her love of reading. When the family moved to Portland, a librarian suggested to young Beverly that she should write children’s’ books. Beverly was a third grade student at the time! Her college degree is in library science. At first Cleary didn’t think she’d be able to write about Kindergarten students because she never attended on. However, she changed her mind once her kids were born. Cleary’s first book about Harry Huggins was published in 1950. In 2003, Cleary won the National Medal of Art, one of among many other honors (Newbery Medal, Laura Ingles Wilder awards, William Allen White Children’s Book award and more). Dandelion Cottage by Caroll Watson Rankin was Cleary’s favorite book as a child. One of the resident halls at the University of California…

Book Review: House of Rocamora by Donald Michael Platt

About: House of Rocamora by Donald Michael Platt is a historical fiction book taking place in Amsterdam. This is a sequel to the well received Rocamaora: Man of Masks which I wrote about last month. 346 pages Publisher: Raven’s Wing Books (November 19, 2012) Language: English ISBN-10: 1618070916 My rat­ing for House of Rocamora — 5 Buy this book in paper or elec­tronic format* More Books by Don­ald Michael Platt Thoughts: House of Rocamora by Donald Michael Platt (web­site) might not be as exciting as its predecessor (meaning there is no castle intrigue or daring escapes from under the Inquisition’s nose) however the account of the daily life of Isaac (previously Vicente de Rocamora) is just as an engrossing read. The book creates a vivid picture of the Jewish community in Amsterdam. It was very interesting to read how the Jews lived and interacted with each other and the Dutch people at the time. The protagonist has become Jewish but not an observant Jew and the community somewhat resents him for that, add that to the fact that he was a priest and even considered for the post of head of the Spanish Inquisition and you can understand their mistrust. This is an excellent companion to Rocamora: Man of Masks, however…

Book Review: Dubliners by James Joyce
4 Stars , Fiction , Latest Posts / April 8, 2013

About: Dubliners by James Joyce is a collection of short stories published in 1914. The stories are loosely tied together and are considered a classic collection in world literature. 152 pages Publisher: Dover Publications Language: English ISBN-10: 0486268705 My rating for Dubliners – 4 Buy this book in paper or elec­tronic format More books by James Joyce Thoughts: I read Dubliners by James Joyce as an attempt to read out of my comfort zone as well as to read some well known “must read” books which I somehow (and by “somehow” I mean purposely) skipped over. I generally don’t read short stories, but I’ve heard so much about Dubliners that I decided to try it out. The first reaction I had to the book was not a positive one, it seemed to me that Joyce wrote the book begging for it to be analyzed and dug into ad nauseaum.  I don’t like those type of books, I like thinking more deeply into a book and trying to read what the author meant, not necessarily what is written in black and white. However, when an author takes unnecessarily steps to make their work purposely difficult to comprehend, and then only by…

Holocaust Survivor Looking for His Twin A7734
Latest Posts / April 7, 2013

This article was sent to me by my aunt who knows my interest in family genealogy  I found it to be an amazing read and translated it into English, I hope you take a few moments, especially today Holocaust Memorial Day to read a sad, yet inspiring story. Orginaly published at:,7340,L-4364316,00.html Menachem discovered who he was, now stays twin A7734 “Will you be my father?” Asked the boy in Auschwitz the stranger. For decades, did not want to dig into the past. Only persistent researcher recently went out with him on a journey into the soul scarred and original identity. Stray close, but Mengele Twin have one more question that will not go: Dude, where are you? Roi Mandel Identical twins just know. As an internal sense the resulting link – Sensory between two people who shared a womb and genetic traits, nine months developed close together, protected in the amniotic fluid, umbilical cords attached both to the mother’s placenta. When twin feels something about his brother, even if separated by an ocean, chances instincts do not make a mistake it. Twins feel each other. Menachem Bodner feel his brother Julie was still alive. A7734 was a page on Facebook that has become viral and has been viewed by crowds…

Guest Review: Children of the Jedi (Star Wars) by Barbara Hambly
Guest Posts , Latest Posts / April 6, 2013

  Buy this Star Wars Book in paper or elec­tronic copy* Andrew: Orig­i­nally pub­lished at: 1/5 Rancors – Barbara Hambly’s Children of the Jedi kicks off a sequence of stories unofficially known as the “Callista Trilogy.” First published in the spring of 1995, this novel is representative of a period of time when Bantam Spectra was struggling to find its footing with its successful Star Wars license. Timothy Zahn’s Thrawn Trilogyhad met with massive success and acclaim, and subsequently Kevin J. Anderson’s Jedi Academy Trilogy also saw significant sales, although less fan acceptance. These two trilogies set out many key elements of the Expanded Universe that would ripple through all the stories to come, including Han and Leia’s children, Luke’s attempts to revive the Jedi Order, the shape of the New Republic, and more. One element common to more than a few of the Bantam novels was something Anderson picked up from the Death Stars in the films, and that is superweapons. Hambly keys in on this plot device and introduces a new one of her own: the immense Dreadnaught Eye of Palpatine, an automated ship built in secret and designed to wipe out an enclave of Jedi on the planet Belsavis. Why Palpatine would need such a gigantic ship to…

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