Book Review: Call Me Zebra by Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi
4 Stars , Fiction , Latest Posts / January 10, 2018

About: Call Me Zebra by Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi is a novel from this award winning author. This is the author’s second novel. 304 pages Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Language: English ISBN-10: 0544944607 My rating for Call Me Zebra – 4 Buy Call Me Zebra from* More Books by Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi Thoughts: I have no idea why I chose to read this novel, I don’t like stream of consciousness narrative mode, and I have very little interest in the troubled minds of 22 year old women. That being said, I found Call Me Zebra by Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi difficult to put down. Almost like watching a train wreck happening and you can’t look away. This is a sharp, yet bizarre and demented story. The protagonist is so self-absorbed in her own journey, literature and ancestors that it’s almost laughable. She expects that any moment the rest of the world would embrace her vision of reality and the “truth”. I did enjoy the homages to some of my favorite writers, and some which I appreciate but will probably never read. The dead writers are very real to Zebra, real as any other person who spews wisdom and advice at you….

Book Review: It Doesn’t Take a Hero by General H. Norman Schwarzkopf

The start of the buildup of the Gulf War (1990) is where the book takes off to relevancy not only when published, but today also since we are still facing some of those issues, as well as many others. General Schwarzkopf was assigned to Central Command not long before Iraq invaded Kuwait, in this book the General states that he prepared his troops for war in the Middle East since, to his estimation, a war in Europe is unlikely. As Bush 41 made it clear that Iraqi aggression will not go unnoticed, General Schwarzkopf realized that he might be at the center of fight.

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…

Thoughts on: Equal of the Sun by Anita Amirrezvani

About: Equal of the Sun by Anita Amirrezvani is a fictional book taking place in 16th Century Iran. The story blends a mix of historical and fictional characters to create an intriguing novel. The pub­lisher is giv­ing away one copy of this book— use the Raf­fle­copter form at the end of the post to enter. 448 pages Publisher: Scribner Language: English ISBN-10: 1451660464 My rat­ing for Equal of the Sun— 4 Buy this book in paper or elec­tronic format More Books by Anita Amirrezvani Thoughts: I have never heard of Iranian princess Pari Khan Khanoom so I was thrilled to read Equal of the Sun by Anita Amirrezvani as my introduction to this fascinating woman.  The book’s fascinating descriptions of Persian traditions and culture is its biggest strength and most captivating aspect. The parts which looked into court life, palace intrigue and royal family politics were especially appealing. 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…

Thoughts on: Akhmed and the Atomic Matzo Balls by Gary Buslik
3 Stars , Fiction , Latest Posts / May 17, 2012

About: Akhmed and the Atomic Matzo Balls by Gary Buslik is a fictional comedic book. The story spans the globe and includes tyrants, professors and even… conservatives. 370 pages Publisher: Travelers’ Tales/Solas House Language: English ISBN-10: 1609520696 My rating for Akhmed and the Atomic Matzo Balls – 3 Buy this book in paper or in elec­tronic format More Books by Gary Buslik Thoughts: I really don’t know what to think about Akhmed and the Atomic Matzo Balls by Gary Buslik. Some parts I found really funny, others not so much, yet at times it seemed as if Larry David was in my face trying too hard to make me laugh. This is a wacky novel, as you can tell from the wonderful title; the good news is that it’s wacky on purpose. The plot is over the top and the dialog is mostly funny, some of the jokes were not akin to my humor, but many others were. I like the sarcastic sense of humor, absurd humor sometimes passes me by. While the characterization is good, there is not one nice, sympathetic or relatable person in the whole book. That’s what the author wanted to do, I believe, and that’s what we got but…

Book Review: The Gilded Chamber: A Novel of Queen Esther by Rebecca Kohn
4 Stars , Biblical Fiction , Fiction / October 8, 2010

I borrowed this book from the local library. My rating for The Gilded Chamber– 4 About: “The Gilded Chamber: A Novel of Queen Esther” by Rebecca Kohn is a familiar story, Hadassah, a Jewish orphan, is being brought to the court of King Xerxes as a possible queen. Hiding her Jewish origins she changes her name to Esther, becomes queen and saves the Jews from certain death (now…let’s eat). Buy “The Gilded Chamber” and get a royal treat Thoughts: The book itself is very inventive biblical fiction, I must give the author credit and I really enjoyed the first part of the book. However, for me the book took a wrong turn by not sticking with the biblical timeline and taking too many liberties with the “fiction” part of biblical fiction. Part of my enjoyment reading fiction is that I learn something along the way, if I have to pick apart what’s accurate and what’s not it takes away from the experience. The female characters are drawn very nicely, but the males seemed to be a bit flat and uninteresting. That’s too bad because Xerxes, Mordechai and Haman are fascinating cultural, historical and biblical characters by their own right. This…

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