Book Reviews Information

Beyond Bodybuilding: Stranger in a Strange Land -- A Book Review


When America's foremost literary critic, Harold Bloom, professor emeritus at Yale was asked to define literary greatness, he did so as follows,"I have tried to confront greatness directly: to ask what makes the author and the works canonical. The answer, more often than not, turned out to be strangeness, a mode of originality that either cannot be assimilated, or that so assimilates us that we cease to see it as strange.

The Red Hourglass: Lives of the Predators, by Gordon Grice


The black widow spider is notorious for eating her mate as they copulate, but how many of us know much more than that about this beautiful, mysterious, spider?Grice collects black widows and keeps them in jars and studies them, and he tells us more than we care to know at times. But it is not just black widows that interest Grice, it is rattlesnakes, praying mantis, tarantula, pigs, dogs, and the recluse spider.

Book Review: Money Without Matrimony


MONEY WITHOUT MATRIMONY: The Unmarried Couples Guide to Financial Security, Sheryl Garrett and Debra Neiman, Dearborn Trade Publishing. Paperback $21.

For Fans of Seinfeld-like Coincidences


Isn't That Bigamy (c) 2005, ISBN 1411634241, Mike Vogel, Lulu PressYou have just broken up with your girlfriend who leaves you in a busy restaurant with no way home, a tough waitress dumps a drink in your lap for no reason, and now you have to walk home with a wet crotch. If that is not enough, while walking across a bridge, you witness a mob hit quite by accident.

Washington Historian Remembers Harriet Lane, the Greatest First Lady


Washington Historian Remembers Harriet Lane, the Greatest First LadyWASHINGTON DC: She was the first White House Hostess to be called "First Lady." Enough said.

Why Malta? A Mystery-Thriller Author Tells Why


"Why Malta?" my new Maltese friends kept asking me when they find out that my mystery-thriller The Cellini Masterpiece is set on Malta. Mind you, only the Maltese ask that question.

Lethal Option - Book Review


"This has to be one of the best detective novels I have read in some time - right up there with Lawrence Sanders! P.J.

ARTURO EL REY - Book Review


This large (about 378 pages), fantasy-adventure novel should give best selling authors like Stephen King heavy competition. Fantastically interwoven with elements of King Arthur's realm, including a little Arthurian romance, Arturo el Rey will keep the reader captivated.

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince - A Review


If writing was a religion, it shall be easy to deem 'Harry Potter and the half-blood prince' as the penultimate blasphemy, an utmost sacrilege. A book that discredits its own magnitude, it is a joke in the Queens' English that bravely illustrates the argument for its painful ineptitude.

Metaphorically Selling


The Big IdeaA lot of people consider selling a very difficult task. Unfortunately for them, selling is an activity that forms part of everyone's daily routine.

A Coaching Book Review


Win-Win Partnerships - Be on the Leading Edge with Synergistic CoachingWin-Win Partnerships takes Coaching and Partnering to a new level. This book explores much more than employer/employee relationships.

Pastoral Theology: Essentials of Ministry Book Review


Author: Thomas C. Oden Paperback: 384 pages Publisher: HarperSanFrancisco; 1st ed edition (May 1, 1983) Language: English ISBN: 0060663537Book Content:Introduction: What is Pastoral Theology?I.

Headlong Into Quicksand: The Tale of Today in America


America´s 220 years of Democracy (of its 400 years) is longer than the Greek 100 (of 1000), the Roman 150 (of 1000), or the British 180 (of 1600.) These European democracies are the only large ones ever.

The Bible Code II: The Countdown, by Michael Drosnin


Sir Isaac Newton knew about the Bible code 300 hundred years ago when he described it as "a cryptogram set by the Almighty?.The riddle of the God-head, the riddle of past and future events divinely fore-ordained.

The Isaiah Effect, by Greg Braden


Why do some prayers seem to be answered while others not? "The secret of prayer lies beyond the words of praise, the incantations, and the rhythmic chants to the `powers that be."We are only using a small part of the "equation" of prayer and those elements that we are missing are emotion, thought, and feeling; it is these elements that when properly aligned are the formula for creation.

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Signature (a Random House website) looks at the many 2018 Golden Globes nominees based on books:

It is officially that time of the year – awards season is upon us. As usual, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association has kicked things off with the announcement of the 2018 Golden Globe Awards nominees. The literary world is represented in this year's lineup with a smattering of great adaptations leading the charge in both film and TV. While the slate of nominees is populated with a few of the marquee titles you'd expect – "Game of Thrones" got it's annual nod, for instance – a few surprises cracked the surface as well. It looks to be another interesting year at the Golden Globes. Let's have a look.

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Year for 2017 is feminism. The word was a top lookup throughout the year, with several spikes that corresponded to various news reports and events.

In an opinion piece in the Irish Times, John Boyne writes:

So I'm going to make a claim now that will probably get me kicked out of the Fraternity of Underappreciated Male Authors (FUMA) and blacklisted from the annual Christmas football game. Here goes:

I think women are better novelists than men.

There, I've said it. While it's obviously an enormous generalisation, it's no more ludicrous than some half-wit proudly claiming never to read books by women. For the record, purporting to love literature while dismissing the work of female writers is like claiming to be passionate about music while refusing to listen to anything but Ed Sheeran. However, I'm going to try to back up my sweeping statement...

The great Simeon Booker, one of the bravest journalists of our time, faced dangers far worse than a petulant president's social media feed. Booker refused to be cowed--and ultimately helped change the nation. His life's work should be a lesson to us all about the power of truth to vanquish evil.

Booker died Sunday at 99. At the height of his career, few could have imagined he would live so long.

As Washington bureau chief for Chicago-based Johnson Publications, publisher of the newsweekly Jet and the monthly magazine Ebony, Booker went to the Deep South to cover the most tumultuous events of the civil rights movement--life-threatening work for an African American journalist.

William H. Gass, a proudly postmodern author who valued form and language more than literary conventions like plot and character and who had a broad influence on other experimental writers of the 1960s, '70s and beyond, died on Wednesday in St. Louis. He was 93. Mr. Gass was widely credited with coining the term "metafiction" to describe writing in which the author is part of the story. He himself was one of the form's foremost practitioners.

Barnes & Noble, which posted a wider loss last quarter and sent its shares tumbling, is scaling back ambitions to become more than a bookseller.

The retailer had hoped that toys, games and other items would shore up its results, especially as Amazon ate away at its traditional business. But its non-book sales have flagged the past two quarters, and now the company is putting its focus back firmly on reading.

Shelf Awareness reports on the growing "Cider Monday" movement by indie booksellers in response to the big online shopping day known as Cyber Monday. In this low key but fun event stores offer their customers "a warm welcome and a cup of delicious cider" to thank them for shopping local.

Dictionary.com's choice for its Word of the Year is "complicit." It says online searches for the word spiked three times this year...

On Saturday, hundreds of booksellers across the USA took part in Indies First and Small Business Saturday, organizing all kinds of in-store activities, offering a range of deals, hosting parties and engaging in the staple of Indies First since the event was founded by Sherman Alexie in 2013: having authors work in their favorite indies as booksellers. Shelf Awareness reports on some of the events.

Meanwhile, in the UK, bookstores celebrated the first inaugural Saturday Sanctuary to "celebrate bookshops as a place of calm and respite from our hectic daily lives."

A New York Times opinion piece by Daniel T. Willingham lays out the argument that American's poor reading skills cannot be blamed on modern technology but on a misunderstanding of how the mind reads - that functional literary is grounded not just in the ability to read words but in having the factual knowledge to put what one is reading into context.

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