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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MORE RESOURCES:
Veteran journalist Cokie Roberts, who joined an upstart NPR in 1978 and left an indelible imprint on the growing network with her coverage of Washington politics before later going to ABC News, has died. She was 75.

Roberts died Tuesday because of complications from breast cancer, according to a family statement. A bestselling author and Emmy Award winner, Roberts was one of NPR's most recognizable voices and is considered one of a handful of pioneering female journalists — along with Nina Totenberg, Linda Wertheimer and Susan Stamberg — who helped shape the public broadcaster's sound and culture at a time when few women held prominent roles in journalism.

Indie press Galley Beggar has warned of the impact a no-deal Brexit could have on publishing after learning of "crazy" government requirements on distribution and warned it could put smaller publishers out of business.

The Norwich-based independent, which recently scored a Booker Prize nomination with Lucy Ellmann's Ducks, Newburyport, fears smaller publishers could be put out of business over legal uncertainty around Brexit.

Galley Beggar founder Sam Jordison outlined concerns around UK government and Publishers' Association guidance, and in particular government guidance suggesting that publishers will need to state country of origin or International Organization of Standardization (ISO) codes for their inventory. The government published its Yellowhammer contingency plan which details "worst case" scenarios for a no-deal Brexit last week. The document warned of channel crossing delays and disrupted trade across the Irish border...

... "We're terrified, we are genuinely terrified. There's all kinds of other reasons to object to Brexit but from a practical point of view it's going to completely screw us. The main concern is that this is potentially going to put people out of business. Not even potentially, it is going to put people out of business. Our margins are small so rising costs are already a nightmare – that's only going to get worse. Paper, transport are going to go up – even with a deal that stuff is problematic." ...

Elena Ferrante, the Italian author whose Neapolitan novels became a global phenomenon, is to publish a new book in Italy on 7 November – her first novel in four years.

Bestselling author Jojo Moyes has called on the government and the publishing industry to do more about the UK's "shameful" adult literacy record. In 2018, Moyes, writer of global hits including Me Before You and The Girl You Left Behind, donated three years of funding to charity the Reading Agency for its Quick Reads scheme, saving it from closure when its previous sponsorship ran out.

While she was "proud to be able to help out as a private individual", she is furious at what she calls governmental and industry failure to understand the importance of Quick Reads.

Dorothea Benton Frank, author of 20 novels set in the Charleston area and a beloved figure who for years split her time between Sullivan's Island and the New York City area, died Monday evening after a brief illness. She was 67.

Amazon has broken the worldwide embargo on Margaret Atwood's The Testaments (Nan A. Talese), which isn't supposed to go on sale until next Tuesday, September 10, inadvertently shipping about 800 copies to customers. This has infuriated indies, led to early reviews of the book around the world--revealing basic elements, and caused exclusive excerpts to be published earlier than planned. Altogether, the embargo violation stained the release of one of the biggest books of the fall season, Atwood's long-awaited sequel to The Handmaid's Tale.

In response to the situation, publisher Penguin Random House issued this statement: "A very small number of copies of Margaret Atwood's The Testaments were distributed early due to a retailer error which has now been rectified.... Not naming Amazon and attributing the problem to "a retailer error" irritated many indie booksellers for a number of reasons: some pointed out that if their stores had sold copies of the book early, it would be considered an embargo violation and likely lead to punishments, such as not receiving embargoed books ahead of publication date in the future. Many speculated PRH will not do anything of the sort with Amazon.

In a series of tweets, Raven Book Store, Lawrence, Kan., succinctly outlined the problem:

"It should come as no surprise that a certain huge online retailer is selling this book very close to our cost; if we sold it at their price we'd make $1.73 per copy. We've discussed before how this is unfair, and how we deal with it.

But now, not only is the huge online retailer selling it for a price we can't compete with, but they shipped out copies a week early. This increases the likelihood that someone who got it early uploads a bootleg copy online, cutting into sales for everyone.

It also gave de facto permission to places like the New York Times and NPR to publish spoiler-heavy reviews, which deflates the mysterious buzz about what's in the book. It's likely that less mystery means less vital first-week sales for everyone. I hope we're wrong."


Chanel Miller was known by the pseudonym Emily Doe at the trial of Stanford student Brock Turner, who was sentenced to six months in county jail for the assault. The sentence caused widespread anger given that Turner could have been jailed for up to 14 years for the crime. Many believed Turner had been given a lenient sentence because he was a white athlete from a prominent university, Stanford. Turner repeatedly claimed alcohol was to blame and that the encounter was consensual, while his father called the attack "20 minutes of action".

Miller is now releasing a memoir, Know My Name, which her publisher says will "change the way we think about sexual assault forever". Miller's 7,000-word statement at the trial garnered millions of views around the world when it was published online in 2016. She will also appear on CBS's 60 Minutes later this month and extracts from the interview, including Miller reading the statement, have been released this week.

Hundreds of readers in the US have received early copies of Margaret Atwood's heavily embargoed follow-up to The Handmaid's Tale, The Testaments, after copies were shipped out early by Amazon.

Security around the novel had been as tight as anything mounted for JK Rowling or Dan Brown's blockbuster releases – the judges for the Booker prize, who shortlisted The Testaments for the award on Wednesday, were warned they would be held liable if their watermarked copies leaked. But since Tuesday, readers have been posting images on Twitter of their freshly delivered copies, a week before the novel's official release on 10 September.

And The Guardian have just published an (officially approved) excerpt--see link below:

The shortlist for The Booker Prize, the U.K.'s top prize for fiction, has been announced. The list includes two former winners, Margaret Atwood and Salman Rushdie--even though Atwood's book doesn't publish until next week:

Margaret Atwood (Canada), The Testaments (Vintage, Chatto & Windus)

Lucy Ellmann (U.S./U.K.), Ducks, Newburyport (Galley Beggar Press)

Bernardine Evaristo (U.K.), Girl, Woman, Other (Hamish Hamilton)

Chigozie Obioma (Nigeria) An Orchestra of Minorities (Little Brown)

Salman Rushdie (U.K./India) Quichotte (Jonathan Cape)

Elif Shafak (U.K./Turkey) 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World (Viking)

Reese Witherspoon has named Lara Prescott's debut novel The Secrets We Kept as her September book club choice. This thrilling historical fiction, which publishes on September 3, is inspired by the true story of the CIA plot to infiltrate the hearts and minds of Soviet Russia with the greatest love story of the twentieth century: Doctor Zhivago. The Secrets We Kept is also a great hit with the 20 BookBrowse members who reviewed it for our First Impressions program--rating it a stellar 4.7 stars!

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