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Book Reviews 09/2015

'The Book of Luke' is full of surprises
Instead the pioneering Southern rapper is sneaking in another opportunity to talk about his memoir, The Book of Luke: My Fight For Truth, Justice, and Liberty City, just before donning dressier attire to join readers and fellow authors at a dinner for ...

Book Review: Minute Zero
The book features turf wars, high stakes diplomacy, conspiracy, murder and more. An exciting read, this is not a book that readers will be able to put down easily. Aside from the engrossing plot and interesting characters, what really stands out is the ...

Book review: "The Girl in the Spider's Web"
In the three "Millennium" books by Stieg Larsson, the plot was reinforced by a combination of crimes, intense characters and a historical background leading back to the Nazi era. The "Millennium" books sold 80 million copies, and the filmed versions ...

Book Review: Designed For the Future: 80 Practical Ideas for A Sustainable World
Practical ideas is the key way of describing Designed For the Future: 80 Practical Ideas for A Sustainable World. Edited by Jared Green, this simple yet intriguing book offers good solutions from top world sustainability experts in building a greener ...

A Bad Book Review Isn't the End of the World
Don't get discouraged if you get bad book reviews because they are inevitable. Relax and take a deep breath. Right from the beginning let me say that no bad review is ever welcome but it is definitely not a death sentence for your book. This is one of ...

Review: Chrissie Hynde's 'Reckless' Details a Rocker's Life
Way to go, Akron, Ohio, for giving the world Chrissie Hynde, a malcontent for the ages — or, at a minimum, for the post-punk era — with a look to match: kohl-rimmed eyes, a low hedgerow of bangs, the best sneer since Elvis's. Androgynous and ...

Book Review: Depression Delusion by Terry Lynch, MD, MA
In this truly remarkable — and meticulously researched — volume, Dr. Lynch annihilates psychiatry's cherished chemical imbalance theory of depression. Every facet of this theory, which the author correctly calls a delusion, is critically analyzed and ...

Book review: 'The Grand Tour Cookbook'
There was a time — and not long ago — that grand tour riders left their diet during the race to chance. There wasn't any alternative; the quality of race hotels — and their kitchens — varied widely from stage to stage, and you ate what was ...

A Compelling Plot Gives Way To Farce In Franzen's Purity
If you read only The New York Times Book Review, you'd think it was the most common male name in America. Synonymous with talent, greatness. Ambition, vitality." Franzen is poking fun at himself. But while he may feel his celebrity is a burden, few ...

BOOK REVIEW: 'Takedown: How the Left has Sabotaged Family and Marriage'
If you are puzzled that millions of mainstream Americans have been steamrolled into accepting same sex marriage, this is a book you will want to read. Moreover, if you can't understand how it is that the same America where 36 of 50 states had enacted ...

Book Review: 'Truest' by Jackie Lea Sommers
Truest is one of those beautiful books that I enjoyed so much that it's difficult for me to put it into words. Silas Hart is the type of character that will equally warm and break your heart at the same time. In fact, both he and the female protagonist ...

Book Review – The Shepherd's Crown by Terry Pratchett
Before I begin, as stated near the end of this book Terry Pratchett never truly got to complete The Shepherd's Crown and it is obvious – in places – where these moments are for which he never return to expand upon. A few examples include the final ...

"The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up" (book review)
In her book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing,” Kondo teaches people how to arrange their homes in such a way that they are surrounded only by things they truly love. Her selection criterion is ...

Brother, can you spare a dime for a book review?
He had a few books and he started to sell them, but only after giving would-be-readers a detailed review of the story. He even based his price on how much he enjoyed the book. Favorites went for about 80 South African rand (or $6), while he let go of ...

Book review: Lee Child's 'Make Me'
Reacher is 6-foot-5 and 250 pounds of brute strength, capable of withstanding a lot of punishment while dishing out even more. A few books ago, when four thugs ganged up on our man, Reacher coolly advised them to go home and round up more guys so it ...

'Shades of Doon' book review: Never bow down
At the end of book 2, Veronica collapsed on the steps of her castle without warning or reason. Now recovering, Vee still doesn't have any answers. But life must go on, especially when you're the queen of an enchanted kingdom. But Vee's strange dizzy ...

Did You Ever Have a Family by Bill Clegg, book review: A harrowing tale of ...
Did You Ever Have a Family by Bill Clegg, book review: A harrowing tale of ...

Book Review: Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman
The more that people publish YA westerns, the more YA westerns I end up reading. There's something about the Old West setting with its gold prospecting, shoot outs, and saloons that bring out awesome characters and classic stories. This is the case in ...

Comic Book Review – Poseidon IX #1
The art is my favorite part of this book; just like with the story telling, everything about this feels like Saga-lite. A dystopian universe with strange characters, but at least the art is large in scale, while still feeling like this is a place that ...

Book Review: A Risk Professional's Survival Guide
World events and new financial products have shown the importance of risk management to the finance industry. The numerous mathematical models customarily invoked in addressing risk management can make it difficult for students of the subject to learn ...

BOOK REVIEW: Strategies maximize working women's time
Vanderkam, who has written other books on this theme, wondered, too. She began “seeking out time logs” from working mothers who made at least six-figure incomes, and she studied how they spent their time. She calls it “The Mosaic Project,” and when she ...

'Huskers' book review: On the football field, heart is stronger than muscle
Huskers is a book about football, no denying that, but it's also about not letting someone else's advantage beat you down before you ever start the game. Chuck and his friends get their asses handed to them in the first chapter of Huskers. They aren't ...

Brandes On Value: The Independent Investor [Book Review]
The two met frequently back then; Graham loved teaching, and Brandes reread Graham's two most famous books (Security Analysis and The Intelligent Investor) and became a fervent disciple of value investing. Brandes on Value, a follow-up to Brandes's ...

The Blue Guitar by John Banville, book review: Those sour old guys keep on coming
In an interview for the Irish Times in 2009, John Banville expressed a humorous despair about his characteristic modus operandi. "Book after book," he groaned, "sour old guys spilling out their bile into the readers' ear." It's true that Banville is an ...

Where My Heart Used To Beat by Sebastian Faulks, book review: The theme is ...
Where My Heart Used To Beat by Sebastian Faulks, book review: The theme is ...

Bream Gives Me Hiccups & Other Stories by Jess Eisenberg, book review
For all the acerbic jokes and subtle satire, however, the sheer volume of stories is this book's undoing. While the experimentation with form adds variety, the tone of the comedy does not. Bream Gives me Hiccups is a charming and clever collection ...

'Barbara the Slut: And Other People' by Lauren Holmes
Though the book is thick with imperfect characters, the same cannot be said for the stories contained therein: There isn't a dud in the bunch. Holmes's is a welcome, refreshing new voice in American fiction. Or, as Princess might put it, “There is a ...

BOOK REVIEW: 'The Nature of the Beast: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel'
In the deep woods beyond the idyllic village in the valley lurks a biblical monster writhing on the back of a massive gun. And in the village there is a man who understands the horror behind what he is looking at, as well as the child's body lying ...

'Star Wars: Aftermath' shows us that the battle for the galaxy has just begun ...
'Star Wars: Aftermath' shows us that the battle for the galaxy has just begun ...

Book Review: "Palimpsest: A History of the Written Word" by Matthew Battles
It is a bit of a stretch to apply the palimpsest analogy to Battles' book, written in one era by one person. And palimpsesting (to borrow Battles' verbiage) suggests intended erasure rather than preservation. Battles does just the opposite ...

Ilan Stavans appreciates 'Don Quixote' as a giant astride two cultures
Except for the Bible, no book has been translated into English more often, Stavans declares, listing 20 different English translations between 1612 and 2009. Stavans, a professor of Latin American and Latino culture at Amherst College in Massachusetts, ...

Photo Book Review: Jon Ortner's Peak Of Perfection
Jon Ortner opens his book, "Peak of Perfection" with an exquisite introduction, the last few lines of which are, "Peak of Perfection is a celebration of skin, shape, and sensuality, of dramatic portraits of profound grace and physical strength, and of ...

ArtsBeat | Book Review Podcast: Bill Clegg's Debut Novel
This is what excites us about books that begin with a sorrowful bang. Grief is sad — we know that — but what now? How will these particular characters respond? What else do you have to give us? In his masterly first novel, “Did You Ever Have a Family ...

Salman Rushdie's new novel recycles familiar tics with little verve
Like so much in this book, Rushdie seems to make up the rules governing this epic confrontation as he goes along. Characters arbitrarily live, metamorphose or die in ways that give us little sense of who they are — or why we should care about them and ...

Ghost Fleet: Novel predicts future warfare
But the real fun for industry geeks and modern military history buffs is sluicing current technology from what is merely experimental or theoretical outside the pages of this book. The Zumwalt, for instance, is a real ship scheduled to arrive at its ...

[Review] Iron Maiden 'The Book of Souls'
It's been five years since British heavy metal band Iron Maiden gave us The Final Frontier, which was critically acclaimed and topped charts across the globe. Had that been their final album, the band would be able to retire knowing that they were ...

'A Window Opens' by Elisabeth Egan
Both start off selling books and quickly expand to include anything a consumer might want. Both make use of computer-generated data for a laser-like focus on commercial success. And both, apparently — if the Times report is to be believed — expect ...

Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioral Economics [Book Review]
Richard H. Thaler has spent his career studying the radical notion that the central agents in the economy are humans?predictable, error-prone individuals. Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioral Economics is his arresting, frequently hilarious account of ...

Book Review: 'Alexandra Stepp and the Swift-footed Wind'
Human beings, especially young human beings, are fascinated by the idea of possessing special powers. “Alexandra Stepp and the Swift-footed Wind” is the story of a 13-year-old girl who is just beginning to discover her extraordinary abilities. A sequel ...

BOOK REVIEW: 'Things That Matter' in this book can be facinating
In fact his first working title for this book was "There's More to Life Than Politics." But in the end he couldn't get away from it. He calls politics the “crooked timber of our communal lives.” He says, “Politics is the moat, the walls, beyond which ...

Comic Book Review – Dark Corridor #2
So, what does all this have to do with his comic book? Well, quite a bit, as Dark Corridor is imbued with a Hollywood style of classic cinematic crime and noir. The two ongoing stories take a slightly different tone with The Red Circle using a classic ...

Book review | The Girl in the Spider's Web is off-target
Book lovers have plenty of reasons to disbelieve the hype this year. First, Fifty Shades fans were whipped into a frenzy for the nonevent that was Grey by E L James. Then, Harper Lee's readers had the dubious pleasure of being introduced to the racist ...

A Manual for Cleaning Women, by Lucia Berlin - book review: Authentic and awful
Running through the book is the experience of Berlin's struggles with alcoholism: one story encapsulates volumes in its simple title: “Her First Detox”. In another, “Unmanageable”, she makes a four-page thriller from a woman's efforts to survive until ...

Book review: 'Conversations with Mormon Historians' shares stories of faith of ...
Book review: 'Conversations with Mormon Historians' shares stories of faith of ...

Book review: 'Hollow Man' by Mark Pryor
Things take a turn when, during a chance conversation in a bar, a friend tells him about a sleazy client who collects off-the-books rents in cash. They begin plotting to steal the money. It's the perfect crime: “One that the victim doesn't dare report ...

Book review: 'Second Life' by SJ Watson
S.J. Watson's “Second Life” is a muted-cover trade paper and e-book descendant of those stories. The menaced woman, the shape-shifting antagonist and the twisty credulity-stretching plot are still there, but other things have changed. The writing is ...

'The Visiting Privilege: New and Collected Stories' by Joy Williams
Encompassing writing from the 1970s to the present, this book is a savory feast: pleasurable for nibblers and particularly rewarding to the voraciously inclined. The people in these stories are more likely to be imbibing than eating, though. It helps ...

'Two Years Eight Months And Twenty-Eight Nights' by Salman Rushdie
In that book the blasphemies were not explicit, but imagined by some who never read it. In “Two Years Eight Months And Twenty-Eight Nights,” however, heresy is front and center. Even the jinn, supernatural beings who reside in a realm veiled off from ...

Book review: 'The Afterlife Academy' is a fun, suspenseful read
When Charlie finds a highly dangerous book, "The Summoner's Handbook," his life takes some unexpected turns which puts him and his family in grave danger. Walter must try to figure out how to protect Charlie, but without proper training, he's learning ...

Book review: 'Ordinary Light'
Although an accomplished poet now in her 40s, Tracy Smith does not trace a poet's coming of age, at least not directly, in “Ordinary Light.” It's more a personal memoir of growing up in a solidly middle-class family in north–central California. Her ...


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