Archive for October, 2010

Review: The Sherlockian – Graham Moore

Thursday, October 28th, 2010

 

Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: Twelve (December 1, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0446572594
ISBN-13: 978-0446572590
Order book here:
amazon
 
 

Characters:

Harold White – Literary Researcher and Sherlock Holmes Buff.
Sarah Lindsay – Reporter, Plays Watson to Harold’s Sherlock Holmes.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – Author of Sherlock Holmes
Bram Stoker – Sir Doyle’s Watson.

Overview:

1893 – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle has just done the Unthinkable. He’s killed Sherlock Holmes. As a result, he finds himself at the scorn of a major part of the public. He also finds himself stepping into his character’s shoes to solve a murder of a young girl.

2010 – Harold White has just been inducted into the upper echelons of Sherlockian Society and is attending their annual meeting in NY. At his meeting, a noted scholar is supposed to present Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s missing diary. This diary, a holy grail quest for over a hundred years, is part of a missing set from the late writer. But what is it about the diary that is causing someone to want to kill for it. Harold finds himself, along with female reporter Sarah Lindsay using skills he’s learned from reading Sherlock Holmes novels, to try to solve the murder of this famous scholar.

Review:

I liked this book. It bounced back between the past story of Conan Doyle/Bram Stoker working to solve a murder in London, to the present with Harold/Lindsay working to solve a murder. Both mysteries kept me guessing as to who the killer could have been, motive, etc. It was interesting to see the two diffferences in the time periods. And as a fan of fictional works myself, I could really feel Harold’s excitement at getting to put himself int his favorite characters shoes.

Both stories seemed to stay true to their time periods, with the possibility of a few exceptions. The author seemed to research the past, and some of the characters that were mentioned, etc. were historically accurate to their time period.

Exceptions, there was same strong language that I’m not 100% sure was in existence or used by these two particular authors in the late 19th/early 20th Century. As a result of that, I’d probably give this book a PG-13.

The author includes a note section at the end where he uncovers what was true, made up, stretched for literary sakes, etc. which I found a nice touch to the story.

I think if you are a fan of Sherlock Holmes, or want an actual mystery (which today seems to be a lost genre), then I think this would be a good book for you to read.

*Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to Brad at Hachette Book Group for a review copy of this book. It in no way influenced my review.

You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.


Guest Post: The Sorcerer’s Dream – Alysa Braceau

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

The Sorcerer’s Dream is a true story of my initiation into the Native American sorcerer’s tradition. In this book you read unique steps to master the art of lucid dreaming and spiritual healing. I explain the teachings from shaman and sorcerer Running Deer aka Vidar in such a manner that can also be used for the reader as a guide to practice the art of (lucid) dreaming and to explore sorcery and shamanism. 

This path is in the tradition of Carlos Castaneda (and others), he described the first line of knowledge, coming from the Toltecs and Aztecs. In this book you can learn more about the feature of the Native American second line tradition: Monumental Beauty.

In this tradition you learn how to master your dreaming by rising your sexual energy.  Besides my experiences with that I also share my experiences with magic mushrooms and explain about their identity and role in traditional dreaming ceremonies.

In the next excerpt my dreaming teacher, shaman and sorcerer Vidar announces I am chosen to meet Mateeë, the entity who will guide me to a separate reality! So please let me introduce you to Mateeë.

Vidar gets up and walks to the stove, puts a pan of water on the heat and rasps ginger for chai tea. We usually do not talk until he is finished, concentrating for the full one hundred percent on making an impeccable cup of tea, as he calls it.

But there are exceptions to the rule, because as he stands at the right part of the corner counter, and opens the cupboard above the kitchen sink to grab two mugs, he says, “everything will be different from now on.”

The uncertain silence that follows keeps me from asking anymore. I wait eagerly. Will he introduce a new apprentice, is he quitting, will I have another teacher…? Shortly after, he places the mugs on the table in front of me, takes his seat and dictates, “Write down a new heading with ‘candidate.’” I hardly ever do anything when I am ordered to, but I gladly make an exception for him.

“You have become a candidate of Mateeë,” he continues. I ask what that means as he blows away the first damp of his tea.

“Mateeë, that’s a mushroom,” he says. “The entity you saw in your dreaming.”

He mentions his name with respect and dignity as he looks down and folds his hands in his lap. “Mateeë has chosen you as the candidate, which he indicated in this dreaming.” He looks at me lovingly and says, “You are a candidate of the knowledge of the second reality,” adding explicitly, “realize how unique it is to be chosen.” I feel honored even though I fail to see the meaning.

“Mateeë will guide you to the unknown; he teaches you how to shift your assemblage point.” His eyes are glowing. “His characteristic is cosmic love and beauty. He teaches you that this reality is not the only one. Mateeë is a signpost into the second reality and he is our cosmic relative. See him as a close friend or family member.” With a warm voice and a dim smile on his face, he adds with a dreamy glance: “They are really very kind.”

Vidar looks at me. Sounding authoritative, he says there is a strict acceptance procedure before you may continue. “Write this down, during the acquaintance you have to go through four phases.” Sitting on the edge of my chair, I feel tension and excitement at the same time. I do not want to miss one word of what he has to say. “The first meeting is depicted by the love of the entity.”

“And that has already happened?” I ask.

He nods.

“During the following meeting, he will look you in the eye, walk up to you and stay silent.”

“But hold on, how do I recognize him, I mean, what does he look like…like a grandfather?”

“Mateeë has several shapes of appearance,” he says calmly, “you have seen him as a grandfather, and that is very possible, because he is a cosmic ancestor, but actually he could come to you in all shapes or forms.” He leaves no doubt, when he says, “During the third phase he walks in circles around you,” as he draws a circle on the table with his finger. “And then he places a hand on your shoulder, right over the assemblage point. When he hits you on the shoulder this means you are going to try Mateeë.”

“Eat it?”

“Exactly.”

“Whatever happens during the introduction, pretend nothing is going on. Some sort of drama could be taking place in front of you, but when or how it happens nobody knows,” he says without a trace of secrecy.

“But be prepared, because they always catch you on your weakest point.”

Vidar examines me. “When it happens, you need to look fixated without making the slightest movement because you need an immovable posture to reach your totality.”

Then Vidar says there are three exceptions in the introduction phase and successively puts up his thumb, index- and middle finger. “One – You will not be chosen after seeing the entity because you will faint of fright. Two – The entity points at you from a distance. Three – The entity comes to me and points you out.” My teacher emphasizes once more that these are the exceptions, not the rule.

“Let’s hope so,” I mumble, because I like to go for the rule, not the exception.

 Win a copy of the Sorcerer’s Dream

During my book tour you go to my website and type in ‘book giveaway’ in the question area and you will be entered in the drawing on October 30. Good luck everyone!

Bio:  Alysa Braceau, Dreamshield lives in the Netherlands (Europe), she is mother of a 6-year old daughter. She studied social legal studies and the last ten years she is a (freelance) journalist and publisher. Besides that she has a healing practice and gives workshops about the Art of Dreaming.

Alysa Braceau is author of The Sorcerer’s Dream. The theme of the passed years have been the sorcerers tradition and mastering conscious dreaming. She carefully recorded her personal experiences which has finally led to this first book.

A short pitch on where to buy The Sorcerer’s Dream

The Sorcerer’s dream, an initiation into the sorcerer’s world and mastering conscious dreaming. Buy it at:

http://www.booklocker.com/books/4654.html

Note: See our review of Ms. Braceau’s book The Sorcerer’s Dream coming soon.

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Guest Post: Dr. Joseph Sivak, MD – When Can I Go Home

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

I first started writing When Can I Go Home? back in 1989 when I was in my last year of medical school. That was about a year after my mother died from Alzheimer’s disease.

The book is a memoir about my mother’s futile struggle with the disease. After she passed away I had a tremendous need and sometimes furious drive to record the journey in a timeless and permanent way. As a teenager, I had been my mother’s primary caregiver for a few years , as the disease progressively robbed her of her cognitive abilities, personality and her very essence. At the time writing about it was very cathartic.

The disease process is profoundly isolating for families and I wanted to scream out and tell the world. That element is there in so many Alzheimer’s memoirs.  Unfortunately the issue of isolation has not improved in our society and much as we like to pretend it has in the last thirty years since my mother was diagnosed. At that time most people had not heard of Alzheimer’s disease and of course now it is a household term, but as a society we are still ignorant and terrified about it till it affects our own family. The isolation is still there.

The book is a bit unusual or even paradoxical from an Alzheimer’s memoir point of view in that  It presents a dual perspective. First is a family caregiver specifically a teenager son, which is a bit unusual and at times even bizarre, since that is not the prototypical demographic of a caregiver. The other perspective is a clinical one from a physician. I have treated thousands of patients and their families affected by many psychiatric and neurological problems including many Alzheimer’s victims. The clinical information is broken down and translated for the reader.

So you essentially have these two very different points of view sort of flip-flopping but sort of coming into what I hope is a harmonious symmetry. The third aspect of the book is an underlying and ongoing commentary on all the relevant sociological and psychological issues this book interfaces with. Such issues as the state of health care delivery, being a doctor, and the aging population are addressed and sometimes not in a very convenient way for those that need to hold onto pretense and prejudice for security.   For example as a society we really don’t treat the aging population with the honor and dignity they deserve. We are pretty much obsessed with youth and appearance. We also have a lot of bias toward the medical profession if not at times completely vilifying the field. So in that sense speaking candidly about things albeit my opinion yet based on experience may open the readers eyes, on some issue conversely it may propel some to try to look the other way even more. It’s not always politically correct, but it is a memoir and it is honest. It is sort of visceral, some people will cry some will laugh some will get more angry, it makes you feel first, then think.

The manuscript was hard to finish, it lay dormant for some fifteen years, I never had an ending. Even after the death of an Alzheimer’s victim, there is never an ending for the five million families affected by the disease.  something hit me, after all these years. We are all universally humanly connected by this disease process, and I had the clarity to finish this book.

I love writing, but most of my energy and creativity is spent in my day job. I am currently working on a novel about psychiatric residency. Fiction is obviously a much different prospect than a memoir but it taps a different part of your brain and soul to create something like this compared to a memoir. 

Joseph J. Sivak MD
www.niagarapress.net
http://alzheimmers.blogspot.com
http://www.facebook.com/pages/When-Can-I-Go-Home/357170603956
twitter @whencanigohome

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Advertisement: MOBiLE CLOTH – Hartigan Industries

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

This is the first actual product I’ve advertised. I wouldn’t have done so if I hadn’t received Mr. Hartigan’s product and tried it out for myself. Mr. Hartigan supplied two samples of the product. My wife and I both tried it for our reading glasses. The fingerprints disappeared like crazy. Prior to that we’d always used the wet wipes type products for glasses, lenses, etc. I also tried this product on my nook screen and all fingerprint smudges, etc. were gone. There might be other products out there that do this, but I know this one works as promised, and without the need for liquid cleaners to go with it. I think it’s a good price for 2 @ $4.99.

MOBILE CLOTH
www.MOBiLECLOTH.com
October 2010

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 How Clean, is Your Screen?
MOBiLE CLOTH releases a high-tech cloth that grabs fingerprints and smudges,
without a scratch.


John Hartigan, was tired of looking at his iPhone touchscreen, notebook screen, book reader, and camera display constantly seeing fingerprints, grime and smears. He tried his shirt, his pants, his friends’ shirts, a towel in the bathroom anything and everything but all in vain! All it did was smear things around and leave lint,  scratches and frustration. He decided it was time to DO something about it! After much research and testing he came up with MOBiLE CLOTH.

MOBiLE CLOTH is a unique high tech material made of micro fibers 100 times thinner than a human hair! It is woven into a special pattern, which John calls “nubs.” Each nub acts like hundreds of tiny suction cups to pull fingerprints smudges, and all kinds of other material away from the surface of your device with a few swipes. Unlike cotton or other natural fibers that cannot handle oils and can scratch, MOBiLE CLOTH loves all mobile devices and would never hurt them. And no water or cleaning solution is needed.

“After testing the cloth for a year and getting such positive feedback from friends and family on how well it worked I realized that everyone with a touch screen had to have it!” — John Hartigan President MOBiLE CLOTH by Hartigan Industries Inc.

It is the right size to get the job done, and when folded, fits in a pocket or bag easily. It is washable and will be effective for years if the care instructions are followed.

Specifically designed for:

- iPhone, iPod & iPads
- Touchscreen displays
- Mobile phones & music players
- Digital book readers
- Notebook, netbook, camera &video displays

You can find your own MOBiLE CLOTH and more information at www.mobilecloth.com.

Contact:

John Hartigan
Hartigan Industries Inc.
P: 949.279.0041
F: 619.996.2050
JTH@MOBiLECLOTH.com
www.MOBiLECLOTH.com


Review: Cross Fire – James Patterson

Monday, October 25th, 2010

Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company (November 15, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 031603617X
ISBN-13: 978-0316036177
Order book here:
amazon
Order E-book here:
 

Characters

Alex Cross – Detective in Washington DC.
Kyle Craig – Master Criminal, Prison Escapee.
Max Siegel – FBI Agent
Mitch – One half of sniper team.
Denny – One half of sniper team.

Overview:

Kyle Craig Is Back. And just when Alex Cross thought his life was turning out better. On the eve of his wedding to Bree, Alex is pulled into sniper shootings around Washington D.C. He not only has to contend with the snipers, but it seems a numbers serial killer is loose in D. C. as well. On top of all this, Alex keeps getting calls and clues from Kyle Craig.

Review:

I always enjoy these Alex Cross novels. This one only took me about 8 hours to read from cover to cover. The good is that this novel kept me reading to see what was going to happen next. There are the run of the mill close calls for Alex. But if there was one drawback, it was that some ends were left seemingly loose. My only guess is that is to lead into the next Alex Cross story.

There was enough different in this that I would recommend it to fans of Mr. Patterson. I don’t know the history of Kyle Craig, so knowing that I might be tied more into the storyline of this. Why are the two snipers doing this? What is Kyle Craig wanting? And will Alex and Max Siegel learn to cooperate and work together? All these answers may or may not come to you. You’ll have to read the book to find out.

There is some strong language, and situations, so it’s not for all ages. But it is good thriller for a weekend reading experience. Pick it up and check for yourself.

We are pleased to offer our readers the chance to win one of 3 copies. Click hereto enter the contest.

*Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to Brad at Hachette Book Group for a review copy of this book. It in no way influenced my review.

You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.

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Giveaway – Cross Fire – James Patterson

Monday, October 25th, 2010

Thanks to Brad at Hachette Book group I”m able to offer my readers 3 copies of this book. To enter, follow these simple rules:

1) One Entry if you’re a follower [You can follow through Google Friend connect to the right, you can also sign up to follow through Twitter or Facebook].
2) An Additonal Entry if you blog about this contest.
3) An Additonal Entry if you’re a new follower.
4) One entry each for posting on facebook and/or twitter.
5) Must leave a comment letting me know how you follow me, blog link to this post, facebook/twitter link, etc.
6) Contest will continue until 11/08/2010.
7) This giveaway is open to residents of US and Canada. No PO Box addresses (street mailing only).

See our review here.

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Review: Late for School – Steve Martin

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

Reading level: Ages 9-12
Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing  (Sept. 8, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0446557021
ISBN-13: 978-0446557023
Order book here:
amazon
 
 

Review:

This was a cute, kids book. The story centers on this boy who has gotten into trouble before for being late for school. He wakes up to the alarm clock going off. He races through a series of comic adventures in order to get to school on time.

The book is based on a banjo song by Steve Martin. Yes, the comedian Steve Martin. Last year he won a grammy award for his album of banjo music. One of the songs on that album led to this book. An added treat is a CD of the Song as well as a musical version of the banjo only is included. A very nice marketing idea.

The artwork is by C. F. Payne who illustrated children’s books for John Lithgow.

I think if you’ve got a young chilld, they’d probably get a kick out of this book. There’s nothing objectionable to any age. The included CD is pretty entertaining in it’s own right, and together makes a nice package for a young child.

*Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to Brad at Hachette Book Group for a review copy of this book. It in no way influenced my review.

You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.

1 people like this post.

Review: Another Fine Mess – Saul Austerlitz

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

 

Paperback: 528 pages
Publisher: Chicago Review Press (September 1, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1556529511
ISBN-13: 978-1556529511
Order book here:
amazon
 
 

Review:

This book is a collection of essays on many of those from throught the history of film who made us laugh. It covers actors such as Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, The Marx Brothers, and others. It also covers directors such as Ernst Lubitsch, and the Zucker brothers.

I enjoyed the different essays and learned a lot about the different personalities. For example, Buster Keaton got his name from Harry Houdini, and one thing I’d never known is that there were Hollywood reports that Cary Grant was involved with Randolph Scott.

The author knows a lot about film, and it shows throughout the essays. He givs an in depth description of the plots of the major films. The one drawback I felt the book had, is that at times, it feels like the author is talking down to his audience. I have what I consider to be a large vocabulary, and there were times words were used that were beyond my knowledge, and I had to look up. I think that’s a mistake, and that books such as this should be written for anyone to be able to pick up and enjoy, and not sure that would be the case here. But it’s a little drawback, and could just be my own personal view.

Some comedians, are left to mini essays. Comedians such as Abbot and Costello, Jim Carey, Mike Myers, and others get very little in comparison said about them. I did notice that some were left out entirely, such as Huntz Hall and Leo Gorcey from The Bowery Boys. While Hal Roach is mentioned, no mention is made of the little rascals. I think having multiple volumes would have been ideal to cover more.

I’d definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves comedy films. I’m sure you’d find some of your favorites here. If you are a fan of film comedy, whether silent era, or more modern, then definitely pick this up. I think you would be proud to have it on your bookshelf.

*Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to Anna at FSB Associates for a review copy of this book. It in no way influenced my review.

You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.


Review: Walking through Illusion – Betsy Thompson

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: O Books (January 16, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1846942926
ISBN-13: 978-1846942921
Order book here:
amazon
 
 

Review:

I wasn’t sure at first what to think of this book. It seemed to not have a pre-arranged purpose. As I got into it, I discovered, that it was, best described, as an inward, discussion with Jesus, using people within his life to explain different issues. Some examples:

Forgiveness: Saying I forgive you for the awful things you did to me, is still blaming the person, and you were still wrong, but I’m good enough to overlook it.

Conditional Love: Using John as an example, of how conditional loving, is using the person.

Death: Helping Thomas overcome the death of his wife, it’s explained as if you imagined she were on a journey, would he be happy if he knew that a reunion was inevitable.

Respect: You should give people what they need, not expect them to give you what you need.

Abuse: What you put out is what you get back. Lazarus is used, to illustrate an abusive father. Because he was abusive, he only got abuse back. To overcome it, Lazarus had to be the person he wished his father were.

Another story involves a Rabbi and Lazarus. Lazarus left the Rabbi, because the Rabbi was intent on being right, and if he could prove Lazarus’s beliefs wrong, his own beliefs would be justified.

Politics: “To the government, heaven on Earth, meant control of the Earth. Control of the Earth meant power. Power to the people meant less power to the government. To the government, less was unacceptable”.

Many of these thoughts, I could apply to situations in my own life, and I think that’s where the value in this book lies. I think it would be a good gift book for people who are struggling through some of the many hardships we face in life, divorce, handicaps, etc.

About the Author:

Betsy’s work has always gravitated toward the media. A native Philadelphian with a B.F.A. from the University of Pennsylvania, Betsy worked as an account executive for WFIL radio in Philadelphia, and from there went to radio stations WPEN and WFLN. After that, she became a commercial print model and acted in television commercials in New York and Philadelphia. For seventeen years, she worked in Los Angeles at the motion picture and television company Castle Rock Entertainment as the Assistant to the Chairman and CEO. In August ’99, she followed her boss to Warner Bros. as he took a new position there as President and COO, and became his Executive Assistant. She is now writing full time. Betsy’s writing began unexpectedly while going through an especially difficult time in her life. She believes that her books were the answer to her prayers.

*Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to Ms. Thompson for an electronic copy of this book for a review. It in no way influenced my review.

You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.


Review: Don’t Blink – James Patterson & Howard Roughan

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

 

Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown and Co. (September 27, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0316036234
ISBN-13: 978-0316036238
Order book here:
amazon
Order E-book here:
 

Characters:

Courtney Shephard – Magazine Publisher.
Nick Daniels – Writer for a large magazine.
Bruno Torrenzi – Hired Hitman.
David Sorren – New York County District Attorney
Derrick Phalen – Organized Crime Task Force Investigator
Thomas Ferramore – Wealthy Businessman, engaged to Courtney Shephard

Overview:

A mafia boss is brutally killed in a restaurant. Nick Daniels, writer for Citizen magazine is witness to the murder. He’s there to interview an ex baseball player. Soon he’s involved with the mafia and someone is wanting him dead. Can he get the story before he goes for a ride?

Review:

I’d mentioned previously that James Patterson seems to knock these books out very fast. As a result at times, some of them result in a feeling of “I’ve read this before”. In this case, it was a different spin, I’ve not read from him before. It involved mobsters, killing, and a reporter (rather than a detective), who seems to manage to always find himself in a scrape. He’s got mobster’s on one side wanting to protect him, mobster’s on the other wanting to kill him

At the same time, he’s trying to sort out his feelings for close friend and boss, Courtney. Courtney is engaged to Thomas Ferramore, and a sex scandal is there as a subplot to this book. People die, there are car chases, shootouts, fights, everything you’d expect from a mob story.

If your a fan of Patterson, I’d suggest you read this book, I think it’d be a bit of a change of pace. As usual there is strong language, violence, etc. so reader discretion is advised.

Enter for a chance to win your own copy of Don’t Blink here.

*Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to Brad at Hachette Book Group for a review copy of this book. It in no way influenced my review.

You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.