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text 2018-04-18 16:29
Free on Kindle Unlimited

“Rob Williams’ Sins of Variance poses one of science fiction’s crossroads in a difficult future of dark choices for the human race.”

 

Sins of Variance takes place 500 years into the future in Gloucestershire County, United Kingdom (near Wales).  Mankind has changed through genetic engineering, almost to the point of being unrecognizable from what we know today.  Advanced genetics has brought about a complete “optimal” set of genomes preferred by the society.   Though variation has been bred out of most humans, there are rare individuals with unique inner characteristics who have been deemed unacceptable by the society. They struggle because of these personal differences, and some find their world is not really what they have been led to believe.

 

The author would rate the book on the high side of PG-13 due to violence.

 

Author’s Website

https://www.robwilliamsnovels.com/

 

Paperback:

https://www.amazon.com/Sins-Variance-Empathy-Dystopian-Future/dp/1938667921?SubscriptionId=AKIAJ2F6RDUSIYCWQMFQ&tag=sa-sym-new-20&linkCode=xm2&camp=2025&creative=165953&creativeASIN=1938667921

 

 

 

Kindle:

https://www.amazon.com/Sins-Variance-Empathy-Dystopian-Future-ebook/dp/B07BPWPXJQ?SubscriptionId=AKIAJ2F6RDUSIYCWQMFQ&tag=sa-sym-new-20&linkCode=xm2&camp=2025&creative=165953&creativeASIN=B07BPWPXJQ

 

 

Published by

The Ardent Writer Press

http://www.ardentwriterpress.com/

 

Author Page on Ardent Writer Press

https://ardentwriterpress.com/alabama-authors/rob-williams-2/

 

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text 2018-04-16 21:34
Reading progress update: I've read 120 out of 240 pages.
The Happy Pear - David Flynn,Stephen Flynn

People think that "going Vegan" is a major sea change.....Not true! I follow no Strict Diet, but appreciate Veganism for its Plant Based/Basis..we should all eat less Processed foods, and train our taste buds to "go basic" with Umami in the fore front...I love these brothers and their YouTube channel...check them out, please.

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text 2018-04-03 11:18

BEYOND THE BEATS: Rock & Roll’s Greatest Drummers Speak!
Jake Brown
Hardcover:352 pages
Publisher:Music Square Media; 1 edition (March 13, 2018)
ISBN-10:0983471673
ISBN-13:978-0983471677
https://www.amazon.com/Beyond-Beats-Rolls-Greatest-Drummers/dp/0983471673

Reviewed by Dr. Wesley Britton

Being a longtime drummer myself, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to review this book when I saw its title. Once I scanned the table of contents, I realized author Jake Brown is a tad younger than me. I was part of the generation where young drummers venerated the likes of rockers Keith Moon, Ginger Baker, Mitch Mitchell, John Bonham, and jazzers like Elvin Jones, Gene Krupa, and Buddy Rich. The only stick-man from those times Brown interviewed was Doug “Cosmo” Clifford from Creedence Clearwater Revival. Many of the drummers Brown interviewed, it soon turned out, also admired the same drummers I did.

Brown interviewed an profiled the likes of Lars Ulrich(Metallica), Joey Kramer (Aerosmith), Tommy Lee (Mottley Crew), Taylor Hawkins (The Foo Fighters), Chad Smith (The Red Hot Chili Peppers), Tico Torres (Bon Jovi), Matt Sorum (Guns N Roses), Jimmy Chamberlin (The Smashing Pumpkins), Kenny Aronoff (John Meellencamp/ John Fogerty), Stephen Perkins (Jane’s Addiction), and Steve Smith (Journey).

Drummers are certainly going to be the most appreciative audience for these interviews as we are given a detailed analysis of many of the beats for some of rock’s biggest hits. We get other insights as well such as Tommy Lee’s revelations about how he incorporated showmanship into his on-stage presentations. These performers share their perspectives on how to stay on top, decade after decade. They offer advice for future drummers, compare live with studio drumming, discuss the usefulness of click-tracks, and praise their mentors. They talk about the interaction between their roles with other musicians, engineers, and producers. Drummers will appreciate their notes on the types of instruments and equipment they like.

But fellow drummers shouldn’t be the only readers to enjoy the stories of drumming creativity and how these musicians became the stars they are. If you’re a fan of one or more of the bands covered, the price of admission will fit just fine. If you’re a devotee of hard rock and metal, this is a must-have volume, whether or not you’re a stick-man. Or stick-woman.

(Beyond the Beats will have an audiobook release on May 15, 2018 featuring bonus content like audio excerpts from each of the drummers interviewed in the book.)



 

 

This review first appeared at BookPleasures.com on April 2, 2018:

https://waa.ai/zLJR

 

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review 2018-03-28 22:17
A pedestrian pastiche of a steampunk mystery
Affinity Bridge - George Mann

Fog-enshrouded Victorian London is hardly a safe city in this steampunk thriller.  A “revenant plague” runs rampant through the East End, turning the infected into decaying cannibals.  A mysterious glowing policeman is strangling people to death.  And an airship carrying fifty passengers crashes, yet the clockwork automaton piloting it has vanished without a trace.  To solve these crimes Scotland Yard turns to Sir Maurice Newberry, anthropologist turned Crown investigator.  With the aid of his assistant Veronica Hobbes he apples his intellect (and the occasional fist) towards untangling these mysteries and defeating the Empire’s enemies.

 

George Mann’s novel is a mystery that evokes the atmospherics of a familiar setting refreshed by its steampunk elements.  Yet the book is hampered by pedestrian writing that turns it into little more than a pastiche of familiar elements.  The plot itself is primarily a rush of events, with character development implied rather than undertaken.  The main protagonist comes across as a pale imitation of Sherlock Homes (must every Victorian detective be an opium addict?), while his relationship with his assistant seems to be little more than a Victorian derivative of the Mulder-Scully dynamic.  It all makes for a book that, while an entertaining read, is not one that has much to distinguish it beyond the many other works in the field.

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review 2018-03-28 16:30
Why starving our way to health doesn’t work
Austerity: The History of a Dangerous Idea - Mark Blyth

This is very much a book of the moment, though this is partly a matter of luck. While Mark Blyth’s book was written in response to the emergence of austerity policies in 2010, its publication was nicely timed with the contemporaneous undermining of the key study by Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff which was used to make the case for the necessity of austerity. Though Blyth’s book was written before the revelation of the study’s flaws, his more broader focus on the origins and development of austerity is no less powerful and damming.

 

Blyth’s book can be broken down into three parts. The first is an explanation of the recent debt crisis that has plagued the global economy. Here Blyth demonstrates that, contrary to much of the political rhetoric, this did not originate as a sovereign debt crisis but as a private debt crisis in the banking sector, one that became a sovereign debt crisis in a “bait and switch” as European states (and their taxpayers) absorbed the costs of fixing the problems created by the profligate and unwise lending policies of several European banks. Blyth then turns his attention to the history of the idea of austerity, which he sees as born out of a set of assumptions in classical economic theory that remained overly simplistic and underdeveloped. He concludes the book with an examination of the application of austerity as policy in recent history, showing how the examples of the past offer clear demonstration of its failure of austerity as a solution to economic crisis – and often end up making the problems worse rather than better.

 

All of this makes for a convincing argument against austerity as a response to economic downturns. Its effectiveness is aided by Blyth’s ability to walk the reader through the recent crises and untangle the underlying causes. While his use of economic jargon can make some of his arguments difficult to follow, overall he provides a clear and direct explanation of economic events. The result is a book that should be read by anyone seeking a better understanding not just of the concept of austerity and its misuse, but of the broader economic crisis we face and what brought us to this point.

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