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review 2019-02-18 20:08
Book Learnin'
Book Learnin' - John McNamee

Like most comics collections I read, I was not really familiar with Pie Comics yet. The title and the cover however suggested that it had to do with books, so I just had to read it.

It was not what I expected. I'm not sure what I did expect, but it was more than I got. Sure, some of the comics were quite funny, but many were mwah and they were not about books unfortunately. While it wasn't for me, I'm sure fans of the comic will appreciate it.

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

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review 2019-02-18 16:05
Three Feet from Gold: Turn Your Obstacles Into Opportunities
Three Feet from Gold: Turn Your Obstacles Into Opportunities - Sharon L. Lechter,Dan John Miller,Greg S. Reid



















This book tells a story of a young man who was once successful but somehow managed to lose his ways and ended up being far less successful than he could have been. One day he gets the opportunity of a life time and this opportunity leads him to a very successful businessman who later sends him to other successful businessmen because he sees unlimited and endless amount of potential for a very good success story in him. And as this man learns from these masters, he uncovers something about himself that he has had no idea existed, his true self and what his true self is really capable of doing and capable of achieving not just for his own good but also for the good of the world. Truly great book if you think long and hard about it, or at least as much as I have. The story within it carries so much meaning and so much inspiration for any aspiring entrepreneur and any recently established entrepreneur who is struggling to find his ways, so if you by any chance strive to become one or you are already part of a truly promising business and wish to really learn of the myriad of different ways from world's most successful businessmen, then this book is like a perfect match for your soul, for it offers so much knowledge and so much wisdom within it, that it can really help you reach for the top. And as an added bonus, there's this really great exercise in the end for which I recommend that you solve, for you never know, you may learn something about yourself you haven't learned before.   

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review 2019-02-17 01:36
Nothing But the Night - John Edward Williams

This is one of the books that I know technically great, but just leaves me a bit cold. I think part of it is that the twist, if twist it is, wasn't that, well twistful. It would make a good book for discussion for some aspects of the story. But there was something about it that left me cold

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review 2019-02-16 23:47
Steel Beach / John Varley
Steel Beach - John Varley

Fleeing Earth after an alien invasion, the human race stands on the threshold of evolution, like a fish cast on artificial shores. Their new home is Luna, a moon colony blessed with creature comforts, prolonged lifespans, digital memories, and instant sex changes. But the people of Luna are bored, restless, and suicidal -- and so is the computer that monitors their existence... 


I would have to say that this book is very much an homage to Robert A. Heinlein. That’s not necessarily a bad thing--there’s a very strongThe Moon is a Harsh Mistress vibe, which I was totally okay with. The Central Computer (CC) in Steel Beach is channeling the self-aware computer in TMiaHM and ends up having similar problems. 

There are nods to other writers as well. There’s a lot of sex-changing in this novel, which made me think of Iain Banks’ Culture series and George Effinger’s When Gravity Fails. Varley’s version also made me think of Tiersias of Greek mythology--you know, the guy who found a pair of copulating snakes and hit them with a stick? Hera was so displeased with him that she turned him into a woman for seven years (apparently being female is a punishment). Needless to say, the Ancient Greeks were eager to hear his perspectives on this and he confirmed their bias by saying that women got much more out of the sexual experience than men did. It seems that Varley believed this too.

There’s also a shout out to Arthur C. Clarke, when the CC is worried that he’s going to end up singing “Daisy, Daisy,” like Hal in 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Another Heinleinian element: a scrapped spaceship called in R.A. Heinlein, within which his spiritual descendents live & grumble. When Hildy is handing out pseudonyms, she christens one of them Valentine Michael Smith (see Stranger in a Strange Land).

I read until the end because I wanted to see how things were wrapped up, but if you’re not a big fan of RAH, my advice is to skip this book. 


Book number 308 in my Science Fiction & Fantasy Reading Project.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2019-02-16 17:46
This House is Haunted
This House is Haunted - John Boyne

“This House is Haunted” is a book about a haunted house. Surprise, surprise! The ingenuity of the title should have given me an inkling about the quality of the book. But since I was in the mood for a haunted house story and John Boyne is a well-beloved author, I decided to give it a try.


To put it mildly, this was an underwhelming reading experience and it felt like Boyne took the best out of a variety of gothic themed books about this topic and jumbled everything up, creating the mess that this book is.


This book has:


  • an insipid main character a.k.a Eliza a.k.a the governess or how I like to call her “the daft cow” (I will come back to here later).
  • weird children
  • a manor house with secret passageways
  • a secret mystery person, locked up in the house
  • insanity


And, of course, there are a lot of twist and turns, who aren´t actually twist and turns because I saw every one of them coming. Let me give you an example:


Eliza gets water from a tap, commenting how icy cold the water is. She repeats this, again commenting how icy cold the water is. And she is even doing this for a third time. And then, then fourth time, the tap water is scalding hot and she severely burns her hands.


And Boyne does this with every twist in this story. I was bored beyond belief.


However, this wasn´t my biggest gripe about this book. This one belongs to our heroine, Eliza, who is annoying, dumb and a hypocrite all at once.

She is constantly complaining about her looks, telling the reader how plain she is, and yet when a man is flirting with her, she shrugs him off because he isn´t that good-looking. Yes, she loves the good-looking kind of man and she cannot stop herself drooling over every man she can lay an eye on. Unfortunately, those men are either all married or too old, as she is prone to tell the reader at some point.

Eliza´s main objective is to get a man and have a family, yet she wants to be her own independent woman. Why do women have to conform to those old ideas and gender stereotypes of how a woman should behave in society? This is something she asks herself several times throughout the book and almost immediately in the same sentence she dreams about going down the aisle with Mr. Raisin, who is married btw. Eliza wants it all. Her character didn´t make sense at all. And in this particular scene, where they are talking about Madges visit to Santina Westerley in prison (and who is about to get hanged), I just wanted to kick Eliza:


“That´s right. But I told you that in the strictest confidence, Eliza. You haven´t mentioned it to anyone, have you? Alex would be terribly angry if he found out. He expressly forbade me from going there.”

“No, I promise that I haven´t and that I will not,” I said. “You have my word on that.”

“Thank you. Don´t misunderstand me, my husband is the epitome of kindness and consideration, but on that subject, the subject of Santina Westerley, he would brook no disobedience on my part.”

“Madge, your secret is secure”, I said with a sigh, wondering why on earth an intelligent woman like this would feel obliged towards obedience or disobedience in the first place. Was she a child, after all, or a grown woman?


Dismissing the fear of a man for his spouse and being condescending towards a woman, who doesn´t want to distress her husband unneccessarely. Shut up, daft cow. After this I secretly wished that the ghost would succeed. Alas, it didn´t. Which I knew from the very first page, because Eliza is telling the story in retrospect.


Definitely not a book I would recommend … unless you are looking for book that you could use for a drinking game. There is a whole lot of gasping and sighing going on, so I guess you could be drunk by the end of it.

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