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review 2017-02-19 14:20
The Gatekeeper- Michael Sisti


At first I thought my failure to keep a grip on the long cast of characters was going to sink me and at felt a few early point of view shifts were a little too sharp, however once I settled into this very fast paced book I really enjoyed it. Sisti has structured this story with very short chapters that add to the pacey feel. We are trotted through literally years in which a business grows from nothing into a large regional bank, and then collapses in the trauma field of the financial crisis started by the 2007 sub-prime mortgage collapse in the USA.

The gatekeeper in the male testosterone fired world is a woman, and not one modelled on a kick-arse beauty that can floor any man with a combination of looks, intelligence and gymnastic battle crafts, the likes of which have never yet actually been witnessed in real life. All the characters are just about believable, if in many cases rather clichéd. With so many actors to follow it was as well that many were solidly familiar, stock personalities.

This book makes business acquisitions and mergers seem like exciting stuff, and as if this isn’t enough there is an interesting bit of sexual intrigue as well. This is a fun read, one that once it had me hooked had no trouble keeping me so.

Sisti is a good pulp fiction writer. I mean that with the greatest of respect. He writes in a sharp entertaining, to the point, style, that draws unrepentantly on those characters that surround us all in real life. And all this is done without any demonstrable physical violence, murder, torture, or natural disasters. I’m sure I’ll read another Sisti before very long.

For the traveller, those short chapters make this book just right for reading on a crowded train.




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review 2017-02-19 13:45
When A Man Called Ove Isn't What You Thought It Would Be
A Man Called Ove: A Novel - Fredrik Backman

When I first heard about A Man Called Ove (pronounce as 'O-vi'), it was because of word-of-mouth. Praises keeps pouring in, good reviews keeps filling up and of course, it was inevitable that I came across the book and my curiosity get the best of me. After a year of purchase, I finally sat down and read it. It has been a while since I read some thing good in some months and while many readers have read it way earlier than I do, I am glad I took my time to read it.


A Man Called Ove is a story of a man called Ove (I just like saying it). At first glance, he appears to be one of the grumpiest middle-age man that is so bitter about every thing, you just want to avoid him. He cusses, he's rude and he's the type that does not care about people. He has a set of principles, he follow regulations and rules that he obeyed. He hates white collar men. He despise cats. And more importantly, he doesn't want to be disturb. When a new neighbor moves in next door to his house and accidentally drives up their trailer and destroy Ove's mailbox, it begins a journey of acceptance and unlikely friendships in unexpected ways. Typical formulated story you might say, right? For plot lines, yes. For execution and development of the story, its better than I expected.


What I enjoy most are the characters - to each of their own it was outline nicely. There is consistency to each of them including Ove and I love each and every one of them. Characters written well is once again, a rarity and given a nice explained background to each is a good way to show how Fredrik Backman care about his characters. And then of course, what was true is Ove is not what it seems, and I like how there are layers that some times, it may not be what it seems on first impression that tells us we need to reassessment people in depth. There is so much love and charm in the characters that you just have to love them a lot, especially Ove. I like how the flow of each chapter is given care and the history behind them. For Ove, I truly understand a person like him that many people miss out in reality and this is written with truth.


The execution and delivery is an enjoyable one but some how, its formulated. While the characters aren't stereotypical type, the flow of the story is like one I had seen before. Would it be better if its not followed like a guideline of any books about how to write a story I can say no, but this is as good as it gets because even though its formulated, its meant to be written that way. While the depth of the story isn't deep, I enjoy the slice of life theme in it. There is positive and inspiring values very much in real life happening and not those kind of positive quotes we tend to read a lot to try to inspire us. Its just that with reality of what is happening, it keeps it real in characters and what will happen to us if thrown into a situation and A Man Called Ove is just it.


I can't say its the best ever book I have ever read but its near. I was warm all over when I read towards the end and it was the kind of ending I expected. I did enjoy the dialogue exchange between Ove and the characters he came across. I can say that it is a recommended read if you have not come across this book. Its a must for any book readers or lovers that for once in life, you should read it.

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text 2017-02-19 11:24
Coming back to a childhood fave
The Year's Best Science Fiction: Twenty-Sixth Annual Collection - Alastair Reynolds,Stephen Baxter,Hannu Rajaniemi,Gord Sellar,Aliette de Bodard,Ted Kosmatka,Mary Robinette Kowal,James L. Cambias,Daryl Gregory,Dominic Green,C.C. Finlay,Jay Lake,Mary Rosenblum,Robert Reed,Elizabeth Bear,Paolo Bacigalupi,Sarah Monette,Ma

Of all the books I remember reading when I was growing up, there are few that I remember as fondly as The Year's Best Science Fiction series edited by Gardner Dozios. For several summers, getting the annual volume (which is usually published in July) became an event, one that I especially appreciated if it was released before my family went on a vacation that involved many hours with me cramped in to the back seat of our car. Though I stopped buying the books around the time I left for college (little money) and sold the volumes I had (even less bookshelf space), my affection for the story-packed volumes never faded.


So when I saw a couple of the volumes on a shelf of my local library last weekend, I decided to check one of them out. Of the two I chose the twenty-sixth volume because it had in it a story ( Kristine Kathryn Rusch's "G-Men") about which I have seen references but had not been able to find until now. Reading the book has been an unadulteratedly positive experience, mixing the nostalgia I have for the series with the pleasure of discovering great stories for the first time. I've only read a third of the stories so far, but I've already enjoyed a few (particularly James Alan Gardner's "The Ray-Gun: A Love Story and James L. Cambias's "Balancing Accounts") which will long remain with me. Once I'm done with this one I plan on getting the other volumes that my library has, as they're perfect for the short bursts of reading time that I sometimes have when engaging with anything longer can be frustrating.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-02-19 05:34
The Lost World
The Lost World: A Novel (Audio) - Michael Crichton,Scott Brick

Sequel to Jurassic Park. This audio version is also narrated by Scott Brick. Despite being streamed across Overdrive courtesy of the library, it was still broken up into CD sections and announced the change of CDs and repeated the last line of the previous CD section before continuing with the narration - overall, distracting.


I admittedly listened to this mostly while lying in my sick bed and didn't pay it the same close attention as I did the first one. I'm not sure if Scott Brick's individual character voices were less distinct in this adaptation or if I was not aware enough to pick out the subtle differences. As I am already biased in favor of the story, I only mentally docked a half star for the (perceived) performance.


One thing that occurs to me about the story in general though: is Sarah's father actually the vet, Dr. Harding, in the original Jurassic Park? And, if so, WTF, Malcolm? That one, seemingly inconsequential, teasing hint is still bugging me. Plot holes, plot holes...

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review 2017-02-19 04:55
Feelin' Bitchy
Feelin' Bitchy - Faith Weathers

Title: Feelin' Bitchy
Author: Faith
Publisher: Pen Bullies LLC
Reviewed By: Arlena Dean
Rating: Five

"Feelin' Bitchy" by Faith

My Viewpoint....

What a very serious read that was so real in that it happens daily in this world we live in that many women have experienced. This was a good story line even sometimes morbid at times however it will keep your attention till the end giving you a read about 'friendship, relationships, drama and the struggle of one trying to reach their dreams.' The characters in the novel were well...some were definitely unbelievable in what one would do in letting someone get over on them....as it was for Denver. I was left wondering how could a woman [Denver] let a man [JMac/Johnathan] degrade her so very much that it left her life in such a mess. It seemed like she wasn't even able to recognize someone that was right in front of her that loved her. Why was Denver at times so mean to Marco especially after all he had done for her? Did all of this have anything to do with why Denver starting to 'Feelin' Bitchy?' Was Denver a different person due to what she had done for someone she thought loved her? I can see how this author came up with a excellent title for this story. It definitely fits the story. Now, from this read the reader will get some good well developed people...like Yummy, Marco, Ms Kitty, Ms Verdi, and Tao to name a few that all had their own stories too. Yummy was Denver's best friend and indeed crazy but who seemed to be their for her through the thick and the thin definitely telling her just how it was but will Denver listen? I can see through this story that Denver had a hard life and just wanted a family and for some reason she thought that this JMac was it. Will Denver take even Ms. Verdi's and Ms. Kitty's advice about having a choice and happiness? Will Denver finally get a new dream that she can live with and be happy? As this story will go back and forth the reader will get one well told story that is full of many twist and turns. This is definitely a read that will have you laughing, screaming and even crying. "Will Denver learn from her mistakes and move on with her life? Oh my what a ending! Well, when it's all said and done how will this story truly turn out for Denver? To get all the answers you will have to pick up part two of this read because this one is 'To be continued.........'

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