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review 2017-02-04 11:35
Myths, Supernatural and Japanese Monsters
The Monster on the Road Is Me - JP Romney

I love Japanese culture and myths. Especially when it comes to the supernatural. Adding weirdness and you have a whole lot of interesting story about demonic monsters and trolls that haunts a small town. The Monster on the Road Is Me is a story of a fifteen year old boy name Koda Okita, a son of a shiitake (mushroom) farmer who happens to be a narcoleptic that he needs to wear a big helmet to protect himself whenever he gets an attack. It begins with the crows and slowly, his classmates starts to die mysteriously as a suicide. When he meets a girl name Moya, he had stumble upon century old war between monsters and humans. What he never expect is that he is an unwilling protagonist that has a power as well - stealing memories by a single touch. With the town in trouble of supernatural force, Koda (without a choice) must do what he can to understand who he is in order to save Kusaka Town.


While I was reading this, I felt there is a little bit of Satoshi Kons' weirdness involve. Its like Paranoia Agent that comes along with many weird acceptance of lunacy that can be some thing new. Its Japanese culture that is a norm to do who understands it, especially when it comes to myths and legends. Surprisingly, it is also written well with so many reference to Japanese that anyone who understands the culture can relate. Its not exactly original but then its an enjoyable and fun read. I just love how the weirdness can be a norm to all the characters and this is one that intrigues me from beginning to the end. Its a fast read too might I add.


The title has its interesting meaning (which I will not review) but I do recommend people should read this. Yes, there is some Japanese dialogue spoken in romaji but its not exactly that hard not to understand. Its just a beauty of making this a really Japanese custom and written by someone whom used to stayed and taught in Japan, I am surprise J.P. Romney had done a great job of being politically correct when it comes to writing. If you love Nihongo culture, pick this book up. If you love mythology, beliefs and supernatural + weirdness, read it. I had great fun enjoying this book.


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review 2014-09-01 16:45
DNF after 51%: DI Romney and me won't become friends...expect a rant.
Rope Enough (The Romney and Marsh Files) - Oliver Tidy

Maybe because he is a chauvinistic asshole who is more concerned with physical appearance than with how a person really is. And person means woman here, because rules are different for men - if you didn't know that, read this book and be educated about how awful it is when women are ageing: It is really disgusting. How their sagging breasts and their old, vile bodies insult the discerning male eye, so that a good-looking guy like the good Inspector has no chance but to date someone at least 10 years his junior. Buhu.

(Extra HATRED for the self-introspection with a shrug "That's who I am and I can't change, even if you might think it narrow minded or shallow". Well, you might not be able to help it, but that doesn't mean I can't hate you with a vengeance because you are an epic douche-bag, you moron.)


Maybe I am just overly critic, as I have an irrational hatred for male protagonists of a certain age that have me suspicious if this isn't the male author's Mary Sue Moment - the one fantasy, where the ageing male is sooooo attractive to all the female population that he basically has no choice but take the most beautiful and youngest woman available.


Maybe because being 43 years old and never having had a lasting and meangingful relationship with a woman doesn't make a guy attractive in my eyes but screams "serious personal issues" to me.


Maybe because I find it distasteful to go to a crime scene of a rape smelling like your girlfriend's pussy. Use some soap, will you. This stuff is not a super glue, a little soap will take care of the smell. Jesus.


Maybe because he is so pussy-whipped by his young lover, that he apologizes for eating out with a female colleague - WTF??? He is a douch-bag without a spine!


So, you could all in all say: I HATE THIS ASSHOLE.


Oh, and if you read the summary on Amazon or here at BL - forget it. There is basically nothing about Joy Marsh in this book until this point. To be fair, could be that the second half is all about her...


I didn't get the clinical tone with which it was told, like a report - like "the great and handsome Inspector did this. He felt good about. Then he did that. And then he returned to do that." Left me a whole lot of detached, when I wasn't seething with rage.


I guess the crime plot is ok, but I couldn't get over my hatred for THE ASSHOLE, so this is it for this series for me. At least it was free.



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review 2014-07-31 14:10
Good history, bad writer
Collision 2012: Obama vs. Romney and the Future of Elections in America - Dan Balz

Washington Post reporter Dan Balz wrote this sequel to his 2008 book on the election. I didn't like his style for the first book (which was co-written with another author who died before this book) and I was sad to see that it was the same here.


If you're at all familiar with the 2012 election then much of what Balz writes is probably not unknown. That said, Balz does a good job in establishing what the story looks like from the outside: how events from the prolonged Republican nomination to various "gaffes" to the debates to the election look from the outside and in context of the election. I don't think there's anything earth-shattering, but it's good to have the sequence of events as well as a good sense of the structure of the campaigns (for example, how did pollsters and other consultants decide to shape the narrative? What was their methodology? Some of that's here).


At the same time, much of the book was quite tedious to read. Initially I enjoyed the beginning, but I can only assume my interest in the subject carried me through. Something about Balz's writing really turns me off. I don't read his work in the Post religiously, but I feel that with many journalists, they are great in writing shorter news articles or maybe long-form pieces. But that knowledge doesn't translate into novel-length works. Balz is a well-respected journalist, but this was a slog to get through.


It's nowhere near as engaging as either one of the 'Game Change' books but it's less gossip and more about the inner workings of the campaign. Maybe it's just the nature of the fact that a lot of it IS grunt work, it is NOT glamorous and can be quite tedious. But I felt that in the hands of a more compelling writer this could have been an amazing book. Sadly not so much.


A good reference to keep on hand for those interested in elections, but don't make it the only one. And keep in mind Balz isn't exactly that exciting of an author.


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text 2013-10-21 18:58
Ev's 30 Day Book Challenge - Day 21
The Mystery of the Emeralds (Trixie Belden #14 - Kathryn Kenny
The White Riders - Monica Edwards


Day 21 - Favourite book from your childhood.


I chose two of my absolute favourites.  The first one is my favourite of the Trixie Belden Mysteries.  The Mystery of the Emeralds.  The best teenage detective EVER, Trixie and her friends and family kept me company all through my childhood.  I wanted to be her so badly.  :)  I could relate much better to the 13/14-year old Trixie than I could to 18 year old Nancy Drew who always seemed so superior and never did anything wrong. Trixie did a lot wrong.  :)  She lost her temper, made bad choices, and she wasn't the greatest student ever.  She hated her chores.  But she loved her family and friends, she wanted to help everyone, she had street smarts and intuition.  And she always tried to do her best.  


The second book is The White Riders by Monica Edwards.  It was the first Edwards book I read back as a kid and I fell in love instantly with Tamzin, Rissa, Roger and Meryon.  Then I found out it was one of a series, The Romney Marsh series.  And it was connected to the Punchbowl Farm series where the foursome was friends with the Thornton family.   These kids had adventures, solved mysteries, solved problems, had horses and all kinds of animals.  This was how I imagined life for kids over in England.  :)   I read both of these series' and the Trixie books over and over again.  Even to this day I will read them.  

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review 2013-04-04 00:00
No Apology: The Case for American Greatness
No Apology: The Case for American Greatness - Mitt Romney I thought this book was well written and full of information. Although it was a little too packed full of information, statistics and facts at times and became dry. There was a lot of history included and I thought Mr. Romney did a pretty good job of explaining his opinions and reasons for his stances on various issues. It was still a campaigning tool, but I thought it was quite clear that this man truly does care about America and our future.
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