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review 2017-09-08 01:16
An impressive collection of short non-fiction stories
Luck Favors the Prepared - Nathaniel Barber

If the title is true, Nathaniel Barber was/would have been one of the worst Boy Scouts in the world. You don't have to read many of these non-fiction short stories to decide that luck and Barber are, at best, passing acquaintances. Which is probably good -- they make for better reading that way (Barber, might disagree about the "good" there -- it is his life).


These stories don't detail his life, they give you glimpses into experiences that have stuck with him for one reason or another, and largely they resonated with me. For example, his first (disastrous) experience with being a landlord. His goals for it were pretty much what I'd envisioned the time or three I thought about trying it. How it turned out for him, is pretty much what I feared would happen to me. A lot of what happened to him as a band geek made me think of what it was like when I was one (thankfully, it was a little tamer for me). I've never had a coworker like Dale Kendrick, but I can name one or two individuals that easily could've been.


Not all of his stories are those the reader will be able to identify with -- but there's something in his telling of them that will allow you to see yourself in that situation, and feel the humanity.


There is one important difference between his life experiences and mine -- or most readers' -- his are funny. Or at least the way he's able to present them is (probably more the latter than the former). Not always in a laugh-out-loud way, sometimes it'll just be a wry smile, or shake of the head. But Barber's been able to mine the humor in most of these situations -- frequently at his expense.


Each story has a different feel to it, so even though they're all about the same central character, they're individual stories. They don't all flow chronologically -- he jumps back and forth though his life, you won't walk away with a "life story" or anything, you'll just get a good understanding of various points in his life. It's like sitting around a table with an old friend, "Did I ever tell you about the time . . . "


Barber's writing chops are evident throughout this, whether he's going for economy of words:


Against the advice of my lawyer and stern warnings from my therapist, I accepted Elsbeth’s invitation to lunch.

or if he's going for a visual that will stick with you:


Mr. Millson was a short, puggish man. He was skinny except for a cantaloupe gut he not only ignored but allowed to lend heft to his wagging swagger. He was short and compensated for this with a simmering, constant temper, always fired up and red-faced. Even when he was just trying to schmooze an extra scoop of Jell-O from the lunch lady. His lips were not lips, but the absence of lips. Sweaty flaps, really. Fleshy bits of face he pursed to a thin, kissy embouchure under a bulbous, alcoholic nose.

you get exactly the idea he was going for -- this isn't some sort of arty-ambiguity here, it's a precise brushstroke. He wants you to feel what he felt, he wants you to see what he saw -- and he wants you to at least grin about it. Sometimes he's not that subtle; infrequently, he could be more skillful about it -- but he's hitting his targets, he's evoking memories about embarrassments of our youth, empathy over similar struggles of young adulthood, or a slight feeling of dread knowing that's exactly how you'd react in that situation. Thankfully, he generally wants that to be followed with a chuckle.



Creative, distinctive, amusing -- this collection will leave you wanting to see more from Nathaniel Barber, while being very glad you have this.


Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion and participation in this book tour. I appreciated the book, but my opinions expressed are my own.

Source: irresponsiblereader.com/2017/09/07/luck-favors-the-prepared-by-nathaniel-barber
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text 2017-09-04 13:05
Blog Tour: Prepared by Courtney Konstantin with Giveaway

Today’s stop is for Courtney Konstantin’s Prepared. We will have info about the book and author, plus a great giveaway. Make sure to check everything out and enter the giveaway.

Happy Reading :) 



She thought she was prepared for the end of the world… until it actually came. Alex Duncan is a mother, a sister— and the daughter of a doomsday prepper. She always thought her father was insane, raving about an apocalypse she never believed in, but when a plague hits the United States and the dead no longer stay dead, Alex discovers heeding her deceased father’s advice is what will keep her family alive. Before he died, Alex’s father created a compound in Montana just in case situations like this arose. Hell has arrived on earth. The dead walk, hungry for human flesh. Living in a highly populated city like Las Vegas makes the reality of the plague imminent to Alex. With little time to spare, Alex must make split-second decisions to prevent her family from being devoured. Facing the end, Alex has three goals. Escape Las Vegas. Get to the compound. Survive. As the outside world crumbles and grows darker, Alex faces adversity from not just the infected, but the uninfected as well. Government assistance is nowhere in sight, and rumors fly that the nation’s only solution to the growing plague is execution. Not everyone will outlast the plague. Doomsday is here. Will Alex be up to the challenge, or fall, and rise again as one of the undead?   An exciting apocalyptic thriller that’s intriguing, mysterious, and horrific, Prepared is the debut novel of upcoming author Courtney Konstantin. Stay up all night to read this terrifying tale of pandemics, zombies, and government secrets by one-clicking today!






Buy Link







As a child, Courtney always had aspirations of being a writer. She participated in journalism in school. At home, she wrote short stories, poetry and filled diary pages. Somewhere along the line becoming an adult took priority over her writing and she went to work in business operations.   Now as a mother to three beautiful children, she tells them all the time to follow their dreams, be whatever they want. Those lessons reminded her how much she loved writing. She finally opened the door to making writing a real priority in her life.   Living outside of Portland, Oregon she loves the green and beauty Oregon offers. When she’s not matching wits with her children, her crazy Siberian Husky or her bi-polar cats, she enjoys binge reading, hikes and touring wineries. Courtney and her husband, the love of her life, enjoy traveling the world whenever they can get a free moment. And cruises….she loves cruising. She’s especially fond of life, laughter and sarcasm – and she’s excited to share all of that and more with her readers!



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a Rafflecopter giveaway





Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!


Source: snoopydoosbookreviews.com/blog-tour-prepared-courtney-konstantin-giveaway
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text 2016-07-09 19:28
"Prepared For Rage" by Dana Stabenow
Prepared For Rage - Dana Stabenow

"Prepared For Rage" is Dana Stabenow's second Coastguard thriller. This time we track the slow, indirect but inevitable intersection between Abdullah (literally servant of God) a rogue cell of  Al Qaeda, a Coastguard vessel in Florida, and the Space Shuttle.


Although some of the characters are the same as in "Blindfold Game", "Prepared For Rage" works as a standalone novel so feel free to dive right in.


Dana Stabenow makes "Prepared For Rage" more than a terrorist threat thriller by using it as a vehicle for topics she is passionate about.


She staunchly defends the value of the Coast Guard, this time highlighting their role in the Katrina aftermath the Coast Guard were almost the only Federal Agency to provide immediate and effect assistance. Her admiration for them is surpassed only by her anger at the Federal agencies that did nothing to help.


Dana Stabenow's long standing love affair with space travel (see her Star Svendotter books) surfaces in a vivid evocation of the astronauts preparing for one of the last (post-Challenger) Space Shuttle missions.


That's pretty much the end of the positive emotions. The FBI, apart from a couple of dedicated but almost disregarded individuals, are shown as inept and crippled by political appointees. The lack of security of US ports is laid like an indictment at the feet of the administration.


For me, the best part of the book was the portrayal of the Al Qaeda terrorist at the centre of the book. While some of the main American characters where as shiny and perfect as American dentistry, the Al Qaeda leader of Abdullah was gritty, twisted, broken and deeply troubling. Dana Stabenow shows us a clever, ruthless, dedicated man, who knows how to recruit people to his campaign and use them to whatever is necessary, regardless of the personal cost. He is an educated man with skills that would allow him to prosper in the West and build a life for himself but who is driven by his mission even when following it means giving up his life to it. The fact that he is disciplined, charismatic,introspective and brave doesn't win us over to his side, it just makes him a more formidable enemy.


As far as plot and suspense goes, this is an above average thriller that kept me guessing (and enjoying guessing) right to the end.


The passion with which Dana Stabenow writes gives the book more power, although, oddly, the most realistic and engaging parts of the novel are not about the Americans trying to do the right thing but about the terrorists who move with such deadly purpose.


Lorelei King does a great job as narrator on this book, managing all the changes in tone and accent perfectly.

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review 2015-09-10 14:01
I Was Not Prepared... - Francine Blanchet

This is a short biography of a 12/13 year old girl who was made to leave school to take care of her mother who had ALS. They lived on a farm in a small village in Quebec which was a life of hard work and toil. Francine was the 2nd youngest of 6 but it was her who had to give up school and her whole life to take care of her deteriorating mother with no outside help or from her siblings who just melted away apart from the odd visit. She had no experience of caring for anybody nor of cooking or household chores. This was in the 1960's and it is to be hoped that things have improved since then and that people would be helped much more. She is to be commended for turning her life around after her mother's death and for giving us a glimpse of what she went through during that time.

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text 2014-07-08 21:52
The Survival Book We All Need
How to Survive a Sharknado--and Other Unnatural Disasters: Fight Back When Monsters and Mother Nature Attack - Andrew Shaffer

[reblogged from 38 Caliber Reviews]


It's here! The book we all have been waiting for! On sale now on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Ebay and other places. Don't be caught unprepared.

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