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review 2018-06-16 21:05
Neanderthal Opens the Door to the Universe by Preston Norton
Neanderthal Opens the Door to the Universe - Preston Norton

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

My thoughts are somewhat mixed regarding this book. I really had no trouble reading it and did enjoy the story but it was missing that extra spark that it would have needed to make it great. It was a book that was pretty easy to set aside because I never felt completely invested in the story. There were a lot of issues address in this story and in some ways it felt like nothing went beyond the surface level. I did find the book entertaining and am glad that I decided to pick it up.

Cliff is huge which is one of the reasons that his classmates refer to him as Neanderthal. He leads a rather solitary life and is dealing with the loss of his brother not too long ago. Cliff and Aaron are not friends at the start of this book. Aaron is the popular quarterback so he has very little in common with Cliff . When Aaron has a near death experience, he partners with Cliff to fulfill a to-do list that he received from God. The list is very specific and everything on it is tied to their high school. If they can accomplish all of the tasks, the school will undoubtedly benefit from their efforts.

This book touches on so many issues. I actually think that it would have improved the story if fewer issues were dealt with but in greater detail. Cliff and Aaron are not only dealing with their list but they are also developing relationships including their own friendship. Some of the items on the list sound almost impossible and other will require some investigation before they can even begin.

I liked the characters but I never felt like I completely connected with them. The book is told from Cliff's point of view and I didn't feel like I got to know any of the other key players beyond the surface level. Even during some parts of the book that were more emotional, I found that I was rather unmoved. I think I would have liked this book a lot more if I had been able to develop an emotional connection with any of the characters.

I did enjoy the story and thought that it had a lot of unique aspects. I do think that a lot of readers will enjoy this one a bit more than I did. I wouldn't hesitate to read more from Preston Norton in the future.

I received a digital review copy of this book from Disney-Hyperion via NetGalley.

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url 2018-05-12 13:49
Quantum Physics and Consciousness
Art of 4 Elements - Nataša Pantović Nuit
Tree of Life - Nataša Pantović Nuit
A-Ma Alchemy of Love - Nataša Pantović Nuit
Mindful Being - Nataša Pantović Nuit
Conscious Parenting: Mindful Living Course for Parents - Nataša Pantović Nuit
Conscious Creativity: Mindfulness Meditations - Nataša Pantović Nuit
Spiritual Symbols: With their Meanings (Alchemy of love mindfulness training) (Volume 8) - Nataša Pantović Nuit

Self-DevelopmentSpiritual DevelopmentSpiritual QuotesAlchemy of LoveConscious MindMindfulnessOnline Life Coachingmeditation

 

Just attended a talk of Dr Andrej Xuereb of University of Malta's Department of Physics entitled “Weird. Random. Quantum” 

 

quantum-physics-and-consciousness

.

You must have heard of this fascinating, -blowing concept that when you examine the phenomena’s on a miniature scale, one gets a very different image of reality.

 

Quantum mechanics rules every single atom and tiny particle in every piece of matter

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review 2018-03-28 19:23
How To Live Safely In A Science Fictional Universe by Charles Yu
How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe - Charles Yu

With only TAMMY - a slightly tearful computer with self-esteem issues - a software boss called Phil - Microsoft Middle Manager 3.0 - and an imaginary dog called Ed for company, fixing time machines is a lonely business and Charles Yu is stuck in a rut. He's spent the better part of a decade navel-gazing, spying on 39 different versions of himself in alternate universes (and discovered that 35 of them are total jerks). And he's kind of fallen in love with TAMMY, which is bad because she doesn't have a module for that. With all that's on his mind, perhaps it's no surprise that when he meets his future self, he shoots him in the stomach. And that's a beginner's mistake for a time machine repairman. Now he's stuck in a time loop, going in circles forever. All he has, wrapped in brown paper, is the book his future self was trying to press into his hands. It's called How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe. And he's the author. And somewhere inside it is the information that could save him.

Amazon.com

 

 

 

Author Charles Yu writes himself in as the protagonist of his novel here, presenting himself as a fictional Yu working as a time traveling technician on Minor Universe 31, his job primarily being to repair heavily used time traveling machines.

 

In this universe, (fictional) Yu's father invented time travel, but has been missing for quite some time. Yu's mother is locked into a one hour time loop -- that is, she can only live one precise hour of her entire life over and over again -- where she basically just makes dinner repeatedly. Ugh, can you imagine the horror of that?!

 

Chronological living is kind of a lie. That's why I don't do it anymore. Existence doesn't have more meaning in one direction than it does in any other. Completing the days of your life in strict calendar order can feel forced. Arbitrary. Especially after you've seen what I've seen. Most people I know live their lives moving in a constant forward direction, the whole time looking backward. 

 

Yu decides he wants to try to find his father. With the help of a book written by his future self and TAMMY, an operating system with incredibly low self esteem, he sets out on a space journey of mind-bending proportions through the space-time continuum. He uses time travel to move through memories and alternate scenarios looking for clues to his father's current whereabouts. The journey takes quite a complicated turn when Yu accidentally shoots his future self and has to dive into the closest time loop to try to escape the situation from escalating any further. But ooooh the mess this makes of things! 

 

It can sometimes get confusing keeping it all straight: In the early parts of the story, when fictional Charles is in and around his hometown, he lives and works out of his vehicle, the TM-31, but here's where it gets really wild. Minor Universe 31 is a world made of all the things we know of from science FICTION, but fictional Charles can travel in and out of areas throughout the universe that work in REAL time, such as Earth. When it comes to the US, in fictional Charles' world, ages ago Los Angeles and New York merged so now the States as a whole are basically considered one gigantic city! In this world, US citizens now live across the land in boroughs with names like Capital City, Lost City, Verse City, and New Tokyo ("old" Tokyo broke off from its original position, floated away until it attached to the landmass of the States). 

 

Established science fiction readers will likely have a fun time geeking out to all the Star Wars references and the plot reminiscent of a Douglas Adams novel. Even some similarities to Jasper Fforde's Thursday Next series can be found here. But if you're entirely new to the genre, this book could prove to be a befuddling place to start your sci-fi journey. 

 

I was never totally sure why everyone wanted to be Han Solo. Maybe it was because he wasn't born into it, like Luke, with the birthright and the natural talent for The Force and the premade story. Solo had to make his own story. He was a freelance protagonist, a relatively ordinary guy who got to the major leagues by being quick with a gun and a joke. He was, basically, a hero because he was funny. Whatever the reason, first place was always Solo, always, always, always, and second place was usually Chewbacca, because if you weren't the one saving the galaxy, you might as well be eight feet tall and covered with hair. 

 

Portions of the story moved beyond clever into slightly irritating ramblings, especially the metaphysical points that continued for pages and pages before we are able to get back to the story. Module Y -- this novel is broken up into "modules" rather than "parts" -- felt like it went on FOREVER. 

 

The humor was undeniably enjoyable, but when it came to TAMMY's (the operating system) depression, I had hoped for a little more humor worked in there... she did have minor jokes here and there but a lot of her end of the story brought the whole madcap-ish tone of the novel down a bit for me. For this point, I refer back to the master, Douglas Adams, on how to incorporate heavy themes in a more light-hearted way. As a whole, the story is a fun, sometimes head-scratching, "wait, what did I just read?" ride. While I think I preferred the first half of the story over the second, I did really like the epilogue entitled "Appendix A".

 

 

 

 

-----------

 

EXTRAS

 

* How To Live Safely In A Science Fictional Universe is Charles Yu's debut novel and was partly inspired by Yu's reading of The Fabric Of Reality by David Deutsch

 

* Charles Yu has been awarded the National Book Foundation's 5 under 35 Award and the Sherwood Anderson Fiction Award for his short story collections. 

 

* In the acknowledgements of this book, Yu gives a nod to his wife, saying, "Thank you for being the best version of yourself, even when I'm my worst." ♥

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text 2018-03-13 12:08
VBT, EXCERPT, GUEST POST & #GIVEAWAY - Shifter School (Shifter School, #1) by Gwendolyn Druyor
Shifter School: A Wyrdos Universe Novel - Gwendolyn Druyor
She’s gonna get them all killed.
 
So they locked her away.
 
Laylea has been hiding her entire life. She’s never been to school. She’s never had a friend her own age. She’s never known anyone else like her.
 
All that is about to change. 
 
In a world hidden from wyrdos and humans alike, shifters are still recovering from a vicious plot to destroy them all. They have two laws they live by now:
 
1) Hide 
 
2) Protect the children at all costs.
 
Laylea has just broken rule number one. But she’s only fourteen. So they’re sending her to school. Where she’s going to learn . . .
 
Anyplace can be a prison.
 
The Lincoln Park Shifter School is not your grandma’s uber-secret, underground academy.

 

Source: archaeolibrarianologist.blogspot.de/2018/03/vbt-excerpt-guest-post-giveaway-shifter.html
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review 2018-03-07 18:38
Review: "Gagged" (The Clipped Saga, #3) by Devon McCormack
Gagged - Devon McCormack

 

~ 2.5 stars ~

 

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