A very creative fusion. A mix-bag of the Winchester brothers, Bobby Singer, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and the Scooby gang. It's a treat no matter whatA very creative fusion. A mix-bag of the Winchester brothers, Bobby Singer, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and the Scooby gang. It's a treat no matter what you grab from this bag.
An entertaining YA book. Highly recommended. ...more
A thought-provoking inter-correlated analysis. Dent explains how all the contributing factors lead us to this moment. The failure of QE (quantitativeA thought-provoking inter-correlated analysis. Dent explains how all the contributing factors lead us to this moment. The failure of QE (quantitative easing), the asset/debt bubble, the decrease in consumer spending, and the underfund situations in the State pension and retirement benefits; concoct with the anemic GDP growth, the domino effect of the European debt, the downfall of the Japanese economy; multiply by the aging of baby boomers en masse that leads to the increase of obligation in health care expenditure, social security payment, and Medicare liabilities.
Our only saving grace is to focus on the tasks on hand and determinate to weather through this detox period and let the lethal cocktail out of our system.
An enjoyable and straight-forward novel. Compare to Philippa Gregory's style, Erickson's writing has fewer emotional layers and has less stratagems. AAn enjoyable and straight-forward novel. Compare to Philippa Gregory's style, Erickson's writing has fewer emotional layers and has less stratagems. Although the grandeur of the Tudor period leaps through the pages, the anemic display of power struggles and lust prove counterproductive to the theme.
The cataractal view is romanticizing; oddly beautiful. Yet I couldn't help but wish for more bloodlust and power struggles. Afterall, vita contentio amoena est ;)...more
I saw President Clinton’s book promotion in the news one morning and I know I have to read this book. After all, who knows laws, politics, and the USI saw President Clinton’s book promotion in the news one morning and I know I have to read this book. After all, who knows laws, politics, and the US economy better than our two terms president, President Clinton?
Although all the intricacies among the different politics views are difficult to comprehend, facts are easy to understand. Trailing behind J.F. Kennedy 5.4% and L.B. Johnson 5.0% GDP growth, President Clinton's reign had the third highest GDP growth (3.8%) since 1955. (President G.W. Bush’s reign was at the lowest 1.6% mark.) He left the office with a budget surplus and had the highest end-of-office approval rating of any US president since WWII. During his reign, the US had a period of economic expansion with low unemployment and non anti-government censure. These facts are undeniable and we need to recreate this momentum to break the current economic impasse.
President Clinton makes 46 suggestions in hope to help strengthening the US economy. From the simplest “paint the roof white” to conserve energy usage which sub sequentially lower energy bill (up to 30%) and free up cash for other uses; to the more complex trade laws enforcement. His suggestions are highly logical and feasible. I hope the Obama administration is taking notes and integrating these suggestions to the current plan.
Definitely worth a read. Highly recommended. ...more
Moral combat in Stefan's mind. We got a glimpse of Stefan's life without Elena. Surprising good novel. It showcases Stefan's character as more than beMoral combat in Stefan's mind. We got a glimpse of Stefan's life without Elena. Surprising good novel. It showcases Stefan's character as more than being the stoic walking undead Adonis. ...more
A relatively flat one-dimensional narration by our protagonist Jacquetta. This novel doesn't have the Philippa Gregory-touch to it. Her usual deviousA relatively flat one-dimensional narration by our protagonist Jacquetta. This novel doesn't have the Philippa Gregory-touch to it. Her usual devious plots and the subversive passion are all missing in this fiction.
It's a pretty boring read... On a lighter note, it did tire out my eyes and cure my insomnia. :)...more
From the forensic psychiatrist standpoint, Ablow wrote his view and discussed his analysis of Casey Anthony’s psyche. He traced back three generationsFrom the forensic psychiatrist standpoint, Ablow wrote his view and discussed his analysis of Casey Anthony’s psyche. He traced back three generations of dysfunctional family history and credited the lack of “emotional oxygen” to Casey’s stoic lethargic behavior. He also expressed his theories in what has had happened and led to the demise of little Caylee. All the theories sound plausible. They all have their merits. The constants are 1) the dynamic of the Anthony’s household was noxious and Casey and her mother Cindy were having a epic fallout. 2) little Caylee is dead.
In my opinion, the most possible outcome: Casey used Chloroform to make little Caylee unconscious, then she duct-taped her mouth and nose, and dumped her in the trunk of her car, and dumped her lifeless body in the wood… Her attorney Jose Baez “dug-up” some family dirt and hoped to use it to defuse the angry motions towards Casey. (Baez said little Caylee drowned in the family swimming pool and Grandpa George helped to cover up the mishap because if the body was examined, he could be identified as the biological father to his grand-daughter.)
Is Casey this cold-blooded killer or is she a victim herself? Is she the psychotic mother who killed Caylee out of spite or is she the mentally-stunted young woman who suffers years of sexual abuse and lost her child to the non-existent Nanny named Zenaida Gonzalez? Her nonchalant blank-stare narcissistic poise does not show any remorse for losing her daughter or any regret for lying to the investigators. In fact, she does not even reminisce any emotional longing her dead little girl and has any plan for her future. It is strange, isn’t it? ...more
I always wonder how Damon turned out to be THE DAMON we see in the TV series. This novel provides the background to this mystery and reveals the beginI always wonder how Damon turned out to be THE DAMON we see in the TV series. This novel provides the background to this mystery and reveals the beginning of the brotherly feud.
Damon and Stefan are always the polar opposite to each other. Stefan has a noble presence but a calculated persona. Damon, on the other hand, uses his playboy-ish facade to hide his charismatic qualities. Stefan was fortunate to be taken in by Lexi and given the opportunity to learn about alternative diet while Damon was captured and tortured by the Gallanger gang.
Although it is written from Stefan's perspective, Damon has clearly captured the spotlight. In comparison, Stefan is like a lost boy trying to find his way while Damon is a man fighting for his destiny. The death of Katherine, the despicable submission to his first human bloodlust, and the torture by the Gallanger circus probably pushed Damon to the breaking point and transformed him into the Damon we love-to-hate and hate-to-love in the TV series.
Bravo to Kevin Williamson (& Julie Plec) in developing the Stefan's Diaries series. I truly enjoy this novel.
As Gross said, “The economy rested on four pillars: perpetually low rates, perpetually rising asset prices, borrowers remaining current on payment, anAs Gross said, “The economy rested on four pillars: perpetually low rates, perpetually rising asset prices, borrowers remaining current on payment, and strong markets for packaging and trading debts.” So when the pillar trembles, domino effect takes hold. The layers of debt triggers from mortgage to MBS (mortgage-backed securities) to CDO (collateralized debt obligations) to CDS (credit default swaps).
Our financial plague was not a result of fudged numbers on financial statements. It was the result of creative financial instruments and the change of rules by SEC and other intellects. It is noteworthy that Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac themselves pioneered the securitization of mortgage. They knowingly (or unknowingly, depends on your perspective) distribute risks from local loans to financial institutions around the world. On top of that, our federal government volunteered and backed them up when the subprime loans, Alt-A (low documentation) loans, and leverage loans gone haywire. We are rewarded with, for a lack of better term, a double-kick in the stomach.
With the benefit of hindsight, Gross explained the intricacies among debts and our financial structure. There is a lot to absorb and I truly enjoy reading this book. I only wish he had provided an index as I found myself lost in acronyms at times. In any case, I highly recommended this book. ...more
The only reason I chose to read this series was because the TV show was on hiatus.
In the 3rd book "The Fury", Elena died, came back as a vampire, andThe only reason I chose to read this series was because the TV show was on hiatus.
In the 3rd book "The Fury", Elena died, came back as a vampire, and had all the narcissistic plots evolved around her... In the end, she died again. In the 4th book “The Dark Reunion”, the gang, sans Elena, battled the evil force. This time, the focus was on Stefan. The similar villainous plots ensued and the gang was losing to Klaus (the Original). Then, lo and behold, Elena the spirit materialized with the unquiet spirits and saved the day. [?]. Then she exhausted her energy and vanished. [Finally, a character died and should stay dead.] Next thing you know, a flash from the sky blinded everyone and guess what, our beloved Elena returned as a normal human girl again [sigh…I’m an idiot for reading this series…]
Have to give myself prop for enduring this book series. It’s awful and un-relatable. Thank goodness the TV series revamped the characters (with less emphasis on how gorgeous the people look) and reinvented the whole storyline. ...more
Previously in The Return Vol 3: Midnight, Damon was staked by the monstrous tree while he’s trying to save his little redbird Bonnie from plummeting tPreviously in The Return Vol 3: Midnight, Damon was staked by the monstrous tree while he’s trying to save his little redbird Bonnie from plummeting to her death. In her rage, Elena used her “Wings of Destruction” to destroy the tree and Inari’s Star Ball (mystical power source that can open the portal and more), and was about to unleash massive destruction in the Celestial Court when the three Guardians finally clipped her wings for good…
In this new novel, Fell’s Church was back to normal. Vicki Bennett, Sue Carson, Mr. Tanner were alive, kids were graduating high school, and the apocalyptic memories were eradicated from all affected human. On earth, Elena missed the dead Damon and dreamed of him every night while branding Stefan as the official boyfriend. On Dark Moon, the ashes of Damon were liquefying and our antagonist was returning from the dead. [Oh joy, Damon is back!]
The mundane summer kicked in and jealousy started to brew among the gang. Unbeknownst to them, the Jealousy Phantom was in the work to kill them off. Characters got picked off one-by-one, the spirit of Bonnie, Matt, Elena, and Damon were captured and imprisoned by Jealousy Phantom. Alaric, Mrs. Flowers, and the rest of the gang (& Dr. Celia Connor) casted the spell, rescued BMED, and the whole gang eventually banished Jealousy Phantom in the end.
This novel has an interesting start but was running out of steam in the end (Come on. Banishing Jealousy but declaring yours in the open?) Nonetheless it has enough substance to grasp your attention and enticed you to finish reading it.
I'm fairly disappointed with this book. It feels like the author was in a rush to publish this book to reap in the profit after Jobs' demise. The quotI'm fairly disappointed with this book. It feels like the author was in a rush to publish this book to reap in the profit after Jobs' demise. The quotes are from different events and I suspect most of them are taken out of content. This book is neither informational nor entertaining. Don't bother with it. ...more