Last Stand on Bataan: The Defense of the Philippines, December 1941-May 1942 by Christopher L. Kolakowski is a history book covering several month ofLast Stand on Bataan: The Defense of the Philippines, December 1941-May 1942 by Christopher L. Kolakowski is a history book covering several month of fighting before and in which the Battan Death march took place. Last Stand on Bataan: The Defense of the Philippines, December 1941-May 1942 by Christopher L. Kolakowski is a fascinating, detailed book. The book covers the fight General McArthur fought in 1941-1942 against the Japanese invaders to the Philippines.
The book includes quotes from participants, maps, photographs and extensive notes. The author spent a lot of time researching and it shows, he put together a historical artifact in a concise manner. This is an academic book, the reader will be able to follow the battle each day and each step. The author tries, and my view succeeded, to stay balanced in his observations and writings.
Spaceman: An Astronaut’s Unlikely Journey to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe by Mike Massimino is an autobiography of Mr. Massimino. Mr. MassiminoSpaceman: An Astronaut’s Unlikely Journey to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe by Mike Massimino is an autobiography of Mr. Massimino. Mr. Massimino was an astronaut, worked on the Hubble Telescope, robotics and NASA’s PR team.
I have always been a big supporter of the space program since I was a little boy, and still am so when I saw Spaceman: An Astronaut’s Unlikely Journey to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe by Mike Massimino I jumped right into it. I was not disappointed, this is an excellent, easy to read book telling the reader what it takes to become and be an astronaut. Mr. Massimino tells of his journey to become an astronaut, his failures, what he learned and his success.
The book is written with a sense of humor, honesty and, rightfully so, pride. Mr. Massimino’s extraordinary career started the same as many other space junkies – watching movies in our childhood, but unlike us, he went for it and made his dream, our dream, into a reality.
The author’s descriptions of what it’s like to be in space, and how one feels, were, for me, worth the price of admission. I read many books, biographies and autobiographies about astronauts and the space program, but this is the first time I understood (I think) what it’s like to be in space.
The Wangs vs. The World by Jade Chang is a novel about a family road trip across the United States. This is Ms. Chang’s debut novel.
Charles Wang was aThe Wangs vs. The World by Jade Chang is a novel about a family road trip across the United States. This is Ms. Chang’s debut novel.
Charles Wang was a successful businessman who immigrated from China and made his fortune in the US. Suddenly everything came crushing and Mr. Wang lost his all his fortune, including personal assets, in one fell swoop.
Together with his now broke family, Charles travels from California to New York, to the only place they are welcomed, at his eldest daughter’s home.
The Wangs vs. The World by Jade Chang takes an entertaining and funny look at what it means to be an immigrant in the United States, children of immigrants and going broke in an instant. Throughout the novel, the Wangs travel in an old station wagon (having gotten their luxury cars repossessed) from California to New York.
Ms. Chang can certainly write a good story, the characters start out strange and unlikeable, but throughout the book at least two become engaging. I, of course, could never relate to rich Asian immigrants, but still found the basic truths to be the same about every family.
It was amusing to read a pessimistic story which was also entreating. The end was not what I expected, but was fulfilling nonetheless.
The German Girl by Armando Lucas Correa is a novel taking place during World War II and around 2011. Mr. Correa is an award winning journalist and autThe German Girl by Armando Lucas Correa is a novel taking place during World War II and around 2011. Mr. Correa is an award winning journalist and author.
Hannah Rosenthal, an 11 year old girl living in Nazi Berlin looks like an Aryan and was even on the cover of a magazine as The German Girl. Hannah is Jewish though, and together with her family she is being ostracized to no end. The Rosenthals however, are very rich and bought their way to Cuba on the St. Louis.
Anna Rosen, an 11 year old girl living in New York City gets a letter from Cuba in which she finds clues to her father’s mysterious past. Anna’s father died on September 11, 2001 and she knows very little about him.
The German Girl by Armando Lucas Correa if a fictional account of a German-Jewish family who were able to purchase their freedom from the Nazis. The point of view juxtaposed between two girls of similar ages, one living in Nazi German, the other in New York City.
It was sad to read about Nazi Berlin from the point of view of a little girl who really doesn’t understand why their family is being degraded and ostracized in a daily base from neighbors and friends. Some of those friends became Nazis themselves which made the situation even more miserable.
The author weaves in true events with his story. The tragic case of the St. Louis, German transatlantic liner with 288 passengers escaping certain death. No country would take the refugees, only Cuba allowed 28 to enter and sent the rest back to Europe (the US refused to take any in).
This novel did keep my interest, even though I was more interested in the story of the St. Louis than that of the two girls. The writing flows and the author switches between the two girls to tell a coherent story about personal tragedies.
A Gambler’s Anatomy by Jonathan Lethem is a novel taking place in Germany and Berkley, California. Mr. Lethem is an award winning American writer.
BrunA Gambler’s Anatomy by Jonathan Lethem is a novel taking place in Germany and Berkley, California. Mr. Lethem is an award winning American writer.
Bruno Alexander travels the world as a professional backgammon player, he comes to Berlin after a run of bad luck in Singapore. In Berlin Bruno passes out and is sent to the local hospital where it turns out that the blot he’s been seeing is actually a tumor.
In despair, Bruno turns to a childhood acquaintance, Keith Stolarsky, who is now a captain of industry – but still a jerk. Stolarsky reassures Bruno that he can, and will, pay for all expenses, but as we all know, nothing is for free.
A Gambler’s Anatomy by Jonathan Lethem is an odd story with several twists which found me just as I was about to lose interest. It was fascinating to read about characters with a strange sense of morality, but like other people you meet everyday, have a sense of decency in them which is difficult to pinpoint.
The story, written in Mr. Lethem’s unique style, made me care about these selfish, vain characters which are complex, yet accessible. There is a slight supernatural node in the story, but I could never figure out if it was just in the character’s head or it was an actual “power” – not that it matters, after all if we really believe something, it’s real to us.
The description of backgammon games is exciting, but that’s maybe because I know how to play. I was a bit disappointed because, it was my understanding, part of being a professional backgammon player is knowing how to cheat properly as part of the game, but I guess mind reading could be considered cheating.
This is a well written novel, capturing a slice of life most of us will never know. A cast of quirky characters and artful descriptions make this book a joy.
I really enjoyed books by this author, especially The 100-Year-Old Who Climbed Out Through the Window and Disappeared, so when I saw Hitman Anders andI really enjoyed books by this author, especially The 100-Year-Old Who Climbed Out Through the Window and Disappeared, so when I saw Hitman Anders and the Meaning of It All by Jonas Jonasson, I knew there is a good chance I would like it as well. If you’ve ever read any works by Mr. Jonasson you’d know what to expect, a mad farce, with inconceivable luck and irreverent occurrences.
In this black comedy one has to completely wave their perception of reality and accept that this situations happen and read them as they were written, with a wink and nod toward social criticism. I am not the deepest person, nor am I Swedish or understand anything about Swedish culture (that is the only language actually I tried to learn but could not because I was afraid I’d break my teeth) but I could not wave the flailing feeling that I missed much social criticism due to this lack of knowledge, which would have made the book even more enjoyable.
This is a fun book, a great satire and a good read....more
The Innocents by Ace Atkins is the sixth installment in The Ranger series. The series follows Quinn Colson, an Army Ranger who came back to his home iThe Innocents by Ace Atkins is the sixth installment in The Ranger series. The series follows Quinn Colson, an Army Ranger who came back to his home in Mississippi and becomes the Sheriff.
Milly Jones was found walking down the highway in Tebbehah County engulfed in flames. Quinn Colson and his deputy, Lillie Virgil, are trying to solve this mystery.
Not helping law enforcement, the crime is being sensationalized and gets national attention
The Innocents by Ace Atkins is a great addition to this series, which is quickly becoming my favorite. Mr. Atkins, again, creates a world with wonderful, colorful and interesting characters.
What I truly enjoy in this series is that some of the people in it cannot keep on the straight and narrow path no matter what happens. I noticed that in The Ranger series the main crime happens usually a good one-third in and the ending sets the stage for the next book.
While the series is called “The Ranger” and there is a protagonist, the real star of these books is the town and those who occupy it. I find myself being interested in many of them and wanting to know more about each individual – scumbags included.
Unlike the other books, you have to have some background information on the charcters, I guess that’s expected in such a series where you are invested in their lives. I would recommend to read at least one previous novel before picking it up.
The Arab of the Future 2: A Childhood in the Middle East, 1984 — 1985 by Riad Sattouf is an autobiographical graphic novel of the author’s childhood.The Arab of the Future 2: A Childhood in the Middle East, 1984 — 1985 by Riad Sattouf is an autobiographical graphic novel of the author’s childhood. Mr. Sattouf is a French artist, writer and director.
The Arab of the Future 2: A Childhood in the Middle East, 1984 — 1985 by Riad Sattouf is a wonderful second installment to this autobiographical series (see a review of the first installment). The story is funny when seen from the view point of a child (as it is told) but somewhat tragic when read from a more mature, worldly, perspective.
It is interesting what human beings remember, Riad looks different than his Syrian friends (blond) and is considered “Jewish”. He fondly remembers learning Arabic, but also his struggles with French which is his native tongue. The school has obviously made a huge impression on the author, as it does on every child, but in a foreign land, with no friends and a different way to uphold discipline (a whack on the hands with a stick) will certainly make everyone remember.
The strange relationship between the author’s parents is especially poignant. His French mother seems to except all their struggles without complaints (of course, as a child, he would not have been privy to such discussions between adults) and his father, while loving, seems to want his son to grow up the same way he did even though the world has changed tremendously. A dilemma most parents struggles with.
The artwork is stylized, minimalist and works very well. At first it looks unrefined, but the more you read the graphic novel the artwork becomes more sophisticated and appropriate to the storytelling. I loved the honesty in this book, the author doesn’t hide much and doesn’t worry about seeming politically correct or politically sensitive while telling his story.
I’m looking forward to read more of the series sand more of this author.
James Bond: Vargr is a graphic novel by Warren Ellis and Jason Masters. This graphic novels collects all the issues into one fine book.
James Bond, ageJames Bond: Vargr is a graphic novel by Warren Ellis and Jason Masters. This graphic novels collects all the issues into one fine book.
James Bond, agent 007 of British Secret Service, returns to London from a vengeance mission in Helsinki and resumes the boring duties of the 00 section. Soon enough he gets a new mission, this time in Berlin to break a drug trafficking cartel.
Bond, as well as the Secret Service, fail to realize the enormity of the operation, or their true purpose. Bond, again, goes full force against forces much greater than him which he doesn’t fully understand.
James Bond: Vargr by Warren Ellis and Jason Masters what every graphic novel should be, great story, great art and pages which speak for themselves. The layouts are very clever, well designed and the story is interesting and exciting.
The way Mr. Masters drew Bond is almost exactly how I imagined him looking via the descriptions in the Ian Fleming books. Bond is still an ordinary man (a kind of a jerk), who throws himself and his small gun into situations which are dangerous with little regard to safety or protocol.
The story reaches back to the Fleming novels by using a bit of science fiction and villains who are strong physically but are emotional wrecks. The villains are not super-hero bad guys, but just strong enough to give Bond some trouble and make the story exciting.
The graphic novel also includes other goodies, such as variant covers and a gallery. Vargr is an original story, not a cheesy adaptation we are used to seeing and is well worth picking up.