Wicked good read. This psychological thriller is a departure from Ms. Baylee's erotic romances (and I loved Spring Into Summer!) although there are stWicked good read. This psychological thriller is a departure from Ms. Baylee's erotic romances (and I loved Spring Into Summer!) although there are still a few good erotic scenes to remind her fans she hasn't forgotten how to write a steamy sex scene, without going overboard the way a lot of writers do. (A good sex scene, like a sexy outfit, should still leave something to the imagination!) Psychologist Kate Hampton and a sundry assortment of wildly different people find themselves all at the same Jamaican resort, which is run by friends of Kate's and which is recuperating from both Hurricane Sandy and a bad review by a travel writer who's been invited back to give them a second chance.
I read mostly on public transportation, and this book made me miss my subway stop once! The characters are well-defined and different; you've got your redneck Southern couple, a narcissistic and deeply bitter travel writer, and the sort of misogynist but successful he-man who makes money teaching beta males how to score with chicks. (If you live in Toronto you're probably well-familiar with the infamous Dimitri the Love Doctor here who I suspect is the inspiration for the Adam character.)
The story develops well and encompasses several of the characters as Kate, working undercover for her friends, tries to get closer to Matthew the travel writer, in hopes of seeing or convincing him to write a better review. Matthew finds himself attracted to Kate, and repelled by Adam who represents everything he wants to be as a man. While reading of the rivalry between the two men, I was reminded of the Killer Virgin in southern California this spring who went gunning for beautiful women because he couldn't get laid.
Ms. Baylee does a fine job of delineating the psyches of her various characters. The prologue begins with the disposal of a corpse by one of the guests; it's not clear which one is the corpse or which is the disposer. Who gets murdered and why, and by whom, is actually quite disturbing.
This is a great read and I caution you to be careful of your stops if you read it on public transportation!...more
Soldier, Lily, Peace & Pearls is the kind of story that appeals to me these days - people who are in way worse circumstances than I overcoming theSoldier, Lily, Peace & Pearls is the kind of story that appeals to me these days - people who are in way worse circumstances than I overcoming the odds. I also found it historically interesting in that I remember the days of the Vietnamese 'boat people', and our church "adopted" a Vietnamese family around 1980 or so. This story gives me a better idea of what they must have gone through. The scene where the little girl needs to make a lightning-quick life-of-death decision for the survival of her family is one of the most powerful I've ever read. Also, the well-researched piece of the story that takes place during the bloody Rwanda War is just horrifying (hard to think human beings can act that way toward others but we are reminded every day that it's true). All told an excellent read. ...more
The book was as pop-psychology cheesy as I expected it to be, although it did make some valid points which I figured it would and that's why I read itThe book was as pop-psychology cheesy as I expected it to be, although it did make some valid points which I figured it would and that's why I read it. However, I think I disagree that what we see in society today is 'narcissism', I would call it old-fashioned immaturity and self-absorption. The sometimes overdramatic approach to cataloguing America's self-impressed celebrities, wannabe celebrities and Facebook/MySpace publicity whores grated on my nerves. People in rich countries - all of them, not just the US - can afford to be more self-absorbed than those from poorer countries. However, the authors do a better job of chronicling the 'self-esteem' movements foisted upon/suffered by the "millenial' generation which was told it was special and wonderful and overflowing with, like specialness and wonderfulness just by virtue of being born. It makes the case...belatedly, actually...that true accomplishment comes from having attempted things and failed, and having *earned* ones kudos, rather than expecting a trophy just for showing up to the soccer game.
If you read this book with a semi-jaundiced eye it goes down better than if you take it too seriously. It's important to remember that every generation bashes the ones that come after it...just as the "greatest generation" bashed the Boomers(um, re the 'greatest generation' - sez who, and were they, coincidentally,from the generation dubbed the 'greatest'? And is this evidence of pre-millenial, pre-Boomer narcissism?), the Boomers bashed Generation X, and now *everyone* is bashing the millennials/Generation Y. Even Socrates used to complain about them damn youngsters and their crazy-ass chariot races.
The book's strongest point is its analysis of Gen Y and the self-esteem movement. It also makes some good points about social networking sites and how the Internet has created countless 'celebrities' who've done nothing more than create a silly YouTube video or, as in the case of Paris Hilton, well, ah, hmmmm...what exactly *is* it, again, that she's famous for?
So try to tear yourself away from your mirror long enough to give this a read. ;)...more
This is not a bad book to have if you plan or do a lot of traveling to Africa and the Middle East. It goes through each country and tells you what toThis is not a bad book to have if you plan or do a lot of traveling to Africa and the Middle East. It goes through each country and tells you what to expect. However it's extremely redundant - book is much thicker than it needs to be as the author merely copied & pasted a lot of material into each country section. He also treats male and female travelers as the same and you simply can't assume that in either the Middle East or Africa; apart from warning that women shouldn't travel alone, he gives no advice on how to handle things like business meetings if you're in a country that's extremely conservative about women and may not be used to seeing them much in power; or whether a woman might find herself in danger in certain situations which is certainly the case in some of these places. I figure the author was trying to be inoffensive but it means a book that's less useful than it could have been. Otherwise, he's got some very good advice on various customs, traditions, the history of each country, etc. ...more
I bought this book from the author at a sci-fi/fantasy con recently because it looked funny and I was drawn in by the blurb on the back cover - the woI bought this book from the author at a sci-fi/fantasy con recently because it looked funny and I was drawn in by the blurb on the back cover - the world is coming to an end and, "Is Canada really our only hope?" Apparently so, as the world is coming to an end right around tea time, the Apocalypse is about to go all apocalyptic and the only two people who can stop it are two RCMP agents (LOL! I'm laughing already! If you're Canadian and know what the RCMP is really all about the idea that they could stop traffic, let alone the end of the world, is a real thigh-slapper!). There's Johnny Tall, an incredibly hot womanizer, and his alcoholic partner Howard Plank. And Emergency Backup Jen, the recent receptionist replacement. Oh Goddess, we're screwed :)
It's a short, quick read with lots of fun humour and good pacing and some funny villains including exceedingly arrogant American government agents who are forever yammering on about freedom and the Constitution. Some of the humour tends toward juvenile potty humour, but in general it made me laugh. ...more
What else would you read after the book '1968'? ;) I'm doing research for a book I want to write some day that will take place in the Sixties, so of cWhat else would you read after the book '1968'? ;) I'm doing research for a book I want to write some day that will take place in the Sixties, so of course I had to read this one when I saw it in the bookstore. It's divided up into "seasons" and covers all the great events of 1969 ('great' meaning, well, fabulous, and in many cases not-so-fabulous, or downright horrifying). Some of the events covered are the ongoing Vietnam war, hippies, the Moon Walk, the Manson murders, the Zodiac Killer, Woodstock, and the disastrous Altamonte concert. Quite readable and I highly recommend it!...more
"What Were Once Miracles..." is a collection of funny 'articles' from the future - numerous futures, actually, depending on which reality it came from"What Were Once Miracles..." is a collection of funny 'articles' from the future - numerous futures, actually, depending on which reality it came from. I really enjoyed this book, Nayman has a sense of humour that is occasionally Douglas Adams-esque. Some of his political pieces are just the best - I think my favourite was the one about the political pundit who never got a single prediction right, and some of the 'obituaries' ("Lives Unlived") were a real riot too. A few minor niggles: There is in my opinion a bit of overuse on really weird names - a little goes a long way - and the title of the book is not clear as you're looking at it. I thought at first it was called "The Alternate Reality News Service." But apart from that, I had a lot of fun with this book. Folks who are into science and/or science-fiction will enjoy this book a lot.
And if you've ever wondered what the world would be like if Chelsea Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Sarah Palin or Rush Limbaugh were President, Nayman has answered each of those questions. His knowledge of science is fairly broad along with his knowledge of politics. Americans may find some of the Canadian political pieces a bit puzzling if they're not familiar with the names and current events here in Canada. All throughout, though, there is a running thread about the appearance of over a hundred variations of a particular human being when there's a malfunction in the Dimensional Portal(tm) and what to do with all of them (it could get touchy as they've *all* imprinted, rather like baby geese, on the first creature they see, as their Best Friend Forever).
Overall, a fun read. Also, the kind of book you can pick up and put down again if you want to read it in small chunks. ...more
Total snooze-a-rama. I can't believe this actually made it into bookstores it was so boring. The story, at least as far as I got into it, is about thrTotal snooze-a-rama. I can't believe this actually made it into bookstores it was so boring. The story, at least as far as I got into it, is about three friends who make a bet to see who can get married in the next year. One is so freaking gorgeous and so freaking rich you just can't imagine her hanging out with the other two, who are mere mortals. I got about 100 pages into it and gave up - there was no conflict, no villain, just three exceedingly shallow and brainless bimbos chasing after a goal rather than the right man. I hope they all ended up hopelessly single at the end....more
It was a good overview of a truly vicious year and it covered more than just the US. Kurlansky offered an overall view of what was happening in otherIt was a good overview of a truly vicious year and it covered more than just the US. Kurlansky offered an overall view of what was happening in other parts of the world too - the then-Soviet Union, South America and Europe as well. Instead of going over the year in a linear fashion he covered various aspects in the chapters - devoted to a particular part of the world, or politics, or whatever. Quite informative and many times you will say (assuming you're old enough ;) "Hey, I remember that!"...more
Falk is a science journalist whose style is easy to read. He covers - not to make a joke here! - time past, present and future. The early chapters covFalk is a science journalist whose style is easy to read. He covers - not to make a joke here! - time past, present and future. The early chapters cover the history of clocks and measuring time which I found quite interesting. I also liked the parts where he got into the physics of time, which was a bit dense for me but through no fault of Falk's, the subject matter itself is difficult to grasp. All in all, I'd call it a good read....more
Funny book! Short and sweet - the main character, Howard Spoon, moves to Santa Fe, New Mexico because he read that's where the rich widows are. What hFunny book! Short and sweet - the main character, Howard Spoon, moves to Santa Fe, New Mexico because he read that's where the rich widows are. What happens while he tries to nail an aging rich babe is just wicked. And men, you will positively *cringe* (while still laughing) at the tattoo-parlour scene!...more
It was a funny read and quite compelling in many places but suffered from having been rushed out before it was ready for prime time in everyone's hotIt was a funny read and quite compelling in many places but suffered from having been rushed out before it was ready for prime time in everyone's hot sweat to make a ton of money off it, knowing that it would sell well because of the buzz surrounding the belief that the character of Miranda Priestley was allegedly based on Vogue editor Anna Winokur. It got off to a slow start with a lot of backstory about the main character and her boyfriend which added nothing to the story, and ended just as slowly, about thirty pages after it should have. For a much less tedious ending, see the movie. It was also fairly unbelievable that the main character didn't know what she was getting into when she Googled on her future boss and didn't find anything negative about her - if Priestley was that bad, everyone would have been talking about it on the Net.
It's a better story, at ny rate, than the author's "Chasing Harry Winston" which I couldn't get through because it was so boring....more
Couldn't get through it. I was annoyed by the excessive futuristic techno-lingo and couldn't figure out what the hell was going on. That was popular iCouldn't get through it. I was annoyed by the excessive futuristic techno-lingo and couldn't figure out what the hell was going on. That was popular in earlier decades but by the time this was written it should have been left on the dustbin of literary history. ...more