Tag Archives: BookReview

Book Review: A Government of Our Own: The Making of the Confederacy

Government of Our Own: The Making of the ConfederacyGovernment of Our Own: The Making of the Confederacy by William C. Davis
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I must admit that I found this book some pretty tough going. And that the “tough going” was in large part due to what I’d almost consider an excess of the sort of thing I usually appreciate. Namely, details. Viz:
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Book Review: The Fear (The Enemy #3)

The Fear (The Enemy #3)The Fear by Charlie Higson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Compared to the first two books in the series, I had a difficult time involving myself with this one. Yet once I was in, I was in. The book took off slowly, but as I turned the pages I was engaged quite a bit more than I had been in either of the two first books. And where I’d thought this series a borderline “take or leave” proposition, I’m now champing at the bit to get my hands on the finale.

Way too much going on that ah gots to find out. To use a silly example of my present state of mind: I remember reading something about a 19th century tragedy in (I believe) Baltimore. So many people had crowded onto a pier awaiting the arrival via steamer of the latest installment of one of Dickens’ potboilers that their combined weight actually caused the pier to collapse. Many drowned, IIRC. Never could quite understand that crowd’s motivation. (And over Dickens? The novel as shaggy dog story personified? Blerg.)
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Book Review Conundrums

Intro: Navel Gazin’ Time

The silliest things bother me, and what are undoubtedly the most most important seem to pass under my radar. Thus, I find myself worried about the way I’ve been reviewing books on Goodreads.com, rather than, oh I don’t know, the million or so other things that I admit are more relevant to my life, and the million or so that I do not, but doubtless are.  But such is the state of my existence.

At one point I’d actually declared to myself that I’d stop reviewing books until I came up with some guidelines about how best to approach the whole topic. But, guess what? I never did establish those guidelines and rather sheepishly went back to reviewing books. But, yeah, the whole thing has continued to bug me. So, I suppose this meandering mess is an attempt to plug that hole as much as it is anything else.

But it is also both more and less. More, in the sense that I’m now interested in documenting why such-and-such a novel appeals to me. Or does not. Ditto works of nonfiction, though I’m not sure I’ve got the energy to slay that dragon in this post. Less, in the sense that I’m now utterly uninterested in striving for coherence, readability or (hell, no) brevity. So if an overdose of punctuation bugs thee, as in excessive parentheses, commas, semi-colons, ad nauseum, get thee behind me Satan. And begone, foul creature. And that says nothing of the meanders; oxbows; dumping of untreated sewage, PCBs and so forth into this particular stream of thought as it meanders its way to the sea of oblivion.

Perhaps I could consider this case of diarrhea of the keyboard a draft of sorts, but, nah. That would be intellectually dishonest. (Says the guy anonymously reviewing books, to hoist me on my own petard, but fuck it. Let’s just say my lines of honesty and dishonesty are drawn a bit oddly. But for all that, they are bright lines that I try not to cross.) Can’t absolutely rule it out, but

Part 1 of a whole lot. Maybe.

As I was writing this it dawned on me there’s no way I’m going to finish it in one sitting. Pity this didn’t dawn on me before I started, but it didn’t.  So, just adjust yer settings to “series of posts” from “post” wherever such a thing occurred. And I’ll hopefully be putting a bunch of rococo additions onto this house of horrors over time. Or I’ll somehow magically get a clue and realize that life is too short for certain things. Especially things like this. But the odds of me doing such a thing are up there with the return of Megatherium (my favorite animal of all time) from extinction. So, I’m anticipating I’ll see this mess through to completion.

Yep. We’ll do it live. To play us out. And so on.

EDIT: Sigh. The dictates of a capricious conscience made me return to this post to note that said YouTube link has enough F-bombs to result in a scorched earth if they were real bombs. Clicky on linky at own risky.

Speaking of caprice, why should “clicky” and “linky” invoke the red squiggles of spell check, but “risky” does not? Even more curious, MS Live Writer’s spell check didn’t like “begone,” but the Firefox variant is a-ok with it. Discuss amongst yerselves. END EDIT.

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Book Review: Peoples’ Guide to the Federal Budget

Peoples' Guide to the Federal BudgetPeoples’ Guide to the Federal Budget by National Priorities Project

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I’m sort of giving this book the benefit of the doubt, in the sense that I’m assuming the errors I’ve noted (see the in-progress burbling, which I’m presuming is visible to all and sundry) are the only ones to be found. But since I had next to no knowledge of how the federal budget is prepared prior to opening this book, it may simply be that in my ignorance I’ve missed one, several or many such. I say “sort of” largely in regard to the rating. There’s no way I could give this book 4 stars, but had I not seen what I noted, such a rating would have been on the table, even if I ultimately didn’t rate it that highly.
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Book Review: Amped, by Daniel H. Wilson

AmpedAmped by Daniel H. Wilson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
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Book Review: Travel Photography in a Day for Dummies, by Serge Timacheff

Travel Photography in a Day for DummiesTravel Photography in a Day for Dummies by Serge Timacheff

I’m going to forebear giving a rating here, since one handicap the book had — at least as I viewed it on my kindle — was not the author’s fault. Namely, everything was in black and white. Duh, I suppose, but this seriously detracted from the whole reading experience. And it also isn’t fair to criticize the author for brevity in certain areas, since going into the book it is made perfectly clear that that’s what is aimed for.
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Book Review: Masquerade (BB #2), by Melissa de la Cruz

Masquerade (Blue Bloods Series #2)Masquerade by Melissa de la Cruz
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Why do we always come here?
I’d really like to know,
It’s like a kind of torture
To have to watch this show!

Ladies and gentlemen, a moment of silence. I now present the immortal Statler and Wardolf. Why? They reach the heights I aspire to when I review books like this. I read ’em like I eat ham & cheese Hot Pockets™, the remnants of taste and general concern for my personal well-being overawed by a sort of vile satiation, forcing a retreat in a general rout from the battlefield of my consciousness as I shove ’em down my maw.

But, why, oh, why do I continue to give the logical errors, gaping plot holes and general silliness of this whole series a pass? What we got this time:
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