Tag Archives: reading

The First Chapters Club

It’s not a tale of money, revenge, and it’s not modeled after the story of three women intent on plucking their husbands dry. But the First Chapters Club could lead you to laughter, tears, passion, fear, discovery, love, travel, murder, adventure, ogres, fairies, evil, aliens, evil aliens, zombies, samurais, and much, much more.

Zumaya Publications has assembled a collection of first chapters from its catalogue, in addition to one short story and the full text of my first novel, Metered Space, and offers them for free at Scribd (http://www.scribd.com/zumayabooks). You can read them online or download them in .pdf or text format to read on your own computer or reading device. Continue reading

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Book Review– Looking for Alaska

Looking for Alaska Looking for Alaska by John Green

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Move over Salinger, here comes John Green. This is a coming of age story that is truly contemporary and real, sans rose-coloured glasses. Green doesn’t skim over the concept that high-school teens know about -and often do- drugs, alcohol, and sex.

But Looking for Alaska is more than the “bad” things kids can get into. It’s about the search for self (Rabelais’ “Great Perhaps”) through being confronted with the realities of friendships, love, death, and the future.

A truly superb, daring novel.

Looking for Alaska has received many awards, including School Library Journal Best Book of the Year for 2005.
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Book Review– Silent Thunder

Silent Thunder Silent Thunder by Iris Johansen

My rating: 1 of 5 stars
Silent Thunder is one of the worst written books I’ve read in a long time, and greatly disappointing. The dialogue is trite and flat (“Son of a bitch. Bradworth was staring after him. “Bastard.”), the characters are unidimensional (the Russians are the bad guys), the story murky and at best cliche.

After 135 pages, I gave it up.

Here is the description from Goodreads:

Marine architect Hannah Bryson has landed the assignment of a lifetime. The U.S. maritime museum has just acquired the former pride of the Soviet fleet, the legendary nuclear attack sub Silent Thunder, for public exhibition. It’s Hannah’s job to inspect every inch of the decommissioned vessel and make sure it’s safe for the thousands of expected visitors. Enlisting the aid of her brother, Connor, they delve into its long and lethal history.

Then, on a routine check, Connor discovers a cryptic message behind one of the ship’s panels. Before he can figure out what it means, there’s a deadly assault on Silent Thunder. Now, although the U.S. government warns her against it, Hannah will stop at nothing to unravel the truth about Silent Thunder. Even if it means coming face to face with the ruthless mastermind behind the plot—and joining forces with a mysterious and seductive mercenary who is willing to kill to make sure the secrets about Silent Thunder stay silent. . . .

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Nigella Express: Good Food Fast

Nigella Express Nigella Express by Nigella Lawson

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I don’t often review cookbooks. In fact, I almost never review them, but I felt this one deserved a mention. I first became interested in Nigella Lawson’s type of cooking through her TV program, Nigella Bites. She has a way of going through a recipe in a few, simple, sensual steps that is very attractive. Her recipes are usually full of flavour and are quick to prepare. Continue reading

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The Gargoyle, by Andrew Davidson

The Gargoyle The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This was one of the most astonishing and riveting books I’ve read in a long time. Davidson’s research is extensive, his characters, past, present, and imaginary are fascinating, and the story is powerful. The parallels with Dante’s Inferno makes the love story between the two main characters as much a tragedy as a romance. He manages to have the reader feel pain for the narrator of the story, a totally unlovable character at the start.

It’s a story of discovery of the true self and of the purity –and intransigence– of love.

The story, as described on Goodreads:

The narrator of The Gargoyle is a very contemporary cynic, physically beautiful and sexually adept, who dwells in the moral vacuum that is modern life. As the book opens, he is driving along a dark road when he is distracted by what seems to be a flight of arrows. He crashes into a ravine and suffers horrible burns over much of his body. As he recovers in a burn ward, undergoing the tortures of the damned, he awaits the day when he can leave the hospital and commit carefully planned suicide—for he is now a monster in appearance as well as in soul. Continue reading

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