The Ninetoes Book of the Week 10/19-25/2020

Ghost Story by [Peter Straub]

There are several reasons I chose Peter Straub’s Ghost Story as my pick for book of the week.

What is the worst thing you’ve ever done?

When Ghost Story first came out in paperback in 1980, I was a kid living on Long Island who went to his local 7-11 and saw it on the paperback rack. I did not have enough money for the book, and I stole it. (This is the only thing I EVER stole in my life before and after the event.) I took it home, and read it. The following Saturday, I did have enough money for it and went back and told the man behind the counter what I did and that I wanted to make it right. He was a kind older man who told me to sit on the stool. I did and he asked me to tell him about the book. As I did so, he nodded and listened. THEN he gave me my money back. I could not believe it. So, I went back to the rack, and bought a copy of Stephen King’s The Shining.

I once asked him why he did that, and he told me: “I’ve seen kids come in and steal soda, or a bag of chips, or even some gum, but I never seen a kid steal a book, and THEN come back to pay me for it. When I saw how much you enjoyed it, I decided not to take your money. Besides, I kind of knew you would buy another book, which you did.”

Now, I am not condoning theft. To be honest, I really felt terrible for what I did. However, if you love a book, tell someone about it, especially in this age of social media. Authors will check their reviews and listen to what the readers have to say.

The other reason for picking Ghost Story, is because it is one hell of a book. It starts with a question: “What is the worst thing you’ve ever done?” and then you get the narrators response, which is the rest of the book. I was hooked into the story, and I have read it two more times since, and the fear factor was still there! Yes, there was a movie made from the book, but remember my number one rule passed down to me from my grandfather: THE BOOK IS ALWAYS BETTER THAN THE MOVIE!!! I wish a remake would be in the works, but this time make it a limited series. Then you might just get every nuance of the book that was missing from the movie.

You can find Ghost Story at most book retailers. $17.00 paperback and $9.99 e-book.

Dragon Age: The Stolen Throne Review

TITLE: Dragon Age: The Stolen Throne

AUTHOR: David Gaider

GENRE: Fantasy/Video Game Tie-In

PAGES: 334

FORMAT: E-book

I play video games as well as read, and Some of my favorite games are in the “Dragon Age” series. When the first game, “Dragon Age: Origins” came out, a book soon followed. Dragon Age: The Stolen Throne was that book.

Prince Maric witnessed the death of his mother, the went on the run. In the process, he has become the rightful king to the throne of Ferelden. Now, he leads the rebel army that wants to put him back on his rightful throne.

I realize I over simplified the synopsis of the book, to add more details would be taking away your overall enjoyment of the book. However, I can say this, as fantasy books go, this one has everything you could ask for; heroes and villains, strange creatures, witches, elves and dwarves, a dragon, and a villain you can really hate.

Where this book really shines is in the character building. I felt myself really being drawn into their lives and wanting to see them succeed in their overall quest. I felt their pain, both physical and emotional, as well as their joys. The world building was excellent as well. The descriptive details painted a clear picture of each forest, town, castle, etc.

I do have a nit pick for this book. The ending happened too fast. A fight that could have gone on for a few pages was given a couple of paragraphs, and this is a fight I WANTED to see. I would go as far as to say that the entire book led up to this fight, only to be given just a couple of paragraphs.

I give this book 4 bookmarks out of 5.

The Ninetoes Book of the Week 10/12-28/2020

Here, in the United States, it is Columbus Day, a day in which we celebrate the Italian explorer Christopher Columbus. It is a day that has come under scrutiny and controversy, however it remains a national holiday.

My choice for the book of the week is Daniel J. Boorstin’s The Discoverers: A History of Man’s Search to Know His World and Himself. It is a book that celebrates many explorers and man’s search for knowledge.

An original history of man’s greatest adventure: his search to discover the world around him.  In the compendious history, Boorstin not only traces man’s insatiable need to know, but also the obstacles to discovery and the illusion that knowledge can also put in our way. Covering time, the earth and the seas, nature and society, he gathers and analyzes stories of the man’s profound quest to understand his world and the cosmos.

This book can be found online and at most booksellers. $21.00 paperback and $14.99 e-book.

Space Station Down Review

Space Station Down by [Ben Bova, Doug Beason]

TITLE: Space Station Down

AUTHOR(S): Ben Bova and Doug Beason

GENRE: Science Fiction/Thriller

PAGES: 341

FORMAT: E-book

I am a huge fan of Ben Bova’s books, and I also enjoy the works of Doug Beason. When i heard the two were teaming up for a novel I was all kinds of excited. When I heard the premise of the books, I did a happy dance.

Two terrorists make their way onto the International Space Station, and want to send it crashing down into New York’s financial district. Like I said, the premise is fantastic, so much so that my mind yelled “cue the movie!”. I was ready to roll.

Then I started reading the book. At first it is fantastic. The pieces were set in place to make the mayhem happen, which it does. The taking of the International Space Station happens as fast as a lightning bolt. Solutions are sought on the space station and on the ground at NASA ground control. For me this is where the problems began. At this point, the book becomes lousy with acronyms. It becomes a veritable alphabet soup that bogged me down and took away from the overall enjoyment of the book. At times I felt like I needed an advanced degree just to keep up with the acronyms.

I give this book 3 bookmarks out of 5.