The Ninetoes Book of the Week 05/19-25/2019

Born to Run

This past weekend I was at a library booksale. The library has a little gift shop that sits to the side and they have “newer used books”, and it was here that I found a copy of Bruce Springsteen’s autobiography Born To Run. Being the Springsteen fan that I am, I had to snatch this one up!

In 2009, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band performed at the Super Bowl’s halftime show. The experience was so exhilarating that Bruce decided to write about it. That’s how this extraordinary autobiography began.

Over the past seven years, Bruce Springsteen has privately devoted himself to writing the story of his life, bringing to these pages the same honesty, humor, and originality found in his songs.

He describes growing up Catholic in Freehold, New Jersey, amid the poetry, danger, and darkness that fueled his imagination, leading up to the moment he refers to as “The Big Bang”: seeing Elvis Presley’s debut on The Ed Sullivan Show. He vividly recounts his relentless drive to become a musician, his early days as a bar band king in Asbury Park, and the rise of the E Street Band. With disarming candor, he also tells for the first time the story of the personal struggles that inspired his best work and shows us why the song “Born to Run” reveals more than we previously realized.

Born to Run will be revelatory for anyone who has ever enjoyed Bruce Springsteen, but this book is much more than a legendary rock star’s memoir. This is a book for workers and dreamers, parents and children, lovers and loners, artists, freaks, or anyone who has ever wanted to be baptized in the holy river of rock and roll.

Rarely has a performer told his own story with such force and sweep. Like many of his songs (“Thunder Road,” “Badlands,” “Darkness on the Edge of Town,” “The River,” “Born in the U.S.A.,” “The Rising,” and “The Ghost of Tom Joad,” to name just a few), Bruce Springsteen’s autobiography is written with the lyricism of a singular songwriter and the wisdom of a man who has thought deeply about his experiences

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Your Friday Fun Read 05/17/2019

Mars (Grand Tour Series #1)

My choice for this weeks YOUR FRIDAY FUN READ is Ben Bova’s Mars.

I have always loved stories about the planet Mars. When this book came out in 1992, I read it in the span of three days. No, I devoured this book in three days. In the end, this book made me look up and wish.

“It is a world shrouded in mystery—a planet pocked by meteors, baked by ultraviolet light, and covered by endless deserts the color of dried blood.

To this harsh and unforgiving planet travel the twenty-give astronauts of the international Mars mission. Now, as the landers touch down and the base dome is inflated and the robotic explorers are sent aloft, they must somehow come together in a struggle of discovery and survival.

Battling deadly meteor showers, subzero temperatures, and a mysterious “Mars virus,” these intrepid explorers are on their way to the most incredible and shocking discovery of all.”

 

My Take on Book Reviews

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Part of what I do here is review books. I read them, then I review them, and move on to the next one. HOWEVER…when I write the review I take some things into account. Things like: Was I entertained/informed; was it worth my time/worth your time to read; would I recommend it to someone I love (wife, sister, really close friends) because if I cannot recommend it to any of them, I most definitely cannot recommend it to you. One other aspect of my reviews is the personal element. It is a quick blurb at the beginning that tells you a bit about myself, my interests, and what drew me to the book. One other aspect is what I call the Guy Fieri rule…on his show “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives” he said in a behind the scenes show “you will never see me eat something on air that I did not like”.  For the most part, I do not post negative reviews unless I feel very strongly about it that I think you need to hear about it.

Why am I telling you this?

As a reader, I will also look at reviews just to see what someone’s take on the book was. As a rule, I make up my own mind if I am going to plunk down money for the book, but there are some times, especially with an author I am not familiar with, that I will look to see if it is worth my time.

What really frosts my onions is the one star review with nothing about why it rated only one star, or worse it is two people having a little chat on the authors book that has absolutely nothing to do with the book! One of the worst ransomething like this:

1234: Hey boo

5678: Hey

1234: Wanna hook up?

5678: Nah. Ain’t feelin it today.

And it went on and on for sixteen one starred reviews on this authors book. SIXTEEN REVIEWS OF NOTHING BUT THIS DRIBBLE!!!!!

What you should know as the reader/possible reviewer is that the authors depend on these reviews. They are a selling point for their book. Someone other than the author is tell you why you should or should not read the book. A bad review will kill book sales quicker than food poisoning at a restaurant.

Be constructive, not destructive with your reviews.

Find something good about the book. If you cannot and feel that we can really benefit from what you think, THEN and ONLY THEN, post the review.

Remember, authors are people too. They spend a good part of their lives pouring their soul into their work. Believe it or not, they do have feelings. If nothing else, please be kind. I need them to continue their work!

The Ninetoes Book of the Week 05/12-18/2019

The Pale Blue Eye: A Novel

Louis Bayard’s The Pale Blue Eye is my choice for book of the week this week. This time, he turns his talented eye towards a young West Point cadet, Edgar Allen Poe. I will admit i have not read this…YET, but it is in my tbr pile.

At West Point Academy in 1830, the calm of an October evening is shattered by the discovery of a young cadet’s body swinging from a rope. The next morning, an even greater horror comes to light. Someone has removed the dead man’s heart. Augustus Landor—who acquired some renown in his years as a New York City police detective—is called in to discreetly investigate. It’s a baffling case Landor must pursue in secret, for the scandal could do irreparable damage to the fledgling institution. But he finds help from an unexpected ally—a moody, young cadet with a penchant for drink, two volumes of poetry to his name, and a murky past that changes from telling to telling. The strange and haunted Southern poet for whom Landor develops a fatherly affection, is named Edgar Allan Poe.

The Pale Blue Eye can be found in e-book as well as physical form wherever books are sold.

Your Friday Fun Read 05/10/2019

Your Friday Fun Read for 05/10/2019 is the graphic novel, Star Wars: Darth Vader (hardcover). It is 296 pages of our favorite bad guy, Darth Vader, in all of his dark side glory.

“Fresh from a stinging defeat at the hands of the Rebel Alliance, Darth Vader must rise again to reassert the Empire’s iron grip on the galaxy. But will his personal desire for vengeance against the young Jedi who destroyed the Death Star distract from Vader’s duty to the Emperor? As a fateful quest begins, the Dark Lord of the Sith will face a fresh threat to his power. And as other villains old and new play their parts-from Boba Fett and Jabba the Hutt to diabolical debutant Aphra, as well as the killer droids Triple Zero and BeeTee-how long until Vader’s dangerous alliances blow up in his face? Join Darth Vader and feel the power of the dark side!”

100 Fathoms Below

100 Fathoms Below

TITLE: 100 Fathoms Below

AUTHOR: Steven L. Kent and Nicholas Kaufman

GENRE: Horror

Pages 244

When I was a kid, I was totally engrossed with Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. The whole idea od submarines got into my blood. THEN Tom Clancy hit the scene with The Hunt for Red October, and let me tell you, my love for a good submarine story was cemented.

Why mention these two great submarine tales? Well, Steven L. Kent and Nicholas Kaufman has brought us a submarine tale that needs some recognition.

100 Fathoms Below takes us back to the year 1983. The Cold War was in full swing, and we were constantly on the lookout for an edge over the Soviets. That is where the USS Roanoake comes in. The crew is tasked with going into Soviet water to discover if the Soviet navy has developed a new submarine. As the sub goes underway, something else boards that is evil, hates lights and mirrors, and is taking the crew out one by one.

If Stephen King and Tom Clancy had an affair, this book would be their love child. It is fast paced, and the kind of book that dims the lights around you as you read it. It is perfect for fans of military thrillers as well as horror. It can easily be read over a lazy weekend or a rainy night.

5 out of 5 bookmarks.

Introducing Snorri Kristjansson

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-What is your name?

My name is Snorri Kristjansson.

-What genre do you write in?

I reckon we can possibly call it Historical Fantasy? I dunno. Stuff with Vikings and some historical detail in it and a little bit of magic but the kind that Vikings would have considered science.

-What drew you to this genre?

Tolkien, Pratchett, Feist, Abercrombie, Jordan, Hobb, Martin and the fact that Vikings are awesome.

-What book(s) have you written?

The Valhalla Saga (Swords of Good Men, Blood Will Follow and Path of Gods) and the Helga Finnsdottir Mysteries (Kin and Council)

-What is your current release?

Kin, out in paperback, and Council, out in hardback on May 17th.

-How much research went into that book?

Eh. I dunno. Seven? A kilo? Three litres of research. One giraffe’s worth. Research is, for me, not the main thing. I tend to approach it in a needs must sort of way – if something has to happen in a story and I don’t know how the Vikings did it I look it up. It is probably easiest to describe my process by the fact that it has taken me ages to have my characters stop eating potatoes.

-What was the hardest part of writing that book?

The potatoes. A close second is writing from the viewpoint of a 22-year old woman in the Viking world, but hey – challenges are fun. And by fun, I mean panic-sweat-inducing. Let the record show I tried my best.

-Is this work part of a series?

Yes! At the moment, there are two. There might be more.

– Where can your book(s) be found?

Online retailers of various repute. Waterstones. Goldsboro books. A charity shop in Linlithgow (although they may have sold their copy of Blood Will Follow by now)

-Reading time is valuable. Sell me on your book.

That sounds a little bit like human trafficking to me and that is morally dubious at best, and downright reprehensible if done on a book.  I dunno. Do you like Vikings, beards and swearing? Then read Swords of Good Men. Would you like a Viking Murder Mystery full of badass women in it? Read Kin.

Swords of Good Men (The Valhalla Saga Book 1)Blood Will Follow (The Valhalla Saga Book 2)Path of Gods (Valhalla Saga)Kin (The Helga Finnsdottir Mysteries)