Book Reviews

  • December 14, 2016

    Inside WikiLeaks Book Review

  • I spend a lot of time traveling either by car, plane or other means and audiobooks to me are a great way for me to get in my reading. I have the one book a month Audible subscription that works out great for 15 dollars a month. You can get audiobooks from places like library and Cracker Barrel if you’re interested. I have listened to more than 3 audiobooks this year but these are my top three of 2016. The Shining Written by: Stephen King Narrated By: Campbell Scott Description: Danny was only five years old but in the words of old Mr Halloran he was a ‘shiner’, aglow with psychic voltage. When his father became caretaker of the Overlook Hotel his visions grew frighteningly out of control.  As winter closed in and blizzards cut them off, the hotel seemed to develop a life of its own. It was meant to be empty, but who was the lady in Room 217, and who were the masked guests going up and down in the elevator? And why did the hedges shaped like animals seem so alive? Somewhere, somehow there was an evil force in the hotel – and that too had begun to shine… My Take: Despite seeing the movie which has little to no resemblance to the book. I found the book very entertaining with very too little action. The book kept my interest but did drag at points. I am glad I spent the 15 hours listening and it was a great way to make my plane ride go fast. Would I say it’s the best Stephen King I have ever listened to definably not but Campbell Scott does a great job narrating and bringing you into the story. Would I recommend it to someone else? I most defiantly would...
  • I started reading the Jessica Jones series in preparation for the Netflix series AKA Jessica Jones. The Pulse the complete collection covers Marvel comics The Pulse number 1-9 then 11-14 and The New Avengers Annual 1. Jessica Jones is the breakout star of Brian Michael Bendis’ hit series Alias. She is an ex-super hero-turned-private investigator and is starting a new chapter in her life working for the Daily Bugle’s new super hero section, The Pulse! Jessica’s first assignment is to uncover the identity of a former Bugle reporter’s super-powered murderer. We find out that Normal Osborn is involved and we get to see Spiderman hard at work trying to help Jessica with finding the killer. We find out in the first few pages of the series that Jessica is pregnant with Luke’s baby and that carries threw the entire series using the pregnancy as time line marker to show gaps in time this was a good idea by the author. One thing I did notice is that with Jessica Jones a lot of her stories center around other characters in the Marvel Universe they seem to use her series as a way to tie in different groups like SHEILD and the Fantastic Four. They used Jessica Jones to tie in Wolverine into the Avengers along with Luke Cage and Daredevil. Yes she is the main character but she has many big name Marvel character star powers in her series. This is just an observation Jessica Jones can handle her own being a former SHEILD agent. We only get to see her use her powers a few times in the entire series. Nick Fury’s Secret War spills over into the streets and it hits Jessica and Luke Cage right where they live and destroys there home. Luke is injured and taken to...
  • November 1, 2016

    A Very Private Gentleman Book Review

    Anyone who has seen The American with George Clooney will not recognize this book. The opposite is also true. They are very different. The book is literate the movie is entertaining unless you like car crashes and piles of bodies dripping gore in which case you will be bored . I have to say after watching The American I wanted to read this book. Half way through there were a few high spots but I am not going to lie I was bored. The book is basically a biography told by the character examines where he lives how he lives and what he does to survive. The main character and occupation are revealed in bits and pieces, slowly, almost like creating a mosaic or jigsaw, although, as he repeatedly states, much of it may be untrue in order to hide his location and identity. That way the story tells the characters history even though technically “nothing” happens in the book we find out about his love for butterflies and his let’s say, morally-questionable career. The novel is a beautifully-written insight into his philosophy and thinking, and, indeed, his whole way of life. The novel is one man looking back on his life but also the story of a man falling in love with this part of Italy, as much as the young woman he meets there. I found the main character tiresome, especially all the nonsense about how he cannot divulge anything personal because then we could find him. At points I was “Ok Mr. Butterfly. You are a dangerous, careful man, with many secrets. You’re kind of cool. But let’s move it along, shall we? Enough with the melodrama about your importance to history & the scenic tours of rural Italy. “ I found the book rather dull, and...
  • After reading the first several books of the New Jedi Order I found myself looking for a book more epic in scope, similar to Timothy Zahn’s first trilogy and the first book of the series, Vector Prime. I enjoyed the book but story did have its slow points as any book does really. This book feels like the third book of a trilogy not the second as a lot of what I felt loose ends were tied up Han and Leia patch things up and the death of Chewbacca is now a quiet ache in both their lives. Anakin explores his relationship with Tahiri, and takes Corran Horn, who went into hiding after the Ithor disaster, along for the ride. Jacen comes to grips with his views on the Force and Luke and a very pregnant Mara are awaiting the birth of their son. Mara’s Yuuzhan Vong disease begins to effect her again, they are forced to flee Coruscant to avoid arrest. Anakin, Tahiri, and Corran go on what should be a simple supply run for the Errant Venture, but run into the Peace Brigade and must flee into hyperspace. Kyp convinces Jaina and Rogue Squadron to help him destroy a new Vong superweapon located at Sernpidal. Han, Leia, and Jacen are on a mission to set up a system to bring people and information out of occupied territory. And meanwhile, among the Yuuzhan Vong, Nem Yim continues her heresy. In my opinion, this was one of the best books from the New Jedi Order series. I especially enjoyed reading about Luke, Mara, and their child, and Anakin and Tahiri’s growing romance was very cute. I recommend this book to all Star Wars fans.
  • The Black Echo is the first book from the Harry Bosch series written by Michael Connelly. The book follows Hollywood homicide detective Harry Bosch threw a murder mystery after the body of a Vietnam War veteran is discovered in a storm tunnel. Bosch recognizes the guy as an old war buddy who had worked with him in the tunnel system during the war. While on the trail of the killer Bosch discovers his friend’s death is linked to a series of bank robberies involving Vietnam tunnel rats as they’re called.  Bosch finally gets a lead from a witness but when the witness turns up dead Bosch realizes there must be a leak in the FBI and must find out how deep this goes in the bureau. Bosch himself is under investigation from internal affairs for being too close to his last case. When Bosch finally gets a lead at half way house for war veterans he is able to ID the two other men involved in the bank robberies but what he does not realize is there just pawns in the grand scheme of things. After a long night of stake out with Bosch’s FBI liaison the two internal affair agents make a mistake that causes a bloody shoot out killing several people. Bosch using his skills from the war chases the men down threw a tunnel system and finally finds out who is behind this entire robbery and homicide case. Michael Connelly does a great job in this book of describing Hollywood and the surrounding area you are really able to get a feel for the surroundings. Everything is well explained I am not an expert in police lingo but the author does a great job of explaining everything so you do not get lost in the conversation or...
  • I enjoyed Sinner’s Creed by Scott Stapp. I found the book well written and informative. I was a big Creed fan in my teens in the late 90’s the buzz around them was amazing. In the late 90’s and early 2000’s if you did not know who Creed was you were living under a rock. The book dives deep into Scott Stapp’s past with a religious step father who was hard on him and a biological father that never wanted much to do with him after age of nine. Scott Stapp really digs into his strict religious upbringing and the pros and cons of that life style. Stapp then digs into his teens and running away from home and starting the band Creed. He goes into detail of how everyone in the band met and got their start for the night seen in Florida to getting a contract with Wind up Records. Stapp then digs into his career and touring with the band and how and why his drug and alcohol issues got started and progressed. He then goes into the lyrics of every one of Creed’s songs and what they mean to him. He talks about music video shoots, recording and music writing everything you would expect from a book written by a rock star. Scott Stapp really lets us into his personal life talking about his first wife, his son then his second wife and their children. He goes deep into his religion and how he is raising his children comparing to how he was raised. Scott Stapp writes about his issues with his band mates and some of the lineup changes over the years and the break up and reunion of Creed. He then gets into his solo career and what making music by himself means to...
  • Digital Fortress by Dan Brown is a tech heavy thriller published in 1998 St. Martin’s Press. The book centers around a super computer called TRANSLTR. TRANSLTR owned and invented by The National Security Agency is a code-breaking supercomputer written to decrypt computer algorithms and codes. Commander Trevor Strathmore calls in head cryptographer Susan Fletcher a brilliant and beautiful mathematician to work on an unbreakable algorithm written by former employee Ensei Tankado who was let go on bad terms. Meanwhile Susan Fletcher’s boyfriend is set on a chase to find a ring that has the key to the unbreakable algorithm which was given away before Ensei Tankado death. The book is pretty intense and keeps your interest most of the times being a tech person I found it interesting as they really get into the nuts and bolts of computer security, digital signatures, code breaking and mathematics. Despite the characters being all over the world and all the technical information the book is really easy to read and follow. I am not a huge fan of Dan Brown’s books but the story was great and at times he made it entertaining. It’s hard to make someone sitting at a workstation and programming a computer engaging in book format but Dan Brown does a good job. I gave the book 2 stars only because I do feel the book was well written and entertaining but I found the ending very far fetched. The book was great till the ending and then that’s where I feel it fell apart for me as a reader. Still a good book and worth a read despite being a little dated.
  • September 22, 2016

    Act Now By Kevin Harrington Book Review

    Act Now! : How I Turned Ideas into Million Dollar Products by Kevin Harrington was a great book and I would say a must read for any business owner.  The book was first published in 2009 by HCI publishing. Kevin Harrington is called the king of infomercials and was an investor on hit show Shark Tank for a few seasons. Kevin Harrington was one of the pioneers of the infomercial craze in the 90s helping to bring us great kitchen products in a time back before the internet and ecommerce was a big thing like it is today. Before that he own Franchise America where he sold Franchises and helped small businesses owners get a start working for themselves. Kevin Harrington talks about his younger years in this book and how he got into sales. He talks about his first company a heating business where he sold furnaces for homes door to door and made money to moving onto Franchise America. Kevin Harrington talks about infomercials vs print advertising and how he started his infomercial business and how he chooses products and spokespeople to sell the products on television. Kevin Harrington talks about sales pitches, product ideas and advertising. This was a great book a definite must read for any business person or anyone interested in advertising a business or selling a product. Kevin Harrington goes into so much detail I would describe the book as a business book rather than a biography because of all the great content and information. I gave the book 5 stars because it was great read, well written and very informative. Buy On Amazon
  • August 10, 2016

    Idea Man By Paul Allen

    Idea Man By Paul Allen Idea Man by Paul Allen was a good book published in 2011 by Portfolio publishing. The book goes through Allen’s life from his early year’s right up to when the book was published in 2011. The book talks both about Allen’s business life and personal life and really paints a picture of the kind of thinker he is and innovator. The book starts off talking about Paul Allen’s younger years and his great family. He then talks about his college education and meeting a friend Bill Gates. Paul Allen gets into his love of computers and his love of working with then friend Bill Gates and how they spend hours a day programming. Paul Allen goes into talking about starting a business as two young kids to then changing into Microsoft. Paul Allen talks about Microsoft going from writing programming languages to DOS then to Windows. He then goes into his fall outs with Bill Gates and how he decided to leave Microsoft after everything he had contributed to the company. Paul Allen does dive into his health issues and his struggle with cancer and how he overcame the illness. I found that very inspiring. He goes into his love of music and Jimmy Hendrix his musical ideal. Allen takes us into the struggles of owning his own basketball team and how he dealt with financing the team and there arena. Paul Allen then speaks about how he launch a plane into space and how he loved space and never got a chance to every fly into space but was proud to be a part of the entire thing.  He talks about passions of his and contributions to the medical industry. Allen gives is feelings about the current state of Microsoft and where he would...