Monday, June 21, 2021
A short time ago Amazon.com offered a copy of Lying for free and, as you know, I do love things that are free.
Today I read the essay. At the end I felt that Harris had taken all the thoughts I'd every had about truth and untruth and found a way to connect them all in a coherent manner. It did not take long to read. It was written in a comfortable, conversational way.
Most helpful was his definition of truth: The intent to communicate honestly is the measure of truthfulness.
This essay is available at https://book.enjoy-lifestyle.us/?book=1940051002&sid=fullbook if you would like to read it. It is truly worth the time.
Thursday, June 17, 2021
Monday, June 14, 2021
I read a lot of book reviews and think perhaps I should be writing my reviews more like them . . . you know a blurb about the book and then a blurb about the author and then finally my opinion . . . but you can find all that easily enough if you decide you want to buy the book or get it from your local library . . .
I think I will just stick to writing about what I find interesting and hope that some of you will be interested to.
Tangled Ashes is a very interesting book. I say that in the best possible sense. It is full of very interesting and complex characters. Some of them are pretty damaged but you will still root for them throughout the book in hopes they will find redemption, resolution or peace. I particularly liked that every time I thought I had figured out all the mysteries Ms. Phoenix would throw in another angle. Good going! I had no choice but to keep reading just to figure everything out. Some of the curve balls I definitely didn't see coming.
What's the book about? Architect Marshall Becker arrives in France with the job of renovating an old castle after some serious pushing from his friend slash business partner who hopes that getting away would help Becker get a grip on his personal issues. The book is also about the castle itself, It was used for some rather nefarious purposes by the Germans in World War II and the results of this use have come back to haunt the castle, not in the ghostly sense but in the sense that this is where a resolution needs to be found for some of the victims.
There is a lot of drama and great characters and mysteries in this book and it is definitely a good read. If I could find one flaw it would be that the writing lacks a sophistication which I am sure the author will develop with time and experience.
Monday, June 7, 2021
The River: A Novel by Michael Neale is a good story with a heart-warming ending.
Gabriel Clark is traumatized as a child when he witnesses his father's death while trying to save someone drowning in the river. The river he had always loved was now his enemy and he is happy to move away to live with his mother. He grows up distant and timid, not quite fitting in. Even though he does have some close relationships, he is never totally able to trust and share with anyone.
Excellent writing and easy to read. For me, the best part about the writing was that Gabriel’s story came out gradually and in a realistic way. You don’t learn about a person in a few minutes. It takes time. Neale takes that time.
As an adult Gabriel goes on a camping trip and ends up back by the river. He feels the pull of the river even as he fears it. An opportunity is offered and he learns to love the river and forgive it. He realizes he was made for the river . . .
Monday, May 31, 2021
From the back cover of this outrageously funny book:
Author Ira Spector played poker for years with an artificial turkey inseminator, and had after-tennis "prayer meetings" with his pals where they screamed and shouted at each other and solved all the worlds problems in one hour. He was slowly infected with an itch to document the most memorable episodes in the jar of jelly beans that has been his life.
He chronicles his story in seventy-one essays and poems which are frank and at times outrageous. His eventful and unusual romps through six continents and eighty one countries, the diversity of his career and the characters he met are amply described in this rich narrative.
He talks about:
- Losing his virginity in a whore house in pre-Castro Havana
- Barely avoiding a mid-air collision when another airplane flew through his four plane formation.
- An atheist says a Jewish prayer for the dead with his hand on one of the one hundred skulls wall mounted in a Cambodian prison.
- The very first piece of art work he ever did-a 24' X 6' sand cast mural for a major department store.
This enticing memoir is a journey through the exciting highs and memorable adventures encountered in one hell of a lifetime.
Spector has a really enjoyable writing style and I had trouble putting this book down. In fact, there was more than one occasion when I burst out laughing. Since I read late at night, you can imagine how startled Hal was. If I had to pick a favourite story it would have to be about the adventures of Sammy. If you want to know what happened to poor ol' Sammy you will have to buy this book. The story that made me cry the most was about Spector's visit to a Cambodian prison.
Spector is great at bringing his characters to life, making them dimensional and real to the reader. His stories show insight into the world and the people in it. If I could think of criticism it would be the fact that Ira himself often remains enigmatic.
The author has won three honorable mention awards for some of the 66 stories in the memoir, two international contests, and had three stories and one poem published in online publications. His poem, A Senior's Tennis Lament, has been printed in Tennis View magazine.
This is a great read.