Archive for March, 2009

City of God

Sunday, March 29th, 2009

City of God by Beverly Swirling takes you back to the 1800’s. It makes history of New York City fascinating and believable by intertwining the characters’ stories with real facts about New York in its early days. However, some characters are almost unbelievable, e.g., Carolina evolves from a very shy, ignorant of basic health and sex issues, young wife, totally intimidated by her husband to a vibrant, daring for the times woman who chooses a live-in liaison with her lover, bears more children and becomes a fantastic businesswoman (in the 1800’s????) and a leader in the underground slave rescue.

The dangers and great profit from drug activity, here it’s opium, are very well described. The main character, Carolina’s first husband, Sam Devrey, succumbs to opium and leaves his Chinese wife and child without protection in a very dangerous city. Carolina takes over their rescue. She is a most extraordinary woman of her day. I find it unbelievable. The jewish immigrant families are well portrayed, as is the Catholic nuns, schools and hospitals. I found Mei Lin, the only child of Mei-hua and Devrey, most believable, and admirable.

It was a bit depressing to read of the hardships and difficulties in the times portrayed in the book, but still a most exciting and enjoyable conclusion.

Breaking Dawn

Tuesday, March 24th, 2009

Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meye is the fourth book and conclusion of the Twilight series. This fantasy continues the theme of love conquering even the most evil and base inclinations of vampires. The author is remarkably imaginative. They way she portrays the vampire personalities, quirks and achievements are unique. She makes sure the traits are believable and the characters all have different and unusual stories to lend to the vampire family. Then she goes farther and creates a believable set of werewolves to counter the vampire presence. In the midst of all this fantasy is the main character, Bella, a lovely, intelligent, clumsy girl, a product of a divorced, detached family that enables her to step into the vampire family as well. this final book portrays the wedding and subsequent birth of a daughter, as well as the transformation of Bella into a vampire with protective, extraordinary skills. In concludes with Bella saving her extended family from the wrath of the other vampires by her power and leaves the reader wondering if subsequent books will follow the unusual daughter of the vampire father and human monther.

I found enchanting the true love depicted in this story of strange creatures in this fantasy world. Joan Badie

Act Like a Lady-Think Like a Man by Steve Harvey

Thursday, March 12th, 2009

Steve Harvey provides a hip overview of what makes modern man tick.  I planned to recount some of the insightful tips in this review but now believe it will be more helpful to those interested in the topic to share the 160 Amazon reviews posted online. 

The author has a knack for grounding his reasoning in real world analogies.  I am particularly fond of the fishing examples and subsequent discussion. 

The majority of the book is specific to adult male/ female relating.  I find an exception in the following paragraph which rings true in a broader sense across the general population: “Start putting yourself first – get where you want to be, and make your man be all that he can be.  Remember this:  the number one cause of failure in this country is the fear of failure.  Fear paralyzes you from taking action.  Don’t be afraid to lose him, because if a man truly loves you, he’s not going anywhere.” 

I recommend the book highly especially to those seeking to move forward into a long lasting relationship with a member of the opposite sex.

Fantasy is just make-believe

Wednesday, March 11th, 2009

“Fantasy – The definition of this fictional genre could be described as something that contains rudiments that are not realistic, such as magical powers, talking animals, etc. Fantasy is often characterized by a departure from the accepted rules by which individuals perceive the world around them; it represents that which is impossible (unexplained) and outside the parameters of our known, reality. Make-believe is what this genre is all about. ” is simple yet cleverly designed.  There is a serendipity to browsing the author selections.  The basic genre descriptions are helpful if you are thinking about broadening the type of books you read.

Is it make-believe to think that moving fantasy stories are only found in books?