Monday, July 29, 2013

The Last Testament, A Memoir by God

So....God is a psychopath. And a narcissist. And a sadist. And, well, just an all around asshole.

That's my takeaway from this book.

At this point, I should probably give my disclaimer, but I'm not going to. I feel like you've got the idea from the first line. And the book's title.

Look. The book has it's funny bits, but frankly, it's just too long to stay funny. The last 75 pages is just the original Revelations next to the "revised" version. It was definitely funnier to start, though it did tend to be a bit cynical at times. Maybe even mean spirited.

An example of a good part is when "Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind," is explained to mean that you shouldn't cut off a man's genitals, use a knife to carve a slit where they were, and insert your penis so you can "lie" with him as a woman.

Oh, and God did create Adam and Steve, he just changed his name to Eve post-op.

But the only thing I can say I really loved for it's value, and not it's sarcasm or humor, was almost at the end, where it says, "Blessed are they that make a reasonable attempt at abiding by as many of my (Jesus') teachings as possible, whether or not they believe in my divinity..."

And I'm going to stop there. I can quote things, or give chapters (the ones on America are pretty good), but that's about it. There aren't any characters or plot to dissect. So, final verdict: Not bad, but too long.

The Last Testament, A Memoir by God

Reading Keeps You Sharp

I know it's been a while - I'm working on it! But here's some book news to tide you over. Looks like reading may be an addiction that has some benefits...

July 3, 2013

Being a Lifelong Bookworm May Keep You Sharp in Old Age

Reading, an activity that stimulates mental processes, can help preserve memory skills as we grow older. Photo by Flickr user Spirit-Fire
To keep their bodies running at peak performance, people often hit the gym, pounding away at the treadmill to strengthen muscles and build endurance. This dedication has enormous benefitsbeing in shape now means warding off a host of diseases when you get older. But does the brain work in the same way? That is, can doing mental exercises help your mind stay just as sharp in old age?
Experts say it’s possible. As a corollary to working out, people have begun joining brain gyms to flex their mental muscles. For a monthly fee of around $15, websites like and promise to enhance memory, attention and other mental processes through a series of games and brain teasers. Such ready-made mind exercises are an alluring route for people who worry about their ticking clock. But there’s no need to slap down the money right away—new research suggests the secret to preserving mental agility may lie in simply cracking open a book.

Click the link below for the whole article:

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Thursday, July 11, 2013

Stormlord's Exile, Glenda Larke

I feel like I should really title this "Ode to Fantasy Fiction." I think I'm a fairly eclectic reader,  generally speaking. Maybe, with the common thread of something different, something not easy to figure out. I like to be surprised. I mean, it's fine to know that everything is going to work out in the end, but that's just common sense. I feel like this book is a really good example about what fantasy fiction can really bring to the table.

It's kind of...coincidental that I picked this book after finishing Unholy Night. In that review, I tried to focus more on matters of faith than religion. That's not going to be possible in this one. So, I'll repeat my disclaimers: 

1)      If you are hyper religious, and find any negative portrayal of religion bad or blasphemous, don't bother with this book or review. You'll probably just be unhappy.

2)      If you are hyper non-religious, and don't see the point in discussing religion you may want to stop reading this review here. I'm going to go into the thoughts religion, which you may not enjoy.

See, one of my favorite things about the fantasy genre is it's ability to criticize society without pissing anyone off because the people/places/things they criticize aren't real. How can you get pissed they're criticizing a religion/politics that don't exist? This book does that and more.

OK, confession time: I don't really remember the first 2 books in the Watergivers trilogy. I vaguely remember them, broad strokes, but the details? Nope. Not really. But I've got enough to sketch out the world for you.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Unholy Night, Seth Grahame-Smith

This book is the tale of the three wise men, as imagined by the author of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (which was excellent, BTW - way better than the movie.).

As this book involves some religious figures, and that can be a touchy subject, I should start with 2 disclaimers:

1)      If you are hyper religious, and find any fictional portrayal of Christian figures as bad or blasphemous, don't bother with this book or review. You'll just be unhappy.

2)      If you are hyper non-religious, and don't see the point in discussing religion you may want to stop reading this review here. You may enjoy the book as a straight work of fiction, but I am going to go into thoughts on the religion it touches on, which you may not enjoy.

OK, so, the book is not about Jesus. Or Mary and Joseph. Well, maybe the holy couple a little. Sure, the holy family is in it, but it's not about them. The main character is a thief named Balthazar. He's more the kind of guy who might follow disclaimer number 2. He's murdered, he's stolen, he has no remorse, and certainly no faith. We meet him as he's riding across the desert attempting to evade the Judean soldiers chasing him. He's stolen from the governor of a nearby town.

He doesn't make it. 

WWZ Follow-Up

Happy belated Independence Day!

I know this is a book blog, not a movie blog, but since I saw the WWZ movie on the 4th, I wanted to write a follow up comparing it with the book.

As I said in my book review, there's no way the movie could possibly follow the book, so I had high hopes. And they were not misplaced. The movie was really excellent. I recommend it.

For one thing, it wasn't really gory – a rarity among the zombie genre and a breath of fresh air. This also opens it up to a wider audience of those who don't go for the gross-out aspect of most zombie movies. They do such a great job of making the zombies terrifying, but not gory. Even attacks aren't really bloody. The zombies are fast (love that!) and animalistic. They also stay true to the book's idea the zombies use sound to track prey. And that the moans (bordering on screams in the movie) are used to communicate between them, signaling the presence of prey.