Tag: Book Reviews

How I Turned An Insult Into My First Blogging Goal

Has anybody ever hurled an unnecessary insult at you making you feel a bit upset?

Well, that’s what happened to me yesterday. Perhaps it wasn’t meant as an insult and was just a jest. It is understandable though, I did leave a comment on the blog post trying to be entertaining, but perhaps not everyone shares my sense of amusement. Regardless, it got me fired up. In fact, it annoyed me so much that I went on the search to see who he was and what his writing was all about. Low and behold, the guy was a professional blogger. Just like that, my dreams crushed that he wasn’t just a know-it-all rookie.

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To my disappointment, it turns out that he was a blogger about blogging. Not only was the blogger a blogger about blogging, but I also found out that he was rather good at it. A ton of great information on his site about the do’s and don’ts about blogging. How to blog, how to get traffic, how to make kick-ass subjects, etc. I was actually impressed and said, damn this guy is good.

He had followers in the 100 of thousands, and not sure how many posts. I’m sure he has been around for a long time and worked a hard time getting to where he is today, and it sure looked like his effort paid off.

I could have left then, but I did myself a favour and stayed on his site and read.

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After scrolling through a bunch of posts, I came across one that caught my eye. It was a bit like a self-help post. Not too many people know that I am into self-help books. I’ve read my share of the goods and the bads. People like Tony Robbins, Steven Covey, Napoleon Hill, and Mark Manson just to name a few.

So what did this post have to say?

Basically, the message was to make things happen; you need to set goals and do hard work.

Of course, I knew that already, after all, I read the books right?

But why did the post excite me? It’s because I forgot about the goals, and this post reminded me. This man who, I felt, hurt my feelings, reminded me about goals.

A few minutes ago I was mad, now I wanted to make goals. I don’t get how my mind works sometimes, but I do know how to set goals.

4 Standard Steps In Making Goals.

1. Write out your goal
2. Decide when you want to complete this goal by
3. Break the goal into steps to accomplish
4. Start working on the first step

Two additional pieces of information I took away from his post was.

1. Blogging was hard
2. Most people give up

He was exactly right. I am the first person to admit that I am always trying new things and after a short while I give up on them. Not really because they are hard, but that I lose interest.

Do I want to give up?

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I’m not going to lie, the thought did cross my mind yesterday morning in crazy morning thinking. Then I read that post. Then I asked myself, was it a sign, or was it just luck that I stumbled across something that resonated with books that I’ve read before.

I am going to take it as both.

The question is though, how do I improve? How can possibly offer something of value to you? It’s only a blog about books right?

The first thought I thought, there is no way. Yes, I know, my self-defeatest attitude rides again. Then I contemplated it for a bit, and realize there are so many ways that I can take this place.

I’m going to take a look at what I feel could be an issue that I could fix. My content on my blog. Not in regards to quality, but of quantity.

In the last two weeks, I did three posts in two weeks. As I checked out some of the more prominent bloggers, I noticed that they wrote posts several times a week.

Does that actually work? I honestly have no idea, because some other sites only have one new post a week.

So using the formula up above here’s my goal for the next two weeks.

1. Write at least 5 blog posts a week
2. March 30th, 2019
3. Write one post at a time
4. Start making blog posts

And that is how I turned a frown upside down and set my first goal for this blog.

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Photo by Lukas on Pexels.com

Now, if you made it this far, let me know what goals you have set for yourself?

 

Fan of Horror? Read Paradise, Maine by Jackson R. Thomas

Welcome to Paradise! Paradise I said! Where it’s blue skies! Clear waters! The peace and quiet of solitude! Zen and happiness at it’s best!

paradiseIsn’t it amazing how a good getaway is mind relaxing? How a trip into Paradise does a person some good. Not to mention your marriage after you tremendously messed up. Breath in, breath out.

Everything you ever wanted in a getaway and Jackson R. Thomas brings all those aspects of paradise alive with a nasty twist! Maybe an ugly twist is an understatement?

So, what precisely is this book about? A man by the name of Darren and his wife Vanis are having a difficult time with their marriage. (No, I’m not going to say what the issue is, that would be a spoiler, my friends!) Feeling like a dirtbag and realizing this Darren hears a radio commercial on a getaway to Paradise, Maine. Sounding too good to be true!

He picks up the phone and easy as that, he and his wife are off for the getaway of their lives!

When I started to read this book, I read the warnings. I said what? Warnings for a book? The text said, “For mature audiences only.” I thought to myself. Ok, I’m old, I can read this. Next came, “This is a splatterpunk novel.” What’s splatterpunk? This is my first voyage into the world of the splattering punks? (Is that even a real thing?) Finally, it said, “There will be carnage, blood, and scenes you may not be able to handle.” Ah, that’s easy.

I read the prologue, and it was like a scene out of a Friday the 13th movie. Sliced and

dice and everything nice! I blinked, and my anticipation grew. I was liking where this was going. Thank goodness I didn’t put the book down, the rest of the story just got better.

But once chapter one started, it was back to an ordinary story. Then into chapter two

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everything seemed somewhat typical for a book that dealt with a dysfunctional marriage. So I thought then, that was it, and the rest of the story was going to be a beautiful time in paradise!

But, guess what? I was wrong. You see, Jackson is a great storyteller and does an exceptional job of relaxing you into The feeling of paradise, and just when you get comfortable, Darren and Vanis are all having a good time, he introduces The Watcher on you in chapter 3! Who’s The Watcher? That’s not for me to say, but I’m pretty sure he’s the head of the welcoming committee in Paradise. Believe me? I wouldn’t, it’s a horror book remember?

So my thoughts about the book.

I never read a splatterpunk book before. So this book was a treat for being my first time. Mr. Thomas does a magnificent job making the reader feel uncomfortable in more scenes than one. I tried to tell my wife about the storyline, and she told me to shut my mouth, and that was that. It was way out of her comfort zone apparently. I wasn’t allowed to talk about it again. I didn’t mention it to her anymore, but I kept on reading. I so wanted to share what was happening in the book, but she couldn’t handle it!

Why did I keep on reading? I am a huge horror fan and kept on reading like a champ.

I’ve already talked about the plot, that the book is a horror fan’s dream, and this novel isn’t for the squeamish. I haven’t talked about the characters.

Jackson put you right into the thick of things when introducing characters and letting you know what they are all about. They were really well created and well thought through. Not at all two-dimensional. You got a pretty good feeling about who was naughty or nice, evil or angelic, and trustworthy and untrustful. I like that with characters when you can really feel what they are all about.

The supporting characters were just as good as the main characters, especially the little Mary.

By now, you can tell how I liked the book. I thought it was great! Overall I really enjoyed it. All blood and guts put aside, it was an entertaining read.

My recommendation. Take the warning at the beginning into consideration. The book is brutal. It’s scary, has a lot of blood, and copulation (trying to keep it clean) in it. If you are a splatterpunk or horror fan, you can’t go wrong this book. It is skillfully written and designed to disturb you in more ways than one.

 

Well done Mr. Jackson, well done!

Here’s Why I Read Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel

I have to give thumbs up to Sylvain Neuvel for writing such an astonishing novel. It is the first installment in his series called The Themis Files. I haven’t had a chance to read the other parts of the trilogy, but I am one hundred percent certain that I am going to.

sleepinggiantsThe story originates with a little girl by the name of Rose Franklin. Who at the time is 11 years old. Her parents are throwing her a birthday party where they have invited a bunch of other kids. Although Rose welcomes the effort her parents had made, she can’t get the thoughts of her brand new bike out of her head. A brand new bike that her father purchased her for her birthday today.

She goes through the motions of opening her presents, blowing out candles, and smiling. She can’t shake the thought of her bike out of her head and how much she wants to ride it. Eventually, she decides to sneak out of the party and go out for a ride on her new bike. She pedals as fast as she can and heads up to the end of the road where the woods are.

She spends some time there, and when it starts to get dark, she decides to make her way back home. Not paying attention she eventually falls in a perfectly square hole in the ground.

Rose sees that the walls of the hole are glowing and she runs her hands over them as she lays there. Unknown to Rose she is not on the ground but in the palm of a large metal hand.

The rest of the story is broken up by chapters in the form of interviews. The interviews

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Image Provide – Pixabay

are discussions between a mystery man and a group of people that form up a secret team that work on the cracking the mystery of the giant’s hand. This team is head by none other but Rose Franklin herself! I found that this was an excellent way of breaking up the story.

The way the interviews are done helps pull out information about the story, the past of the characters, and their current feelings about their lives, others on the team, and most importantly the project. There is no way you don’t know one character is hurting inside, another who isn’t sad inside, or one is in love.

The book itself was a perfect size for me. It took me around a week to read. Just like I like it. Just long enough so I don’t get bored with the story.

If there were anything that I would change about this book, it would probably be that I would write in some chapters that were not in the form of interviews. I’m pretty sure that would defeat the format the author was trying to make of building the whole story out of discussions.

Now to sum this up. I found this book fresh, a new idea of what ifs, and easy to read. If I had to recommend this book to a specific type of person, I would have to say that I would recommend it to somebody who likes that feels real with just the right amount of Sify in it.

Insular – A Short Story

Insular – Written by Jamie Stewart

I got to ask you, what if your name was something amazing like Earl? What if you liked and took pride in your job? What if you worked with a new guy who gave you the creeps?

Unfortunately and unlucky for you, your mother didn’t give you the blessing of calling you Earl, and you probably hate your job like the majority of the population. Although you probably do work with a creep, chances are his name isn’t Julian.

On the other hand, today is your lucky day! Jamie Stewart has given you a tale with all of that! This story is about an impressive kid named Earl who took great pride in his job. Pretty much the best on the block. You know, the type of guy who is the manager’s pet! That’s is until he has to train a new trainee. This new guy, well there’s something wrong with him. What do you ask? Well, that will be giving away the story now, wouldn’t it?

So without getting into the plot of this story let me tell you what I liked and didn’t like about it.

First off I liked it because it was a short read. I usually read novels that are a lot bigger. Make sense seeing that this is a short story. So reading this was a real treat for me. Second, the author did a great job of telling the story. There was a great intro that quickly got down to business.

The most remembered thing, for me at least, is how the description of the job brought back feelings of when I worked in retail. The thankless managers that fed you the lines of how good of a job you were doing just so you would do more work. It made me feel dirty, and not in a good way. It brought back memories of those thankless retail days. The days when you went to work with a sick feeling in the pit of your stomach. That’s what made the feeling of the book so great. Mission accomplished by the author, intentionally or unintentionally.

With that out of the way. Here’s the bad. I didn’t really find anything that stood out as being bad in the story. I did find a few words that I thought were spelling mistakes and it got me flipping out a bit. Realize was written as realise. After Mr. Google explained it, it all depends on your location. I felt a bit stupid about that, but I’m happy that I got it figured out. It makes me feel a lot better about the story.
Now to wrap this all up. I would suggest this story for the reader who wants a quick read that wants to have the feeling of oh no. I found the story pretty suspenseful considering the length of it. If I had to describe the stories style, I would say it would have to be the feeling of Stephen King telling you about the time when he worked in retail.