Thursday, December 31, 2015

Books I Reviewed in 2012

(Personally I went through quite a few changes in 2012; one being that I began to read books my Sony E-Reader, and then I discovered Goodreads Firstreads where I became blessed with a lot of wonderful reads thus I also began reviewing non-fiction on this blog. Fun fact: I won my Sony E-Reader a year or two ago from 2012 and haven't used it in this whole time. I won it without even trying...)

Turkeys of the Year: (Books I didn't like)

Recommendations of the Year: (Books I loved)

January
People of the Wolf-Michael W Gear, Kathleen O'Neal Gear

Sense and Sensibility-Jane Austen

The curse of the ruby necklace-Francine Pascal

The curse of the golden heart-Francine Pascal

Millicent Min, Girl Genius-Lisa Yee

Weekend-Christopher Pike

The haunted burial ground-Francine Pascal

Slumber Party-Christopher Pike

Burning Tigress-Jade Lee

Master of Murder-Christopher Pike

Brother wind-Sue Harrison

Nothing's fair in fifth grade-Barthe DeClements

Monster-Christopher Pike

Autumn Bridge-Takashi Matsuoka

Stanford Wong Flunks Big Time-Lisa Yee

Just let go-Kathleen O'Reilly

The secret of the magic pen-Francine Pascal

Evil Elizabeth-Francine Pascal

Just give in-Kathleen O'Reilly

Tailspin-Cara Summers

Sexy Silent nights-Cara Summers

The tale of Genji-Murasaki Shikibu

February
Little town on the prairie-Laura Ingalls Wilder

Wuthering Heights-Emily Bronte

Brothers-Da Chen

These happy golden years-Laura Ingalls Wilder

Evelina-Fanny Burney

The hunchback of Notre Dame-VIctor Hugo

The first four years-Laura Ingalls Wilder

The girl from Junchow-Kate Furnivall

March
Mansfield Park-Jane Austen

Ready-made Family-Frances Solomon Murphy

The count of monte cristo-Alexandre Dumas

The Warning Voice-Xueqin Cao

People of the Fire-W Michael Gear and Kathleen O'Neal Gear

A marriage in the making-Natalie Fox

April
The white pearl-Kate Furnivall

The seventh stone-Nancy Freedman

The unicorns go Hawaiian-Francine Pascal

Lila's secret valentine-Francine Pascal

Jessica's secret-Francine Pascal

Elizabeth's first kiss-Francine Pascal

Having the billionaire's baby-Sandra Hyatt

Persuasion-Jane Austen

Fall into darkness-Christopher Pike

Tender assault-Anne Mather

The wakefields of sweet valley-Francine Pascal

Sons-Pearl Buck

Summer of my German Soldier-Bette Greene

The Wakefield Legacy the untold story-Francine Pascal

The Eternal Enemy-Christopher Pike

East Wind, West Wind-Pearl Buck

Number the Stars-Lois Lowry

The Fowlers of Sweet Valley-Francine Pascal

The Patmans of Sweet Valley-Francine Pascal

A House divided-Pearl Buck

Les Liaisons dangeruses-Choderlos DeLaclos

Bury me deep-Christopher Pike

May
Homeland-John Jakes

Getting Physical-Jade Lee

'Till Death Do us part-Lurlene McDaniel

The Monk-Matthew Lewis

Love is a battlefield-Tamara Morgan (My first e-book)

The debt of tears-Xueqin Cao

Zoya-Danielle Steel

Remember Me-Christopher Pike

For Beter, for worse, forever-Lurlene McDaniel

Song of the River-Sue Harrison

Emma-Jane Austen

Angels watching over me-Lurlene McDaniel

June
Remember me 2-Christopher Pike

Remember me 3-Christopher Pike

I'll be seeing you-Lurlene McDaniel

The river knows-Amanda Quick

Perfect Chemistry-Simone Elkeles

Rules of attraction-Simone Elkeles

Chain Reaction-Simone Elkeles

Lord of the flies-William Golding

The good father-Diane Chamberlain

July
Hakon of Rogen's Saga-Erik christian Havgaard

The tachyon web-Christopher Pike

The Poisonwood Bible-Barbara Kingsolver

Jacob the Liar-Jurek Becker

The Living Reed-Pearl Buck

The Starlight crystal-Christopher Pike

Death in Venice-Thomas Mann

Candide-Francois Marie Arouet de Voltaire

Once a hero-Jillian Burns

Interview with the vampire-Anne Rice

The secret of the old clock-Carolyn Keene

Call of the wild-Jack London

Lady Chatterley's Lover-DH Lawrence

The lovely bones-Alice Sebold

Picture me sexy-Rhonda Nelson

Lifted up by angels-Lurlene McDaniel

White Fang-Jack London

Love in a fallen city-Ailing Zhang

The barrelmaker brimful of love-Saikaku Ihara

August
The Hidden staircase-Carolyn Keene

The virgin suicides-Jeffrey Eugenides

Where we belong-Emily Giffin

The great gatsby-F Scott Fitzgerald

The hundred dresses-Eleanor Estes

Maniac Magee-Jerry Spinelli

Jacob have I loved-Katherine Paterson

Journey home-Yoshiko Uchida

Gray Hawk's lady-Karen Kay

Island of the blue dolphins-Scott O'Dell

The Italian-Ann Radcliffe

No risk refused-Cara Summers

The hobbit-J.R.R. Tolkien

The red and the black-Stendhal

Tess of d'Urbervilles-Thomas Hardy

Quidditch through the ages-JK Rowling

September
Sizzle in the City-Wendy Etherington

Great illustrated classics the Jungle Book-Rudyard Kipling

Journey to Topaz-Yoshiko Uchida

The bungalow mystery-Carolyn Keene

Wanted!- Vicki Lews Thompson

Traitors-Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Vampire of the Mists-Christie Golden

Savage Ecstasy-Janelle Taylor

October
Witch-Christopher Pike

Pride and Prejudice-Jane Austen

The Fiddler on the Pantico Run-Joe Mozingo (My first Firstreads  and my first non-fiction review)

White Eagle's Touch-Karen Kay

The song of the lark-Willa Cather

THe meaning of your life-Marius Croeser

The perks of being a wallflower-Stephen Chbosky

Fantastic beasts and where to find them-JK Rowling

The Artists's Way-Julia Cameron

Until Angels close my eyes-Lurlene McDaniel

The mystery at Lilac Inn-Carolyn Keene

Dracula-Bram Stoker

You are the love of my love-Susan Richards Shreve

Defiant Ecstasy-Janelle Taylor

Forbidden Ecstasy-Janelle Taylor

A christmas home-Greg Kincaid

Ambushed!-Vicki Lewis Thompson

Cry of the Wind-Sue Harrison

November
Northanger Abbey-Jane Austen

The diet dropout's guide to natural weight loss-Stan Spencer

The secret of shadow ranch-Carolyn Keene

The secret of the red gate farm-Carolyn Keene

The clue in the diary-Carolyn Keene

The Bonesetter's daughter-Amy Tan

Dragons of Autumn Twilight-Margaret Weis Tracy Hickman

Rin Tin TIn-Susan Orlean

Journey to mother love-Catherine Lawton

Fresh off the boat-Eddie Huang

The book of why-Nicholas Montemarano

This generation-Han Han

Kenjiro-Pat Barr

Nancy's mysterious letter-Carolyn Keene

Brain on fire-Susannah Cahalan

Autobiography of Us-Aria Beth Sloss

December
Bridge of Scarlett Leaves-Kristina Yoshida McMorris

The painted girls-Cathy Marie Buchanan

Sticks and stones-Emily Bazelon

Show and tell in a nutshell-Jessica Bell

Golden boy-Abigail Tarttelin

The sign of the twisted candles-Carolyn Keene

Contagious-Jonah Berger

The dreamer wakes-Xueqin Cao

Call down the stars-Sue Harrison

Anna Karenina-Leo Tolstoy

The music of dolphins-Karen Hesse

Tree of Souls 1.1-Howard Schwartz

Greek Myths Vol I 1.1-Robert Graves

Mythology 1.7 Edith Hamilton

Total Books: 160

G672 Book Review of Becoming George Washington by Stephen Yoch

Name of Book: Becoming George Washington

Author: Stephen Yoch

ISBN: 978-1-940014-52-4

Publisher: Wise Ink Publishing

Type of book: Pre-revolutionary America, French and Indian Wars, treatment of colonists in America, George Washington, ranking in army, politics, 1747-1759, honor, differences between traditional and new tactics

Year it was published: 2016

Summary:

George Washington, action hero . . .

Long before Washington was the old man on the dollar bill, he was a fatherless boy with few resources and even less education. So how did he become the most famous person in American history?

Becoming George Washington tells the story of a young man with boundless energy, bravery, and passion, who grew from a fatherless boy into a self-confident leader. At the same time, he struggled to suppress both an awful temper and his love for a married woman, Sally Fairfax. A courageous war hero, Washington rose to the pinnacle of Virginia politics. His experiences as a young man allowed him, decades later, to lead the Revolution.

This compelling historical novel reveals the person behind the famous face and how he grew to become America’s leading Founding Father.

Characters:

While quite a lot of characters populate the story, a few strong ones really stand out. Main character is George Washington to whom loyalty and honor are more important than personal happiness. He is an outdoorsy person as well as loyal and very observant and someone who has litte to no desire to repeat the mistakes of his failures. He is also tempermental and rash in a lot of cases. Lawrence is George's older half-brother to whom George is loyal to and promises to take care of the estate that becomes known as Mount Vernon. The Colonel is a mentor and a father figure to George who gives George advice and opportunities to prove himself and shine through. Christopher Gist is a scout that George has worked with on many occasions and that proves very invaluable to George Washington. Unfortunately there weren't a lot of women in the story, and they weren't explored as deeply as one wished for them to be. Main women would be George Washington's mother who is best described as some sort of tempermental shrew who has an extremely strained relationship with her older son; there is also Sally Fairfax who is George's first love and happens to be married. She tends to be coquettish and often plays with George's feelings towards her; the last woman, Martha Dandridge Custis is a practical woman who is very different than Sally Fairfax and is also straightforward in her opinions and emotions and she also shows herself to be capable of taking care of plantation, the household and her children.

Theme:

Its important to do the right thing

Plot:

The story is in third person narrative from George Washington's point of view and it takes place from 1747 up to 1759 and goes into a great amount of detail of what caused George Washington to become the man when he shaped so much after American Revolution and its written in a chronological order. I found the writing style and the story to be very engaging and not once was I bored while reading the story and learning about the pre-America of mid 1700s. I do admit that certain elements did make me uncomfortable with the story, namely the emphasis on whom you know to get opportunities in order to succeed, and I also imagine that for those who are not of American-European race, this might not be a comfortable read due to issues of slavery and the way British and French use Native American groups for their vendettas.

Author Information:
(From HFVBT)


AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | BOOK DEPOSITORY | INDIEBOUND

About the Author

Steve doesn’t golf or fish and is a below average hunter, but his love of history and writing compelled him to pick up his pen and tell the little-known stories behind the men that made American history. After years of extensive research, Steve wrote his first book on young George Washington.
Steve lives in a suburb north of St. Paul, Minnesota with his supportive wife and two fantastic teenage sons. He graduated with honors from Boston College and the University of Minnesota Law School. He has enjoyed over two decades of practicing law in the Twin Cities, helping individuals and businesses solve complex problems.

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK


Opinion:

Before I begin my opinion, can I ask a quick question? Is the author planning on continuing to write about George Washington through British fights, American Revolution and so forth? I do so hope he will. I'll be honest in saying that I never really cared too much about American history, unfortunately. When I was in school, due to my background, I felt very excluded from the history that is supposed to unify both Americans and immigrants alike, and I couldn't really identify or really care about the people that we were forced to learn about. (It also didn't help that the founding fathers of America were portrayed as men without faults or ones who make mistakes, which made alienation seem even more obvious; what could I, an immigrant from Russia, learn from these men, and why would I want to learn anything about them?) When I began to read the story, I wasn't sure what to expect, but the more I read, the more I realized that this book is a gem that is bound to make anyone look at George Washington and the founding of America in a different light instead of the whitewashed glorified versions they are always seen by history. George Washington is written with faults and as a human being, which means that a lot of people will be able to identify with him and the numerous situations that befall him from forbidden love to feeling unappreciated by superiors. I also could understand the seeds of American Revolution and why the colonists rebelled. A very worthwhile tale to read and to teach to if you'd like for kids to gain more passion for history in America.

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, December 07
Guest Post & Giveaway at Passages to the Past
Wednesday, December 9
Review at Library Educated
Friday, December 11
Spotlight at The Writing Desk
Monday, December 14
Review at Book Lovers Paradise
Tuesday, December 15
Review at The Maiden’s Court
Wednesday, December 16
Interview at Layered Pages
Spotlight at Historical Readings and Reviews
Thursday, December 17
Guest Post & Giveaway at Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus More
Friday, December 18
Interview at Flashlight Commentary
Monday, December 21
Review at Bookish
Tuesday, December 22
Review at With Her Nose Stuck in a Book
Wednesday, December 23
Spotlight at CelticLady’s Reviews
Guest Post & Giveaway at A Literary Vacation
Thursday, December 24
Review at Book Nerd
Monday, December 28
Review at Just One More Chapter
Spotlight at Puddletown Reviews
Tuesday, December 29
Review at The Absurd Book Nerd
Review at Svetlana’s Reads and Views
Wednesday, December 30
Review at Luxury Reading
Guest Post at The Absurd Book Nerd
Thursday, December 31
Review at Jorie Loves a Story
Guest Post & Giveaway at Let Them Read Books

5 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

First Impressions: G547 The Review of The Lady of the Castle by Iny Lorentz

Name of Book: The Lady in the Castle

Author: Iny Lorentz

ISBN: 978-1477826720

Publisher: AmazonCrossing

Year it was published: 2005

Summary:

Marie lives happily in Sobernburg Castle with her beloved husband, Michel Adler, a tremendous achievement for a woman who was once the "Wandering Harlot." The happy couple longs for a family, but when Michel is called to battle against the rebellious Hussites, they have to put those dreams on hold until- if they're lucky, Michel returns home.

Soon after his departure, Marie is thrilled to find she is already with child, but this bright news is quickly tarnished by anxiety for her husband's return. News of him trickles in: first that he's been knighted for his exemplary courage in battle . . . and then that he disappeared without a trace during a grisly massacre and is presumed dead. Pregnant and alone, Marie's place in the world is once again precarious. Unwilling to abandon the hope that her husband has somehow survived, Marie escapes form the castle and takes to the road once more to find Michel and save her family.

In this sequel to The Wandering Harlot, bestselling author Iny Lorentz transports readers to a richly rendered fifteenth-century Germany, where courage and true love conquer all.

Opinion:

I'm really not sure if its the translation of the story itself, but the beginning chapter didn't really draw me in, and it somehow felt dry. I also think that one would need to read the prequel in order to like the sequel, but that's just me, or maybe I'm just disappointed to learn that this book is part of the series and I didn't know that when I entered the Giveaway for it. Plus, so far, only two books are translated, and I kind of have a personal rule about not reading something until its fully completed.

Verdict:

I won this from Goodreads Firstreads Program

3 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

G473 Dogs Rule nonchalantly

Title of the book: Dogs Rule Nonchalantly

Author: Mark Ulriksen

Publisher: Goff Books

Publishing Date: 2014

ISBN: 978-1-939621-10-8

Summary:

There is nothing happier than a happy dog” reads one of the observations in this humorous and heartwarming look at the everyday interactions between man and man’s best friend. Renown illustrator Mark Ulriksen combines his handwritten observations with his intricate paintings of dogs from over 20 years of his career.

Mark reaches back to his youth to talk about his first dog and chronicles the idiosyncrasies of each of his ten dogs that have enriched his life. Mark parallels major life events from dating, married life, and raising a family, with such humorous moments as house-breaking a puppy, obedience classes, the sad melancholy of nursing an aging canine friend, Ted, and his eventual ascension to “dog heaven.”

Dogs Rule, Nonchalantly appeals to dog lovers of all ages. The intuitive, colorful paintings communicate a depth of understanding of the quips and quirks of our canine companions that will bring a smile to the faces of children, while the sophistication and nuance of Mark’s artistic expertise and his acute observations, will resonate with anyone who has ever had a dog. In addition, having contributed more than forty covers to The New Yorker magazine, this collection will also appeal to art lovers.

Author Info:
(From the book)

Mark Ulriksen wears his art on his sleeve. A successful illustrator, his work is regularly featured on the cover of The New Yorker and other popular publications, as book jackets, in art galleries and as commissioned work. His style is colorful, thoughtful and humorous. Mark's work has won multiple gold and silver medal from the Society of Illustrators and is in the permanent collection of The Smithsonian and the Library of Congress.

Personal Opinion:

Do you have a dog or two or three and you always wanted to have a picture book about how great and lovable dogs are that you could show to youngesters? Then this is the right book for the reader. The book has illustrations and reads like a child's book, and should be good to read this with a youngster or two and teach them about how great dogs are. At least that's what I'm planning to do in the future. I loved reading it, flipping through the pages and encountering ways how dogs behave and how despite them being exasperating (yes, I'm looking at you my little dachshund princess, who didn't let me eat in peace,) they are still great and there is a reason they are called a man's best friend.

I won this from goodreads firstreads program

5 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

G402 Loom Knitting for babies and toddlers 30 easy no-needle designs-Isela Phelps

Title of the book: Loom Knitting for Babies and Toddlers; 30 easy no-needle designs

Author: Isela Phelps

Publisher: Quintet Publishing

Publishing Date: 2013

ISBN: 978-1-250-02514-2

Summary:

More projects from loom knitting maven, Isela Phelps, that address the loom knitter’s constant demand for new and varied designs—this time in a book solely devoted to knitting for babies and toddlers. The delightful designs in the book are fun, easy, and quick to make on a loom. In a small amount of time Isela will have you whipping up a fabulous collection of baby garments, toys, and accessories for every child or grandchild in your family or neighborhood!

As more crafters discover loom knitting they appreciate the clear instructions, diagrams, and photos that are a trademark of this easy-to-follow loom knitting series, and are continued in this latest collection of adorable projects. With an illustrated introductory chapter that clearly explains and demonstrates the different techniques required for successful looming, the over fifty projects can be made on all types of looms, including the newer ones just coming on the market. Packed with helpful hints, tips, designer know-how, and lovely knitted items, this is an outstanding addition to all loom knitters' libraries—and super great for beginners as the projects are smaller and very manageable.

Author Info:

Aside from the fact that she is married to someone who comes from a pretty big family and happens to be an enthusiastic knitter, not much is said about her.

Personal Opinion:

As odd as it sounds, I've never been a fan of knitting or loom knitting. By an odd coincidence I won this book last year, hopefully in time for 2016. Saying that, from a complete newbie's and perspective's view who never picked up knitting needles in her life, the good news is that she does go into a great amount of details about various knits, fabrics, and so forth that a newbie can  and should know. Also, I loved the pictures and for those who have babies and toddlers, the projects are very darling and cute and are bound to make the reader smile. Bad news is that the projects aren't classified as I'd like them to be. That is, there is no section that has projects for newbies starting out and to gain confidence in themselves and the skills, which disappointed me because when I was looking at the projects, thinking oh they might be good for the future, but they all looked too complex for me to try.

I won this from Goodreads Firstreads program

3 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

First Impressions: G359 Turkey: A Short History

Name of Book: Turkey: A Short History

Author: Norman Stone

ISBN: 978-00-500-29038-5

Publisher: Thames and Hudson

Year it was published: 2014

Summary:

A virtuoso performance by historian Norman Stone, who has lived and worked in the country since 1997, this concise survey of Turkeys relations with its immediate neighbours and the wider world from the 11th century to the present day. Stone deftly conducts the reader through this story, from the arrival of the Seljuks in Anatolia in the eleventh century to the modern republic applying for EU membership in the twenty-first. It is an historical account of epic proportions, featuring rapacious leaders such as Genghis Khan and Tamerlane through the glories of Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent to Kemal Atatürk, the reforming genius and founder of modern Turkey. At its height, the Ottoman Empire was a superpower that brought Islam to the gates of Vienna. Stone examines the reasons for the empires long decline and shows how it gave birth to the modern Turkish republic, where east and west, religion and secularism, tradition and modernity still form vibrant elements of national identity. Norman Stone brilliantly draws out the larger themes of Turkeys history, resulting in a book that is a masterly exposition of the historians craft.

Opinion:

Normally I love history books and I look forward to reading some non-fiction literature, and I also majored in history where I was taught to find out what the book is about, and whether or not it matches the author's arguments. From the title alone, Turkey: A Short History, my imagination stirs that this will be the story of Turkey from old times to modern times where the reader will get a chance to make their own conclusions. Because I won't be reading the book, I won't know if its true, but I have to say that Introduction and the title don't really match one another. The introduction of the book is rambling and disjointed; the author promises to talk about six things that make Turkey what it is today, but it doesn't seem to match with the title.

Verdict:

I'm sorry to say so, but I won't be reading the book

I won this from Goodreads firstreads program

3 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Book Review for Tree of Souls The Mythology of Judaism by Howard Schwartz Book 2 Part 12.15

General Information:

Name of Book: Tree of Souls

ISBN: 9780195086799

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

Year it was published: 2004

Overall theme:

"With only one God, heaven would be a barren place, at least in mythic terms. Yet the actual Jewish view of heaven is quite different. There are seven heavens, filled with angels and other divine beings, such as the Messiah [Not jesus!], who is said to have a palace of his own in the highest heaven. The clestial Temple can be found there- the mirror image of the Temple in the earthly Jerusalem- as well as an abundance of heavenly palaces, one for each of the patriarchs and matriarchs and sages, where he or she teaches Torah to the attentive souls of the righteous and the angels..." (xliii)

"Drawing on the full range of Jewish sources, sacred and nonsacred, ten major categories of Jewish mythology can be identified: Myths of God, Myths of Creation...Each of these categories explores a mythic realm, and, in the process, reimagines it. This is the secret to the transformations that characterize Jewish mythology. Building on a strong foundation of biblical myth, each generation has embellished the earlier myths, while, at the same time, reinterpeting them for tis own time." (xlv)

 Book Two: Myths of Creation

 Part XII: The Creation of Man

157. The Heavenly Man

Issue:It is believed that G-d created two Adams instead of one, one a being of earth, and another fashioned with likeness and image of G-d. The earthly Adam was created from dust of the earth and G-d breathed life into him. While earthly Adam has passed away, the heavenly Adam continues to exist. Those who disagree believe that the Adam in heaven is one and the same. Another theory exists that the two Adams were introduced to different gardens, one being into Eden and another into heavenly, with Eden one being cast out. Still others say that the two Adams were created for different types of world; one for this, the other for the world to come.

158. Adam the Angel

Issue: Adam was created from invisible and visible substances and was assigned to ben an agel, second in power. He also was assigned to be a great and glorious king on earth; he also was assigned four special stars and was given the paradise and asked to peer into heavens.

159. Adam the Golem

Issue: When G-d was about to create Adam, he made an incredibly huge golem that caused angels and others to be confused about him. While Adam slept, G-d revealed to him the secrets of who is righteous, who is wicked, and so forth. When Adam came to life, he barely remembered all that G-d revealed, and during the night G-d continued to whisper mysteries to him.

160. Adam the Giant

Issue: Adam was created as an unimaginable giant along with being given strength and power as mighty ones on high. Angels became afraid of Adam and asked G-d if there were to be two powers in the universe thus G-d reduced Adam's size.

161. Adam the Last and First

Issue: When G-d began to create the world, he created Adam first, but because G-d thought Adam would claim himself as G-d's partner, G-d decided to create Adam last. When G-d was finished, the angels asked if G-d was still planning on creating Adam, and G-d said yes. G-d breathed soul into Adam, which is why he is called Last and First.

162. Adam's Body Of Light

Issue: Adam possessed a body of light that really confused the angels, and they wished to proclaim Adam as G-d. G-d didn't like that, thus he put Adam into deep sleep. Before the fall, G-d gave Adam numerous gifts. After eating the forbidden fruit, that there is debate about whether or not the light from his face was taken away or was given after repentance. Rabbi Bana'ah beheld Adam in a cave and determined that the face outshone the sun, but he was stopped and went back.

163. The Enthronement of Adam

Issue: Abraham with the Archangel Michael went up to heaven, and Abraham had an opportunity to watch daily lives of men. While up there, they came upon first gate of heaven where they saw souls go through either broad gate or narrow gate along with a throned man. The throned man was upset when souls went through broad gates, but rejoiced when souls went through narrow gates. Abraham asked about who it was, and learned that it was Adam who watches over the world. The narrow gates are gates of righteous, while broad gates are those of sinners.

164. Adam's Body Formed by an Angel

Issue: It is also believed that when the time came to form a man, G-d asks the angel Michael to do it, and he did it by gathering dust and then G-d breathed life into Adam.

165. God Consults the Angels about the Creation of Adam

Issue:G-d creates the ministering angels and He asks them about whether or not Adam should be created. They ask G-d questions but tell him its up to him. There is also mention that parties and sects over whether or not the man should be created were also created. While the angels were arguing G-d already created a man.

166. The Creation of Man

Issue: When G-d created an empty earth devoid of greenery and rain aside from the ocean water, G-d formed man from dust of the earth and breathed into him and thus man became a living being.

167. Creation From a Mold

Issue: G-d created Adam from His own hands rather than pronouncements, and a specific mold was used to create Adam. Either G-d created the mold, or used the mold of angels who resembled Adam. Human mold is identical but G-d makes sure that each person is unique.

168. Wisdom Created Man

Issue: When G-d decided to create man, a share of work went to Wisdom. It is thought G-d did this because so that rightful actions will be attributed to Him, while sins to others.

169. Adam's Choice

Issue: Before creation of Adam, G-d created two types of beings; celestial and animal. Celestial did not reproduce but were image of G-d, while earthly ones were not image of G-d but did reproduce. G-d wanted for Adam to be of both of these. G-d also debated on whether or not to create man out of celestial or earthly things, but ultimately decided to create man out of both thus the choice will be his.

170. Adam's Breath

Issue: A story of creation, of how G-d created heaven and earth, then on second day a firmament created, on third the waters were divided, on fourth the sun, moon and stars adn on fifth day G-d gathered waters below. The sixth day remained, and G-d was undecided what to do for fear of making above or earth angry, thus He created Adam below but using breath from above.

171. The First Twelve Hours of Adam's Life

Issue: On the first five days of Creation, G-d creates three types of creatures, while the sixth, day before the Sabbath, G-d is busy creating Adam. Then the story continues breaking the hours of Adam's life down, ending with Adam sinning and being expelled from Garden of Eden.

172. Adam Brings Down Fire from Heaven

Issue: Before Adam existed as a mortal, he lived in heaven and brought down fire as well as light from heaven. When the fire was brought down, G-d signed a degree where he reliquinshed the control of fire. The light shone from Adam's fingernails, which were brighter than the sun. Still others say Adam used either four winds of the world or enchanted stones to bring light into the world. Thus by using darkness and death light was brought upon the world.

173. Adam the Hermaphrodite

Issue: It is also believed that Adam was created with two faces, a feminine and a masculine, one forward, one behind. Others believe that Adam and Eve were created as a single being, with Adam in front, and Eve in the back. A question of how it happened is brought up. Due to difficulties experienced by Adam and Eve, G-d split them apart which made things easier. There is also belief that Adam's second face was gone because of his sin.

174. Samael and Lilith

Issue: Prior to creating Adam and Eve, G-d created Samael and Lilith. Samael was Lilith's mate. The king of demons, Ashmedai had as mate Lilith the Younger which made Samael be very jealous and which pleased Lilith the Younger greatly since she sought to make wars between her and her mother, Lilith the Elder. Lilith and Ashmedai also gave birth to a prince of demons named Alefpeneash.

175. God and the Spirits of the Unborn

Issue: G-d sits in a circle with baby spirits that are about to be born. G-d has knowledge that life on earth won't be as good as life in heaven, thus just so the baby spirits can learn to adjust to life on earth and forget about life in heaven, He touches them above the lip, creating an indentation on upper lips.

To Be Continued...

Monday, December 28, 2015

G644 Book Review of The Art of Crash Landing by Melissa DeCarlo

Name of Book: The Art of Crash Landing

Author: Melissa DeCarlo

ISBN: 978-0-06-239054-7

Publisher: William Morrow

Type of book: Oklahoma, trainwreck, getting things together, modern times, relationships, mothers/daughters, sarcastic, humorous, growing up, coming of age, past, secrets, mystery

Year it was published: 2015

Summary:

From a bright new talent comes this debut novel about a young woman who travels for the first time to her mother’s hometown, and gets sucked into the mystery that changed her family forever.

Mattie Wallace has really screwed up this time. Broke and knocked up, she’s got all her worldly possessions crammed into six giant trash bags, and nowhere to go. Try as she might, Mattie can no longer deny that she really is turning into her mother, a broken alcoholic who never met a bad choice she didn’t make.

When Mattie gets news of a possible inheritance left by a grandmother she’s never met, she jumps at this one last chance to turn things around. Leaving the Florida Panhandle, she drives eight hundred miles to her mother’s birthplace—the tiny town of Gandy, Oklahoma. There, she soon learns that her mother remains a local mystery—a happy, talented teenager who inexplicably skipped town thirty-five years ago with nothing but the clothes on her back. But the girl they describe bears little resemblance to the damaged woman Mattie knew, and before long it becomes clear that something terrible happened to her mother, and it happened here. The harder Mattie digs for answers, the more obstacles she encounters. Giving up, however, isn’t an option. Uncovering what started her mother’s downward spiral might be the only way to stop her own.

Hilarious, gripping, and unexpectedly wise, The Art of Crash Landing is a poignant novel from an assured new voice.

Characters:

The main characters include Mattie, a 30 year old young woman who is jobless, homeless, struggles with finances, and has recently found out she is pregnant. She doesn't have any diplomacy skills and often makes enemies out of people. She also has had a very turbulent relationship with her mother, and is pretty close to a stepfather? named Queeg. What I didn't like about her is some drug use knowing she is pregnant. Queeg is Mattie's stepfather/father figure and doesn't give up on her, always believing that she can do better. He helps her out in many numerous ways be it financially or giving her a place to crash while she figures out her life. Her mother, from what Mattie knows of her, has red hair and green eyes, drank very frequently, has had numerous lovers and made a living out of photography. There are quite a few other characters such as the surly car mechanic, and the lawyer that helps her out more than necessary.

Theme:

When things go wrong, they really go wrong

Plot:

The story is in first person narrative from Mattie's point of view, and Mattie is a type of character that either one loves or hates with no in-between. There is also focus a lot on relationships in the story, in particular that between the mothers/daughters which lasts quite a few generations and can create a lot of damage to the participants. The story itself has a relaxed atmosphere, although I was hooked and wanted to keep on reading to see how things would resolve themselves.

Author Information:
(From TLC Book Tours)

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About Melissa DeCarlom

Melissa DeCarlo was born and raised in Oklahoma City, and has worked as an artist, graphic designer, grant writer, and even (back when computers were the size of refrigerators) a computer programmer. The Art of Crash Landing is her first novel. Melissa now lives in East Texas with her husband and a motley crew of rescue animals.
Find out more about Melissa at her website, and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.


Opinion:

A funny, sparkling and a very realistic story of a woman that, well,has everything going wrong for her, or rather the worst case scenarios actually do happen to her. But asides from that, she doesn't lose her strength or her wit to help the audience laugh at her mistakes. In my opinion, the story is more about the mystery that had happened in her mother's past, and although it does have a little bit of coming of age element, it seems more realistic rather than fake. That consistency lasts throughout the whole story. I also really loved the zingers, the one being my favorite about comparing pregnancy to an ultimate STD. The story also takes place over an entire week of when Mattie travels to Oklahoma to settle down some business she has there. If the reader is looking for something funny and realistic at once as well as a story that has a mystery going in different directions, then its the right book to pick up and enjoy.

This is a late review for TLC Book Tours

Melissa’s Tour Stops

Tuesday, September 8th: Books and Bindings
Thursday, September 10th: The Book Bag
Friday, September 11th: Cerebral Girl in a Redneck World
Tuesday, September 15th: Literary Lindsey
Wednesday, September 16th: Sara’s Organized Chaos
Thursday, September 17th: No More Grumpy Bookseller
Friday, September 18th: bookchickdi
Friday, September 18th: Fuelled by Fiction
Wednesday, September 23rd: From the TBR Pile
Thursday, September 24th: Kahakai Kitchen
Friday, September 25: 5 Minutes for Books
Monday, September 28th: BoundbyWords
Wednesday, September 30th: A Bookworm’s World
Thursday, October 1st: A Bookish Affair
Monday, October 5th: Kritters Ramblings
Tuesday, October 6th: Raven Haired Girl
Thursday, October 8th: Bloggin’ ‘Bout Books
Friday, October 9th: My Book Retreat
Sunday, October 11th: Novel Escapes
Monday, October 12th: Snowdrop Dreams of Books
Tuesday, October 13th: Broken Teepee
Wednesday, October 14th: Thoughts On This ‘n That
Thursday, October 15th: Joyfully Retired
4 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

G643 Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy; Four Women Undercover in the Civil War

Title of the book: Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy; Four Women Undercover in the Civil War

Author: Karen Abbott

Publisher: Harper Perennial

Publishing Date: 2014

ISBN: 978-0-06-209290-8

Summary:

Karen Abbott, the New York Times bestselling author of Sin in the Second City and “pioneer of sizzle history” (USA Today), tells the spellbinding true story of four women who risked everything to become spies during the Civil War.

Karen Abbott illuminates one of the most fascinating yet little known aspects of the Civil War: the stories of four courageous women—a socialite, a farmgirl, an abolitionist, and a widow—who were spies.

After shooting a Union soldier in her front hall with a pocket pistol, Belle Boyd became a courier and spy for the Confederate army, using her charms to seduce men on both sides. Emma Edmonds cut off her hair and assumed the identity of a man to enlist as a Union private, witnessing the bloodiest battles of the Civil War. The beautiful widow, Rose O’Neale Greenhow, engaged in affairs with powerful Northern politicians to gather intelligence for the Confederacy, and used her young daughter to send information to Southern generals. Elizabeth Van Lew, a wealthy Richmond abolitionist, hid behind her proper Southern manners as she orchestrated a far-reaching espionage ring, right under the noses of suspicious rebel detectives.

Using a wealth of primary source material and interviews with the spies’ descendants, Abbott seamlessly weaves the adventures of these four heroines throughout the tumultuous years of the war. With a cast of real-life characters including Walt Whitman, Nathaniel Hawthorne, General Stonewall Jackson, detective Allan Pinkerton, Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln, and Emperor Napoleon III, Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy draws you into the war as these daring women lived it.

Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy contains 39 black & white photos and 3 maps.

Author Info:
(From TLC Website)

n that you keep forgetting it’s nonfiction.” (Bustle.com)
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Karen AbbottAbout Karen Abbott

Karen Abbott is the New York Timesbestselling author of Sin in the Second City, American Rose, and, most recently,Liar Temptress Soldier Spy, which was named one of the best books of 2014 by Library Journal, the Christian Science Monitor, Amazon, and Flavorwire, and which was optioned by Sony for a miniseries. A native of Philadelphia, she now lives in New York City, where she’s at work on her next book.
Find out more about Karen at her website.


Personal Opinion:

I will be honest in saying that I liked the way the book was written, and the research the author has done towards the four women is unforgettable. It really reminded me of Claire Prentiss's book, The Lost Tribe of Coney Island which means that a very addictive narrative for both novices and experts when it comes to Civil War. I enjoyed some of the women, much to mine surprise Belle Boyd and Elizabeth Van Lew, while unfortunately, Emma Edmonds and Rose O'Neal Greenhow were not as enjoyable. I don't feel that the women got an equal amount of screen time in the book, and most of the screentime was devoted to Emma Edmonds, while not as much to Elizabeth Van Lew, Belle Boyd and Rose O'Neal Greenhow. Overall, if you're interested in seeing the inner strength that women of Civil War possesed that is beyond that of what Scarlett O'Hara can accomplish, then its the right the book for the reader.

This is a late review for TLC Book Tour

Karen’s Tour Stops

Tuesday, September 8th: A Bookish Affair
Wednesday, September 9th: Let Them Read Books – guest post
Thursday, September 10th: The Maiden’s Court
Friday, September 11th: Cold Read
Monday, September 14th: Raven Haired Girl
Wednesday, September 16th: Man of La Book
Thursday, September 17th: Bookworm Meets Bookworm
Monday, September 21st: A Book Geek
Tuesday, September 22nd: Time 2 Read
Wednesday, September 23rd: As I turn the pages
Thursday, September 24th: FictionZeal
Tuesday, September 29th: Raven Haired Girl – guest post
Thursday, October 8th: Unabridged Chick
4 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)
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