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Joe Hill – Strange Weather Book Review

Due to the Coronavirus Lockdown, I started looking for good books that will make my increasing boredom die down. I loved The FIREMAN * Joe Hill  and Joe Hill * Horns so I did a quick eBay search to see if Joe Hill has written anything else since and I got super thrilled to see “Strange Weather” pop up.

4 short stories which have one thing in common – a dark cloud circling above bringing news of death and destruction.

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About the Pu’er tea

s-l1600The Chinese tea history of Pu’er tea is fascinating. Pu’er tea is one of the oldest type of tea in China with a rich history of over 1700 years that can be traced back to the Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220 AD). During it’s height of popularity Pu’r tea was freely traded and even used as money for the bartering of goods. Premium Pu’er tea was offered as a tribute tea to the Emperor of China and to this day Pu’er tea remains a highly valuable commodity. Pu-erh tea is revered in China as a traditional medicinal tea with many health benefits.

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2019 Books in Review

2019 has been quite a good year for reading and I’ve managed to get my one-book-a-week resolution kept for the whole year. What’s even better, with a combination of audiobooks and e-books, I have managed to surpass my 52 book limit.

I think I did even better than 2018.

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What is power? (A Song of Ice and Fire)

Varys smiled. “Here, then. Power resides where men believe it resides. No more and no less.”

“So power is a mummer’s trick?”

“A shadow on the wall,” Varys murmured, “yet shadows can kill. And ofttimes a very small man can cast a very large shadow.”

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Frankenstein, The Handmaid’s Tale and Oryx and Crake

“Natural philosophy is the genius that has regulated my fate” –

states Victor Frankenstein in the opening of his narrative. Through Frankenstein’s acquiring of this “natural philosophy”, we can already make a link to a broader view of society. His early access to these books of science to which he quickly becomes obsessed with comes solely through his social class – a privilege that the creature he creates does not have the luxury of.  Through knowledge comes power, and this instant hierarchy through social class is a reflection of society in the 1800s, upper classes having access to the best education and through this, separating themselves from the lower classes. Shelley reflects this through victor’s narrative voice, which is eloquently spoken and rich in figurative language –

“I was like the Arabian who had been buried with the dead and found passage to life, aided only by one glimmering and seemingly ineffectual light” being a prime example of not only his fluency of articulation but cultural knowledge.

Furthermore, the creature’s discovery of books such as “paradise lost” when observing the “lower class” family in the woods educates him not on science but rather on humanity and the human condition. 

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Marcus Aurelius most mis-quoted advice on how to live a good life

Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.

― Marcus Aurelius

It seems to me like the quote above was fabricated based loosely on another.
Marcus Aurelius was NOT an atheist, the actual quote should show this quite clearly, though much of his philosophy was very practical, and for the most part disinterested in the supernatural.

“Now departure from the world of men is nothing to fear, if gods exist: because they would not involve you in any harm. If they do not exist, or if they have no care for humankind, then what is life to me in a world devoid of gods, or devoid of providence? But they do exist, and they do care for humankind: and they have put it absolutely in man’s power to avoid falling into the true kinds of harm.”
—Marcus Aurelius, Meditations 2.11

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Merry Christmas!

“Want to keep Christ in Christmas? Feed the hungry, clothe the naked, forgive the guilty, welcome the unwanted, care for the ill, love your enemies, and do unto others as you would have done unto you.”
― Steve Maraboli, Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience

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Happy Halloween Everybody * Fan appreciation time!

And in order to congratulate our constant followers, we are giving away 3 brand new horror novels to the first three to comment to this post 🙂

Just name your favorite scary novel and if you’re lucky, you’ll get a new one in the post next week to add to your collection.

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Top 25 Sci-fi Books of all times

  1. Ender’s Game – Orson Scott Card (1985)
    1. Ender’s Game – Book Review
  2. Dune – Frank Herbert – 1965
  3. Foundation – Isaac Asimov – 1951
  4. Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams – 1979
  5. 1984 – George Orwell – 1949
    1. 1984 * George Orwell’s vision on a Big Brother state
    2. 1984 Excerpt about the Inquisition and Persecution
    3. George Orwell’s 1984 is now a massive hit in the book stores again.
    4. 1984 – George Orwell
    5. A brave new world vs 1984
  6. Stranger in a Strange Land – Robert A Heinlein – 1961
  7. Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury – 1954
  8. 2001; A Space Odyssey – Arthur C Clarke – 1968
  9. Starship Troopers – Robert A Heinlein – 1959
  10. I, Robot – Isaac Asimov – 1950
  11. Neuromancer – William Gibson – 1984
  12. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep – Philip K Dick – 1968
  13. Ringworld – Larry Niven – 1970
  14. Rendezvous With Rama – Arthur C Clarke – 1973
  15. Hyperion – Dan Simmons – 1989
  16. Brave New World – Aldous Huxley – 1932
    1. A brave new world vs 1984
    2. The 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 1990–1999
  17. The Time Machine – H G Wells – 1895
    1. The Time Machine – First three Chapters Excerpt
  18. Childhood’s End – Arthur C Clarke – 1954
  19. The Moon is a Harsh Mistress – Robert A Heinlein – 1966
  20. The War of the Worlds – H G Wells – 1898
    1. War of the Worlds Book Review
  21. The Forever War – Joe Haldeman – 1974
  22. The Martian Chronicles – Ray Bradbury – 1950
  23. Slaughterhouse Five – Kurt Vonnegut – 1969
  24. Snow Crash – Neal Stephenson – 1992
  25. The Mote in God’s Eye – Niven & Pournelle – 1975

Have you read any of these? Link below 🙂

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Gout: A rich man disease through the ages

I know I usually don’t post about medical stuff – unless discussing troubling issues like Depression, Dementia or Diseases transmitted by mosquitoes or bugs. Some of them have been written for the Mental Health Awareness Month like May 2017 and some of them came out during research for a book I was reading likeThe Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy.

This is the case now. I’ve started reading Alvin Journeyman (from the Alvin Maker series by Orson Scott Card) and in one of the chapters, Calvin, Alvin’s brother, goes to see Napoleon Bonaparte who is said to suffer from gout.
He does not know how to heal him, only how to offer a brief pain respite by numbing the nerves controlling the pain in the leg.

This is the point I got curious. What is gout? Did Napoleon Bonaparte really suffer from it? Is it a rich man’s disease? What causes it? Is there a treatment for it? Does nerve pinching work? Or is it symptom alleviation rather than a cure.
I’ll try to answer these in the following article.