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Book Reviews

Last Stand: Surviving America’s Collapse by William H. Weber

I got all the Last Stand (audio)books by William H. Webber as a birthday present and I must say they were an amazing gift. If you’re into survival, zombie apocalypse, prepping for doomsday, weapons fanatic and interested in self-preservation – this book – these books – are amazing. They are a wealth of information and while they don’t deal just with survival in a case of a zombie apocalypse (like Max Brooks’s Zombie Survival Guide), they are interesting enough to keep you occupied for a few days.

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Book Reviews

The Quiet American by Graham Greene.

“Innocence is like a dumb leper who has lost his bell, wondering the world, meaning no harm.”

Fowler, Pyle and Phuong are the protagonists of this 1955 pre-Vietnam war era. The novel has received much attention due to its prediction of the outcome of the Vietnam War and subsequent American foreign policy since the 1950s.

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Book Reviews

Parrot and Olivier in America – Peter Carey Book Review

Novel set around 1830 and narrated alternately by Parrot (the son of an English engraver killed for unwittingly participating in a Dartmoor counterfeiting ring) and Olivier (the grandson of a Nobel guillotined in the revolution and whose family cautiously support restoration).

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Poetry

‘A Dream Deferred’ Langston Hughes Poetry

In 1951 Hughes published one of his most celebrated poems, “Harlem (What happens to a dream deferred?’),” discussing how the American Dream falls short for African Americans:

What happens to a dream deferred?

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Stephen King

The Talisman * Stephen King

https_%2F%2Fvincentchongart.files.wordpress.com%2F2010%2F02%2Fthe-talisman.jpgThere are some books that stay with you for a very long time. This is one of them. Set in the universe of the Dark Tower and the Territories, Stephen King brings to life the epic journey of a young boy to save his mother. From one side of the States to the other. Hitchhiking through dangerous situation, meeting all kinds people and battling his own uncle. It’s the story of Jack and his mother, Queen of the B movies, Lily Cavanaugh.

PS: The story of Jack is continued in The Black House * Stephen King And Peter Straub

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Book Reviews

Trigger Warning * Neil Gaiman

“What we read as adults should be read, I think, with no warnings or alerts beyond, perhaps: enter at your own risk. We need to find out what fiction is, what it means, to us, an experience that is going to be unlike anyone else’s experience of the story.”
― Neil Gaiman, Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances

9781472234889.jpgI must confess I’ve been avoiding reading this book. It’s been in my bookcase for ages but you know what they say, sometimes you need to take your fate in your hands and make a choice. Should I leave Neil Gaiman prose with a good taste in my brain (Anansi boys was great!) or with a sour catastrophe that Norse Gods was… I did love American Gods… So I’ll give this a go.

“The monsters in our cupboards and our minds are always there in the darkness, like mould beneath the floorboards and behind the wallpaper, and there is so much darkness, an inexhaustible supply of darkness. The universe is amply supplied with night.” 

Wow. The writing was impeccable. I loved the metaphors and the odd winks from the author and there were two stories I really liked. The poem about a traveller who falls victim to his landlady and the one with.. umm.. the one with… there was one more. Why can’t I remember it?

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Book Reviews

Delia’s Heart * V.C. Andrews Book Review (Book 2)

You know how it is. Sometimes you want to read a book. It can be a bad book, it can be a book that will make you think and appreciate life more. I picked up Delia’s heart curious how the tellenovella would continue. Will the Mexican Cinderella find her true love? Will her sister Sofia turn out OK? Will the gay couple find love? I was as disappointed as before. Same flat characters, same recycled plots, same lame story-telling.

tenor.gifV.C. Andrews has been dead for only twenty years. Andrew Neiderman has been writing under her name for over twice as long as VCA herself has! Doesn’t that seem wrong to you?

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Book Reviews

Delia’s Crossing – V.C. Andrews (Book 1)

This should be called “Mexican Cinderella Goes to America“. It is such a soapy story that I had to skip some of the pages that were just plain complaining and nauseatingly bad written prose. I believe that this is one of the books that was written post V.C. Andrews’ passing on and were commissioned by the foundation that managed her assets in order to bring more sales. A 15-year old could have written it better..

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Book Reviews

Anasi Boys – Neil Gaiman Book Review

I’ve loved  American Gods, didn’t think too much of Norse Mythology but I thought I’d like the “Anasi Boys” story. And I was quite surprised by how much I’ve enjoyed it!

This is the story of Anasi the Spider God and of his two human boys that he fathered with a human woman. It’s a funny story that contains a murder, a Bird woman, a Tiger, a lime and loads of singing.

“Now, Anansi stories, they have wit and trickery and wisdom. Now, all over the world, all of the people they aren’t just thinking of hunting and being hunted anymore. Now they’re starting to think their way out of problems—sometimes thinking their way into worse problems.

Categories
Art

On The Saco * Albert Bierstadt

On the Saco
Albert Biers8e137bb2-d8c3-475e-87e1-a6177b00aa4d.jpg!Portraittadt (07 January 1830; Solingen, Germany)

Albert Bierstadt (January 7, 1830 – February 18, 1902) was a German-American painter best known for his large landscapes of the American West. In obtaining the subject matter for these works, Bierstadt joined several journeys of the Westward Expansion. Though not the first artist to record these sites, Bierstadt was the foremost painter of these scenes for the remainder of the 19th century.

Bierstadt was part of the Hudson River School, not an institution but rather an informal group of like-minded painters. The Hudson River School style involved carefully detailed paintings with romantic, almost glowing lighting, sometimes called luminism.

 

 

Style: Luminism, Hudson River School, Ashcan School, American, Tonalism

Luminism: a movement in painting concerned with effects of light, especially the use of broken color in its full intensity with a minimum of shadow effects, applied especially to many Impressionist and Pointillist artists.

Paintings by the luminists are almost always landscapes or seascapes, particularly the latter, and are distinguished by a smooth, slick finish; cold, clear colours; and meticulously detailed objects, modeled by rays of light. In these paintings, the sky usually occupies about one-half of the composition, which is often in the format of a long rectangle. The works often show a geometric organization, with the edges of specific objects aligned parallel to the canvas edges.
Paintings:
https://www.albertbierstadt.org/
Paintings
Genre: landscape
Media: oil, canvas
Dimensions: 111.76 x 76.2 cm
A trip to the Yellowstone region in 1871 yielded numerous drawings of the area’s geysers and picturesque topography. These works were instrumental in convincing the United States Congress to pass the Yellowstone Park Bill in 1872, thus establishing the first national park in the world. Soon thereafter Congress purchased a large painting from Albert for $10,000. As a result of the publicity generated by his Yellowstone paintings, Albert’s presence was requested by every explorer considering a westward expedition, and he was commissioned by the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railroad to visit the Grand Canyon for further subject matter.