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Showing posts from December, 2016

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

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Ready Player One by Ernest Cline


                The day James Halliday died a video was released to the world media and to every Oasis user. James Halliday had created the OASIS, the globally networked virtual reality that had begun as a massively multiplayer online game. He was worth two hundred forty billion dollars and this video was his last will and testament. Whoever found Halliday’s Easter egg hidden within the OASIS would get not only his fortune but his controlling stake in the company. Wade will never forget where he was when he first heard the video. He became one of the many people known as “gunters” obsessed with finding the three keys that would lead you to the prize. But it wasn’t just the other gunters Wade was worried about. The Innovative Online Industries, IOI, was hunting for the keys too. They planned on changing the OASIS making people pay a monthly fee and plastering advertisements everywhere. It would change everything. But years passed and no one had found a s…

Rage by Richard Bachman (Stephen King)

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Rage by Richard Bachman (Stephen King)



It took me a while to get my hands on this book. Stephen King pulled it, written under his pseudonym Richard Bachman, because it was found in the possession of people who had attempted or committed high school shootings. This is the story of Charles Decker, a senior in high school who assaulted his chemistry teacher. The teacher survived and he was forced to see a psychiatrist. Then he walked into his Algebra II classroom, after getting into an argument with the principal and setting his locker on fire, and shot his Algebra teacher in the head. Charles then killed another teacher and held the classroom of over twenty students hostage for hours. 
Rage is a very interesting novel. Not only do you have the aspect of a school shooting but you have really in depth reflections on life by not only our narrator Charles, but some of the other students he has taken hostage. The students’ reaction to the shooting was much calmer than I could ever imagine and …

We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

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We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie


Why the word feminists? Why not just say you are a believer in human rights or something like that?” Because that would be dishonest. Feminism is, of course, part of human rights in general- but to choose to use the vague expression human rights is to deny the specific and particular problem of gender. It would be a way of pretending that it was not women who have, for centuries, been excluded.

                When I first started reading this essay I was unsure if I would even write a review. Then about a page in I realized that I had a lot to say on the topic of feminism and that everything I could think to say was written in this essay. We Should All Be Feminists is a modified version of a talk Adichie gave in December of 2012. It is amazing. It is amazing because she has spoken on an issue that many people are passionate about: equal rights for men and women. We have come a long way, and Adichie acknowledges that, but we still…

Stephen King and Philosophy edited by Jacob M. Held (2016)

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Stephen King and Philosophy edited by Jacob M. Held

                I read for the pleasure of it. I enjoy being immersed in a great novel or even in the unbelievable facts of a nonfiction book. I’ve been that way all of my life. I fell in love with Stephen King’s writings at a young age and have been addicted to him ever since. There are moments when I’ve been horrified, petrified, amazed, stunned and entranced while reading his books. And there have been plenty of moments when after reading I’ve wondered if there was more. If there was some meaning that I hadn’t pulled from the story itself. I love the conversations that I’ve had with other people about King’s work and that is the reason I wanted to read this collection of essays so badly. What are the hidden meaning behind King’s words? This was the chance to look at the body of Stephen King’s work to see just what gems can be uncovered about not only King’s writing but what he thinks about society.                 There are sevente…

Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson (2015)

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Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson


                The seas around Britain were a war zone. The German U-boats had sunk more than one ship in the last few months in an attempt to disrupt trade in Britain and stop them from receiving any goods that would help them in the war. The captain of the Lusitania, William Turner, was well aware of the risk but he was navigating the fastest liner being used at that time. He could achieve 25 knots with all four boiler rooms running, which could easily outstrip any U-Boat. The Lusitania set sail on May 1st from New York to Britain hoping to make the transatlantic ship without any issues. Walter Schweiger, the captain of the submarine U-20, was on the other side of the ocean. He and his crew were in the water on their own, free to make decisions of what ship to torpedo and eventually he would set his sights on the Lusitania.                 Intense, well researched, well written and emotional, Dead Wake: The Last Crossing o…

A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James (2014)

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A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James


                The Singer was planning a peace concert in the middle of Jamaica’s current political turmoil. The gangs in Jamaica weren’t sure how to feel about the peace concert, especially when the Singer was conversing with the two opposing parties. On December 3, 1976 someone tried to kill the Singer. He was struck in the chest, in a shot that just missed his heart. The peace concert would have to be postponed and the Singer would leave Jamaica, not returning for a few years. A Brief History of Seven Killings is not the Singer’s story. It is the story of those affected by the attempted assassination of the Singer, and the lives taken, changed and ruined after that day.                 If you are looking for a quick easy read about Bob Marley, then keep looking because this is not that book. I was actually surprised by how little of this book actually involved Bob Marley. He was the tertiary character that this story talked about bu…

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (2013)

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Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie


                This book is an experience and for that reason I am having a really hard time trying to summarize what I just read. The plot revolves around Ifemulu, a Nigerian woman returning to Nigeria after living in the United States for over a decade, and Obinze, the man she loved when she first made the move to the United States. The narrative changes from the present to the past, from Obinze to Ifemulu. But this novel is about the experience of living in both Nigeria and the U.S. It’s about the struggle to form bonds with people in a new world, the struggle to keep love alive across an ocean and the issue of race in America and how people are perceived because of their race.                 There was only thing that I didn’t care for in this novel and that was the constant change in narrative between the past and the present. In my opinion it impacted the pacing of the plot and interrupted the rhythm of the story. That is literally my only …

Gathering of Waters by Bernice L. McFadden (2012)

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Gathering of Waters by Bernice L. McFadden

                Money Mississippi has a lot to tell you about what’s gone on in this small town. The story doesn’t begin with the death of Emmitt Till in 1955, nor does it end there. It begins many years before that with a restless spirit taking over the mind and body of a young girl. That young girl was Doll and Doll wreaked havoc wherever she went. It gave her pleasure to do so. When she met her demise the spirit would continue to wreak havoc in the minds and bodies of others. It was a path of destruction and that path eventually led to the unnecessary and untimely death of Emmitt Till. Those who loved him were forced to move on and live with his loss.                 I’m finishing this novel on August 30, 2016. Days have passed since the 61st anniversary of Emmitt Till’s death. It’s disturbing to imagine the murder of a fourteen year old boy whose death was caused by his skin color and an imagined crime. It’s even worse knowing that the mur…

Midnight Rising: John Brown and the Raid that Sparked the Civil War by Tony Horwitz (2011)

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Midnight Rising: John Brown and the Raid that Sparked the Civil War by Tony Horwitz


                Years before the South seceded from the Union, John Brown attempted to hold Harper’s Ferry in the slave state of Virginia. What did he want from the raid? He wanted to spark a revolution and the war to come. He wanted to arm the slaves in that town, empty the armory and begin making his way down South freeing the slaves. John Brown was an abolitionist who completely believed that slaves should be free and that the institution of slavery should not exist. Brown was willing to take lives and die for the cause as was evident on October 16, 1859 and through the thirty six hours that followed. Midnight Rising: John Brown and the Raid that Sparked the Civil War is the story of John Brown. Divided into three parts, Horwitz takes his time dissecting the life of Brown looking at his upbringing and belief system, the raid itself and the aftermath. This book was very well rounded and showed a very…