Sunday, November 30, 2014

Gliding Over the World of Literature – Issue 65

Greetings to all of you and welcome back for the 65th issue of Gliding Over the World of Literature, our glorious news journal from the world of books where life is explored in all of its extremes, as long as they can be reached through letters of course.

To start things off we are going to be taking a look at a stanza from “A Litany For Survival” by Audre Lorde, where a poem shook the hearts of many during the recent events in Ferguson. Following that we will be paying a tribute to a great crime writer, PD James, who recently met her demise at the young age of 94. Finally, we will move on to lighter things an take a look at ten of the more interesting words that authors had the audacity to invent.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

“The Escape” by David Baldacci – Brotherly Affairs

The Escape by David Baldacci – book cover
David Baldacci has long ago established himself as a master of thriller literature, and needless to say, he has further cemented that title for himself with his latest book detailing the exploits U.S. Army special agent John Puller, titled The Escape.

To put it as briefly as possible, Puller is brought in once again to lend a hand in a matter of national security: he must find and bring in his own older brother, Robert, who recently escaped from the most secure prison on the planet. Of course, Robert wasn't there because he got lost on the way to the supermarket; he was convicted on charges of treason, amongst other crimes against the country. As John inches his way closer and closer to his brother he makes many interesting acquaintances and discoveries, all of which only seem to muddle the picture even further, ultimately casting huge shadows of doubt on where true alliances lie, how guilty Robert truly was, and whether or not he will be found in time, at least before those who want him dead do.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

"The Perseid Collapse” by Steven Konkoly – The Initial Response

The Perseid Collapse by Steven Konkoly (Book cover)The fantasy of humanity's collective doom and sinking back into a technological oblivion is one that has pervaded literature for ages, and exponentially so with the incredible scientific advancements made in the past couple of centuries.

Steven Konkoly is a writer who decided to take a more realistic approach to the whole thing, gifting us The Perseid Collapse, the book which serves as the sequel to The Jakarta Pandemic and as a prequel to Event Horizon. As was mentioned in our review of the prequel to the Perseid Collapse series, the focus was placed on the survival of certain individuals during a most deadly flu pandemic.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

“Lucky Us” by Amy Bloom – Life in Disappointments

Lucky Us by Amy Bloom – book cover
When most people are dissatisfied with what they have, they either tend to: complain about it and pretend that will fix something or actually try and make incremental improvements to their lives in the direction they see fit. And then, of course, there are those like Eva and Iris in the novel Lucky Us by Amy Bloom, who decide to journey across the country in search of some kind of fulfillment.

The novel basically tells the story of these two sisters, relating to us the many different experiences they undergo while traveling from one end of the country to the other. We get to witness the country from its discreet small towns to the grandest and most luxurious of casinos and hotels, but perhaps more importantly, we are given an opportunity to explore its equally-entertaining spectrum of people.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

“The Nixon Defense” by John W. Dean – The Architect's Testimony

The Nixon Defense by John W. Dean – book cover
The Watergate Scandal certainly remains one of the most infamous moments in U.S. Presidential history, marking a moment where a President was ousted from power not through force, but through exposition and law. Despite the extensive investigations and inquiries made by numerous parties into the affair, there are still many question marks pending to be answered, in great part due to the complexity of the entire cover-up that followed.

John W. Dean was the White House Counsel at the time of the events and was labeled by the FBI as being “the master manipulator” in charge of covering the whole thing up. After he lost position for obvious reasons in 1973, Dean began publishing numerous books about his experiences in the White House, and most recently he published The Nixon Defense, examining that infamous scandal and aiming to answer the question as to what Nixon actually knew.

Sunday, November 09, 2014

Gliding Over the World of Literature – Issue 64

Good day to you all and welcome back for the 64th issue of Gliding Over the World of Literature, where we constantly strive to brighten up your day, and hopefully, give you an extra bit of knowledge you didn't have before.

We are going to start things off by checking out a new exhibition at the Museum of London dedicated to the legendary Sherlock Holmes. Following that is a rather inspiring story about one man's struggle with literature and the ability to read a novel from start to finish. Finally, to cap things off we are going to turn our attention to the peculiar writing practices and habits of the greatest authors of our time.

Saturday, November 08, 2014

“Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy” by Karen Abbott – A Game of Queens

Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy by Karen Abbott – book cover
The Civil War which led to the creation of the United States of America is a subject that is thoroughly covered in school (or at the very least, in most education systems), but even so many of its notable topics are left out, some because there is simply no time for them, and others because they aren't exactly well-known. The role which four women – Belle Boyd, Emma Edmonds, Rose O'Neale Greenhow and Elizabeth Van Lew – played in the conflict falls into the latter category.

Thursday, November 06, 2014

“A Separate Reality” by Carlos Castaneda – Unlearning the World

A Separate Reality by Carlos Castaneda – front cover
To begin with, I feel I must open with the statement that this series of books by Castaneda needs to be read in the order they were published in; otherwise, you are going to have a hell of a time comprehending, analyzing, following and being entertained. If you haven't read The Teachings of Don Juan yet, I would suggest you begin your journey into this wondrous world over there.

In any case, this time I believe I can skip over the various concerns I previously addressed about this whole series in regards to the veracity, accuracy and believability of what is written, and simply re-state that regardless of whether or not the incredible events described throughout the books transpired, the ideas put forward in them still remain as separate and extremely interesting entities on their own.

Sunday, November 02, 2014

“Seven Locks” by Christine Wade – The Despair of Abandonment

Seven Locks” by Christine Wade – Book Cover
Ever since our distant ancestors began to live in societies, having the respect of one's neighbors has always been, to varying extents, an important rule of survival, especially in smaller societies where everyone knows everyone else. When neighbors start turning on each other, or worse, mobbing up on a specific target, then survival quickly becomes a very real issue.

In Seven Locks by Christine Wade, we are told a story set in the late 1700s in pre-Revolutionary America, that of a mother who has to contend with the never-ending persecution from her neighbors following the sudden and mysterious departure of her husband, leaving her alone on the farm with the children. At first the rumors say that her nagging drove him away... after a while, as rumors always tend to, they snowball into the idea that the wife murdered him and ground him into sausage meat. The story is that of the mother and her lifelong struggle to survive and make a home for her children in the most dreadful of circumstances.