Saturday, May 30, 2015

“Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow: My Life” by Sophia Loren – Hollywood and Elegant Glamor

Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow: My Life by Sophia Loren - book cover
Over the years Hollywood certainly hasn't lacked in superstars with worldwide renown, but there have been a few to soar above all the heights we thought none would ever reach, and Sophia Loren is one such star. To those who are unfamiliar with the name, Loren is the sole person to have won six David di Donatello Awards for Best Actress and is one of those people whose career simply took off and never came back down.

Friday, May 29, 2015

“Is That All There Is?” by James Gavin – The Timeless Jazz Heroine

Is That All There Is? by James Gavin - book cover
Looking back on the past century in terms of music, it seems there was a very real and sudden expansion, or more precisely, an explosion. Countless artists made their name by exploring new genres of music and generally taking things to the next level, into uncharted territories. Naturally, it came to the point where some of our beloved musicians became idolized, or at least recognized as objectively-fascinating figures, as was the case with Peggy Lee.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

“The Residence” by Kate Andersen Brower – The Invisible Servants

The Residence by Kate Andersen Brower - book cover
When people try to figure out the inner workings of the White House, how things happen there in general and the relationships people really have with each other, they tend to try and get that information from the more renowned public figures. However, it is very easy to forget that very few are in a better place to truly know what happens behind closed doors than the countless servants hired to work there. Being virtually invisible and called upon to work everywhere behind the scenes, their stories are certainly interesting, but overshadowed by anonymity.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Gliding Over the World of Literature – Issue 74

Greetings to you all, and welcome back for the 74th issue of Gliding Over the Word of Literature, where we never run out of topics for conversation. Today, we are going to start things off by taking a look at a questionable event that took place recently: the divulging of Osama bin Laden's alleged reading list. Following that, we will take a gander at what's happening at the upcoming Olympia Book Fair and how the first edition of Peter Pan comes into play. Finally, today's article will be capped off with a celebration of a rather important birthday: Dante's quarter-of-a-millennium birthday.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

“Nemesis” by Agatha Christie – Postmortem Guidance

Nemesis by Agatha Christie - book cover
There are only so many ways to diversify the concept of a murder investigation, but Agatha Christie never relented and virtually always managed to bring something new and interesting to the table. In her Miss Marple series she experimented from time to time, diverging from the classical whodunit formula we've come to expect from, and more often than not the results were rather pleasing, if not interesting at the very least.

“The Life We Bury” by Allen Eskens – Defining a Life

The Life We Bury by Allen Eskens - book cover
We have a tendency to judge most people, perhaps even ourselves at times, based on a single action or event. Innumerable are the cases where people are erroneously judged, being labeled as one thing or another for all eternity, no matter what the actual truth may be. In The Life We Bury Allen Eskens explores this idea on many levels as a college student by the name of Joe Talbert finds himself with a simple task: write a random person's biography. (Read Chapter 1 here)

Thursday, May 21, 2015

“Killing Patton” by Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard – Lifting the Veil of Mystery

Killing Patton by Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard - book cover
The General George Patton is certainly one of the more recognizable historical figures on the Allies' side during both World Wars, having many heroics and victories to his name. The amount of exploits he is known for would take years to enumerate, though sadly, amongst them is his death.

At the age of sixty, the great general suffered a terrible vehicular accident, one that left him paralyzed from the neck down. A few days later he died in his sleep. Though it is certain that many believe this death to be a tragic accident and nothing more (and with very good reason), there are others who suspect some kind of foul play may be involved... after all, there is a strong reasoning in this favor as well.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

“Rebel Queen” by Michelle Moran – A Queen's Duty

Rebel Queen by Michelle Moran (Book cover)
Digging through history's archives feels like going through a never-ending gold mine, one where you are always liable to uncover some hidden gem with the next swing of the pickaxe. The people whose stories are worth telling were countless, and there are some who take it upon themselves to shine the spotlight on the lesser-known periods and exploits in history. It seems Michelle Moran is one of those people, being renowned for her ability to deliver thrilling accounts of historical fiction on the more forgotten subjects out there without sacrificing accuracy or fidelity.

Friday, May 15, 2015

“At Bertram's Hotel” by Agatha Christie – Miss Marple the Witness

At Bertram's Hotel by Agatha Christie - book cover
Literature may not be subjected to our laws of reality (as a matter of fact, it couldn't be more removed from them), we still strive to maintain a semblance of realism, even if it is to the disappointment of the fans.

More often than not, in a book series characters do grow older and older, though at the author's convenience. Still, sometimes it is impossible to keep our most beloved protagonists young and spry, especially when they were already older to start with, as was Miss Marple.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Gliding Over the World of Literature – Issue 73

Salutations to you all and allow us to bid you a fair welcome to the 73rd issue of Gliding Over the World of Literature, where we never cease to be amazed by the countless bounties brought to us from the book world.

On today's occasion, we are going to begin by looking into the medieval mystic Margery Kempe, or perhaps more precisely, some historical documents which suggest that she may deserve more credibility than we have given her. Following that we will shed some light on newly-uncovered stories by the legendary Mark Twain. In the end, we'll round things out by honoring Mother's Day by checking out a list of both the most beloved and hated mother figures in literature.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

“So You've Been Publicly Shamed” by Jon Ronson – The Shackles of Guilt

So You've Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson - book cover
When we think of terms public shaming, most of us conjure up images of public lynchings and angry mobs going after those who claim the world to be round. Though it is true that the concept of it may not be as widespread is once was, there is no denying that public shaming is still a very strong aspect of society, especially in places where people live in tighter communities.

In the age of technology where it is easier than ever to know what people are up to and share the information with the world, it seems that public shaming is making a bit of a resurgence, or at least that is what Jon Ronson argues in his book So You've Been Publicly Shamed.

Saturday, May 09, 2015

“The Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage” by Haruki Murakami – Life's Railways

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami
Haruki Murakami is the kind of author who, despite trying out different types of variations in his writing style, always succeeds in delivering stories that are rather surrealistic, mystical and dreamlike in their nature... as a matter of fact, some could argue that it is the staple of his style.

In The Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage, Murakami's latest work of literature, the author returns to a more down-to-Earth style of writing, a prose that is somewhat poetic and philosophical in its nature.

Friday, May 08, 2015

“The Nightingale” by Kristin Hannah – The Forgotten Resistance

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah - bok cover
Those who have studied the Second World War already know that people resisted Nazi occupation in a whole myriad of ways, with there never being a shortage of partisan efforts to speak of. Most people remember France as being the country that quickly surrendered during the conflict rather than engage in a war they would most certainly lose, but tend to forget that even after the occupation, countless were those who resisted the fascist regime.

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

“Dark Intelligence” by Neal Asher – Robotic Bloodlust

Dark Intelligence by Neal Asher - book cover
The potential pitfalls that come with rapidly-evolving technologies have become rather-well known to us, mainly because it is a subject that has been explored abundantly in the realm of fiction... and upon further review, it can be said that the concerns certainly aren't baseless. The idea of creating a sentient artificial intelligence is one that raises a whole number of questions, and even though in the real world we haven't ventured this far, Neal Asher uses it as the base for his new book series, Transformation.

Saturday, May 02, 2015

“The Buried Giant” by Kazuo Ishiguro – Reawakening the Spirit

The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro (Book cover)
Very few civilisations out there have had such a far-reaching impact as the Romans, creating one of the vastest and longest-enduring empires in human history. Nevertheless, the giant fell just like all the ones before and after it, leaving many countries in a dire state of ruin and abandon, and such was the case with Britain.