Wednesday, September 30, 2015

“All That Followed” by Gabriel Urza – The Terror of the Unexpected

All That Followed by Gabriel Urza - book cover
The search for truth is an objective humanity has always been aiming for, and though there are certainly those who recognize ignorance as bliss, most people want to see reality in all of its beauty and horror... often not knowing what they are asking to see until it's too late. Regardless, it seems we always have and will continue to strive for truth and justice, no matter what the cost, as do the people of Muriga, a quiet Spanish town, in Gabriel Urza's novel, All That Followed.

Friday, September 25, 2015

“The Pentagon's Brain” by Annie Jacobsen – The Story of DARPA

The Pentagon's Brain by Annie Jacobsen - book cover
The Defense Advanced Research Project Agency, better-known by its acronym DARPA, is a rather well-guarded secret of the state, and as such draws a lot of suspicion by its very nature. When such a huge and unknown mass of mystery hangs in the air, it always draws people who want to pierce it and expose its true nature. There is a certain amount of discrepancy between what people DARPA is all about... while some believe it is exactly what it claims to be and works to improve the country's defences in humane ways, others see it as a shadowed organization with a mandate to develop extremely dangerous and powerful experimental weaponry. And of course, there are all the scenarios in-between.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

“An Absent Mind” by Eric Rill – The Final Mile

An Absent Mind by Eric Rill - book cover
Though at first most people have very concrete goals and ideas as to what they want to accomplish before their time on this Earth is up, as we get older most of us shift our focus towards just trying to be happy and keeping it all together. Some have the misfortune of being left to scramble and make up for many lost years in their final stretch of life, as is Saul in Eric Rill's An Absent Mind.

Friday, September 18, 2015

“The Rumor” by Elin Hilderbrand – The Ruin of Words

The Rumor by Elin Hilderbrand - book cover
Ever since most of us were young we were taught not to stick our noses in other people's affairs, not to jump to conclusions, make assumptions based on appearances... basically, we were taught not to gossip. However, we knew way better than to let those lessons get to us... whether we do it for the mere pleasure of this type of voyeurism or to convince ourselves we have it pretty well, there is no denying: gossip is fun. Of course, there are always those who take things too far and turn gossip, which is generally harmless, into an unforgiving tool of ostracizing punishment... and that's when it has the power to take it all away.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Gliding Over the World of Literature – Issue 79

Good day to you all and welcome for what is the 79th issue of Gliding Over the World of Literature! Today, we are going to kick things off by having a look at the peculiar situation Australian literature finds itself in when it comes to comedy. Following that, we'll be going back in time to see where it all started for Tolkien with his first story, the one that set the stage for all the masterpieces to come. We are then going to round things off by taking a look at seven cities that served as major sources of inspiration for waves upon waves of authors.

The Funny Problem

There may not be a medium out there that allows comedy to be expressed in its full radiance, apart from literature. Ever since it existed there have always been those who used the written word to bring smiles to other people's faces. Unsurprisingly, the genre has developed by leaps and bounds, becoming a science of its own today... a science Australia's literature department seems to have problems with, despite having all the tools to succeed.

Monday, September 14, 2015

“The Good Girl” by Mary Kubica – Filling in the Blanks

The Good Girl by Mary Kubica - book cover
Family secrets aren't usually that big of a deal... most have them, and they generally revolve around hilariously embarrassing moments or medical issues. It's not that often that you see a family keeping so many skeletons in its closet that it threatens to burst, but it's certainly that kind of story which gets our attention, and that's what we are treated to in Mary Kubica's The Good Girl.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

“Trail of Broken Wings” by Sejal Badani –A Burden of Shameful Secrets

Trail of Broken Wings by Sejal Badani (Book cover)
The concept of actions and consequences is one we're all privy to and have experienced in one form or another... as a matter of fact, you've made it far enough to be reading book review blogs in life, chances are you've experienced the phenomenon in some surprising ways.

Perhaps unfortunately, the consequences of some decisions can take years upon years to make themselves known, and even if we don't really see it, the accumulation of the decisions we make and the secrets we keep can have a very powerful effect further down the line.

This is precisely the kind of thing three sisters are exposed to in Trail of Broken Wings , the first book by Sejal Badani.

Monday, September 07, 2015

“The Girl from Krakow” by Alex Rosenberg – Outlasting Evil

The Girl from Krakow by Alex Rosenberg - book cover
World War II, still fresh in the annals of our history, was without a doubt the deadliest and most far-reaching conflict we know of... for now of course, as we have a tendency to constantly outdo ourselves. In any case, the few years it spanned were some of the strangest and most tumultuous ones, at least in the 20th century, and so it is quite understandable why many authors choose it as the backdrop for their works of fiction, as did Alex Rosenberg in The Girl from Krakow.

Thursday, September 03, 2015

“Modern Romance” by Aziz Ansari and Eric Klinenberg – Chivalry Never Dies

Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari and Eric Klinenberg-book cover
The concept of dating (or “courting”, depending how fancy you are) is one that that seems to have undergone a tremendous amount of ages as societies have been developing over the course of thousands of years. We've constantly been inventing rules and traditions, and then reshaping them to fit whichever direction society tended to go.

Thankfully, it has come to a point today where people (in most developed countries at least) have a great amount of freedom in whom they choose to go out with and what they do together. This in turn seems to have complicated the world of dating a great deal in certain ways, mainly because we have a tendency to cause chaos when given free reign to do what we'd like to. Thankfully, we have one of the greatest comedic voices in Aziz Ansari to help us understand that convoluted world, along with the help of renowned sociologist Eric Klinenberg; they've written a whole book about it titled Modern Romance.

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

“Alert” by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge – A Technological Terror

Alert by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge - book cover
While technology certainly has enhanced our lives and opened countless new roads and possibilities for us to take, it is nevertheless a double-edged sword and deep down most of us know that someone, somewhere will find a way to use these advancements for a greater evil. Many have already written about the pitfalls of our technological development and how it can be used for terror, and Alert by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge falls into that category.