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Showing posts from September, 2016

Rockets Verses Gravity by Richard Scarsbrook

An abundance of characters navigate Rockets Verses Gravity, and the book is unusual in its writing style. With multiple stories going on their own trajectories, especially early on in the book, it’s hard to grasp where Richard Scarsbrook intends to take his reader. There’s a lumberjack who keeps losing his wedding ring, four times in fact. With a wife that keeps nagging him about everything, it probably is a metaphor for a marriage on the verge of collapsing. 
Then, there's a young girl Clementine who gets pregnant. Her character surfaces years later (or later on) in the book. 

James is a would-be rock star now selling insurance. He is unhappy to have given up his passion. His marriage to the boss's daughter is complicated. He is on the brink of also discovering he has a terminal illness and with all the unhappiness in his own marriage he finds himself fantasizing of another woman Priya.
There are more intricately woven stories in Rockets Verses Gravity, which you can read for yo…

Mischling by Affinity Konar

Mischling("mixed-blood" in German, plural: Mischlinge) was the German legal term used in Nazi Germany to denote persons deemed to have both Aryan and Jewish ancestry.Mischling Test refers to the legal test under Nazi Germany's Nuremberg Laws that was applied to determine whether a person was considered a "Jew" or a "Mischling" (mixed-blood).
A superbly crafted original story that takes a dark moment in history and makes it vividly shocking. Mischling by Affinity Konar, is a tale of two sisters, twins, who are placed in a camp where other twins have also been assembled. Nicknamed "Mengele's zoo" this place was unusual, and the twins (or their parents that left them there) knew what would await their future.  
They are told that they are the chosen ones, and led to believe they will have a better future both for themselves and their families if they stay at the "zoo". Auschwitz had been built to imprison Jews. Birkenau had been bui…

Vassa In The Night: Blog Tour

Vassilissa the Beautiful is a Russian folktalecollected by Alexander Afanasyev in Narodnye russkie skazki.
Synopsis of Vassilissa the Beautiful:  By his first wife, a merchant had a single daughter, who was known as Vasilisa the Beautiful. When the girl was eight years old, her mother died. On her deathbed, she gave Vasilisa a tiny wooden doll with instructions to give it a little to eat and a little to drink if she were in need, and then it would help her. As soon as her mother died, Vasilisa gave it a little to drink and a little to eat, and it comforted her.

After a time, her father remarried; the new wife was a woman with two daughters. Vasilisa's stepmother was very cruel to her, but with the help of the doll, she was able to perform all the tasks imposed on her. When young men came wooing, the stepmother rejected them all because it was not proper for the younger to marry before the older, and none of the suitors wished to marry Vasilisa's stepsisters.


News From Kevin Patterson - a powwow with the author of News From The Red Desert

Kevin Patterson sports an impressive CV. This noted novelist, whose previous works have received worldwide acclaim, is also a practicing doctor who lives and works in Salisbury Island and Nanaimo, and several times a year, heads up to the Arctic, to help folks on a terrain that is rough and sparse.
His latest literary feat, News From The Red Desert, by Penguin Random House Canada, is about the war in Afghanistan. It’s a comment between the distance of stories we tell ourselves and the reality of war. Kevin Patterson suggests that the stories we usually tell ourselves are like American Sniper and Zero Dark Thirty; they are about justice and purpose, controlled discipline and surgical strikes and smart weapons with a clear demarcation between good and bad, right and wrong.
News from the Red Desert is an attempt to show reality with the ensuing chaos and moral disarray that occurs. It’s an opportunity to narrow the gap between the two narratives and humanize the effects of war. The chara…

The Fix Is In

The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, opened a new era of muscular and assertive American Foreign Policy, ostensibly branded as George W. Bush's "The War On Terror". Terrorism and war continue unabated.
The bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers on September 15, 2008 was yet another canary in the economic coalmine that hastened "The Global Financial Crisis".  The after effects of reckless bankers and feckless policy makers are being felt to this day. 
On September 5, 2016 in Cape Town, South Africa, members of the "Working Group on the Anthropocene" presented findings of their research to the annual International Geological Congress. To the uninitiated, and in lay person's terms "the Anthropocene," defines a new epoch -- one where human activity has become the dominant influence on climate and the environment. Are we sleepwalking to our own environmental oblivion?

These disparate events have something in common; the belief that the world is i…