Category Archives: Book Reviews
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A gripping look into the life of Mosab Hassan Yousef, who for 10 years was an Israeli collaborator at the highest level within Hamas and Palestinian society in the West Bank, and the firstborn, beloved son of Hassan Yousef, one of the founders of Hamas. In Mosab’s mind, through his awaking faith in Christianity, he succeeded in freeing himself of Hamas’ fanatical tenets and imperatives for a purpose with a higher calling.
Viewing events on the ground from the Palestinian side was at times discomforting, but this narrative was certainly a mind- and eye-opener vis-a-vis Hamas and PA politics as well as the courage a collaborator must find within himself or herself knowing that their life could end with a bullet should they be discovered.
Some not so light reading given the events of the recent past, but certainly a worthwhile read no matter what your views. (And apparently Yousef has a blog on WordPress.com, sadly not frequently or recently updated. His book site includes a link to download the 1st chapter to read or listen to. I recommend it.)
And, yes, I’m still angry.
- CNN Report: Hamas founder’s son worked for Israel
- The Mosab Yousef Saga: Did Hamas ‘Defector’ Dupe All of Us?
- Editorial: Hamas’s Illegitimacy (nytimes.com)
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Lately it feels like I’m reading books by my favorite authors that are just, I don’t know, anticlimactic. “The Long Earth” was another book by Terry Pratchett, this time co-authored with Stephen Baxter, that began with enormous potential, but rambled along and then stalled. The ending made it clear there’s a continuation, but since the first book failed to capture my attention, I doubt that I’ll read the second.
Sorry, Sir Terry, seems we’ve lost that lovin’ feeling.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I don’t think there’s a child born in the ’50′s, especially those of us who were born and raised in the Midwest, who could fail to identify with this book, from the blissful ignorance and gosh darn cheerfulness of our impending atomic doom, right up to.., oh well, don’t want to give away too many spoilers here.
A fantastic slow walk through our childhood, where indeed anything was possible and likely probable to happen.
(Posting will be light until I can come up for air, hopefully sometime next week.)
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
As a die-hard Discworld fan, “Snuff” both engaged and disappointed me at the same time.
While on holiday on his wife’s family estate in the country, the mostly out-of-place Sam Vimes, Duke of Ankh, is framed in the murder of a local goblin girl and takes up the chase with the local not-quite-up-to-speed-but-learning-quickly constable to find her real killer. At the same time Commander Vimes saves an entire species from decimation and pulls down the established societal pecking order. Life in the country and elsewhere on the Discworld is never the same again.
The story itself is entertaining enough, but there’s really nothing new here. Everything is familiar and expected, like an old married couple or your favorite, comfortable slippers. Willikins, however, was a delightful dash of Tabasco on an otherwise dull meatloaf.
Ironically Related articles
- Pratchett scoops prize for Snuff (bbc.co.uk)
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Even though I promised myself that after listening to the
BBC HBO interview with GRR Martin, and not hearing a whisper about the next book, I would set this one aside to read the last 150 pages at a later date. That promise lasted about a month.
As the author said at the end of his previous book, book #5 is a catch up with the characters that weren’t covered in the earlier book with some convergence towards the end. It did and it was a good read.
I gave this 4 stars, but really only 3 1/2 due to length. After having read several thousand pages of the story thus far, I admit that I miss the days when fantasy authors published trilogies, even 5 volume works. But like everyone else, I eagerly await the next book in the series. Do I have a choice?