Pain Killers

Posted September 1, 2010 by Hillary in ARC, Book Reviews / 0 Comments

Pain KillersPain Killers by Jerry Stahl
Published by Harper Collins on March 3rd 2009
Genres: Fiction, General, Suspense, Thrillers
Pages: 408
Format: Paperback
Goodreads
three-half-stars

From the acclaimed and controversial author of Permanent Midnight comes one of the most vividly subversive, savagely funny, and explosive novels yet unleashed in our tender century. Pain Killers is a violent and mind-wrenching masterpiece in the gonzo noir style that has earned Jerry Stahl his legion of avid fans. Down-and-out ex-cop and not-quite-reformed addict Manny Rupert accepts a job going undercover to find out if an old man locked up in a California prison is who he claims to be: the despicable—and allegedly dead—Josef Mengele, aka the Angel of Death. What if, instead of drowning thirty years ago, the sadistic legend whose Auschwitz crimes still horrify faked his own death and is now locked up in San Quentin, ranting and bitter about being denied the adulation he craves for his contribution to keeping the Master Race pure—if no longer masterful? After accidentally reuniting with ex-wife and love of his life, Tina, at San Quentin—they first met at the crime scene where Tina murdered her first husband with Drano-laced Lucky Charms—Manny spends a bad night imbibing boxed wine and questionable World War One morphine, hunched over a trove of photos showing live genital dissections that plant him in the middle of a conspiracy involving genocide, drugs, eugenics, human experiments, and America's secret history of collusion with German believers in Nordic superiority. Manny's quest sends him careening from one extreme of apocalypse-adjacent reality to the other: from SS-inked Jewish shotcallers to meth-crazed virgin hookers, from Mexican gangbangers to Big Pharma–financed prison research to an animal shelter that gasses more than stray dogs and cats . . . Pain Killers captures one man's struggle against a perverse and demented scheme of global proportions, in a literary tour de force as outrageous, compelling, and dangerous as history itself. Not for the faint of heart, the novel hurtles readers into a disturbing, original, and alarmingly real world filled with some of the kinkiest sex, most horrific violence, and screaming wit ever found on the page—proving yet again that Stahl is, as The New Yorker described him,

pain killers Let me begin by saying this is a weird book. I generally enjoy wired book because books are supposed to take you into an alternate reality right?

This book however makes Kafka look tame by comparison. The premise is that A man in hired to go undercover to see if a prison guard is really a  Nazi Camp guard in hiding. It delves into the world of drug addicts and prostitution and other underbelly activities.  It takes twist and turns that no reader could have anticipated. It has dark undertones throughout the book. It also has a good psychological bent as it explores the dark side of human nature. It was entertaining to be able to see that whole spectrum without actually being in any harm. He also injects humor into his subject so you don’t feel as if he is dragging you down. Some books after you have read them leave you feeling more depressed than you were before reading them. Not so with Pain Killers.

When I arrived at the end of the book I was like what?! huh? That is a good thing in my opinion. Not many books have that ability. A book that takes you on a ride has accomplished its purpose.

three-half-stars
Hillary

About Hillary

I am a book lover who loves to read and write. I only leave my apartment for food and MOAR books. I love to meet new people online so don't be afraid to say hi!

A Purpose Driven Life

Posted August 31, 2010 by Hillary in Book Reviews / 1 Comment

A Purpose Driven LifeThe Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren
Published by Zondervan on August 1st 2006
Genres: Christian Life, General, Religion
Pages: 334
Goodreads

You are not an accident. Even before the universe was created, God had you in mind, and he planned you for his purposes. These purposes will extend far beyond the few years you will spend on earth. You were made to last forever!Self-help books often suggest that you try to discover the meaning and purpose of your life by looking within yourself, but Rick Warren says that is the wrong place to start. You must begin with God, your Creator, and his reasons for creating you. You were made by God and for God, and until you understand that, life will never make sense.This book will help you understand why you are alive and God's amazing plan for you-both here and now, and for eternity. Rick Warren will guide you through a personal 40-day spiritual journey that will transform your answer to life's most important question: What on earth am I here for?Knowing God's purpose for creating you will reduce your stress, focus your energy, simplify your decisions, give meaning to your life, and, most importantly, prepare you for eternity.The Purpose Driven(tm) Life is a blueprint for Christian living in the 21st century-a lifestyle based on God's eternal purposes, not cultural values. Using over 1,200 scriptural quotes and references, it challenges the conventional definitions of worship, fellowship, disciple

0310276993.01._SX140_SY225_SCLZZZZZZZ_ If you are looking for advice career wise or personal growth this is not the book for you. However if you are looking on living for God this book is perfect for you.

It is written by Rick Warren a pastor at Saddle Back church one of the largest in the world. It explains how to live for God. The premise is that if you live for God then God will help you in other areas of your life.

It has references to bible scriptures and other references that pertain to the book’s theme. Let me be clear on this, it is not written from a fundamentalist view but rather from a sound Christian frame of mind.

The most important part that is stressed is that life here is a practice run for eternity. When one views it from that view point it makes some of our troubles seem more bearable. It also offers a message of hope. That no matter what your circumstances now may be, that there is a better way. I liked how he says there are no accidents of birth that if you are here on earth, God wanted you here. This is a refreshing change from many fundamentalist view points on how people are tainted with unpardonable sin if you were not born and raised in a strictly Christian manner.

It fails to give too much detail on how you can know what God wants you to do career wise but perhaps that was not the aim of the book. Still it would have been nice to have something about that.

According to the bible 40 days is enough time to take a significant spiritual journey. The book is meant to be digested at the rate of one chapter a day for 40 days. I read it in a few days since it was a library book so I cant tell you if it really was a great spiritual journey. I had friends swear by it so I guess for some people it works.

Overall you come away with a feeling of renewal and hope and in today’s climate that is a good thing.

Hillary

About Hillary

I am a book lover who loves to read and write. I only leave my apartment for food and MOAR books. I love to meet new people online so don't be afraid to say hi!

Sunday Salon

Posted August 29, 2010 by Hillary in Sunday Salon / 1 Comment

This week I reviewed two books Outcasts United and Bibliotherpy: The Girls Guide to Books for Every Phase of our Lives. I also focused more on reading and writing in my personal journal in an attempt to improve my writing skills. Question for all, Do you keep a journal?
I also decided to try Get Glue and fell in love with it. It really does offer good suggestions. For those of you who don’t know what get glue is it is a site where you can “check in” on what you are doing. For example I check in that I am reading a book or writing and so forth. They have lots of different categories. What I like best is you can go on different sites put in what you like then it gives you recommendations. You can earn badges just like other sites. This one more fits my personality as I would rather stay home and read than go out trying to get points as on foursquare. Here is a link to my profile if want to see it in action.
I have decided to join bookcrossing again and spruced up my profile. I have been reading how people are building their own home library and how book you have on your shelf represents you. There are a lot of books I have that I know I will never pick up again. So I decided to wild release them via bookcrossing. I have went through some and got them ready. Not much but it is a start.
I have read two books this week. A Purpose Driven Life and Push. Look to a review soon. I am now reading Armageddon in retrospect by Kurt Vonnegut. He is one of my favorite authors so of course I like this book.

Hillary

About Hillary

I am a book lover who loves to read and write. I only leave my apartment for food and MOAR books. I love to meet new people online so don't be afraid to say hi!

Bibliotherpy: The Girls Guide to Books for Every Phase of our Lives

Posted August 28, 2010 by Hillary in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

ISBN: 9780440508977
Bibliotherpy: The Girls Guide to Books for Every Phase of our LivesBibliotherapy by Nancy K. PeskeBeverly West
Published by Dell Pub. on 2001
Genres: Literary Criticism, General, Books & Reading, Psychology, Reference, Bibliographies & Indexes
Pages: 257
Format: Paperback
Source: bought
Goodreads
five-stars

Because women read books differently than guys do...
Every woman knows ... books are more than a way to kill time on the bus — they're therapy that fits in our bag. Whether we're wallowing in a sullen perennial adolescence or our biological clock is ringing and we can't find the snooze button, books are the dog-eared friends that help us deal with our baggage as we navigate life's journey.
Now Bibliotherapy prescribes the best of classic and contemporary Chick Lit that women turn to again and again — for inspiration (A Tree Grows in Brooklyn) ... for escape (Ladder of Years) ... for revenge against the patriarchy (Our Blood) ... and for bonding with our girlfriends (Waiting to Exhale).
Upper-thigh spread sparking a midlife crisis? Read A Lady's Life in the Rocky Mountains and remember that it's not over until the fat lady yodels. Did your pot of gold turn out to be fourteen-karat tin? Open your eyes with Awakening to the Sacred and learn to savor your rainbow. Wondering what all the fuss is about? Climb into bed with Lady Chatterley's Lover and explore your pleasure potential.
With provocative points to ponder as you read ("What is the metaphorical significance of a codpiece?"), fun quotes, and a list of books that must not be read but, in Dorothy Parker's words, "thrown with great force," Bibliotherapy ensures you'll always find the right literary prescription — no matter what phase of life you're teetering on the brink of!
Plus: Doomed but Inspired Heroes ... Books to Read When You're Sick of Your Career and Are Seriously Considering Taking Up Alpaca Ranching in Peru ... Bad Girls We'd Like to Have Over for Girls' Night ... Books That Are the Equivalent of Citronella for Men ... and much more!

I have to admit I am a sucker for books that has list of other books. Book Lust, 1001 Books to Read before You Die, I am a fan and have read all of them. When I saw this book I just had to obtain a copy.

It list different phases of a women’s life, such as When You’re Ready to Embrace Your Inner Bitch: Bad Girls Books and When You think You can change Him:Bad Boy Books among others.

It is interesting to note that books can be very therapic. I know I have some of my favorites to fall back on when I need a viewpoint on how to solve a problem. Many of my in real life friends are always asking me how can a work of fiction help me sole a real in life issue. I always respond that it can give one a different framework on how to handle issues. In the same vain this book gives the reader a list of books to help reconcile any issues they may be struggling with.

five-stars
Hillary

About Hillary

I am a book lover who loves to read and write. I only leave my apartment for food and MOAR books. I love to meet new people online so don't be afraid to say hi!

Outcasts United

Posted August 25, 2010 by Hillary in ARC, book review, Book Reviews / 1 Comment

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Outcasts UnitedOutcasts United by Warren St. John
Published by Random House Publishing Group on April 21st 2009
Genres: Emigration & Immigration, Soccer, Social Science, Sociology of Sports, Sports & Recreation
Pages: 293
Goodreads
five-stars

BONUS: This edition contains a reader's guide. The extraordinary tale of a refugee youth soccer team and the transformation of a small American town Clarkston, Georgia, was a typical Southern town until it was designated a refugee settlement center in the 1990s, becoming the first American home for scores of families in flight from the world’s war zones—from Liberia and Sudan to Iraq and Afghanistan. Suddenly Clarkston’s streets were filled with women wearing the hijab, the smells of cumin and curry, and kids of all colors playing soccer in any open space they could find. The town also became home to Luma Mufleh, an American-educated Jordanian woman who founded a youth soccer team to unify Clarkston’ s refugee children and keep them off the streets. These kids named themselves the Fugees. Set against the backdrop of an American town that without its consent had become a vast social experiment, Outcasts United follows a pivotal season in the life of the Fugees and their charismatic coach. Warren St. John documents the lives of a diverse group of young people as they miraculously coalesce into a band of brothers, while also drawing a fascinating portrait of a fading American town struggling to accommodate its new arrivals. At the center of the story is fiery Coach Luma, who relentlessly drives her players to success on the soccer field while holding together their lives—and the lives of their families—in the face of a series of daunting challenges. This fast-paced chronicle of a single season is a complex and inspiring tale of a small town becoming a global community—and an account of the ingenious and complicated ways we create a home in a changing world.

This is a captivating story of a football (soccer) coach who is a woman and her charges who are refugee boys. Some are mere children and some are teenagers. They hail from all over the world from war torn regions of the globe.outcasts They all arrived here in America with their families in a predominantly white town outside of Atlanta Georgia.Many lacked even rudimentary skills English.

The coach Luma grew up in the Middle East and came to America for collage. After observing that the boys lacked a positive way to interact she decided to create a football team. She had a lot to deal with as the boys understandably had issues that they were grappling with.

Both preserved and friendships and close bonds were formed. The story goes beyond football. Luma also assisted in other matters also. If one of them did not have adequate food she would buy some. She had her own business and hired several of her charges mothers. She also set up a tutoring program to make sure all did well in school.

This is a perfect example of a woman making a tremendous difference in a group of lives. Not only her football players but also their families. In what could have turned out to be more gang members, because of her they have a real chance of being successful.

I felt that the author Warren St John captured this in his book beautifully. It was well written and illustrated how when a group comes together in a positive way good stuff can take place. It wasn’t all roses in the book, the author presented a balanced portrait of the hardships many endured. For example, the lure of gangs. Without providing any spoilers let me just say this, sometimes the “glamour” of being a gang member won out over the hard work Luma demanded. All in all it is worth the read.

five-stars
Hillary

About Hillary

I am a book lover who loves to read and write. I only leave my apartment for food and MOAR books. I love to meet new people online so don't be afraid to say hi!

The Sunday Salon

Posted August 22, 2010 by Hillary in BookCrossing, reading, Sunday Salon, Writing / 1 Comment

TSSbadge2

I am back. I participated here i think it was two years ago. I quit blogging for a multitude of reasons. About two weeks ago I was telling a friend how much I missed blogging and writing and they encouraged me to start up again. I am glad I did. I see some old familiar blogs that I cant wait to get reacquainted with.

My writing had gotten a bit rusty so I was reading on how to improve on it. Of course the only way to improve it to write. I looked around for a journal software and once again I came to the realization that Macs have it better in this regard. I have a Dell but someday I will have a Mac. I finally found Life Journal. I down loaded the trial and I have to say I am impressed with it so far. It has guided entries, Daily pulse and much more. I think I will end up buying it.

My reading has slipped this year. This is the worst reading year of my life if I may be so dramatic. I am still hoping I can get at least 50 books read by December 31. Right now I am reading The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren. I am loving it so far. I hope to finish reading it today and have a review up on Monday.

I have also rejoined BookCrossing. I need to spice up my profile. I hope to get to it this week.

Hillary

About Hillary

I am a book lover who loves to read and write. I only leave my apartment for food and MOAR books. I love to meet new people online so don't be afraid to say hi!

To Kindle or not to Kindle

Posted August 13, 2010 by Hillary in Uncategorized / 1 Comment

I have always wondered if I should  get a kindle. I know among book lovers this tends to be a heated discussion. Like there can never be a replacement for the feel of a real book in your hand. recently though I have come across some good reasons that having a kindle has shadowed all the reason I had to getting one.

First and foremost I have been losing books. I am only 30 so I am hoping my memory has not started slipping just yet. If it has I have a bigger issues to worry about. Seriously though I have put books down and five minutes later THEY ARE NOT THERE. At least that what it seems like. Everyone tells me there has to be a rational reason such as someone moving the books but all the culprits have denied any part of the ‘lost books” phenomenon. Many of my friends have asked me if I would lose a kindle also. In my defense I had my blackberry for over a year and I have yet to lose it. So no I wont lose a Kindle.

Second they are now affordable to someone with a somewhat limited income such as myself. At only 139 dollars that is much better than the previous 3 hundred and something.

And third I would never run out of something to read again. The Kindle can hold over 1000 books. Never again will i be somewhere and finish a book then think “NOW what am I going to use to occupy my brain?”. Nope. I will have 1000 books to choose from.

Even after all of the above I will still miss the smell and feel of a book. I guess each has its pros and cons.

 

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Hillary

About Hillary

I am a book lover who loves to read and write. I only leave my apartment for food and MOAR books. I love to meet new people online so don't be afraid to say hi!