Publisher: Random House Publishing Group

Book Review: Priest-Kings of Gor (Gor #3) by John Norman

Posted September 29, 2017 by Hillary in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

ISBN: 9780345295392
This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
Book Review: Priest-Kings of Gor (Gor #3) by John NormanPriest-Kings of Gor by John Norman
Published by Random House Publishing Group on October 12th 1980
Genres: Fiction, Science Fiction, General
Pages: 317
Format: hardcover
Source: library
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
four-stars

This is the third installment of John Norman's popular and controversial Gor series. Tarl Cabot is the intrepid tarnsman of the planet Gor, a harsh society with a rigid caste system that personifies the most brutal form of social Darwinism. In this volume, Tarl must search for the truth behind the disappearance of his beautiful wife, Talena. Have the ruthless priest-kings destroyed her? Tarl vows to find the answer for himself, journeying to the mountain stronghold of the kings, knowing full well that no one who has dared approach the priest-kings has ever returned alive..

I DID IT!! I finished another book! That seems to be a constant refrain of mine this year. Anyway took me two weeks, but I read this book. It is not a bad book at all. It just my brain is funny these days, and I have no idea what is wrong with my attention span. Maybe I use it all up doing freelance client work then by the time I am done with that for the day my brain don’t wanna focus anymore. Who Knows?

A word of caution: If you are in in way a feminist then you would want to avoid the Goran Saga. I am a Bad Feminist so even though it offends me I just let it slide.

Even though there is a LOT of info dumping here and world building if you haven’t read the first two books in the series, then you will be lost with this one. So I highly recommend you start with the first book Transman of Gor and then proceed from there.

So for this book, our man Tarl is going to the Sardar to face off the Priest-Kings and to find out why they have destroyed his family and city Ko-Ro-Ba. I am not sure what I had in mind when I envisioned a Preist-King, but it sure wasn’t a giant wasp. After reading the description that John Newman provides for some reason a Giant Wasp came into my head and refused to leave. I honestly thought they would be fearsome humans but nope.

Now I can’t unthink the Giant Wasps. How Tarl keep from shitting his pants the first time he saw one I have no idea. I mean if I came face to face with a giant wasp then I probably die of a heart attack right then and there.

The book sloooowly takes us through the process of getting to know thePriest-kings and their ways. It felt slow but probably wasn’t the book is not long at all, but all that info dumping was not done seamlessly. It seemed that info dumping would take pages before anything would happen. I was like come on you are face to face with a giant wasp then u info dump for five pages… Just TELLL me what happens next damnit.

The world building as always in the Goran Saga in fantastic. John Newman was brilliant when he created Gor. I have yet to come across an author who has built such worlds as the early sci-fi people. I mean sure you can world build in 300 pages but to keep it up for 20 somethings novels. THAT takes skill. I sometimes wonder at the people behind the early Sci-Fi and how they came up with the ideas in their heads.

Yes, there are slaves in this book. Human slaves. Women mostly. So like I said if you are in any way offended by a woman being pleasure slaves then stay far far far away from this series. I found it quite fascinating how Newman was able to keep it all consistent across all of his novels. I have found with a series sometimes the author will slip and you will find inconsistencies in the story. Not so with this one.

 

Overall I enjoyed this book despite taking so damn long to read it.

 

 

four-stars
Rating Report
Plot
four-half-stars
Characters
five-stars
Writing
five-stars
Pacing
two-stars
Overall: four-stars

Rising Strong by Brené Brown

Posted November 5, 2015 by Hillary in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

ISBN: 9780812995831
Rising Strong by Brené BrownRising Strong by Brené Brown
Published by Random House Publishing Group on August 25th 2015
Genres: Self-Help, Motivational & Inspirational, Psychology, Emotions, Business & Economics, Motivational
Pages: 336
Format: ebook
Source: bought
Goodreads
five-stars

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
When we deny our stories, they define us.
When we own our stories, we get to write the ending.   Social scientist Brené Brown has ignited a global conversation on courage, vulnerability, shame, and worthiness. Her pioneering work uncovered a profound truth: Vulnerability—the willingness to show up and be seen with no guarantee of outcome—is the only path to more love, belonging, creativity, and joy. But living a brave life is not always easy: We are, inevitably, going to stumble and fall.   It is the rise from falling that Brown takes as her subject in Rising Strong. As a grounded theory researcher, Brown has listened as a range of people—from leaders in Fortune 500 companies and the military to artists, couples in long-term relationships, teachers, and parents—shared their stories of being brave, falling, and getting back up. She asked herself, What do these people with strong and loving relationships, leaders nurturing creativity, artists pushing innovation, and clergy walking with people through faith and mystery have in common? The answer was clear: They recognize the power of emotion and they’re not afraid to lean in to discomfort.   Walking into our stories of hurt can feel dangerous. But the process of regaining our footing in the midst of struggle is where our courage is tested and our values are forged. Our stories of struggle can be big ones, like the loss of a job or the end of a relationship, or smaller ones, like a conflict with a friend or colleague. Regardless of magnitude or circumstance, the rising strong process is the same: We reckon with our emotions and get curious about what we’re feeling; we rumble with our stories until we get to a place of truth; and we live this process, every day, until it becomes a practice and creates nothing short of a revolution in our lives. Rising strong after a fall is how we cultivate wholeheartedness. It’s the process, Brown writes, that teaches us the most about who we are.
From the Hardcover edition.

Why I decided to read this book

A book club that I am a member of on Facebook picked this as their book to read last month.

my review

I wasn’t quite sure what I would think of this book. It is about failing after all. No one likes to talk about failing and no one like the feeling of vulnerability. I know when I feel emotionally naked I hate the discomfort it brings. So to have a whole book about topics that I try and avoid. Well..

I am surprised to say I loved it! Brene Brown, hereself tells stories that I could relate to about being vulnerable. She also has good research to back up her studies.  She shows that when we allow ourselves to feel valuable that we can move up and out of the place that we feel that we are chained to. I admit I have never thought of it like that. That if I allow myself to be variable and to set boundaries that I can move out of my negative head space into a place where I can respond with love. I have even tried this a few times, and it has worked!

Another thing that I never thought about was using her “Shitty First Drafts” tow write the story of what I THINK is happening. I tell myself that x and z hates me because of whatever reason that is floating in my brain at the moment. I have a shizoeffective disorder so there can be some pretty horrible things my mind comes up with. I then get mad and before I know it my whole day has gone down the shit hole. Now I can sit down open up Penzu and write down I think this is happening then later go back and see how much of it was in my head and how much of it is based in reality. I haven’t had a chance to try this yet. But I will. I always feel better after writing down my thoughts so this will be a good exercise for me.

Overall I think that this is a book that everyone can benefit from. I encourage you to buy the book so that you can go back over it again and again.

five-stars

Review: Let the Great World Spin

Posted June 14, 2011 by Hillary in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann
Published by Random House Publishing Group on 2009
Genres: Fiction, General, Literary
Pages: 349
Source: library
Goodreads
five-stars

In the dawning light of a late-summer morning, the people of lower Manhattan stand hushed, staring up in disbelief at the Twin Towers. It is August 1974, and a mysterious tightrope walker is running, dancing, leaping between the towers, suspended a quarter mile above the ground. In the streets below, a slew of ordinary lives become extraordinary in bestselling novelist Colum McCann’s stunningly intricate portrait of a city and its people. Let the Great World Spin is the critically acclaimed author’s most ambitious novel yet: a dazzlingly rich vision of the pain, loveliness, mystery, and promise of New York City in the 1970s. Corrigan, a radical young Irish monk, struggles with his own demons as he lives among the prostitutes in the middle of the burning Bronx. A group of mothers gather in a Park Avenue apartment to mourn their sons who died in Vietnam, only to discover just how much divides them even in grief. A young artist finds herself at the scene of a hit-and-run that sends her own life careening sideways. Tillie, a thirty-eight-year-old grandmother, turns tricks alongside her teenage daughter, determined not only to take care of her family but to prove her own worth. Elegantly weaving together these and other seemingly disparate lives, McCann’s powerful allegory comes alive in the unforgettable voices of the city’s people, unexpectedly drawn together by hope, beauty, and the “artistic crime of the century.” A sweeping and radical social novel, Let the Great World Spin captures the spirit of America in a time of transition, extraordinary promise, and, in hindsight, heartbreaking innocence. Hailed as a “fiercely original talent” (San Francisco Chronicle), award-winning novelist McCann has delivered a triumphantly American masterpiece that awakens in us a sense of what the novel can achieve, confront, and even heal.

Therelet the great world spin are books that tell a great story then there are book that function like a literary painting. They take a single snapshot of an event then paint with words with the event and the events around them. The effect if done correctly is beautiful. This is what Let the Great world spin is like.

On a  late summer morning in 1974 people on the island of Manhattan look up and saw a tightrope walker between the towers.

What transpires below is average people living average lives all converge as the author paints a portrait of each one.

They are from all walks of life. Hookers trying to make a living and a socialite trying to get over the death of her son in the war. Such disparate lives are all somehow linked to a tightrope walker.

I think McCann has done a fabulous job of taking one event and shown how a bunch of seemingly random life’s are really at its heart interconnected. We often fail to think of the beauty that is inherent in these interconnected lives. If we stopped to think that one action can have so much negative effect then maybe we would be more aware in choosing our actions.

A problem can occur if a reader attempts to read this linearly. This is a novel that takes the reader around and around and up and down there is no straight line from point A to point B.  The beauty and the story is found in the circular ways and the what appears to be random interactions but really is not.

It is best to approach this work with as a literary painting rather than a novel with a nice arc in the plotline and a resolution at the end. In this novel there seems to be no beginning and end as the chapters weave in and out of charterers offering snapshots of what is happening right then,

five-stars

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