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Nov. 27th, 2007 | 08:32 pm
posted by: creamsodaangel in tikitealog

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'The Last Cowboy' - Lee Gowan

Mar. 15th, 2007 | 11:59 am
mood: chipperchipper
music: Nothing in my Way - Keane
posted by: creamsodaangel in tikitealog




BOOK: The Last Cowboy
AUTHOR: Lee Gowan
PAGES: 283
GENRE: Canadian Fiction
RATING:


DESCRIPTION:
Sam McMahon can't understand why his banker colleagues in Toronto keep calling him "cowboy", when he prefers opera to C&W and fine wine to beer. Sam's marriage is falling apart, and in his confusion he beings to wonder whether he should have followed in the footsteps of his womanizing brother Vern, whose modest ambitions and self-satisfied calm make life look almost simple. Vern helps their father work the family farm, inherited from their grandfather, Old Sam.

When Sam's wife leaves him stranded by the side of a Saskatchewan highway, he is rescued by a woman named Ai Lee in a rented Toyota. Ai is a film location scout who's searching for the perfect cliff for legendary director James Aspen's new film The Last Cowboy.

This is also the story of Old Sam, stubborn as a bull and totally compelling. Old Sam dreams of an older West, when he spent his days mending fences, riding horses, raising cattle. To save young Sam, then ten years old, from what he considers the malaise of the late-twentieth century, Old Sam drags him off into a blizzard on horseback on a mission to save a lost calf. This action has drastic consequences that extend across generations and well beyond the McMahon family.

REVIEW:
This book was really really good! While I will say that I originally picked it up due to it being a Canadian author, this is definitely a book I recommend to everyone! While the title might make it sound like a romance (I was a little leerie when I picked it out of the pile at first), it's not at all. It's a classic tale of fiction that tells the stories of the characters, and has aboth a modern and a past context.

I really enjoyed the way the voices of the characters intertwine with each other to weave the story. It makes the book original and gives a different perspective to the settings. It's the whole idea of hearing both sides of the story.

My only gripe with this book is that I didn't want it to end, I wanted to keep reading. The note that it's ended on, while a satisfactory ending to the story, left me wanting more and left the story up to my imagination.

FINAL SAY:
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'The Cat and the Curmudgeon' - Cleveland Amory

Feb. 22nd, 2007 | 04:11 pm
posted by: creamsodaangel in tikitealog




BOOK: The Cat and the Curmudgeon
AUTHOR: Cleveland Amory
PAGES: 295
GENRE: Non-fiction, biography
RATING:


DESCRIPTION:
Despite his hard-knock beginnings, Polar Bear is finicky about his newfound fame. Will he overcome his aversion to the paparazzi? Will nine lives be long enough for him to answer all his fan mail? Will Cleveland's story of Nancy Reagan's family furniture finally lure Polar Bear from beneath the bed? This tale of two curmudgeons will tickle the fancy of everyone who has ever been owned by a cat.

REVIEW:
This work of non-fiction about a man and his cat is quite cute. Anyone who has ever had a pet cat will understand where Mr Amory is coming from in the way that, no matter how much we might believe it to not be true, we are all owned by our cat. The tale is humourous and funny, mixed with that sharp wit that can sneak up and hit you on the head when you're not looking.

I read this without reqading the first book, and had no troubles getting into it, which is nice. The tales of Polar Bear the cat remind me of my own trials and tribble-ations with Shadow Cat, my own kitty. Gives you insight on the cat psyche, and goes through all the things many hard core cat lovers try (cat astrology, anyone?) and ends up with this message: don't try it! Your cat will do things their own way, no matter what you try.

Cute and witty. Loved it!

FINAL SAY:

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'Star Trek S.C.E Book One: Have Tech, Will Travel' - Keith R.A. DeCandido

Feb. 3rd, 2007 | 10:12 am
mood: chipperchipper
music: If I were You - Terri Clark
posted by: creamsodaangel in tikitealog




BOOK: Star Trek S.C.E: Have Tech, Will Travel
AUTHOR: Keith R.A. DeCandido
PAGES: 392
GENRE: Science Fiction
RATING:


DESCRIPTION:
Need a gigantic, marauding starship explored? Is your global computer system starting to break down? Call in the crack team from the Starfleet Corps of Engineers. Overseen by Captain Montgomery Scott from his office at Starfleet Headquarters, the S.C.E. can build, rebuild, program, reprogram, assemble, reassemble, or just figure out everything from alien replicators to doomsday machines. Just don''t expect them to perform miracles -- unless they absolutely have to.

Captain David Gold, his first officer Commander Sonya Gomez, and the crew of the U.S.S. da Vinci put their lives on the line to save a colony world threatened by a deadly alien and rescue a ship trapped in the ravages of interphase.

Join Starfleet''s miracle workers for a wrenching journey through the new frontier!

REVIEW:
I really enjoyed this book. It was definitely thought out and fits well in Star Trek Canon. There are a few things that bothered me, but nothing that really detracts from the book. The flow of the book is like episodes in a series, as if SCE was the newest show on TV. This helps to keep the reader into the book, but I'm sure if they were to adapt it so each mission was one book, it would work just as well. Doing that would give you a better chance to witness the interaction between the characters more. But for the sections they have, they still managed to get the characters across.

I love how they made a series devoted to Engineers. Being the victims of the Red Shirt Syndrome (they even changed their shirts to Yellow, and if you've ever seen the movie First Contact, you'll notice the syndrome still follows them. Poor engineers), they finally get their moment to shine and to show that not ALL red shirts are named Ensign John Smith.

One little quirk in this book was the inclusion of TNG's crew for the beginning, and the presence of Geordi LaForge throughout most of it. I figured it must be to help grab readers who are fans of the series and get them into the book, instead of simply introducing the new cast. While it was cute, I think Geordi could have left after the first mission. However with the TNG crew it did make for a good introduction to the Corps of Engineers.

My major miff with the book was that each section was done by a different author. While for the most part between the author's they get the characters voices right, there are a few places where there was a goof up. For the most part LCdr Gomez feels slightly on edge having Geordi, her former senior officer, around. She feels like he's stepping on her toes, almost like he might swoop in and take her job. However in the second to last section, we barely see mention of Gomez as Geordi steps in due to his knowledge of the Borg. There is not much mention of how she feels about this, which was a little downer.

And as in the episodic way that the Star Trek series on TV likes to leave us hanging, this book ends with a 'Too Be Continued...' that leaves you hanging on the edge of your seat! I enjoyed this book so much, that since I finished I've been hunting down book 2, but so far without any luck. Will have to order it online.

So if you're a Star Trek fan looking for a good read, or even someone who might be interested in this genre, definitely grab this book. :)

FINAL SAY:

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'Never Hitchhike on the Road Less Travelled' - William Thomas

Sep. 26th, 2006 | 05:10 pm
mood: amusedamused
music: Alcohol - Barenaked Ladies
posted by: creamsodaangel in tikitealog




BOOK: Never Hitchhike on the Road Less Travelled
AUTHOR: William Thomas
PAGES: 192
GENRE: Travel
RATING:


DESCRIPTION:
Never Hitchhike on the Road Less Travelled leads you down William Thomas' own improbable and wacky paths--both primrose and perilous. A foolhardy tourist and inverterate backpacker, Thomas' first travel ticket was his hitchiker's thumb and a well-worn pair of shoes.

Thomas takes you on his odyssey from tourist to traveller, from tramping around Eruope in the '70s to acquainting himself with the ways of England (where it costs 20p to take one), from romps in sun-drenched Florida and the Caribbean to adventures and misadventures in his favourite travel destination, Portugal.

Full of travel tips and the most unlikely chronicles of true travel disasters, Never Hitchhike on the Road Less Travelled proves you don't have to join the Eco-Challenge to find adventure on the road. Read even one page and you'll understand why, long before 9/11, Thomas wasn't allowed to carry sharp objects.

REVIEW:
This book is a hilarious journey through one man's travelling days in various different countries. He includes many tales of his hitchhiking days, which is nice for those of us in the generation where it's no longer safe to do so. I have to admit, his mishaps make me feel much better on a few that I've lived through on my own travels. Thomas has the kind of wit in his tales that I love, making any situation seem humourous, showing that he has the ability to laugh at himself in any situation.

It's a good read if you like to travel, because you can definately relate to some of these situations. And even if you haven't, you'll get a laugh out of it and will get a taste of the traveller's view with out stepping outside.

But it leaves me wondering, am I a tourist or a traveller?

Definately worth your time to read. :D

FINAL SAY:

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'Short & Tall Tales: Moose County Legends' - Lilian Jackson Braun

Sep. 26th, 2006 | 04:50 pm
mood: amusedamused
music: In Too Deep - Sum41
posted by: creamsodaangel in tikitealog




BOOK: Short & Tall Tales: Moose County Legends
AUTHOR: Lilian Jackson Braun
PAGES: 176
GENRE: Fiction
RATING:


DESCRIPTION:
When Jim Qwilleran retired to Moose County (400 miles north of everywhere) with his old electric typewriter and his box of yellow lead pencils, he intedned to write a book -- a novel of crime and investigation with a metropolitan setting. He never finished the first page! Instead, he listened to the folktales of local people. As a journalist, Qwilleran was a good listener. He never left home without a tape recorder in his pocket.

As desccendants of the pioneers told stories that had been handed down for generations, Qwilleran was recording a collection of Moose County legends worth publishing. He added some historic facts, stranger than fiction, gleaned from county archives.

Now Qwilleran has his book! He titled it Short & Tall Tales. Most of the stories were short. Some may have been embellished with retelling through the years. Qwilleran's infromants swore they were true -- even though some had a supernatural twist that left one wondering....And one of them was strictly a "tall tale"!

REVIEW:
This was a really cute book. Contained within are the short tales that Jim Qwilleran, from Lilian Jackson Braun's Cat Who... series, writes for the paper he works for. This is a very simple read, one that someone can pick up and go through in a half hour, of amusing tales to leave a grin on your face. It's very simple to read, and is recommended if you've had a hard day and need a quick chuckle.

FINAL SAY:

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'Star Trek: Dark Victory' - William Shatner

Aug. 31st, 2006 | 12:14 am
mood: annoyedannoyed
music: Immigrant Workforce - Bedouin Soundclash
posted by: creamsodaangel in tikitealog




BOOK: Star Trek: Dark Victory
AUTHOR: William Shatner
PAGES: 303
GENRE: Science Fiction
RATING:


DESCRIPTION:
The Mirror Universe is a dark and twisted reflection of our own, where all that is noble and compassionate is instead cruel and barbaric. Now our universe has been invaded by the other reality's most feared tyrant: the dreaded Emperor Tiberius, the Mirror Universe counterpart of James T. Kirk. Just as Kirk survived his own era to live into the 24th century, so has Tiberius returned from the past to menace a new generation of Starfleet heroes.

And only Kirk can stop him.

With Spock, McCoy, and Scotty at his side, and teamed with Jean-Luc Picard and the valiant crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701, Kirk is propelled into his most personal and dangerous mission yet as he fights to uncover the secret of Tiberius' return and learn the terrible truth behind the madman's nightmarish plans for the Federation.

But how can he defeat an enemy who knows Kirk's mind as well as he knows his own?

REVIEW:
There's only one word to describe this book: crap. Probably not the best way to start off my first book review, but it's true.

Originally when I bought this book, I thought 'Oh, the mirror universe, ought to be good'. Well, that was before I realised who the author was. Not that I have anything against Kirk being the main character, but I have a feeling that because Shatner wrote this, this book is so horrible.

Kirk and Tiberius are the protagonist and antagonist respectively, but the way they act around all the other characters overshadows the strengths of those characters! Both Picard and Janeway are in this book, and while both considered to be highly respected Starfleet captains, Kirk comes in from 100 years in the past and basically tells them that they're wrong, he's right, no matter how out of the loop he's been. Now with Janeway I can understand, because it was Mirror Janeway, but he was still on HER ship. But the way he talks to Picard, as if he is some Crewman, it just doesn't make sense!

I have to admit, this book did start get interesting with the introduction of Doctor M'Benga and the conspiracy she faces. The way the mystery loops back into the main plot helps to keep this book from putting me completely to sleep.

Unfortunately, this book is apparently apart of a series!! It made me very disgruntled to be reading, and all of a sudden I see: TO BE CONTINUED! ... um, excuse me? Since when do books not come to even a little bit of a conclusion?? No M'Benga mystery solved, no explanations of how Kirk was in the 24th century to begin with, nothing.

This book being apart of a series does explain a lot. The first few chapters I was really confused as to who some characters were, and how Kirk and Tiberius got to the 24th Century, and it glosses very quickly through how the characters from the Mirror Universe got there in the first place. However, there is nothing on the cover of the book or in the description on the back that implies, even in the slightest fashion, that this book is part of a series. Only until you hit that last page that says there's another book, Star Trek: Preserver. But alas, no thanks.

I doubt I will pick up another book by William Shatner EVER again.

FINAL SAY:

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'Destination Unknown' - Agatha Christie

Aug. 16th, 2006 | 02:11 pm
mood: tiredtired
music: Live with Regis & Kelly
posted by: creamsodaangel in tikitealog




BOOK: Destination Unknown
AUTHOR: Agatha Christie
PAGES: 191
GENRE: Mystery
RATING:


DESCRIPTION:
"Hilary Craven had finished with life. . . So when she was invited to go to Morocco to impersonate the dead wife of a vanished nuclear scientist, she decided it might make a more interesting form of suicide than sleeping pills. She found herself caught up in a unique organisation which arranged the escape of scientific geniuses to a Destination Unknown. . ."

REVIEW:
I've read a lot of Agatha Christie books, and this is definately one of her better novels. I will say that the beginning does start off slowly, but once I hit the second chapter it got going well.

This is definately a different way to go about a spy novel. You don't have your trained, suave, sophisticated, spy who stays calm in any situation. The character is a person who has had it with life, nows nothing about espionage, and still manages to come across as a completely different person. And despite her success in being a different woman, the reader is treated to the tension and panic that she's feeling as she goes on her journey.

One thing I didn't like was the way her relationship with one character progressed. While I was happy with the outcome, the progression from meeting to the end result bothered me. Yes, they ended up spending numerous months (I think it ended up to be six), but I really didn't see any progression from friends. (Don't want to spoil it).

That aside, this is diffinately a good novel to read. :)

Final Say:

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Book List

Dec. 16th, 2010 | 01:06 pm
mood: busybusy
music: Bitter End - Dixie Chicks
posted by: creamsodaangel in tikitealog

Currently Reading:
Crucible: McCoy - Provenance of Shadows - David R. George III
Lost in Translation: Misadventures in English Abroad - Charlie Croker


List Updated: March 15th, 2007
NOTE: I'm currently back in university, so reviews will be slower than I'd like since I don't have time to read much other than textbooks :(

Past Reads:
The Last Cowboy - Lee Gowan
The Cat and the Curmudgeon - Cleveland Amory
Star Trek S.C.E, Book One: Have Tech, Will Travel - Keith DeCandido
Never Hitchhike on the Road Less Travelled - William Thomas
Short & Tall Tales: Moose County Legends - Lilian Jackson Braun
The rest of the listCollapse )

If you'd like to leave a suggestion of a book you'd like me to read, please leave a comment :)
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