2 Followers
23 Following
michaelbelis

michaelbelis

Currently reading

Snow Hunters
Paul Yoon
The Night of the Comet
George Bishop
Coming Clean
Kimberly Rae Miller

Something interesting

Coming Clean - Kimberly Rae Miller

First I should say I received this as A Good Read Advance Reader Copy. 

Now on to the book. I really wanted to win this book as I had caught a bit of the interview the author had done on NPR and it seem interesting. 

That How I would categorize this book. Interesting. If you are looking for that story when someone lives through a struggles and comes out the other side a winner. Well this is not it. Now that not to say there is not growth but in the end it seem as nothing was truly resolved and the author left me with the feeling that how life is sometimes, things may not get fixed. 

I think I came away with this feeling since to me the story once adulthood was reached seem the same chapter after chapter.. Personal challenge overcome clean up for bit then fall back into old way. Rinse and repeat.

Still the Author seemed honest and she tells her story nicely and in matter of fact way. 

All in all I felt it was nice book and it took up a few hours with some insight in a world exactly opposite of one I grew up in. Where dirt was the enemy and everything revolved around cleaning and eradicating it.

The Night Circus - Erin Morgenstern It was more of a 3.75 then a 4 but with Goodread it seem it all or nothing.

Not saying I didn't like the book. I did.

I just find it hard to come to grip with giving this book the same status as some of my true favorite, life changing book of my past.

But three stars seem to little.

Damn you and your no half stars Goodread, Damn you!!!

Back to the book. A magical book that for me was little long in the tooth and could have been edit down at some point. It felt as if the author thought she had to explain every little detail. Come you got to leave a little room for the Crazed Fandom to write their stories.

But I did like the characters they were fun and I felt close to them. I have always found the idea of the circus a fantastical place. (Now the real life things sort of makes me sad for the animals) but the idea of family circus with the most incredible type of people doing and having abilities beyond normal people, yeah I liked that dream. [a:Erin Morgenstern|4370565|Erin Morgenstern|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/authors/1316440077p2/4370565.jpg] delivered the dream in spades.

I can see how some people will fall in love with what was laid out here. For me it was more of nice curiosity to take up a few hours. And that not bad.
Buck: A Memoir - MK Asante This book. This book was raw. It was sharp and it is made with language that will offend many. And in the end it was a wonderful read.

As the the title states it is a Memoir that follows the writers life from early teens to just past high school graduation. It is inner city life at it worst at some point and could even be discouraging. But if you follow through the end you will be reward.

I loved and related to the authors freedom found once he let his own voice be heard and how that lead to craving for knowledge that has been written by so many other writers and how one step lead to many and one book leads to many and with that many comes a freedom.

The book was a quick read and I did win a ARC here on Goodreads.
What is the What - Dave Eggers I have been on a [a:Dave Eggers|3371|Dave Eggers|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/authors/1291475855p2/3371.jpg] kick this whole year, playing catch up.
And I have had [b:What Is the What|4952|What Is the What|Dave Eggers|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1328837457s/4952.jpg|3271214] for a while, but was initially hesitant to read as it is a large book and having a small understanding of the plight of “The lost Boys of Sudan” knew that it would be a challenge to read .
And it was a challenge. At times it invade my dreams but also reminded me of the blessing I have. There are true horrors in this book. Children lost and starving,being chased by gunship from their own government. Attacks by Animals. Loss of friends and freedoms, but no permanent loss of hope, no loss of the wonder of what the future can bring. The book was never sad, it was never depressing, it just was. I Like to think that that is how Mr Eggers brings Achak in to this book.

Some notes the whole title of the book is
What Is the What: The Autobiography of Valentino Achak Deng
It is consider a novel. There are few reason for this. First not all the fact can be verified and “By labeling the book a novel, Eggers says, he freed himself to re-create conversations, streamline complex relationships, add relevant detail and manipulate time and space in helpful ways—all while maintaining the essential truthfulness of the storytelling.” Which is a sort of freedom one would need to fill in the gaps and take it from a simple interview to and weave a story
And What a story it was..
Valentino's relay his thoughts and story throughout the book as if talking to friends. Most of these he is telling the story to are people in passing people who never heard a word but he gives his story as one who know he can talk about anything to you his friend and you will not judge you will just listen. .

There has been a lot of good that that come from this book
Mr Eggers gave all the proceeds to Valentino Deng who has launched the
The Valentino Achak Deng Foundationt

The book has been heaped with praise and in my reading I feel it deserve it.
Great Expectations - Charles Dickens It late
Doing what a I am sure many of do staying up past my bed time lost in a book.
I really have nothing of worth to add that I am sure has not been brought up before.
What I can say I liked it.
I am glad I took the time to read it.
And I wish the more of the book would have read like the the last 100 pages which seem to fly by.
The Cuckoo's Calling - Robert Galbraith I liked this book more so then the 3 star that Goodreads limits me to.
I would say 3.5.

First I may have read 2 other mystery in my reading life so I went into this as I do every book which is tell me a story and make it good. That is all I ask for my time. So I was never thinking well who did it.

I felt the writing was enjoyable and familiar, but that maybe just that we now know the writer. The book was predictable in the here the story, here are the players, here is what we know, and now here the twist and how it all connect. I don't mean that in a bad way it is not. For many that may make it a better read. Just nothing groundbreaking just a enjoyable book
Looking for Alaska - John Green Started this yesterday and found every chance I could to sneak a read and flew through the book quickly.

At first the book reminded as if I was watching one of my favorite comfort movies. With it up and down and that oh so catchy cast that you love to watch but are always larger then most of the people you will meet in life and that gives them their charm.

The book did end up taking me back to loss of a friend and then the memoires came back. The denial of death, being sure it was just a trick and that the news was wrong. I recall each of those feeling. I recall the days after and then much as the book states I forgot.

But for a Day I read and I enjoyed
We Need New Names - NoViolet Bulawayo A classic immigrant tale. That hooked me from page one.

Now the book is not perfect and I found the voice of the child Darling, in the first part of the book incredible. At one point I read in horror in the anticipation as the children were wading in truly scary moment in there life. It was so well written. The Children's story and their voice are wonderful to read and written with great insight.

When we get to the next part of the book it does seem to have more ups and downs when it comes to solid story telling, but oh there is one chapter "How They Lived". It was powerful and should be required reading.

This book is on the Man Booker long list for 2013 and deserves to be.

If you get a chance to read this please do.
TransAtlantic - Colum McCann Maybe you seen a movie or show that link together a group of people that from the outside view a connection just doesn't seem possible. In the hands of good writer though a story can be fashioned where the impossible connection made possible.

We are presented with several generation and their Transatlantic journey. We have famous and for the most part forgotten pair of Airmen who made the first flight well before Charles Lindbergh in what if you look at the photo was crazy wonderful.

Jumping back in time we move to a story of Frederick Douglass having made an escape to Europe to raise awareness and money for the abolitionist movement. A man who has seen the worst of men through Slavery seeing the Great famine and it shock even him.

The Heart of the story and the best part in my opinion is that of Lily Duggan, her story of being propelled to seek freedom after seeing Douglass, she make her escape to American and we follow her through the Civil war and after. Her story is at times crushing and all in all wonderful.

I won't go on with different story but the Prose are wonderful, brilliant and at points moved me so.

I will leave you with a quote by one of the later generation reletive of Lily, that still haunts me

"There are times—months later, years later, a decade later even—that it strikes Lottie how very odd it is to be abandoned by language, how the future demands what should have been asked in the past, how words can escape us with such ease, and we are left, then, only with the pursuit."
Death Ain't But A Word - Zander Marks In full discourse I had entered to win but did not and the author still offered me a copy. And I am glad he did.

This was fun read it moved from page to page with a nice smooth flow. No ugly break even as we moved from here to there, moved from this character to that character it just flowed. I think it is common among most of the reviews on this book is it a quick read. That might be one of it best assets it just the right size for story that never loses your interest

We dealing with downside of life here. Killer, drug addicts, Ghosts, and their keepers. To still a quote it is the world outside your window nearly.

One last chance to say goodbye to the one you lost. I think a lot of us wish that wish. Here is one man story of what it did him. Yeah this was a goodread.
Everything Is Illuminated - Jonathan Safran Foer For now this a place holder as I need to digest what I just finished.

So many different part of one story. Some funny, some poignant. some heartbreak.

There are hero in this world. People who stand out and stood up, and that why they are special. But for most it about survival and protecting some and throwing other to the wolfs and living with that horror and the sadness that brings.


That is just one the question and there are so much more in here, and it going to take a bit to sort it out but for the moment I can say it was a good read and I am glad I took the ride.

Maya's Notebook: A Novel - Isabel Allende The love of Family. Sometime people assume that it is in the blood. But the simple truth it is the heart's yearning and accepting that makes family.

We have here a story that is a little all over the place and that okay. Maya is a person who has fallen and a lot of people will ask why? or how? Well she found a way. And it was grizzly and ugly and sad. Maya is a bit to harsh on herself and moving from one thought to another but it fits her.

I enjoyed the world in this book. I have seen a lot of these people, both the good and the bad. I have had family who have lost to addiction and some who are still fighting. The world that Allende writst at time could be vibrant and a bit magical and I enjoyed the travel.

For me Mrs Allende, book hit very close to home. As Maya, my GrandFather was not my biological Grandfather, but he was there for my Dad and Aunt and Uncle from their childhood as he was there from mine. And to this day I retreat to times we spent and the stories he told and the love he had. There were moment in this book that I moved by what Maya was thinking of how she believed in his spirit.

Some of themes that have been covered by the writer are covered again but with a modern twist. And I am glad I visited.
Cinnamon and Gunpowder: A Novel - Eli Brown It summer time and time for big bold and fun. Yes Fun lots of fun. Imaginative fun. Fun that comes with play like a pirate.
And that is exactly what Cinnamon and Gunpowder give us. Fun.

Now I wish I cold say that from the first chapter onward it was a ez read but It wasn't. I found my self starting over and go back. But then like a action movie it grabbed me and away we went.

I am sure I will revisit this review but for now I am glad I found the book.
Between Man and Beast: An Unlikely Explorer, the Evolution Debates, and the African Adventure That Took the Victorian World by Storm - Monte Reel "Paul Du Chaillu’s celebrity had largely faded by the time of his death" From the afterwords of Between Man and Beast. And I think for a most of modern world that is true. Sure there will able be those in the know who could recount the stories or found a reference in a university guild about his contribution but for most if it has not been made and re made in to movie or tv show it just not a conversational topic. This book may not change that but it is well written.

Mr Reel writes clear about life in the mid 1800 with exchanges and rivalry of some of great of science of that time. Pointing out ideas and thoughts that were easy to see from their point of view. I loved the world and the ideas and found it easy to just jump in and enjoy this book.

I feel I should return to this review after a bit of thought but this will do for now. I am glad I found this book and happy I read it.
World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War - Max Brooks A easy summer to get lost in.

I felt the out of order placing of the interview told a more complete story of what happened. Even though there are so many different nationality supposedly telling their version of the zombie war, Mr Brook really presented one long story of uprising, fear defeat and reprisal. The globe trotting was enjoyable and helped inject a true since of global pandemic. Most zombie fare tends to mention a world crisis, but then focus on just one area or groups fight to survive. With his creation of a interview narrative you get plunged into world that was devastated.

This was not some pretty story of mankind rising to greatness with a shinning light of righteousness. These seemed to normal humans still holding on to century of distrust and dislike who scrapped by the skin of their teeth. They did ugly things and they made it and now they have to live with the pain but at lest they have that, sad as it is.

The MANual: Trivia. Testosterone. Tales of Badassery. Raw Meat. Fine Whiskey. Cold Truth.

The MANual: Trivia. Testosterone. Tales of Badassery. Raw Meat. Fine Whiskey. Cold Truth. - Keith Riegert, Samuel    Kaplan Full disclosure I won this as a Goodreads giveaway.
A perfect coffee table book.
This little manly book will swell your bodies testosterone to that of a superman.
No?
Okay what it is a perfect little book that you can leave laying around that friends will pick up and find a great piece of trivia that can then lead to some fun conversation.

This would make a great gift for the man who has everything but still need to buy a gift. This a and a bottle of good swill or a excellent cigars and you got the perfect gift for a manly man.