Sunday, December 30, 2012

7 Sneaky Habits & Annoyingly Rich (Larry R Flint)

This review covers two books by Larry R. Flint--The 7 Sneaky Habits of Highly Annoying Millionaire$ Next Door (2012) and Think & Grow Annoyingly Rich (2012).

There are two reasons to combine the reviews of these two books. One, I read them back to back on the smae night. Two and most important, my comments apply equally to both books.

The 7 Sneaky Habits of Highly Annoying Millionaire$ Next Door and Think and Grow Annoyingly Rich are spoofs of books such as the Millionaire Next Door, Seven Habits of Highly Successful People, and Rich Dad, Poor Dad.

The two books are mildly entertaining in the sense that they are quick reads, and the chapters are thankfully short; therefore if one joke fails, the next joke is not far behind. Humor being a personal standard is hard to judge--the author seems to think that humor is bad punctuation, misremembered references, and bad puns. Sometimes, it worked--sometimes, it didn't. If your eyes bleed when you see commas and semi-colons misused, do not read this book.

The interesting thing to note about these two books is that despite being humor, there are some interesting subjects to think about that these books mention in passing. For instance, I used to know some people who were proud of the fact that they were screwing the tax man by getting paid under the table--it never occured to me that they will end up paying a penalty for this behavior when it comes time for them to collect social security. Nevertheless, these books are humor, and not necessarily humor that is witty.

Personally, I would not pay more than 99 cents apiece for these books; therefore, I find that their regular price to be too much. Still I am going to give them three out of five stars because some of the humor did make me think, or at least smile on occasion.

[Disclosure: These books were obtained on a free day, therefore I did not pay for them.]

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Dead is the New Black (Marlene Perez)

It is always interesting to read the first novel in a series. Sometimes in a good way--others times in a bad way. And sometimes, you split the difference.

Part of the reason for the first novel in a series to be such an interesting read is that it is often the set-up for the entire series. So you end up with hints about future books in the series. And in "Dead is the New Black," Marlene Perez is setting the stage for her entire "Black is" series.

The town of Nightshade, California reminds me of the town that I went to high school in: everyone knew everybody, and you could walk from one end of town to the other in about an hour (if you were taking your time). The difference is that it was less "hell-mouth-ish." Honestly, a person was more likely to die of boredom than get munched on by a thing of the night in the town I spent high school in. Nevertheless, the feel of the town and high school felt real to me, provided that one overlooks the monsters.

With the "Dead is" series being written for a female audience (or I presume that it is a female audience), I did wonder if I would be able to associate with Daisy Giordano, the teenage heroine of the series. Much to my surprise, I was quite in tune with her; I guess that the insecurities that plagued me as a teenager are one that plague all teenagers.

Now, I will admit that there were times that I could not figure out how Daisy came to certain conclusions and decisions. I suspect that this is because this was the first book; occasionally, first books have some rough spots. Personally, as a writer, I find it interesting to study those places that other writers fail in--not that it helps me in the least to do better, it just reminds me that I am not alone with my struggles with the art of story telling.

I have mixed feelings about the ending. On one hand, it feels a little deus ex machina. On the other hand, Perez did sat it up to have it resolve that way. There was another solution, and I am glad that she did not use it.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. And promptly started the next one in the series. Of course, the real test will come when my eleven year-old god-daughter discovers that I have some books in this series. We will see how long it is before she borrows them.

[Full disclosure: The copy of "Dead is the New Black" that I used for this review came from the boxed set "Dead a box" which I won in a Goodreads First Reads drawing. This review also appears on the Goodreads site.]

Monday, December 10, 2012

Bad Monkey now available online from B&N

The Bad Monkey ebook is now available online at Barnes and Noble.
The good news is that Bad Monkey--the Collected 2011 Hearthstone Community Church Articles is available for sale online from Barnes and Noble (99 cents). The bad news is that there is no cover image for the ebook. *sigh* Not that the cover would actually help the ebook sell--after all, it is more of a in-joke between my friends and me (shared with those who attended the June 2011 Open Full Moon ritual), but still I can't imagine it doing better without the cover image being available. There is also no product description, and the sample size is so small that you really can not get a flavor for my writing style. Oh yeah, this is really going to sell. Yes, you can file this under "The joys of writing ebooks."

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

How to Take Over teh Wurld (flash review)

How to Take Over Teh Wurld: A LOLcat Guide 2 WinningHow to Take Over Teh Wurld: A LOLcat Guide 2 Winning by Professor Happycat
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I absolutely love funny cat picture books; they always cheer me up when I have a bad day. This book is one of my favorites for leafing though on those bad days. Furthermore, my goddaughter really likes this particular book.

View all my reviews

Sunday, December 2, 2012

The Book of Answers (Carol Bolt)--flash review

One of the silliest things to come out of the field of bibliomancy is "The Book of Answers" by Carol Bolt (1999). It is bibliomancy using a book that is the paper equivalent of a Magic Eight-Ball. Each one of its pages has a short answer such as "You'll have to compromise" or "Don't doubt it." Just like a Magic Eight-Ball, it works better if you are either an initiate or believe that it will work.

[This flash review was part of an Associated Content (Yahoo Voices) article on bibliomancy. The copy used was brought and paid for by myself.]