miércoles, 30 de octubre de 2013

Faith / Fe

To believe in G'd or gods is an act of faith.  Same as not to believe.  Bullying each other's faith is an attack against a person's mental sanity.

Creer en D's o en dioses es un acto de fe. No creer. Tambien.... Debe terminarse el acoso de ambos bandos. Tratar de terminar con la fe de alguien es violar su salud mental. 

Excentricidades / Excentricities

Throughout history the powerful have done whatever they wanted.
A través de la historia de la humanidad los poderosos siempre se salen con excentricidades .....  Excentricidades de los Poderosos (3 photos)

Before The Daisies Grow (Review)

Before the Daisies Grow by Micki Street
Reviewed by Alex Canton-Dutari
The island of Brazzina becomes the destination of three delightful a-bit-over-middle-age ladies in search of a holiday.
Micki Street concocts a thriller that develops in a most enjoyable way – for the reader, if not necessarily the characters. 
The story is quite believable, even though we may have to stretch our minds about half a centimeter. To this add very good descriptions that may produce heat stroke, profuse sweating or even hunger and, of course, at least a <choking smile>.
I wish everyone <over fifty> has the energy of Nora, Wilma and Dotty. Of course, guess who the leader is.

Daisy (Review)

Daisy by R.B. Clague
Reviewed by Alex Canton-Dutari
Have you ever driven through beautiful scenery over a seemingly well constructed road and suddenly becoming startled because a tire went in and out of a pot hole? This is what best describes my reading of this could-be delightful novel.
The only problem was that the holes in the ground became rather frequent and, though the story kept me very interested, I had to force myself a bit to find out how Daisy and her friends fared.
"There is colony…" "When they eaten and drunk their fill…" "… night came and the Jakob appeared…"The group with whom they would be walking were a varied…" As I am not familiar with the Australian version of the English language -- if there is one -- it is difficult for me to assess if the lack or excess of articles, noun and correct verb tense and some other oddities, just denotes a regional version of the Queen's language or this book should be re-edited for grammar.
Nevertheless, I liked the story. It could be due to that part of me that remains a child and, as a psychologist, I know that children identify more with animals than with people.

Through The Gloaming (Review)

Through The Gloaming by Donna L. Dillon
Reviewed by Alex Canton-Dutari
Life-threatening situations can make a person take upon a chain of behaviors that may change his outlook into the future. This seems to be the case of Alex, the main character of this novella. 
Ms. Dillon is turning out to be quite efficient in portraying suffering children and, this time, she has included paranormal aids, which usually increase my interest in a story.
There is just one situation that has me intrigued. Will a person falling through ice think as long and deep as Alex did? I am not quite sure, but a creative writer will make the reader ponder.
Nevertheless, I would suggest that a prompt re-edition for grammar and some punctuation be undertaken: "The headache that he had dogged him since he awoke from his accident was completely gone." "…Jake reluctantly the baby in the stroller…" These examples do most injustice to this novella.

Tell A Thousand Lies (Review)

Tell A Thousand Lies by Rasana Atreya
Reviewed by Alex Canton-Dutari
"The knock, this late in the evening, was as unexpected as road repairs in a non election year." ….. "Don't tell lies… otherwise girls will be born to you."
The above phrases prepared me for the social indignities that would be unveiled throughout this wonderful novel. 
Ms. Atreya wrote in English-as-a-second-language. I must say that she may put many a native English speaker to shame.

Tales of Old Japanese (Review)

Tales of Old Japanese by Hugh Ashton
Reviewed by Alex Canton-Dutari
The five short stories that appear in this book take us along a cultural development journey from the pre- World War II Japan to the Japan of today. Nevertheless, the air of simplicity of former days remains.
My favourite story is "The Old House." It summarizes all of the above, including a bit of the paranormal, which I enjoy.
By the way, I doubt that young adults or late-teenagers will be interested in this well-written work. It takes maturity to relate to it, and I am so glad for this.

Elizabeth Rose (Review)

Elizabeth Rose by Janus Gangi
Reviewed by Alex Canton-Dutari
I must say that the story is quite interesting, and I was attracted to the descriptions of Syria -- geographical and cultural. 
There is the need of prompt editing for punctuation, especially the use of commas, semi-colons and "--". I also found quite a few glitches in verb tenses.
I do not read Arabic, but I do read French. It is my opinion that if a foreign language is included this should be with done correctly, especially if a leading vampire is speaking -- vampire leaders are supposed to be perfect. 
Once the above is corrected I am sure that I could enjoy the story in all its worth. 
BTW, the story is told in just the right "length." Not too short… Not too long…

Who Will Hug The Sun (Review)

Who Will Hug The Sun? by Ey Wade
Review by Alex Canton-Dutari
It took me less than fifteen minutes to read this beautiful story -- perhaps because I got into each picture.
In Spanish the Sun is masculine and the Moon is feminine. I was surprised to read the reverse in English; now I may understand why a car is feminine in the Queen's language.
Do you know what impelled me to buy the book? The title. It intrigued me; the story engulfed this old fellow.
This love story convinced me that Ms Wade knows how to dive into her inner child's fantasies but convey them as the adult she is. The final outcome was excellent.
Grammar and punctuation? Quite flawless.
My congratulations to the sketch artist.

Freedom From The Monsoon (Review)

Freedom of the Monsoon by Malika Gandhi
Reviewed by Alex Canton-Dutari
I am partial to stories about India; this I must admit, which makes me begin my readings with high hopes. The way this story related to the struggle for independence and resulting partition of India and the new Pakistan caught my interest and motivated me to keep on reading, no matter what.
Ms Gandhi's characters told their own stories in first person -- even the deceased. In fact, when this occurred early in the book, I wondered how the plot would work. Well, she was able to weave each story into an understandable web, including poetic descriptions.
This is a book written in English-as-a-second-language, and it needs editing for punctuation -- there is an interesting use of commas rather than semi-colons. Some grammar issues may be attributed to local English lore -- "…repeating the lord's name under her breath." Would this be the Lord, or a minor god?
I was very much bothered by the overuse of Hindi throughout the book. Even having a detailed glossary made reading difficult. Could it be that the customer target is the English speaking Indian?
In spite of the latest comments on the how-it was-written I liked the book.

Dudes Down Under (Review)

Ms Burke says it all when she opens with: Menu, Method, Ingredients, Mixture Adding and Dessert… “Blend the ingredients carefully then stand back!”
Well, all the above got me into the whole concoction, which was a travel through Australian... weather at its worst, Aussies at their best – both humans and crocs -- and rich Americans just doing their thing. Rather than indigestion, I felt well fed.
This hilarious novel could be a non-stopper, but I had grandchildren to baby-sit.

Moonlight, Murder and Machinery (Review)

Moonlight, Murder and Machinery by John Paul Catton
Review by Alex Canton-Dutari
This is a book that had me dwell in history, though I am not sure if fact or fiction. I had to Google many concepts to understand them. Thus I realized that Nova Albion was the United Kingdom of Great Britain. 
I had great difficulty following the thread of the novel, not because it was badly written. Quite to the contrary, I went over very well written descriptions and emotions several times -- they were so beautiful.
Perhaps the presence of a main plot and quite a few subplots hindered my understanding of the sequence of the story. Though, this is just my interpretation.

Daughters of Iraq (Review)

Daughters of Iraq by Revital Shiri-Horowitz
Review by Alex Canton-Dutari
I read this book as a historical family saga describing relocation from Iraq to Israel. I must admit that I am partial to themes such as the present one.
It was interesting to read some chapters written in first person and others as a narrative. The former I felt more compelling than the latter.
My favourite character was Farida, and her continuous “A blessing on your head, ”impelled my imagination to complete the phrase with “Mazel tov, Mazel tov,” as sung in Fiddler on the Roof.
I was surprised by what I considered an abrupt ending, followed by a glossary which I found completely unnecessary as the Hebrew words were well described throughout the text.
To all fellow readers of this book: “Le Chaim!”

Jack The Homework Eater (Review)

Jack The Homework Eater by Mitt Ray
Review by Alex Canton-Dutari
Though this story seems directed more at teenagers than adults I found it quite enjoyable, especially as it was well written.
Some situations may have not been quite believable from my adult stance, though my child inner being accepted the presence of several dozen children cramming into Alex’ room.
The final lesson learned was not expected by me, and I was quite pleased by it.
I will definitely read more stories by Mitt Ray.
BTW, I was taken by “Tea being eaten,” an expression I would have frowned upon had a close British friend not explained to me that “tea time” is more than just tea but includes other edibles.

The Three Letters (Review)

The Three Letters by Robert Ruisi
Reviewed by Alex Canton-Dutari
"The stories are my song," writes Mr Ruisi in his Author's Message. He certainly sings through his Three Letters.
I cannot say which I liked best, because he was able to highlight something that was special to him about each daughter for whom a letter was intended.
Three messages to convey a father's love for his daughters… Beautiful.
With a bit of editing, mainly for punctuation, the letters will shine.

How To Survive When The Bottom Drops Out (Review)

How To Survive When The Bottom Drops by John Sather
Review by Alex Canton-Dutari
For some reason I was afraid this book would be another self-recovery <how to…> manual. To my great relief I read words that were straightforward, passionate, with conviction and hope for the reader.
Though the subject deals with recovering mainly from financial dire straits, I am convinced that it also applies to social and psychological difficulties. In this aspect, the book is useful in most of the world.
“Move Out Of State” is a chapter that really means change your surrounding habitat. Though, in a small country such as mine – Panama – this might prove difficult.
My favourite chapter: “Get out of house...” and listen to music... This I would follow by 
“Live"... without "making an ass out of yourself”. Especially when in hot waters, I would add.
I do have a question, is the need for beer a US thing? In addition, perhaps with a beer on hand, the author could enhance his work with some editing for spelling: descent->decent… you, your<-> you`re… here->hear and a few others.
A continuous message: Search for the ups not for the downs! I liked it!
Even if you are living successfully right now, this book has some great tips to keep you prepared... just in case.

Dante's Awakening (Review)

Dante's Awakening by Devon Marshall
Review by Alex Canton-Dutari
I started reading this book with all my preconceived notions about vampires -- Bram Stocker's and others. Watching movies about them was more entertaining than imagining what was in print. My fellow readers, was I in for a surprise this time… 
Ms Marshall was able to convince me that vampires do exist and have more freedom than I ...thought -- sunlight, loving, and human social acceptance. 
The story of "Vampire's of Hollywood" -- Dante's Awakening-- was straightforward, in wonderful English, depicting strong women both of the human type and their vampire counterparts. And the plot was quite believable -- especially by being set in California.
It is necessary to point out that most of the women were into Lesbian sex, which was a delight to read about -- explicitly enough but never vulgar. I jokingly told myself: "If women can produce that kind of orgasms, too bad I'm not one."

Dangerous Times (Review)

Dangerous Times by Philip Frey
Review by Alex Canton-Dutari
This thriller caught my interest from the beginning, perhaps because it took me around San Pedro, California, which I remember fondly. It contained all the expected elements -- goriness, sex, a bit of social exposure and more.
I must say that I felt attached to the main character, Frank, in spite of his criminal mind. For some reason I came to think of him as a criminal with as much geniality as bad luck.
I also appreciated the author's concern about the hostilities between Whites, Blacks and Hispanics, especially the poor of the kind. Though I perceived them portrayed as rather dumb, it was realistic enough.
Nevertheless, I did have trouble following the thread of some characters due to the similarity of their names -- Kirk and Hicks. But this is my fault, not the author's. 
I also wonder why, during the reading, I suddenly felt the need to wear a "camelhair coat".

Trophy: The Rescue (Review)

Trophy: Rescue (The Trophy Saga) by Paul M. Schofield
Review by Alex Canton-Dutari
I am always a bit afraid when reading a sequel, mainly because of the fear of not remembering the original work. In this case it came back strongly as the characters in the sequel continued developing a story that was definitely well stored in my mind.
The creation of an organized, religion-free society was interestingly developed as well as the Compu-Court, which cast doubts about a perfect computer trying to cater to all human needs.
Martin and Panther did remind me of vampires due to their lack of need to breathe, though with normal human feelings. 
It was good reading that there is always hope for Mother Earth in the mind of the author. And the “time of the Great Sadness and the New Beginning” was a beautiful way of describing the motive of this good story.
Mr. Schofield has the ability of describing battles with such precision that the reader may feel like a close participant.
BTW, the concept of “joined consciousness” was quite unique creating a take-off from Jung’s collective unconscious put to practical use.
When I read End my first reaction was: I hope not!

Nuns : A Memoir (Review)

Nuns: A Memoir by Bernard Mendillo
Review by Alex Canton-Dutari
Though I was not educated by nuns, Jesuits were in charge of making sure my morals went along the Catholic paths, many of which started pouring through as I read this personal account of the author's years in grade school.
It is unusual to find a story which exposes wrongs that make a person re-evaluate beliefs and take pertinent actions such as leaving the Church; instead, it does not send a message of revenge but of understanding.
The author is able to compose wonderful graphic sentences: "...Electrons flock to pure gold like Jesuits to a good stake burning." 
I felt a bit embarrassed by the mention of "Noriega madness." Of course, this stems from my being from the former dictator's country, Panama.
Oh, yes. I still cry out "St. Blaise!" whenever I get something stuck in my throat.
This is a serious book written with a good undercurrent of humour in plain good English.

The Blackmail Club (Review)

The Blackmail Club by David Bishop
Review by Alex Canton-Dutari
My first pleasure line was learning the origins of the expression <blarney>. I appreciate receiving lessons in word history. To this I should add the Irish brogue one of the characters used.
Author Bishop is really an expert at choosing his themes, and this one was worded perfectly in narration and dialogue. Let's include descriptions such as "…she had a body that made clothes come alive." Or "…with jowls drooping as if her mouth were serving quarters…"
I like to look for possible messages hidden between the lines. The story seems to convey the notion that social sins, especially of youth and greed will turn into heavy burdens in later life.
Along the narration one of the characters referred to a psychiatrist as a "quack." It was a stroke of genious to have written his name followed by "Doctor of Psychiatry." This degree does not exist; a psychiatrist is an MD with a certification of residency in Psychiatry. Hence, the term "quack" was well sustained.
It was a most entertaining read.
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Jimmy Mender and his Miracle Dog (Review)

Jimmy Mender and His Miracle Dog by Angelo Dirks and Leland Dirks
Review by Alex Canton-Dutari
This is a love story in its true sense -- it being between two men is of no importance.
What caught my attention was realizing that, yes; it may take a short period of sharing for a deep sense affection and loyalty to develop.
Leland Dirks hinted in other works that he could handle the description of affection between man and woman, man and dog. This time it is man and man. 
Love is more than a rough tumble on the lawn …
I recommend any of Mr. Dirks' stories.

Three Heads & a Tail (Review)

3 Heads & A Tail by Vickie Johnstone
Reviewed by Alex Canton-Dutari
I must begin by stating that I am biased in favour of Ms Johnstone's books, though I can remain objective.
After having read her Kiwi series I suspected that the author would have some difficulty in handling adult human characters. I was definitely happy to be wrong. These characters were very human and, in this book, the animal seemed more like a supporting actor.
The plot was developed quite well and was realistic enough -- even with a participating thinking dog.
This book was read by the child in me and enjoyed by my adult self.

Boy's Life (Review)

Boy's Life by Robert R. McCammon
Reviewed by Alex Canton-Dutari
I decided to read this novel because I tend to be attracted by title's that hint at someone struggling through life. 
The description of the social set up in the South of the United States of America during the fifties was superb, even including the superstitions and paranormal situations particular to the area. McCammon made me have some flashbacks of Catcher In The Rye.
This is a book that I will probably read again.

Bella In America (Review)

Bella In America by Bernard Mendillo
Reviewed by Alex Canton-Dutari
The author stated that the content of this work emerged from his blog about the adoption of his daughter Bella. Without this warning the reading would have been met with some reserve.
What did I get out of this book? It takes a strong will and courage to go through the red tape, cultural proclivities and health issues that could turn a trip to China into a nightmare.
In this case the outcome was the beginning of what should be a beautiful life.

Lucky Charm (Review)

Lucky Charm by Valerie Douglas
Reviewed by Alex Canton-Dutari
By the cover of this book I was pretty sure that chick lit would be its genre, though this genre does not generally start with the description of a crime scene. Hence, I decided that a detective or a romantic suspense story would unfold. 
A few pages along I came across a torrid -- in fact, perfectly written -- sex scene. It was described in such a way that only Ms Douglas masters so well. From then on the plot developed in a way that kept my interest, always spiced by references to the initial sexual experience. 
I suspect that this novel may be quite appealing to young female adults. If I am not wrong it would be in their benefit to do some editing for grammar. For example, "That was she thought she'd saw," is not correct. The Caribbean dance is not "meringue;" it is called <merengue>.
By the way, even at my age I would not mind finding as nice a lucky charm as Matt did.