Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

To say I enjoyed this book, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, is to put it mildly. Another victory for "judging a book by its cover." Although this method doesn't always work, it worked this time. The big visual draw is the photo on the cover of a levitating girl. This inside of the book is filled with many more just like it. It's a feast for the eyes!

Onto the story. The author has taken these genuine photographs and weaved them into a fictional story. Every step kept me guessing and engaged. I found the plot interesting, the characters well-developed, and the conceit fascinating.

As a young boy, Jacob hears fantastic tales from his beloved grandfather of the peculiar children he knew as a boy. But Jacob loses faith in the old man as he begins to realize the stories simply cannot be true. However, one night,... Well, I won't give anything away, but I'd say it's a definitely read.

I'm depressed that I'm done with the book... I would love a sequel, but it could not be this good.

I'm including some of the internal photos. Brilliant and creepy!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

What the (bleep) just happened by Monica Crowley

This may be the last “preaching to the choir” conservative book I read for a while. Monica Crowley is one of those people who apparently come off as more intelligent on T.V. than in her writing. She espouses all the “correct” ideology, but by trying to make the book funny, she kind of knocks the legs out from under her own arguments by sounding unserious. Leave the sarcasm to Ann Coulter! This is a time for seriousness!

The book, What the (Bleep) Just Happened, is divided into 5 parts. 

Part 1 details America’s decline in myriad ways and encourages us to be Americans, darn it! Her “Happy Warrior” must stand up and fight to regain all that is great about this country.

Part 2 tells of the history and ideology of our current president, Barack Obama, calling him a “skinny socialist”. Obviously, we know where she stands! She describes him as an Alinskyite, almost Manchurian, candidate devoted to fundamentally changing America. 

Part 3 describes the sheer size of our government now that the debt has ballooned to $16,000,000,000,000. Not only is Obama spending more every year than we take in, but with the stimulus and Obamacare, we continue to borrow and borrow and borrow. Of course this orgy of spending and regulation killed our economy and we have no hope of recovery any time soon!

Part 4 goes on to tell of our weakened national image and security as a result of Obama’s policies. From his spilling of national secrets to his half-hearted attempts, to simultaneously win and wind down our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, to “losing” Egypt, insulting Israel, and leading from behind our foreign policy has been an unmitigated disaster. Thanks to Bush and his tough call on “enhanced interrogation” we killed Osama bin Laden, yet Obama takes the credit. What chutzpah!

Finally, Part 5, “America Unleashed” encourages us to in all the ways we can get our country back to where it should be. Of course, since the book was written before the presidential election of 2012, her first order of business is defeating Obama at the ballot box. 

Now that we see that the majority of Americans like and voted for this new version of America, our job is that much harder. That’s why books like this are not that helpful. No one who disagrees with her will be challenged or will actually change his mind. This book is fine if you are a conservative and want a “rah-rah” book, but it’s not going to make a hill of beans difference in the conversations and conversions that need to take place if we are going to return America to greatness.