August 2010

Mark’s #28 – Night by Elie Wiesel (120 pages)

August 30, 2010 // 4 Comments

I’ll never forget the cold winter day I stood in a museum walking past rooms with piles of hair, shoes, and bifocals, each reaching the ceiling. The human hair, shoes, and bifocals all once belonged to Jews who had long since been murdered in giant gas chambers.  It was 1997 and I was at the very location many people think of when they think of the epitome of evil on earth – Auschwitz concentration camp.   Since that day, I continue to educate myself in regards to the horrors of the WWII holocaust. Having now read several books on the events surrounding the Nazi’s ‘final solution’ for the Jews, I can confidently say that if a person is going to only read one account of the tragedy, they should read Elie Wiesel’s first hand account entitled Night. Wiesel retells the story of him and his family being taken from their home in Hungary to the concentration camp in Poland.  Like most in his community, Elie was a devout Jew… While in Auschwitz however, Elie abandoned his faith in a God that would let such atrocities happen. These words are perhaps some of the most poignant words ever written regarding the holocaust: […]

Mark’s #27 – Simple Genius by David Baldacci (420 Pages)

August 30, 2010 // 2 Comments

Recently, my wife picked up a couple free copies of David Baldacci books.  I noticed on the inside cover of this book that is was signed by the author.  I wondered why someone would give away autographed copy of a book – I now know the reason; this was not a very good book. Normally I like David Badacci’s creative thriller novels… I did not like this one…  The storyline seemed too contrived and convoluted.  There were too many themes that were poorly and vaguely developed. With 200 pages left to go in the story, I was wishing I could give up – but I needed the book for! Share on Facebook

Joe’s #12-Troy: Lord of the Silver Bow (Book 1) by David Gemmell

August 14, 2010 // 0 Comments

This is one of the finest books I have ever had the pleasure to read.  Indeed, I loved the entire series.  For people who are hung up on the story as it has been passed down this book will not suffice, but for anyone who is interested in a vast, and sweeping story that sucks the reader in from word one this is the book. The characters are deep and you can feel what they are feelings. They are complicated and live in the grey messiness that is our world between the black and the white that we would like for it to be. The story is well crafted and the plot is compelling.  Gemmell shows you what is happening to the point where you feel as if you are standing on the ship with the characters. When they are crying, you are feeling their pain. You can see the sun reflecting off the golden rooftops of Troy. The heroes are normal, flawed people. They make good choices and bad choices. This book is well worth your time and money. Be warned, you will want to buy the rest of the trilogy immediately. Share on Facebook

Mark’s #26 – Travels by Michael Crichton (400 pages)

August 13, 2010 // 0 Comments

Recently I read a blog about how to become a better writer.  The one point I remember from the blog was that a good writer needed to have some good life experiences in order to have some material to work with.  As Travels demonstrates, it’s clear that Michael Crichton has had plenty of experiences from which to draw from. I think Michael Crichton is a great writer – perhaps my favorite fiction author.  I have read almost all of Crichton’s books (including Pirates Latitudes earlier this year).   I was looking forward to reading this semi-autobiography. The book started out great. In the first 100 pages, Crichton shares stories from his days as a medical student at Harvard.  From these experiences, it’s obvious where he is able to draw on his scientific/medical background to write science fiction thrillers.  After graduating Harvard, he quit medicine to become a full time writer and director. The rest of the book was supposed to be short accounts of his adventures around the world.  In short, the stories reveal a man on a desperate search for meaning and purpose in his life.  Here is a man who made millions as an author and director.  A man who […]

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