Well it has been a while since I have blogged about anything. I intend to do more. The past two years I haven’t done much reading. I’m not sure exactly why that is, but I’d like to do more of that as well.
Without further adieu, I present my reviews of the books I read in 2013 and 2014.
2013 (the year of 4 stars readings)
A Short Stay in Hell by Steven L. Peck – ★★★★
Good. It was haunting in that is allowed me to take a step back and think about my beliefs a little more and almost reconsider them. There was a little bit of not so PG content, but not a ton.
Recommended if you want a short read that will make you think and are OK reading a PG-13.
Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson – ★★★★
Another great epic fantasy novel by Sanderson. This one had a lot more skin and sexual content, but it was done tastefully and only enough to get the point across. Less action, more political. A little slower, until the end.
Recommended if you like Sanderson novels.
Star Wars: Darth Plagueis by James Luceno – ★★★★
These Star Wars books keep catching me off guard. I really enjoyed this one. It details the raise of Palpatine to power with the assistance of his Sith Master Darth Plagueis. The end of the book even corresponds to episode 1 in the Star Wars movies, which was fun to see. I think I might be considered an even bigger nerd because I like this book.
Recommended if you like Star Wars at all.
The Spell of the Yukon and other verses by Robert W. Service – ★★★★
This is a collection of poems (or as Robert called them, verse) by Service. This was one of his first publications. I’ve always liked The cremation of Sam McGee (which is in this book) but I also found another one that I really like, The Shooting of Dan McGrew among several others I also enjoyed. Good stuff.
Recommended if you like poetry that tells a story.
Chess: The Easy Way by Reuben Fine – ★★★★
A book on chess. This is an older work and uses an older form of chess notation that I’m not familiar with, but the content and concepts were good. Nice insight into the game of chess and how to not play like a moron.
Recommended if you like chess and older books.
The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson – ★★★★
While this was a long story with a lot of setup, I did very much enjoy it. The magic system is fun and interesting and a mystery throughout the book. I listened to the audio book, which was very well done.
Recommended if you like epic fantasy. This was the first book in the series and so much better than the first book in the wheel of time series, in my opinion.
Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson – ★★★★★
Even though this book started out a little too violent and had one more violent scene near the end, it was a very good book. A fast read and really enjoyable. I read the kindle ebook.
Recommended if you like superheros and can stomach YA novels.
William Shakespeare’s Star Wars: Verily, A New Hope by Ian Doescher – ★★★★★
OK, I know, another Start Wars book. This one is very different. This is episode 4 as if it was written in play form by Shakespeare. A fun read. Very well done and enjoyable.
Recommended. It isn’t very long. Seriously. Read it.
The Art of Manliness by Brett and Kate McKay – ★★★★★
I love their web site, http://artofmanliness.com.The book is kind of a “best of” from the site so far. Great advice and helpful information on being and becoming a better man. Motivational.
Recommended for men and fathers.
Mitosis by Brandon Sanderson – ★★★★★
This is a short story from Sanderson’s Steelheart universe. It probably won’t make much sense if you haven’t read Steelheart though. Great short story. Only complaint was that it was a little too short.
Recommended for those who liked Steelheart.
Feardom by Connor Boyack – ★★★★★
The following review was posted on amazon and goodreads in exchange for a copy of the book.
“Disclaimer: In exchange for an honest review of Feardom, I was given a PDF copy of the book and the promise of a physical copy when the book is released. That said, the review that follows is my honest assessment of the work.
Some degree of fear is a part of everyday life and depending on what we do with that fear it can help us or hurt us. In Connor Boyack’s new book Feardom Boyack lays out the dangers of succumbing to the use of fear in politics. In this well referenced and thoughtfully written work, Boyack shows through examples from the past, including some very recent examples, that the use of fear in politics always seems to destroy more and more of our liberties. Intended to make us safer while actually just making us less free.
One of the more powerful points that Boyack makes is that risk is a part of life and a fundamental part of freedom. Government cannot protect you from everything or really anything. This quote from his book sums up the point nicely: “No system can exist that protects us from the risk of bad choices while preserving the freedom to make good ones. The two cannot coexist; freedom requires risk.”
Feardom is a great read. The book is well written and follows a logical path to the conclusion that the author offers. After outlining example after example of the negative effects of fear in politics, the conclusion offers some very simple steps that we can take to work towards combating the effects and nullifying the use of fear.
I highly recommend this book to any liberty loving person (not just American). I intend to read it several more times.”