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Thomas Hilmersen RSS Feed (Cartagena de Indias, Colombia)

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Cebu Philippines Adventure
Cebu Philippines Adventure
Price: $2.99

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great adventure!, July 11, 2014
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This is a great story about one man's first visit to the Philippines. The author is a real traveler and provides a good example for how to best get to know a foreign country. His writing, although jarred by some grammatical errors and duplicate words here and there, is funny and honest. I read the whole book in a few hours and didn't put it down. It was both entertaining and inspiring.

That being said, I cannot help but think that the author's view of the Philippines may have gotten a bit more "negative" or nuanced, had he actually lived there instead of just visiting for a few weeks. The first impressions of such places are always fantastic, but after awhile one realizes that much of it is an illusion.


Colonel Sun: A James Bond Adventure
Colonel Sun: A James Bond Adventure
Price: $9.09

5.0 out of 5 stars The best on the non-Fleming Bond books, July 1, 2014
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I was pleasantly surprised by this book, as the quality of the more recent ones have been mediocre. This one is old, from the 1950s, and it is much more in line with Ian Fleming's style and characterization of Bond. There is no silly gadget stuff, as in most of the movies. Bond is portrayed as a real person, and even the plot is fairly realistic. The various characters are pictured in a nuanced way, they are not cartoonish as in so many other Bond novels. Also, the author at times offers up interesting insights into the human condition, intelligent observations that bring the book to a higher level. There is also enough detail here, particularly relating to the Greek landscape and culture. All in all an excellent read.


The Medellin Diaries (Single)
The Medellin Diaries (Single)
Price: $0.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Spot on!, June 8, 2014
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This is a short, but brilliant book about a typical short stay in Medellin, Colombia. It is well written and entertaining, as well as capturing well what the experience is like.


Power to the People!: Russian Strength Training Secrets for Every American
Power to the People!: Russian Strength Training Secrets for Every American
Price: $6.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This works!, June 7, 2014
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This book is great, in that the techniques actually work very well. I have been following training programs similar to those outlined in this book and they are great for building strength and, with a bit more volume, muscle. The "Russian Secrets" thing is a bit of a gimmick, though. At least half of the references Pavel makes are to Western strongmen, but who cares!? This book is full of great advice that is not overly complicated.


The Skin Collector (Lincoln Rhyme Book 11)
The Skin Collector (Lincoln Rhyme Book 11)
Offered by Hachette Book Group
Price: $13.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing and improbable (contains spoilers), June 7, 2014
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I thought the Bone Collector was above average, but this one disappointed. The writing is uninspired and both the plot and many of the characters are improbable. There is also a huge element of predictability here. As soon as the person who later turned out to be the killer was introduced, I figured it had to be him. Furthermore, the killer's actions are not consistent with what we later learn about him. He has two tats on him that someone with whom he has had sex for a year somehow has never noticed. He has a job that doesn't at all fit with his supposed religion and ideology. Supposedly, he is a hard core white supremacist, yet he only kills random white people. He beats his GF for using an obscene word, although the spiritual leader of his group very casually uses this same word. And instead of reading Rhyme's own book about CSI, he reads another and much less detailed book written by someone else, to learn about Rhyme's methods. Most weird of all, perhaps, is that he actually HAS the girl of his dreams as his GF, yet chooses to mess up all of that with some crazy terrorist plan.

There are also inconsistencies with regard to Rhyme and his female sidekick. An example: The former sends out a press release and image of a known killer (not the Skin Collector), but fails to alert the public to the fact that the Skin Collector has a very odd and large tat on his arm.

Then there is the lame, politically correct idea of the killer being part of a white supremacist militia. And of course "the Skin Collector" doesn't actually collect any skin at all.

I certainly won't read any more books by these mediocre writer.


NanoSwarm: Extermination Day Book Two
NanoSwarm: Extermination Day Book Two
Price: $3.99

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow what an amazing book!, March 5, 2014
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This science fiction book is truly breathtaking. It continues where the first one left off, with time travel and action in several different time lines. It is not only packed with enough excitement and danger to keep you glued to your kindle or ipad for hours and hours, but it also makes one think about the nature of time, technology, and how history develops. Besides, the writing is excellent. I really cannot say a single bad thing about this book. It is without a doubt the best I have read in this genre.


Catching the Wolf of Wall Street: More Incredible True Stories of Fortunes, Schemes, Parties, and Prison
Catching the Wolf of Wall Street: More Incredible True Stories of Fortunes, Schemes, Parties, and Prison
Offered by Random House LLC
Price: $9.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining book written by a total scumbag, January 27, 2014
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This book contains more background on Jordan's early days, his friends, etc.. He again reveals himself as a total scumbag and it is obvious that he has not changed. After ratting out his friends to the police, he rats them out to the general public in order to make some more money. And there are truly bizarre things here, like how the author gets morally outraged by a couple of girls dancing topless by his pool, in plain view of his young daughter. This from a man who has wandered around his home in a drugged stupor for most of that child's life, who has ripped off thousands of people, and who lies and betrays and cheats at every opportunity. As in the first book, we find some interesting insights every once in a while. At one point, he says that he was the happiest before he became rich, when his first wife and he were still struggling.

This book is much better written than the first one, The Wolf of Wall Street. It is obvious that Jordan is a fast learner, if nothing else. It is also a real page-turner, which is why I am giving it 4 stars.


The Wolf of Wall Street
The Wolf of Wall Street
Offered by Random House LLC
Price: $5.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, but too long and not truly great literature, January 10, 2014
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I actually took my Series 7 license while in the training program of a similar place to the one the author founded and ran, so the environment depicted in the book was quite familiar to me. Much of what is written is quite interesting and even funny, but it is obvious that Jordan is a better broker than a writer. He often repeats phrases, information and even stories, and at times he obviously jumps around in time without any clear explanation. Another flaw here is that Jordan is using the book as a means to make himself come across as a regretful sinner, and thereby redeem himself. In the end, I am left with the impression that the author was indeed a "wolf" - or at least he has the manners of someone who was raised by a pack of these animals. The reflection seems contrived, like it is "something you are supposed to do," just like his wild money-chasing. Every once in a while, though - almost inadvertently - we catch a glimpse at the true motivations of the characters and how they feel about their lives, and in my view those are the best parts. I would not mind recommending this book, but do not expect anything great. It is more like a satisfying fast food meal than a wonderful culinary experience at a 5 star restaurant.

I wanted to add to this review that Jordan is extremely honest and that makes the story particularly interesting. He openly shows off his sexism, racism, drug addiction, money addiction and egotism without holding anything back. That doesn't make him a likable character, and I was not at all rooting for him here. That being said, I am annoyed when critics identify with the Goodfellas gangsters, but not with this comparatively innocent Wall Streeter. Come on!


This is Thailand: A story of love, sex, and betrayal in the tropics
This is Thailand: A story of love, sex, and betrayal in the tropics
Price: $7.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting!, October 10, 2013
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I liked this book a lot, because it was honest, well written and interesting. The author won't be Employee of the Month or Best Boyfriend Ever, but that makes the story even more real to the reader. Here we see a realistic picture of Thailand and the main characters. Nothing is held back or sugarcoated. I also found the book interesting, because the author's experience in Thailand is a lot like what I experienced in Colombia and described in my book Sex, Drugs and Salsa (pseudonym Stian N. Jones). Paradoxically, the author himself goes to Colombia towards the end of the book and here he becomes the boyfriend of a Karen. He obviously did not spend enough time there to realize how similar the cultura is to the one in Thailand, when it comes to women in general and their view of foreigners.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 11, 2013 3:03 AM PDT


The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do To Get More of It
The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do To Get More of It
by Kelly McGonigal
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $17.27
106 used & new from $8.08

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring and practical, July 13, 2013
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This book focuses on that all-important subject, self-discipline. It is very well researched and lays out why self-discipline is so important and how to cultivate it. It includes a slew of interesting research and anecdotes, without being overly dry or boring. The material is also very well organized, and there are exercises to help you develop self-discipline. All in all, this is an excellent book that anyone can benefit from.


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