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Nelson Aspen "Author/Journalist" RSS Feed (Los Angeles & NYC, USA)

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Divergent
Divergent
by Veronica Roth
Edition: Paperback
Price: $5.49
248 used & new from $3.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable Dystopian adventure, April 8, 2014
This review is from: Divergent (Paperback)
Not having read The Hunger Games, but enjoying the movie, I decided to read Divergent. While I have yet to see the movie version, I have to say that purely as a literary experience, I really enjoyed it. A hefty tome, it moved quickly and kept me company during a long transcontinental plane trip.

Classified by some as strictly for "young adults," I think anyone interested in Dystopian fantasy/adventure, will find this an entertaining and worthwhile read.


Zobo
Zobo
by Christopher Durham
Edition: Paperback
Price: $14.25
8 used & new from $9.45

5.0 out of 5 stars Utterly charming, March 23, 2014
This review is from: Zobo (Paperback)
Beautiful artwork and a sweet, simple story every child will appreciate make ZOBO a welcome addition to anyone's library of children's books. Well done!


Bring Up the Bodies (Wolf Hall, Book 2)
Bring Up the Bodies (Wolf Hall, Book 2)
by Hilary Mantel
Edition: Paperback
Price: $9.07
125 used & new from $1.04

3.0 out of 5 stars Why didn't I like this more??, March 10, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
After all the accolades and rave reviews, I was excited to finally sit down and savor this book. As a fan of Tudor history (especially Henrician storytelling), I looked forward to the read and yet, almost from the beginning I found myself wondering what I was missing. It seemed remarkably dull and slow moving. Still, I plodded through...awaiting the revelation or some sense of famliarity with the familiar figures to kick in and entertain me.

It was very late in the game, not until Cranmer appeared on the scene and the time came to "bring up the bodies" that I began to feel a sense of pace to keep the pages turning.

I am obviously in the minority, but that's what personal reviews are all about...right!?


And Sons: A Novel
And Sons: A Novel
by David Gilbert
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $18.78
99 used & new from $3.77

4.0 out of 5 stars An ambitious and ejoyable character study, March 10, 2014
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This review is from: And Sons: A Novel (Hardcover)
Author Gilbert skillfully interweaves an assortment of characters with a compelling take on the classic "father/son" dynamic. Narrated by a family friend, this artful look at the strife of privileged, educated New Yorkers manages to be reminiscent of the work of other decades while still being original. A nifty trick. Manhattan, too, is an essential character in the story and beautifully portrayed by a writer who obviously loves and knows her well. An entertaining and erudite read.


Twelve Years a Slave: Narrative of Solomon Northup, a Citizen of New-York, Kidnapped in Washington City in 1841, and Rescued in 1853 (Docsouth Books)
Twelve Years a Slave: Narrative of Solomon Northup, a Citizen of New-York, Kidnapped in Washington City in 1841, and Rescued in 1853 (Docsouth Books)
by Solomon Northup
Edition: Paperback
Price: $28.80
19 used & new from $28.26

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping first hand account of an American Tragedy, October 7, 2013
This intense and intellectual autobiography may be one of the finest accounts of the horrors of American Slavery I have ever read. After seeing the powerful motion picture based on this work, I wanted to read the book and was thoroughly captivated by the bravery, intelligence and spirit of the kidnapped free man Solomon Northup, whose 12 year odyssey as a slave, should be read by anyone who wants a better understanding of this terrible part of our collective history.

It is a testament to Northup that his story is still being told and stands the test of time to deliver the same impact as it must have when first written.


Titanic Love Stories: The True Stories of 13 Honeymoon Couples Who Sailed on the Titanic
Titanic Love Stories: The True Stories of 13 Honeymoon Couples Who Sailed on the Titanic
by Gill Paul
Edition: Unknown Binding
21 used & new from $0.04

4.0 out of 5 stars Bittersweet stories of REAL passengers aboard Titanic., September 14, 2013
I enjoyed Jim Cameron's TITANIC a lot...I admit I'm an enthusiast about the whole subject. However one aspect of the film that always disappointed me was the device of creating leading characters who were fictional, when there were thousands of TRUE stories to be told about the lives of those aboard. For all the film's meticulous attention to details (and many "real life" supporting characters), it ultimately caved to the device that Fiction makes a better story than Truth.

This book proves that in historical pictures, Art is usually best imitating Life! Here are 13 tales of lovers aboard the ill-fated liner that make you wonder if any of them would have been better leads in a movie version. (This is why the old "Night to Remember" film is still my favorite of all cinematic tellings...)

A charming, sentimental and informative read for TITANIC fans.


The Hudson: A History
The Hudson: A History
by Tom Lewis
Edition: Paperback
Price: $15.83
107 used & new from $1.05

5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating history of the mighty Hudson River, August 30, 2013
This review is from: The Hudson: A History (Paperback)
As someone who lives very near the beautiful Hudson River, I was mesmerized and enthralled to learn so much of its rich history...from its discovery to the modern day. The author obviously loves his subject and writes beautiful stories of its Highs & Lows, bringing along New York State as he goes.

It may get a little dry in detailed passages, especially for non-New Yorkers, but its still a magnificent read about the magnificent Hudson!

(The illustrations, alas, are in black and white...I'd love to see a full color, hardback edition that would match the beauty of the cover)


New York: The Novel
New York: The Novel
by Edward Rutherfurd
Edition: Paperback
Price: $9.63
232 used & new from $0.47

5.0 out of 5 stars This will keep you company for a good, long time!, July 13, 2013
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This review is from: New York: The Novel (Paperback)
SARUM was one of my favorite reads, ever. LONDON, not so much. So I went into this one with an open mind, completely biased by the fact that I have my own personal history with NYC, having lived in Manhattan 1980-90 and then moving back in 2010 as a middle aged man. Perhaps that span of time helped set the stage for me to enjoy Rutherfurd's sweeping style of historical fiction storytelling.

Non-Gothamites will still enjoy the interweaving stories and factual details...but readers who have any kind of personal connection with "the Big Apple" will especially enjoy many of the aspetcs from the island's colonization up until present day.

Few books leave me with tears in my eyes, but this one accomplished that. It may take you a while to polish off this massive tome, but it's well worth the read--and no better companion to take along when you spread out a blanket in Central Park.


The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit
The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit
by Sloan Wilson
Edition: Paperback
Price: $11.06
106 used & new from $3.90

5.0 out of 5 stars "It will be interesting to see what happens!", May 16, 2013
This book is now among my "All Time Favorite" literary works...I only wish I'd discovered it years ago! I could not put it down, except for when I had to work...and even then, I kept it in my lap to steal quick moments with it until I could settle down and eventually polish it off. I haven't enjoyed a book so much in ages and highly recommend it for anyone interested in a timecapsule of Mid 20th Century America and an emotionally compelling story with a complex leading character.

WARNING: Do not read the "New Introduction" by Jonathan Franzen. It not only provides spoilers, it underestimates the appeal of the book. Save it for later, or skip it altogether. The author's afterword, however, is interesting.

"Mad Men" fans will especially appreciate the timely details of the era...serving almost as a "Prequel" to the popular TV series. However, I feel like this book would make an even better series, itself. I have yet to see the Gregory Peck film version, but it's hard to imagine I would enjoy it more than this read. We shall see.

If you enjoy this half as much as I did, it will be well worth your time.


The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge: Restored Edition
The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge: Restored Edition
by Hildegarde Hoyt Swift
Edition: Paperback
Price: $7.20
106 used & new from $0.45

5.0 out of 5 stars A most charming book for "children" of all ages!, May 15, 2013
Not only is the story of the Little Red Lighthouse a charming and compelling one, sweetly told with captivating prose, the "mid-century" style watercolors that compliment it are amazing! As a New Yorker who loves the actual Lighthouse and Bridge upon which this story is based, I was completely entranced by this tale--heretofore unknown to me, but now understandably beloved!


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