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MKM "mad about books" RSS Feed (Bronxville, NY USA)

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The Perks of Being a Wallflower
The Perks of Being a Wallflower
by Stephen Chbosky
Edition: Paperback
Price: $8.33
252 used & new from $1.97

4.0 out of 5 stars Angst, May 10, 2013
Well written debut. One year in the life of a High School freshman who is very smart but doesn't seem to fit in with the crowd. He meets up with a Cool "Uncool" group of Seniors who become his closest friends. The book tackles sexual abuse, physical abuse, teenage pregnancy and homosexuality as well as first dates, first loves and much more in just 200 plus pages.


Sideways: A Novel
Sideways: A Novel
by Rex Pickett
Edition: Paperback
Price: $13.82
299 used & new from $0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buddy Novel, April 23, 2013
This review is from: Sideways: A Novel (Paperback)
Great buddy novel! Some very funny and touching moments during the last fling before Jack's wedding. Miles (somewhat autobiographical) spends the week with Jack touring wine country near Santa Barbara. Miles has to deal with the difficulty of getting a publisher for his novel, his recent divorce, having no money and the impending marriage of his best friend. Mixed in with all the angst are some hilarious trouble Miles and Jack encounter on their trip.


The Night Sessions
The Night Sessions
by Ken MacLeod
Edition: Paperback
Price: $14.46
80 used & new from $0.25

4.0 out of 5 stars Sci-Fi Crime/Political Thriller, April 1, 2013
This review is from: The Night Sessions (Paperback)
Ken Macleod has combined Sci-Fi, Crime Procedural and Political Thriller genres to tell a story of the near future where Politics and Religion have been separated. Robots/Androids have achieved self awareness and conscience. The resulting fear by humans have either displaced them into space as worker or converted their physical forms into non humanoid varieties. Catholic clergy begin to be murdered in terrorist style and Edinburgh police investigate. MacLeod has the police using some neat future technology. The minority religious vs. the majority secularists provide the major theme and plot for the book.


Daemon
Daemon
by Daniel Suarez
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $8.99
172 used & new from $0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars HAL, March 21, 2013
This review is from: Daemon (Mass Market Paperback)
Fast paced read with a lot of action and a good bit of gore. The main concept is very interesting. A dead video game mogul creates a program (daemon) to cause a lot of havoc on it's way to achieving its goal. Difficult to know who the bad guys or the good guys are but that is part of the story as well. Difficult to review this one without a spoiler but I recommend it and look forward to reading the second concluding book.


Old Man's War
Old Man's War
by John Scalzi
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $5.49
104 used & new from $0.14

4.0 out of 5 stars Great Read, March 6, 2013
Very well crafted space opera from the perspective of one enlisted soldier who happens to enlist at 75 years of age. Turns out everyone else in his army did as well. Scalzi adds a lot of humor, world building, action and enough science for those who desire it without turning off those that may not want it so much. There isn't a lot of sermonizing about the bad and good in waging wars. Its' mainly the story of people who leave one life behind for a new one because they feel the one they are leaving has been complete.


Ready Player One: A Novel
Ready Player One: A Novel
by Ernest Cline
Edition: Paperback
Price: $7.96
131 used & new from $5.99

4.0 out of 5 stars The Goonies meet Willie Wonka, February 28, 2013
I really enjoyed reading this book. A lot of 80's pop culture mixed in with a future post apocalyptic society that prefers spending most of their time in a virtual universe called OASIS. Wade Watts (avatar Parzival) is the first person narrator, living in the stacks which are located on the outskirts of every large city. The energy crisis has made it almost unlivable in the rural landscapes so anyone not wealthy enough to live in the city are stuck on the outskirts in modules that almost seem like ship containers. The dead eccentric founder of Oasis, James Halliday (like a Willie Wonka), has left instructions to hand over OASIS and $ 150 Billion to the winner of a contest to find an Easter Egg he has left within the Oasis Universe. Wade and a like minded group of real world misfits take on the challenge battling each other and an evil corporate entity, IOI, that wants to take over Oasis and monetize it. Wade and his group are against this so they battle it out. The key to finding the egg is to master all knowledge about Halliday and his love/obsession with the 1980s when he was a teenager.

The story reads very fast and is a lot of fun. The future is disturbing but considering where we are today I can't say it's too far off base.


Nexus
Nexus
by Ramez Naam
Edition: Paperback
Price: $12.60
43 used & new from $4.03

4.0 out of 5 stars What a Ride!, February 16, 2013
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This review is from: Nexus (Paperback)
Nexus is techno thriller that doesn't provide too many pages for the reader to take a break. In 2040 biotechnology has advanced where cloning, body enhancements and programming and connecting our minds are all happening. However the ethical questions that we debate today about all of this hasn't advanced at all. On one side are the scientists who believe that the advancement of humans beyond their natural limitations can bring about so much good to the world and on the other side are the governments/military that believe the world is in danger if anyone other than they have these technologies. The author's belief is that one cannot stop these advancements and the desire for them so distributing it as widely as possible is the best way to ensure that the good outweigh the bad. Thrown into this context is a genius PhD student, a female agent with bionic like enhancements, a Chinese Post Human with an ax to grind with humans, and a few Buddhist Monks battling each other as well as the US Government. It's a fun ride and as you read it you can find yourself believing much of it can really happen.


The City & The City (Random House Reader's Circle)
The City & The City (Random House Reader's Circle)
by China Miéville
Edition: Paperback
Price: $13.08
110 used & new from $1.63

5.0 out of 5 stars Wow, February 11, 2013
My first China Mieville novel and after finishing it I understand the critical and popular acclaim. Usually page turner and wonderful prose do not intersect but in this case it certainly did. Mievelle was able to guide the reader into understanding the "science fictional" concept through the narrative and characters rather than pages of off-narrative explanations. His ability to describe place and scene and not hold his characters to slip on occasion from the central SF concept was genius and made it almost believable. It's a Detective story mixed in with an interesting look at how societies deal with political borders. I look forward to reading another Mieville even though I understand The City and the City is less `weird fiction" than his others.


The Silver Linings Playbook: A Novel
The Silver Linings Playbook: A Novel
by Matthew Quick
Edition: Paperback
Price: $8.52
283 used & new from $0.16

5.0 out of 5 stars E-A-G-L-E-S, Eagles!, January 26, 2013
Pat Peoples believes his life is a movie. Movies have drama and sadness but in the end there is always a silver lining. For Pat the silver lining is reuniting with his estranged wife Nikki. However at the start of the novel Pat comes home to live in the basement of his parents house in South Jersey after spending time in a mental facility. Pat believes he was gone for a short time but he soon realizes that his family and friends lives have seemed to have changed much more than the few months he thinks he has been away. No one mentions when or why he went into the facility but it seems to be connected to his wife who he has not seen since before being committed.

His Mom hooks him up with the best therapist in the area, Dr. Cliff Patel, who helps Pat get reintroduced to life on outside of the "bad place". His best friend Ronnie hooks Pat up with his sister-in-law, Tiffany, but Pat chooses to just be friends as he is waiting for Nikki to welcome him back at the end of his movie. Tiffany like Pat struggles for mental stability after the death of her husband and provides Pat with the only connection that truly understands.

Matthew Quick gives Pat a very authentic voice of someone struggling to reconnect with his family, friends and himself. Through Pat's eyes and thoughts we share in this struggle to rebuild or rather build relationships with his mother, father, brother, therapist, his new friend Tiffany and ultimately his beloved Nikki. Each one is touching, sad and quite often funny. In the background we also share his family's and friend's love of the Philadelphia Eagles who also seem to struggle and never make it all the way. Pat believes he has been given a second chance at the same life he was living before he left to be a better person "practicing to be kind rather than right". Does Pat's movie end with the silver lining he believes will come?


Leviathan Wakes
Leviathan Wakes
by James S. A. Corey
Edition: Paperback
Price: $17.00
92 used & new from $5.54

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fast Paced Action, January 20, 2013
This review is from: Leviathan Wakes (Paperback)
Fast paced action throughout the book makes this 500+ page read a quick one. Alternating chapters between the two main protagonists destined to meet midway through the book worked well. The James S.A. Corey is a pseudonym for two writers so perhaps each one gave voice to one of the protagonists. Leviathan Wakes is a light space opera without the hard science that seems to take place about 200 or more years into the future where humans have colonized Mars, The Belt and some of the moons of Jupiter and Saturn. Earth, Mars and The Belt have replaced the countries of the Earth. Each seems to be mistrustful of the other with the Belt playing the underdeveloped underdog. Technology has advanced much but humans for the most part are still the same. Racisim, divorce, murder, crime, relationships and even Sushi survive. So for me having the familiar in the far off future made it a nice ride. If you like Detective Noir and Space Opera give this one a chance and you will enjoy it.


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