Thursday, December 11, 2014

Beautiful YouBeautiful You by Chuck Palahniuk

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Darkly stirring this novel will make you rethink sexual pleasure, manipulation, and post-coital cigarettes.

CInderella + (Unleash the Giant From Within) Anthony Robbins + Even Cowgirls Get the Blues (Tom Robbins) = Beautiful You 

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Friday, December 5, 2014

A Review of "Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn"

Sharp ObjectsSharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Pretty girls divide social lines with sharp objects
A book that will make you rethink your world view on violence, women, and sharp objects. Gillian Flynn investigates and tells the reader of small town motherly politics, exploring the fine line between the perfect angels and the outsiders.  What and who keeps the children as they should be, ought to be in Americana. This could be in part the real house wives of Arkansas Pines Valley. "See how the better half live." A land of normal, defined by pretty people, who live within the structure of violence.

Truman Capote's (True Blood) + Stephen King's (Misery) = Gillian Flynn's (Sharp Objects)

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Friday, August 29, 2014

Friends of Mine: Thirty Years in the Life of a Duran Duran FanFriends of Mine: Thirty Years in the Life of a Duran Duran Fan by Elisa Lorello

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was offered for review on Book Blogger

  The books description intrigued me; a grown up, a professor, a novelist discusses her love for a Pop Band.  I have been a fan of certain bands. and have always been a viewer and never a performer.  My brother Andy listened to Duran Duran and his musical world exploded.   He has gone on to be a musician featured on the cover of a notable San Francisco paper.   I desired to be a crafted musician, but no matter the amount of practice; I was unable to get my heart into it.   I found that my role was to celebrate the music of the band.

     Elissa Lorello's book is like a keen chaperon of the 20th century Pop Music Museum. The book provided balance between context (private and historical),  and the music of Duran Duran.
  I had a couple questions I wanted answered before beginning this book. What is the purpose of music? How does music mark the depths of history? How do bands create clarity in our lives? How does popular music create clarity in a world turned chaotic? What is "fan club glee", or why be a fan of a bunch of dreamy musicians?  Other writers would have been more heavy handed in one of these areas.  The heavy handedness would leave us scratching our heads and asking, "so what?"  However, Lorello does a balance review of her life and its intersections with Duran Duran. Friends of Mine: Thirty Years in the Life of a Duran Duran Fan,  is a well crafted answer to the role of music in an unstable world. 

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Monday, August 25, 2014

Book Review: Robert Kroese "Starship Grifters"

   I found myself bored one uneventful summer morning.  I opened the front door to check the mail box, but I was stopped cold when I found a plain brown envelop.   I ripped open the envelop and found "Star Ship Grifters".  I slipped into reading mode and read the first paragraph, and I  knew that this book would make my day more interesting.
Starship Grifters is a three snort hilarious planetary road trip, through a George Lucas parallel universe, with a little glimmer of Ian Flemming (James Bond). 
     My joy in reading this story was not the polish of heroic soldiers (Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Princess Lea); but of reading of a bumbling, clueless hero named Rex.  Rex is an idiot savant.  He, like Voltaire's Candide, walks into trouble without realizing the peril.
    The trouble begins when Rex attempts to solve his personal debt crisis by taking part in a game of chance.  The game of chance is won, but the victory is just the beginning of Rex's troubles.  The quest leads Rex in a battle to restore balance to his life and maybe become a little less debt ridden.   Rex's goals are small but this does not mean they are easily come by.        
    The story is narrated by Rex's  personal robot assistant who must keep from thinking or suffer hard reboot.   The dilemmas in this story make it comedic.  The book is average for a star-ship comedy, but this does not mean that it is not worth the read.  I think this book would have made Groucho Marx smirk; you can bet your life.  

Friday, August 22, 2014

The Metaxy ProjectThe Metaxy Project by Layton Green

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was lucky enough to receive this book from the author; this was the first time I have read Layton Green.  I will read more Layton Green and look forward to his Dominic Grey and Viktor Redek series.  

The Metaxy Project is a great book that makes the paranormal and agnostic faith tangible to the reader.   

Layton Green takes time to flesh out the characters in the first quarter of the book.  The details at time became tedious and I thought, "Man, I should not have chosen this book, and the author wants me to review it."  Layton Green's use of cliche stilted the voice of his characters; the dialogue at times was melodramatic and made me cringe.  However the author's use of dialogue improved as the action took flight.

Green does a great job at setting up these believable characters in unbelievable circumstances.   I could feel the stress that Gemma felt in providing for her sick child, and became enraptured with her character. 

The setting of Atlanta is described expertly and one can envision the complexity of the monstrous city.  The author knows Atlanta and can show the reader its various facets.

I had a hard time, in fact, putting the book down during the chilling climax.   I will read more Layton Green.

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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Beer Review of the Week: Swamphead Brewery: My Thai

Swamphead Brewery, (Gainsville Florida): Found at the ABC Stores Growler Section.     

This week we stay in the state of Florida and travel over to Gainsville... and sampled Swamp Head Brewery's My Thai, A decent beer with some surprise as you let it warm up.

Aroma: Hard to tell definitely some pine, its a bit yeasty, but overall:l pleasant.

Appearance: Nice solid looking IPA. Not much head. Looks like Amber Honey.

Flavor: This beer tastes good around 50 degrees... the flavors come out and then whop there it is a tickle to the back of the throat from the Thai Chilis. Yum. The Kafir lime does coat the mouth well. And the Ginger adds just the right balance to give it more than a yum. This beer builds into a beautiful shenpa (the process of getting hooked), and then is savored the more. This beer deserves kindness and patience as the craftsmanship is truly present. Someone whom does not appreciate finesse will miss the beauty of the overall beer. It is a subtle beauty that in time was worth the patience.

Compared to the Jai Alai by Cigar City brewing it took more time to enjoy... but once I got that flavor... it truly is a memorable beer.   Served with a burrito from Chipolte.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Beer Review: Cubano Style Espresso Brown Ale

It was short of a masterpiece; but the attempt to be different and hold to the traditional brown ale style kept it afloat.

Appearance: Dark brown, not much head, it looked lively and inviting.

Smells: The scent of this beer was everything good about Tampa; espresso coffee, delicious pastries at Segundo Bakery, or just a Tampa style Cuban Media Noche- The scent invited me to Ybor City.

Taste: The Espresso really does not linger like a good coffee should, as the brown ale tradition was favored over any of the other flavors. I was hoping for more of a stout beer than this brown ale. Because a stout or a porter, can go heavier in flavor and not affect the overall beer style. I think they did a fine job of maintaining tradition with an updated twist.

Mouth Feel: The taste at first lingered on the front of the palate only and slowly worked its way to the back. I was hoping for a coated feeling from the espresso.

As I drink more of this from my growler the taste becomes ever so nice. It still is not in the 4-5 Outstanding. But its better than an average beer. Also I loved that Ybor attempted to take a brown ale and work it with heavy flavors. Does any one else do this? Or has any one attempted to do this? So I think they deserve a special mention for being daring to try and innovate the industry. But a 4-5 makes me want to shout out loud and share the good news with everyone else, this beer did not raise my shout out loud meter.


I am exploring beer and will share a number of beers in the future.   I think it is fun to learn about micro beers and then attempt to share them with my readers.   I hope you have fun reading my blog as much as I enjoy reporting the beer.  

Mazol Tov,
Gregorio Roth

Saturday, July 19, 2014

If One Is to Read Steinbeck, (Besides the Grapes of Wrath)....

Travels with Charley... the book is truly one that is under-rated for its depth and beauty shared. I even named my dilapidated van Rocinante... I listened to the book while traveling between Washington via Oregon and Colorado... it was a great book for my travels. The book set the tone for the whole trip

Friday, July 18, 2014

Brick + Mortar - Old Boy (Animated Video)

I love the sense of wonderment this video shares... the kid side of the artist shares throughout....

Fluxx: The Review

Played Cards (Fluxx) with my friend Michael Anderson... The game is a simple game to learn because every card has its own set of instructions.  The best way to learn is to jump in and begin to play.  Or you can watch the Will Wheaten hosted video on Table Top.

 We played three different versions:  
The Wizard of Oz Fluxx, Cthulhu Fluxx, and the Monty Python Fluxx .   I think each set is geared towards a certain type of person:   The Cuthulu- The dark and brooding;   The Wizard of Oz-the classically suave; and the Monty Python-the 70's good timer.

  All three were great fun.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

JawsJaws by Peter Benchley

Jaws, like Moby Dick, is a book about vicious people, more than enraged sea animals.

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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Top Five: Which is Scarier the Shark or .... (In Jaws (the Book)).

  1. The shark or the homophobic brawny townies.
  2. The shark or the snow-birds need to keep up with the Jones.
  3. The shark or a little whinny kid bored on the beach because there is nothing to do on the beach.
  4. The shark or the money spent by the snow-birds.
  5. The shark or gazpacho sprinkled with marijuana.  (It's breaking the law.... he he he).

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Commentary on Entertainment's List of 50 Cool Reads

We the Readers Demand a Recount

Entertainment's List of 50 Cool Reads.
Check the list before reading my comments.

There are way too many safe books here.  Why is the Great Gatsby on this list? Why 1984? They are examples of great books ruined by good intentioned teachers.   Teachers in high-school kill books when they force the books down students throats.  There meaning becomes something to memorize instead of internalizing, and taken into our hearts.  Cool books are ones that help guide us... through different perils in life's great passing.    Where is Stephen King, Clive Barker, Tony Robbins, Maxine Hong Kingston, or Che Guevera?  Or even Henry Miller?   I think that the biggest problem is any book that is forced on us the reader to read, especially in Highschool, or Junior Highschool, should be excluded.  Cool books are ones that we, the readers, find on our own, or from liking one book and then checking out another one.  Or even the covers.  Or being featured by great readers who say, "Son this book is awesome, I sure hope you check it out. " 

Zinio and Esquire:
I was thankful that the Polk County Library Collective has Zinio.  Zinio is a great way to check out magazines at home.   The browser has a number of great magazines including: Backpacker, Esquire, Oprah, National Geographic, Apple, Cosmopolitan, and ESPN (to name a few). This month, August 2014, Stephen King has published a short story for Esquire, check it our today.  

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Brews I have Tasted

 Okay, at times I am cheap, so $10.00 for only four beers, made me genuflect.  But 90 Minutes does not disappoint.   And it is well worth the value spent.   So next time you are wanting an IPA that wont disappoint ask for a Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA.  

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Reading My Father - a book by Alexandra Styron

Reading My FatherReading My Father by Alexandra Styron
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

William Styron was a greatly flawed man shaped by promise and destroyed by clinical depression.  This book shows how Styron's depression shaped  his daughter to be a writer.  The book was really depressing and not that much fun to read.  However, if you want a book that examines the effect that psychological depression has on a family, it is a fine piece of writing.  

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Thursday, January 9, 2014

Top 5 Books Read 2013

Top 5 Books Read 2013

  1. Dark Tide The Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919 -                                                                       Stephen Puleo
  2. Rosemary's Baby                                        - Ira Levin
  3. Arguably: Essays                           - Christopher Hitchens
  4. The French Lieutenant's Woman                   -John Fowles
  5. Cloud Atlas                                              - David Mitchell

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Today's Haiku

Whisk of White Clouds:
realist painting of Florida;
a Blue Sky Portrait.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Literary Heroes

Charles Bukowski is one of my literary heroes.   I was awakened to the grimy reality by his life, prose, and ironic poems.   Maybe, he was an awakening to my own madness.

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