River God – Review

River God by Wilbur Smith

Published in 1993

Pages: 530

Genre: Historical fiction

“The river lay heavily upon the desert, bright as a spill of molten metal from a furnace.”

As the title and first line suggest, River God, by Wilbur Smith, is centered around the life giving force of the Nile in ancient Egypt. What the book concerns, however, is the lives of those who subsist and thrive along that great running serpent of water. Violence, betrayal, intrigue, and love all take the stage in an epic that is as fulfilling as it is enticing. Continue reading “River God – Review”

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Music Monday – The Dear Hunter: Act III

Album: Act III: Life and Death by The Dear Hunter                   Cover.jpg

Released: June 23rd, 2009

Band Info:

The Dear Hunter was formed in 2005 after Casey Crescenzo was kicked out of his previous band, The Receiving End of Sirens. What was originally a side project while he was in TREOS, The Dear Hunter became Casey’s full-time project and he recorded the first album, Act I: The Lake South, The River North, almost entirely on his own with help from friends and family. Telling the tragic life story of boy a growing up at the end of the 19th century, the band released the first three acts in 2006, 2007, and 2009 before taking a departure with their 2011 release, The Color Spectrum. This collection contained nine four-song EPs; each individual EP corresponded to a color for a total of 36 songs of various genres and moods. The band followed up with another stand-alone release, Migrant, in 2013 before returning to release the fourth and fifth acts in 2015 and 2016 respectively. The Dear Hunter has released seven full-length albums in the eleven years since their first album, continues to tour, and released a new EP last Friday titled All is as All Should Be.

Band Photo.jpg
The Dear Hunter circa 2009.

Continue reading “Music Monday – The Dear Hunter: Act III”

Louis Armstrong – Review

Louis Armstrong by Hugues Panassié

Photograph collection b Jack Bradley

Published in 1971

Pages: 148

Genre: Biography, nonfiction, music criticism

“The New Year was being celebrated in New Orleans.”

If you are from my generation or younger, you may be familiar with the gritty voice singing “What a Wonderful World,” but Louis Armstrong was most famous as a jazz musician; his playing takes center stage in Louis Armstrong by French music critic Hugues Panassié. Split into three sections, the book gives an account of “Satchmo” and his career blowing people’s minds with his unique trumpet playing.  Assuming they already know much of his life story, Louis Armstrong is a great addition to any fan’s bookshelf. Continue reading “Louis Armstrong – Review”

Witches Abroad – Review

Witches Abroad by Terry Pratchett

Published in 1991

Pages: 342

Genre: Fantasy, satire

“This is the Discworld, which travels through space on the back of four elephants which themselves stand on the shell of Great A’Tuin, the sky turtle.”

Stories have power in the fantasy realm of Terry Prachett’s Discworld series, and they take center stage in the novel Witches Abroad. Fairy godmothers, fairy tales, and happily-ever-afters come into his satirical scope in a novel that is as entertaining as it is endearing. Granny Weatherwax returns, alongside Nanny Ogg and the timid Magrat Garlick, for an adventure that dives not only into stories in general, but her own family history. Continue reading “Witches Abroad – Review”

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An Impromptu Blog: Net Neutrality is in Danger

Ajit Pai.jpg
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai

I don’t believe enough people are aware of or understand what Net Neutrality is, or how it is best for the consumer. It is currently under attack by the FCC’s new chairman who wants to dismantle the regulations that keep ISP’s in check, and keep a level playing field for consumers who may not have a choice in what providers they have due to where they live.

He says that the market will correct itself if internet throttling is allowed, but how can a consumer choose an alternative when there is none? The large ISP’s will benefit, but small businesses and websites will be crushed with little opportunity in a world that allows throttling and slow lanes based on what internet provider you are forced to use.

The FCC has taken the first formal step toward throwing the consumer to the wayside; now is the time to let those you voted for, the people who are supposed to have your best interests at heart, know that this is not what we want.

For an idea about why net neutrality is important, read this.

If you care about net neutrality, sign these petitions: White House, Change.org

After that, give your representative a call.

Do not remain idle and believe that someone else will fix this for you; as bloggers, this is especially relevant and something we should all be aware of. Please take the time to educate yourself and do what is necessary to save Net Neutrality.

 

Previously: On the Subject of Net Neutrality

 

The images featured in this post can be found through the hyperlinks below.

Featured Image

Ajit Pai

Music Monday – The Dear Hunter: Act II

Album: Act II: The Meaning of, & All Things Regarding Ms. Leading by The Dear Hunter Cover.jpg

Released: May 22nd, 2007

Band Info:

The Dear Hunter was formed in 2005 after Casey Crescenzo was kicked out of his previous band, The Receiving End of Sirens. What was originally a side project while he was in TREOS, The Dear Hunter became Casey’s full-time project and he recorded the first album, Act I: The Lake South, The River North, almost entirely on his own with help from friends and family. Telling the tragic life story of boy a growing up at the end of the 19th century, the band released the first three acts in 2006, 2007, and 2009 before taking a departure with their 2011 release, The Color Spectrum. This collection contained nine four-song EPs; each individual EP corresponded to a color for a total of 36 songs of various genres and moods. The band followed up with another stand-alone release, Migrant, in 2013 before returning to release the fourth and fifth acts in 2015 and 2016 respectively. The Dear Hunter has released seven full-length albums in the eleven years since their first album, continues to tour, and will be releasing a new EP this December titled All is as All Should Be.

Band Photo.jpg
The Dear Hunter circa 2007.

Continue reading “Music Monday – The Dear Hunter: Act II”

The Autumn of the Patriarch – Review

El otoño del patriarca (The Autumn of the Patriarch) by Gabriel García Márquez

Published in 1975

Gregory Rabassa Translation

Pages: 269

Genre: Latin American literature, Colombian literature

“Over the weekend the vultures got into the presidential palace by pecking through the screens on the balcony windows and the flapping of their wings stirred up the stagnant time inside, and at dawn on Monday the city awoke out of its lethargy of centuries with the warm, soft breeze of a great man dead and rotting grandeur.”

If you decide to read The Autumn of the Patriarch by Gabriel García Márquez, it is a good idea to become familiar with the above sentence because it will be referenced again throughout the book. Creating a weaving, non-linear narrative on power and its fallacies, García Márquez brings a flowing and poetic character study to life. This book is not an easy read, but finishing brings about its own reward for those who are able to make it through the depths of description and its maniacal lack of logic. Continue reading “The Autumn of the Patriarch – Review”