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Reviews Written by
Ronald W. Maron "pilgrim" (Nova Scotia)

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Koran Curious - a guide for infidels and believers
Koran Curious - a guide for infidels and believers

5.0 out of 5 stars An understandable overview of Islam............, Sept. 20 2014
Oh please! The reviewers who denounce this text have either never read it and only pretend to be outraged or so immersed in their own Fundamental Christianity that they cannot see the autos for the traffic jam they find themselves in!

CJ Werleman never presents himself as being the ultimate scholar of the Quran nor even as one of its disciples. Who he presents himself as being is a mere student of all world religions, as we all are, and presents and easy-to-read and chronological overview of the text itself. After a brief overview of the Quran in general, the author goes through the critical portions of the text that are preceded by a short and understandable summary. If you are needing an in depth religious tome, go elsewhere. If, on the other hand, you are merely wanting and quick-to-read summary, this book fills the bill.

That being said, there are some interesting conclusions to be drawn from the religion of Islam. Because Muhammad appears to be well versed in both the tales from the Old and New Testaments of today's Bible, there are a great number of parallels with his writings. First, he views God as being similar to the God of the OT; demanding, corporal, and highly jealous. While he does reflect on a degree of atonement for turning away from 'sinful' behavior, he views it in a less than enthusiastic manner. He, likewise, reflects on mankind as having both a free-will and predetermined behavior at the same time?? (impossible!) This is another similarity with the OT. Muhammad views himself both on the same level as Christ but more like Moses than any of the other Biblical myths. He states that God is vicious with the people who do not recognize him as the sole creator and, being so, has created an eternal hell for those who fail in this manner. There are a few other rules that persons are to live by but not to the extent that the writings of Paul or the book of Leviticus portrays. And, lastly, like the OT the Islamic God also likes to have his believers slaughter neighboring tribes for no other reason than to expand their territory!

While Isaac Asimov stated that the easiest way to become an atheist is to read the Bible from cover-to-cover, I would like to add that the second easiest way is to read the Quran from cover-to-cover.................

Eden Rising (Eden Rising Trilogy Book 1)
Eden Rising (Eden Rising Trilogy Book 1)
Price: CDN$ 3.05

2.0 out of 5 stars An overly used plot buried under unbelievable actions........, Aug. 18 2014
While high credits go to the author for his clear, concise writing abilities and his production of characters that are easily identified, little else in this novel are worth its perusal. First the plotline is very old and highly over used by other writers and, being so, it follows a well-trodden trail to an inevitable conclusion. Boy meets girl, their world is destroyed, boy nearly loses girl, they set the world straight, they live happily ever; the reader knows this familiar storyline before starting chapter two! Secondly, an EMP that is powerful enough to destroy the neurons of humans would do the same for all other animal species. More importantly it would also be strong enough not to have a walk-in freezer cease its impact. To have this occur is similar to saying that you can avert the ills of a hurricane by simply staying under your rain umbrella! Thirdly, wisdom comes from a lengthy process of experiencing life and learning its many lessons along the way. It is not attained simply by two teenagers quickly deciding that they were going to become philosophical survivors after an apocalypse. A teenage mentality would more likely have run and hid under their beds while calling for their Mommies to come help them! And they certainly would not become legends that spread throughout the Northeast. That is simply a Marvel Comics delusion. Lastly, while we have had a number of questionable Presidents throughout my lifetime, none of their dire legacies come close to a President who would purposely destroy the world such that he/she could reign over the rubble left behind. In sum, in order to create a good dystopic novel one must first create a plot that has a reasonable level of believability or else you are left with a dubious product that can only be compared to one of Bela Legosi's asinine movie portrayals........

Voices   -    Memories From a Medium's Life
Voices - Memories From a Medium's Life
Price: CDN$ 2.09

4.0 out of 5 stars the sequel to "Ghost of a Smile..........., Aug. 16 2014
While lacking some of the poetic prose that was prominent in her "Ghost of a Smile", Ms. Roberts continues her gentle persuasion that all of us have a degree of psychism within ourselves. In a talented and energetic manner the author identifies supernatural areas that we all have in common while, in addition, revealing a few of her personal readings and sharing a spirit-filled journey to Tibet. If you enjoyed her first installment, you will not be disappointed with her second.......

Crucifying America: the unholy alliance between the Christian Right and Wall Street
Crucifying America: the unholy alliance between the Christian Right and Wall Street

5.0 out of 5 stars the charade we call 'American Democracy'..........., Aug. 13 2014
This is THE book that should be read by ALL Americans. That being said, its only readers will be that of the Liberal Choir while the Right Wing will rip it to shreds and the media won't even recognize its existence. When you read this book if you do not feel yourself becoming angry, agitated and uneasy, you, too, may be part of the problem.

Each of us, at some point in our recent lives, have stated that "This is not the same country that I grew up in." While the Right Wing actually agrees with this statement, they place the blame in all the wrong areas. The Fundamentalists harken back to a time when coat hangers and back alleys where the only means to end an unwanted pregnancy, they view the days of calling others whatever crass name was popular as being an expression of their 'free speech', when only the wealthy merchant's children were allowed a college degree, they felt that common sense was all a person needed anyway and that no matter how damaging was the destructive outcome, 'might always made right'. Lacking the funding to have their archaic message be heard the 'Christian self-righteous' literally made a deal with the devil; they aligned themselves with the amoral, but wealthy, 1%. Yes, they now had their victory and could begin the regression of the country back into the 1850s but there was a severe price that had to be paid; the 1% were to receive monstrous tax cuts and the neutering of regulations that their quid pro quo demanded. This obviously would lead to the destruction of the social safety net, care for the elderly and the poor, and the loss of a livable wage because less moneys coming into the federal coffers meant less services could be afforded by the governement. But the self-righteous had their victory and their followers all numbly said "Amen". !!

As an avid reader of political materials and as a highly concerned citizen, I see that the battle for A New Society, The War Against Poverty, and the New Deal are battles that are now completely lost. The caring, compassionate people of the US have been overtaken by the undereducated, dogmatic and narrow-minded of the Right Wing. Their victory, of course, was fueled from the moneys of the 1% such that they could control more of the economy and have their limitless wealth grow even more. No, unlike the author, I do not see a force from the Left rising up to challenge the corporate power structure both because the moneys are not there and that the Liberals of the US have literally become 'fat and lazy'. They have viewed the US as having always been a fair and equitable country to live in and, because of that factor alone, it will continue to exist as it has into the unforeseeable future. Nothing could be further from the truth and this book vividly shows that the future is now and that our security is being stripped from us on a daily basis. Wake up Liberal America or fall asleep forever..................

The Michael Handbook
The Michael Handbook
Price: CDN$ 9.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Deceit sometimes wears a white hat......, Aug. 8 2014
The first thing that I do when perusing a text that deals with a topic that cannot be proven is to be certain that my 'critical thinking' cap is firmly in place. Before reading 'The Michael Handbook' I had it on quite snugly in fact. The text began quite commendably by clearly explaining the different levels the soul may evolve through. The descriptions made rational sense and matched some of my other readings. After this point, however, the writings fell into a pit of fantasy and complexity that only a fool or other charlatan could understand or believe. Even if there was a level of validity to the rest of the book, no one would really care about the further mundane levels stacked upon one another such that we are left with a swirling, incoherent collage of confusion and despair. I have found through my decades of study into the realms of spirituality that all truths found here are easily understood, that they grab your inner being as being sensible and are not described as one would a biological species with genus, species, class, group, phylum, etc.... These biological classifications are man-made descriptions that are applied to life. Spiritual descriptions, on the other hand, are meant to be easily understood. Lastly, any description that requires knowing where certain planets, stars or astrological signs were located when a egg is fertilized loses any credibility it may have gained to that point. Readers, do not be duped, nor be close-minded. Take each writing for what it is and put it to the test. Does it seem to be rational? Or does it seem like an easy way for an author to make a fairly effortless income?

Time And Again (Time Series Book 1)
Time And Again (Time Series Book 1)
Offered by Hachette Book Group Digital, Inc.
Price: CDN$ 7.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A very boring 'National Geographic' stroll through NYC in 1890........., July 18 2014
I spent the entire time reading this cumbersome presentation wondering both why readers were giving it such high ratings and why it is considered a border-line time travel classic. I failed to answer these questions on both counts. This is one of the most inane and cumbersome writings I have had the displeasure of perusing. Unlike the text itself, here is a concise and to-the-point summary of its failures:

1. Time Travel Causes- Self-hypnotism? Oh, please! If this were potentially possible we would all have left this time period ages ago.
2. Underlying Plot- In order to add texture to this novel the author included a mildly interesting mystery to its mix. It is highly contrived and obviously placed there to keep the reader plodding through this wordy novel to find its humdrum conclusion.
3. Descriptions of 1890 NYC- The only thing missing was what color were the socks of the villain wearing or how many persons entered the library on a given day! Some readers claim that it 'put them there in that time period' whereas I state that a full page that describes a single building is a bit verbose and leaving me with the feeling of 'So what?!'......

Good Omens
Good Omens
Price: CDN$ 9.29

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Too many cooks/writers spoil the broth/novel............, July 13 2014
This review is from: Good Omens (Kindle Edition)
While both authors are deservedly recognized as being the tops in their field, this 'combined writing adventure' leaves a great deal to be desired. The premise itself, a humorous view of the Fundie's mythical apocalypse, is highly commendable and is rife with potential humor. But, the quality humor had far greater lapses into sophomoric silliness and lacked the intensity that a shorter, more highly edited work would have provided. The story itself starts out very strong but quickly retreats into a scattered and difficult tale to follow as we tread from evil to good and back again.

The combined authorship reminds me of attempting to have two drivers from the Indy racing scene attempting to drive the same vehicle. Both try to take charge in order to win the race but because of this internal conflict they come in near to last place. Neil and Terry, it is easy to project that both of you are quite close and are good friends. The next time, however, one of you develops an idea let him, alone, drive the car while you remain in the stands cheering him on. Please !!


5.0 out of 5 stars The ever shrinking spiral that we call 'life'........., June 29 2014
This review is from: Replay (Kindle Edition)
While I have never been captivated by so-called romance novels and have always looked upon Harlequin as being little more than word litter, I am thrilled to have followed the intertwining romance in the lives of Jeff and Pamela. The author, Ken Grimwood, was able to take the lives of two people and move them congruently through a series of decreasing, yet intensifying, periods of life. While time travel, as we have come to know of it, is the engine that drives this novel, it is done so in an intriguing manner; they live the same time period over and over again.

Most modern novelists fail to allow their works to include either a universal moralistic teaching or a text from which the reader can actually make applications to their own life and future endeavors. This book does both beautifully. We are given the glory of life itself to reflect upon, the critical immediacy of living each moment to its fullest, and the ultimate inadequacy, regardless of how we choose to live, to have any major effect on the world around us. Thank you Mr. Grimwood for a message we all need to reflect on and grow from......

Breakers (Book 1)
Breakers (Book 1)
Price: CDN$ 0.00

3.0 out of 5 stars Notable writing skills hampered by a poor plot line........, June 19 2014
This review is from: Breakers (Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
Mr. Robertson does have the potential to be a quality author. He has a good ability with the definition of characters and, at times, his prose reads in a highly poetic manner. That being said, however, he has a dire need to develop a somewhat believable and rational plot line. His tale went very well until he decided to take us on a trip that entailed gigantic soft-shelled crabs as not only being the causal factors for the world wide plague but are now entering the Earth's atmosphere in a mountainous sized space ship. How did they originally spread the virus if they weren't here initially? How does a crab-like creature operate a space ship? If they only hovered over LA, was the rest of the world affected? How do you maneuver a hot-air balloon to safely land on an alien space craft? If these aliens are smart enough to spread a world-wide plague and travel through inter-stellar space, why are they as dumb as rocks in the finale and could seem to get out of their own way?
Please, Mr. Robertson take the time to think your next novel through to the end before sitting before a keyboard. You simply cannot make up a believable tale as you are in the process of writing it. You do have a writing talent that should not be shrouded by a story that contains more flaws than a three year old's finger-painting............

The Portal (An Alternative History Novel)
The Portal (An Alternative History Novel)
Price: CDN$ 4.99

3.0 out of 5 stars A good book for the adolescent reader............., June 12 2014
The word 'free' is a very deceptive concept. While there was no money exchanged in obtaining this novel, I view the hours it took to peruse it and the writing of this review to be ample re-payment for what I received.

While I was initially not enthused with the direction and plot lines that this book was taking, the author does have a way of capturing the reader and driving him/her further and further into his historical fantasy. His writing style is clear and concise, his characterizations of those involved is adequate and while the eventual ending was obvious within the first few chapters, he was able to draw together a Disney-like 'happily ever after' conclusion to his tale quite well. This is a good book for an adolescent reader because it allows him/her an initial contact with the theories of multiple universes and infinite lives................

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