Saturday, 30 March 2013

Social Media Made Easy - Book Review

Social Media is a rapidly changing culture and I think it is important that we stay abreast of these changes. That is, if we want to ensure we are using them in the most appropriate way to suit our needs. This book has just been published, and as such is the most up to date book currently available.
This is basically an overview of the different social media sites which  are around today. It takes a simple approach which is commensurate with the title of the book. It is not a big book so most areas are covered briefly with greater emphasis on the more popular sites. I am quite social media savvy so in some ways I found this book a bit simple. I did, however, learn some new things. If you are fairly new to using social media and/or want to develop your use of social media then this is an excellent book. As a resource in this area I do not think it can be beaten.
Where this book really comes into its own is the section on using social media for business and marketing. I found I learnt a lot from this and I am sure anyone who has a professional use for social media would find the same. The book is worth it for this section alone.
Is the book worth the money and your time? It is definitely worth your time. However, unless you want to keep and refer back to this, I would recommend you request it from your local library.
No I'm off to share my blog using social media, so the book was worth it to me. I'll be back soon with another book review, so until then keep reading. 

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Private Berlin - Thriller by James Patterson

Private Berlin (Private 3)
I have been a huge fan of James Patterson but recently have to admit to being somewhat disappointed in his books. However the Private series is excellent and up to his initial high standard. This latest in the series is written jointly with Mark Sullivan.
This time the action takes place in Berlin and the authors have taken a great deal of care to ensure details, both contemporary and historical, are correct. Berlin is described perfectly including the areas of east Berlin built by the former GDR. One can completely picture the greyness and the general air of depression which surrounds them.
One of Private's investigators have gone missing and his ex fiancĂ©, Mattie Engel, also an investigator for Private, is desperate to find him. She is aware that there are areas of his past which haunt him, one of the reasons that they split up. All the characters are expertly drawn and I found myself picturing them as though they were in my sitting room. All I can say is I'm glad they weren't though as the bad guys are truly evil.

This book is non stop action. There are enough twists, turns, blind alleys and red herrings to keep the most ardent of thriller readers happy. The plot is complex but Patterson and Sullivan bring all of the threads together seamlessly. The ending is explosive and the tension is ramped up to have you on the edge of your seat. This is an excellent thriller which I would highly recommend.
Having written this blog I am now off to the bookcase to see which book I am going to read next. Join me in the next bookaholic blog ready to see what I will pull out of the bag next. Until then keep reading.

Friday, 22 March 2013

Unlocking the Last Days: A Guide to the Book of Revelation and the End Times

If you want to buy the paperback version of this book it can also be purchased from your local Christian Bookshop
Many books have been published which talk about the End Times and whether we are at that period in history where we could be entering the End Times. I would like to start this blog by saying that my view on this is that only God knows the time and the day and I am sure we will know when this happens. Saying that, I am interested in the book of Revelation and this book by Jeff Lassiegne looked like it would provide a clear overview.
I have previously read some books on this subject and one thing they have in common is that they are often confusing. Lasseigne has managed to avoid this and his book is very clearly written. He goes through each chapter and gives a sound well reasoned argument for what they mean. He uses Biblical references from both the Book of Revelation and many other books of the Bible.
I am sure you are aware that there are three interpretations of the End Times - Pre Millenial, Millenial, and Post Millenial. Lasseigne takes the Pre-Millenial postion and sets out a very clear argument for why this stance is the most likely. He very briefly covers the other two positions as part of his argument.
Some books which look at Revelation and the End Times can also be quite dry. This book certainly manages to avoid that failing. Each chapter starts with a joke. These are both relevant and really funny. They also serve to set the chapter into context and to give Lasseigne a springboard on which to launch his discussion. However, don't be fooled into thinking this is a light book which doesn't address the real issues. Far from being that, it is an in depth overview into which the author has poured a great deal of research and study.
I would highly recommend this book for anyone who is interested in this topic. It is not one which you will read quickly but you will certainly learn a lot in the process.
Tune in next week to see what the next book in my very eclectic book reviews will be. Until then keep reading.

Thursday, 14 March 2013

The Last Camel Died at Noon - Historical Murder Mystery


I am still devouring murder mysteries like they are going to be removed any minute, but had to take time out blog about this one. Elizabeth Peters writing style is superb and the Amelia Peabody books always make me want to reach for my passport and head for more exotic climes. This one is no exception.

I love this book and would buy it for the title alone. It mmediatley conjures up images of The Middle East and recalcitrant camels. There are many recalcitrant camels in this book and having ridden one I can assure you that Elizabeth Peters is spot on with her descriptions.

In this jolly good story Emerson and Amelia are excavating archeological sites in the Sudan and before you know it up to their necks in trouble. Dead bodies abound and the murder mystery aspect is excellent.

However, this is so much more than a mere murder mystery. Elizabeth Peters has an evocative writing style which means you can picture the exotic scenes perfectly. The characters are described vividly and I could almost picture myself talking to them. The sites and sounds of the Egypt and the Sudan are described perfectly. Their son Ramses is now 10 and up to his usual mischief. As well as being a murder mystery this book is also laugh out loud funny. It is set in Victorian times and gives you a glimpse of life in the British Upper Classes.

I also liked the Archeological spect of these books which are extremely well researched. You learn a lot whilst reading a very entertaining novel.

Although the books can be read as a stand alone it would be better to read the first book of the series, Crocodile in the Sandbank, before moving on to the others. This will give you the story of how Amelia and Emerson met and sets the tone for the remainder of the books.

If you like historical murder mysteries you will love this series. I would highly recommend this book and any others by Elizabeth Peters who is an excellent Writer

Saturday, 9 March 2013

The Lily Bard Mysteries by Charlaine Harris

Shakespeare's Landlord: A Lily Bard Mystery     Shakespeare's Champion: Lily Bard: Book Two

                     Amazon UK                               Amazon UK                             
Amazon US                               Amazon US     

Shakespeare's Christmas: A Lily Bard Mystery

Amazon UK
Amazon US

Shakespeare's Trollop: A Lily Bard Mystery   Shakespeare's Counselor: A Lily Bard Mystery
                                          Amazon UK                                Amazon UK
                                          Amazon US                                 Amazon US
My blogs seem to be like the number 17 bus - none for ages and then they all come at once. This is because I am pretty much finished writing my first book and am cogitating on the story for the next in the series. Therefore I am taking time to relax and enjoy reading other people's books.
I don't often write about entire series but I enjoyed the five books in this one so much I just had to tell everyone about them. I have put the covers and the links in order to help you if you are interested in reading them. For all my readers in Dundee, Scotland you can also get them from the public library as I did. Oh, just in case you think I am favouring Dundee, I'm sure other public libraries stock them as well.
These books are set in the picturesque town of Shakespeare, Arkansas, USA. Lily Bard, a professional cleaner, and martial arts expert has settled in the town, having flown from the demons of her past. You learn about these and what drives her in the first book. As the books progress more of Lily's personality and past life are unfurled.
However, these are excellent mysteries and each one can be read as a stand alone. The cover and the names led me to believe these were cosy mysteries, but do not be fooled. These books have enough murders and dead bodies to satisfy the most hardened of officianados. Of course Lily, despite being a cleaner, soon finds herself knee deep in investigating the mysteries. This is where the martial arts training comes in useful. There is also some romance in there but it blends in well and does not detract form the mystery aspect. It helps to make Lily seem more real.
I loved these books and found myself reading them one after the other. In fact I read two today. I would like to assure you that they are full length books. I am just an extraordinarly fast reader.
If you like murder mysteries then I would highly enjoy these. Look out for the next blog which will be coming soon as I am on to my next book already. Until then, keep reading.


Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Touch and Go: Top Notch Thriller

Touch & Go

Having actually done a lot of work on my own book I have been taking a break and doing some reading and relaxing. Much as I love writing it has been great to pick up and read some books by other writers. This weeks offering is an excellent Thriller by Lisa Gardner. 

I love all of Lisa Gardner's books and this latest offering did not let me down. A family is kidnapped and you get to see the story from the viewpoint of the Kidnappers, The family and the Investigators. Tessa Leoni, a Private Detective from previous Gardner books, is also investigating the case. This book is gripping and held my attention throughout. As a writer Gardner has the ability to draw you in and place you right at the centre of the story and the characters lives. The writing is clever, creating just the right amount of tension. In fact the tension keeps you wanting to read more. This is the sign of a good thriller. 

Nothing in this book is as it seems and there are a fair few surprises throughout. The characters are well drawn and believable and I found myself loving and hating them in turns. I did not expect the ending at all and was taken completely by surprise. I loved this book and would highly recommend it. If you have read Lisa Gardner books previously you will not be disappointed with this one. If you haven't you could start with this one and you will definitely want to read others. She is a highly skilled writer and this is evident in the pages of this book.

This was the perfect book for a break from my own writing. However, I am now on to the next one. What is it you may ask? Well all will be revealed in my next blog which I promise will be coming soon. Until then, pick up a good book, immerse yourself in its pages, and escape to another world. Whatever book or genre it may be. Enjoy.