Review: The Custodian’s Key

The Custodian's Key
The Custodian’s Key by Bennett Gavrish
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Hotel Apocalypse continues the mystery from the Hotel Apocalypse #1. To me, it reminds me of when Neo has taken the red pill in the “Matrix”. Leo, the lead in Hotel Apocalypse, believes that there is more to the story than his life as a janitor. That story expands from a one crazed individual to a revolution. (It always seems to be happened that way, doesn’t it?)

The story is also like “Fight Club” after Tyler Durden collects a group of disciples willing to fight against the machine in the name of freedom and expression. The group Leo joins has the same mission, although I’m still a little unsure of how their mission ties in with the overarching mystery.

Can’t wait to read the next books in the series to see where it goes next!

I am getting a little confused on the title. The “Hotel Apocalypse” (to me) indicates a horror story, but the 2 stories I have read have been anything but.

Note: You will probably want to read the first book first. There is a short introduction, but you get a better understanding of everything only if you read the first book.

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Review: L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future Volume 30

L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future Volume 30
L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future Volume 30 by Dave Wolverton
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have been a fan of the “Writers of the Future” series ever since reading Volume 29. I love the collection of fresh voices in the science fiction that are imaginative and creative. I loved this volume as well, especially because it involved human drama and emotion more heavily than in the previous volume. I loved stories like “Another Range of Mountains” and “Robots Don’t Cry”(my favorite), which featured human emotion and drama in (literally) alien situations that will keep a reader questioning how the plot will end. “Shifter” was also something that was completely different, but welcome, as a different voice and literary style that I didn’t expect to see in a book like this.

It was a great collection of creative, unique, and diverse stories that I wouldn’t have come across anywhere else!

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Review: Eat Awesome “A regular person’s guide to plant-based, whole foods”

Eat Awesome “A regular person’s guide to plant-based, whole foods” by Paul Jarvis
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I purchased this book because of my growing interest in vegetarianism. For right now, I don’t plan on going full-fledged vegan or vegetarian, but I want to include more vegetarian recipes in my diet.

Paul Jarvis’ book is an excellent introduction, especially if you are already a vegetarian who wants to pick up simple recipes without all of the fuss. The recipes involved simple ingredients and simple instructions. Having said that, I’m still getting used to the ingredients and recipes mentioned in this book. After 30 years of eating heavily processed, non-natural, human-crafted food, I am now starting to the concept, taste, and cooking of real food.

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Review: The Window of Lies

The Window of Lies
The Window of Lies by Bennett Gavrish
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book was actually a very interesting and intriguing short read. The author’s easy-going style worked with a well-developed and intriguing plot that unfolded a mystery that continued from beginning to the end. I actually didn’t expect it be a science-fiction (I thought it would be horror), but I am glad to have read it. The best sci-fi books transport you to a new world while also reflecting a light on the present. Gavrish does that.

I had no problem joining a world of pendagers, NextGen, Dentures, food cubes, and all that. I’m looking forward to reading the second book in the series!

Great short work of science fiction and great morning read!

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Review: The Flinch

The Flinch
The Flinch by Julien Smith
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This books is something Tyler Durden from “Fight Club” would write. It’s a small treatise in living life with less fear and more power. On the surface, that is the idea behind every self-help book, but Julien’s book focuses more on why we stall on becoming an improved self. Julien argues that our ancestral psychology (flight vs fright response), family, and society have conditioned us to listen to fear, regardless of what we are afraid of.

His answer….Feel the fear and do it anyway.

Julien coins this inability to live with less fear the “flinch” and provides Tim Ferriss-like experiements to help guide the reader through the first steps.

Even though a lot of it was the same typical self-help spiel, Julien has a very unique spin of it that reminds me of Stoicism and the philosophy behind “Fight Club”. I felt a little stronger because of it.

The only downside was that other book excerpts were included that messed up the conclusion for me. When the book ended, I wanted to leave on the high note that I felt from reading. I don’t want to read excerpts for other books.

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Review: Fast Food Suicide – The Dangers Most People Would Never Know

Fast Food Suicide - The Dangers Most People Would Never Know
Fast Food Suicide – The Dangers Most People Would Never Know by Food Control Staff
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Good short guide to some of the health issues in fast food. I know that fast food is unhealthy, but I didn’t really start to understand why. This book was able to provide some quick facts that I can add to repertoire of “why fast food is bad for you”.

The downside is that the book doesn’t take the time or interest in detailing the research behind the author’s conclusions, provide any strong recommendations about what to eat, provide resources, or go in-depth about the topic.

Pros: Very easy to follow and understand. Quite a bit of information that is packed in only a few pages. Inspires readers to take a second look at their hamburger and fries

Cons: No links to scientific research or counterpoint. Very short. Use of informal (first-person) language a little disconcerting at times given that readers are not introduced to the author. No Table of Contents and rather weak organization.

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Review: In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto

In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto
In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto by Michael Pollan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto” is an incredible read! It completely changed the way that I thought about how I thought about food in the same way that “Supersize Me” did. Pollan’s simple, but incredibly insightful, look at how Americans figure out what to eat is truly life-changing. Unlike “Supersize Me”, the focus is not on fast food (although it is discussed). In this book, Pollan focuses on the health food industry itself. He argues that our insane addiction to counting calories, demonizing fat, and looking for one-nutrient wonders is destroying our relationship with real food.

If you are tired or confused of all of the contradictory nutrition information, this book is a must read!

Pros: Easy to understand and engaging content

Cons: Does not offer a specific answer, though he does offer various ways on eating healthier eating real food. Most of the tips are the same as other books (eat more vegetables, eat organic, etc.), but he offers some interesting recommendations as well.

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