Monthly Archives: November 2015

Lights Out, A Cyberattack, A Nation Unprepared and Surviving the Aftermath by Ted Koppel

Lights Out by Ted Koppel

Nightline with Ted Koppel was a show that was on occasionally in my house when I was growing up. My family respected Ted Koppel, so I guess some of that was installed subconsciously in me. (So much stuff got inadvertently crammed into my small mind space-so stop the judging of me)
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He has since retired and decided on try his hat as an author. He takes on somewhat the fear of a cyber-attack on America’s electric/internet infrastructure. (I say somewhat-because I felt like he just glazed the surface)
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The book is broken down into three parts.
A Cyberattack: Where Koppel interviews some of the nations leading security people about the possibility and likely-hood of an attack.
In that aspect I think he comes away with not much info. Some people agree and some just shuffle his questions under the carpet.
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He does manage to scare the crap out of me. I read a bunch of these types books. Reasons being-I’m nosey as hell, I want to know all I can. Even if I never (please hope to never) experience anything of the sort. I read lots of different stuff so again, don’t go all judgey.
He managed to scare me because he explains how hard it would be to repair the grid after being hit. He explains how FEMA and other disaster relief areas would have to concentrate on bigger cities first.
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But that’s okay, the people in the cities are the ones that won’t be able to get out of elevators, the grocery stores will be looted…etc, etc…

A Nation Unprepared:
This is a small section of the book where Koppel explains that we pretty much need to kiss our arses goodbye.
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Surviving the Aftermath:
This part of the book was actually the one that gave me a bit of hope. Koppel goes out and interviews some preppers and some Mormons.
That sounds like an odd combination doesn’t it?
Koppel actually made this book very readable and relate-able because he doesn’t make fun of either group.
The preppers, He treats with respect. He does stress that not every person can afford to go to some of the extremes that some preppers do. He doesn’t recommend trying. To that extreme. He does recommend that you do be prepared for some type of disaster supplies at all times. You just never know.
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Then the Church of LDS, he treats this group with respect also. I didn’t realize that they stockpile supplies as part of their faith. They actually make it very reasonable to do so. The biggest thing I took away from this book was from this section also. When asked would they help people that turned up at their doors..the church members said yes. Even if they knew they would suffer.
That’s the frigging country I want to live in.
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In the end of reading this book. My feelings are some small fear of this happening, however, the feeling I get is that we should not. Fear can be a form of terrorism too. I believe in being aware and thinking what can happen. I believe in not being stupid and not having some self reliance skills at your personal inventory. But maybe because I’m older..I’m just not caving in to the fear.
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I will add that I’m pretty self reliant. I do and do admit that I think you should have some survival means in place. Don’t be completely caught unaware.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for review from Blogging for books.

Husk by J Kent Messum

Husk by J. Kent Messum

Are you ready for one look into our futures?
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I’m usually middle ground on science fiction. I can read it and enjoy it but dang..this one had me turning pages. It just happened that I was trying to read it over Thanksgiving when the dang people I live with thought for some reason I should cook.
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In this future the rich guys that have already died have found a way to come back. They just save themselves in digital form.
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Then find themselves a “husk” to download themselves into for a period of either one day or up to three days.
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Now for the “Husks”, they are every day people. Living is hard in these times. No money, water is even rationed. No meat either, unless it’s factory “grown”..ewww.

So before you judge what you would whore yourself out now..realize in this existence that “We are all whores now.”
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You never know or can control what the rich guys do with your body when you are husking either. So keep that in mind.
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The main character in the story is, of course a husk. Rhodes is a guy who grew up dirt poor and he is getting by the best he can.
After some odd sessions with a client he starts to have nightmares and weird flashbacks. (you just know that the shit is going to hit the fan)

For the fellow pervs out there-there is even a bit of an orgy scene……(view spoiler)

Now I’ve heard rumors that this book is being talked about as getting made into a tv series or something along those lines. Hells yeah.

I received a copy of this book from the author. He did not specify what I should do with it. I decided to read it..and I enjoyed every second. Don’t be hating.

After You by JoJo Moyes

After You (Me Before You, #2)

When I first heard that Me Before You would have a sequel I wondered how Jojo Moyes would be able to pull it off. It either could go fairly decently or be a big old hot mess.
How do you top a book that was perfection to me?
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The author does have a bit at the beginning asking readers to not spoil anything for other readers and I will respect that, because just because a book doesn’t work for me doesn’t mean that everyone will feel that same way.
It’s just that….I felt so personally invested in that first book.
When this one started out I was okay. Lou was battling her grief over Will’s death. I know how hard losing someone can be. It’s devastating. Hell, Will was a book character and I shed a whole lot of tears over him myself.
I feel like JoJo Moyes should have had a best friend that just stopped her when she presented the idea of this book to her. Instead of encouraging her….
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Because, it did not work. AT ALL.
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Booksource: Netgalley in exchange for review.

The Bazaar of Bad Dreams by Stephen King

The Bazaar of Bad Dreams by Stephen King

This book is a big old chunk…and so worth the price of admission.

I’ve never thought of Stephen King as a straight up horror author. He is more than that, he scares the crud out of me with his remarkable ability to look at humanity. He seems to be getting to (for me anyways) to a point in his life where he is debating life and what happens to us after..these stories seem to have that theme to some of them.

These stories are mostly stories that have at some time or another been published somewhere else barring a few new ones that he slips in for our pleasure.

The best part of this book is not the stories for me though. It’s the tidbits that King gives us before each story with a little bit of where the story came from that kept me flipping these pages.

I’m just going to barely touch on each story and add where they were published before. There are a lot of stories packed into this bad boy.

Mile 81 Somewhat of a coming of age story..with a touch of unwordly. (Previously published as an ebook)
Jimmy Golding hadn’t believed in monster cars since he saw that movie Christine as a kid, but he believed that sometimes monsters could lurk in cars.
*4 stars*

Premium Harmony A couple that has been married over ten years arguing over simple life happenings. I’ll make sure to pick the pink ball instead. (published in a copy of The New Yorker)
*3 stars*

Batman and Robin Have an Altercation A son and his father who is suffering from dementia have an outing to a favorite restaurant. They really should come back there sometime. (Harper’s Magazine)
*4 stars*

The Dune An elderly man makes another trip to a Dune he discovered as a child that has a few secrets left to tell. (Granta)
*3.5 stars*

Bad Little Kid This was one of my favorites in the book. That kid from Sluggo/Nancy? The mean boy with the propeller hat? He comes to vivid life for one man. (new)
*5 stars*

A Death I had already read/reviewed this one here (The New Yorker)
*4 stars*

The Bone Church I’m not even counting this one because I am not a fan of poetry..not even when it’s by Uncle Stevie. (Playboy)
*not rating*

Morality Wow, just wow. A couple is struggling in a down turned economy. What would you consider sin? And what would you do to pull yourself up out of debt? (Esquire)
*5 stars*

Afterlife What happens after we die? Is there an afterlife? This one resounded with Revival (Tin House)
*3.5 stars*

Ur This was that e-book that King did when Amazon first launched the kindle. Fun as far as memories go, I just didn’t fawn over it as much as I had hoped too. (e-book)
*3 stars*

Herman Wouk is Still Alive A down on her luck single mom wins a small lottery win and decides on a road trip with her bestie. (The Atlantic)
*4 stars*

Under the Weather A sick wife and her husband’s love for her. I can’t say much about this one without giving anything away. (Full Dark, No Skies-paperback)
*3.5 stars*

Blockade Billy A farm boy shows up to serve as a temp catcher in the big leagues. He ends up being the catcher that can stop anything. I’m not even a big baseball fan and this one was one of my favorites in the book. (novella)
*5 stars*

Mister Yummy Another end of life tale as an elderly man in a nursing home tells his friend that he has been seeing Mr. Yummy. A gorgeous guy that he first saw back when being gay was a dirty little secret. (new)
*3.5 stars*

Tommy Another poem (Playboy)
*not rating*

The Little Green God of Agony A billionaire has been put to bed after a horrible plane crash. His nurse believes that if he tried to work through the pain after the accident that he would be healing faster. (A Book of Horrors)
*5 stars*

That Bus is Another World A quick peep into a passing strangers world as the bus goes by. (Esquire)
*3 stars*

Obits A nerdy writer for an internet magazine who writes “mean” obits after celebrities die discovers something unique about his column one day after getting angry at his boss. (new)
*5 stars*

Drunken Fireworks A mother and son team of alcoholics take on the Italian CONNECTED neighbors that live across the lake in a many year long battle of the fireworks. (audio book)
*4 stars*

Summer Thunder A fitting story for the end of the book as the world ends in a nuclear future. (Turn Down the Lights)
*3.5 stars*

I think I’ve said before, I’m not usually a fan of short stories. There just is never enough to sink my heart and teeth into with them. I do make exceptions for a few authors and Stephen King will always head that list.

Oh Gussie by Kimberly Schlapman

Oh Gussie! by Kimberly Schlapman

I’m going to go all kinds of personal stuff in this review. If you are not a fan..then kiss it and go read a different one.

I LOVE Kimberly Schlapman. She is probably one of my favorite “famous” people that exists outside of my love of a few fiction authors and Norman Reedus. Her family lives in my small town so she is here a lot. My daughter is in her niece’s grade in school and the school chorus was trying out some “Little Big Town” songs and they wanted to ask the group if they could have a few signed pics to give away for one of their fundraisers. Kimberly Schlapman and Little Big Town went above and beyond. They came to my daughter’s school and sang with these middle schoolers. They didn’t advertise what they did for publicity. They just did it.
Kimberly spends quite a bit of time here with her family and one of my friends saw Kimberly at the local grocery store and completely went fangirl. She ended up getting her pic taken with her and well…she is my friend so you can imagine that Ms. Schlapman was thinking “Do I need that restraining order?” She was very gracious with my now embarrassed friend. SO yes, I love her.

Now for the food.

The book is different than the norm of cookbooks. It’s separated by chapters titled Family, Friends, Music, Home and Away instead of the normal cookbooky type chapters. I didn’t mind this but I could see that some readers wouldn’t care for it so much.
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Another thing about this book is that Ms. Schlapman makes it personal. She tells little tidbits of her life and stories that bring her memories of the food she shares. Including one that featured her husband that passed away and Black Walnut cake.
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The photos in the books are done beautifully, there are several of her and her family, several of flowers and few of the foods. I do wish that there were just a few more of the food dishes but I ain’t hating.

I got this book from the library because I’ve been holding off to get one signed by her. Every stinking time she has held a signing near me something has popped up and I haven’t been able to attend. Yes, I know I could have gotten someone to get one signed for me but I want to fangirl.
I’m purchasing this one for my collection though, even if a few recipes feature my nemesis: Cream of whatever soup.
I still love it.

Look at some of the goodies:
Citrus Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing
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Rosemary Pork Chops
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Crazy Daisy Squares
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