Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Holiday Time

The good wife and I are taking a well deserved tropical holiday. So the Lazy Book Reviewer will be out of contact for around a week. Never fear though I will return with a bag full of new book reviews. So all take care and I shall see you on flipside.

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Blackwater Saga Part 3

Here is the last installment of the Blackwater Saga reveiw by Pamellia Smith. I have these books sitting on my shelf now ready to read.


Do we now know the real reason Elinor sacrificed her easy life in the Perdido river to come ashore and win the heart of Oscar?
In this book, so many things are changing for the family, yet so many things remain the same. As certain members get older they succumb to various illnesses and broken hearts.
I particularly love McDowell's writing in this part of the saga. I think I enjoy reading about great wealth and how it came about. I love how he develops the city of Perdido right along with the Caskeys. I felt from the beginning McDowell was taking a writing success chance when he moved part of the family out in the country...but with expertise writing skills, he made it work.

McDowell comes full circle with the rain. It's sad to think that everything might be destroyed if the rain doesn't stop. Elinor has been accidentally wounded and it seems like the heavens are crying harder than anyone ever remembers
The ending: I would love to discuss with someone what Billy saw when he got into the boat and looked back into the house. What a thought provoking ending.
Another thing I would like to mention about this saga. I think Mr. McDowell liked this story. I think he felt for the men that were dominated by the women. I think he enjoyed writing about the old south. He was a story teller, perhaps the best story teller of our time. He was lost to us by his death much too early. Recommended to anyone wanted to read a good story
5 stars for both

Friday, 7 November 2014

Hugh Howey the Short Version

This review see's the return of the short story and one of the most exciting authors to burst out of the Indie scene Hugh Howey. I have been very impressed by Hugh Howey and how despite his recent stellar success still has time to lend a hand to aspiring authors.

Can Hugh Howey do no wrong?  What he has managed to deliver in a mere 5,000 words is brilliant. He has turned this book into a Tardis by packing so much content into the pages. I was left feeling exhausted ater reading this book, and like any good workout man did it feel good.
By being in danger of having a review longer than the book I shall keep this review short. If you have a spare 30 minutes  invest it in this story and be thorouhgly entertained.
I read this book back to back with the authors other short story Glitch. I found myself once again  astounded at the content packed into this short read.
The books plot and character develpment is very impressive. Howey manages to imerse us into an alien culture and mindset in no time. This allows for a very full narative that tells a intriguing storyline that had me chuckling away at times.
Combined together I give these books 5 stars.

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Lets Go Back To The Beginning

I have decided to go right back to when I first started this blog to re post a book that still has me revisiting it in my imagination. This book is another great example of Indie writing but also shows how competitive the market is. In my opinion it is one of the best books I have read but alas does not seem to have sold well. So why not give it a read, at under $2 it is a insane bargain.

This is a difficult review to write as I don't want to pepper it with clich├ęs and superlatives. But this book is epic in every sense of the word .

Aimery Thomas takes into a post-apocalyptic world were a dystopian society lives on lies and manipulation of a trusted few. All appears good on the surface but just beneath there is a more sinister and darker side. A cast of well-developed characters takes on a wild ride building up to a thrilling ending.

Yes the story does seem familiar in places and yes it is a long read. But the complexity of the story and the world the author build upon the pages had me enthralled all the way to the end. I wait expectantly for the next installment of this epic saga. If you read only one book this year make it this one.

5 Stars, LBR Tick of Approval

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Scalzi Double (Lazy Book Reviewer Jr. Returns)

This review hails the return of the Lazy Book Reviewer Jr. Recently I have given Jr (aged 12) access to my John Scalzi collection, and he has been busily reading ever since. I am glad to see he has my impeccable taste in books and Scalzi is now one of his favorite authors. 

John Scalzi has delivered yet again another highly entertaining Sci-Fi read. The narrative as always moves along at a thrilling pace with characters that leap of the page and give you a cheeky slap just to make sure you are paying attention.

Locked In delivers a plot that is both fresh, intriguing. As always the author weaves together a tale that keeps you engaged and your grey matter working right to the last page.

I don't want to give away any of this story, as a part of the joy of reading Scalzi is discovering the world he has created. So if you have yet to experience John Scalzi get of your collectives rear ends and get reading people.

4.5 Stars

The Lazy Book Reviewer Jr.

Hope your hyper drive's in working order for this awesome hilarious sci-fi adventure. Our main character Andrew and his friends Mya, Finn, Hester and Jimmy are transferred to the starship Intrepid and realize something is seriously wrong with the ship. Like personnel dodging commanding officers so they don't get on away missions to planets because people always die on away mission with certain officers. 

After our main characters are put on an away mission themselves and nearly die they seek out Jenkins, a hermit who hides in the cargo tunnels of the ship working on his independent research project. Jenkins tells them that their world is being warped by a Star trek like TV program, and things get pretty interesting from there. Over all it is an awesome read for teens and adults alike and it is one of my personal favorites.

5 Stars

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Blackwater Review Part 2

Here is Pamellia's second part of her Blackwater saga revieww. 

The house had stood alone without anyone living in it for so long...has someone or something else moved in?
Changes to the Caskeys continue to take place. What are Elinor's next plans. Sometimes the author gives us hints and sometimes he just shocks us. No matter how he goes about telling us, it is never dull and always interesting and sometimes a bit scary.

This part of the saga gives us insight into how the war in Europe effected not only the Caskey family but also the town of Perdido. Of course the USA becomes a part of the war and many men in the town become part of the military. Big changes at the mill as many government contracts are secured.
Elinor's daughter becomes involved with a young Army officer. His name is Billy. He falls in love with the Caskey family and their way of life. He is from a wealthy family, but his family never had the love and drama that the Caskey family has. He turns out to be a good man and a great asset to the family.
5 stars for both

Monday, 20 October 2014

History of the Microwave Oven

It has been a while since I have done o history of everyday items. So I thought I would kick things off again with an item we all use the good old Microwave.

Percy Spencer
The man was Percy Spencer.  At the age of just 18 months old, Spencer’s father died and his mother soon left him to his aunt and uncle.  His uncle then died when Spencer was just seven years old.  Spencer subsequently left grammar school and, at the age of 12, began working from sunup to sundown at a spool mill, which he continued to do until he was 16 years old.  At this time, he heard about a nearby paper mill that was “electrifying”, which intrigued him.  Given that few in his town, a remote community in Maine, knew much of anything about electricity, he began learning what he could about it and managed to become one of three people who were hired to install electricity in the plant, despite having never received any formal training in electrical engineering nor even finishing grammar school.

At the age of 18, Spencer decided to join the U.S. navy after becoming interested in wireless communications directly following learning about the wireless operators aboard the Titanic when it sank.  While with the navy, he made himself an expert on radio technology: “I just got hold of a lot of textbooks and taught myself while I was standing watch at night.”  He also subsequently taught himself: trigonometry, calculus, chemistry, physics, and metallurgy, among other subjects.

Fast-forward to 1939 where Spencer, now one of the world’s leading experts in radar tube design, was working at Raytheon as the head of the power tube division.  Largely due to his reputation and expertise, Spencer managed to help Raytheon win a government contract to develop and produce combat radar equipment for M.I.T.’s Radiation Laboratory.  This was of huge importance to the Allies and became the military’s second highest priority project during WWII, behind the Manhattan Project.  It also saw Spencer’s staff rise from 15 employees to 5000 over the course of the next few years.

World War II Radar
One day, while Spencer was working on building magnetrons for radar sets,  he was standing in front of an active radar set when he noticed the candy bar he had in his pocket melted.  Spencer wasn’t the first to notice something like this with radars, but he was the first to investigate it.  He and some other colleagues then began trying to heat other food objects to see if a similar heating effect could be observed.  The first one they heated intentionally was popcorn kernels, which became the world’s first microwaved popcorn.  Spencer then decided to try to heat an egg.  He got a kettle and cut a hole in the side, then put the whole egg in the kettle and positioned the magnetron to direct the microwaves into the hole.  The result was that the egg exploding in the face of one of his co-workers, who was looking in the kettle as the egg exploded.

Spencer then created what we might call the first true microwave oven by attaching a high density electromagnetic field generator to an enclosed metal box.  The magnetron would then shoot into the metal box, so that the electromagnetic waves would have no way to escape, which would allow for more controlled and safe experimentation.  He then placed various food items in the box and monitored their temperature to observe the effect.

Early Radarange Microwave Oven
The company Spencer was working for, Raytheon, then filed a patent on October 8, 1945 for a microwave cooking oven, eventually named the Radarange.  This first commercially produced microwave oven was about 6 feet tall and weighed around 750 pounds.  The price tag on these units was about $5000 a piece.  It wasn’t until 1967 that the first microwave oven that was both relatively affordable ($495) and reasonably sized (counter-top model) became available.