The short story that inspired Jennifer Weiner’s forthcoming novel The Next Best Thing.
Ruth has left her job writing for a hit television show for reasons she’d rather not discuss and is supplementing her increasingly dwindling savings with freelance writing projects—namely, helping anxious high school students craft a perfect college essay and lonely souls craft captivating online dating profiles. When she’s not working, she’s swimming—lap after lap at the local indoor pool, in a desperate attempt to wash away the sting of professional failure and heartbreak that she can’t seem to shake. It takes an unexpected client to show her that appearances can be deceiving, and that sometimes the bravest thing you can do is simply dive back in.
I had hopes for this one, I have enjoyed other books by Jennifer Weiner but this one for me was just a bomb. It was on my TBR on the E-reader for a while and when I finally got to it I really felt bored with it. I think maybe Jennifer Weiner should stick with full length books and stay away from short stories. I do seem to be in the minority with this book as others have enjoyed it. I didn’t hate it, I just didn’t enjoy it either. For me this was one of those books I finished reading to get it done and out of the way and I doubt I will remember much about it in the long term. They can’t all be winners in the end. I know others have liked it, the characters weren’t bad, so maybe someone else will enjoy it better than me. I was just not grabbed and bored, so I am glad I got it out of the way and it’s on to another book.
My Gemstone Rating:
At not quite fifteen, Stefan’s father finally let him board the longship Sja Vinna to take part in his first Viking raid. Yet, the battle was not at all what he expected and he soon found himself alone and stranded in Scotland.
Thirteen-year-old Kannak’s problem was just as grave. Her father deserted them and the only way to survive, she decided, was to take a husband over her mother‘s objections. Suddenly she was helping a hated Viking escape. Could Kannak successfully hide a Viking in the middle of a Scottish Clan? And why was someone plotting to kill the clan’s beloved laird?
Tis the season where I try to play catch up on my reviews. My bad, again maybe 2018 will be better, LOL on the bright side I am not as behind on my reading as I was last year. Anyways to the review.
It took me a little while to get into this book, but once I did I was hooked. It was a freebie and really it shouldn’t have been, but a great way to get someone hooked for the series! The first chapter or so goes slow but don’t give up, trust me, you’ll get hooked and enjoy the read. Stefan takes such an interesting journey when he is stranded in Scotland, literally see’s his family everything he knows taken away. He has to find a way to live again. If that wasn’t entertaining enough, it gives you a strong female lead like Kannak who has to make her own hard life choices at a young age and one of those choices is hiding the Viking outsider in a Scottish Clan, I mean talk about a grown up choice for a young woman to make.
The story is an adventure and danger and a good dash of love involved. While the players may be young when we meet them, it’s important to remember that in the times of Vikings, life spans were shorter and so people grew up faster. It was a harsh time, with death and blood everywhere as the book shows us flat off and by the ongoing looming plot there is to kill the clans laird. I don’t want to give too much of the plot away because I think everyone who loves this genre should read this one and judge it for themselves, I promise you will be hooked and not that I would judge a book by it’s cover but look at the cover it’s a beauty! Honestly, that is what drew me in when I was browsing freebies on kindle that and because it was about one of my favorite groups of people Vikings. This is an interesting look into the life of the time, a time where things were very much influx interns of religion and how people were traveling. A time in life that was very unique.
My Gemstone Rating:
THE PRINCE was written by Niccolo’ Machiavelli in the 1500s. It has continued to be a best seller in many languages. Presently, it is translated into modern English, with illustrations by Benjamin Martinez and an Introduction by Adolph Cso.
The Prince is a classic book that explores the attainment, maintenance, and utilization of political power in the western world. Machiavelli wrote The Prince to demonstrate his skill in the art of the state, presenting advice on how a prince might acquire and hold power. Machiavelli defended the notion of rule by force rather than by law. Accordingly, The Prince seems to rationalize a number of actions done solely to perpetuate power. It is an examination of power-its attainment, development, and successful use.
Ah yes, another Machiavellian text, what can I say I was in a mood to read the old classic. So many who pick up Machiavelli see his work as a general list of how to be a jackass while running whatever part of the world you are in. I see it as more than that, the bottom line and Machiavelli is so right in this that when you are governing there is no place for you to put your own stamp of moral thoughts onto events happening around you. Morality is a moving target and seen differently by everyone for one, then there is the simple fact that while we might wish to be idealistic, real life is rarely forgiving enough to allow that to happen.
Communism as an example, at it’s stripped down basic core is the desire to have everyone be equal and on the same level. Of course we know that is not how it worked when implemented at all. Those in power were still in power and would always set themselves above the others and punish anyone who thought differently in brutal fashion.
Or how about those Princes and Princesses who thought it was their good and moral duty to press upon the people they ruled over their own religious ideals and outlooks. Those who failed to conform were burned at the stake so that their soul could be cleansed from their sins as they left this earth and get into heaven. I am fairly sure those people would have rather not been burned at the stake.
This has been a bit of a rambling review, sorry about that the bottom line is that I find the Prince interesting reading and I don’t see Machiavelli or some of his views as evil. He makes many valid points that still ring as true today as they did in his time. As always, reading the Prince has got my mind thinking again and looking at past events as well as modern ones in a slightly more Machiavellian fashion.
My Gemstone Rating:
Voltaire said, “Machiavelli taught Europe the art of war; it had long been practiced, without being known.” For Niccolò Machiavelli (1469-1527), war was war, and victory the supreme aim to which all other considerations must be subordinated. The Art of War is far from an anachronism—its pages outline fundamental questions that theorists of war continue to examine today, making it essential reading for any student of military history, strategy, or theory. Machiavelli believed The Art of War to be his most important work.
When people hear the name Niccolò Machiavelli they tend to think of The Prince, it is by far his most well known book, but certainly not his only one. Machiavelli was a hugely prolific writer and although only a few ( I don’t know the exact number off the top of my head) of his works were published in his life time but thankfully we have his works now.
Other people hear the name Niccolò Machiavelli and think of immorality and many other unkind thoughts because of the way his work is. So, well Machiavellian.
A third group will hear the name Niccolò Machiavelli and think of this guy:
Okay, perhaps a shameless excuse to use a picture in my review, something I don’t usually do. Anyways, I digress.
I have always enjoyed reading Machiavelli, yes, he is a little dark overall. However, within that darkness is an honest look at the human condition and all that comes with it. Most think of a completely different book when they think of The Art of War and so perhaps they they have some disappointment in this book because of that. This is one book that has been sitting on my TBR for a while and was one that I did not read before now.
The Art of War by Niccolò Machiavelli is like any of his works an insightful look and for me another great read. It takes a solid look at military maneuvers and the history of them. If you like reading military works this is a book that you shouldn’t skip IMO. This one ranks up there with Caesars’s Gallic wars for me. The theory and strategies that are brought up in this book is just as relevant today as it was when first written down. As much as I enjoyed another solid classic, this book also makes me a little bit sad. That sadness comes from looking at just how little the world has changed in all of this time. We are still highly war driven as a race and I suspect that will never change and so we will always need books like this.
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