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KIRKUS REVIEW

Thus, instead of it all being some evil experimental conspiracy, the direction of life on Earth is much more of an accident of floundering fools. Granted, the fools grow and change over the time that they spend on Earth waiting for their ride back from spring break, but the fact remains that evolution on Earth is a result of the experiments of two aliens who are not yet fully trained. This is also used to explain the phenomenon of souls in bodies and then souls that have an afterlife.

All other species have souls that can either choose to be in or not in a corporeal body. This is the result of the two aliens, Barion and Coyul, not staying within the rules of evolution. We thus get to the other really creative part of the book. The aliens thus are kind of forced into the roles of God and Satan. The way afterlives go, though, is generally more the result of what the various humans think it will be or think they deserve. The aliens have mostly tried to stay out of the way, but when they hear rumblings that remind them on the beginning of the nightmare that was Nazi Europe in the American midwest, they decide to dive on in and try to fix it.

Clearly the plot and setting are extremely engaging and thought-provoking. I could truly talk about them for hours. They are creative and a vision of the world I enjoyed visiting. The characterization of the two aliens is a bit weak though. I mixed them up a lot, constantly forgetting who was God and who was Satan.

I wish they had been characterized more clearly, as this would have strengthened the story. Overall, this is a unique take on aliens creating humans, featuring a rollicking and thought-provoking plot. The characterization can be a bit weak but the action-packed plot and vibrant setting generally make up for it.

Recommended to scifi or fantasy fans looking for an extraterrestrial take on mythology. Introduction: I post series reviews after completing reading an entire series of books. It gives me a chance to reflect on and analyze the series as a whole. These series reviews are designed to also be useful for people who: A have read the series too and would like to read other thoughts on it or discuss it with others OR B have not read the series yet but would like a full idea of what the series is like, including possible spoilers, prior to reading it themselves or buying it for another.

Please be aware that series reviews necessarily contain some spoilers. Summary: Sookie Stackhouse is a waitress in the rural town of Bon Temps, Louisiana, and she has a secret. Mind reading made her dating life non-existent, for obvious reasons, but with vampires, Sookie can feel somewhat normal. Review: I first want to make it very clear that this series review is talking exclusively about the books and not the tv show inspired by them, True Blood.

There will be no spoilers for the show and no comparisons between the books and the show. Moving right along! This series takes the mystery series whodunit in the vein of Agatha Christie and drenches it in the supernatural and the American south, utilizing it to tell the overarching story of one woman choosing who she wants to be.

Perhaps because of the presence of some handsome leading men and the occasional sex scene, some mistake the series for a romance one. But this series is truly not a romance. The whodunit plots are generally murder mysteries.

The Irish boys of summer - “The Emerald Diamond” and how the Irish transformed baseball

The violence is moderate. If you can handle a vampire biting someone or knowing someone is being beheaded without actually getting the gore described to you, you can handle the violence in this series. The whodunit plots start out engaging but gradually become more repetitive and ho-hum, almost as if the author was running out of ideas for situations to place Sookie in.

Similarly, Sookie gets kidnapped and has to get saved by her supernatural friends kind of a lot. The setting of a supernatural American south is well imagined and evoked.

Baseball: Ireland’s Latest Favorite American Pastime | HuffPost

Both small town, rural lives and larger southern cities like Dallas and New Orleans are touched upon. The American north is visited once, however, Sookie has a strong aversion to northern women that sours the representation of the north in the book. The characters can sometimes feel like overwrought caricatures. While some characters are given depth, most are not. This is odd, since Sookie can read minds.

This is extra frustrating when the book is told from her perspective. Instead of becoming more powerful and strong emotionally, mentally over the course of the series, Sookie becomes less and less able to handle the things going on around her. Either own your own actions and validate their necessity or stop doing them. The fact that Sookie slowly becomes this hypocritical person makes her less and less likable. Similarly, she starts out the books with a firm belief in social justice and equality for supes but over the course of the series clearly comes to believe that humans are better than supes.

It is frustrating for the reader to have a main character in an almost cozy style mystery series gradually change into someone it is difficult to empathize with. There is a consistent presence of GLBTQ characters, albeit mostly in secondary roles, throughout the series. Homophobia is depicted in an extremely negative light since only the bad guys ever exhibit it. Unfortunately, there is an instance of bi erasure in the book. One of the characters is identified as gay but everyone also acknowledges that he periodically sleeps with women. The sex in the book is not well-written.

It is just awkward, cringe-inducing, and laughable most of the time. This sounds like a lot of criticism for the series but some of these things, such as the campy, two-dimensional characters, are part of what makes the series enjoyable.

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To be utterly bemused at the sheer number of supernatural creatures and the ridiculousness of how they organize themselves. To sigh in frustration at Sookie as she gets kidnapped yet again or is oblivious yet again to who the murderer is. Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. Sign me up! Opinions of a Wolf Honest book reviews to help you quickly find the right read for you or a gift for another. Friday Fun! Categories: Friday Fun! Tags: boston , charles river , cross-stitch pattern , deviled eggs , fitness , friday fun , fries , honey mustard dressing , Just for fun , march , miffy , new line , nijntje , ostara , pickled turnips , pina colada , salad , spring equinox , sriracha , swan , the dum dum girls.

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March 15, opinionsofawolf Leave a comment. Categories: Stitchery Tags: announcement , beloved character , children's , children's book , children's books , children's literature , completed , cross-stitch , de tuin van nijntje , dick bruna , dutch , hooped , miffy , miffy's garden , nederland , new line , nijntje , pattern , shop , the netherlands , uk , united kingdom. Categories: Book , fantasy , Genre , GLBTQ , Review , scifi Tags: alien , audiobook , audiobook review , bernadette dunne , Book , book the many-colored land , elves , fairies , fantasy , genre , glbtq , julian may , narrated by bernadette dunne , pliocene , Review , scifi , series 1 , shapeshifters , time travel.

Categories: Book , fantasy , Genre , Reading Challenges , Review , scifi Tags: aliens , book , Book , bottom of tbr pile challenge , fantasy , genre , heaven , hell , incorporeal , mythology , parke godwin , prehistoric Earth , Review , scifi , series , series 1 , souls , spirit , spring break , waiting for the galactic bus. He said, "You can't do that. You're wetting your fingers. Which I was, but he couldn't prove it. So he kept warning me to stop it, and I knew that I either had to get a little moisture some way or I was going to have trouble.


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So I kept doing it and he just run me out of the ball game. Did I ever throw a spitter? No, no. And Cal Hubbard never accused me of throwing a spitball. I was very surprised when they suspended me. I said to Sewell , "Heck, I might as well go home a few days. I kind of stretched it out a little bit, and then I got a wire from him. Succeeding Kennesaw Mountain Landis as commissioner of baseball was not unlike following J.

After such a long time in office? Albert B. A skilled diplomat from his years in politics as governor of Kentucky and then as a U. Senator, he came to the position at a time when post-war America was beginning to face serious questions about what it stood for as a nation. A reported vote against integration had been taken at an owners meeting.

He was doing what the owners wanted him to do. It was Chandler 's style to be bold. His first words at the microphone were, "This is Albert B. Chandler made a deal for radio rights to the World Series in , and for television rights in , using the proceeds to establish the first pension fund for players. The money could have gone elsewhere, but Chandler saw that the time had come for pension consideration, and there was the new revenue stream to fund it.

So let's pay attention. Keane jumped onto a bat trunk waving his ever-present fungo stick for quiet. They will be looking at me, too, trying to steal the signs, so I'll be trying to confuse them by doing the same things when I'm not giving sign as I do when I am. Get me? Only when you see me hit that bird do you know something's on. And when I give you the Indicator, count the number of touches that follows. Maybe I'll give you more than three signs! Maybe I'll give you four or five!

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I'm just doing that as a decoy, in case they start to pick something up, or we suspect they might. It only means something if I use one, two, or three touches after the Indicator. All major league clubs use Indicators, decoys, and signs for everything but nose-blowing. The manager will say, "Try to get their signs, boys. Even more predictable are the steal and hit-and-run, since there are only a few men on each club that can do either one. What's more incongruous, although mathematical progression makes it improbable, I've seen the same sign used by two different clubs in the same game!

We don't want you hitting when that runner is trying to steal. If we did we'd give the hit-and-run. The steal sign is either hand gripping the opposite elbow. It's a figure 4, and that's for stealing. Nobody seemed to get it. You don't have to go on that particular pitch, if you don't get a good jump on the pitch.

If you slip in starting, or don't think you can make it, stay on first. If you don't go, you penalize the batter for no good reason. Hemus nodded. We have just one squeeze play. You gotta bunt the ball! So you gotta know the play's on, and we gotta know you know it.

So with a man on 3B I run across the bird, and touch my pants leg. One touch after the Indicator! You're bunting. You answer me, telling me you got the sign, by showing me the palm of your hand. Don't wave your hand at me. Pick up some dirt, look the other way, and rub the back of your hand across your back pocket. Then I see your palm and I know you got the squeeze.

Got that, you runners?

If the batter answers the sign by showing you the palm of his hand, you still gotta wait for me to say, 'Make the ball go through! Keane cupped his hands at his mouth as he described what he would do during a squeeze play. His fungo bat slipped to the floor, its clatter echoing in the tense silence. The squeeze play commands breathless attention from ballplayers.

Actually, major league clubs don't us it but twenty times a year, and it works only half the time, but the great importance of the squeeze is vividly impressed on the mind because of the depth of managerial despair at its failure. For Christ's sake, all you gotta do is bunt the ball! During his first major league spring training with the Baltimore Orioles , Don Baylor demonstrated a confidence that foreshadowed his success as a major league player.

A confidence that was apparent to both teammates and sportswriters. Frank was always in charge of the team's Kangaroo Court. So he brought the newspaper in the next day and read it in front of all the guys. The Groove made his major league debut in , beginning a career that spanned 19 seasons. The first was Dick Allen , another big guy who could run the bases. For a year-old rookie in , the excitable skipper was an imposing figure.

He was one of the greatest managers I played for. But you feared him as a young player. I hit two homers, line drives out of the ballpark. Then we go to Fenway Park, where we're facing Sonny Siebert. Weaver says to me: 'You know those balls you hit out yesterday? They'd just be off the wall for singles here. I'm not taking batting practice, and I'm ticked off. Balls are going through my legs, and I'm just standing out there. You know who the first pinch-hitter he used was?

So I go up and hit a three-run homer into the net to tie the game. And there Weaver is on the top step, waiting to shake my hand. I just walked to the end of the dugout. So the next day he starts me against Gary Peters , a left-hander. I hit another home run. So in three different games, I hit four home runs. So he let me play for awhile. That's what you had to do, you had to prove it to him. In , reliever Bob "Steamer" Stanley was going through a rough time. Cursed with a sinkerball that no longer sunk, he was booed mercilessly by the Red Sox fans but still managed to keep his sense of humor.


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He told teammates that his actual name was Lou Stanley and that actually fans were chanting " Lou , Lou ," when he walked to the mound. Stanley was very active for the Jimmy Fund and did his best to brighten the lives of children stricken with various forms of cancer. I brought him one of my jerseys from the season when I had set the Red Sox record with 33 saves. I also brought him a bat and a ball, and I gave them to him, and we talked for a while.

When I got home, the doctor called. A couple of weeks later, I ran into his father, who was a security guard at the racetrack. I asked him about his son, and he told me that he had died. He said they had buried him with my jersey. Baseball Short Stories - 3. Baseball Short Stories - 2. In fact, seventeen of the Cowboys were either once or future major leaguers. Behind the plate for Pittsburgh was Connie Mack The Pirates led and the Cowboys were batting in the top of the ninth with two outs and runners on second and third.

That's when the batter struck a fly ball that bounced just beyond the reach of Pittsburgh 's left fielder. One runner scored easily, but the accurate relay to the shortstop and then to Mack was a cinch to beat the tying run to the plate by a large margin. Rube Puts One over on Connie. Levy This story takes place during the American League pennant race. Louis Browns were ready with their own tricks. Manager Jimmy McAleer planted a man out by the CF scoreboard with a pair of binoculars to try to pick up the A's signals. Into the series, the wily Connie Mack caught on. He went to the umpire.

The ump spoke to McAleer , who naturally denied everything. Other Browns had come out during the rhubarb to support McAleer and pressure the umpire. Mack would not back down, but the denial was holding up.

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Then one of McAleer 's outfielders, the good but not terribly bright Jesse Burkett , blurted out, "Well, we had it for four games anyway! McAleer was tossed, and the A's won the game. Mack insisted Rube rest a few days after the Detroit game. One evening that week, Mack was in the hotel lobby. Rube suddenly walked in with a policeman. Mack asked the officer what would happen as a result of the misdemeanors. The officer said that Rube would be arrested and would have to pay a fine but nothing more.

Mack asked if the fine could be paid right then and there. An hour later Mack decided to take a stroll before going to bed. Down the street, he passed a saloon and glanced in the window. This is a wonderful book to give to the Irish sports fan in your life; it makes the perfect St. Patrick's Day or Easter gift, just in time for opening day in April. Jul 09, Jeff Diamond rated it it was ok Shelves: from-the-library , nonfiction. The Emerald Diamond starts out with a fantastic introduction about the rough-and-tumble world of baseball in the early 20th century.

However, the quality in that beginning becomes progressively spottier as the page count grows. Charley Rosen did a great job at writing the book--I can't and won't take that away from him. However, the book proclaims itself to be about how the Irish changed America's national pastime. While this is true in many respects, I feel that a lot of chapters were shoehorned The Emerald Diamond starts out with a fantastic introduction about the rough-and-tumble world of baseball in the early 20th century. While this is true in many respects, I feel that a lot of chapters were shoehorned into the book to try fleshing it out.

Simple things like anecdotes from games in can be interesting, but can wear a reader down if they're too frequent or obscure. The book--both organizationally and narratively--would have been much better served if Rosen had narrowed his focus down to a few of the most influential people and events in the game and cut the detritus.

As it is, the book has a chapter dedicated to the most famous of the Irish managers--people like John McGraw and Connie Mack, but an entire book could be written on any one of these people. But one chapter? It's better than nothing, but surely at least one of the chapters on Irish records could have been truncated to make room for a more interesting survey of some of these great men. Apr 06, Alex Lee rated it liked it Shelves: , history.

This is less a narrative than a list of baseball anecdotes and statistics relating to Irish people who had something to do with baseball. There is very little analysis regarding why or how this happened. Rosen only presents the facts as though this is of interest in itself, which makes this book good source material but very interesting reading. If anything the fact that one is Irish and it's baseball seems to be enough to be a source of interest for Rosen. The interest here is merely one of nat This is less a narrative than a list of baseball anecdotes and statistics relating to Irish people who had something to do with baseball.

The interest here is merely one of nationalism and ethnic pride than anything deeper or more meaningful. Rosen is presenting an accident of history to be a source of interest, making this another kind of emotional masturbation. Jul 13, Chris Dean rated it liked it. Nice history of the game and the Irish contributions, ball players and participation.

Some of the players included could be considered stretches, such as Nolan Ryan who "considers himself more Texan than Irish. Aug 15, DC rated it liked it. This was a rather long-winded recounting of Irish baseball history, but I enjoyed taking my time to read it. My favorite part was a shout-out to the building Irish amateur leagues, and especially the Belfast Northstars who were gracious enough to allow me to play with them for a double-header a couple summers ago! Jun 05, Papias rated it really liked it Shelves: baseball. Aside of a few factual errors that were obviously accident ie Milwaukee Braves in instead of Brewers and few more typos, this is a fun baseball book.

It is very entertaining and thus read very quickly. View 2 comments. Aug 02, Stephen Boiko rated it it was amazing. Some of the best tales and facts from the beginning of baseball. A must read for any fan of baseball. Jul 03, Meril rated it did not like it Shelves: nonfiction , baseball , g. For the last time: Wikipedia is not a primary source Pat rated it liked it Dec 20, John rated it really liked it Jan 31, KellyColleen rated it it was amazing Aug 04, Danny Byrne rated it it was amazing Mar 30, Phil rated it liked it Apr 04, Erin rated it liked it Aug 22, Mike rated it really liked it Mar 15, Kc Thomas rated it liked it Feb 07, Gary rated it really liked it Jan 16, Shane rated it liked it Jul 03, Tim rated it liked it Jul 10, Kara rated it liked it Dec 28, Jessica Fellows rated it it was ok Oct 16, Charlie rated it liked it Nov 19, Carl rated it liked it Jan 24, Daniel rated it it was ok Feb 04, Dan Hirsch rated it really liked it Jan 08, Jerome rated it it was ok Jun 09, There are no discussion topics on this book yet.