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Saturday, January 26, 2013

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed - a review

Hiking is good for the soul. It helps center one's life. And so it was that Strayed took off at a moment's notice to conquer her fears, depression to hike the Pacific Coastal Trail (PCT) the trail that spans 2,650 miles from Mexico to the Canadian Border, crossing through California, Oregon and Washington.
For Strayed it was not so much the distance she hiked but he distance she was away from real life. Starting in Modesto, CA she made it through ice fields, rock falls, bear and the occasional rattlesnake to the far side of Oregon. With all the physical difficulties of hiking, from sore muscles and broken feet to the extra precautions any young woman hiking on her own has to face the journey was accomplished and life began anew.
I was very pleasantly drawn into this story of accomplishment having hike the PCT's eastern cousin the Appalachian Trail, under similar circumstances, about ten years ago and so many times I found myself nodding or uttering agreement to the trials and tribulations Strayed voiced. It was quite the mini flash-back and I really enjoyed basking with her on her backpacking journey.
Like those before and those to come this life's journey was one of abolishing one's fears and striving for a new beginning.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

AZ: Anno Zombie by Peter Mark May - a review

On the day that signifies the dawn of the Zombie Apocalypse, Tucson folks could be considered some of the luckier ones. At least their city still exists. Phoenix, Los Angeles, and other major cities around the world have disappeared into a gaping fiery hole, and all their denizens disappear forever. Armageddon has arrived.

As fire rains down on Tucson, Tom Hollinger and his new main squeeze, Casey, raceacross town to rescue his ex-wife and son from an army of zombies. By the time they get toTommy Jr.’s house, there is barely enough time to rescue his son—who witnessed his nowzombie mother eat her baby daughter—and escape with their lives. Heading for a pub run by his bestfriend and former British paratrooper Alan Hopkins, they hole up and decide how to get out of town.

Together with a mixed bag of survivors, they take off, loaded down with all the weapons they canfind. They’re in a school bus heading north on Interstate 10 in an effort to leave the city limits, hoping to discover what life is left in Phoenix. Along the way they encounter armies of rotting zombie corpses, pick up the occasional straggler and lose a few of their own, as well as encountering packs of rabid humans out to protect themselves or provoke others. Night finds them in relative safety atop a mountain where they can watch the approaching zombie army. If they can get out of this one, what can they expect with the dawning of a new day?

Not for the faint of heart, this bloody thriller has all you could ask for and is a great horror story. An average Joe rises to the occasion to help lead his fellow humans, a splendidly written narrative, and ast-pace gore galore. In this good vs. evil thrill-a-minute story, May has found a way to capture a piece of humanity and give us hope that good will prevail in the end.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

As the year ended I took a look at the books I have read and reviewed in 2012 to pick the top ten list of my favorites for 2012.

In order that I enjoyed them the most I present:

The One I Left Behind  - Jennifer McMahon

Queen of America – Luis Urea

The Laughterhouse - Paul Cleave

Shadow Walker - J E Gurley

The Leopard - Jo Nesbit

Started Early, Took my Dog - Kate Atkinson

The Cleaner - Paul Cleave

Triple Crossing - Sebastian Rotella

Island of Silence - Lisa McMann

Pig - SBR Martin

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