Book Review: Ancient Book of Sex and Science

In this second volume in the critically acclaimed Ancient Book series, indulge yourself as you explore the strange frontiers of sex and science. From instruments of innovation and the Atomic Age to analysis of the mind, body, and seduction of the human form. Featuring broad color, shapely design, supple lines, and evocative commentary, The Ancient Book of Sex and Science is a fine art hardcover collection of images produced by some of the most highly sophisticated animation designers and low-brow artists in the industry.

This is a phenomenal book for all art aficionados. A must-have.  Continue reading Book Review: Ancient Book of Sex and Science

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Book Review: Kolyma Tales by Varlam Shalamov

From Amazon.com:

It is estimated that some three million people died in the Soviet forced-labour camps of Kolyma, in the northeastern area of Siberia. Shalamov himself spent seventeen years there, and in these stories he vividly captures the lives of ordinary people caught up in terrible circumstances, whose hopes and plans extended to further than a few hours.

Feeling depressed? Feeling as if life’s unfair? Hard? People are mean? Read Kolyma Tales. That should make you feel better.

Don’t believe me?

“The men were not shown the thermometer, but that wasn’t necessary since they had to work in any weather. Besides, longtime residents of Kolyma could determine the weather precisely even without a thermometer: if there was frosty fog, that meant the temperature outside was forty degrees below zero; if you exhaled easily but in a rasping fashion, it was fifty degrees below zero; if there was a rasping and it was difficult to breathe, it was sixty degrees below; after sixty degrees below zero, spit froze in mid-air. Spit had been freezing in mid-air for two weeks.”

Continue reading Book Review: Kolyma Tales by Varlam Shalamov

Book Review: Jake’s 88 by Sean Munger

From Amazon.com:

It’s 1988. Jake Doyle is a teenager growing up in the U.S. Midwest, his days centering around smoking, heavy metal tapes and skipping high school classes. When he develops a crush on his best friend’s girlfriend, the alluring but troubled Stacey O’Shaugnessy, a chain reaction begins that threatens to unravel Jake’s insular world–-and it also forces him to grow up a lot faster than he anticipated. 

Get your acid-washed jeans out of the closet, dust off your Walkman headphones and figure out where you left the keys to the Pontiac Fiero–the Eighties are about to have their revenge! 


They say don’t judge a book by its cover. Okay. But I do judge a book by the way its opening lines. And, my, oh my, this book has the right opening lines.

Facts. Lots of them. The kind of facts that make me want to read more.

Do you know how the world was like on the 31st of December 1987?

Me neither.

Anyway. As you know from my previous reviews, I’m not into dissecting plots and whatnot, because I am not in the business of sharing spoilers.

What I like (or not) about a book or movie has to do with the vibe it transmits, with the way the story itself flows, and the way the dialogue fits within the ecosystem of the plot.

This book?

Well, this is quite perfect.

What I mean by that?

Jake’s 88 does what it attempts to do, without making me feel like there’s something to add or remove. It makes for a fast read, but enjoyable at the same time. This novel does a wonderful job at describing a world that I never got a chance to experience, and one that is never coming back, and for this reason, this is a must read. Or maybe you are nostalgic about the eighties, if you’re that old.

Us young folks have to read fantastic works of art such as Jake’s 88 and trust that it was just like that.


Sean Munger is a historian, author, speaker and podcaster. His other books include The Valley of Forever, Zombies of Byzantium, Hotel Himalaya: Three Travel Romances, and the upcoming Eyes of War (with a co-author). His podcast Second Decade deals with the history of the 1810s. He was 16 in 1988.

Also check him out on Patreon here.

5 Reasons Neil Gaiman is a Master Storyteller

Neil Gaiman is one of the most impressive contemporary writers. Why? Because he did all he wanted to do? He wrote a bunch of fantastic novels, comics, even scripts. He is the mastermind behind one of the most amazing novels ever written, American Gods. Even the TV Show is great.

Here are five reasons Neil Gaiman is a master writer. Continue reading 5 Reasons Neil Gaiman is a Master Storyteller

Book Review: The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson

There’s this thing about self-help books: they only have one good idea. The rest is mostly fluff.

You know, punch the damn keys to reach the necessary word count.

This book, sadly, is no exception.

But the main idea is brilliant. And makes this book well worth a try.

What’s that idea you ask?

Well… self-awareness. Continue reading Book Review: The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson

Book Review: No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy

Cormac McCarthy is a genius. One of the best contemporary American writers. Of course, he’s not going to be everyone’s cup of tea. Which is that, you ask?

Well, in case you haven’t seen the brilliant movie adapted from this novel, he’s in the business of depicting life as a series of strange coincidences that have fatal consequences. I just made that one up, and I think it sounds clever. No. Really. He writes about drugs and murders and the desert. Maybe this sounds better.

Don’t know what else to say about this book. Some guy finds a briefcase filled with two million dollars worth of drug money. Everyone’s looking for him. All hell breaks loose. Stuff like that.

It is written in McCarthy’s style, which is impossible to describe or define. It’s just brilliant. The words flow effortlessly. He has moments of poetry. Fantastic dialogue. Lots of sarcasm. And quite a bit of philosophy.

No Country for Old Men is a must read.

Book Review: Scarred Hearts by Max Blecher

Scarred Hearts, one of the few published works by Max Blecher, is a novel of pain and suffering. The author, who lived most of his life under the auspices of a dreadful disease, died at the age of 29. But even though this is a novel in which the characters live under the constant threat of death, even though their lives are bitter and painful, his little characters find enough strength to fall in love, to mold the most human of feelings and experiences after their own needs. Continue reading Book Review: Scarred Hearts by Max Blecher