A Candid Look Inside the Mind of Political Conservative Sarah Palin
by Bob Silber
(CreateSpace / 1-449-58794-1 / 978-1-449-58794-9 / November 2009 / 102 pages / $19.95)
Released just days before the fantasy tome penned by legendary Christian author, Lynn Vincent, Going Rouge is jam-packed with facts, figures, and an extensive display of carefully researched historical data missing from Ms. Vincent's best-selling release. Mr. Silber goes one better than the similarly titled Going Rouge: An American Nightmare, by Katrina van den Heuvel, Jim Hightower, Naomi Klein, Max Blumenthal and other luminaries. Whereas that book re-releases many insightful articles concerning the depth of the brain matter of its subject, Bob Silber goes right to the center of the madness.
Many questions have been asked recently concerning foreign policy, economic policy, and most of all, whose baby is that, really? Bob Silber's book answers all your questions in a stunningly factual manner. There is no obfuscation or word salad to confuse the pertinent issues. Mr. Silber lays it all out in black and white. Or at least I would like to think he has. Actually, as in Sarah Palin's world, there is no black, only white. This book carries on that great Civil War tradition in a manner heretofore unparalleled. The invisible text says it all: there is nothing between those ears but air!
From a perusal of the Amazon sales ranking, you can see exactly what sort of POD book sells really well in America today. Note that the coloring book version is selling even better! Now that's how you market and sell a POD book! Just the facts, ma'am.
Nothing You Can Possess
by Jacqueline S. Homan
(Eagle Eye Publishers – Elf Books / 0-981-56793-2 / 978-0-981-56793-8 / June 2008 / 412 pages / $21.95)
Jacqueline S. Homan has carried her crusade for the less fortunate population of America to the next logical step. At least it is logical to a certain degree. Ms. Homan is apparently a combination of Whoopi Goldberg and Ralph Nader, with a little hot sauce provided by Michele Bachmann. It’s this last point that confuses me a bit. If all the Wall Street movers and shakers have ever wanted is to completely enslave the entire American workforce, then why would they want to go all wingnutty Hitler on us and exterminate most of their own slaves? Ms. Homan has defended tobacco smokers in her first book and now she has railed against the secret concentration camps coming for us all in Nothing You Can Possess. I do wonder at times if this author is the one who is possessed!
No, I cannot give Jacqueline Homan’s third book five stars because she has let the error count creep up all too easily as the text progresses toward its Glenn Beckish conclusion; however, the proofing of this book is a definite improvement over her first two. Jacqueline’s relentlessly detailed research and her control of the English language bring Nothing You Can Possess into the four-star realm quite easily, but the best is yet to come. Jacqueline S. Homan is the most socially and politically important non-famous writer I have ever read. She is a rarity among the many thousands of self-published, independent, and POD authors hawking their wares all over the internet. She writes what she knows. She writes nonfiction. She is a crusader for the poor and the underprivileged. She went after the multitude of side effects emitting from extreme poverty in Cla$$ism for Dimwits. She displayed an intensity for her subject matter combined with a deferential look at her own weaknesses in Eyes of a Monster. Now she has gathered up her facts, figures, and other data, and compiled it into a financial history of that side of our culture we had just as soon leave buried under a rock. Her next book attacks the subject of religion. I bet Bill Maher and Christopher Hitchens would love it!
The title and cover of Nothing You Can Possess do little to impress me. If I had not read Ms. Homan’s first two books, I could easily have ignored this one wherever I might have seen it. Jacqueline has another, much bigger problem: all her books are overpriced and none are available in the Kindle format. I really wish she would get her act together about these issues. She so much deserves to be read by a lot more people! If you know anything about Ralph Nader or Whoopi Goldberg, you probably know that Ralph is the real deal when it comes to consumer protectionism and Whoopi really did once live on the streets as a very poor drug addict. Jacqueline Homan is very real in the same way as these two, except she isn’t famous. She has brought herself up financially from nothing but tragedy. She has educated herself to a surprisingly literate degree. Like the two better-known left-wing heroes, she has never forgotten from whence she came.
I recommend Nothing You Can Possess to the reader who likes to learn something from whatever he reads, a person who follows the premise that, at least to some degree, history does repeat itself. There is a lot of historical detail in the book, but not so much that the text is boringly bogged down like my Economics 101 professor that kept putting me to sleep. This book does not grip the reader by the throat like Eyes of a Monster does, but it is a much more mature and thoroughly developed one than Cla$$ism for Dimwits. I really wish more of the new horde of internet-based authors were interested in writing highly topical nonfiction like this instead of endlessly repeating genre fiction reruns.
The Boleyn Wife by Brandy Purdy
(Kensington / 0-758-23844-4 / 978-0-758-23844-3 / January 2010 / 384 pages / $16.00 / $10.12 Amazon)
Reviewed by Dianne Salerni for PODBRAM
History is not kind to losers, and Lady Rochford, Jane Parker Boleyn, is certainly one of history’s losers. She lost out against her sister-in-law for her husband’s love, and she lost her husband’s life while ingratiating herself to the king and Cromwell. She lost the respect of the Tudor court for her transparent perjury, and she eventually lost her life through her unaccountable involvement with the most foolish Queen ever to grace England’s throne.
Lady Jane, the narrator of Brandy Purdy’s newest novel The Boleyn Wife, is described on the back cover as shy and plain. Personally, I felt that based on this portrayal, better words to describe her would be manipulative and avaricious. Any sympathy I felt for her vanished on Page 29, when Jane’s father expressed misgivings about the proposed match between his daughter and George Boleyn, and Jane flung herself to the floor in a tantrum worthy of a three year-old toddler. Jane’s obsession with George seems ill-advised – they had nothing in common and George never showed anything but disinterest in her. Nevertheless, she desired him in a most obsessive way and resented everyone he truly cared for – most of all, his sister Anne.
In Purdy’s version of the tale, the Boleyn siblings were innocent of physical incest, but strangely connected in spirit. “It was as if they were made to be together and, as blasphemous as it sounds, God had made a mistake when He made them brother and sister so that full passionate love between them was forbidden.” There are few likeable characters in this story, but George Boleyn perhaps comes closest. His devotion to Anne is touching and would have been incredibly romantic – if she hadn’t been his sister – but since she is, it’s slightly creepy. Purdy’s portrayal of Anne Boleyn is a little different from others I have read: I found her dislikeable at first, but more sympathetic as the novel continues, until she reaches full dignity during the trial for her life.
One of the things I like best about Purdy’s writing is her ability to paint clear images with her words. Her style is very visual, and I have always found it a pleasure to read. Take this description of Henry’s infatuation with Anne: “And so it began, the chase, the hunt, that would consume the better part of seven years, shattering and destroying lives, and shaking and tearing the world like a rat in a terrier’s mouth.” How better to describe the manner in which one foolish love affair could forever change the history of religion and world politics? I also enjoy her non-standard approach to familiar characters – an Anne Boleyn who truly despises Henry, a Duke of Norfolk who would wrestle Lady Jane for the privilege of telling bad news to the Queen and provoking a miscarriage, and an Anne of Cleves who was cleverer than anyone suspected.
I had only a few, small reservations about the novel. One of the key aspects of Anne Boleyn’s character is her true love for Harry Percy in the beginning of the book, and yet I was never comfortable with their relationship. Purdy portrays them as opposites, and therefore I would have liked to have seen them together more often, so that I could truly believe in their love. Another is Jane’s propensity for eavesdropping and spying. Don’t get me wrong – I believe she was capable of such sneakiness, but sometimes the convenient availability of keyholes, tapestries, and shrubberies when important events were about to happen strained any credibility. Still, I found The Boleyn Wife to be a very enjoyable novel – for all that, it is full of despicable characters and follows a plotline that would have been completely unbelievable, if it hadn’t really happened!
PODBRAM readers may find special interest in the fact that Brandy Purdy first published this novel independently through iUniverse under the title Vengeance is Mine. It was snapped up by a traditional publisher in under a year, making Purdy one of the many success stories featured on this blog!