Welcome!! My name is Paul Lappen. I am in my early 50s, single, and live in Connecticut USA. This blog will consist of book reviews, written by me, on a wide variety of subjects. I specialize, as much as possible, in small press and self-published books, to give them whatever tiny bit of publicity help that I can. Other than that, I am willing to review nearly any genre, except poetry, romance, elementary-school children's books and (really bloody) horror.

I have another 800 reviews at my archive blog: http://www.deadtreesreviewarchive.blogspot.com (please visit).

I post my reviews to:

2 yahoo groups
Amazon and B&N (of course)
and on Twitter

I am always looking for more places to post my reviews.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Michael Jackson Code

The Michael Jackson Code, Ares Einstein, 2011, ISBN 978-606-92278-5-5

Michael Jackson was murdered because he refused to go along with the Illuminati's control of the music business. This book gives the details.

For most of his career, Jackson was willing to sing the sort of songs that the Illuminati wanted. In the later part of his career, Jackson began to rebel, both in his songs and in his public statements. This the Illuminati could not tolerate.

Jackson wasn't the only artist to mention the Illuminati in his songs. Other artists included Bob Marley, 2Pac, LL Cool J, Eminem and the Black Eyed Peas. Jackson found himself on the Illuminati "blacklist." His songs were no longer played on the radio, and he was constantly characterized in the media as a homosexual, a child molester or being deeply in debt. His skin didn't turn white because he supposedly hated being black, but because he was infected with a skin condition called vitiligo. It affects African-Americans, and turns patches of their skin white.

A documentary was made by Martin Bashir around the time of his child molestation trial (another Illuminati attempt to "get rid" of Jackson). Intended as a sympathetic behind-the-scenes look at Jackson's Neverland Ranch, what was shown was very un-sympathetic (terms like "hatchet job" come to mind). Jackson's accuser in the trial was a young boy named Gavin. Suffering from Stage 4 cancer, Gavin wanted to meet Jackson, who was happy to oblige. Gavin and his family stayed at Neverland a number of times, even when Jackson was not there, and totally abused the privilege. They ran throughout the house, even the parts that were off limits, abused the staff, and racked up thousands of dollars in bills that Jackson paid. Gavin's parents give the strong impression of being the sort of people who have no problem with coaching their children on what to say in public, or exploiting Gavin's illness for monetary gain. Jackson was guilty of being naive and much too trusting for far too long, but he was not guilty of child molestation.

Throughout all his troubles, the mainstream news media was no help, being very willing to repeat the various accusations about Jackson's personal life, regardless of their accuracy.

The last part of this book is a summary of another book, "Trust Us, We're Experts!" by John Stauber and Sheldon Rampton. It does a very good job at helping the reader to see through the lies, manipulation and general nonsense that comes from the mainstream news media.

This book is not available in America (it really should be), so a visit to http://www.einstein24.de/ is needed to get a copy. It is also a really good idea, because this book is written with a lot of passion and heart. It is recommended for all MJ fans, and even for those (like yours truly) who are neutral or ambivalent about the King of Pop.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Jesus Potter Harry Christ

Jesus Potter Harry Christ: The Fascinating Parallels Between Two of the World's Most Popular Literary Characters, Derek Murphy, Holy Blasphemy, 2011

The parallels between Jesus Christ and Harry Potter are actually closer than most people may realize. The book also looks at where Jesus in the Bible came from, an actual person, or a collection of stories?

When the first Harry Potter book was released, does anyone remember the uproar from the religious community? The lawsuits and book burnings came about because the book supposedly promoted witchcraft. By the time the last book was released, the attitude was very different because of the Christ-like images and things that happened to Harry. Many people considered Harry as a Christ-like figure (which J.K. Rowling freely acknowledges).

The assertion that Jesus, as a historical figure, never existed is hardly new; the claim has been made all through out history. A central question to ask is: Which Jesus are we seeking? Are we looking for someone who was born of a virgin, died, rose again and ascended to Heaven? Are we looking for a rebel leader during a time of occupation?

From time to time, an archaeological discovery is made which references a person or place mentioned in the Bible. That would seem to increase the possibility that the Bible is true, since there is now independent evidence that the person or place referenced really existed. Right? Using that line of reasoning, books like The DaVinci Code or the Harry Potter books are just as real as the Bible, because they also mention places that really exist. Another assertion is that Jesus invented ethics and morality; before Him, there was nothing. Really? The various civilizations that existed before Christianity, ranging from Sumeria to Egypt to China, might have something to say about that.

The life of Jesus has supposedly been thoroughly discussed and analyzed in the writings of other historians, including Pliny, Tacitus, and especially Flavius Josephus. The problem is that the total analysis of Jesus amounts to just a couple of paragraphs per author. There has been much controversy over the centuries as to whether or not those paragraphs are real or fakes. The similarities between the life of Jesus and those of people like Dionysus, Asclepius, Mithras and Pythagoras (who was known for a lot more than just his mathematical Theorem) are more than just coincidence.

Large parts of the Bible were taken, or otherwise re-interpreted, from ancient pagan myths and stories. The Great Flood, for instance, came from the Epic of Gilgamesh. The idea of a flood that covered the whole world will mean a lot more to a people who live between two great rivers, like the Tigris and Euphrates, than to residents of an arid place like Palestine.

Why did all the ancient religions, including Christianity, seem to use the same images and shapes? Observations of the constellations in the sky led people to construct myths about them, which truned into stories and eventually became religion.

 This is a very fascinating and eye-opening book. It is full of footnotes, so this is more than just some anti-Catholic rant. Those who treat the Bible as a group of stories and parables about the right way to live should not have their faith damaged by this book. It is very much worth the reader's time. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Upgrade to Free

Upgrade to Free: The Best Free and Low-Cost Online Tools and Apps, Beth Ziesenis, TSTC Publishing, 2011

Everyone loves free, or really inexpensive, tools for their computer or smartphone. This book has lots of them, with website and QR code included.

The well-known computer tools, like Skype, Twitter and OpenOffice are here. There are tools here for web meetings and presentations, tools to share information, tools to convery Word files into pdfs, and convert pdfs into Word files, along with IT and security tools to help keep your computer running smoothly.

WorkTime is a tool that will track every activity on your computer, so you will know just how long you have spent being unproductive. To get a group of people to decide on a convenient day and time for a meeting, consider using WhichDateWorks. If Photoshop is too confusing for editing of pictures, try Picnik or FotoFlexer.

Emailing a screencapture of a whole page to someone else, and having them understand what you are talking about is difficult at best. Jing allows the screencapturing of just part of the page. If you want to add some music or movement to your presentation or website, pay a visit to animoto, ispringfree or ispeech.

Small business owners can use freshbooks to manage their billing online, xpenser to keep track of their expenses, or logomyway for ideas to spruce up their old logo. For those who want to start their own blog or website, there is snappages for quick websites, and wordpress for quick blogs. How are you on writing to-do lists and reminders? Sites like rememberthemilk, doitdoitdone!, teuxdeux and toodledo can make it a lot easier.

Whether you are a computer professional, or someone who can barely send an email, this book is very highly recommended. There is something here for everyone. There is no need to download everything in this book; pick just a few tools and go from there. It may just turn a technophobe into a technophile.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Nancy Spellman and the Forest of Fear

Nancy Spellman and the Forest of Fear, P.J. Tye, 2011 (Kindle e-book)

First in a series, this book is about your average British schoolgirl thrust into a very strange situation. The fate of an entire world rests on the shoulders of her and her friend.

Nancy Spellman has decent, normal parents, and an older brother who has discovered the female gender. She has been reading a fantasy book bought by her mother about a planet called Hooth. It includes pictures of a giant half-horse/half-dinosaur named Rascal. After several nights of strange, troubled dreams, Nancy wakes up one night at midnight. Looking out her window toward the woods across the street, she sees Rascal, in the flesh.

The next morning, Nancy's friend Mary comes over and hears the whole story about the book, and the sighting. They immediately head for the woods to investigate and find hoofprints that are bigger and deeper than normal hoofprints. Going farther into the woods, they are suddenly caught in a force-field, surrounded by twinkling lights, and find themselves on Hooth.

Meeting Gretchen, Matgrin and Satgrin (all wizards), the girls are told that another wizard, a well-meaning bungler of a wizard named Albert, has accidentally brought three Earth children to Hooth. They are being held prisoner in a heavily guarded castle. It is guarded by creatures called spigworts, prowlers and dragonbirds, all with very nasty dispositions, who have been enslaving the human population. The magic of the wizards goes only so far, so Nancy and Mary, helped by invisicloaks, have to rescue the children by themselves. Things go bad pretty quickly, but everyone makes it out in one piece. The three children are returned to Earth, with that part of their memories conveniently erased.

Nancy and Mary also return to Earth, only to find that Mary's book has changed. It was titled The Forest of Fear, and now it is called Hooth and Hope, including pictures of their adventures. They are returned to Hooth, and told that much activity has been going on inside the castle, which is very bad news for the rest of Hooth's inhabitants. It is up to Nancy and Mary to find out just what is going on, and, if possible, throw a spanner into the works.

Any young person who is looking for something to read after Harry Potter would do very well to look here. It is easy to read, and just weird enough and it is really worth the reader's time.

Funny Animals

Funny Animals, Maria Skrebtsova, Lulu, 2009

Here is a group of short tales for children. But, these are not your average cute stories; they let children know that all problems have solutions, and that nothing is completely good or bad.

An abandoned blind puppy is adopted by a cat who brings the puppy home to her children and started to feed him milk. The puppy quickly grew bigger than the cat, but continued to obey the cat. One day, a huge dog enters the garden where the animals live. It darts towards the cat with a fierce growl, who leaps over the fence. It sniffs the puppy and says that they should chase the cat, since they are of the same breed. What does the puppy do in response?

A bear and her cub live together in a mountain cave. When the cub is grown up, mother takes him to a clearing in the woods, where he sees trees and the sun for the first time in his life. The cub has to be reassured that there is no reason for panic. In the afternoon, the sun sinks behind a mountain, who says that it will take the sun away forever. Mama has to explain that even the highest mountain can't put out the sun. Did the sun return the next morning? What did the mountain say?

A hare and a squirrel were friends. When the hare returned from trips to the vegetable garden, looking for carrots, he always shared with the squirrel. The said he would reciprocate when winter came. One winter day, the hungry hare stopped by, looking for a bite to eat. The squirrel said that he was worried that he wouldn't have enough food to last the winter, so he said no. The hare survived the winter, and when summer came again, the hare refused to share his carrots with squirrel. Why? Was the hare justified?

These tales are very easy to read, and they are only a couple of pages long, so they are made for a child's attention span. They do a good job of starting to introduce concepts like right and wrong, being considerate of others and finding solutions to problems. The fact that the stories are about animals certainly helps. Yes, this book is worth your child's time.