Category Archives: Litercurious Archives

Prince of Ponies – Review

Litercurious Book Review

TitlePrince of Ponies
AuthorStacy Gregg
PublisherHarperCollins Children’s Books (October 3, 2019)
FormatKindle, Hardcover, Paperback, Audiobook, CD
#Pages/KB304 / 2239KB
GenreChildren’s European Historical Fiction, Children’s Horse Books, Children’s Historical Action & Adventure
LanguageEnglish
ASIN#B07PKJRQLF

AUTHOR

Stacy Gregg lives in New Zealand. Learn more about this accomplished author here. You can visit her Facebook page here. You can see a list of books she authored here.

SYNOPSIS

A WWII refugee meets a Syrian refugee and a love of horses binds them together.

Zofia was a young girl in Poland when the Germans invaded. After losing everything and everyone she loved, she was taken in by a kind German officer. Luckily for Zofia, this Officer was in charge of one of the most prestigious horse stables in Poland. He taught Zofia everything he knew about horses.

Mira is a young girl that fled war torn Syria with her mother and made her way to Berlin, Germany. One day while she was walking a dachshund named Rolf, he got loose and ran into the woods. Mira followed Rolf and soon found him in a battle with a beautiful Arabian horse. Mira got Rolf under control and the horse ran off. She followed the horse to a small stable deep in the woods. This is where Mira met Zofia.

Zofia, now aged, takes Mira and Rolf into her home and strikes a bargain with the young girl; write my story down, and I will teach you about horses. Mira goes back everyday and writes down Zofia’s incredible history, in return she is trained to be a horsewoman!

CONCLUSION

Prince of Ponies is an incredible book. Loosely based on true events that happened during WWII about the German horse breeding program. Stacy Gregg has written a remarkable book that binds history with current trends. The combination of a WWII refugee and a Syrian refugee was inspirational.

Stacy’s knowledge of horses and Dressage is evident. Her descriptions of complicated horse gates, leads, exercises, anatomy are all spot on. She draws a picture in the readers mind that is exact in detail and context.

Prince of Ponies plot is believable and inspiring. It is the classic struggle to be more than you are and working hard to achieve your goals. The story is about friendship, trust, love, and never giving up. It is about taking your destiny into your own hands and not letting others hold you back.

I strongly recommend this book to anyone who loves horses, or just a warm touching story.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

SELECTION OF WORKS FROM THIS AUTHOR

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I would like to thank, Stacy Gregg, NetGalley, and HarperCollins Children’s Books for affording me the opportunity to review Prince of Ponies.

PLAGUE OF CORRUPTION -REVIEW

LITERCURIOUS BOOK REVIEW

TitlePlague of Corruption: Restoring Faith in the
Promise of Science
AuthorKent Heckenlively; Judy Mikovits
PublisherSkyhorse (March 3, 2020)
FormatKindle, Hardcover
Page264
LanguageEnglish     
ISBN #1510752242 / 978-1510752245

AUTHOR’S BIO

http://plaguethebook.com/about/

WHO IS THE TARGET AUDIENCE

This published work is appropriate for all those who wish to properly understand the competing influences in Medicine and the Pharmaceutical Industries.

SYNOPSIS

Heckenlively and Mikovits have produced an excellent primer for anyone who seeks the truth of corruption in Big Pharma.

Dr. Judy Mikovits is an extraordinary polymath and an incredibly accomplished medical researcher. She made her mark in the scientific community with her findings that led to changes in the treatment of Human Immunodeficiency Virus infection (HIV), and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). Dr. Mikovits is a recognized leading scientist.

Problems began for Dr. Mikovits when she challenged the use of animal tissue in medical research that was producing diseases in their human patients. 

Dr. Mikovits tells her story of almost 40 years of experience in the research science field. She describes her professional association over three decades with the one of the co-founders of the discipline of Human Retrovirology, Dr. F. Ruscetti.

CONCLUSION

It is a rare thing indeed for a doctor to endanger her integrity, professional standing, and reputation to champion a cause. Dr. Mikovits had much to lose and yet her morals demanded that she reveal the truth. I genuinely sympathize with her precarious position and admire her commitment to science. 

This manuscript does possess its detractors, and I have seen some extreme reviews that based their views on partial information. In my opinion this was a book that was required to correct the current situation in Medicine and the Pharmaceutical Industries. I heartily recommend this work to you, if you are willing to suspend your disbelief. 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

My sincere thanks go to: Kent Heckenlively and Judy Mikovit (Authors), NetGalley, and the Publisher Skyhorse for affording me the opportunity to review Plague of Corruption.

Ian Fleming SOE And Operation POSTMASTER – REVIEW

Litercurious Book Review

TitleIan Fleming and SOE’s Operation POSTMASTER
AuthorBrian Lett
PublisherPen and Sword Military (February 19, 2020)
FormatKindle, Paperback
Page272
LanguageEnglish     
ISBN-10 / 131526760681 / 978-1526760685

AUTHOR’S BIO

http://www.brianlettauthor.com/about.html

WHO IS THE TARGET AUDIENCE?

Anyone who enjoys history or WWII military operations.

SYNOPSIS

Ian Fleming and SOE’s Operation POSTMASTER: The Untold Top Secret Story, is a historical look at just one of the Special Operations Executive’s (SOE’s) missions in West Africa. The author draws parallels between this mission, the makeup of the SOE, and Ian Fleming’s James Bond series.

The story follows a small group of soldiers from Dunkirk through special operations training to mission “Operation Postmaster.” Brian Lett explains how Ian Fleming was involved with the SOE, how he knew the individuals involved, and how he incorporated certain characteristics from each member into his fictional character James Bond. Brian breaks down the makeup of the SOE and the code words and letters utilized during the time and how Ian Fleming incorporated those into his series.

Operation Postmaster is the tell of a small group of highly motivated soldiers from all walks of life and multiple nationalities banding together to accomplish a single goal. These soldiers trained in England and Scotland, and then went to work on the Spanish island of Fernando Po, now known as Bioko, off West Africa in the Gulf of Guinea. The story describes the trails and tribulations that the SOE went through just to be able to do their job. From the pushback of the Admiralty, to the international political scene.

The detailed planning, the timely execution, and the personal fortitude of the men is quite evident. The fact that they received almost no help from their own military only added to the tale. The British General Officer Commanding (GOC) West Africa Command refused to support the mission. The only way they could accomplish this mission was to get help from the Governor of Nigeria.

CONCLUSION

Operation Postmaster is sometimes thrilling, but for the most part it just tedious. This is in no part due to the author, but due to the lack of support from the British military. In order to tell the story, the author has to incorporate the long delays, the trials, and tribulations that the men had to go through. When the story really picks up it is very good. Overall, I found it an interesting read but one I could do without. The whole operation just seemed a waste of resources for little gain and the possible international ramifications. The way the story is told it seems that the whole operation was just to prove that the SOE could “do it.”

Although there are similarities between the code names of the soldiers and Fleming’s books, there is no evidence that he used this particular mission to from his James Bond 007 series. It is evident that he used his experiences working with the SOE for the background of his series, but I believe the author put too much emphasis on this one mission. My greatest disappointment is that Ian Fleming, although promoted heavily on the dust cover, features less than I expected.

Acknowledgment

My sincere thanks go to: The Author, NetGalley, and the Publisher, for affording me the opportunity to review Ian Fleming and SOE’s Operation POSTMASTER: The Untold Top Secret Story.

TYRANTS – REVIEW

Litercurious Book Review

TitleTYRANTS
AuthorProfessor Waller R. Newell
PublisherCambridge University Press (September 26, 2019)
FormatKindle, Hardcover
Page273
LanguageEnglish     
ISBN #1108713912   

Tyrants: Power, Injustice and Terror will appeal to anyone interested in the danger posed by tyranny and terror in today’s world.

Tyrants, by Professor Waller R. Newell, (Sept. 26, 2019) Loc 2.

AUTHOR’S BIO

https://carleton.ca/bhum/people/waller-newell/

WHO IS THE TARGET AUDIENCE?

Tyrants is a must read for all those studying political science.

SYNOPSIS

Tyrants, by Professor Waller Newell is an encyclopedic panoply of absorbing facts relating to despots from ancient history to present days autocrats. Waller categorizes the various kinds of tyrannical systems together with their characteristic methodologies and potential risks each poses to the society and the wider world. Tyrants spans over 2,000 years of anarchic insanity posing under the guise of political change. Professor Newell describes succinctly how tyrannical systems grow, often seeming to be ineffectual to their rise and through their inevitable fall. The pattern repeating itself again and again against the tapestry of human history. As time and technology progress the number of victims arising out of tyranny increases to terrifying levels. Newell mentions the usual suspects, Hitler, Stalin, and, Alexander the Great as well as those from the distant past.

From the onset I was surprised to observe the subject to be compelling, fascinating, and enthralling. I commend Professor Newell for taking a complex and sensitive subject and making it accessible and interesting. I felt that Newell argued well that tyrants represent an existential threat to the existence and continuation of democratic systems.

Professor Newell manages to take us from the tyrannical archetypes and through his extensive academic knowledge and skills to reveals the very heart of tyrants at their worst. Newell states from the beginning that his purpose is to prompt the current generation to realize that tyrants are not gone never to return. They are very much alive, well and living alongside us today and that they present a terrifying threat to societies across the globe.

The work is scholarly but not academic, and this is an excellent choice as it gives the greatest number of readers the opportunity to ingest this warning from history. Tyrants is particularly important due to the absence of literature covering this topic.

CONCLUSION

Tyrants is a primer for those who wish to read Professor Newell’s earlier masterpiece Tyranny. Both manuscripts will give the reader a superior knowledge of the danger that still exists in our world today; as well as the historic context against which to illuminate the cliff edge that faces civilization. This tome is concisely written and researched with inspirational interpretations throughout. I found it a compelling read even though the topic is serious.  Tyrants by Professor Newell is the author at his best.

FURTHER READING

https://www.heritage.org/political-process/report/understanding-tyranny-and-terror-the-french-revolution-modern-islamism

How Plato and Aristotle Help Us Understand the Tyranny of Bashar al-Assad

OTHER WORKS BY THIS AUTHOR

His books include Tyrants: A History of Power, Injustice and Terror (forthcoming from Cambridge University Press), Tyranny: A New Interpretation (Cambridge University Press), The Soul of a Leader: Character, Conviction and Ten Lessons in Political Greatness (Harper Collins 2009), The Code of Man: Love, Courage, Pride, Family, Country (Harper Collins, 2003), What Is A Man? 3000 Years of Wisdom on the Art of Manly Virtue (Harper Collins 2000), Ruling Passion: The Erotics of Statecraft in Platonic Political Philosophy (Rowman and Littlefield 2000) and Bankrupt Education: The Decline of Liberal Education in Canada (University of Toronto Press 1994, with Peter C. Emberley).

ACKNOWLEDGMENT

My sincere thanks go to: The Author, NetGalley, and the Publisher, for affording me the opportunity to review Tyrants.

THIS IS GOING TO HURT – REVIEW

Litercurious Book Review

Title This Is Going To Hurt
Author Adam Kay
Publisher Picador (Feb 20, 2020)
Format Kindle, Paperback, Hardcover, and Audiobook     
Page 80     
Language English     
ISBN # 1509858636 ISBN #-13 (9781529034035)     

Author’s Bio

This is Going to Hurt was written by Adam Kay. In this book he shares his personal anecdotes as a doctor working in the British National Health Service (NHS) during early 2000s. His recollections come from a diary he kept, detailing the ups and downs of life on the wards. Kay was inspired to write this book after a senior member of the government had made a claim that junior doctors, expecting to work less than 79 hours per week, were greedy. In This is Going to Hurt, Kay shows us the extremes of being a young doctor in the modern NHS. 

Who is the Target Audience?

This is Going to Hurt is suitable for all those interested professionals or amateurs who find the life of doctors to be scintillating reading. Kay doesn’t spare us the gritty facts of life of a junior doctor and later a Senior Registrar. In this book there are some really funny tales and some truly dreadful stories of life and death. If you enjoy blood and guts descriptions of desperately sad and appalling ends, then you may enjoy the wild ride hanging on the white coat tails of Dr. Kay. If you are British, you may also gain a greater appreciation for the young medics that you interact with during your health visits. 

Synopsis

The most significant part of This is Going to Hurt is dedicated to the abuse and neglect that many doctors are exposed to working within the British NHS. Dr. Kay discloses the scarcity of essential amenities required for proper medical care in the NHS. He explains the long hours of unpaid work forced upon doctors. He describes the lack of sleep and the abandonment of family, friends, and holidays. Worst of all, he describes how the enumeration is woefully inadequate for the myriad of drawbacks. Ultimately, after long periods of neglect by his employers a life altering incident prompts a change in his thinking and eventually leads him on a new path.

Conclusion

Adam gives us a view of the true life of a doctor on the wards of a British NHS hospital. He reminds us that doctors are only human. They are not infallible; they need love, care, and respect as we all do. They have the failings we all share and he prompts us to realize that. Most of all he wants us to understand that neglecting those who care for us is dreadful and that we should value and cherish the sacrifices; social, financial and psychological that doctors working in the NHS endure to provide you with world class health service.

Acknowledgment

My sincere thanks go to: NetGalley, and Picador for affording me the opportunity to review This is Going to Hurt.

The Mystery of the Exploding Teeth – REVIEW

Litercurious Book Review

Title The Mystery of the Exploding Teeth: And Other
Curiosities from the History of Medicine
Author / Narrator Thomas Morris / Ruper Farley
Publisher Penguin Dutton; 1 edition (Nov 20, 2018)
Format Unabridged Audiobook, Kindle, Paperback, Hardcover
Time9 hours and 7 minutes
Language English     
ASIN # B07K1FC2C1  

AUTHOR

Thomas Morris was a successful radio producer for the British Broadcasting Company (BBC) for many years. He is now a freelance writer and medical historian. His first book, The Matter of the Heart: A History of the Heart in Eleven Operations, wonthe Royal Society of Literature and the Jerwood Charitable Foundation award. The award is one of three annual awards, one of £10,000 and two of £5,000, offered to authors on their first works of non-fiction. Mr. Morris now lives in London.

WHO IS THE TARGET AUDIENCE?

This book is for everyone 16 or older. The Mystery of the Exploding Teeth is written for the masses and not just for those who want to learn about historic medicine. The book is full of individual cases hand-picked through time to provide the reader with a glimpse of common medical procedures, some uncommon medical procedures, and allot of very interesting cases.

SYNOPSIS

The Mystery of the Exploding Teeth: And Other Curiosities from the History of Medicine, is a sojourn into some of the most interesting medical cases and the procedures used in those cases. It is told through the eyes of the people who were actually there. This book is a conglomeration of notes, letters, personal views of the doctors, and sometimes the patients. The author does a great job of finding the most interesting cases in history. There are some interesting cases that include various items escaping the bodies from all different places, some not very good places. How about the surgeries where the patient is not anesthetized and is an active participant? There is a chapter of patients who survived extreme injuries, some lived normal lives after their injuries.

CONCLUSION

After reading this book, I listened to the audible version and the narrator added so much more to the enjoyment. He does a great job with the inflection of his voice and the bits that are in French. The little jokes he throws in are awesome. This tome, at times, had me laughing, cringing, crying, and always wondering about the historic doctors and their sometime weird practices. The cases offer a wide variety of injuries and maladies; the causes of some of these will haunt me. I would definitely recommend this book to a friend.

SIMILAR WORKS YOU MAY BE INTERESTED IN

Dr. Mütter Marvels by Cristin O'Keefe Aptowicz  #Medicine History & Commentary #History of Medicine
#Trivia & Fun Facts

Dr. Mütter’s Marvels was established by Dr. Mütter who sadly died prematurely at the age of 48. He left behind an immense collection of medical oddities that form the basis of Philadelphia’s renowned Mütter Museum. Dr Mütter’s Marvel by Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz is an insight into the dedicated surgeon’s career as well as his life and times. Aptowicz presents her view on Dr. Mütter’s medical practices and the prejudices he witnessed. Aptowicz draws upon Mütter’s speeches and lectures which reveals his humanist based approach.

Mütter Museum Historical Medical Photographs #Medicine History & Commentary #History of Medicine
#Trivia & Fun Facts

Mütter Museum: Historical Medical Photographs Is a cornucopia of high quality photographs taken by professional photographers. Between the 1860s and the 1940s, photographers took pictures of these oddities as records for physicians to share among medical colleagues. They also functioned, at the time, to demonstrate various techniques used in medicine such as micrography and X-ray. During the earliest days, they utilized the method of photography known as the daguerreotype. This processing method required the photographer to polish a sheet of copper plate with silver halide coated to a mirror finish, and treat it with fumes that made its surface light sensitive. There is much more to the Mütter Museum however, and it is not for the squeamish.