Book review: Time and Time Again by Ben Elton

Time and Time Again by Ben EltonTime and Time Again: What it is about

From the publishers: “It’s the 1st of June 1914 and Hugh Stanton, ex-soldier and celebrated adventurer is quite literally the loneliest man on earth. No one he has ever known or loved has been born yet. Perhaps now they never will be.

Stanton knows that a great and terrible war is coming. A collective suicidal madness that will destroy European civilization and bring misery to millions in the century to come. He knows this because, for him, that century is already history.

Somehow he must change that history. He must prevent the war. A war that will begin with a single bullet. But can a single bullet truly corrupt an entire century?

And, if so, could another single bullet save it?”

Time and Time Again: What I thought

I’m a Ben Elton fan and a time travel fan and this book was wonderful. Stanton comes from the future and his task is to prevent World War I. There is only one particular moment in time when he can make the leap to the past, and he almost misses it. But he gets there and gets the job done.

Of course, that is only the beginning of the story!

This story had a few really good twists. Every time when I was sitting back, seeing how this story would evolve, something happened that made me think, yes, of course, that is also possible!

Stanton is a 21st Century man who goes back to the past. Of course, he sees the world around him with our modern eyes. I liked that, as in historical fiction the point of view is (obviously) usually by someone from that era. Because of this, it was easy to feel engaged in the story, but it also created a distance: Stanton was never really ‘in’ this older time. So, it always felt slightly distant. That wasn’t a problem, as it wasn’t really historical fiction. It was about time travel.

The end of the story went rather fast and I wanted to pull the writer back, ‘Hey, slow down a bit!’, but in fact, it was the right thing to do as the ending was not quite the ending. Did I mention twists?


Rating: 5 out of 5 stars (very good)

Number of pages: 400

First published: 2014

I got this: for review from Transworld Publishers

Genre: historical fiction, time travel

Other books by this author that I read: Meltdown, Blast from the PastInconceivableDead FamousHigh SocietyPast MortemChart Throb, and Blind Faith.

 

Book review: The Steady Running of the Hour by Justin Go

The Steady Running of the Hour by Justin GoThe Steady Running of the Hour: What it is about

From the publishers: “In 1924, the English mountaineer Ashley Walsingham dies attempting to summit Mount Everest, leaving his fortune to his former lover, Imogen Soames-Andersson—whom he has not seen in seven years. Ashley’s solicitors search in vain for Imogen, but the estate remains unclaimed.

Nearly eighty years later, new information leads the same law firm to Tristan Campbell, a young American who could be the estate’s rightful heir. If Tristan can prove he is Imogen’s descendant, the inheritance will be his. But with only weeks before Ashley’s trust expires, Tristan must hurry to find the evidence he needs.

From London archives to Somme battlefields to the Eastfjords of Iceland, Tristan races to piece together the story behind the unclaimed riches: a reckless love affair pursued only days before Ashley’s deployment to the Western Front; a desperate trench battle fought by soldiers whose hope is survival rather than victory; an expedition to the uncharted heights of the world’s tallest mountain. Following a trail of evidence that stretches to the far edge of Europe, Tristan becomes consumed by Ashley and Imogen’s story. But as he draws close to the truth, Tristan realizes he may be seeking something more than an unclaimed fortune.”

The Steady Running of the Hour: What I thought

Many fairy tales and fantasy tales are about quests: something must be found within a certain time or… (disaster). Here, the disaster is in the form of missing out on many millions of pounds if Tristan can’t prove he’s the heir of a great-grandmother he’s never heard of.

Tristan likes the quest more than the money, it seems. He’s not rich, but the amount of money he might be entitled to is too large to fathom. Also, he is not at all sure whether he can prove he’s actually the heir. He goes on a tour of Europe to find bits and pieces to support his theory of what the family tree really looks like. The tour of Europe is fun even if it never becomes very exciting: the evidence he finds is weak and the solicitors in London who sent him on this trip are discouraging.

Intermixed with the story of Tristan is the story of a young man in the first world war. While it was interesting to learn a bit more about the terrible life of the soldiers in the trenches and about his Himalaya trip, the historical story took up too much of the book, I thought.

The story went a little too slow for me and the ending… well, I’d love to have actually read what how *that* conversation went rather than it being glossed over.

If you’re a historical novel reader, you will enjoy the parts in the past. The contemporary story was a little weak and didn’t hold my interest as much as a quest should.

 


Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars (okay to good)

Number of pages: 480

First published: 2014

I got this: borrowed it from the library

Genre: historical fiction/contemporary fiction

 

Book Bloggers Holiday Card Exchange 2014

Book Bloggers Holiday Card Exchange

The Book Bloggers Holiday Card Exchange is organised by me at Leeswammes’ Blog and by Courtney of Stiletto Storytime. Two years ago, Anastasia of Birdbrain(ed) Book Blog passed the baton on to us. Anastasia is the originator and ran this very popular event for two years. Courtney and I took over two years ago and had two very successful events in which 80 people took part.

The Book Bloggers Holiday Card Exchange is an event in which book bloggers send each other a holiday card around the Christmas period (the end of December). This isn’t just for people that celebrate Christmas, though! Everyone is can join in the fun. We’re very late announcing the card exchange this year, so timings are tight!

Info

1. Sign up for the exchange by December 5th, 2014.

2. Emails with partner info go out December 8, 2014 (please check your spam folder if you didn’t get the email, then contact us).

3. You have until December 13, 2014 to send your card(s). Buy them in advance!

4. Since it’s a book-lovers’ card exchange you have to include something book-related in your card. Some ideas:

  • Write about a book you’ve read recently.
  • Give a few book recommendations to your partner.
  • Tell a book-related story.
  • Something else book-related that you think up yourself.

5. Since this is a book blogger holiday card exchange, to participate, you need to be a blogger who blogs at least sometimes about books.

6. The swap is open internationally. It’s too cumbersome trying to pair up people who do/do not want to send internationally, so everyone must be willing to send internationally.

7. You can exchange up to five cards. You won’t always get a card from the same people you send your cards to. It will nevertheless be an awesome thing.

Some Things to Remember

1. You HAVE to send a card. A card is something like this. You can make it yourself or buy it at the store. Everything you write must be contained in the card itself. Letters are not cards. The card doesn’t have to be book-themed OR holiday themed (but it might be nice if it was). We suggest you refrain from sending specifically religious-themed cards, because that sort of thing tends to offend people, even if you didn’t mean to offend them.

2. You HAVE to write something book-related in your card (see above). You can’t just say “happy holidays.” You COULD just write a list of books and that’s all, but I don’t think that’d be a lot of fun, do you?

3. You DON’T have to send anything else but the card, but if you want to stick in something else that’d be fine. A bookmark, for instance, would be really nice. Whatever you send: it has to be flat enough to fit in the envelope– no upgrading into package territory, here.

4. The most you should spend is $7. The point of the exchange is that it’s cheap enough for us money-less people to participate in, so everything should cost $7 and under.

Quickie Privacy Policy

Courtney and Judith are the only ones who will see ALL the information. You partner(s) will be the only ones besides us who will see your address/email/etc. After the exchange is over all the info will be deleted.

Questions/Comments

If you have any questions, please feel free to comment here or email us!  leeswammes @ gmail dot com 

Also, please do spread around the link for this post! Feel free to take the graphic at the top of the post and post it on your blog, etc. The more people know about the BBHCE the more fun it’ll be! Since we’re quite late announcing this, we’re not sure we’ll reach everyone who’s interested so please, please, spread the word!

If we get loads of signups, we could probably use the help of one of our blogging friends around December 5th to match people with their partners. Anyone?

Sign Up

Fill out the form below to sign up for the exchange!

Fill out THIS FORM. Partners will go out December 8th.

Oh, and the Twitter hashtag is #bkcardex.

Book Review: Conquering the Seven Summits of Sales by Susan Ershler and John Waechter

Conquering the Seven Summits of Sales by Susan Ershler and John WaechterConquering the Seven Summits of Sales: What it is about

From the publishers: “Two experts who have summited the tallest mountain on each of the seven continents—and scaled the highest peaks in corporate sales and business—examine what it takes to achieve success.

In making the grueling journey to the top of Mount Everest, Susan Ershler and John Waechter joined the elite group of climbers who had conquered the Seven Summits—the tallest mountains on each of the seven continents. This same determination has made them star performers in corporate sales and established them as business leaders. And both of them cherish the deep sense of satisfaction that comes from attaining a seemingly impossible goal through focus and persistence.

In this unique guide, Susan and John draw on concrete experience to inspire sales professionals—as well as all team members—to overcome limitations and reach new heights of success, illustrating how anyone can achieve peak performance. They will show you how to define your goals clearly, commit to a vision, “choose the right sherpa” (build the right team), “travel light” (manage time), and “measure the mountain” (track progress).

Weaving together stories from harrowing climbs and lessons of indomitable perseverance with actual tested methods for high achievement in sales, business, and life, Conquering the Seven Summits of Sales proves that anyone can overcome limitations and accomplish something real and meaningful in business and in life.”

Conquering the Seven Summits of Sales: What I thought

Since I have a small business myself, but sales is not my strongest point, I was keen to read this book and find out all kinds of sales secrets. It turned out the intended readership was corporate sales people, which I am not, of course. Because of that, the book was not as useful for me as I had hoped.

The book very systematically describes what to do in the sales process: first you set your (realistic targets), then you research your prospect’s business to some detail, and then you go out, talk to them, and persevere. That’s basically what the book says, but there are to-do lists and schemes that seem very useful if you’re into corporate sales.

The basics are having a vision, setting goals, and never giving up. I’ve heard that before. :-) However, the systematic approach seems worth trying out and sounds likely to lead to the intended result.

The combination with the authors’ climbing story was interesting, if you like to learn a bit about mountain climbing, but it felt a little random to me. Any other experience may have lead to the same story. I wasn’t convinced but it made a fun diversion from the sales talk.

I did pick up a few new tips but will look further for a different book to learn how to turn prospects into customers.


Rating: 3 out of 5 stars (okay)

Number of pages: 208

First published: 2014

I got this: for review from Harper Business

Genre: Non-fiction, business

 

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