The Chaos of Three

Unlike anything I have ever read. It feels strange to make such a statement considering I’ve read a lot in almost every genre. The Three Body Problem by Cixin Liu should appeal to hard core science fiction enthusiasts, especially those interested in physics and astrophysics, but it also weaves in fascinating information about the Cultural Revolution and its lasting impact on modern China, makes excellent use of familiar stereotypes in unexpected ways, and creates suspense … Continue reading

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An Elegantly Written Mess (The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach)

Chad Harbach writes elegant prose in The Art of Fielding, and there are moments when his prose matches his insight and the writing becomes almost incandescent, the stuff of great literature. Unfortunately, the beautiful parts taken together sum up to a melodramatic whiny mess. Harbach writes so well, constructs such well-crafted sentences that it seems he can’t control the impulse to add unnecessary narrative. I often got the feeling that he inserted characters and descriptions … Continue reading

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My Misguided Interpretation (The Sixth Extinction)

Occasionally, I read a book that makes me feel a lot dumber than I normally am. The Sixth Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert reminds me that I’m not smart enough to be a scientist. Probably I have lots of Neanderthal genes. Not that Neanderthals were dumb. On the contrary, there is evidence suggesting they were “sophisticated” enough to interbreed with the prevailing species homo sapiens. It might be worth noting, however, that even though Neanderthals had … Continue reading

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Recent Book Reviews

Dead Lemons Alive Damaged psychologically and physically, the wheelchair bound main character moves into a cottage with a grim past at the farthest point south in New Zealand. His goal is to either recover or kill himself. While that description may sound dark, the novel itself offers an uplifiting message of hope and resiliency. What transpires is a unique blend of suspense, mystery, psychology, and history in a captivating setting, all melded into a cohesive … Continue reading

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An Open Letter to Weed Tourists

Note: Compiled and reworded based on interviews with Denver budtenders. You’re on Spring Break? Vacation? Really. It’s your first time in a dispensary? No kidding. I’ve heard that 800 times today. Yes, I understand that having to answer the same dumb question is common to many jobs, especially retail.  However, being a budtender is different. You the weed tourist are of course enthusiastic. Weed stores? Wow! Exciting. Yes, but guess what? You have no clue … Continue reading

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Most Poems

Most poems we could all have written; Few though stand strong against the sea of mediocrity. But be not discouraged by “be not” phrases or those who’ve memorized technical beats; They often merely bleat like goats on cliffs where their true gift is in nimble feet. I belong there among the goats but occasionally we all bleat into the wind and get lucky, the whoosh and whirl of creation belonging to eternity and physics but … Continue reading

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Wild Writer

During the first part of “Wild,” by Cheryl Strayed, I felt as if a woman I didn’t know was sobbing in my arms — repetition, rocking, and rhythmic gasping for breath. An uncomfortable feeling. Not to mention the topic in the first chapters. (I’ve had my own battle with cancer.) I read quickly. The point is, however, that I felt her stark feeling laid bare in poetic and compelling narrative, and she took me to the … Continue reading

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Now the Mountains

I hear the call of the mountains of my youth suddenly now discovering that I am sixty-two and my muscles are stiff and my tendons ache yet I still long for the miles winding through forest and above timberline. I will go there and if I do not return then so much the better for what better place to rest forever than beneath a giant Redwood tree or sitting silently next to a glacial lake while … Continue reading

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“Jeff possesses that rare blend of exceptional focus, talent, and experience.  His professional expertise brings both skill and intuition to the publishing process.” ~ Paula S. Stone, wellness advocate, author “Jeffrey Penn May formatted and placed several of my novels on Amazon as eBooks. I am one of those people who missed the computer generation and must depend on experienced people to do various chores. Jeff was patient, answered my questions, gave direction and very importantly, … Continue reading

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Death with a View

Can you control your death, give it parameters, give it stage direction and make it dramatic, pastoral, humorous? Sounds a bit silly, doesn’t it? Most of us have trouble managing life, and death just happens. Typically, it’s out of our control. That doesn’t stop us from trying, nor should it. After all, we try to avoid head-on collisions. But, aside from the various purgatorial outcomes, you either make it or you don’t. Perhaps that’s why … Continue reading

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