Paper Sons: A Memoir by Dickson Lam


5 Stars: Dropping Raw Science

Oh, how I like memoirs to be raw... Some people have nothing to say or share something relatable to your life, you close those books and forget about it I won't forget the realness of 'Paper Sons: A Memoir by Dickson Lam". Pages upon pages smacking me with the struggles of someone I don't know but want to know because I share that want of writing what is real without filters to protect the lies and memories that may hurt those involved. We can wallow in our pain and past, but perspective is far more therapeutic, meaning take a look at someone else's American experience compare and contrast to your own life. After reading ask yourself did that person successfully overcome or succumb to their past, either way, you can walk away with valuable lessons.

Dickson Lam opens up with the death of his student Javon King he writes with such earnest, and I felt the loss as I turned the page Dickson begins to share things that I feel I haven't heard too many Asian Americans share their thoughts or family history of the ugly side of the American experience. We don't learn about the lynching of Asian Americans during the gold rush, but we know that every group that has ever immigrated to America ended up being exploited with the bonus of good ol' American violence. Dickson drops the science on living in the projects, Mao, Malcolm X and the culture of exclusion. The fully developed characters that Lam writes paints a picture of love-hate within his family it's all a struggle to be someone when you start out with a bad hand, but memoirs have to show the ugly, the darkness, the abuse because we get exposed to knowledge of self and how to get past the past.

I feel that Dickson's book reads like a journal rich with thoughts and mazes of dysfunction and realism that inspires for truth and understanding that we share in life more than we think.

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Our Legendary Ladies Presents Harriet Tubman by Megan Callea


Enter A Bastard's Indie Book Review Giveaway of...

Our Legendary Ladies Presents Harriet Tubman by Megan Callea ( Book Version) 

Click the Amazon Giveaway link after this review.

5 Stars: Slave, Spy, Moses

Our Legendary Ladies Presents Harriet Tubman by Megan Callea and illustrated by Jennifer Howard right from the start a glowing cover to a children's book about a legendary woman. Growing up in the 80s and learning nonsensical history from my teachers, I knew in my heart there were Black heroes. I didn't learn about "Harriet Tubman the Moses of Black Runway Slaves" until I discovered Public Enemy and I ventured into my past and asked that critical question, who am I?

In “Our Legendary Lady Presents Harriet Tubman,” author Megan Callea perfectly short story and awesomely illustrated by Jennifer Howard making the pages simple for children to grasp as you should allow them to talk about what they see in these pictures of this fierce spy risking life for freedom. As a father to a son who is part Black, Hispanic, and Asian (we live in China), and I am making sure he is getting all that can get from his Chinese roots, but how do I introduce his Black or Hispanic roots which I believe are essential? Harriet Tubman is perfect for lessons of courage and leaving a mark on the world no matter how you started out; this book should be used as an example of creating stories for children about our past and its heroes.

As a tester I had my student read Our Legendary Lady Presents Harriet Tubman and write a review. Thomas is an ESL student studying in Zhenjiang, and he is getting into learning more, and Harriet Tubman is new to him, but I wanted to get his thoughts.

Harriet Tubman - A Name in Freedom
By Thomas 陈一凡 (ESL Student)

"In fact, Harriet Tubman is a savior.A savior is her job, but she is willing to do this.From her birth, life was hard, and she knew what she had to do, get free and help others.

When she grew up, Harriet Tubman found a chance and ran for freedom.I think she is fearless when she saw her liberty.
Also, not only she ran for herself she ran for others taking them via underground railroad from America to Canada.

Finally, the government started to offer a reward for her, but they couldn't stop her. She fought until slavery was abolished, becoming her people's Moses.

It was easy for me to read because I am learning English and I like the art, but I think the book was too short."

Enter A Bastard's Indie Book Review Amazon Giveaway of ...

Our Legendary Ladies Presents Harriet Tubman by Megan Callea ( Book Version)

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The Strange Life of Brandon Chambers by Scott Spotson


“It was an undercover project for bioweapons, spearheaded by Cpt. Matthew Chambers, now an infamous household name associated with an emerging national scandal—Biogate, as dubbed by the media. Such a project would violate a worldwide ban—signed years ago by the United States—against biotechnological warfare.”

4 Stars: It's a Rabbit with a Gas Mask, Sold!

When I started "A Bastard's Indie Book Reviews" I might have overwhelmed myself with accepting too many request or genres that I am not a big reader of but this is my website I control that, and it's not only for me read to get better at my art but to read for pleasure. My last review Life II by Scott Spotson I still have fond memories and thoughts of Time Travel, chatting to people who couldn't care less. Scott Spotson is back on my review page I just finished his book "The Strange Life of Brandon Chambers," yes it's strange, satirical, and mind-bending. Scott gave me a choice which of his books I like to read, I judged the cover of The "Strange Life of Brandon Chambers" a rabbit with a gas mask. I didn't bother reading the blurb; I wanted to guess the story and imagine why is that rabbit wearing a gas mask? I am coming to believe that book covers matter.

Scott Spotson mixes in a thriller, a coming of age story, a conspiracy plot in the life of Brandon Chambers. Ten-year-old Brandon's life changes forever after a bioweapons explosion, Brandon's parents are left to blame and moments later presumed dead. What I liked about reading this book is Brandon's understandable rage and rebelling to cope. I felt for Brandon as he gets into pretty crimes and drugs, how do you deal with the death of your parents and being forced to become a ward and live with a jerk military lifer? The best part of Scott's book is the coming of age of Brandon, as he searches for the truth and deals with hallucinations, cleverly taking a path to understanding the human brain. Brandon's has his detractors to impede his quest, but you will root for the truth in the age of conspiracies.

The girlfriend and Brandon's temporary hardnose guardian are stand out supporting characters. While the hallucinations and story rollercoaster journey is enjoyable I felt this book drag at times, Scott does capture the innocence that was lost and the teenage rebellion of Brandon masterfully, it is the best parts of this book, outstanding! Adding Scott Spotson (Bridge Through Time ) again to my Fall reading list, summer is booked up.

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Life II by Scott Spotson


“Now, in this life, I can avoid the pathways to the pitfalls, as symbolized by a pile of skulls or a nest of vipers. Others aimlessly run up and down the dead ends, like laboratory rats. But with my gift, I can select the right choices for others, to bring them much deserved happiness. I may not be God, but I’m a master of fate. Nothing can stop me now.”

5 Stars: The Unlived Life of Max

Time Traveling a science fiction hook that gravitates me to crack open a book and nerdly discuss the possibility of changing the past and the implications of a new timeline. I remember riding on my teacher's motorcycle from Dobbs Ferry to New York City July 4th weekend ( 1985) to watch "Back to the Future" I was blown away by the concept of Marty going back in time incidental endangering his very own existence. What makes that movie a perfect screenplay, plot diagram, and enjoyable on repeat viewing is that it sets up the rules without too much complication or technobabble. Life II by Scott Spotson works because the rules are simple. One can only travel back during their lifetime, not into the future. The sequels to Back to the Future changed the rules or broke the rules to move the story forward, it fails, and it's outdated. Scott Spotson time-travel adventure is an author writing what he knows to be inevitable for the characters involved not predicting the future of our world, making the reader invested in the success of the main character.

42-year-old Max Thorning is stuck in "Life I" I think for some of us of this age group we grew up thinking life would be more than what we have and haven't figured out how to build upon it. We end up living the unlived life we dream about before something inside us removed those lofty dreams. The something inside Max is guilt; guilt holds us back in Max's case the death of a young woman. Back when Max was sixteen, a party turned into drinking and driving that cause a classmate's death compounded by other events of Max's life to make him into a shell of a man barely functioning stuck in the unlived life. Do you or I feel this sometimes that one event change the direction of the life we consciously set out? Feeling that world lied to us the MTV generation as we enter middle age and become uninspired by the daily mundane of marriage and money problems. As for Max, he discovered a 1958 book titled "Account of Time Travel on Earth Using Wave Theory" and sets out to investigate some of the photos of him that appeared in the book which leads him to meet Dr. Time. Max's goal is to prevent a horrible mistake thus the title "Life II."

As Max enters "Life II" the possibilities that Scott makes you think about for example taking advantage stocks and companies that are sure bets or tragedies like the Oklahoma City Bombing and 9/11, can one person prevent them? Should he? Would you? I wrestled with the weight of Max's knowledge; all things don't go to plan because changing one event will affect something else. The character Max I didn't find likable until I understood that his great quality is that he is unselfish with his actions, this is to the credit of the writer giving us a main character the needed chapters to grow.

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Book Talk Part 1. (Audio) Life of a Bastard Vol. 1 Hosted by The Bookworm Beijing

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Life of a Bastard Vol. 1 Book Talk at The Bookworm Beijing
On March 31st, 2018  I had a great chance to conduct a "book talk" about my book hosted by The Beijing Bookworm.  Met some beautiful people and made some meaningful connections.  This episode of "A Bastard's Reviews" is part one of my book tour. The highlight of this podcast is the introduction of Life of a Bastard, future volumes, the process of writing, and identity.



Life of a Bastard Book Talk coming shows
April 21st, 2018  (Sat) 7:30 p.m.
The Bookworm Chengdu
2-7, East Yujie St., 28 Sect. 4th, South Renmin Rd 地址:人民南路四段28号玉洁东街2号附7号,028-85520177

May 19, 2018    07:30PM -- May 31, 2018    09:00PM

The Bookworm Suzhou,
 77 Gunxiufang, Shiquan Jie Suzhou (corner of Shi Quan Jie and Ping Qiao Zhi Lu) 苏州 十全街 滚绣坊 77 (十全街和平桥值街的路口), Suzhou, CN

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