I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
The Wolf Among Us is a prequel of sorts to the Fables series. It tI received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
The Wolf Among Us is a prequel of sorts to the Fables series. It takes place roughly 20 years prior to the events of the books, and fills in some of the gaps that later get explored in volumes such as From Fabletown With Love, which is satisfying. However, The Wolf Among Us could easily be enjoyed without any background in Fables, and vice versa, which is largely the strength of the book.
My interest in this was piqued largely by how much I enjoyed the TellTale game that brought about this series in the first place. The book borrows heavily from both the game's dialogue and art style, enough to be boring in the first 'chapter' or so, though the cheesy noir monologue is amusing. It comes into its own more as the story begins offering up flashbacks that differ from the gameplay and shakeup the pacing of the story.
If later volumes offer up more new content I will call this series a success. The art is strong, if reminiscent of the Sleepy Hollow comics, and the story entertaining. It was far better than Werewolves of the Heartland, which I found far more difficult to get through.
So, while not as good as the Fables series that spawned it, I'd still call this a decent start to TWAU spinoff. Later volumes will reveal if it can manage to be as strong a comic series as it was a game.
My boyfriend received this book from the GoodReads first reads program in exchange for an honest review. I just thought it was too cute not to read itMy boyfriend received this book from the GoodReads first reads program in exchange for an honest review. I just thought it was too cute not to read it, too.
Dr Hedgehog and the River Rescue is a really adorable children's book. The artwork is large and simple, and I can see it being a fun book to read aloud to a classroom due to that. There are some fun words thrown in that I imagine would help a child's vocabulary, and the book is a short 32 pages. There's a poster in the back with Dr. Hedgehog and Martin Mouse that would be fun for a classroom that has the full trilogy on hand.
So, the plot of the book is relatively simple. Martin Mouse's mother Mavis warns him not to walk on the frozen river on the way to school... so he does, and the ice breaks. He's rescued by Dr. Hedgehog who throws him a sandwich on his way to getting his friend the frog to fish Martin Mouse out. The book ends with a wet Martin Mouse worried that Dr. Hedgehog will tell his mother what happened.
The weakness in this book, and the reason for its 3 star rating, is the ending. It felt terribly rushed. Does Dr. Hedgehog tell Mavis Mouse what happened? Is Martin Mouse ok? I imagine it would be decent for discussion, but being read on its own it's a bit lacking. Other reviewers have said that it lends kids a somewhat ambiguous message - that it's OK to keep things from their parents - which isn't terribly good.
I also wish there was more of Dr. Hedgehog himself in the book. Though the sandwich scene was great....more
First: From the very outset the book made clear that history books are inevitably biased. Anytime you read a history book you are reading history through the lens of a certain theme. In this case, the theme was that of equality and inequality, which they made exceptionally clear from the introduction and through the book itself. I appreciated how up front they were.
Second: The book was divided into very short chapters, allowing this book to be a quick read. Although the chapters were short each had a very clear focus and was surprisingly in depth. Quotes were used often, and I'm a glutton for primary sources. I loved how much attention was given.
Third: Maps! Well labeled maps of famous battlefields, as well as the way the territories were originally divided. Excellent!
The book did a very good job of highlighting the diversity of the United States through the ages. It explained the slave trade exceptionally well, bringing up points that I'd never even considered before. I appreciated the vast scope of the project, and how neutral the tone was up through Reconstruction. It was only as the book got closer to modern day that it began to rush through events rather more quickly than I'd like, but I can understand the need to do so given the scope of the project and the limited space available.
I think this is a good introductory history book. It whets the appetite and would allow a reader more ease of access to figure out what time period and topic they'd like to read about in US history....more
Morgan Iverson has recently become the owner of a rock shop in Golden Springs, Colorado, after her brother left to South America on short notice. While out with a geology class, in hopes to learn more about the trade, she becomes separated from the group and happens upon a much decayed body, a strange Mountain Man that looks more Sasquatch than human, and a whole lot of trouble. Has she reopened the only cold case Golden Springs has? Will this discovery bring closure to a fractured family? And who exactly is the Mountain Man now terrorizing the town, and why is everyone involved in the case beginning to have more than a few close calls with death?
Stone Cold Case is a cozy mystery that manages to avoid some of the trouble that genre tends to run into. The characters are surprisingly believable, and never fully fit the stereotypes that would have been easy to draw on in such a case. The small town politics and intrigue are fascinating, and the geological information (gems, rocks, minerals - geodes!) is both accurate and intriguing. More than once I found myself looking up gems she mentioned and being shocked by their beauty. Having lived in the Pacific Northwest myself, reading Stone Cold Case made me nostalgic for my old Montana home.
By the end of Stone Cold Case you'll be sure to want more, and there are ample hints throughout the book pointing towards what the next plot just might be. If you're looking for a good beach read, or something to tide you over with a hot cocoa and a warm fire, this is the book for you. The mystery will keep you guessing, and the characters will keep you at turns laughing and gasping.
Overall, a good fun mystery book from someone it's obvious quite loves the genre....more
We tell this story still as it has come down to us through many retellings, mouth to ear; ear to mouth, both the story of the poisoned box aOut today!
We tell this story still as it has come down to us through many retellings, mouth to ear; ear to mouth, both the story of the poisoned box and the stories it contained, in which the poison was concealed. This is what stories are, experience retold by many tongues to which, sometimes, we give a single name, Homer, Valmiki, Vyasa, Scheherazade. We, for our own part, simply call ourselves "we." "We" are the creature that tells itself stories to understand what sort of creature it is. As they pass down to us the stories lift themselves away from time and place, losing the specificity of their beginnings, but gaining the purity of essences, of being simply themselves. And by extension, or by the same token, as we like to say, though we do not know what the token is or was, these stories become what we know, what we understand, and what we are, or, perhaps we should say, what we have become, or can perhaps be.
Salman Rushdie's new book is a story about stories. In the same vein of At Swim-Two-Birds, the narrative is continued through manifold layers. As other reviewers have noted, it is possible to separate the story into two separate tales. The first is that of the jinnia Dunia, who fell in love with a man many, many years ago. Their affair spanned the titular Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights and resulted in the birth of new hybrid race, which over the ensuing centuries spread over the face of the globe. At the start of the book these half-jinn are beginning to come into their heritage, woken by the old matriach, to be recruited for a grand purpose and a great war.
The cause of the war forms the crux of the second, underlying story. This is a philosophical battle between two great philosophers - Al-Ghazali and Ibn Rushd. This clash of belief over the centuries - that of fear of God over reason, and reason over God (or rather as a way of understanding God) spreads through the whole narrative though the actual philosophical arguments between the two philosophers are rarely directly addressed.
The book is full of gorgeous passages, as the quote that I began this review with shows. It's written at turns in a traditional folk tale sense (much repetition, rather overt symbolism being used, irony, etc.) and in an almost text-book like simplicity. As I read through it I found myself eager to reach more text-book like explanations of the worlds. I'm certain that my lack of familiarity with Arabian myth and folklore hurt my understanding of some of the text, but anyone who is familiar with it will likely take away a great deal.
Even though I didn't like this book quite as much as I loved At Swim-Two-Birds I'm quite glad that I read it. I will most definitely be going on to read Midnight's Children and The Satanic Verses at some point. Salman Rushdie is a gifted writer, and there's much beauty to be found in this book. If you can set aside some annoyance at a bit too much repetition, it's great and quite a few spots should make you laugh.
(view spoiler)[ To repeat: only one human being ever returned in good shape, the hero Hamza, and the suspicion remains that he may have been part jinni himself. So when Dunia the jinnia, aka Aasmaan Peri the Lightning Princess of Qaf Mountain, suggested to Mr. Geronimo that he return with her to her father's kingdom, suspicious minds might have concluded that she was luring him to his doom like the sirenuse singing on the rocks near Positano or Lilith the night monster who was Adam's wife before Eve, or John Keats's merciless beauty.(hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Bruce Beckham's Murder Mystery Collection is a bizarre group of short stories reminiscent of the early Twilight Zone episodes, if they had all been vaguely noir in scope. The collection is slim, coming in at only 75 pages or so, the rest of the book being taken up by an excerpt from one of the author's many books.
As far as short story collections go, this one runs the gamut. There are murders, mistaken identities, and a memorable tongue in cheek reflection of an unsavory reflection. The stories are for the most part engaging, if rather short. The trouble of this genre is that something has to be really quite good in order to stand out, and although the short stories are not particularly bad, there is nothing all that memorable about them. Quick paced as they are, there isn't a lot of time to really feel the characters and what they're going through.
There's not enough time to really immerse yourself in Bruce Beckham's imaginative world - with the exception of the final story "Ukraine Girls" which is easily the best, and longest, of the bunch. The collection ends up being a bit frustrating due to that. The stories are all interesting, all entertaining, but would benefit from either a slower pace, or there simply being more of them. Not a horrible problem to have.
Animal Weapons: The Evolution of Battle by Douglas J. Emlen is a delightful enlightening read. Douglas J. Emlen focuses on many unusual animals, rather than focusing upon the typical big cats, wild dogs, and dinosaurs. The main thrust of his book is the insects - beetles, flies, and other such forgotten creatures litter the pages with their bizarre adaptations and startlingly complex behavior. The times when the author is writing about these are the best part of the book - he thrives in descriptions of the unusual, and the pages fly by.
The book never became boring, but the transitions were largely bizarre to me, which in turn affected some of my enjoyment. While I agree that there are rather clear parallels between human weapon development and animal evolution - and that the case presented was a good one - I think it was clumsily written. Transitions could have been handled better, but overall that wasn't so jarring as to heavily impact my rating of the book.
In spite of the small gripe in terms of transitions, the book was wonderful. The contents were fascinating, the arguments presented well thought out, and the illustrations provided by David J. Tuss truly stunning. The illustrations, two of which adorn the cover, are fantastic and playfully done without sacrificing detail or scientific accuracy.
Joe Hill is a truly fantastic writer, and Welcome to Lovecraft shows off his skill beautifully. The story is crafted so well it hurts. I've not read the whole series yet, I've only gotten to book four, but rereading the first volume after getting that far it's obvious how well plotted the whole of it is. Hints are dropped for future issues, allusions are made to back story that we don't get until later... the world of the Keyhouse is rich and vast, and this first scrape of the surface is downright masterful.
Locke & Key is a must for any fan of comics....more
I received this book for free from the GoodReads First Reads program in exchange for an honest review.
I was initially rather excited when I won this bI received this book for free from the GoodReads First Reads program in exchange for an honest review.
I was initially rather excited when I won this book. I had enjoyed both Lamb and Coyote Blue and was looking forward to reading more by an author that I remembered for doing extensive research and drawing upon altogether fascinating mythology in a humorous way. The Infancy Gospel of Thomas, used extensively in Lamb isn't exactly obscure or difficult to come by. I was hoping what would be found in Secondhand Soul may be more obscure. I was, needless to say, not entirely satisfied.
Secondhand Souls is the sequel to A Dirty Job and it contains much, much less plot than the former. It is entirely necessary to have read A Dirty Job to have the slightest idea what is happening in Secondhand Souls, though doing so will also likely irritate the reader as Secondhand Souls is making constant references to what happened in the previous book. I lost count of how many times Charlie Asher's encounter with the Morrigan was referenced and mocked, though that wasn't what (view spoiler)[killed him (hide spoiler)] in the first book at all. Likewise I lost count of how many times certain parts of his (view spoiler)[new (hide spoiler)] anatomy were described, mocked, and alluded to in general in spite of it having absolutely no bearing on the plot of the book or his character at all.
The essential plot of the book is as follows. Death, for some reason never entirely described, no longer works the way it is meant to. The Big Death (referred to as the Luminatus) no longer exists, so self-described Death Merchants, arbitrarily chosen by some unseen force, need to collect the souls of the dead and resell them to the people who lack souls. This distribution process is actually interesting, and in A Dirty Job a number of the scenes of the dead passing were incredibly touching. Secondhand Souls spends next to no time exploring this process. Instead, it focuses upon the Forces of the Underworld - not identified really until about fifty pages from the end of the book - trying to rebel against the Death Merchants, possibly the Luminatus itself, for some undetermined reason. It really isn't gone into at all. Also, there are a lot of ghosts on the Golden Gate Bridge and they need help crossing over - but again, what could have been an interesting plot is underplayed and glossed over.
There are interesting plots, but very few are developed. Instead the book relies on juvenile humor, fairly racist stereotypes, and a whole lot of nothing to fill pages. The hellhounds are there, and then they aren't - why did they leave? It's pretty much never explained. People have abilities, lose them when it's convenient, and then may or may not get them back again. Characters that were together at the end of the last book have messy breakups between books... and that's referenced a heck of a lot for pretty much nothing to come of it. New characters are introduced, and then never mentioned again. It's a bit absurd.
The book was a mess. Sticking with the Golden Gate Bridge plot would have been enough for a full book, and a really good one at that, but even that entirely section was horrendous for the way it handled discussion of depression and what the characters went through. The humor, while filed under satire, was downright offensive and unbelievable rather than even remotely funny. I've mentioned in the previous review the problem with Christopher Moore and racial stereotypes that served nothing to advance his plots.
All of this having been said, if you liked A Dirty Job, chances are you will like this book. It's much of the same, with the exception of having a heck of a lot more plot thrown in though it becomes too scattered to really wrap up satisfyingly. If you didn't like A Dirty Job, this book will be an even greater disapoointment than the former.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
**spoiler alert** I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The plot was fa**spoiler alert** I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The plot was fascinating, the mystery a joy to unravel, and the characters engaging enough to want to read more of. It reminded me a fair bit of Veronica Mars in its better days, in terms of pacing and tone. The book kept me engaged and thinking about it after I'd set it down. I rushed through it at times to find out the ending.
The books weakness, for me, laid in the pacing. While the breakneck speed did make for an exciting read, I think at times speed sacrificed deeper character development. This lead to some volatile reactions that even with the later explanation in the book felt a bit out of character. If there was a bit more behind her reaction to figuring out she was adopted, then perhaps her freak out would make a bit more sense? Or a bit more offered behind her earlier black outs?
The ending of the book left a great deal open. It left me hankering for a sequel, or at least a bit more set within the world to tie up loose ends. I was wondering how the assassin got into the line of work at such a young age, what was behind Shelley's black outs, how many others were out there, etc... There was quite a lot to delve into, even after this story was done. Hell, I was hoping Shelley might meet up with other's who had survived this cull like her to attempt to bring down whatever shadowy organization was doing this.
But that's another YA trope, isn't it? Either way, the story was a good one that I think could easily grow. Winston was interesting, if unappreciated by the protagonist until the end. Hell, the protagonist was pretty much the only thing that suffered in the book, and that was by virtue of her shaky sense of identity.
I won this book through the GoodReads first reads program in exchange for an honest review.
I hadn't heard of Kevin Breel prior to reading this book.I won this book through the GoodReads first reads program in exchange for an honest review.
I hadn't heard of Kevin Breel prior to reading this book. The blurb informed me that he had a very famous TED talk, and has worked extensively with To Write Love on Her Arms - which makes sense given the subject of this book. Boy Meets Depression is a wry examination of his own life, told with a self-deprecating honesty that at times had me laughing out loud. The humor present in the book did little to soften the blow of the darkness to come, but was a welcome reprieve from the usual tone of these sorts of memoirs. Kevin Breel ultimately handled the subject of depression, and living with it, deftly and with a soft touch. This made for an interesting memoir, and an honest look at a difficult subject that I think would benefit a lot of YA readers.
The advice given at the end of each chapter often got a grin out of me, though it also did make me reflect on the changes I've made in my own life and how much little things really can help someone going through a tough time. Boy Meets Depression was a good read, and a valuable book for anyone who's lived with depression, or knows someone going through it. I think it would help others understand what people are going through, and how to best help a friend in a difficult place. ...more
I received this book for free from the publisher through the GoodReads first reads program in exchange for an honest review.
Michelangelo: A Life in SI received this book for free from the publisher through the GoodReads first reads program in exchange for an honest review.
Michelangelo: A Life in Six Masterpieces is at once more than an art history and more than a biography. In this book Miles J. Unger effortlessly weaves together the life of one of history's most compelling and outspoken artist with the political strife of the world he worked in and the dynamic art he created. Unger paints a vibrant portrait of the mercurial man, amply citing the arist's own writings in the process. I went into the text knowing very little about Michelangelo, and I came out of it feeling nearly as if I knew the man personally.
Unger's writing is at times dry, but it never commits the sin of being boring. I feel that my own response to the text at times was borne far more out of me being entirely foreign to the history itself than due to poor writing. Unger cited so heavily actual accounts of the day, poems, and letters that for a moment I found myself curious to read more about Italy during that period. I found myself nostalgic for the world that was destroyed within Michelangelo's own lifetime, broken and violent though it was.
Unger's descriptions of the art itself is where his text truly thrives. He had a fine eye for detail, and singles out several small sections of paintings and sculpture that I would never have noticed on my own. He is adept at explaining why certain choices were made, and bringing to life the turmoil of the art and artist alike with each composition.
All in all, this is a book that I would feel comfortable recommending to anyone with a curiosity about Michelangelo. Should one wish to know more, the bibliography at the back is extensive. Likewise, there is an appendix that covers where one can best see Michelangelo's artwork and where each important piece is housed....more
I received this book through the Goodreads First Reads program in exchange for an honest review.
I thoroughly enjoyed this short novella, a fact whichI received this book through the Goodreads First Reads program in exchange for an honest review.
I thoroughly enjoyed this short novella, a fact which actually surprised me.
The book tells the story of a retired boxer, Rudy, now living in the backroom of a friend's bar. The bartender's son, Harry, has decided that he wishes to become a boxer much to the bartender's joy. While the bartender sees this as a way to fix his relationship with the son, Rudy sees it was a terrible decision. Boxing ruined his life, how could he allow someone else to take part in that?
Rudy's life - his rise to fame and his eventual downfall - are juxtaposed beautifully with Harry's own break into the boxing ring. The story is surprisingly emotional, oddly touching without becoming overly sentimental. There's something deeply human about the story, and somewhat resigned to the loneliness of the life of a boxer.
This is a gem of a novella, and I deeply hope it gets the attention it deserves....more
I received this book through the GoodReads first reads program.
As many of you likely know, I've been on a bit of a James Bond kick this year and haveI received this book through the GoodReads first reads program.
As many of you likely know, I've been on a bit of a James Bond kick this year and have been studiously reading through the canon. My favorite of the books, and films, for some time has been From Russia With Love. How could I resist a peek into the real Cold War, then, and all of the complex espionage techniques utilized? Why even try to resist?
David E. Hoffman has painted a beautiful picture of the difficulties of espionage in Moscow during the Cold War. He meticulously documents different techniques used to elude the KGB, the gadgets that made spywork possible, and the manifold difficulties that come from such a tense environment that relies almost exclusively upon the human element. Equipment malfunctions, and unfortunately, people do too.
The book was extremely interesting, and the history quite dense. While I agree with several of the other reviewers in thinking that the book could have been structured a bit better in terms of Tolkachev's motives being revealed, it was still a very powerful story. I was continually struck by the variety of people the CIA employed, the level of technology they had at their disposal, and just how difficult it was to truly "go black" during that time.
The Billion Dollar Spy does a wonderful job of showing the human element of spying and what motivates a person to defect. It's remarkable how much damage a single driven individual can do....more
This volume of Fables wraps up the first story arc with the invasion of the Homelands. We get war stories and spy stories, heroic sacrifices and attemThis volume of Fables wraps up the first story arc with the invasion of the Homelands. We get war stories and spy stories, heroic sacrifices and attempts at redemption. The story is nothing short of epic, and heartrending as we lose some we've certainly come to love... and we get a bit of insight into why the Emperor chose to do wht he did.
Before you even have time to catch your breath "The Dark Ages" begins and ushers in the second Fables arc. Right back from the heels of a massive war more trouble emerges, a foe a good bit more frightening than the Emperor had been. One has to wonder where this is heading, though I will say it really doesn't look good for the Fables about now.
Wonderful writing, and great artwork - though I wasn't crazy about the guest artists this time around. ...more
This has definitely been my favorite addition to the Fables series.
The bulk of this book is focused upon Prince Ambrose (better known as Flycatcher) fThis has definitely been my favorite addition to the Fables series.
The bulk of this book is focused upon Prince Ambrose (better known as Flycatcher) fulfilling the destiny that was alluded to in a previous volume. It was during this book that I felt incredibly grateful for having earlier read 1001 Nights of Snowfall as certain stories from it gave this one a more subtle depth. In particular Frau Totenkinder and Ambrose himself. While the vital bits were examined briefly in this volume, 1001 Nights of Snowfall still offers a bit more and lends credence to small asides.
Anyway, this story follows the best of the Arthurian legends. The hero's journey is heartwarming, tragic, and ultimately the most moving that Fables has offered so far. I teared up at the end, I worried along with everyone gathered in front of the Magic Mirror as old villains plotted. Ambrose has certainly won his spot among the best, if not the very best, of this comic's heroes....more
New characters are introduced, and the plot advances in a number of surprising ways. Fables manages toAnother wonderful volume in the Fables series.
New characters are introduced, and the plot advances in a number of surprising ways. Fables manages to introduce crucial plot points in something as mundane as a Christmas story, and to interrupt the action at just the right point with a short aside that will come into play later in the series... Excellent.
The artwork is brilliant, with the exception of a single story that I felt was a bit too cartoony for my taste. Never did it feel like the stories dragged, however, and that's the best thing to be said for any graphic novel....more
Brilliant continuation of a truly wonderful series.
This gorgeous hardcover edition contains a decent amount of added material in the back. The scriptBrilliant continuation of a truly wonderful series.
This gorgeous hardcover edition contains a decent amount of added material in the back. The script for the main story, artwork, alternative covers.. it's beautiful and I love it.
In addition to continuing the main thrust of the Fables series plot this volume contains two additional tales. One is from the perspective of a Wooden Soldier, which adds an interesting depth to the enemy that hasn't been previously seen. The other is another Cinderella adventure, which is always entertaining as I'm a bit of a sucker for a good caper. What more could you need?
The artwork is stunning, the writing sharp and effective. Every page just pushes the reader onward deeper into the rich and vibrant worlds that Bill Willingham has created. Who could ask for more?...more
This book was purchased as a surprise for my boyfriend, combined with Absolute Transmetropolitan as late birthday gifts. Only late due to their releaThis book was purchased as a surprise for my boyfriend, combined with Absolute Transmetropolitan as late birthday gifts. Only late due to their release dates, I should add. It's a signed copy, which means it has a pretty ridiculous squiggle in it. So. There's that.
The actual book proved quite surprising. I didn't expect it to offer as in-depth as sociological analysis as it did. The book was littered with interesting information, extensive references to studies and papers that had been done, and generally fun anecdotes from the experiments that Aziz Ansari and Eric Klinenberg did themselves.
If anyone has looked into these topics before there won't be a terribly great deal of new information. Passionate vs Companionate love forms the basis of a lot of the books arguments, which at least to me is always quite interesting. The particular views of technology are interesting as well - as for once technology isn't viewed as either universally good or bad but rather as a tool that can be properly utilized to gain good results. Nice.
Some of the information in the book was in Ansari's most recent stand-up routine, but it hasn't gotten old for me yet. I enjoyed the humor, and think that it translated well to the page. It forced me to do a few double-takes as I was reading, when a humorous aside jumped into more serious text. It only became grating once or twice, and far more often got a real laugh from me. The full color pictures were beautifully printed and jumped off the page. It was nice to have a book that integrated them into the pages rather than having a few glossy pages in the middle. Well worth the money.
So, if you like Aziz Ansari's stand-up as well as sociological kind of pop-sci texts you'll like this. It's a weird niche, but I'm sure some people occupy it with me....more
This is an altogether adorable collection of comics from The Guardian. I think that Karen's review sums up the book far better than any review I writeThis is an altogether adorable collection of comics from The Guardian. I think that Karen's review sums up the book far better than any review I write could. I mean, it has pictures.
I picked this book up at The Book Thing thinking it looked charming and entertaining, and was pleasantly surprised by how poignant some of the comics were. Most were literary, some were an entertaining commentary on how sci-fi is viewed in most critic circles, some were just downright fun.
All I truly know if that I want to be able to rush to the rescue at some point yelling "Make way! I'm a Keats' scholar!"...more
There comes a time in every person's life when they discover a book they know they will love. They see the title and the cover and are instantly intriThere comes a time in every person's life when they discover a book they know they will love. They see the title and the cover and are instantly intrigued. With trembling hands they pull it from the case and read the back.
YOUR PET IS A SPACE ALIEN the text will scream from the back.
I had no idea, really. One in five pets in an alien from outer space? Which of my 8 hedgehogs falls into that classification? Inquiring minds need to know.
Yes, this book was every bit as ridiculous as I hoped for. I learned how to discover my pets Power Number, how to name it to correspond with its Power Number and keep it spiritually aligned. I learned how to discover my Totem Animal by visualizing myself as a Native American doing mundane tasks.
Truly an enlightening book.
It isn't as if science could explain almost every story within it....
I do appreciate the fact they acknowledge that animals are smarter than we think.
Ian Fleming has crafted a well developed tale of intrigue in this book. We begin with SMERSH rather than MI6, which contrasts beautifully with the daily doldrums of MI6's paperwork in Moonraker and even to an extent Dr. No. From Russia with Love allows us to see just what is going to happen. SMERSH needs to make a strong impact on MI6, and to let the world know they're not messing around. Why not do it by publicly shaming, and then assassinating, the world-famous James Bond? The scheme, naturally, is to throw a girl his way - but what girl?
I was lucky enough to read The Billion Dollar Spy shortly after reading this, and was surprised by just how much detail there was - and accurate detail - about the way the KGB operated and how complex their intelligence network was. While I don't recommend anyone frame their view of the world through the lens of James Bond when it comes to anything but fashion advice and drink recommendations, there is still a good deal of well researched intel to be found within it.
Other reviewers have complained, and with good reason, about the dated aspects of the book. It's racist, it's misogynistic, it's full of a macho bravado and a narrow-minded worldview, etc... but honestly, a great many books from this era and others suffer similarly due to when they were written. For me, it's pretty easy to take it in the spirit of the time it was written. None of that compromises the story, the realities and attendant dangers of spycraft, and the sheer charm factor of murder on the Orient Express.
I can't rightly imagine a more pleasant outing into the world of James Bond, but I dearly hope to find one once SPECTRE is on the scene....more
I'm a massive fan of Jon Ronson. He's one of the authors I seek out happily, trying to discover every last thing they've written for cWonderful book!
I'm a massive fan of Jon Ronson. He's one of the authors I seek out happily, trying to discover every last thing they've written for consumption. This book came as a delightful surprise. New Jon Ronson discussing something me and my boyfriend have recently been discussing on our own? Excellent!
So You've Been Publicly Shamed is an excellent foray into the dark world of the internet and how they take small things and immediately build them up into massive ordeals. What drives us to do this? How does it affect the person shamed? Should we really be doing this?
What set this book apart for me was the fact that the author interviewed not only those who were shamed but also those doing the shaming. He traced public humiliation as a for of prosecution back through the centuries and discovered how it affected those who were shamed. Is it effective? Is it not? How does a person get past this?
The answers were legitimately surprising in many cases, and naturally a great deal more complex than one would readily suspect. Personally, I found some of the conclusions of the book rather worrisome - in particular the ending and what it predicts for society.
This book drove home the need for civil discourse and for unpopular opinions. Living in an echo chamber is never a good thing....more
This second reading was significantly easier than the first, if only because I knew what to expect and to brace myself for the tedious list of How CulThis second reading was significantly easier than the first, if only because I knew what to expect and to brace myself for the tedious list of How Culhwch Won Olwen. The bits of Taliesin included in this copy that weren't included in the Sioned Davies translation were also a distinct treat, though Davies included in hers some other material that Patrick K. Ford omitted. To each their own with this strange tradition.
For a first time reader I would recommend Davies, as she provides a more thorough grounding within the Welsh tradition. Her footnotes fill in the blanks that allow subsequent translations to better describe why what was being said was said and a more thorough analysis of the stories. Honestly, I'm excited to read more translations of it, now that I've two under my belt and can actually form preferences in regards to them. I'm a bit curious as to the bowdlerized one as well, though I'm uncertain when I'll try and if it will ultimately be disappointing... Though I understand it is a better reflection of the Victorian Romantic sensibility than it is of the prehistoric Welsh and Arthurian Tradition. ...more
The book is written in a fairly engaging way. While occasionally it becomes a bit too superfluous in the topics it covers and general encouragement itThe book is written in a fairly engaging way. While occasionally it becomes a bit too superfluous in the topics it covers and general encouragement it is a much more entertaining book for it. It covers all of the topics vital to writing a proposal and formatting it, as well as providing sample proposals and resources for learning more at the back of the book. How to write a sample chapter is also covered, as is how to talk to publishers and get an agent.
It's a thorough book, and a better introduction than many how-to guides that I've seen on the internet have been. ...more
Yeah, okay, I love conspiracy theories and I quite like Decoded in general. They don't always get things right, but they do always amuse. I love the dYeah, okay, I love conspiracy theories and I quite like Decoded in general. They don't always get things right, but they do always amuse. I love the discussion it generates, wild speculation, hare-brained schemes and subversive history. It's good fun, and a good study in logic if you want to be cynical about. Would it make more sense of things to go this way, or that? What more could you want from entertainment?
This book was given as a Christmas present to my parents, and they both enjoyed it thoroughly. They gave it to me after, and yes, I gobbled it right up, too. The gimmick of the book is fun: each chapter is a different conspiracy theory with a small envelope at the front containing facsimiles of parts of the cases. For instance, D.B. Cooper's plane tickets, JFK's autopsy report, a poster for the Our American Cousin the night Lincoln was killed... It's fun stuff, and decent quality. Not as fun as, say, Griffin Sabine but what is, when it comes to the gimmick?
The book won't give you much more than the show did, with perhaps two exceptions. I felt the book went into more depth in regards to the Rosicrucians (who they are, what they do) and the Confederate Gold. Other than that, it was the same old thing. But that same old is fun, and the book was, too....more
Jonas had fond memories of this book trilogy growing up, and upon hearing that I'd never read them, decided to give me the original trilogy for ChristJonas had fond memories of this book trilogy growing up, and upon hearing that I'd never read them, decided to give me the original trilogy for Christmas. :)
The fantasy tropes are back in force.
It's funny how a book that fit so perfectly into the fantasy tropes in general still can be surprising. It's funny how well the trope was played upon, and how unsettling the "something is wrong but we don't know what" concept can be played with when you reveal as little as Ursula K. Le Guin does. Once more, the perspective shifts away from Sparrowhawk and to someone new, in this case a young prince. Together the two travel to discover just what's going on in the world and why magic itself appears to be disappearing in some areas of the world. What's going on?
This book has massive ramifications for the world of Earthsea, and becomes a major plot point for the remaining books - including Tehanu in my opinion. It's a perfect ending for the original trilogy, and a prefect beginning point for the next one. ...more
Remember how I said the first book read like it was written by an anthropologist? This is where that distinction becomes all the more pertinent. SerioRemember how I said the first book read like it was written by an anthropologist? This is where that distinction becomes all the more pertinent. Seriously. In The Tombs of Atuan the focus shifts away from Sparrowhawk to a young priestess in the Karged lands. The entire culture is explored, as well as the concept of religion, in a way that is startling now for when it was written. I'm sure it'd startle the life out of a new young reader for sure, but hopefully in a good way.
Reading reviews prior to reading it myself, it seems that this book had a very polarizing affect on readers. I can understand why. Not everyone wants to sit down and explore the concept of religious power vs. political power in a country where the reins are changing. Not everyone wants to study how being viewed as a high priestess affect a young girl. Personally, I was riveted by it and genuinely uneasy as they worked their way through the labyrinth underground. I enjoyed the sly nod to Akkadian artwork and the way the story expanded upon a brief sentence in the book prior.
I got this as a stocking stuffer years ago for Christmas and continue to read it every year. It's adorable, and one of the cats certainly looks like mI got this as a stocking stuffer years ago for Christmas and continue to read it every year. It's adorable, and one of the cats certainly looks like my Erik. :)...more