Decided to reread it in honor of the 20th anniversary of publication. Honestly, it not only holds well for a 20-year old book, it is even more magicalDecided to reread it in honor of the 20th anniversary of publication. Honestly, it not only holds well for a 20-year old book, it is even more magical the second time around, as all the little details that you already recognize from the rest of the series shine bright when first encountered, highlighting how well-crafted the series is. It was a joy to visit the wizarding world again....more
It was okay, entertaining. It's a checklist of D&D 4th Edition features and tropes, but considering it was meant as a vehicle to promote the game,It was okay, entertaining. It's a checklist of D&D 4th Edition features and tropes, but considering it was meant as a vehicle to promote the game, it can hardly be faulted for it. I'll check out the next volume....more
Another great volume in the Rat Queens saga, delving deeper into their backgrounds. We're at that point in most group stories where the party splits,Another great volume in the Rat Queens saga, delving deeper into their backgrounds. We're at that point in most group stories where the party splits, which kinda sucks, since one of the things I most enjoy is the Queens' interactions with one another and the other adventurers, but I know that it's temporary. Bring on Vol 4 already!...more
Rat Queens may be my favorite take on D&D-ish fantasy! I love how it mixes the cliches of the genre with moderns twists, all while delivering a frRat Queens may be my favorite take on D&D-ish fantasy! I love how it mixes the cliches of the genre with moderns twists, all while delivering a fresh story with lots of character and action. Vol 2 picks up right where Vol 1 left off, with a story that ties to the Queens' backstories and develops them further. Also, bearded female dwarfs. ...more
Writing a biography has to be tough, especially when the subject is one that is both beloved and polarizing, and when the fires of their life are stilWriting a biography has to be tough, especially when the subject is one that is both beloved and polarizing, and when the fires of their life are still smoldering and time has not yet had time to let emotions cool off. For that alone I give Witwer props in embarking on a biography of Gary Gygax. That said and out of the way, let's look at the book.
Empire of Imagination is not quite a biography, but more a biofic: it takes episodes from Gygax's life and dramatizes them into short scenes that include both quoted bits of dialogue, and made-up dialogue meant to fit the known facts of the scene. The result is not quite a novel, not quite a biography, but more like a theme-park ride through animatronic vignettes of the life of Gary Gygax from his early childhood in Chicago, his time in Lake Geneva, the creation, development, rise, and fall of Dungeons & Dragons/TSR, and the denouement of his life. At the end you get a sense that you know more about the man than you did at the start, but in a superficial kind of way.
Nevertheless it is a good book to get an overview of the life of the man acknowledged as the father of roleplaying games, and while Witwer doesn't delve too deep into any aspect of his life, he does a decent job of presenting Gygax warts and all. Witwer's account of the history of D&D and TSR is, by definition, wholly Gygax-centered, but it still chronicles the story of this seminal moment in Gygax's life, the reason why this book exists at all.
Though I personally would have preferred a different style than the "biofic" one Witwer used, I enjoyed reading Empire of Imagination, and learning more about the man who was instrumental in launching a new genre of games which has meant so much to me in my life. Witwer does succeed in portraying a larger-than-life man who was both gifted and flawed, a man of great successes and great failures, a man who through a combination of skill and luck was at the right place and time to become an icon....more
I first came across Reinke's book when I Googled for 'books for new Christian converts,' and this was number two on a list of five. I am so glad I fouI first came across Reinke's book when I Googled for 'books for new Christian converts,' and this was number two on a list of five. I am so glad I found out about it, because it has been one of the best books I've read, Christian or otherwise.
Although Lit! is somewhat meant for Christians who don't read too much and want to read more, as an avid reader I still found it entirely relevant. Reinke divides his book into two parts, laying the foundation of how a Christian should read first, then moving on to the practical advice on reading more and better. The first part, wherein Reinke develops a theology of reading, was the part I found most useful as a new Christian, as it deals with the topic of laying a solid, Scripture-based foundation upon which to build from. Things like holding the Bible as THE primary book to read, having a solid Biblical worldview, to "read the imperfect in light of the perfect, the deficient in light of the sufficient, the temporary in light of the eternal, the groveling in light of the transcendent" (pg 28), may seem obvious, but they are essentials that can get lost or overlooked, or worse, incorrectly assumed. By taking the time he takes in creating the theology of reading, Reinke makes sure we understand the importance and centrality of this aspect in being a good Christian reader: God and the Bible must be the lens through which we read everything else.
The second part gets into the nitty gritty of how to read, dealing with practical tips on how to prioritize what you read, thinking critically about what kind of books you want to read and why, constantly checking if what you're reading is achieving one of your reading goals or needs to be put aside, and writing on your books (shudder!). Reinke also tackles why you should read different styles and genres of books, why Christians should read fiction (yes, even non-Christian fiction), how many books to read at once, and how to avoid distractions that rob us of precious reading time. Although written with the new reader in mind, habitual readers will find good advice in this part as well.
As a new Christian, I cannot recommend Lit! enough to others like me, as it will help you on the journey of reading and discovery that lies ahead as we explore our new faith. As an avid and habitual reader, I also recommend Lit! as a book that exudes with the joy of reading and has good advice to help make anyone into a better reader, an intentional reader....more