I thought that I would be bored with yet another vampire book, and only read this one because it was so highly recommended by a friend whose opinion II thought that I would be bored with yet another vampire book, and only read this one because it was so highly recommended by a friend whose opinion I trust. She was right. A Discovery of Witches is smart, literary, interesting, a very strong heroine, a story rich in values, laden with inclusive language that says " you are entitled to love whomever you wish" . Does that sound preachy? It could so easily have been overplayed. Well, I enjoyed the story enough to compensate for it being a surprise romantic style, an escapist tour around the globe,and a generally fun read. Her characters are not nuanced, but clear, drawn in bold strokes,in a classic evil vs good tale.Her Vampire is a morality play of his own, her minor characters each struggle with their own prejudices against their forbidden relationship. As all good romances have a wealthy, sexy, perfectly understanding intuitive male with a great body, and an ability to master his universe while wearing perfectly fitted clothing, Matthew the Vampire is perfectly suited for the part. I am going to start on the second book in the series this week....more
For several reasons I have enjoyed Mr. Sloan's book "Mr. Penumbra's 24 Hour Bookstore. On one level, I just enjoyed the protagonists fascination withFor several reasons I have enjoyed Mr. Sloan's book "Mr. Penumbra's 24 Hour Bookstore. On one level, I just enjoyed the protagonists fascination with puzzling out the answers to several questions on his quest. This is a quest, make no mistake.This is also a really cheerful book; and it is about books. It reads a bit like a modern fable, where the hero takes on a project which he is ill suited for on behalf of another. He, a somewhat stuck young man without great ambitions, takes a job at an odd bookstore, where gradually, secrets begin tumbling out of the shelves.Books feature in this novel,in combination with various technological tools, used to resurrect the past.As he becomes more engaged in finding answers, he meets several quirky individuals who variously assist him and block his path. He labors onward,harnessing, eventually, the mighty power of the entire Google Big Box, a deus ex machina sort of device. The setting is fresh and sparkling with hopeful enthusiasm. In all fairness, I also found that I could put it down and was not compelled to finish it on any given day. It was a pleasant read though, quite enjoyable and a bit different take on old books and immortality. I had to wait quite a while to get it from my local library, due to the many holds on it....more
I found this book to be a wonderful story, a fine view of the geography, the political climate, the prejudices and hopes of people as real as you andI found this book to be a wonderful story, a fine view of the geography, the political climate, the prejudices and hopes of people as real as you and I. Ms. Donati did a fine job in this and subsequent books bringing a world and a time to light, with characters strung out like christmas tree globes, each one twinkling and interesting, but making up a whole when together. She breathes life into a time, and humanity into historic questions....more
As a fan of this series, I must say that I am biased toward the skills that Ms. Donati has, enabling her to write credible historic fiction that allowAs a fan of this series, I must say that I am biased toward the skills that Ms. Donati has, enabling her to write credible historic fiction that allows the characters to breathe, to become human, and to relate to modern emotions of fear, love, hope and despair. The first in this series is where a new reader of the set might start, although each one can stand on it's own, I believe it is more enjoyable if one were to begin, as it were, at the beginning, and grow with the maturing of the characters....more
This book, one in a series by a good author of historic fiction, had my interest all of the way through. I understood that the Bonners and their familThis book, one in a series by a good author of historic fiction, had my interest all of the way through. I understood that the Bonners and their families members are strong, multi-cultural, and no doubt existed in that time and place. I particularly enjoy the juxtaposition of war issues, the contemporary political and cultural questions of that time, and the human nature of families, people trying to make a living and to find out who they are, given the questions that present their time. The whole series if terrific I think, and I would start with Into the Wilderness, which I believe is the first one. Settle in and enjoy a good read....more
I think that sara Donati is a fine writer with a compelling American story of a time that we have forgotten, a family that endures, filled with very rI think that sara Donati is a fine writer with a compelling American story of a time that we have forgotten, a family that endures, filled with very real characters. I am happy to see that Ms. Donati has allowed her characters to age gracefully, and to focus on the generation in an even handed genealogical story of hope and courage. I enjoy her characters for their humanity, and it is not indulgent to say that in a time of major over the top-wonder heroes, it is refreshing to live in a book with real people at a nearly forgotten time of history. Great stuff....more
Talking to the Dead by Harry Bingham was a fun first person read.I thoroughly enjoyed the sense of sharing the thoughts of an eccentric, emotionally cTalking to the Dead by Harry Bingham was a fun first person read.I thoroughly enjoyed the sense of sharing the thoughts of an eccentric, emotionally challenged newly hired DC(Detective Constable)in Wales who was handling the sorts of problems that I seem to be reading about a lot these days: Eastern European prostitutes and drugs being run through towns by thugs with little to recommend them personally.
The story wasn't uncommon,but the main character was unusual and interestingly developed, with the author leaving on the page one small drop of information at a time, presumably to whet the appetite throughout the book, leaving much of the pieces to come together toward the end.
I personally am not a big fan of first person stories, and until I inhabited Fiona (Fi) for the length of the book, I wasn't sure if I wanted to do that at all. She was reasonably comfortable to stay with though, and I enjoyed her oddness, her quirky, somewhat paradoxical nature.
To be fair though, I also felt a less than rabid need to finish the book, and wondered if perhaps that was because I had to work too hard to make sense of the protagonist. I was never sure why she got the job in the first place, nor how she kept it, given her impulsiveness and unwillingness to work as a team and to break laws right and left. She is a tiny person who when affected ( afflicted?) with her condition, becomes remarkably powerful and single minded. I think that it strained my credulity to think that she holds her job when she so obviously cannot think through ramifications of her actions.
I enjoyed the setting in Cardiff, Wales, and might hope for more, if the character gets stabilized, developed as an adult in the grown up world, and learns to use herself and her gifts with a greater grace. I might be ready to try another....more
The editors of this book have obviously written what sounds like doctoral thesis materials discussing some of the background causes and conditions, inThe editors of this book have obviously written what sounds like doctoral thesis materials discussing some of the background causes and conditions, including material from the the women who supported the main figures like Mazzini and other patriots during the years leading up to war. The writing is scholarly and a bit hard to read, due to the academic style, and is edited into chapters with focus on different topics by different writers in the field. The book is heavily annotated for the research interested, with so much of the material listed as coming from original source material in Italian. That is not to say that the book is not good, and that the material is not important, rather it is unwieldy, and a bit stodgy in style, but blessedly ambitious in listing sources for others interested in the topic....more
Listened to this one, and it was entertaining car candy. I am occasionally reminded that I can never tell if I have read one of hers or not, as the plListened to this one, and it was entertaining car candy. I am occasionally reminded that I can never tell if I have read one of hers or not, as the plots are remarkably similar enough that I can't tell them apart, actually. The authors love of the Irish countryside, and of the Irish themselves is obvious, and very pleasant. For lightweight and sweet, dependable romance, which hits all the plot schematics this is a good choice....more
Walt Longmire is the sheriff of a town in Wyoming, and an English major as well, a man who cannot quite get his love life in order,, do the right thinWalt Longmire is the sheriff of a town in Wyoming, and an English major as well, a man who cannot quite get his love life in order,, do the right thing, or stop worrying about most everything in his past, his future. The characters in Craig Johnsons series are consistent, credible, and lovably entertaining. I especially like his books, all of them for several reasons: The development of a viewpoint of finding one's moral compass in today's world. The joy of reading with great characters. The obvious love of the nature of the Wyoming countryside as seldom experienced from the highway. The authors ability to pose questions in the mouth of his characters. The voice of the reader in this series-I listened to an audio version - seems perfect for all of the characters. Henry Standing Bear as a Greek chorus of talents, A 7 ft giant, a tiny Vietnamese prostitute,a miserable angry neighbor all exist within the backdrop of one man's ongoing exculpation of the Vietnam war. What a great find these books are. Keep on writing Mr. Johnson, you do a darned good job....more
It was my first paranormal romance. I don't really have much of an ability to rank it, as I have little other experience. The main character is anotheIt was my first paranormal romance. I don't really have much of an ability to rank it, as I have little other experience. The main character is another man's human wife when she is not living in her usual London life. Occasionally she has some episodes during which she turns base metals into gold, which trait has her married to a rotter.The main story is around her life in the past as a dragon, and mate of a feared dragon. They meet, with some odd bits of immortality and mortality thrown in, die, and re-live in another human/dragon life. If this seems odd, then imagine what it seemed like to the main character, who thinks that she is a modern human woman, and has thoughts and a voice to match. As a romance, she and the dragon are lustful and eager, but real romance cannot happen until she is unmarried. The background entails a possible dragon war, and the ongoing presence of a 9 year old son, and a lustful demon dog. While fun, and interesting,I am not yet enthralled, but perhaps other paranormal readers might be, as she moves along quickly, and has lots of action and potential action always ready to burst out in fire....more
I just read Legion by Brandon Sanderson, and thought that it was a great little Novella. I had never read Mr. Sandersons books before, and this was aI just read Legion by Brandon Sanderson, and thought that it was a great little Novella. I had never read Mr. Sandersons books before, and this was a great introduction. His characters were amusing, intriguing, and more importantly, I never got bored with his Novella as he developed interesting questions for his characters to ponder, important questions about privacy, moral responsibility for ones actions, the use of technology; acceptance of weirdness is assumed.
His main protagonist is a man who has some serious mental illness which causes him to create multiple "aspects " of himself, most of whom have some skills and some individual characters beyond himself. I am hoping that this becomes an introduction of sorts, to the family, and more will come that will continue using the same cast of hallucinogenic people, all of whom share in and live in the same 45 room mansion with a butler who serves the aspects orange juice, and provides tolerant amusement to the invisible creations of the master himself. Great fun. I await a full blown story....more