I won this book through Goodreads and I must say I quite enjoy it.
Blue Flute’s One Hundred Leaves starts with a brief introduction to Japanese poetryI won this book through Goodreads and I must say I quite enjoy it.
Blue Flute’s One Hundred Leaves starts with a brief introduction to Japanese poetry and explains how this volume came to be. This introduction, though sparse, is informative and prepares you to better understand Japanese poetry. Next come the actual poems. Each one is presented first in English, then we get the Japanese Kanji and a transliteration. It is interesting to see where the poems came from and I find the characters beautiful as well. Lastly, there are literary notes that help with the interpretation of the poem. These literary notes come in very handy. They provide better understanding of the circumstances surrounding the poem really help in appreciating them.
Each poem has an accompanying piece of artwork that depicts its theme. They are wonderfully matched, some combinations seeming as though one was made for the other. Unfortunately, the artwork is also where we hit the first real drawback: the art is not named, the artist is not mentioned. The book is not in color, and I would like to look up full color versions. That’s made very hard, though, when I don’t have a name to search with. The fact that the book is in black and white in the first place is unfortunate, but I knew that it would be and I can forgive that.
As for the actual poetry, I can flip to any page and find an interesting poem. Some I contemplate more than others. There are those that I like instantly, and those that take a bit longer to appeal to me. Others never really leave much of an impression. There’s bound to be something for everyone though. Recommended for anyone interested in Japanese culture and fans of poetry in general....more
Sight, by Sol Smith, is billed as the story of a psychic struggling with her future. The psychic in question is Tydomin White, who has the rare gift oSight, by Sol Smith, is billed as the story of a psychic struggling with her future. The psychic in question is Tydomin White, who has the rare gift of both seeing the future and feeling the past. Things go ary, however, when she decides to see if she can go against her visions.
The story is told in a non-linear fashion and in various character perspectives. I’ve not nothing against a non-linear narration but with this perspective-shifting, I never feel very close to any character. I never care about them. They’re just never there long enough for anything more than impressions: Tydomin lacking in personality, Derek the puppy, Martin a self righteous prick, Abigail the forgettable. Red, I feel, had the most promise. I wish more time was spent on him and his dealings and less on that Brian mess. (Really, what is that even included for? Abigail and Brain could have been cut out of the story entirely or, at the very least, had less limelight. The book would have been better for it.) Vic’s post-death input was interesting, though perhaps didn’t leave enough to reader interpretation as he spelled so much out for us.
So far it sounds like I’m being harsh, I know, but there are some aspects I liked. The whole concept of cause and effect explored in this book is quite interesting. Do the psychics do things because they really want to, or because they saw themselves doing it? Can they stop an accident, or will their intervention mean they never saw an accident in the first place? What then? Visions within visions within visions and telepaths rummaging through the mind. It’s pretty cool stuff.
Really, that’s who I’d recommend this book for: those interested in stories about psychics. If that’s your cup of tea, then Sight will be a good addition to your shelf. There are typos, but not very many. The writing overall is solid, it’s just the story that didn’t do much for me.
[Full disclosure: I won this book from Goodreads’ First Reads.]...more
[Originally posted on Futuresfading. This review is of an advance reader copy won from Goodreads.]
Bride of New France, by Suzanne Desrochers, is the s[Originally posted on Futuresfading. This review is of an advance reader copy won from Goodreads.]
Bride of New France, by Suzanne Desrochers, is the story of a young orphan named Laure Beausejour as she is exiled to the new world.
Taken from her parents as a child, Laure was sent to Paris’ Salpêtrière, where women deemed unfit for society were placed. Laure got a brief glimpse of wealth and family while working as a servant, but when her madame passes, she must go back to the wretched conditions at the hospital. In addition the the plight of rats, the people there are severely underfed. Infants are fed a watery milk concoction and most don’t survive. One young woman, whom Laure initially despised, passes away from scurvy. Laure attempts to get a letter to the king asking for improved conditions, but the hospital’s Superior finds out. A spiteful woman, she sends Laure to Canada, still a wild country, as punishment. Once there, Laure must struggle through loss, marriage, and surviving in this new land.
Laure is neither very likeable nor relatable. She initially seems bitter and jealous. Mireille, another girl at the Salpêtrière, evokes her envy. When Mireille dies, she seems to change a bit, but is still very selfish. She encourages her best friend, Madeline, to accompany her to the new world knowing fully well how dangerous this might be. Once in Canada, she endangers Madeline once more, all so she won't have to be alone. To her credit, Laure seems a bit more headstrong than other women sent to Canada. Perhaps she has even grown by the end of the book.
This novel is written in the third-person–present-tense, and I don’t think it really works. It felt a bit impersonal and alienating. At times, it seemed more like a clinical look than an intimate portrait. This story relies so much on a central character that this non-connection leaves the novel feeling flat and lacking in emotion.
Still, this was certainly an interesting look at how the poor of Old France were treated. How the women exiled to the New France had to make do with what they had and simply try to survive. Those interested in this time in history, as well as women's struggles, may find this book enjoyable. It is certainly very illuminating, I just wish it felt more personal....more
Berlin, 1936. The Olympics are underway and all eyes are on Hitler’s Germany. The Nazi propaganda machine has hidden its brutality from view, but therBerlin, 1936. The Olympics are underway and all eyes are on Hitler’s Germany. The Nazi propaganda machine has hidden its brutality from view, but there are those who still recognise the veiled terror. Eleanor Emerson, expelled from the US swim team, meets up with Richard Denham, a British journalist. Together, they learn that Berlin is center stage for more than just the Olympics. They find themselves in the middle of a very different kind of game, this one between the Gestapo and The British Secret Intelligence Service. There is a secret document that threatens to bring down the Third Reich, and Hitler's men want to get it before it is handed over to the SIS... by any means necessary.
Eleanor is a feisty young woman with a rebellious streak. Being quite the socialite, she gets herself kicked off the Olympic team en route to Berlin for partying a bit too hard. Her lines are fantastic and full of wit. She is a strong, likeable character. The same can be said for Denham, the cynical journalist determined to report the truth. He, too, is very well drawn. We get a great sense of how he values both his profession and his fellow man. All of the good guys stand out in their own way, in fact. For that bad guys, though, I was more likely to get them confused. They get a bit muddled, but I got them straightened out in the end.
The historical backdrop is phenomenal! So many real people and events are wonderfully woven into the story. The Olympics is the obvious, but the Hindenburg is also written in. Even the Wallis Simpson scandal gets a mention. Berlin itself comes to life. It’s easy to imagine what things were like back then, with the city being cleaned up to show a “nice” face to the world.
My main criticism, and the thing that really knocked the rating down a star, is the ending. I saw it coming pretty early on and spent the rest of the book hoping I was wrong. It’s just pretty predictable and...safe. It wraps the story up neatly and reconciles the book with actual events, but after such an exciting story I found myself wanting something radically different. Something that rewrote history entirely. Still, Flight From Berlin is a well written historical thriller. A must-read for anyone interested in this time in history, and great for fans of thrillers as well!
[Full Disclosure: I won this book through Goodreads First Reads.]...more
With such an intriguing title, there was no way I could pass up entering the Goodreads giveaway. And I’m so glad I won!
This is a women’s health book,With such an intriguing title, there was no way I could pass up entering the Goodreads giveaway. And I’m so glad I won!
This is a women’s health book, loaded with information about the fairer sex. It’s in a Q&A format, with each question being answered in great detail. There are ten chapters total, nine are themed and the last one is of miscellaneous questions. Following this is the appendix, source citations, and resources for further reading. There are also “Them and Us” segments scattered throughout that more closely compare men and women.
Instantly, you can see that this book is incredibly well researched. The author backs up each answer with studies and the prevailing theories. But this doesn’t mean the book is boring. It certainly doesn’t read like a textbook. Barnes-Svarney make the information interesting and easy to understand. Also, she’s funny. There are jokes and funny remarks throughout that make the book more enjoyable.
As for the questions themselves, they are very interesting. Some are things people often wonder about. Others, people just assume they know the answer already. But what we think we know by way of wives tales are dismissed, replaced by facts. Even if you know the general answer to a question already, as was the case for me with some, there is still more to learn because of the depth of the answers. Plus, it nice to be able to give sources when someone says “prove it” to you.
Overall, this book is well written and makes learning about health fun. It is both informative and insightful. I’d recommend it to any woman interested in learning more about how her mind and body works. I’d even recommend it to men who want to understand the opposite sex better....more