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Showing posts from February, 2016

Book Review: Progeny of Vale by Rhett C. Bruno

11. The Circuit: Progeny of Vale by Rhett C. Bruno **Coming from Diversion Books on March 15th** Spoilers for the first book can be found below. You can find my review of the first book here.   The Circuit: Progeny of Vale delivers a welcome continuation of the first book in the series, The Circuit: Executor Rising. As was my first instinct when I started the book , Cassius Vale, who comes off as a cold-hearted You-Know-Who in the first book, begins to seem more human. He cares about at least one individual and actually seems not to desire the wanton destruction of all human life. At first, it seems like his android creation, ADIM, is on a similar redemption track. ADIM starts off the book having just rescued a human child from a massacre he was ordered to commit. However, the rest of the book confirms my instinct from the start--he seems like a time bomb set to go off in a direction his Creator cannot control,  However, neither ADIM nor any other "time bombs"

Upcoming Reviews

Currently, I'm in the process of reading a few books for review. Here's a preview of these exciting new or upcoming releases: The Circuit: Progeny of Vale by Rhett C. Bruno I read the first book in the trilogy last year, and really enjoyed the not-quite-dystopian space opera feel. I also find many of the characters fascinating, especially the robotic and partially robotic ones, and am interested to see where they go. At the end of the first book, the villain is pretty well demonized, but the beginning of the second book seems to humanize him more, so we'll see. Received for review from the author. The Side of Good/The Side of Evil edited by Danielle Ackley-McPhail This is a book of short stories; one side has various angles on what it means to be a hero, the other on what it means to be a villain. So far, these concepts seem to be pretty grey from the stories I've read, but I think this is the age of the gritty anti-hero, and I'm interested in what these

Bookish (And Not So Bookish) Thoughts

1. It turns out that the type of Kindle I have is not currently compatible with the e-book service at the public library system I frequent :-( I should have done my research better. On the bright side, the e-books are compatible with my phone and my PC :-) 2. The audiobook I'm listening to right now, Peony in Love , went in an entirely different direction than I was expecting, and I'm still trying to figure out if I like it or not. 3. I'm engaged. I was debating whether I wanted to talk about this on the blog or not, but probably strangers (and my parents) would be interested (and, yes, my parents already know). I basically have no idea what I'm doing. I feel like I have the "hard" stuff figured out, like I know who I want to be with and we live well together, but stuff like how rings and bridal showers and bachelorette parties and, I don't know, flowers, actually work is a mystery to me. I've never had an interest in that kind of stuff and people

Top Ten Books I Enjoyed Recently That Weren't My Typical Genre

Happy Top Ten Tuesday over at the Broke and the Bookish ! I'm planning to post more about this, but recently, i.e. in the last one to two years, I'm beginning to be interested in nonfiction. This is a genre that I previously eschewed completely with the occasional exception of biography, history, or science. And when I say occasionally, I mean maybe I read one of the above per year. However, last year I read 15 nonfiction books, which was a lifetime record for me (not counting books for school), even if most of them were memoirs. So, here are the top 10 books I've recently enjoyed that weren't my typical genre, in other words, nonfiction: 1. The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey Until recently, I never would have read a popular "self-help" book. 2. Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl This is a book I might have previously deemed too intense-sounding. Also, I haven't previously read much psychology with

Library Haul

Books I picked up recently at the library: All Roads Lead to Austen: A Yearlong Journey with Jane by Amy Elizabeth Smith Discovered this while browsing: the author journeys through South America reading Jane Austen books with local book groups along the way. Seems an odd combination, but it does combine two interests of mine, so we'll see! The True Secret of Writing by Natalie Goldberg I enjoyed Writing Down the Bones so much that when I came across Goldberg's much more recent book (published in 2013!), I had to try it out. I'm eager to see what new revelations she's come across in the years since, though of course the title is tongue-in-cheek. And the truth is, I've been returning to the library in hopes of snagging the second book in The Girl of Fire and Thorns trilogy, but it's never there! There's always one or more copies of the third book, but never the second. And I know as soon as I snag the second, I won't catch a

Book Review: The Last Boleyn by Karen Harper

The Last Boleyn by Karen Harper This was an uneven book that ultimately triumphed because of the sensitive and nuanced portrayal of its protagonist. While the story differs significantly in detail from Philippa Gregory's better known  The Other Boleyn Girl,  in   this novel,   Mary   Boleyn is also both sympathetic and a fascinating character in her own right. My interest in Mary Boleyn, sister of the more famous Anne and aunt of the still more famous Elizabeth I,  began prior to the release of  The Other Boleyn Girl,   which remains my favorite work of fiction on the subject. I was fixated with the first throwaway line I read about her, in a biography of Elizabeth I. Although   I was first disappointed that Philippa Gregory had beaten me to the punch in writing about Mary Boleyn, Karen Harper (and others, I'm sure) actually got there first.  The Last Boleyn  was first published in  1983. The events of  The Last Boleyn  are, at least at first, more in line with  Alison

Top Ten Books That Would Make Great Valentine's Day Reads

Happy Top Ten Tuesday over at the Broke and the Bookish ! So, usually I'm more of the anti-V day type, but I'm going to be more authentic this year. Mostly. 1. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins 2. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle 3. Romeo and Juliet by Some Guy: A Handbook on What NOT To Do 4. Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed 5. Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert 6. Sonnet 116-Let Me Not to the Marriage of True Minds/Admit Impediments 7. Sonnet 130-My Mistress' Eyes Are Nothing Like the Sun 8. "A Valentine for Laura" short story from Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul II 9. The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger ...I'm tapped out. There are very few love stories that blow me away. As much as I can admire the satire of Romeo and Juliet , as much as I can empathize with the protagonists of Anna Karenina and Madame Bovary, these are not, to me, great love

Bookstore Haul

Found myself drawn to the poetry section on a recent trip to the bookstore, and armed with gift cards and this year's goal to read more poetry , I decided to treat myself. The Dream of a Common Language by Adrienne Rich (because of Wild ). Faithful and Virtuous Night: Poems by Louise Glück The Elder Edda by Anonymous (We've been watching Vikings , but this has me interested on its own.)

Books Read in January

1. The Last Boleyn by Karen Harper This was an uneven book that ultimately triumphed because of the sensitive and nuanced portrayal of its protagonist. While the story differs significantly in detail from Philippa Gregory's better known The Other Boleyn Girl, in   this novel,   Mary   Boleyn is also both sympathetic and a fascinating character in her own right. 2. Attachments by Rainbow Rowell (audiobook) I've finally managed to read the famous Rainbow Rowell. However, I had never heard of Attachments before I found it in the audiobook section of the library. It's not a book I'd normally read, but it sounded like a light and fun audiobook for my commute, and it was. The gimmick of Lincoln discovering Beth through e-mail proved interesting, and all the characters were lovably quirky. A scene where the characters play Dungeons & Dragons didn't smell right to me when the author mentioned that the characters switch off playing the Dungeon Master every

Top Ten Historical Settings I'd Love to See

1. Pre-Exodus Egypt A book set when the Jews were slaves in Egypt--possibly a novel about Moses and Miriam, or maybe about one of their contemporaries. 2. Celtic Ireland Before the Romans, before Christianity, before England takes over... 3. Celtic Wales Maybe sometime in the Middle Ages or earlier, when Wales was its own kingdom. 4. New Amsterdam What was the Dutch colony of New York like? 5. Sweden under Gustavus III This 18th century philosopher king was an intriguing character in The Queen's Lover , and I want to know more. 6. Sweden under Queen Christina Like Elizabeth I, she's famous for never marrying. Also, for later abdicating and becoming a nun. 7. The Haitian Revolution It was the Western Hemisphere's largest and most successful slave rebellion. There must be fascinating stories to tell. 8. The Caliphate in Spain What was Southern Spain really like under Islamic rule? 9. Post-Inquisition Turkey It would be interesting to hear the