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review 2018-01-12 03:22
Book Tour: Halley's Casino: The Adventures of Nebula Yorker
Halley's Casino: The Adventures of Nebula Yorker - Mark J.G. Fahey

Halley’s Casino is a good action and adventure book. It got some historical fiction with science fiction with the time travel. I liked it. It kept you guessing and entertained. I loved the fact that you get to time travel by going back though earth history.


The author does a wonderful job. I like that Nebula Yorker is the problem solver. Is Halley a Comet or is it an Intergalactic Casino? We see what Rome looks like at 12 BCE? Who is Nebula Parents? You find all kinds of surprises and twists along the way. I enjoyed the plot.


Will Neb save earth or will not? It adventures of a lifetime. Find out by reading. This book has a few stories and adventures waiting from beginning to end. Is the world as we see it or his it something we never imagined?

Source: nrcbooks.blogspot.com/2018/01/book-tour-halleys-casino-adventures-of.html
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review 2018-01-01 17:56
The Science of the Discworld (updated version)
The Science of Discworld - Terry Pratchett,Jack Cohen,Ian Stewart

Series: Science of the Discworld #1


Although I've read this book before, this was my first read of the updated version. I haven't done an exhaustive comparison, but it looks like a few of the wizard sections were shuffled around to make room for a couple extra chapters, one of which was the obviously updated one that mentioned a dinosaur show I'd never heard of and talked about feathers.


Overall the book suffers a bit because it's now somewhat dated and I've been exposed to the content before because I've already read it and it's pretty basic stuff that I've read in other books and so on. But it still manages to be interesting and the wizards are awesome.


One thing that I either hadn't noticed in my earlier read or just didn't remember because I didn't understand it at the time was the attempt to explain the difference between understanding a true description of a physical model and mathematically describing a physical model in such as way as to yield accurate predictions. Since my description of this is all wishy-washy, here's what they actually write on page 103:

"Because our human-level theories are approximations, we get very excited when some more general principle leads to more accurate results. We then, unless we are careful, confuse 'the new theory gives results that are closer to reality than the old' with 'the new theory's rules are closer to the real rules of the universe than the old one's rules were'. But that doesn't follow: we might be getting a more accurate description even though our rules differ from whatever the universe 'really' does. What it really does may not involve following neat, tidy rules at all."

Another way of capturing this idea is the lies-to-children concept that infuriated so many others reading this book. It's a good way to remind ourselves that our understanding or explanation may not be actually "true" and we should be wary of conflating accurate enough predictions or descriptions with truth as we read more in depth on various topics. Anyway, I feel that concept is super important and I wanted to underline it here.


Although it may be a bit dated now, it wasn't when I first read this book as a teenager, and I still think it's a good overview of the general science involved despite it being pretty basic. Plus there's wizards! And Rincewind gets to devise a system of sorting rocks based on how friendly they are.


Previous updates:

162 of 385 pages

32 of 385 pages

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review 2018-01-01 16:59
Home On The Range
Home on the Range: A Novel (Double S Ranch) - Ruth Logan Herne

Home on the Range was a nice change for me to read. It had little romance. It did it through family then set it all on romance like normal romance books. Ruth Logan Herne doe a wonderfully good job with her book.


This book is based on a single father raising his two daughters. Will he better than his father Sam Stafford. Nick wants to outdo his father and learn it hard to do. Being there for his girls is more important than it is being a ranch hand or owner.


Nick got to deal with this oldest daughter anger and to do that he goes to start therapy to help his daughter. He learns a lesson as well as help out a woman named Elsa as well. There seems to be secrets and twist and turns that ever page turned from binging to end. There seems to be forgiven and courage throughout the book. Will they get what needed or will it all fall apart?

Source: nrcbooks.blogspot.com/2018/01/home-on-range.html
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review 2018-01-01 02:31
Who Buries the Dead
Who Buries the Dead - C.S. Harris

It took me awhile to really get into this one, but once I did...hooooo boy. There were a couple of really satisfying moments at the end, as well as some sad ones, too. The deepening and strengthening of Sebastian and Hero's relationship remains, as awlays, my favorite parts of these books.


I used this book for the following square:



Book themes for St. Martin’s Day: Read a book set on a vineyard, or in a rural setting, –OR– a story where the MC searches for/gets a new job. –OR– A book with a lantern on the cover, or books set before the age of electricity. –OR– A story dealing with an act of selfless generosity (like St. Martin sharing his cloak with a beggar).

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review 2017-12-31 16:50
16 Tasks of the Festive Season: Square 3 - Armistice Day / Veterans' Day: Murder at Castle Cloon
Death in December - Gordon Griffin,Victor Gunn

This novella by Victor Gunn (one of several pseudonyms of Edwy Searles Brooks) also forms the centerpiece of the second British Library Christmas mystery short fiction anthologies edited by Martin Edwards that I read this month (Crimson Snow), but I listened to it in the audio version narrated by Gordon Griffin, who is fast becoming one of my favorite narrators of classic / Golden Age British mysteries.


The story concerns a Christmas visit to Cloon Castle in Derbyshire, the home of Johnny Lister, sergeant to Chief Inspector Bill "Ironsides" Cromwell, Gunn's gruffly iconic series detective.  And the two policemen haven't even arrived ante portas yet when they're running into their first mysterious appearance: a figure that seems to be walking in the snow at some distance; without, however, leaving so much as a single footprint.  When they are assembled around the fireplace after dinner with the other guests, the afternoon's strange encounter is duly followed by the legend of the castle ghost and by a visit to the "ghost chamber", but things take a serious turn when one of the guests engages to spend the night in the "ghost chamber" to disprove the legend once and for all, only to be found injured and of obviously disturbed mind hours later -- and when not long thereafter, a stranger's corpse is found in one of the graves in the family crypt abutting the "ghost chamber."  The solution, when ultimately revealed by "Ironsides", is very much down to earth and rather ugly, but there's plenty of derring-do to be had along the way, including a rather fiendish attempt on the Chief Inspector's life and much fine detection work (and enjoyable writing).


Since Johnny Lister's father, the host of this story's countryside Christmas gathering, is a retired general who has duly earned himself a DSO (I'm assuming in WWI -- the story was first published in the early 1940s, but it sounds like the general's retirement isn't a recent one, and retiring in the midst of WWII doesn't sound likely to begin with), I'm using this as my Veterans' Day / Armistice Day read in the context of the 16 Festive Tasks.



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