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Search tags: A-Better-World
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review 2018-02-16 19:23
Weird, very weird
Disasters in the First World: Stories - ... Disasters in the First World: Stories - June Elizabeth Tilton, Clare Marie Tully, Mary Alice Waldron, Elvi Bertha Wasenius, Abigail Harriet McSweeney, Doris Esther Sheehan, Anna Winifred Simon, Olivia Mae Stead, Pauline Margolis, Elizabeth Bushen May Margaret Elizabeth McNamara

That was the oddest bunch of stories I have ever read. I was always trying to search for meaning or symbolism, figuring there had to be some there, but couldn't come up with much. I was always thinking that the author is trying to say something, but what it is (to me) is a mystery. There was never any closure either-- it was like I was left hanging every time. There were strange conversations as well-- I kept wondering if perhaps the book was written while the author was under the influence of hallucinogens part of the time... like I would think "ok-- maybe this will make sense-- we are starting to get somewhere" then-- nope, cause a crazy conversation started, and whatever progress I thought had been made was gone. Maybe I would have understood it if I had been under some influence...LOL

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review 2018-02-16 18:27
Am I a vampire or just super anemic?
The World of Lore: Monstrous Creatures - Aaron Mahnke

Only as I'm reviewing these books do I realize just how many 'scary' books I read at the end of last year (and how many more I've just now added to my TRL). That's how you know that I'm a 'whatever I feel like reading' reader/'I'm interested in this topic for the next 3 books and then I'm going to wildly change interests' reader. [A/N: I couldn't remember the term 'mood reader' to save my life when I was originally drafting this post. I chose to leave that crazy line in there because it cracks me up.] All of this is to set up today's book which is The World of Lore: Monstrous Creatures by Aaron Mahnke. I saw an ad for this in a subway station and it wasn't the title that caught my eye but the author. I had been an avid listener of his podcast (named Lore unsurprisingly) last year and then as is my way (especially with podcasts) I had totally forgotten about it. Once I started reading the book I realized that it was essentially composed of transcripts from his podcast episodes. (Guess it's a good thing I didn't listen to all of them.) The book is broken down into categories about different creatures from folklore. Two examples: vampires and zombies. Vampires could have been created because of a disease whereby people were pale, sensitive to sunlight, and craved blood. (And then there was Vlad the Impaler who is perhaps the most well-known nightwalker. (Quick note: Nightwalker is not a cool name for a vampire like I had originally thought but I'm gonna just pretend that it is cause it's better than repeating the word vampire ad nauseum.)) Zombies were most likely inspired by victims of tuberculosis (the living dead) and the large numbers of people who were pronounced dead then subsequently rose from their graves. (This is a real thing and will perhaps explain why more people choose cremation these days.) Mahnke also discusses the history of hauntings and the popularity of the spirtualist movement among many other topics of the supernatural. He has a way of simultaneously debunking these theories while giving the impression that we should still remain open-minded. It's an interesting read especially if you haven't really delved too deep into this subject area and you want to get the rundown. 8/10

 

Monstrous Creatures is the first in a planned trilogy and I think there's also a tv show in the works. I guess I'm not the only one interested in the supernatural. ;-)

 

What's Up Next: Soonish by Kelly Weinersmith

 

What I'm Currently Reading: Gorillas in the Mist by Dian Fossey

 

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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review 2018-02-15 19:11
Informative and Terrifying!
The Korean Crisis: One People, Two Natio... The Korean Crisis: One People, Two Nations, A World On The Brink - Jack Van Der Slik

Very informative! And timely! And terrifying! The author presents an interesting, well written book on the current crisis in North Korea. He delves into the history of the Korean peninsula, in a clear and easily understood manner. Into the Korean War. It's causes, and which world leaders were involved. How, after the war, North and South Korea developed, and how they got to the state that they are in today. And the history of the current North Korean leadership, it's quirks and goals. And why China continues to support the Kim regime, and why the US and Japan support South Korea.
The author ends with his thoughts on the future of the Korean peninsula. While he does not (no one can) predict the long term future, he does identify several factors that can affect the future. In his opinion, the only way to peace is through intercession by China, and responsive negotiations by South Korea, Japan, and the US. Without which, we risk a nuclear disaster.
This is a frightening book. You will not sleep well after reading it. But it is important to know what we are up against. Let's all hope and pray that it ends well.

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review 2018-02-13 16:35
Purge by Sofi Oksanen
Purge - Lola Rogers,Sofi Oksanen

Part psychological thriller, part historical fiction, this book was not at all what I expected. You should avoid reading reviews if possible because too many give away too much, but to give a general idea, the novel begins in Estonia in 1992, where an old woman, Aliide Truu, lives alone in the countryside in an atmosphere of fear and decay. She finds a young woman, Zara, lying crumpled in her yard, and the story follows the relationship between these women and the explosive secrets they carry, tracing the history of Estonia back to the 1930s.

It’s an ugly time period: from invasions by the Nazis and Russians, to decades as a repressive Soviet satellite, to lawlessness following the fall of Communism. And I wasn’t expecting the amount of horrific sexual trauma in it. It’s an intense, visceral book that draws the reader into the characters’ world, one where they don’t ever feel safe. The plot is gripping, full of secrets to be unraveled; the characters are morally complex, with believable inner worlds; the settings are vivid and the writing strong.

Actually, my biggest complaint is not about the content, but the deckle edge pages, which publishers continue to inflict upon readers despite the fact that, if we still aren’t using e-readers, one reason is that we like to be able to easily turn pages and flip around, especially in a book like this, where readers will be inclined to re-read earlier sections in light of new information.

I’m glad I read this book. It is an intense, compelling read, and allowed me a window into a place I knew little about, though it isn't a history book and the focus remains tightly on the experiences of the protagonists. It is dark and brutal and so isn’t for everyone, but fans of psychological thrillers will find it well worth their time.

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url 2018-02-13 15:11
Robert Jordan's The Eye of the World free until 2/15

This is for US and Canada only.

 

I had thought that Tor.com's Ebook of the Month Club had gone away, but it looks like it's still limping along. They've shortened the download period (I think it used to be a week?), and the intervals between books are getting longer and longer.

 

I don't know that I'll be taking advantage of this download. I last read The Eye of the World when I was in high school and don't recall loving it even then. If I remember right, I preferred Terry Goodkind's similar The Sword of Truth series, although, just like with Robert Jordan's books, I ended up stopping at around Book 4.

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