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review 2018-03-29 05:48
An encyclopedic treatment of Victorian railroads
The Victorian Railway - Jack Simmons

Jack Simmons book is nothing less than an encyclopedia of Victorian railroad history presented in a narrative format.  Using a thematic rather than chronological format, he addresses practically every aspect of the topic, from the machinery and use of railways to their representation in literature and their management of public relations.  Within them he provides a clear overview of the people, places, and technologies that created and directed the development of Britain’s railroad network.

 

The author of over a half-dozen more specialized books on railroad history, Simmons brings an impressive breadth of knowledge to his topic.  Much of this is clear from his writing, which with his confident and comfortable tone conveys an easy familiarity with his subject.  Yet like an encyclopedia entry his coverage is often brief as he passes from subject to subject, leaving the reader wanting to learn more.  This is especially true in terms of his illustrations, which while numerous are nowhere near sufficiently so for his text, leaving readers to track down pictures of the images and places he mentions for themselves.

 

None of this, however, detracts from the overall utility of this book.  Well written and deeply researched, Simmons’s book is an excellent guide to understanding Victorian railroads and the role they played in the history of their time.  Readers will find it an enlightening resource, one that they can enjoy from cover to cover or by selecting the chapters that sate specific needs.  Either way, it is one that people interested in the subject will want to keep on their shelves for many years to come.

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review 2018-01-30 22:02
THE TERROR Review
The Terror - Dan Simmons

Dan Simmons’s 2007 epic horror novel, The Terror, is the finest work of his I’ve read yet. A historical fiction, this long story documents the failed 1845 Franklin Expedition.

It’s been a long time since I’ve read a horror novel of this stature. I’ve read a lot of short, grisly stuff lately, so it was nice to kick back with something by Simmons: he who is known for painstakingly detailed, complex narratives. This one challenged me — especially some bits toward the end — and I liked that.

 

Told in alternating perspectives from several crew members on the two icebound ships, the pace never really relents and Simmons is able to keep the story interesting. I always wanted to know what happened next. And, without my realizing, a large and complex world had been created, one filled with men I truly cared about and wanted to see live . . . but we all know how the Franklin Expedition went. Part of the horror in this novel comes from the inevitable: we know these men will die; it’s a matter of timing and circumstance. Simmons handles his large cast of characters with a deft, skilled hand, and he makes each death meaningful, heartbreaking.

 

I was afraid I wouldn’t like The Terror; I thought I might get bogged down or bored. But I didn’t. I really enjoyed myself! And now I can’t wait for the television adaptation.

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review 2018-01-17 22:19
Murder on the Rocks (A Red Carpet Catering Mystery) (Volume 5) - Shawn Reilly Simmons

I absolutely love this series! It has your mystery, a little romance, and . . . behind the scenes looks at filming and catering. I just find the two latter parts so interesting. I like when there is a little something else within a mystery. Penelope is one of my favorites!!!

The crew is going to the country in this latest adventure. And I mean country. No cell service, walking a lot and Penelope has to get involved with the town's folks to get the supplies that she needs. Little does she know that there is a family feud going on amidst everything else she has to deal with. She also has concerns about a old school friend who is now a tennis pro.

While this wasn't my favorite in the series, it was still pretty enjoyable. I do have to say that this is my favorite cover in the series though.

Thanks to Henery Press and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.

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review 2017-12-27 00:00
Three
Three - Kristen Simmons,Jennifer Ikeda Three - Kristen Simmons,Jennifer Ikeda 4.5 stars...Listened to audio of entire series; Loved all three books but did think there was too much self-reflection by both Ember and Chase throughout the entire series.
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review 2017-10-21 05:56
Seeing is believing, I guess
Ghost Hunting Diary Volume I - TM Simmons

Disclosure:  I obtained the Kindle edition of this book when it was offered free on Amazon.  I knew the author, Trana Mae ("TM") Simmons, twenty-odd years ago when we were members of Romance Writers of America.  We attended several conferences together, at which we socialized.  I have had no contact with her for at least 15 years, and never knew anything about her paranormal adventures.  This is actually the first of her writing I've ever read.

 

Do I personally believe in ghosts?  Well, I don't completely disbelieve.  And I haven't even told you the story of the 7-Up bottle that floated through the air in front of me.

 

That being said, I went into the reading of this with a healthy dose of skepticism, and I emerged with that skepticism intact.  TM and her crew of ghost-hunters seem to have remarkably good luck finding ghosts and sending them on their way through The Light so they don't haunt any more.  The few techniques she reveals for her "cleansing" of haunted places are an odd mixture of neo-paganism and traditional Christian rites involving sea salt and olive oil and burning sage.  Nothing unusual, nothing spectacular.

 

Could have used a bit more proofreading and even a little bit of editing, but it wasn't too terrible.

 

An easy read and diverting, and only mildly creepy.  ;-)

 

 

 

 

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