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text 2018-11-01 08:15
24 Festive Tasks: The Seven Final Holidays


As explained in this year's Rules / Mode of Play post, we're going to reveal the seven final holidays included in the card and the respective book tasks early on, so as to allow enough time to complete these books. 


The final holidays and book tasks are:


Winter Solstice / Yuletide (December 21): Read any book that takes place in December OR with ice or snow on the cover OR that revolves around the (summer or winter) equinox OR a collection of poetry by Hafez.


Festivus (December 23): Read any comedy, parody, or satire.


Christmas (December 25): Read any Christmas book.


Kwanzaa (December 26 - January 1): Read a book set in Africa or the Caribbean OR by an African, Caribbean, or African-American author OR a book with a green, red, or black cover.


New Year's Eve (December 31): Read a book about endings, new starts, or books where things go BOOM!


Hogswatch (December 32)*: Read anything by Terry Pratchett.


Epiphany (January 6): Read a book with three main characters OR a book about traveling on a journey to a faraway place OR a book that’s part of a trilogy OR with a star on the cover OR with the word “twelve” or “night” in the title OR or concerning kings or spices.


The non-book tasks for these seven holidays will be revealed on December 16, which is when we'll also be opening the corresponding doors on the calendar.  (Hey, we want to keep some element of suspense at least for these ...)


* Discworld calendar.

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text 2018-03-04 23:09
February wrap-up
First Epiphany Of The Time Vandal - Harry Bowling
So, this month I finished a whole one book. Is that pathetic or what?
I've struggled for reading time between family, work and a cat who is off his food.
I have been reading, but one of the books I'm reading is over 800 pages, plus I'm devoting some time to getting through Don Quixote which is another horrendously long one and I've got two Netgalley books started.
I've read quite a few samples as well but they've actually increased!
Hopefully I'll have more to show for March!
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review 2018-02-07 12:18
First Epiphany of the Time Vandal
First Epiphany Of The Time Vandal - Harry Bowling

by M.E. Bowling


I wasn't too sure of this one at first as it started out feeling more technical and uber spy than I usually like, but it drew me in enough to want to see what was going to happen.


My interest grew as it went along, drawing me into an intrigue where someone has stolen a time machine and curiosity of what he would do with it and why he took it. Interest waned again when he stayed in one place for a long time, interacting with local people. The intended point of his involvement with the time and place was revealed about halfway through, but that in itself disappointed me. It was an interesting idea, but not as well delivered as I could wish.


The real disappointment for me was that there wasn't a lot of time travel involved in the rest of the story. It became something else and wasn't what I had looked for in choosing this book to read. There were a couple of later jumps, but by then I was bored out of my mind and had started skimming.


The writing itself is fine and I didn't notice and mistakes, but the plot just didn't engage me. Perhaps someone else would love it.

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review 2017-08-23 00:00
The Epiphany Machine
The Epiphany Machine - David Burr Gerrar... The Epiphany Machine - David Burr Gerrard I am reviewing my own personal copy of this book, of my own free will. :-)

I guess you could call the POV of this story an "unreliable narrator," although it's a little bit of a stretch. I say that because there's a lot of mythology surrounding the actual Epiphany Machine, so most of the backstory is theory, and not rooted in any sort of fictionized factual information. I also enjoyed seeing our real history woven into this parallel universe. A kind of 'what-if' scenario, if someone had done what Adam Lyon had.

Past that, I found the characters to be wholly intriguing.

Ventner is our protagonist, although he's no hero. We learn about his world, which is ours, except it's tainted by a machine that gives you a clue about one aspect of your personality. Nobody really knows how the machine gets it's information. Is it from a divine being? Does it work based on some sort of ESP? Or is Adam Lyon using his own kind of "cold reading," to make it work? Again, no one knows. There are many theories, and we get to read about several over the course of the book.

We also learn, through Ventner's experiences, several perspectives of it's usage. Both of his parents have experienced a prediction, and they both associated with Adam Lyon. He feels distant from both of them in different ways, and that makes him curious enough to find out more.

He becomes Adam's protégé, so much more becomes clear after that point. At the same time, Ventner's life is made up of stilted acquaintances, friends, and lovers. (okay, lover). He begins to interview the regulars at Adam's "Salon" nights, and receive more information about the machine, the relationships between the people around him, and his parents.

“You’re coaxing people to talk about what the epiphany machine has meant to their lives. That’s important, and nobody wants to talk about what’s important. The only way to get people to talk about something important is to leave them with no other option.”

As time progresses, events that have happened in our timeline also happen in Ventner's parallel universe. We see them through their eyes, and although they usually end up in a similar fashion, the impetus may be much different. Some of the chapters are quite disturbing, but I found them fascinating. To see those events through the eyes of the people involved, after using the Epiphany Machine... it was like understanding why it happened.

As the story climaxes, Ventner does something he cannot undo. He's riddled with indecision and doubt, and a TON of guilt. It lives with him until the very end of the story, and the book goes on a roller-coaster from there as well.

I could now claim the distinction of having been definitively rejected by both of my parents, one in infancy and one in adulthood—a stronger indication than anything else in my life that I was marked for the great, special destiny of which I desultorily dreamed.

Mind you, it's not the fast-moving kind, nor a kiddie ride - no, it's the kind that makes you queasy. You wonder if you should ride it again. But you know you should continue. There's a need to go on, because not finishing is worse than letting the dizzyness take over.

Four and a half "He liked Dylan better" stars.

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review 2017-07-07 20:21
The Jaybird's Epiphany by brokenlittleboy
The Jaybird's Epiphany - brokenlittleboy
3.5 stars. Physio Jensen falls for patient Jared while he is treating him for an ankle injury. Jensen soon suspects that Jared (who has Atypical Asperger's) is being abused by his drunken father.


Source: archiveofourown.org/works/7602748?view_full_work=true
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