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review 2017-06-23 03:43
The Once and Future King by T H White (Audiobook)
The Once and Future King - T.H. White,Neville Jason

Series: The Once and Future King #1-5

 

Narrated by Neville Jackson

 

This was supposed to represent a collection of five books, but the titles didn’t seem to be announced (or I kept missing them) so they all just blurred together. I liked the first book, The Sword in the Stone, and I’d give that one 3 stars because although I liked it the animal stories became a bit repetitive. That covers Arthur’s childhood (I think). I’d recommend stopping after that because the rest just seemed long. Stop after he becomes king, anyway, at whichever book it is. It seems like it’s impossible to write an Arthurian story where Lancelot and Guinevere aren’t boring and whiny. Later on Merlin went on some long rants about the nature of man and war that could seriously put you to sleep.

 

My opinion may be in the minority but it is what it is. Oh, and I could definitely have done without so many songs. The narrator wasn’t bad but he couldn’t make Merlin’s philosophizing interesting.

 

Previous updates:

1023/1983 minutes (52 %)

681/1983 minutes (34 %)

 

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review 2017-06-23 03:32
Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters
Crocodile on the Sandbank - Elizabeth Peters

Series: Amelia Peabody #1

 

I didn’t like the tone this book started off with, and I found Amelia really annoying, at least at the start. She grew on me once she picked up Evelyn as a companion, however. I did like their interactions. Amelia, a rich Englishwoman, has travelled to Rome from where she plans to sail on to Egypt to winter voyaging up the Nile when she encounters Evelyn, who seems a suitable replacement for the paid companion who had recently become ill and had to be sent back home. So Amelia and Evelyn both set off for Egypt where they do some sightseeing and hire a boat to take them up the Nile. Partway through their voyage they fetch up at an archaeological dig where strange happenings occur and a mummy seems to have come back from the dead. Maybe. That’s the mystery.

 

I had guessed a lot about the resolution of the mystery although I’ll admit I hadn’t quite worked out every detail. I ended up enjoying the book despite the rough beginning, so I may look into whether my library has the next one. Eventually.

 

I read this for booklikes-opoly square New Orleans Station #14 “Read a book that involves overseas travel”. Since Amelia has travelled first to Rome and then travels on to Egypt, I think the book fits. At 226 pages, with the new rules in effect, this nets me $6 for my bank, bringing my total balance to $132. Yay!

 

Previous update:

72 %

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review 2017-06-22 20:32
What Alice Forgot - Liane Moriarty 
What Alice Forgot - Liane Moriarty

The mystery is what happened to Alice's marriage. Alice, suffering from a concussion and subsequent amnesia is the one trying to figure out who she is and how it went wrong. Another marvelous book full of kids and after school activities and how destructive it is for a marriage when gender roles make one person the breadwinner and one person the parent. And yes, it is also very white and heteronormative and upper middle class suburban, but again, Moriarty takes seriously the business of having and rearing children, and that is important. Plus now I basically see Reese Witherspoon playing the lead role in every one of the books and I like Reese Witherspoon, so that's okay.

I only have one Moriarty book left to read, and then I am going to be very sad for a while.

Library copy

 

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review 2017-06-22 18:09
Eye-Opening SF: "Saving the World Through Science Fiction - James Gunn, Writer, Teacher and Scholar” by Michael R. Page
Saving the World Through Science Fiction: James Gunn, Writer, Teacher and Scholar (Critical Explorations in Science Fiction and Fantasy) - Michael R Page,Foreword by Christopher McKitterick,Donald E Palumbo,C W Sullivan III

“Thus, traditional criticism’s charge that science fiction isn’t, in general, ‘literary’ because science fiction writers don’t focus on or have the artistry to deeply delve into character misses the point that science fiction isn’t about character, it’s about ideas. And therefore, science fiction should be judged by a different set of criteria than mundane mainstream fiction is evaluated.”

 

In “Saving the World Through Science Fiction - James Gunn, Writer, Teacher and Scholar” by Michael R. Page

 

Don't critics ignore SF because there's far too much of it, and the vast majority of it - like any sector of genre fiction - is a bit safe, geared more to selling to a niche of fans than the mass market? Certainly SF fandom is obsessed with genre distinctions (steampunk, space opera, mundane, whatever) that have absolutely no currency in the mainstream world - just like crime fandom (maybe to a lesser extent) worries about distinctions between golden age, hard-boiled, procedural and so on.

In both cases the really good stuff, the stuff that transcends the formulae and has something worthwhile to say - Atwood, or Houllebecq, or Alan Moore, Ballard, or Gunn - it "does" get noticed, it's just that people don't call it SF anymore.

 

 

If you're into SF Literary Criticism, read on.

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url 2017-06-22 14:40
Ama Alchemy of Love Blog Interviews Videos
A-Ma Alchemy of Love - Nataša Pantović Nuit
A-Ma: Alchemy of Love - Nataša Pantović Nuit

A-Ma Alchemy of Love Spiritual Novel by Nuit, Year: 2016.
A-Ma is a historical spiritual fiction book set in the 17th century Macao, China. The main protagonist is Ama, an African alchemist, Goddess, a guru, a lover, a story-teller that inspires and gathers artists, preachers, priests, philosophers from all around the world within the magic settings of her coffee house. ISBN-13: 978-9995754198

Source: thirdscribe.com/books/ama-alchemy-of-love
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