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review 2018-02-20 16:51
Love, Life and the List Book Review
Love, Life, and the List - Kasie West

Cute, fluffy but very predictable. I really enjoyed this. Its a typical YA fluff but I knew that going in. Its the whole best friend loves each other type story---but I am a total sucker for those. Kasie West seems to be hit or miss for me. I either love or hate her books. So I'm really happy that I enjoyed this one since I was definitely looking forward to it.

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review 2018-02-19 05:49
The Birth of the West by Paul Collins
The Birth of the West: Rome, Germany, France, and the Creation of Europe in the Tenth Century - Paul Collins

TITLE:  The Birth of the West:  Rome, Germany, and the Creation of Europe in the Tenth Century

 

AUTHOR:  Paul Collins

 

DATE PUBLISHED:  2014

 

FORMAT:  Paperback

 

ISBN-13:  978-1-61039-368-3

_____________________________________

 

Tenth century Europe may have been a chaotic mess, but Paul Collins believes that the process which ended in the Renaissance and Enlightenment had its beginnings in the tenth century Europe.  Collins attempts to show how various individuals (e.g. the 3 Ottos and Gerbert d'Aurillac/Pope Sylvester II) injected vigour into the Holy Roman Empire, reorganised the Church and bring some semblance of order to the State.

The book (briefly) covers the breakup of Charlemagne's Empire in the mid-800's; the development of France under Viking invasions and settlement into a large number of smaller semi-independent regions; and the solidification of a Germanic Holy Roman Empire during the 10th century under the Saxon kings Otto I, II, III.  It also follows the development of Roman Catholicism and the Papacy.  There is also a fairly decent description of monastic life, as well as the role of monasteries and religion in the lives of ordinary people.

Collins weaves a sometimes convoluted narrative, starting somewhere in the middle, going back to the beginning, discussing historical events, then focusing on individuals in a biographical manner, hopping around different regions in Europe from Spain and Britain to Byzantium.  The first chapter was a bit tedious but the pace of the narrative picked up by the second chapter and the story became more interesting.  There are a few maps in the book but I would have preferred a few more.  I would also have found a timeline useful.  A more structured approach would also have been more useful as well as more analysis.  The author dropped the ball a few times by failing to connect his various chapters to the main thesis of the book, making this something of a collection of juicy facts but failing to show how they relate to the birth of the west.

I would not recommend this book to the history novice but it may prove interesting to someone who has some familiarity with events after Charlamagne.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-02-13 13:13
The Devoured by Curtis M. Lawson
The Devoured - Curtis M. Lawson,Jason Sprenger

The Devoured by Curtis M. Lawson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Desperately on the trail of his missing son, an old Confederate solider will stop at nothing to reunite the remnants of his family, even if he has to slay every trace of Utgard filth along the way. Finding unexpected companionship in a young orphan, the gunslinger closes in on the god responsible - Thurs, he who hails beyond the stars.

(WARNING: This review contains spoilers.)

I received this book in exchange for an honest review. My thanks to Curtis M. Lawson for giving me the opportunity.

If I wasn't so pessimistic about book to movie adaptations, I'd say this would make a brilliant film - in fact, I imagined it as such; Lawson's stunning use of words did wonders to create vivid imagery inside my head. I found myself thoroughly impressed by the intelligent, highly attractive prose, and by how each scene seamlessly came together to tell an exciting yet ultimately tragic tale. Despite being a short novel of less than two hundred pages, it expressed itself with a lot more substance than other full-length books I've read. A part of me wishes it was longer, but I realise it may have lessened the overall impact.

The character of the "old man" was probably the pinnacle; he was so utterly badass, and believe me when I say I don't use that term lightly. Smart, skilled, and completely unapologetic about his paternal devotion - he's someone I won't forget anytime soon. I'm not saying he was a perfect man, far from it, but he owned every scene he was in. He was the sort of being that would draw an entire room to his entrance, and not just because of his (suspiciously) large size. Emmett, however, whilst starting out with good intentions, truly lost his way as he succumbed to the unsavoury power of Utgard. I could relate with him in a way, in that I'm well aware of the pain of watching a parent slowly fade away. Nothing compares to that feeling of hopelessness, and if given the same opportunity, I'd have likely welcomed the same solution.

Moving on from that painfully honest bit of information.

As with all books I read, I tend to look deeper into things; for meaning in aspects that are probably meaningless. Both Emmett and his father shared a particular trait of being tall, bulky and at times, questionably strong. The fact that Utgard's a stronghold of giants, I was left contemplating a connection. Could it be, that the old man's ancestry is intermingled with otherworldly blood? If anything, at least, I can have my theories, incorrect and insignificant as they may be!

I can't say the Old Western theme has ever appealed to me, but I now feel inclined to seek out similar tales. Of course, few, if any, are going to have such a factual and accurate setting seeped in unforgiving folklore. The historic element of the American Civil War worked wonderfully with the touch of Norse and Native American mythology, and I was impressed with the knowledge poured into it. Either Lawson did his homework, or he simply knows his stuff. I also loved the brutality of the surrounding world- cannibals and witches, oh my! Seriously, sometimes witchcraft should be punishing, rather than glamorous.

In conclusion: The unnamed hero has been one of the coolest characters I've ever had the pleasure to read about. Whilst including both history and the supernatural, Lawson makes a short novel seem like an epic best-seller.

Notable Scene:

"Thought - critical, logical thought - that's what separates a man from an animal. That's what keeps us progressing further and further. That ability to think our way around any and every problem is why the Devourers fear us."

"And what about memory?" Hank asked.

"Memory is what keeps us strong in the toughest times, and it's what prevents us from becoming monsters when our hands are forced to kill. It's the memories of love and happiness that let us come home from the dark places where the world sometimes takes us. It's memory that lets a man find the strength to fight the gods themselves for what's right."


© Red Lace 2018

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Source: redlace.reviews/2018/02/13/the-devoured-by-curtis-m-lawson
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url 2018-02-11 13:28
Releasing today and tomorrow in book series
Devil's Haircut (Road To Babylon, Book 4... Devil's Haircut (Road To Babylon, Book 4) - Sam Sisavath
Unbound (The Men of West Beach Book) (Vo... Unbound (The Men of West Beach Book) (Volume 2) - Kimberly Derting
Baby on the Bad Boy's Doorstep (Shadow C... Baby on the Bad Boy's Doorstep (Shadow Creek, Montana) (Volume 4) - Victoria James
Bodyguard: An Older Man Younger Woman Ro... Bodyguard: An Older Man Younger Woman Romance (A Man Who Knows What He Wants Book 33) - Flora Ferrari
Brooklynaire - Sarina Bowen
Greek God: A Single Dad, Older Man Young... Greek God: A Single Dad, Older Man Younger Woman Romance (A Man Who Knows What He Wants Book 34) - Flora Ferrari
Playing House (Sydney Smoke Rugby Series... Playing House (Sydney Smoke Rugby Series) (Volume 5) - Amy Andrews
Police Officer's Princess: A Single Dad,... Police Officer's Princess: A Single Dad, Brother's Best Friend, Police Officer Romance (A Man Who Knows What He Wants Book 31) - Flora Ferrari
The Thorn of Emberlain - Scott Lynch
The Valentine Mystery (Tess and Tilly Co... The Valentine Mystery (Tess and Tilly Cozy Mystery) (Volume 2) - Kathi Daley

From the FictFact.com book release calendar (if unfamiliar with Fictfact, it's a site for tracking book series).

 

So many covers and details are missing on booklikes, here's the text links as well:

 

 

 

 

Source: www.fictfact.com/BookReleaseCalendar
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review 2018-02-06 09:09
By Your Side by Kasie West
By Your Side - Kasie West

My thoughts are @ Bridget Blogs Books

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