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text 2017-08-07 07:36
Book Booty, August 2017

 

So, a visit to Kitabain brought me these beauties. Let’s look at them all:

 

I am slowly collecting my way through the Discworld novels. Sadly, I still have a ways to go. Anyway, planning to get back to this series as soon as I find the second book.

 

 

This hardcover edition is beautiful and contains many of the short stories written by Poe. The cover shows an orangutan from a murder mystery. A good addition to my collection, won’t you say so?

 

 

 

Part of the Ender’s Quintet and the very book that I needed to read next in this series. Can’t wait to get started.

 

Read my review of the Speaker for the Dead book here.

 

 

 

 

 

The unassuming cover opens into a most amazing book. You will find Victor Frankenstein’s experiments that led to the creation of his monster spawn. The book has illustrations, photographs, and log entries that give it an authenticity.

 

For my ongoing love affair with all things Frankenstein, you might wanna check out Project Frankenstein.

 

I think this is a good haul. How about you?

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-08-02 08:17
July 2017 — A Wrap-Up

 

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As much fun as only Douglas Adams books can be. Although, it might also be due to my technique that I apply when reading books by DA. I space them out, which keeps the jokes and randomness from being repetitive and not-random!

 

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I won this in a giveaway. Read my review here.

 

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Okay, so this was different and seemed a bit incomplete at the end but I still liked it. Something that stuck with me was the concept that while the people were free as a nation, it meant compromising their individual freedom. What does that even mean?

 

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Here is a scene that stayed with me:

 

 

 

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This was cute and fun. I will continue with the series to see if it is more than just cute and fun though. Two examples to give you an idea of what the art looks like:

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Trying this one out for size. Still not impressed though. Just wanted to leave this here; it shows a new level of racism, doesn’t it?

 

 

 

 

 

This was for a buddy read over at Booklikes. I won’t say the book wasn’t a fun read, however, it was quite light on science. The humor the depth of observations were the usual Scalzi standard.

 

I just realized this was the beginning of a whole new series with quite a few books in it. While I liked the book, I didn’t love it. Lets see if I feel like reading the next one.

The funny thing is that this book will be the first entry in my Twinsies — Books that Go Together series of blog posts!

 

Two words that I loved:

 

 

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This was okayish. I thought that the author was trying to make up for all the complaints that the readers make about Dresden being sexist. It didn’t work for me though. The story was weak but I did like the art. No idea why I like the code of “honor” that Macone plays by but I do!

 

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I have no idea why I read this. Maybe I only read it because I had it. Whatever the reason, I didn’t like it just as I didn’t like the movie. This was a sequel in comic form but it had nothing new to hold my attention. Two supernatural species fighting each other with humans caught in the middle. Sound familiar? It did to me too! The art was okay-ish while there was no story.

 

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Find my review here.

 

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This one was also a Bingo read for the extremely slow round of Book Bingo that we are playing at work! About the book, it isn’t that I didn’t know what went on in Afghanistan. It was nice to be able to know the exact stats for what went down there.

 

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You can find my review here.

 

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I tried Lumberjanes and didn’t like it but when I saw this was going to be a crossover with Gotham Academy (which I mostly like), I decided to give it another try. I am glad I did because it was a whole lotta fun! I love how the characters seem more human and less comic-y because of the way they are drawn. They don’t all look as if they have stepped off magazine covers. Now I just have to give Lumberjanes another chance to wow me!

 

 

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-07-06 10:25
June 2017 — A Wrap-Up

 

 

 

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I dunno how she does it but I never come away from an Agatha Christie novel without enjoying it to the fullest! This one wasn’t an exception even when it was full of racist and sexist characters. I am also happy that I read this one finally and so close to the release of the new movie too!

A favorite funny quote from the book is mentioned below. It shows the circuitutitous way Poirot thinks:

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It was interesting to see the term, pukka sahib, being used in the book. Even though the person who used it, Colonel Arbuthnot, meant it in a different way i.e. the first meaning in the picture below. Poirot got down to the real meaning really quickly i.e. the second meaning of the word:

 

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I was worried that the sequel won’t suck me in as the first book had managed to do. I worried for naught; this book was as much fun and scary as the previous one. One thing that I both love and hate about this book is that Cas doesn’t sound like a teenage boy all the time. In places, he uses such poetic words about Anna. I also loved the gory decriptions that the author uses for when Anna shows up to show Cas how she is suffering.  This part from the book showcases both the gore and the poetic prose:

 

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Cas’s humor is another thing that I have alays had fun reading. Check out this example:

 

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There are two ways you could look at this series. You can consider the elements typical to most PNR novels and label it as one. Or, you could look at the humor and the cool references to tv shows and movies and love the series for its wittiness. I chose the latter, which is why I enjoyed reading these books! Here are my favorite parts from the last (so far) book:

 

 
 
Since the guy is known as the Lord of the Ravens, the excerpt below becomes funnier while seeming legit:
 

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The October Faction series is based on a family of monster hunters. The parents who have now retired did their best to hide their past from their kids. However, old enemies kept making that difficult. What I love about this series is how dark and gory it is. The artist doesn’t picture perfect characters and their flaws make them feel more real to me!

 

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While I am equally grossed out and intrigued by the television series, the novel itself had failed to make an impression on me. The graphic novels seem to be going down the same windpipe. The only positive thing I have to say about them is that they stay true to the book. Surprisingly, as I had expected, the art isn’t to die for. It could be that the tv series and its amazing cast has me spoiled. I mean, look at the graphic novel version of Mr. Wednesday!

 

 

 

Saga’s art is so beautiful that it hurts. This series draws you in and forces you to care for its characters! I am also including the covers of two of the single issues. Feast your eyes on their beauty:

 

 

 

 

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Ender’s Image

 

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Some of my favorites quotes:

 

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This quote paints an accurate picture of sustainable methods and their importance in everything that we do! Hunting animals to extinction, deforestation to the point of clearing forests after forests…Only this time, we will all be paying the price!

 

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I loved how “human” Jane was without being a human being. In this quote, her sarcasm comes out beautifully, which is probably as human as it gets!

 

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This elitist attitude has always been the source of our troubles and led to colonialism destroying the national identities of many a people. These words were said by Jane who starts to seem more and more deeply insightful by the minute.

 

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I have mixed feelings about this one. The story seems to make Ender seem like an omniscient deity at times. He might be good at reading people but no one is that good!

 

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This quote is from a part of the book where one of the kids rebelliously pees on Ender when he wouldn’t free the kid. This is how he responds to the incident; it shows how humor is threaded through an otherwise serious book.

 

Look at the exampe below, as well. It talks about religious leaders belonging to a branch of religion that is separate from the religion of the state. Gems such as this one were interspersed throughout the story and made me chuckle every time.

 

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This quote highlights how different two groups of people can be in their beliefs about death and everything else. Leaf-Eater’s people were planted after they died and turned into trees; benefitting the living even after death.

 

For wrap-ups of the previous months, go here.

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text 2017-06-29 09:51
Goods insights into two important aspects of writing fiction.
Characters & Viewpoint (Elements of Fiction Writing) - Orson Scott Card

There's nothing new in books about writing fiction, only on how they're presented.

 

Some are written by academics and you need to be one to understand them. Others are written by authors who use them as a means of self-aggrandizement constantly quoting examples from their own work. These may not necessarily be good examples of what they're trying to demonstrate, but they're not about to let an opportunity to promote their work slip by.

 

In Characters and Viewpoint, author Orson Scott Card uses straight forward prose and not a lot of examples from his own work and gives good insight into these two important aspects of writing fiction.

 

This is a solid book about what is stated in the title.

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text 2017-05-01 15:07
Prentice Alvin / Orson Scott Card
Prentice Alvin - Orson Scott Card

The Tales of Alvin Maker series continues in volume three, Prentice Alvin. Young Alvin returns to the town of his birth, and begins his apprenticeship with Makepeace Smith, committing seven years of his life in exchange for the skills and knowledge of a blacksmith. But Alvin must also learn to control and use his own talent, that of a Maker, else his destiny will be unfulfilled.

 

This has to be one of the oddest fantasy series that I have ever read. O.S. Card gives early American history his own strange, imaginative torque. Cross Pilgrim’s Progress with the Belgariad, add in a dash of chemistry, alchemy, and magic, and you get this weird combination of the chosen one quest tale and religious allegory.

Alvin is definitely a “chosen one” with characteristics of Jesus and Joseph Smith both. His quest is to become a Maker, kind of an apprentice creator to God. Like the protagonists in most quest tales, he must learn to control himself as well as to control his talent. He is up against the Unmaker, the Satan stand-in for this series, which reminds me strongly of Guy Gavriel Kay’s Fionavar Tapestry series.

The last volume dealt with race relations between settlers and Native Americans, which leaned heavily on the Noble Savage concept of the 19th century. This volume explores the relationship between white owners and black slaves. Both of these volumes leave me wondering what exactly Card is trying to accomplish in this regard—whatever it is, I didn’t get it.

Book 255 in my Science Fiction and Fantasy reading project.

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