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review 2018-03-04 23:07
Workmanlike writing, fascinating life.
Endurance: My Year in Space, a Lifetime of Discovery - Scott Kelly

I have found Scott Kelly a lot more engaging in interviews than he was in this book, which could get a little plodding at times, but I still enjoyed it for the most part. It's certainly the most detailed and emotionally-open description of the long-duration missions on the International Space Station. (Alternating chapters were about his childhood, military career, and other NASA missions both as a space shuttle pilot and on the ISS.)


Unlike Mike Massimino, I would never describe Kelly as the happiest man in space. Even though he talked a lot about what he liked about his work and why, a lot of the book focused on the difficulty, deprivation, and tedium that comes with spending months and months away from life on earth, often with just two other people. NASA deliberately ran that man through the wringer to see what happened, and it doesn't seem to have been an entirely enjoyable experience, either physically or psychologically. The crap this man willingly put himself through through to further the science behind space exploration is flat out heroic.


I'm making it sound like this book was a drag, and it wasn't entirely. It was on a certain level good to read a book that wasn't 100% WOW SPACE! Kelly was more willing to criticise NASA and Roscosmos when he felt like they're letting the astronauts and cosmonauts down, which was a nice change, and felt more honest. He did seem to have liked his work, (most of) his co-workers, and being in space on a general level (when the toilet and the CO2 scrubbers were both working). He also seemed to be naturally a little more of an Eeyore than either Hadfield or Massimino, I think part of that being his military background, and part of it being a general outlook on life.


I would totally recommend this if you're looking for what's going on with the space program in the past few years, but if you're looking for something more fun, and frankly better written, I'd point to Massimino or Hadfield.

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text 2018-02-27 19:21
Why Mucca's always worrying about library books
On the Shores of Darkness, There Is Light: A Novel - Cordelia Strube
Endurance: My Year in Space, a Lifetime of Discovery - Scott Kelly
Ester and Ruzya: How My Grandmothers Survived Hitler's War and Stalin's Peace - Masha Gessen
The Clothesline Swing - Ahmad Danny Ramadan
Out Standing in the Field: A Memoir by Canada's First Female Infantry Officer - Sandra Perron
The Prey of Gods - Nicky Drayden
Lavinia - Ursula K. Le Guin
White Houses - Amy Bloom
The Boat People - Sharon Bala

Currently checked out:

On the Shores of Darkness, There Is Light: A Novel - Cordelia Strube  (DUE 12 March)


*Endurance: My Year in Space, a Lifetime of Discovery - Scott Kelly  (DUE 12 March)


Ester and Ruzya: How My Grandmothers Survived Hitler's War and Stalin's Peace - Masha Gessen  (DUE 12 March)


*The Clothesline Swing - Ahmad Danny Ramadan  (DUE 23 March)


*Out Standing in the Field: A Memoir by Canada's First Female Infantry Officer - Sandra Perron  (DUE 23 March)


*The Prey of Gods - Nicky Drayden  (DUE 3 April)


On active hold:

Lavinia - Ursula K. Le Guin (1 of 2 in holds)

*White Houses - Amy Bloom  (6 of 8 in holds)

*The Boat People - Sharon Bala  (18 of 178 in holds)


*Newish books that likely can't be renewed.


I froze and deleted a bunch of holds, and am not ordering anything else until I get this situation down to something less panic inducing. I'm not completely sure how this happened. I think a lot of things ticked out of hold at once, causing a pile up.

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review 2018-01-21 18:42
RBE delivers another interesting anthology
Challenge! Discovery - Frederick Tor,Jason M Waltz

Challenge! Discovery by Jason M. Waltz

S.E. rating: 4 of 5 stars


Rogue Blades Entertainment has a great track record for delivering anthologies (Return of the SwordWriting Fantasy Heroes,Rage of the Behemoth, and more). Challenge! Discovery is the 2017 edition, which posed a challenge: look at the cover, and write a story about it. The illustration features a scantily clad female warrior and a panther emerge from jungle ruins.


The concept is cool, but the entries range in quality, and I disagree with the judges. Apparently the last two won 1st and 2nd place by the judges, but if I were to rate by (a) inspiration from cover and (b) storytelling (good pacing, show not tell, etc.) then I would have chosen 2 of the below:

- "Inner Nature" by JOHN KILIAN

- "Someplace Cool and Dark" by FREDERIC S. DURBIN

- "Witch with Bronze Teeth brushed" by KEITH J. TAYLOR


1) "Witch with Bronze Teeth brushed" by KEITH J. TAYLOR: 5-star blend of military Warhammer-esque battle and zombie horror


2) "Fire Eye Gem" by Richard Berrigan: 3-star; too corny for me; features a do-good Kimmeriorian barbarian named ‘Jack’?. ugh


3) "Inner Nature" by JOHN KILIAN 5-star, started ok and but ramped-up very satisfyingly


4) "The Ash-Wood of Celestial Flame" by GABE DYBING; nice fairy tale elements


5) "Someplace Cool and Dark" by FREDERIC S. DURBIN: 5-star, it is first person, weird funny and dark.... and I heard this exact story before! It took me a while to figure it out, but I heard him read this at the World Fantasy Convention 2016. A bonus essay on the writing of this story is added and is as engaging as the story


6)"World inside the Walls" by Frederick Tor : 3-star. Nice inspiration from the cover, but delivery style was dry narrative


7) "In the Ruins of the Panther People" by DANIEL R. ROBICHAUD: 4-star. Started slow and has cheesy romance lines, but ends with a huge bang, science-sorcery Meat Stamp! Loved the Meat Stamp!


8) "The Serpent’s Root by DAVID J. WEST, young adult pacing, but fun. 3.5; not obviously connected the cover as the other stories.


9) "A Fire in Shandria" by FREDERIC S. DURBIN; 4-star. Decent Amazon warrior story with a dragon (not sure why there was a dragon and not a panther)


10) "Cat’s in the Cradle NICHOLAS OZMENT (awarded 2nd place): 3-star Inspired by the cover for sure, but for a short story most of its pages are dedicated to non pertinent content. Pacing off.


11) "Attaberia" by HENRY RAM - (awarded 1st place): 4-star. Viking story with nice concept; starts as a 5 and ends as 3 (there is a disconnect between the tension & remoteness of a mysterious island and the inhabitants).


View all my reviews

Source: www.selindberg.com/2018/01/challenge-discovery-reviewed-by-se.html
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review 2018-01-18 06:33
Endurance: My Year in Space, a Lifetime of Discovery - Scott Kelly

I liked this book a lot! It was very interesting and held my interest throughout. Scott Kelly is a very funny guy and I liked how put that into the book. I learned a lot about the space industry. Most of it, I didn’t know. I certainly didn’t realize that there are still astronauts and that we are using Russia’s facilities. 

I now a little secret about dill, as well. Ha!! 

I think it’s great that we are cooperating with Russia in order to learn more about space and the secrets it holds. So many different things that I learned about were very extraordinary. 

A really good book that I enjoyed very much. Thanks to Bookish for providing me with a free copy of the book (a hard copy) in order for me to review.

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review 2017-12-21 22:13
Not exactly what I wanted
Find the Good - Heather Lende

I went into Find the Good: Unexpected Life Lessons From a Small-Town Obituary Writer by Heather Lende with a lot of perhaps too many expectations. I anticipated (and hoped for) humor of the macabre variety. Find the Good is a book of anecdotal advice from someone who regular faces death head on...or at least experiences it alongside those left behind. From the book's blurb, I thought that this was going to be a look at death with a light touch because how else can one continually run up against death and retain their positive outlook on life? I guess in a way Lende does explore the way she has had to structure her life so that she can continue to be a shoulder to cry on or an ear to listen when the grief overflows. As an obituary writer in a small town, most of the notices that she has had to write were about people that she knew if not intimately then by sight. That takes a toll on a person and also fosters an environment for emotional and spiritual growth.  There are some good, positive points made but in my opinion not enough to warrant an entire book. It would have made a good article or think piece. There's very little I can say about this one other than it didn't really live up to my expectations or blow me away. It would probably work well on a short train ride or as a beach read. It's a 3/10 for me, guys.


What's Up Next: Thornhill by Pam Smy


What I'm Currently Reading: still reading Scythe and Mine Own Executioner

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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