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text 2018-07-23 05:53
The Flat Book Society: Reminder to vote (again) for September book

Just a quick reminder for all members of The Flat Book Society to check in with the voting list to vote for a new September read (one that's hopefully easy to source for most of us).  There are some very good suggestions, if I do say so myself (and that's unbiased, since the titles I seeded the list with are all at the bottom of the voting, lol).  


Get in there and have your say.


Huggins says Vote!

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review 2018-07-23 05:27
The Fires of Heaven, The Wheel of Time #5
The Fires of Heaven: Book Five of 'The Wheel of Time' - Robert Jordan

Jordan's epic continues to thrive, but there are signs of it faltering under its weight. 'Fires of Heaven' finds our victorious Nynaeve, Elayne, Thom, and Julien making their way out of Tarabon assured that they had left it better than they found it. Alas....but that's another plot-line. Nynaeve is hardly a fan favorite, but I've always liked her and a tonal shift in her narration is Nynaeve at her most enjoyable. She also scores a major personal victory.

Anyway, Rand, Jasin, Mat, Aviendha, Moiraine, and Lan are headed out of the Waste after the villainous Shaido, who have quickly become a menace to the 'treekiller' nation of Carhien and everything and everyone else they run into. The changes to Mat and Moiraine's characters are particularly noteworthy.

Perrin, Loial, Faile and Three Aiel....nothing. They don't appear, so readers must presume that domestic bliss and the flowering of the Two Rivers just wasn't interesting enough. Considering how toxic Faile and Perrin's relationship can be...I probably agree with Jordan on that.

Min, Siuan, Leane and Logain are still traveling incognito to find where rebel Aes Sedai may be gathering, but run afoul of someone who could help their plans or simply drag them back to a farm in chains.

Meanwhile, in Caemlyn, some really icky stuff is going on, and one of the most depressing character arcs in the series is swanning on down into the mud.

That last may be why this book has some tarnish. I've been loving the reread much more than I anticipated, but there's no getting around some unpleasant and barely plot-necessary happenings. Then again, the series still has some great moments (I for one loved the circus), more information from the Forsaken, big sea-change moments as Rand achieves more victories and yet also suffers great losses, and another spectacular finish. Though the plot-lines no longer converge, Jordan had a knack for pulling together enough of his plots to make gripping reading.

The Wheel of Time

Next: 'Lord of Chaos'

Previous: 'The Shadow Rising'

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review 2018-07-23 02:28
ARC Review: Bad Influence by K.A. Mitchell
Bad Influence - K.A. Mitchell

This is Silver's book. You may remember Silver from Bad Boyfriend (he's one of Eli's oldest friends). Silver hasn't had an easy life. Fleeing from a gay conversion camp, selling himself on the streets to survive, after having suffered a massive betrayal by someone he loved - yeah, Silver is done with allowing anyone to get close enough to hurt him. 

While I could appreciate him as a character, I never really connected with him, beyond feeling sorry for him for all that he had to endure. And I didn't connect with Zeb either, because we only get to see Zeb through Silver's eyes, and those eyes are biased as fuck. Which made me biased against Zeb too, to some extent. Silver is prickly, standoffish. Zeb is... I don't really know how to describe Zeb. Bland. Wimpy. Wet noodle. He tries, but he sounds judgmental off and on, and he had no right to judge Silver for the choices he was forced to make. 

There was no grand romance, there was no believable attraction, there was nothing that made me think these two men were really in love. Silver is angry at Zeb and pushes him away, understandably so. Zeb's pursuit of Silver felt more like a guilt trip to me than any kind of real romantic emotion, and the story spends too much time on the other couples from previous books. I already know them, and while the author may have written so much of them into this book to make it work as a standalone, that only served to bore me - because I already know these people. 

So, out of the series, this is not my favorite book at all. 

** I received a free copy of this book from its publisher in exchange for an honest review. **

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text 2018-07-22 23:17
More Old Photos and Chuckles

I'm not able to adjust these the way I would like to until I get the laptop back, but I came across something amusing.


This is the high school graduation program of the Eighth District School in I think Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 



I guess back then people thought cellophane tape was great stuff, but they didn't know the damage it would do to ephemeral items like paper programs.  That's what left the stains.


Anyway, my Great-Great Aunt Gussie, Augusta Peterson, was a member of the Class of 1893.



I have pictures of some of the other Peterson siblings as children but haven't found one of a younger Gussie . . . yet. 



What brought a chuckle, however, was reading the scheduled events.



It's the Essay that caught my eye. 



I'll send Ms. Trout a Tweet.

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review 2018-07-22 23:04
The Dragon Reborn, The Wheel of Time #3
The Dragon Reborn: Book Three of The Wheel of Time ® - Robert Jordan

The events at Falme are only beginning to reverberate through the Westlands, few knowing the facts -  and few those people are - can deny that Rand al'Thor is the Dragon Reborn. Mat is being conveyed to The White Tower for Healing as quickly as possible by Verin, Nynaeve, Egwene, Elayne, Thom, and Hurin, the dagger and Horn by his side. Perrin and Min and Loial stay with Moiraine and Lan and the Shienarans to be near Rand. There is tension and they are waiting, for what Moiraine can't, or won't, say.

There is an attack and then Rand is gone. Readers won't hear from Rand for most of the rest of novel, his actions can only be speculated on and guessed at. We must follow the same clues as Perrin and co. to figure out if they are going to catch up with him.

The stakes get higher with each novel, and Jordan does a fair job of building suspense as one party, from Perrin's perspective, follow after Rand; Nynaeve, Egwene and Elayne become ensnared in a plot concerning darkfriends in the White Tower at the Amyrlin's behest; and FINALLY we get a POV from Mat. He could be a frustrating character sometimes, with all the machismo and womanizing, but his incredible luck along with ta'veren powers made him always worth reading. Egwene, Nynaeve and Elayne continue to grow as characters, and theirs is still my favorite plotline of the book, and the subtle shifts in their dynamic was a tidy setup for what was coming in the future. Jordan has occasional skirt-smoothing, arms-crossed-below-their-breasts, trouble with his female characters, they are a vital part of the structure of the story. This bears repeating as so many other authors failed to create stories as dynamic for any of their characters that Jordan does for his heroines.

The cast continues to grow, with only poor Hurin being trimmed from the cast (at least for a dozen or so books), but it does so organically and hasn't reached levels of frustration yet. 'The Dragon Reborn' features more encounters with the Forsaken, new shadowspawn, lore aplenty, and a terrific showdown at the end. It is the last book which has anything resembling a tidy ending until the big conclusions start going down at the very end. These first three books cemented my love of this series.

The Wheel of Time

Next:  'The Shadow Rising'

Previous: 'The Great Hunt'

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