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text 2017-12-30 14:51
December Wrap-up
Old Celtic Romances - P.W. Joyce
Sigil Witchery: A Witch's Guide to Crafting Magick Symbols - Laura Tempest Zakroff
Fairies:: A Guide to the Celtic Fair Folk - Morgan Daimler
Dreamtime Dragons - Nils Visser
The Grand Phantom - Harold Cloninger
A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
Plum Dandi Knits: Simple Designs for Luxury Yarns - Alicia Plummer,Melissa Schaschwary
The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock - Imogen Hermes Gowar
The Toy Makers - Robert Dinsdale
About Time: Einstein's Unfinished Revolution - Paul Davies

Yes, there's one more day but although I'm getting close to finishing Uprooted by Naomi Novik, I definitely won't be finishing any other books before January 1st.

 

I seem to have given myself a lot of non-fiction to read this month. Mostly from Netgalley.

 

I expect to finish Uprooted between today and tomorrow so I'm counting 11 books for the month. Not bad for me!

 

The stand out ones besides Uprooted (which I'm really enjoying) would be The Toy Makers and the Dreamtime Dragons Anthology. Both have given me a lot of reading pleasure. I enjoyed the re-reading of A Christmas Carol too. 5 of the books are non-fiction so only a couple of meh books.

 

I also got through some of the samples backlog again. I've only got about 80 left. I collected a LOT over Halloween!

 

I still have some non-fiction reads in progress so that may slow me down for January reading, but I seem to be averaging more in a month than I used to. I blame all of you.

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review 2017-12-14 13:00
Dreamtime Dragons Anthology
Dreamtime Dragons - Nils Visser

by Nils Visser et al

 

This is an outstanding collection of stories, all having to do with dragons in some way. The stories are from twelve different authors so styles vary, but there wasn't a dud in the bunch. One by the editor was written in present tense, but it was actually done well which is rare.

 

I've read a few of the authors before so I knew I could expect above average quality for at least some, but I was pleasantly surprised overall. I've added A.J. Noon to my favorite author list and sent for samples of his other work. I do like a bit of humor in my Fantasy!

 

The editing was also above average, even for big publisher books. I counted four minor typos for the whole book, plus two in the author bio section. I bet they didn't check there!

 

It was an enjoyable collection and included sample chapters from some of the authors' other books as well, but they were self-contained segments that didn't leave me wondering what was going on.

 

It's also good knowing that any money generated from the project is going to a ferret rescue center. So a good read and something to help animals. Win-win! And the cover art is amazing!

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text 2017-11-25 15:32
Reading progress update: I've read 66 out of 280 pages.
Dreamtime Dragons - Nils Visser

The quality of the stories in this is really good so far! And the fact that it supports a ferret rescue centre gives me a warm glow. :D

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photo 2013-07-21 20:20
Message Stick: A Novel of Australia

Cover for Message Stick, a novel of Australia. 

One of the best novels in ten years.

Hackney Literary Awards Committee

 

In this fast-paced suspense novel, Gabriel Branch leaves his home on the Queensland coast to search the rugged outback for his best friend. Although Gabe is a biracial Aborigine, he lost all ties to his culture when the government forcibly removed him from his family when he was a child. Everything about the red desert seems alien including the artifact, a message stick, that is his only clue.

 

While crisscrossing the unforgiving terrain he draws the attention of Dana Pukatja, a Pitjantjatjara shaman who runs the smuggling ring. Using his traditional knowledge and many tricks, he stalks Gabe to keep him from discovering the truth. As Gabe struggles with the loss of both his friend and his biological family, the shaman draws closer. The men clash on an arid plain of twisted mulga shrub far from any law except that of the outback itself.

 

Message Stick provides a panoramic look at Australia, its land, its peoples and the social issues that continue to this day. The novel won two national awards and was supported by The Jerome Foundation, the New YorkMillsCulturalCenter and CornucopiaArtsCenter. 

 

Ms. Cunningham shows an Australia beautiful and brutal. You know it isn’t going to be a gentle ride but you’re still not expecting to be kicked out of your seat onto the desert floor, rolling to a stop in the sharp-as-glass spinifex. Don’t be surprised when you want to put it down but can’t.

– Garrison Somers, Editor-in-Chief, The Blotter literary magazine

 

Message Stick demonstrates a mastery of psychological introspection and an uncanny feel for the spirit of place. The novel hit us all very hard.

– James Jones Literary Society President

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review 2013-02-24 00:00
Wise Women of the Dreamtime: Aboriginal Tales of the Ancestral Powers - Joanna Lambert 3.5 stars. I thought the tales and the interpretations were quite fascinating and overall it was an enjoyable and enlightening read, but there were two things that bothered me. Firstly, that Lambert referenced Barbara Walker's Women's Encyclopaedia of Myths and Secrets a fair bit, a book with dubious scholarship it seems, and secondly, some of the commentary began to grate after a while. While I have nothing against Lambert's earth-mother slant, the stereotyping of all women having natural nurturing instincts was unnecessary.
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