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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 2017-12-16 11:00
Fairies
Fairies:: A Guide to the Celtic Fair Folk - Morgan Daimler

by Morgan Daimler

 

Non-fiction

 

This book is about the folklore and fairy tradition of Ireland. It may well be the most down-to-earth book on the subject on the market to date. Rather than the airy-fairy Victorian ideas of pretty little girl fairies that popular culture has spread, this is about the original tales and beliefs that are still prevalent in a mostly Christian Ireland.

 

The book is well researched. Tales from many places in the British Isles and Europe are cited and the folk beliefs are given context. Actual belief in fairies isn't required to enjoy the relation of the stories, though the author is mostly directing the information at a Pagan readership where some degree of belief is relevant.

 

There is a lot of repetition. Perhaps it was needed for context but I've seen the same information about fairy behavior in three different chapters and that gives the impression of padding. My only other complaint is that in an early chapter there was a promise to explain the difference between fairies and nature spirits, but only a passing reference to the latter later on. I pretty much understand the difference but would have liked to see it put into words to clarify.

 

Overall a good reference for anyone new to the subject, although the classic reference books are cited so often that I wonder if someone with more than a passing interest should just reading those works. Mostly well written, though it meanders in the last couple of chapters.

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review 2017-11-24 20:29
Inkheart
Inkheart - Cornelia Funke,Anthea Bell

This is my book for Guy Fawkes Night.  

Book themes for Guy Fawkes Night: Any book about the English monarchy (any genre), political treason, political thrillers, or where fire is a major theme, or fire is on the cover.

 

I finally finished this book.  It´s been cold and snowy here and that has caused my pain to flare up: both my Fibromyalgia and PsA pain stacked on top of each other.  I have had a hard time focusing enough to read.  I finally listened to the unabridged audio book instead.  It was very good but I always wish they read faster.  It was okay this time though because my brain was running snow anyway.  I could only focus for small periods also so it still took me a long time to get through.  

 

It was narrated by Lynn Redgrave who made me want to make some English Breakfast tea and scones with clotted cream and jam.  

 

The story was very imaginative.  Reading about Meggie made me think of my oldest son.  He loved books from a very young age.  I would often peak into my son's room at night when he was supposed to be sleeping to see the glow of a flashlight under a tent of blankets.  One time when my son´s teachers told me he wasn't turning in his work at school and he was failing his classes we had to do something drastic to get his attention.  The only thing he cared about was his books so I bought a lockable garage cabinet and put his books in it and padlocked it.  I told him I would unlock it only when his teacher told me he was doing better in school.  That was the hardest thing to do but he did finally decide to do his work.

 

This story is about Meggie and her father who live in an old farm house.  Meggie's father mends books, chasing away the mold and book worms and giving them new dresses.  Meggie didn't remember her mother who had gone away nine years before.  One day Meggie looked out her window and saw a strange man standing out in the pouring rain.  He was just standing there staring at their house.  She went to tell her father and he brought the stranger in.  Only, her father seemed to know him.  He called him Dustfinger and Dustfinger called her father Silvertongue.  Meggie was sent to her room to go to bed but she sneaked back and listened outside the door to them talk in hushed voices about a horrible man called Capricorn.  The way they talked scared Meggie and she begged her father to send him away.  She didn't like him.  

 

The next morning Meggie's father woke her up early and was packing for a trip.  They set off on a trip that Meggie would never forget, to a place where things come out of books and are not always good.  Meggie learned that it is a lot more fun to read about the adventures in books than to be in them herself.  

 

My son that I mentioned above wanted me to read this book.  He knew I would like it.  

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review 2017-10-02 16:05
The Darkest Part of the Forest / Holly Black
The Darkest Part of the Forest - Holly Black

Hazel lives with her brother, Ben, in the strange town of Fairfold where humans and fae exist side by side. The faeries’ seemingly harmless magic attracts tourists, but Hazel knows how dangerous they can be, and she knows how to stop them. Or she did, once.

At the center of it all, there is a glass coffin in the woods. It rests right on the ground and in it sleeps a boy with horns on his head and ears as pointed as knives. Hazel and Ben were both in love with him as children. The boy has slept there for generations, never waking.

Until one day, he does…

As the world turns upside down, Hazel tries to remember her years pretending to be a knight. But swept up in new love, shifting loyalties, and the fresh sting of betrayal, will it be enough?

 

 

I read this book to fill the “In the Dark, Dark Woods” square of my 2017 Halloween Bingo card.

 

I am continually amazed at how much I enjoy some of these “young adult” novels!  This one is definitely in the “really good” category.  I’m a sucker for stories that include the Fae, especially if they’re dark, mysterious & threatening.   

 

The story also explores the brother-sister relationship between Hazel and Ben, how they support one another and how they lie to one another and the consequences of both of those choices.  There’s a boy with horns and pointed ears asleep in a glass coffin (very Cinderella-ish) in the middle of the dark, dark woods and both siblings are in love with him or maybe with the stories they’ve created around him.  No one expects him to awake, and when he does, perhaps they believe their own imaginations too much and aren’t as worried as they should be.

 

The need for love, the need for purpose, and the love & support of family, all explored in an adventurous fairy tale.  Delightful!

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review 2017-09-29 19:58
The Modern Fae's Guide to Surviving Humanity / edited by Joshua Palmatier & Patricia Bray
The Modern Fae's Guide to Surviving Humanity - Jim C. Hines,April Steenburgh,Susan Jett,Kari Sperring,Barbara Ashford,Avery Shade,Shannon Page,Seanan McGuire,Jean Marie Ward,Anton Strout,Kristine Smith,S.C. Butler,Joshua Palmatier,Juliet E. McKenna,Patricia Bray,Jay Lake,Elizabeth Bear

What if the fae were still here, living among us? Perhaps living in secret, doing their best to pass for human? Or perhaps their existence is acknowledged, but they're still struggling to fit in. How have they survived? Are they outcasts clinging to the edges of society, or do their powers ensure success in the mortal realm? Here are fourteen fabulous tales-ranging from humor to dark fantasy-that explore how the creatures of fae are fitting into the modern world.

 

A collection of short stories, mostly to my taste. To my complete surprise, the first story by Seanan McGuire did not come anywhere close to being my favourite of the batch!

Remarkably few of these authors have books listed in my public library catalogue, so I may not run into some of them again, unfortunately. A couple of them seem to have only contributed to anthologies thus far in their careers, some have only a book or two to their credit, and some must just not be on the radar of the acquisitions dept. of our library. I realize that they can’t afford to order everything!

I guess the point is that some of these authors are just starting their writing careers and that we have good things to look forward to, if this collection is any indication.

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