logo
Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: favorite
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2017-03-23 12:25
♪Some of My FAVORITE Things♪ (Part 3)

The idea for this series of posts was inspired by Lashaan at Bookidote. He asked what some of my favorite books were during my initial start of my Malazan Journey.  That got me thinking, as I do have a “favorite” tag that I use in Calibre. So I did some exhaustive investigating [typing in “favorite” and hitting enter in Calibre is a real workout!] and out of the roughly 2900 books that I’ve read since 2000, there are around 300 that earned the Favorite moniker. There are a bunch of Favorites that are duplicates, as I’ve obviously re-read some of my Favorites time and time again.

 

However, listing 300+ books all in one post seemed like information overload. Therefore I have decided to do a much smaller list each month until the end of the year. You will get to see what I like in manageable doses and I get “thought free” posts.   Win-Win all around. I’m simply listing them Alphabetical by Author with just a word or four attached.

 

 

 

 

 

Dave Duncan

 

Sky Swords
The Gilded Chain
Lord of the Fire Lands

 

These were the original King’s Blades books and quite the tale they were. Considering that the  story is circular due to some funky time stuff, I am looking forward to re-reading these at some point in the future

 

 

David Drake

 

Lord of the Isles

 

I actually enjoyed the whole Lord of the Isles series and not just the first book, but didn’t feel like listing all 9 books. If you like the first book, you’ll like the the rest of the series, as Drake pretty much cut-n-pastes for all 9 books. Magic and violence in a fantasy setting.

 

 

David Eddings

 

Enchanters’ End Game
Magician’s Gambit
Castle of Wizardry
Queen of Sorcery
Pawn of Prophecy

 

I came to the Belgariad in highschool and have loved it ever since. In theory, I love his Elenium (Diamond Throne, Ruby Knight & Sapphire Rose) more, because it deals with one knight, but in all honesty, it doesn’t hold up as well. Still good, just not as good.

 

 

DC Comics/Dan Jurgens

 

Return of Superman
World Without a Superman
Death of Superman
Superman/Doomsday Hunter/Prey

 

This whole story arc in the comics world is what cemented my love for Supes. It also etched into my mind that Superman looked like this. He’s a man who has gone through a lot, he’s not some boy [I’m looking at you New52 Superman] fresh faced and off the farm.

 

sfpep133

 

 

 

Dennis Schmidt

 

Way-Farer

 

I ran across Way-Farer when I was in middle school. I thought it was a standalone story for over a decade until I went on a road trip to Newfoundland and in a little used bookstore ran across the sequel. Turns out there were 4 books in total. Sadly, while I enjoyed the rest, they just didn’t have the magic of the first. But swords and zen in a science fiction setting? Yes please.

 

 

Don Pendleton

 

Tennessee Smash
Acapulco Rampage

 

Pendleton originally penned 37 novels about a vietnam vet who returned to the United States to hunt down the mafia who had killed his family. The series was called Mack Bolan: The Executioner. It is pretty pulpy 60’s, 70’s and 80’s stuff but these 2 stood out. The series did continue, but under various ghost author’s names.

 

 

Edward Roe

 

His Sombre Rivals

 

Published in 1883, this book was one of the finalists for my Best Book of 2015.  A story of loyalty, friendship, unrequited love and honor, I couldn’t have asked for a better story.

 

 

Evan Currie

 

Heirs of Empire
An Empire Asunder

 

Currie has written a bunch, but this series, The Scourwind Legacy, is probably his best to date. One of those Indie’s who has proved me wrong and I’m glad of that. Space Opera and super soldiers.

 

 

Frank Herbert

 

Dune
Dune Messiah
Children of Dune
God Emperor of Dune

 

What can I say? I am going to be re-reading the Dune Chronicles this year. It is epic in scope and time and scale. Dune is probably one of the finest books I’ll ever read.

 

 

George MacDonald

 

The Princess and the Goblins
The Princess and Curdie

 

The Princess and Curdie was the first book I owned as a child that was in hardcover. I bought it in 2nd grade and it has not left my side yet. A great children’s duology.

 

 

 

 

 

So there is March’s Favorites. Life is going to be busy for the rest of the month [car stuff, etc] so I suspect my posting schedule will be rather erratic at best.

 

dog_reading_bio_book-wide

 

  1. Some of My Favorite Things I
  2. Some of My Favorite Things II
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-03-21 21:54
I think the world might have tilted on it's axis a bit...
Seven Summer Nights - Harper Fox

Oh, Ms Fox how I adore your writing. You bring stories to life for me as few other authors are able to. 

 

This one started on a bit of a challenging note for me. It was ok and I was enjoying it...possibly because "Buddy Read" with my awesome besties Josy and Christelle and initially I think perhaps this story was appealing more to them than me on a certain level. But as always I was still being drawn in by the wonderful word poetry of Ms Fox and that alone was enough to keep me reading but needless to say the more I was drawn into this web of words the more I wanted to read until I found myself happily devouring this story. 

 

'Seven Summer Nights' is not a simple story about a post-war romance between two men...oh no, it's not even close to that because for one thing a romance between two men at that time in history didn't have a snowballs chance in 'you know where' of being simple.

 

While the story between Rufus and Archibald (Thorne for the remainder of this review) is very much the main and central part of the story. It is surrounded by a explosion of colorful and often 'eccentric' characters set mainly in a small English countryside village. The struggles that are faced by both Rufus and Thorne on an individual level and as two men trying to find a place for their fragile relationship in a world that would see them jailed or worse for their feelings, for sharing words spoken in the still of night as gentle as a summers breeze meant only to offer comfort and ease...

"No more gods, no more war. I'm not a vicar, and you...you're not a soldier.

 Never again. There's just us, dear fellow---here we are."

 

'Seven Summer Nights' shows us a world that many of us never knew first hand, some like myself may have a bit of second-hand knowledge because of parents and grandparents.

 

Much of this book was ironically a reminder for me of why I'm not a huge fan of historical novels not because they're bad or uninteresting...in fact quite the contrary. I love history but unfortunately with history comes the reminders of the wrongs and injustices that have been committed and so often these transgressions are hidden behind such noble causes as God, King and country forcing men who would live in a world of tolerance and peace to fight those would control it through fear, bigotry and sheer brute force. This is what happened to Rufus and when he could fight no more his mind chose to forget. Ironically Thorne who is a man of god also fought but his terrors were not so dark and his memories were very different than that of Rufus.

"Yes. Oh, Archie, it seems terrible to talk about it.

To destroy your peace of mind with such a story."

 

"You won't. And even if you did, isn't that part of my job from now on--

  to share your wars and your peace?"

 

Two men fighting for the basic rights and freedoms of the same people who would deny them theirs. Just as they would deny the women who did their part their rights (it wasn't until 1928 that British women achieved full suffrage 3 years after the end of WWII and while this is an incredibly interesting topic...google is your friend). This is the setting of 'Seven Summer Nights' but we're not done yet because as well as the climate of the times Ms Fox has given us glimpses of Britain's cultural background through it's archaeology and it's folklore. We see the intertwining of England's religion with it's pre-christian days. There are subtle references to Anglo-Saxon paganism, England's witch hunts during the 1640s and things don't end there we are also reminded of the nightmare that passed for modern medicine specifically psychiatry during the early 1900's. 

 

You're probably thinking this sounds like a lot of gloom and doom right about now but it wasn't because woven in between these things was the strength of the human spirit and it's struggle for love in the form of Rufus and Thorne, the desire to govern ourselves and make our own decisions in the form Thorne's sister Caroline and Alice Winborn. There were characters of strength and courage in Maria who quietly took charge and gave people what they needed, Drusilla whose struggle to find her way back to herself, her child and her faith nearly cost her sanity and of course there were those who should have been hero's and failed.

 

'Seven Summer Nights' is neither a simple nor an easy story to read or explain...was it fantasy? No, not for me, there were no magical creatures...was there magic? I suppose of a fashion there was, but it was the magic of a world long gone. A world of faith so strong that it could alter the very fabric of ones reality...so yes there was magic. Then again isn't there always a little magic involved when it only takes words to transport us through time and space to a place we've never known to share an adventure with people we'll never meet? You're a wizard Ms Fox, a wizard I tell you.

 

"Oh, Archie. You and I both know--everyone who went to war knows--

the one thing none of us can be sure of is time..."

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
url 2017-03-21 15:39
Literary Data Analysis
Nabokov's Favorite Word Is Mauve: And Other Experiments in Literature - Ben Blatt

Fascinating. Also, I now recognize a graduate project of mine on D.H. Lawrence and Virginia Woolf's use of the word "pure" to be a stab at data analysis, though the goal of the project shifted to something more manageable to me.

 

And, coincidence, I'm currently reading Nabokov.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-03-19 21:35
Alternate history Transformers/GI Joes crossover!
Transformers vs. G.I. Joe: Tyrants Rise, Heroes Are Born - John Rieber,Jae Lee

This is set during World War Two and the problem is that Cybertronians have not been out in the open since then.   The thing is this is an AU, and I've known that since far before buying this.   It's not canon, but it's been called the best of this particular crossover - which, yes, has been done multiple times, all in comic book format.  

 

That being said, I've wanted to get this before now - and to this.   It's not in the library system, was out of print for a while, and back then the used copies were going for at least fifty dollars a pop.   So when I saw this on sale for six dollars at Comixology, I grabbed it and ran.   I mean, Jae Lee!   Jae Lee draws the transformers!   And not only that, every single source I'd read said that the story was excellent as well. 

 

It didn't disappoint.  I'd been saving this for a rainy day, but when Char reviewed a Gunslinger graphic illustrated by Jae Lee, I was reminded why he was such a shining star in the graphic novel world.   HIs illustrations are painterly, emotive, and just stunning.   So, yeah, I really wanted to see what he would do with one of my favorite franchises.   Despite reading all about this, I either didn't know, or forgot, that one of my very favorites - Grimlock - was in this.   And he plays a rather significant role, which is saying something: much of the Transformers mythos is, sadly, not about Grimlock.   He starred in a couple episodes of Animated, was in some G1 - but not as much as I'd have liked, and has a starring role in Robots in Disguise, the new TV show.   He also has some clout in the IDW universe, as well as starring in the Transformers Beast Hunters comic tie-in to Transformers Prime.   But really, not much overall.   Even in IDW, he's mostly coming in for an issue or two, then leaves.   Maximum Dinobots, the miniseries about the Dynobots, was one of his larger roles there, so I didn't really expect him in this.   (Some of the G1 comics feature him and the Dinobots heavily, but again, not as many as I'd like and I find them inferior to IDW.)   It was a pleasant surprise.  

 

Grimlock is also in character: 

 

 

He talks like Grimlock and he acts like Grimlock - for the most part.   He's a little more friendly with the meat than I'd like, but my favorite Grimlock is IDW: he's mean, and he only cares about the Dynobots.   (And once they go into actual dinosaur mode, they do call themselves the Dinobots, but I like Dynobots: it makes them feel less... meaty.)   He's dumb, but smart enough that readers question whether or not he's just playing dumb so when people underestimate him, he can crush them.   He's quick to anger and brutally ruthless - which is why the other Dynobots turn on him at one point.   And I never found another Grimlock I found hotter.   (Which worries me on some level, but... there you go!  I also realize I like fictional bots that I would be... wary about in real life, so I'm allowing myself some fantasy wiggle room.)

 

Not only that, but if you look at Robots in Disguise, there are some continuities where Grimlock is more meat-friendly.   G1 Grimlock got fairly close with Spike's son Daniel.   And we're talking about fellow warriors here, so if anything, Grimlock would have respect for them.   When they lead him to some Decepticons to smash, well, how can he not like them?

 

 

Proof that the Joes know what Grim wants. 

 

 

Well, it didn't quite happen that way - but I wouldn't point that out to Grimlock if it keeps him thinking of the Joes as friends!   Not only that, he listens, he learns, and he uses their logic against them at one point. 

 

To which a Joe says this: 

 

 

Predictably, the Joes and Autobots create real friendships, ground in the shared desire for peace and the brotherhood of combined experience in war.   That binds them together.   The Cobras and Decepticons snipe at each other, all while trying to undercut one another's power.   Basically: this is all in character, at least for Transformers.  I know almost nothing about the Joes continuity.  I assume it's all good since such care was taken with the other side, though.   The story basically is that Cobra uncovers the Decepticons and the Joes uncover the Autobots.   From there, it's waging a world war, trying to incorporate those elements. 

 

And it does it beautifully if you don't mind too much WWII aspect.   (Which I don't; I'd prefer it that way.   There are some hints like when a Joe hopes that people have been enslaved in Europe.   When Optimus Prime becomes suspicious, and narrows his optics and asks 'you hope they've been enslaved?' the Joe answers that the other option is their all dead.   There are hints of the horrors, but nothing that's concrete.   The closest is Bruticus, a combination of human and Cybertonian technology, arguably a more concrete knock at Nazi science and 'medicine', but alternately simply there for the narrative.)

 

It's more about wartime and what happens to soldiers, and yes there are limitations in what human technology can do at this time.    That seems less important than the bonds that are created, and the anger that is stoked, and the conflicts of peace versus power.   It all read like a natural progression to me, as well. 

 

 

I was happy to see Cobra Commander and Megatron in this battle for power.   Anything else would have been a slap to Megatron's face, a misuse of his character.   The Commander gains control of the Matrix early on and uses it to browbeat Megatron in submission; when Shockwave defers to Megatron, the Decepticon leader rebukes him, knowing what the Commander could do otherwise.   This, I believe, led to Megatron not only allowing the Commander to use Shockwave so brutally - payback for that insubordination, as well as denying the Cobras further use of Shockwave's might - but in him allowing other abuses to regain his own station.   Again,  an absolute dick move, and just what Megatron would do: he doesn't believe it will hobble him in the fight against the Autobots, and he would absolutely lash out at someone who tried to control him as the Commander did.

 

Basically, yes a perfect crossover.   Jae Lee, I should point out, illustrated this a while ago.   While I find all his artwork lush and gorgeous, I prefer his later work.   I also feel this is fair to say; his early work is better than what I could do on the best day of my life, but as he evolved, I think he strengthened his art.   This is still some of the most lovely Transformers artwork I've seen, and the grittiness fits the period it's set in, too.

 

Two more comments.

 

 

Ravage looks brutally efficient and I love it: 

 

 

Scarlett rides Bee at some point and noticing the awkwardness asks if anyone's driven before.   He's pretty much silent and she's like 'aw, adorable.'   Later on he says this:

 

 

Primus, there has to be porny fanfiction about this.   Please, please, please let there be porny fanfiction about this.   This makes it a new ship: Scarlett/Bee.   Yes, please, yummy!

 

 

 

 

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2017-03-19 21:09
This review will be an essay
Transformers vs. G.I. Joe: Tyrants Rise, Heroes Are Born - John Rieber,Jae Lee

Which I didn't realize until I started writing it and it all came out.   Apologies. 

 

Also, my mom just got me the one thing I wanted for my birthday: a new Brenthaven bag just like the one I already have for school on eBay.  It's gorgeous, and it's lasted for four years with minimal wear and zero damage.   

 

I've been fretting over what to do when this one eventually wears out on me, and now I know: I'll have a new one to use for school and that will make this one last longer.   Yay!   This one is new - or so it's claimed on the site - and I got it for a fair amount less than I got mine for at the Apple store.   (Where I would have bought another one, but they no longer sell them.   Sadness.)

 

But this is good.  I know what I'm giving away to one person for my birthday.   (I feel good giving gifts so I give out at least one or two on my b-day.)

 

 

More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?