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review 2018-06-01 00:00
Balam, Spring
Balam, Spring - Travis M. Riddle Balam, Spring - Travis M. Riddle I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

This was a really enjoyable read. It's set in a small town so it makes for a nice break from sprawling epic fantasies. In fact, I was actually starting to be afraid I was going to burnout on fantasy so reading something smaller, more personal, and more mystery driven was just what I needed.

The book centers around the small town of Balam where a mysterious epidemic is killing the town's residents. It started when the town's previous white mage died and continued as a retired mercenary, Ryckert aids the new white maage Aava in resolving this mystery. Along the way, the book also shows several of the other characters in the town as they try to process what was going on.

In some novels which center around a mystery, I have to admit (to my shame), that I would often glance at the ending so as to not be surprised. I didn't do that here. Instead, I kept reading to find out what happened. To say the least, the cause was actually something both beautiful, tragic, and outright terrible. There were tears shed near the ending, and there are some scenes which I found to be beautiful and poignant.

The characters here feel real in both their personalities, their relationships, and their lives. There are characters who are straight, bisexual, gay, and lesbian and each of them feel real and seamlessly integrated into the world. Their relationships are both beautiful and sad, or even ugly. There are familial relationships, friendly relationships, and romantic relationships, and each of them were depicted beautifully.

I enjoyed the small town setting. As someone who has lived in a city her entire life, I found it to be very charming, a kind of quiet setting, and a very good break from world-changing stories. A small town's struggle in the face of an unknown epidemic made for a compelling story which I really liked.

I highly recommend this book. It's nicely paced, more slice-of-life than epic, but contains a poignant story which I think anyone can enjoy.
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quote 2018-05-03 13:18
W małżeństwie tak jak na wojnie, w niektórych bitwach nie ma zwycięzców.
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quote 2018-05-02 16:46
Ludzie często mówią, że co cię nie zabije, to cię wzmocni. Bzdury. Po niektórych wydarzeniach człowiek nie jest w stanie się otrząsnąć. Nie czynią silniejszym, tylko słabszym, bez względu na to, jak bardzo próbujesz to ukryć i udawać, że jesteś silny.
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review 2017-11-19 00:00
Is Another World Watching? The Riddle of the Flying Saucers
Is Another World Watching? The Riddle of the Flying Saucers - Gerald Heard Started reading it a second time as the first time was very long ago (1953). Quit about half way through as the author seems more intent with talking of his own faulty (my opinion) ideas and not telling much about older sightings. If you are going to read period literature about UFO's there are much better books than this one.
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review 2017-07-14 00:00
Fermat's Last Theorem: The Story of a Riddle That Confounded the World's Greatest Minds for 358 Years
Fermat's Last Theorem: The Story of a Riddle That Confounded the World's Greatest Minds for 358 Years - Simon Singh,John Lynch I bought this book after seeing the documentary that went with it.
It tells how one person (Andrew Wiles) worked to prove a theorem that had stumped mathemeticians for over 3 centuries after reading about it when he was in primary school.

Singh explains the ideas behind the eventual solution in a clear manner. A lot of the actual maths baffled me a bit, but they're not the main point of this book.

Rather, it shows the single minded obsession that someone can have as they try and solve something that possibly only a few others could.

The book is well written and has an interesting story behind it, with tension rising in the last few chapters. A good mix of ancient and modern mathematics history, plus interviews with colleagues and peers.
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