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review 2018-07-10 03:59
Intimate Grandeur: Vermont's State House by Nancy Price Graff
Intimate Grandeur: Vermont's State House - Nancy Price Graff,David Schutz II

As advertised. 'Intimate Grandeur' is a coffee-table book history of Vermont's State House. While I'm sure that every state house building is noteworthy simply because of its place at the center of politics, Vermont's is a beautifully restored gem of 19th century public architecture.

I was lucky enough to have a guided tour 'after hours' of the building this past winter and was awestruck at the massive yet delicate plasterwork, the mostly-original custom lighting fixtures and furniture, all restored and converted from gas to electricty. Every detail down to the carpets were brought back after decades of neglect.

'Intimate Grandeur' is a history of the building itself, and its two predecessors, but also a history of civic responsibility and preservation. Even when fashions changed and inconvenient 'decadent' chandeliers were banished from chambers they were carefully stowed away, waiting to be rediscovered.

I picked this book up as a memento of the tour. Beautifully done.

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text 2018-02-28 22:30
February 2018-That's a Wrap!
October - Michael Rowe
The Book of the Unnamed Midwife (The Road to Nowhere 1) - Meg Elison
Vision (2015-) #10 - Tom King,Gabriel Walta,Mike Del Mundo
Tarnished City (Dark Gifts) - Vic James
Daytripper - Fábio Moon,Gabriel Bá,Craig Thompson,Dave Stewart,Sean Konot
Edging - Michael Schutz,Michelle.Thompson
The Night Child: A Novel - Anna Quinn
West Cork - Audible Originals,Jennifer Forde,J.H. Bungey
All the Names They Used for God: Stories - Anjali Sachdeva
March: Book Two - Andrew Aydin,Nate Powell,John Robert Lewis

I've read 16 books this month!

 

Graphic Novels

March: Book Two by John Lewis 4*

The Vision: The Complete Series by Tom King 5*

Saga: Volume One by Brian Vaughan 5*

Saga: Volume Two by Brian Vaughan 4.5* 

Daytripper: Deluxe Edition by Fabio Moon 5*

Total: 5

 

Novellas

October by Michael Rowe 4.5*

Total: 1

 

Audiobooks

The Book of the Unnamed Midwife by Meg Elison 4.5*

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel 3*

Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: A Modern Day Bestiary by David Sedaris 3*

West Cork by Sam Bungey and Jennifer Forde 4*

Total: 4

 

ARCS

The Night Child by Anna Quinn 4*

All the Names They Used For God by Anjali Sachdeva 4*

Tarnished City by Vic James 4.5*

Zero Day by Ezekiel Boone 3.5*

Total: 4

 

Random Reads

Corpse Cold: New American Folklore by John Brhel 3.5*

Edging by Michael Schutz 4*

Total: 2

 

 

 

Horror Aficionados Mount TBR Challenge:

Challenge: Read 40 Books Already on my TBR

1. City of the Dead by Brian Keene

2. The Warblers by Amber Fallon

3. October by Michael Rowe

Status: 3/40

 

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review 2018-02-26 19:00
Edging by Michael Schutz
Edging - Michael Schutz,Michelle.Thompson

 

EDGING. That's what you call it when you take a dose of Intenze. First, you'll experience your mind's own little horror movie. You'll be scared, maybe even terrified, but afterward? You'll get an adrenaline rush like nothing you've ever experienced before. It's a great premise for what turned out to be a great story!

 

All of the characters in this book are well drawn, with realistic problems, hopes and dreams. The main protagonist Rick, is the father of creepy twins and husband to a cheating wife. He's a bit wishy-washy and slow to act on things until his his hand is forced. His wife Trish is unhappy and all too willing to try Intenze at the behest of her new hunk of a boyfriend, Steve. She soon becomes addicted and so do most of the other people who decide to EDGE. But what happens if you do too much? Will you overdose? What is up with the tall, dark, shadowy man that many who EDGE see while they're tripping? What would happen if the whole town was EDGING? You'll have to read it to find out!

 

This is an intricately plotted story and I loved seeing how everything slowly came together. In some ways it reminded me of Salem's Lot. We're introduced to people around town and get some insight into their daily lives. Once events ratcheted up, everything came together beautifully. I do think a few portions dragged just a bit around the 75% mark, but that didn't bother me too much, as I was so engaged with the characters I had to see what happened next.

 

There is an element of originality here with the introduction of Intenze, what it did, and how it was used. There are aspects of this tale that touched on why drug use is so popular, and also on bullies and what motivates them, as well as the acceptance, (or lack thereof) of homosexuality in our homes and in our schools. It is often easy to forget how horrible life can be when one is constantly reminded of, and being made to pay for, being "different." This book takes a hard look at some of those things and I respected and appreciated those bold looks.

 

EDGING was a nice surprise for me. I'm not sure what I expected, but it wasn't a book this compelling. It was well written, had engaging and interesting characters, an original premise and an exciting denouement. What more could you ask for?

 

Highly recommended for fans of dark, edgy, (see what I did there?!) fiction!

 

You can get your copy here: Edging

 

*I received a free e-copy of this book in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it!*

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review 2017-07-28 13:49
Edging- Michael Schutz

 

     An intense read, high on adrenaline to the end. Not all the loops in the story quite join at the end, though some of this is almost certainly intentional as Schutz sets his readers of for a second edging. There are a few copy errors, but none that came close to spoiling my read.

     In my view, the book has a little too much pace to it to really built the horror, increasingly lacking a juxtaposition between normality and evil abnormality which really put’s teeth on edge. So not quite Mary Shelly or Steven King, but a great read by any standards. This is very much the sort of book that I would be happy picking up as a pot-luck read from the airport lounge.

    As to the plot, I am inclined to make the noun plural. There are many elements that might have been better divided into two separate stories. The first, about the drug culture and it’s dangers to society was by far the most powerful. The second plot, the devil working through the minds of his devotees and captured souls and the physical manifestation of his evil, provided the meat of the climatic ending but lacked the conviction of the narcotic story. There is connection between the two plots, but not a direct and strong enough one for my liking. Perhaps Edging II will bind the plots together with more conviction.

   Overall, I recommend this book to those that like to feel the rush of a fast paced, edge-of-seat entertainment. Reading this is like watching a movie, exciting but lacking enough detail to properly join all the dots, entertainment trumping exacting plot, rather than a book plot stripped of logical continuity in the making of a film. That doesn’t make the book unreadable any more than making an exciting movie unwatchable, on the contrary, both can be great entertainment; that being very much the case here.

    This raises the question of whether this book has potential as a film. It absolutely does. With well-engineered special effects, it could be a real blockbuster.

    As I did, you may want to compartmentalise the plot elements a little. But, yes, this is a quality read. I have no hesitation in awarding the five stars I do to most books that raise my interest enough to solicit a review.

AMAZON LINK

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review 2017-05-27 07:03
Rezension | Die Kinder Húrins von J. R. R. Tolkien
Die Kinder Húrins - Alan Lee,J.R.R. Tolkien,J.R.R. Tolkien,Hans J. Schütz

Beschreibung

 

Im Ersten Zeitalter von Mittelerde, tausende Jahre vor dem Ringkrieg, gelangt Morgoth an die Macht und ein Krieg gegen die Elben und Edain beginnt. Nach einer schrecklichen Schlacht wird Húrin von Morgoth gefangen genommen und seine gesamte Familie mit einem Fluch belegt.

 

Das Schicksal führt Húrins Sohn Túrin schon in jungen Jahren zu den Elben. Dort wächst er zu einem stolzen jungen Mann heran, der seinen Mut schon bald im Kampf gegen die böse Macht Morgoths und den Drachen Glaurung unter Beweis stellt.

 

Meine Meinung

 

Die Geschichter über „Die Kinder Húrins“ nimmt für J. R. R. Tolkien einen großen Stellenwert ein, jedoch wurde sie zu seinen Lebzeiten weder fertig gestellt, noch veröffentlicht. Sein Sohn Christopher hat sich dem Vermächtnis seines Vaters angenommen und die bestehenden Fragmente zu einer fortlaufenden Geschichte zusammengefügt und ergänzt. Ein Vorwort erläutert die Zusammenhänge sowie die zeitliche Einordnung der Geschichte, außerdem sind Anhänge mit Stammbäumen, einem Namensverzeichnis und einer Karte beigefügt, die das Werk komplettieren.

Die Erzählkunst Tolkiens weicht in „Die Kinder Húrins“ etwas von dem detailreichen Stil, wie wir ihn aus „Der Hobbit“ und „Der Herr der Ringe“ kennen ab.

 

Mich erinnert Tolkiens Schreibstil hier sehr stark an eine Sage oder Legende, denn Tolkiens Sprache ist sehr altertümlich gehalten, zudem betrachtet man die Geschichte mit größerem Abstand zu Protagonisten und Plot, so dass man keinen direkten Zugang zu den einzelnen Figuren erhält und das Geschehen wie aus der Vogelperspektive betrachtet.

 

Die heroische Geschichte über das Geschlecht der Beor und den Krieg gegen die dunkle Macht Morgoths hat mich von der ersten Seite an gefesselt und auf eine spannende Reise durch das erste Zeitalter Mittelerdes, etwa 6500 Jahre vor dem Ringkrieg, mitgenommen. Im Mittelpunkt steht Túrin, der Sohn von Morwen und Húrin, sowie die Entwicklung in Beleriand. Ganze Städte werden von Morgoth vernichet und Túrins Schicksal ist der Kampf gegen diesen mächtigen Feind. Als Elbenfreund und großer Krieger macht er sich in den unterschiedlichsten Gegenden Beleriands einen Namen. Doch der Fluch von Morgoth überschatten sein mutiges und stolzes Wesen mit einer dunklen Seite.

 

Nachdem ich erst kürzlich „Der Hobbit“ und „Der Herr der Ringe“ nochmals gelesen hatte, habe ich es sehr genossen meine Füße nun wieder auf Mittelerdes Boden setzten zu können und einen umfangreicheren Einblick in die ersten Tage und Schlachten zu erhalten. In meinen Augen eignet sich die Geschichte vor allem für Tolkien Fans die tiefer in die Vorgeschichte Mittelerdes eintauchen möchten. Einem Neuleser würde ich daher empfehlen, zuerst mit den beiden genannten Werken zu beginnen.

 

Fazit

 

Eine Sage aus dem ersten Zeitalter Mittelerdes die eine Bereicherung für jeden Tolkien-Fan ist!

Source: www.bellaswonderworld.de/rezensionen/rezension-die-kinder-hurins-von-j-r-r-tolkien
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