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text 2017-10-15 10:59
The Linux Server Encyclopaedia: "Anonymous" by Roland Emmerich


Sorry to interrupt, but what is it about the nature of our species that is to so attracted to conspiracy theories? We can trace this as far back as Homer and plenty of modern examples as well.
If I had a crystal ball I think it may well show a 2416 Ox/Cam luminary frothing at the bung as he expounded on the impossibility of an illiterate uneducated Lennon seen as the co-author and author of his celebrated works. I took an interest in the claims of the Earl Of Oxford after the film Anonymous made its preposterous contribution in 2011. I was particularly interested in the fact that the denialists draw so much confidence from their claims to have discovered hidden ciphers in epitaphs and ancillary texts. The Oxfordian method of unwinding these hidden messages (they are never ciphers) involves little more than separating all the letters and making words out of them as if they were a Scrabble bag with two dozen blank tiles. Oxfordians tend to stop as soon as they have found what they want. I was able to go a bit further, whilst sticking rigidly to their 'method'. As a result, I can offer a few new ideas about Shakespeare's favourite books which not even Professor Jonathan Bate may not have considered.
If you're into conspirancy theories, read on.


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review 2017-07-03 00:00
A Question of Honor
A Question of Honor - Matthew Angelo A Question of Honor - Matthew Angelo Book – A Question of Honor
Author – Matthew Angelo
Star rating - ★★★★☆
No. of Pages – 108
Cover – Great!
POV – 3rd person, dual character
Would I read it again – Maybe
Genre – LGBT, Fantasy, Romance


I really enjoyed this one. It was a super cute, fantasy novel with a LOTR essence that felt comfortable in pace and style.

I won't lie, there were some issues. I had an uncorrected proof, however, so I didn't let these issues lean too heavily upon my rating. There were some editing issues, with spelling mistakes or missing words here and there, as well as some confusion about the POV (sometimes starting off as one character and then becoming another) with a few mistakenly labelled characters, to boot (such as labelling a speech as being by Ash when it was really Havyn who said it) Thankfully, most of the time it was easy to work out what was meant, so it wasn't too big of a problem and I don't doubt that these issues will have been corrected in the final copy.

I have to applaud the world building. There were so many new terms, so much complexity and thought in the world building, that I was staggered. Yet it never felt too overwhelming or overdone.

I loved that we started the story with a Prologue that gave Arcanus, the God of Magic and All Knowledge, his own POV. Then, we finished with that again, in the Epilogue. That was brilliant and also let us see something of the people who were pulling the strings of humans/Elves etc like Ash and Havyn.

There was a whole lot of diversity here, too, from elves, mages and orcs to gay, straight and gender-neutral characters. There were also a whole lot of creatures, mostly familiar to readers already, in the form of elemental spirits, golems, dragons, necromancers and dwarves. I loved how they were all interwoven together in this fantasy world, linked in ways that were both familiar in some ways and original in others.

I actually really liked the POV format, where the characters had one scene each, trading off between Ash and Havyn for every other scene, so that we could see what was happening in chronological order, while not missing out on the finer details. Yes, the Prologue set up the point of the book and the basic plot, but I loved seeing it all come together as Ash and Havyn experienced the summons, then the fight and the victory. I also loved that they both had one person in their lives who knew their secret, before they ventured off to war, and how it made them reflect on their relationship.

Overall, I really enjoyed it and, although it needed some work when it comes to editing, I think the final product would have been just as equally justified of the 4 star review. With great world building, good, strong characters and an intriguing plot that was original and interesting to follow, I really enjoyed it and would love to read more from this 'world'.


Favourite Quote

“Even though he wanted to talk and help Ash, he knew he could not force him to do anything. Instead, he laid his hand on Ash's arm for encouragement and smiled. He hoped submitting to his leadership may help. If not, a fireball later might.”
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text 2017-06-16 14:21
:takes deep breath to ask a touchy question:

I feel safer asking this question here as opposed to twitter (which doesn't get sacrasm and where very few people seem to bother to look at a series of posts) or Facebook.  But I really want to hear the answers to it, and it is a touchy question, or more likly a series of a questions, and it has to do with race.


For the record, I am white, but I also work at a college where nine times out of ten, I am the white person in the classroom, so all my students are minority, majority African-American.  I tend to think about race a bit.  I know that my students have taught me as much, if not more, then I taught them.


So my questions are 


1. What extactly is cultural appropriation?  Look I know the textbook defination, but is a white writer creating a black character doing so?  Is that author simply being diverse?  Is it culutural appropriation only if the writer creates such a character without making the character believable or only creates such characters or only creates a minority character who is minority only in skin color?  There was an op-ed piece in the NYT and I read Marlon James thoughts on it, so is there a hard answer to this one? I am also thinking about the recent art debates.  What do you think?  For instance, if The Hate U Give had been written by a white, Latina, Chinese, person would that have been appropriation? If it had been written by a man and not a woman?  I don't really know the answer to these questions, yet I have students who ask me about these issues.  I realize there probably isn't a hard or fast answer, but it seems like very places are open to discussion without name calling.  And I don't think LIonel Shriver was right either.


2. I understand why Elizabeth Banks is being called out, and she should be.  Forgetting the Color Purple is wrong and white woman feminism.  But why is it therefore okay for everyone to forget Memoirs of a Geisha which Spielberg produced?  Isn't that the same thing?

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text 2017-06-13 15:41
How often do you DNF a book? I always feel guilty...

I rarely put a book aside and telling the truth I could count the abandoned books on the fingers of my hand (maybe two hands), I give them a second chance and count for an improvement later on. But when enough is enough I feel guilty and start to think that maybe there's something wrong with me or my reading preferences.


How do you treat books that aren't your cup of tea?


A. Close and forget or giveaway to hated cousin.

B. Read till the last page because I cannot otherwise.

C. Have short brake from a title and give it a second chance after a while.


pic via BookLikes Facebook

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text 2017-06-03 00:46
Booklikesopoly question: Switching books?


I originally chose James White's Lifeboat for this spot. However, I haven't started reading it yet, and I just got Emily Skrutskie's The Edge of the Abyss in via interlibrary loan. Can I change my planned book and read The Edge of the Abyss for this spot instead? I'm guessing it'd be fine, but I figured I'd throw the question out there and see what people think.



Lifeboat - James White  The Edge of the Abyss - Emily Skrutskie  

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