Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Books I Read and Reviewed In September

It's been a good month, with the first ARC I've been given to review, and some books I'd been looking forward to reading.
In (more or less) reverse order from newest review to oldest, the books I read in the past month were:

Against The Tide Of Years
S. M. Stirling

A quote from my review:
There's lots of familiar ancient history, just shifted a bit by the influence of the Nantucketers. That's one of the things I'm finding that I really love about the series: the historical detail....As a lover of ancient and classical history, one of the things I like about Stirling's Nantucket trilogy is being able to go "I recognize that!" when the characters run into a place, person or culture.

Catfantastic V
Editors: Andre Norton and Martin H. Greenberg

A snippet from my review:
A great book for any cat lover, sure to leave you purring with delight (it sure did me, and kept me up nice and late, reading). I should give it five stars if I did ratings. I think I'm going to have to set up a rating system and graphics soon, given the number of times I've said that lately.
There's stories by Andre Norton, Mercedes Lackey, David Drake, Barry Longyear and many more well known and great authors included in this volume.

The Quest Of The Holy Grail
Trans. P. M. Matarasso

A snippet from my review:
The Quest of the Holy Grail is many things: engaging, fun, exciting, and to one living in the medieval world, educational. The translator figures that the work dates to between 1215 and 1230. It is also of British authorship and is described as being a spiritual fable rather than a romance. It is also considered to be a part of the Prose Lancelot cycle.
I read this book for both the Pre-Printing Press Challenge and the Arthurian Challenge.

Ghosts Of Ottawa
Glen Shackleton

A snippet from my review:
Ghosts of Ottawa is the book to go with several of the walks offered by Haunted Walks in Ottawa: there's stories I recognize from the Original Haunted Walk, which I did a couple of days ago, and there's some that are clearly from their other walks as well. The stories are given in much more detail, and believe me - reading them in the daylight won't help if you're afraid to sleep afterwards!

Bitten
Kelley Armstrong

A snippet from my review:
Bitten is the first book of Kelley Armstrong's Women of the Otherworld series, which is very popular among fans of urban fantasy/paranormal novels. The book focuses on Elena, the only female werewolf and her struggles to make a life for herself away from the Pack. However, she gets drawn back in order to solve a bit of a mystery. I suspect the remaining books in the series are centered on other characters and other aspects of the otherworld.

Cleopatra's Daughter
Michelle Moran

A quote from my review:
I really like the weaving of history and fiction in Cleopatra's Daughter, and the historical notes at the end of the book make it even better, as there she elaborates a bit on exactly what was historical fact, and which elements the author chose to add to the story. But, when I was reading it, I couldn't really tell them apart - mark of a good storyteller.

The Man Who Loved Books Too Much
Allison Hoover Bartlett

A quote from my review:
I loved reading this book, and I couldn't put it down, finishing it after one AM the day I started reading it. The question the book asked me was "How far would you go to get that book?" There was no slow build-up. I was caught within the first few pages. The one thing I wish there was more information on was identifying books as valuable, such as what marks a first edition. Guess I'm going to have to do some research on my own now. I have to admit, I'm now curious.

The Heretic Queen
Michelle Moran

A snippet from my review:
There's a sense of the history of Egypt that just flows from the pages of this book and permeates the story, with elements that are familiar to us, but have been given a new and different spin for the story. Michelle Moran is clearly familiar with the period, and her love of history is clear in the way she's written her novels so far. Everything seems to fit together in such a way that it's not at all jarring to the reader.
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