Monday, January 30, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? January 30

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Sheila of One Peson's Journey Through A World Of Books. It's a great way to keep up with your reading, and to try and keep what you're reading and want to read each week in some kind of order.

Last week I read:
Unnatural Issue by Mercedes Lackey. Fiction, Fantasy. The most recent book in the Elemental Masters series. Beyond those dry facts, I found this to be one of the better books in the series.

Bait and Switch: The (Futile) Pursuit of The American Dream by Barbara Ehrenreich. Non fiction, business, community and culture. I found this to be an interesting, funny but at the same time, disheartening read. It's also a fairly quick read.

I'm currently reading:
40 Years Of Queen by Harry Doherty, Brian May and Roger Taylor. Non Fiction, Biography. A wonderfully illustrated history of one of my favourite rock bands. This was a nice surprise under the Christmas tree this year. It's filled with little bits of trivia, letters etc. The kind of book that's got pockets and things to take out and look at. I'm loving it, though there are times when I wish they'd go into more depth. Still, it's making me go "I didn't know about that album" quite a bit.

A Great And Terrible King: Edward I and The Forging Of Britain by Marc Morris. Non Fiction, History, Biography. I picked up this book a few weeks ago because I finally watched Braveheart and wanted to find out more about the time period and the great figures. I've only just started the read, but I'm finding the book well written and most engaging. I've ended up pulling out a notepad and paper while I'm reading to jot down little facts and tidbits that capture my interest and imagination. To be honest, it's slow going, just because I'm reading it that way.

Silver Gryphon by Mercedes Lackey. Fiction, Fantasy. The third book in the Mage Wars trilogy, following on Black Gryphon and White Gryphon.

By Fire And Water by Mitchell James Kaplan. Fiction, Historical Fiction. I'm enjoying this book, but to be honest, I'm finding it to be slower going than I thought. Despite that, I find the characters to be well done and the settings vividly described.

Eve by Anna Carey. Fiction, Teen. This one looked interesting, and the story is interesting, yet I'm having trouble getting into it now. It's a teen book, and I'd have to say, teens or older only, given some of the story points.

I want to read:
Tortall and Other Lands by Tamora Pierce. Fiction, Fantasy, Children's, Short Stories. A collection of the various short stories she's written set in the world of the Alanna series. This one I have to get to as I borrowed it from the library.

Bait and Switch - Barbara Ehrenreich

Bait And Switch: The (Futile) Pursuit Of The American Dream
Barbara Ehrenreich
Metropolitan Books
Copyright: 2005
9780805076066

The amazon.com product description:
The New York Times bestselling investigation into white-collar unemployment from "our premier reporter of the underside of capitalism"--The New York Times Book Review
Americans' working lives are growing more precarious every day. Corporations slash employees by the thousands, and the benefits and pensions once guaranteed by "middle-class" jobs are a thing of the past.

In Bait and Switch, Barbara Ehrenreich goes back undercover to explore another hidden realm of the economy: the shadowy world of the white-collar unemployed. Armed with the plausible résumé of a professional "in transition," she attempts to land a "middle-class" job. She submits to career coaching, personality testing, and EST-like boot camps, and attends job fairs, networking events, and evangelical job-search ministries. She is proselytized, scammed, lectured, and--again and again--rejected.

Bait and Switch highlights the people who have done everything right--gotten college degrees, developed marketable skills, and built up impressive résumés--yet have become repeatedly vulnerable to financial disaster. There are few social supports for these newly disposable workers, Ehrenreich discovers, and little security even for those who have jobs. Worst of all, there is no honest reckoning with the inevitable consequences of the harsh new economy; rather, the jobless are persuaded that they have only themselves to blame.

Alternately hilarious and tragic, Bait and Switch, like the classic Nickel and Dimed, is a searing exposé of the cruel new reality in which we all now live.
The blurb is right. Bait and Switch is both funny and disheartening. I also found it to be a fairly quick read, finishing the book just over a day after I borrowed it from the library (Library Loot - January 28th). I've seen Barbara Ehrenreich's books in the store before, but not read any of them. In terms of writing, I just might hunt them down now, but I'd have to be in the right mood.

This one was that much of a downer in it's way, despite the funny writing style. Mostly because, things seem to have been tough in 2004/2005 when the book was written, but it's probably even worse now. The other thing I'm finding after reading Bait And Switch is that I'm eyeing the various career advice books in the store and wondering just how useful they might be. Most of them seem to be advising based on personality type, and after reading the results Barbara got, I'm wondering about that...

Honestly, this is an interesting book. On the other hand, where the library has it shelved is a bit misleading. They've located Bait and Switch in with the books like What Color Is Your Parachute? and the other career search books. I believe that the bookstores have it located in "Community and Culture". I'm not going to suggest that this is a book for people in the middle of a job search to read, just because of the kind of book it is - no true hints here, it's simply the recounting of one person's experiences. Still, the book could be taken as something of a warning of things to watch out for. In that sense, it might be helpful.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Library Loot - January 28

Or, in reality, January 27th as I borrowed the books yesterday.

Library Loot is hosted this week over at The Adventures Of An Intrepid Reader.

This time I've only gotten out two books:
Bait And Switch: The (Futile) Pursuit Of The American Dream
Barbara Ehrenreich

The amazon.com product description:
The New York Times bestselling investigation into white-collar unemployment from "our premier reporter of the underside of capitalism"--The New York Times Book Review
Americans' working lives are growing more precarious every day. Corporations slash employees by the thousands, and the benefits and pensions once guaranteed by "middle-class" jobs are a thing of the past.

In Bait and Switch, Barbara Ehrenreich goes back undercover to explore another hidden realm of the economy: the shadowy world of the white-collar unemployed. Armed with the plausible résumé of a professional "in transition," she attempts to land a "middle-class" job. She submits to career coaching, personality testing, and EST-like boot camps, and attends job fairs, networking events, and evangelical job-search ministries. She is proselytized, scammed, lectured, and--again and again--rejected.

Bait and Switch highlights the people who have done everything right--gotten college degrees, developed marketable skills, and built up impressive résumés--yet have become repeatedly vulnerable to financial disaster. There are few social supports for these newly disposable workers, Ehrenreich discovers, and little security even for those who have jobs. Worst of all, there is no honest reckoning with the inevitable consequences of the harsh new economy; rather, the jobless are persuaded that they have only themselves to blame.

Alternately hilarious and tragic, Bait and Switch, like the classic Nickel and Dimed, is a searing exposé of the cruel new reality in which we all now live.
I picked up this one on a whim. I've seen her other books in the Community and Culture section of the bookstore and thought they looked good before, but I was passing through the library and saw the book. I'm now most of the way through it and finding it both enjoyable and disheartening at the same time.

Tortall and Other Lands: A Collection of Tales
Tamora Pierce

The amazon.com product description:
Collected here for the first time are all of the tales from the land of Tortall, featuring both previously unknown characters as well as old friends. Filling some gaps of time and interest, these stories, some of which have been published before, will lead Tammy's fans, and new readers into one of the most intricately constructed worlds of modern fantasy.
I've enjoyed Tamora Pierces's novels for years now - I remember borrowing the Alanna books from the children's department of the library as a kid myself. This was another of those impulse borrows - I certainly didn't go to the library with the intent of borrowing this book (or any other - just to return the last set of books), just saw it on the shelf, and that was that.

Saturday Snapshot - January 28

Saturday Snapshot is a fun little meme hosted by Alyce of At Home With Books. The idea is to post a snapshot or photo taken by you or a family member/friend. Personally, I just find it fun, and a nice change from books.

This week's photo is a neat one. I was at the CONCACAF Canada/Mexico Women's Soccer game last night, and this is one of the photos we took after Canada won. I'm pretty sure it was also the first sports game I've been to, making it neat in a different way entirely. Either way, it was loud and FUN.

Even more fun is knowing that the Canadian Women's team is going to the Olympics this summer. I've never really followed sports before, but somehow I suspect I'll be keeping track of this one to see how they do.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Unnatural Issue - Mercedes Lackey

Unnatural Issue
Mercedes Lackey
Daw Books
Copyright Date: June 7, 2011
9780756405755

The amazon.com product description:
A brand-new Elemental Masters novel from the national bestselling author Mercedes Lackey.

Richard Whitestone is an Elemental Earth Master. Blaming himself for the death of his beloved wife in childbirth, he has sworn never to set eyes on his daughter, Suzanne. But when he finally sees her, a dark plan takes shape in his twisted mind-to use his daughter's body to bring back the spirit of his long-dead wife.
I have to say, having read Unnatural Issue now, that I think it's one of the best of the Elemental Masters series. It took a few chapters for me to get into it, but by the time I was half way through, I couldn't put the book down any more and raced through to the ending late last night.

What the Amazon.com blurb doesn't say is that Unnatural Issue is set during the run-up to the First World War, and those first months. There was a passage nearer the end of the book that really struck me as I read it last night:
Women-women knew war better. War might be necessary sometimes, she couldn't judge that, but it was never, ever glorious. It was a terrible monster, that took men and chewed them up and spit out the dead, the dying, and the maimed. War was a beast that murdered as many innocent people who were just in the way as it did soldiers. (Unnatural Issue, page 322)
On as somewhat lighter note, one of the things I really enjoyed about this latest Elemental Masters novel was seeing some of the characters from the previous books again. Peter and Maya Scott, for example from The Serpent's Shadow, mentions of the Tarrants from The Gates of Sleep and also the school set up at the end of The Wizard of London.

I know that Mercedes Lackey likes using fairy tales as a basis for some of her novels - the Five Hundred Kingdoms series and also some of these books too. In this case though, I didn't recognize one right off. Maybe I'm not familiar enough with fairy-tales these days though. Did you identify any fairy-tale motifs or themes in this one?

Either way, this is a book that I quite enjoyed, and I'll probably end up buying it when it comes out in paperback in a few more months. In the mean time, I was able to borrow it from the library.

Definitely a book I'll recommend!

Monday, January 23, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? January 23

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly way of keeping up with your reading and seeing what everyone else is reading too, hosted by Sheila of One Person's Journey Through A World Of Books.

This week wasn't the best for finishing books:
Dragonseye by Anne McCaffrey. Fiction, Fantasy, read for the All The Books Of Pern Challenge. This is something of an in-between book. They've still got the knowledge of where they came from, bits of the technology are still working, but it's fading. The start of the Pernese culture as we see it in the later books is clearly there. There's lots of different storylines and characters too.

I'm currently reading:
White Tiger by Kylie Chan. Fantasy, Fiction, Urban Fantasy. This one's a re-read, but I'm enjoying it just as much.

By Fire, By Water by Mitchell James Kaplan. Fiction, Historical Fiction I'm more than half way through and enjoying this one. At the same time, it's turning into one of those books where I read a bit and go on to another book then come back to this one.

40 Years Of Queen by Harry Doherty, Brian May and Roger Taylor. Non Fiction, Biography. A wonderfully illustrated history of one of my favourite rock bands. This was a nice surprise under the Christmas tree this year. It's filled with little bits of trivia, letters etc. The kind of book that's got pockets and things to take out and look at. I'm loving it, though there are times when I wish they'd go into more depth. Still, it's making me go "I didn't know about that album" quite a bit.

A Great And Terrible King: Edward I and The Forging Of Britain by Marc Morris. Non Fiction, History, Biography. I picked up this book this week because I finally watched Braveheart and wanted to find out more about the time period and the great figures. I've only just started the read, but I'm finding the book well written and most engaging. Less than a hundred pages in and I've ended up pulling out a notepad and paper while I'm reading to jot down little facts and tidbits that capture my interest and imagination. To be honest, it's slow going, just because I'm reading it that way.

Unnatural Issue by Mercedes Lackey. Fiction, Fantasy. The most recent book in her Elemental Masters series. I'm actually not that far into it yet, but I've got to get moving. This one's a library book and it'll be due back soon.

I'm hoping to read:
You know, I'll just be happy to get through the list above this week.

I also got a couple of books this past week too:
Pride And Prejudice And Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Graham. Fiction, Horror. I think this is the book that kicked off the current Zombie fascination. I will admit to some curiosity after I read Dawn of the Dreadfuls though.

White Horse by Alex Adams. Fiction. This one looks to be quite intriguing. It's another post-apocalyptic novel, but I'm not bored of those yet. Are you?

Rock Band Fights Evil #1 Hell Hound On My Trail by David Butler. Just the title sounded intriguing here. Now I've just got to get around to putting this one on my Vox (e-book).

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Lord of the Rings Family Tree Project

This could be a really neat little site for any Tolkien fan to check out. I found it a bit slow loading, but it's so comprehensive, that the wait is well worth it. The site, The Lord of the Rings Project is a family tree of everyone from the Valar and the Maiar to the various families of the Elves and the Houses of Men, from the creation of Arda all the way through to the end of the Return of the King.

Or, at least it's supposed to have. To be fair, this is still a work in progress. I'm not seeing any of the hobbits yet, for example, but all of the houses of Men are there, as are the Rohirrim royal family trees etc. I think it'll just take some more time.

I do know that I'm going to be checking back every now and again to see how things are progressing.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Dragonseye - Anne McCaffrey

Dragonseye
Anne McCaffrey
Del Rey
Copyright: 1997
978-0345418791

The amazon.com product description:
In Anne McCaffrey's New York Times bestselling DRAGONSEYE, join Weyrleaders, Holders, and Craftmasters in the creation of the legendary Star Stones and the teaching ballads of Pern!

It's been two-hundred years since the deadly Thread fell like rain upon Pern, devouring everything in its path. No one alive remembers that first horrific onslaught and no one believes in its return--except for the dragonriders. For two centuries they have been practicing and training, passing down from generation to generation the formidable Threadfighting techniques.

Now the ominous signs are appearing: the violent winter storms and volcanic eruptions that are said to herald the approach of the Red Star and its lethal spawn. But one stubborn Lord Holder, Chalkin of Bitra, refuses to believe--and that disbelief could spell disaster. So as the dragonriders desperately train to face a terrifying enemy, they and the other Lord Holders must find a way to deal with Chalkin--before history repeats itself and unleashes its virulence on all of Pern. . . .
Read for the All The Books of Pern challenge, putting me well over half way completed and not even a month into the year!

In terms of the evolution of Pern, Dragonseye is an interesting book. Although it's been over two hundred years since the colonists had landed, the remnants of their technology are still working: computers, etc mostly. But they're definitely failing. At the same time, all the signs are pointing to the imminence of the next Fall. But not everybody believes. So, there's two sets of struggle there - the struggle over what is needed for the future - what else they can discard as not relevant to their culture, and how to communicate it, and the struggle over what to do with Threadfall on the horizon.

It's also a multi-thread storyline, told from the perspectives of several different characters. My favourite is Debra, but there's also that of Iantine, an Artist (something I don't remember seeing anything more about in the later books - a lost Craft, maybe?), the various dragonriders, and the Teachers. Those I found interesting, especially as I was reading the Harper Hall trilogy before. In Dragonseye, you can see the first steps from the teachers to Harpers.

Sometimes though, I found the various perspectives a bit jarring. I wanted to know more of what was going on with the perspective I'd been following in the last chapter, not what the new perspective was following.

I did find the mix of "old" and "new" to be intriguing though. For example - names. Some of the names for the characters are still similar to or the same as the "Earth" names of today, but others are different, and clearly in the style of the later Pern culture. And also, the knowledge that you know is going to be lost later on, such as the grubs. I'm actually trying to remember about the cats - if they're still as much of a problem in the later books involving the Southern Continent.

Overall, this is a great book for the world of Pern, even though it's well over a decade old by now. It's really neat to see the origins of some of the things we take for granted in the later Pern novels. Dragonseye is definitely worth the read.

Saturday Snapshot - January 21

Saturday Snapshot is a fun non-book themed meme where you post a photo or snapshot you or someone in your family took, hosted by Alyce of At Home With Books.

This week's photo is the same one with some adjustments on the second image. We were snowshoeing last week again, and it was wonderful. There had been a whole lot of snow falling the night before, so the trails were powdery rather than hard, the trees were covered, but this was honestly one of the highlights for me. Animal tracks.
My guess is something like a hare, but I really don't know. Whatever they are, it was a first for me while snowshoeing. The second photo is the same, just adjusted for brightness. I hadn't realized just how dark it was getting when I took the photo.
Overall, the day was more or less perfect - even some absolutely spectacular sunset shots when we got back to the parking lot.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Book Rambling: E-Books and Paper Books

I've been thinking a bit lately about my buying patterns when it comes to books. First off: I do have two e-readers (Kobo Vox and the older Kobo Wi-Fi), so I'm not adverse to e-books in any way, shape or form. And yet, I still buy far more actual paper books than e-books. What's more, sometimes it seems like I'll read those paper books first too.

Yes, I'll buy the paper books even though the e-books are often less expensive. Case in point: the book A Great And Terrible King: Edward I and The Forging Of Britain by Marc Morris. I will admit that I contemplated buying the e-book which was distinctly less expensive ($9.99 on Kindle, or 11.19 for the Kobo, compared with almost $24 for the hardcopy book on the Chapters.ca website). Pre-Vox, I wouldn't even have considered the e-book, because I would have a harder time taking notes from it. Now, though, with the ability to highlight and take notes, that's less of an issue now.

But, for this book specifically, I went with paper, because I know of someone else who would probably like to read it. And, I don't really want to loan out my e-reader (I'm usually reading a couple of things on there).

The other times I go for paper over e-books without even thinking about doing otherwise are when I already have the rest of the series in paper form (often even in hardcover format), such as with the novels by Mercedes Lackey, J.R. Ward, Patricia Briggs or Kylie Chan. Although, I will admit to duplicating the first of Kylie Chan's books (White Tiger) for the Kobo, as well as having it in paper. The price was too good.

Those are all the reasons I've gone for paper over e-books, so now to go the other way:
The book's just plain not available anywhere around in paper format (Stray by Rachel Vincent. It wasn't even in the local libraries).

Or, there's the e-book only cases: Ravens of Falkenau comes to mind there, Jo Graham's book of short stories. A lot of authors seem to have short stories available as e-books, which is another plus.

And, you can't forget all of the free e-books available. Be they limited time promotions or permanently free. I've found quite a few good ones now and again.

The biggest reason is, of course Travel. That's where the e-book readers really shine. Especially if you're a faster reader. It's ridiculous to take a stack of four or five books with you with the costs and restrictions on luggage. With the e-reader, that's all you need, along with maybe one book for the plane (for the times they ask you to power down the e-reader). Much less of a space requirement.

So, for me, I'm not ready to commit to one format over the other (and my ability to read e-books continues to expand, as I an now able to read kindle books on my e-reader, as well as Kobo.

What are your preferences for books? paper or e-books?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

"Waiting On" Wednesday - January 18 - Echoes of Betrayal

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill over at Breaking The Spine to spotlight not-yet-released books that we can't wait to read. I don't tend to participate every week, but there's one I've been waiting for since the previous book came out, and we're down to about a month to go now.

Echoes of Betrayal (Paladin's Legacy book 3)
Elizabeth Moon
Del Rey
Publication Date: February 21, 2012
978-0345508768

The amazon.com product description:
The action continues fast and furious in this third installment of Elizabeth Moon’s celebrated return to the fantasy world of the paladin Paksenarrion Dorthansdotter. This award-winning author has firsthand military experience and an imagination that knows no bounds. Combine those qualities with an ability to craft flesh-and-blood characters, and the result is the kind of speculative fiction that engages both heart and mind.

All is not well in the Eight Kingdoms. In Lyonya, King Kieri is about to celebrate marriage to his beloved, the half-elf Arian. But uncanny whispers from the spirits of his ancestors continue to warn of treachery and murder. A finger of suspicion has been pointed toward his grandmother, the queen of the Ladysforest elves, and that suspicion has only intensified with time and the Lady’s inexplicable behavior. Clearly, she is hiding something. But what? And why?

Meanwhile, in Tsaia, the young king Mikeli must grapple with unrest among his own nobility over his controversial decision to grant the title and estates of a traitorous magelord to a Verrakaien who not only possesses the forbidden magic but is a woman besides: Dorrin, once one of Kieri’s most trusted captains. When renegade Verrakaien attack two of Dorrin’s squires, suspicion and prejudice combine to place Dorrin’s life at risk—and the king’s claim to the throne in peril.

But even greater danger is looming.  The wild offspring of a dragon are on the loose, sowing death and destruction and upsetting the ancient balance of power between dragonkind, humans, elves, and gnomes. A collision seems inevitable. Yet when it comes, it will be utterly unexpected—and all the more devastating for it.
Echoes of Betrayal is the sequel to Oath of Fealty and Kings of the North, all set in the world of The Deed of Paksenarrion. Honestly, these are books I've loved, generally several times each now. Whenever the new one comes out and I've read it, I find myself already counting down the days until the next book comes out.

Monday, January 16, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? January 16

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted each week over at One Person's Journey Through A World Of Books. It's a great way to at least try to keep on track with reading, and fun to see what everyone else is reading too.

Rather than reading this past week, I've been out snowshoeing and having fun. Even so, I think I've managed to get a decent enough bit of reading done.

Last week I read:
Dragondrums by Anne McCaffrey. Fantasy, fiction, Teen. It's the third book in the Harper Hall trilogy, following on Dragonsong and Dragonsinger.

The Adept by Katherine Kurtz and Deborah Turner Harris. Fantasy, fiction. The first book in one of my favourite series. I've re-read the books several times now and loved them each time.

Books I'm currently reading (a rather long list this week, I think):
White Tiger by Kylie Chan. Fantasy, fiction, urban fantasy. I bought the $0.99 cent e-book version and I'm loving it on the re-read as much as I did the first time.

By Fire and Water by Mitchell James Kaplan Fiction, history. I've only just started the read, but I'm liking it so far. It's certainly got quite the collection of awards! From the amazon.com blurb:
Recipient of the Independent Publishers Award for Historical Fiction (Gold Medal), the Foreword Book of the Year Award for Historical Fiction (Bronze Medal), and an honorable mention in the category of General Fiction for the Eric Hoffer Award.
A Great And Terrible King: Edward I and The Forging Of Britain by Marc Morris. Non Fiction, history, biography. I'm still picking away at this one and enjoying the read. Mac Morris has a knack for writing in an engaging, informative and easy to read manner. This is a book I'm reading with a pencil and paper handy though, just because there are so many neat little tidbits of information for stashing away. You never know when the date for a Saint's feast or a list of medieval names might come in handy. I love the cover on this title too. It's so vibrant and rich, it suits the subject.

I want to read:
The Adept: Lodge of the Lynx by Katherine Kurtz and Deborah Turner Harris. Fiction, fantasy. The sequel to The Adept, this book picks up almost where the last one left off - and believe me, there's plenty of loose ends to be tied up here.

Unnatural Issue by Mercedes Lackey. Fiction, fantasy. The most recent book in the Elemental Masters series. More important for getting it read now is the fact that this book is the final book I borrowed from the library in my last "loot" page.

The Adept - Katherine Kurtz & Deborah Turner Harris

The Adept
Katherine Kurtz and Deborah Turner Harris
Ace Books
Copyright: 1991
0441003435

The blurb on the back of the book:
More than a doctor,
more than a detective...

He is Sir Adam Sinclair: nobleman, physician, scholar - and Adept. A man of learning and power, he practices ancient arts unknown to the twentieth century.

He has had many names, lived many lives, but his mission remains the same: to protect the Light from those who would tread the Dark Roads.

Now his beloved Scotland is defiled by an unholy cult of black magicians who will commit any atrocity to achieve their evil ends- even raise the dead!

Only one man can stand against them...
The Adept

This is the first book in the series: The Adept, The Adept: the Lodge of the Lynx, The Adept: The Templar Treasure, Dagger Magic and The Death of the Adept. Two other books, The Temple and the Stone and The Temple and the Crown are set in the middle ages in the last years of the Templar Knights are linked to this series as well. There are also two short stories set in the same world and time period in two of the Templar anthologies Katherine Kurtz has edited.

The Adept is one of those books/series which can be hard to describe, but which is (to the right reader) quite captivating. There's a term on the Katherine Kurtz website which might fit - "Crypto-history". I tend towards using the term "historical fantasy", but that doesn't quite fit for these books as they're set in contemporary times. But, if you like historical fantasy, these are still worth a try - they're littered with historical references and themes. That might be the author's MA in Medieval Studies showing through, as the most common period is the medieval era - Templar references, Scottish history and folklore and the like. There's enough of them that you're not likely to catch them all on the first read.

For example, during this past read, I picked up on a new one. There's an offhand reference to one Matthew Paris, a monk and chronicler. I never thought too much about that every other time I read the book, but this time, I'm also working my way through a biography of King Edward Longshanks, and the same figure is fairly prominent there.

Not to mention all of the Latin phrases and snippets. Trying to translate those can be rather entertaining too, though not a requirement to enjoy the book. I find that all of those add a whole extra layer to the reading experience.

An experience which is built on vivid descriptions, interesting characters and a very intriguing world concept. I said last time I reviewed The Adept, that I wish I knew of more books like this series. I've found something somewhat similar since: the books by Jo Graham (Hand of Isis and Black Ships primarily). Even so, I'd like to find more. If you have any suggestions, I'd love to see them.

Honestly, The Adept is the first book in a series that I've read before several times and I know that I'm going to be reading it again many more times.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Saturday Snapshot - January 14

Saturday Snapshots, hosted by Alyce of At Home With Books, is a fun meme, and a refreshing change, not being book related. The idea is to post a photo/snapshot you or a member of your family took. It doesn't even need to have been taken in the previous week!


This week I ended up digging back into my archives again. If I'm remembering correctly, it was one of those fall days and there wasn't a cloud in the sky. I just liked the way the sun was shining through the leaves and the contrast with the sky. I do know this was taken with my previous camera.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Kylie Chan's White Tiger for 99 cents

Kylie Chan's novel White Tiger, the first book in the Dark Heavens trilogy is available as an e-book for 99 cents from both Amazon.com and Kobo.

This is a book I picked up on impulse back in September and absolutely couldn't put down. I've been raving about it ever since too. After that, I was waiting eagerly for the next two books, Red Phoenix and Blue Dragon to come out, and buying them as soon as I saw them.

At $0.99, this is possibly your best chance to try a refreshingly different  urban fantasy novel. I honestly feel that I can't say enough good things about White Tiger and it's sequels.

Lets put it this way. I have the paperback edition of White Tiger and I bought the e-book as well. To me, it's money well spent.

Snowshoeing - A Reminder To Make Sure You've Got Lots Of Time

Or, "How To End Up Exhausted, Embarrassed And Frightened". The latter is what happened to me the other day. It was our own fault too. We'd both heard a lot about the Hollyburn Summit trail and decided to do it on Wednesday. We thought, based on the map and what the ticket seller said, that we'd have lots of time to do the trail and get back to the parking lot before the snowshoe trails closed for the day, some four hours after we arrived.

That's not what happened though. The first parts of the trails weren't bad at all - there were a couple of steep spots, probably not helped by the fact that we were both pushing the pace a bit - figuring that if we made it to the top by about two, we'd have lots of time on the way down again for breaks.

By the time we got to the top - and the last parts of the trail were "out of bounds" but a well marked access trail, which was incredibly steep and icy, it was probably after three thirty. I for one was tired enough by that point that I really didn't care that we'd made it to the top, but the view was absolutely incredible all around.


The problem was at that point, it was going to be getting dark very soon - the sky was already starting to change to sunset colours and we had to get down again. Thankfully, we made it through the worst part before the light really started to go, and all the way to the first of the two warming huts before we had to break out the flashlights.

Yes, we went prepared. Each of us always takes a pack with us when we go hiking or anything like that these days (most definitely for when we go snowshoeing). Flashlights, headlamps, snacks, water, dry socks and gloves etc, as well as any other useful things we think of. Going to add rope to the kit soon too. We always hope that we won't need any of the stuff we're carrying (other than snacks and water of course, which are nice when taking a break), but it's a good idea to have it.

And this last trip proved that to me very well. I am never going to go without at least a flashlight, and preferably, the full pack I've been taking with me lately.

Anyway, by the time we'd made it back to the regular snowshoe trails, I was into the state where I was just putting one foot in front of the other. At one point, when I dropped the lens-cover for my camera, I could hardly stand up again after I crouched to pick it up.  Getting out of the car again, when we got home was pretty painful too.

But, it really does pay to go prepared, no matter how ridiculous it can seem, just in case. It's a habit I'm going to keep for sure - and probably keep adding more things to my kit too.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Booking Through Thursday - Interview

Or, actually titled this week Interview part 2, but I didn't participate last week. Booking Through Thursday is a fun little thing that always has something to do with books and reading, even if only tangentially.

This week's question(s):
But enough about interviewing other people. It’s time I interviewed YOU.
1. What’s your favorite time of day to read?
Any time of the day I can manage it. Usually not first thing in the morning though - that's computer time to catch up on what's happened with my blog since the day before. On my breaks at work though, definitely.

2. Do you read during breakfast? (Assuming you eat breakfast.)
Sometimes I read, but not normally anymore. Breakfast is typically eaten in front of the tv, or occasionally at the computer.

3. What’s your favorite breakfast food? (Noting that breakfast foods can be eaten any time of day.)
That's a hard one to answer. I'm going to say either eggs or pancakes.

4. How many hours a day would you say you read?
One to two hours, I guess. Though I wish it were more a lot of the time.

5. Do you read more or less now than you did, say, 10 years ago?
Definitely less.

6. Do you consider yourself a speed reader?
Probably not. A fast reader, yes, but not a speed reader. And even that depends on the book I'm reading.

7. If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
Not something I've ever thought about really.

8. Do you carry a book with you everywhere you go?
More or less, yes. Definitely to work, and sometimes when I go elsewhere too. Almost certainly if I'm on my own.

9. What KIND of book?
Usually fiction (science fiction, fantasy or paranormal romance are typical). Other than that, does an e-book reader count?

10. How old were you when you got your first library card?
Pretty young, I think. Definitely a kid - I remember getting the Saddle Club books and the Thoroughbred series out on a regular basis.

11. What’s the oldest book you have in your collection? (Oldest physical copy? Longest in the collection? Oldest copyright?)
I'm just guessing here really but these are what I think the answers are:
For oldest physical copy, I suspect the answer is the Early English Text Society edition of the Ancrene Wisse edited by Tolkien.
Longest in the collection might be something like my copy of The Wishing Chair by Enid Blyton - I vaguely remember that book being read to me as a little kid.
Oldest copyright: I can't even guess. I've got copies of the original Nancy Drew novels, Cherry Ames etc, but also A Little Princess and The Secret Garden in my collection. There might be some others too.

12. Do you read in bed?
Of course! That's one of my favourite places to read.

13. Do you write in your books?
Not usually. Except in the cases of my old textbooks. Those ones I can bring myself to underline, and occasionally add margin notes - always done with a mechanical pencil! Interestingly, I'm finding that this little quirk doesn't hold true when it comes to e-books. Those I'm highlighting and adding notes all over the place in.

14. If you had one piece of advice to a new reader, what would it be?
Don't get discouraged. If a book isn't catching your interest and it's not required reading for some reason, feel free to put it down and try another book. Sometimes you'll come back to the book you put down and find yourself loving it later.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Dragondrums - Anne McCaffrey

Dragondrums
Anne McCaffrey
Simon Pulse
Copyright: 1979
9781416964919

The amazon.com product description:
In the world of Pern, Harpers with great musical ability are held in extreme regard. This is why the young, mischievous Piemur carries himself with so much pride, for he sings like an angel. But when his voice begins to change, Piemur loses all confidence and questions his role within Harper Hall.
Incapable of singing, Piemur is sent on various errands by Masterharper Robinton, including the task of learning the complicated beats of the messenger drums, Piemur has no clue of the grand adventures that await him, and he'll need to find the courage within himself to survive.
Dragondrums is the conclusion to the Harper Hall trilogy, following on Dragonsong and Dragonsinger. I know that in the past this one wasn't my favourite of the three books, but I really enjoyed the read this time. I still think the book is a bit of a surprise though. The previous two were all about Menolly, and this one's centered on her friend Piemur, which is kind of different in a trilogy, but I found the read a good one this time. Dragondrums is also set a few years after Dragonsong and Dragonsinger.

I have to admit though, that I'm having a bit of trouble placing Dragondrums in terms of the events the book describes. I think it's some time during White Dragon, but it's been so long since I read it that I'm not sure.

Overall though, the story seems to have a bit more adventure to it than the other two, although the cast of characters is a familiar one, and it's full of fun. Somehow this trilogy seems to have a closer feeling to it than the main books Anne McCaffrey's written in the world of Pern. Maybe it's just the perspective the books are written from.

If you're looking for a good introduction to this world, the books of the Harper Hall trilogy work very well in my opinion. They're quick reads that are good for both teens and adults and they serve to explain the world Anne McCaffrey's created - social structures, problems etc, very well. I definitely recommend them.

Read for the All The Books of Pern challenge (I keep wanting to type "All The Weyrs of Pern" which is the title of one of the books instead of the challenge name. :) )

Monday, January 9, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? January 8, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted each week by Sheila from One Person's Journey Through A World Of Books. This is one of the memes I try to participate in each week simply because I find it fun to see what people are reading each week - and it helps to keep me more or less on track with my reading.

In the last week I read:
Dragon Rite #1 Catching Black Fire And The Breaking Dawn Riders by Kristie Lynn Higgins. Fiction, Fantasy, Short Story. I'm counting it as a book though as it came in it's own file. Yes, I read this one on my Kobo Vox. Not the best book I've read, but it had some interesting ideas in it.

Dragonsong by Anne McCaffrey. Fiction, Fantasy, Teen. The first book in the Harper Hall Trilogy. I'm reading these for the All The Books Of Pern challenge, and so far I'm having a lot of fun in the process. It's been years since I read the Harper Hall series and I'm having trouble putting the books down.

Dragonsinger by Anne McCaffrey. Fiction, Fantasy, Teen. The sequel to Dragonsong. Possibly my favourite of the trilogy, although Dragondrums is running a very close second this time. Also being read for the All The Books Of Pern challenge.

I'm currently reading:
40 Years Of Queen by Harry Doherty, Brian May and Roger Taylor. Non Fiction, Biography. A wonderfully illustrated history of one of my favourite rock bands. This was a nice surprise under the Christmas tree this year. It's filled with little bits of trivia, letters etc. The kind of book that's got pockets and things to take out and look at. I'm loving it, though there are times when I wish they'd go into more depth. Still, it's making me go "I didn't know about that album" quite a bit.

Dragondrums by Anne McCaffrey. Fiction, Fantasy, Teen. The third book in the Harper Hall trilogy. It never was my favourite before, but I'm really enjoying the read this time. I'm most of the way through the book.

Dragonseye by Anne McCaffrey. Fiction, Fantasy, Science Fiction. Set at the beginning of the Second Pass when the last vestiges of the technology that the colonists brought with them are giving up.

A Great And Terrible King: Edward I and The Forging Of Britain by Marc Morris. Non Fiction, History, Biography. I picked up this book this week because I finally watched Braveheart and wanted to find out more about the time period and the great figures. I've only just started the read, but I'm finding the book well written and most engaging. Only 20 pages in and I've ended up pulling out a notepad and paper while I'm reading to jot down little facts and tidbits that capture my interest and imagination.

I want to read:
The Adept series by Katherine Kurtz and Deborah Turner Harris. I love these five books, and have re-read them numerous times.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Dragonsinger - Anne McCaffrey

Dragonsinger
Anne McCaffrey
Simon Pulse
Copyright: 1977
9781416964902

The amazon.com product description:
In the world of Pern, Harpers are regarded to be more powerful than kings, for the music they play can literally control the minds of others. For young Menolly, her dreams of becoming a Harper have nothing to do with power, but rather her love of music. Now she is finally living out her musical dreams as an apprentice Harper, but it's turning out to be more challenging than she thought.
Formerly forbidden to study music because of her gender, Menolly quickly encounters hostility from a number of her male peers and masters. But she is not alone in her struggles. With the help of new friends, teachers, and her nine fire lizards, Menolly finds that her musical talents may prove more powerful than anyone could imagine.
Dragonsinger is the sequel to Dragonsong, the first book of the Harper Hall trilogy. The final book in the trilogy is Dragondrums (which I'm reading now). The book picks up more or less where the first book left off, detailing Menolly's life in the Harper Hall and her experiences in the unfamiliar environment.

At the same time, it's a somewhat different perspective on Pern and the greater events going on, as Dragonsinger runs concurrently with the events of Dragonquest and Dragonflight, and even, I think, The White Dragon, Anne McCaffrey's original trilogy of Pern books. It's interesting to see the events from the perspective of one who's not involved with them in any way for a change.

Like the first book in the set, this book is marketed towards teens these days, although I don't know if that was the original idea or not. Either way, these books make for a great introduction to Pern and Anne McCaffrey's writing.

This one is my favourite of the three novels, to be honest. Menolly really comes into her own here, and the ending? well, I don't want to give any spoilers, but if you read the book, you'll see why I loved it so much. Also, the lyrics that start each chapter are a really neat touch - especially the first one, the "Fire Lizard Song".

If you're looking for a great introduction to a classic science fiction series, and a quick read, all three of the Harper Hall books might just be for you. I think, that even though these books are a trilogy, it might still be possible to read Dragonsinger without having read the first book, but they're good quick reads, so why not try Dragonsong first?

Saturday Snapshot - January 7

Saturday Snapshots is hosted each week by Alyce of At Home With Books. It's always a fun change to do a photo post each week to break up the book posts.


Went to the aquarium last week and took my camera with me. This was one of the resulting photos that worked out. Perhaps one of the reasons some of the others didn't was because of the weird glass they were using on this tank - it was in the kids area, as some kind of a half-globe which distorted things quite a bit.

Dragonsong - Anne McCaffrey

Dragonsong
Anne McCaffrey
Simon Pulse
Copyright: 1976
9781416964889

The amazon.com product description:
Every two hundred years or so, shimmering Threads fall from space, raining death and black ruin on Pern. The great dragons of Pern hurl themselves through the beleagured skies, flaming tongues of fire to destroy deadly Thread and save the Planet. But it was not Threadfall that made young Menolly unhappy. It was her father who betrayed her ambition to be a Harper, who thwarted her love of music. Menolly had no choice but to run away. When, suddenly, she came upon a group of fire lizards, wild and smaller relatives of the fire-breathing dragons, she let her music swirl around them. She taught nine of them to sing. Suddenly Menolly was no longer alone -- she was Mistress of Music and Ward of the dazzling fire dragons.
Borrowed from the library and read for the All The Books of Pern challenge. Dragonsong is the first book in the Harper Hall trilogy of books, followed by Dragonsinger and Dragondrums.

Dragonsong is different in it's focus than some of the other books written for the Pern series. Where those books are covering events that affect the whole planet, the scope of this novel is different, zooming in on one girl's life during these great events but not a part of them. As a result, I found myself with a feeling like I understood better what their lives were like, what people's attitudes were etc. I liked seeing the daily routine of chores and how the older generation lives. At the same time, Menolly has her part to play.

Reading it after I've read some of the Pern novels set in earlier times is an interesting experience too. When I first read the Harper Hall books years ago, the attitudes the characters express - that matter-of-fact "girls can't do that" that some of the characters have - particularly Yanus, Menolly's father was something I just accepted as part of Pernese culture. Then, you read some of the earlier books, such as Dragonseye and there's much more equality, although you can start to see it evolving.

These days at least, Dragonsong and it's sequels are marketed as teen books. Thinking about it, I'm rather curious to know if they were originally written for that market or not when they came out in the 1970's. Regardless, they're still good stories, and make for a good introduction to the world of Pern. On the other hand, they're also shorter novels. Dragonsong comes in at just under 200 pages with a larger font size, and generous margins and line spacing.

There are times when a book or series of books just grabs my attention, demanding to be read or re-read. That's the case with this one, as soon as I found out about the challenge, I found myself wanting to re-read the Harper Hall books.

Definitely an enjoyable read, where every time I put the book down, I just wanted to get back to it. I have to recommend Dragonsong to anyone who's looking for a good introduction to Anne McCaffrey's world of Pern.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Library Loot - January 6

Library Loot is being hosted over at The Captive Reader these days a lot of the time. It's been a while since I participated to be honest, not that I've not been going to the library, but the books just haven't been getting read. Anyway, this trip was inspired by the All The Books Of Pern challenge I'm participating in. Three of the books for that challenge are the Harper Hall trilogy, and I'm now wanting to re-read them.

This trip's bag of loot:
Dragonsong
Anne McCaffrey
Simon Pulse
9781416964889

The amazon.com product description:
Every two hundred years or so, shimmering Threads fall from space, raining death and black ruin on Pern. The great dragons of Pern hurl themselves through the beleagured skies, flaming tongues of fire to destroy deadly Thread and save the Planet. But it was not Threadfall that made young Menolly unhappy. It was her father who betrayed her ambition to be a Harper, who thwarted her love of music. Menolly had no choice but to run away. When, suddenly, she came upon a group of fire lizards, wild and smaller relatives of the fire-breathing dragons, she let her music swirl around them. She taught nine of them to sing. Suddenly Menolly was no longer alone -- she was Mistress of Music and Ward of the dazzling fire dragons.
Dragonsong is the first book in the Harper Hall trilogy.

Dragonsinger
Anne McCaffrey
Simon Pulse
9781416964902

The amazon.com product description:
In the world of Pern, Harpers are regarded to be more powerful than kings, for the music they play can literally control the minds of others. For young Menolly, her dreams of becoming a Harper have nothing to do with power, but rather her love of music. Now she is finally living out her musical dreams as an apprentice Harper, but it's turning out to be more challenging than she thought.
Formerly forbidden to study music because of her gender, Menolly quickly encounters hostility from a number of her male peers and masters. But she is not alone in her struggles. With the help of new friends, teachers, and her nine fire lizards, Menolly finds that her musical talents may prove more powerful than anyone could imagine.
Dragondrums
Anne McCaffrey
Simon Pulse
9781416964919

The amazon.com product description:
In the world of Pern, Harpers with great musical ability are held in extreme regard. This is why the young, mischievous Piemur carries himself with so much pride, for he sings like an angel. But when his voice begins to change, Piemur loses all confidence and questions his role within Harper Hall.
Incapable of singing, Piemur is sent on various errands by Masterharper Robinton, including the task of learning the complicated beats of the messenger drums, Piemur has no clue of the grand adventures that await him, and he'll need to find the courage within himself to survive.
Dragondrums is the third book in the Harper Hall trilogy, and to my mind (based on when I read it some years ago) it's a bit of the odd one out. Where the other two books are focussed on Menolly, this one is from Piemur's perspective, which is a bit of a surprise after the last two.

Unnatural Issue
Mercedes Lackey
Daw Books
9780756405755

The amazon.com product description:
A brand-new Elemental Masters novel from the national bestselling author Mercedes Lackey.

Richard Whitestone is an Elemental Earth Master. Blaming himself for the death of his beloved wife in childbirth, he has sworn never to set eyes on his daughter, Suzanne. But when he finally sees her, a dark plan takes shape in his twisted mind-to use his daughter's body to bring back the spirit of his long-dead wife.
I've been meaning to read this one since it came out last fall, but every time I've gone to the library, it's been checked out. This time, I went for the three Anne McCaffrey novels and got lucky to find Unnatural Issue there too. It might have helped as well, that this was a different library.

Installing the Kindle App to the Kobo Vox

I've seen in a number of places offhand mentions by people that they've been able to install the Kindle app to their Kobo Vox readers, but I couldn't see a way right away. And there were no immediately obvious tutorials to be found on Google. I found one though, that wasn't specifically about installing the Kindle app, but it works, over at the Dear Author blog.

According to that post, the GetJar marketplace has the Kindle app, so that was my starting place. In the version actually on the Kobo Vox, it can't seem to be found at all, so I tried downloading it to my computer to e-mail to myself on the Vox. Something they say can be done. According to GetJar, the app in question doesn't work with the Vox, but I've seen all those mentions of having installed it successfully.

So, on to the next step in my quest. Installing another marketplace. Easily done. I tried another of the marketplaces on their list: the Soc.io Mall. Opened up my browser and input the url for that, installed it and registered. They wanted a bit more information than I really wanted to give though. I did it anyway. Success.

Searched for the Kindle app on that marketplace and installed it just the same way I would an app from the GetJar marketplace that came with the Kobo Vox, and installed it. No warnings about it not working with my device. Their install method follows a bit of a different process though. Instead of "Download" the button says "Accept Permissions" and then after that, "Install". From there it either brought up the install screen or I had to bring down the Notifications window and open the downloaded file myself. I honestly can't remember, having been a bit distracted at that point in the process. Either way, it was a simple thing to do.

After the Kindle app is installed, you register your account the first time you open it. If you already have an amazon.com account, use that, or else create a new account. Once you're in, the app comes with three free classics, and you can get more books through the menu button. The process seems to be fairly intuitive.

Edited to add:
The latest update to the Kobo Vox has made this unnecessary now. With the access to the Play store, it's now easy to search for any app you want.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Dragon Rite #1 - Kristie Lynn Higgins

Dragon Rite #1 Catching Black Fire and The Breaking Dawn Riders
Kristie Lynn Higgins
Pandora Project Publisher
April 2011

The Amazon.com product description:
Candidates assembled to participate in the Dragon Rite, a ceremony to bond with a dragon hatchling. For the candidates to complete the first part of the Dragon Rite, their dragon must attain Breaking Dawn, a hatchling's first flight.

Cara, a girl born into slavery, has a chance to break free of her harsh life. Does she have a chance to become a dragonrider or will destiny deal her an even harsher fate?
 I ran into this title while searching to see if the Harper Hall trilogy by Anne McCaffrey was available in e-book form, and thought it looked neat.

For the most part, I found Dragon Rite to be an interesting short story, although it felt more like the first chapter or so to a longer story - there's clearly more story to be told, going by the ending - rather than a completed story in and of itself.

However, there were a fair number of spelling errors to be found - mostly things where one world has been substituted for the right word - "reins" for "reigns", etc. Aside from that though, I have to say I liked the story, though I don't want to give too much away - Dragon Rite is a short story after all, and not a full length novel. I'd like to see more set in this world though.

Monday, January 2, 2012

All The Books Of Pern Challenge

A reading challenge in honour of Anne McCaffrey, being hosted at West Virginia Red Reads. The challenge requirements are (pasted from the original challenge post):
  • Runs January 1, 2012 to December 31, 2012, join in anytime.
  • You can join anytime but only count Pern books you have read this year.
  • Books can be any format.
  • Crossovers with other challenges are allowed.
  • Track progress here, on your blog, on goodreads or LibraryThing. Anywhere really just let me know where you are posting.
  • When you sign up remember your level of participation can go up but it can’t go down.
  • We’ll be keeping track of progress and prizes, etc. on this page.
  • Sign up using Mr Linky at the end of the post.
Levels:
  • Green– The original trilogy (or any 3)
  • Blue- The original trilogy plus the Harper Hall trilogy (or any 6)
  • Brown– Everything with Ms. McCaffrey as sole author (17)
  • Bronze– Everything except the ones written by Todd alone (22)
  • Gold – The whole lot of them (24-25)
If you want to go above and beyond I know there are some short stories out there that I have not listed.  Find them, cite them, email me about them and we can have mini-challenges.
There will be prizes. They will be announced every three months. The first one will be a copy of Dragonholder: The Life and Dreams (so Far) of Anne McCaffrey, written by her son and published in 1999. There will be a giveaway page posted March 15, 2012 and the winner will be announced March 31. Updates and thoughtful comments will be critical in winning. More details will be on the contest page.

I'm going to be ambitious and go for the Blue level. The one question I have is whether or not the omnibus edition of The Dragonriders of Pern counts as one book or three. It's the edition I have for the original three volumes.

Other than that, it depends. I don't have copies of the Harper Hall books, though I did like them a fair bit - especially Dragonsong and Dragonsinger.

The books I've read for this challenge:
  1. Dragonsong
  2. Dragonsinger
  3. Dragondrums
  4. Dragonseye

Reading 100 Books In A Year 2012

It's doable. I've done it before, but not this past year unfortunately. Maybe I'll have better luck this year though. Other years I've linked it off of the hosting blog, but I don't know who's hosting this challenge this year. Home Girl's Book Blog doesn't seem to be doing it this year, and that's where I've linked in the previous three years I've done the challenge.

January:
  1. Dragon Rite #1 Catching Black Fire and The Breaking Dawn Riders - Kristie Lynn Higgins 
  2. Dragonsong - Anne McCaffrey 
  3. Dragonsinger - Anne McCaffrey 
  4. Dragondrums - Anne McCaffrey 
  5. The Adept - Katherine Kurtz and Deborah Turner Harris
  6. Dragonseye - Anne McCaffrey 
  7. Unnatural Issue - Mercedes Lackey  
  8. Bait And Switch: The (Futile) Pursuit Of The American Dream - Barbara Ehrenreich 
February:
  1. Shannen And The Dream For A School - Janet Wilson
  2. Silver Gryphon - Mercedes Lackey and Larry Dixon 
  3. Echoes of Betrayal - Elizabeth Moon 
March:
  1. In Her Name: Empire by Michael R. Hicks
  2. Old Man's War by John Scalzi
  3. Starship Troopers by Robert A. Heinlein 
  4. Caught In Crystal by Patricia C. Wrede 
  5. Fair Game by Patricia Briggs 
  6. In Her Name: Omnibus Edition by Michael R. Hicks 
April:
  1. White Tiger by Kylie Chan
  2. Crusade by David Weber and Steve White
  3. No Talking by Andrew Clements
  4. Schooled by Gordon Korman
  5. Star Wars Panel To Panel Volume 2 by Randy Stradley 
  6. Lover Reborn by J.R. Ward 
  7. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins 
May:
  1. In Her Name: The Last War by Michael R. Hicks
  2. True Strength: My Journey From Hercules To Mere Mortal  - And How Nearly Dying Saved My Life by Kevin Sorbo  
  3. The Selection by Keira Cass 
  4. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
  5. Call It Courage by Armstrong Sperry
June:
  1. Mud, Sweat, And Tears by Bear Grylls
  2. London Under by Peter Ackroyd
  3. Foundation: The Collegium Chronicles One by Mercedes Lackey
  4. Intrigues: The Collegium Chronicles Two by Mercedes Lackey
  5. Changes: The Collegium Chronicles Three by Mercedes Lackey 
July:
  1. Snow White and the Huntsman by Lily Blake, Evan Daugherty, John Lee Hancock, and Hossein Amini
  2. Home From The Sea by Mercedes Lackey
  3. Remnant Population by Elizabeth Moon
  4. Hand of Isis by Jo Graham
  5. Indexing Books, Second Edition by Nancy Mulvany
  6. Carly's Voice: Breaking Through Autism by Arthur Fleischmann
  7. If I Pay Thee Not In Gold by Piers Anthony and Mercedes Lackey
  8. The Enchantment Emporium by Tanya Huff
August:
  1. Heart To Heart by Lurlene McDaniels
  2. Mission of Honor by David Weber 
  3. No Sailing Waits and Other Ferry Tales: 30 Years of BC Ferries Cartoons by Adrian Raeside 
  4. Star Wars: X-Wing: Wraith Squadron by Aaron Allston 
  5. Trading in Danger by Elizabeth Moon 
  6. Star Wars: X-Wing: Mercy Kill by Aaron Allston 
  7. A Rising Thunder by David Weber 
  8. Marque and Reprisal (Vatta's War Two) by Elizabeth Moon 
  9. Engaging the Enemy (Vatta's War Three) by Elizabeth Moon
  10. Command Decisions (Vatta's War Four) by Elizabeth Moon 
The Rest of the Year:
  1. By The Sword by Mercedes Lackey
  2. Trio of Sorcery by Mercedes Lackey
  3. The General's Mistress by Jo Graham
  4. Lost Things by Jo Graham
  5. Indexing from A-Z Second Edition by Hans Wellisch
  6. Redoubt by Mercedes Lackey
  7. Two Crowns for America by Katherine Kurtz

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? January 2, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted each Monday over at One Person's Journey Through A World of Books. Thanks Sheila and here's hoping you have a Happy New Year.

Since the last time I posted, I've finished reading:

Empire From The Ashes by David Weber. Fiction. Science Fiction. An omnibus edition of Mutineer's Moon, The Armageddon Inheritance and Heirs of Empire. I really enjoyed the first two books, but the third one was not really my favourite. I found it too reminiscent of the Safehold series - an almost identical religious structure really, although I think this is the earlier book. There was one neat moment near the beginning of the whole book though, where Colin is thinking to himself: "Perhaps someone always has to give up the things he knew and loved to save them for others." Instantly that reminded me of Frodo Baggins' words at the end of the Lord of the Rings.

I'm currently reading:
Rivals for the Crown by Kathleen Givens. Fiction. History. Set in the 12th century Scotland and England, this novel covers the same events as The Temple and the Crown by Katherine Kurtz and Deborah Turner Harris from a different perspective. E-book.

Shanghai Girls by Lisa See. Fiction, History. I've finally got my hands on this one and I'm enjoying it a lot.

I'm planning to read:
Some of Katherine Kurtz's Adept novels. I've got that weird thing going where I have little snippets running through my mind from some of these right now.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Unread Books 2012

Here's the 2012 incarnation of my Unread Books list. It's just as scary as it has been every other year I've posted it too. For every book I read from the list, I seem to add at least one to the list again, and usually more than one. The titles with a line through them are currently sitting in storage.

  1. Breath of Snow And Ashes - Diana Gabaldon - Fiction
  2. Lord John And The Brotherhood of the Blade - Diana Gabaldon - Fiction
  3. Lord John And The Hand Of Devils - Diana Gabaldon - Fiction
  4. Star Wars: X-Wing Omnibus 3 - Michael Stackpole - Fiction (Graphic Novel)
  5. Strange Candy - Laurell K. Hamilton - Fiction (Anthology)
  6. The Children of Hurin - J.R.R. Tolkien - Fiction (Fantasy)
  7. On Faerie Stories - Ed. Verilyn Flieger - Non Fiction
  8. The Tolkien Legendarium - Ed. Carl Hostetter - Non Fiction
  9. Splintered Light: Logos And Language In Middle-Earth - Verilyn Flieger - Non Fiction
  10. Life In A Medieval City - Francis and Joseph Gies - Non Fiction (History)
  11. Life In A Medieval Castle - Francis and Joseph Gies - Non Fiction (History)
  12. The Histories - Herodotus - Non Fiction (History)
  13. The Peloponnesian War - Thucydides - Non Fiction (History, Primary Source)
  14. The Name Of The Rose - Umberto Ecco - Fiction
  15. The Eagle - Jack Whyte - Fiction
  16. The Battle For Middle-Earth - Bonnie Rutledge - Non Fiction
  17. The Ring Of Words - Jeremy H. Marshall - Non Fiction
  18. Greek Lives - Plutarch - Non Fiction (History, Biography, Primary Source)
  19. Roman Lives - Plutarch - Non Fiction (History, Biography, Primary Source)
  20. The Forever Hero - L.E. Modesitt - Fiction (Science Fiction)
  21. A Flame In Hali - Marion Zimmer Bradley and Deborah J. Ross - Fiction (Fantasy)
  22. The Fall of Neskaya - Marion Zimmer Bradley and Deborah J. Ross - Fiction (Fantasy)
  23. Zandru's Forge - Marion Zimmer Bradley and Deborah J. Ross - Fiction (Science Fiction)
  24. Ravens of Avalon - Diana L. Paxon - Fiction (Fantasy)
  25. Ancestors of Avalon - Marion Zimmer Bradley - Fiction (Fantasy)
  26. God's War - Christopher Tyerman - Non Fiction (History)
  27. The Eagle and the Raven - Pauline Gedge - Fiction
  28. Tolkien: A Celebration - Joseph Pearce - Non Fiction
  29. Beowulf - Trans. Seamus Heany - Poetry (Primary Source)
  30. Job: A Comedy Of Justice - Robert Heinlein - Fiction (Science Fiction)
  31. J.R.R. Tolkien: A Reader's Guide - Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull - Non Fiction
  32. The History Of The Hobbit: Mr. Baggins - John Rateliff - Non Fiction
  33. The History Of The Hobbit: Return To Bag-End - John Rateliff - Non Fiction
  34. The Last Light Of The Sun - Guy Gavriel Kay - Fiction (Fantasy)
  35. Masters Of Fantasy - Anthology (Fantasy)
  36. Lives of the Twelve Caeasars - Suetonius - Non Fiction (History, Biography, Primary Source)
  37. The Annals - Tacitus - Non Fiction (History, Primary Source)
  38. An Imperial Possession - David Mattingly - Non Fiction (History)
  39. The Peloponnesian War - Donald Kagan - Non Fiction (History)
  40. Augustus: The Life Of Rome's First Emperor - Anthony Everitt - Non Fiction (History, Biography)
  41. Cicero - Anthony Everitt - Non Fiction (History, Biography)
  42. The Dark Champion - Kinley MacGregor - Fiction (Romance)
  43. Caesar - Adrian Goldworthy - Non Fiction (History, Biography)
  44. The Fall Of The Roman Empire - Peter Heather - Non Fiction (History)
  45. Xenophon's Retreat - Robin Waterfield - Non Fiction (History)
  46. Isabella - Alison Weir - Non Fiction (History, Biography)
  47. Anthony And Cleopatra - Shakespeare - Fiction (Primary Source)
  48. Romeo And Juliet - Shakespeare - Fiction (Primary Source)
  49. Richard III - Shakespeare - Fiction (Primary Source)
  50. The Comedy Of Errors - Shakespeare - Fiction (Primary Source)
  51. All's Well That Ends Well - Shakespeare - Fiction (Primary Source)
  52. Troilus And Cressida - Shakespeare - Fiction (Primary Source)
  53. Henry IV Part One - Shakespeare - Fiction (Primary Source)
  54. The Canterbury Tales - Geoffrey Chaucer - Poetry (Primary Source)
  55. The Saga of Grettir The Strong - Fiction (Primary Source)
  56. The Conquest Of Gaul - Julius Caesar - Non Fiction (History, Primary Source)
  57. The Annotated Hobbit - J.R.R. Tolkien - Fiction (Fantasy)
  58. Rome And Jerusalem - Martin Goodman - Non Fiction (History)
  59. The History of Britain - Simon Schama - Non Fiction (History)
  60. A Distant Mirror - Barbara Tuchman - Non Fiction (History)
  61. Metamorphosis - Ovid - Poetry (Primary Source)
  62. Mary Queen Of Scots and Lord Darnley - Alison Weir - Non Fiction (History, Biography)
  63. Thomas Cromwell - Antonia Fraiser - Non Fiction (History, Biography)
  64. The Medieval World - Eds. Peter Linehan & Janet L. Nelson - Non Fiction (History)
  65. Albion - Peter Ackroyd - Non Fiction (History)
  66. Europe And The Middle Ages - Edward Peters - Non Fiction (History)
  67. The Age of the Cathedrals - Georges Duby - Non Fiction (History)
  68. A History Of Private Life I - Non Fiction (History)
  69. A History Of Private Life II - Non Fiction (History)
  70. The Peasantries Of Europe - Ed. Tom Scott - Non Fiction (History)
  71. Law And Life of Rome - J. A. Crook - Non Fiction (History)
  72. The Temple And the Lodge - Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh - Non Fiction
  73. The Dead Sea Scrolls Deception - Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh - Non Fiction
  74. The Battle Of Salamis - Barry Strauss - Non Fiction (History)
  75. The Knights Templar - Piers Paul Read - Non Fiction
  76. The Lost Tomb Of Alexander The Great - Andrew Michael Chugg - Non Fiction (History)
  77. Greek Lyric Poetry - Trans. Sherod Santos - Poetry (Primary Source)
  78. Khubilai Khan's Lost Fleet: In Search of a Legendary Armada - James Delgado - Non Fiction (History)
  79. On Sparta - Plutarch - Non Fiction (History, Primary Source)
  80. A History Of My Times - Xenophon - Non Fiction (History, Primary Source)
  81. On The Prowl - Anthology (Romance)
  82. Knight Of Darkness - Kinley MacGregor - Fiction (Romance)
  83. Sword of Darkness - Kinley MacGregor - Fiction (Romance)
  84. Sword and Sorceress VIII - Fiction (Anthology)
  85. Sword and Sorceress XV - Fiction (Anthology)
  86. Sword and Sorceress XIV - Fiction (Anthology)
  87. Sword and Sorceress X - Fiction (Anthology)
  88. Sword and Sorceress VI - Fiction (Anthology)
  89. Sword and Sorceress IX - Fiction (Anthology)
  90. Rocket Ship Galileo - Robert Heinlein - Fiction (Science Fiction)
  91. The Real Middle Earth - Brian Bates - Non Fiction (History)
  92. Roman Poets Of The Early Empire - Poetry - (Primary Source)
  93. Readings In Medieval History - Patrick Geary - Non Fiction (History)
  94. Troilus And Criseyde - Geoffrey Chaucer - Poetry (Primary Source)
  95. Falls The Shadow - Sharon Kay Penman - Fiction (History)
  96. The Reckoning - Sharon Kay Penman - Fiction (History)
  97. Eleanor Of Aquitaine - Alison Weir - Non Fiction (Biography)
  98. Growing Up In Medieval London - Barbara Hanawalt - Non Fiction (History)
  99. The Lost Capital Of Byzantium - Steven Runciman - Non Fiction - History
  100. Charmed Destinies - Anthology (Fantasy)
  101. The Ties That Bound - Barbara Hanawalt - Non Fiction (History)
  102. Making A Living In The Middle Ages - Christopher Dyer - Non Fiction (History)
  103. The Art Of Medieval Hunting - John Cummins - Non Fiction (History)
  104. Medieval English Prose For Women - Eds. Bella Millett & Jocelyn Wogan-Browne - Non Fiction (Primary Source)
  105. For Us The Living - Robert Heinlein - Fiction (Science Fiction)
  106. Sword and Sorceress I - Fiction (Anthology)
  107. Sword and Sorceress V - Fiction (Anthology)
  108. Sword and Sorceress VII - Fiction (Anthology)
  109. Against The Odds - Elizabeth Moon - Fiction (Science Fiction)
  110. Dictionary Of Mythology - Non Fiction
  111. Hadrian - Anthony Everitt - Non Fiction - Biography
  112. The Inheritance Of Rome - Chris Wickham - Non Fiction (History)
  113. Josephus - Non Fiction (Primary Source)
  114. Women in Early Medieval Europe 400-1100 - Lisa M. Bitel - Non Fiction (History)
  115. An Illustrated History of its First 12000 Years: Toronto edited by Ronald F. Williamson - Non Fiction (History)
  116. Becoming Modern In Toronto: The Industrial Exhibition - Keith Walden - Non Fiction (History)
  117. The Complete World Of The Dead Sea Scrolls - Phillip R. Davies, George J. Brooke and Phillip R. Callaway - Non Fiction (History)
  118. The Complete Dead Sea Scrolls in English - Non Fiction (Primary Source)
  119. Alexandria - Nick Bantock - Fiction
  120. Morningstar - Nick Bantock - Fiction
  121. Gryphon - Nick Bantock - Fiction
  122. Londinium - John Morris - Non Fiction - History
  123. The Archaeology Of Roman Britain - R. G. Collingwood - Non Fiction - History
  124. Lord of the Two Lands - Judith Tarr - Fiction (Fantasy)
  125. Daily Living In The Twelfth Century - Non Fiction (History)
  126. Cathedral, Forge And Waterwheel - Francis And Joseph Gies - Non Fiction (History)
  127. Medicine And Society In Later Medieval England - Caroline Rawcliffe - Non Fiction (History)
  128.  Variable Star - Robert Heinlein and Spider Robinson - Fiction (Science Fiction)
  129. Zoe's Tale - John Scalzi - Fiction (Science Fiction)
  130. Red Land Black Land - Barbara Mertz  - Non Fiction (History)
  131. The Forgetting Room - Nick Bantock - Fiction
  132. Sex, Dissidence And Damnation: Minority Groups In The Middle Ages - Jeffrey Richards - Non Fiction (History)
  133. The Life Of Christina Of Markayte - Trans. C. H. Talbot - Non Fiction (Primary Source)
  134. Elantris - Brandon Sanderson - Fiction (Fantasy)
  135. Medieval Costume And Fashion - Herbert Norris - Non Fiction (History)
  136. The Venetian's Wife - Nick Bantock - Fiction
  137. Medieval Households - David Herlihy - Non Fiction (History)
  138. Special Sisters: Women In The European Middle Ages - Arthur Fredrick Ide - Non Fiction (History)
  139. Everyman And Medieval Miracle Plays - Ed. A. C. Crawley - Non Fiction (Primary Source)
  140. The Last Apocalypse - James Reston Jr. - Non Fiction (History)
  141. The Museum At Purgatory - Nick Bantock - Fiction
  142. Lysistrata/The Clouds  - Aristophanes - Fiction (History, Primary Source, Play)
  143. Shadow Of The Swords - Kamran Pasha - Fiction
  144. Sword of the Lady - S. M. Stirling - Fiction (Science Fiction)
  145. The Forest Laird - Jack Whyte - Fiction (Historical Fiction)
  146. The Grand Design - Steven Hawking - Non Fiction
  147. American Vampire - Scott Snyder, Steven King - Fiction (Graphic Novel)
  148. A Game Of Thrones - George R. R. Martin - Fiction (Fantasy)
  149. Stray - Rachel Vincent - Fiction (Fantasy)
  150. The Lion Wakes - Robert Low - Fiction (Historical Fiction)
  151. Queen By Right - Anne Easter Smith - Fiction (Historical Fiction)
  152. Midwife Of Venice - Roberta Rich - Fiction (Historical Fiction)
  153. Dreams of Joy - Lisa See - Fiction (Historical Fiction)
  154. Rosemary and Rue - Seanan McGuire - Fiction (Fantasy)
  155. The Axe and the Oath - Robert Fossier - Non Fiction (History)
  156. A Short History of the Middle Ages - Barbara Rosenwein - Non Fiction (History)
  157. Pausanias Guide to Greece Volume One Translated by Peter Levy - Non Fiction (History, Primary Source)
  158. The Ruin of the Roman Empire: A New History - James J. O'Donnell - Non Fiction (History)
  159. Atlas of Medieval Europe - Non Fiction (History)
  160. Shanghai Girls - Lisa See - Fiction (History)
  161. The Art of The Hobbit - J.R.R. Tolkien - Non Fiction (Fantasy)
  162. By Fire By Water - Mitchell James Kaplan  - Fiction (History)

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...