Monday, December 19, 2016

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? - December 19

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is one of the longest lasting book-memes I know of. I've been a participant since the days it was hosted over at J Kaye's Book Blog, and then on Book Journey. Now It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted at Book Date.

The idea of It's Monday! What Are You Reading is to share the books you read last week and also what you are currently reading. I've discovered the hard way that it's a dangerous meme for your TBR piles as frequently I end up adding books to my wishlist thanks to the intriguing descriptions and reviews that others share.

I didn't finish reading either of the books I was working my way through last week, so here they are again:

The Fiery Cross - Diana GabaldonThe Fiery Cross
Diana Gabaldon

The amazon.com product description:
The dazzling fifth volume of Diana Gabaldon’s extraordinary Outlander saga, featuring 18th-century Scotsman James Fraser and his 20th-century time-traveling wife, Claire Randall.

The year is 1771, and war is coming. Jamie Fraser’s wife tells him so. Little as he wishes to, he must believe it, for hers is a gift of dreadful prophecy—a time-traveler’s certain knowledge.

Born in the year of Our Lord 1918, Claire Randall served England as a nurse on the battlefields of World War II, and in the aftermath of peace found fresh conflicts when she walked through a cleftstone on the Scottish Highlands and found herself an outlander, an English lady in a place where no lady should be, in a time—1743—when the only English in Scotland were the officers and men of King George’s army.

Now wife, mother, and surgeon, Claire is still an outlander, out of place, and out of time, but now, by choice, linked by love to her only anchor—Jamie Fraser. Her unique view of the future has brought him both danger and deliverance in the past; her knowledge of the oncoming revolution is a flickering torch that may light his way through the perilous years ahead—or ignite a conflagration that will leave their lives in ashes....

Grand, sweeping, utterly unforgettable, The Fiery Cross is riveting entertainment, a vibrant tapestry of history and human drama.
The second book is also one I started last week and have yet to finish:

Hand of Isis
Jo Graham

The amazon.com blurb:
Charmian is handmaiden to Cleopatra. She is also an oracle, gifted with ancient memories that may hold the key to preserving Egypt. Through blood and fire, war and peace, love and death, she will face a desperate struggle that will remake the future of the world.

Shortlisted for the Locus Best First Novel Award, included in The Amazon Editors' Top Ten List in Science Fiction and Fantasy for 2008 and the Locus Recommended Reading List, with starred reviews in Publishers Weekly and Kirkus Reviews, Jo Graham is one of the most exciting new voices to come out of historical fantasy in recent years.
I have to say I strongly prefer the original cover, which can be found on some of my earlier reviews. This is the book that's getting the lion's share of my reading attention right now - partly because it's on my Kobo, so I can read for a bit after we turn the lights out.

Those are the books from last week. I'm adding a couple of new books this week as well.

First of all is my favorite audio-book:
The Lord Of The Rings (BBC Dramatization) 
The amazon.com product description:
Dramatization
Thirteen CDs, 13 hours

In ancient times the Rings of Power were crafted by the Elven-smiths, and Sauron, The Dark Lord, forged the One Ring, filling it with his own power so that he could rule all others. But the One Ring was taken from him, and though he sought it throughout Middle-earth, it remained lost to him. After many ages it fell, by chance, into the hands of the hobbit, Bilbo Baggins.

From his fastness in the Dark Tower of Mordor, Sauron's power spread far and wide. He gathered all the Great Rings to him, but ever he searched far and wide for the One Ring that would complete his dominion.

On his eleventy-first birthday Bilbo disappeared, bequeathing to his young cousin Frodo the Ruling Ring and a perilous quest -- to journey across Middle-earth, deep into the shadow of the Dark Lord, and destroy the Ring by casting it into the Cracks of Doom.

The Lord of the Rings tells of the great quest undertaken by Frodo and the Fellowship of the Ring: Gandalf the Wizard, the hobbits Merry, Pippin, and Sam, Gimli the Dwarf, Legolas the Elf, Boromir of Gondor, and a tall, mysterious stranger called Strider.
 I've listened my way through this several times now over the years and started again in the past week. I still believe quite firmly that the BBC Radio Play adaptation is the best adaptation of the Lord of the Rings. As I've also begun watching the movies again, I must note that it's rather weird to hear Ian Holm doing the voice of Frodo in this, but then to see him playing the. role of Bilbo in the movies is rather disconcerting. To my ears he's always Frodo!

The final book I'm adding is one that I'm not precisely reading - it's more of a reference book - to go with my new camera.

Nikon D7100 for Dummies
Julie Adair King

The amazon.com product description:
A must-have, full-color guide to the Nikon D7100
The Nikon D7100 is an ideal camera for beginning photographers who may lack structured photography training but are still eager and determined to take great photos. And that?s where this fun-and-friendly guide comes in handy! Packed with more than 300 full-color photos, this introductory guide begins by helping you get a feel for the camera, get comfortable shooting in auto mode, managing playback options, and handle basic troubleshooting strategies. Veteran author Julie Adair King walks you through the D7100's features and encourages you to take creative control so that you can start capturing stunning pictures immediately.
  • Packs in more than 300 full-color photos that exemplify the basic photo skills needed to get great shots
  • Shares a wealth of information from one of the most popular digital photography authors
  • Walks you through adjusting manual settings to get better results from exposure, lighting, focus, and color
  • Contains an entire chapter on video mode
  • Explains how to send images to a computer for organizing, editing, and sharing
Nikon D7100 For Dummies helps you get a grasp on your camera's controls so you can start taking memorable photos today!
I really want to break away from only using the auto settings on my camera, and this new camera is just different enough from my previous two that I'm going to need the extra reference material to figure it out - settings are in completely different places for example.
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