Monday, May 29, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? - May 29, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week.  It's a great post to organize yourself. It's an opportunity to visit and comment, and er... add to that ever growing TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started with J Kaye's Blog   and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date.

After a couple of dead weeks for reading - which explains the overly quiet blog, I've finally gotten back in the swing of things for reading - how long I'll be able to keep it up is another question.

Anyway, I've finished a couple of books in the past week:

Circus of the Damned - Laurell K. HamiltonThe first was Circus of the Damned by Laurell K. Hamilton.

The product description:
First time in trade paperback: the third novel in the #1 New York Times bestselling series. In Circus of the Damned-now in trade paperback for the first time-a rogue master vampire hits town, and Anita gets caught in the middle of an undead turf war. Jean-Claude, the Master Vamp of the city, wants her for his own-but his enemies have other plans. And to make matters worse, Anita takes a hit to the heart when she meets a stunningly handsome junior high science teacher named Richard Zeeman. They're two humans caught in the crossfire-or so Anita thinks.
I'm not going to write up a separate review for this one - I stopped reading in the middle for long enough that I can't really remember what happened for the earlier parts of the book. The main thing that stuck with me is Anita's sheer stubborn nature. Of course, that's something laid out through the whole series, so it's not all that surprising.

1632 - Eric Flint
The second book I finished in the last week was 1632 by Eric Flint, which I posted about yesterday.

The product description:

1632 And in northern Germany things couldn't get much worse. Famine. Disease. Religous war laying waste the cities. Only the aristocrats remained relatively unscathed; for the peasants, death was a mercy.
2000 Things are going OK in Grantville, West Virginia, and everybody attending the wedding of Mike Stearn's sister (including the entire local chapter of the United Mine Workers of America, which Mike leads) is having a good time.
When the dust settles, Mike leads a group of armed miners to find out what happened and finds the road into town is cut, as with a sword. On the other side, a scene out of Hell: a man nailed to a farmhouse door, his wife and daughter attacked by men in steel vests. Faced with this, Mike and his friends don't have to ask who to shoot. At that moment Freedom and Justice, American style, are introduced to the middle of the Thirty Years' War.
This one I quite enjoyed, though I'm a bit hesitant about the rest of the series - based on the sheer quantity of books set in the world of the Ring of Fire.

My currently reading pile is pretty big:

The Mists of Avalon - Marion Zimmer BradleyThere's The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley. product description:
In Marion Zimmer Bradley's masterpiece, we see the tumult and adventures of Camelot's court through the eyes of the women who bolstered the king's rise and schemed for his fall. From their childhoods through the ultimate fulfillment of their destinies, we follow these women and the diverse cast of characters that surrounds them as the great Arthurian epic unfolds stunningly before us. As Morgaine and Gwenhwyfar struggle for control over the fate of Arthur's kingdom, as the Knights of the Round Table take on their infamous quest, as Merlin and Viviane wield their magics for the future of Old Britain, the Isle of Avalon slips further into the impenetrable mists of memory, until the fissure between old and new worlds' and old and new religions' claims its most famous victim.
It's been quite a few years since I read this book, but I'm enjoying as much now as I did the last time. If my memory serves as well, the Mists of Avalon may well have been my first real introduction to the various Arthurian stories.

The Lunatic Cafe - Laurell K. HamiltonSecond on the list is The Lunatic Cafe by Laurell K. Hamilton

The product description:
Vampire hunter and zombie animator Anita Blake is an expert at sniffing out the bad from the good. But in The Lunatic Cafe-now in trade paperback for the first time-she's about to learn that nothing is ever as it seems, especially in matters of the not-so-human heart.

Dating a werewolf with self-esteem issues is stressing Anita out. Especially when something-or someone-starts taking out the city's shapeshifters.
Here's where we start seeing more of the characters who are going to shape the next several books: Raina, Gabriel, Marcus... We've already been introduced to Richard and Larry in the previous book, so the stage is being set for future plotlines.

I'm only a couple of chapters in, so I can't say much more than that yet.

1633 - David Weber and Eric FlintAnd finally, 1633 by David Weber and Eric Flint

The product description:

The new government in central Europe, called the Confederated Principalities of Europe, was formed by an alliance between Gustavus Adolphus, King of Sweden, and the West Virginians led by Mike Stearns who were transplanted into 17th-century Germany by a mysterious cosmic accident. The new regime is shaky. Outside its borders, the Thirty Years War continues to rage. Within, it is beset by financial crisis as well as the political and social tensions between the democratic ideals of the 20th-century Americans and the aristocracy which continues to rule the roost in the CPE as everywhere in Europe.

Worst of all, the CPE has aroused the implacable hostility of Cardinal Richelieu, the effective ruler of France. Richelieu has created the League of Ostend in order to strike at the weakest link in the CPE's armor—its dependence on the Baltic as the lifeline between Gustav Adolf's Sweden and the rest of his realm.

The greatest naval war in European history is about to erupt. Like it or not, Gustavus Adolphus will have to rely on Mike Stearns and the technical wizardry of his obstreperous Americans to save the King of Sweden from ruin.

Caught in the conflagration are two American diplomatic missions abroad: Rebecca Stearns' mission to France and Holland, and the embassy which Mike Stearns sent to King Charles of England headed by his sister Rita and Melissa Mailey. Rebecca finds herself trapped in war-torn Amsterdam; Rita and Melissa, imprisoned in the Tower of London.

And much as Mike wants to transport 20th-century values into war-torn 17th-century Europe by Sweet Reason, still he finds comfort in the fact that Julie, who once trained to be an Olympic marksman, still has her rifle . . .

At the publisher's request, this title is sold without DRM (DRM Rights Management).
It's the second book in the Ring of Fire series, I believe. However, I'm only a chapter or two in.

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