Sunday, May 31, 2009

May Reviews List

In reverse order, the books I've read and reviewed this month. I'd intended to have Heinlein's novel The Number Of The Beast on here as well given that I was about a day away from finishing it, but my copy has disappeared. I simply can't find it now.

Pilgrimages The Great Adventure Of The Middle Ages
John Ure
Caroll & Graff Publishers
Copyright: 2006

An extract from my review:
John Ure wrote in a rather entertaining, light way, which does get the information across, but rather casually. This might be a better fit for somebody looking for something closer to travel literature, which is the author's normal area of writing, rather than an in-depth examination of the subject. The accounts of the pilgrimages are interesting, as he liberally uses quotes from the sources, but he moves fairly quickly from one pilgrimage route to the next.

Square Foot Gardening: A New Way To Garden In Less Space With Less Work
Mel Bartholomew
Rodale Press
Copyright: 2005

An extract from my review:
I absolutely love Bartholomew's book. You don't need much space, the weeds don't take over, and it really doesn't take up much time to maintain the garden (at least once you've dug it out). Generally, I'm actively hunting for weeds when I'm out there now, as they don't have the chance to get very big. Maybe twenty minutes every couple of days is all it takes.

Time Enough For Love
Robert Heinlein
Berkley Books
Copyright: 1974

An extract from my review:
Robert Heinlein really is a writer of classic science fiction that just keeps on going. For all that this book came out in 1974, there is nothing dated about it.It'll probably still be a readable classic in another fifty years or a century. Perhaps even longer, so long as real technology doesn't outpace the stuff Heinlein dreamed up. I first read Time Enough For Love a couple of years ago, and have enjoyed rereading it at least twice since.

Twilight of Avalon
Anna Elliott
Copyright: 2009

An extract from my review:
Anna Elliott seems to know which details to include in order to make the time period come alive. There's not too much detail, but enough to make the characters and settings vivid in the mind's eye. Things like details relating to healing treatments, character traits, and clothing mostly.

...this is Anna Elliott's first published novel. I think she's got a very promising career in front of her with Twilight of Avalon and it's forthcoming sequels.

Lover Avenged
J.R. Ward
New American Library
Copyright: 2009

An extract from my review:
The world of the Black Dagger Brotherhood is one that keeps getting more and more involved and in depth as the books progress. First of all, we had just the vampires and the Lessers, then it progressed to their aristocracy, and now we have the Sympaths as well, which also has a couple of different castes. Not only that, but various members of each plotting against the others in both groups. Each book shows another facet of their lives and customs, all of it building together to form an interesting whole.

Lover Enshrined
J.R. Ward
New American Library
Copyright: 2008

An extract from my review:
I've said it before, but I do like the vampires Ward has created as they seem to go against most of the typical vampire stereotypes. It makes for a refreshing read. Not only that, but there's plenty of story in each book as well. J.R. Ward makes absolutely certain that the reader gets plenty of book for their dollar, something I appreciate given the growing number of books with larger fonts and margins, especially as a fast reader.

Island In The Sea Of Time
S. M. Stirling
New American Library
Copyright: 1998

An extract from my review:
As I started reading this trilogy, I found that it strongly reminded me of the Ring Of Fire series (1632 and sequels by Eric Flint). On the other hand, this series is turning out to be far more to my preference, if only because the characters go further back in time. It's neat seeing the depictions of Mycenaean society and the British Isles in this period. I love the hints of history. While I was reading the book though, I couldn't help but wish to know how much of an effect the characters actions were having on history as they (and we) knew it.
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