DO NOT FOLLOW ME IF YOU'RE HERE TO ADVERTISE, ESPECIALLY NON-BOOK PRODUCTS. I WILL BLOCK YOU!!!
I only hope the White House air conditioning breaks down.
He was wondering where all that global warming is you see.
It's hotter than it's ever been in the UK!!!
1. Alaric the Goth by Marcel Brion. Biography that reads like a great Barbarian story.
2. Under the Black Flag by David Cordingly. Real pirates!
3. Morning of the Magicians by Jacques Bergier, Louis Pauwels - history of magical practice
4. The Secret History of Ancient Egypt by Herbie Brennan
5. History of the Goths by Herwig Wolfram
6. Beneath the Pyramid by Christian Jacq
7. The Advance Man: A Journey Into the World of the Circus by Jamie F. MacVicar
8. Original Magic: The Rituals and Initiations of the Persian Magi by Stephen Flowers
9. The Triumph of the Moon by Ronald Hutton
10. A Brief History of Chocolate by Steve Berry, Phil Norman
by Laila Ibrahim
This book took me away from all my other reads and now the sequel is doing the same. The setting is pre-civil war Virginia, a large tobacco plantation with, you guessed it, slaves. The main character is Mattie, a slave woman who is forced to hand her son over to family in 'the quarters' because her services as a wet nurse are required for the master's new baby daughter.
The writing is good and it really shines a spotlight on what life was like for black slaves in that time and place. Husbands, wives, children or parents might get sold at any time, work was hard (I knew that part) and legal status was pretty slim. What I didn't know was that a law was changed to enable plantation owners to use slaves as free labour. Originally, indentured slaves (whether black, Irish or whatever) were to work for a set amount of time, then be entitled to freedom and making a life for themselves. But that wasn't cost effective so they changed it to make black slaves less than human in the law.
I'm so glad my ancestors never owned slaves!
Anyway, the story has many levels, including Mattie's growing affection for the child in her care as well as her increasing ability to see her own family, including her son, as the baby grows less dependent. The family dynamics of the rich landowners is thrown into stark exposure for the fake and dysfunctional mess that such families tend to become when they get too full of their own imagined importance.
The character development was very well done and the history realistic and poignant, showing the reader how important it is that we never let our species fall into this level of inhumanity again.
by Misaki Matsui
This is a beautiful, full color travel book showing some of the real beauty of Tokyo. I would not hesitate to recommend it to anyone about to travel there for the first time.
The parks and temples are more than pretty! The book gives background and significance of places, trees and everything a traveler really needs to know to fully appreciate visiting these places.
It would also make a great remembrance book for someone who has seen these places and might want to remember their significance. The photos are much better than post cards!
Alaric the Goth by Marcel Brion
David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
Dracula by Bram Stoker
The Crystal Cave by Mary Stewart (+series)
Shogun by James Clavell
Just bored. Life is too short. I love Zelazny's Amber series but haven't got on with others of his I've tried so far. The concept was good, but the kid from the tech society automatically having this trend that direction and mechanical aptitude to work it all out isn't ringing true.
by Rich Hawkins
This is the sort of monster story that I don't see enough of these days. Lessons in what it's like to be at the bottom of the food chain!
It's the middle of summer but a freak snowstorm makes visibility from inside a train almost nil, then there's a crash! But Seth, a young survivor, is sure he saw something very strange outside the windows. Was the crash natural? From the conditions?
So starts an adventure that will change everything. This is the sort of alternate world story worthy of writers like Tim Curran and I expect to read many more from this author. Apart from a small segment when I noted too much 'telling' of Seth's emotions, it's well written and keeps the reader in a dark place where it feels like nothing will ever be normal again.
Plenty of monster action and some good character development, apart from a little too much religion in one of them. Very creepy, full of surprises. I'm wondering if there will be another book. I'll read it if there is.
The Summer He Came Home (Romance)
Actually it likes like there are several titles from this imprint. Go here and scroll down.
When a Lady (romance)
Drakon (paranormal romance but features a librarian)
MEG CABOT (this one is a short story that seems always free)
Spy games (Romance)
Okay, here goes. In no particular order:
1. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
2. Daughters of the Dragon by William Andrews
3. Go Ask Alice by Anonymous
4. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
5. Oliver twist by Charles Dickens
6. Jack Dawkins by Charlton Daines
7. London by Edward Rutherfurd
8. Ramses: Son of the Light by Christian Jacq (+ series)
9. Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
10. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
11. Pompeii by Robert Harris
12. The Bastard by John Jakes (+ series)
13. Legacy by Susan Kay
14. The Summer Queen by Elizabeth Chadwick (+ series)
15. Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
16. Tai-Pan by James Clavell
17. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
18. Hawaii by James A. Michener
19. Ashes of London by Andrew Taylor
20. The Other Einstein by Marie Benedict
21. The Firebrand by Marion Zimmer Bradley
22. Toby Tyler; or, Ten Weeks with a Circus by James Otis
23. Cry to Heaven by Anne Rice
24. A Duty to the Dead by Charles Todd
25. The Light of Paris by Eleanor Brown
Smashwords is having its July sale and a lot of authors cut their prices or make their books free for the month.
Here's the link for the Horror page https://www.smashwords.com/shelves/promos/883
All other genres are on the same sale, but I'm boosting signal on this because it's a good chance to grab some of the freebies that could make possible choices for Bingo. If they turn out to be crap, at least they were free.
Yes it takes a little time to wade through the slush to find anything worthwhile there, but many authors you see on Amazon and elsewhere also list their books on Smashwords. Occasional gems have been known to surface!
Nine books this month, four of them non-fiction and one field guide to Dragons.
The stars in fiction were Witch Lit and Little Darlings, and otherwise were Taking up Space and Dracopedia. I'm still deciding about the Art of Jin Shin. Have to try the techniques more but I'm not a sickly person so there hasn't been much opportunity.
Eight of the nine were from Netgalley, but I'm exercising control more this month because I have too many books in hand that I want to read! I had caught up for about 5 minutes and requested two more, now among my planned July reads.
I really need to spend some time catching up on samples in the coming month. They've got out of hand again!
Every so often you get a book by an author you never heard of and suddenly three chapters later, it starts looking like a late night of reading.
Monsters, blood and a train wreck, what's not to love?
I've got an advance reading copy but it's on pre-order and out on the 22nd.
How did I not know about this? Free PDF e-zine with short stories, poetry, drabbles and some kick-ass artwork. Looks quarterly. I've just saved several issues for reading at my leisure.
Edited by Laura Perry
I enjoyed this collection very much. It's a compilation of fantasy short stories and poems about magical settings or characters written by writers involved in Wicca or Paganism in some form. I won't comment on the poems because I've never been a fan of poetry, but the stories were well worth the nominal price I paid and all proceeds go to a literary charity, Books for Africa, so I bought it on pre-order, only recognising a couple of the authors, knowing my money was well spent whether the stories held up or not.
I would say only three stories were really professional quality, but there were no duds. All of the stories were reasonably well-written and the editing was pristine. There was just a certain self-indulgence in the plotting of some of them that is common with Pagan writers turning to fiction, though thankfully not universal.
Overall the really good stories made it worth far more than I paid, so I can't complain. At least I've discovered at least one new good author and the first story, by one of the names I recognised (Nils Visser), has piqued my interest in a series connected to his story. A good result as indie anthologies go.
by Melanie Golding
This was a well written Horror story based on historical folklore from Ireland and other places in the British Isles about changelings. I love the way bits of actual folklore like superstitions for how to protect a baby from being taken by the fairies is placed at the beginnings of some chapters.
The story itself follows two women; one, a new mother of twins who believes someone is trying to take her babies and the other a female cop who has good instincts and doesn't swallow the psychiatrist's explanation that the woman is just hallucinating. There's a definite supernatural aspect involved causing the mother to doubt her perceptions and the cop to doubt the dismissal of the mother's concerns by hospital staff.
The story kept me interested, especially the last quarter. I even stayed up late reading because I had to know what happened next! The characters were well defined and I really hated two of them, though I liked both of the two primary women.
There were some plot points that I felt could have been further developed, but my only real complaint is the ending. Too many questions were left open and side plots unresolved. The evidence for whether the happenings were hallucinations or psychosis could have supported either way. Perhaps it's meant to leave the reader to decide.