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Reading Through the Nyte

If it has pages, I will try to read it. Admittedly, I will not always succeed, as some books honestly do not deserve to be printed, not to mention finished. After reading them, I like telling people about books-- whether to avoid them or seek them out... and so it goes...

Currently reading

Good Omens: The Nice & Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch
Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman
My Antonia
Willa Cather
Bran New Death
Victoria Hamilton
Fate's Edge
Ilona Andrews
Brownies and Broomsticks
Bailey Cates
New Tricks
John Levitt
Espresso Shot
Cleo Coyle
Empress: A Novel
Shan Sa

Perception

Perception - Alaric Albertsson

Perception

Alaric Albertsson

Cosmic Egg Books

ISBN-10: 1782792619

ISBN-13: 978-1782792611

8 out of 10

 

I have to admit that normally I am not a huge fan of “alien invasion” type novels, but I found that Mr. Albertsson was an amazing author when I read and reviewed his first (nonfiction) book, and was more than willing to give this one a try. I’m glad I did—the book has a great plot and, at the least for me, had really good characterization. I found myself deeply involved in what was happening to each character and actually caring about how events unfolded around them.

 

Dena Anderson is a wonderful main character—she is a strong woman, and I appreciate that, as far too often women become secondary, weaker characters that are more part of the background than part of the driving force of the plot. The aliens have destroyed the world we know; seeing not just the how humanity will rebuild but IF we will be able to do so, reaching beyond what we are to what we need to become, is handled quite well. I’m personally hoping for a sequel… if not a few more books in the series; there are some loose ends and ideas left to explore and I will be there, eagerly waiting to get back into this universe.

The Trickster's Hat

The Trickster's Hat: A Mischievous Apprenticeship in Creativity - Nick Bantock

The Trickster’s Hat

Nick Bantock

Perigee

ISBN: 978-0399165023

10 out of 10

 

My first step into serious Mail Art (making amazing things to send out into the world to others – in my case, there was an amazing exchange I did with another mail artist that included having a de-stuffed stuffed animal mailed without a box, and a plastic coconut filled with confetti… my mailman adored me, he did) were Nick Bantock’s amazing ‘Griffin & Sabine’ series. It was a haunting love story done via letters, cards and all sorts of mailed items that were actually part of the story themselves. Not just an amazing read, the ability to open envelopes and pull out letters that were part of the text added an extra dimension to the enjoyment of the books.

 

‘The Trickster’s Hat’ is not fiction, but a wonderful collection of exercises and ideas to get your creativity to the next level. Some of the exercises are simple and can be done with a pencil and a pad—some require trips out of the house and a lot of gathering and construction. All of them, even if you just read and dream how you WOULD do them will make you pause and look at your world a bit differently, and that is the important thing. Learn to see the world in another way, learn to try something you think you cannot do, learn to leap rather than sit back and you change a bit for the better. The book is great; you are greater still and together, you and this book will do some wonderful things.

Encyclopedia of Fairies in World Folklore & Mythology

Encyclopedia of Fairies in World Folklore and Mythology - Theresa Bane

I’ve read many “comprehensive’ books on faeries and most cover the usual English/Welsh mythology. If you’re lucky, you’ll find those that expand a bit into French mythos. This book is NOT one of those; this book is exactly as named, that being WORLD Folklore. It is comprehensive enough to be considered a must-have to anyone who studies mythology.

 

There is not a massive amount of information on each sort of faerie, but enough is given as a starting point and the amazing bibliography can be used to find more information on anything in the book. It is set in alphabetical order according to the name of the faerie, and finding the information you need is easy—that is if you are not me and stop along the way to check out other entries that catch your eye as you are on the way to the entry you were looking up.

 

All in all, I consider this an important volume to anyone who studies folklore, mythology, or is just a lover of Faerie. Your library will thank you for its addition, and you will look to it often.

A Distant Soil: The Gathering Tp - Colleen Doran I first read this as an addition to another comic I was reading at the time-- it was the pencils, enclosed as a free trial.... and then when that company produced a few issues, I eagerly grabbed them... and then it stopped in MID STORY LINE!

Then I saw it again years alter in a graphic novel paperback... bought those... but then could not find it and again never got to the end of the story.

THIS version has some updated text, although I'm not really thrilled with some changes to the art, I can understand why they were done-- having seen the original pencils, that sort of work would have killed any artist. And the story itself still stands as DARN good and really entertaining.

If you like dystopian storytelling, old style SF, or just darn good stories and are NOT going to freak at some alternate sexuality (no, this is not porn, but sadly in this age there are still those who cannot deal with gay characters or anything else not in their personal universe) PLEASE go pick this up... enjoy it... thank me later
Shiva's Fire - Suzanne Fisher Staples This really wasn’t a bad book, except for the underlying need for the author to again, throw horrible event after horrible event at the protagonist that really was unnecessary. Reading page after page on how her mother suffers due to the entire village somehow blaming HER for the tornado that destroyed their village and subsequent horrific time of monsoon weather might have happened, but as it shapes the MOTHER, and not her (these events witnessed by the baby and then toddler, but never really brought up, aside when she notes how sad her home looks when coming to visit it later in her life) and then throwing in a huge sub plot about a bandit meeting her best friend, wooing the friend and then stealing her away which went NOWHERE made the book less than stellar. It was as if the author was imagining all these really important events, but not a single one really impacted the main character, even if she was in the middle of them—she just continued on, unchanging, leading to one of those null sort of endings where things just go on until they stop—the story continuing after the book ends, but we, the readers, not allowed to follow.
22 Nights - Linda Winstead Jones YAY! Another new series set in the same land as all the others I have read by this author and using a lot of the old characters. In this one, there are two distinct stories, not linked at all until the end when you find out why they are being told together. For the first, a General goes to retrieve one of the hopeful brides for his emperor, only to find this daughter of a rather important clan chief and he married a year ago when she drugged him and took advantage of him so that she could claim that, unflowered, she had no need to be so cosseted and thus could become the warrior she wanted to be. To dissolve this marriage that neither purportedly wanted, they are to be tied together with a length of cord for 22 nights and after that, should they sill wish to be divorced, the marriage will be dissolved. HINT: They fall in love again and live happily ever after. Story two is of a wealthy widow with a magical power that is fascinating who is also headed to the Emperor. Her pack train is attacked and she and her one time lover must escape the assassin and HINT TWO: they too fall in love and live happily ever after. Yes, they have predictable endings, but the story is actually pretty well done.
Culture Shock! Japan - Rex Shelley, Reiko Makiuchi This is another rather good reference book to read if you are considering moving to Japan. What I have learned, after several of these books is the following:
a) There are no handicapped people or people of size in Japan. Whether or not they really DO exist, in these books, they are entirely absent.
b) The people of Japan love people to visit, but um… just don’t think of ever being one of them. Ever. While learning Japanese and making mistakes, you are cute, and they love to help you—get too proficient in the language and/or culture and you become the dog who piddles on the rug wayyy too often.
c) The above statement is always said NOT by native people, but the people writing the book, which makes me believe that the above statement is bean dip, but pushed by those who HAVE managed to fit in, hoping that you will buy it and not threaten their special flower status.
d) If you are good enough to have lunch with Emily Post, you’ll be OK in Japan—just remember to be quiet, polite, and darnit, read a bit about the etiquette before going to any foreign country to live.
Wreath of Deception - Mary Ellen Hughes This is book one in a new cozy mystery series, with the setting of a recently widowed woman coming to a small town to start a craft store. One HER opening day (what the heck is it with opening days and these books?) the clown she hires to stand in front of the store is murdered in her back room… with one of her knitting needles. She is seen as the number one suspect, especially when a tie is found to a person she knew in her old home in NYC who she had a business arrangement with which ended badly. Since she knows she is innocent, and WE know she is innocent, she begins her own efforts to find out what really happened and clear her name.

We meet the loyal friend, the oddball friends who craft with her, and the big bad cop, who is big and bad because in this series, she is not currently falling in love with him. All in all, it was not a bad read, but there was a lot of side story about her best friend’s younger son and his father no longer getting along, too many extra characters, and in all seriousness, the crafting angle seemed a bit forced—she had been a successful jewelry artist in NYC; the death of her husband might have meant she needed to move away to get away from the memories, but to totally give up a successful career for a store that she keeps whining about failing at any second seemed stupid. And adding in, as if hoping the series was a long one, and thus needing several million sub-characters for our heroine to work with, a mother who she does not get along with and who she has a lot of unresolved emotional outburst to come was again, annoyingly distracting. I’m on the fence whether to get the next book in this series, free or otherwise
Deadly Greetings: A Card-Making Mystery - Elizabeth Bright This is book two in the Cardmaking mystery series, and it too has a decent plot, amusing side characters, and made for a nice evening’s read. The author tends to go a bit far into the wacky, but stops herself before she goes too far. All in all, another nice read and a mental note has been added to get further books in the series as they come out.
Invitation to Murder - Elizabeth Bright This is, again, another start to another new cozy mystery series. The setting this time is in yet another small town, where the female protagonist owns a brand new shop devoted to the making of greeting cards, and the selling of the fancy ones she makes on her own. Her first day, sitting at the counter, she gets a wrong number that haunts her—sounds like someone is begging for help and then is murdered. She tells her brother who is (of course) the sheriff of the small town, but he dismisses it, at least until a murdered woman is found in an abandoned house.

Our heroine decides to solve what happened, especially when she starts getting threatening letters telling her to forget she ever got the call at work, and a similar warning at her apartment. There are the requisite goofy relatives, oddball friends, and craft ideas, as well as a really decent plot, making for a rather decent read and the decision to get books two and three!
The Glasswrights' Master - Mindy Klasky I had read the rest of the series, and so reading the final book seemed to be a must. I find the series, on the whole, to be overtly depressing. There is a need, in most fantasy novels, to put the main character, and in turn, those around him or her, through trials, mostly because the reward at the end is a fantastic one – rather like the television show ‘Survivor’. Before I had read this series, the character who had suffered the MOST with the least return on that pain had been Vanyel in ‘The Last Herald Mage’, but the understanding there was that (a) he was gay and in a major public eye, and so the author seemed to need to make him pay for this and (b) he was to be an Epic Hero, and Epic Heroes tend to have very crap lives, because they will live beyond their time.

Well, move over, Vanyel—we have a new winner in the pain lottery and guess what? Rani doesn’t even get the cute lover and forever friend in the way of a Companion that comes to her in her afterlife—all she gets is the semi insane king who had the hots for her since he met her as a batty teenager and the knowledge that she is master in a craft where every other master that there is really hates her guts and blames her for the destruction of their onetime prosperous guild. She has no real friends, as they’ve been killed off or driven nuts, or just plain realized that she is a crap magnet… she has no career, really—the universe WILL deal with her due to the money and power behind her, but she is still deemed a jinx… and she herself lives with the screaming ghosts of the past.

Wow, some hero… oh wait, she isn’t even THAT as hundreds of children were put into slavery due to her inability to give the help she promised.. masters and apprentices were maimed, killed, and destroyed due to her, oh and yeah… three people she loved went nuts. Woo hoo, sign me up to be a hero in this author’s universe…. NOT.
Uncommon Grounds (Maggy Thorsen Mystery #1) - Sandra Balzo This is the start of a new cozy mystery series where the protagonist owns a coffee shop with two friends, one of which is murdered on their opening day. She spends the whole book whining about her ex husband, and how her life USED to be, solves the murder and possibly starts a romance with the cop who had been investigating the murder. It wasn’t a *bad* read, but it could have been better, and the use in the plot of computers really dated the whole thing – having a fully functional adult who has no idea how to use EMAIL, and uses dial up and complains about the sound of the modem was a bit jarring, to be honest.

Diona and A Dalmatian (#180)

Diona and A Dalmatian - Barbara Cartland This book is more of the same romantic fluff that takes no time to read but is nice for an afternoon’s reading.

Riding to the Moon

Riding to the Moon - Barbara Cartland Another bit of fun fluff that took me under 2 hours total to read.

Caught by Love (Bantam Romance No. 162)(Barbara Cartland series)

Caught by Love (Bantam Romance No. 162)(Barbara Cartland series) - Barbara Cartland This is one of the older of the Grande Dame of Regency Romance Fiction’s novels. It is sweet, there is a small plot, and the man and woman end up blissfully married. Cotton Candy fluff at it’s finest.

Creative Correspondence

Creative Correspondence - Judy Jacobs I read this book and one other when I need a kick in the heinder to get my paper art started. There are so many neat small ideas, templates, and comments throughout that after reading the book I yearn to stay up and mess with paper, ink, glue and more all night!