Sunday, March 26, 2017

Spring WAS on the Way...

Taken some time back on my little camera, but reminds me that there might be a Spring!  It seemed to come, but we knew that was premature. Soon it will be April, and a more realistic time to have Spring arrive!    Reading - here is a recommendation - read the small novella - really a short story - by Ted Chiang, called The Great Silence.  Chiang's originality is something special.  In style no word is wasted. The story left me a bit sad, and gave me something to think about that keeps coming back into my brain. What is it "about?" Well, it's about our look outwards for other beings to communicate with, and it offers one answer we seldom think about seriously.    It is available in Kindle and also online at the address in the Wikipedia article referenced above.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Reading On a Branch Track...

Reading took an unexpected turn when I started StarCrossed by Elizabeth Bunce. Excellent book. Written for the youth market as my last post said - and a robust market that is, it is certainly readable by everyone from 4th grade on up who loves fantasy. When writing fantasy it is imperative to create a whole world that makes sense and holds together despite the various plots set within that world. This is a task that many an author fails at, and I have read a few of those failures.  To keep a reader believing in your world you have to be consistent with the whole culture of the world and sometimes something sticks out as so unbelievable it wrecks a story. Bunce has created a consistent culture, and a full bodied world that gets into your head and stays there. There are even maps - and let's face it - we love maps! A fantasy book without maps is just sad because we all read Lord of the Rings and we want maps. This is the first book about Digger the talented thief and her adventures in an oppressive world ruled by fanatics. Wonder why that resonates...but I digress.  I found myself finishing the book and then purchasing the next in the series. The third is in the works. The second is Liar's Moon, and I am only about 20% of the way in right now. These books have a regular publisher and they certainly deserve that. So many ebooks are self-published and you never know what the next shot in the dark will bring because you cannot trust the reviews of these books on AMAZON. You just have to get a feel for it and give it a try. A sample helps with that. Ms. Bunce has a talent here and I await book 3 with eagerness. The protagonist is a winner!

Friday, February 17, 2017

Sun and Books...

So, more snow and the sun after that! When the sun comes out it's all good. Despite the vicissitudes of life and the world, the sun brings light, cheer and the hope of Spring.  Currently I am reading StarCrossed by Elizabeth C. Bunce.  It's actually quite engaging. Aimed at the youth fiction market, and fantasy, the story is more engaging than many a more famous novel has been lately.  Rather than write about the books I didn't care for I do prefer to highlight those I liked. It's difficult to write a novel so better not to cramp the style of those who just might write better stories in future! So - in that vein, I want to say that StarCrossed is worthwhile, and I am glad I picked it up in a Kindle sale! I will probably read the rest in the series. Meanwhile I have an Evanovich novel going - a Goldberg-Evanovich book - series is Fox and O'Hare. This is a follow on to having read another Eric Newby book! Quite engaging is Eric Newby.   It was A Travelers Life and so interesting and funny.  Also finished the first in Simon Tolkien's Inspector Trave series...interesting and rather a slog. But a good slog. I am going to read the next two in the series at least - the more cerebral style of his work is engaging.  My pile of unread books is so high now. My son commented: "They might stop printing them?" in response to the size of the piles...:)

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Winter and Discontent....

Sometimes I wonder about the world, but then I realize it has always been a tough go...and here it is February!  Snow time. Not so much as sometimes, but probably more to come. I read another Maisie Dobbs book, Why? I do not know. They are full of angst and sorrow and have sort of a supernatural edge that I find annoying. This was #3 and the last I will read. Some people love them, and they are well written. That alone can recommend a book these days.  I am going to read some escapist fiction - another one or two or three Janet Evanovich and maybe a non-fiction Eric Newby again. I finished another Eric Newby book, and I loved it - these Brits can write. In the wings I have Bill Bryson as well, and that is always fun!   Short and sweet today....but checking in!

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Books and ebooks...Assorted Notes...

Seattle last May was again a nice trip.  Just getting back into the swing of  blogging here. It seems my sewing blog is slogging along rather slowly as well. I thought that today I would just add a few pictures from the past year, mostly to give the blog some bulk.  Reading - I have to admit to a long streak of reading Janet Evanovich Stephanie Plum novels - I have about exhausted the series. Only three left until she writes another. They are amusing and go fast.  On the more sedate side, I have read some of the novels of Jason Goodwin, Ruth Downey and Eric Ambler once again.  I read a series by Lisa See that is so eye-opening on the topic of modern China. So well written. Dragon Bones, The Interior and Flower Net. Excellent.   In ebooks the selection is pretty eclectic.  I have The Lost World  by Arthur Conan Doyle, as well as a bunch of  self-published on AMAZON novels that aren't bad. You really have to be careful in the area of the self-published stuff, so very many are just drek.  I have read the worst book a few times, but try to stay away from anything that has bad reviews with which I can relate. So far the best self-published stuff I have come across is the light series of Folly Beach mysteries by Bill Noel,  the Roman era series by Robert Colton,  and a few others.  If I feel inclined I might do a book review occasionally of one or more of these books. If I mention them I recommend them, be sure of that. I don't write negative reviews.  I try to write positive reviews and if the book has any merit at all I do that.  If it does not I skip writing. The art of crafting a novel or any book at all is difficult. The problem with self-publishing is that lots of people do it with little or no concern for the element of talent.   All those editors at publishing houses that spend time reading books submitted by hopefuls have my utmost sympathy.