Midu Reads

 

http://phollo.me/miduhadi 

SPOILER ALERT!

Reading Anniversaries & First-in-a-Series — June Edition

 

Originally published at midureads.wordpress.com on October 3, 2018.

 

 

2018

 

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Soulless: The Manga, Vol. 1 by Gail Carriger

 

Oh, this was such a pretty book! It stayed true to the story from the novels, making me laugh and fall in love with the series all over again. The art is just so manga-ey that you can’t help but like it.  My initial thoughts on reading it can be found here.

 

2015

 

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The Dresden Files: Storm Front, Volume 1: The Gathering Storm by Jim Butcher

 

Another novel converted to graphic novel format. While Ms. Carriger’s humor shines through in both novel formats, I didn’t find the same to be true for Butcher. Even so, if I can stick to this series with its problematic treatment of female characters, I can stomach the graphic novels too. Did that sound like somebody was forcing me to read them? Lol

 

2013

 

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Undead and Unwed by MaryJanice Davidson

 

Betsy came into my life when I needed a reprieve from the real world. She might be shallow and it might take her like 9 books to realize that, but she still makes me laugh. Her magnetic ability to attract trouble no matter where she goes reminds me of Mercy of the Mercedes Thompson fame. Her tenacity has shades of Kate Daniels from another favorite series of mine. But most of all, I love her for the way she sticks up for those she considers family!

 

 

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The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente

 

This is one book that I wish I had found when I was a kid — or had been written back then. I think I’d have appreciated it more? Anyway, it has the charm of the Dahl books but there is a dark undercurrent to them that makes them scary. But in a good way. Fine job I’m doing of explaining why I like this series, right? But I do!

 

 

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The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

 

Gaiman’s books either wow me or they don’t i.e. there is no middle ground. But I never not like them. Does that make sense? For instance, I wasn’t a fan of American Gods but I loved Coraline and this one. TOATEOTL had this surreal feel to it that never let up. Despite being a short story, I felt like I connected with the characters in it too.

 

 

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Callahan’s Crosstime Saloon by Spider Robinson

 

This book has an old-timey sci-fi-ish feel to it that instantly resonated with me. I am also a fan of anthologies and short story compilations. To me, they present a varied meal where I sample different dishes and decide which ones i loved. Like most books of its genre and time, it isn’t overly long. Another plus in my case! I also reviewed the second book in this series.

 

2012

 

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The Emerald City by J.A. Beard

 

** spoiler alert ** This was such a refreshing book! Another YA novel that I’d recommend to those of us who aren’t too into them. The book had everything: a teenager who acted her age was smart and kicked butt-not dumb enough to dismiss the strange ongoings in her school like most YA protagonists would have done.characters that kept me interested throughout — Nick’s zombieness made him all the more fun and Lydia was cute. It had the right beginning and a balanced ending — the book wasn’t too long either.there were some spelling mistakes, yes.the humor was done just right. It was fun, witty and a quick read — I just couldn’t put the book down till I was done reading.

 

 

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Undermountain by Eric Kent Edstrom

 

** spoiler alert ** I got this book from Making Connections for free, in exchange of an honest review.The action started from the get-go and it never stopped.


It has been so long since I enjoyed a YA novel this much and didn’t end up wanting to hit every character over the head-well, maybe Shiv, at times!


My favorite character was Grizz for obvious reasons. TogYip were cute too.


The transformation that each teenager goes through by the end of their journey (as Harvin was kind to observe for us) made the story even better.


The romance or sprinklings of it was just the right amount.


There were a few spelling mistakes which I noticed though.


The descriptions of the city of Bigfeet were sufficient without being boring.I loved every bit of it!

2011

 

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The Tiger’s Wife by Téa Obreht

 

Sadly, I don’t remember much about this one, just that I loved it. It was a simple, touching story about a family. That much I do remember!

 

So those were my faves from various Junes of various years. Hope you had fun reading about it!

SPOILER ALERT!

September 2018 — A Wrap-Up

 

Originally published at midureads.wordpress.com on October 2, 2018.

 

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Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett

 

Like the two previous books in this series, this one was hilarious! Pratchett continues to amaze me by dealing with huge issues like gender discrimination in his own unique way:

“I can see you’ve been getting ideas below your station,” said Granny coldly.

 

As always, the humor was exquisite. Consider the following quote:

However, it is primarily a story about a world. Here it comes now. Watch closely, the special effects are quite expensive.

 

And this one:

“You’re wizards!” she screamed. “Bloody well wizz!”

 

I mean who even thinks of what a character would think if they were turned into an old palace. Pratchett, that’s who:

For the first time in her life, she knew what it was like to have balconies.

 

And then there was this one:

The light was misty and actinic, the sort of light to make Steven Spielberg reach for his copyright lawyer.

 

I also learned a new delicious word:

 

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Oh, and the writing was beautiful and witty, which is also characteristic Pratchett:

There should be a word for words that sound like things would sound like if they made a noise, he thought. The word ‘glisten’ does indeed gleam oilily, and if there was ever a word that sounded exactly the way sparks look as they creep across burned paper, or the way lights of cities would creep across the world if the whole of human civilization was crammed into one night, then you couldn’t do better than “coruscate.”

 

Granny was my favorite character. She dealt with sexist snobbish wizards with such aplomb and scolded sense into anyone who dared act crazy! More Pratchett love here.

 

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Undead and Unfinished by MaryJanice Davidson

 

Okay, okay. So it took Betsy almost ten books to realize how selfish she was. But at least, she owned up to it and then did something about it.

 

The book was funny:

And I was self-aware enough to realize that if I thought someone was being immature, it was time for them to reexamine their life.

 

It also had dark foreshadowing, which will form the plot of the future books. I am confident though if Betsy can survive her evil step-mom, dying, becoming a vampire, ruling over the bloodsuckers, marrying a selfish power hungry vampire and get him to fall in love with her, be sisters with the Devil’s daughter, adopt her own step-brother, prevent an all-out war with the shifters, and take down a villain or two, then she can handle whatever’s coming her way. Right?

 

 

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Time Travelers Strictly Cash by Spider Robinson

 

The good things about this compilation first. It had nuggets like this one:

One of the major agonies of reviewing is that you cannot recall an opinion which later reflection reveals to be fatheaded. There isn’t enough time for anything but snap judgments, and often you end up regretting them, and there’s no practical way to retract them.

 

I’m pretty sure seldom has a reviewer been this honest about their job and its drawbacks. Anyone who goes back and reads their reviews from before will agree with this point of view.

 

Then there were the stories with such beautiful one-liners, which is why I love the Time Travelers series:

And-and funny men are nicer lovers. They know about pain.

 

Not to forget brutal truths thrown in for good measures, like this one:

Of course one of the first concerns of a colonizing country is to properly condition the colonists. To ensure their loyalty. Because a colonist is supposed to give you the things you want to have in exchange for the things you want him to have, and for this golden opportunity he is supposed to be properly grateful. It wouldn’t do for him to get any treasonous ideas about his own destiny, his own goals.

 

Now for the bad part. This book doesn’t just contain the Callahan stories. It includes some reviews written by Robinson, a defense of Robert Heinlein, and other short stories not from the Callahan series. The so-called defense is long and drawn out and full of sexist, homophobic, and other negative comments. I skipped most of it.

 

The Callahan stories included:

 

Fivesight

The title is a play on the word foresight and is a sad but uplifting story about a character whose husband can see a few hours ahead into the future.

 

Dog Day Evening

This is the story of a German Shepherd, Ralph von Wau Wau, and it is exactly Callahan-tastic!

 

Have You Heard The One…?

This story is about a new character who comes to visit the saloon, Al Phee, and reveals the true nature of one of the regulars, Josie Bauer. Another fun one!

 

Mirror / rorriM Off The Wall

This story describes the events that befall Robert Trebor and how Callahan and the narrator, Jake, help him out.

 

The non-Callahan stories were:

 

God is an Iron

It is a story about how a thief and a drug addict save each other.

 

Soul Search

A woman tries to reawaken her mate to life from a cryogenic sleep. Things don’t go so well. The story’s focus is on what could make reincarnation possible

 

Local Champ

This represents Robinson’s rare attempts at writing a fantasy story. It is about a warlock who becomes all-powerful and immortal and how he meets his demise.

 

Serpents’ Teeth

Kid emancipation and parenting are the focus of this story. It was a miss for me.

 

 

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Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier

 

Exhaustingly descriptive and maybe dated to some extent. I think if the pages spent by the author describing Manderley were removed, the result would be a fast-paced thriller. I didn’t mind that the author took her time unraveling the secrets surrounding the first wife’s death. It made the story exciting but I did mind when she spent pages and pages telling me about the garden and the rooms of the mansion. How awkwardly the second Mrs. De Winter tries to fill Rebecca’s shoes and her trials were described very well. It made you feel for her while remaining in awestruck by the glamorous creature Rebecca had been. How Rebecca’s nurse mentally tortured the girl and the rambling man by the beach only deepened my enjoyment of the mystery. But when De Winter finally confessed, I wanted to smack him hard. It took him this long to say that? Why did he make his wife suffer so much? The idiot! And when Manderley finally burned now, I was like good riddance!

 

 

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Nightlight by The Harvard Lampoon

 

A parody of the Twilight series. It had its laugh out loud moments, not because they were funny. They made me laugh because they accurately described how nonsensical certain things were in the original series. Bella looking after her parents instead of it being the other way around. Her thinking that all the guys were falling for her. I could go on and on, but I won’t…

 

 

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Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

 

If I was to name one pompous, pretentious book that glorified one era and was elitist as shit, I’d probably name this one! The protag is a geek, which made him better than everyone who met him. He is also a Mary Sue. He was singlemindedly solving the riddle when he suddenly just had to fall in love. The girl he fell for was introduced as an independent woman but by the end of the book, she had been successfully Hollywood-ized. There were dei ex machina of all kinds and the last one was obviously the worst. The villain’s character was cardboard thin and just in it for the money. He worked for an organization that was supposedly the worst, right? Then how come he kept failing and they never replaced him? What pissed me off, even more, was the fact that the book was marketed as YA. None of the targeted audience would have even existed in the eighties. Why add all those obscure references? Just to show off how knowledgeable the author is? Then why not write a non-fic about the subject? A quick read if you can ignore the glaring faults with this one!

 

 

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Megalodon & Prehistoric Sharks by Various Authors

 

Fun, informative book that made me thank my stars that I wasn’t born back then! Some of these bloodthirsty giants even counted the land amongst their hunting grounds. Yeesh! Check out some of the hair-raising illustrations below:

 

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Once Upon a Time Machine: Greek Gods and Legends

 

Icarus

A father-son team on a space voyage; guess which one doesn’t survive the trip?

 

Theseus and Metrotaurus

Theseus needs to board a train to meet his beloved. The metrotaurus isn’t having any of it!

 

Pandora

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The Slaying of the Pseudors (Odysseus)

Odysseus returns home to find aliens have taken over and turned his family into pterodactyl-like creatures. The rest, as they say, is history!

 

Footsteps (Hermes)

The divine messenger cannot survive going digital. Or can he?

 

Arachne

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Persephone

An alien heroine tries to convince her mother she loves Hades. A sad ending!

 

Hyperion

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Flying Horse Style (Pegasus)

Why even a chimera isn’t a match for Pegasus!

 

Aphrodite

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Daphne

Even a modern-day Zeus doesn’t know when to give up!

 

Minotaur

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Hades

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Andromeda

Andromeda isn’t going home and Perseus can go hang himself.

 

Eurydice

He tries to bring Eurydice back with a software.

 

The Muses

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Game Changers (Athena and Poseidon)

Game developers try to bring back their creation to order.

 

Away Mission (Actaeon)

A friendship that survives several alien transformations until it doesn’t!

 

The Twelve Labors of Mech-Detective Heracles

She doesn’t know how to give up!

 

Pygmalion

The classic tale, except this time, Galatea returns the favor!

 

A Heavy Stone for all the Peoples (Sisyphus)

A tale as old as time, but with a twist!

 

Eros

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Jason and the Argonauts

Gang wars break out over the golden fleece err jacket.

 

Metal Illiad

Achille’s exploits at the Battle of Troy turned into a comic strip.

 

Cerberus

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Cosmogony (Uranus)

The dominant species always ends up wrecking the world!

 

Ares

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The Long Bow (Telemachus)

Is it set in Ancient Greece or the modern times, who can tell? But Ulysses comes through for his son!

 

Zeus at Large

A comic strip about Zeus’ sexcapades.

 

Riddle of the Sphinx

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I loved all the illustrations and most of the stories in this comic compilation.

 

 

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Caramelo by Sandra Cisneros

 

I read this book for the Hispanic Heritage category in Book Bingo. It started off beautifully. The descriptions of how subtly — and not so subtly — different life was on both sides of the border were juicy and well written. I loved reading about the different generations of a family and how circumstances shaped their lives and nature. When the book began, the narrator calls her grandma, the Awful Grandmother. By the end of the book, she drops the awful, and you can see why. What turned me off was how the book dragged on needlessly when it could have been wrapped up at least 100 pages earlier. I realized early that there wouldn’t be a twist and I was right. Still, the story left me wanting.

 

 

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The Color Purple by Alice Walker

 

 

I have always wanted to read this book but haven’t been able to woman up for this task. Once I had bought a physical copy, I even picked it up. Got as far as the first page, which sets the tone of the book, and explains that it is going to be epistolary. The book found its way back on my bookshelf and languished there, it did. Until Book Bingo because I am friends with this kooky group of girls. We all have different reading tastes so any attempts at starting a book clubs have met with a failure of the bitchy sort. What we flock towards is Bingo because it allows us to read whatever the heck we want – provided it matches the description of a Bingo square. After several months or so, one of us – usually, this person of ill-repute – wails about Bingo. The rest of us say aye and so it begins like it began this time.

 

I read The Color Purple for my Banned Book square. A perfect choice because it has been banned many times and for various reasons. It is a book that breaks your heart but also reaffirms your faith in familial love. After all, it was the sisters’ love for each other that helped them survive the cruelties of fate. You’d start reading thinking that this book recounts a tale that isn’t unique in any way. You’d be right too if the author hadn’t used clever devices like broken grammar and failed to establish Celie’s voice. Besides the writing, I also liked that Celie didn’t get back with her husband. They remained friends but she had outgrown him, so it seemed right that she didn’t go back.

 

Another thing I liked was that this book showed women behaving like women usually do: being generous and compassionate, raising other women’s kids as their own, leaving home to fulfill their dreams, being stronger than the men, and refusing to give in when it mattered.

 

A few quotes from the book:

If he (God) ever listened to poor colored women the world would be a different place.

Shug: Why any woman give a shit what people think is a nystrey to me.
Grady:  A woman can’t git a man if peoples talk.
Shug look at me and us giggle. Then us laugh sure nuff.

 

I finished the book in a few hours. It was the perfect length!

 

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The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon

 

Two pages into the book and Christopher’s autistic nature made me fall in love with him. We might find his life complicated by certain behavioral quirks. But to him, life was quite straightforward. A particular number of red cars meant a Good Day and yellow ones meant a bad one. He had plans in place for a bad day and he followed them to the letter. What did throw him off were how people said one thing but meant another. Since he couldn’t lie or bluff, he found it difficult to interpret others’ behavior when they did that. It took a lot of work for him to match a person’s expression with past experiences stored in his mental database. An animal’s life held as much value for him as a human’s, which is why he decided to work out who murdered the neighbor’s dog. His parents loved him as best as they could but they were human and lost their temper at times. This book made me realize the importance of patience. The next time I run into someone who isn’t like everybody else, I hope I have the presence of mind and the compassion to exercise some patience and accept them for who they are!

Some Christopher wisdom for us all:

I think prime numbers are like life. They are very logical but you could never work out the rules, even if you speny all your time thinking about them.

If only we were all this smart, all the time!

 

So, that was my September in a nutshell. How was yours?

SPOILER ALERT!

August 2018 — A Wrap-Up

 

Originally published at midureads.wordpress.com on September 23, 2018.

 

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Married by Morning by Lisa Kleypas

 

This series is light, entertaining, and satisfies all my once-in-a-blue-moon romance cravings. I know the setting and the characters are familiar. While they may be cut out from the same stencil: the guys are manly and stubborn and the ladies are quirky and non-traditional. These books are still fun to read! Here is my review of the previous book in this series.

 

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Karen Memory by Elizabeth Bear

 

This was supposed to be a steampunk book but I didn’t see much of that genre in it. Besides that, I really enjoyed reading it and will definitely be picking up the next one. My only quibble with it is the same one that I have with the graphic novel, Saga. The inclusion of colored, queer, etc. characters for the sake of inclusion seems artificial to me. I dunno, maybe I’m not used to reading about them, which is why I feel this way. The solution would be to read more off-the-path books and see if I still feel this way. Don’t see anything wrong with having more books to read. Do you?

 

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Tea with the Black Dragon by R.A. MacAvoy

 

Ugh, this book frustrated me to no end. I don’t get why it was written in the first place. It wasn’t even interesting the way Tooth and Claw had been! If the story isn’t interesting but the characters are, that usually makes it up to me. When the characters are just plain boring or annoying too, nothing can redeem a book. It was true for this one. Fortunately, it was a small book!

 

So, I didn’t get much reading done in August and was late to post the wrap-up. Switching jobs will do that to ya!

SPOILER ALERT!

Reading Anniversaries & First-in-a-Series — May Edition

 

Originally published at midureads.wordpress.com on August 24, 2018. 

 

2017

 

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The Gospel of Loki by Joanne Harris

 

My review said it all but if it didn’t, check out my love for Loki here!

 

 

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The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

 

My review can be found here.

 

 

2015

 

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The Dinosaur Lords by Victor Milán

 

Find the review here!

 

2013

 

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The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

 

The Percy Jackson series remains a favorite. Here’s why

 

2012

 

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Urban Shaman by C. E. Murphy

 

My review of this series is here.

 

 

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Agent to the Stars by John Scalzi

Loved the book.

 

The humor was just my style-the way the Yherajk communicated was a hoot.

 

What I also liked was that even though the MC was a smartass, he wasn’t made out to be a jaded guy or an agent who took advantage of other people to survive.

 

I was expecting a romance between Tom and Michell but Miranda was a far better choice.

 

The book wasn’t too long but just the right length which always wins points with me. Joshua was my favorite character.

 

Loved how the ending/unveiling was handled, as well as how the whole Holocaust movie was dealt with.

SPOILER ALERT!

July 2018 — A Wrap Up

 

Originally published at midureads.wordpress.com on August 19, 2018.

 

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Shifting Shadows: Stories from the World of Mercy Thompson by Patricia Briggs

 

“Silver”

I finally learned how Samuel and Bran became werewolves. The story is dark and violent but that seems fitting.

 

“Roses in Winter”

Asil, an aging werewolf in the Marrok’s pack is more man than beast. An innocent girl, Kara, begins to change all that.

 

“Redemption”

Ben has always been an interesting character in the Mercy series. He is misogynistic and can’t say two words without cursing. He also has a lot of baggage to deal with due to an abusive past. Yet he redeems himself in this story!

 

“Hollow”

I don’t really remember much about this one, except that it felt incomplete. Funny thing is that this one featured Mercy and I loved the one before this and the one before that.

 

“Fairy Gifts”

This is the story of Thomas the vampire who comes back home to repay a favor. I found it boring.

 

“Gray”

Elyna Gray is a vampire who must face the consequences of her actions when she killed the man she loved. Sad but interesting story.

 

“Alpha and Omega”

I have never really cared about the other series. This story takes us back to the first time Marrok’s son Charles met his wife Anna. I found it okayish. You can see the author’s uncertainty about the whole concept of Omega werewolves. She hasn’t gotten there yet and the story suffers for it.

 

“Seeing Eye”

A werewolf Tom meets a witch Moira. Gruesome things happen in this one but I liked it anyway. One thing that bothers me is why the author looks down on witches’ magic and the whole concept that it comes from pain and blood sacrifice. Even when she is describing white magic, it feels as if she is against it. Why though?

 

“The Star of David”

David Christiansen gets a family reunion that gives him a reason to continue living. Scary as heck but a feel-good story.

 

“In Red, with Pearls”

We are allowed to peek into the relationship that the werewolf Warren has with his boyfriend Kyle. While I love em both and together, I wasn’t a fan of this one. Warren was too overprotective of Kyle and not in a good way. I solved the identity of the person who hired the hit as soon as they were mentioned, which took the fun out of the story even more.

 

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Loki: Agent of Asgard, Vols. 1 & 2 by Al Ewing

 

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Classic Loki antics. Plans within plans within plans. I wasn’t crazy about this one but it wasn’t bad either. As usual, Loki is trying to do the right thing in the wrongest of ways and for worse reasons. We see a glimpse of the Avengers in the first one. The second featured Doctor Doom.

 

 

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Ms. Marvel, Vol. 8: Mecca by G. Willow Wilson

 

The humor characteristic of the series is seen in this volume too. Red Dagger shows up in Kamala’s playground. She celebrates Eid-ul-Azha. Kamala also runs away and finds out more people are supporting her and rooting for her than she thought. Captain Marvel makes an appearance and they patch up. In all, a fun installment. Can’t wait to read what happens next! Find my review of the previous volume here.

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The Wilds #1 & 2 by Vita Ayala

 

So, the premise is good. The U.S. plays host to a plague that is slowly turning people into plants. The art is beautiful and the confrontations with those human-plant hybrids are adequately terrifying. Of course, there is a government conspiracy going on that I suppose we’ll find out in about in the next issues. But there seems to be something missing. Mostly though, I couldn’t bring myself to care for any of the characters. That means I dunno if I will be picking up the next in the series.

 

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Moonshine, Vol. 1 by Brian Azzarello

 

A man who works for the mafia is sent to convince a rustic moonshine-maker. His boss wants to be the sole distributor of the amazing liquor. But when the poor guy reaches the place, strange things begin to happen. I liked the dark feel of the comic and the art too. Even so, like The Wilds, the something that would make me rip into the following issues eagerly isn’t there!

 

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Those Left Behind by Joss Whedon

 

The wittiness of the TV series is missing from the graphic novel. It was short and the end came abruptly. The artist translated the facial features of all characters with accuracy, except for Inara’s. She didn’t look right! I am still glad I bought this book because it came with an introduction by Nathan Fillion.

 

It seems I didn’t get much reading done in July and still managed to delay blogging about it. Shit happens! How was July for you?

 

 

SPOILER ALERT!

I Review Xenocide by Orson Scott Card

Xenocide - Orson Scott Card

 

Originally published at midureads.wordpress.com on August 4, 2018.

 

I started reading this book at a weird time in my life. A loss that I’m still grieving and new changes make for bad companions. Those reasons could be why I enjoyed reading this book much more than I should have. You’ll see what I mean when I share the two contrasting views that I found myself taking while reading this story and reviewing it.

 

What I liked about this book

 

The two quotes about dealing with grief that hit hard

 

Grief is almost always for the mourner’s loss.

It got me wondering, was that the only reason I cried at my uncle’s funeral? And if it was, was it selfish of me to do so?

…that aching, hollow, half-panicked feeling returned. She isn’t here. I can’t just speak and have her answer. I can’t just ask and have her remember. I can’t just reach and feel her hand. And, most terrible of all: Perhaps I never will again.

While there isn’t a perhaps in my case, this eloquent quote says it all.

 

The two quotes that made me laugh

 

Does Mother know you’re going?

Please be practical, Miro. I have no fear of Satan, but Mother…

This is a conversation between two brothers. One of them is a priest and is going on a religious mission fraught with danger. Both are adults and the situation is a serious one but I have found and enjoyed such light humor in all Ender books.

You’re one tough son of a bitch, aren’t you?

Welders and smiths are tough. Sons of bitches have problems of their own.

Again, the same pair is conversing and the priest ends up swearing and impressing his brother.

 

Other 7 quotes that made this book more enjoyable

 

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What I didn’t like

 

Ender

Ender is quite annoying in this book. When he goes into non-space, he wishes his siblings into existence. One of them is dead, so maybe I could have swallowed that. Even though he is supposed to have created a hegemony and was the root of all evil in Ender’s life…yeah maybe I wouldn’t have bought this one either.

 

The other one is alive and with him yet he chooses to bring a younger version of her back to life. And don’t even get me started on the squickiness of how innocent and beautiful he makes her. Sister, dude. She is your sister, you creep! If this was just done so the author could have characters to base his next novel on, it is a shitty move. Shitty. Move.

 

Ender also seems to have found religion in this book. This is contradictory to the way his character was in the first two books. In fact, the whole heavyhanded way of dealing with religion was odd. There were the piggies — an alien race who were brought to Christianity. Then there was this throwaway line in the book about couples who aren’t interested in premarital sex are the ones that make the society more stable.

 

Miro

 

Another thing that weirded me out was Miro’s miraculous transformation. From the very beginning, we are shown that he is very bitter on account of being handicapped. That is a very ableist stance. Then we see him changing as he stops isolating himself and stops a bloody riot from getting even bloodier. This was a tad more positive but it was ruined when he goes into non-space and comes back healed. What did it all even mean? What purpose did his character serve?

 

The Rest of the Family

 

Irritating and squabbling for no reason. I wanted to smack them all at least once. Another thing that bothered me was that in the previous book, they were the odd ones out. In this one, they have magically become all-important. Xenologists, priests, physicists and brickmakers, almost all of them have a say in how the planet should be run. And even though they are all adults and professionals, most of them behave like toddlers with no regard for the consequences of their actions. What’s more, when one of them is giving all the indications that they will be acting stupidly, the others (and the rest of the planet) do nothing to stop them. Then there is an uproar after the stupid thing is done!

 

Wang Mu

 

A seemingly minor character who starts as a slave and then becomes the source of the cure for a whole population, Wang Mu was irritating at times but bearable. Then all of a sudden, she is fangirling over the long-dead Hegemon. That isn’t all though. The long-dead Hegemon is then recreated by his brother, visits Wang Mu, and flies away with her to take over the world. What is even happening? How much of my disbelief should I be suspending? Like all of it?

 

Deus Ex Machina

 

Faster than light travel isn’t possible. Hundreds of scientists have said so. Yet a physicist jailed for instigating a mob and his brickmaker brother come up with a solution i.e. a supercomputer can wish it into existence by holding the image in her mind. Wait, I am not done yet. While that is happening, the xenologist sister of theirs will hold the image of two things in her mind that will solve all their problems.

 

So, this is what I thought of the book. Feel free to share your thoughts!

 

You can find reviews of book one and two here.

Novellas in Paperback!

Reblogged from Carpe Librum:

For those who have been patiently waiting, the paperback volume of my novellas is here!

 

 

This paperback edition includes:

The Last Lancastrian: A Story of Margaret Beaufort

Once a Queen: A Story of Elizabeth Woodville

and 

Prince of York: A Story of Reginald Pole

Source: http://mybook.to/Novellas
SPOILER ALERT!

Reading Anniversaries & First-in-a-Series — April Edition

 

I know I am way behind schedule but I have been really busy what with switching jobs, earning money, and losing an important my mamujan (maternal uncle) to Parkinson’s! Please bear with me…

 

2014

 

20705702

 

Burn for Me by Ilona Andrews

 

So, this is weird. I didn’t have many good reads during the past Aprils. Hopefully, that will change in the future. This book stood out because I read it while still following the Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews. The husband-wife duo seemed to write a book that made me like the main leads again — even if I didn’t fall in love with them the way I did with Kate & Curran and still haven’t!

 

 

13076894

 

The Year-God’s Daughter by Rebecca Lochlann

 

 

Find my review here.

 

2013

 

10874177

 

Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger

 

Witty characters, a female protagonist, Victorian sensibilities, and impossible situations, this book should have been an instant favorite of mine. It wasn’t! Maybe, it didn’t capture my interest because I read it after finishing The Parasol Protectorate series. It could also be a lack of hilarious courtship between the protags that made it less interesting.

 

Whatever it was, I am glad I continued because the subsequent books are better.

 

 

21611

 

The Forever War by Joe Haldeman

 

It has been 5 years since I read this book, so I don’t remember much. What did remain behind was the authentic display of the life of a soldier. It was that and not the story that made me go out and buy the omnibus edition. And it won’t be anything else that will get me to read the graphic novel version either!

 

P.S. I reviewed the prequel here and the second in the series (via infographic– it has skulls in it, so you might wanna check it out) here.

 

 

27003

 

The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde

 

When I read this book, I felt as if I’d read something that had shades of both Wilde and Dahl. I still feel the same about the subsequent books in this series. There is nonsensical fun and razor-sharp wit that makes me want to keep reading. They aren’t overly long either, so that is another plus. Of course, the protagonist being female and used to fighting her own battles doesn’t detract the reader from its beauty. If I remember correctly, this one featured a villain who had no ulterior motives — he only wanted to destroy the world!

 

More praises here and here

 

For the books read in 2017 and 2018, you know where to go…

#47 Follow Friday with book bloggers: JL's Bibliomania

Reblogged from BookLikes:

 

Hello Friday! Hello Follow Friday with book bloggers! Today let's meet Julia. You need to keep on reading to see those shelfies! :D

 

Follow JL's Bibliomania on BookLikes: http://jlsbibliomania.booklikes.com/

 

 

What are you reading right now? How do you like it?

 

 

I’m reading three things as I write these responses:

 

Heaven's Queen by Rachel Bach, which is the concluding volume of a lighthearted romp of a Space Opera featuring a girl and her big gun.

 

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, which is the story of how Marie- Laure, a blind French Girl, and Werner, a German Orphan, converge in the French town of San-Malo near the end of the 2nd World War.  Slower moving, especially as an audiobook.

 

The Inner Life of Cats: The Science and Secrets of Our Mysterious Feline Companions by Thomas McNamee, which is the current selection for the Flat Book Society.  OK so far, but recently I’ve been struggling with sustained attention to non-fiction.

 

Heaven's Queen - Rachel BachAll the Light We Cannot See: A Novel - Anthony Doerr, Zach AppelmanThe Inner Life of Cats: The Science and Secrets of Our Mysterious Feline Companions - Thomas McNamee

 

READ & JOIN THE BOOK CLUB ->

 

However, I expect that by the time this is published, I will have finished Heaven’s Queen and moved on to another piece of fiction

 

 

When have you discovered you’re a book lover?

 

If this question is asking when did I (first) discover I was a book lover the answer is: When books were replacing my non-existent friends in Elementary and Middle School and I was devouring a book an afternoon.

 

 

Why reading is important to you?

 

Because I like how reading fills the spaces in my head. Because I crave the escape it offers.

 

Follow jlsbibliomania.booklikes.com

 

 

Which books are you most excited recommending to your followers?

 

I’m currently excited about The Hate U Give, which is getting a lot of buzz, and does a great job personalizing the questions behind the Black Lives Matter (Movie due to release in October)

 

I discovered Maggie Stiefvater relatively recently and loved The Raven Boys and the sequels as an audiobook.  

 

I read them a long time ago and the details have faded, but I think Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay is essential reading.  

 

I also love CJ Cherryh’s work.While a bit older, I particularly like how the Faded Sun Trilogy and Forty Thousand in Gehenna wrestle with the idea of being the “Other” and of becoming the bridge between human and alien.

 

The Hate U Give - Angie ThomasThe Raven Boys - Maggie Stiefvater,Will PattonTigana - Guy Gavriel Kay

The Faded Sun Trilogy - C.J. CherryhForty Thousand in Gehenna - C.J. Cherryh

 

 

In your bio you write: “Daughter of a Bookaholic. Wife of a Bibliovore.  Mother of 2 Bibliophiles” Did your family had an influence on your reading passion, and how do you encourage your kids to keep on reading?

 

My parents really didn’t watch television much and were always reading, particularly my Dad who always has a book or 3 going, typically Space Opera or military SF.  My parents definitely had an influence on my reading passion by always having books around, and nurtured my love of SF by handing me Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonsong when I was in Jr. High and complaining that I was bored and out of things to read.

 

This is going to sound trite (or like stock advice), but when my kids were little my husband and I read to our sons, always had a rotating stock of library books around that were age and reading-level appropriate geared towards their passion of the moment, and modeled reading because we often had a book of our own with us. We were lucky. My older son dove into Richard Scarry partway through kindergarten, my younger son got lost in the Warriors series in 3rd grade and we really haven’t had to do much to encouraging since.  

 

Richard Scarry's What Do People Do All Day? - Richard ScarryWarriors #1: Into the Wild - Erin Hunter

 

 

Do you read one book or several at a time?

 

As you can see by the answer to question 1, I typically read several books at a time.

- 1 fiction in print or ebook,

- 1 audiobook for the car,

- and sometimes a non-fiction. 

 

But the print book and the audiobook have to be different genres for me to keep track, which is fine because I like to mix things up.

 

BookLikes Shelf

 

 

Do you review all books you read? How does your review process look like?

 

I don’t review everything I read.  I write when I have something to say and when time permits (and as you can see by the fewer and shorter reviews recently, time has recently been in short supply so I haven’t been as active). 

 

I’m more of a book diarist than a book reviewer.  I started tracking on Goodreads and blogging about books to help myself remember what I’ve read.  I consider what I write to be book reactions rather than truly reviews, which is why many of my entries are a short paragraph or less, and I almost never include a synopsis of the plot. I try not to look at too many reviews before I read a book, but often look at the book page here and at other book-review sites after I finish.  I typically dash off a draft over the weekend, ask my husband to copy edit it, then post the following day.  

 

 

Your Shelf presents many audiobooks. Do you experience the book differently while listening to it instead of reading?

 

I do experience stories differently when I listen to them. Listening to an audiobook forces you to move at the narrator’s pace, which means that you can’t read too fast and miss details.  Sometimes that’s an advantage, and sometimes that leads to tedium.

 

I’m also not one who easily builds a concrete picture of what the characters look like, or imagines what they sound like.  The audiobook narrator often fills in that gap for me, especially the recent productions that turn books almost into audio plays by using multiple readers.

 

The experience of reading an audiobook is also different for me because I mostly listen to them in the car, while I’m driving. A story is different when experienced in 15-30 minute chunks, and with distractions.

 

2018 Reading Challenge Page

 

 

A library or a bookstore?

Definitely a library!

 

While my husband and I spent many pleasant hours in used book stores as a teen and young adult (hence the collection in the basement), we almost entirely stopped buying books as part of the financial adjustment after buying our first house. We are lucky to live in an area with good libraries and I get more than 90% of what I read from the local county library consortium. 

 

 

Your favorite genres are fantasy and sci-fi. Why are they so special?

 

 

SF and fantasy were initially appealing to me because of the escapism. If you’re not happy in mundane reality, SF and fantasy provide ample opportunities to imagine being a heroine elsewhere. 

 

Now I find that SF and fantasy are special in the way that they pose questions about what makes us human.

 

 

What are your three favorite book covers?

 

I'll admit that I hate the share 3 book-covers question since doing most of my book “shopping” in the online library catalog, the cover isn't really something I pay much attention to. However, there’s a strong tradition of SF-related artwork. So instead of book covers I’d like to share 3 of the signed, numbered SF-related prints that I’ve bought at conventions over the years. 

 

Menolly by Robin Wood, originally included in The People of Pern http://www.robinwood.com/Catalog/Prints/PrintPages/Menolly.html

 

 

The Forgotten Beasts of Eld by Virginia Poyser.  Victoria is currently working under her married name of Virginia Lisi and no longer focusing on SF-related art.  I couldn’t find a good copy of this picture online, but her website is https://victoria-lisi.pixels.com/

 

 

A Stitch in Time by David Cherry (brother of  CJ Cherryh)

https://davidcherryart.com/prints/a-stitch-in-time/  I don’t believe this piece is connected to a specific book, but it appealed to me as someone who occasionally stitches.

 

 

 

A paper book or an e-book?

 

When I’m home, I’m a traditionalist and prefer paper.  When I’m travelling, or when the library only has the ebook, I’ll happily reach for the e-reader for novels. I dislike non-fiction and graphic novels as e-books. 

 

 

Three titles for a holiday break?

 

 

Did I say that I hate giving recommendations?

 

Fortune's Pawn by Rachel Bach  and the sequels (though it looks like others who tried it here on BL haven’t liked it much)

 

When Dimple Met Rishi – light realistic fiction YA – definitely recommend the audiobook.

 

The Rook by Daniel O'Malley. Suggested in honor of the Summer of Spies.

 

 

Favorite quote?

 

My absolutely favorite quote is

Life is uncertain, eat dessert first.

(Often misremembered as – Life is short, Eat dessert first)

And when I was in college I spent several years doing just that.

 

Despite coming late to canine ownership, my favorite bookish quote is

Outside of a book, a dog is man’s best friend

Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read

 

Shelfie time! Please share your home library photos :)

 

The first two pictures are of the two bookcases in the living-room, which contain cookbooks, religion reference works and library books. Life has been so much easier, with many fewer desperate searches for the overdue or missing books since we cleared off shelves a shelf for me and a shelf for my sons to keep our library book in the right hand case.

 

 

The last picture is of a few of the 13 bookcases in the basement library.  We’re in the middle of re-sorting/re-shelving/trimming the collection as we recently decided to store all fiction alphabetically by author and to stop trying to sort by genre.  And while the basement is mostly fiction, there are 2 ceiling high cases full of my husband’s history references.

 

 

 

 

Thank you! 

 

*

 

Have you missed previous Follow Friday talks? Use ffwithbookbloggers tag or click the interviews catch up links below: 

read more

Reading...

Reblogged from Hol:

New Release! Prince of York: A Story of Reginald Pole

Reblogged from Carpe Librum:

I am so excited for this day! Reginald Pole has been the most fascinating person that I have had the pleasure to study. I admire him in so many ways, and, while part of me wishes he had been a bit more ambitious, another part has to admit that is one of the characteristics that makes him so honorable. I hope that you enjoy reading this novella as much as I enjoyed writing it!

 

 

 

Source: http://mybook.to/PrinceOfYork

6 scary books for Friday the 13th

Reblogged from BookLikes:

 

Read them if you date! Challenge accepted? 

 

Unnatural Creatures

Buy it ->

Unnatural Creatures is a collection of short stories about the fantastical things that exist only in our minds—collected and introduced by beloved New York Times bestselling author Neil Gaiman. The sixteen stories gathered by Gaiman, winner of the Hugo and Nebula Awards, range from the whimsical to the terrifying. The magical creatures range from werewolves to sunbirds to beings never before classified.

 

Review by Lora's Rants and Reviews

 

This is a collection of mostly excellent stories edited by Neil Gaiman. Naturally the quality of writing is set to a high bar and I enjoyed most of them very much... continue reading

 

 

Broken on the Inside - Phil Sloman 

Buy it ->

Phil Sloman’s BROKEN ON THE INSIDE presents a quintet of macabre mentality in: Broken on the Inside; Discomfort Food; The Man Who Fed the Foxes; There Was an Old Man; and Virtually Famous.

 

Review by Char's Horror Corner

These stories were all heavy hitters and combined, make up this powerful narrative as a whole. I enjoyed it as entertaining storytelling on one level, but it also caused me to think deeply about life as we know it and how we go about living that life. Every single person in this book had problems-addictions and obsessions. They were broken on the inside. This led me to thinking about the people I know and even myself. Aren't we all BROKEN ON THE INSIDE in one way or another?... continue reading

 

 

They Feed - Jason Parent 

Buy it ->

A troubled man enters a dusky park before sunset. A young woman follows, hidden in shadow. Both have returned to the park to take back something the past has stolen from them, to make right six long years of suffering, and to find justice or perhaps redemption—or maybe they'll settle for some old-fashioned revenge. But something evil is alive and awake in those woods, creatures that care nothing for human motivations. They’re driven by their own insatiable need: a ravenous, bottomless hunger. The campgrounds are full tonight, and the creatures are starving. Before the night is over, they will feed.

 

Review by sherrysniderfundin:

OMG. Everything, the title, cover, the woods…makes me eager to begin my ‘hike’ through the pages of They Feed by Jason Parent. I am a huge fan of Jason Parent and his ability to scare the bejesus out of me. He did not fail to do so in They Feed. I love book covers with the trees and woods on them and this cover is so eerie, I know there is some badness in them there woods... continue reading

 

 

Final Girls - Riley Sager 

Buy it ->

Ten years ago, college student Quincy Carpenter went on vacation with five friends and came back alone, the only survivor of a horror movie-scale massacre. In an instant, she became a member of a club no one wants to belong to--a group of similar survivors known in the press as the Final Girls. Lisa, who lost nine sorority sisters to a college dropout's knife; Sam, who went up against the Sack Man during her shift at the Nightlight Inn; and now Quincy, who ran bleeding through the woods to escape Pine Cottage and the man she refers to only as Him. The three girls are all attempting to put their nightmares behind them and, with that, one another. Despite the media's attempts, they never meet.

 

Review by christina's book corner:

This book was crazy this is about Quincy and 10 years ago escaped being killed while all her friends died at pine cottage then one of the final girls died and another final girl shows up at her door. who is kinda fucked up and tries to get Quincy to deal with her pain of pine cottage . I loved how it had flashbacks to pine cottage going up to the killing of her friends and I will say I did not see what came coming... continue reading

 

 

Obscura - Joe Hart 

Buy it ->

In the near future, an aggressive and terrifying new form of dementia is affecting victims of all ages. The cause is unknown, and the symptoms are disturbing. Dr. Gillian Ryan is on the cutting edge of research and desperately determined to find a cure. She’s already lost her husband to the disease, and now her young daughter is slowly succumbing as well. After losing her funding, she is given the unique opportunity to expand her research. She will travel with a NASA team to a space station where the crew has been stricken with symptoms of a similar inexplicable psychosis—memory loss, trances, and violent, uncontrollable impulses. Crippled by a secret addiction and suffering from creeping paranoia, Gillian finds her journey becoming a nightmare as unexplainable and violent events plague the mission.

 

Review by Andreya's Asylum:

This book. This book is worth the hype. All of it. I had no clue what it was about going into it, which as someone who has read way too many reviews that give away the entire premise, I considered a win. I like Joe Hart, possibly because I may have confused one of his books with Joe Hill when I bought it, and liked it anyway. I knew that he could write with The Exorcism of Sara May. I've realized that he is on my must-read list after this.

Obscura hits all of the right notes in all of the right areas, which is a real diamond amongst books... continue reading

 

 

Survive the Night - Danielle Vega 

Buy it ->

Stephen King meets Pretty Little Liars in this pulse-pounding novel from the author of The Merciless. Just back from rehab, Casey regrets letting her friends Shana, Julie, and Aya talk her into coming to Survive the Night, an all-night, underground rave in a New York City subway tunnel. Surrounded by frightening drugs and menacing strangers, Casey doesn’t think Survive the Night could get any worse...until she comes across Julie’s mutilated body in a dank, black subway tunnel, red-eyed rats nibbling at her fingers. Casey thought she was just off with some guy—no one could hear her getting torn apart over the sound of pulsing music. And by the time they get back to the party, everyone is gone.

 

Review by Hooked on Books:

 

That was pretty intense... Great book if you like YA monster horror.

 

 

Share you scary book recommendations! 

 

Happy Friday the 13th!

 

What are you reading: Summer of Spies

Reblogged from BookLikes:

 

I cannot imagine my Summer time without good mysteries and fast paced thrillers. And now I have to add spies. All because of BookLikes bloggers' trend in summer reading. It's called Summer of Spies. Hop on board, we'll give you a tip how to find a good old spy story! 

 

How to find summer spies books? 

 

1. TAGS

 

Use the book search as a tag search. Type in Summer or Spies or Spies and click TAGS. Voila. A library of summer of spies at your fingertips! Click the covers and +Shelf the spy books you need to read this summer. 

 

 

Recommended reading:

Book titles are tags - finds book reviews and book posts

How to start a book blog on BookLikes 

6 ways to blog about books

7 tips how to write a book review on BookLikes

- BookLikes How-to: Advanced Shelving Options

BookLikes How to: book search tips

It's time for a reading challenge!

 

2. READING LISTS

 

Go to Reading Lists sections (main menu -> apps -> reading lists) and use the search box on the right: type in spies and you'll see the lists tagged as spies or having books with spies in a title. 

 

 

If you love mysteries, make sure to check these summer spies reading lists:

 

2018 Summer of Spies, created by Wanda's Book Reviews

 

 
 

 

 

Women of Intelligence, created by Themis-Athena's Garden of Books

 

In tune with the 2018 BookLikes "Summer of Spies" and my "Women Writers" project, a few books on spies and spying written by women ... and a few books on woman spies written by men.

 

 
 
  
Inspired by Wanda's original list of Summer of Spies and Moonlight Reader's equally inspiring authorised copy of Wanda's list, I'm also tempted to read some spy fiction - but only on the side. I have no illusions of finishing all of the titles on this list but wanted to have a pool of titles that I know I already own or can get from the library.
 
 
 
 
 A somewhat narrower list of spy fic for my Memorial Day to Labor Day festival of espionage in 2018. For series books, I've just included the first book. I've also just included one book per author, although I made read additional books if I enjoy the representative selection.
 
 
Recommended reading: 
 
 

Maintenance update info:

 

- BookLikes -> Goodreads synchronization - the feature is under review and will be turned on shortly 

- Twitter connection is under review and will be turned on shortly 

 

Happy reading! 
 

35 books for a desert island recommended by book bloggers

Reblogged from BookLikes:

It's summer time! If you plan an intriguing trip, a long flight, a dangerous adventure, an escape to a silent and quiet place, like a desert island here's your survival kit. BOOKS. 

 

For the last year we've been interviewing BookLikes book bloggers and gathering reading recommendations. Have a look at 35 reads picked by an amazing group of readers and reviewers, and stay tuned, more is coming!

 

You can also read the interviews with the readers - interview links are attached between the book recommendations. All 46 interviews can be viewed here:

Follow Friday with book bloggers: interviews with book lovers

 

35 BOOKS FOR A DESERT ISLAND

 

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - J.K. Rowling  

 

Burdened with the dark, dangerous, and seemingly impossible task of locating and destroying Voldemort's remaining Horcruxes, Harry, feeling alone and uncertain about his future, struggles to find the inner strength he needs to follow the path set out before him.

 

 

And Then There Were None - Agatha ChristieAnd Then There Were None - Agatha Christie  

 

Ten strangers, apparently with little in common, are lured to an island mansion off the coast of Devon by the mysterious U.N.Owen. Over dinner, a record begins to play, and the voice of an unseen host accuses each person of hiding a guilty secret. That evening, former reckless driver Tony Marston is found murdered by a deadly dose of cyanide.

The tension escalates as the survivors realise the killer is not only among them but is preparing to strike again… and again…

 

Lessons From a Scarlet Lady - Emma WildesLessons From a Scarlet Lady - Emma Wildes  

 

The Duke of Rolthven's new wife, Brianna, is the perfect aristocratic bride. So what would society say if they saw her with a copy of Lady Rothburg's Advice--a courtesan's lessons for the boudoir? When his innocent wife suddenly becomes a vixen in the bedroom, the proper Duke is truly astounded by her seductive powers. Following a courtesan's advice might lead to trouble-but will it lead to Brianna's ultimate desire: winning her husband's love?

 

Read a full interview: #1 Follow Friday with book bloggers: Jennifer's Books

 

Dreaming of You - Lisa KleypasDreaming of You - Lisa Kleypas  

 

She stood at danger′s threshold-- then love beckoned her in. In the shelter of her country cottage, Sara Feilding puts pen to paper to create dreams. But curiosity has enticed the prim, well-bred gentlewoman out of her safe haven--and into Derek Craven′s dangerous world. A handsome, tough and tenacious Cockney, he rose from, poverty to become lord of London′s most exclusive gambling house--a struggle that has left Derek Craven fabulously wealthy, but hardened and suspicious. And now duty demands he allow Sara Fielding into his world...

 

Branded - Scottie BarrettBranded - Scottie Barrett  

 

Slade Dalton's partner has just dispatched their latest quarry, a member of the notorious Purdy clan. Slade's certain there will be retribution and he's certain that he's damn tired of the bounty hunting business. Returning to the family's cattle spread in the Colorado Territory, he's relieved to find his brother Grady has not claimed ownership of the ranch in his absence. But there is a troubling, new addition to the Lazy Heart Ranch, an irresistible, raven-haired English beauty.

 

Beau Crusoe - Carla KellyBeau Crusoe - Carla Kelly  

 

Stranded alone on a desert island, he had lived to tell the tale. A triumphant return to the ton saw James Trevenen hailed as Beau Crusoe—a gentleman of spirit, verve and action. But only he knew the true cost of his survival! Scandalous! Susannah Park had been shunned by Society. She lived content with her calm existence—until Beau Crusoe determinedly cut up her peace! The beautiful widow wanted to help him heal the wounds of the past—but what secrets was this glorious man hiding?

Read a full interview: #2 Follow Friday with book bloggers: Punya Reviews…

 

The Count of Monte Christo - Alexandre DumasThe Count of Monte Christo - Alexandre Dumas  

 

Young, honest and loyal, Edmund Dantes, about to be promoted as captain of his ship, is accused of treason, and condemned to imprisonment in the isolated Chateau d'If. He endures years of suffering before making a dramatic escape. Newly liberated, he discovers the identities of his accusers, and intent on revenge he assumes a new identity for himself.

 

The Anubis Gates (Ace Science Fiction) - Tim PowersThe Anubis Gates (Ace Science Fiction) - Tim Powers  

 

Brendan Doyle, a specialist in the work of the early-nineteenth century poet William Ashbless, reluctantly accepts an invitation from a millionaire to act as a guide to time-travelling tourists. But while attending a lecture given by Samuel Taylor Coleridge in 1810, he becomes marooned in Regency London, where dark and dangerous forces know about the gates in time.

 

Quick Service - P.G. WodehouseQuick Service - P.G. Wodehouse  

 

When rich and imperious American widow Beatrice Chavender eats a forkful of inferior ham at her sister's country house near London, it affects the lives of everyone around her - her sister, her brother-in-law, her sister's butler, her sister's poor relation Sally, Sally's fiance Lord Holberton, and, most of all, Mrs Chavender's own one-time fiance, 'Ham King' J. B. Duff, whose rotten product spoils her breakfast.

Read a full interview: #3 Follow Friday with book bloggers: Tigus 

 

Kitchen - Banana Yoshimoto,Megan BackusKitchen - Banana Yoshimoto

 

Kitchen is an enchantingly original book that juxtaposes two tales about mothers, love, tragedy, and the power of the kitchen and home in the lives of a pair of free-spirited young women in contemporary Japan. Mikage, the heroine, is an orphan raised by her grandmother, who has passed away. Grieving, Mikage is taken in by her friend Yoichi and his mother (who is really his cross-dressing father) Eriko. 

 

Harry Potter and the philosopher's stone - J.K. RowlingHarry Potter and the philosopher's stone - J.K. Rowling  

 

Harry Potter has never even heard of Hogwarts when the letters start dropping on the doormat at number four, Privet Drive. Addressed in green ink on yellowish parchment with a purple seal, they are swiftly confiscated by his grisly aunt and uncle. Then, on Harry's eleventh birthday, a great beetle-eyed giant of a man called Rubeus Hagrid bursts in with some astonishing news: Harry Potter is a wizard, and he has a place at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. An incredible adventure is about to begin!

Read a full interview: #4 Follow Friday with book bloggers: Nicole Reads

 

Spectred Isle - KJ CharlesSpectred Isle - KJ Charles  

 

Archaeologist Saul Lazenby has been all but unemployable since his disgrace during the War. Now he scrapes a living working for a rich eccentric who believes in magic. Saul knows it’s a lot of nonsense...except that he begins to find himself in increasingly strange and frightening situations. And at every turn he runs into the sardonic, mysterious Randolph Glyde.

 

The Princess Bride: S. Morgenstern's Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure - William GoldmanThe Princess Bride - William Goldman  

 

 

Beautiful, flaxen-haired Buttercup has fallen for Westley, the farm boy, and when he departs to make his fortune, she vows never to love another. So when she hears that his ship has been captured by the Dread Pirate Roberts - who never leaves survivors - her heart is broken. But her charms draw the attention of the relentless Prince Humperdinck who wants a wife and will go to any lengths to have Buttercup. So starts a fairytale like no other, of fencing, fighting, torture, poison, true love, hate, revenge, giants, hunters, bad men, good men, beautifulest ladies, snakes, spiders, beasts, chases, escapes, lies, truths, passion and miracles.

 

Are You Dave Gorman? - Dave Gorman,Danny WallaceAre You Dave Gorman? - Dave Gorman,Danny Wallace  

 

After a heavy night of tequila, flatmates Dave and Danny set off on what turns out to be a 24,000-mile journey to meet all the other Dave Gormans in the world. They visit Scotland, Israel, America, France and Ireland. They even hold a party in London where 50 Dave Gormans attend, including two women who have kindly changed their name via deed-poll. Silly, but engrossing, fascinating and addictive - and a touching, funny story of two friends who grow to share a mutual obsession.

Read a full interview: #5 Follow Friday with book bloggers: Silence in the library

Magic Bites - Ilona AndrewsMagic Bites - Ilona Andrews  

 

The world has suffered a magic apocalypse. We pushed the technological progress too far, and now magic returned with a vengeance. It comes in waves, without warning, and vanishes as suddenly as it appears. When magic is up, planes drop out of the sky, cars stall, electricity dies. When magic is down, guns work and spells fail.

 

Read a full interview: #6 Follow Friday with book bloggers: That's What I'm Talking About ->

 

The Hound of the Baskervilles - Arthur Conan DoyleThe Hound of the Baskervilles - Arthur Conan Doyle  

 

Sherlock Holmes and his companion Dr. Watson investigate the case. This was the first appearance of Holmes since his intended death in "The Final Problem", and the success of The Hound of the Baskervilles led to the character's eventual revival. In 2003, the book was listed as number 128 of 200 on the BBC's The Big Read poll of the UK's "best-loved novel." In 1999, it was listed as the top Holmes novel, with a perfect rating from Sherlockian scholars of 100.

 

Arcadia Falls - Carol GoodmanArcadia Falls - Carol Goodman  

 

Financial straits and a desire for a fresh start take recently widowed Meg Rosenthal and her aloof teenage daughter, Sally, to Arcadia Falls, a tucked-away hamlet in upstate New York where Meg has accepted a teaching position at a boarding school. The creaky, neglected cottage they’ll be calling home feels like an ill omen, but Meg is determined to make the best of it. Then a shocking crisis strikes: During Arcadia’s First Night bonfire, one of Meg’s folklore students plunges to her death in a campus gorge. Sheriff Callum Reade finds the presumed accident suspicious, but then, he is a man with a dark past himself. 

 

Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen,Anna QuindlenPride and Prejudice - Jane Austen

 

Mr and Mrs Bennet live with their five daughters at Longbourn in Hertfordshire. Jane, the eldest, falls in love with Charles Bingley, a rich bachelor who takes a house nearby with his two sisters and friend Fitzwilliam Darcy. Darcy is attracted to the second daughter, Elizabeth.

 

 

Read a full interview: #7 Follow Friday with book bloggers: Sailing in a Sea of Words ->

 

Exes and Goals: A Slapshot Novel (Slapshot Series Book 1) - Heather C. MyersExes and Goals: A Slapshot Novel - Heather C. Myers  

 

Harper Crawford is a big fan of the Newport Beach Seagulls, despite their abysmal previous season. It's been a year since Ken Brown's murder and Seraphina Hanson, Ken's youngest granddaughter, just survived her first year as the new owner and manager of the national hockey team. Barely. The last year was dismal to the point where Seraphina is making drastic changes. Like hiring Harper as their official blogger. Harper gets to travel with the team, write character pieces, critiques, game summaries, and the like. It's her dream job.

 

Rules Of Prey - John SandfordRules Of Prey - John Sandford  

 

The "maddog" murderer who is terrorizing the Twin Cities is two things: insane and extremely intelligent. He kills for the pleasure of it and thoroughly enjoys placing elaborate obstacles to keep police befuddled. Each clever move he makes is another point of pride. But when the brilliant Lieutenant Lucas Davenport--a dedicated cop and a serial killer's worst nightmare--is brought in to take up the investigation, the maddog suddenly has an adversary worthy of his genius.

 

Dark Lover - J.R. WardDark Lover - J.R. Ward  

 

In the shadows of the night in Caldwell, New York, there's a deadly turf war going on between vampires and their slayers. There exists a secret band of brothers like no other-six vampire warriors, defenders of their race. Yet none of them relishes killing more than Wrath, the leader of The Black Dagger Brotherhood.

 

Read a full interview: #8 Follow Friday with book bloggers: Momma Says to Read

 

Frankenstein - Mary Shelley,Maurice HindleFrankenstein - Mary Shelley

 

At once a Gothic thriller, a passionate romance, and a cautionary tale about the dangers of science, Frankenstein tells the story of committed science student Victor Frankenstein. Obsessed with discovering the cause of generation and life and bestowing animation upon lifeless matter, Frankenstein assembles a human being from stolen body parts but; upon bringing it to life, he recoils in horror at the creature's hideousness. Tormented by isolation and loneliness, the once-innocent creature turns to evil and unleashes a campaign of murderous revenge against his creator, Frankenstein.

 

Arabella - Georgette HeyerArabella - Georgette Heyer

 

To Arabella Tallant, the eldest daughter of a penniless country clergyman, the invitation to stay with her London godmother was like the key to heaven, for in addition to living in the glamorous city, Arabella might even find a suitable husband there. Armed with beauty, virtue and a benevolent godmother, the impetuous but impoverished Arabella embarked on her first London season with her mother's wish in mind: snare a rich husband. 

 

Gardens of the Moon - Steven EriksonGardens of the Moon - Steven Erikson  

 

The Malazan Empire simmers with discontent, bled dry by interminable warfare, bitter infighting, and bloody confrontations. Even the imperial legions, long inured to the bloodshed, yearn for some respite. Yet Empress Laseen's rule remains absolute, enforced by her dread Claw assassins.

 

Read a full interview: #9 Follow Friday with book bloggers: Midu Reads [Nominated]

 

Immortal in Death - J.D. RobbImmortal in Death - J.D. Robb  

 

When Police Lieutenant Eve Dallas investigates the murder of a top model, she is putting her career on the line, because the prime suspect is her best friend. Eve's investigations lead her into the glamorous world of high fashion.

Read a full interview: #10 Follow Friday with book bloggers: The Book Gourmet

 

The Terror - Dan SimmonsThe Terror - Dan Simmons  

 

The bestselling author of Ilium and Olympos transforms the true story of a legendary Arctic expedition into a thriller worthy of Stephen King or Patrick O'Brian. Their captain's insane vision of a Northwest Passage has kept the crewmen of The Terror trapped in Arctic ice for two years without a thaw. But the real threat to their survival isn't the ever-shifting landscape of white, the provisions that have turned to poison before they open them, or the ship slowly buckling in the grip of the frozen ocean. 

Read a full interview: #11 Follow Friday with book bloggers: Book Cupidity [Nominated]

 

 

Sleeping Beauties: A Novel - Stephen King,Owen KingSleeping Beauties - Stephen King, Owen King  

 

In a future so real and near it might be now, something happens when women go to sleep; they become shrouded in a cocoon-like gauze. If they are awakened, and the gauze wrapping their bodies is disturbed or violated, the women become feral and spectacularly violent; and while they sleep they go to another place. 

 

Darkhouse - Karina HalleDarkhouse - Karina Halle  

 

There’s always been something a bit off about Perry Palomino. Though she’s been dealing with a quarter-life crisis and post-college syndrome like any other twenty-something, she’s still not what you would call “ordinary.” For one thing, there’s her past which she likes to pretend never happened, and then there’s the fact that she sees ghosts. 

 

Read a full interview: #12 Follow Friday with book bloggers: 99 problems, and a book ain't one 

 

The Tokyo Zodiac Murders - Ross MacKenzie,Soji Shimada,Shika MacKenzieThe Tokyo Zodiac Murders - Soji Shimada

 

Astrologer, fortuneteller, and self-styled detective Kiyoshi Mitarai must in one week solve a macabre murder mystery that has baffled Japan for 40 years. Who murdered the artist Umezawa, raped and killed his daughter, and then chopped up the bodies of six others to create Azoth, the supreme woman? With maps, charts, and other illustrations, this story of magic and illusion, pieced together like a great stage tragedy, challenges the reader to unravel the mystery before the final curtain.

 

The Changeling - Victor LaValleThe Changeling - Victor LaValle

 

When Apollo Kagwa was just a child, his father disappeared, leaving him with recurring nightmares and a box labelled 'Improbabilia'. Now a successful book dealer, Kagwa has a family of his own after meeting and falling in love with Emma, a librarian. The two marry and have a baby: so far so happy-ever-after. However, as the pair settle into their new lives as parents, exhaustion and anxiety start to take their toll. Emma's behaviour becomes increasingly erratic, until one day she commits an unthinkable act, setting Apollo on a wild and fantastical quest through a suddenly otherworldly New York, in search of a wife and child he no longer recognises. 

 

Read a full interview: #13 Follow Friday with book bloggers: Obsidian Blue

 

The Valancourt Book of Horror Stories - Francis King,John Blackburn,Richard Marsh,Michael McDowell,Stephen GregoryThe Valancourt Book of Horror Stories

 

Spanning two hundred years of horror, this new collection features seventeen macabre gems, including two original tales and many others that have never or seldom been reprinted. 

 

Blackwater: The Complete Saga - Michael McDowell,Matt GodfreyBlackwater - Michael McDowell, Matt Godfrey  

 

Blackwater is the saga of a small town, Perdido, Alabama, and Elinor Dammert, the stranger who arrives there under mysterious circumstances on Easter Sunday, 1919. On the surface, Elinor is gracious, charming, anxious to belong in Perdido, and eager to marry Oscar Caskey, the eldest son of Perdido’s first family. But her beautiful exterior hides a shocking secret. Beneath the waters of the Perdido River, she turns into something terrifying, a creature whispered about in stories that have chilled the residents of Perdido for generations. Some of those who observe her rituals in the river will never be seen again ...

 

Read a full interview: #14 Follow Friday with book bloggers: Char's Horror Corner [Nominated]

 

The Best We Could Do - Thi BuiThe Best We Could Do - Thi Bui

This beautifully illustrated and emotional story is an evocative memoir about the search for a better future and a longing for the past. Exploring the anguish of immigration and the lasting effects that displacement has on a child and her family, Bui documents the story of her family’s daring escape after the fall of South Vietnam in the 1970s, and the difficulties they faced building new lives for themselves.

 

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine - Gail HoneymanEleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine - Gail Honeyman  

 

Meet Eleanor Oliphant: She struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she’s thinking. Nothing is missing in her carefully timetabled life of avoiding social interactions, where weekends are punctuated by frozen pizza, vodka, and phone chats with Mummy. But everything changes when Eleanor meets Raymond, the bumbling and deeply unhygienic IT guy from her office.

 

Read a full interview: #15 Follow Friday with book bloggers: Bookish thoughts!!! ->

Tweet: 35 books for a desert island -->http://bit.ly/2KTKJND It's #summer time! If you plan an intriguing trip, a long flight, a dangerous #adventure, an escape to a silent and quiet place, like a desert island here's your survival kit. #BOOKS. Recommended by #BookBloggers. #amreading

 

See you next Friday! 

SPOILER ALERT!

June 2018 — A Wrap Up

 

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Shaman Rises by C. E. Murphy

 

Read my series review here. Meanwhile here are two of my fave quotes from the last book:

 

 

 

Don’t you just love it when a favorite author of yours quotes/alludes to the work of another favorite author?

 

I saw Morrison’s face twitch like he couldn’t believe I was baiting the Master, and also like he couldn’t believe that he couldn’t believe it. It was Schrödinger’s twitch, neither believing nor disbelieving until we got out of here alive.

 

But then that is how Jo does things! She dares where she shouldn’t and that is one of the reasons this series was fun to read.

 

 

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Soulless by Gail Carriger (Manga)

 

Some books are just too beautiful and the manga series for the Parasol Protectorate books is one of them! I love how the characters are drawn. Ms. Carriger’s wit shines brightly in each dialogue. Mostly, I have trouble believing I have these books in my life and on my shelf. Thanks to my sister who would get me the moon and who visited Seattle, I do! I intend to savor these three books and so am taking my time reading them.

You can check out the covers on my Instagram.

 

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Tarnished and Torn by Juliet Blackwell 

 
 
View image on Twitter
 

Juliet Blackwell's giving me major @judypost vibes. Her books have the same patient way of deepening into interesting plots and create a homey feeling that keeps you reading long into the night!

 

 

This succinctly explains why I keep returning to the series. A few weeks will have gone by and I’ll suddenly think of the next book to read from this series. That is all it takes for me to start reading!

 

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Shadow Study by Maria V. Snyder

 

I dunno what it is but Yelena has started to piss me off. It could be her attitude towards others or her magic. Either way, I am finding it more and more difficult to like her with each new book I read. Valek, on the other hand, has become less of the token YA hero and in the process of being fleshed out into an actual character. In this book, we are shown how life has been for him and the training he has received to end up where he did. I have always liked the connection he has had with Ambrose. Yet it seems to be coming to an end and quick. The supporting characters were their usual entertaining selves. We are also introduced to a new character with a history of having been abused. She comes across as prickly and immature at times but I liked her tenacity.

 

Would all this be enough to get me to read the next book in the series? Let’s find out!

 

 

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Romeo Redeemed by Stacey Jay

 

I don’t even know where to begin. Okay, wait I do:

He is a liar!

No, he loves me!

He is a murderer!

No, he loves me!

He is a traitor!

No, he loves me!

This goes on until the very end, which happened on a happy note. Not impressed. At all.

 

pjimage.jpg

 

Sleepy Hollow #2-4 by Marguerite Bennett

 

I found these to be all right.

 

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Shards of Hope by Nalini Singh

 

Much better than the last one. I am only reviewing this one because I enjoyed reading it. The lead couple seemed beyond redemption but that was the only cliched part. The time they took in coming closer, discovering each other, and initiating physical contact of any sort seemed realistic.

 

Another thing that I liked was how hard the author worked to show us how Arrows lived their lives. Simple kindness was a concept unknown to them because they had never been on the receiving end of it. The main characters connected with the shifter alpha and conveyed how inept they were at this. Small changes that slowly lead to better lives for these soldiers were fun to watch.

 

Ms. Singh expertly introduced another shifter pack in this book and took us just a little deeper into the world of the water changelings, as well. There are no signs of this series ending, especially with all the characters to be written about.

 

What I didn’t like was how quickly the problem of the bad guy was solved. Yeah, I know he wasn’t the Big Bad but the story had been setting him up that way. So much evil and all it took was half a page of writing to extinguish it,

 

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Silence Fallen by Patricia Briggs

 

So many reasons for me to have loved this book:

 

The Humor

 

 

Galina, of course, is a ghost who is trying to help a caged Mercy from a golem or rather The Golem. All she manages to do is roll around the head of a decapitated vampire. It was funny. You had to be there, okay?

 

The Mercy

 

She was completely herself…outmaneuvered, overpowered, and with no chances of escape. Once or twice, she even took out some time to wallow in self-pity but that didn’t last long. Mercy is used to being the weakest player in any supernatural game. So, she doesn’t let that hold her back for long.

 

The Adam

 

The book gave us Adam’s POV, which I loved. Another thing was how Adam was pitted against people who were stronger than he was. He was out of his depth and couldn’t afford to start a war with the vampires. While all of that was happening, Mercy was far away from him, having been kidnapped from right outside their home. In short, he was putting up with shit that Mercy has had to deal with all her life lol

There is also his acceptance that Mercy is going to be drawn wherever trouble brews. In fact, she doesn’t realize this truth but he does and had made his peace with it. This is how the scene goes when they are finally reunited:

 

Start of Spoiler

 

(show spoiler)

“I killed the Golem of Prague—for real this time,” I told him. “After I used him to kill all the vampires. I don’t know how many he killed. Lots, I think. Mary figured out how to mass-produce vampires, though I gather they had quite an expiration date. The problem was he didn’t want to stop with the vampires. Your help was the only reason all of the people in the Jewish Quarter aren’t dead.”

(show spoiler)

 

End of Spoiler

 

A guy who doesn’t lose it after being faced with such an information overload is someone who has already accepted life with Mercy is going to be exciting!

 

The Relationship

 

The faith he had in Mercy being able to take care of herself was one of my favorite things about this book. It was the same trust that Mercy placed in him. That didn’t stop them from taking action where needed. I think they have never been stronger than they are in this book.

 

The Surprise

 

Oh boy! I mean it made complete sense when it was revealed but I loved the juiciness of it. I am so glad I didn’t let the previous book keep me from reading this one!

 

pjimage.jpg

 

Black Magick, Vols. 1 & 2 by Greg Rucka

 
Okay, this was equal parts scary and intriguing. I haven’t yet started connecting with the characters but I am liking where the story is heading.
 
 

 

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Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew’d by Alan Bradley

 

I just love how poetic Flavia sometimes gets even with such a scientific mind. Look at this piece of writing:

I want to know who I am before it is too late — before I am no longer the same person — before I becomes someone different. Although there are days when this seems a furious race against time, there are others when it seems to matter a tinker’s curse.

Combined with the reticent father she has had for a parent, her mom’s death, and her sisters’ scathing behavior towards her, it is words like these that make the reader feel deeply for Flavia.

 

Dogger will remain my fave character from these books. He is broken too just like Flavia is but in a completely different way. Below is a sample from a conversation he has with her:

Do you have any brothers or sisters, Dogger?

Yes I do, Miss Flavia. Do you wish me to tell you about them?

No.

Thank you.

I love how he looks out for Flavia without seeming to; it could be why her father can pretend not to care about the trouble she regularly gets into!

 

Flavia also says things like:

 

 

Oh, and the ending just broke my heart even though I saw it coming. Can’t wait to see the direction this series will take now!

 

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Vallista by Steven Brust 

 

Remember the thing that I said at the beginning of the post? Here are the opening words:

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a human assassin in possession of an important mission must be in want of a target.

 
 As you can expect, I got a chuckle out of it.
 
While Vlad spends his life acting like an idiot, what makes these books worth reading are two things:
 
The repartee between Vlad and his familiar, Loiosh. I find it really funny. Consider this scene where they have spotted a huge white monster disappearing around a corner:
 
Are we going after it, Boss?
After it? Are you nuts? What if we caught it?
I love it when you break out in common sense.
(I kept walking.)
Boss, you said…
We aren’ going after it. We’re just going in the same direction.
 
Vlad believing that he is a tough guy who doesn’t stick out his neck for anyone and yet that is exactly what he manages to do every time! He gives a damn, which is why he is a likable character.
 
 
 
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The Black Tower by P. D. James

 

Typical Dalgliesh story that kept me hanging on every word until I finished it!

 
This is what I have been up to in June. What have you been doing?

 

Reblogged from Carpe Librum:

Currently reading

A Wizard of Earthsea
Ursula K. Le Guin
Progress: 23%
My Cousin Rachel
Daphne du Maurier
Progress: 36%
Dracula Audiobook (Timeless Classics)
Bram Stoker
Hellblazer n. 3
Jamie Delano, John Ridgway
Seven Seasons of Buffy: Science Fiction and Fantasy Authors Discuss Their Favorite Television Show (Smart Pop series)
Yellow Blue Tibia
Adam Roberts
The Bone Season
Samantha Shannon
Her Fearful Symmetry
Audrey Niffenegger
The Poisonwood Bible
Barbara Kingsolver
Progress: 53%
Some Girls Bite
Chloe Neill

Midu’s quotes


Goodreads Quotes

Midu's bookshelf: read

Kingdom Come
3 of 5 stars
tagged: graphic-novel, read-in-2015, and 1997
A Mere Formality
4 of 5 stars
tagged: missing-shelf, read-in-2015, shorts, singles, and 2008
Chickenfeed
3 of 5 stars
tagged: premissing, uk-author, 2006, read-in-2015, serial-killers-and-other...
Dark Blood
1 of 5 stars
tagged: missing-shelf, 2014, abuse, read-in-2015, series, and middlers

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