Yep, Probably not an Accident…

As I was purchasing a copy of something else (a history of battlefield archaeology in Germany that was too heavy [literally] to buy over there), Amazon.de’s alsobot turned up a book entitled (in German) 15,000 Years of Murder and Deathblows. It’s great! It is a popular science book in the best sense, taking some very complicated science and using it to tell fascinating stories of mayhem, murder, and puzzle-solving. Continue reading

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Book Review: Honor and Duty Series 1-3

Schall, Sam. [Amanda Green] Vengeance from Ashes, Duty from Ashes, Honor from Ashes [Kindle Editions]

I had bought the first one, finally got around to reading it, and devoured the other two that same week. Curse you! *shakes paw* And the fourth one is with the beta readers and not out yet. *shakes paw again* Um, yeah, I like them. Aside from the little problem that they caused me to have adrenaline dumps because I got pulled so hard into the books, but that’s not a normal reaction. Continue reading

Book Review: Jackalope Wives and Other Stories

Kingfisher, T. Jackalope Wives and Other Stories (2017) Kindle edition.

I nibbled on T. Kingfisher’s (Ursula Vernon) other collection Toad Words because of a re-envisioning of the story of Bluebeard. The Halcyon Fairy Book had too much snark and too few stories, so I did not finish it, but after reading the title story in a different anthology, I purchased this collection. All are fantasy, urban, rural, or classic, with twists and turns that I enjoyed. Continue reading

Book Review: Twelve Rules for Life

Peterson, Jordan B. 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos. (Random House Canada, 2018) Kindle-edition.

 

First off, I bought the book and read it just to spite all the people saying that Dr. Peterson is the Source of All Evil, Hero of the Alt-Right, Corrupter of Canadian Youth. I ended up learning a lot, cringing a lot, and deciding to make a few changes in how I manage my time and talents. I’m a little wary of Jungian-based analyses after ODing on Joseph Campbell and his acolytes when I was in college the first time, but Peterson makes sense in a lot of ways. Even if you disagree with his take on things, he’s got a wealth of material worth mulling over and considering. Continue reading

Book Review: The New Voices of Fantasy

Beagle, Peter S. and Jacob Weisman, eds. The New Voices of Fantasy (San Francisco: Tachyon Publications LLC, 2017)

I’m trying to read more fiction, and this happened to be on the new books shelf at the library. I’m glad I got it at the library, and I’m glad most of the stories are not like the opening tale, because I’d have walled it so hard I’d be patching both sheet rock and bricks.  As with all anthologies, some stories are better than others, but the first one made me want to take a shower and scrub with steel wool. Continue reading

Book Review: Fig Jam and Foxtrot

Hall, Lynn Bedford. Fig jam and Foxtrot: Tales of Life, Love, and Food in the Karoo. (2013) Kindle edition. $5.99

I was looking for geology and natural history books, and ended up buying a cookbook and collection of Aga-sagas*. Go figure.

The Karoo is part of South Africa, a semi-arid region of farms and ranches, with buttes, eroded mountains, and people who know good times and bad. This book is a somewhat light-hearted fictionalization of life in the small rural town of “Corriebush,” which could easily be in the Texas Panhandle or eastern New Mexico of the 1950s-70s if you ignore the Boer names and Afrikaans interjections. Continue reading

Book Review: Leonardo Da Vinci

Isaacson, Walter. Leonardo Da Vinci. (New York: Simon and Schuster, 2017)

Everyone knows about Leonardo Da Vinci. He’s one of the artists referred to by one name, and the “Mona Lisa” is in all art books, or parodied, or used for a meme, and attracts all the attention of people visiting the Louvre Museum. For a while Da Vinci conspiracies were trendy, and engineers have attempted to see if his ideas for machines would work. Some do, some don’t. He is often considered the ultimate Renaissance man – artist, writer, engineer, scientist, costume designer, diplomat, scholar, builder of machines. Walter Isaacson puts Da Vinci’s story into a single, easy-to-read volume with excellent illustrations. Continue reading