Thursday, October 31, 2019
Wednesday, October 30, 2019
Christmas is Yule with religion, and the West Saxons managed to spoil the midwinter feast with chanting monks, droning priests, and savagely long sermons. Yule is supposed to be a celebration and a consolation, a moment of warm brightness in the heart of winter, a time to eat because you know that the lean times are coming when food will be scarce and ice locks the land, and a time to be happy and get drunk and behave irresponsibly and wake up the next morning wondering if you will ever feel well again, but the West Saxons handed the feast to the priests who made it as joyous as a funeral.
(from The Last Kingdom by Bernard Cornwell)
10*/10. The full review is here.
Tuesday, October 29, 2019
Monday, October 28, 2019
A couple of weeks ago, on a lark, I monitored Amazon's e-books "new releases" volume over a four-day period. On average, there are 1700 new e-book offerings on Amazon EVERY day.
Those are incredible odds. Read a book by an indie author today!
Sunday, October 27, 2019
Saturday, October 26, 2019
Friday, October 25, 2019
Thursday, October 24, 2019
Helen was never nervous around boys. One of the advantages of her condition was that she knew where she stood from the beginning. She liked to think of her figure as curvaceous. Like Marilyn Monroe’s. Except gentlemen preferred blondes, not brown fur with white speckles. She had yet to find a pair of heels that fit her hooves. Troy was tall, with wide shoulders. She was taller, with shoulders a smidge wider. And then there was the whole cow-head thing.
(from Epic Road Quest by A. Lee Martinez)
9*/10. The complete review is here.
Wednesday, October 23, 2019
Tuesday, October 22, 2019
Monday, October 21, 2019
Sunday, October 20, 2019
“Zedd, I’ve never seen this before. Where have you kept it?”
Zedd smiled proudly. “In the cabinet, in the house.”
Richard eyed him skeptically. “There’s nothing in the cabinet but dishes and pans and your powders.”
“Not that cabinet,” he said, lowering his voice as if to thwart anyone who might be listening, “in my wizard’s cabinet.”
Richard straightened with a frown. “I’ve never seen any other cabinet.”
“Bags, Richard! You’re not supposed to see it! It’s a wizard’s cabinet; it’s invisible!”
(from Wizard’s First Rule by Terry Goodkind)
4½*/10. The complete review is here.
Saturday, October 19, 2019
Friday, October 18, 2019
Thursday, October 17, 2019
Wednesday, October 16, 2019
There was a bridge at Andau, and if a Hungarian could reach that bridge, he was nearly free.
It wasn’t much, as bridges go: not wide enough for a car nor sturdy enough to bear a motorcycle. It was a footbridge made of rickety boards with a handrailing which little children could not quite reach.
It wasn’t actually in Andau, nor even near it, yet it was known throughout Hungary as “the bridge of Andau,” and many thousands of refugees, coming from all parts of Hungary, headed for it. Fleeing the Russians, with only a paper bag, or with nothing, they headed for this insignificant bridge and for freedom.
(from The Bridge at Andau by James A. Michener)
6½*/10. The complete review is here.
Monday, October 14, 2019
Sunday, October 13, 2019
Saturday, October 12, 2019
It was a good day to be indoors, cleaning out closets, making hot chocolate, organizing a fresh start for winter. And it was a good day to be outdoors, scuffing through the few remaining leaves, feeling flushed from the cold air. It was my favorite time of the year. And if it wasn’t for the fact that people were dying left and right, and I couldn’t find Uncle Fred, and someone wanted to kill me, and Ramirez wanted to send me to Jesus – it would be a very good day.
(from High Five by Janet Evanovich)
8½*/10. The complete review is here.
Friday, October 11, 2019
Thursday, October 10, 2019
Wednesday, October 09, 2019
I guess that makes me trilingual. To be fair, I have taken classes in all three of those languages. Plus three years of French and two years of Mandarin Chinese. Also two years of Latin in junior/senior high, but let's not discuss my grades in those classes.
Tuesday, October 08, 2019
True story. I went to a "Past Lives" workshop once, at the local/annual Scottsdale Psychic Fair. It was an interesting experience, but what I found fascinating was that we had not one, but two people in the audience who had once been Cleopatra. Trying to figure out how that was possible was mind-boggling.
Monday, October 07, 2019
People wandered through the streets in a kind of utopian uncertainty, knowing that everything was different but unsure in what sort of place they lived now. Adults were talking and children playing games. “I’m minded to be careful,” I heard one man say, and I could have laughed in his face. Minded are you? I could have said. Minded how? What will you do? How will you be careful?
We’d always lived in a ghetto, in a city that didn’t belong to us but to beings far more powerful and strange. We’d lived among gods – little tiny gods but gods compared to us, considering what was at their disposal and our disposal – and ignored the fact. Now they’d changed, and we had no way to understand that.
(from Embassytown by China Miéville)
8*/10. The complete review is here.
Saturday, October 05, 2019
Friday, October 04, 2019
Thursday, October 03, 2019
Wednesday, October 02, 2019
Tuesday, October 01, 2019
Forgive us if we work so hard
And the muscles bunch clumsy on us
And we never know why we work so hard -
If the big houses with little families
And the little houses with big families
Sneer at each other’s bars of misunderstanding.
(pg. 11, from “The Windy City”)
(from Slabs of the Sunburnt West by Carl Sandburg)
6*/10. The complete review is here.