New Acquisitions: 7/4/2016

For all of my American readers, happy Independence Day! New Acquisitions is a feature where I talk about books that I’ve received for review, purchased, borrowed, or sold my soul to obtain.  But in today’s case, both books are review copies from the publishers.  Images are from my Instagram, which I’m trying to use more regularlyRead more

“Red-Robed Priestess” by Elizabeth Cunningham

“Red-Robed Priestess” by Elizabeth Cunningham was one of last year’s BEA finds.  Even though it’s the fourth book in a series, I decided to give it a try, because I found the premise intriguing. Basically, The Maeve Chronicles are a lot like Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Avalon stories, except the main character is Mary Magdalene, andRead more

“Fifty Shames of Earl Grey” by Fanny Merkin (a.k.a. Andrew Shaffer)

During the very end of my last day at BEA (after a very nice publisher handed me a glass of champagne, which wasn’t quite enough to distract me from how much my feet hurt), I noticed a long line winding from one of the booths. “What’s this line for?” I asked someone. “Fifty Shames ofRead more

“War Dances” by Sherman Alexie, Part 1

I decided to break up this book into a couple posts, as it is a collection of short stories and poems.  I picked up this book at the National Book Festival back in September.  Alexie’s novels are often challenged in schools because his writing addresses the problems faced by Native Americans in the modern US.  ItRead more

“Feast of Souls” by C. S. Friedman

  One can learn much about an author by reading her blog/webpage.  While reading Friedman’s blog, I was highly impressed with what she deems the “DM Rule.”  Basically, while worldbuilding, she tries to imagine what gamers would do if they were allowed to run loose in such a world and exploit it.  I approve ofRead more

“The House of the Spirits” by Isabel Allende

  I wasn’t quite sure what genre to categorize this book as, largely because it blends elements of multiple genres into a unique novel.  Is there a line between magical realism and fantasy other than the fact that magical realism tends to be written first in Spanish?  While “The House of Spirits” incorporates elements ofRead more

“Slaughterhouse Five” by Kurt Vonnegut

  I just finished reading “Slaughterhouse Five” for the first time.  I should have read it years ago; in fact, I attempted to read it my freshmen year of high school, but then was mildly traumatized after reading that a soldier in the novel carried around a picture of a girl attempting intercourse with aRead more

“Kushiel’s Dart” by Jacqueline Carey

  Over the course of the past week, I’ve read a couple different blog posts that talk about how a lot of fantasy novels feature very traditional gender roles.  This novel, then, is something entirely different. Carey’s story is a fantasy/alternate history set in the country of Terre d’Ange, which resembles medieval France.  Terre d’AngeRead more

Darkness Too Visible

By now, you’ve probably read Meghan Cox Gurdon’s Wall Street Journal article “Darkness Too Visible,” which criticizes the availability of dark-themed YA novels.  Needless to say, this has created quite a buzz in the book blog world, with a great deal of debate on both sides. My own opinion is that Megan Cox Gurdon isRead more

“Someplace to Be Flying” by Charles de Lint

  This is my second book for the Once Upon a Time V challenge.  The novel, like most of Charles de Lint’s, is urban fantasy set in the fictional city of Newford. In de Lint’s world, the animal people are shapeshifting spirits who have been on the earth since creation.  When Lily, a photographer, isRead more