Saturday, June 17, 2017

Takedown by John Jackson Miller My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Takedown (Star Trek: The Next Generation)Takedown by John Jackson Miller
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Confusing, but in a good way!

There's a mystery, with Riker and seven other diplomats going off the rails. Why? How? Is it real, is her crazy or... And who is making him review it all?

I was satisfied with the solution, even more when I realized the backstory came from TV episodes, not the novels as I assumed.

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Monday, June 12, 2017

Ruth: A Refugee Story by Matt Mikalatos

Ruth: A Refugee Story (Good Story Version of the Bible)Ruth: A Refugee Story by Matt Mikalatos
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Thoughtful translation of a timely story.

With a really nice afterword reflection /commentary concerning refugees - with lots of practical suggestions for how to help.

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Sunday, June 04, 2017

Control by David Mack

Control (Star Trek: Section 31)Control by David Mack
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Calling Wintermute....

There's a hint of Neuromancer in here, though a far, far different story.

Mack plays fair - there's a lot of Trek history (both film/tv-canon and novels, including Mack's work). It's part spy thriller, part caper. I haven't read/seen everything referred to, but the author plays fair I think, filling in enough detail that you don't get left behind.

All in all a good Trek story - and I suspect there's still more to come.

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Saturday, May 27, 2017

Pawn by Timothy Zahn

Pawn (A Chronicle of the Sibyl's War, #1)Pawn by Timothy Zahn
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Zahn does more than Star Wars!

Nobody (!) does Star Wars like Zahn, but that's not all he can do! This is a very good start to a new series. Start with some small time criminals, then add an alien abduction. Find a crew of humans tasked with maintenance on a huge(!) spaceship... and that's just the start. There's mystery, interesting aliens and ... well we'll see when the next book arrives!

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Princess Leia by Mark Waid

Princess LeiaPrincess Leia by Mark Waid
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Nice in-between the cracks Star Wars story.

Right after the battle of Yavin, Leia fights against all sorts of odds, with the assistance of another Alderaanian, Evaan an X-Wing pilot. Together they gather other Alderaanians in exile, evading capture and betrayal.

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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Apollo 8: The Thrilling Story of the First Mission to the Moon by Jeffrey Kluger

Apollo 8: The Thrilling Story of the First Mission to the MoonApollo 8: The Thrilling Story of the First Mission to the Moon by Jeffrey Kluger
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Terrific! Inspiring!

I'm a sucker for space history, and this was excellent. Kluger, who co-authored Lost Moon (aka Apollo 13) with Lovell does a great job reliving the story of Apollo 8. It's worth reading, remembering and thinking about what was accomplished back in '68 - and what we could to again.

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Tuesday, May 16, 2017

The Eugenics Wars, Vol. 1 by Greg Cox

The Eugenics Wars, Vol. 1 (Star Trek)The Eugenics Wars, Vol. 1 by Greg Cox
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

"It's all true!" Those words from Galaxy Quest fit for this stellar exercise in retconning!

I'd read this book when it came out, and recently got Kindle editions of the whole trilogy - it's a fun read. Carefully weaving 40+ years of Trek - and REAL - history into a narrative that explains how we didn't notice the "Eugenics War" and the rise (and fall) of Khan. Oh, and there's a story woven through with Kirk, Spock, McCoy, et al facing a new planet of genetic supermen.

On to the next volume!

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Saturday, May 13, 2017

The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi

The Collapsing Empire (The Interdependency #1)The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Terrific - engaging and full of interesting ideas!

Scalzi leaps off into the unknown - a wholly different universe from his Old Man stories - and it's excellent. A far-future with the ersatz nobility familar to space opera from Honor Harrington to Vorrkosigan and he does it with his own inimitable style. The main downside is... I have to wait for the next volume.

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Wednesday, May 10, 2017

The Star Wars by J.W. Rinzler

The Star WarsThe Star Wars by J.W. Rinzler
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Yikes!

Interesting historically. (a GREEN Han Solo?)
Good artwork.

Bizarre plot - all over the map.

Glad I read it - but man - we dodged a bullet here; grateful the Star Wars filmed... wasn't this...

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Monday, May 01, 2017

Yom Kippur Murder by Lee Harris

Yom Kippur Murder (Christine Bennett Mysteries)
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A nice entry in the Bennet series. I particularly liked how she swerved away from every expectation and assumption about 'the facts' of the case. It's also an interesting time-trip to follow Chris Bennet, sans-internet sans-cell-phone needing to do legwork and make connections the old fashioned way.

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Saturday, April 29, 2017

The Good Friday Murder by Lee Harris

The Good Friday MurderThe Good Friday Murder by Lee Harris
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A nice start to a series - kind of a time-trip, set back pre-internet pre-cell phone era, but Sue Grafton does it too.

Already starting the next book.

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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Thrawn by Timothy Zahn

Thrawn (Star Wars)Thrawn by Timothy Zahn
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Excellent - TZ delivers!

Timothy Zahn absolutely defined the gold standard for Star Wars fiction: he delivers hard SF (well, hard space opera) and makes it work. He uses the established canon but tells his own story and creates his own characters. Even now, when the EU has been rendered "legends" he takes the Thrawn-as-canonized-by-Rebels and creates the backstory that defines the Thrawn of legend.

It's a real Holmes and Watson story, too -with Thrawn as Holmes and his aide Vanto as Watson. Following clues, making deductions - it all works well. And Thrawn's study of art is still here.

Definitely worth reading (and reading again).

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Saturday, April 22, 2017

Aftermath: Empire's End by Chuck Wendig

Aftermath: Empire's End (Star Wars: Aftermath, #3)Aftermath: Empire's End by Chuck Wendig
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

More fun with Norra and her crew!

As the new canon edges out the EU, this is a good entry. I particularly like how Jar Jar is - not sure if redeemed is the right word, but it will do. A very minor point but a good one.

Now we know some more backstory on Jakku, and have some angles on the disarray of the New Republic and Resistance by the time of the Force Awakens.

It has to be tough work, trying to weave in so many details, using the classic characters *and* develop your own (including the now-film-canon Snap Wexley), and Wendig does a good job. Lots of nods to known details - and I think, not a few nods to the EU.

Queued up next: Thrawn. (First I have to finish my re-read of the Thrawn trilogy....

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Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet, Book 2 by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet, Book 2 (Black Panther, Volume VII: A Nation Under Our Feet, #2)Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet, Book 2 by Ta-Nehisi Coates
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Interesting - maybe I'll need to return to these at some point.

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Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet, Book 1

Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet, Book 1Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet, Book 1 by Ta-Nehisi Coates
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Impressive!

Not my cup of tea - not because it wasn't deep and thoughtful - I may be a fossil, but I enjoy the golden age comics more. They certainly can handle all the deep issues of war and peace as well, but this didn't grab me. I suspect I need more of a handle on the back story of Black Panther in his current incarnation. Or I'm not much of a Marvel fan.

I do enjoy some of the modern graphic novels - I liked the Evanovich thriller, and Doctor Fate as well.

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The Superman Chronicles, Vol. 1 by Jerry Siegel

The Superman Chronicles, Vol. 1The Superman Chronicles, Vol. 1 by Jerry Siegel
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Just SUPER, man!

I really enjoyed this - a classic.

I'll admit, it is scattershot and all over the map. Superman's ethics are at times dubious (drugging a college football player so he can impersonate him, really? Blowing up an oil well to deprive the shady owners of its riches?) But his heart is in the right place, setting juvenile delinquents right, ending wars, fighting traffic accidents - he's out to do good and does it well.

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Sunday, March 19, 2017

Al Jaffee's Mad Life by Mary-Lou Weisman

Al Jaffee's Mad LifeAl Jaffee's Mad Life by Mary-Lou Weisman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow.

Combine a riveting story, well presented - almost as a book length interview - with illustrations from a beloved cartoonist (who is the subject of the story) and you have a book that knocks it out of the park.

I burned through this in two days - I was desperate to find "how it turned out."

I picked this up at the library after reading http://www.vanityfair.com/culture/201... and could. not. put. it. down.


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Thursday, February 23, 2017

Home by Nnedi Okorafor

Home (Binti, #2)Home by Nnedi Okorafor
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Excellent continuation of what is a great new saga.

Spoiler: this ends with a cliffhanger.
Bonus: this ends with a cliffhanger (iow - there is to come! !)

Okorafor continues Binti's story, returning to earth for a pilgrimage, bringing her Meduse friend/enemy/fellow student. Complications ensue. Binti learns things about herself and her family.

Note: I was fortunate to hear Okorafor speak at a local library. She provided lots of interesting personal history and insights into how she developed (and is developing) the Binti saga. There is going to be a podcast of the talk - I recommend looking for it!

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Thursday, February 09, 2017

Panglor by Jeffrey A. Carver

Panglor (Star Rigger, #3)Panglor by Jeffrey A. Carver
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Twists and turns and interesting adventure!

I really enjoy the Star Rigger stories (especially the Dragon stories!) and this book fits in well with the series. A prequel, of sorts, it had a good arc - from disgraced pilot pressured by, well, space-mobsters, to a castaway, to hero - Panglor goes through a hero's journey of sorts.

Carver's Star Rigger 'verse is a nice change from Star Wars/Trek genre fiction (which I certainly don't eschew). It would be fun to see more - especially in the Dragon realms, though I doubt that is coming.

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Monday, February 06, 2017

A Fatal Grace by Louise Penny

A Fatal Grace (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache #2)A Fatal Grace by Louise Penny
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Excellent continuation of the adventures of Armand Gamache.

I'm reminded for various reasons of Jane Haddam's mysteries - complex, interesting characters.

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Saturday, February 04, 2017

Still Life by Louise Penny

Still Life (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #1)Still Life by Louise Penny
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Excellent! Suggested by a friend, and glad she did!

This quirky set of characters - and the brilliant Inspector Gamarche - make for a fascinating read! Already deep in the second (and grateful Amazon sold the first two at $2.99 apiece!).

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Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Born a Crime by Trevor Noah

Born a CrimeBorn a Crime by Trevor Noah
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

If Mark Twain were alive.....

...I think he'd see Trevor Noah as a latter-day Tom Sawyer and/or Huckleberry Finn.

Noah tells an amazing story - and hearing it from his lips means that all the African (and Afrikaner) accents and languages come through crystal clear. He's no saint - in fact he seems like a really bad kid at times. But his life and story (and his mother's amazing life) made this a riveting story.

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Thursday, January 19, 2017

Star Trek: The Official Guide to Our Universe: The True Science Behind the Starship Voyages by Andrew Fazekas

Star Trek: The Official Guide to Our Universe: The True Science Behind the Starship VoyagesStar Trek: The Official Guide to Our Universe: The True Science Behind the Starship Voyages by Andrew Fazekas
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Nice balance between science and fiction.

Fazekas does a great job interlacing material from the whole range of Trek history with a wealth of astronomy. Along the way he points out all the ways we have (or haven't) achieved Trek technology.

Even better, amid the wealth of beautiful astronomical images, there are many tutorials on how to discover the wonders of the stars, with careful instruction on how, when and where to look into the glories of the night sky.

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Sunday, January 15, 2017

The Concrete Blonde by Michael Connelly

The Concrete Blonde (Harry Bosch, #3)The Concrete Blonde by Michael Connelly
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

INTENSE.

A very good read - I pretty much burned through it in a day. A very intense mystery/courtroom drama with Bosch facing a civil trial over his shooting of a serial murderer. The trial begins, and evidence arises that maybe the man shot *wasn't* the perp - or wasn't *alone*.

Fast paced, good action, very gritty. Now I need lighter fare as a chaser - on to "Fluency" a first-contact SF story.....

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Friday, January 13, 2017

Unbelievable: Investigations into Ghosts, Poltergeists, Telepathy, and Other Unseen Phenomena from the Duke Parapsychology Laboratory by Stacy Horn

Unbelievable: Investigations into Ghosts, Poltergeists, Telepathy, and Other Unseen Phenomena from the Duke Parapsychology LaboratoryUnbelievable: Investigations into Ghosts, Poltergeists, Telepathy, and Other Unseen Phenomena from the Duke Parapsychology Laboratory by Stacy Horn
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

More than kind of *amazing*.

I came across this because of a piece on Atlas Obscura about the Rhine's and their work.... which 1) pointed me towards this book and 2) my library had a Kindle edition and I burned through it.

This book has everything - both the quixotic quest of the Rhines, ghost stories, poltergeists (even the case that inspired the Exorcist) and much more. On top of that, Albert Einstein, Upton Sinclair, Timothy Leary, Aldous Huxley and more luminaries put in appearances. A good read, and kind of mind-blowing.

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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Darth Vader and Son by Jeffrey Brown

Darth Vader and SonDarth Vader and Son by Jeffrey Brown
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What a nice monster! Brown does such a sweet job making Darth into a cuddly guy and a good Dad.

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Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Re-read (listen) Strangers from the Sky by Margaret Wander Bonanno

Strangers from the Sky[On a trip, looking for a quick listen - a revisit to a classic]

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Golden Age Trek

There's a window in time when the Trek novels were more unencumbered by editorial oversight, story arcs and trying to be more canonical - and this is a novel from that era. Really kind of quirky in many ways (there's magic, for one!), but still a fun story. [Not a complaint about the current state of Trek literature - just an observation.]

I'd read this long ago, but picked up the abridged audio version with great voice work from George Takei and Leonard Nimoy as Mr. Spock. There's sound effects too! Not your serious full text audio book, almost more of a radio play - but *I* liked it.


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No Need for Speed: A Beginner's Guide to the Joy of RunningNo Need for Speed: A Beginner's Guide to the Joy of Running by John Bingham
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A good intro to running. As an older novice runner, I'm very glad to discover runners like Bingham who reassure me that running is for *me*, even if I'm slow. Bingham's story, and advice from trainers like Jeff Galloway, along with articles like http://www.runnersworld.com/runners-s... remind me that "I'm the captain of my running ship."

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Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home by Vonda N. McIntyre

Star Trek IV: The Voyage HomeStar Trek IV: The Voyage Home by Vonda N. McIntyre
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Once more.....

I really love McIntyre's telling of the Trek - both movies and her own books (Entropy Effect, in particular). I was recently working my way streaming the movies - and was on STIV... until 12/31 and the movies went offline, so... I picked up my e-book copy and finished the story. Next up, The Voyage Home.

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Proxima by Stephen Baxter

ProximaProxima by Stephen Baxter
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Accidental prequel - it's good.

So.. I enjoy Baxter's work, and I picked up Ultima at a B&N... couldn't get started/make sense of it... it was the SECOND book, d'oh.

I actually started listening to Proxima... but then picked up a paperback at HPB, and really enjoyed it. So I accidently bought the sequel, then got the first book and liked it - a good mix of some hard science and more... although... it takes some weird parallel universe/altered history twists, which look to really be different in Ultima....

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Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Beginner's Half-Marathon Trainer: The 14-Week Program to Completing a Half-Marathon in Your Best Time by Jon Ackland

Beginner's Half-Marathon Trainer: The 14-Week Program to Completing a Half-Marathon in Your Best TimeBeginner's Half-Marathon Trainer: The 14-Week Program to Completing a Half-Marathon in Your Best Time by Jon Ackland
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Good, clear and basic advice.

This is only the start - we're signed up for a half-marathon in September, and this is my first foray into specific instruction. On the way there, there will be 10Ks and 5Ks... all with that half-marathon waiting. We'll see how it turns out.

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Monday, December 26, 2016

The Entropy Effect by Vonda N. McIntyre

The Entropy Effect (Star Trek, #2)The Entropy Effect by Vonda N. McIntyre
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Excellent! Complex, thoughtful and unbound Trek.

This early Trek novel (1981!) captures the TOS crew and ship, and is unbound by all the details of film and subsequent novels. McIntyre is free to create excellent characters and situations, a thoughtful puzzle and more. Not the first time I've read this one - and probably won't be the last.


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Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Catalyst - A Rogue One Novel by James Luceno

Catalyst - A Rogue One NovelCatalyst - A Rogue One Novel by James Luceno
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Not required, but an interesting introduction to "Rogue One" ....

Luceno, a dependable author in the Star Wars fold, fleshes out the back story of the creation of the Death Star. The rise of a paranoid, suspicious empire seems a bit foreboding in this time, which tempers my appreciation of this story. Luceno does a good job imagining the day-to-day life in the Republic-then-Empire as the clone wars come to a close.

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Saturday, December 10, 2016

Doctor Fate, Volume 2: Prisoners of the Past by Paul Levitz

Doctor Fate, Volume 2: Prisoners of the PastDoctor Fate, Volume 2: Prisoners of the Past by Paul Levitz
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Poor Khalid - he's getting his life just as messed up as Peter Parker. And... interesting, turns out his uncle is Kent Nelson - the former Doctor Fate.



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Dr. Fate: Countdown to Mystery by Steve Gerber

Dr. Fate: Countdown to MysteryDr. Fate: Countdown to Mystery by Steve Gerber
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Trippy.

I picked this up because I'd read about the current Islam themed Dr Fate - and looked for more after reading the first volume. This is an earlier incarnation of Dr Fate (though not the original) - very interesting and kind of a cliffhanger since the artist Gerber died before continuing. But fabulous art and an interesting story.....

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The Hall of Heroes by John Jackson Miller

The Hall of Heroes (Star Trek: Prey, #3)The Hall of Heroes by John Jackson Miller
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Terrific finish!

Miller spun out many threads (Klingons, Breen, Kinshaya, the illusionists) not to mention all our friends from the Federation, and brings them together nicely in a colorful tapestry. I liked his flashbacks and back stories (Cross, Shift) and the twists and turns all the way to the end. A nice addition to the Trek-verse, and I hope the launchpad to new stories.

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Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Prey: Book Two: The Jackal's Trick by John Jackson Miller

Prey: Book Two: The Jackal's Trick (Star Trek 2)Prey: Book Two: The Jackal's Trick by John Jackson Miller
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Perfect.

That is, Miller did a perfect job blending TOS/TNG and film Trek into a well paced story. Enough twists and turns to keep the action moving and unpredictable. And the story builds to the right kind of cliffhanger that I'm eager to get may hands on the conclusion.

With the massive legacy of Trek - from TV to Film to books - there is a lot to keep track of. I love the books, but there are so many that I have yet to read, and sometimes the current books assume you know more than I do - Miller (and I'll guess his editors) handle this well. I knew enough and the exposition covered the extras so well I never had a problem understanding the story.

The story moves well, and has plenty of settings (Titan, Enterprise, the Unsung, Qo'noS, and more) - this kept things interesting and complex. A very good Trek indeed!

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Monday, November 14, 2016

Doctor Fate (2015-) #1 by Paul Levitz

Doctor Fate (2015-) #1Doctor Fate (2015-) #1 by Paul Levitz
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Terrific - a hero about whom.. I guess I know nothing, but I read about this new excursion into Super Hero diversity and had to take a look. Very nice, and compelling. Time to hit the library and find the next installments!


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Hell's Heart by John Jackson Miller

Hell's Heart (Star Trek: Prey #1)Hell's Heart by John Jackson Miller
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Fun mix for the 50th anniversary of Trek!

With TNG, TOS and more mixed together - and Klingons! - Miller does a great job of starting this trilogy. Just enough skullduggery, and call outs both to the shows/movies AND books, this is a great celebration of Star Trek. On to the next volume!

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Saturday, November 12, 2016

Down the Stream of Stars by Jeffrey A. Carver

Down the Stream of Stars (Starstream, #2)Down the Stream of Stars by Jeffrey A. Carver
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Mystery and wonder among the stars!

I'd read Carver in years past, but picked him up recently thanks to some e- and audio book promotions. His books are intriguing and refreshing - I'm glad to have them in my library!

This is space opera, of a sort - a very different from the action of Starstream #1 - I enjoyed this (and the rigger universe stories) simply because they are so different than other stories and series (from Vorkosigan to Star Trek/Wars). He's created a vast history and universe to explore, and I'm enjoying all of them. Will there be a #3?

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Thursday, November 10, 2016

Donut Cry For Me by Liv Augusta

Donut Cry For MeDonut Cry For Me by Liv Augusta
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

One of the benefits of reading on a Kindle is being able to carry a library in my hand wherever I go (the downside is that sometimes having soooo many books means you don't finish them as quickly as you might if you were only carrying one book around). That library-in-hand has meant that I can carry all sorts of books from SF to mystery to reference to... poetry! For some reason I've especially enjoyed (even memorizing) Emily Dickinson. So I was happy to add this volume to my portable library, both because it was more poetry *and* because it was by my daughter.

This was a particularly poignant entry - a perfect word picture and memory:

“Pictures old photographs hang on the wall of loved ones: far away, long since moved or recently deceased. i dread each new picture that joins, the clips and my heart already sagging from the weight of loss. Mac & Cheese gathered around the kitchen counter, we share dinner of macaroni and cheese. we share dinner, my parents and i, as though no time had passed, the same plates holding the noodles as when i was just learning to hold a fork.”
― Liv Augusta, Donut Cry For Me

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Monday, October 31, 2016

All the Little Liars by Charlaine Harris

All the Little Liars (Aurora Teagarden, #9)All the Little Liars by Charlaine Harris
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Another engaging story with Aurora Teagarden. I was surprised how quickly I got into her story again (it had been a while since I read the last book). Harris is adept - she's certainly had practice with her many sets of characters and novel series - at moving a story along.

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Monday, October 17, 2016

The Vampire in the Church Choir by Matt Mikalatos

The Vampire in the Church ChoirThe Vampire in the Church Choir by Matt Mikalatos
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Nicely done - a bit of a parable, plenty of humor, and thoughtful insights into how churches may manipulate and demonize folk:

"As scared as I was, another part of me was having fun. Pastor Nate’s message was funny and entertaining. It was spiritual-ish, and the main message wasn’t threatening, wasn’t convicting or guilt-inducing. It was this: keep being who you are. Mainstream, white, upper middle class, conservative and family-centered. You’re doing it right. Don’t worry about becoming a better person, you’re already better than plenty of other people. Apart from the fact that I was a vampire, it sounded good."

The best part was - it isn't a screed, or veiled attack on the sad examples of Christian homophobia. There was more nuance to the story and something for just about any person of faith to reflect on.

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Thursday, October 13, 2016

Sky Lantern: The Story of a Father’s Love for His Children and the Healing Power of the Smallest Act of Kindness by Matt Mikalatos

Sky Lantern: The Story of a Father’s Love for His Children and the Healing Power of the Smallest Act of KindnessSky Lantern: The Story of a Father’s Love for His Children and the Healing Power of the Smallest Act of Kindness by Matt Mikalatos
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Uplifting!*

A simple story, well told, of a chance discovery, a thoughtful reply and all that flowed from it.

I appreciated how well the author shared his life and family, and how he models a grace filled response to all that life brings.

*that was sort of a pun. The book is inspiring - that sort of "uplifting," but his tips and suggestions on how to do your own sky lantern party helped me add this to the "how-to" category - you, too, can be uplifted on the wings of a sky lantern!

Highly recommended

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Friday, October 07, 2016

Legacies: Book #3: Purgatory's Key by Dayton Ward

Legacies: Book #3: Purgatory's KeyLegacies: Book #3: Purgatory's Key by Dayton Ward
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Mind spinning.

Here I thought this was a simple story of rescue. With an alternate universe. And Romulan spies. And Klingon diplomats and warriors.

*That* would have been simple. But noooooo.... Star Trek can't be simple....

This rollercoaster turned into a mind bending back-and-forth from our Universe, to the other one, which turned out to be very complicated and less (or is that more?) than it seemed...

I enjoyed Dr. McCoy and his daughter, along with the collaboration of Joanna and Sarek - it was a nice way to play with McCoy's history, and fill it out. Now, on to the 50th anniversary Klingon trilogy....

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Monday, October 03, 2016

The Queen of Katwe: A Story of Life, Chess, and One Extraordinary Girl's Dream of Becoming a Grandmaster by Tim Crothers

The Queen of Katwe: A Story of Life, Chess, and One Extraordinary Girl's Dream of Becoming a GrandmasterThe Queen of Katwe: A Story of Life, Chess, and One Extraordinary Girl's Dream of Becoming a Grandmaster by Tim Crothers
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I'm going to steal from A.O. Scott's review of the movie (I have yet to see):

“Irresistible” is one of those adjectives that critics should handle with utmost care. No matter how universally charming or winning a movie or a performance might seem to be, there is always a chance that somebody, somewhere, will be able to resist it. For all I know that may be the case with “Queen of Katwe,” but if there is anyone out there capable of remaining unmoved by this true-life triumph-of-the-underdog sports story, I don’t think I want to meet that person.


This is a terrific story - inspiring and amazing.

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Monday, September 26, 2016

Buddhism for Beginners by Thubten Chodron

Buddhism for BeginnersBuddhism for Beginners by Thubten Chodron
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Interesting overview for someone who knows nothing about Buddhism.

Thanks again to Audible for Prime - an interesting opportunity to get an overview of Buddhism.
In many ways it's an extended FAQ about Buddhism - many questions answered (ones I'd never thought of) in a simple matter-of-fact manner. This isn't my faith, but it was an interesting introduction to give an outsider a good idea of the scope of Buddhism.


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Sunday, September 25, 2016

Legacies #2: Best Defense by David Mack

Legacies #2: Best Defense (Star Trek: The Original Series)Legacies #2: Best Defense by David Mack
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Cliffhanger again! Happily the next and last installment is waiting at my local branch library....

Mack continues this 50th anniversary trilogy (to be distinguished from the Klingon one) with lots of action, betrayal and various skullduggery aimed at scuttling a Federation-Klingon peace conference. Dr. McCoy's daughter Joanna figures in the plot as well - not to mention a Human-Romulan spy and agents of the Orion syndicate. There is a nice blending of details from the television shows and novels to present a complex story. Oh, and there are those exiles in that other dimension...

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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The Quiche of Death by M.C. Beaton

The Quiche of Death (Agatha Raisin, #1)The Quiche of Death by M.C. Beaton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A very nice entry and beginning - thank you Audible Prime content!

I dashed through this book - the first Agatha Raisin, and the first of the series I've sampled, and liked it very much, thank you!

Agatha is an unlikely sleuth - a newly retired, high powered PR flack from London, settling down for a quiet retirement, except it wasn't quite so quiet. Death, atttacks and more plague her. Plus, she is more than a bit prickly, and lacks much in the way of social graces. I'm looking forward to more from her.

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Monday, September 19, 2016

Stitches: A Handbook on Meaning, Hope, and Repair by Anne Lamott

Stitches: A Handbook on Meaning, Hope, and RepairStitches: A Handbook on Meaning, Hope, and Repair by Anne Lamott
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Thanks to Amazon's new Prime Audible content, I was able to enjoy this book again - though I can't find when I read it before - I certainly recognized the stories, and they're worth reading again.

Lamott reflects on life, how we find meaning and how, thanks to the stitches we use to hold things together, find a good life.

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