My latest book review, All the Devils are Here, by crime fiction author, Louise Penny, is now up on the In Review website.
Readers are raving about the captivating book "17th Century Tottenville History Comes Alive". They describe it as highly informative and exceptionally well-written. 📚✨ Don't miss out on this must-read! You can find it on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08WK2LD44/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=angimangfreew-20&creative=9325&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B08WK2LD44&linkId=a5f0974d1acf9dbc96e2c9444b857692. Share your thoughts with the hashtags #BookReview #History #Tottenville #MustRead.
Hi all! Quick announcement, I turned my book reviews into a podcast. So, if you find yourself wanting a new podcast, about books...
Let me know what you're reading!
Review of Harvesting freedom: The life of a migrant worker in Canada by Gabriel Allahdua
Reviewed by Noura Nasser
#OpenScholarship from CFS!
Review - Around the World in 80 Trees, by Jonathan Drori, illustrated by Lucille Clerc: a beautiful and enthusiastic volume, which I enjoyed even more than the one about plants. Rating: 5/5 ("loved it").
Over at the Chicago Review of Books I looked at Zahra Hankir's Eyeliner: A Cultural History.
#bookreview #review #book #history
I recently finished "All hell breaks loose" the prequel book about Skullduggery Pleasant. A Y/A supernatural mystery series of books.
It started a bit slow but towards the end I started to see it's potential. I always prefer a series that gets better and better the deeper I get into it.
📚'Set in the salt marshes of Norfolk'. Rosie's #BookReview of The Crossing Places (book #1 in the Dr Ruth Galloway mystery series) by Elly Griffiths.
https://rosieamber.wordpress.com/2023/11/29/%f0%9f%93%9aset-in-the-salt-marshes-of-norfolk-rosies-bookreview-of-the-crossing-places-book-1-in-the-dr-ruth-galloway-mystery-series-by-elly-griffiths/ #ARuthGallowayMystery, #BooksByEllyGriffiths, #BooksInTheRuthGallowaySeriesOfCrimeFiction, #CrimeFictionSeries, #MysterySeries, #TheCrossingPlacesByEllyGrifiths
My review of Conan - Lord of the Mount is up at Grimdark Magazine! It wasn’t quite the caliber of story I was hoping for given Stephen Graham Jones as author, but I think it was valuable as an experiment.
(As always, boosts are appreciated!)
This story of two people having a strong but difficult connection to each other was really exhausting at times. It's really annoying to see how they just cannot properly communicate with each other 😅
Anyway, do recommend this #book, although it can be depressing at times
4 of 5 stars for Starter Villain, by John Scalzi
Baumgartner, by Paul Auster
Baumgartner by Paul Auster
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Let’s start with the good: Paul Auster still is a great author and his mastery of language is second to none. He is extremely empathetic...
Review - Cold Clay, by Juneau Black: the second book of a series of mostly cosy mysteries where the twist is that all the characters are animals living in a town together peacefully. Well, mostly peacefully. Until a dead body is dug up, anyway. I had a lot of fun, and this series helped to break my streak of not being able to read. The mystery was predictable, though. Rating: 4/5 ("really liked it").
Born to Be Badger by Shelly Laurenston is out today, in case you're in a mood for totally bonkers urban fantasy/paranormal romance. My review: https://susannashore.blogspot.com/2023/11/born-to-be-badger-by-shelly-laurenston.html
I only just picked up my copy two days ago. I had seen the video about how Bill Watterson and John Kascht had spent years figuring out not just how to make this book, but how to even rectify their apparently incompatible styles and methods. The story of two folks who one assumes must be friends (and if not friends, clearly had a lot of respect and admiration for each other) who spent years banging their heads against a wall together and somehow managed to not bang heads too hard against each other is remarkable. The story of this book could almost overshadow the book itself...
Except the book is very, very good. Given what I had heard going in, "An adult fable, a picture book, with an aggressively stylized aesthetic," I was worried I would enjoy it, find it charming and something nice to look at, but somehow inescapably trite. Instead I found my anxieties mirrored and acknowledged, and told to remember we are all dust. Not an original meditation, but a gorgeous attempt at rendering it.
I'm not going too in-depth on the "narrative" here, or what I think one should take from it. It's just an incredibly brief parable of human social evolution (I'd say "social progress" but whether or not that is debatable is, at least from the narrative's timeline, irrelevant). This is mostly a visual piece.
The book feels like a collection of... almost colloidion photography, with it's concrete starkness that sublimates into a dark etherealness. Everything has the feel of long shutter speeds and slow emulsions, a moment caught in molasses instead of film. The stark shift from John's eye for detail and Bill's efficient abstraction likely punches this effect up considerably. I'm not someone who knows much about art, but I've always fallen for it more when it heavily intersects with craft. And these images were absolutely crafted. If I'm ever in a situation where I could have wall art, I would deeply like prints of a few of the pages from this book... but given Bill's history with merchandising, I don't see that happening in any official capacity. I'm also loathe to the idea of any one of these pages out of it's context.
As I've said, it's not a new meditation, but the book made me revisit it. Upon reading it again it lay in my lap on the last page for a spell while I reflected on how... insignificant? temporary? doomed? we all are. How we could fix everything tomorrow and we'd still be one weird solar flare, one big rock, one... Mystery away from having nothing to fix ever again. It's definitely very nihilist. Big doomer vibes. I don't think that makes it inherently toxic. I think we need the space to talk about the sucking hole in many of us that have grown up relatively comfortable in a world with horrors, a pit in our stomach that grows as we watch the bubble that insulated us from those horrors crumble more and more every day... We could build a better world, but this one has a bed for me, a functional kitchen, and lots of mindless stuff for me to consume in between work shifts. What little comfort (or "control") I have took a lot of "labor" to "earn." We could just fuck up this world and I wouldn't be comfy anymore and that would be awful. So time passes and becomes a weird soup, and next thing I know I’ve spent a decade just existing. At this rate the rest of my life will just be an indistinct blur into the grave. But that’s only a helpful realization if you are able to relinquish some of your comfort to change the tempo. The narrative provides no recommendations.
This is where the craft steps in and saves it. I can only imagine the myriad conversations between the two artists as they learned how to work with each other, and the solitary satisfaction of working on an individual component for the whole. Of being a speck of dust in a mote and deciding what your purpose is in that day, what you are going to work on for yourself, for your friend, for your partner, for your family, for your community… What you are going to do in spite of knowing on a long enough timeline nothing we do matters… The craft answers what the narrative cannot.
I've been an ostrich for the past... however long. There was a moment there where the cracks in the corporate internet looked like everything was about to come tumbling down, and with it the Death of Capitalism! and we'd all just be sassy anarchist trash animals dancing in the flames... But we're in a slow crumble, not a cathartic collapse. I felt keyed up and ready to fuck shit up, but I didn't know what to throw rocks at, and so I didn't, and in the meantime I still got bills and people I care about so I guess I'll just keep going to work until something changes. Things do change... But never in the “right” way. So now I'm in a rut that feels like it has all of us, where I'm constantly tired, barely making ends meet, and unable to do anything with my life aside from work and maintain myself so I can still work.
I wasn't supposed to come back online for the first time in months to run off on my usual, literally tired rant. I was supposed to come on to tell you to read "The Mysteries" if you haven't already.
"Account Rendered" Melita Maschmann. 4 stars. Autobiography of a woman who was a committed & diligent National Socialist (#Nazi), of her experience in youth work & propaganda, and her journey coming to terms with the truth of what she participated in. Description of the clinical dispossession of the Poles is disturbing (and new to me), as is the readiness with which everyday mediocre people were led into misguided beliefs, alternative facts & constrained thinking, to do prosaic work which had horrifyingly evil outcomes.
Reading time 11 days, 26 pages/day
Review of "Account Rendered" (4 stars): A cog in the Nazi machine
My novel The Heron Kings Rampant still only has five reviews 😢
You can help by grabbing your FREE review copy today at BookSirens!
#fantasy #gaslamp #gaslampfantasy #amwriting #amwritingfantasy #wip #bookstagram #bookstagrammer #writingcommunity #read #reading #readersofinstagram #bookboost #bookreview #bookrecommendations #indieauthors #kindle #reviewcopy
#arcreaderswanted #bookstoread #free #freebook #freebooks #bookstodon
Fantasy Worth Reading: Something from the Nightside #BookReview #fantasybooks - M. Pax https://www.mpaxauthor.com/fantasy-worth-reading-something-from-the-nightside-bookreview-fantasybooks/
Review - Settling Scores, ed. Martin Edwards: a nice collection of classic crime/mystery stories based around the theme of sport. As ever, it's a varied collection in terms of interest, but it becomes an interesting cross-section in totality. Rating: 3/5 stars ("liked it").
New sapphic audiobook review! Rabbits of the Apocalypse by Benny Lawrence, narrated by Blair Baker
My review of the audiobook The Greater Journey: American in Paris by David McCullough – 19th Century Cultural Mecca #19thcenturyParis #bookreview #ElizabethBlackwell #FrancoPrussianWar #HarrietBeecherStowe #JamesFenimoreCooper #MaryCassat #OliverWendellHolmes
Review of Chocolate: How a New World commodity conquered Spanish literature by Erin Alice Cowling
Reviewed by Aqeel Ihsan
#OpenScholarship from Canadian Food Studies (CFS).
'Rolltown' takes aim at the fallacy of the utopia.
In Vienna: How the City of Ideas Created the Modern World... argues that Vienna has had an outsize—and under-acknowledged—impact on Western thought. In his telling, thinkers who grew up in the intellectual climate of pre-World War I Vienna and the fiery, change-filled 1920s and ‘30s have planted the seeds of the city’s ideas across the Western world. #history #Austria #Vienna #Europe #BookReview https://foreignpolicy.com/2023/11/25/vienna-intellectual-history-modern-west-austria-european-thought/
A LONG-FORGOTTEN LITERARY GEM from 1938, reissued in a sumptuous new edition. Beautifully stark modernist novel traces the gradual diminution of a woman’s life with pitiless clarity. A MINUS
New sapphic book review! Her Princess at Midnight by Erica Ridley
Review - In Miniature, by Simon Garfield: a book about loving the small things... no, not a gratitude type thing, but literal small things like tiny books, replica battleships made of matchsticks, etc. I found it pretty enchanting, though not always in the places I expected. Rating: 4/5 ("really liked it").
Impossible murders! Du Maurier vibes! Sexism and vindication! Find out more about Robin Vicary's The Society of Intelligent Murderers in my review at https://abookishtype.wordpress.com/2023/11/25/the-society-of-intelligent-murderers-by-robin-vicary/
Review - Ogres, by Adrian Tchaikovsky: a well-put-together book that I appreciated without quite enjoying. I did like the way the POV was done. Rating: 3/5 ("liked it").
Full review: https://breathesbooks.com/2023/11/25/review-ogres/
One of the more challenging parts of my current book release is being ghosted by most #ARC readers, at least compared to my other books. So I’d like to turn to the #fediverse and ask if there is anyone out there who would like to receive an ARC copy of my young adult book in exchange for a #bookreview before it comes out next week? #review #bookblog #authorsofmastodon #author #reviewer #writingcommunity #books #bookstodon @bookstodon
THE FAMILY THAT SLEUTHS TOGETHER…finds out more about themselves and each other in this charming, engrossing California murder mystery starring three generations of smart, sharp women solving a complicated crime. B PLUS
Okay, I have officially given up on trying to learn anything from the Idiot's Guide to To Throwing A Great Party. I have zero faith in any advice in there, since they recommended a "Minstrel Party" and singing Suwanee River for an ideal Memorial Day BBQ party. I'm thinking I don't care what you say is the faux pas of using an appetizer fork instead of a dessert fork is if you're busy recommending with a racist garden party in the backyard... #bookreview
New sapphic book review! Wind In Her Hair (The Coin of Love Series) by Karin Kallmaker
Two reviews for the price of one!
Wallace, Darwin, and the Origin of Species is a detailed and even-handed analysis that convincingly argues why Wallace deserves recognition as the co-discoverer of the theory of evolution.
Two reviews for the price of one!
On the Organic Law of Change is a lovingly produced annotated transcription of Wallace's Species Notebook that shows why he deserves recognition as the co-discoverer of the theory of evolution.
Unethical surgeons! Hungry mermaids! A surprising love story! Find out more about Cassandra Khaw's shockingly affecting novella, The Salt Grows Heavy, in my review at https://abookishtype.wordpress.com/2023/11/23/the-salt-grows-heavy-by-cassandra-khaw/
A SPIRITUALIST’S WIFE STRUGGLES to come to terms with her husband’s new world of séances and “readings”—and fears he’ll find out some of her own secrets. Lush evocation of post-World War I Scotland and the frenzies of Jazz Age society. B PLUS
Review - The One Hundred Nights of Hero, by Isabel Greenberg: I enjoyed this style, though I sometimes found details/flow hard to follow (no doubt influenced by the fact that I'm not very good at discerning visual details anyway). It's a fun take on the Scheherazade type story. Rating: 4/5 ("really liked it").
#BookReview for Jesus, Interrupted: Revealing the Hidden Contradictions in the Bible" by Bart D. Ehrman
Shares the issues with the Bible pastors are taught but don't tell their congregations. The Bible is contradictory. It's not written by who you thought. Modern Christian beliefs occurred centuries later with wildly different doctrines competing.
If you think the Bible is the inerrant word of God, you need to read this. I wish I knew this when I was in church.
Why the Mass Protest Decade of 2010-2020 Left Us with a ‘Missing Revolution’
The 'missing revolution' is reason enough to interrogate the fizz and the fury behind people pouring onto the streets. It is time to ask some tough questions about why so little changed, if there was so much heat and noise. Seema Chishti reviews Vincent Bevin's If We Burn.
We're thrilled to share our Editorial Book Review of
🌟In the Shadow of the Pyrenees: The Freedom Trail to Spain by Kathryn Gauci🌟
"A captivating and thought-provoking read"
My latest book review is up: Born to Be Badger by Shelly Laurenston. As bonkers and violent as ever. Very entertaining. https://susannashore.blogspot.com/2023/11/born-to-be-badger-by-shelly-laurenston.html
Cross-dressing! Comically overly elaborate schemes! Too many birds and milkmaids! Find out more about the gently charming novel, The Lost Books, by Mo Conlan, on my blog at https://abookishtype.wordpress.com/2023/11/21/the-lost-books-by-mo-conlan/
'Geospatial Analysis With SQL', B.P. McClain, 2022
[I received a new version of this book - and so wanted to repost my original review]
https://post.news/@/kiwiincolorado/2YW3DEvvhqnlEmAbw2ej6QEWbHH <-- my (solicited) technical book review
#GIS #spatial #mapping #BookTwitter #bookreview #review #technicalbook #book #PostGIS #PostgreSQL #geospatial #analysis #SQL #opensource #gischat #spatialstatistics #QGIS #geography @datamongerbonny @PacktPublishing
[disclaimers – (i) a publisher’s representative solicited a review of this book and provided an e-book version for that purpose but no recompense, (ii) this is my impartial, personal review - and hence is not an endorsement by my employer, implicit or otherwise.]
New sapphic book review! Magdalene Nox by Milena McKay
hey folks - i'm compiling a list of reviewers who may be interested in receiving an eARC (advanced reading copy) of The Lantern and the Night Moths for reviewing purposes!! let me know if you're interested? 🏮🦋
Review - Three Kings, by Freydís Moon: a tender m/m/m story where one of the main characters is trans. This won't be 100% for everyone as it features a trans man trying to get pregnant, and I know that triggers dysphoria for some, but I found it handled the topic sensitively, and approached the relationships carefully. It got just a bit rushed for me, but I enjoyed it. Rating: 4/5 ("really liked it").
A FAMILY’S DEEPEST SECRETS are brought to light in this ambitious, poetic memoir. In a mix of recollection and recreation, the author uses her uncle’s conviction for art forgery as the lens through which to examine a family in flight from truth. B PLUS
#BookReview for "Godless: How an Evangelical Preacher Became One of America's Leading Atheists" by Dan Barker
Powerful personal story, and a great deal of evidence against the Bible. Some of the arguments I found confusing or unconvincing, but most is very powerful and convincing. Once you get a scholar's perspective on the Bible, it's hard to see how anyone can take it seriously.
Guys, my Palon novella (free prequel for Windward) got these amazing reviews yesterday/today! Check them out:
https://www.instagram.com/p/CzV-4lZr7va/ -- in the voice of Laura (a lovely blogger on Instagram) (or on GR: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/5602636254 )
https://www.instagram.com/p/CzWCi1yLJbC/ -- in the voice of Jeff the Dragon (which is hilarious, + I had to laugh because all of Jeff's questions are answered in the first chapter of Windward!)
Grab a copy for yourself here: https://www.skaeth.com/free-books/
I am now picking up Giles Yeo's book "Calories don't Count".
I am on page 220 of 268.
Typically I read 5 to 10 pages at a time - and deeply internalise what I'm reading - checking the internet occasionally to understand clever English vocab, scientific terms, or to get background on Academics, Corporations or other books he's mentioned.
🆕 blog! “Book Review: The Twilight of the British Empire - British Intelligence and Counter-Subversion in the Middle East, 1948–63 by Chikara Hashimoto”
As the Middle-East convulses in yet another bloody war, and with no end in sight to the barbarity, we're all looking for a way t…
Thank you to Dr. Joan Naidorf for this #bookreview!
"In a system that runs for profit and is controlled mightily by corporate interests, Lycette’s tale of the depersonalization of health care is chilling indeed. It also reaffirms that the vision and work of physicians and nurses who truly care and work to change the system can win the day. 'The Algorithm Will See You Now' will keep you reading long past your bedtime."
🆕 blog! “Book Review: Selected Stories of Philip K. Dick”
Imagine a world with inter-city rockets, where tourists still use film cameras. Where self-driving trucks sport a wide array of sensor apparatus and record all their data onto miles of magnetic tape. Where the latest Androids are life-like and can perfectly clone a dead man's speech, yet are powered by punch…
Book Review: Selected Stories of Philip K. Dick
Imagine a world with inter-city rockets, where tourists still use film cameras. Where self-driving trucks sport a wide array of sensor apparatus and record all their data onto miles of magnetic tape. Where the latest Androids are life-like and can perfectly clone a dead man's speech, yet are powered by punch-cards. People make video calls from public booths which eagerly accept coins as payment.
At the heart of nearly every story is paranoia and poor mental health. Perhaps I am a robot? Or perhaps there is a conspiracy against me? Or perhaps the aliens really have invaded? But... What if it is all in my mind?
Women - what little there are of them - are crude caricatures. The robots get better lines and more realistic motivations.
You have to remember that these are cheap pulp stories. Designed for manly-men who can't go five minutes without a cigarette.
The stories are a mixed bag. Some high-concept sci-fi which have been butchered into equally pulpy films. Others - like Roog are just bizarre.
And yet, throughout, there's a very definite sense of what the future will be. How was this man able to predict security fuzzing?
It's a semantic garble—the factory won't be able to understand it. Maybe we can jam the works
Or that TVs would be able to do facial recognition?
With a groan, Chien rose to his feet, bowed the mandatory bow of response; each TV set came equipped with monitoring devices to narrate to the Secpol, the Security Police, whether its owner was bowing and/or watching.
Every story is peppered with details like this. But, to my mind, it is "The Exit Door Leads In" which has the most predictive power in a few short pages. Going from the mundane nature of robots:
Bibleman had to order lunch from robots, since vending ranked too low on the wage scale to attract humans.
To the total prevalence of loot boxes:
You want to buy into this week's contest while you're waiting?
All the way through LLMs and automated commerce:
Bibleman's older brother had once fed a ten-word plot outline into a robot fiction machine, changed his mind as to the outcome, and found that the novel was already in print. He had had to program a sequel in order to make his correction.
Pick up a bunch of PKD stories - any collection will do - and gasp in wonder at his imagination.
I read a lot of non fiction books.
Today, I did another 20 pages of "Calories don't Count" by Giles Yeo.
And I found myself asking "when you get to the end of a book, how do you know if you've read a good book?"
Would love to hear your thoughts!
Anyway, bed time, I won't be able to continue the chat until tomorrow . .
Small Gods is a masterful fantasy comic satire on religious institutions, religious fundamentalism, philosophy, and the weaponisation of religious fanaticism for political power, set in the Discworld. It explores how religious beliefs and faith shift and change over time, from being centred on the deity to being centred on the religious institution itself. Rereading this was an absolute joy!
@bookstodon #SmallGods #terrypratchett #bookreview #reading #books #discworld
'A Volga Tale' by Guzel Yakhina is a richly imagined and beautifully written novel that tells of a people, of a little man in Big History, of relationships between fathers and children, of the love and dangers of language, and of a river that runs through it all.
#BookReview #reading #books #HistoricalFiction @bookstodon
New book review! In honour of the spookiest month, a spooky review... 👻
"Part of me wishes that I’d read this tiny novella in October because I couldn’t imagine a story more perfect for the spookiest of months than What Moves The Dead. Instead, I read this in the height of summer and it’s a testament to the atmospheric writing that even in the warm August sun, this story chilled me to the bone..."
I'm back with a review of a thoughtful novel of a Norwegian doctor who imploded her life with one text and a string of bad decisions. Find out more in my review of Natural Causes, by Nina Lykke: https://abookishtype.wordpress.com/2023/10/16/natural-causes-by-nina-lykke/
With devastating clarity, the #Jerusalem-based journalist shows how one family’s disaster illuminates the complex tragedy of #Israel and #Palestine
Can't remember who posted this, & the review is 2 years old, but I now want to read the book.
"The single greatest obstacle to gender equality in the U.S. is the 'time bind' created by what she calls 'greedy work': jobs that demand huge quantities of their employees’ time, energy, and humanity..."
🆕 blog! “Book Review: The Cuckoo's Egg - Clifford Stoll”
This book is outstanding. It's the mid 1980s, you're administrating a nascent fleet of UNIX boxen, and you are tasked with accounting for a 75¢ billing discrepancy. Naturally that eventually leads into an international conspiracy involving the FBI, NSA, and an excellent recipe for chocolate chip cookies. It is…
Book Review: The Cuckoo's Egg - Clifford Stoll
This book is outstanding. It's the mid 1980s, you're administrating a nascent fleet of UNIX boxen, and you are tasked with accounting for a 75¢ billing discrepancy.
Naturally that eventually leads into an international conspiracy involving the FBI, NSA, and an excellent recipe for chocolate chip cookies. It is a fast paced, high-tension, page turner. There's also a sweet moral core to the story - as well as the somewhat saddening death of naïvety.
It's hard to overstate just how fun this book is. Yes, with the benefit of hindsight running unpatched machines and letting any old hippy connect to them was always going to be a security nightmare. But some of the problems faced by those early pioneers are still present today.
Default passwords, unmonitored systems, uninterested law enforcement, dictionary attacks, buggy permissions, the moral quandary of responsible disclosure - it's all in here.
Of course, there are a few bits which look pretty dated now. Especially some of the attitudes to online privacy:
“You’re not the government, so you don’t need a search warrant. The worst it would be is invasion of privacy. And people dialing up a computer probably have no right to insist that the system’s owner not look over their shoulder. So I don’t see why you can’t.”
It's also nice seeing how internecine warfare between hackers has barely evolved:
From long tradition, astronomers have programmed in Fortran, so I wasn’t surprised when Dave gave me the hairy eyeball for using such an antiquated language. He challenged me to use the C language
VI was predecessor to hundreds of word processing systems. By now, Unix folks see it as a bit stodgy—it hasn’t the versatility of Gnu-Emacs, nor the friendliness of more modern editors. Despite that, VI shows up on every Unix system.
There's some deep wisdom in there for any programmer to reflect on:
If people built houses the way we write programs, the first woodpecker would wipe out civilization.
I urge anyone with an interest in computer security to read it. There's a huge amount of entertaining history in there - and plenty of lessons that we still need to learn.
Artist and writer Leonora Carrington is the subject of 'Surreal Spaces' by Joanna Moorhead a visually beautiful book that is a combination of biography, record of the author's conversations with the artist, and an exploration of the places Carrington moved through during her life. It's an intriguing look at a fascinating woman and artist.
Laura Sims takes us on a wild ride in How Can I Help You?, a novel set in a public library where the oddball patrons are the least of your worries. Learn more in my review at https://abookishtype.wordpress.com/2023/10/06/how-can-i-help-you-by-laura-sims/