Now Showing

RoguesNow Showing by Connie Willis
My rating: 2 out of 5 stars

Lindsay loves old movies and enjoys good movies, as did her former boyfriend Jack before he got expelled just before he graduated. After months of not going to the Movie Drome, she’s convinced by her friends to watch some movies but she only agrees if they actually watch movies. It turns out Lindsay is a rare individual in this near-future world of 100 screen movie theaters, someone who actually wants to watch films not go to all the movie-themed restaurants and stores housed in the Drome. When she bumps into Jack, Lindsay’s evening is basically shot and she learns about a conspiracy of fraud. But while the mysterious intrigues of the Drome are interesting to explore, Lindsay letting herself be treated like all ladies that “date” scoundrels in movies undermines everything. For over half the story, I wanted Lindsay to sucker punch Jack but instead they had sex while Jack got some evidence of his fraud conspiracy. My rating is more of the ideas and the detailing the near-future world than the story and characters.

How the Marquis Got His Coat Back (Neverwhere)

RoguesHow the Marquis Got His Coat Back by Neil Gaiman
My rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

The Marquis de Carabas died, but he’s currently getting better though when he came to his coat was gone. The Marquis begins searching throughout London Below, however he has to contend with various consequences to his past actions. Yet while dealing with those consequences, the Marquis uses the actions of others to his own advantage to get out of scraps and eventually get his coat back. Although the reader probably needs to read Neverwhere to get a better idea of the world, Gaiman adequately gives the reader a sense of London Below but not as good as some other authors have done which is why the rating is a little low.

2017 Reading Plan (May Update)

The end of May marks my One-Year Anniversary on WordPress!

I completed only 4 books this past month to bring my total to 27, however given that to reach my goal of 40 total books this year I needed to reach at least 4 books in a month four times I happy with the number.  Only one of the books, Sabbath Roots, was a reread which brings my total to 3 so the others are all “first-time” reads.

May is also the month in which I published the most posts ever in any forum I’ve written on, which I believe is 27.  It helped that The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and Rogues were omnibus/anthology collections that allowed me to review each story, but still that is a lot of posts and I must say a little impressive for me.

Besides continuing with Rogues to finish it off and then continue with my list below, I need to make a dent in Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass (First Edition & Death-Bed Edition) which sadly I hardly read this month.  Given the book is around 930 pages that is bad, I can’t let his work by like my multi-year reading of Robert Frost.  And I need to write my “What If?” entry that I’ve been planning to do since I started this blog because soon I’m going to need to write a little essay on why I’m (re)reading Zecharia Sitchin before I start.

That’s all for this month, talk to you later.

Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes Saavendra
The Acts of the Apostles by Ellen G. White*
Centuries of Change by Ian Mortimer
Dangerous Women 1 edited by George R.R. Martin (The Princess and the Queen)
The Great Controversy by Ellen G. White*
In Search of the Golden Rainbow by Charles Armistead*
Lighter of Gospel Fires by Ella M. Robinson*
The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Vol. 2 by Edward Gibbon
A Bold One for God by Charles G. Edwards*
Scars of Independence by Holger Hoock
Blood Stain (Volume Two) by Linda Sejic*
Herald of the Midnight Cry by Paul A. Gordon*
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents (Discworld #28) by Terry Pratchett
Home to Our Valleys! by Walter Utt*
Sailing the Wine-Dark Sea (Hinges #4) by Thomas Cahill- REREAD
Prairie Boy by Harry Baerg*
Blood Brothers by Philip Samaan*
The Millennium Bug by Jon Paulien*- REREAD
The Collected Poems of Emily Dickinson*
National Sunday Law by A. Jan Marcussen*
The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Vol. 3 by Edward Gibbon
The New World Order by Russell Burrill*
The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
Sabbath Roots by Charles E. Bradford*-REREAD
Night Watch (Discworld #29) by Terry Pratchett
The Antichrist and the New World Order by Marvin Moore*
Rogues edited by George R.R. Martin (The Rogue Prince)
Travels with Charley: In Search of America by John Steinbeck
The Iliad and The Odyssey by Homer
The Wee Free Men (Discworld #30) by Terry Pratchett
Mysteries of the Middle Ages (Hinges #5) by Thomas Cahill- REREAD
Heretics and Heroes (Hinges #6) by Thomas Cahill
Edgar Allan Poe: Complete Tales and Poems by Edgar Allan Poe
Monstrous Regiment (Discworld #31) by Terry Pratchett
The 12th Planet (Earth Chronicles #1) by Zecharia Sitchin- REREAD
Christianity by Roland H. Bainton
The Underdogs by Mariano Azuela
A Hat Full of Sky (Discworld #32) by Terry Pratchett
Op-Center (Op-Center #1) by Jeff Roven- REREAD
The Republic by Plato
Gilgamesh
Going Postal (Discworld #33) by Terry Pratchett
The Stairway to Heaven (Earth Chronicles #2) by Zecharia Sitchin- REREAD
Evita: The Real Life of Eva Peron by Nicholas Fraser
Beowulf
Thud! (Discworld #34) by Terry Pratchett
Mirror Image (Op-Center #2) by Jeff Rovin- REREAD
A Brief History of Seventh-day Adventists by George R. Knight
Foundation (Foundation #1) by Isaac Asimov
Wintersmith (Discowrld #35) by Terry Pratchett
The Wars of Gods and Men (Earth Chronicles #3) by Zecharia Sitchin- REREAD
Politics by Aristotle
Foundation and Empire (Foundation #2) by Isaac Asimov
Making Money (Discworld #36) by Terry Pratchett
Games of State (Op-Center #3) by Jeff Rovin- REREAD

The Division of Christendom by Hans J. Hillerbrand (October 2017)
Reformations: The Early Modern World, 1450-1650 by Carlos M.N. Eire (October 2017)

* = home read

The Curious Affair of the Dead Wives

RoguesThe Curious Affair of the Dead Wives by Lisa Tuttle
My rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Miss Lane interviews a new client, a little girl named Felicity who has seen her dead older half-sister (Alcinda) standing above her mother’s grave before being pulled away by a disagreeable gentleman who scared her. Although Lane isn’t hopeful after receiving the dead half-sister’s diary, her partner Mr. Jasper Jesperson seems intrigued by coded message that the half-sister left at the end of the diary that he decoded. The two detectives journey to the dead young woman’s cemetery and end up at her undertaker’s home in which they find mother and several “wives” including the unfortunate Alcinda who they rescue. Yet at the end of the story, even the protagonists wonder who the real rogue was in the case. This little mystery was a nice change of pace within the anthology as well homage to Doyle’s Holmes and Watson with a unique twist. I only wish there was more story to the story.

The Caravan to Nowhere (Tales of Alaric the Minstrel)

RoguesThe Caravan to Nowhere by Phyllis Eisenstein
My rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars

Alaric the Minstrel is hired to join a merchant caravan across the desert to perform entertainment for the men, but from the start his employer warns him about his own son. It turns out the young man is unbalanced, wanting to chase after the mirage of the “Lost City” but is always looked after by his father as well as his men. However, both Alaric and the merchant learn that some of the men are upset at this arrangement and one looks to take over the trade of a very valuable drug as well as getting rid of the kid. Alaric’s ability comes in handy to save not only his life the merchant’s as well, but the merchant’s son is left to chase after his life’s pursuit. The story was fine and upon finishing a tad predictable, but there wasn’t really a “roguish” feel to it though.

Diamonds from Tequila

RoguesDiamonds from Tequila by Walter Jon Williams
My rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Sean Makin, a former child-star who suffers from a physical deformity, is shooting his feature film in Mexico along side his “tabloid girlfriend”. However, things suddenly go south when he finds his “girlfriend” dead in her room and film’s production & quality is put in jeopardy. Sean finds himself navigating Mexican authorities, DEA agents, and a shadowy prop assistant who has found ingenious uses for a 3D printer. Sean finds himself bribing local Mexican police to shot at windows then meeting a drug lord and then confront the man who accidentally killed his “girlfriend” to extort money from his corporate employers in an effort to save his one shot at a stable acting career. The story features several types of rogues and is very good, but sections of Sean’s thoughts require you to have read Williams’ book The Fourth Wall which lowered the rating.

A Cargo of Ivories (Sir Hereward and Mister Fitz)

RoguesA Cargo of Ivories by Garth Nix
My rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Sir Hereward and Mr. Fitz break into a home of wizard-merchant and suddenly find their plan to take 14 ivory figurines that anchored godlets to the mortal plane into safekeeping upended. These two rogues find themselves up against a rogue young thief and a rogue goblet that has taken possession of the unfortunate wizard-merchant. The story rapidly proceeds from the mansion of the unfortunate merchant to the city’s centuries-old ceremonial ship that starts to come apart as it goes against the tide and wind. I have been wanting to read Nix for a while, mainly his Abhorsen series, but having been introduced to Hereward and Fitz as well I need to read the other stories they’re involved in. A cast of rogues of one variety or another, action-packed, and wonderful world building throughout for those unfamiliar with the world that doesn’t slow the story. It just adds up to a fantastic story.