Thursday, August 31, 2017

61:120 Wit and Wisdom of Disney edited by Emily Osborn

A small collection of quotes from Walt Disney but many more from Disney movies, many of which were done after Walt's death.  It's a sweet little collection.

Page count: 71p/12,644p ytd/283,748p lifetime

60:120 Doctor Who: Snowglobe 7 by Mike Tucker

Written with 10th Doctor (David Tennant) and companion Martha (Freema Agyeman).  The Doctor has promised Martha a nice relaxing vacation on a warm beach somewhere but instead they end up inside a snowglobe on Earth, somewhere in the Middle East.  This is an attempt by humans to preserve this type of habitat from global warming but has turned instead into more of a series of posh ski resorts for the wealthy.  That is, until a creature from another world who was living in the ice that they saved out of the Arctic wakes up and decides that it's time for it to remake the world for itself and it's offspring. Now Martha and the Doctor will need every trick they can muster to save the humans on the planet from extinction.

I liked the story a lot. I thought it was well executed and the voice of the Doctor was definitely captured.  There were twists and turns and I could definitely see this as an actual episode so hats off for that. Unfortunately, I felt that Martha was the weak link. I really enjoyed her character and I could not hear her voice in my head at all. It seemed like this could have been any random person the Doctor had picked up and there would have been no difference at all in the relationship or the dialog from her character.

Page count: 255p/12,573p ytd/283,677p lifetime

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

59:120 Why Civil Resistance Works: The Strategic Logic of Nonviolent Conflict by Erica Chenoweth & Maria J. Stephan

An in-depth study and analysis of how successful nonviolent and violent campaigns are historically.  The thesis is that non-violent campaigns are more successful at achieving their results long-term and since they were looking mostly at regime changes, ending up in a more democratic government as well.  They reviewed campaigns going back to 1900 and wrote about 4 specific case studies in the book to illustrate specific points (Iran, Philippines, Burma, and Israel/Palestine).  Their conclusion is that non-violent campaigns are more successful for a variety of reasons (which they do go into fairly deeply) than violent ones and have a better outcome over 5-10 years after.

I read this for book club but admit to this being something I'm interested in for a variety of reasons.  Most of which have to do with learning more history about other countries around the world and how different types of governments work and don't work and how the people react to them when they don't work for the people.  That being said, this is definitely a text book and reads like I would imagine a doctoral thesis paper would, especially the first several chapters. It was dry and very difficult for a layperson like myself to get through. Once we got to the case studies, it was much more approachable and I really enjoyed seeing how these events unfolded especially since they either happened before I was born or when I was young enough to not really be paying attention to the  world outside my neighborhood. I vaguely remember something happening in the Philippines and the talk about Imelda Marcos's shoes but that's really it. I know a little about what is going on in Israel and Palestine and I have a very basic understanding of the root issues and while this didn't go much into all that, it was interesting to see some of what has happened there over the years.

Page count: 320p/12,318p ytd/283,322p lifetime

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

58:120 House of Light by Mary Oliver

A book of poems which my high school junior will be reading a handful of for his English class this year, so of course I read the whole thing.

The poems were very nature oriented with a feeling of reverence surrounding it. I generally felt at peace reading many of them, as it seemed to be a free-flowing stream of conscience noticing the world around oneself.  I have a feeling that I will end up reading this book again for deeper and deeper meanings.

Page count: 80p/11,998p ytd/283,002p lifetime

Sunday, August 13, 2017

57:120 Wreck the Halls by Faye Larson

Keiran has had it with the holidays. He's single and now out of work so he does what anyone would do and heads to the corner market for some eggnog to make himself feel better and try to get some semblance of the holiday spirit.  Instead, he thwarts some sort of sick weirdo but now he's in his own trouble when Santa (well, not the real Santa but some guy in a red suit) comes and between the two of them, they manage to turn the situation around, and then some.

Cute little hook-up story with a sweet ending. For the record, I know the author and was given a copy with no expectation of review or payment.

Page count: 20p/11,918p ytd/282,922p lifetime

Friday, August 11, 2017

56:120 Wings of Fire: Winglets #4 Runaway by Tui T. Sutherland

Another short story in the Wings of Fire series. This one tells the story of how Darkstalker's parents met.  Prince Arctic of the Icewings was not enjoying being a prince or an animus. He couldn't stand the dragon that had been chosen as his fiance or his mother telling him what the big thing he will make for the tribe with his animus powers will be.  He wants to make his own choices and he is fuming about this when he runs into one of the Nightwing representatives, Foeslayer. All of a sudden, here is a dragon who doesn't care that he is a Prince or how he is supposed to behave or the ranking boards or anything else he has been told is all that should matter. How can he not fall in love?

A basic star-crossed lovers story although in this case, we know the lovers end up together with children in the future but it does provide some interesting history for Darkstalker.

Page count: 52p/11,898p ytd/285,902p lifetime

Thursday, August 10, 2017

55:120 Cabbages and Kings by Seanan McGuire

A series of letters between two lovers who seem to be Fae royalty who have been promised to others and who are prepared to turn the world upside down to be with each other.

Suggestion, don't mess with Fae royalty.

A patreon story by Seanan McGuire. This one doesn't seem to necessarily be set in any particular world (maybe Toby but maybe not) but was definitely enjoyable.

Page count: 15p/11,846p ytd/285,850p lifetime

54:120 Written in Blood by Faye Larson

It's Victorian London and there are certain vices one simply doesn't talk about, even when in a brothel. Thierry has managed to yet again escape out the back after his friends drag him to one because the ladies there simply don't light a fire in him but the handsome stranger who catches a cab with him? That's an entirely different matter. Thierry does end up joining the stranger for an interlude that leads to much more than he could have ever dreamed.

Plot was basic but well executed even if it was fairly predictable with no real surprises. The interplay between the characters kept it fresh and interesting anyway and allowed it to be an enjoyable getaway from the real world for a bit.  For the record, I know the author and was given a copy with no expectation of review or payment.

Page count: 133p/11,831p ytd/285,850p lifetime

Sunday, August 6, 2017

53:120 Silence Fallen by Patricia Briggs

The 10th book in the Mercy Thompson series. Mercy has been taken by one of the meanest vampires ever from her home town and brought half-way across the world. However, like many before him, he underestimated her and she escaped but now she is wondering through Europe with no clothes, no money, no friends, and no way to contact Adam and the pack. Now she must find a way to satisfy at least a few of those and when she gets a hold of a pack member, she finds out that Adam is now in Sicily negotiating with the scary vampire and she is being directed to try and get protection from a werewolf pack whose Alpha hates Bran. Not a good place for a Coyote to be in but unfortunately not entirely unsurprising for Mercy either.

What can I say except I love these books and this may be the best one yet. The switching back and forth between Adam and Mercy to piece everything together worked beautifully. Mercy was resourceful and while things worked out for her in the long run, she had to work for a lot of it which made it more believable. There was some back story of other characters in this which was a nice touch to tie things together.  Now to wait impatiently for the next book in the series which I don't even think there is a release date for yet.  *pout*

Page count: 371p/11,698p ytd/285,717p lifetime