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In Praise of Bound Books


Book ShelfRight now I’m reading The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe. It is a memoir of his mother’s life after her diagnosis of pancreatic cancer that has spread. This is a terminal diagnosis. There are lots of thoughts to ponder in this book. This one tickles me and is a good definition:

“One of the many things I love about bound books is their sheer physicality. Electronic books are out of sight and out of mind. But printed books have body, presence. Sure, sometimes they’ll elude you by hiding in improbably places: in a box full of old picture frames, say, or in the laundry basket, wrapped in a sweatshirt. But at other times they’ll confront you, and you’ll literally stumble over some tomes you hadn’t thought about in weeks or years. I often seek electronic books, but they never come after me. They may make me feel, but I can’t feel them. They are all soul with no flesh, no texture, and no weight. They can get in your head but can’t whack you upside it.”

Book I often talk about the feel of holding a print book. An electronic book just isn’t the same. But that electronic book weighs less in the suitcase than five to ten print books. Plus I can get an electronic book any time I’m ready to start it, even if I purchase it or borrow it from the library at midnight. That print book, though, sits in that pile waiting for me, shows off its cover when I’m reaching for a different one in Mt. Bookpile, or has Nora Roberts’ or Jim Butcher’s or Connie Willis’  signature in it, or sits on the shelf showing off a complete series waiting for me to read it again (Are Amelia Peabody or James Herriot calling my name? When I have time…).

Schwalbe captured the feelings quite well.

Doctor Who and the Importance of Reading


Every Doctor Who fan knows that the Doctor believes in the power of books and reading. Us readers appreciate the different references. There is the giant library where the Doctor and Donna meet the shadows – and the Doctor meets River Song for his first time (and her last time). Clara gets trapped inside the Tardis when it is taken for salvage. She spends part of her time in the library, learning about the Doctor’s past.

Doctor WhoTonight, though, I’m rewatching “Angels Take Manhattan”. The Doctor is reading Melody Malone’s book to Amy when they realize it was written by River Song. She is trapped in 1930’s New York with Rory. Amy starts reading ahead to try to find Rory. The Doctor grabs the book away from her because it’s dangerous.

Amy: “It could help us find Rory.”

Doctor: “And if you read ahead and find that Rory dies? This isn’t any old future, Amy, it’s ours. Once we know it’s coming it’s fixed. I’m going to break something because you told me that I’m going to do it. No choice now.”

Amy: “Time can be rewritten.”Book Shelf

Doctor: “Not once you’ve read it. Once we know it’s coming it’s written in stone.”

Ah, the power of reading…

Win a Copy of M.Y.T.H. Quoted by Jody Lynn Nye

Jody Lynn Nye
Since it was founded, M.Y.T.H. Inc. has dealt with all manner of vile and evil creatures. But not even a magician of Skeeve’s caliber is prepared to face the most duplicitous monsters of all: politicians. Emo Weavil and his cousin Wilmer Weavil-Scuttil have been running for governor of the island of Bokromi—for five years. Their magickal mudslinging (literal and otherwise) strategies continue to postpone the election leaving the realm in a state of leaderless chaos.
Jody Lynn Nye is the author of over 40 books and 100 short stories. Myth-Quoted is Nye’s latest work in Robert Asprin’s “Myth Adventures” universe. She co-wrote a number of “Myth Adventures” with Asprin before continuing the series by herself after his 2008 death. The well-loved pun and humor-filled adventure series is in very capable hands and readers — both old and new to the series — are in for another fun ride with Myth-Quoted.
(above information from the publisher)
It’s been over 20 years since I read Another Fine Myth. My brother knew I’d like it – and he was right. (Of course I got him hooked on Piers Anthony’s Xanth series, so it may have been pay back). Over the years I’ve read more and bought even more of the Myth books (no, I still haven’t read them all). When I’m wandering in a bookstore or volunteer at the library and one of the series books shows up on the shelves, I recommend it to anyone who is checking out the fantasy books.
If you haven’t read any of this magical series, now is your chance. If you have already found and love Myth, this is your chance as well. You can win a copy of Myth-Quoted here just by adding a comment here on the blog. Make sure your email address is included in the registration information or that there is some way to contact you if you win. Contest is open to U.S. and Canada residents. Entries are accepted through January 31.Update – Contest extended through February 1. I appear to have the comments moderation set up wrong. Sorry…


Shameless Plug – Free E-Book


Half Life by Helen Cothran

Helen is a friend of mine I’ve known for a few years. She even convinced me to join her in a triathlon relay team.

Helen has written a couple light detective novels about environmental issues. I just picked up my paper copy of her second one, Half Life, about radioactive waste. No, I haven’t had a chance to read it yet because my copy only came today. Because of the library books I have due, I probably won’t get to it until next week. I enjoyed the first one, Wicked Wind, and am looking forward to reading this one.

She also has Half Life available in a Kindle format for only 99 cents. As a new release promotion, the Kindle edition of Half Life will be available free on Wednesday January 16th and Thursday January 17th this week.

Here’s the description from the back of the book:

“When Desert Rock’s mayor volunteers the town to be a radioactive waste dump, tempers ignite. Then protestor Pete Castillo disappears and his sister Gabby cries murder. Writer and amateur sleuth Sam Larkin gets pulled into the turmoil by her best friend Eddie, who convinces her to investigate on behalf of Gabby, who just happens to be his ex. As Sam reluctantly works the case, she confronts suspects whose toxic relationships reveal dangerous ideas about love. Before long, Sam asks one too many questions and finds herself in the crosshairs.”

Yes, this is a shameless plug for my friend. It’s also a plug for a book I expect to be entertaining. I do that all the time anyway in my reviews.  Check out Half Life.

(If you read it, add a review over at Amazon.)

1/20/13 Yep, Half Life is entertaining – and educational. Thanks, Helen!

Finished! And Worth It


1Q84 was due back to the library today. I was able to finish it at lunch time. I highly recommend it – if you have perseverance. It’s fascinating. It’s not easy reading. It challenges the mind with its twists and turns. It’s long. It has strong characters. It takes a while for it to become coherent in your mind. The backup characters are also strong, but strangely murky at the same time. The story line cannot be explained in a couple sentences – but a longer explanation would ruin the story.

If you like fantasy and you like a challenge, you should try 1Q84. It’s not witches and wizards fantasy, but rather an alternate reality fantasy. And it’s done extremely well.
Here’s my review.

Just When I Thought It Was Safe


This afternoon I was going thru my daughter’s boxes in the garage to take some of her things to her. I found this box.

Great…it’s a box of books I missed unpacking when we moved last year. It’s a good thing I just got another bookcase.