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Thursday, January 30, 2014

KEEP GOING by Joseph Marshall III

From Goodreads:

Grandfather says this: "In life there is sadness as well as joy, losing as well as winning, falling as well as standing, hunger as well as plenty, bad as well as good. I do not say this to make you despair, but to teach you…that life is a journey sometimes walked in light and sometimes in shadow.”

Grandfather says this: "Keep going.”

When a young man’s father dies, he turns to his sagacious grandfather for comfort. Together they sit underneath the family’s cottonwood tree, and the grandfather shares his perspective on life, the perseverance it requires, and the pleasure and pain of the journey. Filled with dialogue, stories, and recollections, each section focuses on a portion of the prose poem "Keep Going” and provides commentary on the text.

Readers will draw comfort, knowledge, and strength from the Grandfather’s wise words—just as Marshall himself did.

I discovered this little book in our collection the other day as I was poking through our basement books as I often do, just to remind myself of what is there.  I didn't remember buying it, or even seeing it there before, but as my family is going through some difficulties right now it seemed that it may have appeared in front of me for a reason.  I chose to honor the sign, if that's what it was, and give it a read.

This is a gentle, down to earth book of encouragement.  It does not sugar coat reality but instead emphasizes the duality of all aspects of life and the importance of taking another step, no matter how weary you are, or how small that step is.  Life is difficult, and those steps will be hard, but you must keep going, and in facing down those storms, you will gain strength.

I found this quick video of the author reading the introduction to the book which summarizes with a beautiful oration.  I know I will enjoy listening to it many times, and look forward to reading more of the author's work.

Website of Joseph Marshall III

Monday, January 20, 2014

That Thing at the Zoo by James R. Tuck

From Goodreads:

Shredding monsters is his stock and trade. He sniffs them out, tracks them down, and corners them. End of story. But when the tables are turned, expect the unexpected.

Knowing his enemy is a rule Deacon Chalk swears by. But he's never seen anything like whatever is leaving the Atlanta Zoo's most dangerous predators bloodless, skinned, and hanging high in the treetops. And he's only got until sunrise to keep it from turning the entire city into a slaughterhouse.

Now Deacon is in zoo lockdown with a handful of staffers to save. His zookeeper backup has more guts than monster-hunting experience. And the only chance Deacon has to run this thing to holy ground is to unleash his darkest, most uncontrollable instincts.

That Thing at the Zoo is a prequel novella in the Deacon Chalk: Occult Bounty Hunter Series. I picked it up as a freebie, right now it is at its regular price of $0.99 on Amazon.

I liked this a lot. Deacon is a bad-ass with heart, the traumatized hero that I find so attractive in fiction. This was a self-contained story that is a great introduction to the series, and in fact made me more interested than I already was.  It's gritty and action packed and dark, but has that bit of humor that also draws me.

I would recommend this a great read-a-thon quickie with substance that will let you know if this series is for you.  I'm pretty sure it's for me!

James R. Tuck's Website

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Best reads of 2013

May I recommend these to you? Good, because I just did! These were not published in 2013, but books I read during the year. There is a mixture here, non-fiction, teen paranormal/urban fantasy and dystopian, dark fantasy, science fiction, historical fiction/romance. Also, many are not the first of their series, but series that I have really enjoyed and in my opinion well worth getting into!

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain -I already knew I was an introvert, but Susan Cain explains it in a way I never could.  It was fantastic!

Kushiel's Chosen by Jacqueline Carey - (#2 of Phaedre's Trilogy) - So much happens to Phaedre, adventure and intrigue out the wazoo! 

Fuzzy Nation by John Scalzi (revamp of a classic, Little Fuzzy by H. Beam Piper) I recommend reading both for contrast.

A Breath of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabaldon (#6 of Outlander) - *sigh* I'm so excited for the show on Starz!

A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson - this man can make anything interesting and fun.  This was more than the facts and figures you're used to, it provided personality and a lot of side facts that you haven't heard before!  The audio was very enjoyable, the reader was perfect!

Killbox by Ann Aguirre (#4 Sirantha Jax) - The first book of this series put Ann Aguirre firmly in my list of favorites.  I was lucky enough to meet her this year too! *squee*

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater (#1 The Raven Cycle) - I was really taken in by this story, my first book by Maggie Stiefvater, I'm looking forward to more!

Darkest Mercy by Melissa Marr (#5 Wicked Lovely) - The last book in this beautiful series of scary faeries. 

Insurgent by Veronica Roth (#2 Divergent) - The dystopian genre is fascinating and horrifying at the same time.  I've heard mixed reviews of #3, and I know why, but I'm still interested to see how it turns out, and to see the movie of Divergent later this year.

Dead Men's Boots by Mike Carey (#3 Felix Castor) - Dark and sarcastic, Felix "Fix" Castor is an exorcist/detective who gets in all kinds of trouble.  Luckily he has some supernatural help. 

And now let's get started on 2014, may all your reads be fantastic!

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