Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Indexing:

Indexing by: Seanan McGuire
Fiction: Mystery, Fantasy, E-book
E-Book Count:8
Book Count:10

Imagine a world where fairy tales are true, but not the Disney version, the scary, dangerous, Grimm version.  And there isn't just a single story of Snow White, or Cinderella,  or Sleeping Beauty, but they are archetypes where many people with key elements of the story in their life might become one of those Characters, acting out the story against their will and not even necessarily knowing what is happening until it is too late.  Dad a widower who remarries a women with a couple of daughters?  You might end up Cinderella. 
Now imagine a government group that is in charge of stopping or containing all the evil that these stories cause.  And a team within that government group that is lead by an inactive Snow White (who as a daughter of a Sleeping Beauty is freakishly pale with hair as black as possible and bright red lips, which in real life is a lot scarier then pretty, ) with a halted evil step-sister, a cobbler (as in the shoemaker and the elves, he being the elf of the story) and a normal person who learned all this is real when his brother died do to a sleeping beauty that wasn't caught in time.  (as being in a coma with out medical aid in getting water and nutrients in will do to a human after a few days.)   
In this first book of the series they start out on a case that dispatch called in as a Snow White (the book gets it's title from a real index of fairy tales and so each type has a number much like a real life police force would call crimes by their number of the crime in the books.) When they get there they start to deal with the case as such, because they also agree that she looks like a snow white. (Some people who's parents are already connected with a tale will always look like the way a fairy tale character does,  but many take on the characteristics both physically and  mentally when their story is activated.)   But after they follow her to a large hospital that they couldn't evacuate when they got the call, they find out that she is in fact a sleeping beauty, with a way of transmitting the sleeping of people around her that is very strong.    
This is just the first of many cases that they end up getting where the story is messed with, changed, or a mix up of more then one story.  So they have to find out who is doing this, why, and how they can stop them before the whole world turns into the worst part of every fairy tale.  

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

The Honest Spy:

The Honest Spy by: Andreas Kollender Translated by: Steve Anderson
Fiction: History, E-book
E-Book Count:7
Book Count:9

This is the next book that I picked out as part of the reading challenge that I am doing this year.  This time I went for the fictionalized account of a true story.  
This book is based on the life of Fritz Kolbe, a German diplomat, who lived with his daughter in South Africa at the start of WWII.  He gets called back to Berlin, and after being told by a friend that they can do more good to stop the craziness of the Nazis from inside, he agrees to leave his daughter (who would not be welcomed in Germany,) and go back.  In Germany he goes from being a diplomat to an office worker and works his way up to being the person that is in charge of destroying important documents, without joining the Nazi party.  Once he gets to this important job, he both sees the horrors happening that even he didn't know about and uses his contacts to become a spy.  He tried to get connected with the British,  but ended up working with the Americans and the OSS (later called the CIA).  
As a spy he shares many important documents and information with the Americans in the hope that it will stop the war and killings quicker.  He even shares the exact location of Hitler's Wolf's Lair, in the hopes that they will bomb it.  (Of course, unlike modern readers of WWII history, he doesn't know about the failed attempts to kill Hitler with a bomb in the Wolf's Lair.)  Both his double life and the horrors of war wear on him and there are many times he is in danger or wants to quit.  The story is ended after the war, but as it is based on real life there are still unanswered questions.  

Friday, March 16, 2018

Cleopatra in Space: The Golden Lion:

Cleopatra in Space:  Book Four- The Golden Lion: By: Mike Maihack
Non-fiction:Graphic Novel, Sci-fi, 201 pages
Physical Book Count:2
Book Count:8

Book 4 in the series.  Read review of book 3 here.   In this book they found out that the golden lion might have been found.  Cleo, of course, runs off to the distant world that it might be on.  (This time, on her own, so no one else can gets killer or hurt.)  So ends up on a frozen planet that messes with all her tech.  She runs into Antony again, as well as trouble.  

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Stone Cold Magic:

Stone Cold Magic: Ella Grey Series Book One by, Jayne Faith
Fiction: Fantasy, E-book
E-Book Count:6
Book Count:7

As you can tell from the title, this is the first book in a series about a character named Ella Grey. This story is about a world where the supernatural became out in the open after a rift opened in NYC years ago.   This lead to a new type of vampires and zombies,  as well as more people with some level of magic abilities.  Ella has low level skills and works in a paranormal police unit that stops demons' attacks on people.  With her skills she just walks a beat and deals with the lowest level demons.  She just died and came back to life and since then there has been something different.  She has something else that came back with her.  Also her partner had to retire due to being hurt in the same demon attack that temporary killed her, so she has a new partner, one that has a is much higher level of magic, but comes from a family where anyone under a mage is a disappointment.    She gets involved with a case of a gargoyle and a boy being possessed by the same demon in the gargoyle, something that has never happened before.  She also is looking for her long lost brother, and dealing with issues from friends and family. 

Sunday, March 04, 2018

Nyssa Glass and the House of Mirrors:

Nyssa Glass and the House of Mirrors by: H.L. Burke
fiction: mystery, E-book
E-Book Count:5
Book Count:6

Nyssa is a reformed thief in a steampunk world.  One day after she arrives at her workplace (a repair shop) a strange man comes into the shop.  He threatens her with a recording of a past crime of hers and when her boss, Mr. Calloway, gets in his way, Mr. C is killed.  Running for her life she goes threw town and sneaks back to her home.  When there the police come to take her in for murder and the mysterious man arrives to.  She escapes both with the help of someone that says they are working against the mysterious man and can help her if she just gets some information out of the house of a recluse inventor, who their  boss was business partners with, so it's not even legally stealing.  She agrees, having no other real choice and gets sent into the house of mirrors, with a new set of lock picks and a warning that although the house seams empty,  others have tried and failed to escape it with the information.  

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Fruitful Discipleship:

Fruitful Discipleship: Living the Mission of Jesus in the Church and the World by: Sherry A. Weddell
Non-fiction, religion, 232 pages
Physical Book Count:1
Book Count:5

1: This is the 3rd book in a series of books on discipleship.  My review of book 1 is here.    And my review of book 2 is here. 
2: Having read both of the other books, I put this book on my Christmas wish list.  I did not get it and so used my Christmas money on it, because I wanted it that badly.
3: This book talks about the Diocese of Lansing and the Forming Intentional Disciples Forum a lot for real life examples of things it talks about.
4. Just today Sherry personally responded to a comment that I made on the Forum.

That being said, this book is a little different then the other books in the series.  Instead of being mostly focused on how to form Intentional Disciples in the church, this book largely deals with the charisms that should start being displayed in  the life of disciples.  It also includes how these might be used in life to lead other people threw one or more of the thresholds leading to discipleship in them.  It notes that all baptized Christians have been given charisms (aka supernatural gifts of the Holy Spirit to be used to build up the Church.)  It goes over the most common charisms that are found in Called & Gifted workshops, which is a program made to help people find out what their gifts are.These are: encouragement, helps, hospitality, mercy, pastoring, evangelism, prophecy, teaching, administration, leadership, giving,service, celibacy, extraordinary faith, missionary, voluntary poverty, healing, intercessory prayer, knowledge, wisdom, craftsmanship, music, and writing.  For each one it goes into what the charism is, what it is not, how it might be different then the call of all Christians to do something similar (i.e. everyone is called to pray for each other, but a charism of intercessory prayer is different then just that.)  It also has a real life example of someone with this gift using it.  A very important note after going over the list is that you can not just take a survey, or read this book and find out what all of your charisms are.  They can be used as a start, but as 2 people can do the same thing using 2 different charisms, having someone trained in discerning charisms and going into detail about the how and why one uses their gifts helps ones determine the exact gifts one has.  Of course many people use their charisms without ever knowing what gift they are using to do what they do; however, it can be helpful to know this so one can work in areas where their gifts will yield the most fruit.

The Lilac Bouquet:

The Lilac Bouquet by: Carolyn Brown
Fiction: mystery, E-book
E-Book Count:4
Book Count:4

I signed up for a reading challenge for this  year, that has you pick out books based on many different criteria, so I picked this book as a book with a color in the title.  (Although it is named after the flowers that do not always have the same color, in this book they did.)  So given this, I will be reading some books that I might not usually to fit all of the themes of books to check off the list.
  
Having said this, I liked this book.  It was according to the author started out being based on an old country song.  It is the story of a young women that wants to have a big wedding after every generation in her family from her great-grandmother on ended up a single mother who never married.  The only problem is that to do so she needs to work as an assistance to a man that lives alone in his house on the hill (that might be haunted) who her great-grandmother (who raised her) hates.  Her great-grandmother also hates her fiancee's grandfather and the feeling is mutual.   She is determined to find out what happened all those years ago when the 3 were around her age that caused all of these issues.  And as she does she learns the family history of all 3 families and how events of decades ago still haunt the town.  

Monday, February 26, 2018

No Stone Unturned:

No Stone Unturned: The True Story of the World's Premier Forensic Investigators by: Steve Jackson
Non-fiction: history, science, E-book
E-Book Count:3
Book Count:3

This book is a collection of stories about crime cases investigated by NecroSearch International, a group of scientist and other specialist in the forensic sciences that got together to make a way for experts to help officers of the law use science to solve cases/find bodies/collect evidence.  Cases included in this book include some of their early cases, high profile cases, and cases where the learned something important about how to use science for crime solving.  This is an updated version of the book from when it first came out and so has more information on what happened after their involvement in a case.