Friday, May 31, 2013

Queen Victoria's Book of Spells:

Queen Victoria's Book of Spells: An Anthology of Gaslamp Fantasy Edited By: Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling
Fiction: Fantasy, Short Stories, Historic 336 pages
Book Count: 14

This book is an anthology of fantasy short stories that take place in the Victorian era.  Like many anthologies there are some great stories and some less then great ones.  A few stories have almost no fantasy in them. One only hints at a myth that people that are into Celtic Mythology would know, and another starts out like it was going to be something big, and turns into an analogy. There was a rather surprising story about what happened after "A Christmas Story." There were also a number of more typical stories in the genre with magic, or fairies and things like that. And at the end there is information about the writer and editors as well as other books to read.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013


Hell By: Robert Olen Butler
Fiction: 232 pages
Book Count: 13

This book is written following the quote that, "Hell is other people." Sure the rain in hell dissolves you into a pain filled blob, and sometimes you get burned up, and if you think it is hard to keep up with modern technology, try going from a life of quills and ink pots to emails, but for the most part this hell is like earth only greyer and sadder, and the worst thing in it is all the people (human and demon,) and the ironic/annoying punishments (which are caused by the demons or the people themselves, so still back to people.) This story centers around a news reporter, who meets up with many figures from history: Virgil, Judas, Nixon, Ann Boleyn, Shakespeare, Bogart, J. Edgar Hoover, and members of the Bee Gees to name a few. (Note: in this story almost everyone is in hell, so the list of people in it is not based on how good or holy any of the people are or aren't.) He hears that there may be a way out of hell and into heaven and goes about  looking for it and learning more about himself and hell. 

Tuesday, May 07, 2013


Dodger By: Terry Pratchett
Fiction: historical, YA, 360 pages
Book Count: 12

This book does not take place in Discworld, but in Victorian London.  It also isn't a retelling of "Oliver Twist", so much as a story that if real might have influenced Dickens in his writings. (As he is one of the main characters in the story.) The book is about Dodger a young man that makes his living finding things in the sewers (or toshing), and also other odd and end jobs that may or may not be legal.  One rainy night he saves the life of a young women that is being attacked by a couple of men. Their lives become intertwined in an adventure that includes international intrigue, hobnobbing with the rich and famous, assassins, Sweeny Todd, cross dressing, the Peelers, Roman mythology, and espionage.

Monday, May 06, 2013

April E-Books:

Village Books By: Craig McLay
Fiction: e-book

A book set in modern day Canada about people that work in a small locally owned book store. 

How To Write a Book This Weekend, Even If You Flunked English Like I Did By: Vic Johnson
Non-fiction: Writing, E-book

Although I didn't expect it to really show how to write a book in that short of time, I wasn't expecting it to be about how to record a "how to" book in a weekend and then send it to someone else to write it.  It would be a use full book for writing a large term paper, if at the end of it you actually typed it out yourself instead of paying someone else to.

Great Kids In History By: Michael Williams
Non-Fiction: History,bio, e-book

This book is a collection of short biographies of kids that did important things when they were still young. It does give information about their adult life, and for a number of them the time that they did important things they were considered or were adults.  For example, it talks about Mary Shelly writing Frankenstein when she was in her early 20's and about how Edison had learning disabilities as a kid and then as an adult invented tons of things.  It also has a few editing issues and incorrect information (i.e. in the story of the girl that named Pluto, they didn't note that it is not still a planet.) But, overall it is a good starting place to learn about these people.