Monday, November 21, 2016

The Tangled Line --by Tod Marshall

Nonfiction / Literary /  Poetry 

63 pages
5 Stars

The three parts of this book flow within their parts, and when taken as a whole, they flow one into the other in seamless beauty. These are poems of fathers, sons, and separation; poems of love, loss, and reunification.

Do I have a favorite poem or two? Most assuredly. Am I going to tell you which I loved the most on the first time through? No. I want you to read these poems, and choose your own, not read one and wonder why I loved it over the others; besides, the next time I read it, I will be in a different space in my life, and the one loved last week, may not be the one loved the next time.

If you wonder why people are chosen to be the poet laureates of their state, reading this book will answer your question! I highly recommend this book if you are a lover of poetry and the way an expert strings words together to evoke beauty, emotion, even life itself.

Roget's Illusion --by Linda Bierds

Nonfiction / Literary / Poetry
112 Pages
5 Stars

This is a book to be read and read again. Read it first for the pure joy and beauty as the words dance upon the page. Read it again and again for the stories the words weave.

Each time you make your world famous dinner, you tweak it just a bit. It is always the same, and yet continually new. Each time you read these poems, the words are always the same, yet each time you will bring something new to the table, and find new and delightful flavors and images to savor and enjoy.

If you love poetry, if you love words, you will love this book.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Gilded Cage (Dark Gifts) --by Vic James

Fiction / Fantasy

368 Pages
5 Stars

NOTE: This book will not be available until 14 Feb 17

I received a free electronic copy of this book from in exchange for my honest review.

Vic (Victoria) James lives in London, her book takes place in an alternate UK, where the Equals are Skilled in psychic powers and the commoners are not. All commoners are required to serve as a slave for 10 years, and within reason, can choose that time. The sooner done, the sooner finished (or dead), and the sooner one can get on with her life. There are rules, of course, such as children under 18 cannot be separated from parents. But, heck, when the controlling elite are more Equal than the rest, well, what are a few rules amongst friends?

James has masterfully created a believable alternate universe. The characters are well developed, and each is his or her, own person. Not all of the Equals are good, not all of the Slaves are bad.

I had a very hard time putting this book down. Though this book is book one in a series, it has an ending; an ending that both ends the story, for now, and leaves me wanting to read the next in the series. Alas, I have a sneaking suspicion that I can read her books faster than Ms. James can write them. If you are a fan of urban fantasy novels such as those by Anne Bishop and Jim Butcher, I think you'll enjoy this book very much. It is listed as dystopian, but I don't like dystopian books, and I loved this one.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher --by Timothy Egan

Nonfiction / Biography
384 pages
5 Stars

I don't know when I was introduced to the photography of Edward S. Curtis, but I don't remember a time before then. I have a large book of his photos, and a small black and white portfolio I bought at the Curtis Gallery in Seattle many years ago.

A couple of weeks ago, friend loaned me his copy of this book, and I could hardly put it down. It became my 'bedtime' book, until I couldn't stand parsing the chapters out any more, then I sat and read it to the end.

I lived in Seattle for many years, and as mentioned above, visited the gallery, but it never clicked that Curtis got his start there, that Seattle was his home.

Egan's research and writing are impeccable. The book is lacking a bit, the print is more gray than black, and the photos at the end of the chapters is on the same paper. I can understand why they wouldn't want to put glossies in, but still, it IS a book about a photographer. Those are comments for the publisher, not the author.

I'm a history buff and love stories about the Indians, and I loved the part about the Battle of the Little Big Horn. What a shame no one has reprinted the series of books Curtis devoted his life to, and done so in a manner average people could afford – or at least find in their libraries.

I found this book to be a page burner. Oh, it's not filled with action, but filled with information presented in a manner that made me want to read more and more. I am somewhat sorry the end had to come. Having been to several of the places Curtis was, I could close my eyes and smell the wood smoke, the aroma of fry bread, of salmon. I had no problem entering into the book and the story.

Epilogues are oft times sad, but this one had heart. And a bit of hope. Curtis knew his work was valuable, he just never realized how valuable.

I heartily recommend this book to anyone who loves his photographs, to anyone who has an interest in Native Americans, to anyone who enjoys a good biography.

Ocean of Storms --Christopher Mari & Jeremy K. Brown

Available 1 Dec 16

Fiction / Science Fiction

410 pages / 3443 KB
3 Stars

Legalities: I received a free electronic ARC from

The story was kind of fun. The expositional filler was not. I felt like they were using it to pad the word count.

It's been a while since I've read SF, and thought I'd give this a try. Although the beginning started with a bang, literally, there were a lot of areas that left me wondering. There were several areas where I could not suspend my disbelief enough to enjoy the story.

An airliner crashes in Hong Kong, in a street, and there is no conflagration?

A compound fracture is recognized in space, before the space suit is removed?

A chopper shows up at a dig site and instead of using the pad most dig sites have, they set down IN the site?

Thrillers are not my usual genre, and I made no effort to figure this one out, but well before the ending, I had it "solved." The fun part came when I realized I was right.

A good editor would have been a good investment.