From Harry Potter to The Catcher in The Rye - I will read absolutely anything. This blog will detail my impressions on new releases, old classics, and everything in between! As Dr. Seuss said in 'I Can Read With My Eyes Shut! 'The more you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.'

The Warded Man - A First-Class Debut Novel

A story of good versus evil - man versus monster.

For hundreds of years, human lives have been dictated by Corelings, night-stalking demons that rise from the Earth's core and take pleasure in the destruction of humankind. When the sun sets, the only protection from certain death lies behind wards, ancient patterns that convey various powers. In a world where humans are set on hiding, this installment of the proposed trilogy, introduces three characters who will grow up to learn the importance of taking a stand.

A fantastic tale, an outstanding first novel, just a damn good read! The second in the trilogy, The Desert Spear, is now out in hardcover as well.

Rating: ½

Totally Random - My Annoyance of the Day

I'm reading David Weber's A Mighty Fortress, the fourth book in his Safehold Series. I just got to the final battle scene - no small feat considering the book is 700 pages long - and with 2 pages to go, the train arrives at my stop. So now I'm sitting here at work, wondering what happens! 

Anyways, thank you for listening. 

Ken Follett Strikes Again!

I actually read Pillars of the Earth awhile ago, followed by A World Without EndI was reminded of these books for two reasons: 

First, a 'Pillars' TV mini-series was released recently, and contrary to the standard rule of thumb that movies/TV can't stand up to the book, people are RAVING about it. Unfortunately, I don't have access to The MovieChannel, so I'm one of those sad saps waiting for the DVD release. 
The second (and more exciting) reason for talking about these books is the release of Follett's Third historical epic, Fall of Giants, on September 28th. The new book is the first in The Century Trilogy and revolves around the lives of five separate families during the First World War, the Russian Revolution, and women's suffrage. So far the feedback is good...really good (unless you're talking about the Kindle version, in which case, people are losing their minds about the cost). 

I adored Follett's first two historical novels and I highly recommend them - anyone can read and enjoy the stories. I can't wait to get my hands on his latest!

Rating (Pillars of the Earth & World Without End): 


Sad News - Rest in Peace Jennifer Rardin

I just heard the news of Jennifer's passing yesterday. It took me until today to decide what, if anything, I wanted to write.

To this point I haven't read any of her books, but I always intended on it. I've heard great things about her stories and characters, so it was just a matter of time. I want to acknowledge her and say how sorry I am to hear the news - my thoughts go out to her family.


Book Collecting - The Hyper-Modern Book

A couple years ago I was trolling the internet looking for new and interesting authors when I came across several articles on a new area of book collecting - the Hyper-Modern book. 

So what exactly is Hyper-Modern book collecting? Put simply, it involves collecting books that were published in the last twenty years. A prime example: consider the Harry Potter books - did you know a first edition first printing can sell for thousands of dollars? Get that book autographed and you're talking thousands and thousands of dollars. Now obviously we're talking about a unique situation because there aren't a lot of J.K Rowlings out there. But here's an example of something that happened to me. 

As I was researching this new phenomenon, I came across a website that recommended specific hyper-modern books that were predicted to increase in value. One of these recommendations was Sweeping Up Glass, by Carolyn Wall.

Because the first edition first printing only had 1000 copies, and the initial reviews on the book were solid, they were predicting the future value would increase. Think about it - of those 1000 copies how many do you think are signed? And of those that are signed, how many are still in pristine condition? Probably not a lot. In addition, the rights to publishing this book were picked up by another publisher and another, much higher volume, printing was set for release. When I went to Abe Books to check on the price of an original first edition first printing copy and discovered i could purchase a copy for the low low prices of $45 I thought, 'meh, why not?' 

That was a year and a half ago...So what does this mean? Well considering a pristine copy of the original is now selling on Abe for a minimum of $100, I'd say it means = not a bad return on investment. Okay, sure, you probably won't get rich this way. And really, any serious book collector will tell you that you should never be motivated by money. But since I can't afford the $30, 000 for a first edition copy of To Kill a Mockingbird, this type of book collecting is very appealing. 

For more information, including pros and cons, predictions, etc, check out: Book Collecting Tips

Kushiel's Dart - My Introduction to the Wonderful World of Fantasy Fiction

This is the story of Phèdre nó Delaunay, an anguisette and Servent of Naamah....A servant of what?

I know, it sounds complicated. This was the first real fantasy book I read, and I'm not going to lie, I struggled initially. So many names, so many places, so many words - I was lost. I stubbornly stuck with it though and am truly glad I did - I ended up loving this book. In fact, Kushiel's Dart is the reason I started reading fantasy. 

So what IS an anguisette? and who is this Naamah person? Without getting too bogged down, an anguisette is a person chosen by the angel Kushiel to feel both pleasure and pain at the same time. This combined with being a Servent of Naamah (which is a nice way of saying a high class hooker), makes for an interesting plot foundation. I'm sure you have some nasty little ideas about where this book is headed - I did. Don't be fooled - this isn't a romance,  there really isn't even a lot of sex - this book is more about court intrigue, spies, political conflicts, etc. The story is complex but fascinating, with many interesting and quirky characters. 

Once you finish this book, there are two more to look forward to in the Phèdre series, followed by the Imriel and Naamahs trilogies. 

Rating: ½


Outlander - Outlandishly Good!

This book has been out for awhile, but I just got around to reading it - so sue me for being slow! :)

So far, I've only read the first book, but I intend to continue with the seven book series...eventually. I mean each book is at least 700 pages long, so it takes some serious time investment. And if the other books are anything like the first, they will be emotionally draining. 

In Outlander Gabaldon introduces the characters of Jamie Fraser and Claire Randall. If you Google this author, or any of these books, you'll see HOARDES of fan-obsessed sites. There is a reason for this - it's good. Really good. The characters are SOLID, and the story, it just keeps on going. Yes, it is long. But not long in the sense where you're just dying for it to be over. 

In short, well played Ms. Gabaldon. 

Rating: ½