I'm no soccer fanatic. But I like to watch games of the German national team. Yesterday the UEFA Europian Championship 2012 have been opened. Today (June 9th) I will watch Germany vs Portugal. As you can see, that does not hinder me to write and post. In three weeks time we will hit the half year mark for 2012. Time to start to think about a hlf time report. From reading point of view I'm behind my reading target compared to 2011. It gets even worse when it comes to reviews. I hope this will change in the second half of 2012.
ENJOY READING ....
News and information straight from the horse's mouth by Lighthouse keeper ediFanoB
- Reading progress
The latest report from our shelf shop net correspondent Bona
- Fantasy, Military Fantasy, Steampunk, Space Opera
- The Lighthouse Keeper (no,no, isn't me)
Messages from the depths of the blogosphere by spheronaut Bona Fide
- In case you missed ...
- External discussion: Picking up a book in the middle of a series
- 3D Street Art
Remote control junkie Fide and his zapping highlights
- Deutschland von oben (Germany from above)
The member of the house of quotes and a quote himself the Keeper of the minutes ( we call him Kotm) fished for you
German proverbs, sayings and idiomsParents
If I would write as many reviews as I read I would be happy. The last week I finished a picture book, a short story and four novels!
In sum I read incredible 997 pages which is excellent for me. How could I do that in a working week? To be honest we have had a public holiday in Germany and additionally I have had a day off. And I read two books in German.
- The Way of the Black Beast (pb and digital,2012) [ISBN-13: 978-1466321847, Kindle ASIN: B005NRXT6W] by Stuart Jaffe
I wrote on GOODREADS:
"I received a digital copy from the author.
Fantasy with an interesting magic system and a lot of action.
I had to reread several passages in order to get a full understanding about what was going on. Maybe my humble English caused this problem.
I also have had a problem with the partial lack of the bad guys intelligence."
- The Hundredth Kill [Amazon Kindle ASIN: B0087D3H34] by John Marco.
I wrote on GOODREADS:
"Excellent short story.
Atmospheric and thoughtful.
A young boy and a mysterious lady in a world of change
where the past fade. A story with Japanese and Chinese background."
- The Devil's Nebula (digital, 2012)[Kindle edition, ASIN: B0086W4T0G] by Eric Brown which is the first book in Weird Space, a shared world created by the author.I wrote on GOODREADS:
" The first book in a new world.
The beginning of a space opera where I want to read much more about.
A satisfying read. As I have nothing to complain I gave five stars!"
- Wheel-Mouse vs All The Crazy Robots [Amazon Kindle ASIN: B0087D3H34] by Celyn Lawrence
I wrote on GOODREADS:
"I read the WHEEL-MOUSE and the robot poo made me laugh.- Die Fahrt des LEVIATHAN (2012) [Kindle edition, ASIN: B007RNJMO8] by Oliver Henkel
I hope more people will buy the book in order to support AND to enjoy themselves"
It made a lot of fun to read this alternate history from a German author.
- Schattenwelt (2012) [Kindle edition, ASIN: B00872OKO0] by Volker Ferkau
Unbelievable but true. This is a Sherlock Holmes novel. The second book from a German author I read last week.
- 138 pages in Spirit of Fire (2012) [Kindle edition, ASIN: B0087P0EOW] by Stephen Zimmer.
Stephen continues where he left the readers in the previous book.
My review must be ready on June 20th because of The Spirit of Fire Blog Tour ...
- 57 pages in The Mammoth Book of Steampunk (April 2012) [ISBN-13: 978-1849017367] edited by Sean Wallace.
I read one more story
As far as I remember I never talked about my favorite animals.
I like owls. To be more precise the Eurasian Eagle-Owl. I admire their stealth abilities. The Eurasian Eagle-Owl fits perfectly to the characters I like to play in The Elder Scrolls video games: (female) wood eleves known as Bosmer.
I found an excellent post about owls in fantasy over at Fantasy Faction. I recommend to read the excellent post Elements of Fantasy - Owls by
I promised two authors to review their books in May 2012 and I failed.
Fortunately these authors showed understanding.
Tomorrow I deliver the first of these two reviews and the second one will follow within the next days.
A book blog depends on book reviews and be sure I work hard to deliver more reviews.
Enjoy your weekend ....
Dear readers, I'm the one to tell you about books - only books? What about novellas and other stuff? My name is Bona. I scour shelves, shops and the net for books. If you call me a book whore I would not gainsay you. But be aware I have my own, sometimes elusive taste.
Booooooooooooooooks!! I can't get enough of them. Copies of five books (three paperbacks and to digital) found a new home last week.
And all of them belong to different series.
I got steampunk, military fantasy, space opera and
"..... an Afro-Celtic post-Roman icepunk Regency fantasy adventure with airships, Phoenician spies, the intelligent descendents of troodons, and a dash of steampunk whose gas lamps can be easily doused by the touch of a powerful cold mage." [Source]Any idea who wrote this description? She is a well known author of several series. Let me lift the curtain. I talk a bout Kate Elliott's Spiritwalker Series. From time to time I need time to approach a series. Finally I bought a paperback copy of the first book in the series:
Cold Magic (pb, 2010) [ISBN13: 978-0316080873].
"It is the dawn of a new age... The Industrial Revolution has begun, factories are springing up across the country, and new technologies are transforming in the cities. But the old ways do not die easy.
“I was not a bard or a djeli or an historian or a scribe and I was certainly not a sage, but that didn't mean I wasn't curious…”
Young Cat Barahal thinks she understands the world she lives in and her place in it, but in fact she is merely poised, unaware, on the brink of shattering events. Drawn into a labyrinth of politics involving blood, betrayal and old feuds, she will be forced to make an unexpected and perilous journey in order to discover the truth, not just about her own family but about an ancient secret lying at the heart of her world.
Cat and her cousin Bee are part of this revolution. Young women at college, learning of the science that will shape their future and ignorant of the magics that rule their families. But all of that will change when the Cold Mages come for Cat. New dangers lurk around every corner and hidden threats menace her every move. If blood can't be trusted, who can you trust? From one of the genre's finest writers comes a bold new epic fantasy in which science and magic are locked in a deadly struggle." [Source]
Leviathan Wakes (pb, 2011) [ISBN-13: 978-031612908] - has been my 2011 top read. Therefore it was out of question that I will buy and read the next book in the space opera series Expanse by James S A Corey which is the pen name of Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck.
I did not want to wait for the trade paperback. Therefore I bought a digital copy of
Caliban's War (digital, June)[Amazon Kindle ASIN: B007PR3238].
"We are not alone.
The alien protomolecule is clear evidence of an intelligence beyond human reckoning. No one knows what exactly is being built on Venus, but whatever it is, it is vast, powerful, and terrifying.
When a creature of unknown origin and seemingly impossible physiology attacks soldiers on Ganymede, the fragile balance of power in the Solar System shatters. Now, the race is on to discover if the protomolecule has escaped Venus, or if someone is building an army of super-soldiers.
Jim Holden is the center of it all. In spite of everything, he’s still the best man for the job to find out what happened on Ganymede. Either way, the protomolecule is loose and Holden must find a way to stop it before war engulfs the entire system.
CALIBAN’S WAR is an action-packed space adventure following in the footsteps of the critically acclaimed Leviathan Wakes." [Source]
Do you like military fantasy? Then The Scourge of the Betrayer (digital, May 2012)[Amazon Kindle ASIN: B0087D3H34] by Jeff Salyard could be a book for you.
"Many tales are told of the Syldoon Empire and its fearsome soldiers, who are known throughout the world for their treachery and atrocities. Some say that the Syldoon eat virgins and babies–or perhaps their own mothers. Arkamondos, a bookish young scribe, suspects that the Syldoon’s dire reputation may have grown in the retelling, but he’s about to find out for himself.In the beginning there was [BOOK REVIEW] Scourge of the Betrayer by Jeff Salyards by John Ottinger III over at Grasping for the Wind.
Hired to chronicle the exploits of a band of rugged Syldoon warriors, Arki finds himself both frightened and fascinated by the men’s enigmatic leader, Captain Braylar Killcoin. A secretive, mercurial figure haunted by the memories of those he’s killed with his deadly flail, Braylar has already disposed of at least one impertinent scribe . . . and Arki might be next.
Archiving the mundane doings of millers and merchants was tedious, but at least it was safe. As Arki heads off on a mysterious mission into parts unknown, in the company of the coarse, bloody-minded Syldoon, he is promised a chance to finally record an historic adventure well worth the telling, but first he must survive the experience!
A gripping military fantasy in the tradition of Glen Cook, SCOURGE OF THE BETRAYER explores the brutal politics of Empire–and the searing impact of violence and dark magic on a man’s soul." [Source]
After reading this totally convincing review I knew I need a copy of this book and I put it mentally on my 2013 to buy list because it takes minimum six months after the release of the hardvoce until you get a paperback copy. Then I checked Amazon and jumped for joy! The digital edition has been published at the same time as the hardcover.
I will read The Scourge of the Betrayer as soon as I have finished Spirit of Fire.
I love steampunk and I love even more steampunk series. Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris created the phantastic world of the The Ministry Of Peculiar Occurrences. In October 2011 I read and enjoyed Phoenix Rising (pb, 2011) [ISBN-13: 978-0062049766] which is the first book in the series. It seems a lot of people liked it because there is a growing list of short stories - so far a dozen is available - which cover persons and events from ministry archive. Beside that there is a growing list of short stories - so far a dozen is available - set in the world of The Ministry Of Peculiar Occurrences - which cover persons and events from ministry archive.
For detailed information please visit the short story department of the ministry. I must admit I did not read one of these short stories so far.
The good thing is that I now own a paper copy of The Janus Affair (pb and Kindle, May 29, 2011) [ISBN-13: 978-0062049780] which is the second The Ministry Of Peculiar Occurrences novel.
"Evildoers beware! Retribution is at hand, thanks to Britain's best-kept secret agents!!Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris do much more than just "simply" write books. Look at the following book trailer.
Certainly no strangers to peculiar occurrences, agents Wellington Books and Eliza Braun are nonetheless stunned to observe a fellow passenger aboard Britain's latest hypersteam train suddenly vanish in a dazzling bolt of lightning. They soon discover this is not the only such disappearance . . . with each case going inexplicably unexamined by the Crown.
The fate of England is once again in the hands of an ingenious archivist paired with a beautiful, fearless lady of adventure. And though their foe be fiendishly clever, so then is Mr. Books . . . and Miss Braun still has a number of useful and unusual devices hidden beneath her petticoats." [Source]
Incredible! That is much more than just a book trailer.
One book left. One story about an author with several pen names and an unread books collector left. The author is Steven Harper Piziks. He writes as Penny Drake, Steven Piziks and Steven Harper. Today I want to talk about the creator and author of The Clockwork Empire.
I think you know who is the unread books collector.
Last year I bought a copy of The Doomsday Vault (pb, November 2011) [ISBN-13: 978-0451464293] by Steven Harper.
"In a Britannia of clockwork automatons and airships, Alice Michaels’s prospects are looking grim.Visit the The Doomsday Vault site where the author explains the idea behind the book. Furthermore you can read an excerpt (in this case the first chapter) of the book.
The Honorable Alice B. Michaels is in a life or death struggle for survival—socially speaking, that is. At age twenty-one, her unladylike interest in automatons, and the unfortunate deaths of most of her family from the clockwork plague have sealed her fate as a less than desirable marriage prospect. But a series of strange occurrences is about to lead Alice in a direction quite beyond the pale.
High above the earth on the American airship USS Juniper, Gavin Ennock lives for the wind and the sky and his fiddle. After privateers attack the Juniper, he is stranded on the dank, dirty, and merciless streets of London. When Alice’s estranged aunt leaves her a peculiar inheritance, she encounters Gavin under most unusual—even shocking—circumstances.
Then Alice’s inheritance attracts the attention of the Third Ward, a clandestine organization that seizes the inventions of mad geniuses the plague leaves behind—all for the good of the Empire. But even the Third Ward has secrets. And when Alice and Gavin discover them, a choice must be made between the world and the Empire, no matter the risk to all they hold dear." [Back of the book]
Last week I bought a copy of The Impossible Cube (pb, May 2012) [ISBN-13: 978-0451464507] by Steven Harper.
"Once, Gavin Ennock sailed the skies on airships and enchanted listeners with his fiddle music. Now, the clockwork plague consumes his intellect, enabling him to conceive and construct scientific wonders - while driving him quite mad. Distressed by her beloved’s unfortunate condition, Alice Michaels sought a cure rumored to be inside the Doomsday Vault - and brought the wrath of the British Empire down on them. Declared enemies of the Crown, Alice and Gavin have little choice but to flee to China in search of a cure. Accompanying them is Dr. Clef, a mad genius driven to find the greatest and most destructive force the world has ever seen: The Impossible Cube. If Dr. Clef gets his hands on it, the entire universe will face extinction.Visit the The Impossible Cube site where the author explains the idea behind the book. Furthermore you can read an excerpt (in this case the first chapter) of the book.
And Gavin holds the key to its recreation…" [Back of the book]
Two days ago I ordered a copy of The Dragon Men (pb, November 2012) [ISBN-13: 978-0451464880] by Steven Harper in advance.
I tried to get more information about the content of The Dragon Men but I found nothing.
Anyway this will not be the end of the Clockwork Empire.
And that will not be the end. Publisher Roc requested one more Clockwork Empire novel!!!
The interesting question will be when I will read all these books? Time will tell.
Did you read The Doomsday Vault and/or The Impossible Cube?
Ilike it when readers leave comments on my blog. But it is still something special when an author leaves a comment based on a comment I wrote on GOODREADS.
During my past two holidays I read and enjoyed the first two books in the Blackwood & Harrington Mystery series by Alan K Baker:
- The Martian Ambassador (pb, 2011) [ISBN-13: 978-1907777-080]
The Feaster from the Stars (pb, 2011) [ISBN-13: 978-1907777-080]
Recently his first stand alone novel has been released.
The Lighthouse Keeper (pb, 2012)[ISBN-13: 978-1907777622]
"A TERRIFYING MYSTERY OF THE SEAAre you familiar with the Flannan Isles mystery? I never heard about it before. I do not want to bother you with links. Instead I present you a video divided in two parts which delivers the facts and possible explanations of what happened.
In December 1900, three lighthouse keepers vanished without trace from the remote Scottish island of Eilean Mòr. An emergency relief crew was sent to man the lighthouse. At the end of their month-long duty, they resigned from their posts, and never spoke of what they had experienced on the island. The mystery of Eilean Mòr has never been solved. Until now.
In the present, a group of environmental researchers arrives on the island to observe the wildlife. While exploring the lighthouse, now automated and deserted, one of the team discovers a manuscript written by one of the relief keepers, a man named Alec Dalemore. As a sudden storm moves in, cutting off their escape, the researchers come to realise that Dalemore wrote the manuscript as a warning to all the lighthouse keepers who would come after him. A warning of something on Eilean Mòr and in the surrounding ocean - something ancient and powerful, and strange beyond imagining...
The Lighthouse Keeper is a supernatural tale based on the Flannan Isles mystery, one of the greatest unsolved enigmas in maritime history. Blending factual firsthand reports with speculative fiction, the novel takes the reader on a journey to the edge of reality, where the greatest of human fears - the fear of the unknown - holds dominion." [Source]
In the meantime I got in contact with Alan K Baker. To my pleasure I will get a review copy of The Lighthouse Keeper. That means in July 2012 I can tell you more about the book.
No more today, see you next week ......
Hey, I'm Bona Fide. I just came back from my last foray through the blogosphere. What can you expect from me? I tell you: Everything from Art to Fart as long as there is any faint connection to books. And here is some honey from the beehive blogosphere...
Did you see the transit of Venus last week? For me it was not possible due to a clouded sky. In case you missed it I would like to share with you a post with pictures and a video.
Of course Dark Roasted Blend delivered a post:
And this is one of the videos you can find:
Are you tired of all the round cookies? Then WebUrbanist has good news for you:
City Cookies: Sweet Treats Shaped like Iconic Architecture
While checking older entries in my Google Reader I found following post:
Picking up a book in the middle of a series by Jamie Gibbs
I think it is an interesting topic. I must say I do not pick up books in a middle of a series. I want to follow characters from the very beginning.
Do you like street painting? I'm always fascinated when I see street painters and their work. But most impressive for me is this 2D artwork which gives you the optical 3D illusion. Most of these 3D street art is breath-taking. I mean paintings like the following one:
Most of these 3D street art is breath-taking.
Over at WebUrbanist you can find a nice collection related to advertisement:
Would you like to see more of this terrific stuff? Here we go:
Edgar Müller and Kurt Wenner are two of these excellent 3D street painters. Visit their sites by clicking on the artist name.
If you would like to get more information about street painting then I recommend to read
Kurt Wenner's site.
That's it for today. Come back next week for more ......
Hey, it's me Fide. I'm a remote control professional. I'm that fast that I can watch two movies at the same time.
But don't worry. All the stuff I present to you will be shown at normal speed.
Do I know the country where I was born? I must say there are still a lot of parts of Germany where I have not been to so far and I'm not sure if I will visit them until the end of my life. Often people from other countries tell me about regions, places and buildings they have visited during their journey through Germany. And how often my answer was/is: "I have not been there."
On June 7th 2012 a special movie hit the cinemas in Germany:
Deutschland von oben (Germany from above). An amazing 110 minute movie which show you Germany from a different point of view - from above. From the Alps to Helgoland (English Heligoland), 110 minutes Germany from bird's eye view. So far I do not know if the movie will be available in other countries. The trailer gives you a first impression of what to expect:
That's all for today. See you next time....
I 'm the Keeper of the minutes. But I don't mind when you call me Kotm. No, no. I don't explain to you how to pronounce.
Today I share a quote with you which children should show her parents and parents should show her children. Matt Witten has a point ...
"Parents are never as bad as kids think they are.”
Matt Witten, House M.D., Cursed, 2004
Matt Witten, House M.D., Cursed, 2004