Saturday, January 30, 2016

Edi's Weekend Wave issue #1605

Dear Readers,

welcome to the last issue of the Weekend Wave in January 2016. At then end of a month there is not much money left for buying books. But there was enough for at least one more book and it is a special one.

Today I started to write this post later because friends visited us.

Now let's have a look what I put together today.


ENJOY READING ....


Edi's Guidepost

The Lighthouse
News and information straight from the horse's mouth by Lighthouse keeper ediFanoB

  1. Reading progress 
Books
The latest report from our shelf shop net correspondent Bona
  1. New books on my shelf/reader or when one book leads to another 
Blogosphere
Messages from the depths of the blogosphere by spheronaut Bona Fide
  1. Humanity defeats capitalism ... temporarily
  2. What kind of person would you be in a fantasy world?
  3. A special map
  4. Unused subway system
  5. Air pollution

Movies
Remote control junkie Fide and his zapping highlights
  1. Deadpool

Quotes
The member of the house of quotes and a quote himself the Keeper of the minutes ( we call him Kotm) fished for you
  1. German proverbs, sayings and idiomsQuote related to bureaucracy
The Lighthouse
Ten books!! I read ten books in one month.
Beside that I continued reading Memories of Ice which is a real brick with in sum 913 pages. I'm sure I will finish it in February.


I finished

- Sword of the Bright Lady (pb, 2014) [ ISBN-13: 978-1616149888] by M.C. Planck.
I wrote on GOODREADS:
"This is a solid first book in this portal fantasy series. I missed information about how the portal works. The main character Christopher was not always convincing."

Shadow of Empire (digital, 3rd November 2015) [ Kindle Edition ASIN:  B00TE98BNQ].by Jay Allan.
I wrote on GOODREADS:
"The second book in the Far Stars trilogy does not suffer the weak second book symptom. On the contrary I enjoyed this one more than the first book.
One of the reasons is the fact that more party and persons enter the fight for power. Greed is an as important factor as trust, revenge and treason.

I look forward to read the third and final book."

I'm

- 602 pages in Memories of Ice (this pb edition, August 2006) [ISBN-13: 978-0765348807] by Steven Erikson
A progress of 200 pages is good. "Only" 310 pages left. I'm sure I will finish the book in February..


 Enjoy your weekend ....


Books

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.
New books on my shelf/reader or when one book leads to another

It seems the price for digital books is increasing. That means to think more about which books I really want to get a copy of.
Nevertheless seven books - one paperback and six digital copies - found a new home. Four books I ordered in advance in 2015. The remaining three books I bought spontaneously.

Last week I bought exactly one digital copy and there is a story behind the book. The author of the book - Dave-Brendon de Burgh - and I never met in person. I live in Germany and he lives in South Africa. Virtually we met for the first time in 2009 while we both liked the books of the same author. In June 2010 I wrote a film guest review for Dave's blog. Within the following years we lost contact. One week ago we met again on Twitter where I found out that his first epic fantasy novel has been published end of November 2015. It is worth to mention that I bought the copy of the book before I contacted Dave.
I promised him to spread word about his book, to read it and to write an honest review. This will be done in February.
Now without further ado to the book.
Betrayal's Shadow (digital, 30th November 2015) [Kindle Edition ASIN:B018S2U4Z2] by Dave-Brendon de Burgh is the first book in the Mahaelian Chronicle.
"Betrayal casts long shadows – none know this better than Brice Serholm.

As a decorated general in the kingdom's elite Blade Knights, Brice had to overcome the taint of treason and betrayal to attain his rank. When Brice and a force of Knights are sent on a mission to investigate claims of rebellion in one of Avidar's provinces, their ship is magically attacked, and the resulting investigation tests every oath Brice swore before his king.

Meanwhile, an inhuman infant escapes the capital's Slave-Hold, the king's mistress comes into possession of a unique dagger, and Del'Ahrid, the king's most trusted First Advisor, begins to question everything he built his honour and life upon.

Events are in motion that will test every man, woman and child – and a conflict is coming that will shake the kingdom to its very foundations.
So begins the Mahaelian Chronicle." [Source]
You can read the first chapter for free by following THIS LINK.
In case you are interested in the book and you can handle Kindle editions you should have a look at Amazon because there is a great offer for a limited time and I don't know how long the offer will be valid.
You can get Betrayal's Shadow (digital, 30th November 2015) [Kindle Edition ASIN:B018S2U4Z2] by Dave-Brendon de Burgh for: 0,99 EUR / 1.07 USD / 0.99 GBP


No more today, see you next week ......


Blogosphere

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...


Humanity defeats capitalism ... temporarily
This neither fiction nor science fiction. It is just an example for what is still possible. Read more about the details over at Atlas Obscura.




What kind of person would you be in a fantasy world?
An important part of role-playing games is the character creation.
One of the well known role-playing games is Dungeons and Dragons.
Even if you do not play such kind of games it may of interest which kind of character you would be. There is a 129 question survey available over at Easydamus.com which will give you a detailed answer.
So far I did not find time for it. But I want to do t.



A special map
Do you like maps? Then the following map could be of interest for you. If you believe that modern cities look more and more similar then the following map could be of interest for you too. Go to Think Big and have a look at



Unused subway system
The increase of traffic is getting a serious problem for cities. Go underground is not a bad solution as you can see in a lot of cities. Can you imagine a town which built a subway system and never used it? This is not a theoretical question. Read the true story over at Atlas Obscura.




Air pollution
We all know that air pollution is an increasing problem. Politicians talk endlessly about it but real consequences are missing. Fortunately there are people who think about solutions and turn solutions into reality. There is a great example presented over at the WebUrbanist.




That's it for today. Come back next week for more ......

Movies

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.


Deadpool
This is one more superhero film. In fact Deadpool is an antihero film.
Maybe you know the two trailers which I saw for the first time a few hours ago.
I'm still not sure if this is a movie for me or not.








That's it for today. Come back next week for more ......


Quotes
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.

Nothing to add to following quote .............

"Bureaucrats write memoranda both because they appear to be busy when they are writing and because the memos, once written, immediately become proof that they were busy.

Charles Peters, American journalist and author, 1926 -

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Edi's Spotlight: The Butchered Man by Harriet Smart

Dear Readers,

welcome to my next review which is like he previous one about a book set in Victorian England. I know that life for people at the bottom of the hierarchy was no bed of roses especially for women and children. Upper class ladies faced another enemy: boredom and paternalism. On the other hand it was a time of invention and progress. Police work were in one's infancy. It is the mix of all the ingredients which fascinate me. Of course this has an influence on what I expect on crime and/or mystery novels set in Victorian era. But I neither want Dickensian exposition nor the exclusive use of English spoken at that time. I'm afraid I would not understand a word. 
I'm more than happy that I discovered the book I review today because it delivered what I hoped to get.
Enough said.

Here we go.

The Butchered Man 
(digital, November 2011)
[ Kindle Edition ASIN:  B00P0I1Z88
"Northminster, 1840: a once-picturesque cathedral city, where dirty smoke stacks now rival ancient spires. When workmen make the shocking discovery of a mutilated corpse in a ditch outside the ancient walls, Giles Vernon and Felix Carswell are charged with solving the case.

Intelligent and practical, Chief Constable Major Vernon has transformed the old city watch into a modern police force, and he throws himself into the investigation with the same energy. But as he probes a murky world of professional gamblers and jilted lovers, he is drawn into a dangerous emotional game that threatens to undermine his authority.

Newly-qualified police surgeon Felix Carswell is determined to make his way in the world on his own terms despite being the bastard son of prominent local grandee Lord Rothborough. Called to treat a girl in an asylum for reformed prostitutes, what he uncovers there brings him into conflict with his new employer, Vernon, and throws the case into disarray.

Together they must overcome their differences and find the brutal truth behind the mystery of The Butchered Man.

The Butchered Man is the first Northminster Mystery featuring intrepid early-Victorian detectives Vernon and Carswell." [Source

The 267 pages of the book are divided into 34 consecutively  numbered chapters which are followed by an epilogue.
The story is told from third person.
Main characters are Chief Constable Major Vernon and police surgeon Felix Carswell.

1840 ... England ....the fictitious town of Northminster ... a ditch outside the wall ... a corpse murdered and mutilated ....

This is the premise for the first day of police surgeon Felix Carswell. His new boss is Chief Constable Major Vernon, a former soldier who served in India.
Major Vernon is a man with a vision of how police should be organised and work.
Felix Carswell is a young man who studied surgery in Edinburgh has to cope with the fact that he is the bastard son of Lord Rothborough.

The characterisation is well done. Both main characters have weak spots which have an impact on the story. Furthermore each character who has an impact on the story is described in a way that you know immediately the social status of the person and you understand why the act as they do. Especially the description of status and role of women is a highlight. Women do not stay in the background in this story. But the all act as one could expect from women in Victorian era.  All the characters mirror Victorian society in a superb way. They are vibrant and alive!

The fictitious town of Northminster is described in such a sense of realism and accuracy that the reader is drawn into real Victorian town like a jump into the drawing chalk sketches in the film Marry Poppins. It is like a time travel in your mind with a great portion of realism when it comes to smell, dirt and so on. But the story is not limited to the boundaries of the town. There are farms outside , the Rothborough estate, an asylum for wayward girls and not to forget a train travel to London.

Dickensian exposition and the exclusive use of English spoken at that time. Nevertheless language and prose support the story efficiently. There is something ageless in that which makes it reading a pleasure.

Who is responsible for the murder and the mutilation of the corps found in the ditch outside the wall?
This is the question to be answered by Chief Constable Major Vernon and police surgeon Felix Carswell.
Until near the end of the book Vernon and Carswell are in the dark and the reader does not get more information as they get. With every clue found by the two men and with every revelation of dirty little secrets the story twists and turns into another direction. There is more than one suspect which force guessing. Social convention is a hindrance at times.
The investigation gets more and more complicated by the personal secrets and weaknesses of the investigators. There are scenes where you may not understand the naivety of the detectives. At first sight I could not understand it too. But at second sight and with over 50 years of experience of life let me tell you, that there are men who behave like Vernon and Carswell.

All the mentioned ingredients deliver a book which is nearly impossible to put down. It is a real page turner and only sleep hindered me to read the book in one session.

Author Harriet Smart talent shines in her way to present characters, culture, setting, and description of Victorian era.

I rated the book with five stars over at GOODREADS. It is another excellent example how living conditions in Victorian England in combination with excellent characters and a twisted plot deliver perfect entertainment which does not dismiss the reader without spending time to think about living conditions and police procedure in Victorian England.

If you love crime and mysteries set in the Victorian era like I do then you should put The Butchered Man on your list.

If you want to discover crime and mysteries set in the Victorian era then you should give The Butchered Man a try.

I for myself bought copies of available book two and three in The Northminster Mysteries   
The Dead Songbird (digital, February 2013) [ Kindle Edition ASIN:  B00BD75QQW] by Harriet Smart.
The Shadowcutter (digital, March 2015) [ Kindle Edition ASIN:  B00V8YEBWU] by Harriet Smart.

Furthermore I ordered a copy of book four to be published in February 2016 in advance.
The Hanging Cage (digital, 1st February 2016) [ Kindle Edition ASIN:  B01ACFBI2G] by Harriet Smart


For more more information visit the author's site or follow her on Twitter.

This review will be posted on my blog Edi's Book Lighthouse, on GOODREADS and over at Amazon under the nickname brienneselwyn

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Edi's Weekend Wave issue #1604

Dear Readers,

this month reading is my favourite recreational activity. The number of books I read so far is the proof for that. It is surprising and satisfying at the same time. I'm sure that will not continue forever but that does not matter.
Another surprise is that I stick with one exception to my list of books to read in January. I think I will do a slight change to my to read list for February in the way that I will not create a complete list. I need one or two slots for possible change of my mood.
I know that there will be at least one evening in February where I will not have time for reading. The Hateful 8 is coming to cinemas in Germany.

Today I started to write this post a bit later because I finished a book before.
But it was worth to spend the time for reading.

Now let's have a look what I put together today.


ENJOY READING ....


Edi's Guidepost

The Lighthouse
News and information straight from the horse's mouth by Lighthouse keeper ediFanoB

  1. Reading progress 
Books
The latest report from our shelf shop net correspondent Bona
  1. New books on my shelf/reader or when one book leads to another 
  2. Virtual Historical Fiction Festival
Blogosphere
Messages from the depths of the blogosphere by spheronaut Bona Fide
  1. Hairstyle
  2. Backpack helicopters
  3. State of the art robots
  4. Face reconstruction
  5. Fashion trends, deadly fashion trends

Movies
Remote control junkie Fide and his zapping highlights
  1. Independence Day: Resurgence
  2. Suicide Squad

Quotes
The member of the house of quotes and a quote himself the Keeper of the minutes ( we call him Kotm) fished for you
  1. German proverbs, sayings and idiomsQuote related to research
The Lighthouse
Unbelievable but true I finished What a great week regarding reading. I finished again three books. I'm full of joy and happy with my reading progress. It is also great to be spontaneous which means in this case to discover a book and buy a digital copy on Thursday evening and finish the book on Saturday afternoon. Reading give me the strength to face the growing list of tasks at work.


I finished

- Steal the Sky (paperback, January 2016) [ISBN-13:978-0857664907] by Megan E. O'Keefe.
I wrote on GOODREADS:
"This solid fantasy debut novel delivers witty dialogue, a main character with an ignoble tongue, a story with twists and turns, funny moments, a pinch of steampunk and sword and sorcery. It is not my book of the year but I have had a good time with this book."



 - The Rising (digital, 1st December 2015) [ Kindle Edition ASIN:  B00ZPGBN1Y] by Ian Tregillis. Book 2 in the trilogy
I wrote on GOODREADS:
"This is the excellent second book in THE ALCHEMY WARS trilogy. 
A historical fantasy full of action and philosophical thoughts."

- The Butchered Man (digital, November 20111) [ Kindle Edition ASIN:  B00P0I1Z88] by Harriet Smart.
My review will be posted on 24th of January 2016



I'm

- 401 pages in Memories of Ice (this pb edition, August 2006) [ISBN-13: 978-0765348807] by Steven Erikson
A progress of 100 pages is not bad.


- 102 pages in Sword of the Bright Lady (pb, 2014) [ ISBN-13: 978-1616149888] by M.C. Planck.
So far some interesting aspects about the world Christopher Sinclair entered



 Enjoy your weekend ....



Books

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.
New books on my shelf/reader or when one book leads to another

It seems the price for digital books is increasing. That means to think more about which books I really want to get a copy of.
Nevertheless seven books - one paperback and six digital copies - found a new home. Four books I ordered in advance in 2015. The remaining three books I bought spontaneously.

Let me start with the paperback copy. So far I read exactly three books by Dan Simmons: Hyperion, Terror and Drood
To be honest I love them all three. When I discovered last year that Dan Simmons worked on a book starring Sherlock Holmes I could not resist to order a copy in advance. Last week I got my paperback copy of The Fifth Heart (paperback, January 2016) [ISBN-13:978-0751548574] by Dan Simmons.
"In the tradition of Drood, a historical mystery in which Sherlock Holmes and Henry James team up to solve a literary puzzle.

In 1893, Sherlock Holmes and Henry James come to America together to solve the mystery of the 1885 death of Clover Adams, wife of the esteemed historian Henry Adams--member of the Adams family that has given the United States two Presidents. Clover's suicide appears to be more than it at first seemed; the suspected foul play may involve matters of national importance.

Holmes is currently on his Great Hiatus--his three-year absence after Reichenbach Falls during which time the people of London believe him to be deceased. Holmes has faked his own death because, through his powers of ratiocination, the great detective has come to the conclusion that he is a fictional character.

This leads to serious complications for James--for if his esteemed fellow investigator is merely a work of fiction, what does that make him? And what can the master storyteller do to fight against the sinister power -- possibly named Moriarty -- that may or may not be controlling them from the shadows?" [Source]

Each of the following two digital copies belong to a science fiction series.
Furneral Games (digital, 18th January 2016) [Kindle Edition ASIN:B00WR12LCU] by Jay Allan is the final book in the space opera series Far Star Trilogy.
"The battle for the unification and rule of the Far Stars Confederation will be decided in this exhilarating third and final book in the swashbuckling space saga begun with Shadow of Empire and Enemy in the Dark.

The Far Stars stands on the edge of a precipice. The forces of Governor Vos have surged forth, conquering worlds and imposing the emperor’s brutal rule over millions. Only one thing stands in the way of total victory: Marshal Augustin Lucerne and his newly created Confederation. Vos has a simple plan: assassinate the marshal, and manipulate his generals to fight over his legacy, destroying each other in the process.

But another threat lurks: Arkarin Blackhawk. The smuggler and mercenary has been the marshal’s ally, working in the shadows and unraveling Vos’ plans. The governor can only hope the mysterious adventurer continues to resist a formal position in the Confederation.

Or he can have Blackhawk assassinated, too.

Because with Blackhawk succeeding Lucerne, the black and gold imperial flags will be stained red with blood. For his is a dark and dangerous past, and if he is put at the helm of the Confederation armies, the brutal imperial general he once had been may rise once again.

The Far Stars are facing the final battle. The Imperials seem unstoppable. But if Blackhawk somehow survives—and can come to grips with the horror deep within him—he just might be able to save the Far Stars from the iron hand of empire." [Source]

Falcone Strike (digital, September 2015) [ Kindle Edition ASIN: B00UXX5BLM.] by Christopher Nuttall is the second book in the Angel in the Whirlwind series.

"Now a celebrated war hero, Captain Kat Falcone is back at the helm of HMS Lightning…and up against near-impossible odds. After an ill-timed outburst almost ends her career, Kat is handed command of a deep-strike mission into enemy space. The objective is to gather intelligence and distract the hostile Theocracy while the Commonwealth prepares its counteroffensive.

The chances for success are slim—and for survival even slimmer
.
Armed with a ragtag fleet of outdated starships, a few loyal officers, and a skeleton crew of refugees, Kat knows the Royal Navy expects her to fail. But failure almost certainly means death—or worse, as the Theocracy does not treat prisoners kindly. Pitted against the enemy defenses of her old nemesis Admiral Junayd, there is no room for error. And with a spy hidden aboard her ship, Kat will need more than her wits to survive. Can Kat enter the lion’s den, strike a blow for the Commonwealth, and escape with her life?" [Source]

Tim Akers goes epic fantasy with his new series The Hallowed War which opens with The Pagan Night (digital, 19th January 2016) [ Kindle Edition ASIN:  B018JPMZ8W]. It sound like old school which is nothing bad.
"The Celestial Church has all but eliminated the old pagan ways, ruling the people with an iron hand. Demonic gheists terrorize the land, hunted by the warriors of the Inquisition, yet it’s the battling factions within the Church and age-old hatreds between north and south that tear the land apart.

Malcolm Blakley, hero of the Reaver War, seeks to end the conflict between men, yet it will fall to his son, Ian, and the huntress Gwen Adair to stop the killing before it tears the land apart. The Pagan Night is an epic of mad gods, inquisitor priests, holy knights bound to hunt and kill, and noble houses fighting battles of politics, prejudice, and power." [Source]

Three digital copies left. All three belong to The Northminster Mysteries   developed and written by Harriet Smart. Set in the early Victorian era in the fictional town Of Northminster it tells the cases of Chief Constable Major Vernon and police surgeon Felix Carswell. While searching another book I stumbled on the description of the first book which intrigued me immediately.
Without hesitation I bought a digital copy of The Butchered Man (digital, November 20111) [ Kindle Edition ASIN:  B00P0I1Z88] by Harriet Smart.
"Northminster, 1840: a once-picturesque cathedral city, where dirty smoke stacks now rival ancient spires. When workmen make the shocking discovery of a mutilated corpse in a ditch outside the ancient walls, Giles Vernon and Felix Carswell are charged with solving the case. Intelligent and practical, Chief Constable Major Vernon has transformed the old city watch into a modern police force, and he throws himself into the investigation with the same energy. But as he probes a murky world of professional gamblers and jilted lovers, he is drawn into a dangerous emotional game that threatens to undermine his authority.

Newly-qualified police surgeon Felix Carswell is determined to make his way in the world on his own terms despite being the bastard son of prominent local grandee Lord Rothborough. Called to treat a girl in an asylum for reformed prostitutes, what he uncovers there brings him into conflict with his new employer, Vernon, and throws the case into disarray.

Together they must overcome their differences and find the brutal truth behind the mystery of The Butchered Man. The Butchered Man is the first Northminster Mystery featuring intrepid early-Victorian detectives Vernon and Carswell." [Source]
I started to read and could not put it down except for a few hours of sleep.
The Butchered Man (digital, delivered all what I appreciate when it comes to Victorian crime mystery. I definitely need more books starring Chief Constable Major Vernon and police surgeon Felix Carswell.
Fortunately two more Northminster Mysteries are available the fourth in the series will be published in February. I bought digital copies of the two available books directly after I had finished The Butchered Man.

These are the books:

The Dead Songbird (digital, February 2013) [ Kindle Edition ASIN:  B00BD75QQW] by Harriet Smart.
"“Death is too good for a whore like you. But He may show you mercy yet. BE PREPARED”

Celebrated singer Anna Morgan has come to Northminster to escape a troubled past and sing at the city's Handel Festival. But when she continues to receive the poisonous letters that have been plaguing her, she turns to Chief Constable Major Giles Vernon and Police Surgeon Felix Carswell to find her persecutor, drawing the two men into her charismatic orbit.

At the same time a talented young tenor is found dead in curious circumstances in a locked chapel, and the hunt for a murderer is on. Together, Vernon and Carswell must untangle the web of secrets that surround the dead man, uncovering a Northminster that throbs with clandestine passions and thwarted desires, a world of illegal pornographic books and risqué theatricals.

However, Felix finds himself bedevilled by romantic feelings for the beautiful Anna, who may or may not be his father's mistress, while Giles must face the tragedy of his own marriage before he is able to determine the truth behind the mystery of The Dead Songbird.

The Dead Songbird is the second Northminster Mystery featuring early-Victorian detectives Vernon and Carswell." [Source]


The Shadowcutter (digital, March 2015) [ Kindle Edition ASIN:  B00V8YEBWU] by Harriet Smart.
"Police surgeon Felix Carswell has joined Major Giles Vernon and his convalescent wife, Laura, for a few days in the elegant spa town of Stanegate – it’s a welcome holiday from the summer stench of Northminster. But no sooner has he arrived than a Spanish colonial gentleman, dying of consumption, requires his urgent care, while Major Vernon is called away to Lord Rothborough’s country house, where a lady’s maid has been found drowned in a secluded pool.

Major Vernon investigates above and below stairs in the great house, assisted by Lord Rothborough’s eldest daughter, Lady Charlotte. When a quantity of valuable jewellery is found missing, the cause of the dead maid’s death only becomes more mysterious.

Meanwhile, when his patient dies in his arms after confiding a secret, Carswell is drawn into baffling intrigues involving the government-in-exile of the dead man’s homeland, the Caribbean island of Santa Magdalena. And strangest of all, Dona Blanca, the widow of the president, seems to know exactly who Felix is.

Over the course of the summer, Vernon and Carswell together doggedly search for the truth behind these troubling events, but their determination leads to a shocking personal tragedy for both of them, one which that will force them to reassess their lives and their careers, and leave them changed forever.

From the grand hotels of a fashionable spa town to a sordid illegal dog fight; from back-stair intrigues in a great country house to political conspiracies and fencing matches, The Shadowcutter sees the welcome return of early Victorian detectives, Major Giles Vernon and Felix Carswell." [Source]



No more today, see you next week ......


Blogosphere

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...

Hairstyle
Is it only me who is about women hairstyle? When I look around in the office I see only women with straight long hair. The only differ in colour. It looks like a uniform. Where have all the hairstyles gone? Is it just a question of time to spend for styling hair? There has been a lot more variety in Victorian era as you can see in following post over at English Historical Fiction Authors.



Backpack helicopters
To fly - the ongoing dream. There has been a time when a lot of people worked on the development of backpack helicopters. Over at Atlas Obscura you can read about the history of backpack helicopters garnered with pictures.






State of the art robots
What would science fiction be without robots? A lot of stories would not work without them. Around the world robot development is in progress and there are impressive results. Of course military is interested in and in some cases involved in. The WebUrbanist put together ten amazing robot projects.





Face reconstruction
Nowadays plastic surgery delivers a lot of possibilities to reconstruct faces damaged by accidents and wars. But what happened to all the WW I victims? A
subtitled silent movie from 1918 give an answer. Head over to The Public Domain Review where you can see the film and read an additional text



Fashion trends, deadly fashion trends
Believe it or not my wife reads my blog. After the lethal doses infographic I shared last week she sent me some proposals for today's post. I picked up the following one because it contains some trends I was not aware of. Have a look at following video and shake your head about what people did to be trendy.

That's it for today. Come back next week for more ......

Movies

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.

This week I want to share two trailers for movies to hit the cinemas in summer 2016.


Independence Day: Resurgence
Is it really true? 20 years passed since Independence Day hit the cinemas. Sometimes it take some time to get a sequel. Most surprising beside the technical development is the comparison of the cast between Independence Day and Independence Day: Resurgence. Some people maybe disappointed because Captain Steven Hiller (Will Smith) does not return. But (Will Smith) entered another team as you can see in the next trailer.

Suicide Squad
I admit that I'm not familiar with the characters belonging to DC Comics. Therefore I was not sure what to expect from the official Suicide Squad trailer.
After watching the trailer several times I must say that music and film fit together perfectly. So far I'm interested in the film. The action is impressive and I hope there will be some good story too.


That's it for today. Come back next week for more ......


Quotes
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.

Nothing to add to following quote .............

"The outcome of any serious research can only be to make two questions grow where only one grew before.

Thorstein Veblen, American economist and sociologist, 1857 -1929

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Edi's Weekend Wave issue #1603

Dear Readers,

not unexpected my reading progress slowed down a bit but not as much as I suspected.
I started to think about to write more posts per month. Beside that I try to be a bit more active on Twitter. In order to do that I need to get more structured.
I think it is good change the daily routine a bit.

ENJOY READING ....


Edi's Guidepost

The Lighthouse
News and information straight from the horse's mouth by Lighthouse keeper ediFanoB


  1. Reading progress 
Books
The latest report from our shelf shop net correspondent Bona
  1. New books on my shelf/reader or when one book leads to another 
  2. Virtual Historical Fiction Festival
Blogosphere
Messages from the depths of the blogosphere by spheronaut Bona Fide
  1. Flyting
  2. Bees
  3. Fake islands
  4. Mechanimals
  5. Lethal Doses Infographic

Movies
Remote control junkie Fide and his zapping highlights
  1. Explore the Wonderland

Quotes
The member of the house of quotes and a quote himself the Keeper of the minutes ( we call him Kotm) fished for you
  1. German proverbs, sayings and idiomsQuote related to mistake
The Lighthouse
What a great week regarding reading. I finished three books, continued reading of one book, and started a new one. I can't wish any more. Of course I know it will not continue like that. On Monday I return to work which means time for reading gets limited. I will use the time until then well and have had a good start with finishing my first book in 2016 today. In the next weeks I will put together the list of books I want to read in 2016.


I finished

- The Winter Siege (digital, September 2013) [ Kindle Edition ASIN: B00FGYSJNA] by DW Dawbridge which is the first book in his Daniel Cheswis Mystery series.
I wrote on GOODREADS:
"This is an excellent historical ficton story mixed intertwined with a whodunit.
Despite the fact that there is murder and a siege potential readers should be aware that this is a slow paced story which is not negative. It is just the contrary. It would be implausible that the main character Daniel Cheswis who has an own business and took the position of a constable in order to fulfill his requirement.
The clever whodunit with a lot of twists and turns keeps one guessing until near the end of the story.

The book is extraordinary in the way how it tells about every day lives of the inhabitants of Nantwich. Reading the book is like living among the people. The historical accuracy is marvellous. The author must have spent a lot of time for research.

I look forward to the next book in the series."



I'm

- 307 pages in Memories of Ice (this pb edition, August 2006) [ISBN-13: 978-0765348807] by Steven Erikson
A progress of 100 pages is not bad.

- 70 pages in Steal the Sky (paperback, January 2016) [ISBN-13:978-0857664907] by Megan E. O'Keefe.
I started to read this book instead of the one which did not work for me. So far I enjoy it.


Did not work for me,


- Beyond Redemption (digital, June 2015) [ Kindle Edition ASIN:  B00NUV1LJK] by Michael R. Fletcher.
I had a problem with the naming. For details pleas read following post
My problem with Beyond Redemption by Michael R. Fletcher



 Enjoy your weekend ....



Books

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.
New books on my shelf/reader or when one book leads to another

As I like to read historical fiction and therefore I signed up the Virtual Historical Fiction Festival which will be launched by Endeavour Press in April 2016. In return I could choose several digital books for free. I decided to get three books and these are the ones I chose:

Faith and Fidelity (this version, digital, December 2015) [ Kindle Edition ASIN:  B018XOY2XK] by Evan Ostryzniuk which is the first book in the Hotspur series.
"As the papal wars of the Western Schism rage across Europe, a young man takes his first step on the journey of a lifetime.

Geoffrey Hotspur dreams of knighthood.

As an English orphan-squire bonded to the court of Sir John of Gaunt, uncle of the English King Richard II, his prospects are few. An inveterate gambler already deep in debt, young Geoffrey eagerly accepts an invitation to participate in a raid on French lands. However, his plans go awry after a deadly street brawl results in his banishment from court.

As further punishment, he is ordered to join a royal commission bound for Florence. Accompanied by Jean Lagoustine, a mysterious Frenchman whose intentions towards the young squire are not all they appear to be, the ship upon which they journey is waylaid by corsairs.

Barely escaping with their lives, Geoffrey and Jean find themselves forming part of a company of Catalonian crossbowmen en route to enlist with the Roman papal army. The unlikely duo must navigate the war-torn lands of the Patrimony and the intricacies of honour and allegiance.

Intrigue and betrayal dominate the war between the two popes, and the young squire's understanding of faith and fidelity are soon challenged.

The need to do right inspires Geoffrey to take a personal stake in the outcome of the conflict.

With little more than his wits and a sword, the young squire must find a way to fulfill his duty to his lord, to his faith and to himself.

As the war culminates in an epic final battle for the throne of St. Peter, will Geoffrey find that a knighthood is worth the risk to his honour?" [Source]
Band of Brothers: The Game's Afoot (digital, November 2015) [ Kindle Edition ASIN:  B018EGA6EQ] by Richard Foreman.
"1415

England stands on the brink of war with France.

Henry V receives intelligence, through his agent Thomas Chaucer that the French intend to re-forge their old alliance with Scotland.

The king orders Chaucer and veteran archer Robert Cooper to travel across the border and intercept a French agent, Reynard of Troyes, before he can deliver the gold which will fund Scotland's war with England.

Chaucer also learns of a plot to murder the man that England cannot afford to go to war without. He orders the man-at-arms, Edward Fordham, to remain in the capital, solve the mystery and stop the assassin.

But all is not what it seems.

Some wars are fought in the shadows as well as on the battlefield..." [Source]

Sons of Natal (digital, October 2014) [ Kindle Edition ASIN:  B00P0I1Z88] by Ian Carr.
"1879.
British Natal stands on the brink of the Anglo-Zulu war.

The British High Commissioner is seeking to provoke the native Zulus into rising up against the British invaders, to start a war which will give the British an excuse to rule the whole of southern Africa. The colonialists are gathering their forces, in fear of the Zulu king’s warriors. Edmund Wade, a hotel manager with a controversial military past, volunteers to join the Town Guard. But after a run-in with an influential soldier he is left unemployed. And so, when he is offered the chance to lead a dangerous military mission, he has no choice but to accept. The newly-promoted captain is sent with a rag-tag contingent of redcoats to recover a haul of stolen rifles before they fall into the Zulu king’s hands, arming him for the coming conflict. It is Wade’s chance to redeem himself in the eyes of the army. But the stolen rifles are just the beginning… The captain starts to uncover a conspiracy which cuts to the heart of the British colonial establishment.

Who really stole the rifles, and for what purpose?

Can Wade expose the plot before it plunges South Africa into war?

Or will he fall victim to the Sons of Natal…?" [Source]



Beside that I bought one digital copy and one paperback which I ordered in advance.
Let me start with the digital copy.
Sometimes it take some time until a book arise my interest. That is what happened with Windswept (digital, September 2015) [ Kindle Edition ASIN:  B0142YPNEM] by Adam Rakunas which is the first book in the xxx series.
"Labor organizer Padma Mehta is on the edge of space and the edge of burnout. All she wants is to buy out a little rum distillery and retire, but she's supposed to recruit 500 people to the Union before she can. She's only thirty-three short. So when a small-time con artist tells her about forty people ready to tumble down the space elevator to break free from her old bosses, she checks it out — against her better judgment. It turns out, of course, it was all lies. As Padma should know by now, there are no easy shortcuts on her planet. And suddenly retirement seems farther away than ever: she's just stumbled into a secret corporate mission to stop a plant disease that could wipe out all the industrial sugarcane in Occupied Space. If she ever wants to have another drink of her favorite rum, she's going to have to fight her way through the city's warehouses, sewage plants, and up the elevator itself to stop this new plague." [Source]
I must say that I find the description promising. A labor organizer as the main character of a science fiction story is nothing usual....

The final book for today is the paperback copy of a debut novel which I ordered in advance because I could not resist the proms of an airship, thievery, secrets and a main character with an ignoble tongue. I talk about
Steal the Sky (paperback, January 2016) [ISBN-13:978-0857664907] by Megan E. O'Keefe.
"Detan Honding, a wanted conman of noble birth and ignoble tongue, has found himself in the oasis city of Aransa. He and his trusted companion Tibs may have pulled off one too many cons against the city’s elite and need to make a quick escape. They set their sights on their biggest heist yet—the gorgeous airship of the exiled commodore Thratia.

But in the middle of his scheme, a face changer known as a doppel starts murdering key members of Aransa’s government. The sudden paranoia makes Detan’s plans of stealing Thratia’s ship that much harder. And with this sudden power vacuum, Thratia can solidify her power and wreak havoc against the Empire. But the doppel isn’t working for Thratia and has her own intentions. Did Detan accidentally walk into a revolution and a crusade? He has to be careful—there’s a reason most people think he’s dead. And if his dangerous secret gets revealed, he has a lot more to worry about than a stolen airship." [Source]




Virtual Historical Fiction Festival
Do you like historical fiction? Then you maybe interested in to take part in the following event launched by UK’s leading independent digital publisher
Endeavour Press. It is free and you can get free books.

Official announcement

VIRTUAL HISTORICAL FICTION FESTIVAL


 


Endeavour Press are proud to be launching the first ever virtual historical fiction festival. We will be publishing exclusive extracts of upcoming novels, running giveaways and competitions and doing live Q&A's with our authors. 

Sign up here for free and we will send you free ebooks by the authors taking part in the festival.


I signed up. The festival will take part in April 2016 and I chose three books - shown above - which I will read until the begin of the festival.

No more today, see you next week ......


Blogosphere

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...

Flyting
One is never to old to learn something new. Until a few days ago I did not know the expression flyting and the meaning of it.Atlas Obscura enlightened me with following post



Bees
You may heard of or read about the Colony collapse disorder and think this is something new and related to modern society. That is not true as you can read in the article by following the link above. Many people do not know the importance of bees and do not understand the concern related to the disappearance of bees. Over at The Virtual Victorian you can read how an association formed in 1882 tried to enlighten people about bees. Have a look at




What to read in 2016
There are a lot of lists with book recommendations for 2016 available and there is one which delivers publisher's choice. I was really curious to read which books publisher would choose from their publication list. I found some interesting books which I was not aware of. You want to know more? Then head over to Fantasy Faction and read



Fake Islands
It is most important that nautical chart are as precise as possible and I do not need to explain to you why. Therefore I was really surprised when I read following post which I found over at Atlas Obscura. I could not believe that at the end of the 1800, there were around 200 faked islands marked in available charts and atlases.





Mechanimals
By chance I discovered the work of artist Robert Chew. His mechanimals are awesome. Have a look at his creations. They are marvellous.






Lethal Doses  Infographic
Last week I wrote about infographics. Today I want to share with you a great infographic source. I talk about Halcyon Maps. The following infographic could be of interest for anyone who likes crime fiction and mysteries:




That's it for today. Come back next week for more ......

Movies

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.

There is no movie trailer this week. I did not find one worth to share with you.
Instead I show you something new available on Google Maps.
There is a large model railway exhibit in Hamburg, Germany. There are locations which you can't see in detail or from an other perspective than visitor's point of view. Fortunately there is now the possibility to do that by visiting Google Maps. Let me invite you to




That's it for today. Come back next week for more ......


Quotes
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.

A quote which is proven every day .............

"The greatest mistake is trying to be more agreeable than you can be.

Walter Bagehot, British journalist, 1826 -1877

Thursday, January 14, 2016

My problem with Beyond Redemption by Michael R. Fletscher

Dear Readers,

on 19th of December 2015 I wrote:

"You find some praising reviews from blogger I trust over at GOODREADS for the following book which has been on my to buy list for a while. Now I own a copy of the epic dark fantasy Beyond Redemption (digital, June 2015) [ Kindle Edition ASIN:  B00NUV1LJK] by Michael R. Fletcher."

"A darkly imaginative writer in the tradition of Joe Abercrombie, Peter V. Brett, and Neil Gaiman conjures a gritty mind-bending fantasy, set in a world where delusion becomes reality . . . and the fulfillment of humanity’s desires may well prove to be its undoing.

When belief defines reality, those with the strongest convictions—the crazy, the obsessive, the delusional—have the power to shape the world.

And someone is just mad enough to believe he can create a god . . .

Violent and dark, the world is filled with the Geistrekranken—men and women whose delusions manifest. Sustained by their own belief—and the beliefs of those around them—they can manipulate their surroundings. For the High Priest Konig, that means creating order out of the chaos in his city-state, leading his believers to focus on one thing: helping a young man, Morgen, ascend to become a god. A god they can control.

Trouble is, there are many who would see a god in their thrall, including the High Priest’s own doppelgangers, a Slaver no one can resist, and three slaves led by possibly the only sane man left.

As these forces converge on the boy, there’s one more obstacle: time is running out. Because as the delusions become more powerful, the also become harder to control. The fate of the Geistrekranken is to inevitably find oneself in the Afterdeath. The question, then, is:

Who will rule there?" [SOURCE]
Yesterday (2016-01-13) I started to read  Beyond Redemption and after ten minutes I quit.

 It was not possible for me to read AND enjoy the book!

German is my first language but I love to read books in English. Most of the time my language skill is sufficient to understand what I read and should there be a term I do not understand,  I don't mind to use a dictionary.

Beyond Redemption is special when it comes to use of language.

Maybe I should have taken the last sentence of the author's note more seriously:
"Apologies to those who can actually speak German"

Maybe I should have read the Beyond Redemption Wiki before I started reading the book.
"I don't speak German. I also don't speak Basque. I appropriated these languages because I liked the way they sounded and looked. Yes, I write at least in part with an eye toward how words look. 
[...]
So. If you speak these languages, my horrendous abuse may upset you. Such is life. I hope you can get beyond my sins and enjoy the story for what it is. Whatever it is." 

Of course it is the freedom of the author to name characters and name of cities as he/she wants.

And that is in the end my problem with the book - the names.

I can cope with names in other languages and I also can cope with many characters in a book.

BUT the names of characters and cities used in Beyond Redemption hindered me to enjoy the story and lead to an impaired reading fluency.

I can't judge the book because I did not finish it.
I can't complain about the author BECAUSE I did note take the warning of the author seriously.

The only thing I can say is:  Beyond Redemption did not work for me.

The lesson I learned is to use the information given by the author properly and reviews do not mention everything.

Finally I highly recommend to read the Beyond Redemption Wiki before you read the book and build up your mind.



Sunday, January 10, 2016

Edi's Spotlight: Strings of Murder by Oscar de Muriel

Dear Readers,

this my first review in 2016 and again I return to Victorian England. It is still one of my favourite period of time and I can get enough of it. Nevertheless I'm aware that life in this period of time was no bed of roses. After reading the description I had some expectation of this debut novel .....
Enough said.

Here we go.

The Strings of Murder
(digital, February 2015) [ Kindle Edition ASIN:  B00NPIUILA


"A spellbinding concoction of crime, history and horror - perfect for fans of Sherlock Holmes and Jonathan Creek.

Edinburgh, 1888. A virtuoso violinist is brutally killed in his home. Black magic symbols cover the walls. The dead man's maid swears she heard three musicians playing before the murder.

But with no way in or out of the locked practice room, the puzzle makes no sense...

Fearing a national panic over a copycat Ripper, Scotland Yard sends Inspector Ian Frey to investigate under the cover of a fake department specializing in the occult. However, Frey's new boss - Detective 'Nine-Nails' McGray - actually believes in such nonsense.

McGray's tragic past has driven him to superstition, but even Frey must admit that this case seems beyond reason. And once someone loses all reason, who knows what they will lose next..." [Source]

The 346 pages of the book are divided into 35 consecutively  numbered chapters which are framed by an prologue and an epilogue.
The story is told in the first person by Inspector Ian Frey of Magdeburg which means he belongs to nobility. I come back to that soon.

London, 1888.
Jack the Ripper spreads terror. Police and government are under pressure from Crown and public. The fear of uproar is palpable.

Therefore the message of a brutal murder under mysterious circumstances in Edinburgh must be solved quick and with as less as possible civil commotion.

The failure of the police in the Ripper case lead to consequences which accompanied by other revelations turn the life of Inspector Ian Frey upside down within one day.
Frey is ordered to go to Edinburgh to support Scottish Detective Adolpho 'Nine-Nails' McGray.

The first meeting of the two main protagonists is like a collision of worlds and I was afraid that the ongoing bickering between Frey and McGray would be no good for the story. Quite the contrary ! A lot of things would not have happened without the bickering. It is an important ingredient.

Beside the excellent described Frey and McGray other characters do not disappear. Every person important for the story from the servant over the superior over the gypsy to the poor chimney sweep get the deserved attention.

There are two main locations: London and Edinburgh.
We know a lot of at least London in Victorian era thanks to countless reports, books written at the times, photos and pictures. We don't know how it smelled, it reeked.
It is magnificent how the author let come these two towns come alive. It is like a time travel to places you have not been before. You see the dirt on your shoes, the malodorousness  creeps into your nose until the nostrils are filled with the ever present soot, The foggy streets give you the creep, You try to avoid the ruthless cart and coach drivers, you taste the drinks and food which make your stomach rumble and more .....
This is the atmosphere which people with a passion for Victorian England love and it is all in the book just waiting to blossom in your imagination.

The mystery itself is a unique and complex one and comes along with more than a gothic touch which is underlined through the superstition in the mind of many people. All the twists and turns let you guess for a long time who is the responsible for the killing of people in Edinburgh. Through the importance of violin for the story the author delivers a lot of insight in the work of instrument makers which is most interesting for readers who are not familiar with the making of violin.
The mystery and all the steps to be taken to solve it is irresolvable connected to the private life of Frey and McGray and their dear and near ones.
The case does not stop at the entrance of the home.

The writing is superbly. English is not my first language. The use of the Scottish accent ( like "ken" instead of "know") slowed down my reading but I enjoyed it because it underlines the difference between Frey as a noble coming from the most important town of the country and the inhabitants of Edinburgh.

Finally I need to mention that beside all the murder, mystery and horror the author flavoured the story with humour which delivers a fabulous read.

What a brilliant debut novel! Oscar de Muriel pressed the right buttons and pulled the right strings to deliver a promising, brilliant, riveting and unforgettable start of a series which is MOREISH.
The chapter have the prefect length for all the "just one more chapter" readers like me which mean you will look tired in the morning ......

I rated the book with five stars over at GOODREADS because it entertained me perfectly in every aspect and that is what I expect from a book. Furthermore it let me think about superstition and living conditions in Victorian England.
It sounds like a nightmare when you read reports about chimney sweepers in Victorian England.

Now I can't wait to read the next book in the series.

 A Fever of the Blood (digital, February 2016) [Kindle edition ASIN: B00NPIUILA] by Oscar de Muriel will be available on 11th of February 2016.

Of course I ordered a copy in advance.

Saturday, January 09, 2016

Edi's Weekend Wave issue #1602


Dear Readers,

what a week! I can't remember the last time when I read as much as I did during a normal working week. Of course less stress at work helped a lot.


ENJOY READING ....


Edi's Guidepost

The Lighthouse
News and information straight from the horse's mouth by Lighthouse keeper ediFanoB

  1. Reading progress 
  2. Books I want to read in January 2016
Books
The latest report from our shelf shop net correspondent Bona
  1. New books on my shelf/reader or when one book leads to another 
  2. Get a book for free
Blogosphere
Messages from the depths of the blogosphere by spheronaut Bona Fide
  1. What to read in 2016
  2. FBI vault
  3. Dentist
  4. Infographics
  5. Gaming and card play
  6. Underwear patents

Movies
Remote control junkie Fide and his zapping highlights
  1. Ruins

Quotes
The member of the house of quotes and a quote himself the Keeper of the minutes ( we call him Kotm) fished for you
  1. German proverbs, sayings and idiomsQuote related to speech
The Lighthouse
What a great week regarding reading. I finished three books, continued reading of one book, and started a new one. I can't wish any more. Of course I know it will not continue like that. On Monday I return to work which means time for reading gets limited. I will use the time until then well and have had a good start with finishing my first book in 2016 today. In the next weeks I will put together the list of books I want to read in 2016.




I finished

- Shadow of Empire (digital, 3rd November 2015) [ Kindle Edition ASIN:  B00TE98BNQ] by Jay Allan which is the first book in the new space opera series Far Star Trilogy.
I wrote on GOODREADS:
"I liked the over all story line of this solid first book in the series. It is well done but did not deliver the number of twists and turns I expected to get. Maybe my expectations have been too high. There is a whiff of firefly. The character development has been slowed down by repetition of character back story.

Nevertheless I will read the next book in the series."


- The Severed Streets (digital, May 2014) [Kindle edition ASIN: B00IXLVW3W] by Paul Cornell.
I wrote on GOODREADS:
"As I said in my comment to the first book in the series I'm not a big fan of urban fantasy but what Paul Cornell delivers with his Shadows Police series is excellent. The Severed Streets is even a bit better then London Falling.

The main characters have to go through a lot.I do not always agree with their methods and decisions but there is mostly nothing without a reason behind. New parties enter the greater game The mix of police procedural and the "dark side" of London is excellent. And there is still the question of Lofthouse's secret. Beside Jack the Ripper you meet author Neil Gaiman who plays a certain role which makes sense in case you read his book Neverwhere.
I can't wait to read the next book in the series.

WHO KILLED SHERLOCK HOLMES will be published in May 2016."



- The Strings of Murder (digital, February 2015) [Kindle edition ASIN: B00NPIUILA] by Oscar de Muriel.
Excellent debut novel. My review will posted on 10th of January 2016



I'm

- 207 pages in Memories of Ice (this pb edition, August 2006) [ISBN-13: 978-0765348807] by Steven Erikson
There is so much going on which is not obvious a first sight.


- 59 pages The Winter Siege (digital, September 2013) [ Kindle Edition ASIN: B00FGYSJNA] by DW Dawbridge which is the first book in his Daniel Cheswis Mystery series.
The protagonist is Daniel Cheswis who is an established businessman, a volunteered constable and far beyond to be a hero. He is the one who tells the story from his point of view. This is no fast paced medieval action mystery. The author is excellent in his work to let come an medieval to come to life. It is quite atmospheric and promise a historical whodunnit with a lot of twists and turns and guessing.





Books I want to read in January 2016
I know this is at least one week to late. But I want to install this as a new feature in 2016. I started to think about to post this separately at the end of  a month and chat a bit more of each book.
The schedule for January is ambitious. I can't remember the last time when I read ten books in a month. So far I'm on a good way with four books finished and two books in progress after nine days. 



- London Falling (digital, 2012) [Kindle edition ASIN: B00AER81ZU] by Paul Cornell.
STATUS: Read
Urban Fantasy



- The Severed Streets (digital, May 2014) [Kindle edition ASIN: B00IXLVW3W] by Paul Cornell.

STATUS: Read
Urban Fantasy

- Shadow of Empire (digital, 3rd November 2015) [ Kindle Edition ASIN:  B00TE98BNQ] by Jay Allan.
STATUS: Read
Science Fiction

- The Strings of Murder (digital, February 2015) [Kindle edition ASIN: B00NPIUILA] by Oscar de Muriel.
STATUS: Read
Victorian Mystery

- Memories of Ice (this pb edition, August 2006) [ISBN-13: 978-0765348807] by Steven Erikson
STATUS: In progress
Epic Fantasy

- The Winter Siege (digital, September 2013) [ Kindle Edition ASIN: B00FGYSJNA] by DW Dawbridge which is the first book in his Daniel Cheswis Mystery series.
STATUS: In progress
Medieval Mystery

- Beyond Redemption (digital, June 2015) [ Kindle Edition ASIN:  B00NUV1LJK] by Michael R. Fletcher.
STATUS: Not started
Epic Fantasy

 - Enemy in the Dark (digital, 1st December 2015) [ Kindle Edition ASIN:  B00UG8IHDI] by Jay Allan. Book 2 in the trilogy
STATUS: Not started 
Science Fiction

 - The Rising (digital, 1st December 2015) [ Kindle Edition ASIN:  B00ZPGBN1Y] by Ian Tregillis. Book 2 in the trilogy
STATUS: Not started 
Mix of Alternate History, Fantasy, and Steampunk

- Sword of the Bright Lady (pb, 2014) [ ISBN-13: 978-1616149888] by M.C. Planck.
STATUS: Not started

Portal Fantasy


 Enjoy your weekend ....



Books

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.
New books on my shelf/reader or when one book leads to another

I'm a fan of series. It seems it is a good time for science fiction and fantasy series turned into films and or TV series.
The latest example is The Expanse series base on the books by James S A Corey which is the pen name of Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck. I read book one in 2011 and book two in 2012 and I liked them both. Then I lost contact to the series for whatever reason. In 2016 book six will be published.
At the moment I do not want to return to the series.
 Instead the Expanse series reminded me of an other series written by Daniel Abraham.
I talk about the epic fantasy series The Dagger and the Coin. The fifth and finial book in the series - The Spider's War - will be published in March 2016.
I remember I read the first book - The Dragon's Path - in paperback format back in 2011 and liked it a lot. But I have to admit I do not remember a lot.
I checked my bookshelves on GOODREADS that I also own a digital copies of book two and three. A wonderful idea popped up in my mind: wouldn't it be a marvellous idea to read this five book series back to back during my summer holidays? I took me less than a minute to convince myself. I like to have all books in a series either in paperback or in digital format. Therefore I decided to do following in order to complete the series. I will buy a digital copy of book one even I own a paperback copy. Furthermore I need to buy digital copies of book four and five.
To read all five books back to back also means I will reread book one.
I started the completion of the series collection with buying digital copies of book one and four and I ordered book five in advance.
I will share with you cover and description of book one, the covers of book two to five, and finally the introduction to the series by the author himself. While I put together the information about the series my wish to read the books now rose and rose which is good. Nevertheless I will keep to my reading order which is of course not cared in stone but I spent some time on it and so far it fits.
The Dragon's Path (digital, April 2011) [ Kindle Edition ASIN:  B004SBMJSI] by Daniel Abraham
"All paths lead to war...

Marcus' hero days are behind him. He knows too well that even the smallest war still means somebody's death. When his men are impressed into a doomed army, staying out of a battle he wants no part of requires some unorthodox steps.

Cithrin is an orphan, ward of a banking house. Her job is to smuggle a nation's wealth across a war zone, hiding the gold from both sides. She knows the secret life of commerce like a second language, but the strategies of trade will not defend her from swords.

Geder, sole scion of a noble house, has more interest in philosophy than in swordplay. A poor excuse for a soldier, he is a pawn in these games. No one can predict what he will become.

Falling pebbles can start a landslide. A spat between the Free Cities and the Severed Throne is spiraling out of control. A new player rises from the depths of history, fanning the flames that will sweep the entire region onto The Dragon's Path-the path to war." [Source



    BOOK TWO                                       BOOK THREE
    The Kings Blood                                The Tyrant Law
    (digital, May 2012)                        (digital, May 2013)
   [Kindle ASIN:  B007NMTJHS]       [Kindle ASIN:  B009SQ01AG]

BOOK FOUR                                             BOOK FIVE
The Widow's House                                  The Spider's War
(digital, Agust 2014)                            (digital, March 2016)
[Kindle ASIN:  B00KQNSK80]             [Kindle ASIN:  B00PW5V3E0]

Daniel Abraham introduces The Dagger and the Coin.

With coming out of the fifth and last book it is a great opportunity to read an excellent and by March 2016 completed epic fantasy series back to back. 



A book for free
I'm currently reading The Winter Siege (digital, September 2013) [ Kindle Edition ASIN: B00FGYSJNA] by DW Dawbridge which is the first book in his Daniel Cheswis Mystery series.
"1643. The armies of King Charles I and Parliament clash in the streets and fields of England, threatening to tear the country apart, as winter closes in around the parliamentary stronghold of Nantwich. The royalists have pillaged the town before, and now, they are returning. But even with weeks to prepare before the Civil War is once more at its gates, that doesn’t mean the people of Nantwich are safe.

While the garrison of soldiers commanded by Colonel George Booth stand guard, the town’s residents wait, eyeing the outside world with unease, unaware that they face a deadly threat from within. Townspeople are being murdered – the red sashes of the royalists left on the bodies marking them as traitors to the parliamentary cause.

When the first dead man is found, his skull caved in with a rock, fingers start being pointed, and old hatreds rise to the surface. It falls to Constable Daniel Cheswis to contain the bloodshed, deputising his friend, Alexander Clowes, to help him in his investigations, carried out with the eyes of both armies on his back. And they are not the only ones watching him.

He is surrounded by enemies, and between preparing for the imminent battle, watching over his family, being reunited with his long-lost sweetheart, and trying, somehow, to stay in business, he barely has time to solve a murder.

With few clues and the constant distraction of war, can Cheswis protect the people of Nantwich? And which among them need protecting? Whether they are old friends or troubled family, in these treacherous times, everyone’s a traitor, in war, law, or love.

When the Winter Siege is through, who will be among the bodies?" [Source]

In case you would like to give  The Winter Siege a try and in case you can handle Kindle books then I have good news for you.
Author DW Dawbridge announced via Twitter that the Kindle edition of The Winter Siege will be free from 18th to 21st of January 2016.
Go to Amazon and search for ASIN: B00FGYSJNA during the mentioned days.

Maybe you heard about the new feature offered by Amazon.com for free. It is now possible to embed book previews directly on a blog. Of course I want to try the feature and therefore you get now a preview of The Winter Siege.


Please let me know in the comment if this feature is useful for you.





No more today, see you next week ......


Blogosphere

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...



What to read in 2016
There are a lot of lists with book recommendations for 2016 available and there is one which delivers publisher's choice. I was really curious to read which books publisher would choose from their publication list. I found some interesting books which I was not aware of. You want to know more? Then head over to Fantasy Faction and read



FBI vault
Last week I told you about the upcoming X-Files miniseries. The following post which I found over at Atlas Obscura fits perfectly to that. Have a look at



Dentist
Next Wednesday I have to go to dentist because I will get a new bridge. The pain is nothing compared what people had to endure in medieval times. There is a fascinating post over at The History Girls. Head over and read



Infographics
"Information graphics or infographics are graphic visual representations of information, data or knowledge intended to present information quickly and clearly." [Source]
They are also nothing new under the sun as the following excellent post over at Atlas Obscura shows.




Gaming and card play
Both are part of many fantasy books and they have a long history in our world. There is an enlightening post about gaming and card play in the Elizabethan era available of at the English Historical Fiction Authors.



Underwear patents
I do not want to go into details. I assure you that the following post over a t Atlas Obscura left me dumbfounded.






That's it for today. Come back next week for more ......

Movies

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.

There is no movie trailer this week. I did not find one worth to share with you.
Instead I show you an excellent short film. Enjoy
CGI 3D Animated Short Film HD: "Ruins" - by Daniel Ueno



That's it for today. Come back next week for more ......


Quotes
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.

A quote which is proven every day .............

"Speech is conveniently located midway between thought and action, where it often substitutes for both.

Tom Lehrer, American physician and writer, 1874 - year of death unknown. He is best known for his book "Wisdom in Small Doses (1927), which is the source of the quote above.
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