Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Review: Shards of Honor by Lois McMaster Bujold

Synopsis: When Cordelia Naismith and her survey crew are attacked by a renegade group from Barrayar, she is taken prisoner by Aral Vorkosigan, commander of the Barrayan ship that has been taken over by an ambitious and ruthless crew member. Aral and Cordelia survive countless mishaps while their mutual admiration and even stronger feelings emerge. (from the online description)

Note: This edition contains the short story Aftermaths.

Review:  With a feisty, complex heroine and a stalwart hero, this book is fun and engaging. It read more like a sci-fi romance, which I found amusing, consider I didn’t realize the genre stretched by to the late 80s/early 90s. As for the story, it’s lovely, with just the write about of romance, science, action, and adventure. It was a bit darker than I anticipated, in particular how it did not shy away from the realities of war. The only part the was hard for me what the romance, actually – it happened too quickly for my taste, but that’s my only true complete about the story

As for the short story included, it was superb. One of the best I’ve read in a long time. 

Bookmarks: 4 of 5 / 4.5 of 5

Awards: None

ISBN: 0-671-7287-2
Year Published: 1986
Date Finished: 6-24-2017
Pages: 313

Monday, August 7, 2017

Review: Hyperion by Dan Simmons

Synopsis: On the world called Hyperion, beyond the reach of galactic law, waits a creature called the Shrike. There are those who worship it. There are those who fear it. And there are those who have vowed to destroy it. In the Valley of the Time Tombs, where huge, brooding structures move backward through time, the Shrike waits for them all. On the eve of Armageddon, with the entire galaxy at war, seven pilgrims set forth on a final voyage to Hyperion seeking the answers to the unsolved riddles of their lives. Each carries a desperate hope—and a terrible secret. And one may hold the fate of humanity in his hands. (from the online description)

Review: I had a hard time getting into this. Divided into several shorter stories, each told from a different character,  helped a bit, but the description of technology, or lack of, muddled me horrible. I often got lost trying to figure out the jargon and missed the story. Still, once I got into it, I was hooked and enjoyed the complex world-building, the mystery, the creepiness of the Shrike, and the character. However, the ending was not acceptable. It just...ended! Only after I discovered that the author actually wrote this and the Fall of Hyperion as ONE STORY but the publisher released it as two stories. I understand as the single volume would have been enormous but still - not cool, man.

Bookmarks: 4 of 5

Awards: Hugo Award Winner, 1990

ISBN: 0-553-28368-5
Year Published: 1989
Date Finished: 6-13-2017
Pages: 482

Review: The World of Laura Ingalls Wilder: The Frontier Landscapes that Inspired the Little House Books by Marta McDowell

Synopsis: Laura Ingalls Wilder’s beloved Little House series is a classic coming-of-age story based on Wilder’s own family and the pioneer spirit of the time. Deeply rooted in the natural world, Wilder describes the plants, animals, and landscapes in such detail, they are practically their own characters. The World of Laura Ingalls Wilder, by New York Times bestselling author Marta McDowell, explores Wilder’s deep relationship with the landscape. Follow the Wilder’s wagon trail starting in the Wisconsin setting of Little House in the Big Woods, through the Dakotas, and finally to Missouri. You’ll learn details about Wilder’s life and inspirations, discover how to visit the real places today, and even learn to grow the plants and vegetables featured in the series. The World of Laura Ingalls Wilder is a must-have treasure celebrating the American landscape through Laura Ingalls Wilder’s beautiful and wild life with original illustrations by Helen Sewell and Garth Williams and lush historical and contemporary photographs. (from the online description)

Review: With simple prose and lovely pictures, author Marta McDowell takes the reader through the ecology, botany, and agriculture that formed the life of Laura Ingalls Wilder. From the sloughs of South Dakota to the apple orchard of Missouri, McDowell shows us the world Laura saw and loved. Laura loved farm life – planting, growing, raising chickens, harvest. She found great beauty and peace in the slow cycle of seasons. McDowell does an excellent job of comparing Laura’s real life to her books, and showing the reader where real life made the books richer and fuller. She also focuses heavily on the farm Laura and Almanzo create in the Ozarks, and uses detailed record kept by the Wilder’s to demonstrate their love of the earth and all growing things.
As a want-to-be Gardener and an avid Laura Ingalls Wilder fan, I found this book a delightful read. It intrigued me to read about her life, her garden, her farm, and the things she loved – what flowers and plants and vegetables she grew. I highly recommend as a must for any Wilder-lovers library and an enjoyable read for any historical gardener. 

Bookmarks: 4 of 5

Awards: None

ISBN: 978-1-60469-727-8
Year Published: 2017
Date Finished: 6-18-2017
Pages: 376

Acquistions: August Book Haul

I ONLY SPENT $2.00! Mostly because I got several books free. FREEEEEE!!!

River Town: Two Years on the Yanztee by Peter Hessler

Hank Zipzer: Day of the Iguana by Henry Wrinkler

The Hacking of the American Mind by Robert Lustig (Library Thing Early Review)

The Twilight Saga (Box Set) by Stephanie Meyer (Someone left this bitch in the TRASH! Whaaaa?)