Having a lot of friends who are readers, I am often asked for reviews and recommendations. I'm not a huge fan of reviewing because I believe that so much about the experience of a book (or any work of art) once one moves beyond the craft of a piece, is very much individual. Nonetheless, I will post what reviews I do in this section. These offerings will be intermittent.
Georgette Heyer & Regency Romance
I’ve been reading Regency, starting with the gateway Pride and Prejudice, since I was ten (when I first got a set of all Jane Austen’s books for my birthday). I spent that year devouring them. Since, I’ve read a veritable ton (pun intended) of historical romance novels set in this era. Somehow, despite all that reading, I never managed to read anything by Georgette Heyer who, it turns out, is the matriarch of that sub-genre. After Jane, that is.
Carol Berg's Lighthouse Duet
At some point earlier this year, Carol Berg announced that she was finishing up Dust and Light, the opening novel in her Sanctuary Duet. You would have to understand how deeply and immensely I LOVED the Lighthouse Duet, the original two books set in Navronne, in order to understand with how much giddy glee I danced at the news that there would be two more books set in that world.
Dave 'Chalkmaster' Johnston
I have an artist-friend who is out in Halifax, Nova Scotia. I "discovered" Dave's art through his Facebook page and have become an avid collector of his original paintings. Like most every-day artists, he has a practice that pays the rent - beautiful portraits of dogs and horses and the occasional cat. And then there is the painting that I think of us as Dave's soul work. Whether abstract or hyper-realistic style there is heart and soul in his work. I'd encourage you to check him out at Chalkmaster Dave and you'll find all the prints he has on sale and get a sense of the work that he does. You will not regret it though you might at some point, like me, run out of wall space.
Neil Gaiman: Come Away, Oh Human Child
Neil Gaiman makes me think of Yeats. Specifically those poems filled with the soul of all that is mythic in Eire. Gaiman is a consummate myth-creator and an interpreter and tracker of the journey of the human soul, from origin to origin to origin and back again across the Veil.
Myke Cole: A Wordsmith Warrior
I loved Oscar Britton as a fully realized, complex dude with a complicated father-son relationship (which for some reason reminded me of the relationship between Ben Meecham and his father, Lt. Col. Wilbur "Bull" Meecham, in Pat Conroy's The Great Santini)
Pat Rothfuss: What Wise Men Fear
The Kingkiller Chronicles are a trilogy written by an awesome, friendly giant with an epic beard. To date, books the First and the Second have been published. They are beautifully written, lyrically crafted and rendered; a storyteller's story. They are catnip for readers who love story. The first is The Name of the Wind, the second is A Wise Man's Fear. To quote: “There are three things all wise men fear: the sea in a storm, a night with no moon, and the anger of a gentle man.”
Ransom Riggs: On Photos, Children & Peculiarity
I originally looked at Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children when it was out in hardcover on the new releases table at Indigo. I was intrigued by the concept of how Riggs found his inspiration for the story in the vintage photos he collected, where often the really peculiar photos were of children. I recently started reading it. For my review, click below.