Archive for the ‘reviews’ Category

Writing Tools by Roy Peter Clark (and Green Tea Sherbet)

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009 | 2 Comments »
Tags: , , , , , | Categories: Food, reviews, Writing |


Inspired by my DW writing buddies to explore the wealth of inspiration that writing books provide, I bought a book.  It’s by Roy Peter Clark, and it’s called Writing Tools: 50 Essential Strategies for Every Writer.   I picked it because it received good reviews on Amazon and because its four sections have great headers: Nuts and Bolts, Special Effects, Blueprints, and Useful Habits.

I’m more than 2/3 in, and I agree with the good reviews.  I really do like the overall organization of the book, though, as with any book that attempts as grand a task as teaching people how to write better, there are bound to be some things that one already knows.  Even for the seasoned writer (which I’m not, by the way) this book will probably offer some insight into the craft of writing, or inspire inspiration for starting new projects. (more…)

Books books books (Mostly Sherlock Holmes)

Tuesday, August 11th, 2009 | No Comments »
Tags: , , | Categories: reviews |

I’ve been reading The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes very slowly but devotedly on the way to the bus (taking care not to bump into traffic poles anymore) , and I must say that it’s brilliant.  When I was much younger I’d come across the books in the library or on someone’s bookshelf and I’d always be supremely uninterested, writing it off as old, archaic fiction that couldn’t be very interesting or relevent.

Of course, younger!me was wrong.  Sherlock Holmes is cleverly written and extremely accessible to the modern reader, and most important, it’s really really fun.  There is such wit and humor in every story that it just compells one to keep on reading.  Those of you who were like younger! me and haven’t picked up a Sherlock Holmes story yet, I urge you to do so before seeing that movie with Robert Downey Jr (which is not very Sherlock Holmes-ey, actually).  You won’t regret it!  (Or if you do, there’s no accounting for taste? =P)

A trip to Sweden (and The Demon’s Lexicon book review + links)

Friday, June 26th, 2009 | Comments Off
Tags: , , , | Categories: Personal Posts, reviews |

Lately I’ve been updating my other blog like crazy, and have sort of neglected to make any posts on this one.  I doubt anyone will miss it, but I apologize anyway.

For the past week or so I’ve been on a trip in Sweden, visiting with a close friend of mine. I’m a big food fan who woefully can’t cook very many things, so she’s been making yummy things for me to try. She’s vegetarian, so most of the things we’ve had have been kind of healthy (except for the homemade green tea ice cream–my idea) and I’ve been very very happy. We’ve also been into Stockholm and to the Skansen open air museum and zoo. Will probably post more pictures later, but have one now:

soldier's cottage

The Demon’s Lexicon

This is a book recommendation of sorts for Sarah Rees Brennan’s debut novel The Demon’s Lexicon, a YA urban fantasy novel about two brothers on the run from sinister magicians who control the power of demons. The first of a trilogy, with the second one coming out in June of 2010, it paints a fascinating new world unlike any I’ve read before (though I admittedly have not read as many fantasy novels as I’d have liked) and features a cast of compelling characters who, in some cases despite their misgivings, are extremely likable.

This book is not only about demon magic, swords, guns, and dark handsome men, though it has plenty of those. It’s also about family, trust, loyalty, and lies. It starts off with something as ordinary as fixing the kitchen sink, and ends with something quite unexpected and a world apart from the kitchen sink business. If you like surprises, humor, or a combination of any of the things already mentioned above, please check it out!

The author has also provided her readers with incentives by pledging to post non-spoilery short stories as her book sales go up; even after it ends, this book continues to give! She has already posted her first short story on her own blog.     Links below:

The Demon’s Lexicon on Amazon.Com

First Chapter of The Demon’s Lexicon

SRB’s blog – The Sorcerer and Stone short story This is not spoilery, and manages to be heartbreaking and dark and wonderful.

Amazon Kindle 2

Saturday, May 9th, 2009 | No Comments »
Tags: , , | Categories: reviews |

I think I first heard about the Amazon Kindle two years ago in 2007 when the first version came out. It’s this electronic device that allows you to buy e-books from Amazon through a free wireless catalogue service.  The books are beamed to your device for free in about 1-2 minutes, and you can store quite a lot of them on your device.  Prices are usually less than the print version.

Well, I came onto a bit of extra cash, so I sprang for the shiny new Kindle 2.   I can’t really make a comparison, since I’ve never owned a Kindle 1, but the Kindle 2 is prettier, boasts a longer battery life, and has better image quality (more shades of gray).   Below are the pros and cons:   (more…)

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