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Original Essays | August 18, 2014

Ian Leslie: IMG Empathic Curiosity

Today, we wonder anxiously if digital media is changing our brains. But if there's any time in history when our mental operations changed... Continue »
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onebookshy has commented on (22) products.

Hera by Julien Longo

onebookshy, January 13, 2011

To say that I love this book is way too tame and a BIG understatement. Herawas amazing! I have always enjoyed reading Greek mythology and reading about the Gods and Goddesses who inhabit those myths. I really wasn't prepared by how much this book would blow me away. I literally didn't put it down until I was finished.

The story of Hera is familiar to most readers who have sampled the Greek myths. She is usually portrayed as the jealous and vindictive wife of Zeus. THIS book tells us about Hera, the girl. Hera the young, untrained priestess of the Emerald Temple. It shows us the life she led and the people in that life who shaped the Hera that would come to rule. You will recognize many of the players, but not necessarily the situations that they are in. The author shows us the people behind the big, mythical names ~ Hecate, Zeus, Hades, Persephone, Aphrodite, etc.

Ms. Longo's style of writing really draws the reader in. She makes you feel as if you are right there with Hera as she hunts the wild boar along her best friend and soulmate, Artemis - sister of Apollo. You can feel Hera's heart beat faster when she spies the handsome Titan, Zeus. Your fingertips burn too when Hera calls up the fire within her. I just flat out LOVED this book.

I haven't felt drawn into a story like this since I first read "The Mists of Avalon" by Marion Zimmer Bradley. In fact, the feeling of this initial book in the series is reminiscent of that most beloved Avalon saga. Longo's story has that same texture and mystical quality that kept me completely immersed in that tale for quite a while. Hera also celebrates the feminine without discounting the male. The extensive research she undertook is very obvious in all of the elements of the story: spirituality, herbology, Greek mythology, the Titans, geography, etc.

I don't need a crystal ball to tell you that this book is going to be huge. In fact, it would make an awesome epic movie. I can't wait to read the next installment "Romancing the Dragon". I wish I had it right now so I could continue reading well into the night.
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The Radleys by Matt Haig
The Radleys

onebookshy, January 2, 2011

This is a fun read that just happens to be about a family of vampires. With the major outpouring of vampire novels currently out and in the works, The Radleys was a refreshing change of pace for me. It was definitely a character driven story with several interesting plot twists that keep the story moving forward.

Matt Haig has created an average and endearing family in the Radleys - they just happen to have a few more secrets than the rest of us. Peter is the head of the family. He's middle aged and feels he's in a rut ~ in his marriage and his professional life as a small town doctor. Helen runs her household well, but dreams of a man she can't have and a life she left behind. Rowan is a teenager with more than his fair share of trials and tribulations - he's pale, always itchy with a rash and considered a freak by his schoolmates. Clara is also unpopular at school and on top of that is trying to become a vegan. She can't understand why her parents (and her own body) are fighting her so strongly about it.

As we follow this normal-seeming family, the real story starts to unfold. A tragedy occurs which brings to light the fact that the Radleys are vampires hiding in a small, unsuspecting English town. This is a severe shock to Rowan and Clara, especially when they also suddenly meet their uncle Will, a man neither knew existed. He is the key to several of the problems facing the family and plays a pivotal role in what transpires.

There were several times when I found myself laughing out loud. This book was a lovely departure from the current vampire books on the market. It was centered on the family, not the blood-sucking issue. I really liked that the Radleys had a battered copy of "The Abstainer's Handbook" which gave them such gems as "If blood is the answer, you're asking the wrong questions." It is essentially an instruction manual for vampires who choose to not drink blood.

Enjoyable and fun read. I need to mention though, this isn't really a tween book. Although it's being marketed as YA, I think it was intended for an older audience due to some of the sexual tones as well as quite a bit of swearing. More mature teens would be fine with it.
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Earl of Darkness by Alix Rickloff
Earl of Darkness

onebookshy, December 28, 2010

This is the 1st in the new Heirs of Kilronan series from Alix Rickloff. I am thrilled to have been one of the early readers of this fantastic new book.

The author has created a mystical realm full of magic, love and intrigue. The lovely Cat is down on her luck when she takes a job to steal a diary from the dark and mysterious Earl of Kilronan, Aidan Douglas.

The characters are very richly written and draw you quickly into their story and their lives. You find yourself becoming the champion of one and then the other throughout the story. I immediately liked both of them which is unusual for me as I tend to favor one side when I read romances. The skillful blending of mystery, love story and paranormal mythology left me anxiously awaiting the next installment in the series: "Lady of Shadows".
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World of Warcraft: The Shattering: Prelude to Cataclysm by Christie Golden
World of Warcraft: The Shattering: Prelude to Cataclysm

onebookshy, December 20, 2010

As a former WOW (World of Warcraft) player, I was really looking forward to reading this book. I hadn't read any of the books written about this fantastical game world and I wasn't disappointed. Author Christie Golden captures the feel and spirit of the game while also telling a fast-moving and colorful story. I don't think a person has to be a fan of the game to enjoy the book, although there are several references that a non-gamer might not understand.

The characters, while not Golden's own creations, are well written and engaging. I used to play on the side of the Alliance which is the "enemy" of the Horde leaders who are the center of this story. I learned a lot about the members of the races that make up the Horde itself. The reader is drawn into their world and traveling along with them around Azeroth. This book definitely made me want to go back to playing the game ~ alas, we don't have fast enough Internet out here in the boonies...

I recommend this book to fans of adventure and fantasy, especially those readers who are WOW players. It's an engrossing read no matter which way you approach it.

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The Sherlockian by Graham Moore
The Sherlockian

onebookshy, December 11, 2010

I must admit that I've only read a few of the Sherlock Holmes stories over the years. My interest in the collection was sparked when I saw the movie with Robert Downey Jr. last year. I enjoyed it so much that I jumped at the chance to review this book when it became available.

The story alternates between the late 1800's and present day. We follow the master, Arthur Conan Doyle as he deals with the aftermath of killing off London's most-beloved sleuth~Sherlock Holmes. We are then along for the ride as modern-day Sherlockian scholar, Harold searches for Holmes's missing diary.

This was a very interesting and fun-to-follow story. I learned a lot about Doyle as well as the Sherlock Holmes stories. Harold was a very likable and easy to relate to character. The author made you feel that you were right there with Harold as he searched for the diary.

I really enjoyed the fact that Bram Stoker was Conan Doyle's "Watson" in their adventures through London. Stoker and Doyle's friendship with Oscar Wilde was also something that I never knew. Graham Moore did a wonderful job of creating a book that was both educational to me and quite entertaining.

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