The Brontë Plot: a review

Wednesday was book day.

First sentence in The brontë plot.

 

I fell in love with this book: THE BRONTE PLOT by Katherine Reay. I craved something comfortable, something happy, and contemporary. Usually I read fantasy/horror/sf between non-fiction or more demanding reads, but I needed something different. This book has all the references to the great British women in writing: Jane Austen, the Brontë sisters, Beatrix Potter, all wrapped in a story that could be called coming-of-age.

Lucy, the protagonist, works in an antique and design shop, for a lovely boss, who trusts and mentors her. She takes especially good care of the books, since those are her first love. Then she meets a man and for a moment I was afraid this would turn into a sappy romance story, which is something I am somewhat allergic to, but luckily it didn’t. You hear about Lucy’s father, who was a conman, and disappeared when she was 7, but still sends her a  book every year. I won’t tell you how, but Lucy goes to the UK on an eventful trip, and learns about herself  and the readers gets pulled into London and the English countryside.

As coincidence wills it, I watched Miss Potter while Lucy was just mentioning Bowness-On-Windermere (where they have a Beatrix Potter museum and everything!), which gave me more texture to the book (and probably vice versa too). I think I’ll persuade my partner (who watched the movie as well, me at my home, he at his, while we communicated over text messages) to go on a visit in that area next spring or summer…

This book is perfect for any lover of Victorian literature, books about books, decorating (so much great detail and colour in this book), and strong women. And who doesn’t love at least one of those things?

 

 

 

 

Flexing my brain with THE FLUX [review]

Just so you know, that is the risk you run when you read THE FLUX by Ferrett Steinmetz. This book will be published October 6th of this year (only a month and a day away, guys!) by Angry Robot Books. This is the second book in the ‘Mancer series; the first book, FLEX, I reviewed as well.

This is how Goodreads summarizes it:

Love something enough, and your obsession will punch holes through the laws of physics. That devotion creates unique magics: videogamemancers. Origamimancers. Culinomancers.

But when ‘mancers battle, cities tremble…

ALIYAH TSABO-DAWSON: The world’s most dangerous eight-year-old girl. Burned by a terrorist’s magic, gifted strange powers beyond measure. She’s furious that she has to hide her abilities from her friends, her teachers, even her mother – and her temper tantrums can kill.

PAUL TSABO: Bureaucromancer. Magical drug-dealer. Desperate father. He’s gone toe-to-toe with the government’s conscription squads of brain-burned Unimancers, and he’ll lie to anyone to keep Aliyah out of their hands – whether Aliyah likes it or not.

THE KING OF NEW YORK: The mysterious power player hell-bent on capturing the two of them. A man packing a private army of illegal ‘mancers.

Paul’s family is the key to keep the King’s crumbling empire afloat. But offering them paradise is the catalyst that inflames Aliyah’s deadly rebellious streak…

I’ll try to give my opnion relatively spoiler free, but the fact it’s the second in a series, gives some spoilers of the first book in itself (but after my review of book one, I do expect you to have bought and read it. Right?). It took me a bit to get warmed up to THE FLUX. You get dumped right into the story from the first page, but I found it hard to get the feel back. Maybe because it seems to want to and get you back in the atmosphere and give clues to the past, and be action packed. My brain couldn’t do that.
After a bit, I did did find the right feel again and loved the descriptions of all the different kinds of ‘mancy, and could relate to most of the characters, who have to deal with their life not being as it once was, and change is always hard even for people in books. And the geekery. How I love the referencing in this book. To completely get all of it, you have to read FIGHT CLUB (or watch the movie, I suppose). There are even Pokémon-references! (and you’ll finally learn how life if inside of a pokéball). However, there was this sense of things being too easy for everyone, especially with some plottwist that felt like deus ex machina’s at times.

And then… there is another plottwist, but this one makes it all right again. It made me yell at the book (see the tweet at the beginning of this post), because shit got real, and real is often horrible. There is genuine chaos, destruction and emotion, and it made the first two thirds of the book much better in retrospect, because it made this changing view in the mind of the main character much more intense.

So. Again. Get this book. Read it. Be entertained.

The spoils of my UK vacation

So I went to the UK for 9 days. Back home with me I brought a bunch of B’s.

Buttons:

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Booze:

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Books! (Duh…)

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We spend most of our time Manchester, and I completely fell in love with this city. The openness of the people (everyone was so nice!), the alternativeness (the amount of tattoos and piercings we’ve seen, made me feel right at home), the shops (geekstores galore!), the places to get food and drinks (we had the best pizza with a sunny side up egg, full English breakfasts, a pink G&T, loads of coffee), the museums (we saw a TYRANNOSAURUS REX! And the Manchester museum did a lot of explaining how science is scienced and even had a whole panel on the archeological research of the past being male/white/upper-class-centric, which I’ve never seen in a museum before).

So, when can I go back?

[Review] Awakening Bullshit: Embracing Nonsense

Title: Awakening Leadership: Embracing Mindfulness, Your Life’s Purpose, and the Leader You Were Born to Be
Author: Christine Horner
Source: Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review
Tl;dr: All the woo-warning signs! The universe. Everything has a purpose. You are creation and creation is you. *runs away flailing*

Don’t read this book. If you want to know more about leadership and/or mindfulness, there are much better books to be read. However, do read these quotes and have a good, hearthy laugh:

“This book endeavors to fully awaken you to the natural, organic state of sovereignty you were endowed with.”

We are all natural and organic, when we are asleep and when we are awake. Also, sovereignty is a philosphical and political concept, with many views upon the matter.

“The third dimensional expression of the circle of life is a spiral.”

No. And if it’s the three dimensional expression you try to talk about, it’s called a sphere.

“Creation is organized in the relational self-similar patterns from the micro to the macro, just like families, called fractals.”

Fractals!

“Everything from sadness, depression, or suffering, to man-made poverty, attacks on others, and wars, stem from the root of self-denial.”

You do like blaming the victim, don’t you? Life and humans are way too complex to have One True Cause for all bad things in the world. That’s just not how stuff works.

“To preface, all form in out universe is made up of atoms. All atoms contain a positive and a negative charge. Therefore, in the third dimension, all human creation also contains both a positive and a negative charge.”

Talking about how stuff doesn’t work. This is an amazing example about how stuff doesn’t work. Go do a physics course. And a biology course. And a math course. And also some philosphy and critical thinking, while you’re at it.

I popped my “funding a crowdsourcing campaign”-cherry with Kimchi Cuddles!

I follow a range of webcomics (like Questionable Content, Robot Hugs, Unspeakable Vault (of Doom), xkcd). Kimchi Cuddles is one of my favourites. I absolutely adore this series, because it shows how I “do” my relationships. It discusses all kinds of poly an non-monogamy, gender(queerness) in many forms and a lot of alternative sexualities.

Tivka Wolf (the artist) has started a indiegogo campaign to make a book out of these comics, arranged by category. I’ve never financially backed any crowdsourcing thing, and I think this is the most awesome campaign to pop my crowdsourcing-cherry! So, check out Kimchi Cuddles, and spend some moneys, to make a book filled with these cool comics come true!

You can find the Indiegogo campaign HERE. Do check out all the awesome perks, which include an e-book of the Kimchi Cuddles book ($15), a paperback version ($25) and many other awesome (e-)books about alternative relationships (from $30 and on!).

Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon: in tweets

I’m… late to this readathon-review party. Life has this thing of getting in the way, and this time it was my girlfriend moving  (so there was painting, and all that stuff) and starting a new job. And I spend lots of time with my boyfriend, which was lovely. All this left little time for blogging though!

So, I read two-and-a-half books this time around. Which I see as quite the achievement, since I only read a small part of the 24 hour hours (because of aforementioned boyfriend and girlfriend, and my attachment to 8 hours of sleep).

There was lots of reading in public transport:

And last but not least, next time we really should make #drunkreadathon a thing!

(It was ginger beer with gin, for the curious among us)

I had a lot of fun this time, especially because I did not pressure myself to do anything. Only to read and tweet when I felt like it, and not more. I think this’ll be my strategy next time around as well. I’m starting to like this “no goal” thing.

How did you people fare?

Dewey’s 24-hour-readathon April 2015: I signed up!

Dewey's 24 Hour Read-a-thon

So. I signed up. This time in time, instead of just hours before the start. I even already have some sort of a TBR in place:
This is what I might or might not read this readathon

But I know how it goes. It might be that after a bit I’ll feel more like more science fiction, more non-fiction, more short books, a long book, a re-read. Stuff might change any time.

So, the only thing still left is some administrative stuff (creating a goodreads shelf for this readathon, maybe even pre-format some blogposts) and making sure all the foods are ready. If you participate, what will you be snacking on?