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Sep. 22nd, 2014

gay NOH8


A Book with a Number in the Title: Thirteen by Kelley Armstrong



A war is brewing and the first battle has already been waged. After rescuing her half brother from supernatural medical testing, Savannah Levine—a young witch of remarkable power and a dangerous pedigree—is battered, but still standing. The Supernatural Liberation Movement took him hostage, and they have a maniacal plan to expose the supernatural world to the unknowing.
Savannah is fighting to save her world as witches, werewolves, necromancers, vampires, half-demons, and all the forces of good and evil—including the genetically modified werewolves known as hell hounds—enter the fray. Uniting Savannah with Adam, Elena, Clay, Paige, Lucas, Jaime, Hope, and other denizens of the Otherworld, Thirteen is a thrilling conclusion to this blockbuster series.



This was a nice wrap up to the series. I felt it was a little hard to believe all of the main characters survived, but it is lighter fiction than some. And it did end up feeling hopeful. I was happy to get a few chapters from the other previous narrators, helped with the feeling of closure. Was also happy to see that there will be future shirt stories and maybe more novels, even if they are a long way off.

Rating: B



2014 Reading Bingo


A book with more than 500 Pages
Storm of Swords
A Forgotten Classic
Dragonflight
A Book that Became a Movie
The Maze Runner
A Book Published this Year
Battle of Will
A Book with a Number in the Title
Thirteen
A Book Written by Someone Under Thirty
A Book with Non-Human Characters
Shards of Time
A Funny Book
Let's Pretend This Never Happened
A Book by a Female Author
Highfell Grimoires
A Book with a Mystery
Carnal Sacraments
A Book with a One-Word Title
Coraline
A Book of Short Stories
Carniepunk
Free Square
The Wise Man's Fear
A Book Set on a Different Continent
Shattered
A Book of Non Fiction
The Definitive Guide to Order Fulfillment and Customer Service
The First Book by a Favorite Author
If We Shadows
A book you Heard About Online
Meeting on Mars
A Best-Selling Book
A Feast for Crows
A Book Based on a True Story
A Book at the Bottom of your To Be Read Pile
A Light In The Dark
A Book Your Friend Loves
The Graveyard Book
A Book that Scares You
A Book that is More Than 10 Years Old
Ender's Game
The Second Book in a Series
Ghost Train to New Orleans
A Book with a Blue Cover
The Name of the Wind


Links in the table go to the reviews for that book. The cover links to the Amazon page.

Sep. 16th, 2014

gay NOH8


A Book of Short Stories: Carniepunk by various



Come one, come all! The Carniepunk Midway promises you every thrill and chill a traveling carnival can provide. But fear not! Urban fantasy’s biggest stars are here to guide you through this strange and dangerous world. . . .

RACHEL CAINE’s vampires aren’t child’s play, as a naïve teen discovers when her heart leads her far, far astray in “The Cold Girl.” With “Parlor Tricks,” JENNIFER ESTEP pits Gin Blanco, the Elemental Assassin, against the Wheel of Death and some dangerously creepy clowns. SEANAN McGUIRE narrates a poignant, ethereal tale of a mysterious carnival that returns to a dangerous town after twenty years in “Daughter of the Midway, the Mermaid, and the Open, Lonely Sea.” KEVIN HEARNE’s Iron Druid and his wisecracking Irish wolfhound discover in “The Demon Barker of Wheat Street” that the impossibly wholesome sounding Kansas Wheat Festival is actually not a healthy place to hang out. With an eerie, unpredictable twist, ROB THURMAN reveals the fate of a psychopath stalking two young carnies in “Painted Love.



All of the stories in Carniepunk have now been released by the authors individually, so if anything sounds good you can pick it up.

1. Painted Love was creepy, interesting and had a cool twist ending.
2. Three Lives of Lydia had a surreal and sad feel, but was an interesting world.
3. The Demon Barker of Wheat Street was the reason I picked up the anthology. It was a great addition to the Iron Druid series. Nice small slice of life story for a Druid in training.
4. Sex changes, drugs, zombies (zombie babies), none of The Sweeter the Juice made sense or interested me. Was tempted to quit reading it often.
5. I enjoyed The Werewife, fun curse and one of those stories one never knows who to root for.
6. Cold Girl was wonderfully creepy/classic carnival horror. Good lesson and story.
7. An interesting world in A Duet With Darkness, one I'm sure is more expansive in the novels. Mostly enjoyed the world building, since the plot was fairly common.
8. I tried to read Recession of the Divine three times, did not keep my attention at all.
9. Parlor Tricks again has the problem of being thrown into a world I don't know, but the use of elemental power for everything is a fun and interesting twist. Good creepy carnie plot too.
10. The high end style carnival in Freak Show was a nice take on it. The segregated world between the supernaturals and humans is an interesting concept. And it's nice yo see some of the less popular creatures represented.
11. The Inside Man was a nice little possessed clown piece, with a small glimpse at another new world.
12. "A demon was eating my face," is the catchy and interesting opening line in A Chance in Hell. But then the story launched into a long explanation of the plot for the series and lost me. There are similarities in how the Heaven/Hell structure is set up to one of my favorite RPGs, InNomine, which I liked.
13. I've always liked the magical/exotic beast version of a carnival (like in The Last Unicorn) and Hell's Menagerie has it, plus the search for hell hound pups.
14. I love merfolk, so the title of the last story, Daughter of the Midway, the Mermaid and the Open, Lonely Sea, gave me a lot of hope. A mystery with the backstory of a crazy mermaid and her half-blood daughter dose a good job of delivering. I really liked this one and think I will look for more from Seanan McGuire.


Rating: B-



2014 Reading Bingo


A book with more than 500 Pages
Storm of Swords
A Forgotten Classic
Dragonflight
A Book that Became a Movie
The Maze Runner
A Book Published this Year
Battle of Will
A Book with a Number in the Title
A Book Written by Someone Under Thirty
A Book with Non-Human Characters
Shards of Time
A Funny Book
Let's Pretend This Never Happened
A Book by a Female Author
Highfell Grimoires
A Book with a Mystery
Carnal Sacraments
A Book with a One-Word Title
Coraline
A Book of Short Stories
Carniepunk
Free Square
The Wise Man's Fear
A Book Set on a Different Continent
Shattered
A Book of Non Fiction
The Definitive Guide to Order Fulfillment and Customer Service
The First Book by a Favorite Author
If We Shadows
A book you Heard About Online
Meeting on Mars
A Best-Selling Book
A Feast for Crows
A Book Based on a True Story
A Book at the Bottom of your To Be Read Pile
A Light In The Dark
A Book Your Friend Loves
The Graveyard Book
A Book that Scares You
A Book that is More Than 10 Years Old
Ender's Game
The Second Book in a Series
Ghost Train to New Orleans
A Book with a Blue Cover
The Name of the Wind


Links in the table go to the reviews for that book. The cover links to the Amazon page.

Sep. 8th, 2014

gay NOH8


A Forgotten Classic: Dragonflight by Anne Mccaffrey



HOW CAN ONE GIRL SAVE AN ENTIRE WORLD?
To the nobles who live in Benden Weyr, Lessa is nothing but a ragged kitchen girl. For most of her life she has survived by serving those who betrayed her father and took over his lands. Now the time has come for Lessa to shed her disguise—and take back her stolen birthright.
But everything changes when she meets a queen dragon. The bond they share will be deep and last forever. It will protect them when, for the first time in centuries, Lessa’s world is threatened by Thread, an evil substance that falls like rain and destroys everything it touches. Dragons and their Riders once protected the planet from Thread, but there are very few of them left these days. Now brave Lessa must risk her life, and the life of her beloved dragon, to save her beautiful world. . .



I forgot how exciting it is to (re)learn about Pern, the dragon riders and see the characters discovering their world again. It's been decades since I first read these, I think. And it's nice yo be back. Parts came back to me as I read, and some scenes were new again. The rich world, people and events is still a joy to read. The time travel parts dose mess with one's head a bit, but that is true for any well thought out story with time travel. I'm looking forward to rereading them all again.


Rating: A



2014 Reading Bingo


A book with more than 500 Pages
Storm of Swords
A Forgotten Classic
Dragonflight
A Book that Became a Movie
The Maze Runner
A Book Published this Year
Battle of Will
A Book with a Number in the Title
A Book Written by Someone Under Thirty
A Book with Non-Human Characters
Shards of Time
A Funny Book
Let's Pretend This Never Happened
A Book by a Female Author
Highfell Grimoires
A Book with a Mystery
Carnal Sacraments
A Book with a One-Word Title
Coraline
A Book of Short Stories
Free Square
The Wise Man's Fear
A Book Set on a Different Continent
Shattered
A Book of Non Fiction
The Definitive Guide to Order Fulfillment and Customer Service
The First Book by a Favorite Author
If We Shadows
A book you Heard About Online
Meeting on Mars
A Best-Selling Book
A Feast for Crows
A Book Based on a True Story
A Book at the Bottom of your To Be Read Pile
A Light In The Dark
A Book Your Friend Loves
The Graveyard Book
A Book that Scares You
A Book that is More Than 10 Years Old
Ender's Game
The Second Book in a Series
Ghost Train to New Orleans
A Book with a Blue Cover
The Name of the Wind


Links in the table go to the reviews for that book. The cover links to the Amazon page.

Sep. 5th, 2014

FF Shiny


A Book by a Female Author: Highfell Grimoires by Langley Hyde



Born to privilege, gifted in languages and spells, Neil Franklin has planned his brilliant future—from academic accolades to a proper marriage—and is intent upon upholding his family name and honor. The sudden death of his parents shatters all of that, leaving Neil and his younger sister beggared and orphaned.
When Neil’s estranged uncle offers him a bargain that will save him and his sister from debtor’s prison or exile, Neil eagerly agrees. Handing over the family grimoire as collateral for their debt, Neil devotes himself to working as a teacher for wayward youths at a charity school high in the clouds.
But Highfell Hall is not the charity Neil imagines it to be and the young men there aren’t training for the dull lives of city clerks. Amidst the roaring engines and within the icy stone halls, machinations and curious devices are at work. And one man, the rough and enigmatic Leofa, holds the key to the desire that Neil has fled from all his life and a magic as dangerous as treason.



Very classic steam punk. Impossible words, Victorian phrase and tone, aether, and a proper gentlemanly protagonist. Beautiful. A fair amount of the beginning was explaining how the world worked. But it was done in an interesting way, so wasn't an issue. It was a very slow build to the conflict and well done. I liked that there were plenary of small problems for the characters, adding some realism.

Also the same sex attraction between the two main characters was very secondary. It was a steam punk story with a gay romance, not a gay steam punk story. I enjoyed that was how the focus was written. Biggest disappointment is that this seems to be her only book.


Rating: A



2014 Reading Bingo


A book with more than 500 Pages
Storm of Swords
A Forgotten Classic
A Book that Became a Movie
The Maze Runner
A Book Published this Year
Battle of Will
A Book with a Number in the Title
A Book Written by Someone Under Thirty
A Book with Non-Human Characters
Shards of Time
A Funny Book
Let's Pretend This Never Happened
A Book by a Female Author
Highfell Grimoires
A Book with a Mystery
Carnal Sacraments
A Book with a One-Word Title
Coraline
A Book of Short Stories
Free Square
The Wise Man's Fear
A Book Set on a Different Continent
Shattered
A Book of Non Fiction
The Definitive Guide to Order Fulfillment and Customer Service
The First Book by a Favorite Author
If We Shadows
A book you Heard About Online
Meeting on Mars
A Best-Selling Book
A Feast for Crows
A Book Based on a True Story
A Book at the Bottom of your To Be Read Pile
A Light In The Dark
A Book Your Friend Loves
The Graveyard Book
A Book that Scares You
A Book that is More Than 10 Years Old
Ender's Game
The Second Book in a Series
Ghost Train to New Orleans
A Book with a Blue Cover
The Name of the Wind


Links in the table go to the reviews for that book. The cover links to the Amazon page.

Aug. 27th, 2014

TW More Danny
Get ready for an exciting one... I started this many months ago for my new postiion, since I have like zero knowledge in fulfillment and supply chains.



A Book of Non Fiction: The Definitive Guide to Order Fulfillment and Customer Service by the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals



This is the most authoritative and complete guide to planning, implementing, measuring, and optimizing world-class supply chain order fulfillment and customer service processes. Straight from the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP), it brings together up-to-the-minute knowledge and best practices for all facets of order fulfillment and customer service process management, from initial customer inquiry through post sales service and support. CSCMP and contributor Stanley Fawcett introduce crucial concepts ranging from customer order cycles to available-to-promise and supply chain RFID to global order capture networks.



The book begins by discussing how to be successful in any business, which boils down to "if you don't have and can keep customers, then your business will fail." Not a lot of detail or information on fulfillment or supply chains.

Next it goes into describing the fulfillment workflow and business, as well as focusing on what aspects of that process make or break a company. Emphasis on customer satisfaction is apparent.

Building good and strong customer relationships is an overarching topic, which is important, an idea that never should be far from mind when setting up any type of business.

Many pages are dedicated to looking at Amazon, Wal-Mart and other large and/or successful fulfillment companies and determining what did and didn't work for them.

It is important to consider and include IT in fulfillment solutions, but IT is not the solution, nor will it help solve issues without people's insight nor informed planning. Willingness to adopt and setting up information connectivity are the two main issues that halt effectively using IT to solve fulfillment needs.

One of the keys to successfully renovating and setting up a fulfillment team/system is to measure the performance and learn where to improve. However, an important point to that is knowing what to measure, how to read that data and what to do with the results. Without those points, improvement will not happen and one could decide to make changes that actually hurt the team. Gauging performance against industry standards and competitors is important, but if the clients have different targets, it does not matter how you compare, if the client is unhappy. A major hurdle for supply chain measurement is knowing what one should measure and what one can measure, and with new technologies and processes being developed, that lack of knowledge is always growing.

As a side note, each chapter had a small piece of a story of an example company looking at their supply chain and fulfillment process and trying to figure out why they thought they were doing well but their largest customer was unhappy. It was interesting and put what I would read in the chapter in a real world light. Pity the situation wasn't wrapped up at the end of the book.


Rating: B



2014 Reading Bingo


A book with more than 500 Pages
Storm of Swords
A Forgotten Classic
A Book that Became a Movie
The Maze Runner
A Book Published this Year
Battle of Will
A Book with a Number in the Title
A Book Written by Someone Under Thirty
A Book with Non-Human Characters
Shards of Time
A Funny Book
Let's Pretend This Never Happened
A Book by a Female Author
A Book with a Mystery
Carnal Sacraments
A Book with a One-Word Title
Coraline
A Book of Short Stories
Free Square
The Wise Man's Fear
A Book Set on a Different Continent
Shattered
A Book of Non Fiction
The Definitive Guide to Order Fulfillment and Customer Service
The First Book by a Favorite Author
If We Shadows
A book you Heard About Online
Meeting on Mars
A Best-Selling Book
A Feast for Crows
A Book Based on a True Story
A Book at the Bottom of your To Be Read Pile
A Light In The Dark
A Book Your Friend Loves
The Graveyard Book
A Book that Scares You
A Book that is More Than 10 Years Old
Ender's Game
The Second Book in a Series
Ghost Train to New Orleans
A Book with a Blue Cover
The Name of the Wind


Links in the table go to the reviews for that book. The cover links to the Amazon page.

Aug. 26th, 2014

SN Dean approves
I think I will get the card done this year yet. Slowed down a lot these last few months with summer and work, but I only have 8 squares left. "Under 30" and "A Book that Scares You" are the hardest ones so far to find.



Free Square: The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss



The riveting first-person narrative of a young man who grows to be the most notorious magician his world has ever seen. From his childhood in a troupe of traveling players, to years spent as a near-feral orphan in a crime- ridden city, to his daringly brazen yet successful bid to enter a legendary school of magic, The Name of the Wind is a masterpiece that transports readers into the body and mind of a wizard. It is a high-action novel written with a poet's hand, a powerful coming-of-age story of a magically gifted young man, told through his eyes: to read this book is to be the hero.



I fell in love with this book. The newness of this book's world, how the people and countries are planned, the depth of the characters, this book is a goldmine. The highs and lows Kvothe goes through are a great journey, and it's nice that there are peaks and valleys, not just a steady climb to bettering his life and himself.

He is written as a person, with failings and strengths. And the secondary characters have a lot of depth as well. And having the story told to us by an older version of him is a fun literary trick.

A must read for any light to semi-high fantasy fans. It's the type of book that makes you sad when you are 75% of the way though, cause you know it will be over soon.

It's also cool that he is a Madison area author, so he will stop into our Barnes & Nobel and sign anything we have on the shelf.

(I thought I had posted this one before, I did get it read before The Wise Man's Fear)


Rating: A+



2014 Reading Bingo


A book with more than 500 Pages
Storm of Swords
A Forgotten Classic
A Book that Became a Movie
The Maze Runner
A Book Published this Year
Battle of Will
A Book with a Number in the Title
A Book Written by Someone Under Thirty
A Book with Non-Human Characters
Shards of Time
A Funny Book
Let's Pretend This Never Happened
A Book by a Female Author
A Book with a Mystery
Carnal Sacraments
A Book with a One-Word Title
Coraline
A Book of Short Stories
Free Square
The Wise Man's Fear
A Book Set on a Different Continent
Shattered
A Book of Non Fiction
The First Book by a Favorite Author
If We Shadows
A book you Heard About Online
Meeting on Mars
A Best-Selling Book
A Feast for Crows
A Book Based on a True Story
A Book at the Bottom of your To Be Read Pile
A Light In The Dark
A Book Your Friend Loves
The Graveyard Book
A Book that Scares You
A Book that is More Than 10 Years Old
Ender's Game
The Second Book in a Series
Ghost Train to New Orleans
A Book with a Blue Cover
The Name of the Wind


Links in the table go to the reviews for that book. The cover links to the Amazon page.

Aug. 26th, 2014

FF Shiny


Free Square: The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss



“There are three things all wise men fear: the sea in storm, a night with no moon, and the anger of a gentle man.”

My name is Kvothe. You may have heard of me.

So begins the tale of a hero told from his own point of view—a story unequaled in fantasy literature. Now in The Wise Man’s Fear, Day Two of The Kingkiller Chronicle, Kvothe takes his first steps on the path of the hero and learns how difficult life can be when a man becomes a legend in his own time.



Still in love with this story, the world and the characters. This is the second book in the series and built on the first book. I enjoy the magic system. I love the lands and people we were introduced to. The addition of University politics was cool as well. Highly recommend it, and so sad there is no word of the third one yet. [Edit! Just saw on Amazon the next one will be out Oct. 28th, day after my birthday!]


Rating: A+



2014 Reading Bingo


A book with more than 500 Pages
Storm of Swords
A Forgotten Classic
A Book that Became a Movie
The Maze Runner
A Book Published this Year
Battle of Will
A Book with a Number in the Title
A Book Written by Someone Under Thirty
A Book with Non-Human Characters
Shards of Time
A Funny Book
Let's Pretend This Never Happened
A Book by a Female Author
A Book with a Mystery
Carnal Sacraments
A Book with a One-Word Title
Coraline
A Book of Short Stories
Free Square
The Wise Man's Fear
A Book Set on a Different Continent
Shattered
A Book of Non Fiction
The First Book by a Favorite Author
If We Shadows
A book you Heard About Online
Meeting on Mars
A Best-Selling Book
A Feast for Crows
A Book Based on a True Story
A Book at the Bottom of your To Be Read Pile
A Light In The Dark
A Book Your Friend Loves
The Graveyard Book
A Book that Scares You
A Book that is More Than 10 Years Old
Ender's Game
The Second Book in a Series
Ghost Train to New Orleans
A Book with a Blue Cover


Links in the table go to the reviews for that book. The cover links to the Amazon page.

Aug. 14th, 2014

gay NOH8
Was trying to figure out if this author was under 30, so it'd count for a square, but my google-fu is failing. So just a review.

I enjoyed The Sacrifices We Make by Sophie Bonaste. The story has an interesting premise, sort of a rich kid, poor kid set up. The boy's voices are a lot younger than the 17 they quote. They feel more like 14. And then sometimes they talk like they are 30, not very consistent. The story is very heartfelt and brings to light unpleasant truths. The slow mental awakening of Adam was handled well. There is a very strong negative attitude toward organized religion and Christianity in particular, and while I don't disagree with the ideas, it did seem a bit extreme. It wrapped up a bit too perfect, in my mind, but still nice to see a happy ending.

rating: C+

Tags:

Jul. 31st, 2014

gay NOH8
A non-Reading Bingo review for Summerville by H.L. Sudler

Really strong, intense and disturbing opening, well written, but I really had to force my way through it. Took a few tries. Prose in general was a bit hard to read and awkward. The fore shadowing to "big changes coming" was a little heavy handed. The description was overly complex, almost romance novel level, really hard for me to get into the story. It was really hard to read it all the way through.

Rating: D

Tags:

Jul. 25th, 2014

gay NOH8
Fic title: Dead Gods
Author name: wonderfulwrites
Art Genre: gen
Art Rating: G
Summary:
Link to fic: http://wonderfulwrites.livejournal.com/183872.html

I joined the Supernatural Big Bang again this year. I really enjoyed the story, cool tie in with a few smaller characters and I loved the mix with the Greek/Roman gods. Check out the story above.

Click for artCollapse )

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