I am only a moderately intense follower of the Xanth novels, but this one looked like fun (I usually get around to them eventually), so I checked it out.
The humor is still there. There are too many puns for me, though I do enjoy many of them, and this one was on the topic of destroying puns even! My impression is that over time the humor has been toned down a bit and the social commentary has gotten just a bit stronger, a feeling I also got about another book I read recently.
If you’re a Xanth fan, you’ll want to read this one, of course. If you’re not, I’d generally recommend starting earlier in the series, though no matter where you start, Xanth takes a little bit of getting used to!
I rate it 4 stars.
I asked my pastor for a good book on the basics of Christian conversion and he handed me William Barclay’s little book Turning to God.
It’s a small book, with just 103 pages of reasonable size text. It’s not complex. The vocabulary is straightforward. I wouldn’t recommend it for speed reading, but you don’t need any strong theological background to follow the discussion.
Barclay works from the conversion stories and evangelistic methods presented in the book of Acts to develop both an understanding of what conversion means and the approaches to evangelization that will produce conversion.
This is an exceptionally good book. It appears to be out of print, but there are quite a number of used copies available online.
I give this a definite five bright stars!
How can I say enough good things about Terry Pratchett’s Discworld books? The fact is, I can’t. If you have any liking for fantasy and humor, you need to get involved in this series.
The most recent one (at least that I’ve gotten my hands on) is Snuff, and the only new thing I’d have to say is that it tends to add a bit more thrill, mystery, and social commentary, while being slightly less humorous than previous volumes. I don’t find that annoying. It’s still funny. It’s still great writing.
So what more can be said? Read this book. If you haven’t read anything by Pratchett,. start with an earlier volume, such as Hogfather. But get to Snuff as soon as you can.
I rate this 5 of 5.
J. A. Jance is one of my favorites in the mystery/thriller category, and Fatal Error is up to her best standard. I enjoyed every minute of the book. I didn’t feel like speed reading through anything, and I never felt that she’d left out part of the story, which is a rare thing for me.
I always hate summarizing the story, but this book features Alli, who has the money to live a life of leisure but wants to be a cop. Unfortunately, she gets furloughed right after graduating from the police academy. But at the same time she’s drawn into a mystery–the disappearance of a friend.
The story loosely brings to mind those well-off detectives, such as titled characters in British mystery, who have outside resources and aren’t afraid to use them in the cause of justice. As one character in the book eventually decides, Alli is rich and pushy, but also very smart.
I read the hardcover edition, 353 pages, and rate it 5 of 5 stars.
William C. Dietz is one of my second-tier authors, i.e. he’s not in my top five, but I’ll pretty regularly pick up one of his books.
In Bones of Empire he continues the story previously told in At Empire’s Edge, and I actually found this book more engaging than the other. We get some politics, a very little bit of military, and a great deal of police work. The story moves along nicely. Dietz still engages in the use of incomplete sentences. All the time. It annoys me, but that’s a stylistic detail, and personal taste. I would think such incomplete sentences used as spice would be good. Used too frequently they distract me.
I rate this book 4 out of 5.
I have posted a review of this little book on my Participatory Bible Study Blog.
Get your own signed copy of Nick May’s new book Minutemen during his “Follow the Oil” tour.
This book is not at all like Megabelt. It’s the story of four young men whose relationships haven’t worked out (or are deteriorating) and the decisions they make as things spiral out of control more and more. There’s no obvious solution to the ever increasing problems. But the one thing you can expect in this book is that unexpected–and positively weird–things will happen.
Nick claims no moral to the story, but I can make several of them, and perhaps that’s the point of not having an intentional moral proposed (and made obvious) by the author–one can make up one’s own.
This is coming from the brand new Eucatastrophe Press.