Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Urban Fantasy read in Jan & Feb - with ratings

The following is a list of what I've read in Jan. & Feb.
No stars - it sucked
1 star - it was barely readable, skipped large chunks
2 stars - it was flawed but readable, may have skimmed parts
3 stars - an average book worth reading, but might not buy sequels
4 stars - a good book, I'd definitely buy the sequel
5 stars - excellent book, will not only buy sequels, will read the book again
6 stars - among the best I've ever read, will probably worship the author for life

Eve of Darkness by S.J. Day ****
Eve of Destruction by S.J. Day ****
Eve of Chaos by S.J. Day ****
Unperfect Souls by Mark Del Franco ****
Hush Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick ****
They Call Me Death by Missy Jane ****
Hell's Belles by Jackie Kessler *****
The Road To Hell by Jackie Kessler *****
Hotter than Hell by Jackie Kessler *****
Staked by J.F. Lewis *****
Revamped by J.F. Lewis *****
Beneath the Skin by Adrian Phoenix ******
Bite Marks by Jennifer Rardin *****
Spiral Hunt by Margaret Ronald ****
Wild Hunt by Margaret Ronald ****
Unbound (anthology) ***

Unknown by Rachel Caine ******
Spider's Bite: An Elemental Assassin Book by Jennifer Estep *****
A Tale of Two Demon Slayers by Angie Fox *****
The Dark Storm by Kris Greene **
The Iron King by Julie Kagawa ****
The Devil's Librarian by Lilith Saintcrow ******

TBRN (to be read next)
Black Magic Sanction by Kim Harrison
Roadkill by Rob Thurman

Sunday, February 21, 2010


Actually, that's about it. OMFG!
Riding the Scrambler of life sucks.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

the passing of Phil Harris...

Okay, I admit it. I'm a sucker for reality tv. But not all reality tv. Yes, I like Survivor and Amazing Race. No, I don't watch those crap reality dating shows.

My real love is Deadliest Catch. I guess there's a certain draw to hard working, hard living men for me. I grew up in rural Vermont, where that practical 'you do what you have to do' attitude is common. They work hard jobs with little complaint and provide for their families. The crab fishing, and the danger that goes along with it, just added to the appeal for me.

So today, as I read the news of his passing, my heart broke just a little. Fifty three years old is too young to die. I'm only a few years short of that myself. He should have lived long enough to enjoy watching his children run his boat. But I also think that his kids would have enjoyed his retirement more than he did. Like my dad, who he reminded me of, I think he would have been bored and restless as a retiree.

Today, I mourn the passing of Capt. Phil Harris of the Cornelia Marie. My heart hangs heavy. The show will be missing a piece of its soul without him. The deep love and pride you could see in him when he talked about his kids touched me.

My sympathies and prayers go out to his family.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Gabriel - the movie?!

I'm sitting here watching Gabriel, which is a movie that apparently came out in 2008. I'd never heard of it before today when I went on fearnet looking for something to watch. I have to say, this movie is phenomenal. The storyline is fantastic, the acting is excellent, the actor who plays Gabriel is beyond yummy (hey - isn't he Spartacus? :b )

I'm a major sucker for anything having to do with the stories of archangels, demons, and fallen angels. I don't know why - probably my devout Catholic upbringing. I'm more of a lapsed catholic these days, but I like the whole idea of angels walking among us.

Anyway, I'm really enjoying Gabriel. It's so dark and compelling, I might have to watch it multiple times.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Thought on e-readers & Amazon

I've been reading a lot about the e-reader and its counterparts over the last year. And more so in the last few days. As an avid reader, I'd like to share my opinion on the whole electronic book issue.

I love books. I love the smell of the ink, the feel of the pages between my fingers, the art that adorns them. To me, books are more prized than diamonds. I also love bookstores, with all those crisp new books that have never been held or opened, containing all that knowledge just waiting for my eager hands and eyes.

The idea of an e-reader replacing my collection of well-read and well-loved books leaves me chilled to the bone. To not be able to hold tangible evidence of a writer's blood, sweat and tears in my hands is nauseating. To not be able to walk up to someone in a store who is puzzling over what to choose and say "have you read this?"...unthinkable.

e-Readers are here to stay. I know that as surely as I knew that online music was the death of CD's. I don't regret the loss of music stores. In all honesty, I never bonded with them the way I've bonded with bookstores. Does that mean I don't still buy CD's? No. If there are enough good songs on a particular CD and it's more cost effective to invest in it, I buy it. Recently, I've found the cost of buying a CD is often cheaper than downloading it. Go figure.

I hope I never live in a world where books cease to exist.

As for the e-Readers, I don't have a problem with them per se. Yes, they're more convenient in some ways. Until they crash. Or die. And you find yourself having to duplicate or retrieve your library when you can't remember everything it contained. Anyone who owns an mp3 knows this happens. Give me my tangible, touchable books any day.

And now lets address the cost. I understand that bookstores, publishers, agents and writers all need to make a profit off their books. Hell, I like trade paperbacks and hardcovers - though the hardcovers are often out of my price range. When possible, I choose these over mass market paperbacks. I'm willing to pay for a book. What I'm not willing to do is pay the same price for a document loaded onto a digital recorder. I don't believe it costs the same amount for someone to upload a digital book as it does to labor over a hardcover book with jacket. Sorry.

What would I pay for the digital version of a book? I don't know. I guess I would have to see what the profit margins are. I want authors to get their money. They wrote the damn book, they spent hundreds of hours on it. So did the publisher. And the artist who created the cover. Paper isn't cheap. Neither is ink. But you can't tell me that it takes as much in resources, personnel, and time to produce an e-book. And people who want to buy their books that way shouldn't have to pay for the cost of the tangible bookstore book. Figure out what it costs and charge accordingly. Or better yet, offer for an additional charge, the e-reader copy to those who buy the hardcopy. I'd pay a couple of dollars more for that.

So, while I think the e-readers are nifty little devices, and maybe I'll even get one someday, I'm first and foremost going to spend my money on a good solid book that I can hold in my hands.

Long live books.