Book Mix 15

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Book Titles & Summaries

Creating with Polymer Clay: Designs, Techniques, Projects
 
Here's a pop quiz: What single material can be modeled, molded, carved, woven, turned on a lathe and more, yet never chips, fades or shrinks? The answer can only be polymer clay. Artists rave about the endless possibilities of polymer clay, and the immediacy of spectacular results. Taking on appearances similar to ceramics, glass, beads, ivory, clay, plastic, wood, and even metal, it's like having dozens of materials in one package. The tools and training are minimal in this medium, leaving your imagination free to wander. Dozens of vibrant photos of works from myriad artists demonstrate some of the infinite possibilities. First, practice the special methods for creating basic shapes, transferring images, simulating natural materials, press molds, painting, and canework. Then combine these techniques and follow the instructions to make any of the 26 illustrated designs--or try your own. Create jewelry, baskets, buttons, mosaics, candlesticks, mirrors, Christmas tree ornaments, clocks, bowls, and much, much more. As the artists here will testify, you'll be treated to countless years of fun and wonder with this unique craft.
 

Guerrilla Marketing Explained (7-Steps To A Successful Marketing Campaign) Audio CD
 
Discover how a simple 7-Step marketing plan - written in 5 minutes - will affect your business for the rest of your life. This may be the most important 5 minutes of your life.
 

Games with Codes and Ciphers
 
Clear instructions for sending secret messages, cryptic treasure hunts, learning about fingerprinted words, three-letter patterns, much more.
 

Hacking For Dummies
 
A new edition of the bestselling guide-now updated to cover the latest hacks and how to prevent them!
 
It's bad enough when a hack occurs-stealing identities, bank accounts, and personal information. But when the hack could have been prevented by taking basic security measures-like the ones described in this book-somehow that makes a bad situation even worse. This beginner guide to hacking examines some of the best security measures that exist and has been updated to cover the latest hacks for Windows 7 and the newest version of Linux.
 
Offering increased coverage of Web application hacks, database hacks, VoIP hacks, and mobile computing hacks, this guide addresses a wide range of vulnerabilities and how to identify and prevent them. Plus, you'll examine why ethical hacking is oftentimes the only way to find security flaws, which can then prevent any future malicious attacks.
 
* Explores the malicious hackers's mindset so that you can counteract or avoid attacks completely
* Covers developing strategies for reporting vulnerabilities, managing security changes, and putting anti-hacking policies and procedures in place
* Completely updated to examine the latest hacks to Windows 7 and the newest version of Linux
* Explains ethical hacking and why it is essential
 

Baby Einstein: Neighborhood Animals
 
This book has wonderful photograph-quality pictures of various animals; dog, cat, bird, rabbit, duck, mouse,ladybug and frog. My 1 year old LOVES to look the pictures. It also has questions with every picture appropriate for each animal that initiate interaction for toddlers and would spark connections on the next level of development. It is also a sturdy board book which is the perfect size for small hands to manipulate on their own. A must-have for your beginning library!
 

Junior Mini Fun: Puzzles for Children of all Ages
 
Junior Mini Fun is a collection of games and puzzles that can be used for teaching English to young learners. There are 58 various games including rearranging letters, comparing pictures (spot the difference), wordsearches or recognising shapes
 

Idiots Guide to Playing the Piano
 
Whether you are an aspiring concert pianist or just want to play keyboards in your own band, The Complete Idiot's Guide® to Playing Piano and Electronic Keyboards, Second Edition will give you just what you need to know. From reading music and learning chords, to understanding music notation or buying an instrument, expert author Brad Hill tells gets you started. With more music and expanded practice sessions, the new edition of this already popular book will be a necessity for the beginner. Learn posture, positionings, fingerings, notations, drills, and advice from the masters. Also, learn how to fake your way through accompaniment, stay motivated to practice and advance to the intermediate level.
 

Dirty Little Secrets of the Record Business: Why So Much Music You Hear Sucks
 
I came across this book at my local library. After looking through it, I decided to check it out. This book, written by someone who works in the music biz is a must read for not only musicians but music lovers as well.
The author, a veteran of the music biz shows why music sales are down & why blame for that goes to the music biz itself. From forcing VERY bad music down our throats to briding radio stations to play this music. Also forcusing only on the youth despite the fact that they make up only a small % of those who actually buy music (fact is most music buyers are older folks & 60% of all music sales are back-log catalog or reissues). It's not surprising that people have either stopped buying music altogether or go online to look for the music they want.
Broadacst radio is also in the same boat as we see more & fewer stations
being owned by fewer and fewer owners, there's a decrease in musical diversity on-air. Thus causing an exdous of people towards satelle & internet radio.
Then there's the record companies screwing over their artists. One artist in the book went from going Gold (selling half a million copies) to flipping burgers.
I can keep going, but you're find out more in the book. Also "The label: the story of Columbia Records" by Gary Marmorstein is also worth reading
 

Flute For Dummies
 
An excellent primer for those with little or no experience playing the flute
 
Always wanted to play the flute? Are you a former flautist who wants to refresh your skills? Flute For Dummies is the guide for you. Following along with the book's accompanying CD, you will learn the nuances of playing the flute as an accompanying instrument or for playing a solo, in a variety of musical styles.
Readers will learn how to play, step-by-step – from the correct angle for blowing into the mouthpiece and controlling pitch, to proper breathing, creating vibrato, and much more
The book's accompany CD allows readers to play what they are learning, and listen to the accompanying track to see if they're getting it right
Karen Moratz is Principal Flutist with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and Artist in Residence and Adjunct Professor of Flute at the School of Music/Jordan College of Fine Arts at Butler University
 
Easy-to-understand methods and instructions make learning to play this beautiful instrument as simple and straightforward as possible!
 

Toys and American Culture: An Encyclopedia
 
From the origins of favorite playthings to their associations with events and activities, the study of a nation's toys reveals the hopes, goals, values, and priorities of its people. Toys have influenced the science, art, and religion of the United States, and have contributed to the development of business, politics, and medicine. Toys and American Culture: An Encyclopedia documents America's shifting cultural values as they are embedded within and transmitted by the nation's favorite playthings.
 
Alphabetically arranged entries trace developments in toy making and toy marketing across the evolving landscape of 20th-century America. In addition to discussing the history of America's most influential toys, the book contains specific entries on the individuals, organizations, companies, and publications that gave shape to America's culture of play from 1900 to 2000. Toys from the two decades that frame the 20th century are also included, as bridges to the fascinating past—and the inspiring future—of American toys.
 

Test Your Logic
 
George J. Summers creates 50 new puzzles for fans eager to test their logic. The puzzles range in difficulty from the relatively simple examples at the beginning of the book to others that are tricky, complex and subtle enough to the test the expert.
For those of you who enjoy having computers solve puzzles, this book will pre many good problems to work with. The real puzzle is understanding how to phrase the clues in a language like prolog so that a machine can solve the problem. This book has many wonderful puzzles that can be done with the human mind in minutes, and will sometimes take hours to correctly phrase for solving by a computer.
 

This Thing of Darkness: Perspectives on Evil and Human Wickedness
 
Written across the disciplines of art history, literature, philosophy, sociology, and theology, the ten essays comprising the collection all insist on multidimensional definitions of evil.
Taking its title from a moment in Shakespeare’s Tempest when Prospero acknowledges his responsibility for Caliban, this collection explores the necessarily ambivalent relationship between humanity and evil. To what extent are a given society’s definitions of evil self-serving? Which figures are marginalized in the process of identifying evil? How is humanity itself implicated in the production of evil? Is evil itself something fundamentally human? These questions, indicative of the kinds of issues raised in this collection, seem all the more pressing in light of recent world events. The ten essays were originally presented at the First Global Conference on Perspectives on Evil and Human Wickedness, held in March 2000 in Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford University.
 

Real Zombies, the Living Dead, and Creatures of the Apocalypse
 
Featuring 30 chilling stories of real-life zombie encounters, this comprehensive and unsettling study draws upon traditions found throughout the world to dispel common depictions of zombies as lurching, flesh-eating automatons made popular by countless movies and books. This fascinating collection includes the stories of the Devil Baby of Bourbon Street, a monstrous creature complete with horns and tail that still lurks in the shadows of the Big Easy; Black Mama Courteaux and the great zombie war, involving hundreds of zombie soldiers battling for the supremacy of their queen; and the swamp child of Mama Cree, who still roams the bayous of Louisiana. In addition to the stories, a variety of zombie-related facts are explored, including ceremonies and initiations, zombies throughout history, sacred zombie and voodoo-related sites, and zombies and monsters of the Bible.
 

The Ultimate Frozen Dessert Book
 
In the ninth installment of the wildly popular Ultimate series, powerhouse cookbook authors Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough churn out more than 500 recipes and variations for all kinds of frosty treats, including a wide range of gelato, granita, sherbet, and semifreddo. And there's a whole chapter on cakes, pies, and other treats made with ice cream or gelato, whether home-made or store-bought! Bruce and Mark prove that when it comes to frozen desserts, ice cream is only the tip of the iceberg! Together, these two books make the ultimate compendium on frozen treats.
 

The Winner's Brain: 8 Strategies Great Minds Use to Achieve Success
 
Developed by two Harvard brain experts, here is a scientific, accessible approach to achieving success by retraining your brain to win.
Ever wonder why some people seem blessed with success? In fact, everyone is capable of winning in life - you just need to develop the right brain for it.
In The Winner's Brain, Drs. Jeff Brown and Mark Fenske use cutting-edge neuroscience to identify the secrets of those who succeed no matter what - and demonstrate how little it has to do with IQ or upbringing. Through simple everyday practices, Brown and Fenske explain how to unlock the brain's hidden potential by establishing:
 
* Balance: Make emotions work in your favor
* Bounce: Create a failure-resistant brain
* Opportunity Radar: Spot hot prospects previously hidden by problems
* Focus Laser: Lock into what's important
* Effort Accelerator: Cultivate the drive to win
 
Along the way, they introduce you to dozens of interesting people who possess "win factors" (like the inventor of Whac-A-Mole) and share surprising information (like why you should never take a test while wearing red). The Winner's Brain will not only give you an edge - it'll motivate you to pursue your personal and professional dreams.
 

Unleashing the Power of the God Code
 
Imagine the possibilities if we discovered the power to change our lives—and our world— within the cells of our own bodies!
 
On this remarkable four-CD program, you will:
• discover that the ancient message, and the name of God, are encoded into the cells of your body and all life;
• learn and understand the lost key that allows DNA to be translated into language and words;
• cross the traditional boundaries of science and spirituality to discover how the message in your DNA holds the power to heal your body, resolve conflict, and create peace between families and nations; and
• see how to switch the healing codes of your body to "ON"!
About the Author
New York Times bestselling author Gregg Braden has been a featured guest at international conferences and media specials, exploring the role of spirituality in technology. A former senior computer systems designer (Martin Marietta Aerospace), computer geologist (Phillips Petroleum), and technical operations supervisor (Cisco Systems), Braden is now considered a leading authority on bridging the wisdom of our past with the science, technology, and peace of our future.
 

Why Men Want Sex and Women Need Love: Solving the Mystery of Attraction (Audio Book)
 
Allan and Barbara Pease, the international bestsell­ing authors of Why Men Don’t Listen & Women Can’t Read Maps, deliver their most exciting book yet.
Will men and women ever see eye-to-eye about love and sex? How will relationships ever be rewarding if men only want to rush into bed and women want to rush to the altar? In this practical, witty and down-to-earth guide, couples experts Allan and Barbara Pease reveal the truth about how men and women can really get along. By translating science and cutting edge research into a powerful yet highly entertaining read, you’ll learn how to find true happiness and compatibility with the opposite sex.
 
REVEALED IN THIS BOOK:
 
* The seven types of love
* The top five things women want from men
* What to do when the chemistry is wrong
* What turns men and women on – and off!
* The most common “New Relationship” mistakes and how to avoid them
* How to decode “manspeak”
 
If you want to get the most satisfaction from your relationship, or are single and looking for the right person, then you must read this book for the answer to Why Men Want Sex and Women Need Love.
About the Author
ALLAN and BARBARA PEASE are the most successful relationship authors in the business. They have written a total of 15 bestsellers – including 9 number ones – and give seminars in up to 30 countries each year. Their books are available in over 100 countries, are translated into 51 languages and have sold over
25 million copies. They appear regularly in the media worldwide and their work has been the subject of 9 television series, a stage play and a No.1 box office movie which attracted a combined audience of over 100 million.
 

The Spirit of Christmas Cookbook
 
The Spirit Of Christmas Cookbook by Leisure Arts is a wonderful collection of Christmas delicacies. This handy volume will add a special color to your kitchen library. The book features 337 of the most delicious recipes from their previous years holiday collections. The mouthwatering items will leave you spellbound and your guests will wonder at the Christmas spreads adoring your dinner table.
The spirit of Christmas cookbook comes with traditional and modern innovative dishes to add beauty to your Christmas spreads. Choose out the dishes to be a part of your mid-morning brunch or Christmas dinner. The recipes are easy and at the same time of high quality. The delightful recipes of desserts are there to please your sweet tooth. Check out for the yummy Christmas treats, appetizer, delicious side dishes and the main course items to suit your Christmas menu. The colored impressive photographs of the dishes offer you a detailed structure of the products. Other than this the book ensures you with wonderful ideas for gift giving. All the recipes are kitchen tested to keep up with your desires. Don't forget to try out the unique recipe for Irish Cream Desert. The recipes are so exciting and looks to be delicious that you cannot stop your mouth go watering. The recipes are compiled from previous collections and this provides with ample of choices to try out most of the Christmas delicacies and make this Christmas a memorable event in your life.
 

The Allergy-free Cookbook
 
Features recipes for all meals that can be adapted to eliminate gluten, eggs, nuts, and dairy, along with advice on how to adapt other classic recipes to avoid harmful ingredients while providing a balanced diet for the entire family.
 
I love this cookbook! It is very simple to "read" and follow/understand the recipes. I had started to run out of ideas of meals to make that had some variety in them as well as being milk free for my son, but this cookbook has given me lots of new ideas. It is also so nice that it lists what the recipe initially is made without, and also gives suggestions to eliminate/substitute other allergens that may be in it. It has saved dinner at our house from the same dozen or so things that I was stuck in a rut making.
 

More Fun with English (Practise at home - English)
 
This book will help children who can read and write (generally about 7 years and upward) to practice English skills. Many of the skills required by the National Curriculum for English, especially spelling, are included:
 
- Alphabetical order
- Nouns, verbs, adjectives
- Sentences and questions
- Letter patterns
- Similes and sayings
- Synonyms
- Apostrophes
- Spelling
 

Recreation Handbook for Camp, Conference and Community
 
Designed to provide youth leaders with fun and wholesome recreation activities for children between the ages of 8 and 18, this handbook includes chapters on games, rainy day activities, dramatics, storytelling, songs, campfire programs, worship and devotions, and inspiration for leaders. Sheet music and lyrics to songs featured in the book are also included. This second edition includes a new chapter on nature games and activities, along with several expanded and updated chapters from the original work. It is intended for use by anyone who works with youth in a recreation setting, from camp counselors and scoutmasters to parents and club advisors.
 

Teach Yourself Bluegrass Guitar (book & mp3)
 
This book is good in that it provides something for the beginner to the intermediate. I've owned it over a year and haven't made it through yet. The CD is helpful, as all of the songs in the book are on the CD. The arrangements for the songs are well-written and vary in level.
 

Mel Bay presents Slappin: A Complete Study of Slap Techniques for Bass, Book and mp3
 
Gleaned from years of teaching, performance, and listening experience -bass players at all levels will benefit from studying the numerous exercises, grooves, and musical examples offered in this book. Whether you are into funk, R&B, fusion, jazz, rock, punk, reggae, alternative music, or any other style; the slap technique will find a niche in your bass playing vocabulary. Chapter headings include: Technique, Hammer-Ons and Pull-Offs, Ghost Notes, Left Hand Slap, Open Strings, Double Slap, Double Stops, Double Pops, Other Licks and Tricks, and Advanced Grooves & Solos Using All Techniques. The author strongly advises the student to play each lesson slowly until the exercise or principle being illustrated is thoroughly mastered. Written in notation and tablature.
 

Mel Bay Jazz Guitar Standards Chord Melody Solos, Book and mp3
 
This is a spiral bound book with 44 arrangements and 2 CD's. Two outstanding arrangements are 'Misty' and 'Summertime', each by a different arranger. I like 'Misty' for the innovation and 'Summertime' for the feeling. These are not the only good arrangements in the book, just my personal favorites. The recordings are bare bones for the most part utilizing just a miked up jazz guitar but there are a few exceptions with bossa nova rhythm sections. The only slight negative I've found is there are a few tunes that were arranged, performed and/or recorded poorly. One arranger for example tries to put chords to every beat of the melody he tackles which is redundant sounding and too difficult for even him to pull off. Dogmatically sticking to one discipline when combining other techniques might help is ridiculous. Another example is the arrangement of 'It Don't Mean A Thing If It Ain't Got That Swing' which sounds more like a funeral dirge than the uptempo, fun tune it was meant to be. The chord/melody format is probably wrong for this tune. The majority of the arrangements are however professionally competent to exceptional. 'Misty'(Rick Stone-arranger) to repeat uses interesting,(not run of the mill), chord voicings that change as the song progresses, quick change chords, counterpoint, ascending diads, some linear lines and more. Very nicely done I think ! You wouldn't need to add much to this one.
 

Singing! Basic Vocal Technique (Audio book)
 
This course will benefit anyone who likes to sing, whether itOs rock and roll, bluegrass, folk, pop or show tunes. These lessons are guaranteed to increase vocal range, tone, power and stamina. In a warm, friendly style, Penny Nichols demonstrates essential relaxation and warm-up exercises, and helps singers develop breath control, vibrato, articulation, volume and projection. This 6-hour course is designed to improve your ear as well as your voice, and to "transform your body" so that singing becomes natural and easy. And it really works!
 

Reflections - Hemi-Sync Metamusic (Audio book)
 
Tune-up the connection between body mind and spirit with the music of Rick Borgia and Hemi-Sync. Therapeutic music is an ancient art. Greek and Roman spas incorporated such music to use in soothing cadence with the art of touch. Reflections mirrors this ancient practice of creating calming atmospheres to heighten one's energetic or healing connection. Immerse yourself in the delicate, floating rythms of Reflections to support massage therapy, subtle energy healing work or for creating an ideal meditative space for inner reflection.
 

She Comes First
 
The Thinking Man's Guide to Pleasuring a Woman
 
When it comes to pleasuring women and conversing in the language of love, cunnilingus should be every man's native tongue," writes clinical sexologist Ian Kerner, Ph.D. in She Comes First, a straightforward, intimate, and exuberant guide to cunnilingus. Kerner first explored "the oral caress" as a way of compensating for his "sexual inadequacies," and quickly learned that women not only welcomed but often preferred "the way of the tongue," reaching orgasm more consistently than through intercourse. Kerner educates readers about the clitoris, "the powerhouse of pleasure," with 18 parts and 8,000 nerve endings (twice as many as the penis) and describes female sexual response from "foreplay" through "coreplay" to "moreplay." A large part of the book is a graphic, detailed primer on "mouth music," including best positions, step-by-step techniques (illustrated), and tips for tongue and fingers. How long should this last? Until the woman has an orgasm or many, says Kerner, and "melts blissfully before your eyes." "The vast majority of women complain about guys who don't like to do it, don't know how to do it, or simply don't do it nearly enough," writes Kerner. This book will change that.
 

Stay Mad for Life: Get Rich, Stay Rich (Audio Book)
 
The host of CNBC's Mad Money presents the ultimate guide to lifetime investing for listeners of any age.
Whether you're a recent college grad trying to figure out how to start investing, a young parent struggling to decide where and how to put away money, or someone well into middle age and worried about whether you've saved enough money for retirement, Jim Cramer's Stay Mad for Life has the answers. "The media's most electrifying market pundit" (USA Today), best-selling author Jim Cramer covers all the essentials: how to save, where to invest, which pitfalls to avoid. He offers valuable advice on everything from mortgages to college tuition. He explains what professional money managers do right that amateur investors do wrong. Because there is always a bull market somewhere, Cramer tells listeners where to find the bull markets of the future, and for those willing to do the homework, he chooses 20 stocks that could be long-term money-makers. For those who don't have the time or the temperament to invest in stocks, he identifies the mutual funds that are proven winners. He's investigated these mutual funds by using his own 25 years of experience managing money for himself and dozens of America's wealthiest families. Throughout, he draws on rigorous research and his own enormously successful experience to back up his advice. Jim Cramer is America's number-one financial guru and Jim Cramer's Stay Mad for Life is the definitive money guide, full of practical, insightful, and invaluable financial advice.
 

Gran's Pantry
 
There was a great pantry in my mother's house. It was full of the most wonderful things. Exotic herbs and ingredients were stored in crocks and jars. Handmade pickles, jellies and jams lined the shelves. Canning jars and crocks were just a small part of the treasures found on those crowded shelves. Being a woman of many talents my mother's pantry was a storage area for all sorts of other goodies as well. It is fun to let my mind roam and to imagine the great painting surfaces that I found there. Wonder how I can make all those things beautiful and useful. Here are some of the ways
 

Briefs
 
This is a truly seismic moment in the publishing world! Bravo to John Edgar Wideman, who has boldly moved forward in a new direction. This event affirms that we are indeed in an epoch for writers.
 

Ancient Philosophy: From 600 BCE to 500 CE
 
The human mind has long hungered to understand deep truths. Though ideas of this nature are often impossible to explain definitively, numerous individuals dedicate their lives to seeking answers that transcend the mechanical and approach the metaphysical. The books in this absorbing series invite readers to pose their most probing questions alongside the philosophers who came before them and learn about the various strains of thought that developed over time in response. Students will also discover the interplay between philosophy and religion as well as the mathematical basis for much philosophical thought.
 

Before the Frost
 
This is a terrifying thriller, written by Henning Mankell, a Swedish mystery writer. The book is the first featuring Linda Wallander, his main character's daughter, as a police officer, and I hope he plans on writing more. The author asks at the beginning, what if one man had survived the Jonestown massacre in Guyana in 1978, and proceeds to follow that man. The plot is exciting and escalates fast into frightening, with ritual murder and sacrifice, disappearances of Linda's two best friends. Underneath, and effectively communicated, is the theme that religion can be a force for either good or evil, and it is a most powerful tool for manipulating people. This is evident all the time in the news, when countries go to war or terrorists commit mass murder, it's always "God is on our side," and who can argue with that? Religious fervor in the wrong hands can result in the worst atrocities. The book finishes on Linda's first official day of work, Sept. 11, 2001. I highly recommend this book, it's one of the best I've read this year.
 

The Urth of the New Sun
 
Has the same strength and depth of "Book of the New Sun." It has exciting action scenes, bittersweet love interrests, and a thought-provoking (mind boggling) scientific foundation. BUT...like the other 4 parts, it lacks closure. Up until the last page, Wolf's dynamic story line and writing style kept me glued to the book, but when I finished the last paragraph, I couldn't help feeling robbed. If you've read "The Book of the New Sun," you can relate. Only this time, you know there won't be a sequel. The Beginning and the Middle were definitely worth it, but just don't expect a big Conclusion. The story just sort of wears itself out, and doesn't provide any sense of emotional satisfaction for the reader or for poor Severian. But the book WAS very very gripping and I would definitely recommend it.
 

The Best Is Yet to Come
 
First off all I saw this book at my local "Target" store and instantly picked it up because Diana Palmer wrote it. I read the synopsis on the back of the book and threw the book in my cart. When I got home and started reading the book I realized it had a story by another author with Diana Palmer's story! I was mad!! I get angry because she keeps releasing these short stories, which granted are good stories but the length of the book deceived me! The overall story was pretty good, not exceptional, but a good short read. I believe it was less than 200 pages long. I read it one day! So, just be careful if you come across this book and don't be deceived into thinking this is a long thought-out story because nowhere on the cover of my book does it say there is another story by another author jointed with this book.
 

Citadel of the Autarch
 
Like the other three books of this series, the Citadel is a gorgeously written account of Severian the Torturer's journey to the Autarch's throne in a far future. Gene Wolfe's story is outstanding, if only for the fabulous otherworldly reality he has fashioned with beautiful language and a singular voice. The Urth he has created is real, filled with layered depth and detail. The story reaches a satisfying endpoint in this volume I hesitate to call it a conclusion, because like a real history, it could continue forever. This series is one of the best of all time.
 

The Sword of the Lictor
 
The novel continues the story of Severian and leads him through new adventures which confront him with new perspectives and thoughts. This book is more than just a Sci fi novel, since it offers a critical view of the forces in the portrayed society and so different and similar at the same time from maybe ours. Among the themes dealt with by Severian are life, humanity etc. It is definately worth reading if you don't only look for a sequence of action events and a little more food for thought.
 

Claw of the Conciliator
 
The second book in Gene Wolfe's 'Book of the New Sun'. This book, somewhat confusingly, does not pick up where 'The Shadow of the Torturer' leaves off, which is somewhat surprising since the end of the first book was kind of a cliffhanger. We never do find out (at least in this book) what happened at the end of first book.
This illustrates the nature of Wolfe's writing, it is somewhat cryptic as we always see Urth through Severian's eyes and he asssumes the reader has knowledge about Urth, it's history and environs that the reader does not. Also Wolfe uses many archaic words which many readers find frustrating. This didn't bother me to much as it is usually clear from the context what the word means, and it definitely adds atmosphere, as well as another layer of meaning, to the story. There are definitely a lot of layers of meaning and allusions, not all of which I grasped. It is a very complex but compelling work, which cannot be judged in isolation, but really as part of the whole 'Book of the New Sun' work.
 

Shadow of the Torturer
 
Seriously: This is one of the great overlooked Fantasy/Sci-fi adventures of all time. And to be honest, I hate even putting it into a genre category; it's just a damn good read. After having read tons of sci-fi/fanasy in my youth, I had reached a point where I was embarrassed to read any more of the stuff; almost all of it was trite, Tolkien- or Arthur C. Clarke-derivative, and, frankly, just plain juvenile. It was as if being a Fantasy writer meant that your standard of writing quality didn't have to be as high as that of straight fiction, as long as your characters included a busty warrior girl and a talking dragon. Then I picked up Shadow of the Torturer...
With The New Sun series, Gene Wolfe did to Fantasy what William Gibson, Bruce Sterling and Neal Stephenson did to Sci-fi; raised the bar for the genre and told a story that adults could read without feeling embarrassed. This is an epic up there with Lord of the Rings and Dune. It's that good.
 

Night Call
 
I enjoyed this book. My attentions were a bit split between the compelling new story of Tris and Jett and the dance they do to find belonging with one another, and the continuation of the joining of Honor and Quinn from "Fated Love" (with also a brief interlude in a story in "In Deep Waters 2" where we hear about Honor going into labor; we are also introduced to Tris in "In Deep Waters 2"). I love continuation. One of my favorite things is seeing what comes next, how couples who seem so right for each other actually work to carry out their lives together. How they really fit. Or how new experiences shape thier actions and reactions in the future. And the family life Honor and Quinn have created is precious, and a joy to behold.
But the center of the book for me was Tris and Jett. The medical back-drop Radclyffe creates is as colorful as always, providing for angst and drama and triumph and a catalyst to relationships between people in a life and death world. Jett has recently returned from flying helicopters in the Army, and it's striking the similarities between that world, and the world she and Tris inhabit while on night call.
 

Naked Edge
 
I am a long time fan of Marc Hunter, the hero from Clare's last I Team book Unlawful Contact. It has been about two years since that book was released and, as impatient as I was, it was worth the wait. This book is amazing. Clare is a master at fully developing characters you care about. This book is such a roller coaster ride of emotions. I laughed when the guys were harrassing each other, and even some of the times when Gabe talked to himself. I was scared for Kat as she was in danger time and time again, and I cried at a scene of great emotion between the two lead characters. Most of your favorites from earlier books are here, but you really don't have to read those books to understand fully and from the beginning what this story is all about.
Clare's sensitivity to the Native American issues in the book, and taking care not to turn Kat into a 'Disney Indian' added that much more depth to the book.
Loved this book - can't wait for the next one!
 

Colours in the Steel
 
This book started off great - basically its about "lawyers" who use swords to decide who wins the case. True, its not the most original idea in the world, but the execution was very good. Our hero Loredan opens up a little shop to train young fencers-at-law, after narrowly avoiding his own death in a case he was lucky to win. Here is where the book loses its path for me. The pace slows right down and the book tries to turn itself into a political espionage type novel. I read and read waiting for something to happen but not much ever did. The characters were enjoyable, but the action wasn't. I'm sure this first book in a series of three is a good set up for a political espionage novel,[except for A game of Thrones of course] but that's not really my cup of tea and should not be listed in the fantasy section. So I cant really make a fair review as I became jaded by the deception as to the type of book I was reading - however, I think that it was well written and anyone who can read fantasy without the need for dragons, magic, princesses, and monsters might like this series.
 

Teeth of Beasts
 
Horrible things move through the shadows of our world—bloodsuckers, Full Bloods and mongrel beasts, shapeshifters and minor freaks. For centuries creature hunters known as Skinners have protected humankind. But who protects the Skinners . . . from madness?
Unbeknownst to the human population, a pestilence is raging through an unseen community of low-level monstrosities. What seems, at first glance, a boon for the mortal cause has horrific connotations—as the Skinner team of Cole Warnecki and Paige Strobel races across the Midwest to uncover the shocking secret of the “Mud Flu.” For a nightmare of destruction and blood sacrifice is looming—one born of an unholy meeting nearly two centuries ago—that will pit man against beast, and Skinner against Skinner.
 

Edge of Moonlight
 
Etruscan wolf shifter Kaine Giliati has longed for John Simmons since he willingly agreed to wipe all memory of her from his mind. The pain in her heart is only magnified by terror—the ability to call her wolf appears to have deserted her, as well.
For months after he and his sister escaped a crazed kidnapper, John has been dreaming about a beautiful woman he’s never met but who seems so familiar. A woman he’s shocked to find in a dark bar one night. A woman who agrees to come back to his apartment for raw, passionate sex.
One erotic, stolen night reopens old wounds, uncovers buried memories and sets Kaine and John on a path filled with danger, magic and potential heartbreak.
 

Dead Matter
 
Simon Canderous is an agent with the Department of Extraordinary Affairs, who has the ability to see the history of an object with just a touch. But when Simon and his girlfriend Jane are attacked at the grocery store, they have no idea what the monstrous creature is. Then, Simon discovers that his partner has been having troublesome dreams of his missing brother. Simon, Jane, and Connor soon find themselves a part of a scheme that could either lead to peace or bring about war for Simon's employer and a secret society that has remained hidden for years.
Besides battling the forces of darkness, Simon and Jane excel at finding humor in any situation with their multiple pop culture references and jokes. All of Strout's characters seem to have depth and their own fascinating story. His urban fantasy world is dark, with terrifying creatures, but is always handled with humor from Simon, lightening an otherwise suspenseful situation.
This great sense of humor, combined with vivid characters, a complex mystery, and plenty of danger, make for a fantastic read. And this latest installment is my favorite so far. Urban fantasy fans should not miss this exciting series.
 

Black Seduction
 
Raul VicMoran and Angela Kalucian will not tolerate what Colony is doing to their kind, the jaguars. One of the leaders in the community is making arrangements with the humans to sell their services as mercenaries. Hired killers. To hunt, capture and eliminate someone else’s prey. The level of humiliation is too strong to endure.
After fleeing Colony, Raul and his two male littermates travel through the mountains, south into the desert and finally the jungle as they work their way to Central America where the only other known colony of jaguars live. Raul and Angela’s love for each other blossoms during their trials and ordeals traveling. Angela also comes to respect all three VicMoran males to the point where she feels protective of them. Raul knows in his heart, without any doubt, Angela is his female. No one will ever challenge him for her. But for one night, in the complete blackness of the heart of the jungle, all three VicMoran males will share Angela, truly bonding the four of them together for life.
 

Dead in the Family
 
Still reeling from the deaths of her fairy cousin, Claudine, and many others in 2009's Dead and Gone, Sookie Stackhouse struggles with paranormal politics in her entertaining if slow-moving 10th outing. When Claudine's triplet, Claude, appears at her doorstep, Sookie reluctantly allows him to move in. The government threatens two-natures with mandatory registration, and tensions run high in the local Were pack. Then Eric's maker, a Roman named Appius Livius Ocella, arrives without warning, bringing along Alexei Romanov, whom he rescued from the Bolsheviks and turned into a vampire. Though the action often builds too slowly, the exploration of family in its many human and undead variations is intriguing, and Harris delivers her usual mix of eccentric characters and engaging subplots.
 

Ghosts of Albion: Accursed
 
In Victorian London, siblings William and Tamara Swift are magicians protecting England from evil from their home Ludlow House. Other residents include the spirits of overly sexed charged Lord Byron, naked warrior queen Bodicea, and their father with the latter apparently possessed by an evil demon. Prim and proper William courts independent feisty Sophia Winchell while his sister yearns to make life with rake John Haversham.
As the Swift siblings work on their personal lives, women of Indian descent are being raped near the wharfs and in the East End slums; these odious unions have led to the birth of gruesome monsters. At the same time reptilian creatures are killing anything that crosses their paths. Queen Victoria is concerned that her magicians are so young to go up against such formidable opponents. However, youthful as they are, the good guys are assisted by their resident ghosts and a vampire though they remain in deep trouble as the forces of the dark look invincible especially when the sun is down which is for much of a day in smoggy London.
This funny and charming atmospheric Victorian horror tale brings to gloomy life London under siege from the supernatural. Fans will appreciate the historical setting that makes the paranormal seem real although raging hormones sometimes interferes with the magic. GHOSTS OF ALBION: ACCURSED is a fine thriller that readers will enjoy.
 
 
 
 

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