Monday, January 19, 2015

Three Book Reviews

This month I've already tried three new authors, and have been pleased with my reading experiences. My kindle is usually always by my side and there is no better way for me to relax before going to sleep or to distract my mind from health issues than by reading a good book! Fiction or non-fiction, it does not matter to me, I'll always have an 'inquiring mind'. 

I receive the Kindle version of the magazine Fantasy and Science Fiction and there is always a column about new publications in it, That is where I heard about Katherine Addison's book, The Goblin Emperor. I checked out a sample of the book and then read it. I read it pretty quickly, too. I guess you could classify it as Fantasy that had some elements of Steampunk in it. I generally think of goblins as bad guys in fantasy stories, but in this story the goblin was a likeable underdog, the shunned son of his father, the Emperor, from his one time marriage to a goblin woman. His father and older brothers die in a zepplin accident leaving the throne to him. He has to travel to court and claim the throne as his father's only surviving son. There are fantasy elements, good court intrigue, nice world building, and a good story line. I read a lot of fantasy and this story was fresh and interesting. Thumbs up to Katherine Addison for this great book.

Nina ,wife of explorer Percy Fawcett.
Non-Fiction read: The Lost City of Z: A tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon by David Grann. David Grann has been a staff writer for The New Yorker magazine, it is an excellent publication. I started reading Malcolm Gladwell's books from the New Yorker, too. This story is very intriguing as it tells about of Percy Fawcett, explorer and Amazon expert. He and his son disappeared during a trek through the Amazon jungle in 1925. Fawcett had made many trips in the Amazon and was considered one of the leading explorers of the region in his time. History has never really been able to discover what happened on that fateful expedition. Mr. Grann takes us on a whirlwind history tour of Amazon exploration, the Royal Geographic Society, and the life of the Fawcett family. Mrs, Fawcett never gave up hope that her husband and son would be found. Fawcett's remaining son and several other exploration parties also went looking for the lost explorers but could never discover what really happened. Mr. Grann, the author, followed in the footsteps of the exploration and found out some interesting truths on his journey. Delightful, and very engaging tale. Thumbs up! 
Jack Fawcett- disappeared with his father in the Amazon in 1925.   

Antonio Garrido- "The Corpse Reader". Mr. Garrido's novel about the historical figure Song, Ci, a Chinese man who is considered the father of forensic science, keeps you up reading past your bedtime. This novel won the prize for best historical novel in Spain in 2012. I was a bit dismayed at times while reading it because sometimes it seemed that the main character would never get a break. Everything was going wrong for him, but I was still curious to find out what would happen and read through the book quickly. It was very interesting subject matter to me as both a medical science person and one who enjoys the Gothic and Historical literature. Thumbs up to this author, I plan on reading his other book, The Scribe, very soon. 

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