06 March, 2010

Bona Fide: Weekly Roundup #10

Hello and welcome to issue #10 of my Weekly Roundup. I'm quite late to write it. Just came back from cinema where I watched Alice in Wonderland in 3D. Scroll down to read more about my impressions. I'm still in the process of rearranging my life. I think I'm on a good way except my google reader - 1000+ unread entries are far to many. But I hope I found some interesting topics for you. Enjoy reading....

Bona Fide's Menu

  1. Delivery of the week: The Time Traveller's Guide To Medieval England by Ian Mortimer
  2. Spontaneous order of the week: The Skinner by Neal Asher
  1. NextRead Magazine
  2. Blake Charlton goes audio
  1. ALICE IN WONDERLAND - First impressions
  1. German proverbs, sayings and idioms Skin....


Some time ago I discovered a book which isn't a fantasy novel but it is related. A lot of fantasy books are settled in a kind of medieval world. Medieval Europe is often a template. And I ask you. What do you know about medieval Europe? Be honest. I assume most of you have an average knowledge like me. Wouldn't you like to know more? I want. And therefore I ordered following book which I received on Friday:
The Time Traveller's Guide To Medieval England (first published in 2008) [US] [UK] , by Ian Mortimer. The subtitle - A Handbook for Visitors to the Fourteenth Century - explains more.
Product description
"The past is a foreign country: this is your guidebook. Imagine you could get into a time machine and travel back to the fourteenth century. What would you see? What would you smell? More to the point, where are you going to stay? Should you go to a castle or a monastic guesthouse? And what are you going to eat? What sort of food are you going to be offered by a peasant or a monk or a lord? This radical new approach turns our entire understanding of history upside down. It shows us that the past is not just something to be studied; it is also something to be lived. It sets out to explain what life was like in the most immediate way, through taking you, the reader, to the middle ages, and showing you everything from the horrors of leprosy and war to the ridiculous excesses of roasted larks and haute couture. Being a guidebook, many questions are answered which do not normally occur in traditional history books. How do you greet people in the street? What should you use for toilet paper? How fast - and how safely - can you travel? Why might a physician want to taste your blood? And how do you test to see if you are going down with the plague? The result is the most astonishing social history book you are ever likely to read: revolutionary in its concept, informative and entertaining in its detail, and startling for its portrayal of humanity in an age of violence, exuberance and fear." [Source]

For me that sounds promising. I will read and review it next month.

When I find time you will find me on Twitter. On last Friday I spent part of my lunch break on Twitter. Julie Crisp, the editor of Spellwright (2010) [US] [UK] by Blake Charlton, twittered about Blake Charlton's Spellwright and about Neal Asher's Shadow of the Scorpion (2009) [US] [UK].[Source]. I have heard about Neal Asher but I never read one of his novels. So I asked Julie which of Neal's book she would recommend me to start with. And that was her answer: The Skinner (2002) [US] [UK]. It is the first book in the Spatterjay series.
"Welcome to Spatterjay...where sudden death is the normal way of life; To the remote planet Spatterjay come three travellers with very different missions. Janer is directed there by the hornet Hive-mind; Erlin comes to find the sea captain who can teach her to live; and Keech - dead for seven hundred years - has unfinished business with a notorious criminal. Spatterjay is a watery world where the human population inhabits the safety of the Dome and only the quasi-immortal hoopers are safe outside amidst a fearful range of voracious life-forms. Somewhere out there is Spatterjay Hoop himself, and monitor Keech cannot rest until he can bring this legendary renegade to justice for atrocious crimes committed centuries ago during the Prador Wars. Keech does not realise that Hoop's body is running free on an island wilderness, while his living head is confined in a box on an Old Captain's ships. Nor does he know that the most brutal Prador of all is about to pay a visit, intent on wiping out all evidence of his wartime atrocities. Which means major hell is about to erupt in this chaotic waterscape." [Source]

I must admit I have been intrigued. And then I did what I normally try to avoid. I ordered The Skinner spontaneously. That means one more scfi-fi book for me which fits to my plan to read more sci-fi.

If you are interested in Neal Asher's books too then I recommend to visit Neal Asher's website and blog. Neal Asher is quite helpful. Only to days ago he posted the reading order of his books.

Do you like his books? Let me know.


Once a while blogger like to leave their paths and try something new. The latest one is Gav - the kind soul behind NextRead. He is starting up an online bi-monthly magazine. He asked me to share word about it and I promised to do it. You will recognize that this is the second time we do it here. Some days ago Seak posted NextRead Magazine Opens For Submissions.
NextRead Magazine is a themed bi-monthly short story magazine contributed to by anyone who wants to have a go. Each magazine with contain six to eight short stories on a given theme. It’s an electronic magazine published and supplied in both PDF & ebook (epub) formats.

Each issue will cost £1.50 (correct at the time of writing)

Launch issue is due on the 1st May 2010.
For detailed informations please check out the submissions page.

One week ago I reviewed Spellwright by Blake Charlton and liked it a lot. And Blake is still busy like an ant. He found a special way to celebrate the release of his debut novel. Together with Mark D. Hines and Paul Hurley he created an hour long audiobook!!! It includes the Prologue and chapters one to four of Spellwright (2010) [US] [UK]. And you can listen to it for free! Strap on your headphones and enjoy......

Spellwright Audio Sample from Blake Charlton on Vimeo.


This time I want to do something different. This evening my wife and I went to cinema and watched Alice in Wonderland. I would like to share with you my first impressions. This is now review...

Not every movie must be shown in 3D. Compared to Avatar I must say that the 3D effects in Alice in Wonderland looked partially artificial and clumsy. I would like to read impressions of the non 3D version.

The story is divided in three parts: Before Wonderland - Wonderland - After Wonderland. The Wonderland part is the longest one and of course the best one. As you may know this is the movie about Alice's second visit in Wonderland. Now she is grown up and of course she acts different. I missed partially the carefreeness of youth. To be honest I expect a bit more depth in story.

I think Tim Burton missed the chance to shoot a burtonesque version of Alice in Wonderland. It seems he spent a way too much time for the 3D effects.
Don't get me wrong. Wonderland is an entertaining movie with wonderful creatures.The highlight and the real star of the movie is gorgeous Helena Bonham Carter as the Red Queen.

Watch again the trailer and let me know your impressions.


My spontaneous order of the week inspired me to search for quotes related to skin.......

" The Earth has a skin and that skin has diseases, one of its diseases is called man.
Friedrich Nietzsche, German classical Scholar, Philosopher and Critic of culture, 1844-1900

"Years wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul.
Douglas MacArthur, American General, 1880 - 1964

"Every human being has hundreds of separate people living under his skin. The talent of a writer is his ability to give them their separate names, identities, personalities and have them relate to other characters living with him.
Mel Brooks, American Actor, Author, Producer

"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
Martin Luther King, 1929 - 1968


Bryce L. said...

I really wanna see Alice. The Depp/Burton combination will never get old in my book. :D

Simcha said...

The Time Traveller's Guide To Medieval England sounds like a great book! I look forward to reading your review of it.

ediFanoB said...


I'm interestred in your opinion about Alice.

ediFanoB said...


in school we learned about kings and wars. But nobody taught us about daily life in former times. I like history and therefore I think it is worth for me to read this book.
My review will be posted on April 23rd.