29 July, 2021

Book Review - Chasm City by Alastair Reynolds (Revelation Space Prequel) | Youtubes

Here's another review, this one for Chasm City by Alastair Reynolds, prequel to Revelation Space. These have been fun for me, not sure if that's true for anyone else, but here you go:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QASLr84I_jg&t=608s

As usual, please like and subscribe, comment to tell me what I can do to be not crappy! (*step 1: use better grammar)

28 July, 2021

Kindle and Audiobook Deals for July 28, 2021 - Sandman 1 (Neil Gaiman) is Free, 5 Wheel of Time Books 1/2 price

My video description has a list of links. Yep, that's how I get you, one more click away, sorry to be that way.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r-Mqg_-JW9g&t=1s

Please visit, like, subscribe, tell me to stop making you click multiple links to get to the deals.

27 July, 2021

My TBR for the Next Period of Time - July 2021

Here's my TBR, but instead of a direct reading order I would call it more of a pool, a TBR pool to choose from. These ones are at the top of that pool. Because pools have tops, wow, I'm struggling here.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dN3BxHyPbOg


As always, please like, subscribe, tell me how crappy these videos are, anything you like. Thanks!

22 July, 2021

Why Read Malazan Book of the Fallen - Youtube

Because I haven't milked this topic enough either here or elsewhere, here's a video version of my attempts at conversion ... I mean suggestion.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MSLAQoYMo0w&t=16s

Please like and subscribe to the channel. I'm telling ya, it's way too positive, I need some snark. Do people still say snark these days?

14 July, 2021

Audiobook Review - New Found Land: The Long Haul by Austin Grossman, Neal Stephenson, and Sean Stewart

 Pretty much everything I do is a test or something I'm having fun with. I attempt to mimic the audio and totally don't fail...right? Right?



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ingKJvgmE4&t=44s


Please check it out and tell me how bad that impression was. Also, please subscribe!

08 July, 2021

June 2021 Wrap up - Epic Month! (youtubes)

I wrap up my June reading and even attempt some editing. Wow, do I have a long way to go, but this was probably my most fun video to put together. Hope you enjoy.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a6EhKGyaRYE

Please subscribe and leave me a comment about all the things I need to improve ... well, that might take too long, you probably have a life... at least one thing I suck at.

06 July, 2021

Top 10 Fantasy Books - My old Goodreads List (Youtube)

 I take a look at my old top 10 Fantasy book list (really 12 since I couldn't narrow it down to 10). It's more of an attempt to use new programs (to me) so bear with me on this one. I at least learned a lot about this process so I will try to do better on the next one.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FosEU7yaq0o&t=70s

Please subscribe and don't forget to tell me how terrible these videos are in the comments. Thanks!

01 July, 2021

Youtube Review - Later by Stephen King (Hard Case Crime)

 Here's another attempt at youtubing. Still learning and playing with edits, hence the sudden image midway through the video. Watch for all the surprises!


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nWIGKoTwURM&t=2s

Please subscribe for more. Thanks!

24 June, 2021

Youtube Channel? Shelf Centered

So I did a thing...I may have used all my exceedingly excess time to start a youtube channel to talk books and such. You can find it here:


https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCOnhWRIfXctWhOhB-TAZarw

I hope to get better and stop the constant 'ums' and nervous giggles (which is really the only way I can describe that). To quote a couple of my favorite quotes as to why I did such a thing:

Besidesnowadays, almost all capable people are terribly afraid of being ridiculous, and are miserable because of it.” Fyodor Dostoevsky

“Once you've got a task to do, it's better to do it than live with the fear of it.” Logan Ninefingers quoting his father (Joe Abercrombie)

So, if you have a second, please give me a subscribe and check out my videos. There is a serious dearth of snark in the comment section (or anything really, you gotta start somewhere!) and my ego is really starting to take off. Keep me out of the clouds, please!

19 March, 2021

Review - The Sailor on the Seas of Fate (Elric of Melnibone #2) by Michael Moorcock


It's been too long since my first Elric book, Elric of Melnibone, which I read about 14 years ago. I'd been meaning to keep reading, I even own just about every iteration you can find of the series and still only based on that one book read.

I had a blast with this one though it was much weirder than I recall. At the same time, that's part of the mystery and fun of reading these books. Moorcock does not lack for imagination. 

Sailor on the Seas of Fate is essentially three adventures smashed into one book so it's technically even shorter than the already short book. Characterization of any character but Elric is minimal, but Elric is such a rich character that's largely not too much of a problem (though I wouldn't mind some more).

I like exploring the multiverse and it's fun to see that the multiverse isn't a new concept (as I tend to start to think), it's a really cool concept that's been used for years. I will try to make it less than 14 years for the Weird of the White Wolf.


4 out of 5 stars (highly recommended)

18 March, 2021

(Audiobook) Review - The Player of Games (Culture #2) by Iain M. Banks


For my first foray into Iain M. Banks' world of the Culture, The Player of Games pretty well blew me away. I'm still thinking about it weeks after finishing. I've realized I need to know more about the Culture though, so much more.

As I'm last to the party with Banks (it seems to me), I'm sure you already know, but if you don't,  Gurgeh is a professional game player. The best of the best. Better than Ninja (any gen z'ers around?). He's conscripted (I won't get into details) to play the ultimate game on an alien world and it's about to get real.

This game has it all, different levels, different amounts of players, it's so ineffable, we don't really get a description of it, but that just adds to the enigma that is Azad (also the name of the empire). 

It's such a brilliant telling of some relatively typical tropes, but it felt so fresh...even though it was first published in 1988.

I can't wait to get into more of Banks's Culture series and probably anything else he has to offer. I didn't know if starting book 2 of the series was the right choice having never read anything else, but this recommendation worked at least for me.

Narration: This was my first experience with Peter Kenny (to my knowledge) and I thought he did a wonderful job. I barely noticed his involvement, which is the best kind of narrator. Great voices, good simpering machine voices, and flowed quite well.

4.5 out of 5 stars (highly recommended)

16 March, 2021

(Audiobook) Review - Ringworld (Known Space #1) by Larry Niven


This is one of those mandatory reads for sci-fi aficionados (like myself of course) and I have to say it did not quite live up to the hype.

Funny story, I actually read one of the newer books a number of years ago, Betrayer of Worlds or something like that, since I had received BoW as a review book for my blog. Not knowing much (clearly), I jumped in and really ended up enjoying it. 

The funny part is, I didn't love Ringworld all that much. It had some very interesting concepts, but I tend to read for characters or at least some plot with great concepts, but this didn't really have much more than the concepts. I wasn't a huge fan of the writing style, but mostly the cardboard cutout characters kept reminding me of characters like Belgarath the Sorcerer from the Eddings books. 

They had one character and that was it. The Kzin is angry, the girl is flighty but lucky, Louis Wu had some character I guess, but it was hardly a focus.

I think what really disappointed me was the "twist" at the end which I'll address with spoiler tags:

spoiler: Then there's equating "luck" with "fate" that just didn't seem to work for me. Maybe I've watched too much Deadpool, but this felt like such a stretch as to make it deus ex machina. End spoiler

Narration: Grover Gardner was one of those old-school narrators. The reading was pretty stiff and didn't do the story I was already bailing on much justice. On the good side, I believed his female voices so that worked.

2.5 out of 5 stars (recommended with reservations)

22 January, 2021

Review - Knife of Dreams (Wheel of Time #11) by Robert Jordan


Wow, what a breath of fresh air. It's like I was wearing a mask for months and it was finally taken off. (apropos of the current time?)

Not the cover mind you, that's still one of my least favorite. Perrin always comes off a bit funky in these covers amiright?

Knife of Dreams by Robert Jordan (and not anyone else) really did feel like I was reading one of the first 6 books of the series. The first 6 are so good, good enough, at least for me, to get me through the slog that was books 7-10. Which is insane to think that there were 4 books, 600+ to 800+ pages each that you have to "get through" to get to the really good stuff. But here we are.

Now don't get me wrong. Lots of what makes KoD so good is all that 4 book set up. It's almost as if the complete lack of climax in the previous book was made up for by having like 7 climaxes in this one. 

But I didn't just feel a new energy in this book at the end of KoD, it was right off the bat as well. That could have been my previous knowledge from reviews I shouldn't have read, but I felt that energy right away ... in the prologue of all places!

And I've been complaining about these long prologues with the best of them!

Seriously, this made that all worth it. I do have to keep reminding myself of the realization I had when I first reread the first 6 books because even then I saw some issues. The fact that book 3, The Dragon Reborn, had about 7 pages of "the Dragon" was a huge sign and a frustration in my first read. But upon reread, I realized I grew to love the rest of the characters so much more. I had to remind myself of this quite often during the previous 4 books.

5 out of 5 Stars (Up there with the first 6 books, which says a lot, everything)


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20 January, 2021

(audiobook) Review - How to Defeat a Demon King in Ten Easy Steps by Andrew Rowe


I randomly downloaded How to Defeat a Demon King in Ten Easy Steps by Andrew Rowe as a freebie from Audible membership since I pretty much automatically download all the kid-focused ones to use on roadtrips and whatnot with my kiddos and this was better than I could have dreamed.

Now, don't get too caught up in the premise. It's essentially minecraft, Zelda, and Skyrim all bundled into a world that works like a video game and that's completely normal for the people in it. You can level up not only yourself, but your weapons, skills, etc. You can buy potions, you have mana to power your skills and spells.

Don't ask why there's a voice that tells you when you've leveled up. It works, just don't think too hard about it.

Because otherwise, somehow Andrew Rowe was able to distill the essence of what makes these video games great into book form and it's so much fun.

My 9 year old son and I had a blast. We randomly started listening on our last road trip and then stayed up late every night (until Mom caught us!) to finish it. It was such a fun time to spend with my son, even my girls started joining us after a while.

I can't say enough about this. The only real problem I had was when the narrator mispronounced "mana" as "mahna" yet the level up voice called it "mana." I'm just glad someone was aware of how to pronounce it!

TL;DR Don't think, just listen.

If you like those video games, this is the perfect book and it's kid-friendly.

5 out of 5 Stars (do it)

P.S. I also read the first book in Rowe's Arcane Ascension series and I might just be a huge fan of LitRPG because it was also fantastic.

All links are affiliate links from which this blog makes a small percentage of money.