Tag Archives: COYER

#COYER ~ Back to the Basics

Because Reading is better than real life

Join us December 19th to March 4th with the Clean out your E-reads Challenge hosted by Fantasy is More Fun, Because Reading & Books, Movies, Reviews! Oh My! and start cleaning out your free or nearly free E-reads!

I’m a little late jumping in, but better late than never, right?

Continue reading

#COYER Scary Stories by the Campfire Read-a-thon

Scary Stories by the Campfire

Read scary stories – books about ghosts, goblins, and any other horror/thriller that would make for a scary campfire tale. More info at: Because Reading

Man, this week. It totally got away from me. I didn’t get Thursday’s review up and that’s okay. I thought about not doing this mini readathon, but this is the one I’ve been looking forward to. I need a little horror in my summer!

What am I reading?

#COYER ~ New to Me Readathon

Newtome

A best-seller and Hugo and Nebula nominees. All new to me! Perfect for a mini-readathon.

Wool (Wool, #1) Wakulla Springs Burning Girls
  • Wool, Part 1 by Hugh Howey – Finished!
  • “Wakulla Springs” by Andy Duncan
  • “Burning Girls” by Veronica Schanoes – Finished!

Update 08/04/14 – Didn’t get quite as much reading done as I wanted over the weekend, but still a fair amount.

#COYER Fairy Tales with a Twist Reviews

Fairytaletwist-297x300
July 11th – 13th: Fairy Tales with a Twist
Read fairy tale re-tellings and give those childhood favorites a twist!

Supernatural Fairy Tales The Storyteller's Wife Never Ever After: Three Short Stories

Supernatural Fairy Tales by Dorlana Vann

With nods to some classic fairy tales, this collection certainly fit the bill. “Blueberry Eyes” is the easiest to identify as a twisted tale, but as Vann notes in her afterword, all are inspired by classic fairy tales. How do the Emperor’s New Clothes look on a vampire? What happens when an artist finds “His Soul Inspiration” in the old tales and paints his wife as a mermaid? There are a few neat concepts in Supernatural Fairy Tales. My only criticism is that the stories often play with the concept of memory and the narratives end up being a little muddled. My favorite: “The Gift” because I can’t resist the Weird West.

The Storyteller’s Wife by Eugie Foster

“If this was…a real fairy tale, she knew her lines.”

Not a twisted tale, but a tale of faerie and one so very bittersweet. Eugie Foster might be my favorite fairy tale writer. Yes, beating out even Peter S. Beagle.

Never Ever After: Three Short Stories by Ruth Nestvold

It’s hard to get into an already existing fantasy world, which is what it felt like I was doing in “A Serca Tale.” Even the title leaves me a bit short in the info department. I did not finish  “King Orfeigh” because I can’t get my head into a second person POV.  “Happily Ever Awhile” was the best of the trio with the best title of the entire readathon.

b00k r3vi3ws

#COYER Read-athon – Fairy Tales with a Twist

Fairytaletwist-297x300
July 11th – 13th: Fairy Tales with a Twist
Read fairy tale re-tellings and give those childhood favorites a twist!

The Rules

  1. Sign up!
  2. Sometime between now and the end of the read-a-thon post on your blog, twitter, FB, Google+, Goodreads, Booklikes (you get the idea… somewhere!) that you’re participating. That’s the link you’ll need for the Rafflecopter.
  3. Read books that are in someway related to a fairy tale. When you finish a book do a general update with a link that you can put on the Rafflecopter. Example – on Goodreads you could write: “Great, cute book! 4 stars! Full review coming soon!” and that would count. (For COYER participants, just do something quick and then update with full review for COYER linky)
  4. Have FUN!!!

Not sure if all of these will count as retellings, but they’re definitely in the fairy tale vein.

Supernatural Fairy Tales The Storyteller's Wife Never Ever After: Three Short Stories

  • Supernatural Fairy Tales by Dorlana Vann
  • The Storyteller’s Wife by Eugie Foster
  • Never Ever After: Three Short Stories by Ruth Nestvold

Magic Monday Review ~ Miracle Mongers and Their Methods

MagicMonday

I like Mondays. On Monday, I am refreshed from the weekend and exhilarated by the possibilities of the week ahead. I also like magic. I like its history, its intersection with technology, and its crafty use of human nature.  I figured I’d combine the two and make a Monday feature that is truly me: a little bit of magic and a look at the week ahead.

Cover via Goodreads

Miracle Mongers and Their Methods by Harry Houdini

The legendary magician and illusionist Harry Houdini turns a critical eye to the astonishing claims of those in his own profession. Using personal research and observations, Houdini reveals the cunning techniques employed by fire-eaters, sword swallowers, and other masters of deception to mystify and amaze audiences around the world. This classic skeptical work explores and exposes the methods of such “wonders” as “The Incombustible Spaniard,” “Defiers of Poisonous Reptiles,” and many others. Originally published in the 1920s, Miracle Mongers and Their Methods scrupulously examines the direct predecessors of modern psychics and mentalists. …(via Goodreads)

Making the jump to debunking psychics and mediums misses a rather important point about Houdini. He was an incredible athlete. Near the end of his career, he did indeed pit himself against mediums, but this book isn’t about that at all. This book is a catalog of the great purveyors of physical “miracles.” While Houdini does expose the techniques, there’s a great respect in this recitation of fire-eaters, sword-swallowers, poison defiers, strong men (and women) and the like. While Houdini was sensitive about his own methods being made public, he makes an important observation about exposure: Many of these performers were debunked time and time again during their careers without it hurting business.

I would guess that the text wasn’t really written by Houdini (he had ghost writers), but the source material was curated by him and I would say that the enthusiasm is certainly his. It should also be noted that any advice given about snake bite cures in this book is *terrible*.

Publisher: Public domain edition
Publication date: Originally 1920
Genre: non-fiction

What Am I Reading This Week?

Nevermore Great Expectations Supernatural Fairy Tales
  • Nevermore by William Hjortsberg – Arthur Conan Doyle, Harry Houdini, and the ghost of Edgar Allan Poe walk into a bar…
  • Great Expectations by Charles Dickens – I always forget how much I enjoy Dickens.
  • A wild card for DMI and I’m picking “Lazarus” by Leonid Andreyev
  • A book of optical illusions
  • Some fairy tales retold for #COYER on the weekend!

What Am I Working On?

The first week of writing in July didn’t go as well as planned. I wasn’t feeling great and I got hung up on an action scene. I hate action scenes.

Also this week, I need to update ALL THE WEBPAGES. Entangled Continua got a mini make-over this weekend and I need to update book availability.

Magic Monday Reviews ~ Houdini: A Life Worth Reading & Vera Van Slyke stories

MagicMonday

I like Mondays. On Monday, I am refreshed from the weekend and exhilarated by the possibilities of the week ahead. I also like magic. I like its history, its intersection with technology, and its crafty use of human nature.  I figured I’d combine the two and make a Monday feature that is truly me: a little bit of magic and a look at the week ahead.

Houdini: A Life Worth Reading by Higher Read

Cover via Goodreads

Houdini was a man of magic and mystery. He was also a pilot, an author, an actor, and a rabid opponent of the Spiritualist movement. He was impatient of charlatans and imitators and loving to his family. He had an impressive ego. If any of these facts are new to you, then Houdini: A Life Worth Reading is the perfect primer on the man who was, by the end of his life, known only as Houdini. (via Goodreads)

I picked this up as a freebie from Amazon back in March. I don’t know what’s up with Higher Read as an “author,” but this short biography was well written and included chapter overviews and study questions. If, you know, you find Houdini to be an important enough guy to study. (Higher Read also has books on Woodrow Wilson, John F. Kennedy, and Thomas Jefferson.) In fact, I was pretty impressed with how neutral the biography is. It makes no bones about Houdini’s greatness as a showman and publicist or his massive ego. If I learned anything from this Houdini bio, it was that Houdini was sued more often than I had thought!

Publisher: Higher Read, LLC
Publication date: January 30th 2014
Genre: Biography

“The Minister’s Unveiling” & “The Ghost of Banquo’s Ghost” by Tim Prasil

vera-lida-oval-on-white1Tim Prasil’s Help for the Haunted stories are based on the manuscripts left to him by his great-grandaunt. The stories involve his great-grandaunt, Lucille, and her friendship with Vera Van Slyke, a journalist and occult detective in the early 1900s. Vera investigates hauntings and tries to put ghosts to rest. She’s smart, if occasionally absent-minded about frivolous details like personal names, and makes no apologies for it. Lucille, a debunked spirit medium, likes adventure a little more than a proper lady should and is game to help Vera in her investigations. They’re a great Holmesian/Watsonian(?) duo. The stories are fun with an appealing mixture of skepticism and the supernatural. Also it’s nice to see two women *doing things* in fiction. Both of these stories are currently free on Tim Prasil’s website, but only for a little while longer as he offers new stories. The third story “Skittering Holes” was released over the weekend!

Publisher: To be published later in the year in novel form from Emby Press
Genre: Ghost mysteries.

Because reading is better than real life b00k r3vi3ws