ZAHN BOOKS AT LAST!

Now this list is a bunch of books I’ve been wanting to get for a long time, but because they have for ages been out of print (and as a consequence relatively rare), I have been unable to get them until now. It is great – at last my interest in reading has been rekindled after a long absence because there are finally books I’ve found by an author that I like but haven’t read before. And the pun is not intended, I assure you…

I have decided that Kindle is the e-reader for me because it is now actually worth buying. I can only hope that over the next few months more of my good paperback library can be converted into digital format (with the addition of some newbees (or rather, not so newbees….). There are a couple not on the list which I am going to have to see if I have or not, as I am not sure. But I am looking forward to a good year of reading next year and maybe my disillusion I’ve been having with the publishing industry in recent years is now at an end. It is a shame that they aren’t physical books because I would have preferred that, but I suppose I must be happy that they are at last available for me to read!

Triplet

Deadman Switch

A Coming of Age

Spinneret

Warhorse

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An Unexpected Development…

It appears that after a loooooong wait, more Star Wars books are finally available on Kindle. (Yay!) But I know have a decision to make.  This means that Kobo/Sony and Kindle are now about evenly matched in the UK price wise. I only found this out after doing some investigating. So which to choose? Also, I can now start selling off my old paperbacks that I don’t want anymore and free up some space and replace them with the digital copies (well, all but the VERY BEST of my fiction library, anyway…)

Hoping for a Home

Ok, this is probably my first review since June or July but I feel like doing one for this book. I quite like reading the books about vets, something which James Herriot is to thank for sparking off, as well as my love for animals in general. This one is about the stories from an RSPCA manager. What I have enjoyed about the book is that it is a fast read, and in spite of its subject matter, quite up lifting, especially when awful owners get their just deserts for being violently cruel to their animals, and even more so when the animal survives and ends up getting their very much deserved home. The author stays free of those cliches which I find can be annoying coming from animal rescue people (Forever Home and Rainbow Bridge…) and she does acknowledge that sometimes animals are in a bad situation through no fault of their owners, like the angora rabbit that belonged to a man with mental health problems or the St Bernard and GSD that belonged to the couple where the wife had fallen ill and the husband couldn’t look after them anymore because he had to give up his job to look after his wife. Those types of people need just as much help as the animal, and one of my bugbears with animal rescue is the taking of animals away from people when if given a bit of support they could keep the animals – having lost my mum as a teenager, I know that animal welfare problems aren’t always the fault of a cruel or willfully neglectful owner, so cruelty to animals basically has three levels of badness for me… The first is suffering caused on purpose (i.e. bloodsports, hunting or in the case of this book, hitting a dog over the head with a shovel),  or for profit (fur farming, factory farming, experiments, etc) – these I consider to be bad because they either cause the worst amount of suffering to an individual animal, or because of the large scale of the problem and the fact that often the law is on the wrong side! The second level is neglect caused by laziness of owners or carers – there is no excuse for it, but  unless it is large scale or violent, it is not as bad as the first, but the owners do need to be punished for it and the third level is that caused by poverty or illness of the owners – it is not willful and with support (which can be lacking) there’s no need for animals to be taken from their owners as long as the problem is resolved.

As foxes are one of my favourite animals, I loved the story about the fox cub! The only drawback I find reading books like this is that it makes me regret that I was unable to go down the career path I wanted when I was younger and that they also make me want to have more animals to look after! Maybe that will change in the future, once all the crap that we need to sort out now is over. I enjoyed this book immensely and I hope to be able to read more from the author.

My Rating:

Moving House…Again……

To cut a long story short, we are having to move house again, even though we only just did so in March last this year! Since around August things have been really stressful, which is one of the main reasons why I have just not been writing in the blog. I have not abandoned it, but when there are so many things going on, (which I won’t go into detail here, because I don’t want to look back through the blog in a years time and see a string of negativity after negativity….) I just don’t feel like writing in it. For the same reason, I’ve not been posting much in my general blog either, or found the energy to work on my other websites such as the Star Wars fan fic ones, and I’ve only been doing bits here and there on the fanlistings just to keep them listed over at the fanlistings.org. I’ve also not been giving the challenges any attention at all and just reading books as I feel like reading them. I probably won’t sign myself up for as many next year. I am hoping that the next couple of months will at least resolve some of our problems and that things will be better in the coming year… One can only hope, I suppose. I’ve got through the Dinosaur Hunters by Deborah Cadbury and I am currently reading the Hobbit. Yay! The reason why I chose to read the Hobbit is that I want to refresh my mind for the release of the Unexpected Journey in December. It has been a long time since I last read it and over Christmas last year I read the graphic novel. It is one of my favourite books and will no doubt the film will be one of the high points in what has been a crap year for me (the others would be getting Jaffa our new dog and going to Crufts).

Oh and just incase I forget, or don’t get time to wish it, but Happy Halloween everyone!

Yay…

I just found out that the new Dresden Files book is out in November. Excellent. I wasn’t expecting it to be out until next year, and having caught up with them, it seems like an age since Ghost Story was out. There are sadly, few books that I look forward to coming out these days, but happily, the next Harry Dresden is one of them…

An Update…

I know I’ve not posted in ages, but I have been distracted a lot lately because of health issues that my partner has (I’m not going to elaborate, because I’m so fed up of them that I don’t want them staring at me in the face the next time that I log on here) and other things….

Anyway, I’ve read Kelley Armstrong’s book 13 since the last time that I posted. It was OK, but I think I was expecting more from it and because of the scope of the book, it seemed like there could have been another one in there, especially because there could have been scenes from the POV of other characters that could have made it a better read. However, having said that, Bitten is now being made into a TV series! I’m not sure when it is going to come out, but I hope that we get to see more stuff about the Werewolf Pack, and that the characters that are only marginal or secondary will be allowed to be developed, which can be done with a TV Series, especially if it goes on for a long time, and there will be more characterisation, etc, than can happen over the scope of a TV series than can happen in a film and even if Kelley Armstrong never revisits the Otherworld for a full blown, real novel again, at least the characters are still alive in some form and the story can continue.

I’ve also read some Wind in the Willows books because after reading Watership Down, I wanted to go back to some of my old favourites. As well as the original book by Kenneth Grahame, there are a further four by Duncton Wood and Wolves of Time author, William Horwood. My favourite of these has to be The Willows at Christmas, though I did enjoy reading the others, but because of the things that were happening with my partner at the time I was reading them, I don’t think I got into them as well as I could have done, so I’ve not reviewed them because the review wouldn’t be fair.

I got hold of a copy of Gillian Hick’s Vet on the Loose, which is the prequel to her book, Vet Among the Pigeons. It was a good read, and one I quickly got through, beginning with her time as a Student Vet and through her first year in practice. I quite enjoyed it because it reminded me of some of time at collage and I had to sympathise with her experiences at a stables because I found that I didn’t get on with horsey people either (the animals are OK, and I am sure that there are some wonderful horse people around, but my experience has always seem to be with the bad ones!).

I enjoyed catching up with Carrie Vaughn’s latest Kitty book as well, which I thought was one of her better ones, so as you can see that even though I’ve not done much in the way of posting reviews, I have been busy reading.

At the moment I am reading Mercedes Lackey’s Fairy Godmother. I kind of like the retelling of fairy tales and after reading Dennis McKeirnan’s Once Upon a…. series a few years back, I decided to give these ago. I’ve only got the first in the series so far. It is an enjoyable read, but the story could have been a bit more tightened up I think and could have done with a bit more conflict than it has, but it’s a fun read and nicely written, so I can’t grumble on that score and it is nice to read something that is a bit light, especially with the mood that I’ve been in recently.

Last but not least, I managed to get hold of Star Wars: X-Wing Mercy Kill this week (a book I’ve probably been waiting ten years for!) and the new Temeraire book, Crucible of Gold. I will probably re-read the X-Wing books before I read Mercy Kill, so that I can remind myself of some of the things I’ve forgotten about so over the next few weeks, expect a Star Wars fest if I feel like posting. I might wait until I’m more in a mood to, though, and I am looking forward to reading Crucible of Gold. Dragons and X-Wings in the next few weeks….Yay.

Watership Down by Richard Adams

As I’ve been a bit disappointed with a lot of the books that I’ve been reading lately, I decided to read one of my old favourites! (Rogue Squadron, which I had started reading, has some how been put away, and I don’t know where! So I decided to skip it and read this instead). It is one of the few books that I’ve read more than once and because it had been a long time since I last read it, I decided a few months ago that I wanted to re-read it and so bought a new copy of it (my old one is at my brother’s house). What do I like about Watership Down? To be honest, I’m not really much of a rabbit person, especially when it comes to the pet variety, but Watership Down left me with an affection for wild rabbits. I did come across someone on Good Reads complaining about the use of wild flowers as names for rabbits in the book and that it was a problem because they didn’t know any of them. Good grief… as a teenager, one of the reasons why I liked Watership Down was because it introduced me to the names of wild flowers, and made me want to look them up in a field guide so that I knew what they looked like. Much better than reading a rather shallow Urban Fantasy book where the main character was obsessed with designer brands that I’d never heard of, much less cared about. Wild flowers at least, are worth preserving and they are something which I love seeing whenever I’m in the countryside. The book also reminds me of the many times out walking my old Border Collie Laddie, because I used to take my Wild Flower Field Guide with me and of course, the book made me notice things which I would otherwise have missed. If you don’t want to learn more about nature after reading Watership Down, then there must be something wrong with the reader. Watership Down is also one of those books that made me want to write fiction for myself because of its lovely construction, especially the vivid descriptions which have remained fresh in my mind since the first time that I read the book. There is really only one thing wrong with re-reading a book, especially one which you have read multiple times already, and that is the fact that it can’t really surprise you anymore – you know what’s going to come up – but it is not as bad as re-watching a film which you know so well that when you re-watch it, you aren’t really watching it – because of that, I don’t tend to re-watch my favourite films all that often. Reading it felt like going back to a familiar place but wasn’t so tried that I didn’t want to revisit it again. One problem I have found with the book is that I want to know more about the rabbits’ adventures because there were the background story of some of the characters that could have been fleshed out a bit more, and I could have read it if it had been twice as thick, but I suppose that what happens when you know a book too well. My favourite part of the book has got to be the bit when Bigwig is in Efrafa, and he, along with Hyzenthley and Blackavar are probably my favourite characters in the whole book, though I do like Hazel and Fiver, as well. I enjoyed reading the book so much that I have ordered Tales from Watership Down and will be reading that as soon as it arrives. It has also put me in the mood to read The Plague Dogs, another novel by the same author. One of the things that I like about Richard Adams’ writing is that even though Watership Down is supposed to be a children’s book is that adults can get into it just as well, and he does not skimp on description like a lot of children’s authors.

My Rating: