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 What I read in November.

Some were started in October but didn’t get finished in November. There’s a few shorter stories, but anything is worth reading if it’s good. I think my favorite must have been This Crowded Earth, it’s a very possible future.

Icewall trilogy #1: The Messenger by Douglas Niles

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Exiled in disgrace to the harsh land called the Icereach, Kerrick, a Silvanesti elf, encounters a group of barbarian villagers that is making a determined stand against the encroachment of the remnants of a powerful ogre empire that is out to seize control of the frozen world.

Icewall trilogy #2: The Golden Orb by Douglas Niles

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Towering aloof and secure, the isolated fortress offers humankind a place to survive and flourish in the barren realm of Icereach. Even the elven Messenger Kerrick Fallabrine has made a home there, living among the humans and teaching them a multitude of skills. But the ogre enemies are always near, and they have developed a powerful weapon, a destructive magic encased within a sphere of solid gold. Its existence forces the humans to confront the threat of extinction that lurks outside their walls.

When the sleeper wakes by H.G Wells

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Graham, an 1890s radical pamphleteer who is eagerly awaiting the twentieth century and all the advances it will bring, is stricken with insomnia. Finally resorting to medication, he instantly falls into a deep sleep that lasts two hundred years. Upon waking in the twenty-second century to a strange and nightmarish place, he slowly discovers he is master of the world, revered by an adoring populace who consider him their leader. Terrified, he escapes from his chamber seeking solace—only to realize that not everyone adores him, some even wish to harm him.

Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

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Wuthering Heights is a wild, passionate story of the intense and almost demonic love between Catherine Earnshaw and Heathcliff, a foundling adopted by Catherine’s father. After Mr Earnshaw’s death, Heathcliff is bullied and humiliated by Catherine’s brother Hindley and wrongly believing that his love for Catherine is not reciprocated, leaves Wuthering Heights, only to return years later as a wealthy and polished man. He proceeds to exact a terrible revenge for his former miseries. The action of the story is chaotic and unremittingly violent, but the accomplished handling of a complex structure, the evocative descriptions of the lonely moorland setting and the poetic grandeur of vision combine to make this unique novel a masterpiece of English literature.

The war of the worlds by H.G Wells

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With H.G. Wells’ other novels, The War of the Worlds was one of the first and greatest works of science fiction ever to be written. Even long before man had learned to fly, H.G. Wells wrote this story of the Martian attack on England. These unearthly creatures arrive in huge cylinders, from which they escape as soon as the metal is cool. The first falls near Woking and is regarded as a curiosity rather than a danger until the Martians climb out of it and kill many of the gaping crowd with a Heat-Ray. These unearthly creatures have heads four feet in diameter and colossal round bodies, and by manipulating two terrifying machines – the Handling Machine and the Fighting Machine – they are as versatile as humans and at the same time insuperable. They cause boundless destruction. The inhabitants of the Earth are powerless against them, and it looks as if the end of the World has come. But there is one factor which the Martians, in spite of their superior intelligence, have not reckoned on. It is this which brings about a miraculous conclusion to this famous work of the imagination.

The Inmost Light by Arthur Machen

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The Inmost Light, one of Arthur Machen’s most disturbing stories, involves a doctor’s scientific experiments into occultism, and the vampiric force instigated by his unrelenting curiosity regarding the unseen elements. A large and glorious gem-stone is the vampiric mediator; soaking up the soul of the doctor’s wife; in the place of her spirit a demonic energy too-terrible-to-believe enters, transmuting her brain into that of something “not human.” Whilst the stone is the spirit appropriator, it is the process of scientific exploration into dark waters, perhaps those considered taboo, which brings about this horrific energy exchange. Dr. Black steals his wife’s soul; his own energy is then gradually sucked by the stone too. In attempting to enter the forbidden and dark zone of the “other world” for never-before-glimpsed-knowledge, he sacrifices his most valuable attribute in this world. And the sacrifice persists..

This Crowded Earth by Robert Bloch

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This Crowded Earth is a taut and compelling story about an all too possible future. Earth is overcrowded and its resources are being taxed to the limit. The government has a desperate plan, but will it work and at what price? By the author of Psycho and Yours Truly, Jack the Ripper

The Dunwich Horror by H.P Lovecraft

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The town of Dunwich, Massachusetts is thoroughly unremarkable until Wilbur Whateley is born.His “decayed” and inbred family was already unpopular due to their dabbling in the occult, and when Lavinia Whateley gives birth to a strange-looking child and refuses to say who the father was, it doesn’t improve anyone’s opinion of them. Wilbur grows incredibly fast – he begins talking at 11 months; by the time he’s three, he looks ten years old; and at four and a half, around 15. The townsfolk don’t trust him, as he gives them the creeps even more than the other Whateleys. For all that, though, they’re still willing to sell cows to the Whateley mansion; money’s money, after all, even if it is in the form of weird antique gold coins. Although for some reason, despite the truly vast amount of livestock Old Whateley buys, his herd never seems to get bigger…The household only gets more suspicious with time. The farmhouse always seems to be mysteriously under construction, with more and more windows being boarded up; the townsfolk also suspect that interior walls are being knocked out. When Wilbur is ten, Old Whateley dies, shrieking instructions to Wilbur on his deathbed; two years later, Lavinia Whateley disappears on Halloween night and is never found.Around this point, Wilbur begins to search for an unabridged copy of the Necronomicon, having learned all of what he knew from his grandfather’s library; his copy of said book is a shortened English version, which he apparently found insufficient. He discovers that nearby Miskatonic University has a complete copy, but the librarian refuses to loan it out to him. So he breaks in to steal it, only to be killed by a guard dog.And that’s when things get really weird.

The picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

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Written in his distinctively dazzling manner, Oscar Wilde’s story of a fashionable young man who sells his soul for eternal youth and beauty is the author’s most popular work. The tale of Dorian Gray’s moral disintegration caused a scandal when it first appeared in 1890, but though Wilde was attacked for the novel’s corrupting influence, he responded that there is, in fact, “a terrible moral in Dorian Gray.” Just a few years later, the book and the aesthetic/moral dilemma it presented became issues in the trials occasioned by Wilde’s homosexual liaisons, which resulted in his imprisonment. Of Dorian Gray’s relationship to autobiography, Wilde noted in a letter, “Basil Hallward is what I think I am: Lord Henry what the world thinks me: Dorian what I would like to be—in other ages, perhaps.”

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

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In his “Ghostly little book,” Charles Dickens invents the modern concept of Christmas Spirit and offers one of the world’s most adapted and imitated stories. We know Ebenezer Scrooge, Tiny Tim, and the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future, not only as fictional characters, but also as icons of the true meaning of Christmas in a world still plagued with avarice and cynicism.

 

What did you love this month? 

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Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

6185

Wuthering Heights is a wild, passionate story of the intense and almost demonic love between Catherine Earnshaw and Heathcliff, a foundling adopted by Catherine’s father. After Mr Earnshaw’s death, Heathcliff is bullied and humiliated by Catherine’s brother Hindley and wrongly believing that his love for Catherine is not reciprocated, leaves Wuthering Heights, only to return years later as a wealthy and polished man. He proceeds to exact a terrible revenge for his former miseries. The action of the story is chaotic and unremittingly violent, but the accomplished handling of a complex structure, the evocative descriptions of the lonely moorland setting and the poetic grandeur of vision combine to make this unique novel a masterpiece of English literature.


 

When The Sleeper Wakes by HG Wells

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Graham, an 1890s radical pamphleteer who is eagerly awaiting the twentieth century and all the advances it will bring, is stricken with insomnia. Finally resorting to medication, he instantly falls into a deep sleep that lasts two hundred years. Upon waking in the twenty-second century to a strange and nightmarish place, he slowly discovers he is master of the world, revered by an adoring populace who consider him their leader. Terrified, he escapes from his chamber seeking solace—only to realize that not everyone adores him, some even wish to harm him.


 

The Messenger by Douglas Niles

677864

Exiled in disgrace to the harsh land called the Icereach, Kerrick, a Silvanesti elf, encounters a group of barbarian villagers that is making a determined stand against the encroachment of the remnants of a powerful ogre empire that is out to seize control of the frozen world.


 

The Celtic Twilight: Faerie and Folklore by W.B Yeats

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Best known for his poetry, William Butler Yeats (1865–1939) was also a dedicated exponent of Irish folklore. Yeats took a particular interest in the tales’ mythic and magical roots. The Celtic Twilight ventures into the eerie and puckish world of fairies, ghosts, and spirits. “This handful of dreams,” as the author referred to it, first appeared in 1893, and its title refers to the pre-dawn hours, when the Druids performed their rituals. It consists of stories recounted to the poet by his friends, neighbors, and acquaintances. Yeats’ faithful transcription of their narratives includes his own visionary experiences, appended to the storytellers’ words as a form of commentary.


 

The Body Snatcher by Robert Louis Stevenson

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A young man studying medicine in Edinburgh is asked by his professor to be responsible for receiving the cadavers to be dissected by the school’s students. Though he knows many are stolen from graves, he keeps his silence. Then one night he recognizes one of the cadavers as the victim of murder. Instead of turning in the culprit, he allows himself to be drawn deeper into the gruesome intrigue. But justice has the last laugh when the evidence of the man’s crimes – evidence he thought long since dissected and disposed of – mysteriously resurfaces to his everlasting horror.

 

What are you currently reading?

 

 

What I read in September

September 27, 2017 — 13 Comments

A Warriors Journey by Paul Thompson and Tonya Cook.

[ completed ]

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The first title in a new trilogy from Dragonlance author team Thompson and Cook. 
Writing team Thompson & Cook once again explore the history of the ancient Dragonlance world in “A Warrior’s Journey,” the first title in the new Ergoth trilogy. Considered the historical specialists of the Dragonlance world, the authors take the story to a colorful and violent era of its history that has not been previously chronicled in any novel. 
The mighty Ergothian empire is gripped by civil war. 
Centuries before the first Cataclysm sunders Ansalon, two imperial dynasties struggle for supremacy. Brutal warlords jockey for power, while corrupt wizards sell their skills to the highest bidder. Unnatural monsters prey on the unwary. 
Amid this chaos and upheaval, a brave young peasant shakes the towers of the mighty as his fate and the destiny of Krynn collide.

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This book follows the story of a farmer boy named Tol. He is just doing his duty when an injured man rides into the farm, he hides him and keeps him safe from some attackers, and suddenly Tol finds himself in a new city with a new title. The story is interesting enough, but Tol just achieves victory after victory and there isn’t really any thrill to it. It’s just him doing well and that’s pretty much it. It’s not the worst story I have read but it could do with more conflict, more sense of urgency during battle or during anything in general to keep the reader more engaged. This is the first book of a trilogy, but I don’t know if I would want to read the other two.


War for the oaks by Emma Bull

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War for the Oaks

Eddi McCandry has just left her boyfriend and their band when she finds herself running through the Minneapolis night, pursued by a sinister man and a huge, terrifying dog. The two creatures are one and the same: a phouka, a faerie being who has chosen Eddi to be a mortal pawn in the age-old war between the Seelie and Unseelie Courts. Eddi isn’t interested–but she doesn’t have a choice. Now she struggles to build a new life and new band when she might not even survive till the first rehearsal.

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This book was weird, really weird! It’s an old and not really modern book with outdated references and descriptions but it was entertaining. It is said to be the first proper urban fantasy book and that it is a true staple for anyone interested in the genre, but it all comes down to personal preference. It was a bit confusing to keep up with, Eddi was not the most likable character and I really wish there wasn’t as big of a focus on romance. The relationships that were formed didn’t really bring anything good to the story for me. I was more interested in the fae folk and everything that had to do with them and i feel like I was neglected that because of the space the romances needed. It kept me entertained for a while though so I had to give it a fairly good rating.


 

Dragon Age: Last Flight by Liane Merciel

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Last Flight (Dragon Age, #5)

Return to Thedas, the setting of BioWare’s award-winning Dragon Age dark fantasy rpg, and discover what dark, forgotten secrets lurk in the history of the legendary Grey Wardens.

The Grey Wardens are heroes across Thedas once again: the Archdemon has been defeated with relative ease and the scattered darkspawn are being driven back underground. The Blight is over. Or so it seems.

Valya, a young elven mage recently recruited into the Wardens, has been tasked with studying the historical record of previous Blights in order to gain insight into newly reported, and disturbing, darkspawn phenomena. Her research into the Fourth Blight leads her to an encoded reference scrawled in the margins of an ancient map, and to the hidden diary of Issenya, one of the last of the fabled griffon riders. As the dark secrets buried in Isseyna’s story unfold, Valya begins to question everything she thought she knew about the heroic Grey Wardens. . . .

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This novel tells the story about why the griffons disappeared from Thedas and it would definitely change your perspective on the Grey Wardens.. I always thought they were selfless heroes, but there’s always bad apples in any kind of faction. The novel kinda follows two stories, the story of Valya, who finds the diary owned by the main character in the second story, who goes by the name Isseya. It’s a rather tragic story because they do not treat the griffons well at all. Luckily it has a somewhat happy ending, so it was a good read for me at least. I don’t require all stories to have a happy ending, but when it is about innocent animals, it needs one.


Dragon Age: The Masked Empire by Patrick Weekes

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The Masked Empire (Dragon Age, #4)

Empress Celene of Orlais rose to the throne of the most powerful nation in Thedas through wisdom, wit, and ruthless manipulation. Now, the empire she has guided into an age of enlightenment is threatened from within by imminent war between the templars and the mages, even as rebellion stirs among the downtrodden elves To save Orlais, Celene must keep her hold on the throne by any means necessary.

Fighting with the legendary skill of the Orlesian Chevaliers , Grand Duke Gaspard has won countless battles for the empire and the empress But has he fought in vain? As the Circle fails and chaos looms, Gaspard begins to doubt that Celene’s diplomatic approach to the mage problem or the elven uprisings will keep the empire safe. Perhaps it is time for a new leader, one who lives by the tenets of the Chevalier’s Code, to make Orlais strong again.

Briala has been Celene’s handmaid since the two of them were children, subtly using her position to help improve the lives of elves across Orlais. She is Celene’s confidante, spymaster, and lover, but when politics force the empress to choose between the rights of Briala’s people and the Orlesian throne, Briala must in turn decide where her true loyalties lie.

Alliances are forged and promises broken as Celene and Gaspard battle for the throne of Orlais But in the end, the elves who hide in the forests or starve in the alienages may decide the fate of the masked empire.

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I would recommend to read this book before playing Dragon Age: Inquisition, as it helps you with understanding most of what is going on during the “Wicked eyes and wicked hearts” quest that takes place during one of Empress Celene’s great balls. The novel gives you an insight to Orlais’ politics and shows you just how terrible it could be to be an empress. We follow the story of Celene and her lover, the handmaiden Briala. Celene’s position is always being threatened by her distant cousin, the Grand Duke Gaspard who despises her female companion, and he despises her affinity towards the elves. It is a gruesome tale with a lot of death and deceit, but it is wonderfully written and it is one of my two favorites out of the dragon age novels.


 

American Gods by Neil Gaiman

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American Gods (American Gods, #1)

Days before his release from prison, Shadow’s wife, Laura, dies in a mysterious car crash. Numbly, he makes his way back home. On the plane, he encounters the enigmatic Mr Wednesday, who claims to be a refugee from a distant war, a former god and the king of America.

Together they embark on a profoundly strange journey across the heart of the USA, whilst all around them a storm of preternatural and epic proportions threatens to break.

Scary, gripping and deeply unsettling, American Gods takes a long, hard look into the soul of America. You’ll be surprised by what – and who – it finds there…

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I picked this up, read a bit over 100 pages and haven’t touched it again. The story is confusing me a lot, it feels so heavy to read and I don’t really know what is going on.. It’s also kinda gross, talking about someone dying with a dick in their mouth, then the main character kissing that corpse in a ‘dream’ after.. yuck. I might pick it back up some day but not right now. I’m sure it’s great though, everyone speaks so warmly of it, but they’re probably not as sensitive to certain topics as I am.

Have you read anything interesting this month?

Maybe..

Do I really think it’s a problem? No. Could I have acquired e-books to save space? Probably, but I much prefer to have a physical book in my hand. Gives me fewer headaches too. I’m not too keen on having a screen in front of me at all times. It used to be my favorite thing, now it is just a nuisance.

I used to collect games, collect magazines, but they never gave me that same sense of accomplishment as collecting books does. They didn’t smell as good either. I recently purchased a 20-fantasy-books-bundle thing and they all smell like incense because the storage facility they were in stored that too, and I love it. I don’t think I have ever owned a book that didn’t smell good. Does this talking about smelling books make me seem weird? If you enjoy smelling books too I’m sure you will understand me.

My collection mostly consist of fantasy books, some books based on video games, some books that have been made into movies, things like that. When I read, I really enjoy being able to escape into a world different from ours. I don’t necessarily want an altered reality, I just want something different, something that doesn’t feel like the world we know at all. I love learning about new worlds, new characters, new ways of living, magic, dragons, the lot. I also love post-apocalyptic stuff, for those who know me, they know that the Fallout game series is one of my favorites, and it is post-apocalyptic. It is a bit contradictory because it just shows a different version of what could be our future, but it still feels like a whole new world because, you know, do you think the world will be almost completely annihilated by atomic bombs by tomorrow? I sure hope not


 

This is just what I keep in my bedroom. I have a few more shelves full of books. If you notice any silver lines on them, it is books I have read, or re-read this year. 

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Some may think it’s a waste to spend so much money on books, but honestly, I buy almost everything on sale, or in bundles, I do everything I can to spend as little as possible. I really enjoy going to thrift stores to find cheap and old books too. I also have a few in my collection that were left behind by my grandmother who passed away in December. Some of the books are really old, the oldest from 1927, the second oldest from 1934. They still smell like her house and I enjoy just looking through them sometimes.

I don’t even really know why I wanted to write this post, I suppose I just wanted to talk about books for a while, about how happy they make me. My fondest memories of my childhood is from reading, staying up late with a small flashlight to read, hiding away from my parents. There was also a library on wheels, a bus that was modified with a lot of book shelves. It used to visit where I lived every other Wednesday, I was their most frequent visitor. Our library was never really open so this was pretty much my only way of borrowing books as a child. I’m so grateful for what they all did for me back then, and I’m so sad that it no longer exists. I guess I will just have to start driving to the next city over to borrow books, or just continue to purchase and hoard like I do now.

Do you have any fond memories of reading? Or do you hoard books like I do?

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425608Weasel’s luck is a novel set in the Dragonlance universe, a series licensed by Wizards of the coast, the company that publishes Dungeons & Dragons, Magic the Gathering and so on. It is number three in a collection called “Heroes”. There is another novel about the main character of this one, Galen Pathwarden, called “Galen Beknighted”, but I haven’t read that one yet.

The novel was first published in 1990, so for some it could possibly feel a bit dated, it is a 27 year old book after all, but I still think it a quite good work of fiction.

In the novel we follow the story of the wimpy Galen Pathwarden, commonly called Weasel, who has one brother that hates him, and another who is very spiritual and a bit out of this world. One event sets in motion a chain of events that leads to his older brother nearly killing him, a knight taking him on as a squire and a meeting with creatures who were previously only known to him as legends. Teaming up with a centaur and a knight, he tries to avoid an evil force that wants to use him as its pawn. The novel is both humorous and exciting and I did enjoy reading every page of it. The main character can be a bit annoying at times, but the story as a whole is well written.

Here’s an excerpt from the DND wiki:

The Sign of the Weasel is tunnel on tunnel, enchantment on enchantment. He digs beneath himself, and in digging discovers all roads into nothing. — The Calantina, IX:IX

Weasel’s luck was not always good.
Galen Pathwarden, known unaffectionately as “the Weasel,” would give anything to stay clear of adventure, danger, or heroism.

But that is before young Galen is pitch-forked into the center of a centuries-old curse, one family blood-feud too many, and a knightly tournament unto death.
Together, Galen, the great Solamnic Knight, Sir Bayard Brightblade, and a non-too-bright centaur Agion must overcome the schemes and traps of a sinister illusionist known only as the Scorpion.

I would recommend the book for anyone who is either into the Dragonlance universe, or into Dungeons and Dragons in general, since it is the same kind of fiction as that. Reading about centaurs and satyrs and old curses is always fun to me, so maybe someone with similar interests could get some enjoyment out of it too.

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