trystinn: (Cauldron)
Working on:

Plagues and Peoples by William H. McNeil
This is what I call an "airplane book" as no one will bother you when you read it because its so alarming. Other great books on this genre (different authors) are Stiff and the Red Market. McNeil is needlessly dry and academically formal to the point where you can barely pin down what he's saying. He's one of those authors who can't past his own writing style to make direct statements. *eye roll* Once you get past that, its an interesting take on how disease, especially parasites, have altered the course of human evolution and civilization. Readers will learn interesting points, such as Sickle Cell Anemia may have developed to combat malaria in Africa and other environs, hence its predominance in specific ethnic groups from those geographic areas.

Clicky for more )
trystinn: (Obey the Basset)
I'm the kind of person who finds an author, whom hopefully I enjoy, then I'll go feasting through their older titles until I've completely caught up, then continue on as the author publishes. I RELISH this. To do this, I go through local used bookstores, troll Paperbackswap & Ebay, check out yard sales, etc. and pick them up cheap. This doesn't work well with eReaders.

For example, right now I am absolutely hip deep in Lois McMaster Bujold. Specifically, her Miles Vorkosigan series (what can I say, I'm a sucker for a Space Navy series, which this isn't quite but close enough) and the Challion (not as much as the Vor series) trilogy, the Sharing Knife trilogy (too fluffy-feely for me) doesn't do it for me. *shrug*

So here we go:

Curse of Challion - available on Kindle for $8, available used $0.01 - $1.90.
Memory - not available on Kindle, picked it up locally at a used bookstore for a few bucks.
Cryoburn - not available on Kindle, placed a hold at the local library.
Brothers in Arms - not available on Kindle, picked up on Paperbackswap for a few bucks.
Mirror Dance - not available on Kindle, picked up on Paperbackswap for a few bucks.
Borders of Infinity - not available on Kindle, picked up locally at a used bookstore for a few bucks.

Maybe I've chosen a bad set for the example, given publisher peculiarities - but Bujold is an acknowledged master of modern publishing, having won multiple writing awards in her genres. Shouldn't her works be available or at least prioritized for digitalization? I could go with a few other, more popular (acknowledging that I read fairly esoteric old sci/fi) authors, but I like my adventures in obscure books. I like reading them in the tub and I like loaning them out afterward. Fairly odd me and all that.

So nothing is available electronically (at a reasonable price), even the brand new $25 hardcover. I get that much of these are older titles, but isn't the whole point of the eReader the convenience, i.e. that I don't have to troll multiple websites, stores and libraries to find books? Maybe I'm wrong and its only for current and uber-classic titles. Not impressed yet.
trystinn: (Default)
To distract myself from my queasy stomach, I'm sharing what I'm reading this week to take my mind off things.

"Walking the Bible" by Bruce Feiler. Only a few chapters in, but very interesting and engrossing so far. This book really focuses on the reality of bible stories - that they are the local stories of indigenous peoples and their invaders. Something I would say as Westerners we tend to lose sight of. Living, working, dying all in the shadow and vicinities of famous biblical locations like Mt. Sinai gives the people there a very intimate relationship to the stories of Moses, Abraham and Noah in a way I'm not sure as Westerners we can appreciate or understand. A glorious book that incorporates the spiritual reality of these biblical stories as folk stories without getting too bogged down in religion.

"Spellcraft" by Robin Skelton. Recommended by an elder Kingstone, it's just arrived and I'm really looking forward to reading it after a quick glance through. The author focuses on what he calls "Verbal Magic", something as a former singer I really enjoy - the power of the voice raised in chant. He juxtapositions a witch's spell with the Lord's Prayer, shares dozens upon dozens of chants and explores the whys and whatfors of "Verbal Magic" as he guides us through the spells within ancient and modern literature. If you appreciate structure in your witchcraft, I would recommend his works. Much more readable than Benjamin Foster's "From Distant Days" with a livelier voice and tone, I'm already trying to find more of his books.
trystinn: (Default)
Known to us lucky few on Livejournal as Paigemom, but of course. My copy of her new book "Make Merry in Step and Song" arrived on Friday and I've been delighted to add it to my bookshelves. Now available at your local, independent bookstore (and yes, Amazon, too).

My review:

"A must-have reference guide that's destined to become one of the most beloved of reference texts, outlining these time-honored mythic dances for all to enjoy!

This glorious collection of native British dances is a treasure-trove of simple, easily understood directions and music. Oriented to the seasons, Bronwen Forbes leads us through the colorful traditions of British music history. And as a delightful surprise, tucked in the back are additional little musical gems, for a myriad of celebrations.

Brownwen Forbes has delivered to the pagan community the quintessential text on the songs, dances and folk plays of old Britain."

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October 2012

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