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2018 Reading Challenge

2018 Reading Challenge
Jill Elizabeth has read 25 books toward her goal of 175 books.

Book Review: LikeWar by P. W. Singer and Emerson T. Brooking

What an extraordinary book this is! I am currently engaged in a love-hate relationship with social media. I love the ability to keep track of what is going on in the lives of the people I care about; I hate that this keeping track seems to be replacing actual human contact. I love the ease of knowing what’s going on in people’s lives; I hate the ease with which miscellaneous people I don’t want to know every detail somehow manage to glean it from things I put up to share with those I care about. I love that it’s harder to hide wrongdoing in an era in which everyone has a camera and a platform; I hate that it’s harder to define “wrongdoing” as a result because everything is now a-contextual and a glimpse is presented as “reality” and that I never know what is real and what is fake/manufactured for public viewing anymore. Continue reading Book Review: LikeWar by P. W. Singer and Emerson T. Brooking

Guest Post: Writing as a Team by Vina Grey and Viki Lyn, Authors of Orbus Arcana

Today I’m pleased to share thoughts on co-authoring from two women whose series, Orbus Arcana, is now available as a box set. Enjoy!

Writing as a Team: Checks and Balance
by Vina Grey and Viki Lyn

Hi, this is one half of our writing team, Vina. Viki Lyn and I had been writing individually for 10 years or more before we decided to try our hand at writing as a team. One of the questions we get asked the most is about what it’s like to write together. Well, we’ve had our growing pains but now we’re pretty well set in a pattern that works well for us.

Critical to our success has been developing mutual trust. For example, neither one of us feels the need to double-check every edit the other makes. We know our strengths, and we accept the other will make the right choice of word or comma. One major change, however, to the way we write is style. In the past, Viki and I are both what is called ‘pansters’. We had a general idea of what we wanted to write, our main characters were fleshed out in our heads, and we began writing. The story would morph and twist and turn, and we didn’t have to explain to anyone but ourselves. Continue reading Guest Post: Writing as a Team by Vina Grey and Viki Lyn, Authors of Orbus Arcana

Book Review: Hell is Naked by Jean James and Mary James

I was very curious about this one from the get-go – it has great reviews, everyone raves about how action-packed it is, and the idea of a cop posing as a movie extra for a case sounded original and intriguing (with great potential for hilarity). The opening was very strong – I was immediately engaged by the characters (poor Warren, I would most likely find myself in his shoes if I suddenly tried to be a movie extra!) who were relatable, believable and fun, as well as the plot (odd circumstances surrounding Warren’s case and a bizarre accident on a movie set).

Things were clicking along – until, suddenly, they weren’t and The Slog began. Continue reading Book Review: Hell is Naked by Jean James and Mary James

Book Review: I Will Be Complete by Glen David Gold

I wanted to like this one. I really enjoyed Carter Beats the Devil (fiction by the author) – the writing, the storytelling style, the character development – and assumed that would translate into enjoying this memoir. Unfortunately, it did not. I just could not engage with the story/writing. It felt jumpy, skipping from topic to topic in a way that I found difficult – not so much difficult to follow (it’s not unclear) as difficult to feel connected to, for reasons that I cannot put my finger on.

I am a fan of memoirs – I find people’s life stories endlessly fascinating, particularly when they are written by writers with vivid imaginations who have lived more than a lifetime’s worth of experiences, as is clearly the case here. But for some reason I just struggled with the book page after page… Continue reading Book Review: I Will Be Complete by Glen David Gold

Book Review Blurb: #FashionVictim by Amina Akhtar

Like a number of other readers I found this one frustrating and disappointing… Based on the blurb I expected something more than the usual lightweight fashion fare. Based on the blurb, I was expecting more substance, more mystery, more clever banter. What I got instead felt more derivative, more unlikable, and more trite. Heathers is one of my all-time favorite movies for its brilliant satire and snarky one-liners and The Devil Wears Prada offered an insider’s look that was full of unbelievable yet still credible viciousness and behind-the-scenes insanity. The description suggested this was a blend of the two, but I didn’t find any of the murderous dark humor or vicious frivolous brutality of either here. Instead it felt like a hastily assembled attempt to capitalize on the zeitgeist. I just couldn’t get past Anya’s personality (which I found extremely unsympathetic) or the drama queen lingo and attitude (which felt overplayed and cliched).

This just was not the book for me… Thanks to NetGalley for my review copy.



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