alpharaposa: (bedtime)
I was feeling grumpy yesterday. The cub took a while to settle in bed, and by the time I got him settled, I didn't feel like doing anything else around the house. So, I pondered reading something and remembered [livejournal.com profile] haikujaguar's review of Quarter Share by Nathan Lowell.

So I looked it up, bought it, and started reading. At the beginning, I was still feeling grumpy and wondering if I really wanted to read science fiction in that mood (and not, say, Tarzan stories). By the time I decided that I really ought to go to sleep because it was almost 10 o'clock, I was up to chapter 16. It was actually an effort not to immediately turn around and finish reading it.

I haven't finished the book and I'm recommending it. [livejournal.com profile] haikujaguar is right; it's a coming-of-age story that's wonderfully wholesome. There are a few odd commas or one or two run-on sentences (the perils of self-publishing!), but not enough to break the flow even for a twitchy grammarian like myself.

It is available as an ebook, not in paper. You can also download it as a free audiobook here: http://www.podiobooks.com/title/quarter-share. So, if you have a Kindle app or like listening to your novels, this one is a good choice.

(I can't believe I don't have a "reading" icon! How did I overlook that?)
alpharaposa: (Default)
A while back I picked up Secret Missions of the Civil War, by Philip Van Doren Stern. I finished it a bit ago, but didn't get around to posting a review until now.

It's an interesting format. The stories are told in order by date, with sections broken up by year. The author starts each section with a summary of the year's events, then begins each story with a little intro to set the stage. After the story (which is from some contemporary account), he will provide a little information on what happened to the people who were involved.

Given the neatly divided nature of the book into years and stories, I ended up doing most of my reading in the bathroom. The stories were long enough to be interesting, but short enough that I could easily put the book back down.

If you're at all interested in either Civil War history or spy history, it's a good read. The book has some surprises, unless you're a real Civil War nut and already know all the trivia possible. The accounts are mostly first-hand, but sometimes written well after the fact. Van Doren Stern's intros and summaries help to place them within the context of the Civil War, which I found very helpful.

I don't recommend it as something to hit all at once, but instead as a good book to read in bits. All the different authors and the structure prevents it from functioning well as a single narrative. So, good for the bathroom, or for brief rests between busy periods.

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alpharaposa

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