Posts Tagged With: LibraryThing

Expiration Date – A Review

Expiration Date
Nancy Kilpatrick, editor
Hades Publications (April 2015)

By random happenstance, the next book on my TBR pile was another collection from Edge Science Fiction & Fantasy Publishing (an imprint of Hades Publications, to get picky). LibraryThing sent me this one, too, as an Early Reviewer giveaway. Expiration Date is a collection of tales all having to do with endings–the death of someone in the story, more often than not. The editor Nancy Kilpatrick sets out the parameters of the anthology in an interesting introduction that got me excited to read the stories. Continue reading

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Out of Tune – A Review

A blog post from M. Fenn? Who knew that was going to happen again? Certainly not me. No guarantees on any consistency, but here’s a book review for you. Continue reading

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Pills and Starships by Lydia Millet – A Review

Pills & Starships Pills and Starships
Lydia Millet
256 pages, Black Sheep (June 2014)
science fiction/young adult

I received a paperback copy of Lydia Millet’s Pills and Starships as a LibraryThing Early Reviewer. The cover caught my interest when it appeared on the list of giveaways and I was pleased that I won a copy. Continue reading

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The Book of Apex: Volume Four of Apex Magazine – A Review

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000040_00012] The Book of Apex: Volume Four of Apex Magazine
Lynne M. Thomas, Editor
Apex Book Company (October 3013)
science fiction/fantasy/horror


I received an electronic copy of The Book of Apex: Volume Four of Apex Magazine through LibraryThing’s Early Reviewer program in exchange for an honest review. Gotta say I was pleased. Continue reading

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Mister October – A Review

Front_Cover_Image_Mister_October_Volume_I-215x300 Front_Cover_Image_Mister_October_Volume_II

LibraryThing gave me free e-copies of Mister October Volumes I and II: An Anthology in Memory of Rick Hautala as part of their Early Reviewer program. I had never heard of Rick Hautala (even though he’s published dozens of novels and short stories), but I had heard of several of the authors included in this anthology. So I was looking forward to checking out this collection. Continue reading

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Oscar Peterson: The Man and His Jazz by Jack Batten – A Review

Oscar Peterson cover

Called the “Maharaja of the keyboard” by Duke Ellington, Oscar Peterson released over 200 recordings, won seven Grammy Awards, received the Order of Canada and is considered to have been one of the greatest jazz pianists of all time. This new biography from award-winning author Jack Batten, promises to tell Oscar Peterson’s story in a complete, compelling and sympathetic way. This is first biography of Oscar Peterson for young people.
This book is the story of a black kid from a Montreal ghetto who reached acclaim in the great music halls of the world.

Oscar Peterson is one of my favorite pianists, regardless of genre. His mastery of those 88 drums (to quote NRBQ‘s Terry Adams) is incomparable and a joy to listen to. So, I was quite pleased when an email from LibraryThing told me I had won an Early Reviewer copy of his latest biography written by Canadian author, Jack Batten, and published by Tundra Books.

I approached this book knowing very little about its subject. I’ve listened to many of Oscar Peterson’s records, but I didn’t know anything about him away from the instrument he affectionately called “The Box.”

Batten did a decent job of introducing me to the man, describing his upbringing in the Montreal neighborhood of St. Henri, his introduction to the piano by his father, Daniel, his quick rise to the national and then international stage by the time he was 24, and then his decades of success as one jazz’s greatest pianists.

This book is aimed at a younger audience. I’d recommend it to junior high and high school music students who are interested in learning something of one of jazz’s major icons. It’s an easy read and not an academic biography, by any means. The downside to that is that it’s lacking in primary research and source material and seems to gloss over elements of Peterson’s life that could have been worth delving into.

It could also be organized better. For example a mention of a crisis in Peterson’s second marriage is made without any explanation until several pages and another chapter later. There are plenty of photographs, which is a nice addition. However, they, too, could have been better organized, either appearing closer to the topics they were concerned with, or perhaps all being placed in a center section by themselves.

Those criticisms aside, it’s a pleasant, quick read that’s a good start to learning about the Maharaja of the keyboard.

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Weekly Linkroll

Another Sunday. Looking out the window this morning as I was making coffee, I couldn’t help but notice that the hills are exploding with color. That’s a funny thing about Vermont, at least where I live. The autumn changes start quietly, a tree here, some leaves over there, but one day near the end of September all the leaves seem to go at once. Kapow! Fwoosh! Zingg! as Hobbes would say. It’s pretty cool.

Hobbes loving autumn

My latest story (another novella) is with my betas. One beta has already reported that she likes it, so that’s encouraging. Now to get my head back into 2082. I started rereading the novel to help with that. Although this latest story is a prequel to 2082, it’s much different in its focus. It actually is focused, for one thing. Maximum word counts will do that. 😉

This morning, though, it’s time to share the links I’ve found this week. Let’s begin. Continue reading

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Book Review Updates


As I mentioned last week, I’ll be dropping a book review on you this week. Tomorrow, to be specific. It’s one of four I have tentatively scheduled over the next few months. Which books are they, you ask? (I hope you asked, anyway) Well, I’ll tell you. Continue reading

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