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A Note on The Smiling Man by Joseph Knox

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A Note on The Smiling Man by Joseph Knox

This is my second time visiting the world of Joseph Knox after Sirens earlier this year.  Knox offers yet another story that grabs and holds the reader.  The Smiling Man gives the thrills that readers of this genre expect and does so in well-written style.  Knox establishes a character for readers who carries a tight story.

A Note on Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennett

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A Note on Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennett

Foundryside is quality science fiction and works beautifully as an example of the genre.  The use of magic was unique, and that is no easy feat to accomplish in fiction.  The book promises to be the beginning of a new trilogy and introduced me to yet another considerable voice in the world of sci-fi.

The industrial aspect of the book appealed to me, and the creativity the author used engaged me, as well.  I would highly recommend this title for readers of science fiction and fantasy.

A Note on The Story of a Marriage by Geir Gulliksen

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A Note on The Story of a Marriage by Geir Gulliksen

The Story of a Marriage is a beautiful, lyrically written meditation on life, offering a look at gender and family roles and how we play them.  Author Geir Gulliksen offers a realistic character who is developed and full of motivation and understanding.

This is the kind of book I would recommend for any modern literature course, as well as courses focus on gender and societal roles.  I would also read it personally for a view into quality literary fiction.

A Note on Planting Gardens in Graves by r.h. Sin

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A Note on Planting Gardens in Graves by r.h. Sin

r.h. Sin brings a characteristic creativity and livelihood the verse yet again.  It is no small wonder that these books have gained popularity with a wide audience.  Sometimes three lines, sometimes two, sometimes more, Sin always brings something interesting to the page and begs the question...how many words does one need to capture life or to be profound?

Often the words are simple, yet gather our attention with their arrangement and needle-point focus on lived experience.  Highly recommended verse that is perfect reading.

Notes on Destiny by Mahlon Palmer

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Readers interested in an engaging personal story will enjoy Destiny by Mahlon Palmer.  There is no measure of value that can be placed on an individual's honest autobiography, and I gathered that impression from reading Destiny.  The book begins with what was typical life for the author and then continues, chapter by chapter, to describe his setbacks and triumphs.

As I went through, I also had the impression that Mahlon Palmer has more than enough life to place into this volume.  Moments of family life, stories of military excursions, and milestones make up the substance of this book.  There is a nice blend of the historical and personal at work here.

The book includes a photo section that grounds the text in life even more so.  There was more at work in this part of the volume than I have seen in many other autobiographies, and I appreciated the visuals. 

The message that was unscored for me in reading Destiny was, most surely, the value of the human story and the book ends of a…

More New Titles, June 2018

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Unleash Your Inner Super Powers by Jacqui Letran
I can see Unleash Your Inner Super Powers as a stand-alone book for choice reading or as the curriculum for a character education class.
Having taught such classes, I would have been glad to have a text like this to use.  The writing is honest and accessible and the topics are relevant.

Pack by Mike Bockoven

This novel provides an interesting (and sometimes violent) take on the werewolf story, and is an enjoyable science fiction/horror reading experience.  This is the first book I have read by this author, but I will be curious to see where he goes next in his writing.  Very creative fare.



Cottons: The Secret of the Wind by Jim Pascoe and Heidi Arnhold

Bridgebelle is a main character, fascinating enough to carry this book through all of its vistas and attractive artwork.  Never mind (or fully embrace) that she is a rabbit.

This book works as well as any Beatrix Potter story, and brought to mind classics like Watership Down.  The images ar…

Notes on New Titles, June 2018

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The Edge of Over There by Shawn Smucker

This is my second time visiting the world established by this author.  Something about the writing brings to mind authors like Ray Bradbury and Neil Gaiman.  It’s not every day a reader encounters a book like this, and I will gladly return for another entry by this author.


Pop by Jason Carter Eaton and Matt Rockefeller


This children's graphic novel is beautifully illustrated by Matt Rockefeller and is well told by Jason Carter Eaton.  Of course, the collaboration of these two artists is what makes the book work.  I can see this book as a read aloud for readers of a wide range of ages.  I can also see this as a reading choice in a classroom library, personal library, or in the collection of a graphic novel/comic book enthusiast.

On a side note, there is a nice familiar feel to the book for most of the reading, and there is also a fun connection for science fiction lovers (of which I count myself a member).

A Review of Blood's a Rover by Harlan Ellison

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Having sampled the works of Harlan Ellison before, I ravenously began my reading of Blood’s a Rover.  The book has a unique back story and works in a literary fashion that is uncommon in many of the science fiction stories I encounter.

Ellison’s writing is gritty and aggressive and the voice he brings to this work is realistic and yet speaks in another time and place.  It stops just short of Anthony Burgess’s dialect in A Clockwork Orange.

A most enjoyable book I am happy to have the chance to review.

A Review of It Never Happened by Darrah J. Perez

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A Review of It Never Happened by Darrah J. Perez
Having completed a class last semester about culture, I was intrigued to read It Never Happened by Darrah J. Perez because I wanted to read about the perspective of a native poet.  What I found from the very beginning of the book was not just poetry, but a revelation of a person who is more than willing, even from the first sentence, to share her life – the good, the bad, and the not-so-pretty.  This story does not just speak from one perspective culturally, but applies to many, many lives.

Each chapter features a prose background that then builds to support and provide context for the poem that follows.  I will not spoil the details of the author’s life here (this is, after all, her story to tell), but I will say that she shares openly and that I found her honesty refreshing.

Rather than reading between the lines of her poems, the reader is given a full perspective of Perez’s motivation and thinking in writing the poem.  I only wish th…

An Interview with Author Scott Thomas Outlar

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An Interview with Author Scott Thomas Outlar


What drives you to write?

A source of (infinite and eternal) energy at my core that (constantly) seeks release. A desire to have my words appear in front of other sentient human beings’ eyes (androids and clones are cool, too). A belief that what I have to offer might be received well by my fellow writers and artists, and possibly even the wider general public (though I don’t hold my breath). An aching concern deep in the marrow of my bones that knows all too well that the institutions of this world (economic, educational, religious, military, governmental) have reached such epic levels of decadence and corruption that things are now far beyond the pale, and so such principalities of power must be pointed out, stood up to, and fought against with the mighty pen (so that the sword does not become necessary [though it’s nearly too late for that, I fear]).

I write to open portals and pathways which lead to God, Peace, Love, and Truth. I write t…