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It’s Monday! Ink & Bone, Paper & Fire

So as you may have noticed, I’ve been away for the last couple of weeks. While I’ll go into it more on Wednesday, I feel like I should give you the short version. I was sick with a nasty cold and just had no energy to do anything. I’m still recovering, but I’m back to work. At least I was able to take some time to get some reading done. Speaking of which…

Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine

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I really liked this book. It was filled with great characters and truly action packed. Without giving too much away, in this world, the legendary library of Alexandria never burned. While I wish I could say this was a good thing, in the book, it’s definitely not. While religion and governments still exist, the real power in the world has become the library. Remember what they say about absolute power corrupting absolutely? The library controls all knowledge. People aren’t allowed to own physical books. Instead, they have “blanks” which are magically filled with the contents of the reader’s desired book via a magical transference process. Of course, some books are strictly off-limits. Even worse, anything that threatens the library’s power is immediately gotten rid of, along with its inventor. Let’s say things didn’t go well for Gutenberg when he invented the printing press.

The library’s stranglehold on books has of course given rise to a black market for books, which is where our main character, Jess Brightwell, comes in. His family supplies books to those who are willing to pay the price for them. It’s when Jess’ father arranges for him to take a position at the library that the story really gets interesting.

And that’s all I can say without giving too much of the plot away.

Overall, this was a very entertaining book. My biggest complaint is that just when I felt like we were getting to the real meat of the story, the book ends. Luckily, I had the sequel waiting on deck for me. I would have been upset if I hadn’t been able to jump right into it.

I will say one thing though. It seems that the author doesn’t think much of e-books. The “blanks” in the story are seen as completely inferior to “real books”. It feels like this echoes what many people say about e-books. Personally, I like books in any form. Anyway, on to the next book.

Paper and Fire by Rachel Caine

I honestly don’t have much to say about this one 61hGjWdO2sL._SY346_just yet as I haven’t gotten very far into it. All I will say is this, not everything you read in the first book is as it seems.

Also, every time I see the title, I get that John Cougar Mellencamp sing stuck in my head.

 

 

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It’s Monday! Ink & Bone, Eats Shoots & Leaves part 2

Okay. I wish I could say I’d gotten a ton of reading done this week, but the fact of the matter is, I haven’t. Sometimes being an adult sucks. I love reading. It’s one of my favorite things to do, but sometimes carving out time to do it isn’t the easiest. Especially when you work a full time job, are trying to write several different things, and are trying to take care of your house like a responsible adult. Okay, enough of the excuses. I just need to add yet another thing into my already packed schedule. And no, I can’t cut down on T.V. I barely watch any as it is. Anyway…

Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine

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The little progress I’ve made in this book has been great. Yet again, I feel myself getting frustrated when I’m just getting into it and life intrudes on my fantasy. Here’s a synopsis of what I know so far. The legendary Library of Alexandria never burned down. It’s now THE power in the world. From what I can tell, books can be borrowed from the library by anyone in the world, but owning them is illegal.

That’s where Jess comes in. Jess’ father is a book dealer and thus, a criminal. Jess spent his childhood smuggling books for his father. Now that he’s grown, the business was supposed to pass to him. Unfortunately, he loves books too much, so he asks his father to leave the business to his twin brother.

His father agrees, on the condition that Jess take a job at the library. Normally this would be Jess’ dream job, if it weren’t for the fact that his father expects him to steal books from the library to supply the family business.

And that’s where I’m at on this one. I can’t wait to find out what happens next. Hopefully I’ll get some serious reading time in the coming week.

Eats, Shoots & Leaves by Lynne Truss

41ra3JnfuJL._SX345_BO1,204,203,200_I’m afraid I haven’t touched this one n the past week. I need to pick this one up whenever I need a quick laugh.

I never thought I’d say that about a book on punctuation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And I’m afraid that’s really it for the week. I feel so ashamed. Looking at my schedule, I think I see three different places where I might be able to carve out an hour or so.

If you have any book recommendations, I’d love to hear them.

 

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It’s Monday! Ink & Bone, Eats, Shoots & Leaves, Writing a Kindle Book a Week

Look at that. I’m posting on time this week. I have to admit, I haven’t gotten as much reading done this week as I would have liked, but I got some done. I guess that counts for something. Anyway, on with the show.

Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine

615qD7ete4LI have a confession to make. I had intended to start reading this one on Wednesday of last week. Unfortunately, life got in the way as usual. I only started it yesterday and just got through the prologue. However, if the rest of the book is as gripping as what I’ve already read, I see myself devouring this one. Here’s the synopsis. When they refer to the Great Library, they’re referring to the legendary library of Alexandria, which in this world, never burned.

Ruthless and supremely powerful, the Great Library is now a presence in every major city, governing the flow of knowledge to the masses. Alchemy allows the Library to deliver the content of the greatest works of history instantly—but the personal ownership of books is expressly forbidden.

Jess Brightwell believes in the value of the Library, but the majority of his knowledge comes from illegal books obtained by his family, who are involved in the thriving black market. Jess has been sent to be his family’s spy, but his loyalties are tested in the final months of his training to enter the Library’s service.

When he inadvertently commits heresy by creating a device that could change the world, Jess discovers that those who control the Great Library believe that knowledge is more valuable than any human life—and soon both heretics and books will burn…

Eats, Shoots & Leaves by Lynne Truss

41ra3JnfuJL._SX345_BO1,204,203,200_I’m deliberately taking this one slow. It’s a great book so far. Not only does it provide a humorous approach to basic grammar, it makes me feel like less of an outcast. I’m learning that there are others that care a much about the preservation of the English language as I do.

As I’ve said before, I’m pretty good with spelling and grammar, but punctuation is my downfall. I thought I was alone in not remembering ever being taught about punctuation, but the author, although British, claims that she had the same experience.

I’m still no expert on punctuation, but like the author, I tend to take it as a personal affront when I see a glaring error. Particularly when it comes from someone who is supposedly a professional. My local paper is consistently full of errors. I would love to work for them as an editor, but they won’t hire anyone without a college degree.

I would recommend this book to anyone who needs to brush up on their punctuation even though the author herself admits it’s not an exhaustive resource. It still should provide enough information for most people to get by without the stuffiness of other style guides.

One caveat. The author is British and at times can be somewhat disparaging toward American grammar where it differs from British. Still, these jabs are mostly lighthearted. Just be aware that there are a few instances where she says something is wrong, but that’s only the case in British grammar.

Writing a Book a Week by Alex Foster

41KUd4VdXmLYou might have noticed I’ve been reading a few books like this lately. Rest assured, I don’t plan to start writing at this breakneck pace. I’m just trying to glean as much as I can on upping my output. To be quite honest, I feel like a lot of these books take a lot of the art out of the process. Still, they aren’t without value. There are some great pieces of advice. You just have to weed out the ideas that aren’t for you.

When the author says a book, he isn’t referring to a 100,000 word novel. He’s talking about a 30,000 word book at most. Still, even doing 30,000 quality words seems like a book-factory mentality. I’m sure I could make a lot of money doing things this way, but I wouldn’t be able to shake the feeling that I’m betraying my art.

I mainly chose this book for two reasons. First, it was free, so I had nothing to lose. Second, it was a quick read, which made it perfect to read while donating blood. To be honest, I was disappointed when it came to tips for upping my output. They were either ones I’ve heard a million times such as, “You have to have an outline.” I’m not debating that. I really do need to learn how to outline. It’s just that I’ve heard that one so many times before. Or they were tips I couldn’t really relate to such as writing four similar books under pseudonyms in the same month so as not to have to chance gears between books.

I’m not saying it was a bad book. I’m just saying I got my money’s worth.

I feel like I’m slamming this book, which is not my intent. It’s good for what it is, It’s just not for me. I may sound like a snob, but I feel like my readers deserve more than me just pumping something out for the sake of putting something out. Does that make sense?

 

That’s it for this week. I’ll see you again this What’s Up Wednesday.

I’m still eagerly awaiting your questions and comments.

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