Tag Archives: Advance Reading Copy

The Mortal Word by Genevieve Cogman, an Invisible Library novel

The Mortal Word (The Invisible Library #5)The Mortal Word by Genevieve Cogman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A bit of preface … I requested an advance copy of this from the publisher through First to Read, as I had read The Invisible Library in February and liked it. What I did not realize until First to Read notified me I’d been selected was that I’d not yet read three sequels! So I had some catching up to do…

Ms. Cogman has matured in her writing and this series has also matured (not always a necessary consequence). I thoroughly enjoyed this book – setting it sadly aside for those life annoyances like work, chores,…{sigh} sleep. It, and the previous three that I hurriedly ate up to get to here, suggest that I need to go back to the first again and fill in some understanding gaps.

There are subplots and subplots, intricately woven into a story that begs for more. As I’m given to understand, there will be!

But now I’ll have to wait…

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Democracy Hacked: Political Turmoil and Information Warfare in the Digital Age by Martin Moore

Democracy Hacked: How Russian Hackers, Secretive Plutocrats, and Freextremists Are Undermining Democracy and Gaming ElectionsDemocracy Hacked: Political Turmoil and Information Warfare in the Digital Age by Martin Moore

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I saw a question on a forum last week asking for “scary or Halloween” book recommendations. There were plenty of responses, and this was mine – the lone non-fiction. I haven’t been scared by a fiction book since I read one of ghost stories when I was 8 years old. Stephen King made me laugh 35 years ago; Koontz – no; Rice – emphatically no; well…you get the picture. No, for me, the real scary books are of this type – what the fiction authors try to impart: powerlessness against larger, malicious forces. Note: I received an uncorrected advance review copy of this from the publisher through LibraryThing Early Reviewers program.

Moore takes on a challenging task and did quite a bit of research – there are 35 pages of citations to sift if you’re game. He breaks the book into three parts: Hackers, Systems Failure, and Alternative Futures, each with three chapters. Americans interested in this might myopically think it pertains to a certain election, but Moore shows it is much bigger than that. This is a global problem. Continue reading

Always Look on the Bright Side of Life: A Sortabiography by Eric Idle

Always Look on the Bright Side of Life: A SortabiographyAlways Look on the Bright Side of Life: A Sortabiography by Eric Idle

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am so grateful to the publisher and First to Read for a copy of an uncorrected proof of this! My favorite Python! John is a close second, and I’d read his autobiography…in his voice, so I jumped at the chance to read this…in Eric’s voice, of course. Steve Martin said of Idle’s novel The Road the Mars.“I laughed. I cried. And then I read the book.”

Idle had me laughing literally out loud several times before he’d gotten out of the introduction (titled “An Apology”). Of course, the life whose bright side he sings of looking at enters and it’s not all rosy, but even when he shares devastation at the loss of dear friends, he bounces back. He’s candid, human, obviously quite funny, amazingly connected (“I once tried registering [in a hotel under a fake name] as Meryl Streep, but then I felt guilty because she is so damn nice and smart. Notice how cleverly I introduced the fact that I know her. That’s name-dropping at its finest, as I said to Prince Charles only the other day.”) Really, he is amazingly connected. The number of people he’s worked with, been friends with, got invited to cruises on their huge yachts with,…
…amazing.

Steve Martin said in his blurb for Idle’s novel The Road the Mars.“I laughed. I cried. And then I read the book.” You’ll laugh, maybe cry while you read this book.

Endearing, funny, enlightening, and endearing. Yes, I said that twice. When this comes out, get it. You’ll be glad you did. Though the song will echo for days.

But there are worse earworms.

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Apollo 8: The Mission That Changed Everything by Martin W. Sandler

Apollo 8: The Mission That Changed EverythingApollo 8: The Mission That Changed Everything by Martin W. Sandler

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Wonderful book I got from the publisher through LibraryThing. Accessible to a younger audience, it still has plenty to offer adult readers. I was born in 1961 and like many young (and older) Americans in the 1960s, was enthralled by the “Space Race”, and especially the Apollo Program and the moon landings. Despite that fascination, I knew little – and I suspect most others also know little – about Apollo 8; it just isn’t as sexy as Armstrong and Aldrin’s Apollo 11 triumph.

But it really is. Continue reading