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  • Book Review: Mason Dixon – The Wampus of Reeds Spring

    August 10th, 2017 she Posted in Reading Begets Enlightenment No Comments »

    Title: Mason Dixon – The Wampus of Reeds Spring (Kobo)
    Author: Eric Asher
    Publisher: Falstaff Books
    Publication Date: July 2017
    ISBN: 9781386614555
    Language: English

    Rating: 3.5/5

    This second novella in Eric Asher’s “New Templars” series continues the adventures of Mason Dixon, monster hunter and YouTube “star” and his trusty childhood friend and videographer Emma. The story takes place after the events in “Mason Dixon: Monster Hunter” but doesn’t pick up immediately following the previous story. This left me searching the interwebs to determine if I’d missed a novella in between the two stories. One shouldn’t end on a cliff-hanger – even a soft one – and barely mention its resolution in the next book!  This second segment gives us an introduction to other players in the “New Templars” world and, when the first two books in the series are read back-to-back, seems like you’re sliding back into a comfy new shoe when you begin reading. Asher is an excellent wordsmith and if you’re looking for a quick beach read involving the hidden – and at times humorous – world of monsters, this book should fill the void.

    End verdict: Best if familiar with the storyline in “Mason Dixon: Monster Hunter”. If you enjoy the humour of Kevin Hearne’s or John Hartness’ writing styles, you’re bound to enjoy the Mason Dixon series. The novella is a quick, fun romp and excellent jello for the mind.

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    Book Review: Mason Dixon – Monster Hunter

    August 10th, 2017 she Posted in Reading Begets Enlightenment No Comments »

    Title: Mason Dixon – Monster Hunter (Kobo)
    Author: Eric Asher
    Publisher: Falstaff Books
    Publication Date: April 2017
    ISBN: 9781386361268
    Language: English

    Rating: 3.5/5

    I first encountered Eric Asher’s writing through his Vesik series. This first novella in the “New Templars” series introduces us to Mason Dixon, monster hunter and YouTube “star” along with his trusty childhood friend, videographer Emma.   The story starts with a slightly violent bang and quickly shifts to later time in Mason’s life. Unfortunately, it’s done in such a way that it feels like there’s a disjointed gap in the storytelling. Over the course of a few pages, the reader can piece together elapsed time and changes to the character’s work and behaviour. At times this effort seems a bit too much to ask of a reader who hasn’t fully invested in the character or been fully immersed in the world Asher is attempting to build. Don’t be discouraged. Stick through this section and it’ll be worth it; cliff-hanger ending and all.

    Caveat: I’ve yet to figure out what the “New Templars” referenced in the novella’s title relates to. I suspect it’s in reference to his employer(s) and hope this will become  clear in a future story.

    End verdict: If you enjoy the humour of Kevin Hearne’s or John Hartness’ writing styles, you’re bound to enjoy the Mason Dixon series.  The novella is a quick, fun romp and excellent jello for the mind.

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    Next new thing

    August 10th, 2017 she Posted in Reading Begets Enlightenment No Comments »

    I read. I’ve been reading voraciously since I was a sproglette. My mum and dad used to enroll me in Library camp when I was a child. I’ve written blog posts about how much I love to read. There’s a whole category of reading related goodies on this site dating from 2006-2009-ish. This content has been sadly neglected in recent years I’m afraid.

    All this pre-amble to state that after a bazillion years of reading, I’ve started doing something I should have done many years ago. Sure, I’ve started writing reviews of things I’m reading again. More importantly, I’m also sharing those reviews on Kobo, since that’s where I buy the bulk of my eBooks these days.

    My author friends are frequently reminding me that honest reviews – good and bad - of their work mean more than all the “read me” advertising fluff pieces on FB, Twitter, or other social media channels. Here’s hoping they still feel that way after I’ve reviewed of a few of their books online.

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    Put your $$ where it’s needed

    May 19th, 2009 she Posted in Flan-dom, Random Burbling, Reading Begets Enlightenment No Comments »

    Ok, so we all know I’m a big fan of Twitter and charity. I’m especially fond of charities that promote learning (#Tweetsgiving & #Tweetluck come to mind), reading (Kids Need to Read), and foodbanks. Charities that give people a hand up when needed hold a special place in my heart.

    Recently I’ve been able to combine these two loves as the #yeg community has started responding to local needs.

    First up was @SirThinks foodbank challenge. Many may not remember back in the day when a number of military members lined up at foodbanks because they couldn’t afford to both house and feed their families. Former CDS Hillier refers to that period in the CF as the “days of darkness”. I doubt many CF members who lived and worked through it would disagree. We were fortunate enough not to need the services of a foodbank at that time but there were days when we’d be sorely tempted. While we’ve donated over the years, when @SirThinks posted his 200 items for school lunch challenge on Twitter last week we couldn’t resist picking up the guantlet.

    That event got @SirThinks and I thinking about other ways to support local foodbanks in a more formal manner through Twitter. The near weekly #yegsafetymtgs (nobody works, nobody gets hurt) seemed like the perfect place to launch a collection for the local foodbank. All that remains is to iron out the details.

    As I’ve babbled many times over the year(s), I’m a big fan of a charity co-founded by Edmonton’s own Capt Tightpants, Nathan Fillion. Kids Need to Read purchases books for children’s school libraries – often in the poorest districts – to foster learning, imagination, and a love of reading. The charity was co-founded with PJ Haarsma, an author of books for young adults. Tonight I was once again Tweeting about my wish to hold a fundraiser in the #yeg Twitter community for this organization and luckily for me, marketing and promotions chica extrordinaire @Out_Inc has taken up the guantlet. My continual whining has inspired her to consider promoting one charity event that the #yeg Twitter community can sponsor at a #yegsafetymtg each month.

    The timing couldn’t be better. The second part of #TwilightYEG, @ZoomJer‘s fundraiser for local womens shelters is taking place tomorrow night. The first half – collecting tips through charity bartending at LUX – raised just over $400 towards the $3000 goal. Hope we surpass it tomorrow evening. There’s still time to buy a ticket online at the #TwilightYEG web site or you can get one at the door on Wed. evening.

    Crappy Town Update:
    Regular readers may recall that we recently won an auction to “name a crappy town where you’re the hero“. Many towns were available on a number of planets. Our town is on Persephone.

    The auction concept was based on an episode of our favourite show and funds raised are going to support CSTS‘s Equality Now fundraiser.

    We’re still waiting to hear if our Crappy Town name for the upcoming QMx map of the ‘verse is acceptable. Haven’t really thought of a possible second choice so keep your fingers and toes crossed that option one makes it pastthe cutting room floor (and FOX lawyers).

    NOTE: posted from iPhone. Will update with links later when at a computer.

    Upperdate: Added links 11:20am May 20th

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    Letters combine to make words

    February 5th, 2009 she Posted in Reading Begets Enlightenment 1 Comment »

    Got home after 7pm tonight but for once it wasn’t due to overtime. One of the bonuses of working at a college or university is that they have libraries. I love libraries. Tonight I spent some time culling through a bunch of databases at ours to complete a literature search for a paper.

    I’ve always loved to read. There’s just something wonderful about books. Ever since I was a little girl I’ve been going to libraries. It was our Saturday morning ritual with my dad when we were kids. While he poked about in the crime and sci-fi section my sister and I poked about the children’s section. We always left with mitt fulls of books. Mum even enrolled us in a book reading camp one summer at the main library downtown.

    I barely remember going to bed as a child and not seeing my dad sitting at the kitchen table reading a book with a few more stacked by his elbow. And mum? She was frequently curled up on the couch reading. No wonder I’d hide under the covers with a flashlight and read for a few hours at bedtime each night.

    Dad was still reading books for hours a day right up until a few weeks before he passed away.

    Considering my love for books it should come as no surprise that I married a reader. We frequently read the same books. I get first dibs since I’m a speedier reader. Since he’s been gone he’s had less access to reading materials. We’ve been sending him books for weeks now in the hopes he’ll keep himself occupied and make a good contribution to the KAF library when he leaves.

    It seems only my sister has managed to avoid being bitten by the reading bug. Even then, she still reads on occassion.

    I can’t imagine being unable to read. Not being able to find comfort and joy in letters and pages – the thought scares me deeply.

    Other great book memories include all the times I’d paw through boxes and stacks of books at the local swap meet at Parkway and McAllister Malls on Sunday’s after church. Finding a hardcover Nancy Drew I didn’t already own was the hi-lite of my trip.

    And I can’t forget the sheer excitement of bringing the Scholastic book flyer home from elementary school a few times a year. The thrill of deciding which books to ask my parents to order could only be surpassed by the joy of book delivery day. I’d devour the books as soon as they arrived home.

    Yeah. I’m a book nerd from way back. Proud of it too!

    The most special of my childhood books – the collection (unabridged) of Grimm’s fairy tales my dad gave me for my 8th birthday, the Judy Blume collection from my parents and my old Nancy Drew’s – have traveled with me from one end of the country to the other over the years. A few years back I fell into a pit of nostalgia and bought some of my all time favourite childhood books to add to my smaller collection. I have a small bookcase filled with them now.

    As the years pass and technology changes I find I’m buying more and more books in eBook format. I’ve read books on iPaq’s (have I just dated myself?), laptops, and now on my iPhone. In fact, the ability to read books on my iPhone is my absolute favourite feature. It makes the original expense of purchasing my fancy little phone well worth every penny.

    And the 130+ books I’ve downloaded to read on it fill me with glee. I’m giddy with the thought of making my way through them.

    I’d never survive as a librarian. Nor work in a publishing house. Too much organization involved and it would ruin the mystique. I don’t want anything to interfere with my sordid love affiar with the written word. No wonder I read 300+ books a year. I’m an addict and proud of it.

    Now you’ll have to excuse me. I have a book to read.

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