Book Review: Talking to Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede

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Daystar’s mother taught him a lot of things as he grew up, but chiefly, she taught him to be polite to people. Or at least, only to be rude when there is a very good reason. For example, when Daystar is seventeen years old, a wizard comes to visit his mother, and she melts him with a bucket of lemon-scented, soapy water. Immediately afterward, Mom hands Daystar a magic sword and throws him out of ... Read More »

Book Review: The Sorcerer’s House by Gene Wolfe

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Baxter Dunn is an educated prison parolee who has come to a small midwestern town in the hope of starting over, with nothing but a small allowance from his mother to do it with. In a somewhat ambiguous narrative that appears to be pieced together from letters to and from Bax, many of them involving his estranged twin brother, he goes from not knowing where his next meal will come from to owning a huge ... Read More »

Book Review: Anne of Avonlea by L.M. Montgomery

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In Anne of Green Gables, it was delicious to see Anne Shirley grow up from a slight, bright-eyed orphan of eleven to a young woman fresh out of high school. Perhaps it was also sad, to think that all her girlish fancies and adventures were done. But they weren’t. As this second book in L. M. Montgomery’s classic series shows, the discoveries and delights, missteps and yearnings of a certain vivacious redhead from Prince Edward Island, ... Read More »

Book Review: The Glitch in Sleep by John Hulme & Michael Wexler

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Becker Drane is the young hero of this book, the first in a series titled The Seems. The Seems is the world behind our world, a place that manufactures all the bits and pieces of our reality, from gravity to the weather, from time to your sense of smell. Most of these industries operate smoothly, but now and then something goes wrong in the Seems – and when that happens, it becomes a disaster in our ... Read More »

Book Review: Litany of the Long Sun by Gene Wolfe

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This book is actually two books in one volume. At the same time, it is only half of a book. Litany of the Long Sun contains the first two parts of a quartet of fantasy novels collectively known as The Book of the Long Sun. Within this first half of that greater book are the lesser titles Nightside the Long Sun and Lake of the Long Sun. The second half, for your information is Epiphany of the Long Sun, and it in ... Read More »

Book Review: Shadow of a Bull by Maia Wojciechowska

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The 1965 Newbery Medal went to this very deserving book about a youngster in Spain who is being groomed to fight a bull. Everyone in the Andalusian town of Arcangel knows that Manolo will soon be ready to follow in the footsteps of his father: the late, great matador Juan Olivar. Only Manolo isn’t sure. He fears the danger, the oh-so-deadly danger of facing a thousand pounds of angry bull, complete with horns. Almost more ... Read More »

Book Review: Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

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Between 1909 and 1939, Lucy Maud Montgomery wrote seven books about an imaginative, talkative, high-spirited heroine named Anne Shirley, beginning with this one. Set in the tiny years of the 20th century, in the tiny Canadian province of Prince Edward Island, on a farm near the (fictitious) tiny town of Avonlea, Anne of Green Gables is the most popular book in the series. In its first hundred years of existence, it has become firmly established as a ... Read More »

Book Review: Young Men in Spats by P.G. Wodehouse

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With this collection of eleven short stories, the prolific English humorist who created Jeeves and Wooster proves that his style of adventures can be fun even without the ever-resourceful Jeeves. All of the stories feature upper-class chumps of the Bertie Wooster set, who are constantly getting caught in wacky situations involving girls, country mansions, daffy uncles, hard-nosed aunts, money troubles, mistaken identities, and various dangers ranging from a punch on the nose to (even worse) ... Read More »

Book Review: Very Good, Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse

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This 1930 short-story collection, entirely devoted to the hilarious adventures of Bertie Wooster and his “private gentleman’s gentleman” Jeeves, was the third book of its kind, according to the author’s foreword, which names The Inimitable Jeeves and Carry On, Jeeves as its predecessors. The foreword also helpfully provides a script, both in English and in French, for how to ask your friendly neighborhood bookseller to sell you the book. The stories themselves (eleven of them) had previously been published ... Read More »

Book Review: The Dortmunder Series by Donald E. Westlake

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Okay, now I’m going to catch it, after telling you so many times how important it is to distinguish the bad guys from the good guys. But these are light-hearted books that will make you light-headed with laughter, so I don’t think there’s much harm. Yes, Dortmunder is a cat burglar. He is, in fact, one of the greatest criminal masterminds ever to call New York City his home. He can dream up some of ... Read More »