Thursday, January 28, 2016

Lawyer Games by Dep Kirkland

I thought this was going to be my first non-fiction book review of the year, but apparently not! But it's not surprisingly that it's only January and already I'm reading true crime.

Anyway, Lawyer Games is an account of the four trials of The State of Georgia vs James A. Williams (Apparently there's a really famous book called Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil that was about the same case). It's not really a "did he do it" sort of book, because as the author tells you straight up, he believes that Williams was guilty. What this book is about, are the four trials that eventually ended in a "not-guilty" verdict for the lucky Williams.

Personally, I think the author did a great job with the book. After reading it, I was thoroughly convinced that Williams was guilty and wished that he didn't eventually go free (even if for a few months). This is despite the reminder I got at the start of the book that the author was biased - I really liked that too, by the way. I like it when an author states his bias upfront, instead of spinning his angle as the truth.

The book itself is divided into a succession of very short chapters (think about 10 pages on the iPad), followed by one extremely long chapter. That extremely long chapter is probably the chapter that goes over all the evidence and testimony in the trial. What that meant for me was that I was happily reading along, thinking "Hey, this book isn't that bad", then WHAM, a long, long chapter for me to dig through. I suppose I wouldn't have minded it much if I wasn't reading it in the train (and had to stop halfway), but I did, so it was a little annoying.

As for the narrative style, the book is definitely not casual. While the author can be sarcastic at times, there is this sense of formality throughout the book. Perhaps it's due to the author's background in the law?

At any rate, this was an interesting book. Like I said earlier, it's not really about truth/who the real murderer is. It's about how expensive lawyers who are willing to do anything can drag out a trial long enough.

Disclaimer: I got a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a free and honest review.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Wild Thing by Luke Kendall

This is going to be a hard book for me to review because I've seen it in its previous form. Yes, this is another book by someone from WriteOn.

Backstory/How I came to know about Wild Thing. Since I'm on a writing site, I do try to give feedback. Normally, though, I give feedback for the first chapter, but if the book is really good, I continue. I don't continue reading most books that I read. But, Wild Thing was one of them, even though I never really finished it. I did read a fair bit before the author decided to use some professional editors.

And woah, the difference is amazing.

Ok, about the actual book. Wild Thing is about a girl called Sara. When she's very young, a prophecy has her sent from the community she was living in. A few years later, she's picked up by a scientist named Dr. Harmon, who has plans to shape her into an archetype at the Institute for Paranormal Dysfunction. But, there's something much larger at work, and in this book, it involves one particular patient at the Institute.

This is probably not relevant to 99% of the people out there, but I really want to say, that the changes in this book was amazing. I liked it before, but now, it's a lot more fleshed out, and the characters feel a lot deeper. It's amazing to see the story that was hiding under that first draft I read.

Anyway, you can probably tell that I liked the book. I really liked Sara - she's amazingly innocent, even though she's deadly. I do worry about her though, because of the way Dr. Harmon raised her. Dr. Harmon is basically the person I love to hate. He's devious, and probably the reason why Sara will never be normal. So there's a slight sense of satisfaction whenever I see hints at the story that no matter how clever he thinks he is, he is not the one controlling Sara's story. Far from it.

I do, however, need to point out that because of the above-mentioned Dr. Harmon, there are pages in the book (towards the later half) that you'll want to skip if you're squeamish like me. [SPOILER ALERT] I mean, Sara might find it very natural, but you and I know that what Dr. Harmon is doing to her is just plain wrong (and definitely sexually abusive - he even plays the classic 'you made me do it' argument. Ugh). My stomach's a bit weak, so I tend to skip the 'steamier' scenes involving them. [END SPOILER ALERT] There weren't that many, but if you have a problem with stuff like this, consider this a warning.

Overall, I really enjoyed this story. It was interesting for me to see the differences in the two versions that I read, and I definitely think that this version is stronger. I seriously hope that Sara will be able to become more independent from Dr. Harmon, and of course, I want to know the ending for this storyline - I have a feeling that it's not completely over yet.

Disclaimer: I know the author, and as I've repeatedly mentioned, I've read this book even before it was published in its current form. All the praise, though, is genuine.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Teaser Tuesday - This is Where it Ends by Marieke Nijkamp

Hey everyone! Time for another Teaser Tuesday! And can you believe it's the last week of January already? I thought 2016 just started!

Anyway, I'm currently reading This is Where It Ends, a novel about a school shooting. It's got very mixed reviews, so I'm actually quite curious as to what I'd think when I finish. But I just started (I'm at chapter 2), so I'm currently still in neutral.

My teaser:
"Principal Trenton may still live in the pre-digital era, but she's like a cyborg. She always speaks until ten sharp, leaving five minutes for announcements before the bell." 

What's your teaser this week?

I just came back from cooking class (where we learnt how to make Japanese-style Chinese food), so I'm beat. No long, rambly stuff today. But here's a picture of what I made :D

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of A Daily Rhythm. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read 
  • Open to a random page 
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page 
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!) 
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Monday, January 25, 2016

The Zero Marginal Cost Society (Liveblogged Review)

Hey, so a while back, I tried doing a liveblog of this book I had to read for school (and I actually really enjoyed it). It first went live on Dayre (see Part 1 here and Part 2 here), and I thought I'd share it here as well. 

The premise is pretty fascinating. It's arguing that as the collaborative commons rise, capitalism will play a smaller, more streamlined role in the economy.

Makes sense when you think of how we're used to sharing things we make for free (like on Dayre) and using things for free or near free.

While the capitalist market is based on self-interest and driven by material gain, the social Commons is motivated by collaborative interests and driven by a deep desire to connect with others and share.

Chapter 1: Chapter 1 introduces the basic concepts of the book and provides definitions (always good, except now I have yet another definition of IoT (Internet of Things) that I have to work in).

What was new to me was the idea of IoT as the 'soulmate' of the Collaborative Commons. I've been thinking about it in terms of supply chains and productivity, but it does make sense, especially if you're considering it in a broader sense.

While capitalism operates through the free market, free markets don't require capitalism.

Chapters 2,3,4: These 3 chapters are a summary of economic history, and probably a way for the author to reframe our thinking so we're more receptive to his ideas (is that too cynical?)

But basically, the premise is that with the industrial revolutions, we moved towards vertical integration with a central command, but with IoT and the Collaborative Commons (CC), we're moving towards everything integrated but decentralised.

Which begs the question: why are the main movers big companies?

Saw the "study online for almost free" meme. But Coursera does charge for a certified accreditation thing, and that isn't 'nearly free'. So unless employers are willing to accept the free certificates of achievement, MOOCs won't help people who don't have the money to go to university

How then do we ensure an open, transparent flow of data that can benefit everyone while guaranteeing that information concerning every aspect of one's life is not used without their permission and against their wishes in ways that compromise and harm their well-being?

Chapter 5 is about productivity, IoT and free energy. For the energy thing, which was new to me, the author says that renewable energy is the near-free energy, after you recoup the installation (and I suppose switching) costs.

It is true about fossil energies being finite and hence unable to go to free, but I think they do have a role to play in the near future, as we transition. Hence the role of microgrids and virtual power plants.

Smart energy isn't just where the energy comes from, it's also how we manage it. I suspect the IoT/big data methods will apply for all forms of energy - we need to figure out how to adjust supply flexibly and how to predict demand. And of course, on the industrial side, how to use IoT technologies to be more energy efficient.

Chapter 6: 3D printing!! It's something I knew about, but this is the first time that I really see its future tied to the IoT/CC movement. Extremely interesting stuff.

But the author seems to call this movement the Third Industrial Revolution, while in Germany, this is the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Yet another contradiction for my research partners and me...

But I think the concept of moving from mass production to production by the masses is cool. Didn't know Gandhi said something similar:

Knowledge has been enclosed behind the walls of academic institutions whose price of admission excludes all but the wealthiest. That's about to change.

Chapter 7 is about MOOCs and other forms of education. Basically, MOOCs will bring the cost of good education down, and in general, education will become more multidisciplinary and less focuses on rote memorisation.

I mentioned the cost of MOOCs before, but the book is right in saying that it's near free compared to its traditional price. But it may still be expensive and out of reach to the very poor or those with no PayPal or credit cards.

As for the learning style, I love the idea of multidisciplinary themes as the basis of education, but I still feel that for the basics, like the multiplication tables, memorisation is key. Like yes, I can work out multiplication if I needed to, but it's faster to have, say, the times table or Pythagoras theorem memorised, especially when I'm integrating the skill with others.

What I'm saying is that you don't have to memorise stuff, but it might be more convenient to do so.

Chapter 8,9: chapter 8 is about the worker becoming obsolete, while chapter 9 is about the rise of the prosumer, a consumer who also producers. Both are very interesting ideas, although it feels rather America-centric. I'd be interested in seeing how much of what the author is saying is applicable in developing countries (especially the unemployment stuff).

Chapters 10,11,12: These three chapters are grouped together under the section "The Rise of the Collaborative Commons". I think it's a testament to how powerful 'The Tragedy of the Commons' is as an idea that its refutations aren't as well known as the Tragedy is. The chapters also cover topics from Net Neutrality to Copyright and open source/free software.

Do you know that apparently Singapore has the highest rate of illegal downloads (from a 2012 study - looked it up cause my Senpai is doing something similar for his graduation thesis)? So yeah, the copyright thing has me torn.

Like, I totally understand the appeal of getting something for free. But now that I'm about to self-pub, I'm like "RIGHTS RIGHTS RIGHTS". I mean, I probably won't be an overnight sensation, but if I am, I want my rights to help me earn money.

But at the same time, I love the idea of anyone being able to read my words. (Actually I've been considering this problem for some time, along with pricing issues.)

The other interesting idea was designating companies like Google and Facebook and Amazon as 'social utilities'. This is an argument I don't really buy, especially when you start thinking about how much data about us these companies already hold. Plus, they seem giants now, but giants can fall.

Starting on the fourth part, which would be chapters 13 and 14, and saw this very interesting quote redefining freedom. The first past is "The Internet Generation, however, has come to think of freedom not in the negative sense - the right to exclude others - but rather in the positive sense of the right to include others"

Then some elaboration, and then the quote that struck me:

Freedom is measured more by access to others in networks than ownership of property in markets. The deeper and more inclusive one's relationships, the more freedom one enjoys.

Chapter 13, 14: These two chapters make up the section "Social Capital and the Sharing Economy". It might be the most interesting part of the book for me (since IoT disappeared after the first chapter) as it looks at how people are changing the way they share and consume.

I'm not involved in the sharing community, but it sounds really interesting. And I wish that the second chapter, which covers crowdfunding, was a little longer. Actually, I wish both chapters were longer

[...non-book related stuff...]

So I finished the last two chapters. For some reason, they feel like any other book that pushes a new type of thinking/paradigm. That is, it feels very hopeful and like the author has expanded beyond the IoT and econs stuff at the start to talk about an 'economy of abundance'

Or maybe my skepticism is due to the fact that the last two chapters reject the principle scarcity, which is pretty much the first thing that any econs student learns, so it's pretty ingrained in me.

All in all, this is a really good books. It's very thought provoking, and I find it easy to believe/accept a lot of what the author is saying. I do wish there was more emphasis on the IoT side of things, but I think that would be a bit too esoteric for most people, and the Collaborative Commons stuff is the more accessible topic.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

The Misadventures of Grumpy Cat by Ben McCool

I'm sure everyone has heard about Grumpy Cat. By the way, was everyone also aware that Grumpy Cat was a girl? Because I was under the impression that she was actually a he. Maybe it was the expression on her face...

Anyway, this comic is a series of unrelated tales staring the grumpy cat and her brother, Pokey. It ranges from haunted houses, to aliens, to figuring out who ate the treats. That's probably as much as I can tell without giving away any spoilers.

To be honest, I would have preferred it if the stories were longer. I wouldn't even mind if there were fewer in number either. While some were genuinely very cute, the characters were very one-dimensional. I know, they're animals, and it's possible that because I'm not a huge fan I can't fill in the blanks, but I would like the stories to not only laugh, but to tug at the heartstrings if possible. Because as far as I could tell - Grumpy Cat was grumpy, her bother was innocent and naive and that made almost every story predictable.

Short review, but this is a really short book. It's not terrible, but I think it's really for the megafans of grumpy cat, rather than regular people like me.

Disclaimer: I got a free copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for a free and honest review.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Of Sugar and Snow by Jeri Quinzio

One day, while browsing the library with my mom and bro, I ran across this book. It's supposed to be a history of ice-cream, so of course I borrowed it. I would have borrowed it even if it were a 1000 page monster. But it wasn't, and I was able to bring it with me on a trip. In fact, I actually finished this book on the train, and my conclusion - ice cream lovers, this is for you.

It's basically a very quick history of ice-cream, but with tons of recipes. I don't know how feasible they are, but I suppose if you already have the habit of collecting antique stuff, I think it'd appeal to you. I quite liked reading the recipes, but I doubt I'd make any of them.

Also, Butter Ice-Cream was also a thing. If anyone tries it, let me know how it tastes (and if your arteries clog immediately).

But basically, ice-cream was seen as this really expensive treat, since it was hard to get ice. And the ice-industry used to be people getting natural ice (like the opening of Frozen), and then storing them the whole year round in cellars of some sort. And some people used to believe ice-cream was bad, but ice-cream is ice-cream so people ate them anyway. Now imagine this haphazard summary, but in a much more coherent form, and properly charted across the ages, and you have this book.

Personally, I wouldn't have minded, in fact would have preferred it, if the book spent more time on the various fascinating people involved in the creation of ice-cream (Any history scholars want to write that as a non-fiction series?). It felt like the first few hundred years went by so fast, and that most of the history focused on the American history of ice-ream. That was a bit weird for me, since I would think that the ice-cream in Europe would have continued evolving as America's ice-cream evolved. Maybe with their own varieties or something. Especially considering where ice-cream came from.

Overall, this short and sweet book is a succinct introduction to the delicious cold treat we all like to scream for. I would have preferred to read a more detailed history, but I guess there are other ice-cream history books written for this purpose. This seems to be more for the beginner ice-cream historian (like me), to whet their appetite for more.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Teaser Tuesday - Wild Thing by Luke Kendall

Hey everyone!! How has the start of your week been? It suddenly got really cold here in Fukuoka, and it even snowed today. As someone born and (mostly) bred in a country which is summer all year round... let's just say the cold and I don't mix very well.

Anyway, I'm currently reading Wild Thing by Luke Kendall. I actually first read the story on WriteOn, but this version is substantially different from the earlier one I read. A lot of new stuff, and I'm enjoying it very much!

My teaser:

"They were all looking at her properly now, like they weren't just seeing some silly girl any more. All the grown-up attention made her sit up extra straight."

What is your Teaser?
Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of A Daily Rhythm. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read 
  • Open to a random page 
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page 
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!) 
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

P.S. I entered a contest to win a publishing contract! It's judged solely by votes, so if you happen to be a member of the OnlineBookClub, would you please take a look at my entry and consider voting for me? If the pitch is not enough, you can look at the raw first draft here, to get an idea of the story.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Nowhere Girl by Ruth Dugdall

I'm not sure if it's a good sign or a bad sign that I didn't recognise that this was a series - or that I've read two of the three previous books. But, I did remember the author name, and I remember being fairly affected by one of her books (Humber Boy B, the first book of hers I read). So for what it's worth, I basically read this book without any prior expectations for the characters (the story though, I had expectations).

Anyway, Nowhere Girl is supposed to be the fourth book in the Cate Austin series, but this time, set in Luxembourg. And as it has come to be, the case is what steals my attention, not Cate (no wonder I didn't realise this was a series). Anyway, during an annual fair called Schueberfouer, a girl called Ellie goes missing. At first, the police thinks it's just a simple case of a teenager running away, but obviously, it isn't so simple.

And as I've come to expect, the book proceeded in a way that I didn't expect. I had thought this was going to be about illegal immigrants and human trafficking (and it was about illegal immigrants, to a smaller extent), but it turned out to be very much more about relationships. There was a twist, but it was revealed earlier than the climax, so I wouldn't really say that it was this huge moment. Rather anti-climatic, actually. (Also, the reason why this was a long, extended kidnapping felt rather forced to me)

For me, I enjoyed reading the sections concerning Ellie (there are a two POVs, one for her, and one for one of her 'captors'). I probably felt the most for her, because she did not ask for any of this. She's really a victim here. The other POV, Amina, was equally sympathetic.

However, the ending was particularly satisfying. It was definitely better than Humber Boy B, because there was some form of closure, but not for everyone. It seems like some of the participants in the crime were written off because of their background, and had no ending or seemed to escape punishment. Personally, I wanted to see the boy that betrayed Ellie in jail, but I have no idea what happened to him. The only people on the 'criminal' end that I felt for were the women, and the little boy, to be honest. I thought the rest should have been thrown into jail. Ok, no more or I might give away some spoilers.

Overall, the novel was intriguing. Even though it went in a different direction that I expected, the story was still pretty intense. I really liked Ellie's sections (and the sections concerning here), and the Cate sections were pretty decent too.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for a free and honest review.

Friday, January 15, 2016

The Bone Garden by Tess Gerritsen

Someone from Dayre was talking about this book, and since I've had pretty good experiences with Tess Gerittsen, I figured I should read The Bone Garden. Like, ASAP.

Unlike the Rizzoli and Isles series (although Isles does make a cameo in this), The Bone Garden features two 'mysteries', one in the present, when a skeleton is dug up, and one in the past. The mystery in the past follows Rose Conelly (check sp) and the West End Ripper, a serial killer who may or may not be after her. Good thing she has the poor medical student Norris and his friend to help her (although Norris does have his own personal reasons for wanting to find out who the murderer is).

As it's come to be the case with me and dual-time stories, I liked the historical section better. Not only was the mystery more interesting, I think it was more well-developed too. The 'modern' story felt like it was more like a vehicle to tell the story of the past, rather than being a story that could have stood on its own. If you take away all the modern stuff, the story of Rose Conelly will stand, but the other way round isn't possible.

My other 'complaint' is one that I think most people have expected of me by now. The romance section. Without giving away spoilers, let me just say that while Rose's love story isn't at the insta-love stage, it happens very quickly, and rather unbelievably for him. As though the author wanted to reinforce a point for the character in the present day...

For the most part, though, the characters in this book are believable. I particularly liked the fact that the book also explored the class and race differences (since Wendell was from a farm and Rose is Irish), and showed that even death is not the great equaliser we like to pretend it is.

Apart from those two points, which are really quite minor, I really enjoyed the book. The main mystery managed to thoroughly pull me in, and I was kept guessing as to the West End Ripper was, and why the murderer seemed to be after Rose.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Allerleirauh by Chantal Gadoury

I just finished a fairly stressful few days (two major papers due on consecutive days, with a third essay and an exam today), so when I had some time before a class today, I decided to pick up Allerleirauh. It was gifted to me from the author, who's a fellow writer in the fairy-tale retelling genre.

I finished the book in one sitting.

Allerleirauh is a retelling of the fairytale of the same name. If you're not familiar with it, well, does the name "Thousandfurs" or "Cape O' Rushes" ring a bell? That's an alternative title. It's about a king, who promised his wife that he would only remarry someone who had hair as golden as she. Unfortunately, the only person who fit the bill was his daughter, and the king did not have enough moral sense to realise all the problems with that. As a way of stalling, his daughter requested for three dresses, one like the sun, and one like the stars, plus a coat made of a thousand furs. Somehow, perhaps because he's mad, the king managed to do it. The smart princess decides to run away.

The later half of the retelling is slightly different from the fairy tale I remembered, but overall, the retelling follows the same arc as the book, so if you've read the fairy tale, you'll roughly know where it's going. It is, however, a lot deeper into the world and the story than the original fairy tale. In that sense, it was a comfortable read for me, because I knew (albeit somewhat subconsciously) what was going to come next.

Oh, and there's a romance in the later half of this book too. I'm not much a romance person, as most of you already know, but there was one thing I liked about it (I can hear gasps of shock already). I liked how the prince (again, later half) treated Allerleirauh. Seriously. It was fantastic. He treated her like a person, not a poor girl, not a wild beast. He was truly a gentlemen, and that was what I really liked about their relationship. There was no negging or demeaning one another, just mutual trust and respect (even as Allerleirauh is guarded about who she really is).

And it took me until the end of the book, but I finally realised what this book reminds me of - Melanie Dickerson's fairytale retellings, like her The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest. And if you're familiar with Melanie Dickerson, you'll know that her retellings are also somewhat Christian. I found this to be the same too - there are references to God, but nothing that I would consider overt preaching. I do know, however, that there are others who found Melanie Dickerson's stories to fall firmly in the "Christian fiction" realm, so your mileage may vary.

Overall, this was what I needed. An easy and encouraging read.

Disclaimer: Not only did I receive a free book from the author, I've also written a book in the fairytale retelling. I really did like the book, but as you can see, I really like the genre.

Friday, January 8, 2016

A Grimm Curse by Janna Jennings

One day, I opened my email to find a review copy of A Grimm Curse by Janna Jennings. I remembered reading and enjoying the previous two books, so I was quite excited to start this one. It took some time, but I finally made time for the book!

Even though A Grimm Curse is labelled as the third book in the series, it's actually a prequel, and can more or less standalone as a story, since none of the main characters from the first two books appear here. The story follows Cynthia (you may recognise her as Andi's grandmother, or you may not), who's none other than Cinderella. But which Cinderella dares to play pranks on her stepfamily, or help out a talking frog? Or has Rapunzel as a best friend? Not many, I dare say.

What I liked about this book was the sheer abundance of fairy tales referenced. I think I mentioned that book two was fairly original, unlike book one, which featured a lot of fairy tales. As someone who loves them, I was happy to see that book three has returned to showing us the different fairy tales in a new and interesting way. I loved reading and figuring out which character belonged in which fairy tale.

The only section of the book I didn't quite get was [MILD SPOILERS AHEAD] how Rapunzel and Cynthia figured out the truth about the world they lived in. Since I've read the first book, I understand how the world works and what it is, but with very few hints of the truth in the first section of the book, the big reveal felt a little strange to me. Personally, I would have preferred the author drop a few hints about what this world really was, to make Cynthia and Rapunzel's discovery of the truth a lot more impactful.

Overall, though, I really enjoyed this book. As I've mentioned before (probably multiple times), I love fairy tales and fairytale retellings. Which makes this book, with its many, many fairy tale references, an awesome read for me.

Disclaimer: I got a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for a free and honest review.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Targeted and Trolled by Rossalyn Warren

I requested this book because, duh, female on the internet here. This obviously concerns me, even if I haven't been trolled before (touch wood). Unfortunately, I didn't notice that it was an "originally internet short", so I was a little disappointed, as I was expected a meatier book.

The good about this book is that it very clearly illustrates the severity of women being targeted on the internet for their gender. Some of the case studies are truly horrifying, and this is something that never should have happened to someone.

Unfortunately, the book does not go into much depth. It's almost as if it's a collection of news articles, with a little analysis inside. Personally, I was looking forward to reading about the causes of such harassment, because to know the cause would be to know how solve this problem at the root.

The other thing that disappointed me was that the book was rather one-sided. I don't mean that the book should be looking at men being targeted, since this isn't the topic, but I feel it's important to talk about the fact that targeting of women by women can happen (and suggestions on what we can do to stop it (do I shout back? Do I back down because she's a fellow woman?) would have been very welcome too). For example, Requires Hate was a woman whose targets were 73% women. And this was very vicious targeting, with death threats. You should all read the expose by Laura J. Mixon, who very deservedly won the Hugo 2015 award for best fan writer. It seems odd to me that this didn't even warrant a mention, given the extent and length of abuse (as well as the identity of Requires Hate).

All in all, this is an adequate introduction to the darker side of the internet (if you are a woman). Personally, I feel that the book should have looked at this in depth (and not be a short) - if the other readers are like me, what's in this is really just preaching to the choir, with the information and in-depth analysis wanted lacking.

Disclaimer: I got a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a free and honest review.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Teaser Tuesday - Lawyer Games by Dep Kirkland

It's Tuesday! That means tomorrow, I start school again (it was a short but good break), and that I get to share another teaser! Oh, and Happy New Year! Lots of reasons to use exclamation marks today.

Anyway, this week's book is Lawyer Games by Dep Kirkland. I'm pretty sure it's a true crime fiction book (from the blurb). I'm basically still at the prologue, because I've been working on my essay for the past few days.

My teaser:
"The defense had raised the headless-chicken theory with Dr. Draffin. But, remarkably, Dr. Petty didn't mention a chicken dance or any other form of barnyard gyration."
What is your teaser this week?

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of A Daily Rhythm. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read 
  • Open to a random page 
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page 
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!) 
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Monday, January 4, 2016

Speaking From Among the Bones by Alan Bradley

I thought I'd read all the Flavia de Luce books (except for the latest one, which isn't in the NLB ebook catalog yet), but I was wrong. I hadn't read Speaking From Among the Bones, the fifth book in the Flavia de Luce series. It was a bit strange, reading a book when I already knew what happened before and after (technically), but I still enjoyed it.

In Speaking From Among the Bones, our favourite de Luce just happens to be around when a body is found in the Church. Unfortunately, it isn't the body of the local saint (which they were intending to dig up anyway), it's a more recent body, that of the Church organist. While this does mean her sister gets to be the organist at Easter (not that this is a motive anyone considered), it's generally a bad thing, and anyway, Flavia is going to get to the bottom of it.

As usual, this book is delightful. Flavia is her usual charming self, though the de Luce family is in a bit more financial trouble than usual, and it shows. But, if you know what's going to happen, like I did, then you probably won't worry about it. I wonder, if I read this book in order, would I be worrying along with Flavia?

Another thing I enjoyed about this book was her relationship with her sisters. There are a few fairly sweet moments between them in this book, which I think is a lot more sisterly. I suppose they have to pull together in the face of adversity, since they are family. But it does make some of the more cruel things they say to Flavia a bit more forgivable, since they're so much more likeable here.

Overall, I found this book to be an extremely fun read. If you're a fan of Flavia, you will enjoy the book, as she pokes around and solves a mystery. As for continuity, it's actually possible to skip this book, since in the overall scheme of things, the 'big news' comes at the end, and is merely a message at that. The next book is actually more important if you want to figure out what's happening in the de Luce family. But, it's probably a good idea to read this series in order.