Seriously, how cool is this cover? It’s for the German edition of Jonathan L. Howard’s “The Fear Institute”, an absolutely brilliant book that had its paperback edition released today. (Go buy it!) One of the best parts of the BookGeeks gigs is the chance to read some books I might have missed out on otherwise, and I’ve got to say that Howard’s Johannes Cabal series is seriously, seriously good.
We’ve reviewed them all at BookGeeks (or uh, really *I* have reviewed them all at BookGeeks), and, truly, they are just brilliant fun and each book is better than the last as Johannes swipes, mocks, and strides his way towards his goals. Often leaving others lying prone in his wake, and always with the sort of rejoinder that makes you feel as if he has never, ever, had that moment where you think of a come back hours after an event. Trust me, Cabal gets them in on time, and then dances on the supine bodies of his competitors, left face up so they can watch Cabal win.
All of this, I hope, is making you want to read the books (which, really, GO!), but the bonus on top of the bonus that is finding the books is that occasionally you get things happening like authors retweeting a link to your review. And, wow, that *always* feels weird, bizarre, and just….well, weird. I think I intellectually understand that other people might read the reviews, but emotionally (although I seriously hope that people will believe me and buy the books!) I feel like I am mostly just enjoying the chance to write about something I love. And then I realize people read them.
Of course, the over-the-top typical of Baen Books cover is still there (One of the more hilarious aspects of the covers vs the story is how often it is integral to the plot that Jame is mistaken for her twin brother, or just a boy in general, which is clearly impossible if she…had the assets of the girl on the cover).
I have, as always, written a proper review of it over at BookGeeks, but I can’t resist being gleeful over here as well. I can (vividly) remember a time when I would repeatedly buy extra copies of “God Stalk” and “Dark of the Moon” because they were the only Kencyrath novels available, and how, when the gorgeous Meisha Merlin editions came out (and were super expensive), I seriously considered selling my warmest coat (not a small thing in Minnesota) in order to afford them (it made sense at the time, college can do that to you). Eventually I decided that frostbite would make it difficult to turn pages, and I waited a bit for more reasonably priced versions…and waited, and waited. But Hodgell has finally hooked up with Baen, and the last few years have seen Jame’s story spiral out from its beginnings in Tai-Tastigon to encompass the wider world of Rathillien.
I won’t go into any of the details of the plot (except to say, of course, that it is loads of fun and everyone should read the books…), but it does make me think about how certain books end up more a part of everyday life than others. I’m sure a lot depends on when you read them, but this series in particular (and “anything written by Connie Willis”) has ended up being one of those series that feels like it punctuates my life. And I absolutely love that new books in the series are coming out at a regular pace, and that Baen has such incredible ebook policies, so I can own many copies of them both on the bookshelf and on the computer. Continue reading
I absolutely adore riding Moss (the far-too-nice-for-me horse I have been loaning), but I’ve recently gotten a bad case of the “I wants”. Moss is getting older, and he no longer jumps (nor should he have to, he’s definitely earned his “trot around and have everyone admire me” time), and I miss working with younger horses. Moss has really put on a ton of strength and weight over the eight months I’ve been riding him, and I think he’s getting used more around the riding school, which is excellent. Hopefully, they’ll start using him as a lead horse on hacks around the farm ride soon, as he is absolutely amazing on hacks (never puts a foot wrong and just enjoys it so much). But, as usual, once something seems to be going smoothly, I look around for something new to do. So, maybe a youngish TB ex-racer? I’m not going to rush the process, but it feels like the right thing to do, maybe with an eye on picking one up at the end of the summer, doing low-key stuff for the winter, and then being able to really get into it next summer. I would really like to be riding something where jumping was part of my goals, and I would also like to work on the sort of basics and training that you really get into with a young horse. (Moss, of course, is already perfect and needs nothing. 🙂 ) Although trying to plan that far ahead makes me twitchy.
Luckily, I can distract myself with books. There are some amazing books out this Fall (the newest Scott Westerfeld, the newest Johannes Cabal, a new Neal Stephenson, plus more Murakami). Seriously, I love summer, but I am super impatient for these books to come out (already read the Johannes Cabal, but it was so good I want to be able to buy and gift a few copies). I also got an amazing set of young adult books over the weekend, including the newest Kat Falls, the sequel to “She’s So Dead to Us” (which is a lot of fun!), and “Haunting Violet”, a gorgeous YA/ghost-story/historical that I read in one sitting. Continue reading