Illumination Required

Illuminae (The Illuminae Files, #1)Illuminae by Amie Kaufman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really liked this book. I liked the story, the world building and the characters. There was some very thoughtful stuff in there. There’s action and tension and the real sense of danger you don’t get from a lot of books without being over the top.

This book also brought up some questions that are worthy of discussion from a publishing point of view. It was an interesting choice to put the story forward as a series of found documents and compiled messages or reports. That certainly helped the speed of the book, a very quick read. What didn’t work for me was the tiny font that actually carried story information across waves or swirls or ship patterns.

To be fair about this – I was reading on an electronic device. That might make a difference. IF I had been reading a hard copy of the book, perhaps the swirls and such would have had a better feel. As it was, even when I attempted to use the e-reader’s ability to make fonts larger or zoom on pictures it was a fail. There were parts of the story I missed just because I couldn’t read it. That was very frustrating.

IF you’re going to get a copy of this book I recommend it for the story, but not so much for the layout.

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Fool Moon

Fool Moon (The Dresden Files, #2)Fool Moon by Jim Butcher
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Went back and listened to this one. Much like the first (Storm Front) I was surprised at how much I didn’t remember of the details. I’d read my copy long enough ago that there was still tension when I listened despite knowing “the future” of the characters. STILL really well done.

I am really enjoying listening to the audio production. Having the book read to me is a neat way to experience the story. I did actually pick up on one teeny tiny flub in the reading – but it was so slight that I suspect most people wouldn’t catch it.

Absolutely worth going to get this version and digging back into the series!

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Carlisle Vs. Army

Carlisle vs. Army: Jim Thorpe, Dwight Eisenhower, Pop Warner, and the Forgotten Story of Football's Greatest BattleCarlisle vs. Army: Jim Thorpe, Dwight Eisenhower, Pop Warner, and the Forgotten Story of Football’s Greatest Battle by Lars Anderson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

There’s no half star available on the rating scale here – I’d really put this book around 3.5 stars.

I liked this book and the slice of history it represents. One of my favorite parts of this book is the way it ties together the other things that were happening at the time when the game in question was set to go off. Historic context is very important. It’s also fascinating to draw parallels to things that still happen today, around 100 years later.

I did struggle with the way the story flow of the book was chopped up. The author went backward and forward across the time line even in the same chapter and more than once it pushed me out of my momentum so it took longer to read than it might have otherwise.

I find this book more interesting based on the simple fact that I, and my parents and my sisters family, live very near where these things took place. When I mentioned this book or folks in this area saw the cover they generally had some knowledge already about the famous Jim Thorpe. There is a lingering sense of pride even after those same 100 years and all the related issues.

IF you happen to be near the central Pennsylvania area you will find this book of interest. Some of the places mentioned are still around. If you’re a fan of football as it is played today, it is worth digging into this story to get a sense of why the game is what it is and how we’ve landed where we are. I’ve heard other versions of Pop Warner’s story, not in connection with Jim Thorpe and it interests me to see the contrasts. A different view point is always good to have. I Recommend this book based on those particulars.

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