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Recent Books Read

It’s been quite some time since I posted any book reviews. Here are some quick thoughts about a few of the books that I have read lately.

Zoo City by Lauren Beukes

This is an Urban fantasy with familiars, which is very different from what I normally read. It takes place in present day South Africa, but a very different present day. Those who kill someone suddenly acquire animal familiars, although I really didn’t understand why or how. It was an intriguing book, but I spent so much trying to figure out the different world that Zinzi December inhabits that it interfered with my ability to follow the storyline. And the ending happened very quickly, very oddly, and most unexpectedly. I’m uncertain if I will read another such book or not.

How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had It Coming by Mike Brown

This is an excellent book and very accessible to the non-science person. It is as much a memoir as a science book. I especially enjoyed his mentions of teaching sign language to his infant daughter and then their subsequent “conversations” about the moon. I would definitely recommend this book.


The Arthur Trilogy by Kevin Crossley-Holland
The Seeing Stone, Book 1
At the Crossing Places, Book 2
King of the Middle March, Book 3

The target audience for this series is 9 -12. The book jumps back and forth between two Arthur’s – our main character, 13th century Arthur who becomes first a squire and eventually travels on a crusade and is knighted, and King Arthur and tales of the Knights of the Round Table. If you are really into Arthur mythos, this series would be more interesting, I think. For myself, the story of 12th century Arthur would have been interesting enough.

Daughters of the Grail by Elizabeth Chadwick

I enjoyed this historical novel about the Inquisition and Crusade against the Cathar Religion in 13th century France. The characters were very believable and the history of that time period is always interesting.

The Scarlet Lion and The Greatest Knight by Elizabeth Chadwick

The second two books in a trilogy of historical novels about William Marshal, England’s greatest knight. I enjoyed these two books and would highly recommend them to anyone interested in 12th century France and England, chivalry, jousting, tourneys, King Richard the Lionhearted, and King John. I have read almost all of Elizabeth Chadwick’s historical fiction and these are hands down the best.

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