The Unbroken Web by Richard Adams (Author of Watership Down). A fantastic collection of Stories and Fables from cultures around the world, retold by Adams. I love how he set each story in a scene so the storyteller has a specific person as an audience, and often a dialect as well. The book contains 20 stories. If you enjoy reading folktales and like mythology, this book is for you. FIVE stars.
Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert. There are always classics I haven’t read, and I try to get to a couple of them every year. The satirical nature of this book crosses 150 years and a language translation pretty well, and while perhaps the wit is more elusive for me than Mark Twain’s work, Flaubert still resonates. I appreciated the footnotes and recommend people get a copy with additional contextual help. If you consider yourself a well-read reader but haven’t read Flaubert yet, this book is for you. Four and a half stars.
Scarlet, by Stephen R. Lawhead. This is the 2nd book in Lawhead’s trilogy retelling of the Robin Hood myth. I really like the direction he took with the myth, and the second book is all right, although he switches to first-person for much of this book and it doesn’t feel as strong as book 1. If you’re a Robin Hood fan this series is for you; several of the recent movies about Robin Hood haven’t been worth watching. Someone should make a Robin Hood movie from Lawhead’s version. I think I’ll keep my eyes out for book 3 and see how he wraps it up. Four stars.
Job: A Comedy of Justice, by Robert A Heinlein. Science fiction with a main character moving through life trying to get home to Kansas, but ends up shifting to alternate universes over and over, constantly finding himself with US Dollars that no longer work. Since the main character is from a version of the USA that is very religious, he tends to have conservative worldviews and the book digs into concepts of heaven and hell. I enjoyed the premise at the beginning and felt it went off the rails later on. If you like sci-fi and have a fascination with end times and the rapture, this book is for you. Three stars.
INDIE author. Blood Sapphire’s Revenge, by Dr. Bruce Farmer. I listened to this on Audiobook while walking, which isn’t my preferred method but I wanted to give this indie author a shot on my reading list, as I know his publisher. Here is a book for Tom Clancy fans. I felt the description of guns and so forth overbearing at times, the bad guy is holding a semiautomatic blah blah — he’s shooting at you, who cares what kind of gun. The author relies a bit too much on coincidence for characters to bump into one another. There’s a fair amount of graphic content, both violence and sex. If you’re a Tom Clancy fan and like to know exactly what kind of weaponry people are using and how they are training, and you like it gory, this book is for you. Go for a print version rather than audiobook, the sound quality is solid but the reading is stilted. Three stars.