TBR – The Fire in the Rock by Charles Henderson Norman

A TALE YOU HAVE NEVER HEARD It’s a story that has become legend. The burning bush. The plagues on Egypt. The parting of the Red Sea. The Ten Commandments. But before he was Moses, he was Kisil — a wanderer, an almost-ordinary man, both doubting and driven. And before she was the wife of a prophet, she was Tzipporah — the fierce, faithful woman who lent her wisdom and courage when his faltered. This is not a story of miracles and wonders. This is the story of a man and a woman — and of the love that brought them together and sustained them as they defied a king, freed a people, and changed the world. — My book is the first attempt, in a work of fiction, to address the facts that are now known about a cataclysmic volcanic eruption that took place in the eastern Med at about the time of the Exodus. The Fire in the Rock is an attempt to tell this story as it might really have happened — with no “miracles,” only natural, if unusual, events; and, perhaps more to the point, God does not appear. He remains “offstage,” so to speak, present and active only in the hopes — and doubts! — of the people of that time, as He is in our own. Since the book generally pleases neither the conservative religious nor the secular atheist, it has not yet found an audience; even so, I am certain that one day it will. All that said, this book is by no means a dry theological treatise! Indeed, it is more a love story than anything else; an intimate look at Moses the man, as known by the narrator — his lover, wife and widow, Tzipporah. We see Moses (whose name was not Moses) as he very likely was, if there was such a man; a lifelong wanderer, haunted by guilt and riven by doubts, a man without a home and without a people. Even though he is not entirely convinced of the existence — or even of the importance! — of any God, he is still driven by a passionate devotion to the Good, the True, the Just — and ultimately, by his love for Tzipporah herself, and for their family. The novel is an attempt to tell the story of these “Bible characters” as actual, real people, and neither icons, nor superheroes, nor cartoons. After receiving a starred review, The Fire in the Rock was named to Kirkus Reviews’ list of the Best Books of 2016.

…But does it still qualify as Christian Fiction? We’ll find out, haha.

View on Goodreads.

Book Review: Libraries Partnering with Self-publishing: a Winning Combination was kind of useless

I wasn’t too impressed with this one. It was more fluff than help – basic intro into things I feel like librarians could discover on their own if they are really interested. Without this book.

Half the book is just about the industry – traditional and self-publishing – when the title makes it seem like you should already know a bit about it (though why so much was spent on traditional, I do not know).

In parts, it speaks to self-publishers directly, but doesn’t tell them things like what the hell CIP data is or the routes librarians normally go through to purchase books. There’s no insider perspective here for the authors. ISBNs are covered. Big whoop.

And the book doesn’t really tell libraries how to do said discovering and selecting of self-published books. I got no new help from these pages.

There is plenty of focus on doing author events in libraries or how to set up self-publishing programs. But nothing – NOTHING – to help normalize the actual discovery of self-published authors. What’s more, libraries can’t seem to help indie authors without forcing them to “local” author duties. And even then the spotlight isn’t on their work but the fact they are indie or self-published or are part of “the community”…

That’s not a “winning combination.” It’s not doing a lot of normalizing for the authors or the books.

Let me give you an example: BiblioBoard’s Self-e program selects authors to showcase in it’s main curation and those that don’t make the cut (based on what standards, I do not know) are delegated to sub-packages based on state location. But guess what? If your state doesn’t have a library that subscribes to a sub-package, the “local” ebooks just sit there. Never being looked at. Wasted material. The “local” or “by location” mindset doesn’t do it for this librarian. I want to discover books from all over the world and use my own criteria to select those. Right now, the relationship between libraries and self-publishers is still very one-sided. Libraries are getting all the benefits: desperate authors coming through the door. Foot traffic. Being needed.

The power is still all in the library’s hands.

Sure, we’re giving it to the big publishers screwing over our patrons and stifling diverse voices. It’s great that libraries are trying to meet a community need/want. But I fail to see what the authors are getting out of this. It’s just giving them a hobby. Like genealogy.

What I hear: “Gottah keep the masses busy somehow. They’ve already finished researching their family tree. Why not tell them to write a book about it?” #UGH

Art shouldn’t be treated like genealogy.

We aren’t really making self-publishers more discoverable.

Current mood:

Maybe I wouldn’t have been so mad if this had been written more for librarians and not both parties.

There is a good chapter on open access in here, if you are wanting to look into scholarly self-publishing…Which I can get behind.


Dakota Access pipeline vandalized in two states – officials

Warrior Publications

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Is ‘The Girl With All The Gifts’ Antinatalist? – An Essay by G.B. Gabbler — Further Annotations

Introduction: If you don’t know what antinatalism is. We all know that I really. Hate. Natalism. And we all know that I recommended The Girl With All The Gifts. But does it pass my standards of being antinatalist? Let’s break it down. Spoilers from here on out, curious cats. Essay: In the film version of The Girl With All […]

via Is ‘The Girl With All The Gifts’ Antinatalist? – An Essay by G.B. Gabbler — Further Annotations

“A Broken Clock Is Right Two Times A Day, But This Is Not One of Those Times.” — My Geek Blasphemy

Last year, I re-watched Beauty and the Beast for the first time in ages. I picked at it, because that’s my thing, but I still loved it because I’ll always love it. I have massive little girl nostalgia for that movie. My interest in seeing the live-action Beauty and the Beast, meanwhile, was always pretty mild, […]

via “A Broken Clock Is Right Two Times A Day, But This Is Not One of Those Times.” — My Geek Blasphemy

TBR – Prison Made of Mirrors by Jennifer Loring

Aithne is a warrior kidnapped from her homeland during a Viking invasion and forced to marry her captor. Shortly before the raid that claims his life, she becomes pregnant with a child whom she believes cursed. Spurred by the dark sorcery she learns from relics her late husband’s mother left behind—including a magic mirror—Aithne descends into a madness that threatens not only her child’s life but also the lives of everyone around her.

Exiled by her mother, Brenna is taken in by a clan of dwarves who treat her like their own. They soon learn that no one is immune to Aithne’s lunacy—not even the prince to whom Brenna was once betrothed. Brenna must face and conquer death itself if she is to save the land that rightfully belongs to her, and to break her mother’s terrible spell on the man she loves.

So I’m really loving the Norse (?) spin on the whole Snow White thing.

View on Goodreads.

TBR – Foiled by Carey Fessler

It’s 1947 on a U.S. Army base near Roswell, New Mexico, and eleven-year-old Kate’s friend and neighbor, Billy, shows her a secret. A CIA agent arrives at Billy’s house, to recover the Top Secret items, and threatens the family, warning them to never talk about the incident—ever! Special Agent Falco informs them of their sudden reassignment to Germany. Billy, not wanting to move to Germany or return his treasures, begs Kate for help. Feisty and fiercely loyal, she agrees to hide him.

Thus begins a most unusual road trip in which the two friends use their wits, their knowledge of the terrain and geography around the base, and sheer determination to evade capture. Kate must also reach her grandfather, more than two hundred miles away, and warn him of a dangerous threat … to anyone involved.

Their race has begun, and there’s no turning back.

Kids messing with the CIA. I like it.

View on Goodreads.

TBR – End of The World: The Beginning by Nesly Clerge

The year is 2050. The Order of World Society governs the globe, the weather, the currency, and all facets of people’s lives. The Peace for All Agenda is anything but peaceful. Scientist Gayle Conyers’ life in this new societal structure is orderly, routine,focused, safe. Then it isn’t. A renowned scientist forces her to work on a secret project that goes against her ethics and the Order. A protester warns her about the Order’s web of deception and the approaching end of days. Gayle soon finds herself with a foot in two worlds: A scientific realm that intends to alter humanity for all time, and a spiritual one, where she’s enmeshed in stories of prophecy, destruction, and the Apocalypse. Gayle remains skeptical. Until the event that stuns the world, one that causes her to face the realization that this may, indeed, be the beginning of the end.

Woman scientist? Cool, cool, cool.  Also, seems like Christian Fiction. Read the comments on Amazon for more info.

Buy on Amazon.

Book Review: Poetic Animals and Animal Souls


This book is a DNF for me and I’m sorry for it. It’s me. Not this book. Also, it’s an inter-library loan with a due date so I didn’t feel I could devote enough time to it.

I got about halfway through — and it is a skinny book — but realized I don’t have the mind enough to finish it. It is a struggle for me to digest most poetry, and being unfamiliar with a lot of the poets and poems Malamud highlights I just didn’t feel like I could critique this book properly.

Although, I did like what I did read — I did learn some things. I love Malamud’s approach and his observations.  Here’s some quotes that I took away from the book:

“As an example of how people relate to animals across this frontier, in which solely human consideration mediate the encounter, consider the logic underlying the exhibition of captive animals in zoos. Keepers remind spectators that many of the animals on display cannot survive in their native environments, which have been desecrated; thus zoos are supposed to testify to our society’s benevolent concern for these animals taken into protective custody in a small, artificial compound far from their natural habitat…How exactly did we the animals’ habitats get destroyed? What cultural dynamics connect the destruction of animal habitats and the enjoyment that we reap as we bring these animals…into our ken, surrounded by souvenirs, popcorn, parking lots…”

“The disinterest in looking at bugs is probably related to the interest in looking at lions: people flock to zoos to see what we shouldn’t see — see what we’re not meant to see in our own native habitats and environs. The corollary of the craving to know animals that don’t belong in our ken of perception is the resistance to knowing the animals that do belong around us. Bugs, squirrels, pigeons: dull, low-rent attractions.”

“The more determination we exert trying to get to know animals in the way that we know the tings in our world, heedless of their own independent existence and integrity and process, the more we are disappointed by the failure to achieve this. They will defy being known in that way — and so we can either “mis-know” them: capture them, punish them, tame them, put them in cages, humiliate them, marginalize them..or, as Heaney does here, we can confront the limits of our epistemologies: we can stop our heroic march toward omniscience and unbounded experiential conquest, and pause to reflect on what it means for us to know (or try to know) animals.”