Category: Books


Review: Germany: Memories of a Nation

Posted 17 October, 2018 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

Germany: Memories of a Nation
By: Neil MacGregor
Format/Source: Paperback; my purchase

Whilst Germany’s past is too often seen through the prism of the two World Wars, this series investigates a wider six hundred-year-old history of the nation through its objects. It examines the key moments that have defined Germany’s past its great, world-changing achievements and its devastating tragedies and it explores the profound influence that Germany’s history, culture, and inventiveness have had across Europe.

I believe I first came across this book as it was reviewed on The Economist. I think. Anyway this isn’t the first time I’ve encountered the topic of examining German history from its artefacts and cultural products; I first came across this approach in grad school when we were discussing Germany in the post-Berlin Wall period. The perspective is interesting, and in a way more tangible in determining the changes and character associated with a people’s history and identity. So I was pretty excited to check out this book.

Read More

Review: Dark Orbit

Posted 15 October, 2018 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

Dark Orbit
By: Carolyn Ives Gilman
Format/Source: Paperback; my purchase

Reports of a strange, new habitable planet have reached the Twenty Planets of human civilization. When a team of scientists is assembled to investigate this world, exoethnologist Sara Callicot is recruited to keep an eye on an unstable crewmate. Thora was once a member of the interplanetary elite, but since her prophetic delusions helped mobilize a revolt on Orem, she’s been banished to the farthest reaches of space, because of the risk that her very presence could revive unrest.

Upon arrival, the team finds an extraordinary crystalline planet, laden with dark matter. Then a crew member is murdered and Thora mysteriously disappears. Thought to be uninhabited, the planet is in fact home to a blind, sentient species whose members navigate their world with a bizarre vocabulary and extrasensory perceptions.

Lost in the deep crevasses of the planet among these people, Thora must battle her demons and learn to comprehend the native inhabitants in order to find her crewmates and warn them of an impending danger. But her most difficult task may lie in persuading the crew that some powers lie beyond the boundaries of science.

The premise of this book sounded interesting so I kept it on my wishlist some time ago. Came across the book again some time ago and decided to pick it up on a whim; was in the mood for some science fiction as well as a break from all of my school readings.

Read More

With Quiet Ardency — Giveaway!

Posted 7 October, 2018 by Lianne in Books, Writing / 1 Comment

I actually meant to post this a few days ago but I’ve been so busy these last few weeks that I just didn’t get around to it >_< Anyway, my latest poetry collection, With Quiet Ardency, is available online now on all book retailer websites (Amazon, the Book Depository, etc.) as well as Lulu.com. It’s a poetry collection that’s a bit more personal and due to a number of setbacks and emotional upheaval, the release was delayed for some time. More about the book in this blog post but it’s available now, haha.

I actually hosted a giveaway on my poetry IG account a while ago in celebration of its release but I’m hosting a giveaway here as well 🙂 This contest is open internationally and will run from 07 October to 14 October 2018 @ 11:59PM EST. Please use a valid email address when you enter in the Rafflecopter below. The will be contacted the following day and they will have 24 hours to claim their prize or I will raffle another winner.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Please let me know if you have any questions about the contest and whatnot. Good luck! 🙂

Also, just a heads up, for the month of October, my books Shall I Be a Poet Instead? and With Quiet Ardency, are 30% off over at Lulu.com 🙂 Please check it out!

Review: On Writing

Posted 20 September, 2018 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft
By: Stephen King
Format/Source: Paperback; my purchase

“Long live the King” hailed Entertainment Weekly upon publication of Stephen King’s On Writing. Part memoir, part master class by one of the bestselling authors of all time, this superb volume is a revealing and practical view of the writer’s craft, comprising the basic tools of the trade every writer must have. King’s advice is grounded in his vivid memories from childhood through his emergence as a writer, from his struggling early career to his widely reported, near-fatal accident in 1999–and how the inextricable link between writing and living spurred his recovery. Brilliantly structured, friendly and inspiring, On Writing will empower and entertain everyone who reads it–fans, writers, and anyone who loves a great story well told.

I haven’t read much of Stephen King’s works although his stories are well known and I’m aware of many that he’s written. I’ve often seen On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft in many lists about the craft of writing so it’s long been on my list of books to check out. I suppose after experiencing a bit of a frustrating drought on writing recently I decided to pick this book up to spur my creativity onward.

What can I say about this book? He does a wonderful job of weaving lessons on writing with his own experiences and journeys as a writer, providing examples, and giving sage advice that he had learned over the years. I didn’t know much about Stephen King’s life and how long he had been writing, so I learned quite a bit there as well. For fans and readers of his book, this book is quite the treat in that he gives a behind-the-scenes insight to his novels, where he got some inspiration from for some of his novels, and so forth (I’m always a bit fan of reading the behind-the-scenes stuff). From a writer’s perspective though this book is quite comforting: he’s straight-up about his advice, but at the same time he reminds the writer that you’re writing to write, you’re writing for yourself, that you make the rules because it’s you putting down those words.

All in all, I really enjoyed reading On Writing. Part memoir, part writing advice, an excellent read all around.

Rating: ★★★★★

Visit the author’s official website || Order this book from the Book Depository

Review: Mikhail and Margarita

Posted 14 September, 2018 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

Mikhail and Margarita
By: Julie Kestrom Himes
Format/Source: Paperback; my purchase

It is 1933 and Mikhail Bulgakov’s enviable career is on the brink of being dismantled. His friend and mentor, the poet Osip Mandelstam, has been arrested, tortured, and sent into exile. Meanwhile, a mysterious agent of the secret police has developed a growing obsession with exposing Bulgakov as an enemy of the state. To make matters worse, Bulgakov has fallen in love with the dangerously candid Margarita. Facing imminent arrest, and infatuated with Margarita, he is inspired to write his masterpiece, The Master and Margarita, a scathing novel critical of both power and the powerful.

The Master and Margarita was never my favourite Soviet novel; I had read it twice and it just never struck me one way or the other. I do however appreciate why it was seen as a sharp appraisal of the Soviet regime and its lackeys and I was curious to read this book because it was looking at the author behind the book and the people he associated with.

Read More