Went on a work trip and one of my bosses, who knows I like space opera lent me Elizabeth Moon’s Hunting Party. This is the first book in the Serrano Legacy series. Hunting Party is an interesting mixture of old traditions and new technology, tossed with generational conflict, and strong female characters.
Heris Serrano has been forced to resign her commission from the Regular Space Service, for failure to follow the self-indulgent and destructive orders of Admiral Lepescu. Cecelia is the rich older lady space yachet owner who has just given her a job. Of course the Sweet Delight, offers some unexpected challenges to our space captain. Cecelia and Heris find themselves in companionable friendship, making a bet that each learn more about each others dreams and priorities. On board we also find Cecelia’s spoiled brat nephew along with his friends who are entering their own coming of age trials. Young women becoming more than they ever thought they could be when tested by evil and their environment. All this is played out against a background of fox hunting amid a space port that looks every bit like a castle. It’s the stuff space adventure is made of, toss in a little unsuspected romance, and you’ve got yourself a nice long airplane ride read.
I see a lot of whining on Amazon about it not being a great book, blah, blah, blah. Every book doesn’t need to be great. This is a good read if you like the space opera experience. Good enough for me to find more in the series. Now that I’ve finished book one I’m ready for more. I would recommend this title to female young adult readers for a glimpse at a genre that gives them a strong voice.
To give you a feel for her work, try out this audio of Elizabeth Moon reading from Hunting Party. This is a piece starting with Ronnie (Cecelia’s nephew) trying to rescue his friend George before the hunters get to him.
Tony Williams’s America’s Beginnings: the Dramatic Events that Shaped a Nation’s Character satisfies two goals. It provides the basics on important events that influenced the early nation and continue to shape us today. And it also serves as a springboard for further exploration and study.
Indeed, the entries on each event are so brief—no more than two to three pages—that many readers will probably come away with even more questions that need answering. And that, of course, can lead to a very good thing!
Also included are other events that are less well-known, (or is it just me who wasn’t paying attention in history class), like Shays’ Rebellion, an uprising that lead to calls for a stronger national government.
Even the Salem Witch Trials are included, since they have come to symbolize intolerance and persecution. And Ben Franklin and his Lightning Rod make the list since Franklin “would later use the fame he had acquired as a scientist to advance America’s struggle for liberty on the global stage.”
It’s a great gathering of events for budding historians or anyone who seeks a handy reference companion on Early American history.
Williams wrote the book in association with Colonial Williamsburg, the worlds largest living history museum.
I came across a bit of news from the world of books and reading this weekend. Here are the goodies that I thought deserved a pass-along…
The Google ebookstore is officially open. An earlier news report mentioned that Google ebooks could be read on Amazon’s Kindle. I thought that was odd, and turns out, it was. Kindle is not mentioned in the list of supported devices. But the iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, the Sonny e-reader, Barnes & Noble’s Nook, and Android devices are. There’s even a web reader so you can read “on the cloud.” (Reading on a cloud sounds like a great kids fantasy, but, of course, we’re talking about a computer cloud.) Google says it has the largest selection of books, now. Plus, they’re partnering with independent booksellers, which could be a very good thing. Now it’s time to sit back and watch the e-book war among Google, Amazon and a few other players.
Another site launches today, one that’s geared for the literary teen set: Figment.com.This New York Times article describes it as a social network for young-adult fiction. It’s a place for teens to read, write and discover new content. (It’s also a place for publishers to see what teens want to read.) Wonder what S.E. Hinton would have made of this if Figment had exsisted back when she was a teenager?
‘Tis the Season for Cookbooks! OK, I don’t even cook, but I have a sister who loves to try out new recipies. So, in searching for some possible gift ideas, I discovered hese top ten cookbook lists!
The Washington Post’s Top Cookbooks of 2010
bon appetit’s Favorite Cookbooks of 2010
2010′s Best Cookbooks, courtesy of NPR.
Hope everyone has a very happy week of December 6!
I love browsing big box bookstores like Barnes & Noble and Borders, and I like looking up books online, but I still love my Independent Booksellers. Yep, it’s great having the big boys in town, but we have to remember those local book-loving entrepreneurs who made sure we had a place to buy books before the corporations discovered the Oklahoma market. They’re still great places to discover new authors and pick up favorite reads.
This article from the Tulsa World is a great round up of local bookstores in T-town, (including one of our all-time favorites, Steve’s Sundry, Books and Magazines), and even includes some shout-outs to local booksellers from the past. Remember Novel Idea? Was that a cool store, or what?!
There are other great independent booksellers around the state, and it’s a great time of year to throw your patronage their way.
Here are some links to some of our other favorite local booksellers. Be sure and tell ‘em the Okie Reads blog sent you!
Brace Books & More is a Ponca City institution, and it sells much more than just books. It’s a good place to see and be seen while you’re browsing the aisles with a hot cup of coffee.
Best of Books in Edmond turned 26 years old this year! Julie and staff are always ready to help you find the right book, whether for you or as a gift. They’ll even wrap your holiday gift for free. Plus, they are big supporters of the annual Oklahoma Book Awards each year.
Could we be more in love with Full Circle Bookstore in Oklahoma City? Probably not. It’s our favorite for discovering classics, Oklahoma authors, and the latest fiction and non-fiction bestsellers.
If you’re looking for used and rare books in OKC, be sure and make a stop at Aladdin Book Shope. I remember the big old store that used to be on 23rd Street. You’ll now find it at Mayfair.
OK, folks… now it’s your turn. What Oklahoma Independent Booksellers do you love?
Literary Kitty says the only thing as good as reading books is reading about books. He dropped off this site and danced a jig before rushing out the door to do whatever he does when he’s not researching sites for us.
After perusing the site, I can tell why he’s excited about the Huffington Post Books Page. Not only does this site offer original columns, it has links to reviews, controversies, book lists, reading technologies, the strange and unusual, and much more.
Here’s a quick sampling of the wonders found on the HP Books Page:
• Artist Frank Parker’s daughter considers her father’s lifelong friendship with tortured confessional poet Robert Lowell, a man Parker called “the most unlovable man ever.”
• The New York Times names its 10 Best Books of 2010.
• Great art books for give for the Christmas holiday.
• Kurt Vonnegut returns to Indianapolis. (Well, not really, of course. But, sorta.)
• An indie bookseller launches this anti-Amazon blog.
And we’ve barely scratched the surface! Do not pass go. Go immediately to the HP Books Page, and have a great time!