• Book Love,  Magpie Reviews

    Book Review – Dragon Age: Last Flight by Laine Merciel

    Dragon Age: Last Flight is yet another book set in the world of the Dragon Age video games. Using a nested narrative, it provides an engaging look into the history of Thedas without becoming too much like reading a giant codex. I will start right off the bat by saying that this is, hands down, the best of the Dragon Age novels that I’ve read so far. I’ve read both The Calling and Asunder, and Last Flight comes in as most entertaining and engaging, by far. It is also, strangely enough, the only one that was not written by a member of the Dragon Age writing team. Now it’s hard…

  • Book Love,  Magpie Reviews

    Book Review – Dragon Age: Asunder by David Gaider

    So I finished this book earlier last year, but never got around to posting about it. Asunder is a book from the Dragon Age universe – a video game world which, if you’ve been around here for any length of time, you’ve probably learned that I have have an unhealthy love for. I love the setting, I love the characters, I love the stories (mostly) and I even love the flaws because of the discourse it creates. And Asunder, like The Calling before it, is a nice little romp through a world I love. It serves as an origin story for the character of Cole from Dragon Age: Inquisition, and…

  • Book Love,  Magpie Reviews

    Book Review – Attack on Titan: Lost Girls

    Attack on Titan: Lost Girls is an English Language translation of the Japanese Light Novel of the same title. Those of you who have been around for a while know that I really enjoyed AoT as an anime series, and since watching I’ve been keeping up with the Manga pretty consistently. The story is just so well crafted and suspense laden! But anyway, Jim picked this up for me as part of my Christmas present, and I sped through it pretty quickly over the course of Christmas eve and Christmas day. Being a light novel, it’s a rather quick read – I think it took me maybe two and a…

  • Book Love,  History Love,  Magpie Reviews

    Book Review – Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War by Mary Roach

    Can I just tell you how much I love Mary Roach? Because I love Mary Roach. I bought her newest book Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War a few months back as a father’s day present for my dad. My dad an I share a common interest in military history, and this seemed like it would be right up his alley as well – seeing as how he is also a scientist. I’ve read a few of Roach’s books in the past (Stiff was particularly fascinating), and I knew I too would love this book. My original intent was to wait until it came out in paperback to…

  • Book Love,  History Love,  Magpie Reviews

    Book Review: Band of Brothers by Stephen E. Ambrose

    You know, it’s about time I read this. I have seen the series a bunch of times (I’ve rewatched it more than once since my last big rewatch as a historian, which you can read about here), I’ve at this point read several of the guys’ autobiographies, with more of them on my TBR list – but I never actually bothered reading the source material. I went in kind of expecting the worst to be honest. I’ve read a number of online reviews of the book that hammer hard on the fact that Ambrose didn’t really seem to use much reference material beyond the company memory books, newsletters, and interviews,…

  • Book Love,  Magpie Reviews,  Nerdery,  Purchases

    Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: Review

    So look what I bought and read yesterday! Warning: Spoilers, ahoy – so scroll no further if you haven’t read it yet and don’t wish to be spoiled (although they will be on the mild side). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Okay, so last warning, seriously, there be spoilers ahead… . . . . . Alright. So. I kind of really liked it, and I wasn’t really expecting to. Let me explain. I was kind of disappointed when they announced it was simply going to be a release of the play script instead of a novelization but frankly I wasn’t…

  • Book Love,  History Love,  Magpie Reviews,  Nerdery

    Mid-January Pleasure Reading Update

    So far so good on the whole “read more” goal. As of right now, I’ve already finished two books for pleasure this year (although technically the first one was started in the final days of 2015 – but I’m still counting it). I don’t feel like either book is really worthy of it’s own separate review post, as one was just kind of frivolous fun, and the other, well, wasn’t great… so I think mini-reviews will do the trick nicely. The first book is Stanley Weintraub’s 11 Days in December: Christmas at the Bulge, 1944. I bought this a couple of years ago after I read his Pearl Harbor Christmas,…

  • Book Love,  History Love,  Magpie Reviews

    All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque

    God, I forgot how soul sucking this book was. I decided on a whim as Jim and I were perusing through the bookstore weekend before last to pick up a copy of All Quiet on the Western Front. I had read it in college as part of one of my core History classes – back when my head was filled with dreams of being a famous novelist and History was just something interesting and extra to fill spots in my course schedule – and had enjoyed it then. Even then I was drawn to the dark and brutal honesty of the prose. But once I was finished, I promptly put…

  • Book Love,  History Love

    Quickie Book Review: A Land As God Made It

    A Land As God Made It: Jamestown and the Birth of America is a book that I picked up on a whim about two or three years ago during the going-out-of-business sale at our local Borders. Jamestown is not necessarily a topic that I’m totally crazy about – in general early British colonization is not really my thing when it comes to reading for pleasure. But it was like, 75% off, and it is a topic I have to teach about every year, so I figured “why not?” Since then I’ve tried picking it up several times, only to get about 15 pages in before I put it down and…

  • Book Love,  Life

    Torn…

    So yesterday I went grocery shopping, and as I was passing by the book section in our Wegman’s (love Wegman’s) I ended up spending literally 10 minutes fighting with myself about whether to buy and read The Fault in Our Stars. I kept picking it up, and putting it down again. Picking it up, reading the back cover, and putting it down again. Picking it back up, putting it in my cart, walking three steps before shaking my head and putting it back. In the end I ended up leaving without it because I remembered my no-book pledge and forced myself to just walk away. But I’m still torn about…