Reading Roundup – 18th October 2013
Reading Roundup / October 18, 2013

As I am moving onto a month of nightshift work this week, I will be primarily listening to audiobooks.  I’ve used Amazon’s Matchmaker page to pair up some of the books in my TBR with Audible books so I might be able to get through some of them. This week has been more of a re-reading week in preparation for some upcoming new releases.  The first of these was Sapphire Blue from Kerstin Gier’s Gem Trilogy. [book-info] I have read all three books in the Gem Trilogy, although the third one I read in German some while ago – I shared my thoughts in my Emerald Green review.  My German is good, but I’m sure I’ll have missed a few things, so I am looking forward to reading Anthea Bell’s translation which is excellent.  Having compared the translations of the two earlier books, she has really captured Gwyneth’s spirit and humour.  As it’s been a while, I’m rereading Sapphire Blue to refresh my memory before jumping into Emerald Green.  I’d forgotten just how adorable Gwyneth is! Insurgent by Veronica Roth Series: Divergent Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult Format: eBook Pages: 544 pages Buy from Amazon • Kobo • iTunes • Audible • Next…

Reading Roundup – 18th October 2013
Reading Roundup / October 18, 2013

As I am moving onto a month of nightshift work this week, I will be primarily listening to audiobooks.  I’ve used Amazon’s Matchmaker page to pair up some of the books in my TBR with Audible books so I might be able to get through some of them. This week has been more of a re-reading week in preparation for some upcoming new releases.  The first of these was Sapphire Blue from Kerstin Gier’s Gem Trilogy. [book-info] I have read all three books in the Gem Trilogy, although the third one I read in German some while ago – I shared my thoughts in my Emerald Green review.  My German is good, but I’m sure I’ll have missed a few things, so I am looking forward to reading Anthea Bell’s translation which is excellent.  Having compared the translations of the two earlier books, she has really captured Gwyneth’s spirit and humour.  As it’s been a while, I’m rereading Sapphire Blue to refresh my memory before jumping into Emerald Green.  I’d forgotten just how adorable Gwyneth is! Insurgent by Veronica Roth Series: Divergent Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult Format: eBook Pages: 544 pages Buy from Amazon • Kobo • iTunes • Audible • Next…

Kindle Fire HDX now available in Canada
e-Reader Reviews / October 17, 2013

So Amazon has finally released the new Kindle Fire HDXs internationally, including Canada.  It will ship in late November.  While it’s great that we only had to wait a month after our US cousins, I did notice however that one of the major new innovations for the HDX is not available in Canada – there is no mention of the MayDay button…  MayDay is available in the UK.  Presumably the French language requirement is preventing its being available in Canada. There are still no movies available to Canadians, no Kindle Owners’ Lending Library and no Kindle Freetime, which is now being offered to other international purchasers.  Still at least we Canadians now have the opportunity to check out the device.  I will, of course, report back on it once I receive it.

Kindle Fire HDX now available in Canada
e-Reader Reviews / October 17, 2013

So Amazon has finally released the new Kindle Fire HDXs internationally, including Canada.  It will ship in late November.  While it’s great that we only had to wait a month after our US cousins, I did notice however that one of the major new innovations for the HDX is not available in Canada – there is no mention of the MayDay button…  MayDay is available in the UK.  Presumably the French language requirement is preventing its being available in Canada. There are still no movies available to Canadians, no Kindle Owners’ Lending Library and no Kindle Freetime, which is now being offered to other international purchasers.  Still at least we Canadians now have the opportunity to check out the device.  I will, of course, report back on it once I receive it.

One Great Year by Tamara Veitch – Review
Book Reviews , eBook reviews / October 16, 2013

One Great Year tells the story of lovers Marcus and Theron and spurned suitor Helghul who are from the lost world of Atitala (Atlantis).  Marcus and Theron take on the role of Emissary, spiritual guide and leader to guide the world through One Great Year, the countless millennia while the world moves from a dark Iron Age to turn once again to a Golden Age.  Helghul acts as the counterbalance to this goal.   After the initial setup, for a good three quarters of this book I became increasingly frustrated and disengaged.  My biggest issue was that I really, really didn’t like the protagonist, Marcus.  He starts off the book as whiny and self absorbed, unable to look beyond the separation from his love.  Several millennia and several cyclical regenerations later, the book finds him still whiny, still self absorbed and still obsessed with Theron.  What made it worse for me was his neglect of his sacred duty as Emissary – I had the impression that, as far as he was concerned, the world could turn to custard if he could be with his Theron.  I became really frustrated at the lack of character development for Marcus.   In terms…

One Great Year by Tamara Veitch – Review
Book Reviews , eBook reviews / October 16, 2013

One Great Year tells the story of lovers Marcus and Theron and spurned suitor Helghul who are from the lost world of Atitala (Atlantis).  Marcus and Theron take on the role of Emissary, spiritual guide and leader to guide the world through One Great Year, the countless millennia while the world moves from a dark Iron Age to turn once again to a Golden Age.  Helghul acts as the counterbalance to this goal.   After the initial setup, for a good three quarters of this book I became increasingly frustrated and disengaged.  My biggest issue was that I really, really didn’t like the protagonist, Marcus.  He starts off the book as whiny and self absorbed, unable to look beyond the separation from his love.  Several millennia and several cyclical regenerations later, the book finds him still whiny, still self absorbed and still obsessed with Theron.  What made it worse for me was his neglect of his sacred duty as Emissary – I had the impression that, as far as he was concerned, the world could turn to custard if he could be with his Theron.  I became really frustrated at the lack of character development for Marcus.   In terms…

My Eight Top Audible narrators
Miscellaneous / October 14, 2013

As many of you know, I am a big fan of audiobooks.  I find though that I am very sensitive to the quality of the narrator.  Much of the time I will choose whether to buy a book in Audible format or Kindle format based on the Audible sample.  A great narrator can bring a whole extra dimension to a book, and so I thought I’d share some of my favourite narrators with you. James Marsters Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files is narrated by James Marsters whose narrative style fits perfectly the jaded, harassed attitude of Chicago’s only consulting wizard.  He doesn’t do distinct character voices to the extent of some narrators, but when Marsters is narrating he IS Harry Dresden.  This is one series that is definitely best experienced in audio format.  Check out a sample here: Nathaniel Parker At the helm of the Artemis Fowl series is Nathaniel Parker.  I’ve grown quite fond of narrators who have different voices for the different characters and Parker is one of the very best.  I adore his Irish accent for Artemis and if memory serves he has even distinguished between an Australian and New Zealand accent.  You can find a sample here…

My Eight Top Audible narrators
Miscellaneous / October 14, 2013

As many of you know, I am a big fan of audiobooks.  I find though that I am very sensitive to the quality of the narrator.  Much of the time I will choose whether to buy a book in Audible format or Kindle format based on the Audible sample.  A great narrator can bring a whole extra dimension to a book, and so I thought I’d share some of my favourite narrators with you. James Marsters Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files is narrated by James Marsters whose narrative style fits perfectly the jaded, harassed attitude of Chicago’s only consulting wizard.  He doesn’t do distinct character voices to the extent of some narrators, but when Marsters is narrating he IS Harry Dresden.  This is one series that is definitely best experienced in audio format.  Check out a sample here: Nathaniel Parker At the helm of the Artemis Fowl series is Nathaniel Parker.  I’ve grown quite fond of narrators who have different voices for the different characters and Parker is one of the very best.  I adore his Irish accent for Artemis and if memory serves he has even distinguished between an Australian and New Zealand accent.  You can find a sample here…

Reading Roundup – 11th October 2013
Reading Roundup / October 11, 2013

This week on my reading roundup I will be discussing some non-book format but book related content.  The first of these is the movie Rubinrot, which is the German made adaptation of Kerstin Gier’s Ruby Red. Rubinrot (Ruby Red) Movie directed by Felix FuchssteinerSeries: Gem TrilogyGenres: Epic FantasyFormat: Blu Ray DVD Starring: Jannis Niewöhner, Maria EhrichLength: 122 minutes Buy from Amazon •  One of the trilogies I’ve loved most this year has been Kerstin Gier’s Gem trilogy.   I was very excited to hear that they were making a movie of it.  First the practicalities.  I live in Canada, so I was concerned that a Blu Ray bought from Amazon Germany would not play on my North American Blu Ray device.  However Rubinrot is sold region free in Blu Ray (DVD is European region locked).  It also comes with the English dubbed soundtrack.  I had no issues playing it on my Blu Ray player.   I loved this movie.  The script and casting were excellent.  Maria Ehrich really captures Gwyneth’s humour and spirit.  I found myself liking Jannis Niewöhner’s portrayal of Gideon much more than I liked the character in the book.  Even the smaller roles are perfectly cast – most notable for me…

Reading Roundup – 11th October 2013
Reading Roundup / October 11, 2013

This week on my reading roundup I will be discussing some non-book format but book related content.  The first of these is the movie Rubinrot, which is the German made adaptation of Kerstin Gier’s Ruby Red. Rubinrot (Ruby Red) Movie directed by Felix FuchssteinerSeries: Gem TrilogyGenres: Epic FantasyFormat: Blu Ray DVD Starring: Jannis Niewöhner, Maria EhrichLength: 122 minutes Buy from Amazon •  One of the trilogies I’ve loved most this year has been Kerstin Gier’s Gem trilogy.   I was very excited to hear that they were making a movie of it.  First the practicalities.  I live in Canada, so I was concerned that a Blu Ray bought from Amazon Germany would not play on my North American Blu Ray device.  However Rubinrot is sold region free in Blu Ray (DVD is European region locked).  It also comes with the English dubbed soundtrack.  I had no issues playing it on my Blu Ray player.   I loved this movie.  The script and casting were excellent.  Maria Ehrich really captures Gwyneth’s humour and spirit.  I found myself liking Jannis Niewöhner’s portrayal of Gideon much more than I liked the character in the book.  Even the smaller roles are perfectly cast – most notable for me…