‘Everfair’ Book Review

Mount Readmore Book Review, 2017 70/100


Everfair By Nisi Shawl

Audiobook edition, Narrated by Allyson Johnson

Finished on 7/21/2017


Description: An alternate history / historical fantasy / steampunk novel set in the Belgian Congo, from noted short story writer Nisi Shawl.

Everfair is a wonderful Neo-Victorian alternate history novel that explores the question of what might have come of Belgium’s disastrous colonization of the Congo if the native populations had learned about steam technology a bit earlier. Fabian Socialists from Great Britian join forces with African-American missionaries to purchase land from the Belgian Congo’s “owner,” King Leopold II. This land, named Everfair, is set aside as a safe haven, an imaginary Utopia for native populations of the Congo as well as escaped slaves returning from America and other places where African natives were being mistreated.

Shawl’s speculative masterpiece manages to turn one of the worst human rights disasters on record into a marvelous and exciting exploration of the possibilities inherent in a turn of history. Everfair is told from a multiplicity of voices: Africans, Europeans, East Asians, and African Americans in complex relationships with one another, in a compelling range of voices that have historically been silenced. Everfair is not only a beautiful book but an educational and inspiring one that will give the reader new insight into an often ignored period of history.

Genres: Fantasy, Steam Punk, Alternate History, Victorian, WWI

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‘The Well at World’s End: One Man’s Epic Cross-Continental Quest for the Fountain of Youth’ Book Review

Mount Readmore Book Review, 2017 69/100


The Well at World’s End: One Man’s Epic Cross-Continental Quest for the Fountain of Youth By A. J. Mackinnon

Audiobook edition

Finished on 7/15/2017


Description: When A. J. Mackinnon quits his job in Australia, he knows only that he longs to travel to the well at the world’s end, a mysterious pool on a remote Scottish island whose waters, legend has it, hold the secret to eternal youth. Determined not to fly—he claims it would feel as though he were cheating—he sets out with a backpack, some fireworks, and a map of the world and trusts that chance will take care of the rest.

Traveling by land and sea, train, truck, horse, and yacht, Mackinnon travels across the world, getting caught up in a series of hilarious, sometimes surreal, adventures. He survives a near-fatal bus crash in Australia, accidentally marries a Laotian princess, is attacked by a Komodo dragon, and does time in a sketchy Chinese jail, among many other mishaps and misadventures along the way. Each new continent and each new mode of transport brings the possibility of a near-miss or happy accident, all on the quest for eternal youth. This is the astonishing true story of a remarkable voyage.

Genres: History, Memoir, Autobiography

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The Final Stretch

Honestly I’m a little surprised I’ve made it this far. Before this year the most books I’d read in a year was about 35, yet here I am having finished 75. I only have 25 left (23 technically, but those reviews are going up later) and I’ve climbed Mount Readmore for 2017.

I can honestly say I’ve enjoyed my time reading and reviewing this year, and I’m planning on keeping going next year (maybe reading 110 books or more). I’m also thinking of getting into the VOD book review market, but we’ll have to see about that. I don’t have a camera.

I was hoping that I’d have fewer books on my Goodreads To-Read list at the end of the year, but the opposite has happened. I had about a hundred books on that list in January, but now I have two hundred. C’est la vie!

I’m thinking about adding a Genre-specific search feature, so if my readers want personalized suggestions they’ll be able to find something. Once I hit 100 books I’ll work on it, but right now I have stuff to do.

‘Full Fathom Five’ Book Review

Mount Readmore Book Review, 2017 68/100


Full Fathom Five By Max Gladstone

eBook edition

Finished on 7/14/2017


Description: The third novel set in the addictive and compelling fantasy world of Three Parts Dead.

On the island of Kavekana, Kai builds gods to order, then hands them to others to maintain. Her creations aren’t conscious and lack their own wills and voices, but they accept sacrifices, and protect their worshippers from other gods—perfect vehicles for Craftsmen and Craftswomen operating in the divinely controlled Old World. When Kai sees one of her creations dying and tries to save her, she’s grievously injured—then sidelined from the business entirely, her near-suicidal rescue attempt offered up as proof of her instability. But when Kai gets tired of hearing her boss, her coworkers, and her ex-boyfriend call her crazy, and starts digging into the reasons her creations die, she uncovers a conspiracy of silence and fear—which will crush her, if Kai can’t stop it first.

Genres: Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Steampunk, Fiduciary Fantasy, LGBT, Thriller

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‘Zak George’s Dog Training Revolution’ Book Review

Mount Readmore Book Review, 2017 67/100


Zak George’s Dog Training Revolution By Zak George and Dina Roth Port

Paperback edition

Finished on 7/13/2017


Description: Zak George is a new type of dog trainer. A dynamic YouTube star and Animal Planet personality with a fresh approach, Zak helps you tailor training to your dog’s unique traits and energy level—leading to quicker results and a much happier pet.
For the first time, Zak has distilled the information from his hundreds of videos and experience with thousands of dogs into this comprehensive guide that includes

·      Choosing the right pup for you
·      Housetraining and basic training
·      Handling biting, leash pulling, jumping up, barking, aggression, chewing, and other behavioral issues
·      Health care essentials like finding a vet and selecting the right food
·      Cool tricks, traveling tips, and activities to enjoy with your dog
·      Topics with corresponding videos on Zak’s YouTube channel so you can see his advice in action

Packed with everything you need to know to raise and care for your dog, this book will help you communicate and bond with one another in a way that makes training easier, more rewarding, and—most of all—fun!

Genres: Nonfiction, Dogs, Dog Training

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‘The Mincing Mockingbird Guide to Troubled Birds’ Book Review

Mount Readmore Book Review, 2017 66/100


The Mincing Mockingbird Guide to Troubled Birds By Matt Adrian

Hardback edition

Finished on 7/10/2017


Description: An illustrated pocket field guide that enables anyone to quickly identify psychotic, violent or mentally unstable bird species. We are only just discovering the reality of our avian adversaries, with their reptilian brains, their appetites for mayhem and the fact that they fly mostly to spite us. To ignore the information found within this volume may be at the peril of your very life.

Genres: Humor, Comedic, Art, Birds, Coffeetable book

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‘Fool’s Run’ Book Review

Mount Readmore Book Review, 2017 65/100


Fool’s Run By Patricia A. McKillip

Paperback edition

Finished on 7/9/2017


Description: Seven years ago, Terra Viridian obeyed a vision and killed 1,500 innocent people. She was sentenced to the Underworld prison. Now, a new age band, led by a psychic pianist and a masked woman called the Queen of Hearts, arrives at the prison to perform. And Terra’s vision is moving closer, changing all their lives forever.

Genres: Fantasy, Science Fiction, Old School SciFi, First Contact Story

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‘History of the English Language’ Book Review

Mount Readmore Book Review, 2017 75/100


History of the English Language By Seth Lerer

Audiobook edition, Narrated by Seth Lerer

Finished on 8/8/2017


Description: Sixteen centuries ago a wave of settlers from northern Europe came to the British Isles speaking a mix of Germanic dialects thick with consonants and complex grammatical forms. Today we call that dialect Old English, the ancestor of the language nearly one in five people in the world speaks every day.

How did this ancient tongue evolve into the elegant idiom of Chaucer, Shakespeare, Twain, Melville, and other great writers? What features of modern English spelling and vocabulary link it to its Old English roots? How did English grammar become so streamlined? Why did its pronunciation undergo such drastic changes? How do we even know what English sounded like in the distant past? And how does English continue to develop to the present day?

The History of the English Language, 2nd Edition, is Professor Seth Lerer’s revised and updated investigation of the remarkable history of English, from the powerful prose of King Alfred in the Middle Ages to the modern-day sermons of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Genres: History, English, Language

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‘Larkspur: A Necromancer’s Romance’ Book Review

Mount Readmore Book Review, 2017 64/100


Larkspur: A Necromancer’s Romance By V. M. Jaskerina

E-Book edition

Finished on 7/8/2017


Description: Childhood love, forbidden magic, and a goddess of death.

A romance is reignited when Pierre Salvador returns to court, now a surgeon and ready to take up his duties as duc. But his love, family, and friends are unaware of his dealings with Mora, the Lady of Death. Striving to know all the physical and mystical means of controlling life, and ending it, he became a suitor to the daimon in return for her knowledge and power. With one final task he become a lord of death, but will Mora let him go?

Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Victorian

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‘First World War Photographers’ Book Review

Mount Readmore Book Review, 2017 63/100


First World War Photographers By Jane Carmichael

Hardback edition

Finished on 7/6/2017


Description: Examines the work of the official, press and amateur photographers of World War I, reproducing over 100 photographs from the archives of the Imperial War Museum and making us aware of the operations of propaganda and journalism during the period.

Genres: WWI, History Book, Photography

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