Eating Animals Book Review
Nonfiction , Sociology / December 15, 2016

  Title: Eating Animals Author: Jonathan Safran Foer Published: September 1, 2010 Genre: Nonfiction Length: 368 pages Eating Animals is a nonfiction book written in a journalistic style that discusses the morality and practicality behind eating meat. Jonathan Safran Foer takes aim at the factory-farming and fishing industries and exposes the many dark truths about the meat that our society consumes in record numbers. Family farms are not given a free pass, however. Eating Animals is a full investigation of meat-eating from every angle. Before I go any further, let me state that I am a vegetarian. My wife and I became vegetarians this past July and we have not strayed from that path ever since. While my wife decided to become a vegetarian at the beginning of the month, I held off for another couple of weeks. Eating Animals is what finally pushed me over the edge. It is one of the best decisions that I have ever made. Jonathan Safran Foer claims, rather disingenuously in my opinion, that Eating Animals is not meant to turn the reader into a vegetarian. While this might technically be true, as he never directly tells the reader what to do, all of his evidence points in favor of abandoning meat-eating. Interestingly enough,…

Pocket Full of Tinder: Book Review
Fantasy , Romance / December 5, 2016

Title: Pocket Full of Tinder: A Noon Onyx Novel Author: Jill Archer Published: December 15, 2016 Genre: Fantasy & Romance with touches of other genres Length: 293 pages Pocket Full of Tinder is the fourth book in Jill Archer’s Noon Onyx series. I am reviewing Pocket Full of Tinder from an advance review copy that I read in eBook format. To set the tone, I am delighted to write that this may be the best book in the Noon Onyx series to date. If you are new to the Noon Onyx series, then I highly suggest that you read the three previous books as soon as possible. The genre-bending nature of Jill Archer’s novels is inventive and refreshing, and world-building is one of her greatest strengths. The heroine, Noon Onyx, is a magic-slinging Maegester-in-Training with a drop of demon blood coursing through her veins. Noon lives in Halja, a post-apocalyptic version of our world in which the demons rule while angels and humans are forced to find ways to coexist with their demonic overlords. Pocket Full of Tinder picks up in the aftermath of a shocking reveal at the end of the third novel, White Heart of Justice, regarding Noon’s former lover, Ari Carmine. I loved that the story picked up where it left off and immediately continued the previous…

Writing Fantasy & Science Fiction: Book Review
Fantasy , Writing / December 1, 2016

Title: Writing Fantasy & Science Fiction Author: Orson Scott Card, Phillip Athans, Jay Lake Published: 2013 Genre: Writing, Fantasy/Science Fiction Pages: 406 (paperback) Writing Fantasy & Science Fiction by Orson Scott Card, Phillip Athans, and Jay Lake is a writing guide that is designed for genre fiction. If you are interested in writing a novel, or even if you are curious about the process, then Writing Fantasy & Science Fiction will answer a lot of your questions. The reader will probably even find the answers to questions that they did not even know they had to begin with. There are four major parts to the book: How to Write, The State of the Genre, The World of Steampunk, & The Writer’s Complete Fantasy Reference. Within each of these sections are subcategories, although the Steampunk section is relatively brief. World Creation, Story Construction, and general writing tips are provided in How to Write.  I found the Writing Well portion, which is a mere 15 pages, to be one of the most useful. The writing tips are generally intended to help the prospective author to produce writing that is organic and engaging. There are so many specific concepts, like how to use particular diction for different characters, that stuck with me long after I first…