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The Fortuitous Meeting cover

Neither thumbs up nor thumbs down for The Fortuitous Meeting by Christopher Kastensmidt. Fantasy.

Honestly, this was a perfectly acceptable novella in all ways. It just didn’t…stand out. Perhaps the rest of the series is better?

Oludara laughed deeply. “Sorry to laugh at you, Gerard van Oost, but how can one not laugh when presented with such madness? Yet I must also be mad, for I accept your proposal.

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What Makes This Book So Great cover

Neither thumbs up nor thumbs down for What Makes This Book So Great by Jo Walton. Nonfiction.

I enjoyed reading this book, but, perhaps peculiarly, I hesitate to recommend it. For one thing, all of its contents are available for free online. For another, one large chunk of it pertains only to the Miles Vorkosigan books of Lois McMaster Bujold and another chunk to the Vlad Taltos series of Steven Brust—and both sections are packed with spoilers, making them something you’ll probably want to avoid unless you’ve either already read those series or have no intention of doing so.… >> Read more

Neither thumbs up nor thumbs down for A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving. Literature.

I have a friend who jokes that I don’t read any living male authors. I do, of course; I just don’t read non-genre literature by living male authors—or living anybody, really. This book on my shelf was a counterexample of one. (And that is a beautiful irony, that David unwittingly got me to read John Irving, because he’s a snob who probably hates John Irving.) Anyway, in a nutshell: the eminently slappable middle-aged professor John Wheelwright looks back on his boyhood friendship with Owen Meany, a very distinctive character who from an early age believed that God put him on Earth for a mission.… >> Read more

Neither thumbs up nor thumbs down for Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. Historical romance.

I should know better than to read exceptionally popular books; nine times out of ten I feel like I’m not reading the same book as everyone else. So I’m probably going to offend a lot of people by not giving this book a glowing review. But what the hell; I can only speak from my own perspective.… >> Read more