Calvin and Hobbes!

Homicidal Psycho Jungle Cat: A Calvin and Hobbes CollectionHomicidal Psycho Jungle Cat: A Calvin and Hobbes Collection by Bill Watterson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Recently re-read this stand alone Calvin and Hobbes Collection and I love it so much, If you’ve never read Calvin and Hobbes before I highly suggest you give any of the collections a try. My wife got me the complete collection a few Christmases ago and I’ve been making my way slowly through that as well. Arguably the best comic of all time.

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Dresden Files – Death Masks

Death Masks (The Dresden Files, #5)Death Masks by Jim Butcher
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Every time I pick up one of the Dresden Files books they just hook me in and I have a hard time putting it down. This was one of my favorite of the series. We get a new big bad, Nic, and learn more about what exactly has happened to Susan. Michael is one of my favorite characters and we get to learn more about the order that he belongs to. Once again Marcone shows up and plays a vital role and we also get some background on him at the very end of the book. I’m so happy I have 10 more of these to read and book #16 coming out in this series soon. Jim Butcher is effing awesome!

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New Crichton, Old Feeling

Dragon TeethDragon Teeth by Michael Crichton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was skeptical of this new Crichton Novel when it was first announced but I finally gave in and picked up a copy. I then had a hard time putting it down and ended up staying up way too late to finish it. It was fun, adventurous, and IMO definitely Crichton. He is my favorite author of all time and this new tale did not disappoint. I’ve been working on a reread of all of his works over the past few years and this book has gotten me back in the mood to dive back into it. I wish he was still around to write more amazing stories.

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Thrawn’s Back and Bluer than ever?

Thrawn (Star Wars)Thrawn by Timothy Zahn
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The original Thrawn trilogy (now Legends), by epic Sci-Fi/Fantasy author Timothy Zahn, are some of my favorite Star Wars books of all time. I’ve read every single Zahn Star Wars book and the new Thrawn is just as fantastic as expected. I’ve been looking forward to Disney adding Thrawn back into the official Canon and I plan on seeing what the Grand Admiral with the Blue Skin and red eyes is up to in the Star Wars Rebels TV show. This book follows the meteoric rise of Thrawn within the Imperial Navy as he and a fellow Imperial officer, Eli Vanto from the Outer Rim, make a name for themselves. Eli Vanto is one of my favorite new characters that I’ve met through the new Star Wars books. There was however a character in this book that I didn’t particularly care for at all. Arihnda Pryce. I kept thinking that she was going to play some super important role in the grand scheme of things, and she sort of did, but I never looked forward to reading her chapters. This is a first with me and the characters in the new Star Wars books, I’ve liked all of them up to this point, even the crazy droid Bones. My only other complaint about this book, which overall was really fantastic, was the time jumps. Maybe it was because I was listening to the audio book and not reading the physical copy but there were several instances where it was months or even a year later. It makes sense why there are time jumps it just confused me when they happened and there was no indication other than the characters reminiscing about how long they’d been at a particular post.

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The Expanse

Leviathan Wakes (Expanse, #1)Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was the third book that I finished on my recent Hawaii vacation and it did not disappoint. I’ve watched the TV series a little and with some encouragement from a friend decided to give this book a go. Holy hell was it awesome. The space sequences and the reality of travelling through space without “magical” gravity were really interesting. The political aspect of life on Earth vs. Mars. vs. The Belt was arguably the most fascinating part of the book. I can’t wait to read the other books in this series and then to watch the TV show more.

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The Art of War…and Revision

The Art of WarThe Art of War by Sun Tzu
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I had, much the same as everyone else I’m sure, heard of this famous writing on warfare by the ancient Chinese General and philosopher Sun Tzu. I had never read it though for some reason. From the thickness of this specific edition of Tzu’s writings I thought it would be much longer, but the book is broken up into two sections. The original writings of Tzu are the first section and then the translator’s notes and historical context of the translation are provided in the 2nd half. The writings by Tzu really are timeless when it comes to warfare, even though modern tactics are quite a bit different than ancient Chinese strategies.

I was doing some research for revision that I’m working on with my current novel and I can honestly see myself reading this again and I took quite a few notes and highlighted many passages that I think will help make my book better and more militaristic. With the length of the original writings of Tzu there really is no excuse to not give this a read, you will probably learn something and be entertained at the same time.

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Discworld! Or the time I tried a new author I’ve never read and can’t figure out why it’s taken me so long.

The Color of Magic (Discworld, #1)The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I decided to try out a new author for my first book while on vacation in Kauai. I’m not sure why I’ve never read any Terry Pratchett before, especially since I’ve known about his series and heard nothing but high praise for it since I can remember, but this book is absolutely amazing. I cannot wait to read more of the Discworld series. It’s hard for me to even convey how much I loved this book. I will admit to being a little lost at first as to what exactly was happening but before I knew it I was whisked away on an adventure with Rincewind the wizard and Twoflower the tourist as the sapient pearwood luggage chest follows them all over Discworld. So many authors I read on a regular basis have sung such high praises for this series and now I know why. It is simply put, one of the best books I have ever read. I found it hard to put down even with the Pacific Ocean lapping at the seawall outside of our rental house. My only complaint about this book was that each of the chapters was extremely long, I believe there were only 4 in the entire first book, and I vastly prefer shorter chapters. But honestly who the hell cares how many chapters there are or how long each of them is when the writing, characters, and story are as amazing as what Terry Pratchett put onto the page. RIP Terry Pratchett, I feel ashamed for not finding your truly fantastic series of books before now.

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