This Month’s Books (March 2015)

B-Lines and Felines: This Month's Books

Othello (1603)Othello

In Othello, Shakespeare creates a powerful drama of a marriage that begins with fascination (between the exotic Moor Othello and the Venetian lady Desdemona), with elopement, and with intense mutual devotion and that ends precipitately with jealous rage and violent deaths. He sets this story in the romantic world of the Mediterranean, moving the action from Venice to the island of Cyprus and giving it an even more exotic coloring with stories of Othello’s African past. Shakespeare builds so many differences into his hero and heroine—differences of race, of age, of cultural background—that one should not, perhaps, be surprised that the marriage ends disastrously. But most people who see or read the play feel that the love that the play presents between Othello and Desdemona is so strong that it would have overcome all these differences were it not for the words and actions of Othello’s standard-bearer, Iago, who hates Othello and sets out to destroy him by destroying his love for Desdemona. As Othello succumbs to Iago’s insinuations that Desdemona is unfaithful, fascination—which dominates the early acts of the play—turns to horror, especially for the audience. We are confronted by spectacles of a generous and trusting Othello in the grip of Iago’s schemes; of an innocent Desdemona, who has given herself up entirely to her love for Othello only to be subjected to his horrifying verbal and physical assaults, the outcome of Othello’s mistaken convictions about her faithlessness.

Verdict: 5/5

The Man Who Would Be KingThe Man Who Would Be King (1888)

The rugged mountains of 19th-century Afghanistan serve as the backdrop for this humorous and action-packed tale of two happy-go-lucky Britons who take over a remote kingdom. The colorful inhabitants and beautiful prose enrich a beautifully powerful ending.

Verdict: 3/5

Yasmine Surovec – Poems About Cats (2015)Poems About Cats

Cats have long been an inspiration to artists and poets. In this heartwarming collection, artist Yasmine Surovec of catversushuman.com presents an illustrated anthology of literary adulation and poetic tributes to the always-alluring, ever-beloved cat.

From Shakespeare to Blake to Rosetti to Wordsworth to classic nursery rhymes, cats have been celebrated in poetry for as long as they have been warming laps. Cats are mysterious, adorable, finicky, and cherished; and they have been beloved muses for some of our most renowned poets, writers, and artists. This inspired collection presents treasured poems and nursery rhymes illustrated with the whimsical, irresistible art of Yasmine Surovec.

Verdict: 4/5

The History of England Vol 1David Hume – History of England: Vol 1 Part A – From the Britons of Early Times to King John (1762)

The first volume in Hume’s six volume series tracing the history of England from the invasion of Julius Caesar to the Glorious Revolution of 1688. 

Verdict: 4/5

H.P. Mallory – To Kill a Warlock (2010)To Kill a Warlock

The murder of a dark arts warlock. A shape-shifting, ravenous creature on the loose. A devilishly handsome stranger sent to investigate. Sometimes working law enforcement for the Netherworld is a real bitch.

Dulcie O’Neil is a fairy. And not the type to frolic in gardens. She’s a Regulator—a law-enforcement agent who monitors the creatures of the Netherworld to keep them from wreaking havoc in the mortal world. When a warlock is murdered and Dulcie was the last person to see him alive, she must uncover the truth before she’s either deported back to the Netherworld, or she becomes the next victim.

Enter Knight Vander, a sinfully attractive investigator sent from the Netherworld to work the case with Dulcie. Between battling her attraction to her self-appointed partner, keeping a sadomasochistic demon in check, and fending off the advances of a sexy and powerful vampire, Dulcie’s got her hands full. As the body count increases, Dulcie finds herself battling dark magic, reconnoitering in S&M clubs and suffering the greatest of all betrayals.

Verdict: 2/5

A Horse's Tale

Mark Twain – A Horse’s Tale (1907)

I am Buffalo Bill’s horse. I have spent my life under his saddle — with him in it, too, and he is good for two hundred pounds, without his clothes; and there is no telling how much he does weigh when he is out on the war-path and has his batteries belted on. He is over six feet, is young, hasn’t an ounce of waste flesh, is straight, graceful, springy in his motions, quick as a cat, and has a handsome face, and black hair dangling down on his shoulders, and is beautiful to look at; and nobody is braver than he is, and nobody is stronger, except myself.

Verdict: 3/5

Jason Tesar – Awaken His Eyes (The Awakened #1)Jason Tesar - Awaken His Eyes

THE HISTORY: Over five thousand years ago, a renegade faction of angels abandoned the spiritual realm and began their inhabitation of earth. Worshipped as gods for their wisdom and power, they corrupted the realm of the physical and forever altered the course of history.

THE PROPHECY: Amidst the chaos of a dying world, a lone voice foretold the awakening of a warrior who would bring an end to this evil perpetrated against all of creation. But with the cataclysmic destruction of earth and rebirth of humanity, the prophecy went unfulfilled and eventually faded from the memory of our kind—until now!

THE AWAKENED: The physical dimension is fractured. What remain now are numerous fragmented worlds moving simultaneously through time, sharing a common history, connected only by a guarded portal. On a parallel earth, in the city of Bastul, Colonel Adair Lorus disappears while investigating the death of an informant, triggering a series of events which will tear his family apart and set in motion the resolution of an ancient struggle.

Kael, sentenced to death after rising up against the cruel leadership of his new step-father, is rescued from prison and trained in the arts of war by a mystical order of clerics. Excelling in every aspect of his training, Kael inwardly struggles to give himself fully to the methods of his new family, or the god they worship.

Maeryn, bitter over the disappearance of her husband and supposed execution of her son, fears for her life at the hands of her newly appointed husband. Finding comfort and purpose in her unborn child, she determines to undermine his authority by reaching out to an underground social movement known as the Resistance.

After being forced from his home, Kael’s former mentor, Saba, uncovers a clue to Adair’s disappearance. Sensing a connection to his own forgotten past, Saba begins an investigation which leads to the discovery of a secret military organization operating within the Orudan Empire.

In book one of his debut series, Jason Tesar delves into the heart of an ancient legend, embarking on an epic saga that will journey from earth’s mythological past to its post-apocalyptic future, blending the genres of fantasy, sci-fi, and military/political suspense.

Verdict: 2/5

Max Thompson - The RulesMax Thompson – The Rules: A Guide For People Owned By Cats (2008)

People, you need help. Truly you do. You bring home these cute little balls of fur and squeal at its cuteness, declare your life complete because of it,and then get upset when your New Meaning of Life that you treasure poops in the bathtub or hocks a hairball into your shoe. You need to know the rules. You meed to know the truth. Max Thompson, known far and wide as “The Psychokitty” is an expert on all things kitty and has finally decided to share the wisdom of his years of dealing with People, and his in-depth discussions with kitties online. This is his gift to you, the People who are willingly owned by cats. A gift that costs less than $15. Because that’s how generous he is. Complete with paw-drawn illustrations!

Verdict: 3/5

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Dave Brown

I was born in Barnsley, South Yorkshire, England and have always been a bookworm and enjoyed creative writing at school. In 1999 I created the Elencheran Chronicles and have been writing ever since. My first novel, Fezariu's Epiphany, was published in May 2011. When not writing I'm a lover of films, games, books and blogging. I live in Barnsley, with my wife, Donna, and our six cats - Kain, Razz, Buggles, Charlie, Bilbo and Frodo.
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