Sunday, August 27, 2017

The Inherited - Lily Burlington

The Inherited - Lily BurlingtonThe Inherited - Book 1
Lily Burlington
Copyright Date: September 9, 2017

The product description:
One second Catherine believes that she is a normal girl, the next she finds herself betrothed to a Prince. Together they are thrust into a world of political intrigue, ancient oaths, & deadly mystery.

All Cat wants is to make it through her final exams and to get into a good university but that is put on hold when two men show up on her doorstep and tell her she is the last descendant of an ancient and forgotten royal bloodline. Not only that, but they offer her the chance of a lifetime trip to spend the summer living it up in castles and yachts off the coast of France. The only hitch is that she has to be a brooding prince's arm candy.

A summer of parties and beaches changes faster than the tides when old secrets begin to be unearthed and blood binding decrees are called upon.

Can truth and love survive when the path to the throne and crown is riddled with deception and daggers?
First of all, I want to note that I got an ARC for this book through Inkitt in return for a review. That said, on with the review.

The Inherited - book one is definitely a "first book". There are plenty of loose ends left for the rest of the series. Right off the bat, it reminded me of The Selection by Kiera Cass. It's a quick read, but, for the most part, it kept my attention. However, there was one issue that honestly should have been caught before it got to this stage. First of all, while the description above calls the main character Catherine, all through the actual book she's called Winnifred or Fred. Her mother's name also changes through the book. It's a minor thing, but I have to admit that it's definitely a bit jarring.

In spite of that, this was a very readable book, and I wouldn't mind finding out what's going to happen in the next one. It definitely seems as though most of the meatier plots of this book got left to be resolved in future titles. Also, I found that the characters grew on me a bit as the book progressed. I also found it very refreshing to not have a love-triangle set-up for once.

Like The Selection, The Inherited reads to me like a teen/Young Adult book, and I'd recommend it to that age group.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Reading - albeit not reviewing

I know I've been quiet when it comes to reviewing books for the last few months. I've been doing a bit of reading nonetheless. Just not reviewing. In part that's because I've been getting more work of late - and it's hard enough to find time to read, much less put together some thoughts on the books I've been reading. Also, I've been doing a bit of camping and traveling over the summer too.

Anyway, to try and play catch-up with my books, here are some of the books I've been reading over the summer. I will admit to having a bit of a problem with starting books and not finishing them. I can tell you that doesn't help when it comes to reviewing too.

Terry Fox - Leslie ScrivenerTerry Fox: His Story
Leslie Scrivener
McLelland and Stewart
Copyright: 2000

The product description:
Terry Fox, the one-legged runner from Port Coquitlam, British Columbia, made an indelible impression upon people across Canada and around the world. An outstanding athlete with a stubborn and competitive spirit, he lost his leg to cancer at 19, but said “nobody is ever going to call me a quitter.”

On April 12, 1980, Terry Fox set out from St. John’s, Newfoundland to begin the run across Canada that he named the Marathon of Hope. His ambition was to raise a million dollars for cancer research. It wasn’t easy. Initial support from communities varied from terrific to nothing at all. His prosthetic leg was painful to run on, and there were always traffic and extreme weather conditions to deal with. But, by the time he reached Ontario – a journey of more than 3,000 kilometres – word of his achievement had spread, and thousands cheered him and followed his progress. Terry’s spirits soared, and now he hoped to raise $22 million dollars – one dollar for every Canadian. He succeeded in this ambition, but the Marathon of Hope ended near Thunder Bay, Ontario on September 1, 1980. The cancer had spread to his lungs, and, after running 24 miles in one day, on the next he could run no further.

When cancer finally claimed his life in 1981, Canada mourned the loss of a hero, but the Terry Fox Marathon of Hope lives on. The Terry Fox Foundation raised more than $17 million in 1999, and support for the event nationally and around the world is growing.
I read this book after my husband recommended it to me and I really have to pass this recommendation along. It's a very well-written book that captures the attention right off and doesn't let go. It is something of a quick read however. At least I found that to be the case.

The Mists of Avalon - Marion Zimmer BradleyThe Mists of Avalon
Marion Zimmer Bradley
Ballantine Books
Copyright: 1984

The product description:
In Marion Zimmer Bradley's masterpiece, we see the tumult and adventures of Camelot's court through the eyes of the women who bolstered the king's rise and schemed for his fall. From their childhoods through the ultimate fulfillment of their destinies, we follow these women and the diverse cast of characters that surrounds them as the great Arthurian epic unfolds stunningly before us. As Morgaine and Gwenhwyfar struggle for control over the fate of Arthur's kingdom, as the Knights of the Round Table take on their infamous quest, as Merlin and Viviane wield their magics for the future of Old Britain, the Isle of Avalon slips further into the impenetrable mists of memory, until the fissure between old and new worlds' and old and new religions' claims its most famous victim.
I think this book was my first major exposure to the variations of the Arthurian stories. It's certainly shaped my impressions of how the story should go ever since. All I know at the moment is that it had been at least ten years or so since I'd last read it (or any of the other books in the Avalon saga). High time really. Now I kind of want to re-read Mercedes Lackey's take on the story - also from a woman's point of view.

The Ship Who Searched - Anne McCaffrey and Mercedes LackeyThe Ship Who Searched
Anne McCaffrey and Mercedes Lackey
Baen Books

The product description:
Special 20th Anniversary Edition, with a new introduction by Mercedes Lackey.  A beloved classic of romantic space adventure returns.  A novel of Anne McCaffrey’s Brainship series.  A young woman becomes paralyzed and must become a brainship—and find her Brawn, her human soul mate, so that she can discover a cure for her illness.

Tia Cade is a headstrong, smart, and very normal girl—until she contracts a terrible illness that leaves her with the bare semblance of life. Tia’s only hope: to become the oldest person ever to train to be one of the legendary star travelers, the brainships  But now that Tia is free of her ravaged body, there still remains the task of finding the right partner to be her Brawn, the human element every brainship requires. And when the disease that debilitated Tia threatens thousands more, selecting a Brawn who is her true soul mate may allow Tia to find the origin of the terrible plague—and perhaps even a cure.

20th Anniversary edition featuring a new introduction by Mercedes Lackey. 
The Ship Who Searched is my favorite of the whole Brainship series. Perhaps it's the way archaeology is woven through the story in this one that helps catch my attention. Not to mention the main character herself. Either way, this is the one that I end up re-reading the most often.

1633 - David Weber and Eric Flint1633
Eric Flint and David Weber
Baen Books
Copyright: 2003

The product description:

The new government in central Europe, called the Confederated Principalities of Europe, was formed by an alliance between Gustavus Adolphus, King of Sweden, and the West Virginians led by Mike Stearns who were transplanted into 17th-century Germany by a mysterious cosmic accident. The new regime is shaky. Outside its borders, the Thirty Years War continues to rage. Within, it is beset by financial crisis as well as the political and social tensions between the democratic ideals of the 20th-century Americans and the aristocracy which continues to rule the roost in the CPE as everywhere in Europe.

Worst of all, the CPE has aroused the implacable hostility of Cardinal Richelieu, the effective ruler of France. Richelieu has created the League of Ostend in order to strike at the weakest link in the CPE's armor—its dependence on the Baltic as the lifeline between Gustav Adolf's Sweden and the rest of his realm.

The greatest naval war in European history is about to erupt. Like it or not, Gustavus Adolphus will have to rely on Mike Stearns and the technical wizardry of his obstreperous Americans to save the King of Sweden from ruin.

Caught in the conflagration are two American diplomatic missions abroad: Rebecca Stearns' mission to France and Holland, and the embassy which Mike Stearns sent to King Charles of England headed by his sister Rita and Melissa Mailey. Rebecca finds herself trapped in war-torn Amsterdam; Rita and Melissa, imprisoned in the Tower of London.

And much as Mike wants to transport 20th-century values into war-torn 17th-century Europe by Sweet Reason, still he finds comfort in the fact that Julie, who once trained to be an Olympic marksman, still has her rifle . . .
One for the alternate history fans out there... This is the second book in the series, following on 1632. Which is followed by many more books in the series as well as anthologies of short stories, all by different authors. The two books I've read feel pretty well researched and thought through. I'm going to suggest giving them a try some time.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

On the Shelf? Or on the Desk? - Reference works for Indexing

I've kept a more or less running list of my indexing-related reference works along with links to reviews for many of them on the Books and Resources for Indexers page here on my blog.

Here, I'm briefly noting the books I've found myself turning to to the most often on the subject, now that I've been indexing for a few years.

Side note as well: When I say "on the desk", for the most part I mean stacked on the floor around my desk-chair where I can reach the book easily. Right now, I've got two such stacks going :)

Indexing Names - Ed. Noeline BridgeI'm going to start with the book Indexing Names  edited by Noeline Bridge. When I'm working, this book spends more time on my desk than on the shelf - to the point where most of the time this book ends up staying on my desk - and I do actually mean "on the desk". I've also ended up buying a second copy in e-book format for times when I'm working away from my desk.

My original review can be found here.

In short, Indexing Names is a compilation of articles from the international journal The Indexer, each of which covers a different aspect of indexing names, be it names from specific cultures, such as Dutch, French, or ancient and medieval names. This is a book I honestly think is one that should be on any indexer's shelf in some form or another.

The Webster's New Biographical Dictionary. Yes, this is an older book and therefore is missing a lot of the newer names - and even quite a few older ones. Still, it's worth having on the shelf. Personally I find it faster to try looking in here first, and only afterwards go online to get answers. Most often I'm using it to find a first name to go with a surname or to find a name to go with a title. Frequently the Webster's New Biographical Dictionary is also useful for sorting out first names from last names so I can then invert for use in the index.

As I noted, this is an older book, and therefore it's pretty inexpensive.

Chicago Manual of Style - 16th EditionThe Chicago Manual of Style. This book covers far more than just how to index, but I must admit that that is the part of the book I use the most often. Right now, I have the 16th edition, but I understand that there is a seventeenth edition coming out in the near future (the beginning of September). Should be interesting to see what kind of changes it suggests for indexing standards.

Most but not all publishers use one of the recent editions of this book to set out their requirements for index formatting, so it's a good idea to have a copy (or more than one for the different versions) on the shelf. Like Indexing Names, which I've mentioned above, the Chicago Manual of Style has sections covering the indexing of names from different languages, titles and all sorts of little details that come up now and again in the process. Different methods of alphabetizing too, to name another example.

Indexing Books - Second Edition - Nancy MulvaneyHowever, my first "go-to" for any indexing-related question is still Nancy Mulvaney's Indexing Books Second Edition. I've reviewed it previously on my blog. From reminders of how to determine index lengths (also known as interpreting the publisher's instructions) to formatting the locators for footnotes and endnotes, she covers most topics related to book indexing thoroughly. There are some areas where updates could be made, however, for the most part, this is still the most thorough and readable book on indexing I've seen to date. This book in conjunction with the Chicago Manual of Style answers about 80-90 percent of my questions (most of the rest are generally software-specific or name-related).

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Signs of Obliviousness

Despite the amusing title, I'm absolutely serious about this one - and furious too!

Really it's two issues, though the second one grows out of the first.

Every time. Every time I am in a park - regional, provincial or national - I see people ignoring the posted signs.

The signs are posted, the area is clearly fenced off - at least from the path side - I'm slightly willing to cut some slack when it comes to people crossing from the other side. The beach continues along past the re-vegetated area with no access paths - but it's not clearly marked from that side. I've managed to do it once without realizing right away. In my defense, I think the tide was coming in pretty quickly too. However, I've also seen people just hop over the fence to go wander in that area - kids chasing the rabbits, or people not wanting to walk all the way back to the proper beach access path from the washrooms. The other day I even saw some people with bicycles on the wrong side of that fence! And if someone confronts a person doing that, they're likely to get told to F*** *** and mind their own business. I've seen that very response - and it makes me feel very uncomfortable about speaking up when I see this kind of behavior.

Inevitably I'll see dogs running freely on the beach, off leash with their owners throwing balls or sticks. Ask them about it and the response is usually "I didn't see the signs". Said signs are placed at every access path. How could you not see them? Perhaps you just didn't want to see them?

Same thing is true for the signs that say "ALL DOGS MUST BE LEASHED".
Or, you'll hear "My dog is well behaved and doesn't need to be on a leash". Which suggests that the owner doesn't think that the rules need to apply to them.

The other one - one I haven't seen in person yet, but have definitely seen evidence for is people ignoring the "NO BICYCLES" signs along the trails. It's kind of hard to disguise the tire-tracks left behind in the mud, so I know this sign is another frequently ignored one.

Those are all bad enough. Here is the one that has me finally going ahead with this rant.

I live in British Columbia. This year we're having a real problem with forest fires all across the province. There's a fire ban in place for nearly all of the province. All the parks have clearly posted signs to say "NO FIRES" and also "NO SMOKING"  at the entries to each trail and also posted along the trails. I was out two days ago enjoying a wonderful hike up in the mountains two days ago - except that as I came along the route back, I was stuck behind a group who insisted on smoking - despite the signs. There were four of them, and only two of us, so I didn't feel comfortable about speaking up. Perhaps I should have anyway. I could see the cigarettes in their hands, and most definitely smell the smoke!

They're not the only ones though. Despite clear announcements of the fire ban, people are still lighting campfires! I just can't fathom the attitude.

Fire Restrictions Ignored By Campers
Ignored Fire Ban and Evac
Some Campers On The B.C. Coast Ignoring Open Fire Ban Despite Interior Wildfires
Campfire Ban Ignored
B.C. officials to investigate after firefighters reportedly breach campfire ban

And those are just a selection of articles on the topic. I just can't understand people sometimes. We're seeing the devastation caused by fires all around the province - not to mention more of them in the USA. It's bad enough when those fires are caused by lightning. There's not a lot we can do about that. But to risk causing more fires through human stupidity?

I sincerely hope that nobody reading this blog condones behavior like this, but I won't apologize for my attitude towards it all.

I am so sick and tired of the obliviousness to clearly posted signs and rules, either because people don't think they should apply to them, or they think they can get away with breaking the rules - sadly this is probably true all too often. I'm tired of it. Tired of going to the beach and seeing the remains of fires. Tired of hearing people in campgrounds stamping around in the brush to find wood to burn - when the rules clearly say it's not allowed. Tired of seeing dogs chasing birds in areas where dogs aren't allowed off leash. Tired of seeing unauthorized trails ground into the parks by people who figure they can just go anywhere they please. I'm tired of it all! And I don't know what can be done about it. 

Or, am I just an old-fashioned kill-joy of a stick in the mud who wants to take away peoples fun when I believe that these rules should be followed? Do we live in a society where rules don't mean anything anymore? Should I simply get used to seeing this kind of behavior and start closing my eyes towards it?  Sometimes I wonder.


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