I am reading The Shadow Of The Lion by Mercedes Lackey, Eric Flint & Dave Freer right now. I’m enjoying it (although I think it could be a little shorter than it’s 900+ pages.) The book takes place in an alternate reality in a Venice, a 16th century Venice, that has magic, monsters, priests and gods. It’s pretty good – definitely a fantasy novel with a lot of character development. Speaking of character development, it reminds me a lot of one of my top favorite (like probably top ten books of all time), Angel with the Sword by C.J. Cherryh. They both have lots of character types in common. To start with they both take place in a city riddled with canals with an abundent underlife. Both have a female character who has her own boat that she inherited from her very strong, single mom whom we never meet. Both canalers fall in love with a mysterious blond guy who is working for high class families. Both books have two brothers who were born to one of the high class families but are in hiding. Both have two, maybe lesbian, female singers/musicians. Both have swamps where scary people live but you can hide. And so on. They are very different books but if you enjoy one, you will probably enjoy the other one because the worlds and character types are similar.
According to the New York Times, Amazon suffered a glitch for about a week that showed the identies of those that had provided anonymous reviews. (See the article.) They made it sound quite common for authors to offer 5 star reviews of their own books and for people to rate their enemies books very poorly. Hopefully, Amazon.com books get enough reviews that one or two don’t sway the overall ratings too much. (I have to say that if I were going to do that something that morally wrong, I’d create a whole new Amazon.com login, not just mark it anonymous!)
Trading Up: The New American Luxury
I really like this book because it offered explanations for what seems like irrational behaviour. Have you ever noticed that you’re willing to drive all over town and comparison shop at Target, SuperWalmart and the mall in order to save $3, but then you’ll spend $3 more for organic frozen dinners. Or Starbucks coffee. Or a Panini sandwich instead of Subway? Well, this book explains the characteristics of the Panini sandwich that make you willing to pay more for it: the homemade bread, the intimate local, etc. Warning! The authors are writing to business people – giving them ideas on how to leverage your willingness to pay $3 more. But the book is very interesting and uses examples that really back up their theories like BMW, Panini, and Victoria Secret.