Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Sister Emily's Lightship

Sister Emily's Lightship, by Jane Yolen

Happy Halloween! I can't exactly call this an RIP read, but it has elements and so I'm going to round off the event by squeaking it in here, and incidentally segue into Witch Week!  Jane Yolen is one of the grand dames of SF/F writing, I think we can all agree (RIGHT?  *ominous glare*), and this collection of short pieces that were published all over the place is well worth tracking down.

Many of these stories are twists on classic fairy tales -- "Snow in Summer," for example, is a version of Snow White set in Appalachia, or in a really genius bit, "Granny Rumple" is a realistic tale that could have been the seed for an anti-Semitic Rumplestiltskin.  "Godmother Death" is a wonderful version of a story found across cultures, in which a man outwits Death...but only for so long.

There's a nice little series of stories about fey, where the characters are related or appear in various tales.  The youngest, clumsy daughter who stayed home with a cold winds up being Sleeping Beauty's wicked fairy, and Uncle Finn is accidentally corked into a wine bottle for decades.  Brother Dusty has a (very short) crush on a ghostly Juliet, who is solely focused on her Romeo.

Other stories were straight-up fantastic tales, and several of these were my favorites, such as "Blood Sister" and "Become a Warrior."  And the title story, "Sister Emily's Lightship," features Emily Dickinson. 

I was sometimes reminded of Angela Carter's stories, which I read a couple of years ago, but I much prefer these.  There are several similar themes, but I do feel that Yolen handles her material more intelligently, more subtly....just better overall. 

This collection fits perfectly into this year's Witch Week theme, too, so check that out over at Chris' and Lizzie Ross' blogs.  Besides, look at this beautiful image they made!  It features Burd Ellen cutting her hair, and I had to go look up her story in my Child's English and Scottish Ballads

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

RIP XIII #8: The Great God Pan

The Great God Pan, by Arthur Machen

Arthur Machen wrote some early fantasy horror, and I always like to see what Victorians invented back when there were fewer scripts for how a fantasy story should go.  This one is fairly weird, but it isn't a novel; it's a collection of four short stories, though "The Great God Pan" is the longest and almost qualifies as a novella.  I have a paperback Penguin English Library copy, which appears to be unavailable in the US except as an import, but Penguin just published a fancier hardback with more stories in it than I have.

In "The Great God Pan," a doctor finds a way to do brain surgery that will allow the patient to see other dimensions; what he calls "seeing the great god Pan."  The victim of this surgery at first appears to have completely lost her reason, but further chapters, set in later years, reveal bits and pieces of a much worse story.  A girl, and then a woman, appears at intervals and befriends people, but then leads them into nameless horrific crimes.

"Novel of the White Powder" is more straightforward.  A young man overworks himself, and his sister persuades him to go to the doctor, but the pick-me-up tonic he's prescribed is made up from chemicals that have been sitting around too long.  The young man first hits the town, and then becomes a recluse in his room.  The hideous conclusion is explained by the doctor's amazing understanding of the mystery tonic.

In "The Red Hand," two friends try to solve a mysterious murder, theorizing that the criminal is no ordinary modern Londoner, but a survival from prehistoric cavemen, "ravening like wolves at heart and boiling with the foul passions of the swamp and the black cave."  An odd take on Darwin's descent of man, but...sure.

"The White People" is the strangest story, being a copy of a girl's diary in which she recounts traveling around a dream landscape.

The stories are typically Victorian in their hints and roundabout descriptions, but they're interesting to read and I'll probably pick them up again someday.  A good choice for RIP.

Monday, October 29, 2018

RIP XIII #7: City of the Shrieking Tomb

City of the Shrieking Tomb, by Patrick Rogers

Earlier in the year, I reviewed The Green Unknown, a memoir of hiking around the northeastern Indian state of Meghalaya.  Then Patrick Rogers contacted me again about his new book, a novel this time, also set in India and with an irresistible title.  As my friend April used to say, twist my rubber arm -- I had a lot of fun reading this ghostly tale.

Rick is a photographer traveling around for a project on old Islamic architecture, and he's trying to get a bus to Bidar without going far out of his way to Hyderabad for it.  A friendly doctor, Awaz, gets him on a bus, which then breaks down at Awaz' hometown of Humayunpur -- but Awaz doesn't want Rick to stay.  Outsiders are not welcome in Humayunpur.  But since there's no alternative, Awaz reluctantly invites Rick to stay overnight, as long as he's leaving first thing in the morning.

The bus is still broken in the morning, though, and Awaz softens a bit, inviting Rick to see some of the local sights.  No photography allowed!  Awaz and the local imam take their visitor to the old mosque, which turns out to be an incredible work of art, totally unknown to the outside world.  Rick is desperate to take photos -- it's the find of the decade!  He'll be on the cover of National Geographic! -- but Awaz and the imam are adamant, coming up with excuse after excuse as to why visitors can never come to Humayunpur.  (What if somebody bonks their head?)  Rick is exasperated by their flimsy reasoning, and they're sick of his persistence, so they tell him the real reason: there's a demon.

Rick immediately rolls his eyes at this, which is of course why they didn't want to tell him about it.  He challenges the imam: doesn't Islam frown on this kind of superstition?  Well, yes, the men concede, but since this particular demon is totally real and ate the last smarty-pants imam who disapproved of superstition, what are you going to do?

Rick doesn't buy any of it.  Not when a sophisticated, mysterious young woman explains some of Humayunpur's history, and not when he explores the town and meets obvious resentment.  He's going to get to the bottom of this -- and so he does.

This was a really fun read.  The reader can see what's going on a bit more easily than Rick can (poor Rick doesn't know he's in a ghost story, and we have all known guys just like him), and it's a nice spooky puzzle to work out.  Just a few bucks on Kindle, it would be a good pick for some Halloween shivers.

I received a free digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

A little bit of fall news

Every day, I plan to write on my blog, and every day, it gets crowded out!  The pile of books on my desk is not getting smaller, and I miss writing.  So I've got one scheduled for tomorrow, and here's a quick post on some other things.

The school year is going nicely, with me at work, one new college student taking anatomy, and a high-school sophomore loving marching band.  Friday night was the local Big Game between the two high schools, and the marching band put on a complicated, ambitious half-time show that they've been working on for weeks.  Afterwards, they get on the field with the other school's band and have a 'battle of the bands,' playing songs for and with each other, that is really fun.  I missed out on the whole thing, sadly, because...

Friday night was also the annual Trivia Bee fundraiser for the county Literacy Services.  It went really well and was a lot of fun, and our team won bronze.  If I had remembered calcium carbonate, we would have won the gold, so calcium carbonate is haunting my dreams.  Next year!

I've also been scrambling to complete a quilt project for my quilt guild's 2018 Challenge (there is a challenge every other year, and this is the first one I've participated in, since I've only been a member for about 2 years; I joined right as the last one was ending).  This year, it's a small quilt (24" square max) and must include an animal, and it's due this week.  I can't show you mine, since there will be judging next month and it's all anonymous until after that, but I'll hint that it has a connection with this very blog!  Small as it is, this project was very difficult for me since the whole thing was improvised without any pattern or anything, and I'm not used to making things up as I go.  If I win a prize, it will probably be for Oddest Quilt, or maybe Brightest.

Oh, and I sewed up a Toothless sweatshirt, too!  Since it's black on black, it's not much use trying to show you the wings and spine on the back.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

The Unlikely Disciple

The Unlikely Disciple: A Sinner's Semester at America's Holiest University, by Kevin Roose

I was happy to see this book come across the donation table, because it's been on my wishlist of "books to get around to checking out of the library" for a while.  And it was a really interesting book to read; I liked Roose and his project.

Kevin Roose was a perfectly average freshman at Brown University in Rhode Island.  Evidently he also had a job doing assistance to A. J. Jacobs, the guy who makes a living by doing a project for a year and then writing a book about it -- living according to ancient Jewish law, reading the Encyclopedia Britannica, and so on.  When Roose, in the course of his job, visited an evangelical church and met some students from Liberty University, he decided to do his own project.  Lots of his friends did study abroad trips to Europe to learn about other cultures, but here was a much more alien culture right on his own doorstep.  Why not spend a semester 'studying abroad' at Liberty?

In order to do so, Roose had to go undercover.  He'd grown up a Quaker in very liberal Oberlin, and he'd have to pass as, at least, a fairly convervative Evangelical.  I liked how Roose wrestled with the realities of living a double life.

Roose also had to work out just what his project was.  To his credit, he vowed not to use his semester to take cheap shots at fundamentalists; he wanted to get to know this world from the inside and understand the culture, the beliefs, and the human beings.  He was imagining some pretty stereotyped stuff, and of course when he got there, he found that Liberty students were just people.

I also liked how hard Roose tried to really participate in this new-to-him society.  He joined a church choir.  He went to activities, and he tried to live like the other students, with dedicated Bible study and prayer time, and I think he tried to be honest about the effects that had on him.  At the same time, he was constantly trying to figure out how to navigate this world, that had a lot of elements he couldn't agree with or that were distressing to him.  At the same time as that, he was seeing some things that were really neat, like the close friendships in his dorm that seemed to go deeper than what he was used to, and people sharing more of their difficulties and supporting each other.

So the whole thing is pretty fascinating.  I couldn't help mentally comparing it with what it might be like to do such a thing at an LDS university -- what would that book be like? -- but I also realized right away that it wouldn't be the same project.  A writer wouldn't be able to go undercover in that way, but at the same time, I'm not sure he'd need to.

One of my favorite bits, from near the beginning (trimmed for length):
Last week, I was walking to the gym with Zipper, my ultra-happy next-door neighbor.  Zipper told me about his most recent prayer walk, and the thoughts is had inspired...
While Zipper was talking, I was trying to figure out why he was  giving me this spiritual soliloquy.  Was it because he didn't think I was saved?  What was he playing at here?

In the last few days, though, I've learned that at Liberty, it's perfectly socially acceptable to pour your soul out to everyone withing earshot.  There's no such thing as TMI.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Confronting the Classics

Confronting the Classics: Traditions, Adventures, and Innovations, by Mary Beard

I like books about the classical world (that is to say, ancient Greeks and Romans), especially about reading their books.  I thought this book would be about reading classical literature, but it turned out to be a collection of reviews of books about the classical world, the kind of reviews that are essays several pages in length and that can include many of the reviewer's own thoughts before getting around to the book review part.  So, while it was an OK read, I kind of felt like it was cheating a little bit to collect a bunch of book reviews and not mention that on the back of the book; I was reading about books I've never read and have no wish to read.

That said, many of the essays are quite interesting; it's just that they're also pretty random.  Beard imposes a bit of structure on them by categorizing them into sections that then move chronologically through ancient Greece and the Roman period.  I liked "What Made the Greeks Laugh?" and "Who Wanted Remus Dead? in the earlier pieces.  After that, my favorites by far were in the part called "Rome From the Bottom Up," about the average Joes of Roman society.  There's a good one about a little fortune-telling book that offers randomized answers to common life questions (such as "Am I going to be sold?" or "Am I about to be caught as an adulterer?")

Beard can get pretty acerbic in these reviews.  I had fun with a piece about a biography of Hadrian, which had to imagine quite a bit in order to produce anything that looked like a biography.
To be fair to Birley, he does signal his conjectures, guesses and inferences for what they are. Obsessively so. His text is littered with the technical terminology of ‘careful’ ancient history: ‘presumably’, ‘one may readily postulate’, ‘the odds are that’, ‘it is no more than a guess’, ‘no doubt’, ‘in all likelihood’, ‘on this hypothesis’. Such phrases occur literally hundreds of times throughout the book. The problem with this method is not its dishonesty (though readers should be warned that many of Birley’s terms are used in their narrowest academic sense: ‘no doubt’ means ‘this is an extremely dodgy speculation’). The real issue is that this veneer of scrupulous scholarship (‘I shall claim nothing as fact that I cannot firmly authenticate’) turns out to act as a brilliant alibi for outright fiction: ‘I am at liberty to spin any line I fancy, provided I admit that it is conjecture.’ A biography of Hadrian (or of almost any Roman emperor) stretching over four hundred pages is bound to be largely fiction.
 It was fairly enjoyable, but really only relevant to somebody who wants to read an awful lot about the classical world, or perhaps a dedicated Mary Beard fan.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018


Factfulness: Ten Reasons We're Wrong About the World -- and Why Things Are Better Than You Think, by Hans Rosling

This book has been making something of a splash in non-fiction and especially tech circles.  Bill Gates endorsed it, so that's probably making an impression in a lot of places.  It's the sort of book I really like, but I wasn't in a big hurry, so I put my name on the hold list at the public library and then didn't actually read the book until 4 days before it was due back.  I thought maybe I'd skim and get it later, but instead I was instantly grabbed, and read the whole thing in less than 24 hours.  (Although it's a thickish book, it's quite fast to read.)  Now I'm pushing it to the top of my blogging pile, since I have to return it right away!

Hans Rosling was a doctor, expert in international health, speaker, and adviser to WHO and UNICEF.  His TED talks are popular, he helped co-found Doctors Without Borders in his native Sweden, and all sorts of other things.  He ran the Gapminder website, which includes some wonderful tools, including the absorbing Dollar Street project.

Rosling likes data, and and believes that if you haven't got a clear, fact-based picture of the world, you won't be able to solve the problems around you.  Over his long medical career working in Africa and speaking with Westerners, he saw that we in the West tend to have outdated, colonialist-based ideas about everybody else.  We tend to assume that there are rich countries and poor countries, and that everybody in the poor countries is pretty miserable.  He got into the habit of giving a little quiz about world conditions to his audiences -- you can take a version of it here -- and took delight in showing people how wrong their ideas were about poor countries.

In fact, things have been getting much better for most of the world population, and Rosling proves it with graph after graph.  Life expectancy, education, access to medical care and clean water, birth rate, all sorts of indications show that in the last 20 years, the proportion of the world's population living in extreme poverty has halved.  That's not to say everything is great, but things are improving and doing so quickly.  This is wonderful news!  Humanity can conquer extreme poverty, which was the normal condition of practically everybody until fairly recently.

Rosling points out that we like to think in terms of opposites, with a gap in between.  In reality, the majority of people live in the middle of any graph.  Most people now live in a middle-income state; what an American or Swede would consider poor, but still a lot better than extreme poverty, really pretty similar to where Swedes lived within 50-75 years ago -- and improving fast.  (Rosling remembered open drainage ditches carrying sewage when he was a child; he nearly died in one.  His family was thrilled to get a washing machine.)

My favorite quotation:
Have you heard people say that humans used to live in balance with nature? 
Well, yes, there was a balance....Until 1800 women gave birth to six children on average....On average four out of six children died before becoming parents themselves, leaving just two surviving children to parent the next generation.  There was a balance.  It wasn't because humans lived in balance with nature.  Humans died in balance with nature.  It was utterly brutal and tragic.
Rosling, being a Swede who has mostly worked in Africa and Europe, spends pretty well no time on the Americas, barring some anecdotes and data about Central and South American countries.  He takes a moment to point out that the US spends double the money on health care with a worse result than other wealthy countries, but also comments that Americans tend to do slightly better than Europeans on his quiz.  So don't go in thinking that this book is going to say anything much about the US; it's got a very different focus.

The whole thing is an absorbing and compelling read.  It's persuasive and inspiring, because he is showing that things are, on the whole, getting better and not worse.  The world can improve, people can live materially better lives, and it's all happening without our noticing very much -- but pretty soon, Europe and the US will be on the periphery, while Asia and Africa (and, one presumes, Central/South America) do all the growing.   This should all inspire us to continue trying and tackle the very serious problems we still have.

I'd call this a must-read book for anyone wishing to be informed about the state of the globe (hopefully everybody?).  It reminds me of other books I've read, such as The Bright Continent, The Rational Optimist, and Steven Pinker's last couple of books, which I have not read yet.

As a final shot, take a look at this great article from Our World in Data: A History of Global Living Conditions in 5 Charts.   Here's a sample chart!

Monday, October 15, 2018

Franny and Zooey

Franny and Zooey, by J. D. Salinger

I put Franny and Zooey on my mental TBR list last year, when somebody assured me that I would like it much better than Catcher in the Rye.  (I have read Catcher three times.  I get that Holden is a mess for particular reasons.  But I'm the wrong person to read it; at this point, I read it with Mom Eyes.  I just want to give him a giant sandwich, a glass of milk, a quart of water, and send him to bed.   After he sleeps for 24 hours, I'll make him shower, feed him some more, and give him a job in construction for a year.  He'll feel much better.)

Franny and Zooey turned out to be two short things; the short story Franny, and the novella Zooey.  They're siblings, part of a family Salinger wrote about every so often.  Franny is the youngest, and all six of them are former child prodigies who were featured on the radio all the time.  Franny is at college, and her story shows her visiting her boyfriend for the Yale game weekend.  At the restaurant, though, she acts oddly.  Her boyfriend reveals himself to be kind of a jerk, but she's more preoccupied with her own feelings -- she's been reading The Way of a Pilgrim and pondering the hypocrisy of the world.  She is in fact a bit of a mess and passes out.

We then move to Zooey's novella; he's at the family apartment and so is Franny.  She is having something of a nervous breakdown, and Zooey wants to help her figure things out, but that largely takes the form of lecturing her at incredible length.

Things I noticed:
  • The dialogue style is just like Catcher in the Rye, with everyone speaking in italics a lot.   
  • Everyone smokes endlessly and in great detail.  I'm pretty sure if the characters gave up smoking, the stories would be about 25% shorter.
I can't say that I loved these stories; they were fine, and I got kind of fond, in an exasperated-mom way, of the two siblings.  But I don't really feel that I need to read more Salinger, or that my life was improved by reading  Franny and Zooey.  Maybe I'm a philistine with a total lack of appreciation of American literature.

Friday, October 12, 2018

RIP XIII #6: White is for Witching

White is for Witching, by Helen Oyeyemi

Now this is what I call an RIP read! This was a weird, fascinating, and entirely spooky novel.

Miranda and her twin brother Eliot live in an old house in Dover.  They've been there for several years, since their father converted it to a bed-and-breakfast, but it's belonged to their mother's side of the family for four generations: first Anna Silver, whose husband died in the war; Jennifer, who disappeared, leaving her baby to be brought up by Anna, then Lily, who died while traveling abroad. 

After Lily's death, Miranda became strangely ill.  She hates food but will eat plenty of other things.  She hears voices.  Miranda and Eliot are in college now, and they're both intelligent, but Miranda seems to be fastening on to Eliot in a strange way.  When she brings a friend home from Cambridge, the house -- holder of the Silver women -- is not pleased at all.

It's a very modern take on a Gothic novel, and just so well done.  Perspectives and fragments overlap, so that the reader has to work a bit to figure out what's going on. This is my first Oyeyemi novel; I've been meaning to read her for some time now, and I'll be continuing.  I really enjoyed this one.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Mount TBR Checkpoint #3

Well, things have been pretty busy around here, but I've been doing some fun reading and I do plan to tell you about it!  Meanwhile, it's time for the Mount TBR Checkpoint.  Bev says:

For those who would like to participate in this checkpoint post, I'd like you to do two things:

1. Tell us how many miles you've made it up your mountain (# of books read).  If you're really ambitious, you can do some intricate math and figure out how the number of books you've read correlates to actual miles up Pike's Peak, Mt. Ararat, etc.
 I'm pleased to report that I finished up book #27 last night!  I'm now over the top for my original goal of 24.  Good thing too, because the pile just keeps getting larger.  I thought I wasn't getting many books this year, but I was fooling myself, especially after I found out that John Verney and Alan Garner have disappeared from my local public library.  I went on an AbeBooks binge and bought (for super-cheap!) most of Verney, all the Garner I wanted, and about half of Joan Aiken's Wolves Chronicles.  Those don't count as TBRs, though, so on with our story...

  1.  Early Christian Writings (a collection)
  2. The Age of Bede 
  3. The Ginger Star, by Leigh Brackett
  4. The Hounds of Skaith, by Leigh Brackett
  5. The Reavers of Skaith, by Leigh Brackett
  6. Crashing Suns
  7. Danubia, by Simon Winder
  8. The Story of Science, by Susan Wise Bauer (my guru!)
  9. Rasselas, by Samuel Johnson 
  10. Pan Tadeusz, by Adam Mickiewicz
  11. Fire in the Bones, by S. Michael Wilcox
  12.  Towers in the Mist, by Elizabeth Goudge
  13. Libraries in the Ancient World, by Lionel Casson
  14. Home and Exile, by Chinua Achebe
  15. Over the Gate, by Miss Read
  16. The Market Square, by Miss Read
  17. The Sea and Poison, by Shusaku Endo
  18. The Pocket Enquire Within
  19. Justinian's Flea, by William Rosen
  20. Miss MacKenzie, by Anthony Trollope
  21. Lectures on Russian Literature, by Vladimir Nabokov
  22. 800 Years of Women's Letters, ed. Olga Kenyon
  23. The Sibyl, by Par Lagerkvist
  24. Smoke Gets in Your Eyes, by Caitlin Doughty
  25. The Romance of the Forest, by Ann Radcliffe 
  26. Jurgen, by James Branch Cabell
  27.  Confronting the Classics, by Mary Beard

2. Complete ONE (or more if you like) of the following:
A. Who has been your favorite character so far? And tell us why, if you like.
 Hm, most of mine have not been fiction. I think Towers in the Mist has been my favorite novel, but then....I am very fond of Miss MacKenzie,.  She is an unusual heroine, being neither young nor beautiful, and she is stubbornly good.

B. Pair up two of your reads. But this time we're going for opposites. One book with a male protagonist and one with a female protagonist. One book with "Good" in the title and one with "Evil." Get creative and show off a couple of your books.
The Sea and Poison, by Shusaku Endo, and The Romance of the Forest, by Ann Radcliffe.   The ocean and the forest are opposite landscapes, and it's a metaphorical sea vs. a real forest.  Plus one is a grim, realistic, modern Japanese novel, and the other is an English Gothic fantasy from 200 years ago.  It's hard to get much more opposite than these two novels. 
C. Which book (read so far) has been on your TBR mountain the longest? Was it worth the wait? Or is it possible you should have tackled it back when you first put it on the pile? Or tossed it off the edge without reading it all?
 800 Years of Women's Letters, ed. Olga Kenyon.  I bought it in about 1993, read a little bit, and then ignored it for about 25 years because -- as I said in the post -- I don't actually like historical collections of letters.  Despite this fact, there is another one on the shelf.  I should have tossed this one, and maybe I'll toss that one too.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Dragon Ascending

Dragon Ascending (Vanir Chronicles), by Amy Beatty

I have this friend, Amy, who I mostly know online through homeschooling, but we've met a couple of times in real life too.  Amy is an amazing person, plus she is eloquent and wise in a way that I will certainly never ever be.  Also I feel like our families would get along well if they happened to live in the same state.  Anyway, Amy had always wanted to be a writer and felt like it was time to do the thing.  She told me that she wasn't sure whether she wanted to write a complicated galactic SF novel, or a fantasy novel about dragons, so she figured she would try both.  She wasn't sure whether she was a meticulous plot-planner or more of a spontaneous writer, so she tried both.  The result is two books, and the dragon novel found a publisher remarkably quickly (I know this because I saw it over Facebook in real time). 

First, Edrik is thrown into a dungeon, which wasn't his plan.  His plan was to find his long-missing king and rescue him.  Instead, he's broken and imprisoned, and so are his friends -- except the one lying dead on the table, being dissected by the young and skinny dungeon-keeper who seems to keep a rat in his hair.  Edrik is desperate to escape; his only chance for the life he wants, for marrying the girl he loves, is to do this job and get back in time.  As a pinioned dragon, he has few good options.  Meanwhile, his king doesn't seem to want to escape this dungeon, and is weirdly friendly with Mudge, the dungeon-keeper.  At least nobody seems to know who the king really is.  But nobody knows who Mudge really is, either.

Beatty is a solid fantasy writer, by which I mean she knows how to do it; this may be her first published novel, but it's not her first story by any means.  She builds a large, complex world holding several societies and a long history; she has original and interesting ideas about those societies and the people inhabiting them; there aren't long breaks in the action for infodumping.

More than that, it's a great story.  I usually have to read in short chunks, and I didn't like putting this one down.  Finally, I had a morning to myself and decided to read the last third all in one go, because I knew it was going to get too exciting for me to want to stop and go do normal real-life things.  Which it did; I was stuck on the couch all morning!  I did this in preference to working on my latest embroidery project, people, and that has a deadline looming.

So if you're a dragon fan, or into fantasy novels, this is one to get.

Dragon Ascending is being published tomorrow, and you can get it in paperback and Kindle.  For some reason they're listed separately.  I suppose Amazon will fix that one of these days.  You can also check out Amy Beatty's website, find background information, and even listen to soundscapes to match the story.

See what I mean about having a bunch of author friends all of a sudden?

I received a free copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.