Wednesday, April 28, 2010

April Christian Science Fiction & Fantasy Blog Tour

Didn't we just have one of these?

We're in the end of my term at school now and I don't have much time to post, but this month's, um, second blog tour goes out to Raven's Ladder by Jeffrey Overstreet.  Read his blog here.

Blog Tour:

Brandon Barr
Rachel Briard (BooksForLife)
Keanan Brand
Beckie Burnham
Melissa Carswell
Valerie Comer
CSFF Blog Tour
Stacey Dale
D. G. D. Davidson
Shane Deal
Jeff Draper
April Erwin
Ryan Heart
Becky Jesse
Cris Jesse
Jason Joyner
Julie
Krystine Kercher
Dawn King
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Nissa
John W. Otte
Donita K. Paul
Crista Richey
Chawna Schroeder
Andrea Schultz
James Somers
Robert Treskillard
Steve Trower
Fred Warren
Phyllis Wheeler
KM Wilsher

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Say That Again...?

The Good and Evil Serpent: How a Universal Symbol Became Christianized (The Anchor Yale Bible Reference Library)

"I think we can hear the voices of those who are being freed from the dogmatism of literalism to spiritualism in some of the songs of Sting and Enya."
--James H. Charlesworth, The Good and Evil Serpent, p. 9

This book is an extensive overview of snake imagery in the art and literature of the ancient Mediterranean world.  I appreciate the project, and I really want to like the book, but it keeps saying stuff that makes me facepalm.

I will give it credit, though, in that it is trying to navigate between the view that snakes are universal symbols of evil and that snakes are mostly symbols of good.  So far, although the author to my mind sometimes lets his imagination run too free when he's interpreting ancient artifacts (this is a constant problem with the interpretation of archaeological finds), his overarching thesis appears thus far to be that what any particular snake symbol represents will vary depending on--surprise!--its context, though the range of meanings a snake can have is necessarily limited by the snake's actual anatomical attributes.  If Charlesworth could stick to his topic without interjections about his musical preferences, this would be a fine book.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

April Christian Science Fiction & Fantasy Blog Tour



Here I am in the midst of my studies and I've once again nearly lost out on a blog tour.  This one goes out to Lost Mission by Athol Dickson.  See the author's website and blog.

Admittedly, when I saw the title, I assumed the book was maybe about a mission to Mars that got zapped into a wormhole or crash-landed on an asteroid or something, but it's actually about a construction project that uncovers the ruins of a Spanish Mission in California and thereby brings together four people who have difficult moral choices to make. The synopsis sounds somewhat Bridge of San Luis Rey-esque. Also, the novel is an example of "magical realism," if you're looking to sink your teeth into that.

 Let's see...oh, that's right.  I got word that there's a notice I'm required by the Federal Trade Commission to place on my posts:

I may or may not have received a free copy of the book from the publisher.
It really isn't any of your concern, so mind your own business, Big Brother.

That may not have been the exact text they required, but I'm sure it was something like that.  Actually, when a publisher is nice enough to throw free books at me, I usually make a note of it in the review anyway, as a courtesy, to point out how nice the publisher is to give me free stuff, but I don't much like it when a federal commission tells me I'm required by law to perform such courtesies.  I mean, seriously, I don't write better reviews of books just because I happen to get them free.  I don't exactly count on free gifts to build my library.

Okay, in all honesty, I didn't receive a free copy of this book anyway because the publisher is a BIG MEANIE!!!  No, I'm kidding.  Actually, I could have had a free copy if I'd wanted one, but I was too lazy.  Besides, I don't care to review free books, since if you write a negative review of a free book, the publisher usually sends Joey "The Handler" Croce to "take care" of you.  And believe me, you don't want to be taken care of by The Handler.

Others about to be arrested by the FTC:

Brandon Barr
Keanan Brand
Amy Browning
Valerie Comer
CSFF Blog Tour
Stacey Dale
D. G. D. Davidson
Jeff Draper
April Erwin
Timothy Hicks
Jason Isbell
Becky Jesse
Cris Jesse
Jason Joyner
Julie
Carol Keen
Krystine Kercher
Dawn King
Rebecca LuElla Miller
New Authors Fellowship
John W. Otte
Donita K. Paul
Crista Richey
Chawna Schroeder
James Somers
Steve Trower
Fred Warren
Phyllis Wheeler
KM Wilsher

Friday, April 9, 2010

Update Actually!

The sidebar "currently reading" and "currently watching" lists with mini-reviews have been updated for the first time in almost a year!  Check 'em out!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Greetings from Vacationland

You may be wondering where in the world we are and why we haven't reported in.  The answer can be summed up in two words:  SPRING BREAK!!!

Spring break is a time to relax, to step away from studies and deadlines, and to get caught up on those things that really matter in life, like, um...taxes.

Yeah, I'm doing my taxes.  Actually, I only popped in to indulge my annual habit of grousing about the grave evil known as USE TAX.  Use tax is this little things where Utah, and some other states, asks its citizens to dutifully report everything bought outside the state and brought into the state, and to pay tax on it in order to make up for the Utah sales tax not paid at the time of purchase.

Riiiiight.  Next time I go back to Utah, I'm going to buy a sandwich across the border, and then I'm going to take the sandwich into Utah, and then I'm going to EAT THE SANDWICH!  And then I'm going to BURN THE RECEIPT!  BWAHAHAHAHA!!!  That's what I call sticking it to the Man!

(Oh man, and then, just to confuse them, I'm going to buy a sandwich just outside the Utah border, and then I'm going to cross into Utah, and then I'm going to think about eating the sandwich, but decide I'm not hungry and wrap up the sandwich for later, and then later I'll stand right on the border while holding the sandwich, and I'll lean my face just outside Utah while I eat the sandwich, but as I get to the last pickle, I'll slowly, slooooowly, slooooooooowly lean my face back into Utah just as I swallow the pickle!!!!)