Saturday, July 30, 2011

Edi's Weekend Wave #1131

6 comments
Hello and welcome to issue #31 of Edi's Weekend Wave.
It is nearly midnight in Germany on Friday, July 29th. Today I could leave work earlier than expected and I wanted to spend time for this post and a review. But it seems there is someone who tries to block me from doing that. We use an antivirus program and a firewall on our main PC. But today it happened. The PC has been infected!!! Even it takes a long time I found a way to clean the system without the use of the lovely command format C:. The bad thing is I lost a lot of hours which I wanted to spend for the blog. That's life! It does not help to lament.
Consequence: no review on Friday. Instead of reading on Saturday I will do what I planned to do on Friday afternoon and evening.
And the moral of the story is think thrice before you click a link!
Now let's see if I found something interesting for you ....


ENJOY READING ....

Edi's Guidepost

The Lighthouse
News and information straight from the horse's mouth by Lighthouse keeper ediFanoB

  1. Reading progress
Books
The latest report from our shelf shop net correspondent Bona
  1. Two and two
  2. CassaFire
Blogosphere
Messages from the depths of the blogosphere by spheronaut Bona Fide
  1. Time to speed up
  2. Eerie Inspiration
Movies
Remote control junkie Fide and his zapping highlights
  1. Lucky People
  2. Spiderman
Quotes
The member of the house of quotes and a quote himself the Keeper of the minutes ( we call him Kotm) fished for you
  1. German proverbs, sayings and idioms Secrets

The Lighthouse

I'm dumbfounded. Shall I tell you how many pages I read last week? In sum I read 1014 pages !!! Don't ask me how I managed it.
I finished following books which all need to be reviewed (when??)

- The River of Shadows by Robert V.S. Redick
- The Immorality Engine by George Mann
- The Light of Epertase by Douglas R. Brown
- Fistful of Reefer by David Mark Brown

I'm
- 501 pages in A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin.
As you can see above, I concentrated on other books. Therefore no progress :-((

- 71 pages in A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin.
One more chapter.
.
I will talk about my reading plan for August soon ....

Enjoy your weekend ....


Books

Dear readers, I'm the one to tell you about books - only books? What about novellas and other stuff? My name is Bona. I scour shelves, shops and the net for books. If you call me a book whore I would not gainsay you. But be aware I have my own, sometimes elusive taste.

In sum copies of for books found the way to my shelves (virtual and real).

I like series, especially fantasy series. The two real books I received this week is a proof for that.

The first book for today is the last book in the Watergivers series by Glenda Larke. For me it does not makes sense to post the blurb in this case. You should read Where did the idea for the Watergivers come from? over at the author's site.
Stormlord's Exile (pb, July 2011) [ISBN-13: 978-0316069137]

The second book is the first one in a brand new fantasy series. It pays tribute to the featured hero type in 2011: Thieves
Welcome to the first book in The Ancient Blades trilogy. It all starts with Den of Thieves (July 2011) [ISBN-13: 978-0062021243] by David Chandler. The good thing is that book two and three will be published within this year (UK edition: August and September; US edition: September and November)
"Croy is a knight errant, and bearer of an ancient blade with a powerful destiny. He′s also kind of, well, dim. He believes in honour and he believes that people are fundamentally good. Unfortunately, Croy lives in the city of Ness, a thriving medieval city of fifty thousand people, none of whom are fundamentally even decent, and who will gleefully stab you in the back ... if you give them a chance.

Ness is also the home to Malden. Malden is a thief. He lives by his wits, disarming cunning traps, sneaking past sleeping guards, and running away very fast whenever people are trying to kill him. Which is often. One time Malden stole a crown. And then he had to steal it back to avoid a civil war. Croy got the credit, of course, because he′s a noble knight. Another time the two of them went into the tomb of an ancient warrior race, and Croy accidentally started a barbarian invasion. Guess who had to clean that up?

T
hey probably wouldn′t be friends at all if it wasn′t for Cythera. Cythera is a witch. A mostly-good witch. And despite herself she can′t stop thieves and knights falling in love with her ... At the same time." [Source]


And now we come to the digital copy delivery of books. Author DCS sent me ail with the request to read and review her first to books in her Synarchy series. I must admit the more information I got the more rose my interest. So finally I agreed.

This is the trailer of The Awakening [Kindle Edition; Published May 22nd 2008] which is the first book in the series.



The Awakening [Kindle Edition; Published May 22nd 2008] by DCS.
"A plan is exposed, centuries in the making and so sinister not even the legend himself could have predicted the depth of its impact on the world. In his lifetime Stefano Terenzio had a merciless ambition for absolute power. Two generations later the shock wave he ignited was still being felt. Now, as the world inches closer to 2012 sides are chosen, families divide and an epic battle begins that will determine whether mankind continues existing in a world of lies or shatters the chains that have held us prisoner since his-story was written.

S
hocking yet hopeful, Synarchy slowly unravels the tightly laced reality we have created for ourselves. Blending the metaphysical with conspiracy, fact with fiction, debut author DCS has opened up a world that will force you to rethink everything you believe about your own. The knowledge within provokes the question: do you really want to know?" [Source]

The Ascension [Kindle Edition; Published July 3rd 2010] by DCS is the second book in the series.
"A lifetime ago, Stefano Vasco Terenzio saw one way to maneuver his family into a game of betrayal against an unbeatable enemy; walking into a bullet. A generation later, what started with one man’s ego will determine the fate of the whole word. For centuries The Brotherhood and their Gods, the Anunnaki have hidden in plain sight among us. For centuries they have lied, sacrificed man by the thousands, and manipulated humanity into their service. As the clock ticks closer to December 21st, 2012, they will stop at nothing to keep their control of planet Earth. In the thrilling sequel to Synarchy Book 1: The Awakening, the end is only the beginning. Secrets emerge that will challenge the core of everything you think you believe. All the while a team of scientists must make sense out of the fantastical, and the tenuous link holding together the one family that can save humankind, shatters." [Source]

On July 13th I posted about author Alex J. Cavanaugh and his upcoming second book CassaFire.
Today I can delivery more information. CassaFire will be published on February 28th 2012.

"CassaStar was only the beginning…

The Vindicarn War is a distant memory and Byron’s days of piloting Cosbolt fighters are over. He has kept the promise he made to his fallen mentor and friend - to probe space on an exploration vessel. Shuttle work is dull, but it’s a free and solitary existence. The senior officer is content with his life aboard the Rennather.
The detection of alien ruins sends the exploration ship to the distant planet of Tgren. If their scientists can decipher the language, they can unlock the secrets of this device. Is it a key to the Tgren's civilization or a weapon of unimaginable power? Tensions mount as their new allies are suspicious of the Cassan's technology and strange mental abilities.
To complicate matters, the Tgrens are showing signs of mental powers themselves, the strongest of which belongs to a pilot named Athee, a woman whose skills rival Byron’s unique abilities. Forced to train her mind and further develop her flying aptitude, he finds his patience strained. Add a reluctant friendship with a young scientist, and he feels invaded on every level. All Byron wanted was his privacy…" [Source]
I look forward to read it.


No more today, see you next week ......

Blogosphere

Hey, I'm Bona Fide. I just came back from my last foray through the blogosphere. What can you expect from me? I tell you: Everything from Art to Fart as long as there is any faint connection to books. And here is some honey from the beehive blogosphere...

I think the time has come to speed up my reading of . With all the interviews popping up and the luck to watch some episodes my appetite is growing.
And these are two of the interviews I watched recently:

Interview with Entertainment Weekly at the Comic-Con 2011


Interview with CBC at the Comic-Con 2011


Anyway I highly recommend the four post series by Werthead over at The Wertzone.

If you look for a summary of the books then you should have a look at Tower of the Hand.

The Western civilizations are proud of the wealth and progress. Too often people forget that there is also a dark side. There is a quite impressive example over at Dark Roasted Blend.
I find the post eerie and inspiring at the same time. It would fit to a fantasy novel. Now visit
Exploring the ruins of Gary, Indiana.


That's it for today. Come back next week for more ......

Movies

Hey, it's me Fide. I'm a remote control professional. I'm that fast that I can watch two movies at the same time.
But don't worry. All the stuff I present to you will be shown at normal speed.

I know a lot of people know the following trailer very well. Despite that it was a must for me to show it again. It is such an awesome opener. I can't count how often I watched it. Finally my wife and I found a way to watch episode one to six (Thanks to good friends). We love it!!


It seems there will be a new Spiderman movie which does not look like Spiderman 4. Have a look at following trailer


That's all for today. See you next time....

Quotes

I 'm the Keeper of the minutes. But I don't mind when you call me Kotm. No, no. I don't explain to you how to pronounce.

Today only one quote. Too tired to search for more ...


"Well have secrets. The ones wee keep and the ones that are kept from us.
Spiderman trailer 2011

Well have secrets. The ones wee keep and the ones that are kept from us.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Edi's Lighthouse Chatter: Birthday 2011

11 comments
Dear Readers,

last Saturday I celebrated my 52nd birthday. Celebrate is not the appropriate work. I preferred to spend the day together with my wife. I'm no fan of big parties. Beside some books my wife surprised me with a memory like card game and a extravagant and good smelling aftershave.

I'm no good photographer. The aftershave box is golden but looks silvery on the pictures. I like the smell which has an exotic touch.


The memory card game is a special one because there are anagram and picture on the card which makes it more difficult. It is definitely good for the brain and makes a lot of fun.


But what is a birthday without books. From the six books I hoped to get three arrived until my birthday. All books belong to series.

The Key to Creation (2011) [ISBN-13: 978-1841496610] by Kevin J. Anderson is the last book in the Terra Incognita series.
"Brave explorers and mortal enemies across the world clash at a mysterious lost continent. After long voyages, encountering hurricanes and sea monsters, Criston Vora and Saan race to Terravitae, the legendary promised land. Saan's quest is to find the Key to Creation, a weapon that may defeat Uraba's enemies, and Criston wants vengeance against the monstrous Leviathan that ruined his life long ago.
Back home, two opposing continents and religions clash for the remnants of a sacred city, unleashing their hatred in a war that could end both civilizations. Queen Anjine and Soldan-Shah Omra are driven by mutual hatred, heaping atrocity upon atrocity in an escalating conflict that only their gods can end.
Meanwhile, the secretive Saedrans. manipulating both sides, come ever closer to their ultimate goal: to complete the Map of All Things and bring about the return of God." [Source]
So far I read book one which I liked.


"Liam O’Connor should have died at sea in 1912.
Maddy Carter should have died on a plane in 2010.
Sal Vikram should have died in a fire in 2026.

But all three have been given a second chance – to work for an agency that no one knows exists.
Its purpose: to prevent time travel destroying history . . .

A time wave has struck that alters the entire history of the American Civil War. Abraham Lincoln has followed Liam into the present from 1831 – and now the world is in a dangerous state of limbo . . .
If the TimeRiders can’t return Lincoln to the past, the Civil War will never end. Can Maddy persuade two colonels on either side of no man’s land to cease fire long enough to save the future?" [Source]
The Eternal War (2011) [ISBN-13: 978-0141336336] by Alex Scarrow is the fourth book in the TimeRiders series. I read and reviewed all the books so far. It is a great series about time traveling. also adults can enjoy this series.


"NEW YORK CITY IS BEING PLAGUED BY A PACK OF FEROCIOUS BRASS RAPTORS...
...strange, skeletonlike creations with batlike wings that swoop out of the sky, attacking people and carrying them away into the night. The Ghost has been tracking these bizarre machines, and is close to finding their origin: a deranged military scientist who is slowly rebuilding himself as a machine." [Source]

Ghosts of Manhattan (2011) [ISBN-13: 978-01616143671] by George Mann is the second book in the Ghosts series. I have nearly finished reading. An awesome book.


Let me close this post with an announcement:

Believe it or not, I will delivery several reviews within the next weeks!! The first two reviews will cover books which are both debuts and most of you will not know them so far. Fortunately it will change with my reviews.

Enjoy Reading

Friday, July 22, 2011

Edi's Weekend Wave #1130

9 comments
Hello and welcome to issue #30 of Edi's Weekend Wave.
This is a special issue because it will be posted on my birthday :-) One the one hand I'm happy that I found time to put it together. On the other hand work dominated the whole week. It ain't funny when you are too tired for reading and blogging in the evening. I hope I do not fall asleep before I have finished this issue ...

ENJOY READING ....

Edi's Guidepost

The Lighthouse
News and information straight from the horse's mouth by Lighthouse keeper ediFanoB

  1. Reading progress
  2. Cake and music
Books
The latest report from our shelf shop net correspondent Bona
  1. The Hodder and Stoughton parcel
Blogosphere
Messages from the depths of the blogosphere by spheronaut Bona Fide
  1. Give me one, give me two ...
  2. You want to help your favorite author
  3. Money, Tattoo and Art
Movies
Remote control junkie Fide and his zapping highlights
  1. The Dark Knight Rises
Quotes
The member of the house of quotes and a quote himself the Keeper of the minutes ( we call him Kotm) fished for you
  1. German proverbs, sayings and idioms Birthday

The Lighthouse

This week I hit the rock bottom concerning reading. Three days without reading! In sum I read 326 pages. I finished no book! And there was no time for reviews. I'm grumpily. I miss my "drug". There is a saying. An apple a day keeps the doctor away. I have my own saying. 70 pages a day keeps grumpiness away.

I'm
- 501 pages in A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin.
No progress :-((


- 471 pages in The River of Shadows by Robert V.S. Redick
Still 103 pages left .....

- 59 pages in A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin.
I read my first Jon Snow chapter.
.

- 230 pages in The Immorality Engine by George Mann
Excellent read.

- 62 pages in The Light of Epertase by Douglas R. Brown

- 61 pages in Fistful of Reefer by David Mark Brown


All my plans for the week went down the drain. Any plans for the next weeks? Nothing specific. Only: read as much as I can and write as much as possible. Not sure what the result will look like.
Anyway I want to enjoy my holiday. As I did not want that my wife spends too much time in the kitchen we bought cake today. I look forward to eat my favorite one: Black Forest cake. Beside reading there is something more which helps against grumpiness - listen to music. In the past days I listened to Set Fire to the Rain performed by Adele. I like her voice.



Enjoy your weekend ....


Books

Dear readers, I'm the one to tell you about books - only books? What about novellas and other stuff? My name is Bona. I scour shelves, shops and the net for books. If you call me a book whore I would not gainsay you. But be aware I have my own, sometimes elusive taste.

It is always exciting when you get in contact with a publisher. Recently I received a mail from Hodder and Stoughton. I have been asked if I would like to be added to a mailing list. It is good for a book lover, blogger and reviewer to get in contact with publishers. Of course I agreed to be added to the mailing list. And in order to show my interest in the publishing program I added the titles of three books I'm interested in. Today the postman delivered a parcel from Hodder and Stoughton. A big thank you goes to James Frost from who sent me copies of the following books:

Let me start with the book where I received a mail with additional information from the publisher:
Bricks (4th August 2011) [ISBN-13: 978-14444706284] by Leon Jenner.
"Leon originally published parts of BRICKS online as a downloadable audio book. It was phenomenally successful and the book received over 250,000 downloads (I have attached some clips from the original audio for you to listen to). Now, for the first time, the novel is available to read in its entirety.
BRICKS is the story of a bricklayer, a practitioner of the red art of masonry, a member of an ancient line of apprentices who work with their hands to form monuments to humanity from the elements of nature. But he is no ordinary bricklayer, and neither is his skill in the shaping and moulding of stone. This bricklayer’s proficiency and dexterity in his craft was forged by his past life as a Druid priest.
Like the bricklayer in our time, the ancient Druid was also a builder of worlds. However, his building blocks were much bigger, he is higher being who can travel through worlds and time. As our bricklayer regresses to his life as a Druid he remembers his part in thwarting the invasion of Britain by Julius Caesar and the lasting effect this chain of events had on the history of Western civilization.

All is not what it seems though, and as the bricklayers narrative progresses his vision of ancient Britain begins to fray and we are left wondering whether, in his attempt to escape reality, he has become lost in his own fantasies.

BRICKS is a beautifully written book that examines the mysticism and myth of Britain’s heritage through the eyes of a modern day bricklayer. Leon Jenner vividly creates the world of the Druids, and the mortals that lived alongside them, and draws you into the battle to protect England’s shores from Caesar and his troops."

I read the information above. Then I watched following trailer.


Finally I tried to find reviews, impressions and opinions. I found these comments which are not positive. I was not sure if i would like to read it. But the book is astonishing thin. I stands for 136 pages including illustrations! And so I decided to give it a try in order to form my own opinion about the book.

Then next book aroused my interest with following text on the cover:

WHEN THE END OF THE WORLD COMES
DO YOU WANT TO BE THE FIRST TO GO?
OR THE LAST TO SURVIVE?
Outpost (2011) [ISBN-13: 978-1444709032] is the debut by Adam Baker. It is a post apocalyptic thriller. I can't remember when I read the last time an post apocalyptic thriller. From time to time I like to read something beyond fantasy and science fiction.

"They took the job to escape the world
They didn`t expect the world to end.

Kasker Rampart: a derelict refinery platform moored in the Arctic Ocean. A skeleton crew of fifteen fight boredom and despair as they wait for a relief ship to take them home.

But the world beyond their frozen wasteland has gone to hell. Cities lie ravaged by a global pandemic. One by one TV channels die, replaced by silent wavebands.

The Rampart crew are marooned. They must survive the long Arctic winter, then make their way home alone. They battle starvation and hypothermia, unaware that the deadly contagion that has devastated the world is heading their way..." (Source)

I'm interested in history. Nowadays I like to read especially about medieval England. In former times I also read alternate history like Fatherland by Robert Harris. That is the reason why The afrika Reich (2011) [ISBN-13: 978-1444710649] by Guy Saville aroused my interest.
"1952. It is more than a decade since the Dunkirk fiasco marked the end of Britain`s war and an uneasy peace with Hitler.
In Africa, the swastika flies from the Sahara to the Indian Ocean. Gleaming autobahns bisect the jungle and jet fighters patrol the skies. Britain and the Nazis have divided the continent but now the demonic plans of Walter Hochburg - architect of Nazi Africa - threaten Britain`s ailing colonies.
In England, ex-mercenary Burton Cole is offered one last contract. Burton grabs the chance to settle an old score with Hochburg, despite his own misgivings and the protests of the woman he loves. If Burton fails, unimaginable horrors will be unleashed in Africa. No one - black or white - will be spared.
But when his mission turns to disaster, Burton is forced to flee for his life.
His flight takes him from the unholy killing ground of Kongo to SS slave camps and on to war-torn Angola, finally reaching its thrilling climax in a conspiracy that leads to the dark heart of the Reich itself." [Source]
The last book for today is a special one because it belongs to the books which I eagerly expect.
I have posted about the book and the trailers before (here, here, here). I ordered the German edition in advance. But I admit that I'm happy for getting an ARC of THE STRAIGHT RAZOR CURE (18 August, 2011) [ISBN-13: 978-1444721294] by Daniel Polansky.
"Welcome to Low Town. Here, the criminal is king. The streets are filled with the screeching of fish hags, the cries of swindled merchants, the inviting murmurs of working girls. Here, people can disappear, and the lacklustre efforts of the guard ensure they are never found.
Warden is an ex-soldier who has seen the worst men have to offer; now a narcotics dealer with a rich, bloody past and a way of inviting danger. You`d struggle to find someone with a soul as dark and troubled as his.
But then a missing child, murdered and horribly mutilated, is discovered in an alley.
And then another.
With a mind as sharp as a blade and an old but powerful friend in the city, he`s the only man with a hope of finding the killer.

If the killer doesn`t find him first." [Source]
I recommend to visit the official site because the author delivers a lot of information.


No more today, see you next week ......

Blogosphere

Hey, I'm Bona Fide. I just came back from my last foray through the blogosphere. What can you expect from me? I tell you: Everything from Art to Fart as long as there is any faint connection to books. And here is some honey from the beehive blogosphere...

Did I mention that tomorrow (July 23rd) is my birthday? It should be a day of joy and fun. A day full of cake and presents. I'm sure I will get some books (what else!!). But I would like to gice something to you. Therefore I thought I would be a nice idea to share with you the links to giveaways of books I like. Don't hesitate and take part. You are of wide scope because I do not participate ....

There are two possibilities to win a copy Of the English edition of

"Prince of Thorns is the first volume in a powerful new epic fantasy trilogy, original, absorbing and challenging.
Before the thorns taught me their sharp lessons and bled weakness from me I had but one brother, and I loved him well. But those days are gone and what is left of them lies in my mother's tomb. Now I have many brothers, quick with knife and sword, and as evil as you please. We ride this broken empire and loot its corpse. They say these are violent times, the end of days when the dead roam and monsters haunt the night. All that's true enough, but there's something worse out there, in the dark. Much worse. From being a privileged royal child, raised by a loving mother, Jorg Ancrath has become the Prince of Thorns, a charming, immoral boy leading a grim band of outlaws in a series of raids and atrocities. The world is in chaos: violence is rife, nightmares everywhere. Jorg has the ability to master the living and the dead, but there is still one thing that puts a chill in him. Returning to his father's castle Jorg must confront horrors from his childhood and carve himself a future with all hands turned against him. Mark Lawrence's debut novel tells a tale of blood and treachery, magic and brotherhood and paints a compelling and brutal, and sometimes beautiful, picture of an exceptional boy on his journey toward manhood and the throne." [Source]
I read and reviewed the German edition (my review in German). It is an excellent read. So don't hesitate to take part in following giveaways:

Giveaway! "Prince of Thorns" by Mark Lawrence over at Fantasy & SciFi Lovin' News & Reviews

Win a copy of Mark Lawrence's PRINCE OF THORNS over at Pat's Fantasy Hotlist

Both giveaways are opened worldwide.


I'm sure there are authors who you like more than others. Did you ever think about how you could possibly help these authors and you did not find answers? Then you should read following post by author Stephen Zimmer because you get useful hints:


There are several non book related blogs which I follow. One of them is WebUrbanist.
Today I recommend to visit following three posts.

It is not that difficult to betray the human eye. But you must see the pictures at following post because they are gorgeous.


Do you like Tattoos and do you like science fiction? Then you should definitely visit

How does money ant art fit together? I must say I like the answer given over at


That's it for today. Come back next week for more ......

Movies

Hey, it's me Fide. I'm a remote control professional. I'm that fast that I can watch two movies at the same time.
But don't worry. All the stuff I present to you will be shown at normal speed.

Another trilogy is coming to an end. In this case it is a film trilogy. It started with Batman Begins in 2005. It has been followed by The Dark Knight in 2008 and it will end with The Dark Knight Rises in 2012. So far we do not know much about Christopher Nolan's plans and ideas. But I'm sure he will present us a worthy end. A first teaser is going round. Therefore I assume a lot of you have seen the teaser before. I liked the first two movies a lot. So I could not withstand to post the teaser ....



That's all for today. See you next time....

Quotes

I 'm the Keeper of the minutes. But I don't mind when you call me Kotm. No, no. I don't explain to you how to pronounce.

There was no way out. Today's quote topic must be birthday. I asked myself if we have birthday too. Are we as old as ediFanoB? I need to think about it. In the meantime have a look ...


"Birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live.
Author unknown

"Today is the yesterday you worried about tomorrow.
Author unknown

"I remember when the candle shop burned down. Everyone stood around singing “Happy Birthday”.
Author unknown

"Personally I think birthdays and anniversaries are like menstrual cramps, a regular pain in the ass that's somehow connected to birth.
Hugh Elliott, Standing Room Only weblog, September 30, 2003

"It was on my fifth birthday that Papa put his hand on my shoulder and said, 'Remember, my son, if you ever need a helping hand, you'll find one at the end of your arm.'
Sam Levenson (1911 - 1980)

Monday, July 18, 2011

Edi's Lighthouse Ledger: 2011 Halftime Report

18 comments
Dear Readers,
half of 2011 is history which means it is high time for the 2011 halftime report. In July 2010 I presented you my top six reads based on 36 books read.

Comparison
End of June 2010 Books read: 36; Books reviewed: 10
End of June 2011 Books read: 33; Books reviewed: 13
That means in 2011 I read less and reviewed more which is not bad for the blog.
I'm not unhappy with the number of books because this year my reading goal is different.

As I posted in January I want to read 25550 pages in 2011 based on following calculation:

Two hours per day for reading
One year = 365 days
Two hours reading per day multiplied by 365 days equals 730 hours
I'm not the fastest reader. My limit is around 35 pages per hour.
730 hours multiplied by 35 pages equals 25550 pages

That means by end of June 2011 (181 days) I should have read 12670 pages. In fact I read 12908 pages which means I'm 238 pages ahead. That is not bad when I look at my roller coaster like reading progress.

Let's have a look at the 33 books I read:
Century of the SoldierThe GreyfriarPax Britannia #8: Dark SideVEINSThrallDoomsday BookThe Lost GateDay Of The PredatorThe Curious Case of the Clockwork ManThe Buntline SpecialThe Doomsday CodePax Britannia #6: Gods of ManhattanHellholeDissolutionDream of LegendsDreams of SteamThe Falling MachineThe Horns of RuinFirst Rider's CallDark JennyThirteen Years Later: Russia, 1825.Among Thieves: A Tale of the KinOut of the DarkThe White Shadow Saga: Shameless WondersPrinz der DunkelheitInfernal DevicesMartian AmbassadorPax Britannia: Anno FrankensteinHeresyThe Dragon's PathThe Quantum ThiefCelebrity SpaceRedheart

When you look at the titles you will agree with me that it is a smorgasbord. Epic fantasy and steampunk are in the lead. I have been surprised that I read four sci-fi books!

And what are my top five books so far? To be honest the answer is difficult.
Before I start the countdown I feel the need to mention five books which did not make it to my top five but are worth to mention due to different reasons.

I read ten steampunk books so far and I liked them all. But there are two books which deserve to be mentioned.

Nowadays we get more and more steampunk novels. But what about the books in the early days of steampunk like Morlock Night (1979) and Infernal Devices (1987) ? Fortunately they have been reissued by Angry Robots.

I read Infernal Devices (1987) and it was incredible to discover that the novel contains all the basic ingredients which we find and like in nowadays steampunk novels. I highly recommend to read it.

"It all began when the Brown Leather Man, a mysterious being with a secret older than humankind, asked proper Victorian London gentleman George Dower to repair a weird device. How could George have known that this was but one of the many infernal devices his genius father had built, and that he himself would soon be pursued by former clients of his father? For George had always been the unsuspecting key to his father's incredible plans, a key that others would like to possess - from the automaton who wore George's own face to the mad Lord Bendray, bent on using George to destroy the entire Earth." [Source]
The second steampunk surprised with several surprising elements which I absolutely did not expect. I seems the book got lost within all the other steampunk novels which is sad. If you really want to read something unexpected and gorgeous then I recommend The Martian Ambassador (pb, 2011) [ISBN-13: 978-1907777-080] by Alan Baker which is the first in the brand-new Blackwood & Harrington Mystery series.
irresistible.
"WELCOME TO LONDON, 1899 It has been six years since the discovery of intelligent life on Mars, and relations between the two worlds are rapidly developing. Three-legged Martian omnibuses stride through the streets and across the landscape, while Queen Victoria has been returned to the vigour of youth by Martian rejuvenation drugs. Victorian computer technology is proceeding apace, thanks to the faeries who power the 'cogitators'; while the first 'ther zeppelins are nearing completion, with a British expedition to the Moon being planned for the following year. Everything seems to be going swimmingly until Lunan R'ondd, Martian Ambassador to the Court of Saint James's, dies while attending a banquet at Buckingham Palace. The discovery of strange, microscopic larvae in his breathing apparatus leads Queen Victoria to suspect that he may have been the victim of a bizarre assassination. The Martian Parliament agrees, and they are not pleased. No Martian has ever died in such suspicious circumstances while on Earth. An ultimatum is given: if Her Majesty's Government cannot solve the crime and bring the perpetrator to justice, the Martians will! Enter Thomas Blackwood, Special Investigator for Her Majesty's Bureau of Clandestine Affairs. Along with Lady Sophia Harrington, Secretary of the Society for Psychical Research, Blackwood is charged with the task of solving the mystery of Ambassador R'ondd's death, before the Martians take matters into their own hands, possibly igniting an interplanetary war in the process!" [Source]
I like to read about time travel. There are so many different books. As you can see I read three time travel novels. I'm glad that I read this timeless gem of time travel: The highly acclaimed Doomsday Book (1992) [ISBN-13: 978-0553562736] by Connie Willis. I must say I have been impressed and touched by the Doomsday Book.

Beside epic fantasy, steampunk and science fiction I like to read historical thrillers and mysteries.
There are some great series around. And this year I discovered one series which led my heart blossom.

I think the The Shardlake series by C.J. Sansom is a must read for fans of historical thrillers. I wrote about Dissolution ( first printed in 2003, paperback 2007) [ISBN-13: 978-0330450799] which is the first book in the series on Goodreads: "I'm impressed! I must read more Shardlake books.
An extraordinary good description of England in 1537. The perfect playground for the historical thriller with the unusual main character Matthew Shardlake."
"It is 1537, a time of revolution that sees the greatest changes in England since 1066. Henry VIII has proclaimed himself Supreme Head of the Church. The country is waking up to savage new laws, rigged trials and the greatest network of informers it has ever seen. Under the orders of Thomas Cromwell, a team of commissioners is sent throughout the country to investigate the monasteries. There can only be one outcome: dissolution.
But on the Sussex coast, at the monastery of Scarnsea, events have spiralled out of control. Cromwell's commissioner, Robert Singleton, has been found dead, his head severed from his body. His horrific murder is accompanied by equally sinister acts of sacrilege.
Matthew Shardlake, lawyer and long-time supporter of Reform, has been sent by Cromwell to uncover the truth behind the dark happenings at Scarnsea. But investigation soon forces Shardlake to question everything that he hears, and everything that he intrinsically believes ..." [Back of the book]





Now the time has come for (drumroll):

Edi's Book Lighthouse
2011 Halftime
TOP FIVE READ

Countdown .......


NUMBER FIVE

When you look at fantasy books one could think 2011 is the year of thieves. So far I read one of these thief books and this one convinced my. Author Douglas Hulick delivered a most entertaining debut novel. For my it was that good to put it on my top five list.

Among Thieves
by Douglas Hulick
(review in progress)



NUMBER FOUR

After a long time I read the German edition of a book. And I must say I have been impressed. It is an extraordinary good debut novel. As far as I can see the translation has been done very well. The title of the English edition is Prince of Thorns and the German one is Der Prinz der Dunkelheit. I will definitely read and review the English edition too.
I titled my review as followed: Die Schönheit von Bosheit und Gewalt in Wort und Tat which means in English The beauty of malice and violence in thought and deed


Prinz der Dunkelheit
by Mark Lawrence





NUMBER THREE

The author of my number three is from my point of view still underrated. But I'm sure that will change with the two new series he is working on. I read the fantasy one and the science fiction one is waiting for me. I like it when a fantasy series includes economics. There is much more to say about my choice. But that will be done in my review.

Dragon's Path
by Daniel Abraham
(review in progress)



NUMBER TWO

Is it a coincidence or did I get a bonus?
In my 2010 halftime report The Strange Affair of Spring-Heeled Jack by Mark Hodder made it to the second place in my top six reads. And one year later it is the same author with the latest book in the Burton & Swinburne series who took this years second place by storm. And again there are two different covers for US (left) and UK (right).
I wrote in my review:
I confess:
I'm addicted to Burton & Swinburne

The Curious Case of the Clockwork Man
by Mark Hodder
(my review)




NUMBER ONE


My number one is the second book in a series.
I wrote on Goodreads:
"What a great, great read! This is definitely a more than worth sequel of Twelve. The mix of historical facts of Russian history, supernatural horror and personal fate is simply brilliant. I have been emotionally touched by Aleksei Ivanovich Danilov's fate. I needed to know how it would end."
After these words most of you will know my number one in the first half of 2011:

Thirteen Years Later
by Jasper Kent



That's it for today. Maybe one of the books aroused your interest ....
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