Category Archives: Books

Bring Back the Illustrated Book! – The New Yorker

Sam Sacks posted this excellent article over at The New Yorker about illustrated books.


“It’s curious how much of literature we are conditioned to consider unliterary. Few would contest the canonization of ‘Bleak House,’ ‘Vanity Fair,’ ‘The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,’ and ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,’ but these classics have something in common we may be prone to disregard: each was published with profuse illustrations, and in each case the author relied on the artwork not only to enhance the aesthetic appeal of the book but to add meaningfully to the story.”

Read more:


Supporting the Authors: The Humble E-book Bundle

Another Humble Bundle, but this time with E-books. I think this threw me for a loop more than anything. Now, I recognize quite a few of the authors. Gaiman and Bacigalupi in particular are favorites of mine.

Though, I can’t promise you’ll like them, it’s interesting to see this as Humble Bundles are notorious for letting you name your own price, and letting you decide how that money is spent. If you buy the collection, at say $10, you can make sure all of it is divided among the different authors, and none of it goes anywhere else.

Check out Humble in the next few days if you’re interested!

A brief thought on world building

Hey everyone! I thought I’d mix things up today with some world building resources. This is just the tip of the list on I helped build on reddit. [Read the full list here!]

Book/Link List

World Building:

  • [1] World Building (Science Fiction Writing by Stephen Gillett
  • [2] The Complete Guide to Writing Fantasy Vol. 1 by Darin Park and Paul Dullemond – I’ve read this particular book and it was alright. I enjoyed the different topics covered and hadn’t thought of some, food that the people eat, but it was more an example of the watered down topics. I thought it was a good jumping off point, the only issue is the book has some misspellings and bad grammar. Many sources or references are also out of date but nonetheless it is an interesting read. There are more in this series of books that I have not read yet.
  • [3] Fundamentals of World Building by Jessie Verino
  • [4] The Writers Complete Fantasy Reference by Writers Digest – My local library had a copy of this and I thought it was a good reference book. I didn’t read it cover to cover but picked out the sections that interested me. It had good historical info regarding culture, religion, magic, and other medieval references.
  • [5] The Language Construction Kit by Mark Rosenfelder – Also has a corresponding site that is quite a bit of help as well.
  • [6] World Builder’s Handbook by Multiple Authors – I have not read this book and am not sure if it is the correct one. May be a little hard to find with it being so spending while used.

Slow Day

It’s a slow day for ideas, but as always, I’m posting something anyway.

I’m keeping an eye out for the next Dresden Files book, out in November, and… I guess that’s it? I don’t have time for much else today, so I’ll see you all on Monday!

For All Of You Bibliophiles Out There

The Wheel of Time Community, Dragonmount, has opened an e-book store. While it’s geared towards fantasy works, they are building a solid collection of Tor publishing’s library. The e-books are DRM free, and you get the files for both the nook and kindle!

While I know it seems to be a heinous crime to own an e-reader if you are a true fan of literature, the fact is that sometimes you just end up with one. No sense in wasting it.

Keep reading!

~ Underdog

Fiction Highlights #2

For the fans of either a light read with some healthy sarcasm, or the good ol’ Dresden Files fans, there’s another series out there that’s right up your alley. The Alex Verus novels are about a man who’s power is that he can see into the future. Like any good diviner, he is naturally curious, and has a strong will to survive (unlike other diviners). The series follows the life of Alex Verus, and how his quiet London life gets flipped around from time to time. With nothing other than foresight, and a few magical items, how can he save the day?

As of now, there are two books in the series that are out, with a third released on August 28th. I intend to drop my current trek through Gardens of the Moon for this, so it’s no surprise that I recommend the series highly. It’s a fun read, and the author is hopefully going to make the third installment better than the first two.

Happy reading!

~ Underdog

Fiction Highlights #1

Maybe this is less Fiction and more Fantasy, but I want to take a chance to highlight some books that I’ve read over the years, particularly if I don’t hear much about them.

Today, I want to put forth the author K. A. Stewart and her Jesse James Dawson novels since the third one, A Wolf at the Door, just came out, and I’m excited to get to it.

Jesse James Dawson is a modern day, American samurai, right down to the sword and Bushido code. He works part time in retail while he works his other job: saving the souls of people from the deals they’ve made with demons.

These books are a fantastic if you want a light read with memorable characters from all walks in the woods including the demon Axel, who blurs the lines between good and evil at times for his own purposes, and Jesse’s wife Mira, a pagan and practitioner of old magic. Of course, if you really want to know more, I recommend picking up the first one. You won’t regret it!