Monthly Archives: May 2016

All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque


Paul Baumer is unprepared for the horrors he endures fighting for Germany in WWI. How does war change him? Can he survive when strategy and bad luck kill so many?

Paul and his friends are likable youth thrown into horrors. The costs of war are unflinchingly and vividly portrayed. Paul’s group hauntingly shows why the Lost Generation came to be: “we are not youth any longer. We don’t want to take the world by storm. We are fleeing. We fly from ourselves” (87). All Quiet on the Western Front offers a look at WWI and the horror of war.

Want more books like All Quiet on the Western Front?

Jean Dartemont is horrified by what he experiences during WWI and makes a stand in Fear: A Novel of WWI by Gabriel Chevallier.

Members of the French Sixth Battalion struggle to survive the horrors of WWI in Under Fire by Henri Barbusse.

Check out memoirs of soldiers who served during WWI such as Memoirs of an Infantry Officer by Siegfried Sassoon.


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Something Different: the Spur Award

Curious about Westerns, but not sure about finding a good one? One way to find some of the best is to check out winners and finalists of the Spur Award. The Spur Award was created by the Western Writers of America to recognize the best literature focusing on the American West. The Spur Award recognizes different types of fiction and nonfiction focusing on the American West (“About” section of the Western Writers of America website).

The Spur Award offers a variety of Westerns. When I felt like a quick and action packed read I found The Secret of Lodestar by Tim Champlin. When I wanted a longer and thought provoking read I found Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry. To find a great Western, click here to check out the Spur Award winners and finalists on the Western Writers of America website.

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The Empress Game by Rhonda Mason


Princess Kayla turned pit fighter to hide from the empire that wants her dead. Winning the tournament to pick the empire’s next empress, the Empress Game, could gain freedom for her and her people. Can Kayla defeat the skill and treachery of the Game’s other contestants?

The game is a deadly mixture of pit battles and complex politics. Kayla’s people potentially having a nanotech plague cure creates political suspense and moral complexities. Kayla’s loyalties are challenged by the bond she develops with the honorable and handsome Empire agent Malkor. The Empress Game offers science fiction, suspense, and some romance.

Want more books like The Empress Game?

An attempt to prove her lover innocent of murder places an engineer in the midst of a conspiracy in The Cold Between by Elizabeth Bonesteel.

Edie’s skills with nanotech could free the Fringe if secrets and forced alliances don’t get her killed in Song of Scarabaeus by Sara Creasy.

Lt. Promise Paen must face dangerous secrets when invasion threatens the world she left long ago in Unbreakable by W.C. Bauers.


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The Aeronaut’s Windlass by Jim Butcher


Captain Grimm serves Spire Albion as a peerless privateer until one costly battle. Albion’s ruler offers a deal: repairs for one dangerous mission. Can Grimm and a motley group defeat a threat bent on destroying Albion?

Pragmatic but compassionate Grimm must protect a brave and entertaining group. There’s a mad wizard, an imperious warrior cat, and novices whose bravery could get them killed. The enemy, psychotic Lady Cavendish, causes shivers as she dispenses horrors and enjoys tea. The Spire world has steampunk, hidden horrors, and intricate politics. The Aeronaut’s Windlass offers fun steampunk, danger, and an interesting fantasy world.

Want more books like The Aeronaut’s Windlass?

A pair of British agents seeks love, creates mayhem, and faces off against a villianous Thomas Edison in Dawn’s Early Light by Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris. (Click here to read my blog post on Dawn’s Early Light.

A plan to steal an airship puts two conmen in the midst of a chilling commodore’s coup in Steal the Sky by Megan E. O’Keefe.

Want another tale featuring soaring Spires, danger, and battles in the sky? Young Kirit must take on the secretive and powerful Singers or lose everything in Updraft by Fran Wilde. (Click here to read my blog post on Updraft.)


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