Title: Harley Merlin and the Secret Coven(Harley Merlin #1)
Author: Bella Forrest
Synopsis: Harley Merlin can sense people’s emotions, among other things. It’s how she snagged her first job pinpointing cheaters at a casino.
But she has no clue where she got these freakish powers because she spent her childhood jumping from home to home in the foster system, and her father left her with nothing more than a cryptic note.
Then she crosses paths with a terrifyingly real monster. Which is when a mysterious and annoyingly arrogant young warlock named Wade Crowley steps in, introducing her to a hidden world of beasts, magicals, and covens riddled with secrets—as well as clues about her murky past.
Whether she likes it or not, this new world is where she belongs. But after a disturbing twist of events, Harley quickly realizes that her past is darker than she could ever have imagined.
And that someone in the coven is out for her blood.
With the help of Wade and her new friends, she must figure out who the traitor is and why they’re targeting her... Before the human and magical worlds dangerously collide.
This book has a great surprise twist it comes closer to the end of the book. When a chili queen festival comes to town, a man that nobody knows anybody about, dies its up to one woman to figure out what happened, so the festival can keep going on.
I absolutely loved this book. I mean, it’s sapphic, sports, cheerleader x jock, enemies/rivals to lovers, and fake dating all in one.
I liked Scottie, sometimes it felt like she was forcing Irene into the relationship rather than actually giving her a choice, but other than that I didn’t dislike her. I did find the whole fake dating for her ex thing weird because like,,,, what do you do after? But you know, that’s the great thing about fake dating, you already know they’ll end up together.
Irene was so amazing. I liked her a lot; She was cheer captain, popular, and she was changing the rep for cheerleaders. She was so sweet, and even when she was being rude it was absolutely hilarious. There was a journey of self discovery and acceptance.
"I learned since then, and paid a price to learn, it that them as laid claim to great wisdom most often got nothing in their store but bare scrapings. And by the same token, them as think they're ignorant think it because they can see the edges of what they know, which you can only see when what you know is tall enough to stand on, and take a look around."
If there were a passage that were to encapsulate The Book of Koli, this would be it.
All of Koli's life has been spent in a tiny village, built to suppress the outside world as much as it can. Because, in this time, trees can move and crush you to better fertilize their soil with your body. Rats are as big as dogs. Spiders as big as your head live in the forests. The outside world is not your friend.
But when Koli reaches maturity, he makes a discovery that turns the world upside-down — not just for him, but for the entire society in which he lives. And then, he's forced to reconcile with the fact that nothing he knows is quite as it seems.
This SFF book is perfect for teen, young adult, and adult readers. It's a wonderful page-turner that was over before I could believe it (I'm currently working my way through the sequel and imagine I will be done with that just as quickly). I was impressed with the LGBTQIA+ inclusion; it was well-imagined, measured, and seemed to be added for the purpose of realism — that there would be gay and trans characters in any society. That was refreshing and would be a good example for other writers trying to be more inclusive in their storytelling.
As it stands, The Book of Koli tells a familiar story through a truly unique lens, but there are still moments where I thought 'I've seen this before.' Those moments took me (briefly) out of the singular magic of the story, which was truly a shame. I also felt that some moments seemed a bit too shallowly described for their weight, but for a book that seems comfortable in the hands of teenagers as well as adults, perhaps that's a strength I don't quite care for.
Regardless, I was drawn in from the first page and couldn't stop reading until I had finished the book. It took me less than a day (I finished slightly past midnight). If that's too difficult to digest, I'll say it plain — Read this book. It's a good bit of escapism told well that will leave you craving the sequels. Well done, M.R. Carey.
Trick or Treatment: The Undeniable Facts about Alternative Medicine by Simon Singh, Edzard Ernst
Whether you are an ardent believer in alternative medicine, a skeptic, or are simply baffled by the range of services and opinions, this guide lays to rest doubts and contradictions with authority, integrity, and clarity. In this groundbreaking analysis, over thirty of the most popular treatments—acupuncture, homeopathy, aromatherapy, reflexology, chiropractic, and herbal medicines—are examined for their benefits and potential dangers. Questions answered include: What works and what doesn't? What are the secrets, and what are the lies? Who can you trust, and who is ripping you off? Can science decide what is best, or do the old wives' tales really tap into ancient, superior wisdom?In their scrutiny of alternative and complementary cures, authors Simon Singh and Edzard Ernst also strive to reassert the primacy of the scientific method as a means for determining public health practice and policy.
They Are Already Here: UFO Culture and Why We See Saucers by Sarah Scoles
More than half a century since Roswell, UFOs have been making headlines once again. On December 17, 2017, the New York Times ran a front-page story about an approximately five-year Pentagon program called the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program. The article hinted, and its sources clearly said in subsequent television interviews, that some of the ships in question couldn’t be linked to any country. The implication, of course, was that they might be linked to other solar systems.
The UFO community—those who had been thinking about, seeing, and analyzing supposed flying saucers (or triangles or chevrons) for years—was surprisingly skeptical of the revelation. Their incredulity and doubt rippled across the internet. Many of the people most invested in UFO reality weren’t really buying it. And as author Sarah Scoles did her own digging, she ventured to dark, conspiracy-filled corners of the internet, to a former paranormal research center in Utah, and to the hallways of the Pentagon.
In They Are Already Here we meet the bigwigs, the scrappy upstarts, the field investigators, the rational people, and the unhinged kooks of this sprawling community. How do they interact with each other? How do they interact with “anomalous phenomena”? And how do they (as any group must) reflect the politics and culture of the larger world around them?
We will travel along the Extraterrestrial Highway (next to Area 51) and visit the UFO Watchtower, where seeking lights in the sky is more of a spiritual quest than a “gotcha” one. We meet someone who, for a while, believes they may have communicated with aliens. Where do these alleged encounters stem from? What are the emotional effects on the experiencers?
By turns funny and compassionate, colorful and thought-provoking-- and told in a way that doesn’t require one to believe--Scoles brings humanity to an often derided and misunderstood community. After all, the truth is out there...
The Skeptics' Guide to the Universe: How to Know What's Really Real in a World Increasingly Full of Fake by Steven Novella
It's intimidating to realize that we live in a world overflowing with misinformation, bias, myths, deception, and flawed knowledge. There really are no ultimate authority figures-no one has the secret and there is no place to look up the definitive answers to our questions (not even Google). But, by thinking skeptically and logically, we can combat sloppy reasoning, bad arguments and superstitious thinking. It's difficult, and takes a lot of vigilance, but it's worth the effort.
In this tie-in to their incredibly popular "The Skeptics Guide to the Universe" podcast, Steven Novella, MD along with "Skeptical Rogues" Bob Novella, Cara Santa Maria, Jay Novella, and Evan Bernstein will explain the tenets of skeptical thinking and debunk some of the biggest scientific myths, fallacies and conspiracy theories (Anti-vaccines, homeopathy, UFO sightings, etc.) They'll help us try to make sense of what seems like an increasingly crazy world using powerful tools like science and philosophy. THE SKEPTICS' GUIDE TO THE UNIVERSE is your guide through this maze of modern life. It covers essential critical thinking skills, as well as giving insight into how your brain works and how to avoid common pitfalls in thinking. They discuss the difference between science and pseudoscience, how to recognize common science news tropes, how to discuss conspiracy theories with that crazy coworker of yours, and how to apply all of this to everyday life.
So, are you ready to join them on an epic scientific quest, one that has taken us from huddling in dark caves to stepping foot on the Moon? (Yes, we really did that.) Like all adventures, this one is foremost a journey of self discovery. The monsters you will slay and challenges you will face are mostly constructs of your own mind. With the SKEPTIC'S GUIDE TO THE UNIVERSE, we can do this together.
The Misinformation Age: How False Beliefs Spread by Cailin O'Connor, James Owen Weatherall
The social dynamics of “alternative facts”: why what you believe depends on who you know
Why should we care about having true beliefs? And why do demonstrably false beliefs persist and spread despite bad, even fatal, consequences for the people who hold them?
Philosophers of science Cailin O’Connor and James Weatherall argue that social factors, rather than individual psychology, are what’s essential to understanding the spread and persistence of false beliefs. It might seem that there’s an obvious reason that true beliefs matter: false beliefs will hurt you. But if that’s right, then why is it (apparently) irrelevant to many people whether they believe true things or not?
The Misinformation Age, written for a political era riven by “fake news,” “alternative facts,” and disputes over the validity of everything from climate change to the size of inauguration crowds, shows convincingly that what you believe depends on who you know. If social forces explain the persistence of false belief, we must understand how those forces work in order to fight misinformation effectively.
If reading more is at the top of your life-style or habit modifications, but you have no idea how to get started, here are some tips on what you can do to get yourself reading more!
Start small! Pick out one or a few short books; maybe one that’s written for a younger audience. You might be more motivated to pick up a book and get reading if the book is not intimidatingly big. This is…
It hit my current mood a lot better than “The Age of Witches”.
First the characters fit better into their setting for my taste. The story as a whole was really enchanting for a european who is not familiar with mexican mythology and the imagry painted by the book was wonderful.
Plus Hun-Kamé, the God of Death, aloof, brooding and at the same time insanely intense just hit a spot for me.
HEY so here’s something not Pokemon-related, but writing-related!
If there are any writers following this acct (or happen to see this, anyways), I wanted to recommend checking out this book I’m almost done with: it’s called Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within by Natalie Goldberg. I really have enjoyed it a bunch - it gives some writing exercises, but it mostly a series of motivational anecdotes from Goldberg’s life (usually involving her interest in Zen Buddhism or her experiences as a writing teacher). The writing is clear and kinda comfy to read imo - I really was surprised with the amount of light prose in this, actually, which was certainly a plus for someone like me who just adores beautifully-written lines that mirror Romanticist literature with a post-modern twist. I got mine off of Amazon (something like $12 or whatever for a new 30th Anniversary edition, but I’m pretty sure I also saw it on ThriftBooks for WAY cheaper if you’re in a bind). It definitely won’t solve all your writing woes, nor is it a cure-all for Writer’s Block (nothing is, for the record), but I did get a lot of value in what she had to say~!
I’d give it a 7.5 of out 10!
skilled, clear writing with plenty to take away
plenty of chapters on especially novels and poetry, along with some chapters regarding short stories (all mixed with her anecdotes, of course)
interesting writing exercises that aren’t “Write a Letter to Your Younger Self” (fuck that prompt)
bonus points bc it had lots of Zen Buddhist concepts as well as Samurai stuff in the later chapters that just was fun for me to read lololol
Raises to be a warrior, seventeen-year-old Eelyn fights alongside her Aska clansmen in an ancient rivalry against the Riki clan. Her life is brutal but simple: fight and survive. Until the day she sees impossible on the battlefield- her brother, fighting with enemy- the brother she watched die five years ago.
Faced with her brothers betrayal, she must survive the winter in the mountains with the Riki, in a village where every neighbour is an enemy, every battle scar possibly one she delivered. But when the Riki village is raided by a ruthless clan thought to be a legend, Eelyn is even more desperate to get back to her beloved family.
She is given no choice but to trust Fiske, her brother’s friend, who sees her as a threat. They must do impossible: unite the clans to fight together, or risk being slaughtered one by one. Driven by a love for her clan and her growing love for Fiske, Eelyn must confront her own definition of loyalty and family while daring to put her faith in the people she’s spent her life hating.
“She’s got fire in her blood” (Adrienne Young, Sky in the Deep)
Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young is a solid, fast, passed and thrilling YA story with surprisingly multifaceted and deep characters. I really enjoyed this book and an important reason for that are the characters. Adrienne Young was able to create very diverse and multidimensional characters throughout this rather short book which actually surprised me. It was very easy for me to connect with characters. Particularly Eelyn and her emotions are highlighted and I loved how she is presented as a strong woman, ready to fight and face anyone for her loved ones. I would have loved to read more books with the three main characters Eelyn, Fiske and Iri. I was actually a little sad to say goodbye to them after just one book. Especially the story between Eelyn and Fiske was something I enjoyed a lot. I like how both characters interact with each other and again it would have been great to see them together in a second book.
“We find things, just as we lose things. If you’ve lost your honor, you’ll find it again.” (Adrienne Young, Sky in the Deep)
However, since Sky in the Deep is not a book series and stand-alone book the story is very faced paced and thrilling. It never gets boring and even if this is a shorter book Adrienne Young builds a rich and unique story. I loved the whole Viking atmosphere in this book which is told very authentical and with a lot of great details through both Viking clans (Aska and Riki) and their life. The battle scenes are great and are a huge part of the books Viking atmosphere. This is definitely a brutal book! So for anyone who might be sensitive towrads topics such as murder, slavery, violence, physical abuse or sexual assault should not consider reading this book. To me this made the story more authentic and I loved the fighting scenes. Also there is a good balance between issuing the sensitive topics and the rest of the story such as the romance between Eeelyn and Fiske, the conflict between Eely and her presumed dead brother, Iri, as well as the challenge of uniting both clans.
“I don’t belong to you.” “Yes, you do.” He pulled the hair back out of my face so he could look at me. “Like I belong to you.” (Adrienne Young, Sky in the Deep)
A very fast-paced, thrilling and richly told Viking book which I enjoyed a lot. The characters are great and very multidimensional. I recommend this to anyone who likes a good YA book and Viking atmosphere!
A new month, a new selection of reading recommendations! This month’s picks as you can guess by the title is books about dance. I love dancing in it’s many forms and often find myself seeking out different books or other forms of media about dance. I don’t think I have a particular favorite style, but I always love to learn new dances. I hope you enjoy these books about dancers and the world of…
“Daniel Misumi has just moved to a new house. It's big and old and far away from his friends and his life before. AND it's haunted . . . or is it?
Megabat was just napping on a papaya one day when he was stuffed in a box and shipped halfway across the world. Now he's living in an old house far from home, feeling sorry for himself and accidentally scaring the people who live there.
Daniel realizes it's not a ghost in his new house. It's a bat. And he can talk. And he's actually kind of cute.
Megabat realizes that not every human wants to whack him with a broom. This one shares his smooshfruit.
Add some buttermelon, juice boxes, a lightsaber and a common enemy and you've got a new friendship in the making!”
Mattie is a young woman who lives off grid in the middle of nowhere with William, Mattie has to walk on eggshells, do what she is told and try her best not to upset William, or she suffers.
One day Mattie is out checking rabbit snares and finds the mutilated body of a fox, with 2 giant footprints next to it, she tells William and they go back to see if they can work out what animal it is.
While out looking fir the animal, they come across a young man, also out looking for something. This meeting changes Matties world, when he comes back with 2 friends, there is no going back.
Mattie is strong and fierce, mentally and physically. She knows how to survive against monsters.