Friday, June 30, 2017

Books read in 2017: No. 19 -- Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy

by Eric Metaxas

Started: June 12
Finished: June 30

Notes: For some little while now I've been intrigued by Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a Lutheran pastor who spoke out against and worked against Hitler and Nazism in Germany before and during the Second World War. I don't know much about Bonhoeffer, so that is why I turn to this biography of the man.

Mini review: Where to begin? Bonhoeffer was something of an intellectual, but also seemingly a true man of faith. I find it interesting that at one time or another he has been claimed by both conservatives and liberals alike, yet during his life he frequently confounded both. He stood against, preached against, and ultimately conspired against Nazi Germany and Hitler himself. He would pay the price. Imprisoned during the last years of his life, just two weeks before American troops arrived at the last prison where he was held, Bonhoeffer was hung to death as a traitor. This might seem a tragedy to most, but Bonhoeffer himself seemed not to think so, that his death gave him true freedom in deliverance to God. An intriguing figure, I'll have to read more about this man, though this biography is quite thorough.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

At Convention report

A few days ago, I got back from the 2017 Origins Game Fair in Columbus, Ohio, and I yak about some of the things I saw, people I met, and games I purchased.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Books read in 2017: No. 18 -- Earthmen Bearing Gifts

by Fredric Brown

Started: June 12
Finished: June 12

Notes: Though I'm more a fan of fantasy than science fiction, I do have a soft spot for sci-fi literature from the 1940s through the 1960s, especially in the short form. That plus Fredric Brown's "Arena" being one of my favorite shorts from that era, I thought I'd check out more from this late author.

Mini review: Quite the short tale, but enjoyable for one who loves science fiction of the era. Earth is sending its first rocket to Mars, though unmanned, and the Martians are waiting in hopes of ... ah, to say more would be to give too much away. Let's just say I enjoyed this one.

Books read in 2017: No. 17 -- Fistful of Reefer

by David Mark Brown

Started: March 31
Finished: June 12

Notes: Occasionally one will pick up a book just because the title is so zany. That is the case here. Plus, I was looking for something different to read, and maybe this will be it.

Mini review: An interesting novel, basically a Western of sorts set along the Mexico/Texas border during the age of Pancho Villa. During the days just prior to Prohibition, a trio of marijuana farmers go on the run after a Texas Ranger tries to shut them down, a Texas Ranger who seems to have killing more on his mind than arrest, and despite the fact marijuana is still legal. Most of this novel is strictly fun action and adventure, but the last fifth or so, it takes a turn and becomes more introspective. I like this book, but I did have some issues with it, the big one being that until near the end, I didn't really feel much for any of the characters. That, plus the fact the legalities involved seem unbelievable even for the day and age (the Texas Ranger's attitude, some politics, etc.), leave me not quite able to recommend this one to others. Still, it wasn't an unenjoyable read and it was definitely interesting.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

At Israel Amadeus

This week over at Nerdarchy, I give all the lowdown on my Open Legend tabletop RPG character, Israel Amadeus. And in case you're wondering, I can't give myself credit for that name, which might be the most pulp-fictiony name of all time. Some friends of some friends actually named their child that. No, I'm not kidding.