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The Ruins

The Ruins book cover

This well-written novella is set in seventh century England, when the borders with Wales were still dangerous and a new religion called Christianity was starting to gain prominence among the ruling class. It is at its heart a coming of age story, about a young man sent from the borderlands to learn the ways of the court and the new religion. But it is also about how to find your way in a time of great change, and I always have a soft spot for stories set in times of great societal change.

Author: 

Daniel Bristow-Bailey

The Raw and the Cooked

This collection of essays is nominally about food and eating, but is actually about understanding life and what matters in it. It has a strongly male viewpoint, which I normally find off-putting. But in this case, every time I thought I would just put it down and go find something else to read, there would be some thought-provoking insight or interesting turn of phrase, and I'd be drawn back in. In the end, I enjoyed the collection rather a lot, but I found it worked best for me in small doses.

Author/Editor: 

Jim Harrison

Spin-Off Cité

This short book of flash fiction is a wide-ranging, fun, and at times thought-provoking collection of snapshots of the human condition. If you like flash fiction, definitely check this one out. If you've never tried flash fiction, this is a good choice of a book to give it a try. The characters are sharply drawn, which is important is such short stories, and the stories themselves are interesting.

Author/Editor: 

Papatia Feauxzar

Dragon Sisters

Dragon Sisters

This is the story of a girl, a daughter of an Emperor, who is starting to learn how to navigate and survive palace intrigue, and the dragon who comes to help her. The story's pacing felt a bit odd to me at times, but that didn't detract from my enjoyment of it, and I wondered if what was odd to me was normal in the Chinese culture in which this story is set. Pacing that feels odd to me is a small price to pay for expanding the perspectives I read, and the story itself is quite good.

Author: 

Joyce Chng

Giveaway: Unspotted

I've decided to start a new feature here at Tungsten Hippo: A monthly giveaway. Sometimes, I'll giveaway an ebook from the Annorlunda Books imprint that I run. Sometimes, another author or publisher might provide a book for me to giveaway. And sometimes, I'll take some of the money I make from the referral links on this site and giveaway a small gift card for Amazon, Kobo, BN.com, or iBooks.

The Presence of Men

The Presence of Men book cover

This charming story is a fairly standard post-divorce "finding yourself" story, but the unusual characters and strong sense of place make it a standout example of the form, and also something a little more. Throughout the story, there are themes of the meaning of community and identity, and how these two things interrelate. In short, this is a good story, that you can read and enjoy just for the surface story, but if you're so inclined, it will leave you things to think about when you're done.

Author: 

Francesca Marciano

In Her Head, In Her Eyes

In Her Head, In Her Eyes

This is an intriguing retelling of a Japanese fairy tale. A translation of the original tale is included, and reading it for comparison does add to your appreciation of the retelling, but the retelling also stands on its own as an interesting, if a bit odd, short story. It is set in a fascinating world, too, and my only complaint is that the world did not feel completely imagined. Even in a short ebook, the world-building can feel complete, if not completely explored. In this book, the world felt like a sketch of what it could be.

Author: 

Yukimi Ogawa

The Mystery of the Skelton Diamonds

The Mystery of the Skelton Diamonds book cover

This is a satisfying mystery that is a lot of fun to read. You aren't likely to be surprised by the resolution of this mystery, but you will probably enjoy the process of reaching it, and might find yourself tempted to pick up one of the longer books that feature the same detectives. In short, if you're looking for some quality escapist reading and enjoy period British mysteries, this is a good choice for you.

Author: 

Karen Charlton

Book Introduction: The Ruins

Today's Book Introduction guest post comes from Daniel Bristow-Bailey, introducing his historical fiction novella, The Ruins, set in seventh century England. This is a fascinating time in history, with a lot of social change, which makes for an interesting back drop to a story. I'm looking forward to reading this novella!

The Ruins

by Daniel Bristow-Bailey

Small and Spooky

This is a collection of six classic short ghost stories. It is the third "taster flight" I've published via Annorlunda Books, and like the other two (Missed Chances and Love and Other Happy Endings), it has a unifying theme. In this case, the theme is that all of these ghost stories feature a child in some way, which I think gives a certain undertone of sweetness to the spooky stories.

Author/Editor: 

M.R. Nelson

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