Golden Hair

Fight Write

Fight Write: How to Write Believable Fight Scenes by Carla Hoch

A discussion of the nitty-gritty of fight scenes. For the writers who want to get down to the technical details of haymakers versus Superman punches, various kinds of swords, details of guns, and wounds. Going to the ground, self-defense laws, and differences between Japanese and Norse swords, based on the way Scandinavian is rich in bog iron, making good swords readily, and Japan in pig iron, much more difficult to use.

When Christ and His Saints Slept, by Sharon Kay Penman

A juicy historical prequel to the epic of Eleanor of Aquitaine.

When Christ and His Saints Slept

Ballantine Books, 1994, 784 pages

A.D. 1135. As church bells tolled for the death of England's King Henry I, his barons faced the unwelcome prospect of being ruled by a woman: Henry's beautiful daughter Maude, Countess of Anjou. But before Maude could claim her throne, her cousin Stephen seized it. In their long and bitter struggle, all of England bled and burned.

Sharon Kay Penman's magnificent fifth novel summons to life a spectacular medieval tragedy whose unfolding breaks the heart even as it prepares the way for splendors to come—the glorious age of Eleanor of Aquitaine and the Plantagenets that would soon illumine the world.

The Anarchy was the OG Game of Thrones.

My complete list of book reviews.
Golden Hair

The Dark Lord Clementine

The Dark Lord Clementine by Sarah Jean Horwitz

The Dark Lord's daughter finds that her father is under attack by a wicked witch, who is whittling him away. She has to cope.

This involves dealing with a sheep that starts to talk and does not want an obvious reward; a huntress who does not reveal everything; a poison-detecting rose; the three rules that Dark Lords obey and the need for them to commit Dastardly Deeds; her realizing things about her father; a poison that turns people purple; discussion of the Lady in White -- a snow figure on the mountain, and more.
Golden Hair

Leaves from the Garden of Eden

Leaves from the Garden of Eden: One Hundred Classic Jewish Tales by Howard Schwartz

A collection of tales.  A number from his earlier collections.

They range over.  Fairy tales (and this has an appendix with Aarne-Thompson types) and anecdotes of the supernatural.  Quite a bit about people's demonic doubles managing to dispose of them and take over their lives.  
Golden Hair

Angel Mage

Angel Mage by Garth Nix

A disaster strikes a nation. A century later, a woman wakes from a sleep and finds that things are prepared for her plan. Four people in fact.

Then we follow those four people in a Three-Musketeers-like setting, with religion entirely excised and replaced with the practice of theurgy -- working magic with angels (no mention of God) -- and a lot of Christian labels on other things.

A lot of fun adventures, though the end is entirely too tidy and neat -- and in too short a compass. The setting doesn't work because the price for theurgy is, while high enough to explain why some uses are not put into play, too high to explain why others are (with a very slight price but for a very slight effect), and the world is changed in some ways that the magic would explain, not in others that the magic would make a lot of sense, and in some ways that the magic, as implemented, would not explain.

Brotopia: Breaking Up the Boys' Club of Silicon Valley, by Emily Chang

Revulsion of the Nerds.

Brotopia: Breaking Up the Boys' Club of Silicon Valley

Portfolio Penguin, 2018, 320 pages

Silicon Valley is a modern utopia where anyone can change the world. Unless you're a woman.

For women in tech, Silicon Valley is not a fantasy land of unicorns, virtual reality rainbows, and 3D-printed lollipops, where millions of dollars grow on trees. It's a "Brotopia," where men hold all the cards and make all the rules. Vastly outnumbered, women face toxic workplaces rife with discrimination and sexual harassment, where investors take meetings in hot tubs and network at sex parties.

In this powerful exposé, Bloomberg TV journalist Emily Chang reveals how Silicon Valley got so sexist despite its utopian ideals, why bro culture endures despite decades of companies claiming the moral high ground (Don't Be Evil! Connect the World!)--and how women are finally starting to speak out and fight back.

Drawing on her deep network of Silicon Valley insiders, Chang opens the boardroom doors of male-dominated venture capital firms like Kleiner Perkins, the subject of Ellen Pao's high-profile gender discrimination lawsuit, and Sequoia, where a partner once famously said they "won't lower their standards" just to hire women. Interviews with Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki, and former Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer--who got their start at Google, where just one in five engineers is a woman--reveal just how hard it is to crack the Silicon Ceiling. And Chang shows how women such as former Uber engineer Susan Fowler, entrepreneur Niniane Wang, and game developer Brianna Wu, have risked their careers and sometimes their lives to pave a way for other women.

Silicon Valley's aggressive, misogynistic, work-at-all costs culture has shut women out of the greatest wealth creation in the history of the world. It's time to break up the boys' club. Emily Chang shows us how to fix this toxic culture--to bring down Brotopia, once and for all.

Emily Chang really hates rich geeks.

My complete list of book reviews.

The Night Stalker, by Philip Carlo

Portrait of a pathetic loser who also happened to be a prolific serial-killer rapist.

The Night Stalker

Pinnacle, 1996, 421 pages

Decades after Richard Ramirez left 13 dead and paralyzed the city of Los Angeles, his name is still synonymous with fear, torture, and sadistic murder. Philip Carlo's classic The Night Stalker, based on years of meticulous research and extensive interviews with Ramirez, revealed the killer and his horrifying crimes to be even more chilling than anyone could have imagined. From watching his cousin commit murder at age 11 to his 19 death sentences to the juror who fell in love with him, the story of Ramirez is a bizarre and spellbinding descent into the very heart of human evil.

Incredibly, after The Night Stalker was first published, thousands of women from all over the world contacted Carlo, begging to be put in touch with the killer. Carlo interviewed them and here presents their disturbing stories and the dark sexual desires that would drive them towards a brutal murderer. And in an exclusive death row interview, the killer himself gives his thoughts on the "Ramirez Groupies" - and what he thinks they really want.

More disturbing than Ramirez is his groupies.

My complete list of book reviews.

One Thousand White Women by Jim Fergus

description from amazon:
One Thousand White Women is the story of May Dodd and a colorful assembly of pioneer women who, under the auspices of the U.S. government, travel to the western prairies in 1875 to intermarry among the Cheyenne Indians. The covert and controversial "Brides for Indians" program, launched by the administration of Ulysses S. Grant, is intended to help assimilate the Indians into the white man's world. Toward that end May and her friends embark upon the adventure of their lifetime.
a brief note; the blurb on the back says it;s inspired by a true event, but that is not, i repeat, not true. it is, however, based on a true suggestion if you will.

in 1854 at a peace conference at ft. laramie in wyoming a northern cheyenne chief requested of the u.s. army authorities 1,000 white women as brides for his young warriors. because in their society children belong to their mother's tribe, he reasoned that this would be an easier way to assimilate into the white man's world. of course the white authorities didn't go for it, the conference collapsed & the cheyenne went home & the white women never came.

it novel is about what if they did. set nearly 20 years later when the u.s. government was really pushing the native tribes into smaller & smaller areas it's from the point of view of one of the women, who volunteered for the program to get out of a lunatic asylum where her rich father sent her for the "crime" of living with a man she was not marred to & beneath her station.

it's not a bad book, but it's not a good one either. the sex scenes were not nearly as interesting as they could've been. and the N-word it tossed around too often for my taste. i understand that was part of the language at the time, but there have to be better alternatives. it might be OK for reading on a plane or at the beach or something.

while looking up the description on amazon for this i found out there is a a sequel about events after this novel from the POV some of the other women. it doesn't look like something i'm interested in.