Elentarri's Book Blog

Book reviews and other interesting goodies.


I haven't logged onto BL in ages and when I do, I come across pornographic SPAM!!!!




And it's still slow.

In a Glass Darkly by J. Sheridan Le Fanu

In a Glass Darkly - Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu, Paul M. Chapman

TITLE: In a Glass Darkly


AUTHOR: J. Sheridan Le Fanu





This remarkable collection of stories, first published in 1872, includes Green Tea, The Familiar, Mr. Justice Harbottle, The Room in le Dragon Volant, and Carmilla. The five stories are purported to be cases by Dr. Hesselius, a 'metaphysical' doctor, who is willing to consider the ghosts both as real and as hallucinatory obsessions. The reader's doubtful anxiety mimics that of the protagonist, and each story thus creates that atmosphere of mystery which is the supernatural experience. This new annotated edition includes an introduction, notes on the text, and explanatory notes.





Rating: 3.5

In a Glass Darkly is a collection of 5 possibly "paranormal" or mystery stories, first published in 1872, includes Green Tea, The Familiar, Mr. Justice Harbottle, The Room in le Dragon Volant, and Carmilla. The five stories are purported to be cases by Dr. Hesselius, a 'metaphysical' doctor, who is willing to consider the ghosts both as real and as hallucinatory obsessions.

Green Tea, The Familiar and Mr. Justice Harbottle all involve hauntings of some kind - demonic monkey or otherwise. These three short stories weren't particularly memorable. The Room in le Dragon Volant is not so much a ghost story as a gothic historical mystery novella with a mysterious lady in distress, a mysterious and jealous count, conspiracies and just plain weirdness. This was the best story in the collection. Carmilla is the story of the famous lesbian vampire written 25 years before Bram Stoker's Dracula.

Ohhh Look!

I can actually get the Dashboard to show up!!!!



Plague of War by Jennifer Tolbert Roberts

The Plague of War  - Jennifer T. Roberts

TITLE:  Plague of War: Athens, Sparta, and the Struggle for Ancient Greece


AUTHOR:  Jennifer Tolbert Roberts




FORMAT:  Paperback


ISBN-13:  9780190940881



"In 431 BC, the long simmering rivalry between the city-states of Athens and Sparta erupted into open warfare, and for more than a generation the two were locked in a life-and-death struggle. The war embroiled the entire Greek world, provoking years of butchery previously unparalleled in ancient Greece. Whole cities were exterminated, their men killed, their women and children enslaved. While the war is commonly believed to have ended with the capture of the Athenian navy in 405 and the subsequent starvation of Athens, fighting in Greece would continue for several decades. Sparta's authority was challenged in the so-called Corinthian War (395-387) when Persian gold helped unite Athens with Sparta's former allies. The war did not truly end until, in 371, Thebes' crack infantry resoundingly defeated Sparta at Leuctra, forever shattering the myth of Spartan military supremacy.

Jennifer Roberts' rich narrative of this famous conflict is the first general history to tell the whole story, from the war's origins down to Sparta's defeat at Leuctra. In her masterful account, this long and bloody war affected every area of life in Athens, exacerbated divisions between rich and poor in Sparta, and sparked civil strife throughout the Greek world. Yet despite the biting sorrows the fighting occasioned, it remains a gripping saga of plots and counter-plots, murders and lies, thrilling sea chases and desperate overland marches, missed opportunities and last-minute reprieves, and, as the war's first historian Thucydides had hoped, lessons for a less bellicose future. In addition, Roberts considers the impact of the war on Greece's cultural life, including the great masterworks of tragedy and comedy performed at this time and, most infamously, the trial and execution of Socrates. A fast-paced narrative of one of antiquity's most famous clashes, The Plague of War is a must-read for history enthusiasts of all ages.




This is an interesting and fairly comprehensive narrative of the Peloponnesian War, including not only battle tactics and politics, but also what was happening socially at the time.


The Titanium Rib by Alain Gunn

"The Titanium Rib" is a fascinating account of how dedicated surgeons, Dr. Melvin Smith and Dr. Robert Campbell, invented a surgical implant to save the lives of small children who would otherwise have suffocated to death due to chest deformities including missing or malformed ribs. An added bonus to the new device is it's aid in straightening out spinal curvature. This book also covers their 17 year struggle to obtain FDA approval for the implant, as well as the search for a manufacturer. Alian Gunn has written an interesting and informative book, which is accompanied by a section of illustrations and photographs.

When the Dogs Don't Bark by Angela Gallop

When the Dogs Don't Bark: A Forensic Scientist’s Search for the Truth  - Angela Gallop This book is more of a memoir than a technical discussion of forensic science. Angela Gallop discusses her 40 year career as a forensic scientist, providing a basic outline of several of her most memorable cases, along with the history and development of forensic sciences within the UK, as well as the importance of forensics in criminal justice. Interesting and informative, but a bit bland.

Creators, Conquerors, and Citizens by Robin Waterfield

Creators, Conquerors, and Citizens: A History of Ancient Greece  - Robin A.H. Waterfield

A nicely written, easy to understand if somewhat bland, introductory history book about Ancient Greece.  The author covers the Archaic, Classical, and Hellenistic Eras of Greek history in more or less even spacing, with chapters devoted to thematic topics like the economy and social stratification.  Maps and photographs are included.

Ancient Greece:  From Prehistoric to Hellenistic Times by Thomas R. Martin.

The Bone Houses by Emily Lloyd-Jones

The Bone Houses - Emily Lloyd-Jones

A beautifully written, YA novel involving a cute zombie goat!

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

The Midnight Library  - Matt Haig

Beautifully written and a lovely, innovative concept.

Ancient High Tech by Frank Joseph

Ancient High Tech: The Astonishing Scientific Achievements of Early Civilizations  - Frank Joseph Interesting and informative. The book contained information I hadn't come across before.

The Wood by Chelsea Bobulski

The Wood - Chelsea Bobulski

TITLE:  The Wood


AUTHOR:  Chelsea Bobulski 



"When Winter’s dad goes missing during his nightly patrol of the wood, it falls to her to patrol the time portals and protect the travelers who slip through them. Winter can't help but think there's more to her dad's disappearance than she's being told.

She soon finds a young man traveling in the wood named Henry who knows more than he should. He believes if they can work together to find his missing parents, they could discover the truth about Winter’s dad.

The wood is poisoned, changing into something sinister—torturing travelers lost in it. Winter must put her trust in Henry in order to find the truth and those they’ve lost.




An entertaining, original YA novel.  Beautiful writing.


Dinosaurs Rediscovered by Michael J. Benton

Dinosaurs Rediscovered - Michael J. Benton

TITLE:  Dinosaurs Rediscovered: The Scientific Revolution in Paleontology


AUTHOR:  Michael J. Benton




FORMAT:  Paperback


ISBN-13:  9780500295533



"Over the past twenty years, the study of dinosaurs has transformed into a true scientific discipline. New technologies have revealed secrets locked in prehistoric bones that no one could have previously predicted. We can now work out the color of dinosaurs, the force of their bite, their top speeds, and even how they cared for their young.

Remarkable new fossil discoveries—giant sauropod dinosaur skeletons in Patagonia, dinosaurs with feathers in China, and a tiny dinosaur tail in Burmese amber—remain the lifeblood of modern paleobiology. Thanks to advances in technologies and methods, however, there has been a recent revolution in the scope of new information gleaned from such fossil finds.

In Dinosaurs Rediscovered, leading paleontologist Michael J. Benton gathers together all of the latest paleontological evidence, tracing the transformation of dinosaur study from its roots in antiquated natural history to an indisputably scientific field. Among other things, this book explores how dinosaur remains are found and excavated, and how paleontologists read the details of dinosaurs’ lives from their fossils—their colors, their growth, and even whether we will ever be able to bring them back to life. Benton’s account shows that, though extinct, dinosaurs are still very much a part of our world.




This isn't just a book filled with dinosaur facts, this is a book that explains how scientists know what they know (or hypothesis) about dinosaurs.  Each fascinating chapter covers a particular theme rather than following a chronological progression as most dinosaur books do.  So we have chapters on how scientists figured out the origin of dinosaurs and their evolutionary tree, a chapter on fossil excavations, chapters on anatomy and physiology, movement, feeding habits and growth, feathers, probability of a Jurassic Park scenario and the extinction event.  Michael J. Benton has a delightful writing style that is clear and easy to understand, with interesting (and short) anecdotes and numerous illustrations, colour plates and diagrams.  This is a lovely, up-to-date book about the science of dinosaurs.


Halloween Squirrel

The Aeronaut's Windlass by Jim Butcher

The Aeronaut's Windlass - Jim Butcher


The Blank Slate by Steven Pinker

The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature - Steven Pinker