At the same time Adolf Hitler was attempting to take over the western world, his armies were methodically seeking and hoarding the finest art treasures in Europe. The Fuehrer had begun cataloguing the art he planned to collect as well as the art he would destroy: "degenerate" works he despised. In a race against time, behind enemy lines, often unarmed, a special force of American and British museum directors, curators, art historians, and others, called the Monuments Men, risked their lives scouring Europe to prevent the destruction of thousands of years of culture. Focusing on the eleven-month period between D-Day and V-E Day, this fascinating account follows six Monuments Men and their impossible mission to save the world's great art from the Nazis.

It's the book the movie was based on. I really wanted to see the move, but couldn't get past my dislike of movies with George Clooney and/or Matt Damon.
A note about the movie: Among those leaked e-mails from Sony studios was one from Clooney (who directed as well as acted) apologizing for the movie not doing very well. My brother saw it on one of those "entertainment news" shows where they tried to make it seem like it was a bad thing, but my brother said: "If anything, it makes him seem like an even nicer guy than you hear about. that whole "gentleman George" thing,"

The book was interesting, if long & is one of those forgotten stories of World War 2 that more people should know about it. To that end, they have an official site about the real men (& women) behind the story. And there's a monuments men foundation to help preserve art that is in danger from armed conflicts today. they are also looking for info on missing cultural objects from WW2 & other wars.

I've read several books about little known or forgotten people & stories of WW2 & am convinced that if a movie studio just did movies about them, they could put out movies for at least a decade.

To Say Nothing of the Dog is a time travel story and I think one of my favourite things about this book was how time travel was approached. While it's certainly a big part of the plot, time travel in this book is an academic thing. There's no big bad or great hero risking it all to travel back and change some key point in history, no great lovers torn apart by time, no horrible dystopian future or present in need of fixing. There is, however, a missing cat.

Very mild spoilers follow )
In The Serpent Sea, Moon and the other Rakshura of the Indigo Cloud Court travel to their ancestral territory to rebuild their colony. When they reach the mountain-sized tree that had been the former court, they encounter a number of problems. The first problem is that their tree is dying because someone has stolen the magical “seed” that maintained it. The second problem is that Indigo Cloud has a long-simmering feud with one of their ancestral neighbors, the Emerald Twilight Court. (The feud has to do with an Indigo queen who decided to abscond with one of Emerald Twilight’s consorts.)

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Martha Wells is one of my favorite writers. I enjoy her characters and worldbuilding, which tends toward fantasy of the magic-fueled technology variety. (There is really not enough of this kind of fantasy out there.) You will get airships, adventure and sorcery, and enjoy every minute of it.
Emilie & the Hollow World is a young adult fantasy adventure with a steampunk feel.

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Book Review: Sea Change by S.M. Wheeler

  • Oct. 18th, 2013 at 9:49 AM

Sea Change is essentially one of those fairy tales where the protagonist must negotiate a series of deals in order to obtain his or her objective. Our Heroine is a young woman named Lilly whose home life is best described as dysfunctional and estranged. Her only friend is a kraken named Octavius. When he turns up missing, this leads to a sequence of events where Lilly is forced to leave home and go on a quest to find him.

To find her friend she makes a deal with a witch.

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