Listening to Music While Reading: A Guide

Do you listen to music while you read, or do you find it distracting?  I’ll share some of the thoughts I have about this personal preference and then share some of the music that I might listen to while burying my nose in a book.

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So You Want to Read the Tortall Series…

Tortall is the name of the collection of YA book series by Tamora Pierce, set in the kingdom of Tortall and surrounding nations.  The books are largely sword-and-sorcery adventure novels and feature well-written strong female leads.  Pierce’s growth as an author can be seen if one reads through all the series in chronological order; later books are discernibly stronger than earlier books.  However, since each series builds directly on the one before, the most enjoyment comes from reading all of the Tortall books.  Skipping any might lead to incomplete understanding of the dynamics in further books, and makes the little cameos and such not as meaningful.  I’ll go through each, however, in the order in which they were published (which is the order they should be read).  I have a series review, as well, under my ‘YA reviews’ page. Continue reading “So You Want to Read the Tortall Series…”

So You Want to Read the Dragonriders of Pern Series…

The Dragonriders of Pern is a series of books by Anne McCaffrey (now taken up by Todd McCaffrey).  For the series review, go here.

I personally have a very wide range of opinions on these books.  Some of them I really enjoyed, and some of them I really did not care for.  Since there are so many books, I’m not going to go through each one here.  Instead, I’m going to list which of the books I would recommend reading, and what order I’d recommend reading them.

I can issue a blanket statement right now, to not read anything by Todd.  I found the writing to be incredibly poor, and the plots insultingly bad.  I rage quit “Dragonsblood” because it was so terrible.  It did extremely poorly what “Moreta” had already previously done well.  I also didn’t much care for a lot of the books Anne had written later on in the Pern timeline, where more and more of the science-fiction spaceships-and-computers was filtering into the world.  The idea isn’t too terrible, but it often became a deus ex machina device to help progress the plot and solve problems.  Oh, the Pernese don’t know how to do this thing?  Let’s ask the omnipotent supercomputer!  Ugh.

Anyway, here’s a list of the books I’d recommend reading of the Dragonriders series, and some notes about them.  As always, these are just my opinions; other people might think that my list is in the wrong order, or more of the other books should be included.  Your mileage may vary, as they say.

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So You Want to Read the Velgarth Series…

Velgarth is the over-arching title of a universe of books by Mercedes Lackey.  There are quite a number of books, some standalone, some in series, set in Lackey’s Heralds of Valdemar ‘verse.  Some of them I found to be better reads than others.  This is, of course, all based on my own opinion, and any of you might have your own thoughts on the subject, but I’m going to go through the different books/series and give a short blurb about how well-received (with me) they were.

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