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July 31, 2009

Book Haul - I love free books

As some of you know, I'm a reviewer for both Epinions and Curled Up With a Good Book. One of the perks of reviewing for Curled Up is the chance to get review copies of books for free. I can't imagine how much money I have saved over the years for books, both good and bad. The benefit of this opportunity is that I can try out new books without having to worry about paying for them. Yes, the library is an option too, but getting them this way, I can own them. I especially love it when I get a pristine new hardcover book from the site. Sometimes I get ARCs (Advanced Reading Copy), which are basically true copies of the books but without the final editing passthrough. If you review an ARC, you really shouldn't talk about spelling/grammar issues and the like without comparing it to the actual published book, because those mistakes could be fixed between the ARC stage and final publication.

Why is the site able to send out free books? Because publishers send out copies of the books to various review outlets, both on the web and in print as well. They want reviews out there, and this is one way to get reviewers reading. There is no obligation to review the books, and definitely no obligation for a *good* review. I've savaged a few books that I have received this way.

One negative to the ability to try out new books/authors is that, once you've chosen a book, you should review it, or at the very least give somebody else the opportunity to do it (which can be more trouble than it's worth). I may be slow in getting to some of these books because it's hard to get through them, but I will read and review everything I've chosen eventually.

With that being said, here are the latest that will be coming my way (and one of which has already arrived):

1) The Touch - F. Paul Wilson

This is a reprint edition of a 1986 novel that is part of Wilson's "Repairman Jack" universe, though it's not a Jack novel. Hence, the "Adversary Cycle" series name.

I'm greatly looking forward to this one.

2) Collision of Evil - John Le Beau

This one looks interesting. I've never read any book by Le Beau, so this is a perfect example of giving something a try. I'm a sucker for World War II spy and intrigue novels. Put a Nazi flag on the cover, and I'm probably there, depending on the description. In rereading the description, I see this is more of a modern-day novel that reaches back to World War II, but it still looks like something I'll be interested in.

3) Marcus Aurelius: A Life - Frank McLynn

I seem to be on an ancient Rome kick. First, with Adrian Goldsworthy's How Rome Fell, and now this one. It's 720 pages about a Roman emperor, so I hope this is as fascinating as this sounds. I know it's probably not to many of you, but we'll see. This one might be those "chew through a few bits at a time" books, but I'm sure it will be rewarding.

4) The Gods of Amyrantha - Jennifer Fallon

This is the one I've been waiting all year for. Fallon is one of my favourite authors. I've never given her a bad review (one lukewarm one), but that's because her books are so good. She writes fantasy trilogies, and all of them are marvelous. This is the second book in "The Tide Lords" trilogy. The first one was fabulous, and I'm fully expecting the second one to be too.

I can't wait to dive into these!

9/8/09 Edit: I added a link to my review of Goldsworthy's How Rome Fell book. That book is a wonderful read if you're into Ancient Rome.


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