100 Best Blogs for Book Reviews

OnlineCollege.org has created a list of 100 sites that are dedicated to reviewing books. Categories include the following:

  • General Fiction Reviews
  • Children and Young Adult Reviews
  • Collaborative Blogs
  • Industry and Professional Reviewers
  • History and Historical Fiction
  • Mystery and Thriller
  • Romance
  • Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Adventure
  • Graphic Novels and Comic Books
  • Unique Genres
  • Mixed Bag of Genres

My site is actually listed at #56, under the History and Historical Fiction category. Props to Carla Nayland for receiving the first mention at #53. There are several other ones in the category that I’m subscribed to: News and Random Musings, Historical Tapestry, Julie K. Rose, and Writing the Renaissance. All good sites.

Blogs of Interest

I’ve compiled a list of blog topics related to medieval history, historical fiction, fantasy, fiction writing, or industry news. Here’s a brief rundown:

Medieval Historical Fantasy Novel: The Lions of al-Rassan

The Lions of al-Rassan - Guy Gavriel Kay - Medieval History - Middle Ages - Historical Fiction - Fantasy - Historical Fantasy - Novel - Medieval SpainThe Lions of al-Rassan by Guy Gavriel Kay

Paperback: 528 pages
Publisher: Eos (June 2005)
Average Customer Review on Amazon: 4.5 stars (108 Reviews)

Editorial Review from Publishers Weekly:

Canadian attorney Kay has eschewed the courtroom thriller for fantasy (A Song for Arbonne, etc.). Here he draws on the crumbling empire of medieval Spain to inspire this tale of brutality and romance. Though the setting is the fictitious Al-Rassan, and there are passing references to the “Star-born,” any ancillary connection with science fiction is almost irrelevant to the story. Kay provides insightful glimpses into the goals and motives of his many characters, including King Almalik of Cartada, his advisor Ammar ibn Khairan, a young soldier, Alvar de Pellino, and the compelling female physician Jehane. Mindful of the confusion that alternate universes can create for readers, Kay is careful to periodically summarize the current positions of the various factions in the struggles between the many kingdoms in the empire. Studded with poetry that is evocative of Spain (some selections are reminiscent of El Cid), the story is buttressed with convincing cultural and social details and descriptions of medicine as it was practiced in the 12th century. Genre fans looking for more romance and strong female character development will find this an engrossing tale.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Editorial Review from Booklist

Kay’s thoroughly excellent new novel resembles his Song for Arbonne (1992) in that there is no magic in it. Instead, Kay deftly and intelligently bends history at a slightly different angle. The setting is a variant early medieval Spain whose Muslims, Christians, and Jews are also suitably modified. The story turns on the rivalries between the Kingdom of Al-Rassan, once mighty but now split into quarreling principalities, and the kings of the Jaddites. Far to the north, the Jaddites hope to reclaim Al-Rassan, which was once theirs. Into this skillfully imagined, eloquently described stew of war, intrigue, and magnificence happen a warrior from each side and a female physician. The threesome’s adventures constitute the bulk of a long but never padded, demanding but enormously rewarding novel. Roland Green –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

WEbook

WEbook is an online book publishing company that fosters an environment for writers, editors, reviewers, artists, and readers to come together to meet, write and collaborate on works of fiction and non-fiction, short stories, essays, and more. WEbook is a place for creative writing groups, aspiring novelists, and readers who want to dicuss and discover new titles and select the next books for publication. There are dozens of projects for you to discuss and review, including: novels, short stories, historical fiction, christian books, children’s books, and science fiction and fantasy. Or you can submit your own work and have others provide feedback. Group forums and writing resources are also available.

I’m not involved with WEbook yet. A friend of mine sent me the link today. Has anyone tried it out, and if so, how was your experience?

*image retrieved from webook.com

Name Generators (Includes Medieval and Fantasy Name Generators)

Nine.frenchboys.net – An interesting site with all kinds of random generators, including:

  • Medieval Name Generator
  • Fantasy Name Generator
  • Character Description Generator
  • Place Name Generator
  • City Generator
  • Stronghold Creator
  • Fantasy Place Name Generator
  • Fantasy Novel Titles
  • Plot Twist Generator
  • And more …

Some of these could be good starting points for writing exercises.

The Forbidden Library

The Forbidden Library has a list of books that have either been challenged or banned, whether currently or at some point during the past. This list includes novels such as:

  • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer 
  • Cantebury Tales
  • Catcher in the Rye
  • Don Quixote
  • Fahrenheit 451
  • Grapes of Wrath
  • Hamlet
  • King Lear
  • The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
  • Raisin in the Sun

The site also gives an explanation as to when and why the novels were challenged/banned.

100 Best Novels List

A while back, the Modern Library composed a list of the 100 greatest novels of all-time. Its top ten included:

  1. ULYSSES by James Joyce
  2. THE GREAT GATSBY by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  3. A PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST AS A YOUNG MAN by James Joyce
  4. LOLITA by Vladimir Nabokov
  5. BRAVE NEW WORLD by Aldous Huxley
  6. THE SOUND AND THE FURY by William Faulkner
  7. CATCH-22
  8. DARKNESS AT NOON by Arthur Koestler
  9. SONS AND LOVERS by D.H. Lawrence
  10. THE GRAPES OF WRATH by John Steinbeck

Readers were also encouraged to submit their favorites, and a top 100 list was composed from reader feedback. The top 10 for the Reader’s list included:

  1. ATLAS SHRUGGED by Ayn Rand
  2. THE FOUNTAINHEAD by Ayn Rand
  3. BATTLEFIELD EARTH by L. Ron Hubbard
  4. THE LORD OF THE RINGS by J.R.R. Tolkien
  5. TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD by Harper Lee
  6. 1984 by George Orwell
  7. ANTHEM by Ayn Rand
  8. WE THE LIVING by Ayn Rand
  9. MISSION EARTH by L. Ron Hubbard
  10. FEAR by L. Ron Hubbard

If you were to make a list, which novels would you include in your top 10?

ReadPrint.Com

ReadPrint.com is a free online library, offering thousands of free books for students, teachers, and the classic enthusiast. ReadPrint includes novels, poems, and short stories from authors such as Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, Arthur Conan Doyle, Alexandre Dumas, Robert Frost, John Keats, Herman Melville, George Orwell, Edgar Allan Poe, H.G. Wells, and many more.

Universal Pictures and Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time

Wheel of Time, Robert Jordan, Eye of the World, Fantasy, NovelI’m about a month late on this news, but this was the first time I read about it. I was on vacation about the time this story came out.

Apparently, Universal Pictures has acquired the rights to make a film adaptation of Robert Jordan’s fantasy Wheel of Time series. The first film in the series will begin with the first novel The Eye of the World.

Robert Jordan passed away at age 58 before he was able to conclude the series. Fellow fantasy writer Brandon Sanderson will be writing the conclusion based on notes and tapes left behind by Jordan. Publication of the final novel is slated for fall of 2009.

Read the story at ComingSoon.net.