Author Archives: Barbara Howe

Windy Wellington

On a fine day, Wellington is a wonderful place to be outdoors. With the sun shining and the air calm, it’s gorgeous. Occasionally, the wind dies completely, and the harbour is as smooth as glass, not a ripple in sight. … Continue reading

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Julie and Romeo

Category: Chick lit Rating: PG-13. Mild sex, violence, and profanity Can you imagine Romeo and Juliet retold with the two lovers being 60-year-old grandparents? I wouldn’t have either, but I’m glad Jeanne Ray did, because her novel Julie and Romeo … Continue reading

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The Witches of Karres

Category: Science fantasy Rating: G. No sex, minimal violence, a few mildly scary bits The Witches of Karres, a whimsical space opera by James H Schmitz, is an old favourite. I think I must have first read this in high … Continue reading

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Introductions to SFF, again

Going back to a subject introduced in an earlier post, Introductions to SFF, here are some of the speculative fiction works my daughter (and the rest of the family) enjoyed. The age provided is only a guess at a lower-bound … Continue reading

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On Reading Aloud

I began reading to my daughter before she could talk. I’d sit her on my lap with the simplest of picture books and page through, describing what we were seeing, just to get her used to the routine. We worked … Continue reading

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Cashelmara

Category: Historical fiction Rating: R. Sexual assault, emotional abuse, and some violence. If you love huge multi-generational family sagas, meaty soap operas encompassing love, lust, cruelty, murder, and revenge, Cashelmara by Susan Howatch may be for you. This 700-page novel, … Continue reading

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Mercy Thompson

Category: Urban fantasy Rating: R. Violence, a fair amount of it, and a bit gory. No sex in the first two books, sexual assault in the third book. Buyer beware. In the urban fantasy Moon Called, by Patricia Briggs, our … Continue reading

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Reader’s Journal

Years ago, when my daughter, now in university, had just started elementary school, my sister gave me a blank book for Christmas. Physically, it is a lovely object: spiral-bound to lie flat for writing in, about a hundred sheets, with … Continue reading

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Doomsday Book

Category: Historical fiction / SciFi crossover Rating: PG-13. No sex or violence, but a very high body count, including characters that matter, and a child’s pet. Doomsday Book is an award-winning* time-travel novel by Connie Willis. It was published in the … Continue reading

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Lord Darcy

Categories: fantasy / mystery / alternate history Rating: PG The time: the 1960’s. The place: the bustling port of Cherbourg. A nobleman in the Anglo-French Empire, engaged in a sensitive international inquiry, is missing. Lord Darcy, detective, and Master Sean … Continue reading

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