Tag Archives: books

University Books

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All the books I’d ordered for my uni reading were delivered the other day. It was like Christmas all over again! I’ve never seen so many parcels come through the door.

Comparing this haul of books to last semester’s, it looks a lot less academic, which makes me sad. Last semester I had text books and classics in the pile. It was very impressive, hehe. I’d put up a picture for comparison, but I never got around to taking one.

I’ve already almost finished The Orchid Thief for my Creative Non-fiction class. Unlike everyone else in the class, I’m really enjoying it. It’s the true story of a man named Laroche who was arrested for stealing rare orchids from the Fakahatchee swamp in Florida. It ties in nicely with my American Studies course, too, as it talks a lot about aspects of Florida culture. After reading it, I’d love to visit there.

Since I was ordering so many books, I added a couple of Patricia Highsmiths in for casual reading. She’s been one of my favourite authors for years, but I only recently read The Talented Mr Ripley. It was awesome, so I got the second Ripley book she wrote, along with a Highsmith I’ve been coveting for ages – The Cry of The Owl.

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Beta-reading

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Over the last week I was lucky enough to beta-read self-published author K.S. Ferguson‘s upcoming book Hostile Takeover. It is the second book in her Rafe and Kama series, following on from the events in Calculated Risk.

It’s the first time I’ve ever ‘officially’ beta-read something for anyone, and I was a bit nervous about it, but luckily she gave me a list of things she particularly wanted me to focus on. First, I read through it, noting down anything that jumped out at me, then I read it through again, this time taking notes on more general things about the overall structure. After that I organised my notes into something resembling coherence and sent it off to her. She replied saying I had been helpful and it was just what she needed, which was reassuring. I felt that my critiquing skills were under as much examination as her writing, so it was nice to get such positive feedback.

Hostile Takeover is a sci-fi thriller, along the same kind of lines of Michael Crichton’s  better books. It has murder, blackmail, corporate intrigue, social upheaval and explosions. All the good stuff! It was such a visual read, I could see this as a movie or something. It also has a romance subplot running through it between the two main characters, which was something that needed some work, but this book has amazing potential. I can’t wait for her to release the final version so I can read it.

K.S. Ferguson has also written an urban fantasy series, the first book of which, Touching Madness, is available through her website. As is Calculated Risk and a science-fiction novella called Puncher’s ChancePuncher’s Chance was published in Analogue magazine. It was featured as the title story and won an award.

I really enjoyed beta-reading and it’s something I would like to do again, especially now I feel a bit more confident in it. I also really enjoyed the book, it was fun and well-written, so a big thanks to K.S. Ferguson for giving me the opportunity.


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