Dani is a Book & Wine Pairing Blogger from the mountains of West Virginia. She loves to read anything she can get her hands on while sipping on a glass of wine and snuggling with her fur-babies.

Professional ReaderReviews Published
Book of the Month - February 2018

Book of the Month - February 2018

 
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The Philosopher's Flight

By Tom Miller

When this month's book selections were sent to me I almost skipped the month. I thought about it long and hard.  All of the Book of the Month Club's selections were all past selections, none of which I've been offered before because I'm realatively new to the club, but I still kind of felt like they dropped the ball for the month. 

February's selections included:

  1. Still Me by Jojo Moyes
  2. The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah
  3. An American Marriage by Tayari Jones
  4. The Philosopher's Flight by Tom Miller
  5. The Broken Girls by Simone St. James

I finally decided that The Philosopher's Flight sounded like something I would read, it was the only one out of the five that piqued my interest, and since the month was already paid for, I thought, why not.

Some History:

Tom Miller grew up in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. He graduated from Harvard University and went on to earn an MFA in creative writing from the University of Notre Dame and an MD from the University of Pittsburgh. While writing The Philosopher's Flight, he worked as a travel guidebook writer, EMT, and college English instructor. He's now an emergency room doctor in Madison, Wisconsin. This is his first novel. (Simon & Schuster)

The Synopsis:

He's always wanted to fly like a girl.
Eighteen-year-old Robert Weeks is one of the few men who practice empirical philosophy - an arcane, female-dominated branch of science used to summon the wind, heal the injured, and even fly. He's always dreamed of being the first man to join the US Sigilry Corps' Rescue and Evacuation Department, an elite team of flying medics, but everyone knows that's impossible: men can barely even get off the ground.
When a violent tragedy puts Robert's philosophical abilities to the test, he rises to the occasion and wins a scholarship to study philosophy at Radcliffe College - an all-women's school. At Radcliffe, Robert hones his flying skills ans strives to win the respect of his classmates, a host of formidable and unruly women. Robert falls hard for Danielle Hardin, a disillusioned young hero of the Great War turned political radical. But Danielle's activism and Robert's recklessness attract the attention of the same fanatical anti-philosophical group that Robert's mother fought against decades before.
With their lives in mounting danger, Robert and Danielle band together with a team of unlikely heros to fight for Robert's place among the next generation of empirical philosophers - and for philosophy's very survival against the men who would destroy it.
In the tradition of Lev Grossman and Deborah Harkness, Tom Miller writes with unrivaled imagination, ambition, and wit. The Philosopher's Flight is both a fantastical reinvention of the 1910s America and a beautifully composed coming-of-age tale for anyone who has ever felt like an outcast. (Simon & Schuster)

The Review & Wrap-Up:

I won't lie, when I started The Philosopher's Flight I was a little worried for a few different reasons:

The first, the magic behind the story is a little confusing in the beginning. Of course, as the story continues, its gets explained more and more, so it became easier to understand just how it works.

The second was the amount of actual history in the book. I'm not a fan of history. I understand that we need to know it to learn from our mistakes, but I'm not one for knowing dates or battles. Tell me who won over all and why and I believe that's enough information. So when the book started out talking about battles and the people involved, I was nervous I was going to be bored.

Third, being the amount of science that was actually going to play into the story and whether or not I would need a great working knowledge of it. There was chemistry in the book, however, a working knowledge was not needed, which I was thankful for! 

Both of these worries were set aside and forgotten about quickly. It was a fun, fast paced book that was very entertaining. I couldn't help but be reminded of Harry Potter while reading it, but it's completely different all at the same time. It was inventive, and witty.

The way Miller played with equality rights was great, and different. I have some questions about it, because I felt like his thoughts here didn't always quite line up, but it was interesting to read the perspective of a man who was not seen as an equal not only to women, but to non-magical men as well, and to see him overcome such obstacles was heartwarming.

I really enjoyed The Philosopher's Flight. I thought it had just the right amount of magic and everyday application in it. I still have questions that I wish were explained a little better, but over all, I would highly recommend this book to Potterheads as well as those who enjoy a little magic with their real world science. I'm looking forward to hear if there will be a sequel!

 

From one bookaholic to another, I hope I’ve helped you find your next fix.
—Dani


Love this book? The obvious book to look into would be the Harry Potter series. The Philosopher's Flight reminded me a lot of Harry and his friends. However, Miller's tale also made me think of Patrick Rothfuss's The King Killer trilogy. I would highly recommend either of them if you loved The Philosopher's Flight!

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Book 1) 

Harry Potter has never been the star of a Quidditch team, scoring points while riding a broom far above the ground. He knows no spells, has never helped to hatch a dragon, and has never worn a cloak of invisibility.
All he knows is a miserable life with the Dursleys, his horrible aunt and uncle, and the abominable son, Dudley - a great big swollen spoiled bully. Harry's room is a tiny closet at the foot of the stairs, and he hasn't had a birthday party in eleven years.
But all that is about to change when a mysterious letter arrives by owl messenger: a letter with an invitation to an incredible place that Harry - and anyone who reads about him - will find unforgettable.
For it's there that he finds not only friends, aerial sports, and magic in everything from classes to meals, but a great destiny that's been waiting for him... if Harry can survive the encounter. (Scholastic Press)

The Name of the Wind (The King Killer Chronicles Book 1)

My Name is Kvothe.
I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I burned down the town of Trebon. I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life. I was expelled from the University at a younger age than most people are allowed in. I tread paths by moonlight that others fear to speak of during day. I have talked to Gods, loved women, and written songs that make the minstrels weep.
You may have heard of me.

So begins a tale unequaled in fantasy literature - the story of a hero told in his own voice. It is a tale of sorrow, a tale of survival, a tale of one man's search for meaning in his universe, and how that search, and the indomitable will that drove it, gave birth to a legend. (DAW Books) 

Pair it with: Adobe 2013 Red Blend

A rich blend created for that rebellious hedonistic red wine lover inside you, rustic like the Adobe, but with sensuous dark fruit. 

Ripe, brambly blackberry and cherry flavors with hints of plum, black pepper, and vanilla. Balancing tannin is fine and supple. (Clayhouse Wines)


Start a conversation: If you had magic, what would you use it for? Would you  use it for good or evil?

Have a book you’d like to suggest or one you’d like me to review? Please feel free to leave your comments down below.


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