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review 2018-01-23 06:45
The Diary of a Bookseller
The Diary of a Bookseller - Shaun Bythell

I saw this in my local just before Christmas and snatched it up, as my not-so-secret fantasy is to own a bookshop (me, not the bank, which is why it remains a fantasy), and I never get tired of reading first hand accounts from the front. But this one was even better than I was hoping for; it was informative, succinct (it's truly a diary, so entries are rarely more than a page) and best of all, it's hilarious.

 

Each day begins with a tally of books sold online, and how many of those books he is able to actually locate in his stock (100,000 books; I can't even find a book I'm looking for in my paltry 1200 or so).  From there it's a short narrative about what happened that day.  Usually something his employee Nicky does, doesn't do, or says, or an anecdote about one or more customers doing something inane, rude, or more often, both.  (This is not the book to read if you're looking for affirmation on humanity.)  

 

Less often, but my favorites, were his field trips abroad to buy books.  And strewn throughout is the very real, and very serious, consequences Amazon has on booksellers.  It's one thing to know that Amazon is taking away independent booksellers' business by out pricing them on everything, but it's another thing altogether to understand how much control they have over small booksellers across the globe.  Even if you don't buy your book from Amazon, Amazon likely controls or influences how you purchase it.  

 

Each entry ends with the daily earnings; a number so fluid as to range anywhere from 5 Pounds to 1,000, and - spoiler alert - the days where he took in more than 700 Pounds was less than 3.

 

If bookshops and the eccentric people who visit them aren't your cup of tea, this book probably isn't going to delight you the way it did me, but if you secretly wish you could own, work, or live in a bookshop and have an appreciation for the irreverent humor of a man worn down by humanity at its most dubious, then definitely check out this book.  As I said at the start, it's informative (in spite of the hard facts, I still want to own a bookshop), it's easy to read (although once I started I was disinclined to stop) and it's laugh out loud hilarious.  I almost snorted.  And I'm following the author on Facebook; I never follow authors (well, ok, Amy Stewart, but honestly, as much as I love her books, I follow her for her art - she's disgustingly talented).

 

In fact, check him out on facebook first; if you like his posts, you'll love this book!

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review 2018-01-23 04:41
Christmas Through the Decades by Robert Brenner
Christmas Through the Decades - Robert Brenner

My verdict is in: Despite the similarity of star ratings, Christmas Through the Decades is the better of his Christmas collecting books I've read.

In Christmas Past Brenner would not often make it clear what exactly were the differences between a style of ornament manufactured in Germany vs Japan, or more often, how they changed over the decades. To be clear, he still doesn't spell it out clearly, but this book is furnished with more (and (mostly) better) photographs and everything is divided by decade. A reader can decide for themselves about a particular ornament by going through the chapters themselves and looking at the images.

A problem is that the text is absurdly small and at least one paragraph is cut off in mid sentence never to be completed (about wax ornaments of the 1950s). The organization by time means that side by side comparisons can't be made on the same page, and his descriptions can still seem to contradict each other. Some of the text is directly lifted from Christmas Past (and likely, though I haven't read it Christmas Revisited), but the photographs are a boon for up and coming collectors such as myself who've had a hard time finding accurate sources. Brenner has done a great job with his research, and though other discoveries may have been made this may be the best general guide available to collectors (at least in the secondary market).

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review 2018-01-23 02:53
Book Tour: Searching for Gertrude
Searching for Gertrude - Kevin D. Haggerty

Searching for Gertrude take you on a hunt to find a girl of a young man love. Will he find this true love he lost. The young man is German and he has some issues with his government.

We learn about the laws that are going down in Germany at the beginning of Hitler Resign. The Nazi believed that Germans were not allowed to marry Jews. Will Rulfoff find this love or will Rudolf get his answers by searching for the girl he fell in love with when he was young. Things to go down hill when his love of his life family must move away to Turkey. He is determined to find her.

He goes undercover for his government even though he does not follow or like this government laws and ideas. As a German consulate there are a few surprises along the way will he go against or follow this government as he is now working for them. Find out by reading.

Rosalyn is an American Jew who come to Turkey to be a Nanny. Rudolf stumbles upon her in his search for Gertrude and ask her for help. Does she help him or not you will need to read the story to know for sure.

Rosalyn come to Turkey for her own reason as well. There is twist and turns throughout the book. Will Rosalyn do as she came to do in Turkey. The author does a wonderful job with the plot. I could not put it down and the fact, that she shows the time and era and history behind what going on in Turkey. Is Turkey with Nazi or they Nurteral during the War. If you are a historical fiction reader or just like learn some facts about history. This book is a good one to pick up. Want to learn more about Germany or Nazi Germany and other surrounding areas or Turkey in the 1930’s.

Source: nrcbooks.blogspot.com/2018/01/book-tour-searching-for-gertrude.html
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text 2018-01-22 23:28
Reading progress update: I've read 366 out of 964 pages.
The Goldfinch: A Novel (Pulitzer Prize for Fiction) - Donna Tartt

loving it...and it moved to Vegas, a while back!

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review 2018-01-22 22:30
Magical Realism – Blood and Ashes by Marilyn Peake @marilynpeake
Blood and Ashes: A Paranormal Romance Novel - Marilyn Peake

Marilyn Peake’s latest release, Blood and Ashes, is a fabulous paranormal/supernatural, fantasy novel with a touch of realism, except for the magical part…

 

I love the colorful color and the red makes it pop off the pages. Very pretty and spills some of the secrets inside.

 

Cover by Phatpuppy.com

 

Blood and Ashes: A Paranormal Romance Novel

Goodreads  /  Amazon

 

MY REVIEW

 

Miracles and magic are happening from the opening pages, and Kaelin’s acting like it’s an every day occurrence in these desperate times.

 

The financial situation the characters find themselves in, makes me think of current events, with businesses closing, people being deported, people losing everything, and those with hope struggling to survive.

 

When Kaelin found the baby, I really woke up, became hooked and knew I would have trouble putting the book down, even long enough for a bathroom break.

 

Her mother has a heart so big, so open and giving, I wish more for her. No one deserves a break more than she does. Some characters…and people…amaze me with their ability to give, and the depths of love that is freely given.

 

First an abandoned baby, then a kitty with itty bitty legs, Kaelin takes them home and makes them her own.

 

And Devin, the new guy across the hall. What’s up with him? Why doesn’t she question his sudden appearances? Almost as if he knows something. I know he’s going to be special.

 

Kaelin has friends, people looking out for her and her family, like Mrs Santiago, who owns the grocery store and Gwendolyn Griffin, a healer who offers to work with her to develop her healing abilities. If you everwant candy, be sure and visit Mrs Santiago’s store.

 

Kaelin is very resourceful, and even though she dumpster dives for additional food for the family, you would never know it by her attitude. She knows where to find apples and blueberries, ripe for the picking. She has a green thumb, and her touch can be like Miracle Gro.

 

She does everything she can to make it to college, wanting a better life for them all. But, even though she is accepted, due to cutbacks of the governmental kind, there is no money available to help her. She chooses an alternative, Gwendolyn Griffin’s traditional healing of the witchy kind.

 

I can see the kids with bags of Halloween costumes, as they are tossed willy nilly, while they each choose the perfect costume. Kaelin goes to the thrift store and creates a mish mash costume that makes her beauty bloom.

 

The book is divided into three parts.

 

Part I is Kaelin’s story that takes place in the human world.

 

Part II is Liliana’s Story that takes place in the fairie world. Liliana is a fairy that crosses into the human world. A romance goes wrong. But the world is not what it appears to be.

 

Part III brings them all together, exposing secrets and Kaelin’s true calling.

 

Human, Seelie, Unseelie, good fairies, bad fairies…Magic, danger, romance, love and loss.

 

Blood and Ashes is written for the young at heart, with easy reading and a quick pace. I love the imaginative world and characters Marilyn Peake has created. Such a great story. I found myself smiling at the simplest things. Her ability to spin a tale keeps her high on my reading list…no matter what genre she writes in.

Animated Animals. Pictures, Images and Photos  4 Stars

 

Read more here.

 

 

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Source: www.fundinmental.com/magical-realism-blood-and-ashes-by-marilyn-peake-marilynpeake
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