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review 2020-05-31 18:54
Dear Life ★★★★☆
Dear Life: Stories - Alice Munro

I don't think I could do this book of short stories justice with a review. Munro writes stories about ordinary people in everyday situations that are a turning point in their lives. To have an affair, to stay or leave, to wait or act, to be silent or speak. She writes without any literary tricks and often at a remove from the characters, but each story still pulled at me in some way. 

 

Paperback. I discovered Munro while vacationing at a rental beach house and had finished the book I had brought with me, so was browsing the completely random selections on the bookshelves. I didn't get to read more than the first story in this collection, but it was enough to know that I needed to have a copy for myself. 

 

I read this book for Booklikesopoly 2020, lot Mountain Cabin 15: Read a book with a tree or a mountain on the cover, or read a book that features a main character who is a father. This book has a tree (or tree trunk, I guess) on the cover with a woodsy background.

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review 2020-05-31 16:18
The Deep ★★★☆☆
The Deep - Alma Katsu

This book was kind of a mess. It was intriguing enough to keep me going to the end, but after it was over, my only thought was, "well, that's over". It had so many good reviews that I wanted to like it, but even with a generously open mind, I found it mostly annoying. 

 

The problem, for me, is it didn't know what kind of story it wanted to be. A well-researched,  fictional accounting of true historical events and real historical characters? A ghost story? A mystery? A romance? An unreliable narrator with a disturbed mind? I think it could have been any of these things, and done it well, if the author had just committed to a couple of these concepts. But she tried to do it all, and it just didn't work for me. I spent most of the time wondering what the heck was going on, and not in a good way. Extraordinary amounts of time were spent on characters who weren't central to the story. The narrative continually jumped between characters and tense and timelines. 

 

I'm rating it three stars, because for all its flaws it kept me interested and sort of entertained. Maybe this would have been better in a text version, although I felt Jane Collingwood gave an excellent performance as narrator. 

 

Audiobook, via Audible. 

 

 

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text 2020-05-29 14:06
The Deep - 17%
The Deep - Alma Katsu

This book is just all over the place. The combination of timeline-jumping and character-jumping and retrospectives during the character-jumping leave you with no coherent narrative to follow. A few of the characters are at least mildly interesting, so I'll keep soldiering along, but if things don't start settling down and coming together and telling a single story, I'm out of here. 

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text 2020-05-29 13:55
Dear Life - pg 91/336
Dear Life: Stories - Alice Munro

She had existed and now she did not. Not at all, as if not ever. And people hurried around, as if this outrageous fact could be overcome by making sensible arrangements. He, too, obeyed the customs, signing where he was told to sign, arranging - as they said - for the remains.

 

 

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review 2020-05-28 20:52
A Scandal in Bohemia ★★★☆☆
A Scandal in Bohemia - Arthur Conan Doyle

I appreciate the intrigue, and that Holmes was actually a little delighted that he was outsmarted (and out-acted) by a woman, but I'm a little puzzled as to why the Grand Duke insists that a woman who has been blackmailing him is a "woman of her word" and won't expose him now.  

 

Audiobook, part of the enormous Audible "Sherlock Holmes" compilation of works read by Stephen Fry. I'm slowly working my way through it. I'll be listening to the rest of the short stories in "Adventures of" later. 

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