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Search tags: 4-format-paperback
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review 2018-02-07 13:04
The Contadino ★★☆☆☆
The Contadino - Frank J. Agnello

With better editing, this might have been an enjoyable read. There is a good sense of place and history, and the characters are interesting. But it was difficult to get past the frequently shifting tenses, the missing commas, and even a couple of incomplete sentences. These flaws pulled me out of the story multiple times in every chapter.

 

Paperback copy, a gift from my father several years ago, because the setting and historical events reflect our own family’s history of Sicilian immigrants to the USA around the turn of the 20th century.

 

Previous Updates:

2/4/18 - pg 3/472

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text 2018-02-04 16:08
The Contadino - page 3/472

 

One of my regrets is that I didn't read all the books my dad gave me before he passed away, so I missed the opportunity to talk with him about them. Granted, he gave me a lot of books, and most of them were on subjects or genres that I really didn't care much about. But still. What a wasted opportunity to share something with him and create a lasting memory. 

 

The Contadino - Frank J. Agnello  appears to be a self-published book by some guy who may or may not be a distant relative. Based on the acknowledgements, he's at least a friend of a cousin. My dad was fascinated by the family history, where his grandparents were part of a wave of starving Sicilian peasants who immigrated to the US at the turn of the 20th century. This book is a fictionalized story of one such family. 

 

I have fairly low expectations, but the prologue was not bad, so maybe it'll be a pleasant surprise. 

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review 2018-02-03 13:58
Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret ★★★★☆
Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret - Judy Blume

The genius of this book is not in the quality of the writing or the cleverness of the story, but in that magical way that Judy Blume has of capturing the experience of being a kid. I remember reading this when I was twelve, the same age as Margaret, and feeling she was a kindred spirit in some way, discovering that the know-it-alls don’t really, and the cutest boy is really a jerk, and parents are real people, too, who don’t have all the answers. I didn’t connect with Margaret’s longing to get her period, though, maybe because I had older sisters and was already well aware that menstruation was really a messy inconvenience rather than a magical marker of adulthood.

 

Vintage paperback, complete with torn cover and crumbling yellow pages. Truthfully, this is a 3 star read, but I gave it an extra star for nostalgia, and remembering how well I connected with this book at that age. Speaking of which, the book really is a hilarious 1970 time capsule.

 

Previous Updates:

2/2/18 pg 52

2/3/18 pg 80 

 

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text 2018-02-03 12:51
Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret - 80/152 pg
Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret - Judy Blume

The party preparations are pretty hilarious. Thank god I grew up a little further into the 70's when we were all a little more wash-n-wear:

 

 

My mother washed my hair at two o'clock. She gave me a cream rinse, too, so I wouldn't get tangles. She set it in big rollers all over my head. I sat under her hair dryer. Then she *filed* my nails instead of just cutting them like usual. My velvet dress was already laid out on my bed along with my new underwear, party shoes, and tights.

 

What *is* familiar, though, about a preteen party, is all the excitement, and constantly calling my friends on the phone over every detail and speculating about who would be there and what would happen. 

 

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text 2018-02-02 12:56
Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret - 52/152 pg
Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret - Judy Blume

I remember now how I identified with Margaret. So clueless and insecure about how to act that she's unsure if she's the weird one or if her new friends are.

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