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review 2017-05-25 12:25
A Golden Age ★★★☆☆
A Golden Age - Tahmima Anam

All in all, this book was just okay-to-good. It tells the story of an apolitical widow who is caught up in the 1971 Bangledesh War of Independence, and of her reluctant contributions as her son and daughter join the resistance. And it really is her story, as the author shows us her grief and fear and longing, but once war begins, we are kept removed from events and even, to some extent, from the emotions. Still, the story is populated with refugees and soldiers and citizens who must choose where their loyalties lie, so it kept my interest through the end.

 

Hardcover version, which I picked up as a discard from a Friends of the Library sale. I read this for the 2017 Booklikes-opoly challenge, for the square Adventureland 24: Take the Jungle Cruise. Read a book set in Africa or Asia, or that has an exotic animal on the cover. This book fits because it is set in East Pakistan, in Asia.  

 

Previous Updates:

5/13/17 http://sheric.booklikes.com/post/1562356/a-golden-age-progress-7-276-pg

 

5/20/17 http://sheric.booklikes.com/post/1564032/a-golden-age-progress-17-276-pg

 

5/20/17 http://sheric.booklikes.com/post/1564145/a-golden-age-34-276-pages

5/21/17 http://sheric.booklikes.com/post/1564253/a-golden-age-77-276-pages

 

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-05-25 08:38
Book Review : The Raven king Maggie Stiefvater
The Raven King (The Raven Cycle, Book 4) - Maggie Stiefvater

April 26- May 21 All her life, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love's death. She doesn't believe in true love and never thought this would be a problem, but as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she's not so sure anymore. Review : The final book in the raven cycle I loved it one of my favorite Series . Gansey knows he's going to die . Cabeswater is having problems Noah almost killed Blue . The Character Henry I didn't like him at first but he grew on me he's an odd character . Blue and Gansey at the toga party was funny . Gansey tells Adam and Ronan about him and Blue I'm glad he did so they can be open with each other . Ronan's dream person came out Orphan girl . OH my god Ronan kissed Adam I'm so freaking happy for them and Adam kissed him back ahhhhhhh . They found Gledower and he's just dead that was disapointing there is this demon they have to get rid of . Gansey goes to the place where he dies and Blue kisses him and he dies but Cabeswater brings him back . Noah finally moves on I cried I loved this book I cried I laughed this series is one of my favorites I loved the characters and the storyline .

Quotes:

“His feelings for Adam were an oil spill; he'd let them overflow and now there wasn't a damn place in the ocean that wouldn't catch fire if he dropped a match.” 
 
When Adam kissed him, it was every mile per hour Ronan had ever gone over the speed limit. It was every window-down, goose-bumps-on-skin, teeth-chattering-cold night drive. It was Adam’s ribs under Ronan’s hands and Adam’s mouth on his mouth, again and again and again. It was stubble on his lips and Ronan having to stop, to get his breath, to restart his heart. They were both hungry animals, but Adam had been starving for far longer.”
 
 
No homework. I got suspended,” Blue replied.
“Get the fuck out,” Ronan said, but with admiration. “Sargent, you asshole
 
You're asking me to define an abstract concept that no one has managed to explain since time began. You sort of sprang it on me," Gansey said. "Why do we breathe air? Because we love air? Because we don't want to suffocate. Why do we eat? Because we don't want to starve. How do I know I love her? Because I can sleep after I talk to her. Why?” 
 
 
Trees in your eyes ... Stars in your heart.”
 
“It'll be OK. I'm ready. Blue, kiss me.” 
 
He wordlessly crossed the floor and sat beside Adam on the mattress. When he held out his hand, Adam put the model into it.
“This old thing,” Ronan said. He turned the front tyre, and again the music played out of it. They sat like that for a few minutes, as Ronan examined the car and turned each wheel to play a different tune. Adam watched how intently Ronan studied the seams, his eyelashes low over his light eyes. Ronan let out a breath, put the model down on the bed beside him, and kissed Adam.
Once, when Adam had still lived in the trailer park, he had been pushing the lawn mower around the scraggly side yard when he realized that it was raining a mile away. He could smell it, the earthy scent of rain on dirt, but also the electric, restless smell of ozone. And he could see it: a hazy gray sheet of water blocking his view of the mountains. He could track the line of rain travelling across the vast dry field towards him. It was heavy and dark, and he knew he would get drenched if he stayed outside. It was coming from so far away that he had plenty of time to put the mower away and get under cover. Instead, though, he just stood there and watched it approach. Even at the last minute, as he heard the rain pounding the grass flat, he just stood there. He closed his eyes and let the storm soak him.
That was this kiss.
They kissed again. Adam felt it in more than his lips.
Ronan sat back, his eyes closed, swallowing. Adam watched his chest rise and fall, his eyebrows furrow. He felt as bright and dreamy and imaginary as the light through the window.
He did not understand anything.
It was a long moment before Ronan opened his eyes, and when he did, his expression was complicated. He stood up. He was still looking at Adam, and Adam was looking back, but neither said anything. Probably Ronan wanted something from him, but Adam didn’t know what to say. He was a magician, Persephone had said, and his magic was making connections between disparate things. Only now he was too full of white, fuzzy light to make any sort of logical connections. He knew that of all the options in the world, Ronan Lynch was the most difficult version of any of them. He knew that Ronan was not a thing to be experimented with. He knew his mouth still felt warm. He knew he had started his entire time at Aglionby certain that all he wanted to do was get as far away from this state and everything in it as possible.
He was pretty sure he had just been Ronan’s first kiss.” 
 
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review 2017-05-24 04:45
Stranger Things Have Happened (An Adrien English Choose Your Own Adventure)
Stranger Things Have Happened: An Adrien English Write Your Own Damn Story - Josh Lanyon,Catherine Dair

I'll say this upfront: if you're not a fan of CYOA books or of the Adrien English series, then you're probably not going to get much out of this. If you are a fan of Adrien-with-an-E and so-so on CYOA, then I think this will still be enjoyable. If you're a fan of both, you will LOVE this!

 

I used to read Choose Your Own Adventure books when I was kid. Remember those? They were little paperbacks, usually stapled together, and you got to choose which way the story would go back picking what storyline to follow next. They could be quite entertaining to see all the different ways a story could be told. Now, by the time Ms. Lanyon wrote Come Unto These Yellow Sands, I had completely forgotten CYOAs existed, but reading that book sparked a lot of fun memories. Then Ms. Lanyon gifted us with this gem and ... I didn't get it and dragged my feet. I finally got it shortly after So This Is Christmas came out and still didn't read it. I guess I was waiting until the right moment, and this moment was it. 

 

Oh, what joy! Ms. Lanyon is certainly creative and she's given us so many different paths to choose. There are wacky shenanigans amok, and tentacles, and pirates, and some truly disturbing twists which thank God the actual story didn't go that way, let's just put it like that. The only thing that was missing was the Scooby Doo ending. :) But I'm sure if we ask real nice, she might give it to us as a Christmas Coda.

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review 2017-05-22 18:11
Battle Bunny ★★★★★ (edited)
Battle Bunny - Jon Scieszka,Mac Barnett,Matthew Myers

I don’t remember where I saw the recommendation for this book, but thank you, unknown book reviewer, for introducing me to this stinkin’ adorable, yet subversive, little children’s book.

 

The book is presented as a sickly sweet kiddie book about a birthday bunny who wanders sadly around the forest, meeting various friends who don’t seem to care that it’s his birthday, until *surprise* they have a party for him and HEA. Except that Alex has no use for this gift book from Grandma, and he “improves” it with his own story, turning Birthday Bunny into Battle Bunny and his birthday quest into an evil plan for world destruction that must be foiled by… superhero Alex!

 

I so want to get this for my little great-nephew, but am unsure when it would be age-appropriate for him, as it clearly requires a kid old enough to get the joke. The cover indicates ages 5-9 and he just started kindergarten, so... maybe for his next birthday?

 

EDIT: It was Kaethe who introduced me to this wonderful book, as she has so many others that I've added to my great-nephew (and now great-niece)'s library. Thank you!

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review 2017-05-21 15:06
The Dead Zone ★★★★☆
The Dead Zone - Stephen King

Random thoughts about this book:

  • It’s very dated, but in a way that’s amusing and a little thought-provoking. The inner thoughts of a man on hold, at a time when the telephone “hold” function was new and before the now-ubiquitous hold music or recorded messages, when being put on hold was like a little death: “The line was darkly, smoothly, blank. You were nowhere. Why didn’t they just say, ‘Will you hold on while I bury you alive for a little while?’”
  • As per King’s usual, the romantic relationship with the main character is awkward and unconvincing, as was their weird little sexual interlude.
  • But his portrayal of religious fanaticism *is* convincing, especially in this book, where he treats it with some sympathy rather than just as a motivation for evil deeds and rude behavior. He is savage with those who exploit the believers’ needs for relief of pain and grief, all for a price, of course.
  • Oh, and Greg Stillson. Chilling description of a power-hungry sociopath who wears the mask of respectability and presents himself as a hard-hatted, patriotically flag-draped champion of the working class, promising jobs and security, while employing thugs as “security” and “campaign managers” to pave the way forward through nefarious means. King seems to have been prescient. For who would have seriously thought that a populist buffoon like that could actually rise to national power in a democratic America?

 

Overall, it’s not the great book that I remember reading as a young teen, but it’s entertaining and it still has some very relevant things to say about the danger of allowing our pain and fear and need cloud our judgement so much that we make ourselves vulnerable to those who would use us to enrich or empower themselves.

 

Audiobook, via Audible. James Franco’s performance grew on me a little, but not all talented actors make great audiobook narrators. Few characters had a distinct voice, and his New England Yankee characters had oddly Southern accents.  

 

Previous Updates:

5/7/17 5%  http://sheric.booklikes.com/post/1560788/the-dead-zone-progress-5

 

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