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review 2018-08-14 14:47
Review: The Amazing Adventures of 4¢ Ned by Benjamin Laskin
The Amazing Adventures of 4¢ Ned - Benjamin Laskin

The Amazing Adventures of 4¢ Ned by Benjamin Laskin is the first book in the Coinworld series. Misprinted with a 4 instead of 5, Ned finds that he can be so much more than just your everyday nickel. 

Plot 5/5: This is the most imaginative, creative, clever, and fun book that I have ever read. I have never read anything like it.

Characters 5/5: The characters are a riot! Very believable.

World building 5/5: The world Benjamin Laskin has created is unique, yet familiar.

Pacing 5/5: The pacing is steady with bursts of anticipation throughout the story.

Writing 5/5: Benjamin Laskin's writing is fantastic. He has a way of grabbing your attention, and keeping it.

Overall 5 huge stars for this fun and creative story. I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a fun read. A great series starter for young and young at heart alike.

Purchased from Amazon.

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review 2018-08-09 00:40
The Adventures of Elizabeth in Ruegen
The Adventures of Elizabeth in Ruegen - Elizabeth von Arnim

I can't believe how long it took me to read this book.  It was my second Elizabeth von Arnim book, after reading Elizabeth and Her German Garden, and i have to say it was harder going at first.  Her Adventures in Rügen start off in a much more florid style of writing than she used in German Garden; her verbosity was challenging, to say the least, and I found myself putting the book down and passing it by for days on end.  I was determined though, because I had to believe the writing I loved in German Garden would be in there somewhere.


And it was.  By the fourth day (page 87), the Elizabeth I had expected started showing up. Coincidentally it was about this time that her idyllic trip round Rügen started to become less idyllic and more comic.  By the fifth day (page 115) I was pretty well hooked, and where as the first 115 pages took me three weeks to read, the remaining 185 took just a few days.  As the book, and her trip,  progress, the writing becomes more concise and the pace ratchets up higher and higher until it reaches its final, devious, and hilarious conclusion.  I loved the last two chapters, they had me chuckling regularly, and the ending was absolutely perfect.  


A few notes about my copy of this book: I was lucky to find a 1904 copy in beautiful condition that includes a pristine pull out map of Elizabeth's trip.  A few things about it made me smile though: the cover title spells the island's name as Ruegen, but everything else in the book uses Rügen.  Both are correct (as ue is the alternate for ü), but the inconsistency left me curious about why.  Also, my edition's copyright is in the USA, but it states that it is strictly intended for circulation in "India and the British Colonies" only, and the publisher is Macmillan, London.  So we have a book written in Germany, printed by a London publisher, copyrighted in the USA, for circulation in India and the colonies.


This is why I love old books.  

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text 2018-08-06 02:52
Reading progress update: I've listened 1266 out of 4260 minutes.
Sherlock Holmes: The Definitive Collection - Arthur Conan Doyle,Stephen Fry

Done with Adventures. As much as I liked it before, it was so much better this time around.


Now I'm listening at the Memoirs Foreword, and I can't stop laughing!! (as in, serious, LOUD laughter) This was NOT what I expected when he said Holmes had changed his life!!


I'm so in love with this audiobook collection

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text 2018-08-06 01:04
Reading progress update: I've listened 1200 out of 4260 minutes.
Sherlock Holmes: The Definitive Collection - Arthur Conan Doyle,Stephen Fry

I'm listening a lot this Sunday. It's good company while I clean. I'm up to the last tale now.


The Blue Carbuncle made me laugh so hard. I don't remember being so amused by this collection as a child. The sense of ridicule is really something that develops as you get older I guess.


As for the last story, Copper Beeches start:


It is pleasant to me to observe, Watson, that you have so far grasped this truth that in these little records of our cases which you have been good enough to draw up, and, I am bound to say, occasionally to embellish, you have given prominence not so much to the many causes célèbres and sensational trials in which I have figured but rather to those incidents which may have been trivial in themselves, but which have given room for those faculties of deduction and of logical synthesis which I have made my special province.”
“And yet,” said I, smiling, “I cannot quite hold myself absolved from the charge of sensationalism which has been urged against my records.”
“You have erred, perhaps,” he observed, taking up a glowing cinder with the tongs and lighting with it the long cherry-wood pipe which was wont to replace his clay when he was in a disputatious rather than a meditative mood—“you have erred perhaps in attempting to put colour and life into each of your statements instead of confining yourself to the task of placing upon record that severe reasoning from cause to effect which is really the only notable feature about the thing.”
“It seems to me that I have done you full justice in the matter,” I remarked with some coldness, for I was repelled by the egotism which I had more than once observed to be a strong factor in my friend’s singular character.
“No, it is not selfishness or conceit,” said he, answering, as was his wont, my thoughts rather than my words. “If I claim full justice for my art, it is because it is an impersonal thing—a thing beyond myself. Crime is common. Logic is rare. Therefore it is upon the logic rather than upon the crime that you should dwell. You have degraded what should have been a course of lectures into a series of tales.”


Cute of ACD to tell us Holmes' opinion of Watsn's tales on the last story, and it be this.


“you can hardly be open to a charge of sensationalism, for out of these cases which you have been so kind as to interest yourself in, a fair proportion do not treat of crime, in its legal sense, at all. The small matter in which I endeavoured to help the King of Bohemia, the singular experience of Miss Mary Sutherland, the problem connected with the man with the twisted lip, and the incident of the noble bachelor, were all matters which are outside the pale of the law. But in avoiding the sensational, I fear that you may have bordered on the trivial.”
“The end may have been so,” I answered, “but the methods I hold to have been novel and of interest.”
“Pshaw, my dear fellow, what do the public, the great unobservant public, who could hardly tell a weaver by his tooth or a compositor by his left thumb, care about the finer shades of analysis and deduction!


Doubly cute. Bang the wall a little more, won't you, to get us to protest louder.

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text 2018-08-05 11:09
Reading progress update: I've listened 792 out of 4260 minutes.
Sherlock Holmes: The Definitive Collection - Arthur Conan Doyle,Stephen Fry

Do you not deduce something from that?”
“We have got to the deductions and the inferences,” said Lestrade, winking at me. “I find it hard enough to tackle facts, Holmes, without flying away after theories and fancies.”
“You are right,” said Holmes demurely; “you do find it very hard to tackle the facts.”


Somehow, Fry manages to make the exchange even more savage from both parties

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