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review 2018-01-07 00:15
Great Nisei/Canadian-Dream historical novel
Floating City - Kerri Sakamoto

Really enjoyed the historical detail in this; the Nisei experience on Canada's west coast is fascinating, and I've only read a few perspectives on it. Authentic-feeling story of a Canadian-born son of Japanese parents from the 1930s-1980s. Starts with childhood experiences living on a floating house on the BC coast and follows through the internment and mountain camps of WWII, setting out to Toronto in the postwar period to build a life, dreaming and working toward success, and dealing with the fallout of letting ambition lead to selfishness. There's a strong fantastic/spiritual/magical realist element throughout, based on legends, dreams and altered perceptions. Very firmly in the literary fiction tradition, with some themes that don't entirely link up. I read a lot of genre fiction and YA, so I wasn't really up for the dark period in the last third, but I liked the earlier bits and the resolution. On the whole, less dark and depraved than a lot of adult literary fiction; it manages to convey a sense of hope, optimism and potential throughout. Very cool Canadian perspective, and it feels authentic enough that I was sad there aren't floating cities in Toronto's harbour yet.

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review 2017-12-31 15:40
16 Tasks of the Festive Season - Square #2 - Guy Fawkes Day
Blind Ambition: The White House Years - John W. Dean

A book about political treason.


I've had the paperback edition of John Dean's book for a bazillion years, started it several times, never got very far.  Then it showed up as Kindle bargain -- either free or 99 cents or something, so I grabbed it with the intention of reading bits and pieces when I had the chance.  I take the Kindle with me when I run errands because I never know when I'll get stuck in a line.


I had such a line at the post office a week or so before Christmas.  I always use the self-service kiosk when I can, and that particular day there were three people ahead of me, none of whom had ever used the kiosk.  By the time they had finished and it was my turn, I was completely engrossed in Blind Ambition.


The events were fairly familiar.  The rise and fall of Richard Nixon occurred during my adult lifetime, so there were no real surprises here.  But I have to say I found Dean's writing much more engaging than Woodward and Bernstein in All the President's Men, which I'm reading more or less concurrently.  As one of the actual participants in the Watergate cover-up, Dean doesn't spare himself, and certainly isn't particular kind to most of the others in the Nixon White House.


For inside background information on Watergate, Dean's account is probably one of the best and earliest.  Very much recommended.

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text 2017-12-15 13:48
Reading progress update: I've read 153 out of 448 pages.
Ambition, Pragmatism, and Party: A Political Biography of Gerald R. Ford - Scott Barry Kaufman

This is proving to be a straightforward, workmanlike study of Ford's political career. It may not be on the level of Caro's "The Years of Lyndon Johnson," but it's definitely giving me the overview of America's 38th president that I've long wanted to read.

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review 2017-02-22 03:13
Amazing Grace -Lexile level 680L
Amazing Grace - Mary Hoffman,Caroline Binch

Amazing Grace, written by Mary Hoffman, is about a little girl named Grace who loves stories. She loves to act out stories of all kinds, whether it is being Joan of Arc, a pirate, or Mowgli. This little girl believes that she can do it all, and proves to everyone that she can be/do whatever she sets her mind (and imagination) to. This book would be a great book to not only read to help encourage children that they can be/do anything they set their mind to, but it also could be a great book to incorporate into black history month lessons. This book can show ALL children that they can do anything they want to do no matter their circumstances or backgrounds. I would love to use this book in a black history month lesson, and have them write everything that they can do and want to do just like Grace does. I would say that this could be for grades first through third. 

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review 2016-11-11 05:59
Oh, The Places You'll Go
Oh, the Places You'll Go! - Dr. Seuss

This popular Dr. Seuss book is inspiring for even adults. This book emphasizes the saying "when one door closes, another one opens." There are many opportunities in life, you just have to go out and get them. As with any Dr. Seuss book, there is humor and wit in the wring of this book. I would say the intended audience for this book is 2nd to 3rd grade, but it is fitting for anyone at any age. An activity I would do with this book would to have students share with the class what they want to be when they grow up. The can dress up as this person whether it be a rockstar, a doctor, or to be just like their mom or dad! This gets students thinking about the future and gets them motivated to look beyond school life and set goals to get to the place they want to go! 

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