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review 2018-07-10 03:59
Intimate Grandeur: Vermont's State House by Nancy Price Graff
Intimate Grandeur: Vermont's State House - Nancy Price Graff,David Schutz II

As advertised. 'Intimate Grandeur' is a coffee-table book history of Vermont's State House. While I'm sure that every state house building is noteworthy simply because of its place at the center of politics, Vermont's is a beautifully restored gem of 19th century public architecture.

I was lucky enough to have a guided tour 'after hours' of the building this past winter and was awestruck at the massive yet delicate plasterwork, the mostly-original custom lighting fixtures and furniture, all restored and converted from gas to electricty. Every detail down to the carpets were brought back after decades of neglect.

'Intimate Grandeur' is a history of the building itself, and its two predecessors, but also a history of civic responsibility and preservation. Even when fashions changed and inconvenient 'decadent' chandeliers were banished from chambers they were carefully stowed away, waiting to be rediscovered.

I picked this book up as a memento of the tour. Beautifully done.

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review 2018-01-23 20:23
Fabulous Read!!
Refuge Cove (The New Americana Series) - Janet Dailey

Refuge Cove by Janet Dailey is an entertaining read.  Ms. Dailey has provided us with a book that is well-written and loaded with outstanding characters.  Emily is a naive school teacher that is tricked into moving to Alaska and into a fake wedding.  When she escapes her groom she is rescued by pilot John Wolf.  Emily and John's story is packed with suspense, drama, humor and spice.  I enjoyed reading Refuge Cove and look forward to reading more from Janet Dailey in the future.  Refuge Cove is part of The New Americana Series but can easily be read as a standalone.  This is a complete book, not a cliff-hanger.

 

I voluntarily read an Advance Reader Copy of this book that I won from Goodreads.

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review 2017-12-11 14:16
Review: Let Us Dream by Alyssa Cole
Let Us Dream - Alyssa Cole

This is a novella that was originally published in the anthology Daughters of a Nation.

 

I read this for square 7 (International Human Rights Day) as it takes place in Harlem (in 1917) as the state of New York prepares to vote in the November elections, especially the amendment to the state constitution giving women the right to vote. Bertha is a business woman running her own restaurant/night club/whorehouse and is working hard to help the suffragettes get the vote. She also has to fight off some men who were former clients when she was selling sex now that she is widowed. Her dead hubby wasn't a great guy and there is no lingering grief going on....seems Bertha saw it as much of a business decision as anything else in her life. Bertha wants the right to vote so that she can help her fellow women business owners and her girls, pretty much every woman who are often overlooked or mistreated. She also has to contend with the vice squads that are bringing down the hammer on clubs like hers due to selling sex and race mixing. I liked Bertha as a boss lady and teacher (she taught civic classes to her girls and other people when the club was closed so that those that can (or will soon be allowed to) vote can do so with a foundation of knowledge.

 

Amir left the British navy as a cook hoping for a more stable and socially upward mobile life in America. Unfortunately he has only met with brick walls and is just trying to survive. He is unsure if he wants to return to Bengal and live as a farmer under British rule or keep surviving in America. He has no papers, so staying out of law enforcement's grasp is a daily reminder he is Other. Bertha needs another cook to help/sub for her club's cook who is mightily pregnant. Amir has political/community organizing, along the lines of labor unions, but Bertha's lessons open him up to refining his political beliefs. I really liked Amir and his friends/roommates, especially Syed. I also like how Amir is identified as a Muslim, first in the dialog between him and Bertha and then later on while he was praying for her safe return from jail.

 

The characters were great, the setting and issues of the day were well written, but the romance sucked. I did believe they had sexual chemistry, but not an emotional connection. Bertha acted like a cold bitch to Amir several times and every time he apologized but she never admitted she was out of line. Maybe if the story was longer, there would be more time for Bertha to open up to Amir the way he did with her.

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review 2016-07-04 02:24
Americana - Don DeLillo

Americana is DeLillo's first novel, but i cant say that it seems to be the first he wrote. it's as if he never really advanced in his writing. It's as if he chose a way of writing and stuck to it until now. Americana deals with a man, David Bell, who leaves his job in order to 'live,' but he goes on an advanture from which he never recoveres...

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text 2016-06-29 16:11
Reading progress update: I've read 175 out of 377 pages.
Americana - Don DeLillo

One must become a book before one can know what is inside it

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