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Search tags: Better-Than-Life
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review 2018-09-20 02:59
First half to see good, then the shots are fired
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil - John Berendt

When I was around two thirds in, I started idly concocting a review in my brain, about how the almost surreal elements and characters was what gave this narrative such a verisimilitude. Cue me over the 80% mark, just going to search for a detail, and finding out this is nonfiction. Sure, there are artistic licenses, but in essence?

 

I love it when knowing absolutely nothing about a book pays up in such ways.

 

As I mentioned previously in an update, the general tone reminded me a lot of latinoamerican writing. This has a lot to do with the conservative (and quirky) societies that brew in relatively small, isolated towns. You have the sedate and beautiful surface, and the decades, generations, long ugly undercurrents. Everyone "behaves" in public out of a certain need for society and peace, and whomever "pops" may as well go the whole nine-yards and wear it like a flag.

 

So, that's basically the aim: to illustrate Savannah. The plot as it were serves the theme. We go into the deep ugly undercurrents. Almost every ugly you can imagine. Sometimes you are enraged and amused at the same time from the sheer hypocrisy rampant. I spent most of the book in some queer state of entertained stupefaction because it is so grotesque you almost can't believe it. But you do. You recognize it. It is your hometown.

 

 

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review 2018-09-19 23:01
Warning: don't read the book blurb, it gives too much away.
My Not So Perfect Life - Sophie Kinsella

This was an unusual choice for our book group because it was more chick-lit than we usually read. It was picked because it covered the subject of social media and advertising, which is hugely topical right now.

 

Katie Brenner has finally nabbed her perfect job - at the very bottom of the advertising ladder. The salary is so low that she has to rent a room with no wardrobe space and stores her belongings in a hammock hanging over her bed. She has a long, stressful commute and spends her day doing repetitive tasks. Her Instagram page, however, paints a very different picture - drinks with friends and a trendy lifestyle in London.

 

Sophie Kinsella is guaranteed to take any situation and draw out the funny side of it, and this was no exception. I'm not a great fan of Chick-Lit as a genre, but if it's amusing, then all is forgiven. Ms Kinsella is one of a very few authors who can make me smile while reading and I did highlight quite a few passages.

 

I do think that the book blurb gives away far too much of the story and I'm glad I hadn't read it beforehand, or there would have been no surprises. Although it was somewhat predictable and didn't really provide much in-depth discussion, it was generally enjoyed by my book group as a light summer read. The big exception to this, however, were those involved in advertising, who categorically refused to accept the ending as in any way feasible.

 

My ratings:
Remember Me 4*
Shopaholic Ties the Knot 3.5*
Shopaholic and Baby 4*

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review 2018-09-15 22:57
My Life as a White Trash Zombie ★★★★★
My Life as A White Trash Zombie - Diana Rowland

I’m always happy when I read a book that I thoroughly enjoyed. I’m even happier when it was a book recommended by a friend. I’ve never cared for zombie stories, so I was a little dubious when Mike Finn recommended this one to me for the reading performance as much as for the story itself. But it delivered! The story itself was fun, with a little pathos, a little romance, and a little mystery. But the performance by Allison McLemore pushed it over the five-star threshold for me. The voice she gives the main character is absolutely perfect, and her pacing and emotion are spot on.

 

Audiobook, via Audible. Highly recommend. I’ll be looking for other books read by McLemore, for sure.

 

I read this for the 2018 Halloween Bingo square Deadlands: elements of the undead - zombies, wights, vampires and other revenants. It fits the square because, obviously, zombies.

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url 2018-09-14 12:50
2018 US National Books Award (non fiction)
One Person, No Vote: How Voter Suppression Is Destroying Our Democracy - Carol Anderson Ph.D.,Dick Durbin
The Indian World of George Washington: The First President, the First Americans, and the Birth of the Nation - Colin G. Calloway
Directorate S: The C.I.A. and America's Secret Wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan, 2001–2016 - Steve Coll
Brothers Of The Gun: A Memoir of the Syrian War - Marwan Hisham,Molly Crabapple,Molly Crabapple
American Eden: David Hosack, Botany, and Medicine in the Garden of the Early Republic - Victoria Johnson
The Tangled Tree: A Radical New History of Life - David Quammen

Noticeable books. Added and edit this post later.

 

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text 2018-09-14 02:07
My Fairy Librarian brought this off the ebook waitlist ...
My Life as a White Trash Zombie - Diana Rowland

...just in time to use it as my free space read for Serious Overload of Series' Bookshelf BINGO Round 17, free space.

 

Been meaning to give this series a try for a while based on fun posts on my dashboard from other readers.  Sounds funny.

 

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