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review 2018-05-30 19:07
A Fun Mystery Novel
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time - Mark Haddon

This has been on my list for quite some time. I heard the protagonist was autistic and, while it was never explicitly stated, I appreciated this. Characters with autism are hard to come by, and those that are well written are even rarer. I found myself completely understanding him in many ways, even though his autism doesn't manifest in the same way as my autism.

 

The unconventional chapter markings were quite good. It really helped solidify the idea that the credited author did not write it, considering the main character had a special interest in math and prime numbers. It helped lift him off the page and into my living room. 

 

I liked that the mysteries in the book were only solved halfway through the novel. Too often mystery novels end at the resolution of the mystery, so we don't get a good picture of the fallout that often results from the revelation. Getting to see Christopher, the main character, react to these revelations was wonderful, and honestly very logical, in my opinion.

 

Overall, it was just what I needed after reading a heavy book in the form of Flowers for Algernon. I feel much better after reading it.

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review 2018-05-22 19:14
A Curious Beginning / Deanna Raybourn
A Curious Beginning - Deanna Raybourn

London, 1887. Veronica wields her butterfly net and a sharpened hatpin with equal aplomb. She thwarts her own abduction with the help of an enigmatic German baron with ties to her mysterious past. Promising to reveal in time what he knows of the plot against her, the baron offers her temporary sanctuary in the care of his friend Stoker—a reclusive natural historian as intriguing as he is bad-tempered. But the baron is murdered before he can reveal her secrets. Suddenly Veronica and Stoker must flee from an elusive assailant, wary partners in search of the villainous truth.

 

I can hardly wait to meet this author in August at the When Words Collide conference here in my city! I really enjoyed this novel and have already requested book two from my public library.

I appreciated the main character, Veronica Speedwell, a great deal. It’s very much the trend now, to rewrite female characters during the Victorian era, giving them bigger ideas and more autonomy. I think of The Lie Tree and Jane Steele, both of which I have also enjoyed a great deal. I’m also reminded of the Amelia Peacock character in Elizabeth Peters’ series, about a feminist female archaeologist in the Victorian era (this series began in 1975, so it could probably be considered the grandmother to this current batch of novels). Veronica is determined to remain single and support herself through providing natural history specimens to collectors. She is also enamoured with foreign men, enjoying dalliances while abroad to collect those specimens.

Stoker is a very attractive love interest for Miss Speedwell, despite the fact that she has decided against marriage and has rules about not getting involved with Englishmen. (Actually, her pursuit of sexual liaisons while abroad seemed the most unlikely part of this novel, for me, there being no reliable birth control during that period). He is bad tempered, less than cleanly, and often surprised by Veronica’s sass. He also sports tattoos that make him a little too 21st century to be entirely believable, but I’m willing to give the benefit of the doubt because I enjoy his character. Plus, he has great potential to clean up well.

There are plenty of twists and turns in the plot, but I don’t think I am alone in thinking that the very slow-burn romance between Veronica and Stoker is the best aspect of the book.

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review 2018-05-20 23:39
Curious George Goes to a Movie with downloadable audio - H. A. Rey,Margret Rey

For more reviews, check out my blog: Craft-Cycle

A cute Curious George story. I usually don't really like Curious George books. It really bugs me when George is rewarded for messing everything up. In this one, the mess isn't all George's fault and he helps fix the problem so it's not all bad. 

Interesting story. Includes a word jumble at the end and downloadable audio.

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text 2018-05-17 18:44
TBR Thursday
Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World - Alfred Birnbaum,Haruki Murakami
Lion in the Valley - Elizabeth Peters
A Curious Beginning - Deanna Raybourn
Beggars in Spain - Nancy Kress
Bog Child - Siobhan Dowd
Turn Coat - Jim Butcher
A Fire Upon the Deep - Vernor Vinge

Wow, how is it Thursday again already?  I've actually felt like doing some houseworky type things this week and haven't read as much as usual.

 

So I'm circling back to read some library books that I've had out for a while:  Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, Lion in the Valley, and A Curious Beginning.

 

Then, I plan to have some fun with Turn Coat.  Two more books for my Science Fiction and Fantasy Reading List--Beggars in Spain and A Fire Upon the Deep.  Plus one of this year's reading challenge books, Bog Child, which is a posthumously published work.

 

On Sunday, my friend & I are going to see Much Ado About Nothing, presented by the Shakespeare Company here in Calgary.  It will be my 18th Shakespearean play.

 

We've got a long weekend coming up, with Monday being Victoria Day and finally it looks like we'll have nice weather all weekend!  A trip to the garden centre for some plants to put in my balcony pots will also be in order.

 

Happy reading, friends!

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text 2018-05-10 21:34
TBR Thursday
The Country Girls - Edna O'Brien
Beneath the Sugar Sky - Seanan McGuire
The Borrower - Rebecca Makkai
Honor Among Thieves - Ann Aguirre,Rachel Caine
The State of the Art - Iain M. Banks
A Curious Beginning - Deanna Raybourn

Such a good selection of books from my library!

 

I will finish A Plague of Giants this evening and I'll continue to have Robots Vs. Fairies as my coffee break book.  Then its time to get started on this selection.

 

I have tomorrow off work--tomorrow is also the beginning of the Calgary Reads Big Book Sale.  I plan to be there when the doors open at 9 a.m. with my wishlist in hand to have first pick.  Photos for Monday!!

 

Also planning to see a performance of Julius Caesar with my Shakespeare buddy on Saturday evening.

 

Have a wonderful weekend, my BL friends.

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