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text 2018-12-05 21:24
24 Festive Tasks, Door 9 - Thanksgiving UPDATED to include Task 2
Amelia: An Autumn Bride - Hildie McQueen
To End All Wars: A Story of Loyalty and Rebellion, 1914-1918 - Adam Hochschild
Hamilton's Battalion: A Trio of Romances - Alyssa Cole,Rose Lerner,Courtney Milan
Conspiracy of Fools: A True Story - Kurt Eichenwald
The Lotus Palace - Jeannie Lin
The Jade Temptress - Jeannie Lin
Once Upon a Spine - Kate Carlisle
Bitch Planet Volume 1 - Kelly Sue DeConnick,Robert Wilson IV,Valentine De Landro
Bitch Planet Volume 2: President Bitch - Kelly Sue DeConnick
Nightingales Under the Mistletoe: (Nightingales 7) - Donna Douglas

Thanksgiving

 

Book: Today, I read Amelia: An Autumn Bride (Brides for All Seasons #7) by Hildie McQueen (autumn colors).

 

Task #1

The three books I am most thankful for reading this year are:

 

1. To End All Wars: A Story of Loyalty and Rebellion, 1914-1918 by Adam Hochschild

          This is what I would recommend to anyone, but especially non-history readers, if they wanted to read one book about World War I. 

 

2. Hamilton's Battalion: A Trio of Romances by Rose Lerner, Courtney Milan, and Alyssa Cole

              I'm not a fangirl of Hamilton or his musical (although I do listen and enjoy the soundtrack), but getting new material from these authors was enough for me to buy it. Courtney Milan's story was my favorite, but Rose Lerner's and Alyssa Cole's stories were wonderful as well. 

 

3. Conspiracy of Fools: A True Story by Kurt Eichenwald

             This book was a door stopper, but read so much like a novel that it didn't feel over long at all. This is the true story of the rise and fall of Enron.

 

Honorable mention: The Lotus Palace and The Jade Temptress (Pingkang Li Mysteries #1 and 2) by Jeannie Lin.

 

Task #2

My perfect meal, created by a chef and his/her/their team, is inspired by my Italian heritage. It would be time and resource intensive, ergo I would never make it for myself.

1. Starters - Caprese salad and friend calamari

2. Main - Zuppa di Pesce e Frutti de Mare (just a ton of seafood in a clear broth)

3. Sides - Baked Fennel with Parmesan and Mushroom risotto

4. Dessert - Tiramisu

 

Task #3

The book I read this year with the most "stuffing" was Once Upon a Spine (A Bibliophile Mystery #11) by Kate Carlisle. Details about the most mundane things with boring vanilla characters and constant wedding talk - and the murder mystery was an afterthought until the very end. 

 

Task #4

Honestly, I can't remember all the freebies I download in a single month, let alone in a year. So here is what I bought this month:

 

1. Bitch Planet Volume 1 and 2 by Kelly Sue DeConnick et al (from Foyles)

2. A Nightingale Christmas Carol and Nightingales Under the Mistletoe by Donna Douglas (from a charity shop)

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review 2018-12-04 16:47
Fun read.
The Doomsday Testament - Douglas Jackson

This was a more plausable than Da Vinci Code book from the same trope farm. A trope farm I enjoy visiting, this is one of the better products of this mix of thriller with hints of supernatural and that the Nazis were investing things beyond their ilk and beyond their capacity and that there are some remnants that want to revive their experiments.

Jamie Saintclair thought he knew his Anglican Clergyman grandfather but after that man's sudden death he finds a diary and this lands him into a search for hidden treasures. His father served in the Special Air Service during the Second World War and his last mission was to accompany some Nazi's to freedom as part of something similar to Operation Paperclip.

It's a romp of a story with a lot of complicated derring-do and multiple double-crosses and villains. I did like the end.

It pulled me along and kept me reading, even though it stretched my plausability quota a bit occasionally. The relationship needed work but I suspect things may not be too good there anyway.

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review 2018-11-10 09:45
Intelligence: "Gödel, Escher, Bach: The Eternal Golden Braid" by Douglas R. Hofstadter
Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid - Douglas R. Hofstadter


(Original Review, 1980-09-24)

Before we ask "Are dolphins intelligent?" we must ask "What is intelligence?" Doug Hofstadter, in his book "Gödel, Escher, Bach: The Eternal Golden Braid", presents a way of looking at intelligence that is not as restrictive as most current definitions. (I highly recommend this book to anyone, by the way. It is published by Basic Books in hardback, and is worth whatever you may pay for it.) He makes a good argument for the claim that intelligence is a consequence of the complexity of organization of the nervous system of an organism.

 

 

 

If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

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review 2018-11-09 16:15
Lord of Danger
Lord of Danger (Mills & Boon M&B) (Mills & Boon Special Releases) - Anne Stuart

My reviews are honest & they contain spoilers. For more, follow me:



Lord of Danger was another Anne Stuart book that intrigued me when I read the blurb. I dived into it not really reading too many reviews, but I had heard of it before being one of her classic HRs. My first attempt at her big backlist wasn’t very successful. Didn’t like that book much but I was enough ensnared into the magic of her writing that I wanted to read more. And man was I struck surprised by this one! Lord of Danger, simply put, just worked for me. So marvelously that... ah!

I’m a big fan of well-written medieval romances doesn’t matter whether the hero is a big, grumpy oaf in need of some loving or a straight bad boy who likes to hide away his heart of gold because he feels vulnerable to expose that part of him to the world. Our H, Simon of Navarre falls under the latter category. And though I’m not always fond of bad boy rakes, sometimes even I have to give in and admit defeat to his mastery. I can only say that I don’t blame Alys for falling for Simon.

Alys and her younger sister, Claire, had been living with nuns since they were young. Both born on the wrong side of the blanket so their only eldest half-brother, the legit heir to everything Richard the Fair, send them to the convent. Alys was barely a few yrs old when she was tore away from her ill and dying mother’s arms, never to see her again. I don’t really know much about Claire, only that her mother was either a prostitute or a tavern maid who abandoned her after she was born. Well, yep, their father was a piece of work who couldn’t keep it in his pants. Who knows how many of his bastards roamed all over England! Richard has duly, and may I say proudly(?), followed his father’s tradition in that regard. -_- Both Alys and Claire were much younger than him so when his father cocked up his toes, he banished them ASAP not wanting brats underfoot.

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review 2018-10-20 16:12
Hidden Honor
Hidden Honor (Mira) - Anne Stuart

3.5 stars. After reading and LOVING Lord of Danger, I was looking for another medieval romance by Anne Stuart and came across Hidden Honor. But this one didn't give me the same feeling as Lord of Danger, nowhere near it TBH. So there'll be no full review for this one.

Peter, our H, is a monk who went to Crusade. He was a normal knight before that, but now atoning for his sins done during Crusade. And for that reason he'd taken vows for the strictest order of monks he could find. It intrigued me to know that the H was a monk cause I don't think I read another book where the hero was one. Now Peter, alongside a coterie of King's men disguised as monks, were accompanying a bastard prince to a monastery to be cleaned off of his latest sins. Peter was disguised as the Prince himself, while the Prince was masquerading as one of the monks. This Prince really was quite a piece of work. A cruel, sadistic POS, his history with Peter during Crusade comes to life later in the story, which also explained why there was so much enmity between them which was palpable even to someone like our h, Elizabeth.

At any case, I liked Peter and thought he was a hot monk. He actually was a very sexually active man, but since his return from the Crusade he'd been celibate. On that one regard, I agreed with Elizabeth. But for the most part I could never connect with her. She was quite young and impulsive. But what frustrated me most about her was that, though I didn't think she was horribly dimwitted or something, most of the times her confidence was utterly misguided. Misplaced even. Which did make me facepalm a few times. It led to some contrived misunderstandings between her and Peter that could've been avoided otherwise IMO. It might have to do with the fact that she grew up largely sheltered and had no idea of the horrors that lay on the outside world. Whatever is the case, I had a difficult time with her and I thought she wasn't a good match for Peter. He needed someone more matured, even worldly. Maybe even someone like Dame Joanna.


With Joanna, comes the part of the story that I actually loved. It was the secondary romance between Joanna, who was a courtesan and Peter's cousin Adrian, who was a knight. He was one of the men accompanying the Prince and they met while staying at one of the castles where Joanna was the mistress to one of the lords. I really wished the author wrote more pages on them rather then Elizabeth's shenanigans. I still don't know why exactly Peter was so attracted to her. :/ I don't want to sound harsh but it must've been that aforementioned celibacy. -_-

Overall, though I liked the story because it kept me hooked, it wasn't a favorite of mine by Anne Stuart. But I'll continue to check through her backlist for my next favorite. :)

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