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review 2018-10-15 19:34
1,000 B00ks to Read Before you Die: A Life Changing List - James Mustich

I swear we like reading books about lists so we can quibble over the lists. Mustich is the man behind the Common Reader book catalog, which went out of business in 2006. 

This actually is a pretty good list of books to read before you die. Unlike other books of similar titles, with a few exceptions, Mustich confines it to one book per author. There are 71 exceptions to this, including Shakespeare and Dickens. 58 of the 71 are male, 13 female. The list breaks down to roughly 663 men and 204 women, with only 3 Native American authors. The books run though various genres, and while some choices are no suprise, there are quite a few surprises.

There is attention paid to fantasy and sci-fi (though the writers chosen in those genres are primary male) as well as sports writing. Children's books are present as are graphic novels (most of those chosen are by women, so that's nice)

The best part are the notes section under each volume - listing other works, further reading, and the odd factoid. The Try feature actually makes this a list of over 1,000. There is a checklist at the end.  Additionally, there is a themantic index in addition to the general one.

Of course, there are some things that don't quite make sense. Why no mention of Angela Carter? Why no mention of the editorial work of Datlow and Windling whose fairy tale series paved the way for the rich retellings we have today? Why no Terry Pratchett has an offical entry, but only a try?

Still a lovely well crafted volume.

But who would be on your list?

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review 2018-10-15 01:16
Claws for Concern
Claws for Concern (Cat in the Stacks Mystery) - Miranda James

Charlie Harris's grandson, baby Charlie, has been born and he gets to watch the baby along with his friends and girlfriend. But one day, a man asks for information on his uncle (married to his aunt) and he ends up searching for the truth of a murder from over 20 years ago. The man claims to be the son of his uncle from a previous relationship.


The story was interesting and I mixed the reading with audio, so my girls were listening as I was driving, too. They actually requested this book. My husband enjoyed some of the incidents as I had owned (can you ever really own a cat) a Maine Coon Cat when we got together and while she was a beauty, she didn't do well in moving with me to the new house.

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review 2018-10-14 15:59
Alex Cross serial killer thriller – usual fare, exciting and engaging
Pop Goes the Weasel - James Patterson



This is the fifth Alex Cross novel by James Patterson and centers around a serial killer called the Weasel. The plot involves those close to Alex Cross, the detective, and includes murder, kidnapping and conspiracy. James Patterson novels tend to follow a certain pattern: they are an easy read, chapters are short (over 100 of them in 500 pages) and the characters are well-described. There are usually a few surprises, mostly unpleasant. This book is no exception. Quite good if you want something easy and “dependable”.


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review 2018-10-13 23:57
The Scorch Trials by James Dashner
The Scorch Trials - James Dashner

I have mixed feelings about this book. Yes, it was so good, I had to read one chapter after another, but I'm also really confused. I'm not sure I liked it. Does it make any sense? How do I rate it?

I've been thinking about it. I liked the excitement and new characters. The story was well paced and the setting just as spooky or even more than in the first book. But still, I'm confused, and I don't like it - the confusion, and the fact I have to wait a few months until the third book is being translated into Estonian. Because I started it in my mother tongue, I'm going to finish the series in my mother tongue as well. 
I still have my doubts but here and now 4 stars. You can be sure that five minutes from now it would be 3 stars. I am confused :( 

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review 2018-10-13 03:50
A Few Thoughts about the Audiobook of Changes
Changes - Jim Butcher,James Marsters

Spoilers to follow. This isn't one of my typical posts, so my typical rules don't apply.


After starting a few months back, I've pretty much stopped posting about listening to the <b>Dresden Files</b> audiobooks -- there are only so many ways to say, "I'd forgotten how much I like this story" and "Wow! James Marsters did a fantastic job!" Not only does it get dull to read, it gets pretty dull to write. (okay, there is a challenge on finding a new way to say it, but . . . I'm too lazy to find that enticing).


But I listened to <b>Changes</b> this week and how can I not talk about that?This is one of my favorite novels ever -- Top 10, Deserted Island Must-Have kind of thing -- highs, lows (and things lower than lows), laughs, tears, anger, shock, joy. <b>Changes</b> has it all (at least for those who've been with Harry for a few books -- preferably 11).


Listening to the book was a great way for me to experience it again -- if for no other reason, I couldn't race through it and accidentally skim over things in my haste to get to X or Y plot point.


It's silly as I've read everything that comes after this a couple of times, but seeing all the compromises and deals Harry made as his life is dismantled piece by piece really hit me hard. Yet, Harry makes his choices freely and for the best reason imaginable. All for Maggie. The ramifications of his choices and agreements are wide, huge and so-far we don't know all of them -- and Harry'd do it all again, and there's not a fan in the world that would blame him.


And Marsters? He gets better and better with every book -- and this was fantastic. I loved where Mouse got to "talk" -- it was the next best thing to reading it for the first time. And, when he got to those lines? You know the ones I'm talking about:


And I . . .


I used the knife.


I saved a child.


I won a war.


God forgive me.

I had to hit pause for a couple of minutes before I could keep going.


Sometimes as a book blogger, you get wrapped up in numbers, ratings, book tours, promotion, and all the other stuff -- but every now and then it's great to remember what it is about fiction that gets you into it in the first place. This treat by Butcher and Marsters did just that for me -- I was entertained, I was moved, I was a little inspired.

Source: irresponsiblereader.com/2018/10/12/a-few-thoughts-on-changes-by-audiobook-by-jim-butcher-james-marsters
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