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review 2017-06-03 15:38
Kiss the Girls
Kiss the Girls - James Patterson

Like the first book in this series, Kiss the Girls is a fast-paced read that kept me from putting it down. It has some gruesome details of murders and rape and isn't a story for everyone. I liked the connection to the Underground Railroad which was ironic since I'm also reading The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead. I liked the ending of this story too although, I won't go into that.


Alex Cross learned that his niece is missing. She was away at College in North Carolina and had been missing for 4 days before the police had contacted her family. The local police wouldn't give them any information so Alix decided to go in person. It was like stepping backward through time where a black man gets no respect.  Once he was there he found that there were several girls missing from Duke University and they were all beautiful, educated women. Alex starts his own investigation hoping to find his niece alive. The story gets intense very fast when they get a lead in LA and they find out they may be dealing with more than one serial killer.


Yup, I'll be reading more of this series.  

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text 2017-06-02 01:46
Kiss the Girls
Kiss the Girls - James Patterson

So I'm already reading 3 other books but I randomly decided to read this one.  I couldn't sleep and reading didn't help.  I did learn something about the previous reader of this book though.  They must really like mustard because there are yellow fingerprints on several pages.  Thanks really.  


This book is pretty interesting so far and if I wasn't so tired I probably would have read the entire thing in one sitting.   


So how do people make a post that shows their reading progress?  I have seen several that show large letters at the top of the post that says where they are at in the book.  I thought when I updated and wrote a post that it would do it but it didn't.  That sucks.  I don't see magic buttons or switches etc. that look like they might be the ticket.  Someone tell me the magic words.

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review 2017-03-12 23:46
The Tale of the Dueling Neurosurgeons: And Other True Stories of Trauma, Madness, Affliction, and Recovery That Reveal the Surprising History of the Human Brain (audiobook) by Sam Kean, narrated by Henry Leyva
The Tale of the Dueling Neurosurgeons: The History of the Human Brain as Revealed by True Stories of Trauma, Madness, and Recovery - Sam Kean,Henry Leyva

This is going to be short, because I never really bother to take notes while listening to audiobooks, and I finished this audiobook almost three weeks ago. I had to look up nearly all of the names used in this review.

This book used specific examples and case studies of individuals with brain injuries to explain how the brain works. The examples included people I’d heard of before, like Phineas Gage and his iron rod, and people I had not, like Daniel Carleton Gajdusek and his work on kuru (and his conviction for child molestation, holy crap). The author included a wide variety of examples, although at times I felt that his choices were a little U.S.-centric. At least two examples involved U.S. presidents.

The narrator did a nice job and was really easy to listen to. My only complaint was that his tone was occasionally a little too light. The writing often walked a very fine line between entertaining and sensitive (these were real people, and many of them had been horrifically injured), and Henry Leyva’s tone occasionally added a greater note of humor to the text than I felt was appropriate.

While the information and examples were interesting, this book is definitely not for everyone. It was extremely gruesome at times, although there was only one part (Phineas Gage’s initial “treatment”) that included a warning. And while, OMG, that part was awful, there were lots of other examples that made me cringe and/or left me feeling angry about some of brain research history.

For example, I had known a little about Wilder Penfield and his use of electrical stimulation of the brain before performing brain surgery in order to reduce post-operative side effects. I think I might have even seen video of him doing it once, although maybe I'm thinking of someone else. At any rate, I recall the patient looking surprisingly at ease - aside from the exposed brain, not really the stuff nightmares are made of. That wasn't the case with another individual Kean discussed, whose name I can’t recall and haven’t been able to successfully Google. That particular individual essentially electrocuted an unfortunate woman’s brain until she died, published the results, and was then surprised when the medical community came down on him like a ton of bricks. He insisted he’d gotten her consent, but 1) she had probably been incapable of giving informed consent and 2) no one would have knowingly consented to what she went through before she died.

There were also many, many examples of horrifying animal experiments. Again, I didn’t write down the names of all the researchers and haven’t been able to track them down, but one in particular stuck in my head. This researcher operated on rats, swapping the nerves in (I think?) their hind legs. He’d then electrically shock one leg. The rats would feel the pain in the other leg, and he wanted to see if they’d learn to adjust their responses. However, they never did - they’d favor the leg that was in pain, which put more weight on the leg that was really being injured, which put their other leg in even more pain. This same researcher performed similarly horrifying experiments on fish.

All in all, this book both fascinated and repelled me. If I had been reading it, rather than listening to it, I imagine I’d have skimmed more than a few parts.


(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

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text 2016-06-06 14:37
Thorfinn and the Gruesome Games
Thorfinn and the Gruesome Games (Young Kelpies) - David MacPhail

Thorfinn the nicest viking Series

by Davidd MacPhail

illustrated by Richard Morgan

age range: 8 to 12 years old

Floris Books


Thornfinn is a viking in the viking village of Indgar. Although he is the chief's son, everybody thinks there is something wrong with Thorfinn. He is nice, polite, and well mannered. He have earned himself the name of "Thorfinn the Very-very-nice-indeed". His behavior is absolutely unacceptable for a viking.

When the time for the International Gruesome Games comes, and all the competitors from Indgar happen to be incapable for the competition, it is up to Thorfinn to win and bring Sword-Blunter, the ceremonial shield, back to the village. The shield is meant to be with Whirlwind, the ceremonial sword, which was lost in previous games  to Magnus, chief of a neighboring village.  But would be Thorfinn able to fight all these ruthless barbarians?


Thorfinn and the Gruesome Game is an amusing middle grade novel about how being nice and amicable is always a win. The characters are enjoyable. Velda, the energetic girl who wants to help bring Thorfinn's inner fury out, is just unforgettable. The illustrations are funny, and a great complement to the story. I see great potential in this series. 


I received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2015-02-24 13:05
Somewhat Disappointed.
Fearie Tales: Stories of the Grimm and Gruesome - Stephen Jones,Alan Lee

Well that was not as good as i had hoped, nor was it all that scary. The Ilistrations on the other hand, were absolutely fantastic, they made the book much more pleasant and spooky. kudos Alan Lee for a job well done!!

otherwise there were a few good stories, that i rather enjoyed but the rest left something to be desired.

The Stories i thought deserved a 3.5+ rating:
Peckish by Robert Shearman
Inspired by Hansel and Gretel.
Fraulein Fearnot by Markus Heitz
Inspired by The Story of The Youth Who Went Forth.
The Ash-Boy by Christopher Fowler
Inspired by Cinderella.
The Silken Drum by by Reggie Oliver
extremely well written and encapturing story. I'll have to read more by this author.
The Robber Bridegroom
Which i believe was an original, but i can't say for sure at this time, as i don't have the book on hand.
By the Weeping Gate by Angela Slatter
Abrupt end, otherwise good.
Come Unto Me by John Ajvide Lindqvist
Inspired by Rumplestiltskin
that was a really good and depressing and suspenseful and hopeful. all the feels.

The rest of the short-stories:
Find my Name by Rebecca Campbell
Down to a Sunless Sea by Neil Gaiman - i was highly disappointed in this one, as i have been eagerly looking forward to getting my hands on some of Gaimans work, and this just didnt do it for me.
Open your Window, Golden Hair by Tanith Lee
Crossing the Line by Garth Nix
Look Inside by Michael Marshall Smith
The Changeling by Brian Lumley
Anything to Me is Sweeter, Than to Cross Shock-Headed Peter by Brian Hodge
The Artemis Line by Peter Crowther
The Silken People by Joanne Harris - actually this one wasnt that bad, just not as good as the others.

plus some of the originals weren't as fearsome as i have previously dreaded (secretly hoped for) though definitely darker compared to the modern story-tellings.

Over all, I'm glad i read it, even if i wasnt as stoked with the book as a whole as i thought i would be. As my review doesnt go into much detail, beyond what i did and didnt enjoy i would recommend reading this review, by Annemieke. We have some opposing opinions but overall i like what this person has to say.

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