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review 2019-09-11 00:30
Henri - Ella Frank

This is book #5, in the Confessions series.  This book can be read as a standalone novel.  To avoid spoilers, since each book builds upon the last - I recommend reading this series in order.


Henri comes from a very dark past.  One he wishes to get further away from.  More and more since he has bumped into someone recently at an ex's wedding.  Running into him again, only makes him want him even more.


Officer Craig Bailey AKA "Bailey" is shocked at how much he wants a man who ghosts him at every turn.  Can he take the time to have fun with someone when he really never has?  His body yearns, but he is finding his heart is learning to as well.


Couple of surprises, couple of twists, and another series book that makes me beg the author for more.  This is just more fascinating characters and visits from our faves also.  I love how it hooks me but now I am almost too excited to read the next installment.  I give this one a 4/5 Kitty'a Paws UP!

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review 2018-09-01 10:18
Banco: The Further Adventures of Papillon - Henri Charrière

La seule chose qui compte, dans la vie, avant tout : ne jamais s'avouer vaincu, et après chaque fracas, recommencer. C'est ce que je vais faire.

Et il nous vient cette même pensée en même temps : "Le passé ne veut rien dire, seul compte ce qu'on est devenu."


De là, oui, si on ne distingue pas bien les gens, si on ne voit que des formes, de là, oui, Montmartre est toujours le même. J'avance lentement vers l'endroit exact où, soi-disant, j'ai abattu Roland Legrand dans la nuit du 25 au 26 mars 1930.
Le banc, le même banc sans doute, repeint chaque année (ça peut bien vivre trente-sept ans un banc d'avenue dans un bois si épais), le banc est là et le bec électrique est là, et le bar en face est là, et les pierres des maisons sont toujours les mêmes, et les volets de la maison en face, à demi fermés, sont encore là. Mais parle, parle donc, matière de pierre, de bois, d'arbre, de verre ! Vous avez vu, vous, vous y étiez puisque vous y êtes encore, vous êtes les premiers, les seuls, les vrais témoins du drame et vous, vous savez bien que celui qui a tiré cette nuit-là ce n'était pas moi. Pourquoi ne l'avez-vous pas dit?



Le revenant est là malgré vous tous, il a repoussé la pierre de la tombe où vous l'aviez enterré vivant.

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review 2018-03-04 15:02
Chaos on the Western Front, or: The trenches are on fire
Das Feuer - Henri Barbusse

Reading All Quiet on the Western Front made me not only appreciate our (more or less) peaceful present here in Europe, but it also made me wonder about WW1 in general. Although I am from Austria, the country which had a finger in both World War pies, I have to admit, that I am frightfully uninformed about this section of history. In school we somehow tend to briefly mention that WW1 happened because of the assassination of the Habsburg heir in order to focus the rest of our history classes almost exclusively on WW2.


After reading what Remarque had to say about the Western Front, I wanted to know what the other side of the story looked like in the French trenches straight across No Man’s Land, because when it comes to history, nothing is worse than a one-sided view. Since Barbusse’ novel Under Fire appeared in 1916, it was one of the first non-propaganda books about WW1 and although Barbusse and Remarque had similar aims and viewpoints, their novels differ considerably.


Under Fire basically tells the reader about the common soldiers’ everyday life in the French army, therefore not focusing so much on fighting action, but mainly on hopes and dreams, boredom, physical strains, angst and chaos. It is at the same time more humane and universal than Remarque’s novel, but in comparison doesn’t do such a good job at conveying the deep personal struggles of the protagonists.


Although Under Fire was a huge-ass success when it was published, I can now understand why All Quiet on the Western Front is completely overshadowing it. Barbusse’ writing style is something to get used to – it is partly realistic, yet extremely expressionistic and overly symbolic. Also, the many episodes of the novel are somewhat disconnected from each other in terms of time as well as space (=setting) and it as hard as it is annoying to try to follow the disjointed snippets of different conversations which are interrupting and overlying each other all the time.

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text 2018-02-28 10:37
Reading progress update: I've read 26 out of 294 pages.
Das Feuer - Henri Barbusse

I hoped that Barbusse’ novel would be as easy and exciting to read as Remarque’s All Quiet on the Western Front, but no. So far, definitely no.

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text 2017-11-21 21:40
16 Tasks of the Festive Season: Square 8 - Hanukkah - and Square 3 - St. Martin's Day
The Shaman Laughs - James D. Doss
The Devil's Acolyte - Michael Jecks
An Artist of the Floating World - Kazuo Ishiguro
A Darker Shade: 17 Swedish Stories of Murder, Mystery and Suspense Including a Short Story by Stieg Larsson - John-Henri Holmberg

Tasks for Hanukkah: Light nine candles around the room (SAFELY) and post a picture. –OR– Play the Dreidel game to pick the next book you read.

Assign a book from your TBR to each of the four sides of the dreidel:

נ (Nun)
ג (Gimel)
ה (He)
ש (Shin)

Spin a virtual dreidel: http://www.torahtots.com/holidays/chanuka/dreidel.htm
– then tell us which book the dreidel picked.


OK, here we go:

נ (Nun)     =  James D. Doss: The Shaman Laughs
(Gimel)  =  Michael Jecks: The Devil's Acolyte
ה (He)
      =  Kazuo Ishiguro: An Artist of the Floating World
ש (Shin)
   =  John-Henri Holmberg (ed.): A Darker Shade



Alright -- Ishiguro it is.  And this will also give me my book themes for St. Martin’s Day (square 3): Read a book set on a vineyard, or in a rural setting, –OR– a story where the MC searches for/gets a new job. –OR– A book with a lantern on the cover, or books set before the age of electricity. –OR– A story dealing with an act of selfless generosity (like St. Martin sharing his cloak with a beggar).


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