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Search tags: In-My-Library
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review 2019-01-23 19:50
Lion / Saroo Brierley
Lion (Movie Tie-In) - Saroo Brierley

At only five years old, Saroo Brierley got lost on a train in India. Unable to read or write or recall the name of his hometown or even his own last name, he survived alone for weeks on the rough streets of Calcutta before ultimately being transferred to an agency and adopted by a couple in Australia.
Despite his gratitude, Brierley always wondered about his origins. Eventually, with the advent of Google Earth, he had the opportunity to look for the needle in a haystack he once called home, and pore over satellite images for landmarks he might recognize or mathematical equations that might further narrow down the labyrinthine map of India. One day, after years of searching, he miraculously found what he was looking for and set off to find his family.

 

The first book of 2019 with my real-life book club. I missed the meeting during which it was discussed, but I see at least two of my book club ladies have rated it on either side of my own rating. It wasn’t a bad story, but it certainly wasn’t the most riveting memoir that I’ve ever read either.

First off, the story is an amazing one. A four to five year old Indian child, separated from his family, too young to know his own surname or the proper name of his town. Eventually, we even learn that he mispronounced his given name! Judging from this account, it sounds like he didn’t have much vocabulary and he may have had speech difficulties, as he couldn’t seem to make himself understood to the adults in the new world he found himself in. He did come from a very impoverished family, so schooling was unavailable to him, but he was young for school attendance anyway. His family members were so occupied with survival that there was no time to spend educating the younger children.

I’m pretty sure that, at the same age, I wouldn’t have been able to identify the landmarks around my home with the degree of certainty and accuracy that Mr. Brierley did. That’s what makes the story so interesting, is his ability to recognize his home town from Google Earth.

I can see where the movie version of this tale would probably be superior to the book. The author is obviously not a practiced writer, so the writing is very average. There is a great deal of unnecessary detail and quite a bit of repetition.

People who are adoptees would probably have greater interest in this story than I did. I personally would recommend trying the movie before picking up the book.

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review 2019-01-23 18:40
The Coloring Crook
The Coloring Crook (Pen and Ink) - Krista Davis

Book 2 in the Pen & Ink Mysteries.

 

Florrie is dating the police officer from the first book still. Her mother and Nathan's mother are still trying to set them up. While all this is happening, Dolly, a woman in the coloring group, shows up at the store with an old coloring book she bought at an estate sale. She thinks she has something super special and wants Florrie to help her determine if it is what she thinks it is. When she is told that it is very possibly a very good find, she posts about it on the internet and suddenly everyone and their brother come out of the woodwork. They break into places and suddenly a body is found at Dolly's place. When Zsa Zsa is accused of the murder, she feels the need to help find out the truth. 

 

The story was very interesting and I had a hard time waiting to get back into the story. 

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review 2019-01-23 18:18
The Crocodile on the Sandbank
Crocodile on the Sandbank - Elizabeth Peters

Book #1 in the Amelia Peabody Series. 

 

I thoroughly enjoyed this story. This is how Amelia met her husband, Radcliffe Emerson, her brother-in-law, Walter, and his wife, Evelyn. So many things to laugh at in the story. Loved that she is a no-nonsense persona and takes on the challenge of being a woman traveling alone (with a friend) in stride. She meets up with Evelyn when she finds her ill in the street of Rome and helps, heals her, and buys her some clothing and takes her to Egypt. She stops at the English Foreign Office and leaves forwarding info and they go. They meet the Emerson Brothers in Egypt. When they start their journey on the river, they have a good time and then come to the area where the Emersons are staying, but Radcliffe is ill and she nurses him back to health. She also helps on his dig and finds that she enjoys the work. She resents that as a woman she cannot go to these places and do this work. While all this is happening, a mummy has started plaguing the camp. Who is the mummy really after and why did it start happening only after the women arrived? 

 

Such a fun read. 

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review 2019-01-23 04:21
The Poet X
The Poet X - Rosa Elizabeth Acevedo Marin

This was a beautiful book. I bought it for my daughter for Christmas, but then listened to the audiobook from the library because I wanted to hear the author read it (and I didn't want to swipe my daughter's Christmas present before she had a chance to read it. Really, I swear.) I got to work early the other day and was glad nobody was around to see me crying towards the end — this is tough to listen to at times as a Mom, and yes, I know I have no business reading YA books but I do anyway. And, when it's perfect like this one, I completely forget I'm a Mom, and I am yelling in my car, "STOP! Don't do that, you're gonna regret that," and I realize I am yelling at the Mom and I am sixteen all over again.

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review 2019-01-22 04:24
On These Mean Streets
Mean Streets - Jim Butcher,Simon R. Green,Kat Richardson,Thomas E. Sniegoski,Dion Graham,Richard Poe,Mia Baron,T. Ryder Smith

This is a collection of four longer novellas in the urban fantasy genre written by a quarter of well-regarded writers that showcases each of their characters in ongoing series. I have actually read two of these already: "The Warrior" by Jim Butcher and "What a Difference a Day Makes" by Simon R. Green. "The Third Death of the Little Clay Dog" by Kat Richardson and "Noah's Orphans" by Thomas E. Sniegoski are new reads for me. My favorites were "The Warrior" and "The Third Death of the Little Clay Dog."

"Changes" is a Harry Dresden story that heavily features Harry's friend Michael Carpenter and his family. It's also about how being a hero is not just taking up a sword. It's a culmination of many small choices one makes everyday in how they interact with people around them. The lesson was really important and the plotting flawless. Short but substantial. 5 stars

"What a Difference a Day Makes" by Simon R. Green doesn't measure up to the other stories in this volume because it doesn't have the deep character development, pathos or growth of the other stories. I say this as a big admirer of Simon R. Green. His work is very good, and it works for what its doing, but his real brilliance shows in his longer work than his shorter work. Having said that, I enjoy Green's noir style and the just plain weirdness of his imagination. This story is good but not great. 3 stars.

"The Third Death of the Little Clay Dog" by Kat Richardson is the first I've read by her and I'm a fan. I loved the intricate look into Mexican culture, specifically Dia de los Muertos. Most non-Mexicans don't really get what this is about. It's not a spooky holiday in the way we think about Halloween. It's a deeply meaningful holiday in which people remember and celebrate those they have lost to death. There are some folkloric underpinnings that may not make sense, and probably some aspects that might be a dealbreaker for some people. While the holiday is not spooky, this story is written to have some aspects of the macabre to it. Definitely a ghost story, and it's also about magic, dark and light. I really appreciated this story and I loved the narrator. She did a great job with the Spanish pronunciations and in distinguishing the different voices from one another. 5 stars.

"Noah's Orphans" by Thomas E. Sniegoski is thoughtful and sober storytelling. The concept behind it resonated with me as a Christian who grew up reading the Bible and is acquainted with the Noah's Ark tale. This book has a 'what if' aspect to it that got my mind spinning. Consistent for the rest of the series, but rather joyless. 4 stars.

Overall, a good book, and worth listening to on audiobook.

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