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review 2017-10-15 19:47
Out Nov 7 2017
Island of the Blue Foxes: Disaster and Triumph on the World's Greatest Scientific Expedition (A Merloyd Lawrence Book) - Stephen R. Bown
Disclaimer: ARC via Netgalley

For some reason, I like reading books about white men going into cold places and dying. Except Norwegians, for some reason my brain believes Norwegians should always make it out alive. I’m not sure why, but it does. I blame National Geographic Museum in Washington DC for all this because I saw an exhibit there about Scott and Amundsen. 

This book is about a Russian trek, led by a Dane Vitus Bering (yes, that Bering). Truthfully, when we read about those treks, at least in the Eastern part of American, we tend to focus solely on the British during crazy things. It was refreshing, therefore to read about Russians doing crazy things. It should be noted that I am not an expert on this topic.

Brown does a very good in keeping the reader engaged. First, he sets up the scene, allowing the read to understand the circumstances that the large group of men were dealing with. Unlike the British, the Kamchatka Expedition had to deal with official who had little desire to help the leaders, making food and supplies difficult. The failure of the expedition, it seems, was also that due to politics.

Brown doesn’t hesitate to illustrate the flaws of some of the members of the expedition, but he also shows the good points. In particular, is Stellar who is at once infuriating, yet he is vital to the survival of those who make it. 

Perhaps that is the greatest strength of this history – unlike many such book it doesn’t play favorites but presents humanity struggling in a dangerous situation of its own making.


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text 2017-10-15 19:08
Reading progress update: I've read 104 out of 384 pages.
Die Frau von Shearwater Island: Roman - Magali Robathan

Bisher ist dieses Buch leider noch nicht sehr fesselnd. Eher im Gegenteil: zwischendurch regelrecht langweilig. 

Ich habe nun ca. ein Viertel des Buches gelesen und hoffe wirklich darauf, dass es noch Fahrt aufnimmt.

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text 2017-10-14 15:36
Reading progress update: I've read 30 out of 239 pages.
The Moai Island Puzzle - Ho-Ling Wong,Alice Arisugawa

The doctor's already dissing the Mystery Club:

"The act of reading books is itself an utterly unproductive one, of course. Particularly if you're only reading mystery novels, well, that's just plain debauchery and dissipation."

It's early still, but I already have some issues with this book. 1) Tenses seem to be a little sloppy. Yes, I'm guilty of that in my own writing, but this is a published book. 2) I think something's wrong with the map. Several characters have referred to marks indicating the location of the moais, the wooden statues. Their location should be marked on the map with an X, but I can't for the life of me find one. I'm wondering if it was accidentally obliterated when the Japanese text was replaced with English translations. If their location on the island turns out to be important, I'm going to be even more annoyed.

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text 2017-10-14 01:01
Reading progress update: I've read 19 out of 239 pages.
The Moai Island Puzzle - Ho-Ling Wong,Alice Arisugawa

I just finished Soji Shimada's introduction (he's the author of The Tokyo Zodiac Murders), which includes a little of the history of Japanese puzzle mysteries.


I'm now on the first page of the actual mystery, and I already have to laugh at myself a little. Alice Arisugawa, who is a man, has written a character with his pen name into the book. Alice the character is also male, and that Alice is currently talking to a character named Maria (female). They're both Japanese.


"So how did two people bearing such exotic names come to meet in this age-old city?"


At first my brain went "Exotic?" and then I remembered that, yes, in Japan "Alice" and "Maria" would be considered exotic names.

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text 2017-10-13 22:07
It's here already!
The Moai Island Puzzle - Ho-Ling Wong,Alice Arisugawa

I was not expecting this to get here so quickly, but I'm glad it did. It's due just before I go on vacation early in November, so I get a few weeks to read and review it. Here's hoping it's good!

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