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review 2018-03-24 22:31
Not That I Could Tell
Not That I Could Tell - Jessica Strawser

There seems to be a surge of "no one really knows their neighbor" tales lately and after reading the blurb, I was seriously hoping to find at the least, a good mystery. The problem is the story is just not particularly mysterious. The answer to Kristin's disappearance is pretty obvious from very early on and the rest of the story is a slow-moving jumble of everyday life with a few tidbits of Kristin's life thrown in. The chapters alternate between Clara, a stay at home mom of two who seems to be friends with everybody, and Izzy, the newest addition to the neighborhood who is trying to get as far away from lost love as possible. Amid the lengthy descriptions of nursing and cranky babies, day care gossip, errands, laundry, housework, meals, etc, we get the odd glimpse of Kristin's estranged husband and various theories about what might have happened to her and the twins. We do get a bit of excitement and a twist at the end, and I will say that the way it all played out was an interesting idea... If the story hadn't been so bogged down in the details of everyday life for this neighborhood, most of which had absolutely nothing to do with Kristin or her disappearance. The only glimpses of the actual investigation that we see are from Clara and Izzy, and those are periphery at best for most of the story, so the bulk of this one boils down to the day to day lives of this neighborhood, which in all honesty, can be heard by having a drink with the neighbors in Any Town, USA on any given evening. 

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url 2018-03-22 18:12
My [author Elizabeth Bear] Formative SFF: Forgotten Classics of the ’70s and ’80s
Sorcerer's Son - Phyllis Eisenstein
The Door Into Fire - Diane Duane
The Idylls of the Queen: A Tale of Queen Guenevere - Phyllis Ann Karr
Red Moon and Black Mountain - Joy Chant
Tomoe Gozen - Jessica Amanda Salmonson
Motherlines - Suzy McKee Charnas
Dreamsnake - Vonda N. McIntyre
Diadem from the Stars - Jo Clayton

I created a booklikes reading list at http://booklikes.com/apps/reading-lists/879/author-elizabeth-bear-s-formative-sff-forgotten-classics-of-the-70s-and-80s .

Source: www.tor.com/2018/03/20/formative-sff-forgotten-classics-of-the-70s-and-80s
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review 2018-03-21 00:00
Rumor Has It
Rumor Has It - Jessica Lemmon Perfection does not exist. It's a human trait to gloss over the flaws, never seeing what's really there. Jessica Lemmon never does that. She keeps it real. With oodles of humor and exceptional characters, she makes the hard moments bearable for the characters she creates and the readers she enchants. Catrina and Barrett are colleagues with a love - hate relationship. He loves to push her buttons. She hates the way he makes her feel. He hates her uptight attitude. She loves to put him in his place. Rumor Has It takes us beyond the verbal banter and sexual intensity. The first person narrative allows us into the soul of the characters. What begins as a battle of wills becomes an empathetic look at what it means to be human. Something we all can relate to.
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text 2018-03-16 16:29
Reading progress update: I've read 4 out of 285 pages.
You Can't Touch My Hair: And Other Things I Still Have to Explain - Phoebe Robinson,Jessica Williams

"To me, the concern over the state of black hair is so ingrained in society, so ingrained in black people's DNA that it, in some ways, defines who we, I'm using the black we here, are to people and subsequently to ourselves. Kind of like how there is Career Girl Barbie, Aerobics Instructor Barbie, and Army Medic Barbie, there is Professional Black Hair (straight uncooked linguine), Makes-Her-Own-Incense Black Hair (dreadlocks or twists), and Super-into-Malcolm-X Black Hair (Afros, duh), just to name a few. The point is that we are aware that how our hair is styled determines how we will be treated by others, and that treatment or mistreatment (for example, the word angry doesn't get hurled at me nearly as much when my hair is straight as when it's in an Afro) can affect our own opinions of ourselves. But this isn't always the case. Some black people haven't been lucky enough to be exposed to differing outside perspectives of black hair and as a result the loudest perspective—the one that says black hair = bad—is often what reigns supreme in their minds. We black girls are conditioned from a young age to treat our natural hair as a problem that needs to be remedied, that we need to have that "good hair," meaning hair that, in its natural state, is not difficult to comb through."


There's just so much to unpack in that paragraph... I can empathize with spending so much time thinking about, analyzing, and defending an attribute that it becomes part of your identity.

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review 2018-03-13 17:51
Good Story and Characters
Not That I Could Tell - Jessica Strawser

Five females from the neighborhood met in Clare’s back yard no kids or men they woman had baby monitors with them yet still felt free and the drank wine and got a little drunk.  Izzy was the newest to the neighborhood. Izzy got toasted and told her neighbors all about Josh who had been her best friend but she fell in love with him but he fell for and married her younger sister. The next morning the women felt the effects of drinking and what they had said while drinking. Then the women learned one of the women who had been with them last night Kristin and her four year old twins had disappeared. Kristin gave no hint of any problems the night before. The knew she was divorcing her husband Paul who was a doctor. Kristin was the type that was on top of everything and had everything handled. When the police searched Kristins computer it did reveal that there were several visits to domestic violence sites.   No one had seen Kristin leave but all her personal things were gone as well as the twins favorite toys. Then Paul left the apartment he had lived in and moved back in the house. Clara and Kristin were best friends and Clare had no idea what happened to Kristin. The police’s prime suspect was Paul but they couldn’t find anything so the case went cold.

I enjoyed this book it was a quick easy read. I really liked the fast pace and plot. I liked how as the women got drunk they told things about themselves that they normally would say nothing about or not as much. Then the next day regretted what they had revealed about themselves. I loved the five women so enjoyed their night even if they were only in Claire’s yard.  This reminds the readers nobody's perfect no matter how it appeared. I liked the surprise ending. I didn’t want to put this down from the beginning to the end. I really liked how the author had some back story at the beginning of every chapter. The book has: relationships. Neighbors, a drunken night, a missing woman with four year old twins, secrets, betrayal, intrigue, mystery, and suspense, frustration, small town life, drama, and so much way. I really liked the characters and the ins and outs of this book and I recommend it.

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