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review 2021-01-20 01:44
The Truths We Hold: An American Journey - Kamala Harris

I wish I had read this before the 2020 primaries.  This gives a good idea of what her platform was.  She describes the problems facing us today and gives solutions to those problems.  Utilizing stories from her own life and others who have crossed her path, she gives faces to those problems and solutions.  Ms. Harris comes across as someone who listens and tries to help where she can and she'll go where she needs to to lend that helping hand.  She has a lot of empathy and compassion.  I am glad I read this.  I think she will help lead this country back into the light.

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review 2020-11-23 14:49
The Magic Misfits by Neil Patrick Harris
The Magic Misfits - Lissy Marlin,Neil Patrick Harris,Author
Love Neil Patrick Harris since his Doogie Houser days, and I know a lot of you are with me. I saw this debut book of his on sale and grabbed a copy. I was excited to see what he had in store for the literary world.
He didn't disappoint either!
What a fun adventure, reading about Carter and the friends he acquires. Plus there is a few magic tricks shared in the book that you can try and practice. There's a mathematical one that I will be doing to my peers often. It was just so much fun! 
I look forward to the next book in the series.
Source: www.fredasvoice.com/2020/11/the-magic-misfits-by-neil-patrick.html
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review 2020-06-29 16:53
Great Read
John Henry: The Steam Age Original Graphic Novel - Dwayne Harris

I picked up the first issue of this limited series because it was free.  And it still is free on Kindle, at the least. 


I think I first heard about John Henry because of a cartoon short.  At any rate, before I saw John Henry the horse, I knew who John Henry was and, therefore, knew who the horse was named after (he lived up to the name).


Harris' reimagining of the story places Henry in a steampunk universe.  It is long the lines of the Clockwork Century (though it is different.  No zombies for one).  The story does tie into the origin John Henry myth and then moves forward while using the myth/legend.


What is particularly enjoyable about this series is the role that Polly, John Henry's wife plays.  Some people may not know that Polly had her own set of stories and songs.  Harris does, apparently, and what Polly does is great.  Her role is great.  I really hope that Harris writes a graphic novel about her, and considering the closing panels of this book, a follow up to this book as well.


Harris does address the issues of racism and slavery, not just in terms of John Henry (a Black man) but also in the use of other characters and settings.  He confronts the racism that existed (and still does) against the Chinese population whose labor was used to build the railroads.


Highly recommended.

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review 2020-06-06 21:30
I'm not sure about 'Surviving the Merge' but...
Surviving the Merge - C.P. Harris

I was pretty damned happy when I realized that 'I survived this book'. It's been a while since I've read a book that had the emotional impact on me that this one did.


I'm just going to take a minute to give a little bit of personal background here because I honestly feel that it's relevant to the story as it relates to my response to it. I spent nearly 20 years working in healthcare in one form or another and while I don't profess to be an expert on any level about any specific condition, I am, however, familiar with a number of physical and mental health issues well enough to know that most medical conditions have general guidelines as to conditions, symptoms, etc. each case is unique to the individual. But for me the most important thing about this story was that the author treated the issues with the consideration and regard that they deserved. 


When this book first crossed my path I read the blurb was intrigued but decided that time didn't permit...that lasted maybe a day or two I re-read the blurb and decided that I needed to read this book. Sometimes first decisions aren't the best decisions.


While the blurb for this book intrigued me, it didn't prepare me for the emotional journey traveled by the characters. I adored Justin, loving someone...anyone can be a challenge at the best of times but loving Damon/Blake was a commitment that not every one would be able or willing to make and Justin not only loved them, he was able to see and appreciate what each of them brought to the relationship and held the strength of commitment and desire to work things out no matter how challenging they got. 


Damon was definitely the character who intrigued me the most for so many reasons that I'd love to go into but won't. However, it was Blake who broke me and in the end it was Blake's sacrifice that saved them all (that's right you'll need to read the book if you want to know more). 


There were times that the writing in this story held an intangible quality that left me feeling like I'd maybe missed something...I wasn't confused by things, it was more this slight niggle in my brain that I'd read the words, I understood the words but still missed something in the meaning and normally this would at the very least be frustrating for me but in the case of this particular story it fit and all I can say in regard to this is that if you choose to read this story and find yourself having that feeling...have faith and keep reading because sometimes what we think we see is only an illusion hiding a reality that  we can't see and truthfully no matter how you look at it in the end each of these men were unwavering in their commitment to their relationship. 


"Surviving the Merge" was not only Ms Harris's first novel in the "Chadwick" series, it was her first novel and of course it was also my first time reading anything by this author. What it thankfully isn't is the last novel in the "Chadwick" series or by this author or the last novel that I'll be reading by this author and I am very much anticipating finding out how things continue to go for Justin, Damon/Blake and what if anything will happen between Max and Ash, the kids at the community center and even Sam (Samantha) and while I would have liked a bit more development between her and Justin before they became BFFs, the focus of this story for me was entirely Justin, Damon/Blake and anything else I'm willing to wait for.



A copy of 'Surviving the Merge' was graciously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2020-04-14 10:09
Lustrum - Robert Harris

A stunning trilogy. Robert Harris has accomplished what many historical authors may aspire to but few attain. He has created an ancient Rome alive with the sights, the sounds, the smells of a city towards the latter years of the republic. He has painted a picture in my mind of warring commanders: Pompey, Caesar, Crassus. He has allowed me to view both the beauty of Rome from the aristocratic Palatine to the stench of the inner-city streets. He shows Romans as a people obsessed with wealth, and from wealth flows power, influence, and the ultimate prize a position in the senate leading to first consul adoration.

Pompey the great commander, the chief general in the state….” A large chair was carried in for the Imperator, and he settled himself into it. An ivory pointer was placed in his hand. A carpet was unrolled at his feet into which was woven a map of the east, and as the senators gazed down he began gesticulating at it to illustrate his achievements”…. Caesar, the chief priest, adored by all the masses, fresh from military success, biding his time as he waits, panther like, moulding the men of influence to attend to his every whim. These two together with the wealthy Crassus form the triumvirate, a power base for them to dictate and manipulate. It is however a dangerous thing to allow so much “imperium” into the hands of the few.

Cicero’s year as 1st consul is drawing to a close, and some of his finest accomplishments are now just a distant memory. When he faces a direct threat on his life it is to his wealthy companions that he turns for help and support, but such friendship will always require payback. Robert Harris shows not only the strong side of Cicero but his weaknesses. His aspirations to climb the social ladder, result in a questionable decision when he borrows money to purchase a grand property owned by Crassus in the exclusive Palatine hill. As the candle slowly fades on a glittering senatorial career, and as the influence of a few wealthy men starts to emerge, the scene is set for a bloody conflict. Rome should have learnt the lessons of the past that it is a grave mistake to leave so much power in the hands of a powerful minority.
A wonderful story, the subtle blending of fact and fiction makes Lustrum an essential read…the final chapter “The Dictator” now awaits me” Highly recommended.

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