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review 2017-06-21 17:39
The Parkhurst Years: My Time Locked Up with Britain’s Most Notorious Criminals - Bobby Cummines

Bobby Cummines is a British ex-con who, during the 1970's and 1980's, served twelve years in some of the UK's maximum security prisons. He has penned a memoir of his early years of crime, his time in prison, and how he used those experiences to turn his life around. Upon release from prison, he founded a company to help people with criminal convictions reintegrate into society. A program similar to whats being tried now in America, only 30 years earlier.
Cummines pulls no punches, he is very honest about his life of crime, and what he has done and seen. No "I'm a victim of a set-up", he accepts his actions wholeheartedly.
The book is full of interesting stories and characters. The author relates his dealings with the infamous British inmates of the time. I especially liked hearing his language, and some of the terms he used that were unfamiliar to me. Screws, banged up, a bit of work, loo, bird, bum smuggler, nicking, Old Bill; the list goes on and on.
After working in US Federal Prisons for 21 years, I found this story to be very engaging. Even as different as British and American prisons are, there were still times I found myself thinking, "yeah, that happened to me, too". Cummines has a way of pulling you into what he is experiencing.
All told, this is an interesting book. I recommend it.

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review 2017-02-21 00:00
Harmony - Carolyn Parkhurst Eh, this one will take awhile to write up....
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review 2017-02-08 00:00
Thanks a Lot, John LeClair
Thanks a Lot, John LeClair - Johanna Par... Thanks a Lot, John LeClair - Johanna Parkhurst I didn't read Here’s to You, Zeb Pike the first story chronicling Dusty and Emmitt relationship. Thanks A Lot, John LeClair can be read as a standalone. It's told from Emmitt POV and does a good job explaining the characters situation so it's not confusing. I do think it will be a better if you read Here's to You, Zab Pike since it a companion read to this book. I think you can get away with giving first and than going back to read the first since readers are given the gist of what happened to Dusty. Just be aware that spoilers are given since this is book 2 but blurb for book 1 should suffice for this book. So it actually works out.

Thanks A Lot, John LeClair is told by Emmitt perspective. We get to know him and his passion for hockey, his relationship with Dusty and his family situation. Readers really follow along on the ups and downs of his teenage life and his plight of staying closeted. When his boyfriend, Dusty starts acting weird, Emmitt doesn't know what to make of it. He decides to wait him out but when his boyfriend breaks up with him, Emmitt kind of loses a bit of his discipline during an important hockey game and no one knows why except close friends and family. He thinks he's ruined his chances but he isn't going to go down without a fight. With the encouragement of his brother, he set out to win Dusty back and finds out why Dusty hasn't been himself. What he uncovers forces him into making some difficult choices.

I really enjoyed reading this. Emmitt was a likable character and had a strong moral standing. He was considerate of others and it really made him stand out. I liked getting to know him and how he handled himself. Emmitt family dynamic was interesting and it great that his mom was so supportive of him and his brother and urged her kids to reconcile with their father. I liked seeing how he handled the trial and tribulations that came his way.

A free copy was provided to me in exchange for an honest review.
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review 2016-12-18 04:07
Don't Drink the Kool-Aid
Harmony - Carolyn Parkhurst
The first book I read by Carolyn Parkhurst was weird, and I liked 
it because of its weirdness. But the other books I've read by this author have been weird but also unbelievable. This one is no exception. This family's journey to be part of the founding group of what is billed as a camp but quickly seems more like a cult often doesn't make sense. What bothered me more was the portrayal of the thoughts of the autistic daughter. I've taught autistic kids, and the writing that was supposed to be the autistic daughter didn't ring true to me, to the point where I was tempted to skip over it to the next part of the book.
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review 2016-10-19 13:23
Force of Nature by Bodie Parkhurst
Force of Nature - Bodie Parkhurst
Force of Nature is a short story about the life of a woman and her man. They run a farm together, go to church, raise a family. Along the way though, they start to separate and this makes her very unhappy. She finds comfort in the old ways, the ways her family have followed for generations. This is okay until it comes to a climax when the minister's wife gets involved. What will her husband do now?
This is a very well written story, with enough detail for a short story - although I am always happy with more. I would love for this story to be developed further, a bit more with the husband and wife, family, and of course, Russell the bull. 
For a short read, this was wonderful and definitely recommended by me.
* Verified Purchase - February 2013 *
Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!
Source: archaeolibrarianologist.blogspot.de/2016/10/review-by-merissa-force-of-nature-by.html
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