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review 2018-09-10 03:54
Manners & Mutiny by Gail Carriger (audiobook)
Manners & Mutiny - Gail Carriger,Moira Quirk

Series: Finishing School #4

 

Sophronia is older here, now one of the more senior students, but she's still investigating a possible Picklemen plot (honestly that whole secret society with a pickle theme is just odd) and gets into lots of trouble. There was also a fun segment near the beginning of the book where the girls were tasked with acting like another girl as an exercise and thus confusing the other people they're interacting with.

 

Overall I'd say that this series was a light and amusing read, despite the general air of danger, and the audio was a good option. Because Sophronia is a student investigating what could be characterized as a crime (basically it is but it's not clear how without giving out spoilers), I'll be counting this one for the "Baker Street Irregulars" square for Halloween Bingo.

 

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review 2018-08-01 00:35
THE TRAGEDIES & FORTUNES OF WAR
The End of Manners: A Novel - Francesca Marciano

"THE END OF MANNERS" is a story focused on the experiences of 2 Western women in war torn Afghanistan --- Imo Glass, a self-assured, successful British journalist and Maria Galante, a self-effacing, award-winning Italian photographer who had been content to stick to the straight and narrow by specializing in taking photographs of fine cuisine for magazines --- who have been given an assignment to highlight the plight of Afghan women who've attempted suicide rather than be married off to much older men. 

In reading this story, the Afghanistan I was seeing in my mind's eye was very much like that depicted in the movie "Whiskey Tango Foxtrot", which I had watched in the cinema a couple of years ago. And that is a country riven by internecine conflict where past and present often collide. As well as a country in which its people bravely go about the business of everyday living with the prospect of death hovering nearby. 

Francesca Marciano does a very skillful job as a writer in sharing with the reader the inner conflicts and complexities of some of the novel's main characters. Examples: Hanif, an Afghan who acted as a protector, driver, and guide for both Imo and Maria during their journeys to neighboring villages outside Kabul; and Shirin, a young Afghan woman who acted as interpreter for Imo and Maria in their interviews with women in these distant villages. 

On the whole, this was a compelling novel whose writing kept me engaged. I look forward to reading more of Marciano's works.

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review 2018-02-27 04:00
Clifford's Manners
Clifford's Manners (Clifford 8x8) - Norman Bridwell

This story is about how well behaved Clifford is and how he is so loved because of it. This book tells about many, many good manners. One thing that I like about this book is how out in the margins of the pages it list the manner that is also in the story on that page. This is a great book for younger students. You could read this at the beginning of the year and have a class discussion about the types of manners and behaviors you expected.

 

Guided Reading Level: M

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review 2017-10-05 19:00
The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton, narrated by Elizabeth Klett
The Age of Innocence - Edith Wharton

 

I loved the story, but I didn't care for the narrator very much.

 

I can't add to the reams that have already been written about this novel. I adore Edith Wharton, at least-what I've read so far, and I admire her powers of observation and her wit. I wouldn't have lasted five minutes in what passed for high society in New York City in the mid 1870's. There was so much gossip, so much repressed emotion and so much...phoniness. UGH.

 

I enjoyed this book even though I saw the movie many years ago, because as usual, the book has more depth and in this case, more scathing commentary hidden between the lines. As compared to The House of Mirth, The Age of Innocence at least has a happier ending, though I guess it depends on how you look at it. Society was definitely happier, but I'm not so sure that Newland Archer or Mrs. Olenska were.

 

Recommended for fans of Edith Wharton's work, stories of the gilded age and high society, or just plain fans of a good story.

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review 2017-06-27 07:37
Do Unto Otters: A Book About Manners
Do Unto Otters: A Book About Manners - Laurie Keller

I bought this book for the bookshelf I set aside for my nieces when they visit; as the childless aunt with a lot of cats, it felt fitting that a book about manners should occupy that shelf; even though my husband technically saves me from the "Cranky Spinster Cat Lady" title, it still feels like a stereotype worth having some fun with.  ;-)

 

Do Unto Otters is hilarious.  It was so funny, in fact, that I immediately handed it to MT and told him he had to read it.  It's central theme is the Golden Rule, and the main characters are a rabbit and a family of otters.  It's beautifully illustrated and the real laugh-out-loud moments are the small drawings interspersed throughout the pages that illustrate examples of each facet to the golden rule (i.e. saying 'please' or 'excuse me').  Teaching readers how to say those courtesies in different languages (including Pig Latin - Ha!) is a distinctly nice touch.

 

This is a definite must have for any child's shelf, and one that makes learning courteousness a whole lot of fun.

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