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review 2016-10-20 23:50
An Annoyance of Neighbours - Angela Lightburn

Lightburn has penned a book about the different types of neighbors one may encounter in life. 58 different kinds, to be exact. Her observations tend to be spot-on.
I have lived in many places in the United States, in the West, in the East, and in the Midwest. About a dozen places in all. Each location was a crap-shoot on the type of neighbors we would have. Lightburn has identified them all, and then some. As I was reading this, I couldn't help saying to myself, "Yes, that's "so-and-so" to a T"! I ended up reading some of the entries to my wife, to see if she agreed. We both had some good laughs over it. A fun, easy to read book.

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text 2015-11-21 16:40
OT: Nice surprise, completely unexpectedly

This afternoon, someone came to our front door, knocking loudly. Considering what we're used to from that other town, we were terrified. It turns out it was just two of the neighbours, coming to wish us welcome to the new place. They brought a plant in a pot. Now we've met all the neighbours out here and they're all very nice. As are the people in this new town.

It almost makes me cry, thinking we should have moved years ago. Then maybe this wouldn't have been 'too little, too late' for us.

I'd forgotten there were nice people in this world. Damn that other town and above all the people there. I hope they get what they deserve some day.

Source: crimsoncorundum.dreamwidth.org/147814.html
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review 2015-01-16 21:17
The Blue Horse by Marita Conlon McKenna
The Blue Horse - Marita Conlon-McKenna,Donald Teskey

When I was eleven years old, I was going away during school. My teacher gave me this book and told me it was my homework. I was so annoyed, I didn't want any homework. One day, while away, I was bored and decided to read this book that I had been given. I loved it. I couldn't be pulled away.

I felt so horrible for the main character and her family. They were called so many names by their new neighbours. They were also treated badly. They had to deal with so many problems such as the name calling but they were strong and tried to not let it affect them.

All of the problems they faced were real life problems. Many people around Ireland are travellers or settled travellers. This was like realising the situation within the real world.
There were many emotions soaring through this book. I think the only reason why I still remember most things about this book is because I liked it so much.

When I came back home, I told my teacher I read the book. She smiles and asked me to tell her about it. I told her about the whole book and how much I enjoyed it. She said to the that that was the whole reason why she gave it to me, because she knew I would be able to appreciate the idea behind it and the real-life problem, that in my world, I had no idea about.

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review 2014-09-01 17:34
Neighbours by Lilia Momplé
Neighbours - Lília Momplé,Richard Bartlett,Isaura de Oliviera,Isaura De Oliveira

I was tempted to give this novella 4 stars, mostly because even though it is an obscure translated book, I found it readable and was interested in the characters. But I try to rate all books on the same scale, including obscure translations, and while this is a decent, competent story, it doesn’t quite reach the 4 star level for me.


Neighbours follows three households for one fateful night. In the first, a mother and her adult daughters prepare food for Eid; in the second, a young couple and their child relax in their newly-acquired flat (acquired at great difficulty due to bureaucratic obstructions); in the third, a group of conspirators prepares for murder while an abused wife tries to find out what’s going on. We also spend substantial time in the backstories of many of these characters, learning how they became who they are.


This is a story both personal and political, a fact evident even in the title. The households are drawn together because they’re neighbors; the crime, though carefully planned, is almost random: the conspirators choose the victims because they live next door to African National Congress refugees. But that leads to the political: this is a story about Mozambique, but it has a powerful and dangerous neighbor in South Africa, which sponsors the killings to support its own apartheid regime. In that sense both the nation and the individuals are victimized based on the accident of their neighbors.


But this isn’t an op-ed book: the characters are believable individuals in their own right, and while we learn a fair bit about Mozambique in the process, that’s because what they have lived through becomes part of who they are, not because the author uses the story as a historical tract. I am impressed by how much of the history Momplé manages to weave into the story, though, and it did whet my appetite for more. Meanwhile, it’s interesting that she gives no time at all to the South African characters who intersect with the story, even while delving into the backgrounds and motivations of everyone else; I can only presume this was deliberate, to keep this story to Mozambique even while South Africa tries to interfere.


All that said, and though I was interested in and came to like some of the characters even in a scant 131 pages, I ultimately found this book too short for the number of characters it contains and the amount of material it covers. Particularly with the conspirators, we read so many backstories so quickly that I had some trouble remembering which life went with which man. And elements that at first seem important to the story, such as Narguiss’s husband’s desertion, fade into the background without being dealt with. If this book had been a bit longer, and given its characters a bit more to do, it would have merited a solid 4 stars. As is, 3.5 for a sad and thought-provoking story that doesn’t quite reach its full potential.

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review 2014-01-28 10:45
Jubelientje speelt vals - Hans Hagen,Philip Hopman

Ik had gedacht bij dit boek dat het ging om Jubelientje die vals speelt, niet op instrumenten maar met andere dingen. Nu ben ik een beetje teleurgesteld, maar ach instrumenten en enorme herrie is ook leuk... ok misschien niet voor die arme buurman. :)

Oma die heeft ook een nieuwe hobby, piano spelen. Al ging dat niet al te goed, en op een gegeven moment werd iedereen gek van haar.

Er waren ook dit keer weer genoeg prenten, en zelfs een paar strips (die ontzettend leuk waren). 

In het algemeen was het boek echt heel leuk. :)

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