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review 2017-10-11 20:20
Human Interconnectedness: "A Nest of Vipers" by Andrea Camilleri
A Nest of Vipers (Inspector Montalbano Mystery) - Andrea Camilleri,Stephen Sartarelli

Why is Catarella allowed to have any part in the operation of the station? He'd be an encumbrance even if moved to toilet-cleaning duties. Why does Montalbano never seem to have any means of communicating with the rest of the force on him? It's not that he can't get a signal since he's never shown to try! Why does he appear to operate outside the rest of the force in his own time and to his inclinations? He's more like a private eye than a policeman. Catarella is almost certainly a “raccomandato”, i.e., someone who got his job thanks to connections rather than going through a rigorous interview and testing process (in Portuguese would be harder to translate; I don’t there’s a noun for that; for the action, yes; it’s called “meter uma cunha”, meaning literally “to pull strings for somebody”). It happens an awful lot. But Catarella does crack computer codes, week in week out, so he's good at something!

 

 

If you're into Mediterranean Crime Fiction, read on.

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review 2017-10-02 16:05
Nest: A Thriller by Terry Goodkind - A Review
Nest - Terry Goodkind

Special Talents Make For Deadly Consequences

 

This review is for an audio book version.

 

Unique story plot gives this book it's strength. The protagonist has special talents, and the listener (reader) is drawn in with slow tugs revealing her true nature, and the imminent danger her talents presents. I enjoyed the various twists and the unusual characters, most good but jaded with a haunted past. Much of the story was "in her head" and perhaps a little too much, but there was also a good balance of action. Some scenes of dialogue between two characters seemed like a teaching episode, but I admit it was interesting material, so I remained fixed to the story. Perhaps reading the book may be a different experience than listening, though the narrator's performance was excellent. The ending was very good and leading to the next book.

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review 2017-09-18 22:49
Finally Allowed on the Computer!
No Nest for the Wicket - Donna Andrews
For Home And Country: A Civil War Scrapbook - Norman Bolotin

Sorry, I know they are different genres and different uses, but this is the first time in 5 days I have been allowed on the computer! We have 3 computers and 5 people and someone is always on the computer and I hate doing updates on a tablet or phone, so I have been waiting for a computer to be vacated so I could get on and make updates. 

 

Since I finished the Civil War book first, I will start there. This is another book that I got for school use. It was a really good read and full of some interesting facts, that I will be using when I lecture on the Civil War (tomorrow). The girls are not going to be happy, but there is a test at the end of this study grouping. This book was full of names, dates, and facts that they may not be aware of, for instance, our current army is uniform in looks and dress, while Revolutionary to Civil War forces were mixed and matched adding problems to the fight, attacking their own sides. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is looking for information on the Civil War or Wars in general. 

 

I finished "No Nest for the Wicket" by Donna Andrews today. I love her books and this book is no exception. I reread this book because she had a new book come out in August and another coming out in time for Christmas. Her books are full of words that are fun to use in vocabulary tests (yep, my kids were groaning as I would say, "Oooooh, here is another word!" 

 

In this story, Meg's family member referred to as Mrs. Fenniman, reads about a new sport, Xtreme Croquet. She loves croquet and loves the idea of playing Xtreme Croquet. With the help of Meg's family, her dad getting the farmers to let them use their land, and Mrs. Fenniman posts that they will be having a competition and opens it to anyone who wants to play. A team of college boys comes to play and "The Dames," members of the Historical Society and another group from town with "The Clones" and Meg's family team are playing. As they play, the competition is ruthless and Meg's ball is hit into some briars and she finds the body of a woman, no one admits to knowing. When they find out who she is and where she is from, it becomes apparent that many of the competitors are lying. Meg tries to find out who really did the deed and stumbles across another mystery and learns the truth about the Pruitts that make them appear to be less than they are, because of a prank from some college kids in the 1950's. 

 

 

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review 2017-09-10 15:01
A book that still retains the magic
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest - Ken Kesey

Can it really be 50 years since the publication of this book, I remember my first reading in the mid 70's and it has been a great pleasure, and a walk down memory lane, to once again make the acquaintance of the residents of an Oregon Psychiatric Hospital and in particular one Randle P McMurphy. Most people will remember the 1976 movie and the electric  performance of Jack Nicholson as the audacious and colourful "Mack", in a movie that won many awards. The book has lost none of its magic even now reading the it so many years later, and the emotions that it can produce are still very real.

 

McMurphy is moved  to the mental institution from a prison farm where he was serving a sentence for the rape of a 15 year old girl. Although he is not mentally ill, he is hoping to avoid hard labour and serve the rest of his sentence in a relaxed environment. The life of the rest of the inmates is now turned on its head as McMurphy proceeds to wreck havoc in an attempt to control and alter the mundane existence of lethargic and inactive inmates...."We are lunatics from the hospital up the highway, psychoceramics, the cracked pots of mankind."....The only obstacle standing between Mack and his dreams is the formidable figure of the steely strict Nurse Ratched....."Her face is still calm, as though she had a cast made and painted to just the look she wants. Confident, patient, and unruffled."...

 

The story is told in the first person through the eyes of one long term resident Chief Bromden a tall native American believed to be deaf and mute. Through a series of minor misdemeanours and coercion McMurphy is hoping to breakdown the stranglehold of power that Nurse Rached holds over the inmates, who  are dulled and kept under control by the constant and daily consumption of medication. It would therefore appear that the prime function of the institution is to manage, by this use of drugs, the minds and temperaments of the residents,  rather than try to rehabilitate them and reintroducing them back into society where they might once again make a useful contribution. If the use of drugs and stimulants fails to pacify the disturbed mind the institution is willing to apply electroshock therapy and in the most severe cases a lobotomy is performed.

 

This is a book fully entrenched in the methods and institutions of its time. It is also a story of power and authority, those who wheel it and those who would attempt to question it by any means possible. It is a wonderful and colourful narration, strong and memorable characters, essentially funny yet ultimately sad. To me Randle P McMurphy is more than a comic figure, he chooses to question the reality and sense of his surroundings and by doing so set himself on the road to confrontation with the soulless Nurse Ratched and ultimately there can only be one winner, and an ending that is both shocking and captivating. Highly Recommended.

 

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text 2017-09-09 03:36
Reading progress update: Started at Library
No Nest for the Wicket - Donna Andrews

I didn't think to bring my tablet with me, so I could continue to read at the library while I waited for my daughters, usually, they are waiting on me, while I hunt books, but this time, they wanted to play Minecraft and so I picked up a book to read, while I waited. This was on my tablet waiting to be read and is one that I purchased to read because I was having trouble getting a copy of it. 

 

Meg is playing X-treme Croquet with her family and 7 other teams in two neighbors fields. Mrs. Fenniman read about the sport in a magazine and decided she wanted to play, but the family wouldn't get on board. Meg's family is known for being extreme with croquet games already. After she takes her turn, along comes Mrs. Pruitt, who sends Meg's ball over a cliff. She goes to hunt the ball and finds a dead body. 

 

While all this is going on, she and Michael have hired the local characters, the Shiffleys, to do the work on their house so that it can be lived in and they are hosting the teams that came from out of town to play in the tournament. 

 

There are so many laugh out loud moments that my middle daughter borrowed the book from the library so she could read it, while I was reading it. 

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