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review 2018-08-14 05:00
I Always Loved You
I Always Loved You - Robin Oliveira

I have mixed feelings about this book.  Upfront, it's pure fiction; other than the artists' names, their work, and the broad strokes of accomplishment, it's made up out of whole cloth. 

 

This is the part I had issues with, I guess.  I don't know enough about Degas, Cassatt, Morisot and Manet, with the result that I feel like this book has unfairly coloured my impressions of them as people.  I'm going to forever be guarding against mixing up this story with the reality of 4 of the most talented impressionist painters who've yet lived.

 

But if you're able to keep fact and fiction seperate, this is a heartfelt, well-written story about people who might have taken the wrong turn at the fork in the road of life.  It's slow-paced, but always interesting; I enjoyed it, but it wasn't a fast read.  The end also has a high probability of making readers misty eyed of not weeping outright.  Oliveira is very talented at creating a sympathetic anti-hero; one that you want to hug as much as you want to smack.

 

At some point though, I'm going to have to follow this up with more information about these artists and their real lives so I don't every accidentally try to pass off as fact the imaginations of Oliveira's mind.

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review 2018-08-14 01:34
Review: The Christmas Gate 2
The Christmas Gate 2 - T. A. Cline

The Christmas Gate 2 opens up with Bob wanting to talk to his publisher. Once he does he makes deal that get him the lovely farmhouse where he could write his stories. Well things get a little more interesting once he moves in to his new farmhouse.

Once things get close to Christmas and plans are made for him and Patty. Patty get a knock at the door. Once does she find out her husband is alive and in the army hospital. What will happen with Patty and Bob?

Bob meets an woman and tell her his story. She get him advice and once she is gone for a bit he does do something inside the book she has. She doe not know until she opens it. He never mentions it either.

Bob make a decision to help Patty out by making it easy for her. Patty does not know this when he leaves after seeing her and getting the message from her friend Lucy. It seem that Patty has to do her own journey as to go on.

She finds a poem or letter addressed to her after Jim and everyone thinks Bob has pass away. Jim does his deal that the farmhouse is to go to Patty if something happened to Bob.

She reads something that Bob wrote at the end of the journal. “The Christmas Gate is not Fiction” and this get her attention and she goes to find the box and she does and she opens it. She think will get 7 visions and what will happen. The journey begins. You will not believe it but her candles and messages are different for her but her journey is bit different then Bobs. Will she find Bob? Will she be able to bring him home?

I really like the theme and plot of the candles. It really well written. The messages were different for each person on their own journey. You will not know until the end who the light form might be. It a fast read and enjoyable as well.

Source: nrcbooks.blogspot.com/2018/08/review-christmas-gate-2-by-ta-cline.html
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text 2018-08-13 22:42
"The Last Condo Board Of The Apocalypse" By Nina Post - reluctantly abandoned at 30% point
The Last Condo Board of the Apocalypse - Nina Post

"The Last Condo Board Of The Apocalypse" reminded me of a Groucho Marx quote:

"It's nice work if you can get it... but I don't get it."

 

This novel is stuffed with creative ideas, comic juxtapositions, Single Purpose Angels that seem like loner-Minions with a snack obsession, Angels of Destruction wearing business suits and grimly determined smiles and through all of it runs our I'm-good-with-disguises-perhaps-because-I-have-no-idea-who-I-am heroine.

 

The plot seems to be onion-paper thin. It doesn't drive the action so much as give a group of potentially comic personalities a place to bump into one another and produce random flashes of humour.

 

This kind of thing either works for you and carries you away or leaves you feeling like the only sober, celibate, vegetarian at a drunken orgy in a steakhouse.

 

Add to this the irritation of low production standards: missing words, typos and weird fonts in the ebook and my but-it-may-get-better hopefulness was replaced by: "I used to be an optimist, but I knew it wouldn't last." I'm moving on. 

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review 2018-08-13 20:26
4 Out Of 5 "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger" STARS
Alex, Approximately - Jenn Bennett

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~BOOK BLURB~

Alex, Approximately

Jenn Bennett

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

The one guy Bailey Rydell can’t stand is actually the boy of her dreams—she just doesn’t know it yet.

 

Classic movie fan Bailey “Mink” Rydell has spent months crushing on a witty film geek she only knows online as Alex. Two coasts separate the teens until Bailey moves in with her dad, who lives in the same California surfing town as her online crush.

 

Faced with doubts (what if he’s a creep in real life—or worse?), Bailey doesn’t tell Alex she’s moved to his hometown. Or that she’s landed a job at the local tourist-trap museum. Or that she’s being heckled daily by the irritatingly hot museum security guard, Porter Roth—a.k.a. her new archnemesis. But life is a whole lot messier than the movies, especially when Bailey discovers that tricky fine line between hate, love, and whatever it is she’s starting to feel for Porter.

 

And as the summer months go by, Bailey must choose whether to cling to a dreamy online fantasy in Alex or take a risk on an imperfect reality with Porter. The choice is both simpler and more complicated than she realizes because Porter Roth is hiding a secret of his own: Porter is Alex…Approximately.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

I was worried, despite the multitude of glowing reviews that I would find this annoying and juvenile, but it was actually quite good.   It might have felt like it was even going in that direction, early on.  But it soon became a story of substance.  After reading the blurb above, it comes off as being a story about IM's between two people, but that’s really only a small portion of the story.  Overall, the story has a lot more to offer than that and it was a really sweet and worthwhile listening experience.

 

๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏

~MY RATING~

4STARS - GRADE=B+

๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Plot~ 4.2/5

Main Characters~ 4/5

Secondary Characters~ 4/5

The Feels~ 3.8/5

Pacing~ 4/5

Addictiveness~ 4/5

Theme or Tone~ 4/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 4/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 4.5/5

Originality~ 4/5

Ending~ 3.8/5

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Book Cover~ It's Okay…but it doesn't represent the story.

Narration~ Amy Melissa Bentley

Setting~ Coronado Cove, California

Source~ Audiobook (Library)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

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text 2018-08-13 20:10
Summer of Spies - Tracking Post
Who is Vera Kelly? - Rosalie Knecht,Elisabeth Rodgers
Berlin Game - Len Deighton,James Lailey
The Mask of Dimitrios - Eric Ambler,Mark Mazower
Above Suspicion - Helen MacInnes
Blowback - Valerie Plame Wilson,Sarah Lovett,Negin Farsad
The Traveller Returns - Patricia Wentworth
The Spy - Paulo Coelho
Zoo Station - David Downing
The Zhivago Affair: The Kremlin, the CIA, and the Battle Over a Forbidden Book - Simon Vance,Peter Finn,Petra Couvée
Night Soldiers - Alan Furst

Memorial Day Weekend -- Labor Day 2018

 

Finished, to Date:

Fiction

Emmuska Orczy: The Scarlet Pimpernel (revisited on audio, narrated by Stephen Crossly) ****1/2

Agatha Christie: N or M? (revisited on audio, narrated by Samantha Bond) ***

Ian Fleming: Quantum of Solace (short story only; new / audio, narrated by David Rintoul) *1/2

Kate Westbrook: Guardian Angel (new / audio, narrated by Eleanor Bron) ***1/2

Stella Rimington: Secret Asset (new / audio, narrated by Rosalyn Landor) ****

Francine Mathews: The Cutout (new / audio, narrated by Trini Alvarado) **1/2

Jane Thynne: Black Roses (new / audio, narrated by Julie Teal) ****

John le Carré: The Tailor of Panama (revisited on audio, narrated by the author) ****1/2

Graham Greene: Our Man in Havana (audio, narrated by Jeremy Northam) ****1/2

Agatha Christie: They Came to Baghdad (new / audio, narrated by Emilia Fox) ***1/2

Rosalie Knecht: Who Is Vera Kelly? (new / audio, narrated by Elisabeth Rodgers) ***1/2

Len Deighton: Berlin Game (new / audio, narrated by James Lailey) ****

Eric Ambler: The Mask of Dimitrios (new / print) ****

Helen MacInnes: Above Suspicion (new / print) ****1/2

Valerie Plame Wilson, Sarah Lovett: Blowback (new / audio, narrated by Negin Farsad) ***

Patricia Wentworth: The Traveller Returns (new / print) ****

Paulo Coelho: The Spy (new / English print version + German audio, narrated by Luise Helm and Sven Görtz) ***1/2

David Downing: Zoo Station (new / print) ****
 

John Le Carré: George Smiley Cycle

The Spy Who Came in From the Cold (revisited on audio, narrated by the author) *****

The Looking Glass War (new / audio, narrated by Michael Jayston) ***1/2

Smiley's People (revisited on audio, narrated by Michael Jayston) *****

 

 

Nonfiction

Stella Rimington: Open Secret: The Autobiography of the Former Director-General of MI5 (new / print edition) ****

Peter Finn & Petra Couvée: The Zhivago Affair (new / audio, narrated by Simon Vance) **1/2

 
 

Currently Reading:

Alan Furst: Night Soldiers
 

 

 

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