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text 2017-04-29 01:04
Reading progress update: I've read 3%.
Mrs. Sherlock Holmes: The True Story of New York City's Greatest Female Detective and the 1917 Missing Girl Case That Captivated a Nation - Brad Ricca

COME HOME QUICKLY, RUTH HAS DISAPPEARED.

 

At the apartment, Mr. Brown tried to calm the girls down. He called the police, relating the details as Helen and Christina watched. By the time their parents came home, early the next morning, it was Valentine’s Day, 1917. And pretty Ruth Cruger, eighteen years old, was lost. Somewhere out in the snow.

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text 2017-04-29 00:57
Reading progress update: I've read 1%.
Mrs. Sherlock Holmes: The True Story of New York City's Greatest Female Detective and the 1917 Missing Girl Case That Captivated a Nation - Brad Ricca

I thought of you when I read this quote from "Mrs. Sherlock Holmes: The True Story of New York City's Greatest Female Detective and the 1917 Missing Girl Case That Captivated a Nation" by Brad Ricca -

 

"“I like to see a woman with brains who uses them,” gruffed Doyle. “I love and honor women as wives and mothers. But I cannot approve of a campaign of destruction.”"

Start reading this book for free: http://a.co/fL230j4

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review 2017-04-28 23:59
Drawing Autism, an art book compiled by Jill Mullin | #AutismAwarenessMonth
Drawing Autism - Jill Mullin,Temple Grandin

Over the last decade autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has become an international topic of conversation, knowing no racial, ethnic, or social barriers. Behavior analyst and educator Jill Mullin has assembled a staggering array of work from established artists like Gregory Blackstock and Jessica Park to the unknown but no less talented. Their creations, coupled with artist interviews, comprise a fascinating and compelling book that serves to educate and inspire anyone who knows someone diagnosed with ASD. Mullin's introduction and the foreword by best-selling author Temple Grandin provide an overview of autism and advocate for nurturing the talents, artistic and otherwise, of autistic individuals.

Amazon.com

 

 

 

Now in its second edition, Drawing Autism is a collection of artwork compiled by NYC-based behavioral analyst Jill Mullin. Mullin explains in her introductory essay how one year her work had her cross paths with an autistic artist living in a group home who showed extraordinary joy and talent through his artwork. Her acquaintance with this artist inspired her to seek out other talented artists with autism across the world. Mullin lays out her end goal with this project:

 

"Commonly in the media, individuals with autism have been shown to have great talents in certain areas such as science and math. The intention of this book is to display another area where individuals with autism can have great abilities."

 

Within this opening essay, Mullin also reveals that this project ended up being so successful that it helped greatly propel the featured artists into global notoriety, many of them being asked to do art showings all over the world. Mullin's essay is preceded by a foreword written by none other than Temple Grandin, one of today's most famous faces when it comes to autism awareness! Also included in the art collection are a few of Grandin's diagrams of her inventions (designs for more humane deaths for cattle in meat processing facilities).

 

Mullin wrote up a list of interview questions that she submitted to each artist she asked to be featured in this collection. From those questions, she pulls some of the most interesting or revealing answers, placing them alongside the artwork, giving the viewer / reader an eye-opening look into the world of an autistic mind. The collection as a whole is broken up into themed sections that illustrate common characteristics of the autism spectrum as a whole. For example, "Getting From Here To There" collects art pieces that focus on fascination with various modes of transportation; "Interaction, Individual and Societal" gives artists a space to express how they perceive themselves from a societal point of view. Many pieces in this section illustrate feelings of isolation, not being fully understood or accepted, frustration with miscommunications, etc; "Art For Art's Sake" is a place for the artists to just create for the sake of joy and fun. There's no particular deep meaning to the works in this section necessarily, just pieces that have made the artists happy or at peace in their souls. 

 

 

Personally, "Art For Art's Sake" and "Bird's Eye View" (pieces focusing on nature themes) were my favorite sections. I especially loved the works of Shawn Belanger -- his autism leaves him predominately non-verbal -- whose work is featured on several pages of Drawing Autism. The colors and movement of his pieces shouted a joy of life to me!

 

 

 

 

My very favorite piece though, I think I'd give that to "The Death of Love #373" by Charles D. Topping. I could not stop looking at it!

 

 

Some of the images, several actually, have definite grit and darkness to them. Some perusers of this book might be shocked at certain pieces if the paintings are only taken on their own. I would urge that you read the accompanying interview answers explaining many of the pieces. There you will see that while perhaps initially a shock to the eye, there is a purpose and / or a story of hurt behind the inspiration that you should hear. 

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-04-27 22:25
The Secret Rooms
The Secret Rooms: A True Gothic Mystery - Catherine Bailey

Alright, so this is odd - Goodreads and Booklikes and a few others list this book as "The Secret Rooms: A True Gothic Mystery" while Amazon and the library and other places list it as "The Secret Rooms: A True Story of a Haunted Castle, a Plotting Duchess, and a Family Secret."

 

The story flips between, firstly, the author's experience navigating the Duke of Rutland's family archive of letters for a book about the effect of the Great War on the local population which quickly changes to uncovering why there are missing sections of documents in this reportedly perfect record?! and, secondly, the events that occurred within the Manners family during and around the missing periods of time. The main character of focus is the 9th Duke of Rutland, John Manners whom was responsible for creating the archive originally. The mystery is narrowed down by the author to three missing sections of time in the records and she eventually uncovers enough evidence to recreate what likely happened.

 

An interesting story, but the reprinting of letters in their entirety multiple times towards the end of the book to show how all the pieces come together became very tiresome, very quickly. Otherwise I quite liked it.

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text 2017-04-26 21:55
Hidden Figures - progress 2%.
Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race - Margot Lee Shetterly,HarperAudio,Robin Miles

This unexpectedly came available from my library hold list, because last I checked, I was something like #23 in line. So I had to go ahead and borrow it, because I didn't want to go back to the end of the line again. But...

 

I know I'm only 15 minutes into it, but I'm finding it deadly dull. That's awful disappointing, because I loved the movie. So it might be that I just am not in the mood right now. That's one of the problems with popular library books!

 

So should I keep powering on and hope that it captures my interest? Or should I return it and put it back on hold, in hopes that I'll find it more interesting next time it comes available? I usually give audiobooks at least 20 minutes before abandoning, but in this case, I'd be re-shelving for later rather than abandoning. 

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