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text 2017-04-30 11:16
April Wrap Up and Challenge Update
The Doll-Master and Other Tales of Terror - Joyce Carol Oates
Sedition: A Novel - Katharine Grant
Aurora - Kim Stanley Robinson
I Will Fear No Evil - Robert A. Heinlein
Women All on Fire: The Women of the English Civil War - Alison Plowden

Well, April is pretty much over and as a reading month it hasn't been too bad. The first book I finished was:

 

The Doll Master and Other Tales of Terror by Joyce Carol Oates

This book was an opportune pick at the library. As usual I went in to get one book and came out with 5. I read a collection of her short stories a few years ago and wasn't that impressed but as this was a library book I thought I would give her another chance. I was surprised that I enjoyed it so much. The first story was mediocre and I thought that my opinion was going to be vindicated but I found the other stories much more to my taste. So 4/5 stars for that.

 

Next up was another library pick and the one that I had originally gone in for:

 

Sedition by Katharine Grant.

This one has been on my radar for a while and I wasn't disappointed. At the end of the 18th. century five teenage girls need husbands with pedigrees. But how to get them when all the girls have is money and no connections? Their mothers decide that the girls should shine at a piano concert but first they need lessons. So a piano is bought a tutor provided and many hours are spent in lessons - not necessarily of the musical kind. One of the girls is being abused by her father and decides to turn the tables on the piano teacher and get her revenge on her father. All hell breaks loose.

The story starts off fairly light and amusing but soon becomes pretty dark. This is one I would definitely read again. 4/5 stars

 

Another library pick was Aurora by Kim Stanley Robinson

Green Earth left me somewhat lukewarm but I wanted to give this one a bash. I tested it on my husband first though and it got his approval so no worries. Although ostensibly a space opera I read it as more a tale of the environment. The message I got from it was that you can't have a second Earth so you had better look after this one. I don't necessarily have to agree with that but it has made me think about it. Another 4/5 stars. 

 

The biggest disappointment for me this month was Robert A. Heinlein's I Will Fear No Evil. Set in the early 21st century this is the story of an old man who has his brain transplanted into the body of his young secretary (I should note that she is dead). Her 'soul' still inhabits the body and helps the new occupant to settle in. I have fond memories of reading this book a couple of decades ago but being the kind of reader who can't really remember what happened in a book after I close it, I couldn't remember the story, only that I enjoyed it so much. Having read it a second time I don't know why now. 3.5/5 stars

 

Finally, I come to Women All on Fire by Alison Plowden.

This time a non-fiction book about the Civil War. I found it interesting and easy to read, even for a newbie to the subject like me. There was enough background information to put everything in context without being overwhelming. 5 stars

 

That's it for April. According to my calculations I'm about 4 books behind my challenge. I'm also lacking 3 German books and 3 classics but as my self-imposed challenge conditions are more guidelines than rules, who's cares? :)

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text 2017-04-29 19:17
The Shuttle - progress: 242/512 pg
The Shuttle - Frances Hodgson Burnett

The bird upon the sapling was a robin, the tiny round body perched upon his delicate legs, plump and bright plumaged for mating. He touched his warm red breast with his beak, fluffed out and shook his feathers, and, swelling his throat, poured forth his small, entranced song. It was a gay, brief, jaunty thing, but pure, joyous, gallant, liquid melody. There was dainty bravado in it, saucy demand and allurement. 

 

 

 

 

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review 2017-04-29 03:26
THE OTHER SIDE OF WHAT by Shannon Yarbrough
The Other Side of What - Shannon Yarbrough
  Matt leaves home after graduation and moves to Memphis where he grows up.

I liked this book. I would have to say it is an adult coming-of-age novel. Matt begins to grow up as he gets involved with others in Memphis. He learns what love is and what it is not. He learns to trust and give out pieces of his past. He also learns to accept who he is, what is past, and what the present and future holds.

The characters were flawed. None were perfect but they made a family for their group of friends. They have their triumphs and their low points but are there for one another. The writing was atmospheric. I knew that pain would be part of the story but there was enough highs to balance out the hurt.

I would read Shannon Yarbrough again.
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text 2017-04-28 14:04
The Shuttle - progress: 176/512 pg
The Shuttle - Frances Hodgson Burnett

 

"Rosy," she said, looking steadily in the faded face, "tell me this. Did you never think of getting away from him, of going somewhere, and trying to reach father, by cable or letter, by some means?"

 

Lady Anstruther's weary and wrinkled little smile was a pitiably illuminating thing.

 

"My dear," she said, "if you are strong and beautiful and rich and well dressed, so that people care to look at you, and listen to what you say, you can do things. But who, in England, will listen to a shabby, dowdy, frightened woman, when she runs away from her husband, if he follows her and tells people she is hysterical or mad or bad? It is the shabby, dowdy woman who is in the wrong."

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text 2017-04-23 22:24
Beginner’s Guide: Love and Other Chemical Reactions by Six de los 99 cents
Beginner's Guide: Love and Other Chemical Reactions (Talking Nerdy Book 1) - Six de los Reyes

Really liked it! 

 

 

Falling in love is a chemical reaction.

Just ask Kaya Rubio, twenty-five year-old Molecular Genetics graduate student and research assistant. Fed up with her spinster aunts' relentless reminders and unsolicited advice regarding her Single Since Birth status, she designs a scientific, evidence-based methodology to find her a suitable partner in time for her cousin's wedding. As any good scientist knows, any valid experimental design requires a negative control. Enter the most unsuitable candidate for a potential boyfriend: the messy, easygoing, café owner Nero Sison. Her null hypothesis? Going out with Nero would establish her baseline data without catalyzing the chemical reaction she seeks.

But when Kaya's recorded results refuse to make sense, she is forced to come to the conclusion that there are some things in life that are simply, by nature, irrational and illogical. And that sometimes, chemistry doesn't always happen inside a lab.

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