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review 2017-06-28 19:45
Good, but........
I Am Missing: David Raker, Book 8 - Joe Coen,Tim Weaver,Louise Brealey,Penguin Books

I have a great admiration for the writing ability of Tim Weaver and in particular his two previous outings for missing persons investigator David Raker namely Broken Heart and What Remains. In Broken Heart the authors love of cinema and in particular "noir"  adds an authentic old Hollywood feel to the story in contrast What Remains is equally outstanding with its imagery of old wooden piers and the thrill and sound of Victorian Amusement Arcades. Weavers attention to detail combined with his journalistic instinct creates well researched and highly entertaining novels. So what about his latest? I am missing really suffers from a strong storyline. When Richard Kite is discovered alone, lost and wondering on a beach this would seem the perfect case for Raker, a client who is himself missing or rather his mind and memory totally erased. So starts the slow process of building a case and when the body of a young lady is discovered the race is on to see if there is a connection to Kite. An attachment is revealed between England and the fictional Empress Islands (think Falkland islands with its cold barren wintry seasons) and our Private Investigator soon realizes that he must travel to the islands to resolve the mystery of the memory man.

 

There are no Victorian arcades or Hollywood actors here instead we the reader must persevere with Raker as he brings together the clues and treks the monotonous and barren shores of the depressing Empress Islands. The story lacks the vital spark that was ubiquitous in earlier novels, it is only natural that in a series such as this certain books will be more valued than others and I am confident that the next instalment (due for release in summer 2018) will see our hero returned to a more exciting adventure backed by a lively narrative. I end this review where I started, Tim Weaver is a writer of exceptional ability and if you value well researched and articulate writing then become acquainted with missing persons investigator David Raker. I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review and that is what I have written.

 

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text 2017-06-09 17:27
The Girl Before - DNF
The Girl Before - Rena Olsen,Brittany Pressley,Penguin Audio

This is one of the books my mother picked using our Audible credits. She loved it, and apparently a lot of other people did, too. I stuck with it long enough to realize that the awful first-person-present-tense style was not just for effect in the prologue, but a stylistic choice for the entire book. 

 

And unlike the last book I just reviewed, it is not compelling enough to allow me to look past the FPPT. DNF. Didn't listen to enough to rate it.

 

Audiobook, via Audible. Brittany Pressly's reading seemed okay, but the quavery voice she's using likely would have annoyed me over the course of an entire book, if she doesn't move on from it once her character is out of the immediate situation. 

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review 2017-06-08 17:50
Penguin in Love
Penguin in Love - Salina Yoon,Salina Yoon

I read this whole series (all the ones we had at the library anyway) over lunch. They're cute stories, but I thought they might have a little more substance to them. I still enjoyed the books. The illustrations are very cute. This one gets dramatic in the middle and I probably enjoyed it the most.

 

I also didn't look up their publish order beforehand so I kept starting one and then setting it aside because it referenced characters or past events I hadn't met or read about yet. There are some slight spoilers if you read certain books out of order.

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review 2017-05-30 14:51
Death and the Penguin - Andrey Kurkov  
Death and the Penguin - Andrey Kurkov

I don't read much from Russia or the Eastern European nations because life is mostly grim enough. The only exception I make is for Chekov's short stories. Until Nick Hornby reviewed this in his column for Believer. And he pointed out, just for me, that the titular penguin is a real seabird from Antarctica not some sort of metaphorical penguin. Had to read it because Penguins.

My opinion of literature in Russian remains the same. This is grim; it is also joyless. There's some contentment, things aren't always horrible, but there's no pleasure, no happiness, nothing but emotional grey from autumn until spring, and even when the sun is shining and the birds are singing, no one is having fun. Viktor writes obituaries, and not in a warm, positive, life-affirming way, nor with any humor.

Also, the penguin isn't doing so well.

Nonetheless, it was bearable, if only for the sheer relief of "At least my life isn't like that." And the penguin, who sometimes comes and rests his head against Viktor's leg while Viktor works at the kitchen table, and Viktor pets him. There's no joy, but there is a penguin. And I can go forty years without reading any more fiction translated from Russian.

I would love to have a pet penguin though.

Library copy

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review 2017-05-23 13:48
Cupcakes!
25 Delicious Cupcake Recipes - Delicious and Easy Cupcake Recipes for Every Occasion - Cooking Penguin

This is another book I was able to get for free, now $3.99. Cupcakes are fun to make and can be used to make fun "shaped cakes." I marked so many recipes in this book, I know my girls will have fun making these recipes and in some cases, when I don't want to mess with cupcakes, you can just make it as a cake. 

 

Loved this book when I was going through the recipes. I have many birthdays coming up and we are in cake baking mode. 

 

 

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