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review 2018-10-11 14:56
Men Explain Things to Me: A Ranting Review
Men Explain Things to Me - Rebecca Solnit

I'm a firm believer in the rights and empowerment of women.  I'm actually a firm believer in those things for any human which is why this "new classic" of feminist literature rubs me the absolute wrong way.  It is everything that I fear about modern feminism which is to say that it strays so far into generalizations that it devolves into men bashing. It actually doesn't stop there and goes on to bash entire political parties.  While it makes some legitimate points and has a plethora of statistics, they are not worth the effort to wade through the hatred that seems to bleed off every page.


Intellectually, I don’t understand how the new feminist movement has strayed so far from the original.  Take, for example, the three most oft cited legacies of the women’s movement: the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire, suffrage, and prohibition.  Rose Schneiderman, who perhaps gave the most rousing speech regarding the Triangle tragedy in 1911, talked not specifically about women but about the atrocities of all factory workers, including men, women and children. It would help usher in labor reform in the US that still stands today.  The right for women to vote? It was actually initiated by a man in 1878. It was only 40 years later when women banded together (with men!) to make it a reality. And prohibition, perhaps the historical event most frequently attributed to women, actually started as religious reformation by rural Protestants.  When women took up the banner of prohibition, it was not merely for their own sake but for the sake of the the family unit as a whole and the perceived degradation of American moral values. My point being that feminism, in its original carnation, was about the rights and empowerment of all. Men and women worked together to impart changes that have altered the entire history of our country and changed the fabric of society into what we know today.  To forget that basic tenet is to cause a gender division that divides nations rather than accomplishing a lasting legacy that benefits all.


To generalize the genders as this book does only adds fuel to a simmering fire without offering any suggestions for solutions. Men are not all evil.  Women are not all saints. Respect for individuals and the empowerment of all individuals seems to have been forgotten in this new crop of feminist literature (including this book very specifically) and, sadly,  it's our society as a whole that will pay the price for that apathy.

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review 2018-10-10 03:19
A gripping thriller featuring a uniquely disqualified hero
Dead Blind - Rebecca Bradley

There are two gripping stories in this novel -- the primary one isn't the crime story (odd for a work of crime fiction), but it is the better executed of the two. Which isn't a slight to the secondary story, at least not intentionally.


Let's start with the crime -- DI Ray Patrick and his team are investigating an international organ smuggling ring. Every time I've run into this kind of story -- in print or on TV -- it has always been effective. Something about the idea of harvesting organs from people (who may or may not survive the process for at least awhile) to transplant into people who may or may not survive (given the less than ideal facilities for such activities) has always disturbed me. Then when my son was diagnosed with renal failure and we were told he'd need a kidney transplant, these kind of stories became more nightmarish for me. So yeah, basically, this was right up my alley.


Thankfully, he'd received his kidney a couple of weeks before I read this one, so it didn't end up costing me sleep. Incidentally, the facts and figures about transplants, the need for them and the lack of donors, etc. all lined up with everything we'd been told. Yes, there are differences in protocols between the two medical systems, but on the whole, what Patrick and the rest learned matched what I'd learned. When it comes to thins kind of thing in novels, I'm always wondering how much the author fudged and how much came from research -- I'm happy to say that Bradley got this right.


So this story -- from how the ring operates to how Patrick and the rest investigate is very satisfying.


Which leaves the primary story. Patrick comes back to work from a nasty automobile accident, mostly recovered from his physical injuries. But that's not the only injury he sustained. Patrick now is dealing with prosopagnosia, aka "face blindness." Through some clever guesswork, and a whole lot of luck, he's never revealed it to anyone other than his ex-wife (so she can help him with his kids). Now back at work, Patrick is attempting to hoodwink everyone into thinking he's okay, because he doesn't want to risk not losing his job.


On the one hand you want to see him pull off his silly scheme, on the other, you want to see him be the man of integrity everyone thinks he is and be honest with his colleagues and friends. Especially when Patrick's inability to discern or remember faces jeopardizes the investigation.


Watching Patrick try to remember people via other means while trying to lead an investigation, and deal with the ramifications of the disorder in his personal life gives the book its emotional weight. And it delivers that in spades.


Patrick's team is full of some pretty well-drawn characters, which also applies for the other people in his life -- grounding the more outlandish flavorings of the other stories. I enjoyed the read and found it gripping -- looking forward to seeing more from Bradley.

Source: irresponsiblereader.com/2018/10/09/dead-blind-by-rebecca-bradley-a-gripping-thriller-featuring-a-uniquely-disqualified-hero
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text 2018-09-29 18:32
Reading progress update: I've listened to 33%.
Rebecca - Daphne du Maurier,Sally Beauman
Rebecca - Daphne du Maurier,Anna Massey
Rebecca (Audiocd) - Daphne du Maurier
Rebecca - Daphne du Maurier

Final square -- revisiting Rebecca with the idea of a comparison review of the 3 audio versions I own (narrated by Anna Massey, Emma Fielding, and Emilia Fox, respectively).

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review 2018-09-25 00:30
When You Reach Me
When You Reach Me - Rebecca Stead

After our disastrous book discussion on Lincoln Jones, we got to discuss When You Reach Me. Book discussion only went slightly better. There were about seven people, half of whom hadn't finished reading the book or were very confused about the plot. 


In preparation I reread the book three times (once per month leading up to the meeting). Normally I don't reread books I love that quickly because I'm afraid they'll lose their magic. It was great every time though. Rereading really let me see all the ways the story is working and pick up on all the clues. 


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review 2018-09-23 08:46
Not Quite Perfect (The Rocky Cove Series, Book 1) by Rebecca Norinne
Not Quite Perfect - Rebecca Norinne



How could something that seemed so simple become so complicated? David and Victoria are about to learn when love comes into play, the heart ups the ante. Norinne makes it easy to get caught up in her world. A world full of heartwarming tales and eccentric scenarios. What I love most is no matter the complications she never strays from being relatable. Not Quite Perfect is more than a romance between two familiar strangers. It's the journey of a dysfunctional family that never gives up on love.

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