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text 2018-06-29 11:04
REVIEW BY HELEN - Three Day Fiancée (Animal Attraction #2) by Marissa Clarke
Three Day Fiancée (Animal Attraction #2) - Marissa Clarke

Helicopter pilot Taylor Blankenship’s time schedule is maxed out. Between his job, his one-hundred and fifty pound slobbering mess of a dog, and his matchmaking grandmother, he has no time for anyone or anything-especially a woman. If only there were a way to get Grams to back down.

 

The job of New York City dog walker suits Caitlin Ramos perfectly while she preps for her CPA exam—steady, scheduled, and requiring very little human interaction; a huge seller since she’s still on the mend from a toxic relationship. Men suck. Especially her bossy hot client with the Saint Bernard that thinks it’s a lap dog. No way will she go for his plan to pretend they’re engaged to get his grandmother off his case. Down, boy.

 

Offered a bargain she can’t refuse, Caitlin finds herself playing the part of fiancée to Taylor. Fortunately, it’s only for three days. All she has to do is fake a relationship with Mr. Bossy Pants in front of his entire family, survive a fierce game of truth or dare with an unscrupulous pair of octogenarians, endure a one-on-one round of Twister with Taylor, and not lose her heart to a guy who turns out to be a lot more than she’d bargained for. 

 

 

@MaryL_MarissaC, @helen291283, #Adult, #Comedy/Humour, #Contemporary, #Romance, 4 out of 5 (very good) 

Source: archaeolibrarian.wixsite.com/website/single-post/2018/06/29/Three-Day-Fianc%25C3%25A9e-Animal-Attraction-2-by-Marissa-Clarke
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text 2018-06-18 00:00
Secret Life of Bots
Clarkesworld Magazine Issue 132 - Neil Clarke,A. Brym,Eric Schwitzgebel,Suzanne Palmer,Jess Barber,Sara Saab,Gu Shi,Tom Purdom,Geoff Ryman

I am, surprisingly, not enjoying this much. 

 

So far, the Series of Steaks has been my favorite - but I'm leaving Yoon Ha Lee's story about Jedao for last as I suspect it'll be #1 in the end. 

 

I'm exhausted, so I'm going to nap for ten minutes.

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review 2018-04-16 23:40
RFK & THE PEOPLES' CAMPAIGN OF 1968
The Last Campaign: Robert F. Kennedy and 82 Days That Inspired America - Thurston Clarke

This year marks 50 YEARS since Senator Robert F. Kennedy (D-NY) embarked upon what was, at its outset, a seemingly quixotic quest for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States, and ultimately, the Presidency itself. 

From the time Kennedy declared himself a candidate on March 16, 1968 in the Senate Caucus Room (where 8 years earlier, his older brother, Senator John Fitzgerald Kennedy of Massachusetts, had declared his candidacy for the Presidency in 1960 - leading to a successful presidential campaign which Robert Kennedy himself had managed), he was resented as an opportunist because he had waited until Senator Eugene McCarthy's (D-MN) surprising second place finish to LBJ in the New Hampshire primary a short time earlier to throw his hat in the ring. 

For the first two weeks of the campaign, Kennedy's main focus was highlighting the retreat of the Johnson Administration from some of its Great Society programs and the disastrous Vietnam policy - with his urging that the war be ended, leaving the South Vietnamese themselves to secure their sovereignty. Then LBJ announced at month's end that he wouldn't run for an additional term as President. That compelled Kennedy to change the impetus of his campaign, laying renewed emphasis on dealing with issues of poverty, civil rights, Native American and Chicano rights. 

Clarke does an excellent job of showing how the campaign unfolded with Kennedy boldly campaigning in both the Indiana and Nebraska primaries in the aftermath of Dr. King's assassination. Both states had strong Republican bases, which JFK had failed to carry in 1960. Though at heart a shy and sensitive person, Kennedy made it a point throughout his campaign of being direct, honest and among the people whom he wanted to vote for him. Many times, he would be mobbed by his supporters who came to see Kennedy as a politician who would do what he said he would do to address their needs and concerns. He was the one politician in that campaign who came to bridge the gap between Black and white, rich and poor, young and old.

The climax of the campaign for Robert Kennedy would be the California primary of June 4, 1968. Before focusing his efforts on California, Robert Kennedy had journeyed to Columbus, OH, to speak with members of the uncommitted Ohio delegation. Kenny O’Donnell [who had been Kennedy's roommate at Harvard and later worked as a close aide to President Kennedy] helped to organize this meeting, stressing to Kennedy NOT to be late. Well, Kennedy ended up mixing with supporters on the streets of Columbus and ended up 3 hours late. It didn’t look good when Kennedy belatedly arrived in that hotel. “He walked into a room filled with angry, sullen, and inebriated delegates, and saved himself by delivering what O’Donnell called ‘the best damn speech I have ever heard in my life.’ “

“O’Donnell was ecstatic, saying later, ‘He knew just what they wanted to hear and acted as if he loved being there…. He just handled himself beautifully. He was his brother. It was fantastic. The women just went ga-ga over him. They were unanimous – all the old pros were taken aback by how much they liked him. This was not the Bob Kennedy they had read about. This was not the ruthless arrogant young fellow. All they kept saying was, ‘He’s just like Jack! He’s just like Jack!’ I knew he could go all the way, then. Once he had California in his pocket, he would have Daley and all the pros were going to love him. I was never worried about the general election.”

Then tragedy ensued. 


I have long admired both President Kennedy and Robert Kennedy for their service and devotion to humanity and their promotion of public service as an agency for improving peoples' lives. To Thurston Clarke I am grateful for giving me a tangible sense of what the 1968 campaign was like, as well as access to the accounts of various personalities who played key and unsung roles in that campaign. For though I was alive in 1968, I was much too young to have any memories of that year's historical events.

 

For anyone reading this review who finds him/herself wanting to know more about Robert Kennedy, I recommend the following 2 books ~

i) ROBERT KENNEDY: His Life by Evan Thomas
ii) BOBBY KENNEDY: The Making of a Liberal Icon by Larry Tye

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review 2018-03-30 18:47
Lou in New York
Mein Herz in zwei Welten (Lou Clarke 3) - Argon Verlag,Jojo Moyes,Luise Helm

Endlich traut sich Lou zu, ihre Ringelstrumpfhosen mit Stolz zu tragen und ihren eigenen Weg zu gehen. Nach traumatischen Erfahrungen wagt sie in New York einen Neuanfang, der sie in eine chaotische Familie katapultiert. Während sie nicht recht weiß, was hier überhaupt von ihr erwartet wird, scheint sie sich erneut selbst zu verlieren, weil sie ihre neue Liebe Sam in London aus den Augen verliert … 

Wer „Ein ganzes halbes Jahr“ gelesen hat und sich über „Ein ganz neues Leben“ wagte, wird vielleicht „Mein Herz in zwei Welten“ skeptisch gegenüberstehen. Mir hat die Beziehung von Lou und Will die Schuhe ausgezogen, weil ich damals hinter dem liebreizenden Cover niemals so eine umwerfende Geschichte vermutet hätte. „Ein ganz neues Leben“ hatte auch seine Berechtigung, weil dadurch gezeigt wird, dass es danach eben nicht vorbei ist. Dann ist „Mein Herz in zwei Welten“ erschienen und ich habe mich gefragt, was denn jetzt noch kommen soll. Ich wurde tatsächlich positiv überrascht.

„Mein Herz in zwei Welten“ ist voll und ganz der Protagonistin Lou gewidmet. Lou, die sich immer für andere aufopfert. Lou, die ohne Will nicht weiß wer sie ist. Lou, der sicherlich wieder ein Missgeschick passiert. Sie darf in diesem Roman endlich sie selbst werden.

Thematisch geht es also darum, seine wahre Identität zu finden, die eigenen Wünsche und Bedürfnisse zu erkennen, und diesen fernab der Erwartungen anderer zu entsprechen. 

Dazu reist Lou nach New York, wo sie erst einmal macht, was sie am besten kann: sich um andere kümmern. Sie landet als persönliche Assistentin bei einer richtig reichen Familie, und macht da sozusagen den Hampelmann. Hier habe ich mir oft gedacht, dass sich Lou unter ihrem Wert verkauft, weil sie so viel mehr kann als zur rechten Zeit einen Smoothie darzureichen. Doch Lou möchte „Ja“ zu Herausforderungen und zum Leben sagen, daher gibt sie nicht auf.

Obwohl diese Schilderung ernst und trocken klingt, wird es im üblichen amüsanten Ton erzählt. Lou nimmt den Leser in ihr neues Leben mit. Sie glänzt durch charmante Ironie, ihrem unverwechselbarem Sarkasmus und nimmt bigotte Situationen mit einer würdevollen Haltung inklusive Augenzwinkern hin. Mehr als einmal hat mir Lou damit ein Lächeln und sogar ein Lachen entlockt. Allein wie sehr sich sich auf der morgendlichen Joggingrunde bemüht, wie sie in heiklen Situationen ihre Frau steht und auf Ringelstrumpfhosen besteht, ist herrlich zu lesen. 

Die Handlung hält jetzt nicht unbedingt großartige Überraschungen bereit und verläuft relativ glatt in ihrer Bahn. Neben mehreren dramatischen Höhepunkten gipfelt es in ein Ende, das Raum für Lous weiteres Leben lässt. 

Nichtsdestotrotz hat sich Lou ihre eigene Identität - ihren ganz persönlichen Roman - verdient. Und ich bin der Ansicht, dass ihr diese amüsante Erzählung gerecht geworden ist. 

Ich habe dieses Buch sehr, sehr gern gehört, weil ich Protagonistin Lou schon im ersten Band in mein Herz geschlossen habe. Es macht Freude mit ihr eine weitere Herausforderung zu bestehen und mit ihr gemeinsam nach New York zu gehen.

 

Reihenfolge:

1) Ein ganzes halbes Jahr 
2) Ein ganz neues Leben
3) Mein Herz in zwei Welten
Source: zeit-fuer-neue-genres.blogspot.co.at
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review 2018-03-28 15:53
Workmanlike Prose: "Rendezvous with Rama" by Arthur C. Clarke
Rendezvous with Rama - Arthur C. Clarke

Ah, yes. Rama. I actually read this with a torch under the blankets in an intense all-nighter back in the day. What I like about this book in retrospect is its complete lack of compromise as a work of SF. Characters? Who the frack needs 'em. Themes? Bah, pointless! All SF needs to be is an unbroken, brilliantly done description of an alien environment. I'm glad things have moved on since, but I'd still happily sit and read a book so single-mindedly in its purpose like this one.

 

In any genre of literature, you definitely have some people whose names tower above everyone else, and their influence could not be denied. However, people who like literature don't just read the so-called greats. Clarke certainly wrote some seminal works of SF, but he probably read many obscure works too, some of which may have influenced him. Readers don't just read the big name writers, but have a much bigger interest in the genre. A writer’s work only makes sense within a tradition and how it is situated along other people's work. It is all interlinked and some of the smaller voices may be bigger than critics acknowledge. For instance Clarke's influences aren't as well-known but what he learned from them is part of his work, so the voices remain powerful, and readers equally value preceding works. That doesn't mean that the big name writers don't deserve their place in history, but as fan of literature, I think sometimes, the bigger contributions are made by lesser known writers. I disagree with the assessment that Clarke left questions unanswered; world-building can get boring at the micro, non-plot-related level. This book was "sensawunda" in triplicate -- for the Ramans always did everything in threes. How about those tripodal cleansing things that whirled about? I'm not disappointed that Clarke had no sequel; when you look at 2001 on the screen, then read Clarke's rejected worlds, you realise that Kubrick was right to end with the “Star Child”. 

 

 

If you're into SF, read on.

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