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review 2017-12-11 22:30
The Drowned and the Saved / Primo Levi
The Drowned and the Saved - Primo Levi

The author tries to understand the rationale behind Auschwitz, Treblinka, Bergen-Belsen. Dismissing stereotyped images of brutal Nazi torturers and helpless victims, Levi draws extensively on his own experiences to delve into the minds and motives of oppressors and oppressed alike. Describing the difficulty and shame of remembering, the limited forms of collaboration between inmates and SS goalers, the exploitation of useless violence and the plight of the intellectual, Levi writes about the issue of power, mercy and guilt, and their effects on the lives of the ordinary people who suffered so incomprehendingly.

 

How in the world do I rate a book like this? I guess its four stars, because I didn’t find it to be quite as engaging as Night or Man's Search for Meaning, but it was still an un-put-down-able book. I’ll be reading more of Levi’s work, without a doubt. The voices of these Holocaust survivors become ever more important as attrition takes them from us and their story becomes doubted by some.

The Drowned and the Saved is a powerful metaphor for the concentration camp experience. Those who emerged became the Saved, those who perished became the Drowned. As in the two books that I referenced above, Levi tells us that those who appear to be the Saved had to do some brutal things to get that status. He goes so far as to say that all the good people were among the Drowned. So how was he to feel about himself, supposedly one of the elect? His death in 1987 was ambiguous—officially ruled as a suicide, but it may have been an accident.

He says that the Saved were the prisoners who didn’t actually touch bottom while in the camps. It seems that he may have hit bottom well after the fact.

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text 2017-12-07 15:22
How is it already December 7th?
Living with Shakespeare: Actors, Directors, and Writers on Shakespeare in Our Time - Susannah Carson
The Drowned and the Saved - Primo Levi
The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding (The crime club) - Agatha Christie
Magic's Promise - Mercedes Lackey
Widow's Web - Jennifer Estep
The Subtle Knife - Philip Pullman
Christmas Stories - Diana Secker Tesdell
Hercule Poirot's Christmas: A Hercule Poirot Mystery - Agatha Christie
Prince Caspian - C.S. Lewis

 

We're rapidly approaching the end of 2017 and I'm not ready.  Christmas is coming at warp speed it seems, and I have a family party on the 23rd and I'll spend Christmas Day at my niece's house, staying with my sister in between those two events.  Then on the 29th, I fly to the west coast to see my other sister and go to a family wedding on New Year's Eve.  I'm looking forward to all of this, but I'm wondering when I'm going to get my Christmas cards written, the food contributions prepared, and my suitcases packed.

 

And of course, I want to tie up the loose ends of this reading year, read some Christmas books, and prepare for 2018.  A bit of Peace on Earth.

 

Last weekend, I got my Christmas tree set up & decorated.  I'm enjoying the coloured lights, celebrating the upcoming solstice and the return of more light.  These days it feels like I go to work in the dark and go home in the dark--I feel like a mole!

 

I know I will get it all done.  I always do.  And if I don't, the world will not end.  Keep telling me that.

 

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you all. 

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text 2017-12-05 14:48
How Mrs. Claus Saved Christmas ★★☆☆☆
How Mrs. Claus Saved Christmas - Jeff Guinn

 

Jeff Guinn is a terrific writer of nonfiction historical events and biographies. I thoroughly enjoyed his books on Jim Jones and on Bonnie & Clyde. But it was painfully apparent to me, early on in this book, that this talent doesn’t translate well to the telling of fictional stories. At least not fictional stories about Santa and Mrs. Claus. I tried to soldier on through this book, because I needed it for Square 3 of The 16 Tasks of the Festive Season (Book themes for St. Martin’s Day: Read a story dealing with an act of selfless generosity (like St. Martin sharing his cloak with a beggar)), but I just can’t keep punching myself in the head like this. I had to stop. I can’t even work up the energy to detail the many ways in which this book continually failed me. Just take my word for it: Read the hell out of Mr. Guinn’s nonfiction books – I’m eyeballing the one on Charles Manson right now – but don’t spend your time or energy on this set of “fanciful” Christmas stories.

 

DNF. I gave it 2 stars only because I was able to make through 41% of the book (that’s 4 ½ hours of listening!) before giving up.

 

Audiobook, purchased via Audible. Susan Denaker’s smarmy & self-righteous tone certainly seemed to suit the character as written, but damn.  

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review 2017-10-09 01:31
Great Book With Great Characters
Saved by Darkness (Darkness Series) (Volume 6) - Katie Reus

Ian and Mason were at a party having been invited by the vampire running the supernatural fights that Ian participated in asked for something Ian wasn’t going to say no unless the request was offensive. Ian was part demon and part dragon. Ian didn’t even know any other dragons. Ian knew his mother had been forced when Ian was conceived and if Ian ever found the full blooded demon he’d kill him for what he had done to Ian’s mother. All he had was a name but that was a start. One day Ian would make the make the male feel his hatred. Then Bruneau the vampire who had invited Ian to this party appeared and told Mason to leave Ian and him. Mason did/ Ian knew he was the strongest male in any room or close to it. He had to be strong from the time he was a child- a mixed breed with a mother who was alone in the world. Ian made it clear to anyone if they tried to mess with his family they die. They first time Ian had killed  it was defending his mom , he had been eight and it had been an accident. The first time Iam meant to kill he was ten. Most supernaturals in New Orleans that had seen Ian fight seemed to think he was an animal and his nickname in the ring was “Beast”. Bruneau said he thought he’d found a woman to Ian’s liking. Ian turned and felt his heart stop in his chest. Ke locked gazes with a striking female. Then Ian noticed she had a male companion and he looked like he wanted to kill Ian. The  Breuner introduced him as Colm O’Riley. He wanted to fight Ian and he was also undefeated. Then Ian introduced himself to the female and she said her name was Fiona. Then the male pushed her more behind him and said “ you don’t look at her, you don;t touch her”. Then Ian said you name the place we fight. Ian never experienced this lack of control before. But her scent and closeness was making Ian edgy. Then Breuner  asked if three hours was soen enough and both males nodded. Ian knew Colm was a shifter but he wasn’t sure what kind. Ian figured he would take care of the male in the ring then talk to the female. He didn’t understand the primitive part of him that  had came to life and he wasn’t going to ignore it. Bruneau  advised Ian to make himself scarce until the fight as Colm had two brothers.Then Ian saw Fiona standing behind a big tree. She motioned   for Ian to follow her. Then they hurried to a small room off the lobby. Fiona told Ian to shut the door. Then she said she wanted to warn Ian her brothers were very strong. She added she knew Ian would never lost before  but he would this time. Also her brother was very angry Ian had spoken to her. Then Fiona asked Ian to  please walk away and there was desperation in her voice. The Ian asked Fiona if she was mated and she said no . Ian felt many emotions in Fiona there was confusion but also lust. Ian said to Fiona was to have dinner with him after the fight. Fiona said if he managed to live she would have dinner with him. Then Ian told her to meet him tomorrow at Mandina's at six. Ian shook Malloy’s hand   at the front of Bo’s supernatural ‘s only club. His half brother Bo was on his honeymoon but he’d kept the club open and his family ran it while he was gone.  Malloy was a ghoul and head of security. Ian had a strange call from Rory telling Ian he needed to talk to Ian about something important Ian saw his half sister Cynara tending bar. Rory said fimm wanted to speak to Fiona and they needed to know if she was trustworthy  and Ian said she was. But Ian couldn’t talk about her it hurt too much then Ian left the room. Ian couldn’t even convince himself he buried the memory of Fiona because he thought of her every day. Fiona was his mate even though they had never mated another female would never do for him. Now to know she was nearby Ian was going to find out everything from the Alpha Finn. Then he was going to see Fiona even though he knew he shouldn’t She was mated, taken. She had shattered his heart and went off with another male Too late he realized she had done it to protect him, to keep him alive. He would have kept them safe and alive, Ian just wished Fiona had trusted him enough that he could do that. Since rory had joined a new pack he had torn loyalties between his brother   Ian and his new pack. For decades it had been Ian and Rory against the Hell Realm that had been their world. Rory called Finn to let him know Ian was on his way,

I absolutely loved this book It was a great paranormal story and romance. I Loved that Fiona and Ian had been true and faithful to each other. Never accepting someone else. I didn’t want to put this book down it kept my interest all through the book.  I felt like I was right there with ian and Fiona. I loved how Fiona spent her life helping bullied paranormal females. I loved how willing Fiona was to sacrifice everything to make sure Ian was safe. I loved the ending. I also loved the twist in this story. I loved the characters and ins and outs of this book and I highly recommend.

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review 2017-10-03 08:10
Book Blitz w/Review - Bidding On The Bachelor

 

 

 

Recently divorced Carissa Blackwell returns to her hometown and reconnects with her first love Jasper Dumont, while the ubiquitous Bayside Blogger reports their every move for the town newspaper in this delightful & playful novel by award-winning romance author Kerri Carpenter.

 

About Bidding on the Bachelor:

 

Title: Bidding on the Bachelor
Author: Kerri Carpenter
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: October 1, 2017
Publisher: Harlequin Special Edition
Series: Saved by the Blog #2
Format: Print/Digital
Print ISBN: 9780373623792
Digital ISBN: 9781488079146

 

Another roll of the dice


Big news, fair readers! Bayside High's favorite It Girl is back. Would you have bet Clarissa Blackwell would ever return? Ten years ago, she crushed Jasper Dumont's heart under her Jimmy Choos and left town for a bigger, better life. Her return raises one question: What is she running from (or is it to) now?

 

Perhaps Jasper knows? One look at Carissa and he fell in the bay! (Rich, single and devastatingly handsome, Jasper's our catch of the day.) That icy plunge should have brought him to his senses, yet "Casper" has been spotted together all over town. Does this mean Bayside's legendary couple may reunite? The stakes are high, but the Bayside Blogger's money is riding on love!


Add to your TBR list: Goodreads

Available: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks

 

 

 

 

Excerpt:

 

“I’m back in town.”

 

“For how long?” he asked quickly, too quickly. In fact, if she wasn’t mistaken, anger laced his question. She must have reacted to it because his features softened. “Sorry, it’s none of my business. And I do remember that today is your birthday. So, happy birthday, Carissa.”

 

“Thanks,” she said, and meant it. She decided to offer an olive branch because the truth was that she’d dumped him and she hadn’t been kind about it. This icy reception she was receiving was well deserved. While she knew the reasons behind her decision, she’d never let Jasper in on it. She’d been a bratty, selfish teenager, not capable of understanding her emotions. Unwilling to admit that Jasper had always reminded her of her father and that summer her dad had dropped a bombshell on her.

 

“I don’t know how long I’ll be in town. I’m sort of in a transition period right now.” He waited patiently. After another long drink of beer, she finished. “I just got divorced.” Saying the words out loud left an awful taste in her mouth. An acidic aftertaste of yuckiness.

 

First, shock flashed on his face. Then, true concern shone in his eyes. “I’m sorry,” he said.

 

And that might have been her undoing. Because he had every reason to be stiff and awkward with her. Instead, any kind of compassion from him loosened her lips.

 

“Today is my twenty-ninth birthday. I’m having a beer next to my ex-boyfriend, who hates my guts, in a dive bar in the town I swore I would never step foot in again. An ex-boyfriend I should really apologize to because I was an evil witch to him.” The words were flying now. She gripped her hand tightly around her glass. “I’m not even thirty and already I’ve been married and divorced. And I got divorced because he freaking cheated on me.”

 

She couldn’t miss the way Jasper’s eyes narrowed, his hands curled into fists, and there was a definite tic in his clenched jaw. “He cheated on you?”

 

“Yep. Apparently, the fact that I was homecoming queen, prom queen and head cheerleader did nothing to impress him. Or keep his pants zipped up when anyone wearing a skirt in the Central Time Zone walked by. That probably makes your whole day, doesn’t it?”

 

He slammed his hand on the bar and she jumped. But she just as quickly composed herself. “What? You have every right to revel in my misery after the way I broke up with you. I got divorced. You win.”

 

His eyes narrowed. “I don’t want to win at that game. And I certainly don’t want to hear that some idiot cheated on you. I’m sorry you’re getting divorced.”

 

“That makes one of us.”

 

Copyright © 2017 Bidding on the Bachelor by Kerri Carpenter

 

 

 

 

Bidding on the Bachelor (Saved by the Blog, #2)Bidding on the Bachelor by Kerri Carpenter
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is book #2, in the Saved By The Blog series. This book can be read as a standalone novel. For reader enjoyment and understanding, I recommend reading this series in order.

Jasper finds out that his high school sweetheart who dumped him is back in town. He cannot help but be attracted to the even better looking beauty. Even to the detriment of all his dating.

Carissa just wants to start over. She has gone back to her hometown with her tail between her legs following a divorce. Now all she wants to do is start her own business.

Sweet and funny story. The characters are easy to relate to. It is also kind of frustrating since the blogger could not have been in some places without being seen. Is the author trying to tell us something?


***This early copy was given in exchange for an honest review only.

View all my reviews

 

 

 

 

Rafflecopter for Bidding on the Bachelor Blitz Giveaway:

 

Kerri is offering one (1) lucky Grand Prize winner a $50 Amazon Gift Card and three (3) Runner-Up winners with an eCopy of one of Falling for the Right Brother (Saved by the Blog #1)! To enter, simply fill out the Rafflecopter below:

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b050ef29428/?

 

 

 

Other Books in the Saved by the Blog series:

 

Falling for the Right Brother

 

Saved by the blog!

 

This just in, fair readers! Chic and stunning, that gorgeous new woman about town is none other than our very own little Ellie--now Elle--Owens. She's a far cry from the frumpy, bookish student we used to know, but then, living in Italy will do that to a girl! Still, this blogger can't forget the infamous video that caused her to leave!

 

Apparently Miss Elle has been spotted with yummy contractor Cam Dumont...but we thought her heart belonged to his little brother. Are Cam and Elle a new couple? They were seen cooling their passions in the bay...in April! If this is love, let's hope she's swimming with the right brother. The Bayside Blogger will keep you posted.

 

Available at: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks

 

 

 

 

About Kerri Carpenter:

 

Award-winning romance author Kerri Carpenter writes contemporary romances that are sweet, sexy, and sparkly. When she’s not writing, Kerri enjoys reading, cooking, watching movies, taking Zumba classes, rooting for Pittsburgh sports teams, and anything sparkly. Kerri lives in Northern Virginia with her adorable (and mischievous) rescued poodle mix, Harry. Visit Kerri at her website, on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, or subscribe to her newsletter.

 

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon | BookBub

 

 

 
 
 
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