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review 2018-11-15 10:07
More or Less a Temptress (The Somerset Sisters, #3) by Anna Bradley
More or Less a Temptress (The Somerset Sisters #3) - Anna Bradley

 

 

Somersets don't make love easy, but they sure do keep society interested. More or Less a Temptress is Hyacinth's turn to shine. Instead she stirs up a ruckus that could impact more than her reputation. It could end with her losing her heart. Always bold, never boring and hard to resist, this group of sisters make showstopping fun.

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review 2018-11-12 16:12
REVIEW BY MERISSA - The Christmas Gift? (A Barlow Sisters Novella) by Jordan Ford
The Christmas Gift? (A Barlow Sisters Novella) - Jordan Ford

The Christmas Gift? is a sweet addition to the Barlow Sisters books. In this one, we get to know Rahn and Roman. Rahn is Chloe's best friend, and Roman is the drummer in Cairo's band. We've met both of them in previous books, and both were characters I wanted to see more of.

Rahn and Roman both have their own histories to deal with, as do every single couple EVER! These two also have different cultures though, which can add a bit more difficulty to the mix. One thing that is clear from the start is just how much these two mean to each other. The problem is pretty much self-explanatory, but it is written exceedingly well. Nothing about it is glossed over, or diminished. I would love to see just how these two get on, and with the next set of books due to come soon, I am hoping for a crossover - even if it's only a little one!

Well written, with no editing or grammatical errors, this was one sweet read. You may need to visit the dentist afterwards! Definitely recommended by me.

* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and the comments here are my honest opinion. *

Merissa
Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!

Source: archaeolibrarian.wixsite.com/website/single-post/2018/11/12/The-Christmas-Gift-A-Barlow-Sisters-Novella-by-Jordan-Ford
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text 2018-11-10 22:30
Gathering of Sisters: A Year With My Old Order Mennonite Family - Darla Weaver

Goodness, I haven't been on since June! I have so many reviews to put up! My son was seriously injured in June, and just recently went back to work. So I read (not at my normal pace, but some, though not any ebooks-- he had hijacked my charger so I couldn't read those). 

So my review for Gathering of Sisters:

I thoroughly enjoyed this book– I enjoyed reading of life in this story of an Old Order Mennonite family and its relatives with particular focus on the 5 sisters. The sisters, after they married, continued to gather at their mother’s house every Tuesday, and basically spend the day–swapping books and magazine, catching up on each other’s life from week to week, cooking and crafting together. “Gathering of Sisters” covers one year of these special Tuesdays and I fell in love with the family and the life. Darla Weaver ends each chapter with a Bible verse that struck her as pertinent to that particular week. She shares her love of gardening, kitchen foibles, the woes of getting older, and the sadness of children growing up. I would have loved to be part of this large family that shares each other’s joys and sorrows equally. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading about the Amish, or even those needing a bit of encouragement, for, Amish or not, anyone can relate to what she shares.

 

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review 2018-11-03 15:24
My Neighbor Totoro (book) art and story by Hayao Miyazaki, text by Tsugiko Kubo, translated by Jim Hubbert
My Neighbor Totoro: A Novel - Tsugiko Kubo,Hayao Miyazaki

Mei, Satsuki, and their father, Tatsuo, move into a crumbling old house in the country in order to be closer to the sanatorium where their mother, Yasuko, is recovering from tuberculosis. The girls adapt to their new rural life pretty quickly, although four-year-old Mei doesn't respond well to being left with their neighbor while Tatsuo is at work and Satsuki is at school.

Both girls realize there's something a little strange about their house when they first arrive. They briefly spot little beings called soot sprites, and Kanta, the boy who lives near them, tells them that their house is haunted. Then Mei starts talking about having met a being she calls Totoro and who Tatsuo believes is a forest spirit. Satsuki longs to see Totoro too.

I wasn't sure what to expect when I read this. Would it be a stiff and soulless adaptation of the movie, or would it be able to hold its own in the face of the movie's sweetness? I'm happy to say that it fell into the latter category. Although I still prefer the movie, the book was a breeze to read, added things to the overall story that the movie couldn't, and had much of the same charm as the original movie.

(I should briefly explain that I'm most familiar with the English dub of the movie. I'm not sure if I've even watched it in Japanese with English subtitles yet. Some of the information "missing" from the movie could possibly have been translation decisions when creating the dub, editing the script to better match mouth flaps. I won't know until I watch the movie with subtitles, and even then translator decisions are in play.)

The book was more direct about explaining exactly why Tatsuo, Satsuki, and Mei moved out into the country, explicitly naming Yasuko's illness. There were more mentions about what Satsuki and Mei's life used to be like, back in the city, and even one portion of the book where they briefly went back to the city. Yasuko was slightly more in the foreground - the book included letters she wrote to her children while at the sanatorium. I got a stronger picture of her personality here than I did in the movie. She seemed like a dreamer.

In general, I'd say that the bones of this book were about the same as the movie. A few scenes were added, and there were more details about the history of the house the family moved into, and Satsuki's efforts to learn how to cook different foods over an actual fire without burning them. I really enjoyed these additions.

One thing that disappointed me a little, however, was that the fantasy aspects were scaled back. In the movie, viewers' first exposure to Totoro happened when Mei chased after a little Totoro and ended up finding Totoro's napping spot. All of this happened on-screen. These same things happened in this book as well, but for some reason the author chose to focus on Satsuki instead of Mei. Mei told Satsuki and her father what she'd experienced, but there was no evidence that any of it was real, rather than the dreams or imaginings of a child. The first on-page appearance of Totoro didn't happen until the bus scene. The ending was also altered slightly - the scene where Mei and Satsuki watched their mother and father from a tree didn't happen. I was at least glad that all the Catbus scenes were included.

The focus of this book seemed to be slightly more on the relationship between the two sisters and their barely-spoken-of fear that their mother might die and never come home, as well as the girls' growing independence as they adapted to rural life. It was lovely, but, as I said, I did miss some of the Totoro stuff. All in all, this was an excellent novelization that I'd definitely recommend to fans of the movie.

Extras:

Several illustrations (black and white sketches with maybe a watercolor wash?), including a color map of Matsugo, the place where the Kusakabe family moved. The map also gives the exact year this story took place, 1955, so I suppose this could be considered historical fiction.

 

(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

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review 2018-11-01 18:38
Awesome Historical Romance
The Lady Plays Her Ace (The Langley Sisters Book 4) - Wendy Vella

The Lady Plays Her Ace is a fantastic historical romance by Wendy Vella.  Ms. Vella has once again impressed me with her storytelling abilities.  She has provided readers with a well-written book and furnished it with outstanding characters.  Oliver fought for his fortune, with his fists and his brains.  Althea is a Lady and Oliver has decided she's not for him.  Their story is loaded with drama, humor, action, sexy bits and suspense.  I loved this story from the first page till the last and can't wait to read my next book by Wendy Vella.  The Lady Plays Her Ace is book 4 of The Langley Sisters Series but can be read as a standalone.  This is a complete book, not a cliff-hanger.

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