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text 2017-08-22 10:54
Reading progress update: I've read 71%.
Cask Strength - Layla Reyne

Well, I kind of had the plan to just read this second book now and save the 3rd for a bit.

I’m starting to think that was somewhat naive... (*rushing off to buy book 3*)

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review 2017-07-10 04:44
Strength in What Remains by Tracy Kidder
Strength in What Remains: A Journey of Remembrance and Forgiveness - Tracy Kidder

This is a readable but mediocre book that gets a lot of praise because it’s about an impressive person and a tragic topic. Deogratias grew up in rural Burundi with few advantages, but made it to medical school, until he got caught up in the genocide in Rwanda and Burundi in 1993. A friend helped him flee to New York City, where despite a job delivering groceries he found himself homeless at first, until making friends who helped him get back on his feet. He then went to college and medical school in the U.S., and returned to Burundi to set up clinics for people with no access to health care.

 

This book reminds me of Ashley’s War, in that both are about people and subjects that absolutely deserve a book, but their authors sell them short. Kidder’s writing feels superficial throughout. From early on I had the impression that he was drawn to Deo but never really understood him (or perhaps Deo wasn’t willing or able to open up to the extent an author would need to write a biography that appears to be based mostly on his own disclosures), and so was able to relate the facts but only on the surface level. This becomes even more apparent in the second half of the book, when Kidder accompanies Deo on one of his trips back to Burundi. They visit numerous memorials and sites from Deo’s past, and Kidder describes how Deo reacts, but in the end we get more of Kidder’s feelings about the trip than Deo’s.

 

Though this is primarily a biography, we do get some information about the genocide in Rwanda and Burundi as well, along with a brief overview of the countries’ history. Though, again, this feels superficial, it’s an adequate starting point and is interesting for a reader with relatively little knowledge of the area. Especially interesting is Deo’s theory that the genocide was made possible in large part by structural violence – that when everyday life is full of fatal illness and injury, hunger, violence at home and at school, and little opportunity to improve one’s lot in life, people perceive the value of their own lives as low and therefore value others’ even less. Also interesting is the fact that, although westerners reading about the genocide assume Hutu and Tutsi are clearly definable ethnic groups, the reality seems to be anything but; these are apparently social groups more than anything else, and it appears Deo isn’t alone in being unable to tell the difference.

 

At any rate, this is a very readable book, not a bad choice for those who are interested in the topic. (It’s also worth pointing out, for those unsure about whether they can handle a book about genocide, that only one 35-page chapter is all about that; most of the book is about Deo’s life before and after, and about Kidder spending time with Deo and the people who helped him in New York.) But I’m underwhelmed by Kidder’s writing and likely won’t recommend this to others.

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review 2017-04-10 19:11
REVIEW BY MERISSA - Cask Strength (Agents Irish and Whiskey #2) by Layla Reyne
Cask Strength - Layla Reyne
Cask Strength is the second book in the Agents Irish and Whiskey series, and I would say that you would need to read book one to understand all the nuances that go on below the surface. If you hadn't read that, you wouldn't understand why Jamie is still with Aidan when Aidan is being such a jerk! I like him, I do, but man I wanted to kick him in the beginning of this book! Luckily for me, he redeems himself, but I won't say any more on that. This is an amazing second book, where Irish and Whiskey have to cool their jets on the 'big' case as the bodies start to pile up around them. Instead, Mel sends them on what should be a simpler case, but things aren't quite what they seem.
 
Once again, this book is excellently written, with no editing or grammatical errors to disrupt the reading flow. I read this book in one sitting because I simply could not put it down. First it was because of Aidan, then it was because of Jamie, then it was because of Riley and Press, and then the ending... yeesh!!! Trust me, book hangover, right here! I can't wait for the next book, and I really hope that Cam gets his own book and HEA because I think he's wonderful :) Highly recommended by me. 
 
* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and my comments here are my honest opinion. *
 
Merissa
Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!

 

@LaylaReyne, #M_M, #Romance, #Suspense, 5 out of 5 (exceptional)

 

Source: sites.google.com/site/archaeolibrarian/merissa-reviews/caskstrengthagentsirishandwhiskey2bylaylareyne
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review 2016-11-09 03:06
Anabella: Strength From Within (The Mail Order Brides of Russets Reach Book 1) - Indiana Wake

This was a sweet read. Anabella came from privilege to marry a cowboy. Her struggle to show that she was strong kept me turning pages. Ashley needed a bit of an attitude adjustment, but his realization of his love for the strength of this one woman made for a good read. I highly recommend this story, and I look forward to reading the rest in this series.

I received a copy of this story through Book Review Buzz, and this is my unsolicited review.

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