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text 2018-12-17 12:14
24 Festive Tasks, Door 19 - Festivus
You Can't Touch My Hair: And Other Things I Still Have to Explain - Phoebe Robinson,Jessica Williams



Book: I will be reading You Can't Touch My Hair by Phoebe Robinson.


Task #1

1. Born a Crime by Trevor Noah - tone deaf, no self-reflection, and way too much talk about feces.


2. One Wish (Thunder Point #7) by Robyn Carr - it's 2018, you are in your late twenties/early thirties - fucking use the birth control.


3. Winds of Salem (Witches of East End #3) by Melissa de la Cruz - such a strong start and middle of the series, and it ends on a messy whimper. 


4. The Irish Americans by Jay P. Dolan - dry text plus a focus on political and religious people without any mention of the Irish reflecting or influencing social or pop culture. Also very little to almost no mention of the Catholic Church scandals (mother homes, child sexual abuse, etc).


5. Triangle: The Fire that Changed America by David von Drehle - for a disaster that killed, injured, or impacted in some way so many young immigrant women, this book focuses way too much on men (politicians, labor union bosses, friends of the women, etc).


Task #2

I'm a huge Peanuts fan, so here's my Festivus pole

Image result for festivus pole

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review 2018-12-17 11:29
Unending tedium
City of Golden Shadow - Tad Williams


Kids are getting 'stuck' in virtual reality and a group is determined to find out why and put a stop to it.


You'd think a book about people spending a majority of their free time in virtual reality would be exciting. The potential is there. But no.  I don't think I have ever encountered such a boring telling of a potentially exciting subject.  Virtual reality - sky's the limit!  No need to suspend belief, you can chuck it right out the window because there is not really any needed.

Nope. We just slog along.


That was one long ass book.  

Not just in number of pages, which comes in at almost 800, but the pacing makes it feel like it takes forever to read it.

I like Tad Williams, but I think I prefer his fantasy.


This one ends in a bit of a cliffhanger, but with the size of the series I'm not sure how else he could have ended it.


Hopefully book 2 picks up a bit.

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text 2018-12-12 15:45
Reading progress update: I've read 32%.
South Riding - Shirley Williams,Marion Shaw,Winifred Holtby

At this point, I'm struggling with this book. The writing is top notch, but there are so many characters and we're skipping around so much that I'm not really getting a good sense of person or place.


The plot summary makes it sound as though the book concentrates on Sarah Burton, the new headmistress to the local school. So far, though, our engagement with Miss Burton has been minimal. I'm hoping that now that the characters and the community have been introduced, Holtby settles in and gives us a bit more of a narrative.


Reading for my A Century of Women project - this is the book for 1936.

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review 2018-11-30 19:33
Time Is Relative for a Knight of Time by Brett Matthew Williams
Time is Relative for a Knight of Time - Brett Matthew Williams

There is a lot going on in this story! Rolland has fallen on hard times since his mom died and his dad disappeared. He’s been trying to finish out highschool on his own, living out of a car when he can’t hang at a friend’s house. His pride keeps him from telling people his true situation, that, and a healthy sense of self-preservation. It’s always good to not appear vulnerable. Right away, I was cheering for Rolland and wishing him well on whatever horrible undertakings he might be forced into.

Then Time Knights! Yes, I think they need their own theme music. They swoop in and change his life forever, which includes the unfortunate permanent demise of his car and all his possessions. Sephone, Tina, and the old Prof Turtledove try to ease him into his new life, but there’s just no easy way to rewrite your personal history, is there? Rolland has little time to absorb the truth about his parents before fate sweeps them up into a dangerous adventure that involves Andrew Jackson. Yep. Prepare yourself for some fascinating US history (and not the boringly bland stuff you had to learn in school).

I did find most of the ladies and their interactions with Rolland to be silly. Tina dives right into some pre-teen-ish lust thing that just comes off awkward and weird. Meanwhile Rolland is having his own lustful thoughts about Sephone. Later Joan joins the mix, but she’s totally worthy (and great at hand to hand combat). Then we get Blaisy (spelling?), a Native American princess who pulls her own weight. These last two ladies made up for the short comings of the other ladies. I just couldn’t see Tina being the successful leader of anything.

Andrew Jackson is written as a villain in this tale and he’s right up there with the Time Villain (cue evil theme music) Edward Vilth. I will say that Jackson is the better written villain as we get details about his mindset and lack of consideration for others. Tho that hypnosis bit was silly. Vilth is indeed a bad guy but he’s covered all in shadows and doesn’t really stand out at any point in the story.

Towards the end, I did get a little battle fatigue. There’s a lot of back and forth with alliances, new enemies around every corner, but, hey, wait, maybe they could be temporary allies as we kick some butt over here, but then yet another person is kidnapped and held hostage while the others try to rescue them or are forced into doing things their mom told them not to do. So, yes, the story could have been shortened up a bit in this area and it would be more exciting.

All told, there’s a decent story here with a blend of scifi and fantasy going on to propel the time travel. 3.5/5 stars.

The Narration: This is where this audiobook fell down for me. Williams decided to narrate his own book and with some polishing, he could manage it. He has distinct voices for each character most of the time. His female character voices are feminine. His verbal pacing is good too. However, there’s several repeated half sentences, mispronounced words, mouth noises, and why is he pronouncing Rolland like ‘Rawlins’ most of the time? There are significant issues with the recording as well. Sometimes it sounds tinny, sometimes like it was recorded in a cavern. There’s these odd pop sounds (and I’m not referring to the finger snaps) that I think might be from bumping the mic. Then there’s the rustling sounds (paper I think). Also, irregular long pauses between chapters too. If this book was narrated by a professional, it would be so much better. As it was, the narration/recording made it a chore to finish. 2.5/5 stars.

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Brett Matthew Williams. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

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review 2018-11-22 17:38
Life Is Not an Accident: A Memoir of Reinvention
Life Is Not an Accident: A Memoir of Reinvention - Jay Williams

















Having mixed thoughts and mixed feelings after reading this book. Jay himself striked me as a very honest man who has struggled through life and still managed to achieve something great, until it was taken away from him by the consequences of his actions. This man did not have an easy life, but when he has reached rock bottom he found a way to get back up and make something out of his tragedy and out of his life that has almost been taken away from him, and that's something that I really like about him, for life's full of hardships and failures, you can't always find a perfect spot and perfect shot to shoot the ball towards the rim and expect to hit the basket. But this man has convinced me throughout his remarkable story, that there's good in everything, for as long as we learn from all of our failures and all of our bad mistakes.

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