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review 2018-01-16 04:34
More entertainment than science.
 Atomic Adventures: Secret Islands, Forgotten N-Rays, and Isotopic Murder - A Journey into the Wild World of Nuclear Science - James Mahaffey,Keith Sellon-Wright

That is, the author was more interested in telling amusing stories than explaining science, though he had a go at it ever so often, but didn't leave me feeling notably enlightened. Which is fine. I'm more interested in amusing stories than knowing what a proton does, and for the most part the stories were pretty good. He did some times get sidetracked into non-science stuff that was less interesting, and he was perhaps a little to flippant about serious matters that might kill us all.


The highlights of the book were the nuclear rocket experiments and other adventures that mostly weren't likely to kill us all, but hit the amusing mono-focus that science/engineering types can get into, and also explosions! The assassination part was less intrigue-laden and interesting than I thought it would be, and was mostly very sad. I'm never going to understand quantum entanglement. As far as I can tell, it's witchcraft. Liked the interstellar travel bit at the end, even if none of it works.

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review 2017-12-22 20:39
House on the Forgotten Coast
House on the Forgotten Coast: A Novel - Ruth Coe Chambers


Square 14 for the 16 Festive Tasks- Seaside setting


When eighteen-year-old Elise's parents decide to move from their comfortable lives in Atlanta to a small fishing village in Apalachicola, Florida, Elise becomes anxious.  Her mother has asked Elise to put off going to college for a year in order to help them settle in.  Elise has always been an outsider, even to her parents, she decides that the move may mean a new start for her as well.  When Elise first sets eyes on their new home, something inside her clicks.  Finally, Elise feels like she belongs,  the townspeople adore her and the boat shaped house feels like home.  Then, the dreams intensify, Elise dreams of another young woman, Annelise, who never got the chance to live in the boat shaped house that was built for her in 1897.  Elise keeps getting clues to Annelise's life and how the man she loved died.  Elise feels she might be burdened with living out Annelise's dream but those around her are worried that Elise is living in a fantasy world.

House on the Forgotten Coast pulled me in with the intense atmosphere and air of mystery.  I was grabbed by the snippet from Annelise's demise and then caught up in Elise's story and wondered how the two women connected.  I was effortlessly drawn to Elise, she has been an outsider all of her life, not even understood by her parents, but determined to make her own way.  I was pleased that she was generously taken in by the inhabitants of Apalachicola.  The residents of the town were also very well developed, I loved getting to know Peyton, Dallas, the Myers, the Aunts and Ty.  They all added to the mystique of the town.  Through the entire story, the writing presents a very gradual build up of something being not quite right.  The mystery lies in whether or not the town is cursed due to Annelise's demise or if Elise herself is the only one being haunted by Elise's memory.  Overall, a mysterious and haunting story that I absolutely devoured. 

This book was received for free in return for an honest review.



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review 2017-12-13 16:16
The Forgotten Garden
The Forgotten Garden - Kate Morton

I've had The Forgotten Garden on my shelf for a long time. I've wanted to read it, but it's just so LONG. I finally decided to tackle it so it would stop haunting me from the bookshelf.


There is no denying that Morton can write beautifully. But, the book was so LONG. It wasn't only that it was over 500 pages. It's that the pace is slow too. I felt like it was taking me forever to get through it. I kept reading, hoping there would be some sort of twist that would shock me and make it all worth it. Nope. Nothing I didn't expect at least halfway through the book. 


If the writing wasn't so wonderful I would have rated this lower than a 3, but I have to give credit to the talent the author has for stringing words together and generating a lovely setting with somewhat intriguing characters. I think it just could have been done in about 200 fewer pages. 


I wouldn't tell anyone not to read this book, especially if slow, drawn-out stories are your thing. If that's the case, you will probably love this book. It is a beautiful book, just not the book for me. 

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review 2017-12-04 00:22
They Came for Freedom: The Forgotten, Epic Adventure of the Pilgrims
They Came for Freedom: The Forgotten, Epic Adventure of the Pilgrims - C.J. Milbrandt

One of the enduring founding myths of the United States is the Pilgrims and Thanksgiving, and like all myths it was based on true events that were warped as time passed.  They Came for Freedom by Jay Milbrandt explores how and why the Pilgrims came to the shores of Cape Cod as well on how they survived when other settlements failed.


The arrest and trial of one Henry Barrow, who defied the Anglican Church’s version of Christianity and maybe the authority of Queen Elizabeth by his dissent, the story of the Separatists who would eventually become the Pilgrims begins.  Milbrandt followed the Pilgrims narrative through London, a small village in Nottinghamshire, to the Netherlands, and then across the Atlantic to Cape Cod.  But alternating with that of the Pilgrims was the biography of Squanto, whose own life and adventures before the landing of the Mayflower led to him being a pivotal individual for the success of New Plymouth.  Once the Pilgrims had landed, Milbrandt merged the two narratives together in a very readable detailed history that went up until the fall of 1623.  Although Milbrandt continued his history until 1646, the last 20 years was just a glimpse of tidbits of historical importance.


At around 225 pages of text, Milbrandt’s efforts are particularly good considering that his primary sources were few and even those were slanted to give the colony of Plymouth a good impression.  Although several historical inaccuracies did appear, they were mostly naming conventions and not detrimental to the overall book.


While short, They Came for Freedom is a good general history that gives the reader a sense of the real events that later became mythologized in American culture and folklore.  Overall it’s a nice, readable book about a topic most American know little able.

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text 2017-11-20 19:49
16 Tasks of the Festive Season - Square 4
The Unyielding - Shelly Laurenston
A Wreath of Snow: A Victorian Christmas Novella - Liz Curtis Higgs
The Berlin Wall: 13 August 1961 - 9 Nove... The Berlin Wall: 13 August 1961 - 9 November 1989 - Frederick Taylor
Forgotten Voices of the Great War - Imperial War Museum,Max Arthur

Square 4, Part 1: Penance Day

Book: A Wreath of Snow by Liz Curtis Higgs

Task: 5.5 Theses of Book Blogging


1. Don't sell ARCs. Donate them to a charity or stock a free little library with them, but don't sell them. I don't read ARCs for a bunch of personal reasons, yet I feel really sorry for the authors who have their ARCs sold.


2. Stop the "real" books versus e-Reader/app debate. We all know you are just doing it for page views/social engagement and it is a tired argument. Some bloggers bring this up at least monthly so their numbers look good - ESPECIALLY on FB. Reading is reading and some readers have disabilities/conditions that technology has helped to read more/read again. The argument is classist and ablest and I will unfollow a blogger in a hot minute if I start seeing this.


This goes double with audible books. Some people like to read and do crafts/garden/cook/clean at the same time and a lot of them don't have the time in their day to schedule all the things as individual tasks.


3. Don't be afraid to review/talk about books from your personal stash, freebie books found in the Nook or Kindle store or even *gasp* the books from your local library. In the daily push to promote NEW! sometimes bloggers get burnt out. Give yourself permission to once a month write about those long cherished books and why they hold/don't hold up. Don't lose your blog's personality in the quest to look good for publishers/blog tour operators.


4. Don't be afraid to address serious topics in your review. Authors really need to get over having their book babies get criticized for racism, homophobia, etc that the reader finds. Authors should coral their fans and let's not start in with death threats and slurs directed at the book blogger. And GR/BL, Twitter, and FB could give a helping hand to the blogger/reviewer when shit hits the fan.


5. Don't feel the need to be on every social media platform so that your blog gets noticed. Seems like an awful lot of work in creating and maintaining a page on FB for your blog for nothing, since a lot of FB's algorithim will keep your post/page hidden from readers feed. Twitter is one big garbage dump fire. Other platforms seem more in line with helping book bloggers.

                         5.5 However, if a blogger really likes a social media platform, say Instagram, and enjoys coming up with photos of books and bookish stuff, MORE POWER TO YOU. Honestly I am a big fan of "bookstagram" and love to see what you guys and gals come up with. Keep them coming!



Square 4, Part Two: Thanksgiving

Book: The Unyielding by Shelly Laurenston - I read it but my review got eaten by BL's bug fixing and I don't feel like re-writing my review. I gave it 5 stars and will probably gush about the entire series for at least the rest of the year.


Task: Picture of my new books. The family and I went to the Imperial War Museum at Duxford on Veterans' Day/Armistice Day (cause we know how to party, lol) and let's just say I can't be left in a museum gift shop by myself....I picked up The Berlin Wall 13 August 1961 - 9 November 1989 by Frederick Taylor; most likely the inspiration was seeing a piece of the Berlin Wall on display at the museum.


On a different day earlier in the month I went shopping at my favorite local charity shop for a White Elephant gift for the upcoming library staff and volunteer holiday party. I picked up Forgotten Voices of the Great War: A New History of WWI in the Worlds of the Men and Women Who Were There by Max Arthur.






Total points for this square: 4


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