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Search tags: The-Shelf-of-Awesomeness
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review 2016-03-04 11:15
My Hero Academia Vol 1
My Hero Academia, Vol. 1 - Kohei Horikoshi,Caleb D. Cook

This. This was exactly what I needed last year. I couldn't seem to read anything, so anime was my staple. But I kept hearing everyone sing the praises of this new series, so I had to give it try. Superheroes in manga/anime seems to be a thing now. Not too long ago, Tiger and Bunny came out. Now, One-Punch Man and My Hero Academia have come out roughly at the same time. I've only read the last but if the others are as good as this one, I may finally jump on the Superhero bandwagon!

 

Our hero, Izuku Midoriya, lives in a world where 80% of the population has a "quirk," a superhero ability that can range from water, gigantism, explosions, and even stranger ones. With so many people holding powerful abilities, the police forces were unable to handle them and so some rose up to take the mantle of hero and keep the peace. The best known hero, All Might, is Midoriya's personal hero as well. He wants to save people with a smile just as All Might does. There's just one problem. Midoriya is one of the rare 20% born quirkless. How can someone without powers ever be a hero?

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review 2016-02-16 04:21
An Unmarked Grave (Bess Crawford # 4) [Audiobook]
An Unmarked Grave: A Bess Crawford Mystery, Book 4 - Charles Todd,Rosalyn Landor,HarperAudio

I must admit that this is one of my favorite books of this series. The mystery isn't...there isn't one really. Oh, they look everywhere for the person who killed two people at the first and who keeps cleaning up anyone who's seen them, including Bess. But there aren't really clues to follow for the reader; Bess and others merely chase after likely candidates.

 

So why do I like this book so much?

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review 2015-03-16 04:58
Dreaming Spies (Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes # 13)
Dreaming Spies - Laurie R. King

Russell with her Holmes,

New Case comes with great promise.

Wonder what's in store?

 

I've detailed elsewhere what Laurie R. King's Sherlock Holmes and Mary Russell series means to me. Every time a new book is announced, some of my worst impatience sets in. Finally, it arrives in my hands and I'm teleported back to a time and characters I've come to care greatly about.

 

At long last we learn of their time spent in Japan, which took place between The Game and Locked Rooms. As with all of King's books in this series, I found myself transported to 1920s Japan as we walked it's roads, traveled in it's packed trains, and experienced new customs. While much of the elements were known to me, her writing once again brought it to life. But she also did what I'd longed for, showed us some of Oxford.

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review 2015-03-07 09:20
Secret Lives of the Tsars
Secret Lives of the Tsars: Three Centuries of Autocracy, Debauchery, Betrayal, Murder, and Madness from Romanov Russia - Michael Farquhar

Though I've been working my way through this slowly, don't think it was because I found it boring. Quite the reverse, actually. Regrettably, I know little Russian history, so I learned vast amounts from this book. Interesting enough, there was a surprising amount of overlap between this and A Royal Experiment.

 

The Romanovs were certainly an interesting and wildly different group of monarchs but they all seemed to bring some new bizarre element to their mythos. Each monarch gets at least a chapter, though a few of the ...shorter ruling might straddle two chapters. Nicholas II and his family get 3+ chapters as they also are connected with the end of the monarchy in Russia.

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review 2015-02-13 11:50
A Royal Experiment: The Private Life of King George III
A Royal Experiment: The Private Life of King George III - Janice Hadlow

I don't know if I can put into words how close to perfection this book is for me nor how stuffed my brain fills with everything I've learned from it. I'd rank it with Dawn of the Belle Epoque, meaning it's one of the top non-fiction histories I've ever read. Thank you so much Reflections for introducing me to it!

 

Janice Hadlow has that precious, as it's so lamentably rare, ability to write non-fiction that reads like a novel. It manages to be incredibly informative while also being extremely addicting. I'd sit down to read a couple pages and I'd find myself halfway through a 40+ page chapter. She also puts end notes on everything. By the end there were well over 200 separate notes and nearly all of them were primary sources - mostly letters and diaries. The reader almost feels as if they are sitting in the private rooms with these vibrant and often terribly contradictory figures of history or reading the correspondence from them. You certainly come to care for them as the hopes of youth again and again seemed to dissolve into lost chances and mistakes. For the first time, I felt I understood not only much of the Hanoverian line but the times in which Austen and her characters lived.

 

While the book's primary focus concerns George III and his family, the author proposes and I think certainly proves that you can't understand them without the previous rulers. She also ends the book with a look to the future reign of Victoria.

 

I think what most stood out to me from this book was 1) the intimate look we got at these public figures and 2) how complicated my emotions were after the last page. Hadlow makes no allowances but she does give both sides of the conflicts and issues, leaving it to the reader to - in most cases - follow her example and understand aspects of both sides.

 

In the end, I found human beings with all their positive and negative qualities and a family strained almost to the breaking point more than once.

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