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Search tags: The-Troubles
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text 2017-01-08 14:05
Reading progress update: I've read 100%.
Maus, Vol. 2: And Here My Troubles Began - Art Spiegelman

I just finished this for my book club that's meeting tonight. I found the second volume more emotionally demanding than the first. It was a little more real. Can't wait to see what other's thought.

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text 2016-10-18 09:56
Book blogging

I think that for now, I'm going to be book blogging here and on Dreamwidth. Unfortunately, the Booklikes site issues are only part of my blog related troubles. As my followers probably know by now, my homepages still aren't working - the malware is still doing its evil work on my sites. It makes me wish I could create a nifty little script that could follow the malwarers back to their homes and crash their sites. Sorry. I digress. I think all I can do at the moment is spread myself thin on other book sites that I'm not quite happy with, but that are all I have right now.


If this goes on, I may have to do a bit of book blogging on Blogger and Wordpress as well, but I'd rather not. For some reason these days I find Blogger hard to use and I don't really like the ads on Wordpress.com, so for now, I'll use Dreamwidth. People who aren't members of the Dreamwidth community don't need to worry about following my posts there. I've set it up to be visible to non-members. But really, you should consider joining. In many ways it's a great community.


Soon I'll be off to the clinic to have my babies weighed and measured. Keeping my fingers crossed that they have grown ok this time, since the last time apparently they had deviated slightly from their projected weight gain curve, if that makes any sense.

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review 2015-12-31 00:00
Maus, Vol. 2: And Here My Troubles Began
Maus, Vol. 2: And Here My Troubles Began - Art Spiegelman Continuing where the first book left off, Maus II depicts, Vladek's time in Auschwitz and his life immediately following the war as he searched for his wife, Annja, and home. In creasingly, Art and Vladek's current life is shared in the panels, which shows not only the Holocaust forever changed Vladek, but also the guilt that Art experiences, along with their rocky relationship.

Every bit as good as the first book, I really do think these books should be read together. Seperately they only give you part of the story, which I think dilutes it. Together they are a powerful and moving testement to atrocities committed, and a reminder that never again should we allow a group of people to so systemically set out to destroy another.
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text 2015-06-30 16:08
Troubles With My Kobo Glo - Another Sequel

I hoped this post wouldn't be necessary. And frankly, in the beginning I was really, really calm. So, okay, my eReader had thrown out all the books again (you can read more about this particularly charming peculiarity of my eReader here) and forgotten to place them back. As this happens every once in a while I wasn't to worried. It was only not really useful since I wanted to take it on a trip but never mind, I just took the Kindle.


I still wasn't really worried when it happened again the next day. No books on my eReader. I had no time to go over it and explore what could possibly have caused it, but believed it would be okay next time. Third time is lucky?


Unfortunately not. I've been trying to solve the problem all day (and with the temperatures already rising enormously that's not been easy). I've thrown half of the books from the eReader already, figuring that might be the problem. It's not just that it's not showing any books anymore. Now it won't even finish synchronising (a terrible task it always does when I charge it and takes about an hour. More on that also in a previous instalment of this soap series). It doesn't seem to halt at a particular point. I've seen all kinds of things; 24, 26, 65, and even 94% (that time I really thought I'd finally fixed it).


I'm a bit reluctant to go to KOBO helpdesk because the last time they were less than friendly or useful. Basically they stated the problem MUST be because of my illegal ebooks, I stated I didn't have them, they say I must because I never buy stuff in their shop, I said these were acsm files from publisher, all legal, I got a generic reply that I should remove the illegal ebooks. (I kind of gave up on this point)

Also they said I could reboot the eReader. Of course, I'd never thought about that. < /sarcasm >


One thing I do know is that Kobo Glo are not perfectly suitable for very hot temperatures (as in leave them in the sun and they might quit. It's happened to me and a friend and I've also read about it online), so I'm afraid it won't get any better soon.


I can still hope though?


Sorry for the long rant/post. But I start to worry at this point. Anyone perhaps some experience with this?

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review 2015-06-19 04:18
Gritty and authentic, The Lebanese Troubles lacks strong protagonist
The Lebanese Troubles - Alain Miles

Author Alain Miles gritty and authentic novel, The Lebanese Troubles, has one flaw, a weak and unlikable protagonist.


It’s the mid 1970’s and Richard has come to Beirut to teach English and has brought his wife, Claire, and baby along with him.


They become involved with a group of ex-pats and other westerners that include his colleague at the school, Dave; an American journalist, Lawrence; and his Palestinian girlfriend, Monique.


Shortly after they arrive civil war breaks out and things begin to deteriorate socially, professionally, and personally.


Lawrence suggests Richard and his family move in with him and Monique because their neighbourhood is safer. The two couples are attracted to each others partner and the close proximity only exacerbates the situation. It culminates with Richard walking out and moving in with Dave.


As the “troubles” worsen Richard’s teaching position is terminated, but the war appears to offer up other lucrative opportunities, which Dave is eager to introduce to his vulnerable and the naïve friend.


This book is well written and the description of Beirut is terrific, the setting becomes a character onto itself and a significant one. The description of war – mostly boring then suddenly deadly, sounds authentic as are the attitudes of the civilians – coping, waiting and hoping it will end when it only gets worse, much worse.


Characters are fully developed from the oily and smooth Amin, the impatient and practical Dave, the seductress Monique, the proper English Claire, and the adventurous larger than life Lawrence.


However, author Alain Miles, chooses to make his main character, Richard, unlikable. He has poor judgment in people and events. When given an opportunity he screws up. He’s like kid with no self-confidence always trying too hard and coming off looking stupid. The problem is he knows it and that makes him try harder, the end result he looks even stupider.


But mostly Richard does nothing. He never acts, he equivocates, vacillates, over thinks everything. He feels responsible for events he hasn’t influenced yet won’t take responsibility for his wife and his baby son. Does the character evolve over the course to the novel? Yes, but not for the better.


It’s hard to get behind a character so weak, indecisive and naive, but what kept me reading was the authentic description of civil war, the many unique and well-defined major and minor characters and the visceral, seemingly genuine portrayal of Beirut – it’s traits, qualities and even the philosophy of it’s people.


The ending feels inevitable and in that way is satisfactory.


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