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review 2017-10-17 14:04
Better narrative elsewhere.
My (Part-Time) Paris Life: How Running A... My (Part-Time) Paris Life: How Running Away Brought Me Home - Lisa Anselmo

The book isn't quite what it was marketed to be. Woman decides to change her life and begin living in Paris part-time. Isn't it great? She gets to discover a new language, a new life, new people, etc. while learning about herself and coming to terms with her life, her career, her history, etc.

 

Yeeeeah, not so much. I'll admit that perhaps I remembered the marketing incorrectly but I thought it was a much more upbeat book. That it was not is not a problem but in this case it's a detriment.

 

Author Anselmo begins the book by talking about the relationship she had with her mother. When mama was happy, everything was great. When her mama wasn't happy, nobody was happy. Her mother appears to have had some sort of issue although what it is appears to be not named (maybe not identified at all by the mother or the author). But this sets the tone of the book: the author grew up with an apparently co-dependent (personally I think there's far more to it than that but I'm not a doctor) mother who she is unable to let go of even after her mother's death.

 

Coupled with the changes in the magazine/media industry, she is at a crossroads of sorts. So she buys a Paris apartment. 

 

It seems like a whimsical sort of purchase and we then learn what it's like to buy housing in Paris, the differences in culture, language, food, etc. as these stories often go. Some of it is quite hilarious, some of it is cringe-worthy, some of it isn't interesting at all. And beyond that point it just got a bit tedious. It was hard to sympathize with someone who clearly has the money/flexibility in work/time to travel back and forth when really, what perhaps actually needed was/is therapy instead of thinking traveling back and forth would help. It just got hard to relate to after being in a friendship with someone who was similar: she kept moving to a different place every few years after college partially due to life circumstances (graduation, contract job ended, relationship failed, graduate school, new job in a new country, etc.) She said it was because she loved traveling but just like with this author I suspect there's something else to it that neither admit to. 

 

That said, the book does have its positive points. The author seems to be a bit obnoxious but her story was still intriguing. The very first few pages had me identifying with the author more deeply than I had expected. It was still enough to keep me at least skimming to see how it resolves (if at all).

 

Overall, though, I wouldn't recommend it. I enjoy travelogues but other books have done it much better. The Goodreads ratings are on the mark and I kind of regret buying this as a bargain buy/used. If you enjoyed 'Eat, Pray, Love' (which is mentioned in the flap) then this might be a really good fit for you. Otherwise, library if you're really interested or a bargain buy if you really want.

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text 2017-10-17 08:53
Reading progress update: I've read 13 out of 320 pages.
Nonlinear Time Series Analysis - Thomas Schreiber,Holger Kantz

Second hand copy: some unmentionable has annotated the text in ink!
Arrrrrrrrrrrghhh!

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text 2017-10-16 21:50
Self-Pubs That Shine
The Book of Kindly Deaths - Eldritch Black
Rewinder - Brett Battles
Ellie Jordan, Ghost Trapper - J.L. Bryan
Paladin - Sally Slater
Haven - A.R. Ivanovich,Michelle Ivanovich
Nightfall Gardens - Allen Houston
Marking Time - April White
Slumber - Samantha Young
Timebound - Rysa Walker
Nefertiti's Heart - A.W. Exley

Most of us these days are aware of the flood of self-pubbed books and how difficult it can be to find a gem in the sea of mediocrity.  We often see reviews of the sub-par and/or reports of unethical marketing schemes or unprofessional behavior on the part of some authors.

But some of us who have stuck a toe or two into those waters have come across a few gems.  I thought it'd be good to share a few self-pubbed & small press books I really enjoyed and that I feel stand well among their trade-pubbed counterparts. 

So here are a few I've discovered that I am proud to recommend.

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review 2017-10-13 19:55
Snow Globe Reunion, Christina Lorenzen
Snow Globe Reunion (A Snow Globe Christm... Snow Globe Reunion (A Snow Globe Christmas) - Christina Lorenzen

I enjoyed this clean sort of fantasy romance that involves some time travel. I received this book for free and I voluntarily chose to review it. I've given it a 4.5* rating. This gal has had a bummer of a day trying to get home for Christmas. Anything that could go wrong, probably did. If you like time travel books, then you'll probably enjoy this one. So things probably work out the way they should. Nice ending.

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review 2017-10-13 07:20
A Container Full of Naked Vikings, What's Not to Love?
The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O.: A Novel - Neal Stephenson,Nicole Galland

After discovering why magic died out in 1951, governments all over the world are trying to bring it back to their own advantage. Not to be left behind, the American government gets together a rag tag bunch of people to work on the problem. They succeed but find out that manipulating time isn't as easy as they thought...

 

This book was just fun. Yes, it has obvious flaws (in detail as much as in pc) but looking past those it is just a fun romp through history with lots of interesting characters. Not to be taken seriously.

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