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review 2017-11-02 19:57
Turkey Trot Murder (A Lucy Stone Mystery) - Leslie Meier

Lucy Stone is back and she finds herself involved with not one, not two, but three mysteries. While out running by Blueberry Pond with her dog, Lucy discovers the body of Alison Franklin under the thin ice. Lucy doesn't believe that her death was drug related as the police would have people believe so she starts looking into Alison's personal life and her family. At the same time a well known Hispanic TV chef Rey Rodriguez moves to Tinker Cove to open a new restaurant on the wharf, which has some of the townsfolk turning against the chef and the new restaurant for moving into their space. Shortly after Alison's death her father Ed is found inside his car shot to death during a small group demonstration against Rey for opening a restaurant. The prime suspect fot Ed's death is Matt Rey's son. Shortly after Ed's murder Rey's restaurant is firebombed while Lucy's husband Bill is inside doing construction work. Lucy finds herself dealing with the family emergency, while trying to figure out how the three crimes are related and who committed them and why. Leslie Meier writes characters that are so well individualized that they keep you guessing about who the culprits of the crimes are, and what their true motives are. I got an advanced copy of this book from netgalley.com and Kensington Books.

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review 2017-05-05 01:38
Turkey our next Frenemy
Turkey: The Insane and the Melancholy - Zeynep Beler,Ece Temelkuran

I read this right after reading about the Kurdish women of the PKK fighting Daesh/ISIS.  This book is good and very cerebral.

 

The American reader (me) will have a hard time relating to or understanding some of the book if you have never been to Europe or lived in Europe or Turkey (again me).  It would be like me trying to explain the mystique and cult following of In-N-Out Burger or why we all hang Christmas lights in November, etc.

 

The book is good in that it paints a pretty damning picture that Turkey and Erdogan is creating a Fascist regime and country that the author compares to Germany in the 1930's.  The stories of the children in the prisons is disturbing.

 

Turkey is a NATO ally to the United States, a predominantly Muslim country, which is for the most part secular though like Saudi Arabia it seems that the religious fanatics rule with a more iron fist than the facade portrays to paraphrase the authors premise.

 

This is a good book that will help an American understand more about the region and the challenges faced by the entire globe.

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review 2017-02-08 09:47
Diverse voices skilfully captured and more relevant than ever
Under the Shadow: Rage and Revolution in Modern Turkey - Kaya Genç

Thanks to Net Galley and to I.B. Tauris for offering me a free ARC copy of the book that I freely choose to review.

This is the first book by Kaya Genç I’ve read, and I hope it won’t be the last. He does a great job of collecting testimonies of many youths, from different social classes, religious backgrounds and political beliefs, and presenting a balanced account of the different points of views and how the interviewees developed their stance and thoughts. It is clear that the author is a great communicator, in sync with his subjects, and understands them well. He is also skilled at capturing the nuances and peculiarities of the youths he interviews, whose voices come across clear and distinctive.

The author does not take sides (if there’s such a thing as sides), but he provides his reflections on Turkey and Istanbul itself, in a language that is nostalgic and poetic at times. He does draw historical parallels (also mentioned by several of the participants) with previous movements in Turkey and in the introduction mentions recent events (that are not discussed in the body of the book, as it looks mostly at the period between 2013 and 2015). It is difficult to read the book and not to think about the historical moment we live in, and some of the comments made throughout the book (about the role of public protests in democracies, about banning headscarves and outward religious symbols, about imprisoning journalists and the influence of social media) are as relevant to the situation in other countries as they are to Turkey’s.

A couple of examples of some of the sentences that made me think:

Now, as cries for an east-west war echo throughout the world, I am afraid of the world turning into a place like Turkey, governed almost permanently by martial law.

**********

Once he concludes his story, Fettahoğlu seems calmer. ‘What I just told you about is not the result of politicization’, he says. ‘It is the result of a sort of void. People are radicalized and they act like hooligans. Politicization should be an intellectual process… To hate the other side’, Fettahoğlu says, ‘is not, cannot be, politicization. No.’ A final pause. ‘It is only hatred of ignorance.’

I enjoyed, in particular, the different voices and individual accounts, like glimpses into the young men and women’s lives, the clear links between the personal and the political (the book is about political ideas but mostly about people, who sometimes reach similar conclusions or feel similarly about certain issues even if they come at them from different political positions and outlooks are very different), the passion and the determination and the touching moments shared too (a mother who didn’t like her daughter’s political ideas sharing a picture of her signed book on Facebook, a young man surprised on seeing his father cry when he hears about the death of a journalist…)

I am not an expert in Turkish politics or history and enjoyed enormously the book, which is skilfully and beautifully written, and I’d recommend this book to anybody who has even a passing interest in the subject. I also look forward to reading more works by the author (and I’ve heard he’ll publish a novel soon. I’ll be on the lookout).

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review 2017-01-19 01:31
Forty Rules of Love by Elif Shafak
The Forty Rules of Love - Elif Shafak

Elif Shafak is one of the critically acclaimed writers with an exuberant style of writing of the modern era. Her style of writing is simple yet poignant and so very understandable for the humblest of minds. I myself am a personal fan of such a writing style…which reaches out to the masses without being heavily laden with wisdom and experiences.

The biggest feature of this novel is that each and every word of this beautifully written book is a quotation, worthy of sharing to the world.

It was one of those reads that took me a long time to finish but God it was the best one I have read. The beauty is in the alternating stories, both written in different times, but sprawling the generations like a timeless fable. This book will make you love life and God again. Its writing is impeccable, the writing style is easy to follow yet very allegorical. It points out the marathon of life we all are in and how we need to make time for the beauty of things to settle in before we move on to the next one. It talks about how the love of God can bring two people from different parts of the world together. It talks about the power of God. It is so much more than all I have written in this short book review. The complete attraction point of this book is the simplicity yet profoundness of its description of God in a modern world where religion is taken out of context everyday. Must read! If its not on your reading list yet, make it ASAP a part of your Reading Challenge 2017.

Love.

Source: writebeforeyouspeak.wordpress.com/2016/12/30/forty-rules-of-love-elif-shafak-book-review-rumi-shams-bastard-of-istanbul
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review 2016-11-12 03:00
Turkey Trick or Treat - Wendi Silvano,Lee Harper

Turkeys want candy too! At least the turkey in this story does, and he will dress as  just about anything to trick others into giving him sweet treats.I would use this story in my classroom to transition from Halloween to Thanksgiving and have my students create their own costume for their turkey sheet. After this, I would have them write what they are thankful for.

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