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text 2016-09-28 02:36
Next year's vacation is in the diary
The Sibley Field Guide to Birds of Western North America - David Allen Sibley
A Field Guide to Western Birds: A Completely New Guide to Field Marks of All Species Found in North America West of the 100th Meridian and North of Mexico - Roger Tory Peterson,Virginia Marie Peterson
Birds of Utah Field Guide - Stan Tekiela

Only 12 months to wait. 

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review 2016-08-21 00:00
Utah Beach: The Amphibious Landing and Airborne Operations on D-Day, June 6, 1944
Utah Beach: The Amphibious Landing and Airborne Operations on D-Day, June 6, 1944 - Joseph Balkoski One of the better books of many good books I have read about D-Day.
The idea of 'breaking down' the narratives to the different landing sites makes it a bit more manageable to read.
I'd say that this is a 'must read' for individuals interested in the D-Day landings.
Can't wait to read 'Omaha' from the same author
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review 2014-07-26 07:51
_China Dolls:_ Secrets -- and what would you do to keep them that way?
China Dolls: A Novel - Lisa See

I enjoyed this tale of three Chinese-American girls -- Grace, Helen and Ruby -- who start off as chorus girls in a nightclub in Chinatown. Each girl has plenty to hide, where not even a friendship can survive the horrors of WWII, and the prejudice of Americans. One section of the story is set in Topaz, Utah, which is one of the more horrible bits of our history. For anyone who wants an engaging tale set in San Francisco, with plenty of new things to learn, I happily recommend this one. Three and a half stars, rounded up to four stars overall.

For the longer review, please go here:

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review 2014-04-18 01:55
Mapping Utah: Love and War in the Wilderness - Denny Wilkins

This was an interesting story. A slow first half gives way to an engaging and realistic love story as well as a good bit of adventure in this story about figuring out who you are and what you want from your life.


Not very long ago, I complained about authors namedropping other books in ways that spoil their own books. In this case, it's done just right, as the author namedrops The Monkeywrench Gang and while they share certain similarities, nothing that's going to get ruined by knowing that story. It was mostly a case of atmosphere.


I also loved our main character. She's unusual among the main characters I've been reading lately, self-assured and somewhat selfish, but also unsure and vulnerable, equally prone to good and bad decisions, living life for almost everyone but herself at the start. The male lead wasn't as strong, but he was still really interesting, and I loved the way their relationship developed.


Definitely a worthwhile read.

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review 2014-01-16 00:54
Evertrue - Brodi Ashton

I didn't review Everbound, and I most likely will not be, but I do feel it was a stronger book than Evertrue, so I will just state right off that I am a little disappointed in the way this series wrapped up. It was not a bad book, by any means, but I expected more OOMPH, more power behind the words I was reading.

One thing that has always been an issue for me with this series is suspension of disbelief. I just don't believe in an Everneath. I don't believe in Hades, and I certainly don't believe that Hell exists. Now I know that none of these are the same thing, but the concept is similar and I am an atheist who pretty much only believes in facts and what she can see. So for an author to convince me that something like the Everneath exists, it needs to be fantastic. Let's just say that Everbound ALMOST convinced me. Evertrue? Not as much as its predecessor. 

The story was still there and so were the characters, which I enjoyed. Unlike most of my friends, I have always been a fan of Jack so the way he was being portrayed and developed didn't bother me. Cole has always been self-serving and I could see through him. I am happy that his story ARC takes a different turn in this novel but I wasn't happy about how he was just brushed aside and his personality completely changed in what I felt was an unrealistic way. 

My brain always does this really weird thing while reading this series. In my head I am always saying, "Well isn't the convenient?" Somehow Nikki can always conjure the exact thing she needs when she needs it. Or they are able to escape from the Everneath at exactly the right moment. This happened to me a lot in this book, and way more than it happened in the other two novels.

But ultimately, Evertrue is not a bad book. It just didn't seem to be as strong as the first books in the series were. And talking about the ending without spoiling it, oddly enough, what I wanted to happen happened. And I predicted it all from the very beginning of the book. I saw it coming, and it was what I wanted, but it let me down anyway. It just felt anticlimactic and didn't do much to bring out the emotions that I thought it would pull out of me. This was sad because it SHOULD have done that, and I don't know why it did. Brodi Ashton's writing style is fine but I've never emotionally connected to it, and I think that might be the reason. 

And you know, I know I am in the minority when it comes to this series. I know most people love it and I am a bit black sheepy, and I am fine with that. I can't say I'm not glad I didn't finish it, because I am. I stuck it out and completed it and now I have finally finished something that is loved in the book blogger community (I rarely do this). This series ends up being just average for me, but I did enjoy the experience and I will read this author again. I just hope she steps out of writing about the afterlife because I always have trouble.


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