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review 2017-09-21 20:21
Excellent Women - Barbara Pym,Jayne Entwistle

Marvelous. Fabulous. Hilarious. Poignant. I now understand why friends of mine RAVE about Pym. I'm besotted. Her ability to keep the reader's interest, to mine the drama and the comedy from the smallest of moments, is matched only by her insight into the hearts and minds of her characters -- ordinary women living ordinary lives.

 

God, I wish more people wrote like this today. In a world where every writer seems obsessed with creating new forms and experimenting to the ragged ends of experimentation, what an oasis a book like this is. Murial Spark, Elizabeth Taylor (the writer, not the actress), Jane Gardam... Barbara Pym. I plan to read everything she wrote.

Enjoy.

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review 2017-09-20 13:47
Wish It Had Been Longer & More Resolution to One of the Story-lines
The Sugar Queen - Sarah Addison Allen

I was shocked when I finished this last night. I mean I read fast, but not that fast, and than I saw that the ebook was only 278 pages. I think the shortness of the book actually impacted some of the story-lines. I feel of two minds about how one of the story-lines ended (sorry, I am never rooting for a cheater) but loved all of the magical realism/supernatural aspects in this book. Sarah Addison Allen is always a good read for the most part, so this book was very quirky and cute.

 

"The Sugar Queen" is about three women (Josey, Della Lee, and Chloe) living in a North Carolina town called, Bald Slope. The name of the town threw me the entire time I was reading this by the way. I wanted to keep calling it Bad Slope. 

 

One day Josey is surprised to find Della Lee hiding in her closet and refusing to go. Josey is the daughter of a man who ended up bringing Bald Slope back to life. Having a lot of money doesn't make her happy though. She's a slave to her mother's whims and lives to wait for the mail to be delivered everyday by a man named Adam. Della Lee ends up pushing Josey to go to Chloe's cafe at the courthouse to get her food and the two women (Josey and Chloe) end up becoming friends. 

 

I have to say that I loved how the friendship between Josey and Chloe developed. Heck, I even loved how Della Lee pushes Josey to get out more and stand up to her mother and not be cowed by what other people think. 

 

Chloe is dealing with breaking up with her longtime boyfriend Jake after he tells her he cheated on her, but loves her, he really does. Sorry, I didn't care for Jake and hated the entire resolution to this story. It was such crap. I really wish that Allen had went a different way with this plot line. I actually thought she was at one point, but she veered to everyone must have a HEA even if one of the character's kind of sucks. I hated how everyone acted as if Chloe just needed time to get over what Jake did, and also why was he dumb enough to tell her about it. Bah. 

 

The writing was lyrical at times and seriously the entire book made me hungry. There is a lot of descriptions about cookies, snack cakes, chocolate, fried egg sandwiches, grilled cheese with tomato, etc. I was starving and eventually got up out of bed and made myself a small cheese and crackers plate. 

 

The flow works throughout the book, but as I already said, I wish this had been longer. I thought the resolution to all of the story-lines came just a bit too quickly. I felt like I was missing some key chapters or something. Maybe one day Allen will revisit Bald Slope.

 

 

 

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text 2017-09-20 10:37
Changed selection for Terrifying Women square: I've read 6%.
Tales of Men and Ghosts - Edith Wharton

I had another book picked out for this square about a scary circus, but it reached DNF by page 2. Not only was the story promising to be crap, but the author called circus people carnies, which is a cardinal sin with me. Do some research! Don't write in a setting if you can't be bothered to learn something about it. Circuses are not carnivals and carnivals don't have big tops. What's so hard?

 

 

Anyway, I decided to select another book for the square. At first I thought I might peruse through my folder of Horror stories looking for women authors, but there were rather a lot of male authors so I took another tack. I Googled women Horror authors.

 

This of course took me to Classic authors like Mary Shelly, but it also revealed that some Classic women authors known for other genres have also written Horror stories! This includes Louisa May Alcott and Edith Wharton.

 

So, I now have The Abbot's Ghost, or Maurice

Treherne's Temptation: A Christmas Story by Alcott on my computer, ready to transfer to Kindle.

 

However, I wasn't on computer at the time and could get Edith Wharton's ghost stories for free from Amazon, so that's the one I'm reading for the square. I do love a Victorian ghost story.

 

 

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text 2017-09-20 02:24
Reading progress update: I've read 11%.
The Sugar Queen - Sarah Addison Allen

 

This is likes grown up version of Snow White I think. I am getting hungry though by the descriptions of candy and good smells. I want some chocolate. We've shifted to another character that has books follow her. I wish I had that power.

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text 2017-09-19 02:52
Reading progress update: I've listened 60 out of 360 minutes.
World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War - Max Brooks

I figure an hour when I have time should work for this.

 

So far so good. Enjoying the audio a lot. Trying to read this was a no go.

 

So far I didn't recognize that many voices. Max Brooks (the author) I found out was the narrator and I can see why many people said eh to him.

 

Hoping to finish by the time I get back from Boston on Tuesday (next week)! Planning on listening on the plane rides. I leave Friday so will be quiet with some pop ins if I have a chance. 

 

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