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text 2018-02-20 18:59
Reading progress update: I've read 65 out of 386 pages.
Taming Him - Kennedy Fox

Loving this book

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quote 2018-02-20 18:42

“Well, my friend over there said there was no way you’d find me good-lookin’. I told him there’s no way you’d be able to resist my Southern charm and undeniably sexy abs, so since we can’t seem to agree, I figured I’d come right to the source and ask myself.” He stares intently at me for a moment, licking his lower lip before he sucks it in briefly as I remain dumbfounded. “So whaddaya think? Is he right?” He gives me one of those smug, I-think-I’m-God’s-gift-to-women winks before showing a slight preview of the abs he felt so inclined to mention.
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review 2018-02-20 16:46
Truthers Book Review
Truthers (Fiction - Young Adult) - Geoff... Truthers (Fiction - Young Adult) - Geoffrey Girard

Two stars is being kind. Truthers has a good premise and I like the idea of the plot, a girl born after 9/11 is thrown into conspiracy theories and trying to figure out what happened. But I honestly can't see any high schooler or young adult actually enjoying this. The plot is weak, its a lot of facts about 9/11 thrown at you. I barely finished and got really bored.

 

I honestly skimmed a lot of it but feel like I didn't miss much. I'm not really into the whole conspiracy thing with 9/11 but even so this could have been done a lot better than it was. 

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review 2018-02-20 07:48
Es hat nicht sein sollen
His Dark Materials: Northern Lights, The Subtle Knife And The Amber Spyglass - Philip Pullman

„His Dark Materials“ von Philip Pullman ist einer der Kinderbuchklassiker unserer Zeit. Die Trilogie gewann zahlreiche bedeutende Preise, wurde für Film, Fernsehen und die Bühne adaptiert und erzielte in den USA ähnliche Verkaufszahlen wie „Harry Potter“. Die drei Bände „Northern Lights“, „The Subtle Knife“ und „The Amber Spyglass” wurden von 1995 bis 2000 veröffentlicht. Obwohl die Geschichte somit über 20 Jahre alt ist und zeitlich genau in meine Kindheit fällt, wuchs ich nicht mit ihr auf. Ich entschied, die Lektüre als Erwachsene nachzuholen und erwarb diesen wunderschönen Sammelband.

 

In einem Paralleluniversum, in einer Welt, die der unseren ähnlich und doch ganz anders ist, wächst Lyra unter den Gelehrten des Jordan College in Oxford auf. Stets begleitet von Pantalaimon, ihrem Seelengefährten und Dæmon, verbringt sie ihre Kindheit unbeschwert in den verwinkelten alten Gemäuern. Mit ihrem besten Freund, dem Küchenjungen Roger, erlebt sie so manches Abenteuer in den verstaubten Gängen und auf den erhabenen Dächern des Colleges. Ihr mangelt es an nichts. Lyra ist glücklich. Doch ein Schatten droht, ihr Glück zu verdunkeln. Besorgte Gerüchte erreichen Oxford. Ängstlich flüstert man von den Gobblern, die durch das Land ziehen und wahllos Kinder rauben. Lyra schwört, sich niemals stehlen zu lassen und plant bereits ihren heroischen Kampf gegen die Entführer. Es trifft jedoch nicht sie, sondern Roger. Wild entschlossen, ihren besten Freund zurückzubringen, schließt sie sich den Gyptern an, dem fahrenden Volk, das auf den Flüssen Englands zuhause ist und ebenfalls Kinder an die Gobbler verlor. Es ist der Beginn einer fantastischen Reise, während derer Lyra Freundschaft mit Panzerbären, Hexen und mutigen Abenteurern schließt, die Grenzen ihres Universums hinter sich lässt und das Zünglein an der Waage eines gewaltigen Krieges um das Schicksal aller Welten sein wird.

 

Ich bin der einsamste Mensch der Welt. Ich glaube, ich bin die einzige Person auf diesem Planeten, die „His Dark Materials“ nicht bezaubernd fand. Vielleicht stimmt etwas nicht mit mir. Ich bin fest davon ausgegangen, dass ich die Geschichte mögen würde, ich hatte überhaupt keine Zweifel daran. Pustekuchen. Was ist da nur schiefgegangen? Ich bin erschüttert. Ich verstehe nicht, wieso ich keinen Zugang zu der Trilogie fand, obwohl ich mich anstrengte und abrackerte, immer wieder Anlauf nahm, mir der Rhythmus der Geschichte jedoch verschlossen blieb, sodass ich nie in ihr ankam. Mir fehlte der magische Sog, der so viele Kinderbücher auszeichnet. Ich konnte mich mental nicht in Philip Pullmans Multiversum hineindenken und war nicht fähig, Beziehungen zu den Figuren aufzubauen. Stattdessen erschien mir das gesamte Werk langatmig und zäh wie eine alte Schuhsohle. Es kam mir vor, als hätte sich Pullman nicht entscheiden können, ob er nun ein abenteuerliches Kinderbuch oder eine theologisch-philosophische Abhandlung schreiben wollte. Der Autor wurde für den angeblich anti-religiösen Ton der Romane scharf kritisiert, besonders von der katholischen Kirche in den USA. Wie irgendjemand auf die Idee kommen kann, „His Dark Materials“ als anti-religiös zu bezeichnen, entzieht sich meinem Verständnis. Natürlich ist es ein kontroverses Werk, das sich von den Lehren der christlichen Kirche distanziert, demzufolge lautet der richtige Begriff allerdings anti-institutionell, keinesfalls anti-religiös. Pullman bespricht zahlreiche religiöse Motive und betont die schlichte Schönheit des Glaubens, wird er nicht vom Klerus gesteuert und beschnitten. Intellektuell und theoretisch weiß ich diese Herangehensweise als faszinierend zu schätzen – praktisch und emotional blieb sie mir leider völlig suspekt. Ich konnte mit dem Auftauchen von Engeln, einer göttlichen Vaterfigur und der Verarbeitung des biblischen Sündenfalls überhaupt nichts anfangen. Es war mir alles zu viel, zu gewichtig und zu symbolisch. Ich vermisste Leichtigkeit, Spannung und Witz, war von der verbissenen, künstlichen, geballten Kritik der Geschichte abgeschreckt. Ich quälte mich mühsam durch die Lektüre und sah nur selten einen Lichtblick. Beispielsweise mochte ich das Konzept der Dæmons als ausgelagertes, externes Stück der Seele eines jeden Menschen, hätte dieses aber ohne die Einleitung meiner Ausgabe wohl nicht oder erst spät verstanden. Auch sympathisierte ich mit vielen Figuren, war von ihrer jeweiligen Rolle in der Geschichte jedoch nicht begeistert. Der Panzerbär Iorek Byrnison und der Aeronaut Lee Scoresby sind tolle, liebenswerte Charaktere, doch ihre Beziehung zur Protagonistin Lyra, die ich ohnehin nicht mochte, konnte ich nicht nachvollziehen. Es war wie verhext: ich entdeckte in „His Dark Materials“ einiges, was mir für sich genommen gefiel, nur im Rahmen der Geschichte überzeugten mich diese Elemente nicht und halfen mir nicht, mich durch diesen dicken Wälzer zu kämpfen.

 

Am Ende einer enttäuschenden Kinderbuch-Lektüre stellt sich natürlich immer die Frage, ob die Geschichte auf mich anders gewirkt hätte, hätte ich sie gelesen, als ich noch zur Zielgruppe gehörte. Im Fall von „His Dark Materials“ glaube ich das nicht. Ich wäre zwar nicht in der Lage gewesen, die vielen kritischen Nuancen der Trilogie zu benennen, aber ich hätte wahrgenommen, dass da etwas zwischen mir und der Geschichte steht. Ich bezweifle stark, dass ich im Alter zwischen 6 und 11 Jahren Spaß mit Lyras Abenteuern gehabt hätte, weil sie eben einfach nicht abenteuerlich genug geschrieben sind. Ein Kinderbuch, das lediglich von Erwachsenen verstanden werden kann, verfehlt meiner Meinung nach das Ziel. Nun gut. Es hat nicht sein sollen. Das ist sehr schade und ich bin immer noch völlig perplex, wie sich diese Lektüre für mich gestaltete, doch damit muss ich jetzt leben. Es ist ja nicht meine erste unpopuläre Buchmeinung, die ich in Zukunft beständig verteidigen muss. Ich habe Übung darin, der einsamste Mensch der Welt zu sein.

Source: wortmagieblog.wordpress.com/2018/02/20/philip-pullman-his-dark-materials
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text 2018-02-20 07:10
Release Tour - Straight Up Irish
 
 
Title: Straight Up Irish
Series: Murphy's Brothers #1
Author: Magan Vernon
Genre: NA Contemporary
Publisher: Entangled Embrace
Release Date: February 19, 2018 
 
 
 
 
 
I need a wife if I want to help save my family’s billion-dollar pub empire. There’s just one problem: I never plan on marrying. So, I need someone who understands that this is just another business deal. I don’t do commitments. And my brother’s executive assistant, Fallon Smith, fits that bill. Fallon needs help with her grandmother’s expenses, and her pretending to be my fake wife is a way we can make that happen. She’s not my biggest fan, but we can help each other and then go our separate ways. That she’s beautiful and I enjoy spending time with her–doesn’t matter. When all of this is done, she’s heading home to America, and I’ve got a company to run.
 
A fake wedding and a whole lot of whiskey. What could go wrong?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Chapter One
 
Connor
The harsh morning light streamed in through the windows as if it were a switch that made the pounding in my head even worse.
The Irish sun I swore was worse than the American one, and so was the alcohol. Nothing in the world compared to Irish whiskey and it had been a while since I’d been back to my hometown of Dublin.
My phone vibrated against the nightstand and stared at the screen until my eyes adjusted to the light I saw not only the time but that Jack’s assistant was calling me.
“Shit,” I muttered, unlocking my phone and sliding it to my ear.
 
“Fallon, Mo Gra, tell me your calling with some good news.”I jumped up, searching for something to cover my naked arse and found my clothes from the night before strewn across a hardwood floor.
 
“Using cutesy Irish pet names for me has never worked in your favor, and it especially isn’t when your brothers are wondering where you are.” Her American accent flowed through the speakers with the clicking of a keyboard loud and clear in the background.
 
“What’s the fun in that? C’mon, now. We’ve been emailing and having this lovely phone calls for months now. We’re practically best mates,” I said, grabbing my boxers.
 
“Is everything okay, Connor?” A soft voice with a thicker accent than mine murmured.
I whirled around, covering up my junk and my lucky shamrock tattoos that graced each hip bone. On the bed was a pale redhead with a devious smirk and hair more messed up than a 1980s American metal band. I’d say I shagged that one pretty good, wish I remembered it. Been a while since I’d gotten that knackered and wound up in the bed of a hometown girl.
 
“Is there someone in the background? Are you seriously hooking up when you have a meeting in ten minutes?”
The girl on the bed’s eyes widened, Fallon’s words booming through the phone.
 
“Yeah. I thought I set the alarm on my phone and would be on time. But the alarm didn’t go off and now I can’t find my pants. Think I can just walk in wearing my boxers?” My blue eyes searched the floor until I found my crumpled jeans.
 
“Yeah, it went off twice, and you mumbled for me to snooze it. Is that your wife on the phone? Should I be worried? ” the bed girl said in a scratchy voice, raising her eyebrows.
 
I shook my head as much as I could and slid on my pants.
If I didn’t get my shit together, the meeting was going to start without me. Why did I need to drink that much last night? While my brothers went home early, I just had to see what I was missing in Dublin by studying and working in America. Better than facing the fact why I was back in the country, I guess.
Funerals are as good of an excuse as any to get knackered.
 
“It’s my brother’s assistant. Fallon, wanna say hello to this girl who is asking if you’re my wife?” I asked with a smile that caused the girl on the bed’s eyebrows to raise even higher on her head.
 
Fallon groaned. “Why do I even bother calling you? This feels like Deja Vu from when you almost missed your flight out of Boston.”
 
“Ah, but that one didn’t involve a girl. Just whiskey. And I made that flight, thank you very much.” I held the phone between my ear and shoulder, sliding on my shirt.
“Only because I saved you with pre-boarding.”
“ Maybe when you’re done with work; you can come back. Or we can meet up tonight,” girl on the bed murmured.I combed my fingers through my hair, hoping it didn’t look as bad as hers did.
“Did she seriously ask you to come back? While you’re on the phone with me even?” Fallon’s laughter carried through the phone.
 
“Not now, Erin,” I said, brushing her hand off my shoulder while I tried to shimmy on my socks, not looking to see the girl’s reaction. If I hurried, I could still make the meeting on time and maybe even find a breath mint or two on someone’s desk on the way there.
“Don’t worry; I’m on my way, so you don’t need to get jealous. You’re the only girl who can bother me at all hours of the night.” I stood up and stepped into my shoes.
 
“Erin?” the bed girl asked with a huff.
 
I turned and looked at her steely glare and arms crossed over her bare chest.
 
“Not Erin?”
“Not even close,” she growled.
Fallon’s laugh carried through the speaker. “Oh, this is classic.”
I frowned even though Fallon couldn’t see it.
“Well, sorry Not Erin, but thanks for the sex I can’t remember. Hope it was better than mediocre for you,” I said with my hand on the door.
Never said I wasn’t an arsehole.
This caused a gasp from both Fallon and the bed girl. I quickly ran out the door, closing it before the thud of something hard hit the wall behind me. Could have been worse, I could have been cold-clocked by a shoe.
“Did you make it out of there alive after that comment?” Fallon asked.
When I stepped outside, I looked around, realizing I was only a few blocks from the office and the pubs I probably stumbled to this girl’s place from. “Ah, and the luck of the Irish is on my side, Mo Gra because I’m not far from the office.”
This wasn’t the first time I’d run to the office after a less than savory encounter with a bird. It’s how my life had been since I started Uni in America and then graduated three years ago.
 
“You do know this is a will reading, right? Not just you and Jack in a phone conference talking numbers?” she questioned.
 
“I’m very aware of what this meeting is for,” I grumbled.
 
I still had at least a few minutes before I was considered past fashionably late and onto acting the maggot. Running down the brick-paved streets of my childhood, I dodged the flower sellers and the older gentlemen who liked to walk for no reason at all.I wanted to come back to Ireland on better terms and not for my Da’s funeral.
 
Lung disease was one of the top killers in Dublin, and it hit him hard and fast. I didn’t know how bad it was until Fallon called and told me Da was in the hospital. She booked me a flight back home for the next day, but he was already gone before I even crossed the Atlantic.
 
“Sorry. That came out wrong.” Voices echoed in the background, and I wondered where she was in the building.
 
I’d seen the girl’s work photo icon in emails and breezed past her desk a few times, but never really saw her. Funny that she was someone I’d talked to almost as much as my brothers these past six months and I hadn’t formally met her.
 
“Where are you right now? Are you waiting for me outside the meeting room door? Hoping since Not Erin didn’t get a round two that maybe we can officially meet and hit it off?” I joked and breezed through the wrought iron gates of the Murphy Family Pub headquarters, past the secretary and front lobby, covered in photos of generations of Murphy’s who had run the company.
 
My family owned a distillery for years and used to brew the whiskey in downtown Dublin. The brand expanded, and my father went into the pub franchise business. Now we had hundreds of pubs all over the world, and the original distillery was currently used for a museum and pub on the first floor with corporate offices on the second.
 
Mam passed away soon after my youngest brother, Sean, was born. Da raised us all while building his empire and now with his sudden passing, my brothers Jack, Sean, and I were set to inherit the company. This meeting was just a formality to settle the estate, giving us our shares in the business. I figured Jack would take Da’s position as CEO with me as CFO and Sean as president or something if he wanted it.
 
“Your flirting isn’t cute, Mr. Murphy.”
 
I stopped at a mirror in one of the hallways, noticing my hair stuck up every which way and I tried to lay it down flat with one hand, holding my phone with the other. “What’s this Mr. Murphy nonsense? We’re practically family, Fal.”
 
She huffed. “Are you almost here? I’m almost to the conference room, and I don’t want to have to tell your brother you’re still not available.”. I started jogging, and just as I turned the corner, instead of breezing into the conference room, I ran chest first into a petite blonde who was holding a tray of coffees that had now spilled all down the front of her dress.
 
“Aw, I’m sorry ma’am. I didn’t mean to do a number on ya,” I said, staring at her wide blue eyes, circled by red framed glasses. She looked between me and her dress.
 
I expected to hear a laugh or some quip from Fallon on my phone, but instead I listened to my voice echoing through the pink dressed girl’s phone.
 
Recognition dawned on me as my eyes roamed over her from the top of her blonde ponytail down the soaked through dress and cardigan, showing off the curvy frame she hid under the nerdy little ensemble. Her photos and glances at her did not do her justice. She was beautiful in a natural way which made her not need the fancy clothes or too much makeup.
 
“Fallon. We finally get to meet. I feel like I should hug you. Or maybe undress you. You know get you out of that pink number and into something not stained.” I stepped closer, putting my arms out. I may have said the words jokingly, but the thought of her dropping the dress and taking her against the paneled wall was on the forefront of my mind.
 
“Are you serious right now? You need to go. You’re going to be late,” she hissed
 
I glanced at my watch again. Shit, the meeting probably already started. I didn’t have time to sweet talk or other things. Pulling out my wallet from my back pocket, I grabbed a few notes. “Let me at least buy you a new dress and replace the coffees.”
“What? No. Just go. I’ll take care of this.” She narrowed her eyes and slightly shook her head.
 
“Are you sure?” I raised my eyebrows, still holding the money toward her.
 
The clock near the conference room chimed, alerting me it was at the top of the hour.
 
“We can chat more about this later,” I said, putting my money back in my wallet. “Nice officially meeting you, Pinky. Let’s do this again real soon, ” I said with a grin, patting her shoulder before I scooted toward the conference room and shut the door behind me.
Three sets of eyes looked up from the conference table they sat around.
 
My brothers were in crisp blue suits with their light brown hair perfectly gelled, making me look even more like a fool than I felt with my wrinkled clothes which smelled like sex and whiskey.This wasn’t the way to honor, Da, but at least I was there and I was going to be there for his company, no matter what it took.
 
“Mornin’,” I said, taking my seat across from the estate solicitor, Thomas O’Malley, who looked like a real-life leprechaun with his short stature, bright red beard, and reading glasses perched on his nose.
 
“Glad you could grace us with your presence, Connor,” Thomas said, shuffling the papers in his hands.
 
“Happy to have made it,” I said, folding my hands on the table and smiling, even though my brothers audibly groaned next to me. If there was one thing I learned from Da, it was that you never showed weakness.
 
“Okay, let’s get started with the reading,” Thomas said, clearing his throat.
 
Then flipped to a new sheet. “Whereupon my death, my three sons, Jack, Connor, and Sean will each inherit their equal share of thirty-three and a half-percent of the family franchise upon the day all three of their marriage certificates are certified by a priest and again by my solicitor Thomas O’Malley, six months after the day of their nuptials. If all three of them are not married within a year of my death, none will be able to get controlling interests, and the board may offer each son’s ownership stake to the highest bidder.”
 
Every hair on the back of my neck stood on end. Marriage? Thre three of us? Within a year? All of that to get the company? That couldn’t be right. Da never said anything about that. Sure, he was a loyal family man, who never married or even dated after Mam died, but I didn’t think he would do something like this.Especially when the board was a bunch of crotchety old men who smoked too many cigars and were probably half the reason Da got sick in the first place.
 
My oldest brother Jack leaned forward in his seat. “Thomas. I could be wrong here, but is this stating that each of us has to be married and not just married, but married for six months? And this all has to happen within the year? That can’t be right. Da never even re-married or had a serious girlfriend. He used to say the pub was his only wife after Mam.”
 
Thomas sighed, pushing his glasses up. “You young men have done a fine job in your positions in the company, but your father also knew you were still sowing your wild oats. He wanted to make sure you settled down a bit, so the company didn’t suffer. This was his way of seeing to that.”
 
There has to be a clause that can get us out of this, right? I don’t even have a girlfriend, let alone a girl I’d want to marry by the end of the year.” Sean said.
 
I wanted to ask Sean what he even had to do with this company since he hadn’t taken an interest in anything but rugby. I know Jack had brought up more than once about eventually buying out his portion and now with us all having to be married, or none of us got the company, which put a damper on that one. Before I could ask any more questions, Thomas cleared his throat.
 
“Boys, I’d like to say there’s another option, but that’s what it states in the will,” he said, standing up and placing the papers in his briefcase. “You can try and get your own solicitors or a judge to dispute this, but I’ve been doing this for longer than you’ve been alive. Once this will is set and notarized, it’s legally binding.”
 
“Does the board know about this?” Jack asked.
 
Thomas nodded solemnly. “Ah, they’re aware of the clause, not all of the details, but some have already made comments about a buyout for a third of the company.”
 
I clenched my fists without even thinking, my gut twisting at the thought of someone else taking over the business.The one Da had built from the ground up, but Jack and I had worked to keep it a well-oiled machine on both sides of the pond. A bunch of old men with one foot in the grave would just run the franchise into the ground along with all our hard work.
 
Da put a lot of hard work into the enterprise. What he built. What he wanted our family to have. That wasn’t just going to disappear because of some marriage clause, I couldn’t let it.
 
“Can’t we just find some girl, see if she wants to get married for a few months, then divorce with a nice little settlement? Isn’t that what they do on those American reality shows for publicity?” Sean asked, staring between all of us.
 
Thomas shrugged. “I guess there’s nothing in the will that says you can’t, but how do you think the board would take that? Moreover, your Da would probably roll in his grave if he heard you married a girl just to get the company. Your mother was the love of his life and the reason he was able to make this company what it is today. He just wants the same thing for you boys. Not some random fling.”
 
“I’m sure there are worse things we could do,” Sean muttered, buttoning and unbuttoning his suit jacket.
 
“If we have nothing else to discuss, then I best be heading back to the office. You’ll call if you need anything and let me know as soon as I get to meet the future Murphy girls,” Thomas said with a tight-lipped smile.
 
We walked him toward the door, but none of us left the room.
 
Jack was the first to speak as soon as Thomas rounded the corner and was out of sight. “What the hell are we going to do?”
 
Sean shook his head. “I don’t know. This wasn’t at all what I was expecting. Hell, I guess I’d better get on a dating app or something.”
 
“This isn’t a joke,” Jack growled.
 
I put my hand on his shoulder, trying to calm the beast a little, but his nostril’s flared. “Calm down, Jack. We’ll figure this out. We always do.”
 
His dark blue eyes didn’t move from the empty hallway. “This isn’t about deciding where to put a new pub in America or marketing expenditures. This is marriage. This is our company. Our future.”
 
I nodded solemnly. We all knew what was at stake here and the only way to solve our problems was with a wedding. Something I never even thought I would be thinking about. Now I had no choice. I was going to be a married man by the end of the year, and so were my brothers, no matter what it took.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Magan Vernon has been living off of reader tears since she wrote her first short story in 2004. She now spends her time killing off fictional characters, pretending to plot while she really just watches Netflix, and she tries to do this all while her two young children run amok around her Texas ranch.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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