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text 2018-02-16 21:04
A sleepless night ahead????
The Plot to Hack America: How Putin’s Cyberspies and WikiLeaks Tried to Steal the 2016 Election - Malcolm Nance

My library's electronic collections yielded some gems today.

 

 

and

 

 

I've also downloaded the Mueller indictment in PDF to read in full for myself.

 

I'd rather be knitting or making jewelry or writing a contemporary gothic romance, but these political issues have disrupted my very existence far too long. 

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-01-28 20:10
It could only have been more perfect with more pictures
The Perfect Horse: The Daring U.S. Mission to Rescue the Priceless Stallions Kidnapped by the Nazis - Elizabeth Letts

As I wrote when I started reading this book, I knew the outlines of the history.  I knew how the story ended, and therefore I didn't have to fear tragedy.  In anticipation of light, engaging read, I started turning the digital pages.

 

This turned out to be no child's breezy account of a miraculous rescue.  I had never seen the Disney movie -- had in fact more or less forgotten that there ever was one -- and I had never read Marguerite Henry's novel about the Lipizzan horses, so I was relying on the brief overview provided in her Album of Horses, which I still have.

 

The title is somewhat misleading, since author Letts never really addresses the perfection of any of the horses mentioned.  So set that whole notion aside.  The tale is more about the perfect horror of war.

 

The white stallions of the renowned Spanish Riding School of Vienna were not the only victims.  There were also the brood mares whose foals grew up to be the famed performers, and thousands upon thousands of other pedigreed horses in Europe, among them the Arabians of Poland.  All became victims, in one way or another, of the war.  A very precious few would survive.  That any of them did was a testament to luck and the steadfast determination of a very small group of men, some of whom would otherwise be enemies.

 

This wasn't an easy book to read; not all the horses survived, and the horrors they endured were, to put it simply, inhuman.  No, not inhumane.  One seriously wonders how beings that call themselves human could behave with such wanton cruelty.

 

There is also the suspense.  Even knowing more or less how the book ends, I felt the adrenaline rush of tension.

 

But it's powerfully written, with expansive portraits of the soldiers, riders, veterinarians, and horse-humanitarians involved.  Just be sure to have either a tight rein on your emotions or a healthy supply of tissues.  The ending is the same, but only after a pretty rough roller coaster ride.

 

 

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text 2018-01-24 23:10
Reading progress update: I've read 140 out of 1104 pages.
To Green Angel Tower - Tad Williams

DNF but not a Will Not Finish.

 

I'm taking this out of Currently Reading because I simply did not have time or stamina to finish it before it was due back at the library.

 

I will say this -- The action of the first two volumes slacked off dramatically in the first 100+ pages of To Green Angel Tower.  Had it been sustained, I might have had sufficient interest to plunge into it, read all night, and do whatever it took to finish.  I just didn't have that kind of interest.

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text 2018-01-17 22:13
I needed something nice to read
The Perfect Horse: The Daring U.S. Mission to Rescue the Priceless Stallions Kidnapped by the Nazis - Elizabeth Letts

I first learned of the Lippizan stallions and Col. Alois Podhajsky's rescue of them via Marguerite Henry's Album of Horses when I was about eight years old.

 

Mary Stewart's Airs Above the Ground was entertaining, but I had most of the plot figured out ahead of time, also thanks to Ms. Henry's book.

 

Today I needed something nice to read, something that wouldn't increase the stress I'm already dealing with.  More back pain -- not spasms but still painful.  Car repairs.  House repairs.  Health issues.  Financial insecurity.  I need something that will slow the panic.

 

I found this on the public library's ecloud catalogue.  I pretty much know how it's going to end.

 

Now, leave me alone!  ;-)

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text 2018-01-02 21:08
Reading progress update: I've read 44 out of 1104 pages.
To Green Angel Tower - Tad Williams

It's been slow going because I keep getting caught up in other activities.

 

But I'm making progress.

 

I remember nothing of this volume of the trilogy, so it's all virtually new to me.  However, I have one observation that's troubling me.

 

I'm still not liking Williams's portrayal of some of the women.

 

 

Miriamele "gives in" to Aspitis's sexual advances, partly out of despair, partly out of physical desire because he's handsome.  But so far there's no discussion of the fact that she is not in any position to resist him.  It's still rape.

 

Simon, on the other hand, was able to resist Aditu's advances (in the previous book) because.  He had no hope of ever leaving, and he had no hope of ever gaining the favor of the girl/woman he cared about -- Miriamele -- because he still thought of himself as just a scullion.

 

Vorzheva changes her mind about everything . . . because she's pregnant.

 

Maegwin can't tell Eolair how she really feels because she thinks she's ugly and because she has duties.

(spoiler show)

 

Maybe some of these will change as this final volume goes on, but it seems to be, for the most part, that the non-human female characters, such as the Norn Queen and Gan Itai the Niskie are more assertive than the ones mentioned above.

 

Or maybe it's just me.

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