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text 2017-06-26 20:45
Reading progress update: I've read 73 out of 383 pages.
All the President's Men - Carl Bernstein,Bob Woodward

I'm reading this concurrently with John Dean's Blind Ambition, in which I've just reached th point of the Watergate break-in and how Dean, as White House counsel, reacted to it.

 

In both books, I'm reading the original publication, old paperbacks that don't have any benefit of later editing or updates.  (I do have a Kindle edition of Blind Ambition, with updates, but I'm not reading it. . . yet.)

 

All the President's Men is not as easy to read as I had anticipated, because it's written in a single third person point of view, so it's Woodward this or Bernstein that, rather than we, I, etc.  Sometimes I have difficulty keeping them distinct.

 

But what's truly fascinating is how much these two reporters learned and how quickly they learned it from their own investigation, making their own contacts, making blind phone calls.  It's interesting to speculate how much different the task would have been with today's technology.  On the other hand, they were able to pick up a phone and call the White House and be put through directly to high level people like Bob Haldeman without any trouble.

 

 

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review 2017-06-24 14:50
Home School and First Aid
Acep First Aid Manual - Gina M. Piazza,American College of Emergency Physicians

At the beginning of this month, we were staying in Virginia in a hotel (we were visiting family) and on the last morning of our stay, the fire alarm went off and taught us that our Fire Plan was good for the house, but not for a 6 story hotel with fire alarms blaring at an ungodly hour ("I only recognize on 5 o'clock a day" Hawkeye from M*A*S*H) and the kids were just unable to function...they went on remote to the elevators with us yelling at them (to be heard over alarms) to come to the stairs and then to the nearest exit (they were headed for the main exit). We made a plan for traveling and have followed it since. 

 

So when I was at the library checking out books for my summer of books (I start planning school for next year over the summer) and I found this book. I remember that every time I go to get my certification from the Red Cross, there have been changes. Most things stay the same, but there are many things that are changed, so I think this book is going to be part of our school this year. 

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text 2017-06-23 13:05
Reading progress update: I've read 250 out of 750 pages.
American Gods: A Novel - Neil Gaiman

There are definitely some.....unexpected....encounters so far. Everything still feels separated so I'm hoping the characters start to feel more connected soon.

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text 2017-06-21 19:34
Top Read and Sold this week on Amazon.com (or: In my lifetime will the Harry Potter books ever not be chart toppers?)
The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
Camino Island: A Novel - John Grisham
Beneath a Scarlet Sky: A Novel - Mark Sullivan
Come Sundown - Nora Roberts
American Gods - Neil Gaiman
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life - Mark Manson
I Can't Make This Up: Life Lessons - Kevin Hart,Neil Strauss
Al Franken, Giant of the Senate - Al Franken
Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind - Yuval Noah Harari Dr
Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis - J.D. Vance

I'm just noticing https://www.amazon.com/charts showing the current week's most read and most sold books.  I put the top five most read fiction and nonfiction at top of this post, visit the link for all of them. 

 

Anyone know what these colored triangles mean?  UPDATE — thanks to Grimlock's comment on another post — triangles refer to movement up/down on the chart.

 

         

 

 

Source: www.amazon.com/charts
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review 2017-06-20 23:10
Novy's Son: The Selfish Genius - Karen Ingalls

I am familiar with Karen Ingalls’ work, having chosen this novel after reading Davida: Model & Mistress of Augustus Saint-Gaudens.  Since I read that book first, when I read Novy’s Son I was provided with a natural timeline of a family riddled by natural spirit, which, however creative or inspiring, seems to invariably place them in a position to be judged.  I was pleased to reacquaint myself with Novy, the son of the notorious artist Mr. Augustus Saint-Gaudens.  But years spent with a doting mother who was spurned by society and left unsupported by a career-obsessed father has made him cold.  Despite this, he and his wife have a son (and other children as well), the protagonist of this book, Murray Clark. 

 

It is an interesting journey to begin reading a character’s story when he or she is a child.  In a way, it is easier to understand the foibles of the protagonist once one has become familiar with his or her past. While Novy is labelled selfish and is considered a wholly unlikable character, it is made clear that there is no absence of love in his heart.  There is a history of disassociation in the men who precede him; each have a proclivity to rely on himself and his habits.  That being said, it is no shock that Murray exhibits that same self-defensive mode that keeps him at a safe distance from the world around him, even if this mode entails self-destruction.  The tenderness readers see in him as a child while he grows up in southern California leaves within the reader some hope that he is human after all and capable of showing compassion. 

 

I regard Karen Ingalls as a skilled writer, her style easily identifiable by its matter-of-fact tone.  What struck me as distracting, an error that affected the quality of my reading experience, was the random assortment of Herman Melville quotes.  In addition, the e-book formatting had no distinct paragraph spacing, which made the sudden appearance of a Melville quote even more jarring.  Technological structuring aside, the story is worth reading, although I suggest reading Davida first!

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