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review 2018-09-26 00:48
Under Fire: Reporting from the Front Lines of the Trump White House - April Ryan

As far as I'm concerned, if you don't like Ryan's reporting and ethic of hard work, then there's something wrong with you. I have to admit though, this isn't as good as I hoped it be.

If you haven't been paying attention, Ryan is a reporter who has been covering the White House for quite a while. She is well spoken, well respected, and intelligent. Spicer told her to stop shaking her head. She is part of what Trump calls the fake news (until he considers it real news, then it's right, except when it's not). 

This book details her work in the White House Press corp during Trump's first year in Office. So if you are looking at how the Press is responding to Trump's repeated attacks on them and the First Amendent, this is it. It also means that there was, understandably, a push to get this book out. This most likely accounts for the feel that it should have used a bit of tighter editing. For instance,- I do not know if the publisher though only African-Americans would read this so perhaps this point is out of order (I'm white, I'm not show) - when Ryan is detailing Trump's first proclamination about African-American History month, she notes the response in the Black community because of the use of African-American not Black (there was/is a fear of erasing history or imporance). There was concern from the community, and she asked why the change. Spicer notes that Obama used the name; Ryan points out that Regan made the change. So why is Trump using African-American so much worse? I'm not questioning the validity of the response. I just want to know why it is worse. Is it because Trump is more openly racist? But Ryan doesn't say, so it comes off as strange.

I understand that this is an attempt, in part, to capture how Ryan talks in book form, but there is an overuse exclamination points, which I will grant is a pet peeve of mine.

There is also quite a bit on Ryan's "relationship" with Omarosa. This is understandable. If someone attacks your reputation and ethics, thereby endangering your job, you are going to be furious, but the section goes on for too long. A good editor would have shortened it.

Those qualms aside, I am glad that I read this. Ryan is a good read, and there is much in here that sheds light on some things in the news as well as horrifying you with Trump's working hours. It is important because Ryan is reporting when reporters are underfire at home, considering for instance, the work place shooting as well as the death threats that some reporters are getting.

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review 2018-09-20 15:09
Enchanted April
The Enchanted April - Elizabeth von Arnim

Yeah, I know I said I would not post here anymore but I wanted you all to know I've kept at reading Elizabeth's stuff. How did I not know about this author before? I'm still trying to wrap my arms around the fact that for a couple of years anyway, her and I were alive at the same time.  


I recently finished Enchanted April (it's a novel of hers but it was easy to imagine her as a character in it.) No one hardly comments on reviews on Goodreads (I think they're all hung up on their own shit), so I thought to post it here where I recall there were some people who liked Elizabeth. 



MY review:

Okay this is undoubtedly my favorite read of 2018.
Now I can watch the movie!!!! YAY!
Ms von Arnim was probably the best writer of her day, bar none, as her works are just as readable today in 2018 as they were in the late 1890's. As I've tried to read the so called classics of the early 1900s, I've found the writing of most lacking . . . dated actually. 
Ms von Arnim is a marvelous character developer and produces characters the reader embraces. I loved every one of the characters in this book.
As my previous reads of her works were those in which she was the main character, I was surprised this was a novel and not necessarily based on her. Or was it? Truth be told I thought the character of Scrap bore a resemblance to the person I've come to know as Elizabeth.


PS: I did watch the movie the same night and found it pretty true to the book. All of the actors were well cast and they mirrored how I pictured them. Some things were changed slightly as the book is mainly switching heads to get their thoughts and I know that's hard to show on screen. Plus, I thought the scenery (So much a part of the book) was lacking. Frankly, I'm surprised Hollywood tackled this at all. It's fairly recent (2011) so I'm surprised they didn't try to update the plot with terrorists or super powers. Thankfully they left it in the 1920s. I recommend the book (first of course) and the movie.

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review 2018-09-19 07:11
Review: Slade House
Slade House: A Novel - David Mitchell

Wow!  This was a pretty creepy and twisted tale.  This book was beautifully written and very interesting.  The whole time I read it, Hotel California was playing on a loop inside my head.


But what to say about it?  It's kinda of the age-old tale of a man being too stupid or stubborn--or both-- to listen to the woman in his life.  If Jonah had just listened to his sister Nora, things could have turned out so, so differently for both of them.


This is basically a Hotel California type situation.  A person with the right type of...psychic energy I guess, is lured into Slade House by the Grayer siblings, where they are treated to all sorts of fantasies--or hallucinations--and once they succumb, they are never seen again.  But each victim is warned by the previous victim until finally one of them is strong enough to fight back, which is the beginning of the end for the Slade House.


It was pretty spooky and kind of sad.  Enough of he victims' backgrounds were revealed that you felt real sympathy for most of them.  Anger, even, at siblings for what they were doing to innocent people.  It was a very good series of interconnected vignettes and while it wasn't completely an 'open ending', I feel like there is a door left open for a sequel.  I'd be very interested in reading.



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text 2018-09-19 02:49
Reading progress update: I've read 36 out of 256 pages.
Slade House: A Novel - David Mitchell


This is a big bag of bizarre.  Can't wait to see where it's going.

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review 2018-09-13 16:35
A Warm Puppy Picture Book Story About Inclusion And Acceptance
Puppy Pickup Day - April Henry

Eight engaging labradoodle puppies wake up to greet the day in April M. Cox's engaging picture book story of a special day when all the puppies expect to get a new home. 


They are fed, groomed, and play, but one little pup, smaller than his siblings, is rejected. As the rollicking rhyme follows the fun and games, young readers can't help but be concerned about one little outcast who falls off the puppy slide, is too small to play tag, and gets lost too easily. 


As the countdown begins, teaching numbers to young animal lovers, the last little puppy begins to wonder if getting a new home is something else he's going to miss out on. He's become lost (on Puppy Pickup Day, no less), but his friendly nature leads to help from unexpected places, and after his siblings are picked by new families, he discovers something important about courage and finding his place in the world even though he's a runt who can't do what his siblings enjoy. 


A variety of messages are wound into this fun-loving story of a little puppy's adventure: counting, colorful fun, lessons on friendship and helping, and embracing new experiences. Illustrator Len Smith's oversized, colorful panels are a huge draw to an equally-strong, uplifting story line that will delight young picture book readers and their read-aloud parents. He's a former Disney & Hanna-Barbara illustrator, and so his background is perfect for translating the story into large-sized, exceptionally colorful characters designed to provide eye-catching excitement and action to enhance the story's visual appeal. Each panel is packed with not just vivid colors and playful action, but emotion as the little puppy moves through his choices and considers his options. Not only the puppy's emotions are involved: readers will find their heartstrings similarly pulled as the story visually 'pops' with excitement. 

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