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review 2018-07-15 05:41
The Magic in this Other World is Too Far Behind! Volume 2 - himesuz,Gamei Hitsuji,Hikoki

DNF 20%

 

I am disappointed to say that this volume was a bit of a letdown. There were too much technobabble and unnecessary exposition in the passages I read. I had a difficult time to slog through the passages talking about Kabbalah and the different elements for example. It is a shame that I have to rate this book a low rating because I liked the first volume. I forgave the first volume for its wall of text because it was meant to be an introduction for the series. However, in this second volume, the info dumps became old fast. I wish information like that were in a guidebook or some side material so that the story would be read more smoothly without all the technobabble. 

 

However, I liked the illustrations in the book.

 

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review 2018-07-10 09:15
The Inner Life of Cats by Thomas McNamee
The Inner Life of Cats: The Science and Secrets of Our Mysterious Feline Companions - Thomas McNamee

TITLE:  The Inner Life of Cats: The Science and Secrets of Our Mysterious Feline Companions

 

AUTHOR:  Thomas McNamee

 

DATE PUBLISHED:  2017

 

FORMAT:  Hardcover

 

ISBN-13:  9780316262873

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Book Description:

"Our feline companions are much-loved but often mysterious. In The Inner Life of Cats, Thomas McNamee blends scientific reportage with engaging, illustrative anecdotes about his own beloved cat, Augusta, to explore and illuminate the secrets and enigmas of her kind.

As it begins, The Inner Life of Cats follows the development of the young Augusta while simultaneously explaining the basics of a kitten's physiological and psychological development. As the narrative progresses, McNamee also charts cats' evolution, explores a feral cat colony in Rome, tells the story of Augusta's life and adventures, and consults with behavioral experts, animal activists, and researchers, who will help readers more fully understand cats.

McNamee shows that with deeper knowledge of cats' developmental phases and individual idiosyncrasies, we can do a better job of guiding cats' maturation and improving the quality of their lives. Readers' relationships with their feline friends will be happier and more harmonious because of this book.
"

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This book was less about the inner lives of cats, or the science and secrets of cats than an ode and memoir about the author's cat, Augusta. 

 

The science bits were interesting though some of the numbers quoted lack a reference and make verification difficult.  There were also many interesting sections on feral cats in Rome, sensory input and raising kittens and the semi-domestic nature of cats, as well as the stupidity of humans who keep wild animals in their homes and are surprised when it eats them or shreds the house.  The majority of the book involves stories about Augusta.  Sometimes these stories tied in with the more informative parts of the book, sometimes they didn't. 

 

I haven't lived with a cat for years, so I'm not as inclined as cat-owners to go all soppy over the Augusta sections (maybe if Augusta was a German Shepherd it might have been different), but I did find the book entertaining and well-written though lacking in science.

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OTHER BOOKS:

 

-The Lion in the Living Room: How House Cats Tamed Us and Took Over the World by Abigail Tucker

 

- Furry Logic: The Physics of Animal Life by Matin Durrani & Liz Kalaugher

 

- Domesticated: Evolution in a Man-Made World by Richard C. Francis

 

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review 2018-07-10 04:56
The Stranger in the Woods by Michael Finkel
The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit - Michael Finkel

The opening pick for our non-fiction book club. 'The Stranger in the Woods' by Michael Finkel is a fascinating story of a man who chose to cut himself off from personal contact with others. He didn't quite cut himself off from the world, the reason we all know about him today is because he was finally caught after decades of theft.

The story is fascinating, but I do have to confess to having problems with Finkel's methods. I realize one has to be a bit pushy to get a story, but how Finkel bothered Knight's (the hermit's) family and acquaintances to pump them for additional information was sickening.

In no way do I want to romanticize Knight's choice to "forsake humanity" or whatever, because the truth is he didn't since he had to support himself with stealing, but this was a quick read, and a nice twist on the usual survival biography.

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review 2018-07-08 00:14
Projekt 1065
Projekt 1065: A Novel of World War II - ... Projekt 1065: A Novel of World War II - Alan Gratz

A really good read about a young Irish man who is forced to join Hitler's Youth Corps. He is saddened by the killings and beatings of people, Jewish and others, who helped to hide the Jews or were considered "defective." The author stated in his notes that while this was a work of fiction, the things that happened and crazy words that were spoken by Hitler were used in the story. It was eye-opening for my daughters as we read the book for book club. I do highly recommend this book to anyone interested in historical fiction and WWII. 

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review 2018-07-07 00:38
ARC Review: Stag And The Ash (The Rowan Harbor Cycle #5) by Sam Burns
Stag And The Ash - Sam Burns

This is the 2nd book for Jesse and Sean, continuing shortly after where Hawk and the Rowan ended. Jesse still struggles with his place on the town council, with being the Alpha wolf, with having to be in charge of things, and he's finding it equally difficult to help Sean grieving the loss of his mother and finding his stride in dealing with his powers as a succubus.

There were some humorous moments to lighten the mood, which is mostly somber throughout the book, which was to be expected after the events of book 4, as well as considering what we find out in this book.

At around 30% or so, I had an inkling on how this would unfold, after finding out who sent the troll that killed Sean's mother, and the three young wolves showed up in town. 

The book is told entirely from Jesse's POV, and he's a somewhat unreliable narrator, as his perception of how people feel about him isn't entirely accurate, something that he's starting to learn. His guilt stemming from mistakes made in the past, and how they are affecting the present, is obviously not helping him see himself clearly, and he continues to feel as if he's not good enough and can never measure up. 

I would have liked to find out more about what makes Sean ticks, but perhaps that's still to come. I wish Jesse could see himself as others do, and it seems that by the end of this book, he's starting to get there. Their relationship gets a chance to grow in this book also, as Sean towards the end forces some honest conversations with Jesse instead of both of them fumbling with what needs to be said. 

As the focus of this book is mostly on the new wolves in town, and Jesse struggling with his guilt and his keeping secrets from Sean and others about the true reason for the troll attack, we don't see a whole lot of the townsfolk in this book, at least not as much as we did in previous ones. Of course, all the main players make an appearance, and everyone contributes to the plot unfolding, but this book felt to some extent as a transition, a bridge, a set up for the next one. It also felt shorter than the previous ones, but certainly covered what it needed to cover. 

Of course, the writing is as awesome as always, engaging and entertaining, and I continue to be fascinated with this series. Fletcher's 2nd book is next, and if the first chapter is any indication, it'll be a wild ride. I can hardly wait!

Please note: These cannot be read as standalone books and must be read in order. 


** I received a free copy of this book from Signal Boost promotions as part of this tour in exchange for an honest review. **

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