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review 2020-06-30 17:07
Death of an Eye (Eye of Isis #1) - Dana Stabenow
Death of An Eye - Dana Stabenow

We're suppose to leave to go camping until Monday later this afternoon. My to-do list is a few miles long. I sent my husband off to swimming lessons with the girls intending to knock a few things off said list without interruptions. Instead, I finished a book without interruptions. I regret nothing. 

 

This is one of the better introductory novels I've read in a long time. Normally first books in a series don't get anything better than three stars from me. I tend to take two or three books to decide if I think a series is going to be worth the time. This book seems to be a rare exception. I know after the first novel, I'm absolutely going to be continuing on with this series and these characters. 

 

For starters there's Cleopatra. I'm developing a pretty huge girl crush on her lately. This Cleopatra is bold, cunning, and smarter than everyone in the room. She knows exactly what she has to do to get what she wants and she's not afraid to step on anyone to get it. I realize things don't really work out for her in the end. For the moment, I'm rolling with this Cleopatra. You'd be foolish not to.

 

Then there's this mystery surrounding stolen coin. Stolen coin doesn't seem like such a big deal on the surface. Once you get into all of the things this coin in particular means to the kingdom of Egypt, you understand why getting it back is such a big deal. Nothing is quite what it seems but everything is related. It's complicated without being confusing. Something I personally haven't seemed to master. 

 

Finally there's Stabenow herself. I've only read one other Stabenow work about China and the Silk Road. At the end I found myself less than impressed. I've never read any of her popular Kate Shugak series. After this, I'm tempted to start tomorrow. Stabenow is quick and to the point. There's a mystery. There's danger. There's intrigue. The amazing part is she manages to handle everything in less than 300 pages. Stabenow seems to know just how much detail the reader needs and exactly when to cut it off. Nothing is drawn out. Not once was I left muttering "Did I really need to know that?" Short and to the point. Again, not something I've figured out how to accomplish on my own. 

 

Personal kudos to me for knocking out a review in a record time. I suppose that means I can move on to my to-do list. Or I can map out my next BL-opoly roll. Or I can stand in front of my bookshelves and wonder which books are going to accompany me camping. 

 

 

Dates read 6/25/2020 - 6/30/2020

Book 43/75

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review 2020-06-26 03:31
The Ocean at the End of the Lane - audiobook
The Ocean at the End of the Lane - Neil Gaiman

Audience: Adult

Format: Audiobook/Owned

 

 

It was only a duck pond, out at the back of the farm.

- first sentence

 

Neil Gaiman's voice is amazing. I loved listening to him narrate this story. Basically this story is about growing up and how at seven years old, adults seem so big and important, yet disconnected from childhood. The narrator of the book is an adult who is remembering an event that occurred in his childhood (when it is so much easier to believe in magic and monsters).

 

I enjoyed the story and especially the narrator's childhood friend, Lettie Hempstock. It was a quick listen and had some creepy parts. It is interesting how much differently we see things as adults compared to how it seems to children. 

 

I read this for Booklikes-opoly Pandemic Edition, space #19 as a book whose cover is more than 50% blue.

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review 2020-06-15 07:36
Under the Banner of Heaven ★★★☆☆
Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith - Jon Krakauer

This was not really the book I was expecting - a true crime nonfic with an exploration of the religious fanaticism that drove the murder, how man commits atrocities and somehow uses his God to justify it to himself and others, especially when God has conveniently provided him with a divine revelation to go ahead with whatever it was he really wanted to do, anyway. 

 

Krakauer does this, peripherally, but he really spends far more time just giving us the history of the mainstream Mormon church and its splinter fundamentalist groups that more closely resemble the original founders' intents and revelations in all its glorious 19th century brutality, xenophobia, misogyny, and racism. Ah, the good old days. 

 

I'm generally suspicious of all organized religions, but even I felt that, if the author was going to spend so much time sifting through LDS history for all the dirt, he could at least make the effort to provide a more balanced view of what the church is and what, if anything, they do about the lunatic fringe. Besides excommunicating them. 

 

And I still have very little sense of who Brenda Lafferty was, besides a woman with enough courage to fight back. 

 

It was interesting enough reading in short bursts, but this is the longest I've taken to read a book since the pandemic began and the social isolation and cancellation of baseball left me a LOT more time to spend reading. 

 

 

I read this for the Booklikes-opoly 2020 lot The Lake House 19: Read a book with a cover that is more than 50% blue, or by an author whose first or last name begins with any letter in the word L-A-K-E. 

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review 2020-06-14 23:26
Chronicle of a Death Foretold by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Chronicle of a Death Foretold - Gabriel García Márquez

First of all, I need to thank Themis for recommending this masterpiece of a story. Themis is also the person who shall be blamed for the expansion in my TBR as I add all of Marquez's work. 

 

In the hands of another author, this story would have been four times as long, drawn out, and boring. Marquez manages to capture so much in so few pages. It's quite a feat. I had sworn to myself I wasn't going to just binge through this book in a day. Chalk that up to yet another promise I've broken. Oops.

 

 

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review 2020-06-10 15:38
Belgrave Square (Thomas and Charlotte Pitt 12) - Anne Perry
Belgrave Square (Charlotte & Thomas Pitt, #12) - Anne Perry

These books are so much better when Charlotte and Emily are reduced to background characters. I can only handle so many pages of society scandals. When Thomas is working on his own without the constant meddling assistance of his wife and sister-in-law, the procedure part of the mystery is so much more satisfying. 

 

One thing I always get a kick out of with these books is the character names. I've worked in a school before. I'm familiar with unusual names. However, the names in Perry's books are something just a little more. Sholto. Beulah. And my personal favorite, Theophania. I'm not overly familiar with the naming practices of English residents but there is something to be said for having characters with names outside of Elizabeth, Mary, Henry, or George. This coming from a mother who has an Elizabeth in her own house. 

 

 

Dates Read 6/7/2020-6/9/2020

Book 36/75

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