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review 2017-09-11 02:16
Blind Faith (Blind Faith, #1) by N.R. Walker Review
Blind Faith - N.R. Walker

Starting a new job in a new town, veterinarian Carter Reece, makes a house call to a very special client.

Arrogant, moody and totally gorgeous, Isaac Brannigan has been blind since he was eight. After the death of his guide dog and best friend, Rosie, his partnership with his new guide dog, Brady, isn't going well.

Carter tries to help both man and canine through this initiation phase, but just who is leading who?



This book was a nice read but like some of Walker's other books it seems written with the second in the series in mind and therefore isn't as lush as it could be to be truly great.

Carter, the Veterinarian, is awesome as vets often are. Walker does a great job saving him from being a saint with Isaac's mood swings as he good boundaries. He is really kind.

Isaac needs therapy for his anger and grief which is fine for me in a character but this aspect of him is at odds with what a great teacher he is.

I like how the blindness of Isaac was just a part of his character and not the whole of who he was though much more detail in both heroes could have been shaded in.

There are lots of great scenes here and good dates. The conflict is intersting but I would have liked more time after the first set of issues is worked through to get to know everyone better.

I loved Carter's best friend Mark (funny, crude, and so himself as an unrepentant bi stereotype). I thrilled to see he gets his own book.


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review 2017-09-04 20:10
Good for information but not for a general audience.
Racism without Racists: Color-Blind Racism and the Persistence of Racial Inequality in America - Eduardo Bonilla-Silva

In light of recent events this seemed like a good recommendation from the media. Author Bonilla-Silva takes the reader though how racism has changed in the post-Civil Rights era and how "color blindness" is actually not that at all. From the language to people use to the beliefs they hold he examines how racism still exists and how it continues to be perpetuated despite the perhaps optimistic views that these view will somehow fade away or die out.


So while perhaps we do not have slaves working on plantations or openly segregated areas of service, etc. many of the thoughts and words Bonilla-Silva writes about here are dog whistles you hear in the media, by talk/radio show hosts and maybe even by your family and friends. It's simply how things have been done. Electing Barack Obama meant racism was "over". And so on and so forth. Bonilla-Silva looks at various people in each chapter, records how they address particular topics and then breaks down their words and perhaps how and why they answered in that way.


There was a lot to chew on and the initial chapters were promising. But I agree with a lot of the negative reviews: sometimes he is too academic and generally just too "wordery" that might turn off a general audience. Much of what he wrote about was familiar to me so it felt a bit like beating a dead horse with far too many words. 


But it was still interesting and I don't regret reading it. That said, I'd recommend works like 'The New Jim Crow' and/or 'Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism and Wrecked the Middle Class' for texts that are more approachable and perhaps would work as introductory ones if you're not sure about tackling this one. Check it out at the library or at least flip through a few chapters if you're not sure if it's for you.


Recommended for anyone who wants to understand how racism has changed over time, but be prepared to be uncomfortable and even perhaps recognize yourself in these pages.

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review 2017-08-12 03:28
[Book Review] The Blind Assassin
The Blind Assassin - Margaret Atwood,Margaret Atwood

I really wanted to do some Atwood, and while much of what she writes is regular literary fiction, some of it does fit within SF/F, or general Speculative Fiction.  I made a deliberate choice not to do The Handmaid's Tale (instead choosing The Core of the Sun), and I didn't really feel like re-reading Oryx and Crake, or using the second book in the series as a book club pick.  So, I stumbled across The Blind Assassin which teased of a historical fiction with a science fiction story intertwined.  So there we go, a June read.

Yeah, I'm writing the review in August.  It took me a bit to get through this one.

I've come to discover that with most of Atwood's novels the first half tends to slog for me, then somewhere around halfway through they pick up and suddenly become significantly more interesting.  That definitely proved true here, at least for my experience.  The "science fiction story" was less than I was hoping for as well, but an interesting vehicle for part of the narrative.

The Blind Assassin starts with the account of the narrator's sister driving off a bridge, and from there wends its way through the Iris' life growing up, a young woman, and as an old woman telling her story before her days run out.  That story includes the illicit meeting of two lovers, one of whom spins fantastical tales of aliens and future civilizations.

I personally felt it was trying to hard to play to one assumption while very clearly being something else all along, and would have liked to have been a little more surprised.  I have to say, while I admire Atwood's literary skill, and am a big fan of some of her work, for the most part I find that Sheri S. Tepper better provides what I'm looking for.

Discussion Fodder:

  • What assumptions/predictions did you make as you read the story?  How did the align with the results?  
  • In what ways does the narrative, and the narrator, attempt to deceive the reader?
  • Does the science fiction story reflect on the lover's lives?  In what ways?
  • How does the story talk about the assumptions and world views we apply to others?
  • Various crimes and accusations are laid at the feet of different characters.  Which are true, how many are convenient targets?
Source: libromancersapprentice.blogspot.com/2017/08/book-review-blind-assassin.html
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text 2017-08-08 03:15
The Blind Assassin - Margaret Atwood,Margaret Atwood

So I feel like there's just too much of an attempt to be clever about the "big secret" of the story.  And the narration and the "ah-ha" moment at points are pretty contrary, yet many of the surprises aren't

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text 2017-07-31 17:16
Reading progress update: I've read 250 out of 521 pages.
The Blind Assassin - Margaret Atwood,Margaret Atwood

I finally came to a bit that really hooked me, been seriously plodding along with only little sparks.


As much as I love Handmaiden's Tale and her shorter works, this difficulty getting through most of Atwood's writing seems to be a pretty regular issue.  :/


For reference, I started reading this in June as a book club pick.  I have since read and reviewed the July pick without finishing this one.

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