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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 2020-06-02 03:26
Why Shoot a Butler?
Why Shoot A Butler? - Georgette Heyer

An accidental re-read, but an enjoyable one.  As I started reading it, I remembered my frustration the first time around with the slow, purposefully vague start, but once into it, I enjoyed the banter and the mystery again - and had no recollection as to whodunnit.

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review 2020-06-02 03:09
Amethyst Dreams
Amethyst Dreams - Phyllis A. Whitney

Like a lot of other authors who write romantic suspense, Whitney was very hit and miss.  Most of the misses I've read are the ones she wrote in her later years, and this isn't an exception.  The woman could still write well - her island setting came alive - but the plot was soft and sentimental, and the resolution was not a resolution at all.  In fact it was completely unrealistic, unless the poor dead woman meant less than nothing to her family.

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review 2020-05-31 18:54
Dear Life ★★★★☆
Dear Life: Stories - Alice Munro

I don't think I could do this book of short stories justice with a review. Munro writes stories about ordinary people in everyday situations that are a turning point in their lives. To have an affair, to stay or leave, to wait or act, to be silent or speak. She writes without any literary tricks and often at a remove from the characters, but each story still pulled at me in some way. 

 

Paperback. I discovered Munro while vacationing at a rental beach house and had finished the book I had brought with me, so was browsing the completely random selections on the bookshelves. I didn't get to read more than the first story in this collection, but it was enough to know that I needed to have a copy for myself. 

 

I read this book for Booklikesopoly 2020, lot Mountain Cabin 15: Read a book with a tree or a mountain on the cover, or read a book that features a main character who is a father. This book has a tree (or tree trunk, I guess) on the cover with a woodsy background.

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