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text 2019-01-18 01:00
Around the World in 80 Books Mostly by Female Authors: Master Update Post

[World map created with Mapchart.net]

 

The aim: To diversify my reading and read as many books as possible (not necessarily 80) set in, and by authors from, countries all over the world.  Female authors preferred.  If a book is set in a location other than that of the author's nationality, it can apply to either (but not both).

 

On the map I'm only tracking new reads, not also rereads.

 

The Books:

Africa

 

 

 

Americas

USA

Michelle Obama: Becoming (new)

 

 

 

Asia

China

Xinran: The Good Women of China (new)

 

Japan

Shizuko Natsuki: Murder at Mt. Fuji (new)

 

 

 

Australia / Oceania

 

 

 

Europe

United Kingdom

Lorna Nicholl Morgan: Another Little Murder (new)

Stephen Fry, John Woolf, Nick Baker: Stephen Fry's Victorian Secrets (new)

 

Ireland

Tana French: The Witch Elm (new)

 

Greece

Stephen Fry: Mythos (new)

 

 

 

 

 

The "Gender Wars" Stats:

Read to date, in 2019:

Books by female authors: 5

- new: 5

- rereads:

 

Books by male authors: 2

- new: 2

- rereads:

 

Books by F & M mixed teams / anthologies:

- new:

- rereads:

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2019-01-17 22:00
Book Review : The poet x Elizabeth agevedo
the poet x - elizabeth agevedo

Jan 4-12

A young girl in Harlem discovers slam poetry as a way to understand her mother’s religion and her own relationship to the world. Debut novel of renowned slam poet Elizabeth Acevedo.

Xiomara Batista feels unheard and unable to hide in her Harlem neighborhood. Ever since her body grew into curves, she has learned to let her fists and her fierceness do the talking.

But Xiomara has plenty she wants to say, and she pours all her frustration and passion onto the pages of a leather notebook, reciting the words to herself like prayers—especially after she catches feelings for a boy in her bio class named Aman, who her family can never know about. With Mami’s determination to force her daughter to obey the laws of the church, Xiomara understands that her thoughts are best kept to herself.

So when she is invited to join her school’s slam poetry club, she doesn’t know how she could ever attend without her mami finding out, much less speak her words out loud. But still, she can’t stop thinking about performing her poems.

Because in the face of a world that may not want to hear her, Xiomara refuses to be silent


Review : I loved this book I highly reccomend the audiobook . Xiomara is a teenager who is going through a lot her body has changed a lot her mother has all these religious views and xiomara doesn't know what she believes anymore she meets this guy who she really likes but shit goes real when her mom finds out . this book is told in verse and I love verse books and the audiobook is read by the author and it was a beautifully written book . Xiomara finds out her twin brother is gay . Xiomara joins the poetry club where she gets to let out her emotions . after a big blow up with her family Xiomara calls the guy again and they start talking again . And she has her family priest help with her family to help them all talk this out . Xiomara finally performs her poem at the slam event . I believe everyone she read this book .

Quotes :And I think about all the things we could be 
if we were told our bodies were not built for them


When your body takes up more room than your voice you are always the target of well-aimed rumors,

“And isn't that what a poem is? A lantern glowing in the dark.

 

 

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review 2019-01-17 19:54
Pete the Cat Rocks!
Pete the Cat: Rocking in My School Shoes - Eric Litwin,James Dean

Pete the Cat is such a good book to start the school year with. It comes with a c.d. for you and your students to jam to while reading the book. The illustrations are adorable! It is a wonderful book for your students to interact with. This book is for students on a DRA Level of 16. If you read it to the class as a whole, it is great for students from kindergarten to second grade.

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review 2019-01-17 15:40
My one hundred thirty-second podcast is up!
The Peyote Effect: From the Inquisition to the War on Drugs - Alexander S. Dawson

My latest podcast is up on the New Books Network website! In it I interview Alexander S. Dawson about his new book about the history of peyote in the United States and Mexico. Enjoy!

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review 2019-01-16 18:50
Christie-esque? Hardly.
Murder at Mt. Fuji - Shizuko Natsuki

Ugh.  If I believed the publisher's hype that this is among the best that Japanese crime fiction has to offer, I'd be done with Japanese crime fiction here and now.

 

Natsuki knows how to write "atmosphere", but how she could ever have become (according to her American publisher) "one of Japan's most popular mystery writers" is utterly beyond me.  And while I do believe that Natsuki really was trying to copycat Agatha Christie, all she produces is an overly convoluted plot and a novel brimming with inconsistencies.  From egregious scene continuity issues to essential information being gathered "off stage" by teams of policemen elsewhere, to characters behaving purely as the author's plot sequencing and writerly convenience dictates (with little to no regard for, and repeatedly even contrary to what should have been both their inner and their outer response to events), to a clichéd "woman facing off against villain during dark and stormy night" final scene, the novel abounds with things that either should have been weeded out in the editing process or should have prevented it from being published altogether. 

 

Worst IMHO, however, are the police, who

 

* let a family -- all of whom are suspects -- merrily go on living in the very house that constitutes the crime scene without having cleared the scene first (thus affording the suspects plenty of opportunity to tamper with the scene ... which promptly happens),

* give press conferences in the very building that constitutes the crime scene (again before the scene has been cleared -- allowing for the reporters to further muddy the scene),

* allow the suspects to be present at those press conferences (oddly, without a single reporter showing any interest in approaching the suspects -- instead, the reporters wait until most of them have finally departed to Tokyo, to then fruitlessly stalk the premises from outside at night),

* reveal every last scrap of information -- including and in particular things only known to the police and the culprit(s) -- to the press,

* and involve a civilian who only a day earlier had still been one of the suspects (and should actually be charged with conspiring to conceal a crime / as an accomplice after the fact) in an ill-conceived, risk-prone, and promptly almost fatally derailed scheme to entrap the killer.

 

Oh, and did I mention that -- though I can't comment on the substantive details of the Japanese legal provision central to the plot (which gets cite-checked to numbing point in the final part of the novel) -- Natsuki's research, if any, on the legal issues that I can comment on is seriously off as well?  (Which, in turn, may actually explain the otherwise inexplicably stupid behaviour of one particular character.)

 

Well, I guess at least I finally get to check this one off my TBR ... and check off Japan on my "Around the World in 80 Books" challenge.

 

Next!

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