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review 2020-06-05 01:27
Review: When Women Ruled The World
When Women Ruled the World: Six Queens of Egypt - Kara Cooney

I do not think I can adequately express my feelings for this book.  So I will just say that I find Egypt fascinating and love to learn anything I can about its history.  I also love women and stories of empowerment and the fight for that power.  This encapsulates both.  It was well researched, well written and the author did the narration herself and while it wasn't spectacular it was what I expected for something so academic.

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review 2020-06-04 21:30
Girl Sleuth: Nancy Drew and the Women Who Created Her by Melanie Rehak
Girl Sleuth: Nancy Drew and the Women Who Created Her - Melanie Rehak

I read this in college and it opened my eyes, on finding a copy on our first venture out this past weekend in a second hand shop I figured it was time to give it another go since I've read a few of the original Nancy Drews now.

 

 'Girl Sleuth' traces the history of the 'Nancy Drew' series from its genesis in a memo from the Stratemeyer Syndicate to the cultural momentum Nancy Drew had achieved by the end of the 20th century. The focus is on the original author of the series, Mildred Wirt Benson, and editor Harriet Adams Stratemeyer who shepherded the series and, infamously, revised the original books and claimed sole authorship for decades. 

 

The story is a fascinating one. It is very hard to feel sympathy for Adams, but Rehak does a fine job on Adams' background and restrictions and the hardships she faced as a woman in a man's industry. Benson, on the other hand, was an amazing woman who would be noteworthy even without her having ghost-written Nancy. A journalist, pilot and - though she refused the title - feminist who paved the way for many after her.

 

I would have liked there to have been more discussion of the racism and classism inherent in the books written in the '30s and '40s. How much was present in the Stratemeyer outlines that Benson couldn't deviate from, written by Harriet and her sister for the most part, and how much did Benson add? Rehak goes straight into the era when the books needed to be revised. Those images, stereotypes and ideas were a part of the times, but they were not mandatory. Did Benson ever make a statement of regret? Did Adams? 

 

Still a good read for those of us who can't get enough.

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review 2020-06-04 21:00
MORE BETTER DEALS by Joe R. Lansdale
More Better Deals - Joe R. Lansdale

Ed Edwards is a used car salesman sent to repossess a car. His life is never the same!

 

Ed's life is nothing to brag about-hell, he sells used cars after all. He's a combat veteran that served in Korea and he has seen some things. When he's sent to the house of Frank and Nancy Craig to take back the car they haven't paid for, he cannot help but give Nancy a second look-maybe even a third. Nancy tells him how terrible Frank is, how he's a philanderer, a no-good wife beater and an alcoholic. Before you know it, Nancy and Ed concoct a scheme to knock Frank off and we're off to the races! Are they successful? Will they live happily ever after together? You'll have to read this to find out!

 

With a serious James M. Cain vibe, (DOUBLE INDEMNITY, especially), the reader knows from the outset that things aren't going to go smoothly. In true Lansdale style though, one cannot guess just how far off the rails this plan went. Dealing with so many problems, racism being one of them, his boss dying yet another, you can't help but feel a little sorry for Ed. He's not the best guy in the world, but when he goes to visit his mother, we can see he did pretty well considering where he started.

 

Every twist and turn adds another new aspect to the tale, until as Ed himself says:

 

"One thing weighs on the other, and finally it all just gets too heavy."

 

I loved how everything came together in the end because it wasn't all dolled up in a new dress. The finale was true to the story, painful and harsh. I loved it.

 

Joe Lansdale is a national treasure. In any genre, in anything he sets his mind to he has a distinctive voice. It's one I've grown to love over the years and I'll bet you love it too if you decide to give his books a try. I recommend all of them!

 

 

Available July 21st, but you can pre-order here: MORE BETTER DEALS

 

*Thanks to Joe Lansdale, Mulholland Books and NetGalley for the digital copy in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it!*

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2020-06-01 04:11
Book Review: Can't text this teagan hunter
Can't text this - Teagan Hunter

May 28-31

Hi Monty. Wanna see my python?"

That's how I ended up in the bathroom of some dive bar with a stranger.

Me, Monty Andrews, the quintessential virgin girl next door.

I was so out of my element, but there was no denying our explosive attraction, even via text.

Commence Operation Bang Each Other Out of Our Systems, because that was all it was⁠—unfinished business.

I had no intention of falling back into the sheets with the tattooed, muscly, dirty-in-the-best-kind-of-way single dad over and over again...but I did.

Everything was going great—until we discovered I was his son's teacher

Review: Loved Robbie's book . Robbie is Zach best friend. Robbie ends up making out with a girl named monty at the bar and she leaves him but leaves her number . Robbie can't stop thinking about her so Zach tells him to text her so he does and they text for awhile and they both want to have sex but monty has been making him wait . The agreement was to sleep together and then go their separate ways but once they had sex they couldn't and monty was a virgin and didn't tell Robbie at first . They end up fooling around a lot more and then make it official and then they find out something big . Monty is Robbie son teacher and there isn't any rule against it but the creep teacher catches Robbie and Monty together at a photo booth and saved the photo for blackmail and they broke up . Monty goes to her boss and explains the situation and the boss says he going to talk with creep teacher. Robbie and monty get back together and a year later they move in together so cute .

QuotesHey, I’m Monty.” “Hi Monty. Wanna see my python?


Is Uncle Zach a creeper?” The kid’s voice is full of excitement because he is in love with my best friend. In a weird turn of events, I met Zach the same night I got my ex-girlfriend pregnant.




The biggest one I know. Don’t let him in.” “I’m not a creep. I’m awesome,” Zach says


I stare at my best friend, mouth hanging open in shock. “You’ve turned my own spawn against me? That’s messed up, man.”


Laughter bursts out of Zach and water covers the counter. “What in the hell are you teaching your child?” I shrug, grabbing a new towel and cleaning up the mess. “I don’t know where he gets that shit.” “Uh huh.”


Ah, ah, ah—a live-in girlfriend.” I briefly squeeze my eyes shut and try not to laugh at his enthusiasm. “Right. My bad.” “It’s because of my ass. That’s what sealed the deal, really.”


Hey!” she calls when I step out. “I heard you finger-banged some girl in the bathroom of a bar.” “I fucking hate your boyfriend.”

Ah, ah, ah—a live-in girlfriend.” I briefly squeeze my eyes shut and try not to laugh at his enthusiasm. “Right. My bad.” “It’s because of my ass. That’s what sealed the deal, really.”

Checking out my fridge too? Damn.” “I had to check for severed heads.” “I keep those in the basement.

Thank you for trusting me with your body, Monty. Thank you for choosing me, for allowing me to be the one who will always have that part of you

You love me so damn much that you went out and bought a bunny so I’d stop making unannounced visits to your place, right?” “First, who in their right mind is actually afraid of bunnies? Bunnies! The most innocent creatures ever.” “Hey, Marshy resents that remark!” I roll my eyes. “Second, you leave Thumbelina Bruce Wayne out of this. She’s done nothing wrong.”

“I know this was supposed to be light and fluffy and fun or whatever, but it’s evolved. I want more than that. I want stability. I want real. I want you.”


He’s named after your goat-loving bestie?” I chuckle at her description. “The one and only.” “That must really go to his head.” “You have no idea.”

 

Because I love you, you dumbass

 

 

 

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review 2020-06-01 03:07
Ascendance of a Bookworm: I'll Do Anything to Become a Librarian!: Part 1: Daughter of a Soldier, Vol. 3 (book) by Miya Kazuki, illustrated by You Shiina, translated by quof
Ascendance of a Bookworm: Part 1 Vol. 3 - Miya Kazuki,Karuho Shiina,quof

At the end of the previous volume, Myne passed out due to the Devouring and seemed likely to die. But of course she didn't - in the beginning of this volume, it's revealed that she was taken to the guildmaster to be saved by one of the fragile magical items he collected in order to save his granddaughter, Freida, who also has the Devouring.

It's a good thing that Myne has saved up so much money, because even old and nearly broken magical tools cost a lot, and are typically only available to nobles. And not only that, they don't cure someone with the Devouring, they just temporarily lower the person's mana level enough for them to feel better. If she doesn't sign a contract with a noble and agree to become their slave, Myne likely only has another year at most before the Devouring kills her.

Freida and the guildmaster, who already have connections with nobles, want to corner Myne into working with them. Benno wants Myne (and her lucrative product ideas) to stay with him and the Gilberta Company. Then there's Myne's family and her friend Lutz - if she signs a contract with a noble, she'll likely never see any of them again. So Myne has some tough decisions to make.

In some ways, this was the best volume in the series so far. There were only a few overly detailed "making stuff from our world in a fantasy world" scenes, more emphasis was put on characters' relationships with others (Myne and her family, and Lutz and his), readers finally got a small glimpse of the wider world and its politics, and there was forward movement in the Devouring aspect of the plot.

Unfortunately, the story had a bad tendency to meander - I had to flip through it to remind myself what happened in between the more important plot points. Lots of planning for Myne's baptism, getting Lutz ready to become an apprentice merchant, more paper-making but bigger, and Myne accidentally inventing yet another new food. I still agree with what I wrote in my review for Volume 1: Part 1 really would have been better condensed into a single volume rather than spread out over three books.

The writing was terrible. That fact was easier to gloss over in the previous two volumes, but in this one the author included a few scenes that should have been very emotional and that were instead ruined by the author's reliance upon what were essentially sound effects to convey characters' emotions. Things like: "Sniff," "Nnn," and "Ngggh." And speaking of sound effects, it seemed like Myne said "Bwuh" way more in this volume than she did in the previous two, and it started to irk me a bit. And this series really should have been written in the third person. The author had to cheat a bit in this volume to get around the limitations of Myne's first person POV, and honestly most of the bonus stories also came across as clumsy attempts to get around the series' POV limitations.

I have a bunch of questions about the world-building - it seemed shakiest where foods were concerned. First there was the whole thing, earlier in the series, about commoners not having access to rice. In this volume it was revealed that

sugar (I'm guessing that the author/translator actually meant "refined sugar") had only just begun to be imported, but even without sugar I would have figured people would have experience with baking cakes using honey. And yet for some reason the cake Myne baked was treated like a revolution, and Leise, a supposedly experience cook and baker, needed Myne's suggestions to figure out how to jazz the recipe up with additional ingredients. At one point, the text referred to pound cake dough (205) rather than batter, which told me that either the author or translator, or possibly both, wasn't a baker.

(spoiler show)


Despite all of these problems, I still plan on reading Part 2 once it's possible for me to get all three books. I look forward to seeing where the author goes with the new developments in the story. But I won't lie, this isn't a well-written series. I've been able to put up with its issues so far, but I'd totally understand if others couldn't.

I haven't seen the anime yet but plan to do so. I strongly suspect that the emotional scenes in this volume will work a lot better in the anime than they did here. I prefer You Shiina's artwork to the screenshots I've seen of the anime, but that's normal - Shiina's illustrations can have a level of detail that just wouldn't work in an animated series.

Extras:

A folded page with full-color illustrations on both sides, black-and-white illustrations throughout, a map of the portion of the town Myne has access to, a drawing of Myne's family's home, and six bonus stories.

The bonus stories aren't really bonus - they continue the main story a bit, but from other characters' POVs. Hence my comment about authorial cheating. The POVs included: Tuuli, Leise, Benno (he lost a bunch of points with me in his short story - I'd thought he was a savvy merchant, but he's looking more and more like a reckless idiot), Mark (J-Novel Club made a mistake and used Benno's chapter's title as Mark's chapter's running head, oops), Lutz, and the guildmaster. You know, I can't recall if the guildmaster has ever been given a name.

 

(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

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