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review 2016-12-28 14:12
Review of Brave Companions by David McCullough
Brave Companions: Portraits In History - David McCullough

I love David McCullough. I always want to read more history, biography, and novels after reading his words and seeing his passion for America and the World. I want to see art, listen to music, and just become better educated about areas of life that I am deficient in knowledge.

This book is a collection of essays and speeches that McCullough wrote and gave over the course of many years. There are chapters on people I knew literally nothing about, and others about time periods and figures I am familiar with but learned more about. If you enjoy history and learning about figures that might not be mainstream, this is a great read.

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review 2016-09-04 00:00
Unlikely Companions: The Adventures of an Exotic Animal Veterinarian (Or, What Friends Feathered, Furred, and Scaled Have Taught Me about Life and Love)
Unlikely Companions: The Adventures of a... Unlikely Companions: The Adventures of an Exotic Animal Veterinarian (Or, What Friends Feathered, Furred, and Scaled Have Taught Me about Life and Love) - Laurie Hess My Review:
This was a delightful book that dealt with some tender subjects in a very sensitive way. Nothing was glossed over or skipped over. Animals died. People grieved. But such things were handled so that I could read it all without breaking down crying and not being able to read on. The search for the source of the poison was realistic. The characters were well written and interacted quite well. We didn't get to know any of the characters in great depth, but we knew enough to be engaged in the story, which was well written. The author wrote about the tiny sugar gliders so well, so lovingly, that I was almost tempted to get one for myself. Definitely a book for animal lovers to read!

I was provided a digital copy of this book by DaCapo Press and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I am not being compensated in any way. All opinions are fully my own.
~ Judi E. Easley
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text 2016-08-04 21:04
TBR Thursday* - Not Another Piece of Birthday Cake. Please. Edition
The Official Nora Roberts Companion - Denise Little,Laura Hayden,Nora Roberts
The Midnight Breed Series Companion - Lara Adrian
What I Know Now: Letters to My Younger Self - Ellyn Spragins
Tempted by Midnight: A Midnight Breed Novella (1001 Dark Nights) - Lara Adrian

Back to back birthdays have me in a sugar spiral; not to mention, the base library had an adult-only mingle event (talking about books while coloring pages from adult coloring books was a lot of fun!) for those of us who signed up to do the Summer Reading program - refreshments included a big sheet cake from the commissary.

 

Anyway, here is what I added to the TBR this week.

 

Personal Library:

1. The Official Nora Roberts Companion by Denise Little, Laura Hayden, and Nora Roberts

     This is a print edition. I bought it because I needed to replace my original copy that was damaged when my parents' house had some minor flooding (I was at boot camp/technical training school at the time of the flooding). I really wish they would come out with a second volume and another volume just for the J.D. Robb ....In Death series.

 

2. The Midnight Breed Series Companion (Volume 1)  by Lara Adrian

    This is the print edition. My favorite paranormal romance series. I am picking up the series again with the full length novels in 2017. I have a dedicated Pinterest board for this series and my upcoming tattoo will be a design from this series (once the sunburn heals completely). Like, I really love this series LOL.

 

Library Loans:

3. What I Know Now: Letters to My Younger Self by Ellyn Spragins

     Just browsing through the library stacks and caught this small book. So many wonderful women contributed to this anthology, such as Queen Noor and Nora Roberts.

 

4. Tempted by Midnight (Midnight Breed #12.5) by Lara Adrian

    I wasn't going to pay paperback price for a 100 page novella, so I figure I would wait for it to go one sale.....yeah that never happened. Browsing my library stacks and there it was, waiting for me to check it out. It is part of the 1001 Dark Nights series of novellas. Picking up this book is the reason I went and bought the companion book.

 

*bookish meme created by Moonlight Reader

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review 2015-12-10 05:58
A Beautiful Friendship (audiobook) by David Weber, narrated by Khristine Hvam
A Beautiful Friendship - Khristine Hvam,David Weber

Twelve-year-old Stephanie isn't happy that her family has been relocated to the planet Sphinx. It's a dangerous and fairly recently colonized place, so her parents don't feel comfortable about letting her run around on her own all the time. In order to keep her occupied, Stephanie's mother gives her a mystery to solve: missing celery. Greenhouses and gardens all over Sphinx keep getting small amounts of celery stolen from them, and no one's been able to figure out who's been doing it. Stephanie's investigation leads to the discovery of a whole new sentient species, beings she ends up calling “treecats.” She forms an empathic bond with one particular treecat, Climbs Quickly, and becomes a fierce protector of her new friend and his clan.

I'm a fan of “telepathic/empathic animal companion” fantasy and sci-fi. I figured I knew what to expect from this book. Stephanie would go exploring, find and bond with a treecat, and eventually be in a position to save treecats from some sort of danger (which she inadvertently put them in, something I managed to guess only halfway through). And I suppose that's how this story went, but the execution was incredibly boring.

It took a while for Stephanie and Climbs Quickly to meet, but I didn't mind that so much. Since I had never read any of Weber's other Honorverse books, I was happy for whatever background info I could get before the story picked up steam. I loved the scene in the forest, when Stephanie and Climbs Quickly met for the second time and fought side-by-side, and I was looking forward to seeing their bond develop.

That was where things started to go bad, for me. The story skipped forward two years. Repeated references were made to an event in which some treecats were killed and many more were saved, but that event was never shown. A bit of googling tells me that it probably happened in a short story that can be found in the Worlds of Honor anthology, which is good to know, but I still felt cheated as I was listening to A Beautiful Friendship and wondering why this interesting and important event was being completely skipped over.

The book went on and on about things I had trouble caring about, like the specifics of settlement arrangements on Sphinx, background information about several new adult characters, and Stephanie's shooting practice. What I wanted were more adventures and a closer exploration of the deepening bond between Stephanie and Climbs Quickly, not great gobs of exposition. The one thing that kept portions of this book from becoming an absolute snooze-fest was Khristine Hvam's narration – she was pleasant to listen to and did a good job voicing the various characters, although I thought some of her treecat voices were almost cartoonish.

Everywhere I've looked, this book is categorized as YA. However, even if I hadn't already known that most of Weber's books were written for adults, I would have been able to guess it from the way this was written. Adult POVs were used far more often than in most modern YA books, and most of Stephanie's adventures felt either overly brief or very carefully managed by the adults around her.

All in all, A Beautiful Friendship was a bit disappointing, but I still wouldn't mind trying the next book. However, I find that I'm looking forward to Weber's Honorverse books for adults far more than I am the next book in this series.

 

(Original review, with read-alikes, posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

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url 2015-05-13 16:47
Why Bookworms Make Great Companions

Research has suggested that readers, namely readers of fiction, make better companions than non-readers. People who are “deep readers,” that is, they read with intention that allows them to identify with and take journeys with the characters involved, are more likely to be empathetic human beings. Unfortunately, this type of reader is becoming less and less common in today’s world of quick information and abbreviated language

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