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review 2021-01-04 04:16
Review: Dread Nation
Dread Nation - Justina Ireland,Bahni Turpin

To start, I have no idea what I was thinking when I decided I HAD to read this. I shall quantify this by saying, as someone who has lived her intire life dealing with the reality of slaver, racism, and mysoginy, I despise dealing with it in my fantasy world. I actively avoide books and movies that are racially charged or heavy with the sexism. Sometimes you can't avoid it, and sometime and book/movie is so effing fantastic that I can give it a pass. Dread Nation is going on the list. But make no mistake, the racism really grated on me.  Also, it was in first person perspective, which I normally loathe; this was not bad.

 

With that being said, this was an amazing story, and what drew it to me was zombies, combined with historical fiction, and black people in the forefront. The characters were fun and likeable, even when they were unliekable. The world building was amazing and the writing was incredible!

 

We follow Jane McKeene a half black/white girl who is a student at Miss Preston's School for Negro Girls (I think that's what it was called.) Basically when the dead decided to get up and walk during the battle of Gettysburg The Civil War "ended" and the war vs the Dead began. The North still "won" and blacks were given freedom, but not really. They, along with indigenous tribes were swooped and placed in combat schools where they taught them how to be on the frontlines in the battle against the dead, as well as beat their culture and "savageness" out of them so that they can better serve their white betters. Sigh, I'm letting the bitterness bleed into the review.

 

Anyway Jane gets thrust into crazy adventures and all around bad situations with her nemisise Kathrine Devaraux, who is also of mixed race, but a goody-goofy know-it-all, which irks Jane to no end. There are devious plots, secret "utopia" towns, crazy scientists with vaccines and terrible experiments. There is also the dead, which the characters refer to as shamblers. There's a lot of death, allies, betrayals and grudging friendships.

 

I've heard the narrator before and they were amazing. They captured the voices and brought the world to life.

 

Just read/listen to it; it was great!

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review 2020-10-25 03:21
Review: The Deep
The Deep - Rivers Solomon

I'm going with 3 stars because I don't know how I feel about this novella.  I wanted to love it. I didn't hate it.  There were parts that I got lost in.  However, there were parts that lost me.  I own the hard cover, but had to borrow the audiobook from the library to get through it.  Perhaps a re-read at a later date...

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review 2020-08-08 13:33
Review: The Poet X
The Poet X - Elizabeth Acevedo

Talk about a wild ride! 10-out-of-10, will listen again! This was amazing. The story was sad and heart-wrenching, yet hopeful. This made me cry.

 

Xiomara is a teenage girl trying to navigate life with so many things pulling her in different directions. It spoke to so many teenagers living similar lives. There are parents who try to live their lives through their children, parents, who think they're doing what is best for their children, but are actually putting them in cages to live the lives they want for them rather than letting their child just live, forcing instead of guiding. It was so sad and it upset me so much as a parent. The ending was hopeful, because the family as a whole sought outside help to deal with their issues, which so many families need to do, but do not. It gave me hope that while things would never be perfect, they could get better.

 

I am so very glad that I bought the audibook version of this book, because hearing the author's words, in her own voice made it more powerful and profound for me. This was excellent and I look forward to reading/hearing more from the author.

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review 2020-05-06 01:54
A Thrilling Countdown
The Final Days - Carl Bernstein,Bob Woodward

Title: The Final Days

Authors: Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein

Publish Date: November 1, 2005 (first published in 1976)

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Format: Paperback

Page Count: 480 pages

Source: Personal copy

Date Read: April 16-22, 2020

 

Review

 

A thrilling day by day account, starting around late January 1973 and going to August 9, 1974. This book is both a stand alone on what happened to end Nixon's presidency and yet it also a great sequel to All the President's Men. I think this book is better written than Men because there is no focus on Woodward's and Bernstein's working relationship or how to publish articles in the paper while lawyers from the White House and the Washington Post went head to head in court. The sole focus of the story was how the house of cards that Nixon built came crashing down around everyone. 

 

I have to say there are more than a few similarities that a reader can make between Judy Nixon and Ivanka Trump. Man, Judy was a real dope to believe her father past the time of his resignation and how she coddled him when Dick was living up to his name. I can't believe she married an Eisenhower, much less the former president's grandson - what the fuck did he see in her, I don't know. I do know that dear David Eisenhower believed in his father-in-law's guilt and tried to open Judy's eyes; for that she lashed out at David and dug in her heels. David was as astute as to Richard M. Nixon's darker side as his grandfather. Pat Nixon was pretty much drunk the entire time (I mean EVERY DAY), probably since summer of 1972 after the news broke. She didn't even try to get herself involved in her husband's PR campaign. 

 

Seeing how Nixon threw Haldeman and Ehrlichman under the bus, then backed up that bus and drove it over them again and again was fun, especially after reading what these three stooges did in Men. At the same time, John Dean had already turned state's evidence, so watching Dean throw Nixon on under that same bus and driving it over him and his very special personal attorney from Boston gave me a downright giddy feeling. 

 

I was surprised by new VP Gerald Ford's insistence of keeping a low profile, but enough public support of Nixon to show an united front. Ford didn't want the job in the executive branch - he was happy on the legislative side of Washington DC. It was as if Ford was in a wholly different administration while the rest of the White House was crumbling. He was as big of a rube as Judy Nixon. But this book did make me want to read more about his presidency. 

 

A fun and interesting ride through politics.

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review 2020-03-13 05:00
In the Garden Review and GIVEAWAY!
 

About the Book

 


Book:  In The Garden

Author: Whitaker House Editorial

Genre:  Christian non-fiction, Biblical history, cultural, Biblical reference

Release Date: January 10, 2020

Consider not only the lilies of the field, but all the plants, trees, herbs, shrubs, and flowers that play a role in the biblical narrative through this illustrated guide. From the barley Ruth harvested to the hyssop David craved, from the frankincense the wise men brought to Jesus to the sycamore tree Zacchaeus climbed, the Bible is peppered with allusions to the plants that were a part of daily life in the ancient Near East and in New Testament Israel. With original illustrations, this beautiful gift book clarifies the biblical references to fifty plants and provides delightful new insights into the Word of God. Includes indexes to each plant and its corresponding Scripture references, a calendar of Jewish festivals and the growing seasons in Israel, and tips for growing your own biblically inspired garden.



Click HERE to get your copy!

More from Whitaker House

 

Rather than being a dictionary of the plants mentioned in the Bible, In the Garden, with its original illustrations and plant descriptions, is meant to spark the reader’s spiritual imagination. It is our hope that these pages about the plants of the Bible will prompt your imagination and inform your study of the precious Word of the living God.

My Review

 

Having previously read and reviewed a book about essential oils used in the Bible and their modern applications (“Essential Oils: God’s Extravagant Provision for Your Health” by Teri Secrest), I was eager to further explore the topic of natural health from a Biblical perspective. For reviewing purposes, I was provided with an e-copy of “In the Garden”, and I can only imagine that the hardcover edition is even more delightful.

The organization of “In the Garden” serves to provide maximum ease of use. There are four sections regarding the plants themselves: Trees and Shrubs, Edible Plants, Medicinal and Aromatic Plants, and Flowers. A Bible verse begins each entry, which also includes the Latin, Hebrew, and Greek names of the plant being discussed; to many, perhaps, this may be superfluous information, but as someone who loves languages and etymologies, I have to say that I appreciated it. Gorgeous illustrations give readers a clear visual, which really enhances the reading experience. Each plant’s native location and where it was used is also provided, along with how it relates to Biblical use (usually directly connecting it with the preceding Scripture) and modern use. The book also includes two more interactive segments: Growing Your Own Biblically-Inspired Garden and a Calendar of Jewish Festivals and Growing Seasons. This takes the book beyond an ordinary reference manual and invites readers to grow some of the plants mentioned, while backing the connection with the Bible by illuminating the connection between the Jewish festivals and the typical growing seasons.

Not being particularly well-versed in botany, I learned a lot of interesting facts from this book. I did not realize that the palms referenced in Scripture were date palms, nor did I realize that Solomon seems to be largely credited with the bountiful supply of cedar in Jerusalem. I learned how papyrus is made, and that flax has blue blossoms. I also found the possible explanation of why Jesus rejected the vinegar mixed with gall interesting: because of its painkilling properties. My only criticism is that I would have liked more description about the plants as opposed to the brief information that is given. My favorite aspect of the book is how it often relates a plant to one of God’s promises found in the Bible: “In the same way that foreign imports like cinnamon could be used in the most sacred worship of the Lord, so one day foreign nations would join in worshipping the true God, bowing the knee and confessing that Jesus is Lord (Philippians 2:10-11).”

I received a complimentary copy of this book through Celebrate Lit and was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.


Blog Stops

 

 

Giveaway

 


To celebrate their tour, Whitaker House is giving away the grand prize package of a $20 Starbucks gift card and finished copy of the book!!
 
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.
 

 

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