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review 2017-03-02 16:03
The Red Tent
The Red Tent - Anita Diamant

I'm not very familiar with the original Bible stories that The Red Tent is based on. After reading a few other reviews, it seems many who are familiar feel this was a big departure from the 'true' stories. I didn't read this for an accurate retelling of a Bible story, so I have no opinion on the accuracy.

 

Overall I enjoyed The Red Tent. While I understand this is one person's creative view on how life was for women back then, I think the picture she painted could have been very accurate. There were only a few parts that I felt dragged on longer than necessary. I'm looking forward to watching the mini-series now.

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text 2016-06-03 14:07
The Forgotten Flapper: A Novel of Olive Thomas - Laini Giles
The Boston Girl: A Novel - Anita Diamant
Rare Objects: A Novel - Kathleen Tessaro

Are the 1910s–1930s making a comeback? See this week's post, “The Fog of War.”

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review 2016-02-16 07:11
"How many plans do we have? Is there, like, a plan M?"*
Heist: The Oddball Crew behind the $17 Million Loomis Fargo Theft - Jeff Diamant

Heist! The Oddball Crew Behind the $17 Million Loomis Fargo Theft

by Jeff Diamant

 

If you've interacted with me much, you'll know by now that I absolutely love heists.
So how could I resist a book called "Heist"?

The opening is promising enough. We are introduced to the aforementioned "oddball crew," which consists of a thief, a grifter, a hitter, a brain, and...
Oh, wait.
That's Leverage.

As it turns out, Heist isn't so much about the heist as it is about the aftermath. The heist itself is dirt simple: an employee goes in at night, pulls out the money, hands it off to his conspirators, and heads off to Mexico. What happens next involves a hitman, a cigar store Indian, a lot of M&Ms, and a Velvet Elvis. The book is not so much about the heist as it is about the insane and idiotic things the conspirators tried to do with the money. To take only one example, one of the women goes to a bank, asks about the max she can deposit without having it reported to the federal government, and then adds cheerfully to the teller, "Don't worry, it's not drug money."

While it is funny, I also found it distasteful, and it took me a while to pin down why. For one thing, I don't generally like reading recent histories; I like my nonfiction to involve people who are not only dead but whose bones are basically dust at this point. Second, this story and the way it is presented is simply a reinforcement of all the negative stereotypes people have of "hillbillies." The theft itself appears to have had devastating effects on the community, and not only because of the families with members in prison. Because of the theft and its aftermath, the whole area became a laughingstock for the rest of the US. It bothers me that the story extracted from the theft is one of hollow mockery.

Alright, all that over, I'm going back to watching Leverage, where the heists are clever, the humour is more upbeat, and the endings are happy.

 

*Quote is from Leverage, not from the book.

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text 2015-12-27 01:47
Christmas Roundup
Eleanor & Park - Rainbow Rowell
The Red Tent - Anita Diamant
A Street Cat Named Bob: How One Man and His Cat Found Hope on the Streets - James Bowen
Ashfall - Mike Mullin
Queen of Kings - Maria Dahvana Headley
Girls Are Weirdos But They Smell Pretty! - Todd Harris Goldman

I only got 1 book for Christmas. ONE!

 

But a few others went on sale so I got them while I could. I have been very sluggish this fall and winter. Been sick a lot. So reading hasn't been high on my priorities. Anyway, I hope everyone had a good holiday season. I'm getting over a cold, but I'm trying to get a couple more reads done before we start the new year.

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review 2015-11-25 06:13
The Boston Girl
The Boston Girl: A Novel - Anita Diamant

I chose this book from NetGalley because I've read a couple of Anita Diamant’s books and I really enjoyed them. I like that after reading them, I feel satisfied that I’ve read a good story and also, somehow, smarter. She has a gift for telling complicated stories in an elegant, simple manner, and the story of Addie Baum is no different. Addie tells her story to her granddaughter with the benefit of years and hindsight, and Diamant brings the book up-to-date with nods to current trends in contrast to Addie’s experience.

 

This is the story of a young woman living through periods of great change in women’s roles, and Diamant gives us a capable heroine to challenge the status quo. For me, something about the telling reminded me of a more grown-up version of the Betsy-Tacy stories my daughters and I read aloud together a couple of years ago. This is meant as a compliment, as they were a highlight in our reading, and Betsy was a well-loved character. We read all of those stories as they spanned her lifetime, just as Addie’s story spans almost a century, and the many changes those times brought. As I’ve come to understand, reading a book by Anita Diamant is always time well spent.

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