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review 2018-03-24 04:24
The Long-Lost Secret Diary of the World's Worst Dinosaur Hunter by Tim Collins & Sarah Horne (Illustrator)

This was over all a fun read, though at times felt a little slow.




In my opinion, it felt like it was missing a lot of details and actions. I could not get a clear picture of the surroundings or characters. However the descriptions of the bones and dinosaurs was handled really well.

I liked the main character. She was spunky, spoke up for herself and knew what she wanted to be and didn't let stuffy scientist guys stop her.

This is a fictional take on what if a little girl discovered some of the most known dinosaurs. The story was cute, there was segments that told the true facts of the dinosaurs she discovered, which I found really neat.

Any dino loving kid sound read this and hopefully it turns into a series of kids doing great things.

But, let's forget about age; anyone who enjoys middle grade may like this book. It is well written and if you like diary format, that is a plus. I also want to point out that I loved the artwork by Sarah Horne.


*Provided by Netgally*

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review 2018-03-18 13:10
Dear Diary - Lesley Arfin,Chloë Sevigny

For more reviews, check out my blog: Craft-Cycle

This book was okay. I found it in the Little Free Lending Library, was drawn in by the interesting cover and cool diary-like book design, and figured, "Worth a shot". At first I thought it was a work of fiction as many "diary" books directed to young girls are. Then I actually read the description and realized it was a true story about a girl growing up who eventually gets addicted to heroin. Nothing to deter me yet.

Then I started reading.


I can't believe this was written by a 28-year-old. I'm a year younger than Arfin was when she wrote this book and feel like I can be much more insightful and introspective about my messed up little pre-teen self.

The book consists of actual diary entries from Arfin when she was growing up (middle school, high school, college, after college, rehab, rehab again, etc.) along with "updates" from her current self. These "updates" didn't necessarily give any insight, but just kind of explained who people were and what was going on. She more just deciphered her cryptic teenage language of "I hate my life" rather than reflect on her life and the events that got her where she is today. There are also "interviews" where she reconnects with people from her past. This mostly consist of her reminiscing about all the funny things that happened when she was high and not-at-all-subtly steering the conversation back to herself whenever the other person tries talking about their own lives. This is a common theme throughout the book: it's the Lesley Arfin Show and no one else is allowed to think, feel, or do anything. 

Writing-wise, I was surprised that Arfin has a degree in creative writing and is an actual writer who write actual articles. I'm fine with the appreciations and slang, but her writing just isn't very good. I'll leave it at that. 

Also, I'm not really sure what the point of this book was. From Chloe Sevigny's forward, I figured it would be a book for young girls to help them through all the horribleness of growing up female, complete with the bullying, peer pressure, and general mistake-making that go along with it. However, with advice like "If you really want to know what drugs are like, you should do them for yourself" and "My recommendation to younger girls who are having sex for the first few times: Get drunk", I was a bit uncomfortable with the idea of young girls using this as a guide or something to relate to. Yes, she talks about how horrible it was being addicted to heroin and all that, but she's pretty encouraging of other drugs and overall not-so-great decision making. Kids and teens are going to do drug and act irresponsibly anyway, no need to encourage them talking about how cool drug are.

This book is definitely not what I excepted. It was okay. There were little gems of insight tucked away in it, but nothing earth-shattering. I wouldn't necessarily recommend it, because I don't think there's enough good in it to outweigh the bad, boring, and narcissistic in it.

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review 2018-03-02 04:48
The Diary of A Young Girl is exactly that and much more
The Diary of a Young Girl: The Definitive Edition - Mirjam Pressler,Susan Massotty,Otto Frank,Anne Frank

I reread this for the Catch-up Book Club on Goodreads, and I'm glad I did. The last time I read Anne's diary I was younger than she was while writing it, and again, I'm annoyed at myself for being such a dumb kid. Also, it's changed since my initial read. There's more and we get more background in the newest editions.

I hate using stars to "rate" a journal that itself says how boring, juvenile, tawdry, silly and personal it is repeatedly, but I'm going to if only to keep the rating I gave it earlier and reinforce it.

As an older reader I felt for Anne's parents early in the book. She is oblivious to the many goings-on in preparation to go into hiding. She's living a child's life with her new birthday diary, while her parents have moved the family more than once to avoid Hitler only to get stuck in Holland. Nonetheless, they prepare for hiding by taking things piece by piece to the annex and preparing as much as possible before being forced to flee. I was impressed by her father Otto's ability to allow her as much carefree childhood as he could during what must have been incredibly terrifying days.

Anne's earliest entries show she's a child with a keen understanding that many people only show masks to the rest of us. This observation repeats itself through the journal, and her torment with others being less genuine than she would like is, in itself, heart wrenching. An historical document, a life in hiding with its mundanity and extraordinary qualities equally prevalent, this diary shows both extreme fear and incredible boredom. She goes from child to philosopher repeatedly.

Interested in a huge variety of things, Anne keeps herself busy writing not just in her diary but also short stories, genealogical studies, poetry, etc. She's got thoughts and ideals on feminism, love, God, war and peace, the culpability of regular people, families, self, discrimination, motherhood, pain, poverty, medical science, finance, the war machine, religion... This is not an idle idiot scrawling nonsense. She is very capable of growth, and we see it within the diary. She allows for her own earlier "childish" writing, yet leaves it included with some additional notes. While she was supposedly editing this for after the war, she remarks more than once that this diary is just for her, that it surely won't be worthwhile to anyone else ever. How wrong you were, Anne Frank.

Anne practices multiple languages, learns history and other subjects, reads voraciously and really only stops in to write in her diary occasionally once she and her family are in hiding. She also stays abreast of her schoolwork, always planning and even trying to expect freedom just around the corner. She's up on the war, keeps an eye on the Allied Forces and fully expects them to succeed. She knows she's being optimistic. She says she's doing it purposely. She watches the squabbles around her, getting annoyed at other people's annoyance, and only occasionally allows herself to wish for things she can't have. Instead, she simply plans for "after" the war.

One moment really stood out to me. While discussing the war, Anne notes that despite nationality, she believes that after the war "We can never be just Dutch or just English or whatever, we will be Jews as well." This is, to me, a remarkable statement. While Zionism had already begun, it becomes very clear that Anne - isolated and sheltered from the worst thus far - has figured out something absolutely vital about the world post WWII and about identity when someone is part of a marginalized group in a larger society. Much earlier she had started wrestling between her German identity and her Jewish identity and she will begin to include her Dutch identity too.

The Diary of A Young Girl is exactly that and so much more.

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text 2018-02-01 05:11
January is over already! Reading summary.
The Diary of a Bookseller - Shaun Bythell
The Pursuit of Love - Nancy Mitford
The Peach Keeper - Sarah Addison Allen
The Mayor's Wife - Anna Katharine Green
A Short History of Drunkenness - Mark Forsyth
Pomfret Towers - Angela Thirkell
The One-Cent Magenta - James Barron
The Bee Friendly Garden: Easy Ways to Help the Bees and Make Your Garden Grow - Doug Purdie
From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler - E.L. Konigsburg

I don't want to go back to work!


I read 33 books in January.  It's always by far my biggest reading month.  I work in schools, which means I get the summer holidays off.  December is crazy with holidays and MT being off work, but January I'm on my own all day and can read and read and read.


Of the 33 books, only 1 wasn't on my TBR pile when the month started.  I had 2 five-star reads, and 7 four-and-a-half star reads, so on average an excellent month.  My least favourite was a 2 star read; a collection of essays about libraries that I found repetitive.


Since the woman-author reading challenge is taking place this year, here are my "gender" stats:

Women authors:  15

Male authors: 17

Mixed: 1


A whopping 23 were non-fiction, compared to 10 fiction.


As for my TBR Challenge of only allowing myself to buy half as many books as I've read, I actually did o.k.  I did have a small cheat, because on New Year's Day, my neighbour came over and offered me 6 boxes of books she was getting rid of.  Karma was rigging the system for failure!!  After going through the boxes I chose 6, but didn't count them against my book budget; I categorised them as 'gifts' and I'd said from the start gifts didn't count.



January's book buying budget: 12 books.

Bought:  9

Balance: 3 

Total TBR: 322


For February, my book budget is 16 books (January's 33 rounded down and divided by 2).


Go me!  ;)

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-01-28 15:13
The Diary of a Young Girl - B.M. Mooyaart,Eleanor Roosevelt,Anne Frank

The diary of a young girl is a book that was based of the diary of a Jewish girl that was named Anne Frank that died during world war II in a concentration camp located nearby Hannover . This book has brought me to question the human race as God has brought us to do good in this world.It just saddens me to see how being brought up with propaganda everywhere can turn such an innocent little boy into a killing machine. People salughtering each other for the sake of their beliefs, and how such a young girl's life was cut short just because of such beliefs. This book starts of with a girl named Anne Frank being delighted , receiving her first ever diary for her birthday as a present from her mother and father. She personally named it Kitty and cared for her diary as if it was her own personal friend where she can express all her feelings without being restricted and she was also hoping that her diary would be on high demand because the authorities had mentioned to the victims to preserve any documents of the war to be published in the future . She wrote daily entries on the diary and she describes vividly on how she and her family was forced out of her house into hiding as the the authorities n netherlands began to past out laws that prohibits the Jewish people to do almost anything even owning a radio ! Anne and her family were soon brought into hiding in her fathers factory that contained a secret annex that was hidden by a movable book shelf . In her diary there was a clear description on how the annex looked like and she even included a diagram of the secret annex. Living away from the outside world she was basically starting to get extremely bored as the days got by , but she was lcuky enough that there were enough reading materials in the annex that soon made her hooked to books . She began to self study on subjects such as politics , literature and language. Tensions between her and her family and the people in the annex began to rise , because she had been taking things on herself more and more harsh whilst overthinking on even the smallest matter. This had made her flare up to people in the annex even without any reason and Kitty (her diary) her only friend that she could express all her feelings to. The war raged on and day by day and a bright future was uncertain. Live continued as per normal until one fateful day on the morning of August 4 ,1944 at around ten to ten thirty in the morning a car pulled up at 263 Prinsengracht, several figures emerged an SS sergeant and around three Dutch members of the security Police all armed.They raided the whole factory and arrested everyone including Anne . They were all seperated and sent to different concentration camps . Annes's father , Otto Frank , was the only soul survivor of the whole ordeal that killed his whole family including Anne. He now lives in Birsfelden where he devotes his whole life to share the story of his daughter Anne Frank on how her life was cut short due to the war

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