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review 2018-08-20 15:47
The Johnstown Flood by David McCullough
The Johnstown Flood - David McCullough

Another great read from historian David McCullough. I like his shorter works, as he is very detailed in his writings. There were a lot of people to keep track of and a lot of geographical area to cover (luckily there was a map in the front of the book). The pictures of the aftermath are amazing and disturbing at the same time. The writing is very action-oriented when the event starts, but there is a lot of back story (pre-Civil War history) that went into the understanding of the event. It was very readable, so I could recommend this to both history buffs and non-history readers. 

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review 2018-04-02 23:47
The Finest Hours (YA adaption) by Michael J. Tougias and Casey Sherman
The Finest Hours: The True Story of a Heroic Sea Rescue - Michael J. Tougias,Casey Sherman

I watched the Disney movie based on the adult book back in January 2017. It was great (read: Chris Pine and Eric Bana provided eye-candy) and one of the special features of the DVD was the screenwriters interviewing survivors/witnesses and showing stuff from the museum. I had made a point of wanting to read the book, so when the 2018 PS challenge came out and the first prompt was "book that was made into a movie you've already seen" I knew which book I would read for it. 

 

Here's the deal - I don't care about boats, nor do I care to read endless paragraphs of boats structure, size, etc. If you do, read the adult book; I went with the YA adaption of the book so I could get to the actual story faster and not read mind-numbingly pages of boat details. The problem was that it was written for more the MG crowd than YA; the writing at times seem choppy and I couldn't really connect with the people in the story; I felt the movie was better in getting the audience to care about the rescuers and those on the oil tankers. There was also too many people, especially the ones on the oil tankers, profiled - it was hard to keep them separate in my head while reading.

 

Still it is a decent story for those MG readers that want to know about an important event in the ever-evolving history of disaster management.

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review 2018-02-16 19:23
Weird, very weird
Disasters in the First World: Stories - ... Disasters in the First World: Stories - June Elizabeth Tilton, Clare Marie Tully, Mary Alice Waldron, Elvi Bertha Wasenius, Abigail Harriet McSweeney, Doris Esther Sheehan, Anna Winifred Simon, Olivia Mae Stead, Pauline Margolis, Elizabeth Bushen May Margaret Elizabeth McNamara

That was the oddest bunch of stories I have ever read. I was always trying to search for meaning or symbolism, figuring there had to be some there, but couldn't come up with much. I was always thinking that the author is trying to say something, but what it is (to me) is a mystery. There was never any closure either-- it was like I was left hanging every time. There were strange conversations as well-- I kept wondering if perhaps the book was written while the author was under the influence of hallucinogens part of the time... like I would think "ok-- maybe this will make sense-- we are starting to get somewhere" then-- nope, cause a crazy conversation started, and whatever progress I thought had been made was gone. Maybe I would have understood it if I had been under some influence...LOL

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review 2018-01-12 18:48
Triangle: The Fire That Changed America by David von Drehle
Triangle: The Fire That Changed America - David von Drehle

This was a dud. I guess I had higher expectations for this book than I was aware of because all I am feeling is disappointment. Yeah, the book does explain (not that well enough in my opinion) what happened and how it happened, but I felt that the author was much more interested in writing about the men of Tammany Hall. Basically this book is almost all about every man involved, however loosely, in the strike of 1909 and the Triangle Shirtwaist Company fire. Seriously, I felt that every man in Lower East Side of NYC got a full back story and like maybe 3 women did.

 

The writing was a little over the top, especially when the author was describing what each character looked like, including the shape of heads. Also he was pre-occupied with how plain or pretty the women in the book were and how feminine they acted. It was a bit weird and not really added any value to the narrative.

 

Tip of the hat to the author for working on a list of victims who died in the fire. His author note on sources was more entertaining than a lot of the book, the way he detailed how he went about trying to find the names from varying sources and using detective work to whittle down the list.

 

I did give an extra half star for the author adding in details about Francis Perkins early days prior to working with and then for FDR.

 

 

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review 2017-09-28 11:45
Review: Love and Other Man-Made Disasters
Love and Other Man-Made Disasters - Nicola Doherty

 

I received a copy from Netgalley.

 

I snagged a copy of this one from my Hatchette Children’s auto approval at some point last year. It’s a cute light hearted contemporary, easy and quick to read, but only okay for me. There was nothing particularly outstanding about it.

 

It wasn’t a bad book by any means, just a little bland for my tastes.

 

It tells the story of 17 year old Juno who’s on a skiing trip with her family, her mum and mum’s second husband and her two annoying twin step brothers. Juno’s very nervous and seems to be freaked out about everything. She’d much rather spend her holiday at home with books and studying but her mum has decided she spends too much time studying and needs to get out into the real world. Juno would rather be anything else.

 

After a disaster at beginners skiing mum gets her private lessons from a good looking instructor who appears to be around Juno’s age nick-named Boy. The bulk of the story is Juno and Boy getting to know each other and become something more than friends. They have some nice snarky banter between them, Juno struggles with developing feelings for a romance that will probably go nowhere. At the same time she finds herself making friends with Tara, the young woman assigned to look after their cabin – cooking and cleaning, etc.

 

The novel deals with Juno’s worry at the increase of adventure in her life as she makes new friends and has new experiences at the same time dealing with her mum and her added new family. It had some fairly good emotional depth. Juno was a likeable enough character and the family interaction was quite believable.

 

Boy just irritated me, that name for one thing drove me up the wall. I’m guessing it was meant to be cute, but it was really just annoying. He wasn’t a bad character either, just had stupid name. You do actually learn his real name right at the end of the book and considering you can understand why he would have a nickname. But I didn’t like the nickname and that sort of sapped my enjoyment of the story whenever Boy was in the scene.

 

A quick contemporary read. Only okay for me. Not something I would read again.

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