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review 2017-10-05 01:03
First few pages were fascinating.
Tea: Addiction, Exploitation, and Empire - Roy Moxham

Then it got really boring. Tea is a hobby and I was intrigued by the subtitle of 'Addiction, Exploitation, and Empire'. I had hoped this book would address the less "romantic" aspects of tea (tea parties held by people in nice clothes, etc.) and more about the darker side of tea, its place in history, how it's harvested, etc.

 

Initially we start off with Moxham's own history of picking up and working on a tea estate in Africa and that definitely perked my interest. Then he leaps into the history of tea and its role in the Opium Wars and the like. The information is interesting, but boy is the author really dry. Like other readers I also side-eyed some of his language (he talks about growing up with the idea of empire and he himself left the UK to make his adventure abroad in a British Protectorate which is now Malawi) although he is critical at points.

 

I couldn't help but feel it would have better if he had stuck to his own personal autobiography rather than aiming for a formal history of tea and woven the history in discussing what it was like to run an actual tea estate. He does return to this at the end but by then it is too late and it isn't worth the history.

 

Would really like to read a history of tea from the viewpoint of Indian or Chinese people, though. 

 

I bought this and had it for awhile but it wasn't worth it. Skip it or at least make the effort to see if a library has it instead.

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review 2015-12-09 07:29
a dark & gripping tale
The Skull Collector - Paris Singer

"Collecting seems to bring out that primitive instinct for the hunt in some of its devotees, who stalk their prey with skill." - Alicia Craig Faxon


a little girl is overwrought with grief and despair over the disappearance of her parents. alone, miserable and lost, she finds herself sold to the Doll-Maker who promises to reunite her with her loved ones in exchange for collecting skulls.


this was such a dark and gripping tale of innocence lost, exploitation and betrayal. the creepy setting, the macabre task the little girl had to go through each night, the mysterious Violinist and his murder of crows plus the Doll-Maker's bizarre doll-making methods only added to the strangeness of it all. yet it had its morbid appeal - albeit unconventional for the most part.


i found myself emotionally drawn to the poor little girl's plight, sympathizing with her ordeal and wishing i could wrap my arms around her to shield her from all the abuse the Doll-Maker inflicted on her. alas, i could only read on and wished for everything to end well for her.


although i found the ending a bit predictable, it was also a relief to note that our little girl's trauma and agony were finally over and the greedy, abusive Doll-Maker deserved what he got.


i have a few niggles though. sometimes i found the abuses too much and kept wondering how the little girl's frail body could have survived them all. the Violinist's behavior in the last few pages were quite confusing and i found his motive for doing what he did questionable. in other words, i was left to ponder on some details and was contemplating if they were truly resolved or not. maybe, it was the author's intention to leave things as they were and allow the reader to form his own conclusions.


despite these, i was fascinated by the whole story. maybe if i read it again, i would find details that i might have missed or i might be able to discern some answers that were there all along but were merely hiding in the shadows.

 

 

*received a copy for review

Source: aobibliosphere.blogspot.com/2015/12/118-bewitching-book-tours-review-skull.html
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review 2015-10-23 00:00
Vice and Exploitation
Vice and Exploitation - J.T. Hall Vice and Exploitation - J.T. Hall The writing was good. That is really the only thing I can say about this. I was not very entertained (which is a first requirement when rating a book). Because of the writing style I would be remiss not to recommend it.
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review 2015-06-26 00:00
Vice and Exploitation
Vice and Exploitation - J.T. Hall Vice and Exploitation - J.T. Hall Thanks to the author for the effort and participating in this event and offering this freebie.

I don't usually read ménage stories but this one was hot, sexy and fun to read, great job.
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review 2014-10-31 13:29
Hauntingly Disturbing and Chillingly Realistic
White Chalk - Pavarti K. Tyler

 

 

Read my full review: http://bit.ly/107JG4r

 

My opinion: This book was a tough read. Probably my toughest read of 2014 so far. On that note, White Chalk is an excellent read. Again, probably the best book I have read all year.This 250 page book is hauntingly disturbing in its storyline and, as a mother, was a very painful read. I found myself wanting to take Chelle in my arms and tell her that everything would be ok. I had moments of anger, particularly at her parents, followed by moments of somberness and sadness in reflecting back to my teen years and seeing some aspects of myself in her.

The characters in this book were superbly developed and Ms. Pavarti's ability to dissect the dynamics of an alcoholic dysfunctional family unit and the roles each member takes on were superb.  I have counseled numerous girls like Chelle. 

WARNING: This book is not a young adult selection. Aside from the descriptive sexual exploitation that happens to Chelle, this book deals with very adult topics. I would never say to ban a book, but as a parent and a former counselor, one better make damned sure that their teen could emotionally handle the topics within its storyline. Other than that, I would say New Adult and up.

 

Source: abookandareview.blogspot.com/2014/10/white-chalk-by-pavarti-k-tyler.html
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