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review 2018-09-22 18:54
The Silver Shoes
The Silver Shoes - Jill G. Hall

Anne has been struggling in a long-distance romance with long-time boyfriend, Sergio.  Anne is an artist based in San Fransisco and Sergio a New York City designer.  Anne wants Sergio to buckle down and commit to the relationship, but that may not be where either of their hearts lie.  On a trip to New York, Anne picks up a pair of antique rhinestone shoes.  With the shoes comes a strand of pearls and a hidden picture of two flappers wearing just those shoes.  The shoes inspire Anne to create several art pieces as well as think about her situation with Sergio.  In 1929, Clair, the original owner of the shoes, admires the footwear from the window.  She knows her father would never let her own them.  Although, Clair finds a friend in a performer, Winnie, who introduces Clair to speakeasies and uncovers Clair's hidden talents.  When Clair's life seems to be controlled by everyone but her, Clair's father pushing her into an arranged marriage with an odious man named Farley and not allowing her to continue her college education, the stock market crashes.  Clair decides to carry on and follow her heart becoming the provider of the family by secretly performing in  a Broadway Review.  When Anne learns of the woman behind the shoes, she takes a page from Clair's book and decides to follow her heart. 


A beautifully written dual-timeline story of two women learning to follow their hearts.  I enjoyed both Anne and Clair's characters and their willingness to strike out on their own, even if it took a lot of convincing.  The quick flow of the chapters with switching points of view between Anne and Clair kept my reading at a good pace.  Clair's story stole my attention as I was pulled in by her spirited nature and willingness to strive forward in life despite everything thrown in front of her.  The ambiance of 1929-30 shown through with the extravagance of hotel living,  debutante balls, speakeasies, FBI raids and the devastation felt after the crash. Anne's story was a slow journey to self realization that took more time to reel me in.  Both women are wonderful examples of determination and perseverance in times of strife. 
This book was received for free in return for an honest review. 

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review 2018-09-22 16:36
Hunter's Green - Phyllis A. Whitney for Country House Mystery
Hunter's Green - Phyllis A. Whitney

Would also work for Genre: Suspense, Terrifying Women, Murder Most Foul, Amateur Sleuth, and Romantic Suspense.

 

It's fun reading these old thrillers that are so slow, with hardly any murder, no kids or really old people, and servents neither seen nor heard. They're charmingly predictable. And although this was published in 68 and makes much of the brash young mods, they feel So Old Fashioned. There are phones, but only to ring up the doctor or the police to haul away the perpetrator. There are cars for running up to Town, and low speed pursuit, and explosive crashes. What I love most is that everyone stops at regular intervals to sit down and eat a hot meal. I suppose this is what people are talking about when they reminisce about a slower time. 

 

I did have one great disappointment though: a device was quite deliberately introduced in the first act, but played no subsequent part in the plot. It wasn't even a red herring: it was just never mentioned again.

 

The only disturbing part of the story isn't meant to be:

 

My apologies for my failed spoiler tag. 

 

Library copy 

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review 2018-09-22 05:48
When The Dark Comes, The Battle for Perdido Beach Begins...
Fear (The Gone Series) - Michael Grant

Series can be difficult to write for an author and of course, for me, I have never read any books beyond a trilogy as I prefer it to be short and sweet. Gone series by Michael Granthad surprise me in some - good flow of science-fiction, unraveling plots and twist and characters you understand them and seeing them change as the book series progress. This is the fifth in the 6 book series and Fear has reach its level of not just a good read but one I never thought I want to finish the series to know what happens next.

 

The FAYZ is going dark, literally. As dark shapes slowly covers the dome and the children of Perdido Beach panic in fear of what will happen when they are in the dark, Sam has to face his greatest fear - the dark. As others make decisions of what they need to do, the gaiaphage is making a move - one that involves Diana's baby. With the dark covering the dome, and the world outside of the dome are going to discover if the parents of the children of Perdido Beach will be able to see their children again, one thing is for certain - the battle has just begun.

 

Although I took too long to read this (since June, I have no excuse for this late reading and its entirely my fault not making the time for), Fear is the too good to be true not making it into an adaptation, one worthy as a TV series. There's just so much to go for (horror, action, romance, suspense) even though, yes the book is graphic in its violence description and really not for the weak stomach, Fear to me is like the ending of Empire Strikes Back. Overall, I just can't wait to read the next one and hopefully, buckle up my reading habit.

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review 2018-09-22 00:17
The World of All Souls: The Complete Guide to The All Souls Trilogy
The World of All Souls: The Complete Guide to A Discovery of Witches, Shadow of Night, and The Book of Life - Claire Baldwin,Colleen Madden,Deborah Harkness,Lisa Halttunen,Jill Hough

There are some here who know I'm an unapologetic fan of this series, but fan or not, I'm generally not the type to buy the "guides" the more popular series put out because in all truth, they feel like something that's been thrown together to squeeze just that much more money out of everyone; especially completists.  

 

But the cover of this one sucked me in at the Barnes and Noble and BN was the first bookshop stop on my Holiday of Book Buying Madness, so I caved.  

 

Yay to caving!  It ended up being really interesting, as evidenced by the fact that it took me three weeks to read the damn thing.  Harkness et al manage to weave an awful lot of historical facts into a book about books that are about vampires, witches and demons.  This is the place where Harkness gets to share all her historical knowledge, research and education that went into giving Matthew and Diana's adventures verisimilitude, as well as brilliantly weaving the lives of the vampires (and Diana to a lesser extent) into history.

 

She's really clever about this too; using real documents that have gone missing, or paintings done during the correct period that are of unknown subjects or known to have been destroyed over time, she's able to plausibly weave fact and fiction together without an abundance of anachronisms.  Little asides throughout the book in her own voice shares with the reader her inspirations for locations, homes, castles, even tea shops.

 

I had no problem seeing the delineation between the factual and the fictional, but in the section where the characters are outlined, a symbol is next to each name that does exist in the historical records, a touch I appreciated since Elizabethan history is something I'm hazy about, at best.

 

There are beautiful illustrations throughout, a couple of out-takes from two of the books, and a few full color illustrations from - I think - alchemical texts.  This was, in fact, my only complaint about the book - the full color inserts were not captioned - an odd oversight where everything else is clearly foot-noted and cited or explained within the narrative.  At one point Harkness' own historical research was used as a citation, leading me to believe the authors' were determined to be as clear and accurate as possible.  Perhaps this means the color inserts were the work of the illustrator for the book, and not historical, but it would be nice to know either way.

 

A fun and very informative read for those that enjoyed the trilogy; not sure how well it would work for those that didn't read it as it might be annoying to have fictional characters you know nothing about, or care nothing for, interwoven through all the historical goodies.

 

I read this for the New Release square of Halloween Bingo 2018.

 

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text 2018-09-21 18:35
Reading progress update: I've listened 215 out of 1350 minutes.
Lethal White - Robert Galbraith,Robert Glenister

 

"'I've heard ... that there may be photographs.'

'Photographs," repeated Strike.

"Winn can't have them, of course.  If he had it would be all over.  But he might be able to find a way of getting hold of them, yes.'  He shoved the last piece of tarte in his mouth, then said, 'Of course, there's a chance the photographs don't incriminate me.  There are no distinguishing marks, so far as I'm aware.'

Strike's imagination frankly boggled.  He yearned to ask, 'Distinguishing marks on what, Minister?', but refrained."

Bwahahaha -- don't tell me Rowling has somehow anticipated l'affaire champignon (mushroom)?  Well, of sorts, anyway?  Not that Britain doesn't have a rich history of its own as far as these, um, situations are concerned ...

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