logo
Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: for-book-club
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-11-22 13:09
Foxglove Summer ★★★★☆
Foxglove Summer: PC Peter Grant, Book 5 - Ben Aaronovitch,Kobna Holdbrook-Smith

More fun with my favorite apprentice wizard cop, this time out in Herefordshire on the border of Wales instead of in London, investigating the disappearance of two preteen girls. We get to meet a retired wizard cop and his weirdo granddaughter, and we have more – much, much more! – of Beverly, and we even get a teeny satisfying peek at what’s going on with Lesley. I can’t say I came away really understanding all the logic of what happened, but that’s probably because I was listening to the audio while distracted, and one of these days I’ll get around to re-reading these books and will take a more critical look at such things. For now, I’ll just say it was enormously entertaining.

 

Audiobook, via Audible, with another masterful performance by Kobna Holdbrook-Smith. I read this for The 16 Tasks of the Festive Season, square 14: Book themes for Dies Natalis Solis Invicti: Celebrate the sun and read a book that has a beach or seaside setting.  –OR– a book set during summertime. –OR– set in the Southern Hemisphere. This story is set in high summer, as we are constantly reminded of the oppressive heat (Are the West Midlands that much hotter than London?), and seasonal flora that are relevant to solving the mystery.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-11-22 12:43
Ordinary People ★★★★★
Ordinary People - Judith Guest

I wish I had the skill to truly analyze what makes the difference between a book where the author tries to manipulate the reader’s emotions and only gets an “hmm how sad” from me, or worse, eyerolls, and a book that has me glued to the pages and leaking tears. All I know is that this is one of the latter.

 

In spite of a story that is almost all character, with almost all events taking place within those characters’ thoughts and emotions and in their interactions with one another, and in spite of a present-tense, stream of consciousness writing style that might have annoyed me in another author’s hands, this story of a family fragmenting and reforming in the aftermath of tragedy absorbed me completely and wrung my emotions inside out. It’s been a while since I had a good cry over a book, and it was deeply satisfying.

 

Vintage paperback, picked up from my public library’s gimme shelves, where they make unusable donated books and culled books available to the public in return for a suggested monetary donation.

 

I read this for The 16 Tasks of the Festive Season, square 4: Book themes for Penance Day: Read a book that has a monk, nun, pastor / preacher or priest as a protagonist, or where someone is struggling with feelings of guilt or with their conscience (regardless over what). In this book, members of a family are struggling with their sense of guilt or failed responsibility in the aftermath of tragedy

(Con over surviving when his stronger brother drowned and Cal over somehow failing his son when he attempted suicide).

(spoiler show)

 

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-11-21 17:34
The 13th Gift ★☆☆☆☆
The 13th Gift: A True Story About a Christmas Miracle - Joanne Smith

 

Ugh. Within about 5 minutes of listening to this audio, I could only wail Nooooooooooooooooooooo. I didn’t expect much from this one, so the bar was set pretty low. I expected a bit of light Christmas glurge, a memoir about a family dealing with the loss of a loved one, who found their Christmas spirit when their friends/neighbors/whatever got together to leave anonymous gifts to remind them of The Meaning of Christmas. Sounds like the perfect story to get you into the season, if you go into it without a cynical heart. I was even willing to overlook the amateur quality of the audio narration, because it’s a memoir read by the author. But I simply could not overlook its pushing my biggest button with respect to writing style, the dreaded First-Person-Present-Tense, further committing the egregious sin of mixing past tense inner monologue directly in with the present tense narration of story events. No. Nope. No way.

 

DNF at 5%. Ordinarily I wouldn’t rate a book after less than 20 minutes of audio time, but FPPT always gets a 1 star from me unless the writing and story are so fantastic that I don’t even notice it enough to be annoyed by it.  

 

Audiobook, borrowed from my public library, read by the author.

 

I was attempting to read this for The 16 Tasks of The Festive Season, square 4: Book themes for     Thanksgiving Day:  Books with a theme of coming together to help a community or family in need.  –OR– Books with a turkey or pumpkin on the cover. I don’t have any other books lined up for this task, so I might have to use my other Light Joker for it.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-11-21 15:15
I Am Malala ★★★★★
I Am Malala - Malala Yousafzai

I was fascinated, horrified, and inspired by this story of Malala Yousafzai, the girl who was shot in the face by the Taliban for daring to insist upon the rights of girls to an education and to criticize the Taliban for their interpretation of Islamic law with respect to women and violence. It is also the story of her much-loved father, who instilled in her the love of learning, set an example of having the courage to stand up for his principles in the face of ignorance and violence, and supported her whole-heartedly in everything she did. And it is also the story of the rise of militant Islamic fundamentalism and the Taliban in Pakistan and her beloved Swat valley, who used the tactics of would-be dictators and religious fanatics everywhere, some of which were all too familiar here in the US.

 

This is the hardcover version, which I’ve had on my bookshelf for a couple of years, waiting on my TBR. I read it for The 16 Tasks of the Festive Season, square 10: Book themes for World Peace Day: Read a book by or about a Nobel Peace Prize winner, or about a protagonist (fictional or nonfictional) who has a reputation as a peacemaker. Malala Yousafzai is the youngest Nobel Prize laureate (in 2014 at age 17) for “her struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education”.

 

Previous Updates:

11/14/17 0/327 pg

I'm getting started with I Am Malala: The Story of the Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban, which can fit both Square 10: World Peace Day (Malala Yousafzai was a co-recipient for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014) and Square 14 Quaid-e-Azam (she is Pakistani and much of the book is about and takes place in Pakistan) for The 16 Tasks of the Festive Season. I haven't decided yet which square I'll use it for, since I don't have any alternatives for either yet. I don't have any books about any other Nobel Peace Prize winners, and my library has some unappealing options, mostly children's books. 

 

11/14/17 5/327 pg

We went to school six mornings a week, and as I was a fifteen-year-old in Year 9, my classes were spent chanting chemical equations or studying Urdu grammar, writing stories in English with morals like "haste makes waste" or drawing diagrams of blood circulation - most of my classmates wanted to be doctors. It's hard to imagine that anyone would see that as a threat.

 

11/17/17 125/327 pg

The description of how the Taliban took over the region, taking advantage of the people's anger and frustration with the legitimate government and winning their hearts through a combination of setting themselves up as the only source of truth, appealing to prejudices, and providing entertainment and charity - it's a little terrifying.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-11-20 23:22
Broken Homes ★★★★☆
Broken Homes: A Rivers of London Novel - Ben Aaronovitch,Kobna Holdbrook-Smith

This installment in the Peter Grant series was so much fun and the plot twist at the end was so unexpected and exciting that I rushed right into the next book in the series, which wasn’t at all on my planned TBR list. And in my excitement, I originally put a 5 star rating on the book, but after further reflection am bringing it down to 4 stars, because there were a few problems with the story. It was a little discombobulated at first, with episodes so seemingly unconnected that I did have some trouble tying them all together at the end. I’m also, on reflection, a little unsure about The Faceless Man’s objective with the Skygarden Tower and its relation to the 

magic battery function

(spoiler show)

 that Peter has discovered. To be fair, it’s entirely possible that I missed some of this, because I was glued to the audio while also trying to run errands and finish shopping in anticipation of the Thanksgiving holiday demands this week – not the optimal kind of multitasking that lends itself well to catching clues and parsing complicated plot points. I suspect that, once I get caught up on the series on audio – because I have every intention of continuing to experience them through Kobna Holdbrook-Smith’s fabulous narration – I’ll probably pick up the text version and re-read them, to better immerse in the world-building and location details that can be missed on audio and a first read.

 

But I loved this book for all the same reasons that I’ve loved the others in the series – the interesting cast of characters, including some strong women of both good, evil, and in-between varieties, the strong sense of location, the fun magical world, and the humorous observations of both society and policing.

 

Audio, via Audible. As noted, Kobna Holdbrook-Smith’s performance is masterful.

 

I read this for The 16 Tasks of the Festive Season, Square 5: Book themes for Advent: Read a book with a wreath or with pines or fir trees on the cover –OR– Read the 4th book from a favorite series, or a book featuring 4 siblings. Broken Homes is the 4th book in the Peter Grant series. 

 

 

Previous Updates:

11/17/17 26%

The powers that be made a concerted effort to rid London of its working class. The city was rapidly losing its industry, and the large numbers of servants who were needed for the Edwardian households were being superseded by the technological wonders of the Age of White Goods. London just didn't need that many poor people anymore.

 

11/18/17 100%

On the audio side, I had to DNF My Brilliant Friend on Thursday because it was booooorrrrrinnnngggg and then I decided on Broken Homes for the Advent square and OH MY GOD that plot twist at the end made me spend another Audible credit so I could jump right into Foxglove Summer.

More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?