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review 2018-04-22 19:50
Good Girl Gone Bad (Dirty Debts #1) by Carmen Falcone
Good Girl Gone Bad - Carmen Falcone

 

How sweet it is ... to be BAD! Good Girl Gone Bad borders on risque, but never veers from having fun. Lily is looking to step out of the shadow of a restrictive upbringing and sashay her way into a bad boy's heart. Marco is a waking fantasy for her senses and heart. If they can survive the ice storm headed in their direction, an everlasting inferno will be their reward. Falcone loves to be naughty even as she doles out the nice. Sizzle fest.

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review 2018-04-22 17:32
The Good Luck Sister (Wildstone #1.5) by Jill Shalvis
The Good Luck Sister - Jill Shalvis

 

Past, present and future collide to create a catalyst for a second chance at love. To understand how far a person comes, one has to take a look at where they have been. Jill Shalvis takes a walk down memory lane with a broken heart and a second chance. Tilly lost more than her friend when Dylan broke her heart. She lost a bit of that feisty spirit, she was forever known for. Moving on was not easy, but finally she's working toward her dreams, until a ghost from her past, makes it his goal to haunt her future. Amidst broken dreams, shattered pride and wounded hearts, The Good Luck Sister is a story of survival that spans a teenage friendship, a heartbreaking love affair and the ending that was always meant to be. Happily ever after.

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review 2018-04-20 15:07
The Good Women of China / Xinran
The Good Women of China: Hidden Voices - Xinran

When Deng Xiaoping’s efforts to “open up” China took root in the late 1980s, Xinran recognized an invaluable opportunity. As an employee for the state radio system, she had long wanted to help improve the lives of Chinese women. But when she was given clearance to host a radio call-in show, she barely anticipated the enthusiasm it would quickly generate. Operating within the constraints imposed by government censors, “Words on the Night Breeze” sparked a tremendous outpouring, and the hours of tape on her answering machines were soon filled every night. Whether angry or muted, posing questions or simply relating experiences, these anonymous women bore witness to decades of civil strife, and of halting attempts at self-understanding in a painfully restrictive society. In this collection, by turns heartrending and inspiring, Xinran brings us the stories that affected her most, and offers a graphically detailed, altogether unprecedented work of oral history.

 

This is a heartbreaking book which I would never have picked up except I was looking for an X author for my Women Authors A-Z reading challenge this year. I never know how to rate books like these because it’s important to know about the situations in countries other than our own, but I always feel helpless and angry when I know that women are having such frightful difficulties.

I have to bear in mind that this book was published in 2002 originally, the author having moving from China to England in order to be free to do such a thing. A lot can and probably has changed in 16 years, plus many of the stories related in this book are from earlier years yet.

The Cultural Revolution (1966-1976) seems to have disrupted relations between men and women and the nature of family relationships to an extreme. Survival was top of mind for everyone and each did what they had to. Xinran reveals the painful stories told to her by Chinese women—of having children horribly injured, daughters gang raped, husbands treating them like servants (or livestock), work denied, promotions skipped over, you name it.

As China seems to be heading into another iteration of their authoritarian regime, there will undoubtedly be more issues for women. I hope there is still someone like Xinran to listen to women’s voices and to articulate what they are able to (Xinran herself had to walk a fine line so as not to offend the Communist Party).

In the era of the Me Too and Time’s Up campaigns here in North America, we have to hope that our sisters on other continents are able to achieve some gains as well.

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review 2018-04-15 00:23
The Good, the Bad and the Emus
The Good, the Bad, and the Emu - Donna Andrews

It is summer and Meg is trying to cut her bushes and keep her yard nice while watching her four-year-old twin sons and niece, Natalie, who has come to help watch the boys. After she gets cut on her tools when her niece screams, she is in the ER having sutures and Stanley Denton, a friend and PI, comes and asks that she take a trip to a nearby town and help him get in with a woman who is related to the woman that was Meg's grandmother, that has died. When she comes to town she gains admittance to the house and she and Stanley agree that they will try to figure a way to help find out what happened to her grandmother on the cold December night that she was murdered. On the way back to Caerphilly, Denton sees a very large bird that looks either like an emu or an ostrich. When they get back to her parent's place, the information inspires her grandfather, Dr. Blake, to get the group together and go rescue the birds and take them to Carolyn's sanctuary. While they are there, a man is poisoned by scotch he put in his coffee, that had been a gift to her grandfather and someone left candies at her cousin's home. The sheriff is trying to find out who murdered Cordelia, who attempted to poison Dr. Blake and who tried to poison Meg's cousin. At the same time, they go out and try to find the birds. It is a very fun story and there was a moment in the book where she talks about her friend keeping paperwork handy for the "frequent fliers'" to the emergency room. I remember those times and not nearly as fondly as I could. Although we can now laugh about some of the things that landed us there. 

 

The books were read out of order, but that is the beauty of these stories, they are great in order or out of order. 

 

 

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review 2018-04-14 21:21
Elephant & Piggie Like Reading! The Good for Nothing Button! - Mo Willems,Charise Mericle Harper,Mo Willems,Charise Mericle Harper
For more reviews, check out my blog: Craft-Cycle

This is a cute idea for a book. I like how it expands on the Elephant and Piggie universe. The story itself is funny, but I wouldn't say it's as good as the actual Elephant and Piggie books. The concept was too circular and it doesn't really go anywhere. But it is still a fun read. 

Nice illustrations. I love all of the facial expressions. 

Plus, Gerald, Piggie, and the Pigeon all make an appearance in the book, which is fun. 

A cute read for fans of Gerald and Piggie. 
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