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review 2019-01-15 11:04
I Am Lost
I Am Lost! (Hello Reader! Level 1) - Hans Wilhelm
The cute, fluffy dog see a pretty leaf drifting in the wind and starts chasing after it, only to find himself very lost. He is frightened and see a police officer, who notices his tag with his address and takes him home. Little doggy is happy then! 
Good story for early readers to practice their reading.
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review 2018-12-30 21:57
THE UNCOMMON READER by Alan Bennett
The Uncommon Reader - Alan Bennett

The Queen discovers reading and becomes an avid reader. Her staff is upset. She's not supposed to read. Where they used to know what questions she would ask and would brief people on how to respond, now the conversation could go anywhere. She used to take suggestions from the young man who introduced her to the bookmobile that stopped at the palace. He leaves and she is on her own. Then she discovers she has her own library in the palace.

I loved this little short read. It was funny. It was perfect. It was so much fun to see the Queen sucked into the books she read and the reactions from others who are not readers. Absolutely delightful!

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review 2018-11-30 21:03
Fun romp
The Scarlet Pimpernel - Emmuska Orczy

Very easy and fast read. It would have been the type of book I would have adored as a kid in that liminal space where high reading skills put you beyond children's books but maturity does not really afford you adult reads. So yeah, classic adventures for the win.

 

The devise of telling the story from the third limited of a character other than the Scarlet Pimpernel allows for a show of his BAMF qualities that would have sounded boastful otherwise, so that's another good bit.

 

Most of my gripe comes from the ever moronic woman (I'll leave the political and racial alone this time). We are constantly told she's the cleverest woman in Europe, but either that's a huge fail of informed quality, or the author was taking the mickey on it by drawing a contrast of what the world says of a characters intelligence vs what happens behind curtains of a person's life. Still, the fact that she's absolutely useless and most times an obstacle, continued to bother me. I thought the story would redeem her when she decides to go to France, that we would be shown her being resourceful and clever and see her save the day right alongside the Pimpernel. Hell, for a bit there I was prepared to be blown out of my mind by a turn of the XX century female author writing a woman saving the hero. Alas, no dice.

 

The other bit that is a bit weak (beyond several un-reveals, duh), is the constant over explaining. Orczy does an excellent job of showing the pieces so that you can puzzle it out. It is a pity she wastes pages and belittle her readers intelligence by spelling it all out yet again in expository dialogues and what not.

 

Anyway, if you are not nit-picking like I've been, it is good entertainment.

 

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review 2018-11-07 17:04
Chocolate Sensations
Chocolate Sensations: Over 200 Easy-to-Make Recipes - Reader's Digest Association,Reader's Digest Association,Lee Faber

I love this book, also. But then I do love making desserts. This is such a fun collection of chocolate desserts and so many are easy to make. I think I will be borrowing it again after Thanksgiving to start making our Christmas goodies to deliver to First Responders as a Thank you for all they do all year long. 

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review 2018-11-05 19:21
The Reader / Traci Chee
The Reader - Traci Chee

Sefia knows what it means to survive. After her father is brutally murdered, she flees into the wilderness with her aunt Nin, who teaches her to hunt, track, and steal. But when Nin is kidnapped, leaving Sefia completely alone, none of her survival skills can help her discover where Nin’s been taken, or if she’s even alive. The only clue to both her aunt’s disappearance and her father’s murder is the odd rectangular object her father left behind, an object she comes to realize is a book—a marvelous item unheard of in her otherwise illiterate society. With the help of this book, and the aid of a mysterious stranger with dark secrets of his own, Sefia sets out to rescue her aunt and find out what really happened the day her father was killed—and punish the people responsible.

 

Librarians, pirates, and assassins, oh my! Once again, I am charmed by a young-adult author.

I loved the magic of reading & literature—quite literally in this story. Sefia, our young female main character, has inherited a Book, her only legacy from her beloved parents. Somehow, Chee makes it seem not only likely, but inevitable, that Sefia would teach herself to read this book and then use it to see the past and explore the present. Her pursuit of the truth about the Book and the loss of her parents & her aunt, lead her to follow a criminal outfit and she eventually rescues a young man who they have been forcing to fight other youngsters to the death for some obscure purpose. He is so traumatized that he is unable to speak, but his fighting prowess leads Sefia to name him Archer.

Chee writes a very egalitarian world without making a big deal about it. For those of us who grew up with fantasy where we had to have a sex change to identify with most of the characters because they were almost all male, this is a very disorientating experience! To read about an assassin, and suddenly realize, wait this is a woman! Same on board the pirate ship—there’s a ship’s boy, but also a ship’s girl, not to mention numerous female crew members. It’s all written matter of factly, and I found myself running face first into my own assumptions on a regular basis. What a pleasant change!

There is the inevitable romance between Sefia and her rescuee, Archer, but it didn’t overwhelm the main plot and was gently developed. I will be pleased to follow their story further in The Speaker.

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