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review 2017-08-16 17:37
Medieval Mundane
Beast: Great Bloodlines Converge - Kathryn Le Veque

Mostly a story about how a medieval knight who was tasked with watching over Joan of Arc befriending her, taking her heart from the pyre, and trying to secretly bury it in Winchester, per her request.

A forced marriage along the way, a boat load of characters, and some clandestine wheeling and dealing between French knights and English knights.

The romance is a small portion of this with a very real feeling 1400s feel, the author knows her time and place.

There's a story here, just not one I found too entertaining; medieval mundane. 

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review 2017-08-11 01:02
Small Great Things
Small Great Things - Jodi Picoult,Audra McDonald

 

 

Ruth Jefferson has been a neonatal nurse for over 20 years, at a small hospital in New Haven, CT.  She is a great nurse who loves her job.  During a routine newborn check, she is startled when the baby boy's father, Turk Bauer, insists on speaking with Ruth's supervisor, who subsequently informs her she is not to care for or even touch this young patient again.  The Bauers are white supremacists, and Turk has requested that no one who "looks like" Ruth touch the baby.  Ruth is African-American..

 

After having worked a double shift, Ruth is asked to watch over the baby, Davis Bauer, who has just undergone a routine circumcision and needs to be observed.  Because an emergency c-section has pulled all other available personnel away, Ruth is the only left to do so.  When he goes into cardiac distress, she faces the impossible choice of complying orders by doing nothing or defying them to administer to him.

 

When there is a adverse event, Ruth becomes a target and faces serious criminal charges.  The public defender assigned to her case is Kennedy McQuarrie.  The book has as its three first-person, present-tense narrators Ruth, Kennedy, and Turk.  The audiobook has three separate narrators for these roles, which I found really effective.  The book takes on race issues in a way that honors and explores the complexities associated with it, as the characters all recount their perspectives, and they all go through their own complicated journeys.  This is my second Jodi Picoult novel, after Leaving Time, and she's definitely become a favorite author.  She has a way of writing books I want to climb into so I can shut out the outer world until I'm done.

 

I had some uncanny timing with this book.  I'd placed a hold on the downloadable audiobook from my library's site ages ago. Just when I needed to make my "reader's choice" selection for my library's summer-reading program, this book finally became available.  

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text 2017-08-06 15:49
Adding-book woes
Small Great Things - Jodi Picoult,Audra McDonald

 

 

So I just added this book, because of course my edition didn't exist yet (here or on Goodreads).  And I am so sick of adding editions but too OCD to shelve anything other than my exact edition.  And once again (this happened the last couple times that I added editions), I got a "524" timeout error.  So you wouldn't actually know that the edition has been successfully added, except that the other times I got this, it turned out that despite the error, I'd completed the edition add.  And so too, have I done so just now.  I just wish it were smooth and easy like this:  I enter my ISBN into the search box, and...  The book exists!  And I shelve it.  BOOM!  But no....

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text 2017-08-03 12:00
3rd August 2017
Omnibus: Four Complete Novels: Great Expectations / Hard Times / A Christmas Carol / A Tale of Two Cities - Charles Dickens

I loved her against reason, against promise, against peace, against hope, against happiness, against all discouragement that could be. 

 

Charles Dickens

 

August 3, 1861: The last installment of Great Expectations was published 156 years ago today. When Charles Dickens first came up with the premise for the novel, he referred to it as "a very fine, new and grotesque idea."

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text 2017-07-31 21:51
The Skeptic's Guide to American History - Mark A. Stoler

The Iconoclast's Guide to American History. Well done but there was one thing that drove me nuts listening to this series of lectures. This guy sounds exactly like the campaign director character played by the late Ron Silver on The West Wing--same accent, same pacing, same stridency.

 

It is a good series of lectures that points out everything that we don't learn in school and all that we tend to forget about the events of American History as we move further away from them and start to paint these events with the brush of modernity.

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