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review 2019-01-13 21:43
Lethal White - Robert Galbraith 
Lethal White - Robert Galbraith

Gratifying long and convoluted. I like that it stretches out over such a long time span. There's an expansive quality to the large cast and to the very many secrets being kept by everyone. It was fun: I never even thought about trying to solve it, I just let it flow over me, longingly observing every cigarette smoked. There's a ban on smoking areas at the front door of businesses, so the cloud of smoke is a nostalgic element from the 20th century for me. 

 

Library copy 

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review 2018-12-15 13:17
The Extremely Inconvenient Adventures of Bronte Mettlestone - Jaclyn Moriarty 
The Extremely Inconvenient Adventures of... The Extremely Inconvenient Adventures of Bronte Mettlestone - Jaclyn Moriarty

So much win.  It's kind of amazing how much I love Moriarty's books. I really liked how it all came together. Interesting universe with so many pirates and dragons and water sprites, but also committees and dull trips and people being late to pick one up at the station. I only had two tiny quibbles: it's weird to read about a girl living in a more-or-less-contemporaneous setting who wears dresses or skirts all the time. It's just a slight thing, but it pulls me just the tiniest bit out of the story every time a dress or skirt is mentioned because I so rarely see girls or women in them anymore. And also, this is a very white world. Not that everyone is explicitly called white, but because no one isn't. The illustrations reinforce the white-is-default impression. It's a good thing that I've become so accustomed to reading books with a diverse cast that I can't stop noticing when there aren't any other characters.

 

Despite those two issues, I loved the book. It's my favorite middle grade in I don't know how long. Highly recommended for white readers.

 

Library copy

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url 2018-11-22 05:00
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Source: barnandstable.net/collections/therapy-boots
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text 2018-11-09 00:30
Reading progress update: I've read 80 out of 289 pages.
Field of Thirteen - Dick Francis

Reading this for the 24 Festive Tasks Melbourne Cup Day square: A set of 13 short stories set in the world of horse racing.  One of them (Blind Chance) I recently read, under a different title (Twenty-one Good Men and True), as part of the Verdict of Thirteen anthology for the Halloween Bingo "13" square and won't be rereading it.  The others are new to me, though, and so far very enjoyable.

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text 2018-11-06 20:33
24 Festive Tasks: Door 3 - Melbourne Cup Day, Task 4 (Riding Tournament)

The very first equestrian tournament I ever went to as a kid was the Hamburg Derby (see 2019 trailer here), which because of its unusual course and individual elements is considered the world's most difficult jumping competition -- it's really almost a blend of a cross country and a "standard" show jumping course.  My maternal uncle and his family were living in Hamburg at the time, and as his kids and I were all avid riders, they offered us this as a treat once when we were visiting.  My mom let me roam all over the competition grounds -- ah, these were the days when such a thing was still possible ... -- as a result of which I not only had an absolute blast watching and exploring every little nook, cranny and detail (not to mention sneaking in for a close-up seat right above the edge of the course in the main competition) but also came back with my program signed by every guy (and lady) in riding attire that I'd come across, regardless whether I recognized their faces or I didn't ... and only later, when I returned home, realized that I'd collected the signatures of a sizeable contingent of the famous riders of the era.  That program went on to be one of my greatest childhood treasures, and I'm pretty sure it still exists today, in one of the boxes containing my things in my mom's basement.  I don't have any photos from back then, but the memories are indelibly burned into my brain.

 

Over the years I've visited other tournaments and I also lived down the road from Berlin's trotting race course for a while -- unfortunately, almost all of the photos I took there are lost.  I now live only about an hour's drive from Germany's other major international show jumping, dressage and cross country tournament, however, the CHIO Aachen, and I can at least offer a few photos I took there a few years ago:

 

 

Winners' Parade (dressage and jumping):

... and ...

War Horse -- the original model.

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