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review 2020-06-09 15:59
Willa Wicked
Willa Wicked: A Charming Tale - A.M. Hudson

by A.M. Hudson


This is a YA teenage witch story. The premise sounds really corny, but somehow it seems to work. Willa the teenage witch befriends her neighbour who everyone thinks is a dork. His recent suicide attempt makes them a little careful and mostly they whisper behind his back.


Little do they know, Henry Charming is not of their world. Through the minefield of high school dances and crushes, Henry has a bigger issue to deal with and Willa is the only person he trusts to tell his secret. Meanwhile, Willa's crush on a popular guy brings its own teenage angst.


There's a strong fairytale thread in this story and it isn't the sort of thing I would want to read a lot of, but it was done pretty well so as YA stuff goes, I can't complain too much. I did find myself wanting to know what would happen in the end. There's even one scary bit.

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text 2020-05-31 17:07
Boys of Alabama - DNF at 8%
Boys of Alabama - Genevieve Hudson

I can't do it. This book has no quotation marks for dialogue and has already had quite a bit of dialogue in the short amount I've read. I have no desire to spend the entire book trying to sort out which parts are being spoken and which parts aren't when this all could have been solved with proper punctuation. Reading an extended conversation that had non-dialogue bits thrown in throughout it was frustrating. The lack of quotation marks is just incredibly distracting. The only way I could do this is if I did it on audio so I didn't have to look at the text.

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review 2020-01-08 23:09
Good photos but little text.
Albert Bierstadt: Painter of Light - 325 Hudson River School Paintings - Luminism, Realism - Gallery Series - Daniel Ankele,Denise Ankele,Albert Bierstadt

It's pretty much just pictures, which is fine. Not much text or information. Honesty, the only reason I know where some of the paintings are displayed is because of I've been to those museums.

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review 2019-12-15 14:52
Hudson and the Puppy: Lost in Paris (Paris-Chien 3) - Jackie Clark Mancuso
Hudson and the Puppy: Lost in Paris (Paris-Chien Adventure) - Jackie Clark Mancuso

I like it much more after reading Paris-Chien, which also gives a journey through Paris. I have not yet read Hudson in Provence, but now I really want to. I'm thinking of it like Agatha Christie's infamous disappearance.
Please publishers and librarians: if a book is part of a continuing series, please identify it as such. I really hate getting home and realizing I've chosen one out of sequence. It doesn't have to be a big deal: just a little "Paris 3" on the cover would tell me to look around before I leave. Even if it's not available I'm happier, knowing to hold on to this one until my other orders come in. Also it would make it less likely that stores or libraries would only carry part of the series. Thank you.

Library copy


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review 2019-11-18 22:39
Roderick Hudson (James)
Roderick Hudson - Henry James

This is the first novel James was willing, in later life, to acknowledge, though not the first he wrote. That in itself tells you that he thought it had some merit, even if we didn't have the long afterword explaining in those interminable late-James sentences all the various emotions and thoughts that occur upon re-reading this early work.


After a bit of not very serious self-criticism about his handling of Roderick's decline of character (James could have afforded to be more severe, in my opinion), he comes eventually to the point that is necessary to understand and enjoy the novel:

The centre of interest throughout "Roderick" is in Rowland Mallet's consciousness, and the drama is the very drama of that consciousness - which I had of course to make sufficiently acute, in order to enable it, like a set and lighted scene, to hold the play.

In other words (at least in my estimation) Rowland Mallet is a far more interesting character than Roderick Hudson. In may in fact be true, as others have posited, that the Ro-Ro pair are, unconsciously or by design, representing two facets of James' self-understanding, but if that is the case, he clearly understands the urbane, rational Rowland part far better, and was unable to make this reader, at least, as fond of selfish, lazy, self-destructive Roderick as either Mallett or James is.


I did like the foreshadowing of Roderick's fate: the two rockclimbing incidents worked very well as metaphor.


I am in two minds about the young female character, Christina Light, who appears to have rather taken over the narrative just as she took over Hudson's imagination. She is most emphatically annoying and no great advertisement for womanhood - or indeed New Womanhood, if that was part of James' intention. (I suppose the comparatively bland and underdeveloped Mary Garland was intended as her foil in that respect). But I was occasionally struck by insights into the nature and causes of her annoying and irrational behaviour; insights that resonated with my own memories of late adolescence as being surprisingly apt, especially from a male author:

She had a fictitious history in which she believed much more fondly than in her real one, and an infinite capacity for extemporized reminiscence adapted to the mood of the hour. She liked to idealize herself, to take interesting and picturesque attitudes to her own imagination; and the vivacity and spontaneity of her character gave her, really, a starting-point in experience; so that the many-colored flowers of fiction which blossomed in her talk were not so much perversions, as sympathetic exaggerations of fact.


"The many-colored flowers of fiction which blossomed in her talk" is really very good - it captures the natural spontaneity of that kind of experimental role-playing, while harmlessly chattering, in a young person. Elsewhere I'm not inclined to be quite so kind to the drunken wordiness of even this early Henry James. I laughed and highlighted this little monstrosity, for instance: "There are chance anfractuosities of ruin in the upper portions of the Coliseum..." (I do realize I'm a bit inconsistent, since I've said I enjoy unnecessary Latinate coinages when Bulwer-Lytton makes them. I think it may be a question of whether the author is being obviously playful!)


James leaves us only shortly after Roderick Hudson does, in the novel, and does not trouble to try to work out to its logical conclusion the "preferred" pairing of Mallett and Mary Garland. At the end, we are merely told that he visits her often at his cousin's house, and we are left to finish that story for ourselves how we like. I am OK with this conclusion; I'd be curious how it struck novel-readers in the 1870s.


I found this accessible, with occasional moments of real emotional interest.

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