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review 2018-07-19 20:14
"The Devotion Of Suspect X - detective Galileo #3" by Keigo Higashino - Translated by Alexander 0 Smith - Highly Recommended
The Devotion of Suspect X: A Detective Galileo Novel - Keigo Higashino,Alexander O. Smith

"The Devotion Of Suspect X" is an original, surprising, thought-provoking crime novel set in Japan. It's one of the most satisfying reads I've had this year so far because it's fresh, it works on so many levels and it's entertaining.


"The Devotion Of Suspect X" sets out to do something different than a normal crime story. We know who killed whom and how pretty much from the beginning. The rest is about defeating the police investigation by out-thinking them. It becomes a reluctant duel between two genius-level thinkers who were at Imperial University together decades earlier. One is a mathematician working to cover up a killing. The other is a physicist curious to work out what really happened. This gives plenty of scope for the discussion of the nature of problem-solving, the role of assumptions in disguising meta-problems and the nature of proof.


Yet this is not a dry abstract, book. The plot is driven by ordinary people wanting ordinary things and this makes it much more than an intellectual puzzle. It's about happiness, purpose, devotion, and guilt. It's about what gives you the will to live and the ability to kill. Even the "dual" between the two mega-minds is not what you might expect. It's based on a respect and understanding rather than enmity of moral conflict.


The ending caught me by surprise, not because it's some kind of last-minute tricky twist but because the actions come from values in a culture that is not mine and brings the whole puzzle back to a human level.


The book is translated from the original Japanese. Some translations leave me feeling distant from the text or make me feel the text has been "pasteurised" into English. Alexander O. Smith's translation kept the text vital and accessible without losing the sense of the places where Japan is alien from my Western experience.


David Pittu's narration is flawless. You can hear a sample by clicking on the SoundCloud link below.


[soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/46866532" params="color=#ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&show_teaser=true&visual=true" width="100%" height="300" iframe="true" /]


Don't be put off by the "Detective Galileo #3" tag. "The Devotion Of Suspect X"  works as a free-standing book. Detective Galileo is the nickname the police give to the physicist who sometimes assists them  I can't find books one, two or four in English but books five and six, "Salvation of a Saint" and "A Midsummer's Equation" are available in English.   "A Midsummer's Equation" was made into a movie in 2013.


"The Devotion Of Suspect X" was made into a movie in 2017 in China (in Mandarin with English subtitles), with the script written by Keigo Higashino. If the trailer below is anything to go by it looks like a faithful adaptation.


[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jpfBF5dJqwk&w=560&h=315]

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review 2018-07-19 19:27
Changes / Jim Butcher
Changes (Dresden Files, Book 12) - Jim Butcher

Long ago, Susan Rodriguez was Harry Dresden's lover-until she was attacked by his enemies, leaving her torn between her own humanity and the bloodlust of the vampiric Red Court. Susan then disappeared to South America, where she could fight both her savage gift and those who cursed her with it.

Now Arianna Ortega, Duchess of the Red Court, has discovered a secret Susan has long kept, and she plans to use it-against Harry. To prevail this time, he may have no choice but to embrace the raging fury of his own untapped dark power. Because Harry's not fighting to save the world...

He's fighting to save his child.


Jim Butcher must sit up nights thinking up ways to make Harry Dresden’s life miserable! Just when you think that his life can’t get any more complicated, Butcher dreams up worse things for him to deal with.

Susan Rodriguez returns to mess with Harry’s reality—and inform him that he’s a father and his little girl is in tremendous danger from the Red Court vampires. Harry has spent the last 11 books gathering friends, allies, and frenemies. He has to call on all of them, all his talents, all his anger & power, and all of his cunning to get through this tangle.

So Butcher throws everything into the blender and gives it a good whirl. There is a lot of action, a lot of blood, a lot of characters. I was happy to see the return of Butters and Toot-Toot. Also, it was great to have Mouse get to show off his powers. Harry makes a questionable deal in order to cope with the situation and gets assistance from unexpected quarters. The book ends on a cliff-hanger, so if you object to that sort of thing, consider having the next book queued up and ready to roll. Because, let’s face it, if you’ve read this far, you’re not going to quit now, are you?

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text 2018-07-19 18:45

I knew there were some more photos in the cabinet, but I didn't realize just how many there are.  Depending on what decision is made regarding the laptop - right now, it looks like I'm going to go further in debt and buy a new one -- I am going to be very busy trying to scan the rest of them.


These two were a priority.  I took time I didn't really have to locate, scan, and edit these to post here.


Taken at my grandparents' house on Owen Avenue in Edison Park, IL, probably in the spring or early summer 1951.  I think I earlier posted some other pictures taken at the same time.  Tebo is the white and brown dog, Topsy is the black one.  Topsy lived to be about 15 and was buried on their property in Roselle, Illinois.  (I remember a lot of worthless trivia.)





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review 2018-07-19 15:51
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Book 3 - J.K. Rowling,Jim Dale

Harry Potter, Book 3

July 14 - July 18

These books are just so incredible. I don’t think there is anymore I can say about them. While I love the movies these books go so much deeper have so many more stories. I am really enjoying re-discovering them through the audiobooks.

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review 2018-07-19 13:55
#40 - Evergreen by Brenda Pandos
Evergreen (Mer Tales, Book 2) - Brenda Pandos

I've read Everblue, the first book in the series quite a long time ago and remembered really enjoying it. I finally decided to buy Evergreen for my Kindle and I picked it up last month because I was on holiday and I only had one physical book with me that I finished in the train before arriving (yay me! I thought I would buy books there but had no time to do shopping)


In the end, I was quite disappointed by this book. I think the thing I really liked about Everblue was Natatoria, the mermaid's world, but most of this book takes place on earth and not in the ocean so it was a disappointment for me. I also really did no like Ash, I've just re-read my review of the first book where I said I liked her... (but it was in 2015 so I've changed a lot since then).


Anyway, it was not bad but I could not stay focused and was easily distracted. The characters were a bit annoying and I was not a huge fan of the Manichaeism, it was way too pronounced in my opinion.


I still recommend this book to younger reader because I think it could work better for them!


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