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review 2022-01-31 04:43
Just Pardon My French (Hetta Coffey Series, Book 8) - Jinx Schwartz

Hetta, Jan, and Rhonda are in Paris when they are "pressed" into service to help create a diversion. Once they realize they are being left out of the circle as to why they are needed, they start their own investigation. They manage to figure out most of what is being kept from them. Then they manage to solve the case.


I have never read any of this series. I will have to rectify that omission. I was able to follow the story line, but I missed the inside jokes. Hetta and Jan are a hoot. I laughed so much when they started their snark. I liked what they used to get the information they needed. The secondary characters were good. I wish Jenks would have stayed longer with Hetta instead of jetting in and out. I figured out the mystery also, but like Hetta, there was one part I did not see coming. I would not get on Hetta's bad side. I enjoyed this very much and plan on reading more of Hetta and Company.

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text 2020-07-26 17:26
Reading progress update: I've read 416 out of 560 pages.
Henry Kissinger and American Power: A Political Biography - Thomas A. Schwartz

And now I can cross the nonexistent "read a biography of Henry Kissinger" off of my reading bucket list.


That being said, as biographies go Schwartz's is a pretty good one. Though I didn't think I'd like the was he reduces Kissinger's career prior to becoming Nixon's national security adviser to a single chapter, in retrospect it seemed just the right size for it.

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text 2020-07-25 04:46
My reading plans for the rest of July
Henry Kissinger and American Power: A Political Biography - Thomas A. Schwartz

The past couple of days have been extraordinarily productive for me reading-wise, with three books removed from my TBR stack and a fourth reviewed for a site. It's nice to have pared down the stack after a stagnant month of progress on it until now.


As is so often the case, though, progress was only possible because of compromises elsewhere. I need to get back to Arendt this weekend, and I have to prep for an interview about a new biography of Henry Kissinger. But once the interview is out of the way I plan on getting back to work on the TBR stack. Three additional books is probably a little ambitious (the three I read were low-hanging fruit reading-wise), but finishing two more would mean having pared down the stack by a quarter in a week and a half — putting me well on the way towards finishing it off for good.

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review 2020-02-04 03:21
A Guide to White Male Writers for White Male Writers (or those who want to be one)
The White Man's Guide to White Male Writers of the Western Canon - Dana Schwartz,Jason Adam Katzenstein
If you want to be a writer, you should attend an Ivy League university, where you roommate happens to be the nephew of a senior editor at Knopf, and you should go on to get a summer internship in New York City. This internship will not be paid, and unfortunately you will have to suffer the indignity of living in an apartment that your parents pay for. But soon, your struggles will pay off, and you will be accepted at one of the nation's most prestigious MFA programs.


If you can't do all of that, I hate to say it, but it sounds like you won't have the commitment and discipline necessary to make it as a writer.

Nice guy, the narrator of this book, right? I didn't know this when I picked it up, but this is a book inspired by a parody Twitter account Schwartz runs @GuyInYourMFA, I wish I knew that going in—it might have helped me appreciate the book more. Probably not, really, the book speaks for itself, but it the humor in it screams Twitter. Anyway, that account is the voice behind this book.


This is a guide to:


teach you everything you need to know to become the chain-smokin, coffee-drinking, Proust-quoting, award-winning writer you've always known you should be...


Not a white man? Not to worry. The White Male Writer isn't a hard-and-fast demographic; it's a state of mind...

There's a brief discussion of topics like how to dress like a writer, what the Western Canon is, how to identify "Chick Lit" (the last identifier is "By Jennifer Weiner", which is a pretty good clue, you have to admit), and ends with a nice reading list of White Male Writers.


The heart of the book consists of thirty-two 6(+/-) page profiles of the greatest White Male Writers that make up the Western Canon. These consist of a brief biography, a discussion of some major works ("Works You Need to Know"), and some lessons from the work or life of the Writer that should be applied by the reader in their effort to become a Writer (drink recipes, how to respond to a rejection letter, how to write a love letter like James Joyce, etc.).


The writers are male, white, and largely published in the Twentieth Century (Shakespeare, Milton, Samuel Johnson, Goethe, Lord Byron, Dickens, Thoreau, and Tolstoy would be the exceptions). I can virtually guarantee that you've heard to them all—not that you've read them all, however. And in between the snark and intentionally sexist lessons, there's some decent information to be gleaned. That isn't the point of the book, the point is the snark, sexism, and general parodying the idea of the young, pretentious, white male would-be literary genius.


Every chapter includes at least 3 lines that should bring some level of amusement to the reader (some will have many more)—which is a pretty decent and consistent number. Sadly, all the jokes are around a theme, and so can get repetitive. If you don't read cover to cover, if you only read a 2-3 chapters at a time, and bear in mind that all the jokes will be similar, you can have a lot of fun with this book. If you neglect any of that, it can get tiresome. Once I figured that out (it didn't take long, thankfully, before I recognized the symptoms), I had a lot of fun with this book.


The illustrations are wonderful—each chapter (except the Pynchon chapter) features a great caricature of the artist, and a handful of other illustrations that do a wonderful job of augmenting the text.


This is not the subtlest of books I'll read this year (it doesn't try), but it is insightful, amusing and (accidentally?) informative. All of which makes it a fun, book-nerdy, read. Give it a shot, you'll probably be glad you did.

Source: irresponsiblereader.com/2020/02/03/the-white-mans-guide-to-white-male-writers-of-the-western-canon-by-dana-schwartz-jason-adam-katzenstein-illustrator-a-guide-to-white-male-writers-for-white-male-writers-or-those-who-want-to-be
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text 2020-01-20 22:55
Kindle freebies
Release the Djinni - Jenny Schwartz
The Crocodile Virgin - Jenny Schwartz

Crocodile Virgin - alas not a real crocodile or having sex with a crocodile but a crocodile shifter.  It was rather a dull story., and the names didn’t make sense.


Djinni - I do not know why one version of the title is a woman depicted as an elven form of Venus but there you go. Also why Niki as her name? And considering where the tale takes place would the angel’s name be Hugh

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