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review 2017-07-22 14:04
Thor, Vol. 1 !!!
Thor, Vol. 1 - Coipel Olivier,J. Michael Straczynski

In the movies, Thor is one of my favorite people. So when I saw this volume on Prime Reading. I HAD TO HAVE IT.

 

I loved this way more than I expected. Seriously, it was so good. I loved the stories, every one of them, I just love the characters. I wanted some Sif. I LOVE SIF. But even though she wasn't around, she got mentioned lots and that gave me all the feels. Ooops.

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review 2017-07-18 00:37
Well this one was aptly named because it seems "You Never Know"...
You Never Know - Mary Calmes

I freely admit with me when it comes to Mary Calmes they all start as 5 star reads and often stay that way or they may slide down to 4.5 or 4 stars. It's not very often that things slide below that. 

 

I was pretty conflicted on this one. I liked the overall concept of the story but for me the devil was in some of the details.

 

Now for the best part of the story...Hagen. I loved Hagen...as did everyone else. But Hagen is that person that you just can't help but love. He's good and kind, gentle, loyal and way, way more forgiving than most people but at the same time he really wasn't a pushover. He stood up for himself when he truly needed to and did it without using threats, intimidation or humiliation. 

 

The first problem I had was Ash. I did not like this man. He was not nice. He was self-centered, self-absorbed and just totally selfish. He wanted Hagen on his terms with no consideration to what Hagen really wanted or for the life that Hagen had made for himself. He got himself caught in more than one lie. He was manipulative and try as I might I could not see him as someone who was nice, so the fact that he was such a strong presence in the story truthfully irritated me. I honestly just wanted Hagen to tell him to go away. 

 

I definitely liked Mitch more than Ash. While I got why things happened the way they did between Mitch and Hagen. There were glimpses of Mitch being sorry and regretting what happened but I just felt like there needed to be more than a glimpse of regret from Mitch. I think he missed Hagen, but it felt more like Mitch did what he did because he had to and he thought Hagen should understand and be willing to move forward from there and I have to admit if I was Hagen it would have been a big 'Oh hell no!' no matter how much I loved or wanted to be with the other person.

 

I honestly can't say what would have made this part better for me. I believe in second chances and that's one of the things that really appealed to me about this story so of course, I was cheering for Hagen and Mitch from the start and I loved the ending of the story it was awesome, but the middle where Mitch's "I'm sorry" just didn't feel as epic as his "mistake" was where I needed more, I needed the "I'm sorry" to be at least as grand as his "mistake" and it just didn't happen.

 

I enjoyed this one but for me it definitely wasn't another 'Frog' or 'Acrobat' or my personal favorite 'Mine'. But then if they were all 5 stars how would anything ever be special for us and at the end of the day, I'm still waiting for my next Mary Calmes story because even the good ones leave me happy.

 

********************

An ARC of 'You Never Know' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

 

 

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text 2017-07-13 21:12
Nonfiction Science Book Club: My Suggestions
Inferior: How Science Got Women Wrong—and the New Research That's Rewriting the Story - Angela Saini
How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had It Coming - Mike Brown
13 Things That Don't Make Sense 13 Things That Don't Make Sense 13 Things That Don't Make Sense - Michael Brooks
The Glass Universe: How the Ladies of the Harvard Observatory Took the Measure of the Stars - Dava Sobel
Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are? - Frans de Waal
The Day the Universe Changed - James Burke
How We Got to Now: Six Innovations That Made the Modern World - Steven Johnson
Black Hole Blues and Other Songs from Outer Space - Janna Levin
Seeing Further - Bill Bryson
Storm in a Teacup: The Physics of Everyday Life - Helen Czerski

In no order whatsoever (except "as I thought about it"):

 

 

Nonfiction Science Bookclub on booklikes is at http://booklikes.com/book-clubs/90/buddy-read-for-the-invention-of-nature 

Source: booklikes.com/book-clubs/90/buddy-read-for-the-invention-of-nature
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text 2017-07-08 18:58
Hum If You Don't Know the Words by Bianca Marais
Hum If You Don't Know the Words - Bianca Marais

A special thank you to Penguin Random House First To Read for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Set in South Africa during Apartheid, the lives of two people collide and an unlikely bond is formed.  Robin Conrad is a nine-year-old white girl living with her parents in Johannesburg.  Beauty Mbali is a Xhosa woman in a rural village in the Bantu homeland of the Transkei who has been widowed and left to raise her three children.  Divided by race, the two meet as a result of circumstances stemmed from the Soweto Uprising—a protest by black students ignites racial conflict in which Robin's parents are casualties, and Beauty's daughter goes missing.

Robin is sent to live with her irresponsible aunt, and Beauty is hired to take care of Robin while continuing to look for her daughter.  Beauty and Robin become dependent on one another to fill the voids of their lost loved ones.  With the threat of Beauty abandoning her once her daughter is found, Robin makes a decision without understanding the magnitude it will have on Beauty, also failing to realize that this could cost her everything she loves.  Robin is taken on a journey of self-discovery, love, loss, racism, and what family truly means.

Told from alternating perspectives, Marais creates a strong character in Beauty, and an unreliable/naive one in Robin.  There were times where Robin was endearing, and other times she was unbelievably precocious and this, along with the ending, was the reason I didn't love the story.  Would Beauty, after everything she had gone through, really have let Robin save the day? 

I had incredible admiration for Beauty, not only for her intelligence, but for her compassion.  Her stoicism and strength when met with such adversity was nothing short of amazing and I wish that the entire story was told from her perspective.  She is well-written without being trivialized, Marais shines through her characterization.

Source: girlwellread.blogspot.ca/2017/06/hum-if-you-dont-know-words-by-bianca.html
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review 2017-07-02 10:51
Dangerous to Know (Lilian Frost and Edith Head Mystery, #2)
Dangerous To Know - Renee Patrick

So far so good; this series continues to impress for atmosphere, characterisations and plotting.

 

Some of this, I know, is because of the inclusion of so many real life, prominent characters of the time - 1938 Hollywood, but the writers are faithful enough to each of the stars they include that I, at least, never felt like I wasn't reading about the real life actor.  Extra points go to the authors for including Hedy Lamarr; not for her acting accomplishments, but for her scientific ones. 

 

The fictional characters hold their own too, although the authors struggle with romantic tension; introducing another love interest (which given the era doesn't feel quite as triangle-ish somehow) doesn't help either.  Although I sort of like the new guy better than the old guy.

 

The story didn't get the full five stars because it did drag just a little; the plot is a complex one that is intricately enmeshed with another, so that around the mid-book mark it felt like the story wasn't really getting anywhere - things were happening, but they didn't seem to mean anything to either the characters or the reader.  It all comes together in the end, of course, and it's so damn interesting I forgave the exercise in patience.

 

An author's note at the end takes the time to not only separate the fact from the fiction, but recommends several non-fiction books that go in-depth into the real life events borrowed for Dangerous to Know.  At least two of which, one about Hedy Lamarr and her work as an inventor - not an actress - and one about the Hollywood-funded spy ring in place to watch the Nazis, are definitely going on my list.

 

This was my Free Friday read (#3) and was 336 pages (including the author's note, which was a must read, in my opinion).

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