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review 2018-02-02 16:27
This illness isn't real so don't worry
Close Enough to Touch: A Novel - Colleen Oakley

There is a section on New York Public Library's website where librarians recommend some of their favorite books. I have been known to trawl through looking for ideas about what to read next (because I'm clearly lacking in books lol) and that's where I came across Close Enough to Touch by Colleen Oakley. Our main character, Jubilee Jenkins, is a small-town librarian with a big secret...she's allergic to human touch. And I do mean deathly allergic. Let me back up a bit because the book doesn't open with her working in the library and fretting about whether or not anyone has figured out she can't touch them. Instead we meet Jubilee in her home where she has been sequestered away for several years after a bad allergy attack which nearly killed her. She decides the best way to keep herself safe is to not come into any kind of contact with the outside world which of course results in her becoming absolutely petrified to leave her house for any reason. (She even comes up with a system for getting her trash to the curb without going outside.) I had originally been intrigued by this book because it gave me slight Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore vibes but once I got into it I realized that the main difference here is that she's not trying to solve a mystery. Jubilee just wants to live. 

 

This book's narrative could have been tightened up extensively. There's the exploration of mental illness but there's also a burgeoning romance. AND there was a second subplot involving her romantic interest and his relationship with his adopted son. I think by splitting the focus, none of these were explored satisfactorily. The ending was somewhat confusing and left me disappointed that I had spent the time reading the book at all. And honestly I didn't care for Jubilee. She was extremely wishy-washy and many times I found myself frustrated with her. The initial concept was interesting but the execution and the muddied plot turned this into a low rated read for me: 4/10.

 

Check out the different interpretations of the story via the book cover:

 

 

Source: The eBook Hunter
Source: Simon & Schuster

 

 

What's Up Next: Deep Dark Fears The Creeps by Fran Krause

 

What I'm Currently Reading: Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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text 2018-01-24 19:16
The Librarian of Auschwitz - Antonio G. Iturbe,Lilit Zekulin Thwaites
THE LIBRARIAN OF AUSCHWITZ by Antonio Iturbe, translation by Lilit Thwaites
 
I wanted to love this book. It is the true story of a 13 year old girl, imprisoned at Auschwitz Concentration Camp, who protects the few books that have been smuggled into the camp.
 
The infamous Doctor Mengle and other well-known Nazis and Resistance workers play supporting roles in what should have been a fascinating and terrifying look at man’s inhumanity to man. Instead it is almost boring.
The writing is flat, perhaps a problem with the translation. The characters have no life to them and so the reader is not engaged. Well researched, with a postscript and “what happened to them” appendix that gives the reader the results of the bravery of the resistance workers and prisoners and the cruelty of the Nazis, the book could be a source for history buffs and casual readers.
However, as it intended for young adults, the book simply cannot be recommended because of the uninteresting writing.
 
2 of 5 stars

 

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text 2018-01-24 15:00
It could have been so fascinating
The Librarian of Auschwitz - Antonio G. Iturbe,Lilit Zekulin Thwaites

THE LIBRARIAN OF AUSCHWITZ by Antonio Iturbe, translation by Lilit Thwaites I wanted to love this book. It is the true story of a 13 year old girl, imprisoned at Auschwitz Concentration Camp, who protects the few books that have been smuggled into the camp. The infamous Doctor Mengle and other well-known Nazis and Resistance workers play supporting roles in what should have been a fascinating and terrifying look at man’s inhumanity to man. Instead it is almost boring. The writing is flat, perhaps a problem with the translation. The characters have no life to them and so the reader is not engaged. Well researched, with a postscript and “what happened to them” appendix that gives the reader the results of the bravery of the resistance workers and prisoners and the cruelty of the Nazis, the book could be a source for history buffs and casual readers. However, as it intended for young adults, the book simply cannot be recommended because of the uninteresting writing. 2 of 5 stars

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text 2018-01-23 09:42
Librarian Updates

Just cleared out a largish queue of book additions, edits and reports.  A higher than average rate of rejected requests, so a few reminders:

 

1.  Covers WILL NOT be changed without a source link.  Please include a valid source showing that specific edition with the cover you're trying to add.  Any changes without source code (exception: placeholders) will be rejected.  Also, please don't just put "Amazon.com" as a source link.  If you can't be bothered to hunt down the correct full link to the book, why should a librarian?

 

2.  DO NOT REMOVE ISBNs.  These are automatically rejected.  If the ISBN is an invalid one, please use the flag to file a book report, so a librarian can confirm and merge the record with the correct one.

 

3.  Please do NOT mark books with ISBNs as Kindles.  Ebooks with ISBNs are ebooks.  Kindle and Audible formats are the ONLY books that should have anything in the ASIN field.

 

I think that hits the main points.  

 

A note about the damn Kindle/ASIN bug:

Look I don't speak for BookLikes - I'm just a librarian volunteer, so I have no idea when this damn bug is going to be fixed and I'm starting to not care.  My personal, unofficial advice is to stop adding Kindle editions.  

 

Those who know me might assume (fairly) that that is bias speaking, but not this time; this bug is a massive pain in the ass.  Librarians can't edit any Kindle record from 2017 or 2018 without an 8 out of 10 chance of the edits being blocked b/c of the damn ASIN number.  The best we can do is a combination of accept-and-reject of edits regular users make (we accept all changes except the removal of the ASIN, which the user has to do to get the edits to go through to the queue).  

 

This leaves us all in the very messy position of having to keep empty kindle records in the database, and at this point there are thousands of them, which means we're never going to be able to get them all corrected should this bug ever be fixed and at some point they're likely to get merged with ISBN ebook editions because the librarian can't see the ASIN in the source field unless the record is open (and we don't open records when we combine/merge).

 

So if you can, add the ebook edition with the ISBN; I know this is not always possible for Kindle users because Amazon isn't going to show you the ISBN - they don't want their customers thinking the book exists anywhere else - but the ISBN of any book that has one can usually be found on the copyright page.  It's not as easy as cut/paste, but it will ensure that your edition record won't get merged accidentally somewhere down the line, not to mention allow librarians to edit the record should we need to.

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review 2017-12-16 19:05
Review: "Draakenwood" (Whyborne & Griffin, #9) by Jordan L. Hawk
Draakenwood (Whyborne & Griffin Book 9) - Jordan L. Hawk

 

~ 4.5 stars ~

 

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