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review SPOILER ALERT! 2019-03-08 08:30
Review: Demon Hunting in a Dive Bar — Funny and Refreshing!
Demon Hunting in a Dive Bar - Lexi George


Another one of my feel-good series. The Southern ladies in these books speak their mind and make their own choices. The series is more PNR than UF, but I don’t mind because it makes me laugh. 

A quote from the book:


“Zombies eat brains, don’t they?”
“I’m a vegetarian.”


Oh, and I found a reference to THHGTTG in this one:

“Don’t panic and carry a towel.”

And several to Lord of the Rings since the male lead gives a ring that the woman he’s seeing can use to summon him. Lol

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review 2017-09-22 10:09
The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd — A Story about Mothers, Sisters, and Slaves!
The Invention of Wings: A Novel - Sue Monk Kidd



Fifteen years before Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote Uncle Tom’s Cabin, which was wholly influenced by American Slavery As It Is, a pamphlet written by Sarah, Angelina, and Angelina’s husband, Theodore Weld, and published in 1839, the Grimké sisters were out crusading not only for the immediate emancipation of slaves, but for racial equality, an idea that was radical even among abolitionists. 

That is the kind of women this book is based on!


The first book that I read by Sue Monk Kidd was The Secret Life of Bees. It didn’t mince words when it came to the cruelties that slavery brought. While I loved the candor, what touched me, even more, is that the author didn’t mention those incidents in a salacious way. She included them in the story as the reality of that time. The focus remained on the characters who evolved as real people do.


This book wasn’t different in that regard either! Like always, I will try to review the story with quotes from the book. As I mention each quote, I will include the context it is taken from and what it signified to me.



Another thing that I have always loved about Ms. Kidd’s novels is that she weaves humor into her stories. With the subject being as grim as slavery, it should be difficult to make the reader laugh. The best part is that the humor doesn’t detract or mock the theme of the story. It simply makes it possible to go on reading and with what is happening in it, this is a good thing.


The Sisters


This particular quote is taken from a scene where one of the Grimké sisters is receiving a suitor in her drawing room. The fear of carnality had been put into her very recently by a man of God in the very words that she mentions here! What’s funny is that it is the fact that the man smells of soap that is making her think carnal thoughts (or at least, what she thinks are carnal thoughts).



This is how we are introduced to one of the main characters from this book, Handful. Born a slave, she was mouthy as heck and tough as nails. I loved right from the start, which was probably what the author intended. It is mentioned in the Author’s Notes (given at the end of the book) that while there is evidence of Handful having existed, she didn’t survive long enough to play an important role in the life of the Grimké sisters. I am glad that the author thought otherwise.



More of Handful’s golden words for you. This is her pretending to be brave while she was about to be punished severely enough that it left her with a maimed foot.



This is her description of the legalese that she had to muddle her way through before she could find out if she was being sold after her master’s death or retained for her services!



A few pages later, we are introduced to the other main character, Sarah Grimké.While Handful mouthed off to people, Sarah had trouble getting out a whole sentence without stuttering. She had the same iron backbone though that Handful did, which soon became evident when she tried to emancipate Handful at the age of 11!



This is how Sarah was indoctrinated to what was really happening around her. She was just a little girl then but the incident remained with her all her life. It was a defining moment in the life of her character. Consider the following quote to see how she arrived at the root of the problem of slavery. This is an excerpt from one of her letters to Nina, her sister and another important character in the book. She raised Nina like a mother on revolutionary ideas like equality and it paid off. Nina gave her strength and achieved things that even Sarah thought meant going too far.



She changed her faith and left the safety of her house later in life, so she could be the kickass feminist that we know her to be. This is one of my favorite moments from the book. While it might come across as caustically feminazi, it wasn’t so in the book. That being said, I could see the point the men were trying to make. By taking up both the causes of slavery and feminism, the Grimké sisters caused their followers to split into two groups. However, the point lies in the fact that they even had to raise their voices for either cause.



The Mothers


Sarah’s mother is one of the important characters in the book. She terrorized her slaves and refused to relent even when she was close to death. I think this quote defines both hers and her husband’s characters perfectly.



This is how we meet Handful’s mother, Charlotte. She shaped Sarah’s and Handful’s lives by being who she was. Even though she couldn’t do anything openly, she figured small ways to show her rebellion. She continued to do so, knowing the punishment would be too severe and there’d be hell to pay if she got caught! I think this quote would fit almost anyone who is living under an oppressive regime. Don’t you?


The Slaves



Handful is much smarter than people gave her credit for. Sarah, whom she said these words to, used to think that being a woman was keeping her from making a difference. Handful knew otherwise. When the story begins, we think that Sarah would be the one protecting Handful but this quote and the next one shows us how the roles are reversed.



I can’t wait to try out another Sue Monk Kidd book after having read and loved this one. Have you read it? How did you like it?




Originally published at midureads.wordpress.com< on September 22, 2017.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2016-10-18 18:57
Long-Dead Gods Walk Again Has Been Done So Many Times But Promise of Blood Still Managed to Make Its Mark!
Promise of Blood - Brian McClellan


My Thoughts


The world in this novel was divided between two kinds of magic users: Privileged & Powder Mages. While the limitations of what Powder Mages could do and could not do were clearly described, the author left the Privileged's extent of power in murky waters. That is why, whenever they pulled some new kind of crap, the reader would think it was within the magic-user's reach. Of course, we find out later that there were other sorcerers who were much more powerful. They are supposed to be extinct but at least three of them make an appearance.


The gods have abandoned the world or so the people think. So far, I have met two of them! While the most powerful of them all appears just as the book is about to end, his brother, a minor god, does get some face time in the book. Mihali can create food from nothing and heals through his cooking. Here is what I imagine he would look like:


There is no dearth of epic fantasies that focus on the military and they manage to snare me at times, (the Bridgeburners in Malazan Books of the Fallen) while failing to do so at other times (Glen Cook's Black Company). This one fell into the former category and I started to care about Olem, the Field Marshal's personal bodyguard, and Adamat, a retired police inspector. However much I wanted Olem not to die, when he survived the last fight at the end of the book, I felt as if he was one of Dumas' musketeers -- unkillable!


There are plots within plots and everyone has their own game but this complexity comes nowhere near to what Erikson can embroil his readers in. For me, reading about the adventure that the soldiers were on was a hoot. The humor that was interwoven within that adventure was a big plus! Here are some of my favorite dialogues:







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review SPOILER ALERT! 2015-11-24 21:44
The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History - Elizabeth Kolbert


What I thought:

The Sixth Extinction
The Panamanian Golden Frogs are the focus of the chapter. However, the chapter is about the extinction of a large number of amphibians.
Just made me sad as reading about extinctions always does.

The Mastodon's Molars
Fascinating story about an anatomist drawing conclusions and connections from fossilized remains that others fail to do so! After all, "...who would have the temerity to peer down an elephant's throat?"
I have issues with the author telling us about things that have been "proven" wrong or right. There are no "proofs" in science!

The Original Penguin
The chapter is about how Charles Lyell, a geologist, was bent on proving that nature took a "uniformitarian" way.
Reminded me of Harry Turtledove's alternate history version, Audubon in Atlantis, from Atlantis and Other Places: Stories of Alternate History and the movie, Up.
The chapter also mentions Charles's tortoises had become extinct but there was no mention of the hybrids that were found with the extinct DNA mixed in as well. Found that weird. The discovery took place before this book was published.

The Luck of the Ammonites
This chapter is about the establishment of the (meteor) Impact theory in science.
Some of my favorite quotes were from this chapter:

Basically, if you were a triceratops in Alberta, you had about two minutes before you got vaporized

The uncoiled shells of species like Eubaculites carinatus indicated that the group had exhausted its practical possibilities and entered some sort of decadent, Lady Gaga-ish phase

Welcome to the Anthropocene
Among other things, this chapter deals with the theories behind minor (mass) extinctions, rats inheriting the world, and naming this age Anthropocene.
The inclusion of naked mole rats made it one of my favorite chapters.

The Sea Around Us
The chapter starts discussion on the acidification of the oceans.
Made me feel like if the global warming didn't get us, acidification definitely will!

Dropping Acid
The coral reefs are dying off at an alarming speed. An inscription about a patch that is being researched upon, DK-13, says it all, "DK-13: NO ONE CAN HEAR YOU SCREAM.
The research station on One Tree Island has been home to many research teams. They all leave their mark on its walls:

The Forest and the Trees
Dr. Silman and his team has been researching the effect of elevation (and indirectly climate) on the vegetation.
The quote that stuck with me:
The sun was out, but it had recently rained, and clusters of black and red and blue butterflies hovered over the puddles. Occasionally, a truck rumbled by, loaded down with logs. The butterflies couldn't scatter fast enough, so the road was littered with severed wings.

Islands on Dry Land
Located in a Brazilian province, Reserve 1202 is a study of land fragmentation that has become a landmark of our anthropocentric world.
It amazed me how scientists come and leave the Reserve and research goes on even today.

The New Pangaea
Bat die-off has struck. It begins with a white spot on their little noses that is actually a fungus called Geomyces destructans. It was not a natural part of the area of the world that it struck upon.
This was the quote that stayed with me:
During any twenty-four-peropd, it is estimated that ten thousand different species are being moved around the world just in ballast water.

The Rhino Gets an Ultrasound
One of the handful Sumatran rhinos left is given an ultrasound after a failed attempt at artificial insemination.
The megafauna strategy used to be a winning one: grow to mammoth sizes (literally in some cases) to escape predation but trade off by reproducing once in a lifetime. Then humans came and the rules changed!

The Madness Gene
The Neanderthals were doing fine until they came into contact with modern humans.

The Thing With Feathers
The exceedingly rare Hawaiian crow features in this chapter. This one is called Kinohi and it has a tragicomic sex life.

I liked the way the author chose to end this book. Humans are agents of change and she chose to focus on that rather than making us out as the bad guys who only make species go extinct. We exist, therefore, we bring change. 


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review 2015-08-31 09:24
Flavia Gives Me A Case of Feels
As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust: A Flavia de Luce Novel - Alan Bradley


You know when you read a book and the story isn't too interesting. You are not too interested in who the killer will turn out to be either. But you still love the book because you are in love with the characters. You still keep reading because the author writes beautifully. And most of all, the author stays true to the character (or what you think the character is like, anyway).




Yeah, that.


#Flavia #Flavia de Luce #Alan Bradley #Flavia de Luce Series

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