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review 2019-01-22 04:24
On These Mean Streets
Mean Streets - Jim Butcher,Simon R. Green,Kat Richardson,Thomas E. Sniegoski,Dion Graham,Richard Poe,Mia Baron,T. Ryder Smith

This is a collection of four longer novellas in the urban fantasy genre written by a quarter of well-regarded writers that showcases each of their characters in ongoing series. I have actually read two of these already: "The Warrior" by Jim Butcher and "What a Difference a Day Makes" by Simon R. Green. "The Third Death of the Little Clay Dog" by Kat Richardson and "Noah's Orphans" by Thomas E. Sniegoski are new reads for me. My favorites were "The Warrior" and "The Third Death of the Little Clay Dog."

"Changes" is a Harry Dresden story that heavily features Harry's friend Michael Carpenter and his family. It's also about how being a hero is not just taking up a sword. It's a culmination of many small choices one makes everyday in how they interact with people around them. The lesson was really important and the plotting flawless. Short but substantial. 5 stars

"What a Difference a Day Makes" by Simon R. Green doesn't measure up to the other stories in this volume because it doesn't have the deep character development, pathos or growth of the other stories. I say this as a big admirer of Simon R. Green. His work is very good, and it works for what its doing, but his real brilliance shows in his longer work than his shorter work. Having said that, I enjoy Green's noir style and the just plain weirdness of his imagination. This story is good but not great. 3 stars.

"The Third Death of the Little Clay Dog" by Kat Richardson is the first I've read by her and I'm a fan. I loved the intricate look into Mexican culture, specifically Dia de los Muertos. Most non-Mexicans don't really get what this is about. It's not a spooky holiday in the way we think about Halloween. It's a deeply meaningful holiday in which people remember and celebrate those they have lost to death. There are some folkloric underpinnings that may not make sense, and probably some aspects that might be a dealbreaker for some people. While the holiday is not spooky, this story is written to have some aspects of the macabre to it. Definitely a ghost story, and it's also about magic, dark and light. I really appreciated this story and I loved the narrator. She did a great job with the Spanish pronunciations and in distinguishing the different voices from one another. 5 stars.

"Noah's Orphans" by Thomas E. Sniegoski is thoughtful and sober storytelling. The concept behind it resonated with me as a Christian who grew up reading the Bible and is acquainted with the Noah's Ark tale. This book has a 'what if' aspect to it that got my mind spinning. Consistent for the rest of the series, but rather joyless. 4 stars.

Overall, a good book, and worth listening to on audiobook.

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text 2019-01-21 18:59
Reading progress update: I've read 536 out of 912 pages.
The Queen of Air and Darkness - Cassandra Clare

Holy Crispy Critters emotionless boy is back, I want to wack his pea brain with a stick

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text 2019-01-21 02:48
The Monster Amongst Us
Attack of the Fiend by Joseph Delaney Unabridged Playaway Audiobook (The Last Apprentice) - Joseph Delaney,Christopher Evan Welch

I finished writing this review and it got eaten by the computer gremlins. Oh well, here it goes again. I listened to this on audiobook while I was packing up the house this summer, and it greatly improved what was a tedious task. The narration is well done. This series is pretty darn spooky, no pun intended. It's downright scary at times. The narrator lends well to the atmosphere. There's a feeling of the monster lurking in the dark behind every closed door, a sense of paranoia and an urgency not to trust anyone. The storyline enhances that feeling because the monsters lurk in human form. More of the witches storyline in this one, and further development of the relationship between Tom and Alice. Definitely worth a read.

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review 2019-01-21 02:40
Dry
Dry - jarrod shusterman,Neal Shusterman

This book was assigned to my girls through their book club. 

 

The book looks at human dynamics when something major happens, like California not having any water and the people not being able to get out of the state or get water. It was an interesting look at the human condition and things that could happen. 

 

 

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review 2019-01-18 22:57
Wow!
The Library Book - Susan Orlean

What die-hard book lover doesn't like books about books, or books about the places they are stored, or the sometimes fascinating lives of some of the people through history who championed for books to be available to the common person through libraries? 
The main focus of "The Library Book" was LA's Central Library, its history, the people who have been its librarians, and the fire that almost destroyed it, but also so much more. It shared information about books, libraries and their caretakers through history, its patrons (some were hilarious!) as well as exploring the crime (or was it?) that almost wiped out one of the largest libraries in our country. It looked at the man accused of his arson, and why there are still questions regarding the nature of the fire. The books was chock full of interesting tidbits and I know I exasperated members of my family, every day, having to read the next bit I felt so interesting I could not keep it to myself. I could all most feel, as I approached, them sending up furtive prayers "Please don't let her talk more about that book". : )
Each chapter started with a list of 4 or five books that somehow pertained to that chapter, and those list were thought provoking themselves, and contains an extensive bibliography at the end. 
But it was also a book more personal for the author as well as she felt an abiding love for libraries since her youth and the memories shared with her mother growing up, during their weekly visits there leaving with stacks of books, and her mom always saying that if she could have chosen any profession, it would have been a librarian. 
When I saw that Susan Orlean had written this, I got so excited because I had loved "The Orchard Thief" and just had to get this-- and I was not disappointed. I love everything about it-- not just the topic, or the way the story was told, but also the way it looks, the way it feels-- even the end papers inside the front and back cover were nice.

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