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review 2018-04-21 15:39
Nothing too terrifying I'm sad to report
Ghostland: An American History in Haunted Places - Colin Dickey

I picked up Ghostland: An American History in Haunted Places by Colin Dickey with the hope that it would be like the 13 Alabama Ghosts books I remember so fondly as a child (they still have the first in the series at the public library in my hometown). I don't fully believe in ghosts but I do fully enjoy reading ghost stories. Tales of haunted places in particular are fascinating because they're usually told with a kernel of truth at the center. However, Dickey seems to contradict himself at every turn in this book by retelling these ghost stories and then almost immediately debunking them. Further compacting the confusion, each chapter ends with a somewhat mystifying takeaway about why there seems to be so many 'ghosts' and 'haunted places' in the United States. (And this is despite the U.S. as we know it being a relatively young country.) He covers the gamut of places that could possibly be haunted. There's the typical cemeteries and old houses but there's also factories and even the rarer entire city haunting (Detroit for example).  Overall, I didn't feel satisfied because I think I was hoping for less analysis and more storytelling. I suppose this might be of interest in terms of a tour guide for places to check out yourself but it wasn't my cup of tea. 4/10

 

Of possible interest: Dickey is a member of the Order of the Good Death started by Caitlin Doughty which I'm sure you'll all remember from earlier blog posts. I have to say that I didn't find his writing nearly as compelling as hers. :-/

 

What's Up Next: Fly on the Wall by Emily Jenkins

 

What I'm Currently Reading: Short by Holly Goldberg Sloan

 

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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review 2018-03-28 18:02
Good detective work marred by a distorted approach
Myths & Legends of the First World War - James Hayward

Truth, as the saying goes, is the first casualty of war, and in this book James Hayward demonstrates just how true this was during the First World War.  He examines many of the falsehoods that arose during the way, from rumors of nonexistent spies to such fabled tales as the “Angel of Mons” and the Russians in England.  Addressing each of these, he details the impact of the particular legend and traces its probably origin, an effort that requires equal parts detective work and reasoned speculation.

 

Yet for all of his admirable work in penetrating through the mythos of the war, Hayward’s book suffers from some notable flaws.  His text suffers from errors borne of sloppiness; he makes factual mistakes when establishing the context, and in one instance he cites a novel as if it were a memoir instead of a work of fiction.  The most problematic part of his book, however, is his chapter of the “legend” of the incompetent British command on the Western Front.  While the idea of the “lions led by donkeys” has faced increasing challenges recently from several quarters, Hayward treats it as if it were simply another.  By lumping it in with the other falsehoods he addresses, he distorts the process of historiographical debate underway, ignoring the evidence that led many historians to their views on the incompetent leadership of the British generals.  A different approach towards the topic would have served the author better in this respect.

 

For the most part, Hayward is to be commended.  His book offers an entertainingly written examination of the propaganda and rumors that grew out of the First World War.  People who are seeking an introduction to the topic could do worse than to turn to its pages, though a certain amount of skepticism is warranted in some parts.

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review 2018-03-23 23:54
Loki had how many wives?!
Norse Mythology - Neil Gaiman

I've never yet been let down by Neil Gaiman and Norse Mythology certainly didn't break that winning streak. In this nonfiction book Gaiman covers a wide range of Norse myths and in the process destroys what Marvel had implanted in the minds (my mind at least) of what Asgard looked like and who inhabited it. For example, Marvel led me to believe that Loki and Thor were adopted brothers. Nope! In actuality, Loki was Odin's HALF brother sooooo the family dynamic just got a whole lot weirder. I think the best thing about Norse Mythology is that it justified my interest in Loki and non-interest (is that a word?) for Thor (who is described as all brawn and no brain). I really enjoyed learning about how these myths explained world events like earthquakes which were thought to be caused by Loki struggling against venomous poison inside of a mountain. And humans attained the gift of poetry from mead that was made from the blood of the wise god, Kvasir. Gaiman doesn't only focus on the 3 biggies (I'm talking Odin, Loki, & Thor) but also discusses the 'lesser' gods and in particular the events surrounding Ragnarok. Up until reading this book, I thought Ragnarok was another word for apocalypse but actually it's better termed as a time of grand change. Yes, the world as the gods came to know it will end but then it's time for a new world which isn't necessarily a bad thing (unless you're a god I guess). This would have been a 10/10 for me except that I kept wishing for illustrations culled from historical texts. This would have really added to the short stories and made it a standout. However, that doesn't stop this from being a very interesting read and I don't think it should stop any of you from grabbing it off the shelves.

 

What's Up Next: Rest in Pieces: The Curious Fates of Famous Corpses by Bess Lovejoy

 

What I'm Currently Reading: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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review 2018-03-15 16:11
Spellbinding – The Dragon’s Playlist by Laura Bickle @Laura_Bickle
The Dragon's Playlist - Laura Bickle

OMG, what an amazing cover for The Dragon’s Playlist by Laura Bickle. If this is any indication of the story inside, I can hardly wait to get started. How about you?

 

Cover:  Danielle Fine

 

The Dragon's Playlist

Amazon Goodreads

 

MY REVIEW

 

I have heard some rumors about Laura Bickle’s writing and now I know, IT’S TRUE! She can spin a heart pounding tale of love and loss, and fantasy and fiction, that blend together in a spellbinding read that you will not be able to put down.

 

Diamond came home to see her ailing father. It is terrible to see a parent weak, ill, a parody of their former self. He had been hurt in a mine cave in.

 

Oh man, she’s got a porcelain unicorn collection. Me too. She talks of her love for trees and the forest. I love them too. I also had a treehouse, and, like hers, it was really just a couple of boards nailed to a couple of branches. BUT, I never had a fiery something coming my way. Hmmm…is it a shadow…is that fire?

 

Money issues force her to take a break from college and she is not happy about it. She is resentful, even though she knows it’s the only way to help her parents. Her ex-boyfriend, Jason, seems to be a permanent fixture at her parents home. She thought it was odd, until she found out why Jason and her dad had such a close relationship.

 

Another mining story with the same theme, attitudes, danger, treehuggers…and the miners who need the jobs. I have read several books, recently, about coal mining and it pisses me off every time it comes up. We shouldn’t be underground, like rats, mining for an obsolete product. Well…let me collect myself…These type of stories get my emotions roiling and I am filled with anger, disgust, sadness, and a feeling of ambivalence.

 

I couldn’t help but laugh at the mention of noodling, and if you haven’t heard of it you are in for a laugh or two. It’s a southern thing. They were supposed to be looking for Buzzard Bill, but the kids are easily bored.

 

Whoa…Not what I was expecting and I love it. Reminds me of Mothman…a bit.

 

The characters have some decisions to make, some attitudes to adjust and some romantic feelings to sort out. Their futures are not easy to discern and their problems read like a true story as they struggle day by day. Sometimes we don’t get all the dreams of our youth, but, like Diamond, there can still be love, happiness and a feeling of contentment.

 

At seventy percent, I am feeling so sad. I went from childlike wonder to anger and disappointment, sorrow and hope. So much heartache. Can there possibly be any happiness left?

 

I cannot stop reading…I must know…OMG! Fabulous, fiery, fantastic, flaming, flawless fantasy!

 

I voluntarily reviewed a free copy of The Dragon’s Playlist by Laura Bickle.

Animated Animals. Pictures, Images and Photos  5 Stars

 

READ MORE HERE

 

  • You can see my Giveaways HERE.
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Source: www.fundinmental.com/spellbinding-the-dragons-playlist-by-laura-bickle-laura_bickle/www.fundinmental.com/spellbinding-the-dragons-playlist-by-laura-bickle-laura_bickle
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review 2018-03-03 17:04
The Sirens of Griffin Bay – Breakwater by Errin Stevens @errinstevens
Breakwater - Errin Stevens
 

 

All right, I’m back with the mer gang in Breakwater by Errin Stevens…and loving every minute of it.

 

And another fabulous cover!

 

Breakwater (The Mer Chronicles, #2)

Amazon  /  Audio  /  Goodreads

 

MY REVIEW

 

 Breakwater, is Book II of The Mer Chronicles by Errin Stevens, so I want to be careful and not spoil any of this wonderful story of mers and humans that I fell so in love with, that as soon as I finished Updrift, Book I, I began Breakwater.
 
The loss of one of their own brings a runaway back to the fold and causes an upheaval at the palace. The mer world has many of the same issues of the human world, and, of course, the mers have rebellious ones, quite like us humans.
 
More and more mers are becoming curious about humans and land life. Changes are coming.
 
I haven’t read a mermaid story where humans and mers interact so intimately and I am loving every minute of it. The more I read, the more I become engrossed in the story. I highly recommend all of you mermaid and siren lovers out there to grab this series and enter a fantasy world that will let your imagination run wild.
 
I voluntarily reviewed a free copy of Breakwater by Errin Stevens.

Animated Animals. Pictures, Images and Photos  4 Stars

 

Read more here.

 

MY REVIEWS FOR ERRIN STEVENS
 
 
  • You can see my Giveaways HERE.
  • You can see my Reviews HERE.
  • animated smilies photo: animated animated.gif
  • If you like what you see, why don’t you follow me?
  • Leave your link in the comments and I will drop by to see what’s shakin’.
  • Thanks for visiting!
Source: www.fundinmental.com/the-sirens-of-griffin-bay-breakwater-by-errin-stevens-errinstevenserri
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