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review 2017-04-04 22:24
Starting School - Franzeska G. Ewart,Leonie Shearing

This book is about Sadie and Sam who are starting their first day of school. Sadie is excited but Sam is nervous. The book goes through their whole day and all of the fun activities that do together. They make new friends and meet a class pet. At the end of the day Sam decides he likes school just as much as Sadie does. I would use this book for the first day of school. I would use it for all grade levels. It is leveled A. 

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text 2016-03-04 00:54
Book Haul for week of March 4th
The Canterville Ghost - Oscar Wilde,Inga Moore
Toujours Provence - Peter Mayle
Encore Provence: New Adventures in the South of France - Peter Mayle
Banvard's Folly: Tales Of Reknowned Obscurity, Famous Anonymity And Rotten Luck - Paul Collins
The Curse of the Kings - Victoria Holt
The Circular Staircase - Mary Roberts Rinehart
An Autobiography - Agatha Christie
Midnight Marked - Chloe Neill
Grave Visions - Kalayna Price
And Then There Were Nuns - Kylie Logan

When MT and I were on our mini-break and I was doing damage in a small UBS in Bright, the owner and I were chatting and she told me she got quite a bit of her stock from a man here in Melbourne, in a neighborhood just 20 minutes from me.  He's only open on the weekends and doesn't advertise - which perversely, made me want to visit his shop.  So I went last Sunday and I figured, while I was at it, it would only make sense to stop at any nearby UBSs too, right?  For comparison's sake...


4 UBSs later... (and 4 parcels in the post)


What can I say?  I came, I saw, I bought.  I'm going to blame mom: she always let me buy whatever books I wanted as a child, you know, to encourage a love of reading. But we lived an hour away from the closest bookshops and the internet didn't exist so she could be magnanimous, little knowing she was creating a bibliophile with a total lack of impulse control.  Love you mom!


I'm not going to do this in two posts, so here are the rest of the books that didn't fit above:  (All the images link to their respective BookLikes pages.)


Black Sheep - Georgette Heyer  The Quiet Gentleman - Georgette Heyer  The Convenient Marriage - Georgette Heyer  Excellent women - Barbara Pym  An Unsuitable Attachment - Barbara Pym  The Scarlet Pimpernel - Baroness Orczy  


That last one that looks vaguely Masonic is actually the Folio Society edition of The Scarlet Pimpernel.


I'm a little red-faced over the sheer number of them, so I'm not going to mention them all individually.  I've always wanted a copy of The Canterville Ghost because I loved the TV adaptation as a child.  The Peter Mayle books are follow-ups to A Year in Provence which I liked in that way you like a Food Network show.  Banvard's Folly: Tales Of Reknowned Obscurity, Famous Anonymity And Rotten Luck is the book Paul Collins talked about writing in Sixpence House and the UBS owner said it was really good.


The Holt and Rinehart books are throwbacks to Mom's bookcase and ever since I heard about Agatha Christie going surfing, I wanted to read her autobiography.


Since I've enjoyed Angela Thirkell, I decided to up my game and give Pym a try and the Heyers I took a chance on: I love some of her stuff and others were just... not worth mentioning.  Hopefully I picked some winners.



Total new books this week:  16

Total books read this week:  3

Total physical books on TBR: 217

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review 2016-02-14 17:41
Encore for Murder (audiobook) by Mickey Spillane and Max Allan Collins, starring Stacy Keach with a full cast
The New Adventures of Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer, Vol. 3: Encore for Murder - Max Allan Collins,Mickey Spillane,Stacy Keach

[This was from back in 2013, but for some reason I never posted my review anywhere other than my blog.]


Encore for Murder is a noir thriller that is, from my understanding, based on Mickey Spillane's notes for an unwritten novel. I had never read/listened to anything by Mickey Spillane before, but the audio sample sounded interesting, so I gave it a shot.

The story: Mike Hammer is hired to act as Rita Vance's bodyguard. Rita, a old flame of Hammer's, is making an acting comeback and has been receiving death threats. Hammer sticks close by her, but Rita doesn't seem to be taking the situation seriously. Then things get a little more complicated, Rita disappears, and Hammer has to find and rescue her.

This did not turn out to be a good pick for me. The best thing I can say is that the story was sort of interesting and I enjoyed the full-cast, radio drama feel of it. Otherwise, though, I kind of hated Mike Hammer.

I don't think I've read a lot of noir fiction at all, nor watched many noir movies. It may just be that the genre isn't for me. Although some attempts were made to update this story (mentions of cell phones, the sex offender registry, and the reluctance of restaurants to serve meat cooked rare), it still felt pretty old school. Nearly every woman Hammer encountered was an enormous flirt – the only exception was maybe Velda, Hammer's secretary and partner, but even she had moments when she acted liked Hammer's girlfriend-in-waiting.

I might just have rolled my eyes at Hammer's very male gaze when it came to women, until I got to the torture scene.

Rita was tied naked to a chair and was being threatened with a blow torch. I was a little uncomfortable with some of the almost sexual phrasing used in this scene, such as the description of the blowtorch as “a terrible flame ready to lick her flesh.” Also, post-torture, there was this from Hammer: “I've had a better time with a naked woman.” His lover had been stripped naked, beaten, and almost burned, and his first thought after rescuing her was about sex? Eww. Just eww. Other than feeling a little shaky, Rita barely seemed affected her own kidnapping and torture, which bothered me, too.

(spoiler show)

Prior to listening to this, I checked out a few reviews and noticed at least one mention of Hammer killing a lot of people. I read and listen to a lot of things with violence in them, so I just noted this and moved on. He really does kill a lot of people, though, and sometimes he kills them very violently. If I remember correctly, at one point he almost decapitated a guy with a car trunk door. I think it was his reaction, or non-reaction, to killing people that bothered me the most. At least one of the other characters even commented on the amount of killing he did, and he just brushed them off.

It was short and most of the acting was okay, but if this is what Mike Hammer stories are generally like, they are very much not for me. It's funny, I can root for and even kind of like characters like Jeff Lindsay's Dexter, and yet Mike Hammer just made me feel kind of icky. Maybe it's because Dexter makes it very clear that he is a sociopath, while Hammer seems to have zero recognition of the fact that some of the things he does are not okay?

(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

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review 2015-12-21 18:04
Children's Review: A New Life Begins
The Adventures of Zealy and Whubba: A New Life Begins! Book 1 Series 1 - Roe De Pinto
We received this book to give an honest review. 
This is a good book for toddlers the illustrations and the short words on the pages will keep your child's attention. We get to meet Zealy who is a white baby seal (which A loved) and see the world in her eyes. This story is about how Zealy and Whubba a killer whale become friends and I can see this becoming a good adventure especially as they grow. 
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review 2014-11-13 00:00
The Mammoth Book of New Sherlock Holmes Adventures
The Mammoth Book of New Sherlock Holmes Adventures - Mike Ashley More 3.5 than 3 star but not quite 4 star.

Some interesting ideas and adventures, including two in Ireland. Now must research if Holmes being a Galwegian who attended Trinity is actual canon.
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