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text 2017-11-20 19:49
16 Tasks of the Festive Season - Square 4
The Unyielding - Shelly Laurenston
A Wreath of Snow: A Victorian Christmas Novella - Liz Curtis Higgs
The Berlin Wall: 13 August 1961 - 9 Nove... The Berlin Wall: 13 August 1961 - 9 November 1989 - Frederick Taylor
Forgotten Voices of the Great War - Imperial War Museum,Max Arthur

Square 4, Part 1: Penance Day

Book: A Wreath of Snow by Liz Curtis Higgs

Task: 5.5 Theses of Book Blogging

 

1. Don't sell ARCs. Donate them to a charity or stock a free little library with them, but don't sell them. I don't read ARCs for a bunch of personal reasons, yet I feel really sorry for the authors who have their ARCs sold.

 

2. Stop the "real" books versus e-Reader/app debate. We all know you are just doing it for page views/social engagement and it is a tired argument. Some bloggers bring this up at least monthly so their numbers look good - ESPECIALLY on FB. Reading is reading and some readers have disabilities/conditions that technology has helped to read more/read again. The argument is classist and ablest and I will unfollow a blogger in a hot minute if I start seeing this.

 

This goes double with audible books. Some people like to read and do crafts/garden/cook/clean at the same time and a lot of them don't have the time in their day to schedule all the things as individual tasks.

 

3. Don't be afraid to review/talk about books from your personal stash, freebie books found in the Nook or Kindle store or even *gasp* the books from your local library. In the daily push to promote NEW! sometimes bloggers get burnt out. Give yourself permission to once a month write about those long cherished books and why they hold/don't hold up. Don't lose your blog's personality in the quest to look good for publishers/blog tour operators.

 

4. Don't be afraid to address serious topics in your review. Authors really need to get over having their book babies get criticized for racism, homophobia, etc that the reader finds. Authors should coral their fans and let's not start in with death threats and slurs directed at the book blogger. And GR/BL, Twitter, and FB could give a helping hand to the blogger/reviewer when shit hits the fan.

 

5. Don't feel the need to be on every social media platform so that your blog gets noticed. Seems like an awful lot of work in creating and maintaining a page on FB for your blog for nothing, since a lot of FB's algorithim will keep your post/page hidden from readers feed. Twitter is one big garbage dump fire. Other platforms seem more in line with helping book bloggers.

                         5.5 However, if a blogger really likes a social media platform, say Instagram, and enjoys coming up with photos of books and bookish stuff, MORE POWER TO YOU. Honestly I am a big fan of "bookstagram" and love to see what you guys and gals come up with. Keep them coming!

 

***************************************************************************************************

Square 4, Part Two: Thanksgiving

Book: The Unyielding by Shelly Laurenston - I read it but my review got eaten by BL's bug fixing and I don't feel like re-writing my review. I gave it 5 stars and will probably gush about the entire series for at least the rest of the year.

 

Task: Picture of my new books. The family and I went to the Imperial War Museum at Duxford on Veterans' Day/Armistice Day (cause we know how to party, lol) and let's just say I can't be left in a museum gift shop by myself....I picked up The Berlin Wall 13 August 1961 - 9 November 1989 by Frederick Taylor; most likely the inspiration was seeing a piece of the Berlin Wall on display at the museum.

 

On a different day earlier in the month I went shopping at my favorite local charity shop for a White Elephant gift for the upcoming library staff and volunteer holiday party. I picked up Forgotten Voices of the Great War: A New History of WWI in the Worlds of the Men and Women Who Were There by Max Arthur.

 

 

 

 

 

Total points for this square: 4

 

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text 2017-10-28 19:46
Reading progress update: I've read 1 out of 592 pages.
Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America - Ibram X. Kendi

Out here in super red central Arizona, my public library has this on digital. 

 

Thank you, Chris' Fish Place, for posting your review of this.

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review 2017-10-23 09:38
One Blood
One Blood - Qwantu Amaru

by Qwantu Amaru

 

Randy Lafitte blamed his father for his mother's death in a car crash and as a young man, went to a voodoo priestess to exact his revenge. He then grew up to be governor of Louisiana, but when his spoiled daughter gets kidnapped, some of the lessons of his early life in New Orleans come back to haunt him.

 

Politics and voodoo make for an interesting backdrop to this story about family, betrayal and a voodoo curse. My only issue is that there are a lot of flashbacks, which make it hard to stay connected to the story. I felt that some plot threads didn't get followed up and there was a loss of linearity through jumping around too much in time.

 

It was interesting to see certain aspects of a subculture written by someone of the race depicted. I don't know the author's history or whether he might have any real experience with Voodoo, politics or gang culture, but apart from the kidnapped girl's reactions to some things, it seemed to lend some credibility.

 

It was an interesting read despite all the jumping around in time and gave me some mental exercise trying to work out who was on what side at various points. There was plenty of action, guns, explosions, all the things that make for good action films. Believability of the more esoteric plot points waned considerably by the end, but that's always a risk with any story involving magic.

 

One technical note for the Kindle version, the contents show 54 chapters, but there are actually 83! It's all there, but all the later chapters show as part of chapter 54.

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review 2017-10-14 15:01
Now that's more complicated
World After - Susan Ee

Penryn is still dealing with the fact that her mother is unstable, that her sister Paige is messed up by the angels and that Raffe has left her to hunt for his wings and that everything is complicated.  The world is messed up, the angels and demons have plans that are going to make things way to messed up for everyone and many of the humans have not realised that this isn't something that they can ignore and hope goes away.

 

Penryn is strong but doesn't really realise it and there is hope for her and her family, she makes mistakes but owns up to them and the sword is subtly changing her.  I'm very curious as to what happens next.

 

Could be supernatural, demons, monsters (these angels are quite monstrous); diverse voices, terrifying women but I'm using it for Chilling Children for what's happening to Paige

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review 2017-10-03 01:11
Half-Resurrection Blues by Daniel Jose Older
Half-Resurrection Blues - Daniel José Older

I read this one for Diverse Voices. It would also work for Supernatural, Ghost & The Dead Will Walk (there's a necromancer reanimating corpses).

 

I went back and forth on this book, but ultimately settled on 3 stars. I enjoyed the urban feel to this piece of urban fantasy and the Brooklyn setting was well-done. The narration is told from the (first person) perspective of Carlos Delacruz, whose internal dialogue switches between profanity-laced grit and self-deprecating humor. 

 

One of the weaknesses of the book was the weird, almost stalkerish, relationship between Carlos and the love interest Sasha. Carlos sees a picture of Sasha and is immediately "drawn" to her. There are major issues with this entire aspect of the plot, at least for me, starting with this attraction based on Sasha's terminal hotness, and ending with the resolution to their "relationship" at the end of the book. The whole thing made me uncomfortable. It was a huge part of the book, as well, so I can't just ignore it.

 

And, I'm not going to lie, nearly the entire ending of this book is confusing. I'm still trying to sort it out in my mind.  In addition, when I think about the UF series that I've really enjoyed, it's clear to me that I prefer my UF to revolve around women, such as Kate Daniels, Mercy Thompson, and Verity Price. So, I haven't decided if I will go on with this series or not, and now I've talked myself into knocking off another 1/2 star.

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