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review 2019-03-10 23:08
Je t'aime
A Year in Paris: Season by Season in the City of Light - John Baxter

Non-fiction book for Feb 2019 My Book Box.

If anyone writes more beautifully about Paris than John Baxter, I’ve yet to read them.
This book is supposedly about Paris throughout the year. It loosely follows this (there are some jumps in season, time, and place) as well as a brief history of the Revolution’s desire to change the calenderer.

It is best to think of this book as part memoir of seasons of his life in Paris, as well as seasons of Paris. Each chapter is like a meditation.

There are interesting little factoids that pop up. Like France’s obsession with sanitation. Or how names use to be chosen for French children. There is a wonderful bit about April, Paris, and music. There are observations like, “More so in France than anywhere else in the world, political survival turns on a gesture” (207).

There are parts of the book that are somewhat, well strange. It’s not the comparison between Baxter’s Australia or California. Those parts are interesting. It’s just sometimes, it almost feels like he is oversharing. There is a bit too much about his sexual relationships. Don’t get me wrong, the details aren’t overly graphic, and the first relationship is actually beautifully described. However, he does seem to think of Paris, in part, as terms of women he has relationships with. (Most importantly, it should be fairly noted, his wife and daughter. He dedicates the book to both, and they do seem to be the loves of his life. The two non-marriage relationships occur prior to the marriage). So, we also get details about his relationship with a German woman. There also is a weird bit about an Aussie’s man’s junk. Which comes out of left field. I’m not really sure why that was there.

Still, it is a beautiful book about Paris. You should read it.

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review 2019-02-18 21:01
Timepiece
Timepiece - Heather Albano


I read time travel, so count me in. There's an introduction in the book about the special setting where, from our POV, people from one historical setting visit another one. Besides it is set in an alternative steampunk London where monsters and the machines that were meant to keep them in check roam around.

This is a good example of how thing gradually became worse, with the solution being even worse than the problem and this for several problems. Luckily there is a bunch of time traveling pocket watches available and some young people who are willing to use it to rid the world once and for all of these problems. Our main characters are from Georgian England and it is clear that HG Wells and the like have not yet been around, because of course they should have realized right from the start that History doesn't want to be changed and that these things NEVER end well.

The story was a bit slower than I expected. While they do jump around in time quite some, I was perhaps still used to the mayhem that is St Mary's in that other Time Travel series that I'm reading. I'm however, not entirely on board with the rules of the time travel in this one, especially since they glance over (or at least give a unsatisfactory answer) to two of the most important paradoxes of time travel. I hope this will be resolved a bit better in the next book, which I hope to read soon.

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

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review 2019-01-28 04:49
Diary of a Worm
Diary of a Worm - Harry Bliss,Doreen Cronin

Just a the title says- this is the diary of a worm. But this worm is just like us! He has other insect friends, a family, he goes to school and has a teacher. He has fears and dreams, and anything else that we experience in our everyday lives. This book is sure to have your students a giggling mess over the adventures that worm experiences. I think a wonderful activity to have students complete once you have finished reading this book is to have them keep a diary for a week. Not only does it get your students writing but it also allows you to get to know your students a little better. This would be a great activity to do towards the beginning of the year so you can not only get an idea of students writing but you can also get to know what your students like or dislike. Once they have completed, their diary you could come back and have students compare and contrast what they did differently or the same from worm in the story. 

 

Lexile Measurement: AD510L

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review 2019-01-28 03:57
The Kissing Hand
The Kissing Hand (Chester the Raccoon - Nancy M. Leak,Ruth E. Harper,Audrey Penn

     With this books reading level at grades preK through kindergarten, this book is targeted for starting readers. This book is about a young raccoon starting the first day of school, but he does not want to go. Mother Raccoon is concerned and teaches the young raccoon a secret for when his outside world gets a little scary. Your students will love this heartwarming classic.  

     A great way to use this book is starting a new school year. The students listen to the story, create a handprint craft, and practice retelling the story.

    

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review 2019-01-21 07:50
Something to Save
The Queen's New Year Secret (Princes of Petras) - Maisey Yates
Unfortunately, this one was a bit slow for me. I didn't really connect as much to the characters and story, although it seemed like it would be my jam. I guess there wasn't enough tension in the book for me. The characters were missing that spark that I need in a romance. It wasn't bad but disappointing for this author.

 

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