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text 2016-08-30 21:14
August 2016 Reading Wrap Up
The Mercy of the Sky: The Story of a Tornado - Holly Bailey
Not Left Behind: Rescuing the Pets of New Orleans - Bob Somerville,Troy Snow,Best Friends Animal Society
Say Yes to the Death: A Debutante Dropout Mystery (Debutante Dropout Mysteries) - Susan McBride
F5: The Devastating Tornado Outbreak of 1974 - Mark Levine
The Dressmaker of Khair Khana: Five Sisters, One Remarkable Family, and the Woman Who Risked Everything to Keep Them Safe - Gayle Tzemach Lemmon
Revelations - Melissa de la Cruz
Her Christmas Earl: A Regency Novella - Anna Campbell

Regency Box Set: (completed one month ahead of schedule)

1. His Jilted Bride (Banks Brothers Brides #3) by Rose Gordon 1 star

2. My Lady of Deception by Christi Caldwell 1 star

3. Much Ado about Dutton by Claudia Dain 0 stars


TBR Read Down:

4. The Dilemma of Charlotte Farrow (Avenue of Dreams #2) by Olivia Newport - 2 stars

5. Say Yes to Death (Debutante Dropout #6) by Susan McBride - 4.5 stars

6. Revelations (Blue Bloods #3) by Melissa de la Cruz - 3 stars

7. The Van Alen Legacy (Blue Bloods #4) by Melissa de la Cruz - DNF

8. The Carousel Painter by Judith Miller - DNF

9. Tempted by Midnight (Midnight Breed #12.5) by Lara Adrian - 2 stars

10. Her Christmas Earl by Anna Campbell - 3 stars


Non-fiction Challenge: (37/50; 74% completed)

11. The Mercy of the Sky by Holly Bailey - 5 stars

12. The Dressmaker of Khair Khana by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon - 3 stars

13. The Whole Brain Child by Daniel J. Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson - DNF

14. What I Know Now edited by Ellyn Spragins - 2 stars

15. F5 by Mark Levine - 3 stars

16. Not Left Behind: Rescuing the Pets of New Orleans by Troy Snow/Best Friends 5 stars

17. Not Just the Levees Broke by Phyllis Montana-LeBlanc - 0 stars

18. Hell on Earth: The Wildfire Pandemic by David L. Porter w/Lee Reeder 2.5 stars


Summer Bingo:

19. Brave Like My Brother by Marc Tyler Nobleman - 2.5 stars

20. Othello by William Shakespeare - 2 stars


Reading Challenge: 125 out of 150 books (83% completed) - this is according to GoodReads, as BL did not have two of the novels in the regency box set as a separate books, just as part of the box set.



DoD-MWR Summer Reading Program (ended August 12th)

COYER (ends today)

Bout of Books cycle 17 (August 22th-28th)

Moonlight Reader's Summer Bingo


Final Thoughts:

This has been a busy summer and the autumn season looks just as busy reading-wise. I had to DNF three books (two in one day), and let one series go (bye-bye Blue Bloods). I started reviewing on GR (just one days BL was running extra slow), but I am looking at backing up my reviews on my Blogger page in case BL's servers/motivation to look after the site goes down further.


Done with another challenge - the Regency box set was completely read one month ahead of schedule thanks to my participation in Bout of Books cycle 17. Speaking of challenges, I blacked out my card for Moonlight Reader's Summer Bingo. I won the adult division of my base library's Summer Reading Program and received a Kindle Fire (5th gen). And I had a lot of fun talking with other readers/bloggers in the COYER FB group while also getting many books read off my NOOK.


I am very ready for autumn - cooler temps, pumpkin spice EVERYTHING, and reading about all things paranormal/supernatural. Little man starts Kindergarten in a few days, and I am both excited and teary-eyed. Bring on Halloween Bingo to keep me occupied.


Happy 30th Anniversary to Ann M. Martin's The Babysitters Club. I glommed this series when I was a kid. Claudia was my favorite, with Mary Anne a close second; Dawn was my least favorite.

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review 2016-08-21 21:25
Review: Hell on Earth: The Wildfire Pandemic by David L. Porter
Hell on Earth: The Wildfire Pandemic - Lee Reeder,David L. Porter

Bottom Line: Decent (if a bit shallow) look at wildfires, but left me feeling "meh" all the way through reading it. It has some very dry writing, very much like this was a book full of journal/newspaper articles that were written to read like creative non-fiction - and then missed the mark completely. The subject of climate change and its affect on wildfires was interesting the first few times it was mentioned, but by the end of the book it was just too repetitive. 2.5 stars.

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review 2016-08-10 21:16
Review: What I Know Now edited by Ellyn Spragins
What I Know Now: Letters to My Younger Self - Ellyn Spragins

A book to spend an afternoon reading, but not a very deep book. My favorites were Madeline Albright, Nora Roberts, and Vanna White. I least liked Joyce Tenneson, which was so arty-farty pretentious, all I did was roll my eyes.


Honestly, if you enjoy Oprah's network programming or her magazine, you would like this positive book. It is filled women from various walks of life and careers, but they are all famous and successful. If you are seeking something more in depth for self-improvement, this book isn't it.


2/5 stars.

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review 2016-08-09 22:46
Review: The Dressmaker of Khair Khana by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon
The Dressmaker of Khair Khana: Five Sisters, One Remarkable Family, and the Woman Who Risked Everything to Keep Them Safe - Gayle Tzemach Lemmon

Overall, this book left me with a meh feeling.


The history and social structure of Afghanistan from the time of King Shah through September 11, 2001 was very interesting and informative. I feel I gained an appreciation for what the Afghan people have gone through with the different regimes.


However, the author intended (as she wrote both in the introduction and epilogue) for the story to be uplifting and positive; there were, in the author's words, enough "victims of war stories" out there. I felt that there was points in the story where there was too much positivity and not enough reality. Kamila was depicted as a saint, a warrior, and business genius; she was never taken to task for the risky behaviors she took during the Taliban years that put her life and those of her family members in danger. Also, her parents and older brother just left Kabul when the Taliban rolled in and left her and her nine sisters to stay in the house and fend for themselves. The story was just too picture perfect to be believable; it seemed a bit of propaganda from the American side of the war.


3 stars.



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review 2016-08-06 09:35
Review: The Mercy of the Sky by Holly Bailey
The Mercy of the Sky: The Story of a Tornado - Holly Bailey

Holly Bailey is a journalist specializing in politics, but when dangerous tornadoes (record breaking dangerous) hit her hometown of Moore, Oklahoma, she went back home to report what happened and the aftermath. Those initial reports became the basis for this book.


Ms. Bailey goes beyond the event to the people and history of the area. Many people profiled were natives to Moore and were familiar with tornadoes and the need precautions. However, the tornadoes that ripped through on May 20 and May 31, 2013 were not the usual. These tornadoes harken back to the tornado that went through the same area on May 3, 1999, which was often used as a comparison for the people of Moore to determine how severe a storm is.


There are two chapters that deal with the local television weathermen, which may not seem like a good editorial decision, but once the book gets into the nitty-gritty details of the tornado, those early chapters help make sense and add to the tension to the story. I cried at the end when the author wrote about the children who died at the elementary school and the PTSD many are suffering from. No longer are spring storms exciting; they bring mostly fear and flashbacks to the day. I will say there is a lot of Southern Christianity displayed by the people profiled, but it seemed that when going through something like this, a reliance on one's faith is naturally going to be a part of the story.


An amazing look at a weather phenomenon that is still so much a mystery to weather scientists and public officials alike. 5 stars.

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