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review 2018-03-18 05:12
The Uncommon Reader
The Uncommon Reader - Alan Bennett

A short novella on the joys, growth and enlightenment reading can bring, even to the most enlightened, at any time in life.  It's also an accurate portrayal of the consuming obsession reading can become (truth, as we all well know).  


Layered atop this testimony of the power of the word is another accurate portrayal of the divide that exists between those who read and those that don't.  Those who don't read should be forced to read this book, so that they know just how stupid they are relative to those that do.  When empathy for others and a focus on inner reflection over sartorial splendour are confused with senility and deterioration ... well at least senility is honourable; nothing honourable about ignorance.  But boy, do the readers get their revenge at the end - few books I've read ended with a better closing line.


My only complaint about this wonderful, brilliant little book is the author's conclusion that the natural outgrowth of reading must be to write.  This conceit leaves a rather large ding in my enjoyment of the book.  So is his assertion that to merely read is to be merely a spectator.  Both are flagrantly wrong, although how an author could naturally fall into such a self-supporting perspective is obvious.  Most readers will read their entire lives without every having a moment's urge to write, and I'd bet quite a few, like myself, often read and then go out and do.  I mean, I can't be the only person who's propped a book about knot tying in the crook of a tree, simultaneously reading about how to tie a knot, while actually trying to tie said knot, am I?


If you share either of my complaints, don't let it stop you from reading this book given the opportunity.  It's worth the small aggravations and disagreements to experience this charming, thoughtful and beautifully written novella.  


One final note:  Being Queen would suck.  There are not enough books and private libraries in all the holdings of the British monarchy that would make referring always to oneself in the neutral third person worth it.  If one had to constantly refer to oneself as one, one would send oneself's own head to the chopping block.  Ho-ly hell.

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review 2018-03-18 01:57
Let My People Go
Imagine... The Ten Plagues - Matt Koceich

In this second book about time travel and Biblical stories, Matt Koceich again intertwines the two to create an incredible adventure. “Imagine: The Ten Plagues” takes the reader back to Ancient Egypt during the time of Moses and the exodus of the Israelites, seen through the eyes of a young girl. Eleven-year-old Kai Wells is facing a bully in her Florida neighborhood when suddenly she finds herself transported thousands of years back in time. She befriends a resident and becomes involved in helping a child stay safe from the Pharaoh and his servants while witnessing the plagues visited upon the hardhearted Egyptians.

“The Ten Plagues” was, in my opinion, a quicker and even more exciting read than its predecessor, “The Great Flood.” Koceich neatly creates characters to whom young readers can relate, while dealing with issues germane to what kids are facing today. This narrative focuses on bullying and standing up for what is right despite intense pressure, and yet it does not become preachy or superior. This is a great way for kids to learn a moral lesson in a fun and interesting way and to also introduce or reinforce major Biblical stories.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.

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text 2018-03-17 23:07
But totally not one of those lesbians!
The Girls in the Picture: A Novel - Melanie Benjamin

I have this on audiobook, so not bothering with the exact quote, but MC is at a party in 1914, and there's some dudes making out in the shadows, and she goes out of her way to say she's 100% A-OK with that, and with ladies making out, don't mind those lesbians, not at all, but she personally really misses her ex husband in her bed.


In a book about close bonds between women in the film industry, in a period notorious for its permissiveness, this feels like it's laying on the no homo a little thick.

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review 2018-03-17 23:05
A Lady Darby Mystery- Book 6...
A Brush with Shadows - Anna Lee Huber

Lady Darby a.k.a. Kiera Gage and her husband Sebastian Gage return to Sebastian's childhood home, Langstone Manor, at the request of his grandfather, Viscount Tavistock, to investigate the disappearance of his cousin Alfred. His family hinders their investigation from the start by either withholding information or misleading them so what should have been an easy inquiry turns in to much more that...


I enjoyed the story but I don't think the author used the Moors and the family curse to its full potential. Also, I've noticed in the last couple of books, especially this one, that the author doesn't give Kiera the opportunity to use her medical background. She's fell into more of a questioner role like Sebastian.  I kind of liked the series more when she applied her "knowledge of the macabre."


*I received this ARC from the Penguin Random House First-to-Read program in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!


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text 2018-03-17 22:44
Reading progress update: I've read 78 out of 320 pages.
Aurora: In Search of the Northern Lights - Melanie Windridge

Plasma as "the fourth state of matter." This notion, whilst popular, is wrong! Plasma isn't a "state of matter" at all. Plasmas can be found as solids, liquids and gases e.g. respectively, solid metals, liquid metals and ionised atomic hydrogen are all plasmas.


The attempt to explain major results about plasmas and classical electromagnetism in just a few pages without diagrams is, I suspect, not good for general readers.

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