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review 2019-06-13 20:18
The Complete Peanuts, Vol. 5: 1959-1960
The Complete Peanuts, Vol. 5: 1959-1960 - Whoopi Goldberg,Charles M. Schulz

In these years Schulz really gains a lot of confidence and the experimental tweaking of gags and characters begin to truly pay off. There are some great debuts in this collection, but the craftsmanship of the strips is evident even in the strips that, at first glance, could have appeared in any of his late '50s strips.

 

I love sharing my favorite strips, but its a little labor intensive, so from now on I'll skip it unless the spirit moves me. (le sigh).

 

Debuts! I can't believe it took over eight years for Schulz to give Lucy her Psychiatric Help booth (the rate was 5 cents even then)! Linus simply can't get a break, on top of Snoopy's continued depredation, his grandmother confiscates his blanket for the first time, and he has his faith tested by the Great Pumpkin.

 

Of course, the biggest change is the introduction of Sally. We hear about her being born and, much like toddler Lucy and baby Linus, quickly grows up.

 

The original Patty doesn't get much love, even though she was one of the original three Peanuts characters. I remember reading a reference that Schulz got tired of drawing her tartan dress. I'm glad she got the cover at least once.

 

Complete Peanuts

 

Next: 'Volume Six: 1961-1962'

 

Previous: 'Volume Four: 1957-1958'

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review 2019-06-03 15:53
Review ~ Confusing
The Book of the Forsaken - Yannis Karatsioris

1.5

 

Book source ~ ARC. My review is voluntary and honest.

 

Three very different guys with supernatural/unusual powers are brought together by some dude to get some weird book. The guy may be a god of some sort? Or maybe just some mythological entity? I have no idea. This story left me scratching my head. A lot. I have no idea what’s going on or why these three were chosen. Well, I can guess why the one was chosen because he’s obviously connected to the book. But other than that I couldn’t say. The book is weird and disjointed and not in a good way. It’s hard to follow and makes even less sense. One of the guys is completely unlikeable. The other two are just ok. The writing is mediocre. I will note that my copy is a few years old, so I have no idea if it’s been revised or not. In any case, I’m not interested in continuing with this series.

Source: imavoraciousreader.blogspot.com/2019/06/the-book-of-forsaken.html
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review 2019-03-31 20:02
Review ~ Entertaining!
Flirty Dancing (The Green Room Chronicles #3) - J.D. Frettier

Book source ~ ARC. My review is voluntary and honest.

 

We’re back in the Green Room and the newest member, Kitty Eatin *snorts*, has just departed the Earthly plane due to an unusual accident. Her demise will really tug the heart strings since she leaves behind a new 2nd husband and two kids. She’s always been one to take life by the reins so why let the afterlife stop her? Determined to still be there for her family she enlists the help of her new Green Room pals to find a way to make it happen. Just because she’s dead doesn’t mean she has to stop livin’. If life is gettin’ you down then I recommend this humorous and naughty look at the afterlife. And while you’re at it be sure to pick up books 1 & 2. They’ll be sure to brighten your day.

Source: imavoraciousreader.blogspot.com/2019/03/friday-featured-spotlight-green-room.html
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review 2019-03-23 18:37
Pages From A Cold Island by Frederick Exley
Pages from a Cold Island - Frederick Exley

Frederick Exley was a writer of autobiographical novels - memoirs, really, with places and people's names occasionally changed. He had some acclaim from 'A Fan's Notes' which followed his path in an out of psychiatric hospitals in the late 50s and early 60s. He was a down-and-out loser, lover of women and Frank Gifford, and savagely funny. 'Pages From A Cold Island' picks up four years after that novel's release in 1968 and finds Exley sunk deeper into alcoholism and eccentricity.

 

The Cold Island refers to the island he is staying in off the coast of Florida, and he belabors that it is a metaphor for himself. Exley is drinking, staring at the manuscript of 'Pages From A Cold Island', the book that was to quickly follow 'A Fan's Notes' and ensure his literary fame, and thinking about what books he'll have his students read at the Iowa Writer's Workshop course he agreed to teach. He is stunned when he reads about the death of his idol Edmund Wilson.

 

The novel can't hold on to a narrative. It covers some sloppy anecdotes about Exley's life in Florida and how he fled the New York Literary Scene that includes a seriously off-base interview of his with Gloria Steinem. It covers his quest to research and properly eulogize the genius of Edmund Wilson. At the very end there's a brief and very effective sketch of his time at the Iowa Writer's Workshop.

 

I often wondered as I read this book what were in the abandoned pages of the 'Cold Island' manuscript that is so often mentioned in the text here. Exley lost his confidence somewhere along the way and, though willing to publish sexual exploits and bar anecdotes and getting the shit kicked out him by a lover's jealous boyfriend, we rarely get a glimpse of the individual that made 'A Fan's Notes' so compelling. There is a pang when he realizes he can't confess to an acquaintance that depsire having two daughters of his own, one with each ex-wife, he never saw them come into the toddler stage. That might have been his only vulnerable moment that he confesses to. It's ironic that his summation of Steinem after their failed interview was that she wouldn't be taken seriously until she and her sort became 'becomingly vulnerable' and admit to being susceptible to love. It was the capstone on a bizarre and creepy chapter.

 

'A Fan's Notes' was a work of genius and everything I've read has told me, and told me again, that it was the best and only thing that Exley wrote. In my review I wrote about how much of what he writes would run afoul of the PC Police these days, and that's true, it is shocking, but there was a shattering honesty in what Exley wrote then that made it easy to forgive even his cruelest jokes. It also helped that even the crudest elements were still funny in part because they were horrifying. 'Pages From A Cold Island' has much that is shocking and reprehensible, but though Exley is quick to debase himself and shares plenty of humiliations, its not funny anymore.

 

Next: 'Last Notes From Home'

 

Previous: 'A Fan's Notes'

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review 2019-03-23 13:58
Review ~ Decent read
Wicked for Hire (Paranormal in Manhattan Mystery) (Volume 1) - Lotta Smith

Book source ~ Kindle Lending Library

 

Amanda Meyers was kicked out of her medical program when three people died after she had seen them. With the rep of the grim reaper following her around the higher ups didn’t want her near their patients. So, she gets recruited to the FBI’s Paranormal Cases Division and partnered with Special Agent Rick Rowling. Rowling has a reputation, too. But he’s allowed to be eccentric when he’s rich and connected. So, Amanda begins her new career and goes with the weird flow because she has a mountain of student debt to repay even though she’ll never practice medicine.

 

This is a quirky and humorous paranormal mystery that will give a bit of light entertainment should you need it. Amanda is funny, but Rowling is just a tad annoying. However, the overall story is decent if a bit too much like a paranormal Stephanie Plum. I enjoyed it enough that I would continue on with the series.

Source: imavoraciousreader.blogspot.com/2019/03/wicked-for-hire.html
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