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review 2017-02-11 22:27
A crushing disappointment of a book
The Sino-Japanese War Of 1894-1895: Perceptions, Power, And Primacy - S.C.M. Paine

At the end of the late 19th century, a dramatic power shift took place in East Asia, as Japan replaced China as the dominant country in the region. While this shift was the result of a series of developments that took place over decades, a key turning point was the Sino-Japanese War of 1894-5, when Japan defeated China in a short, sharp conflict that reflected the changing balance of power in the area. By its end Japanese forces had driven the Chinese from Korea and established themselves as a force to be reckoned with, one that was treated almost as an equal by the Western imperial powers.


That such "a seminal event in world history" has not received its due from Western historians is not surprising given the language barriers confronting scholars seeking to write about the war. For this reason alone Sarah Paine's effort to provide English-language readers with a long-needed history of the war is a commendable one. Yet this very demand contributes to a sense of disappointment with this book. To write it, Paine relies heavily upon the often unreliable coverage of the war in contemporary newspapers, supplemented with published documentary collections and the related secondary literature on the subject. Nowhere in its pages is there any evidence of archival research on her part that would provide a basis for judging the veracity of sometimes contradictory reports she uses, leaving unaddressed the numerous questions raised in her book about the exact course of events and the motivations behind the decisions made in response to them. Nor does it help when she exaggerates the importance of the war by ascribing to it developments that arguably predated (such as Western perceptions of Chinese decline) or postdated (such as Western regard for Japan as a modern power) it.


The result is a work that is a serious disappointment. Had Paine undertaken the archival labors necessary to sort through the often confusing reportage of events it would have been a major contribution to our understanding of the war and its place in modern history. As it is, however, she has written a book that is useful as an introduction to the conflict but ultimately serves to demonstrate how much more work needs to be done to properly understand its place in the transformation of the fortunes of China and Japan in the late 19th century.

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review 2016-11-11 05:32
A Bad Case of Stripes - David Shannon

A Bad Case of Stripes, by David Shannon, is the story of young Camilla Cream, a closeted lover of lima beans and a worrier about others’ opinions of her. On the first day of school, Camilla wakes up to find herself completely covered in rainbow stripes! If the stripes were not bad enough, Camilla’s skin develops everything people suggest she has – someone says ‘checkerboards,’ another says ‘bacteria,’ and she breaks out in checkerboard pattern and bacteria tails. When the Doctor, Specialists, Experts, and many others cannot figure out what’s causing the stripes, a little old woman appears with what just might be the cure. I love how this story focuses so much on the importance of being yourself and being comfortable with who you are. I would use this story in a K-2nd grade classroom to explain to the class how important it is to be yourself and stay true to yourself in a world that is constantly trying to mold you into something else. When kids get a sense of their true identity at a younger age they are more likely to stay true themselves and there beliefs at a younger age. This story shows that just because somebody else has something that seems good that doesn't necessarily mean it will be good for you.

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text 2015-10-02 10:46
Another one who doesn't know the difference between a circus and a carnival
Dark Perceptions (Mystic's Carnival Collective) - Debra Kristi,Tiffany Johnson

DNF at 17%


This might actually appeal to someone young and female who enjoys Romance. However, although the writing itself is good, the research is non-existent. Carnival acts? Really?


I wonder if these books are written by people who didn't get taken to carnivals or circuses as children. The difference is plain to see the minute you step on the fairgrounds or into the circus tent. Yes, they are both amusement business, but they are not the same!


I might even concede that it's not unknown for a special occasion that a circus *and* a few carnival rides might get organized on the same site. It's not usual though, and the author lost me at "carnival acts" when she was talking about clowns and Big Top acts. That's the circus dear, the carnival has rides and games. The closest thing to a carnival act would be a freak show, and those are only photographs on a wall these days.


Why don't writers do their research?


The protagonist was young enough to worry about whether she had permission from her mother to wear a particular dress, but old enough to have a crush on some guy. This could be for the YA readers, if the author wasn't completely ignorant of her chosen setting.

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text 2015-09-05 17:01
Have read 13%
Dark Perceptions (Mystic's Carnival Collective) - Debra Kristi,Tiffany Johnson

So far this is sounding like a Romance and hasn't shown me any Carny life. I'm not giving up, but I'm going to read something else for a while and come back to it. Hopefully it will get good later on.

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text 2015-09-01 15:33
Creepy Clown Book Haul
Joyland - Stephen King
A Spark of Justice - J.D. Hawkins
Dark Perceptions (Mystic's Carnival Collective) - Debra Kristi,Tiffany Johnson
Circus of Horrors - Carole Gill
It - Stephen King
Bobo - Richard Schiver

It came up in conversation the other day that I haven't yet read It by Stephen King. I had to ask myself why. I've loved every Horror novel I've ever read from Stephen King. I love anything to do with circuses or carnivals. So why hadn't I read this classic?


This, of course, led to a small shopping spree for creepy clown and carny books. I not only got both It and Joyland, but I also picked up a few other stories that struck me as good possibilities. One of them, A Spark of Justice, is a Mystery, but it was recommended to me by a friend who read it recently.


Circus of Horrors was actually free that day, so it would have been rude not to. Now all I need is time. I read a lot of boring reports for my job, so I don't get as much leisure reading time as I would like.


I'm wondering if the movie version of It is any good? Anyone seen it? I saw the DVD going cheap on Amazon, so I am sorely tempted. I want to read the book first in any case.


I've made a special shelf for circus and carny books. It's my first genre shelf here on Booklikes. If anyone has any recommendations for things to add to it, please speak up! It may take me a while to get through this half dozen, but I'll get there.

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