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review 2017-09-17 21:01
Good As You
Good As You: From Prejudice to Pride – 30 Years of Gay Britain - Paul Flynn

[I received a copy of this book through NetGalley.]

This was a really interesting insight into gay culture in the UK, from the seventies to nowadays: how it shaped itself, the hurdles gay people had to go through, how other people’s views gradually changed...

The book’s chapters follow specific themes, such as TV, AIDS, politics, football or pop music, rather than going in a purely chronological order. This makes for a rather comprehensive view of various areas of British culture, in the light of what being gay more specifically entails. The chapters are also well-segmented, and it’s fairly easy to pick up the book again if for some reason you had to leave it (to go do those pesky things called ‘work’ or ‘sleep’, for instance).

I learnt plenty here: how the introduction of explicitly gay characters in shows like East Enders or Coronation Street was perceived, how their actors were perceived at the time, how it changed with more recent series. Or how specific bands and singers were seen, who became a ‘gay idol’, who remained in the closet, who openly announced it. Or the many people who lost their lives to AIDS—and may not have, if they hadn’t had to remain closeted and more information had been available. Or Clause 28, which I had never heard about until now (not being from the UK probably didn’t help in that regard), and the journey from there to legalising same-sex marriages.

Paul Flynn interviewed quite a few interesting figures within the scope of this book, including Alison (who worked at the Lighthouse, offering end of life comfort to patients dying of AIDS), David Furnish (Elton John’s partner), or football player Robbie Rogers—not being particularly interested in football in general, I admit I somewhat knew that the latter is still a difficult area when it comes to being gay, but I wasn’t sure to which extent.

If anything, I would’ve liked to see more about the AIDS period, and somewhat less about the Kylie Minogue parts, so I guess I’ll have to pick other books for this.

Conclusion: Probably better as an introduction that will give you pointers to what to research in depth, so if you’re already very familiar with the country and period, the book might seem a little simplistic. Otherwise, go ahead.

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review 2017-09-10 21:12
The Stolen Marriage
The Stolen Marriage - Diane Chamberlain

Title: The Stolen Marriage

Author:  Diane Chamberlain

Publisher:  Martin's Press

Reviewed By:  Arlena Dean

Rating: Five

Review:

 

"The Stolen Marriage" by Diane Chamberlain

 

My Thoughts....

 

Indeed this was quite a interesting gripping historical romance story that this author gives the reader.  We find Tess DeMello from Baltimore, Maryland around 1943 was once engaged to Vincent Russo [M.D.] but breaks off that engagement and marries a complete stranger named Henry Kraft who was from Hickory, North Carolina. Now, why did she choose a loveless marriage?  Whose marriage was stolen?  I liked how this author was able to weave the polio epidemic which was first being treated around that time into this story even making it even more interesting to read and in doing so bringing Tess's former fiance back into the picture.  This was quite a compelling historical fiction that you will have to pick up and see for yourself how well this author brings it all out to the reader.  Will this medical doctor and registered nurse be able to get back together again?  The story offers 'love, loss, race, marriage, secrets,  tragedy and redemption.'  This author does a wonderful job with the main character Tess giving the reader a roller coaster ride full with her emotions and thoughts along with her husband, Henry who was a well respected businessman but very secretive. I don't want to leave out Henry's mother Ruth and his sister Lucy who both had their own agendas in this well told story.  The story even had a little paranormal [conversing with the dead] with the Reverend Sam along with some other host of characters...Hattie, Honor, Adora, Zeke and Jilly and a host of other people in the town. Be ready for some twist and turns that you may not see coming along with a epilogue of ten years later. I was still left with a few questions however it was a enjoyable read, for  it was also a long captivating read that you will have to stay on top of it because there will be so much going on. to see if there will be a HEA.

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review 2017-08-20 14:47
Poison and Prejudice by Chelsea Field
Poison and Prejudice (An Eat, Pray, Die Humorous Mystery) (Volume 4) - Chelsea Field

Izzy is working for a celebrity client and when she finds a dead body in the trunk of a car things get complicated. The cops ask her to keep the body in the trunk, and act like it never happened. While also continuing her job, this gets even more crazy of Izzy. 

 

Conner isn't happy with Izzy working this case, but he knows that he can't stop her, so he and his sister offer to help her out with it. But that makes it a little more dangerous as well. 

 

This book was another great addition to this series. I adored Izzy and Conner together, and I really enjoyed the plot line as well. I'm wondering if Izzy's neighbor is going to figure out what she really does for a living, and I can't wait for more in this series.

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text 2017-08-02 14:06
Chawton: Jane Austen's Home
Jane Austen's Hampshire - Terry Townsend
Pride and Prejudice (Penguin Classics) - Vivien Jones,Tony Tanner,Claire Lamont,Jane Austen
Mansfield Park - Jane Austen
Persuasion - Jane Austen,Gillian Beer
Northanger Abbey - Jane Austen,Marilyn Butler,Claire Lamont
Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
Emma - Jane Austen,Fiona Stafford
Teenage Writings (Oxford World's Classics) - Kathryn Sutherland,Freya Johnston,Jane Austen
Lady Susan - Harriet Walter,Carole Boyd,Kim Hicks,Jane Austen
Sanditon: Jane Austen's Last Novel Completed - Marie Dobbs,Anne Telscombe,Jane Austen

... during the last 8 years of her life, during which she wrote all of her major novels (and saw four of them published during her lifetime: Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, and Emma).

 


The dining room, with Jane's writing table tucked away in a corner next to the window.


Jane's bedroom (also the room where most of her family said goodbye to her before she died).


A replica of the blue dress and bonnet that Jane is wearing in the portrait sketched of her by her sister Cassandra.



A quilt handmade by Jane, her sister Cassandra and their mother, and a muslin shawl embroidered by Jane.

 

And last but not least ...


The museum's resident cat! :D

Merken

Merken

Merken

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review 2017-07-12 14:14
Eligible (and Prejudice)
Eligible: A modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice - Curtis Sittenfeld,Cassandra Campbell

 

 

In this modern-day retelling of Pride and Prejudice,  the way people know that Chip Bingley, an ER doctor "in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife” is that two years before, he appeared on a Bacheloresque dating show called Eligible (without selecting either of the two female contestants who made it to the final episode).  The Bennet family in this version of P & P reside in a ramshackle Tudor home in Cincinatti, Ohio, and of course Mrs. Bennet is convinced that Dr. Bingley will be just right for one of her daughters.  Jane Bennet, who will be turning 40 in the fall, is a yoga instructor who has been attempting to become pregnant via donor sperm and artificial insemination.  Liz, age 38, is a writer for a magazine called Mascara.  Both Liz and Jane live in NYC, but they fly out to their ancestral home when their father has a health scare.  The youngest three daughters have never left the nest.  Mary, age 30, is a misanthrope working on her third online master's degree.  Lydia and Kitty, both in their 20s, work service jobs on and off, but put most of their energy into their Crossfit workouts.

 

Readers of Jane Austen's original will know the broad strokes of the plotlines, but Curtis Sittenfeld changes things up enough to keep the narrative fresh.  There is, of course, a Fitzwilliam Darcy, in this case a neurosurgeon, who must overcome his pride while Liz Bennet makes a journey to get past her own prejudice.  

 

This book was a "staff pick" chosen for week two of the Albany Public Library summer-reading program.  Onto week three (non-fiction)!

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