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text 2018-09-18 20:58
Reading progress update: I've read 95 out of 355 pages.
The Rogue Crew - Brian Jacques

When has "let's go conquer Redwall Abbey" ever worked out for the good of vermin?

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text 2018-09-18 20:56
Sherlock Holmes Vs Dracula Review


I loved this book it was a brilliant story that I really enjoyed.


I read this is 2 sitting's which is rather quick for me because sometimes it take a week to finish a book if I do not enjoy it.


I was worried that i would not like this book because I love the original Sherlock Holmes stories, but it was a nice surprise that I enjoyed it as much as I did. Now I have not read Dracula but now I really want to because it has peaked my interest so I think its going to be on my list of classics that I need to get me hands on. It was good to see Sherlock and Watson to be written by a more modern writer and it was nice to see the clash that Sherlock and Watson had on their beliefs for the answer to mystery. 


I have learnt also that there is more to this collection and I do also plan on buying more of  them because the author was amazing and I loved his writing it had me hooked the entire book. 


I would recommend this to anyone that does like Sherlock Holmes because it is an amazing twist to the original set of stories. 


Sorry this is a short review I need to get back into the swing of things. 

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review 2018-09-18 20:52
Ok ladies and gents I'm gonna pimp the hell outta' this audio book...
Crocus - Amy Lane,Nick J. Russo

So that we're perfectly clear I love this freakin' book...I love this series and no it's not because I got the book or the audio for review...nope, nope, nope...it's because this is one hella' good story.


'Bonfires' was the first book in the series and we got to meet Deputy Sheriff Aaron George and high school principal Larx and there kids and there are a few of those Larx has 2 daughters and Aaron has 2 daughters and a son but like all good homes both men have room in their heart for more. 


I love this series it's about two men...mature men who have both had to deal with life's challenges before finding what many of us hope for...that person who completes us and whom we want to go through life with...good or bad. 


Now in 'Crocus' we get to see their relationship weather yet more of life's challenges. We get to see these men grow and their bond strengthens as they yet again show the strength of their bond as together they work to save a young man and his much loved and damaged brother, to help Larx's daughter deal with her own crisis while somewhere out in the cold, snowy winter night is yet another child who desperately needs to be rescued...It's going to take Aaron, Larx, the children that they've gathered in their home and their hearts along with an interesting collection of friends to juggle everything being thrown their way and make sure that nothing important gets dropped and still have time for them.


There is just so much that I love about this series...obviously I love Aaron and Larx, their amazing collection of kids...seriously they're damned near as amazing as my own...ok, I'm biased but still they're all amazing. Then there's Yoshi!!!! No not the cute green dino from the Mario game...I'm talking about Larx's VP and best friend. Aaron's boss is also pretty damned awesome. Don't get me wrong this isn't a story about perfect people it's a story about people who are trying to be the best person they can be and give back to their community...something that we all need to strive for if we're going to make the world a nicer and better place to live and best of all there's a lot of humor in these stories because sometimes you've either gotta' laugh or you're going to cry so you may as well laugh about it, put on your big boy or girl pants and get on with life, which is what Larx and Aaron do. Making them a very relatable couple.


The icing on the cake for me with this is that it's all wrapped up once again with the narrations of Nick J. Russo. I'm not sure why but lately I've been trying to check out some new narrators so I've kind of been missing Mr. Russo and this was the perfect opportunity for me to get a Nick fix and of course I couldn't pass up the opportunity to revisit 'Bonfires' before emerging myself in 'Crocus'. I've said it before and for me it's worth repeating 'I love having the same narrator for a series especially when the characters are the same from story to story. I'm not sure who's up for the next book but when it comes to the audio book if I see Nick J. Russo listed as the narrator it won't break my heart not even a little bit but then if the next book give us more Aaron and Larx that's not going to make me sad either...I just know for sure that whatever book three is I'll read it, I'll listen to it and I'll enjoy it.



An audio book of 'Crocus' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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text 2018-09-18 10:53

A reader on the crowd-sourcing platform Quora asked a question about how to deepen their reading practices and read beyond just mere plot. Here’s a post I made in reply that provided some hints and strategies for deepening one’s reading practice and becoming more profoundly engaged with the literary world. ((Quora is top-heavy with tech-focused people, so I oriented my thoughts around technology examples.))

Here are some strategies used by English majors, as well as active readers.


1. Journal

Write down ideas, and phrases that are meaningful to you, and try to describe how they impact your life. This will help you to understand yourself and literature on a deeper level. Writers and active readers often refer to this type of book as a “commonplace book” because it is a special name for a scrapbook or set of notations about your reading.


2. Read beyond plot.

There are many books out there that have a very thin plot, but instead focus on character development language and big ideas. Read some of these and you’ll begin to see the possibilities of literature beyond plot. Toni Morrison. Cormac McCarthy, Sylvia Plath, Ray Bradbury all use language and metaphor to make points that can’t really be represented in a straightforward plot. Read Borges. Read Kafka.


3. Re-read

Read again books that have been meaningful to you, and look for other meanings that you missed the first time around, or structural items that strike your fancy. If you are an astute reader, every time you re-read a book, you’ll notice new and different things. (For years, Hoffman would re-read Lord of the Rings for example. That book has metaphorical layers miles deep, and it’s not just a simple story about a hobbit.)


4. Read across genres.

Today, we compartmentalize books into “genre” categories: science-fiction, literary fiction, fantasy, romance, mystery and children’s books. These are publishing categories designed for effective marketing — they have nothing to do with the value or the meaning that is found between the covers. Would you let some junior marketing flunky tell you what to read? I didn’t think so. So don’t allow yourself to be constrained into one genre or type of reading. If you’re reading all science-fiction, read some romance. If you’re reading all literary fiction, read some fantasy. If you’re reading all fantasy, then go read some crime novels. If you only read romance, read a horror novel. It will be challenging to read outside your chosen genre, and you might not like it at first. That’s kind of the point. Find works that help you grow as a reader and expose you to new ways of storytelling. Again, these are arbitrary categories, and any great work will end up not categorized in the minds of readers like you.


5. Challenge yourself.

Read books that are classics, that do not fit into your typical modern marketing genres. Read a book by Dickens (I recommend A Tale of Two Cities). Read poetry by John Milton (Paradise Lost). Read Dante. Read some Chaucer. Read Rudyard Kipling (Kim is a great read). Read Plato (his work is surprisingly readable, even now!). Read Louisa May Alcott. Read George Eliot or Jane Austen. The reason to read these classic writers is that their vocabulary and perspective will open your eyes to new possibilities. Reading older works will also teach you that human beings speak to each other across centuries, and the same questions recur, time and again. I have a friend who was saved from suicide by reading a philosopher… who wrote in the 1500s. Writing always communicates, across time, across space, and across different experiences.


6. Keep challenging yourself.

Read writers that are not of your race or gender. Read Langston Hughes, Maxine Hong Kingston, Octavia Butler, and Salman Rushdie. Read Radclyffe Hall. Read Samuel R. Delaney. Read William Burroughs. Read Sandra Cisneros. Read Katie Kitamura. Read Justin Chin. Read Min Jin Lee. Read Christine Hyung-Oak Lee. Read Nicola Griffith. Read Junot Díaz. Reading these writers teaches you about the human experience, and that it might be broader, richer and deeper than your experience (or my shallow pool of recommendations). If you are in a reading rut, and are only recalling plot, you’re reading at a low level, and reading writers who challenge cultural and gender assumptions can break you out of that mindset.


7. Engage with other readers.

Find a book group or book discussion group at a bookstore or other local venue. Read a book together, and understand that other people have different perspectives on the same books that you’ve read. Their perspectives will enrich your reading.


8. Write

Try your hand at a short story or poem. Even if you’re terrible – especially if you are terrible –this activity will help you understand some of the decisions that go into crafting a piece of prose or poetry. You can begin to see the skeleton underneath the flesh of the words.


9. Read critics.

Read what other people have to say about contemporary writing. By doing this, you are entering a decades long (sometimes centuries long) conversation about a piece of writing, a book series, or the intentions of a writer.


10. Write your own thoughts down and share them.

If you are brave, you can even add your own voice to this critical conversation. Keep in mind that reading a book critic and engaging with them is to be one yourself, so your opinion should be factually supported, and should be substantive. Be willing to engage thoughtfully with people who disagree with you. Find a rationale for your ideas. Most online argumentation today is shallow raw opinion without deep thinking. Most people who write seriously about books do the opposite: they go deep and look for meaningful interactions with big ideas. Be worthy of this conversation.



A literary update from NedNote.com
Readers can find my books at these bookstores:

Amazon bookstore Barnes & Noble Indie Bookstores



Source: nednote.com/reading
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review 2018-09-17 20:39
This one's got a hot guy and equally hot twins but...
Unwritten Law - Eden Finley

It's also got a definite twist to it, but before we talk about the actual story I just want to be clear there may be twins in this story but what there isn't is twincest.


Anders and Law are twins so of course they're close but are they maybe too close if Law is the one breaking up with Ander's boyfriends...they've got their reasons for why this happens and while Law would prefer not to do this but there are reasons and until the day that Anders calls Law to come to a restaurant ASAP and break his blind date it hasn't caused any real problems...but, Reeds not like the other dates and while he's not Anders' type it turns out he's very much Law's type.


This one captured my attention from the very start it was good and I enjoyed the concept and the more I read the more I liked what I was reading. "Unwritten Law' is twin story with a bit of a different twist and the story really didn't go as I had expected it would which was definitely a pleasant surprise. While Reed and Law are definitely the MCs in this story Anders plays a very strong supporting role and I came to really like all three of these men but 'Unwritten Law' courtesy of Anders really does belong to Reed and Law and it's their story that we are being given in this first book of Eden Finley's 'Steele Brothers' series. 


Reed's new in town and he's been set up on a blind date with his neighbors accountant or so he thinks because what he actually gets is a fellow teacher who happens to be the accountant's twin. While the two hit it off on an intellectual level it's the immediate physical attraction that leads Law astray resulting in what's suppose to be a one time hook-up.For Law it's a chance to explore his long repressed interest in men and for Reed it's a chance to end his dry spell following a bad break-up but ultimately he views it as a chance to make a friend since being new in town he's sorely lacking in the friend department.


I found the interactions between Reed and Law good there were serious moments, humorous touches all laced with those moments of awkwardness that comes with the beginnings of a new relationship but there were also secrets...secrets that when kept become bigger and seem to be all consuming...creating a chasm that ultimately Law is sure can never be bridged.


 One of the best things about this story for me was the ending...it wasn't so much an HEA as it was an HFN solidly working it's way towards an HEA. Which all things considered for this story is a far more believable ending than a simple HEA would have been. Now all I need to make me really over the moon happy is a story giving Anders some happy because that boy needs some happy and maybe Reed's friend Brody will play a part in it or maybe his happy is waiting somewhere else for him? I know I'm looking forward to finding out especially if their stories as excellent as this one was.



An ARC of 'Unwritten Law' was graciously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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