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review 2016-06-02 18:11
Fever At Dawn
Fever at Dawn - Gárdos Péter,Elizabeth Szász

**A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review**

This being based off a incredible true story, I feel pretty bad criticizing it. But it has to be done. And then there are bits of the story that personally disappointed me; things which, for the most part, have nothing to do with the writing. So all the super-subjective thoughts are at the end of the review, but first...

This is a translated book, which is awesome. Media from other countries made readily available and understood for us English speaking peoples. However, I feel like maybe a lot was lost in translation. This is a hopeful story, yes, but hope amid disease and death and darkness. This is a love story, but love amid hatred and war. And even when these horrifying elements are at the forefront, I did not see them as such. The idea and the words are there, but there was a gravity missing to it all. Similarly, though this is a love story, I did not get a good sense of love between Lili and Miklos, and it was not as hopeful and inspiring as it should have been, giving the true story. I felt nothing.

Additionally, though there are quotes from Lili and Miklos' letters strewn throughout, most of the story is prose. While it worked for some parts of the book, I think maybe just their letters or, at the very least, more of them would have been better, due to that we are told Lili and Miklos wrote often to each other, and grew to love one another through their letters, but we don't actually get to see much of that.

Also, the book is written from the POV of Lili and Miklos' son, who is, of course, the author of the book. While it could have been a nice touch, it didn't come across as very personal and usually came across as jarring, as you would be in Miklos' head and then Miklos would be referred to as "my father", and it always made me do a double-take.

Now for the subjective thoughts...

One of Miklos' friends, while a good friend, was pretty constantly chock of innuendos. Miklos was a die-hard socialist, which was just hard to hear promoted so valiantly and zealously. Though probably not aware of how serious it was, Lili received the Eucharist as a non-Catholic, but still intended to convert. Miklos claims to be very serious about conversion to the Catholic Church, but really seems to be just serious about Lili. He proposes a less binding oath to the Church, in which they would be bound to the Church, but the Church not to them?? I've never personally heard of such a thing, but that doesn't mean anything. More research needed on that bit. I guess regarding the religious stuff, there was enough mentioned about their religious beliefs and desires to make it a pretty big deal, but not a lot of follow-through. I wanted to know if Lili and Miklos ever converted and became practicing Catholics. Did Miklos ever really wish to be Catholic at any point in his life, or was it all for Lili?

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review 2015-06-16 05:21
As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride
As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride - Joe Layden,Cary Elwes,Rob Reiner

I loved getting a behind-the-scenes look at the making of a cult classic and personal favorite: The Princess Bride. While at times it is slathered with sticky-sweet perfection, I truly believe that everyone had a fantastic time making the movie. I really appreciated that there was no bashing or dirty secrets revealed, even though it appears that there are none to be revealed anyways :D

The stories about Andre the Giant were probably my favorite, but the quotes from Chris Sarandon and Christopher Guest were fabulous, since they were so completely the opposite of their characters. Also, Wally Shawn's terror that he was absolutely no good for the role amused me, since he's one of the most perfect of the perfect cast. And I'd be lying if I said my jaw didn't drop at the realization that Cary was actually rendered unconscious in an used film take.

All in all, lots of fun to read! Now to re-watch the movie for the 50th time!

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review 2015-06-05 17:29
Orthodoxy - G.K. Chesterton

This would have been 5 stars, except it went way over my head in the last 3 chapters or so. The first three-fourths of the book were absolutely brilliant and insightful and, with a little extra time taken to ponder, fairly easily taken in and understood, which I can appreciate, being a silly and easily befuddled young'un.

You ever read something and you think, "Man, that's deep. I know this is genius, but I can't quite wrap my head around it", and then your brain starts to hurt, but you feel somehow smarter?? That is Chesterton, 90% of the time. And about 70% of that time, I can "get it", if I re-read a couple times. And he is so worth it.

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review 2014-05-26 00:10
Gunfight: The Battle over the Right to Bear Arms in America - Adam Winkler

It had quite a few good ideas and information, but I spent most of my time skim reading past all the worthless political and court jargon or trying to avoid falling asleep.

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