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review 2017-12-19 03:27
Revisiting an old favorite + the movie is coming out next year
Madeleine L'Engle's Time Quartet Box Set (A Wrinkle in Time, A Wind in the Door, A Swiftly Tilting Planet, Many Waters) by Madeleine L'Engle (2001-09-11) - Madeleine L'Engle

For many years, when people would ask me about my favorite book I would promptly say that it was A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle. Recently, I started to wonder if my love for the novel had stood the test of time so I picked up the 4 book series entitled the Time Quartet (I have the box set that I got years ago) from my shelf and dove in headfirst. Reading the first book in the series, A Wrinkle in Time, completely transported me back to middle school when I first discovered the delightful writing of L'Engle. The book was just as fantastic as I remembered but with the passing of time I see more clearly the overt references to Christianity which were lost on me as a child. (She's a bit like C.S. Lewis in the way that she writes for children about Christianity but instead of fantasy devices she uses science fiction and fantasy.) This literary device would increase as the series continued and in a lot of ways it took away some of the enjoyment of the books for me. One of the bonuses of L'Engle's writing is that it is never 'dumbed down' for her child audience. She uses technical terminology and speaks of scientific endeavors as if the reader should already be aware of them. When I first read that book, this was a foreign concept to me as I didn't think I was any good at the sciences when I was in school. (Now look at how many scientific books I've read and reviewed!)

 

The main character in the first book is Meg, eldest sister of the Murry clan, and we see everything from her point of view. A large portion of why I loved this book was that Meg wasn't a typical girl of her age and I strongly identified with her (and I had a crush on Calvin).  A Wrinkle in Time focuses on Meg's relationship with herself, her family, and her peers (especially Calvin). She sees herself as 'other' except when she's with Charles Wallace or her mother (or Calvin...yes, I'm enjoying myself). It doesn't help that their father has been missing for so long that the postman in town has started asking impertinent questions. (The whole town is gossiping or so it seems.) While Meg plays a large role in A Wind in the Door, the main part of the plot is written with Charles Wallace (youngest Murry son) as the main character. Both books are full of adventure and self-discovery. Both Murry children come into their own and use their unique strengths to help them accomplish their goals. The stakes are always set extremely high and the pace is alternately rushed no-holds-barred action and so lackadaisical as to seem stagnant. (Note: If you don't enjoy books with a lot of descriptions and copious amounts of symbolism then I'm afraid this isn't the series for you.) By A Swiftly Tilting Planet, I felt almost overwhelmed by the underlying religious messages and the conclusion, Many Waters, which focuses on the twins, Sandy and Dennis, was so far-fetched as to be ridiculous. (Books 3 and 4 are so convoluted that I don't feel like I can talk about them in detail other than to say they are out there.) Part of me wishes that I had stopped reading at A Wrinkle in Time (as I had done for so many years) so as to not shatter the illusion of what this series meant to me but part of the reason I started this blog was to explore new books and to give as honest a review as possible. The hope is that even if I don't enjoy a book it might interest someone else. With that being said, A Wrinkle in Time remains in my top 50 all-time faves but the others...not so much. 9/10 for book 1 and a 3/10 for the series overall.

 

A/N: I just did a little Google search and discovered that although I have the box set which is called the Time Quartet there was actually a fifth book written called An Acceptable Time and which called for a new set to be created, the Time Quintet. I feel like I've been hoodwinked! Does this mean I need to find a copy of this book to complete the experience?! (Spoiler alert: I am probably not going to do this.)

 

Here's the complete set. [Source: Barnes & Noble]

 

 

What's Up Next: Grendel by John Gardner

 

What I'm Currently Reading: Scythe by Neal Shusterman (been reading it for weeks because I've reached the end-of-year reading slowdown)

 

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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text 2017-11-25 06:35
Wringo Ink. Short Story for the Genre Play: Poindexters & Pinkies

 

 

Originally published at midureads.wordpress.com on November 25, 2017.

 

 

 

Scene 1

The scene opens in a laboratory, showing two bearded octogenarians in lab coats. One bespectacled scientist is tipping a conical flask full of frothy vomit green liquid into a beaker. The other one is sitting across from him and observing with one eye closed to make up for his misplaced glasses. None of them is a redhead and there is a complete lack of annoying sisters clad in pink, pirouetting all over the lab.

 

“Easy on the Sibling Rivalry, Maaz. You know what happened the last time!” he says, checking if looking through a beaker would help him see better.

 

“Those tentacles…” Maaz says and both brothers shudder as they remember.

 

“Ugh never mind the tentacles. Do you remember that cleavage?” Shehzad opens his palms wide enough to hold a grapefruit in each hand.

 

“Thanks, bro”, Maaz puts down the flask and gives his brother a disgusted look. “I’d only just managed to get it out of my mind.”

 

Shehzad replaces the seeing beaker with a magnifying glass and retorts with, “It is a good thing that you don’t have a brain then. Ain’t it?”

 

Used to his brother’s insults, Maaz ignores and starts searching for something, “Whatever. Where did I put the syrup of Running Away From Your Responsibilities?

 

“Too long, bro. We agreed we’d call it RAFYR. It’s by that beaker. Just a squirt, mind you” Shehzad reminds his brother with one of his eyes comically enlarged behind the magnifying lens.

 

“Stop lecturing me, Shehzad. I know how much of what goes where” Maaz manages to grab the RAFYR after dropping a beaker or two in his pursuit.

 

“Fine. Fine.” Shehzad gets up and starts pacing while trying to remember, “What are we missing? Ah yes”, he says spotting an amber bottle full of viscous liquid, “a dollop of Exam Fear” he goes to stand next to his brother and adds the last ingredient, “and we’re back in business!”

 

Meanwhile, Maaz tallies the number of ingredients on his fingers twice until satisfied, “All right! I’ll whip it up nicely while you get in the chamber. Mind your beard.”

 


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review 2017-10-11 01:02
Mind Games
Mind Games - Stevie Turner

Title:  Mind Games

Author:  Stevie Turner

Publisher: KDP

Reviewed By: Arlena Dean 

 

Rating: Four

Review"

 

"Mind Games" by Stevie Turner

 

My Thoughts.....

 

After a 35 year marriage it looks like this wife has had enough of her husbands addiction to porn and want a divorce.  Now, to fully understand what has gone on with this husband you will just have to pick up "Mind Games" to see how this author presents it to the reader.  As I was reading this story I am not sure who I felt more sorrier for  Frances or Martin.  Definitely there was help that was needed by both but it didn't seem like anyone really wanted it.  Martin claim to have quite this addiction but soon we will find out from the read really was that true?  I could feel Frances need to not want to grow old along but to want to get back with Martin really had me shaking my head and saying REALLY!  As for Martin well I can will say is He Really Needed Some Help!  This story really left me thinking wow!  I will stop now and just stay you will have to pick this one up.  Will these two ever get back to that HEA that they seemed to have had at the beginning of their marriage?  Well, all I will say is wow...Martin certainly think he has it all figured out. But anyone is has an addiction to pornography will definitely need to help.  Now, since Martin tell Frances that he is though with porn and she seems to believe it!  What will happen if Frances finds out really what Martin is hiding and still is up to.  As the story stops here, hopefully Frances will still have her apartment still there for her to return to.  She just may need it!

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review 2017-10-10 03:58
The Little Girl Inside: Owning My Role in My Own Pain
The Little Girl Inside: Owning My Role in My Own Pain - Barbee Tonya

Title: The Little Girl Inside: Owning My Role in My Own Pain

 

Author:  Tonya Barbee

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

Reviewed By:  Arlena Dean

Rating:  Five

Review:

 

"The Little Girl Inside:  Owning my Role in my Own Pain" by Tonya Barbee

 

My Thoughts....

 

What a interesting true story of how this author [Tonya] came out of this situation that so many a person can also be found in ..drifting and only wanted what we all want and that is to be truly loved.  I found this story definitely being one that can help others in so many different ways.  The novel explains it all so well in the twenty-eight chapters.  I loved how the chapters were short and very much on point of what that subject was concerning that particular chapter.

 

So this is what was up when she listened to that little girl inside her as many of us do whether we want to admit it or not.  Some of it may be good but for the most part of it all...it was bad especially when it came to her relationships.  After four failed marriages would she finally get the answers she so desperately needed?  Would she ever find someone like her father...which she adored and coming from a good family?  What about her 'Dreams and Hopes' as only she wanted was to be loved as it seems like her father gave to her family.  Well, as this story goes on we learn about Sir Knight, Sr Charming, the Playmate, Officer Wrong and now we either the Internet date [Sir Intellectual].  Now, that will be quite a story of how her best friend  Naomi enter the picture and things will take a turn from that situation. From that situation she meets Gaines and I will truly say her life will never be the same with this person.  At this point I kept wondering didn't Gaines story sound weird but as you will see that little girl kept listening to just what she wanted to hear.  I don't want to spoil it and tell too much of the story but I hope that you will pick up this read and see just how this author will bring it out so well to the readers. Yes, this is a true  story!  Will Tonya [by the way as I write this review the her and she is named Tonya] ever come to the realization that only she will be able to stop this situation that is going on in her life.  Yes, she has been hurt so much but Tonya now was on her fourth marriage and it was time to wake up and realize that that inner voice of that little girl should be saying that it was time to grow up, mature and only then would hope come.

 

What got me as I read this story was that several people around Tonya knew exactly what Sir Intellectual was all about...but one person told her...this was when the house they were to buy went down hill.

 

"I wanted you to have this house because I knew you would take care of it, give it love and restore it to the beautiful place that it once was....But if you think for one moment you will make it with that so-called man you call a husband, you have another thing coming.  That man doesn't love anyone except himself.  He is a liar, a cheater, dishonest, and you can do much better than him."

 

Did she listen? NO!

 

Thank God for the 'Retreat' from the church that seemed really to help Tonya get her life together.

 

In the end will Tonya be able to not 'implement the perfect family in wanting to give her children the father figure that had always met so much to her?  Will Tonya learn to just treasure what she already has?  Will that little girl inside of Tonya have a 'tranquil spirit and be content just where she is and seek God's blessings for every move she makes?'

 

I loved the ending of this read..

 

"Never give up. Love yourself and embrace your mistakes and learn from them...Keep smiling and be grateful. It starts with you taking the first step to own up to your own pain. God will help you from there?'

 

This is definitely a novel I would recommend to all women. Indeed it would be a great help for all who listens to that little girl as she is speaking and definitely being able to learn from ones past own mistakes!

 

Thank you to the author for the gift of the read for my sharing my honest opinion of the read.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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review 2017-09-29 17:02
Fear-mongering, transformation, and awakening
Do Not Say We Have Nothing: A Novel - Madeleine Thien

Much like when I read The Historian, I was unable to decide if what I was reading was fiction or nonfiction. (Of course, there were no vampires in this book so maybe this isn't the best comparison except for the way they both made me feel.) I couldn't put down Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien despite how much I sometimes wanted to in order to spare myself further heartbreak. This is the story of those who lived through China's Cultural Revolution and their successors a world away in Canada...at least a tiny little slice. Our main characters rotate between Sparrow, Kai, and Zhuli who lived during Mao Zedong's reign of terror, Ai-Ming who took part in the demonstrations of Tiananmen Square, and Marie who wants to piece everything together in present day Canada. This is also about music and its power to lift the soul or to mire it in secrets. A lot of sensitive topics are touched on in this book including but not limited to torture, public humiliation, and sexual assault. This is not just a work of historical fiction but also a mystery about people, events, and a book that keeps resurfacing. Intricately woven with details which seem to make the story come to life in vivid color right before your eyes this book is one that I think everyone should experience. This is the hallmark of excellent historical fiction. 10/10

 

For a nearly complete list of the classical music mentioned in the book: Spotify.

 

Source: Goodreads

 

 

What's Up Next: Hunger by Roxane Gay

 

What I'm Currently Reading: Roald Dahl's Book of Ghost Stories

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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