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review 2018-11-27 21:36
Fun from start to finish
Mary B: An untold story of Pride and Prejudice - Katherine K. Chen

I'm fairly sure that I've mentioned before that there are two books that I reread every single year and Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen is one of them. So it was kind of a no-brainer that I picked up Mary B. by Katherine J. Chen as it follows that story (with a little before and after) from the perspective of the middle daughter, Mary. The book focuses on what the author calls the 'forgotten Bennet sister' and follows her personal evolution beginning from her childhood and giving readers a glimpse into what happened with the Bennet, Bingley, and Darcy families after the last page of Pride and Prejudice was turned. This book was a surprise for me in a lot of ways. Firstly, I loved it. I felt like I was reading a trashy romance novel that had gotten mixed together with the classic book of the early 18th century. While I agree that it's a bit out-of-the-box in terms of what certain characters would and wouldn't do I didn't care in the least if someone did or said something 'out of character'. I knew going in that this was Chen's vision and it was bound to be different from Austen's. Secondly, this book was entertaining from start to finish and had me giggling uncontrollably at all of the spicy content. (This book is so spicy, ya'll.) Turns out Mary is headstrong, outspoken, non-traditional, and dare I say the most intelligent Bennet sister.  This book is a love letter to anyone who ever felt like they didn't belong or maybe wasn't enough. YOU ARE. If Mary can buck tradition and kick some major butt in the process then you can too. Also, it's clear Chen had a bee in her bonnet about how Mary was treated and overlooked in terms of character development by Austen in the original book. She certainly took care of that with Mary B.. 10/10

 

A/N: I'm not generally a fan of romance novels but there's something about the world that Austen crafted that makes me especially susceptible. I take comfort in the fact that I'm definitely not alone if her books are still being re-imagined. :-P

 

What's Up Next: The Ghost in the Mirror by John Bellairs & completed by Brad Strickland

 

What I'm Currently Reading: Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies by Jared Diamond

 

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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review 2018-11-26 19:40
Historical figures: Awesome ladies edition
Founding Mothers: The Women Who Raised Our Nation - Cokie Roberts

This book was just what was needed to pull me out of a reading slump. Founding Mothers: The Women Who Raised Our Nation by Cokie Roberts is an account of the women who supported and helped shape the development of the democratic government in the United States. While I initially thought that this would yield minimal new information considering how heavily this period of time was covered during my schooldays I discovered just how wrong (and ignorant) I was especially in regards to the women. I realized that it had never occurred to me to wonder just how long the absences of these women's husbands were during the creation of the Declaration of Independence, Constitution (including the Articles of the Confederation), and the U.S. government as a whole. Not to mention how absolutely strong-willed and informed these women were about the affairs of state (which was beneficial as they passed on the latest news to their husbands through extensive letter writing). Best couple award goes to George and Martha Washington who were the most well-adjusted and steadfast couple of the lot. Martha went everywhere George went including Valley Forge where she was instrumental in keeping the morale of the men up (and getting them to stay at all) as well as organizing other women into organized sewing groups to keep the troops clothed. Favorite woman of the many discussed was hands down Abigail Adams who not only had the keenest mind but also the sharpest tongue. She had no problem telling John where to go and letting him know that just because he was away didn't mean that the romance in their relationship needed to suffer. In fact, theirs was the most strained relationship of all as John was in high demand and for the majority of their marriage they were separated as he worked tirelessly in his work as a member of the Continental Congress and then later as the Vice President. If you, like me, love reading about confident women and relish learning new things about a slice of history you thought you had thoroughly mapped then I must point you in the direction of Founding Mothers. 10/10

 

PS Benjamin Franklin was the worst.

 

What's Up Next: Mary B. by Katherine J. Chen

 

What I'm Currently Reading: Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond

 

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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review 2018-11-20 14:37
Domestic noir, dark humour, and a fantastic new voice
My Sister, the Serial Killer - Oyinkan Braithwaite

Thanks to NetGalley and to Atlantic Books (Doubleday) for providing me an ARC copy of this book that I freely chose to review.

The title of this book hooked me. The fact that it was set in Lagos, Nigeria, made it more attractive. I could not resist the cover. And then I started reading and got hit by this first paragraph:

“Ayoola summons me with these words —Korede, I killed him. I had hoped I would never hear those words again.”

Told in the first person by Korede, the book narrates her story and that of her “complex” relationship with her younger sister, Ayoola, beautiful, graceful, a successful designer, beloved of social media, irresistible to men, the favourite of everybody… She’s almost perfect. But, there is a big but, which you will have guessed from the title. She is a serial killer.

This is a short and very funny book, although it requires a certain kind of sense of humour on the part of the reader. You need to be able to appreciate sarcasm and dark humour (very dark) to find it funny, but if you do, this is a fresh voice and a different take on what has become an extremely popular genre recently, domestic noir. I kept thinking about the many novels I had read where I had commented on the setting of the book and how well the author had captured it. There are no lengthy descriptions in this novel, but it manages to capture the beat and the rhythm of Lagos (a place where I’ve never been, I must admit) and makes us appreciate what life must be like for the protagonists. Because, although Ayoola is a murderer, life goes on, and Korede has to keep working as a nurse, she is still in love (or so she thinks) with one of the doctors at the hospital, their mother still suffers from her headaches, Ayoola wants to carry on posting on Snapchat, the patient in coma Korede confides in needs to be looked after, the police need to be seen to be doing something, and there are more men keen on spending time with beautiful Ayoola…

I found Korede understandable, although I doubt that we are meant to empathise with her full-heartedly. At some points, she seems to be a victim, trapped in a situation she has no control over. At others, we realise that we only have her own opinion of her sister’s behaviour, and she has enabled the murderous activities of her sibling, in a strange symbiotic relationship where neither one of them can imagine life without the other. We learn of their traumatic past, and we can’t help but wonder what would we do faced with such a situation? If your sister was a psychopath (not a real psychiatric diagnosis, but I’m sure she’d score quite high in the psychopathy scale if her sister’s description is accurate) who kept getting into trouble, always blaming it on others, would you believe her and support her? Would you help her hide her crimes? Is blood stronger than everything else?

I loved the setting, the wonderful little scenes (like when Tade, the attractive doctor, sings and the whole city stops to listen, or when the police take away Korede’s car to submit it to forensic testing and then make her pay to return it to her, all dirty and in disarray), the voice of the narrator and her approach to things (very matter-of-fact, fully acknowledging her weaknesses, her less-than-endearing personality, sometimes lacking in insight  but also caring and reflective at times), and the ending as well. I also enjoyed the writing style. Short chapters, peppered with Yoruba terms, vivid and engaging, it flows well and it makes it feel even briefer than it is.

If you enjoy books with a strong sense of morality and providing deep lessons, this novel is not for you. Good and bad are not black and white in this novel, and there is an undercurrent of flippancy about the subject that might appeal to fans of Dexter more than to those who love conventional thrillers or mysteries. But if you want to discover a fresh new voice, love black humour, and are looking for an unusual setting, give it a go. I challenge you to check a sample and see…

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url 2018-11-06 04:33
I want my love back by black magic

want my love backBlack Magic is something about which we all have heard something in our life and the motive behind using black magic is to harm someone and fulfill evil deeds. Primarily the black magic is used for achieving self-centric goals. Sometimes black magic becomes a great option to get your lost love back by black magic. It is easy to break the relationship rather maintaining it for life long. But it is very difficult for a person to live without their loved one. Thus they try to get their love back. There are some people those who want my ex love back by kala jadu service.

 

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Call our black magic experts for vashikaran services in the USA to have control over the girl who you like most and wish to attract a girl towards you.  With our astrology expert Gurs, you can explore the secret powers of black magic. You just need to give them a photo of the girl and name. Rest of work is done by black magic.

 

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url 2018-10-26 09:59
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Source: artof4elements.com/entry/196/mindfulness-training-books-promotions
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