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review 2017-05-31 16:59
Saturday Requiem - Nicci French  
Saturday Requiem - Nicci French

Copy on its way! can't wait! One of the best writing duos of all time.


I don't think of myself as being a fan of series in general, because so many series that I started out loving became unreadable at some point. Maybe there will be a let down somewhere in the future, or maybe, as with Terry Pratchett, the books will just keep getting better. Fingers crossed.

Frieda is in trouble with powers that be, because she's such a maverick, but she also has more powerful powers that be, which are vague, and mysterious, and appreciate a clever woman. There's her whole extended family of people who mostly aren't related to her, and her cat, and her fire, and her walking. The mystery was fine, although that really isn't the point any more. Mostly now Freida has to deal with her own sort of celebrity, which is horrible for someone who never sought the limelight. And there's this other problem that won't go away...

At this point I wouldn't mind at all if the authors dropped the mystery plot convention altogether. As a means of addressing a topic it is fine, but they could just use a patient. I admit that I love seeing social injustice (and crime) being fought, even if Frieda didn't win.

Advance copy, yay!

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review 2016-10-28 03:12
The View from Saturday
The View from Saturday - E.L. Konigsburg

I read The View from Saturday when I was in elementary school. I don't remember much about the content of the book itself, I only remember it being a great read. I remember being so interested in the book I hated when we had to stop reading it. We read the book as a whole group where every student had a copy. My mom was my teacher at the time and she had us read this book to help us with point of view. I think this book could be used for grade 4-6. It has an amazing way to show the different point of views from others. Each chapter was based off another character's view of how the story is unraveling. I remember loving the book and I would love to be able to reread it one day when I have the chance. 

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review 2016-09-05 06:07
The Tale of the Fourth Stranger by Anthony Coburn
The Saturday Evening Post Stories 1959 - Saturday Evening Post

For Creepy Crawlies


Real life frequently gives me the creeps, and I do not like horror films, but fiction rarely affects me.  I'll be using two examples that did freak me out for our Halloween Bingo.  This is one of them.


Anthony Coburn's novelette was published in the 4 April 1959 edition of The Saturday Evening Post, one of several large, illustrated weekly magazines to which my parents subscribed.  I was ten and a half years old at the time.  I had not yet begun to write adult fiction.  The illustration for the story attracted my attention -- I have searched but can't find it online -- and I began reading.  The tale captured me completely, frightened me but mesmerized me.  More than likely I read it again in the next few weeks, but my mother was not one to keep magazines piled up for any length of time, so it ended up in the trash, and almost forgotten.


It might have been completely forgotten except that the ending was too good, too clever, too perfect.  I couldn't forget the ending.


A few years later, when I was in high school, I did some searching at the public library.  I didn't remember the title or the author or even what magazine it had been published in, so the usual reference sources, like the big green Reader's Guide to Periodical Literature indexes, were of little use.  Somehow or other, however, I found it as a reprint in an annual collection.  I'm pretty sure I reread it at that time, although there's a possibility the library didn't have that particular anthology and I didn't read it, for I remember nothing of my reaction if I did.  The one thing I took away from the research was the title.  I was not going to forget the title.


Monster stories aren't really my thing, so I'm not sure why this one captured my enthusiasm and held it for so very long.  But it did.  Several years ago -- it looks from my records like 2010 -- I purchased a copy of that annual collection from Amazon and reread The Tale of the Fourth Stranger.


It proved to be both slightly disappointing and yet as satisfying as ever.  And when the Booklikes 2016 Halloween Bingo was announced, I knew right away a rereading for the Creepy Crawlie square was in order.


The unnamed hero is a self-described rather dissolute young man who hangs around the beach of his little Australian town, drinks and swaps stories with the other men, and makes a little money here and there selling his artwork.  He is fascinated by their tales of a great monster and the fabulous treasure it guards somewhere out to sea not far from the shore.  With the innocence and bravery and faith of youth, he sets out to slay the monster and win the treasure.


When he returns from his adventure, he learns he has been played false by his former friends.  His joy and triumph turn to anger and contempt, but he is not left with bitterness or without hope.


And the ending is still as fabulous as when I read it the first time.


In November 2014, just a few days before I set out on a perilous adventure of my own, I wrote a blog post about The Tale of the Fourth Stranger, one of my by now probably familiar disavowals of a belief in omens and other superstitious claptrap.  And yet. . . . and yet. . . .this is the season for superstitions and omens.


Perhaps the moral of the tale is not just the destructive power of cynicism, but that it is all around us, and it can so easily kill our dreams.  Perhaps the real treasure is the one we hold in our imagination.






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review 2016-08-23 00:00
Saturday Requiem
Saturday Requiem - Nicci French The main storyline case is closed, but the series arc ends on a cliffhanger here - so there bloody better be a seventh book!
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review SPOILER ALERT! 2016-05-23 00:00
The View from Saturday
The View from Saturday - E.L. Konigsburg Not bad. Reminds me of Slumdog Millionaire and some other YA books, like Out of My Mind. Would have liked to see characters developed further--like the bad kid Ham.
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