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review 2018-07-03 00:59
Um, yes, please!
Raven Stratagem - Yoon Ha Lee

I continue to love this series: this is a completely different book, because character development and plot have forced this to be different.   This world calls for a different book, just as the next book will be a different animal due to necessity.   Yoon Ha Lee has created an all too real world that changes along with its characters. 

 

I was shocked by some of the things that were done, that happened, that characters agreed to do, and yet it made sense: this is a brutal, paranoid world, and characters deal as best they can with this world.   It's all made worse by the veneer of polite society that buries the harsh realities.   Those who are aware go with this world because it's seemingly impossible to get away from the realities they live with and so they appear to have no choice. 

 

Just absolutely addicted to this series.

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review 2018-02-20 22:12
A real-life Just William.
Billy Brown Tell Your Mother Signed H B - Billy Brown
I've always enjoyed reading memoirs written by 'real' people (as opposed to celebrities) and Billy Brown was a wonderful post-war character with the gift of the gab and a finely honed entrepreneurial streak.

He got his first job at the age of 9, tying bundles of firewood for Big Mike. This opened doors for him and he branched out to selling firewood from the discarded boxes at the market. Eventually his contacts allowed him to source pretty much anything for the right price. He became known around the area for his huge old pram, with which he transported his goods.
His other pastime was scouring the bomb sites from WWII for metals, bric-a-brac and treasure. He even found an old German gun, which he sold for untold riches. 
Unfortunately he was also a bit of a rogue and found himself in trouble on several occasions. I really felt for him when his mother punished him by confiscating some of his hard earned cash.

This is a wonderful reminder of a simpler time, when children roamed the streets for entertainment and neighbours kept an eye out for them. Set in Brixton, it also tells of the relocation of families into the new flats, with running water and heating, and the influx of coloured workers from the Commonwealth to drive the buses and tube trains.

My only criticism arose from the fact that I was listening to the audio version, read by the author - who is now in his seventies. I was aware of a disconnect between the narrative of a young boy and the reading by a much older man.
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review 2018-02-07 13:04
The Contadino ★★☆☆☆
The Contadino - Frank J. Agnello

With better editing, this might have been an enjoyable read. There is a good sense of place and history, and the characters are interesting. But it was difficult to get past the frequently shifting tenses, the missing commas, and even a couple of incomplete sentences. These flaws pulled me out of the story multiple times in every chapter.

 

Paperback copy, a gift from my father several years ago, because the setting and historical events reflect our own family’s history of Sicilian immigrants to the USA around the turn of the 20th century.

 

Previous Updates:

2/4/18 - pg 3/472

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review 2017-10-15 19:00
Signed, Sealed, Delivered (Kindle Worlds: Imperfect Love) by Mira Gibson
Signed, Sealed, Delivered - Mira Gibson

 

In a world where image is everything, is it worth sacrificing your soul to get ahead? Signed, Sealed, Delivered is a self examination. Zach is a product of his own mistakes. The lure of fame, has turned him into a person on the verge of losing himself and exploiting others. Will he see the error of his ways before he loses his chance at redemption? Thought provoking tale that is equal parts laughter and insight.

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review 2017-10-15 00:00
Signed, Sealed, Delivered
Signed, Sealed, Delivered - Mira Gibson In a world where image is everything, is it worth sacrificing your soul to get ahead? Signed, Sealed, Delivered is a self examination. Zach is a product of his own mistakes. The lure of fame, has turned him into a person on the verge of losing himself and exploiting others. Will he see the error of his ways before he loses his chance at redemption? Thought provoking tale that is equal parts laughter and insight.
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