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review 2018-02-28 21:30
Unsurpassed in detail!
The Researcher's Guide to American Genea... The Researcher's Guide to American Genealogy. 4th Edition - Val D Greenwood

An outstanding, incredible body of work! Updated now, to include lots of methods of online help to assist you in your searches.  From beginner to expert, everyone interested in genealogy could benefit from this book.  And you will be referring to it, over and over again.  

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review 2018-01-18 16:47
All The Ugly and Wonderful Things
All the Ugly and Wonderful Things: A Novel - Bryn Greenwood
This novel, oh this novel. Wavy had no one to take care of her, to watch over her as she became the adult of the family. Not even double digits, silent Wavy cared for her younger brother while her parents lived in their own little world of drugs and alcohol. It was amazing how mature Wavy became, she was fighting for survival, fighting for a way out.
Kellen worked for Liam, Wavy’s father, in his illegal operation. Wavy met Kellen when she came upon him after his motorcycle accident and she got ran and got help for him. Kellen soon realized what type of life Wavy had been living and he stepped in to help. At first, it was little things like helping her keep the house clean, helping her get to school and being a positive person in her life. As the years passed, their relationship became closer and I became queasy as I didn’t like how chummy they were becoming. Kisses on the cheek, Kellen buying her things, Wavy hugging Kellen, and Kellen calling her, “Sweetheart,” this was becoming more than just a friendship. Normally not a big problem but the age factor comes into play here, Kellen is around 24 years old and Wavy is around 12. I thought things were progressing too fast for the maturity of the individuals involved.
Wavy is smart but she doesn’t talk (doesn’t like to do it) and she doesn’t like to be touched except for now, as Wavy and Kellen seem to be doing some touching which begins to stand out. Now, if Wavy had parents that were awake to what was happening in the world they would notice and step in but her parents are in their own little world and Wavy does what she pleases. It’s sad how things were progressing, I was hoping that time would speed up as everyone was living their lives dangerously and I knew sooner or later something was bound to happen, but to whom?
I wanted to cover my eyes and peek through my fingers, this whole novel was living on the edge. I understood Wavy and what she was doing and then, her little brother Donal, he seemed to be floating along on a raft, just there for the ride. What would happen to these small children as they marched out into the world? I couldn’t put this novel down as it pulled at my emotions and I found myself staying up all night to finish it. This was an intense, driven novel and not one that everyone will enjoy like I did.


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review 2017-12-29 15:48
The Further Adventures of Beowulf: Champion of Middle Earth edited by Brian M. Thomsen
The Further Adventures of Beowulf: Champion of Middle Earth - Brian M. Thomsen,Ed Greenwood,Jeff Grubb

The Further Adventures of Beowulf does what it says on the cover.  The book starts off with an interesting introduction discussing the legacy of the Beowulf text and Middle-Earth.  This is followed by 'The Deeds of Beowulf' translated into prose by John Earle in 1892.  This prose version is rather old fashioned (i.e. stuffy and stilted) and has a few issues with sentence structure, which could have used cleaning up and clarification by an editor, or better yet, the inclusion of a better prose (or verse) version or even just a summary of the Beowulf story. 


The book then provides 4 fantasy-tales, by 4 different authors, involving the adventures of Beowulf after his run-in with Grendel.  These 4 fantasy adventures are written in a style that reminds me of a typical pulpy Sword & Sorcery/ Forgotten Realms Novel, but each short story is rather interesting, or at least entertaining.  The 4 further adventures of Beowulf are:

-Beowulf and the City of the Dark elves by Jeff Grubb;

-Beowulf and the Titan by Lynn Abbey;

-Beowulf and the Attack of the Trolls by Wolfgang Baur;

-Beowulf and the Wraith by Ed Greenwood 


Each chapter/story is followed by a short (rather pointless and silly) interlude (Beowulf and the master of his Critics) which doesn't fit and could have been left out.  The book also includes a rather useful (especially for scholars of Beowulf) "partial, annotated bibliography of the Beowulf cannon" through to current times.  This is useful if you want to find other Beowulf stories in text or film.

In short, this is an entertaining, but not spectacular, fantasy anthology featuring the further adventures of Beowulf that could have used improvements with some of the other material.


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review 2017-12-13 20:33
All the Ugly and Wonderful Things
All the Ugly and Wonderful Things: A Novel - Bryn Greenwood

In case you haven't heard of this book or looked up the synopsis -- this is an unconventional love story. Our 'hero', Kellen, meets our 'heroine', Wavy, when he's somewhere around 21 and she's about 8. It's basically love at first sight for both of them.


Now let me be clear. I in NO WAY support or condone pedophilia. It's disturbing to me on many levels, and not just because I have an 11-year-old daughter. Many people believe that Kellen in this book is a pedophile and that this book is about sexualizing children.


I don't agree. 


Pedophiles prey on children. They exploit them and do emotional and physical harm. I believe pedophiles have a mental imbalance and need help. My impression is that they don't believe what they are doing is wrong, or if they do then they don't care and blame it on not being able to control themselves.


Now let's look at Kellen and Wavy. Oh dear, what a complex situation. Wavy's parents are drug dealers/users and couldn't care less about her. They DO abuse her -- both emotionally and physically. It's no wonder she developed a crush on the first adult who showed care for her. Kellen is not the brightest bulb in the pack and has is own issues. But for some reason, he sees Wavy and feels compelled to take care of her. A relationship develops. Not sex -- a relationship. Now, as Wavy gets older the relationship does take on a more mature turn. I won't go into more detail for the sake of spoilers.


What I loved about this book was the fact that it made me question everything. It made me constantly ask myself, "Am I OK with this?" It also made me wonder if I would have felt differently about certain things if Wavy had a more stable home life. 


My high rating of this book is not because I think it's this romantic tale that made me go all starry-eyed. In fact, the relationship made me uncomfortable most of the time. But this book is well written and shows the reader a different side to a coin that most of us just want to be black on one side and white on the other.


I highly recommend others to read this book, but you have to have an open mind while doing it.

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review 2017-12-03 00:00
Under the Greenwood Tree
Under the Greenwood Tree - Thomas Hardy More a set of sketches of rural Dorset life, than a fully plotted novel. Full of laugh-out-loud humour and beautifully observed description of landscape and village gossip.
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