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text 2019-07-20 12:47
Reading progress update: I've read 79 out of 371 pages.
The Snare of the Hunter - Helen MacInnes

It's a decent plot and I am enjoying it - it's perfect for a rainy Saturday. But,... there is a distinct lack of atmosphere.

There is still little that suggests that this story is set in the 70s not the 40s, there is is even less that suggests a sense of place. Telling readers that characters have travelled to Vienna or Salzburg does nothing to evoke what the places look like or feel like to the characters. 

I'm pretty disappointed in this regard, and I am now also wondering if this is something I somehow didn't notice when reading Above Suspicion because I had images of black and white movies to fall back on that were set in France and Germany in the 40s. 

 

It's not that I am lacking familiarity with the look of Vienna or Salzburg, it just that I am struggling with the way that this story is told in almost exactly the same style as a story set in the 1940s. The only difference so far is the frequency of air travel and the mention of several car makes. 

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review 2019-07-20 02:58
Unfit to Print (Audiobook)
Unfit to Print - K.J. Charles

The only thing wrong with this story is it was too short and the ending was a bit rushed. That's it. Everything else was perfection. You've got two MCs of color, a cat named Satan, second chance romance, a difference of life philosophies that compliment the MCs and their relationship in a way that helps them both grown and find truer versions of themselves, a couple of missing boys and no douchebags! <3 Well, there's one douchebag, but he came pre-fridged. :D I could've done without the descriptions of the various pornographs, but I was interested in how the MCs navigated their differences and how the story examined what people will do to survive when push comes to shove without demonizing the exploited. 

 

The narrator, Vikas Adam, did a great job. There were a couple of places where I couldn't tell which character was talking, but other than those few instances, he really voiced these characters well and didn't over-emote when it would've been easy to do so. 

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text 2019-07-19 22:26
Reading progress update: I've read 12 out of 371 pages.
The Snare of the Hunter - Helen MacInnes

Hang on. When I read the first couple of pages, I thought This was set in the 1930s or 40s. But it isn't. This is set in 1974!!

 

The writing reminds me so much of Above Suspicion, tho, which is set in the 1940s.

 

So, now that I totally have to adjust my view with respect to context, let's see how MacInnes deals with the aftermath of the Prague Spring and the Cold War setting.

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review 2019-07-19 15:53
Review: The Half-Stitched Amish Quilting Club by Wanda E. Brunstetter
The Half-Stitched Amish Quilting Club - Wanda E. Brunstetter

Title: The Half-Stitched Amish Quilting Club
Author: Wanda E. Brunstetter
Series: The Half-Stitched Amish Quilting Club, 1
Format: hardcover, large print
Length: 460 pages
Rating: 3 stars

 

Synopsis: Join the club of unlikely quilters who show up for Amish widow Emma Yoder’s quilting classes. A troubled young woman, a struggling couple, a widower, a rough and tough biker, and a preacher’s wife make up the mismatched lot. But as their problems begin to bind them together like the scraps of fabric stitched together in a quilt, they learn to open up and lend a helping hand. Is this what God had in mind to heal hurting hearts and create beauty from fragments?

 

Favourite character: Jan
Least favourite character: Pam

 

Mini-review: It took me two tries to read this and I'm kinda glad I did now. There were plot twists, and lessons learned. I really struggled with Pam, but I liked everyone else. I wish we had gotten more POVs from Paul, but about halfway through the book she stopped writing about him and you'd forget about him until the next quilting class and be like "oh yeah, this guy." Also Star's last name changed spellings a couple of times, which is a pet peeve of mine. (Stephens vs Stevens.)

One of the reasons I stopped reading was because she described everyone by race. So instead of a saying a pastor's wife and a school teacher, it was a black pastor's wife and a Hispanic school teacher, which really bothered me.

 

Fan Cast:

Emma Yoder - Meryl Streep

Star Stephens - Sofia Carson

Jan Sweet - Callan Mulvey

Pam Johnston - January Jones

Stuart Johnston - Charlie Day

Ruby Lee Williams - Viola Davis

Paul Ramirez - Oscar Isaac

Lamar Miller - Jeff Bridges

Mary - Mamie Gummer

Terry Cooley - Cameron Monaghan

Nancy Stephens - Morena Baccari

Gene Williams - Scott Lawrence

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review 2019-07-19 15:30
Review: Mande and the Charleston Phantom by Lois Gladys Leppard
Mandie and the Charleston Phantom - Lois Gladys Leppard

Title: Mandie and the Charleston Phantom
Author: Lois Gladys Leppard
Series: Mandie, 7
Format: ebook, bind-up
Length: N/A
Rating: 3 stars

 

Synopsis: Having returned home to Franklin, North Carolina, after helping solve the mystery in Mandie and the Medicine Man, she begins her new adventure with a visit to Charleston. A trip to a friend's ocean-front beach house introduces her to what seems to be a "phantom" rising into the air and then falling into the water. Even though caught up in the excitement of discovering another mystery, Mandie learns some important lessons about friendship and jealousy.

 

Favourite character: Tommy

Least favourite character: Josephine

 

Mini-review: Good book. I liked all the ghost stories. I'm not sure how I feel about all these family plot twists. Like the plot twists are good, but the way they're revealed is too questionable and public. I still don't like the way they write the Negro characters. I am aware that they didn't have an education, but still. I don't get writers who write their characters unintelligibly. I have to read those sentences sometimes three or four times to understand the gist of what's being said.  

 

Fan Cast:

Amanda "Mandie" Shaw - Emma Rayne Lyle

Thomas "Tommy" Patton - Asher Angel

Josephine Patton - Reylynn Caster

Elizabeth Shaw - Malin Akerman

John Shaw - Robert Downey Jr.

Uncle Ned Sweetwater - Zahn McClarnon

Lucille Patton - Claire Danes

George Patton - Lee Pace

Joe Woodard - Louis Hynes

Dr. Woodard - Gideon Emery

Jason Bond - C. Thomas Howell

Liza - Lauryn Alisa McClain

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