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text 2019-05-23 21:05
Mountaineering Book Haul
Savage Summit: The True Stories of the First Five Women Who Climbed K2, the World's Most Feared Mountain - Jennifer Jordan
Clouds from Both Sides: The story of the first British woman to climb an 8,000-metre peak - Julie Tullis,Peter Gillman
Just for the love of it - Cathy O'Dowd
The Climb: Tragic Ambitions on Everest - Anatoli Boukreev,G. Weston DeWalt

As many of you know, I love a mountaineering book every now and then. And so does Lillelara. So, when Lillelara recently shared updates on her read of Savage Summit, I checked what books I had left unread on my shelf and found that there only was one - ONE - book. And it isn't one that holds much promise for me as I postponed reading it after I found some reviews highlighting a few shortcomings...


So, erm, I added a few books to Mt. TBR. 

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review 2018-12-20 20:27
Ehhhhh Okay Stories for the Most Part-24 Tasks
My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories - Rainbow Rowell,Holly Black,Laini Taylor,Myra McEntire,Kiersten White,Stephanie Perkins,Gayle Forman,Matt de la Pena,Jenny Han,Ally Carter,Kelly Link,David Levithan

Per usual, some stories were delightful, some were good, and some were just okay.


Midnights by Rainbow Rowell (5 stars)-Wow. This one was a great set-up for the anthology. We get to read about two teens New Year's Eve through the years. You get to see their friendship turn to something more. 


The Lady and the Fox by Kelly Link (2 stars)-This felt endless. I liked the idea of a curse keeping a man from being part of our world unless it snowed on Christmas every year. But did anyone else get squicked out that the main love interest met this dude when she was a kid and he sees her grow up? I just could not. 


Angels in the Snow by Matt De Le Pena (2 stars)-I just didn't like the writing style in this one. Sorry. It felt broken up and I like I was missing something.This story actually caused me to put this down for a while since it just totally took me out of the wanting to finish anything.


Polaris is Where You'll Find Me by Jenny Han (5 stars)-Teen elves getting ready for the Snow Ball at the North Pole and a human called Natalie who has an interesting relation. I maybe laughed with delight with this story. It was so cute. And I could picture it in my head. I also thought it was super cute that elves don't really like to receive gifts, they by nature like to give things to other people. 


It's a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown by Stephanie Perkins (3 stars)-We follow a character named Marigold Moon Ling (that's a mouthful) who is staking out a Christmas tree lot over a boy. Look, unless this guy looked like Chris Hemsworth I don't see it myself, but to each their own. This story dragged for me after reading the one prior to this.


Your Temporary Santa by David Levithan (3 stars)-Ehh, okay, didn't really thrill me. A Jewish guy pretends to be Santa to help out his boyfriend. It just....it made zero sense to me. I maybe felt uncomfortable for this fictional character. It just....no. I did laugh at him explaining how his parents told him that yes Santa did exist, but he had too much to do and couldn't stop at their house. This just didn't really seem realistic with this character dressing up as Santa for her boyfriend's younger siblings. Levithan can spin a tale though so I did laugh a few times while reading this. 


Krampuslauf by Holly Black (2 stars)-People dressing up like Krampus. The author also gives us some info dumps on Kraumpus. I get it, you have to explain it since this is a short story and many people may not know who this is. That just took up a lot of time setting the story though. This book also deals with ugliness among teens too. There is slut shaming (not by the main character) and she is dealing with things trying to help a friend. Just not very joyous in my mind. 


What the Hell Have You Done, Sophie Roth? by Gayle Forman (2 stars)-Story dealing with a main character, Sophie Roth, and her freshmen year of college. This one is actually fairly short and I just didn't care about Sophie and her love interest. 


Beer Buckets and Baby Jesus by Myra McEntire-(1 star) I can't even recall this one. And I refuse to look it up.


Welcome to Christmas, CA, by Kiersten White- (2 stars)-I just recall thinking it was hilarious there are many towns in the U.S. called Christmas. Other than that, didn't feel engaged with this one either.



Star of Bethlehem by Ally Carter (1 star) A girl switches tickets with someone called Hulda because she doesn't want to go and meet her boyfriend (Hulda doesn't) and then she pops up and meets Ethan (Hulda's boyfriend) and he kisses her and my brain went wait did they switch bodies? He should know it's not her? And then I stopped caring. Believe me the why behind this mess is so dumb. 


The Little Girl Who Woke the Dreamer by Laini Taylor (3 stars)-Apparently it's custom for young men to leave gifts for their sweethearts for the 24 days of Advent on the Isle of Feathers. Shrug, yeah, I don't know why either. This story follows a character named Neve who doesn't have a sweetheart so she doesn't expect gifts. Just an okay story. Not a strong finish to the anthology I thought. 



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text 2018-09-14 03:31
Reading progress update: I've read 8 out of 241 pages.
True Crime Stories - Max Haines
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review 2018-06-08 23:05
True Stories of World War II
True Stories of World War II - Terry Collins
This was very interesting and it had a lot of information inside it. This is a 31-page graphic novel, containing 6 chapters. Five of those chapters hold true stories of individuals who served during WWII. The author includes in this novel a glossary, an index, and a separate page where he listed books and internet websites where you could also go for more information on this topic. This graphic novel shows the war from many viewpoints.
At the beginning of this graphic novel you get a brief overview of World War II with some key dates and a map. With each soldier’s graphic story, you get a small paragraph about the soldier and a portrait of them before their graphic account begins. Each story is different as one soldier shares their story of the Bataan Death March, another soldier was an Aviation Pioneer, one was a French Freedom Fighter, one shares their Disaster at Sea story and we also hear the story of the Flag Over Iwo Jima. No story is better than the other yet I think, as a reader some of these stories will affect you differently than others. I’m pretty sure at least one of these stories will hit upon your emotions.
These stories were easy to follow and they typically covered 4-6 pages each. Gunfire does take place in this novel, this is war afterall, but I didn’t see anything overly graphic or overplayed in the novel. I thought the details in the illustrations were really good as they showed what needed to be shown and implied the rest. I liked the colors that were used inside this novel. Each story had its own shade of coloring, and none of them were bright. From Army Green to a blue-green to light tan, each story was unique.
I think this is a good graphic novel for mature teen readers. This is history and teens need to hear these stories and learn from them.


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review 2018-01-02 03:42
Vacationland by John Hodgeman
Vacationland: True Stories from Painful Beaches - John Hodgman

John Hodgeman throws away centuries of WASP tradition and tells everyone what he's feeling. The silver lining is that people can finally talk about how horrible Maine is. The water is freezing, the beaches are sharp, the lakes are bottomed with Lovecraftian horrors, and the people hate you.

Despite all of that, Hodgman carries over some of the charm of the region into his humorous essays. Where he falls apart is the whole white privilege thing. It doesn't matter how often you deprecatingly point it out, there's still something distasteful about reading about the problems of having enough money to hold onto additional houses for sentimental reasons.

There are also some problematic stories about recreational pot, which is like listening to someone talk about how much beer they drank in college, and other stories that need something more than what Hodgeman put into them to make them rise above their subject matter. That is a super-vague criticism, but its all I've got at the moment.

The positives are that even in those downer-essays there are nuggets of humor and insight that made me roar with laughter. Hodgeman is a funny guy, and this is a successful funny book.

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