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review 2018-02-18 13:50
A Little Light Charming...
The Penguin Lessons: A True Story - Tom Michell

“Delightful and charming” was the cover description of this book, attributed to the Daily Mail, which to my mind is not a ringing endorsement. As adjectives go they seem….bland, like ‘inoffensive’ or ‘nice’. Still, set in the 1970’s, the author does successfully evoke a sense of other-worldliness, before technology shrunk the globe and ‘gap years’ made the pursuit of ‘adventure’ and ‘experience’ more…. ordinary. Moreover, by relating his experience of life in South America, in particular pre-Falklands conflict Argentina, there is a certain curiosity value. However, since Michell is relating time spent as a young master at an English boarding school in Buenos Aires, it does also, at times, smack of rather dated colonialism at work.


Undoubtedly what saves the book are the antics of a Magellan penguin, named Juan Salgado, which/whom the author rescues from an oil slick washed up on a beach at Punta del Este. This, we discover, is on the Uruguayan side of the mighty River Plate (Rio de la Plata) and so one of the funniest anecdotes tells the tale of the necessary border crossing. Of course, we humans seem to have a universal soft-spot for penguins, they are after all inherently funny in their permanent tuxedo get-up. Still, the experience also sealed the perception, among the locals, of Michell as another eccentric Englishman abroad.


Though the relationship the author builds with his feathered friend is quite touching, I couldn’t quite shake off a sense of déjá vu and then I recalled the 1960 novel “Ring of Bright Water”, in which the author (Gavin Maxwell) described how he brought an otter from Iraq and raised it in Scotland. Different species, different continent but the crux of the story is similar, man’s capacity for connecting with the wild and a means of lubricating the wheels of human interactions. A pleasant read, perhaps sometimes such light relief can be just what’s needed.

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url 2018-02-08 16:32
Tree of Life True Story
Tree of Life - Nataša Pantović Nuit
Conscious Parenting: Mindful Living Course for Parents - Nataša Pantović Nuit

The 8th of February is our family's birthday! It has been 10 years we are together! This very day I have launched my second novel called Tree of Life: A Journey into the Field of Dreams. Thanks to all my spiritual family for being a part of this enriching journey! Thanks my beautiful children for being my biggest ever teachers <3 http://artof4elements.com/entry/171/conscious-parenting-my-adoption-journey

Source: artof4elements.com/entry/171/conscious-parenting-my-adoption-journey
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review 2018-02-08 05:54
Sad, moving memoir of a young man and his cat
A World Without Color: A True Story Of t... A World Without Color: A True Story Of the Last Three Days With My Cat - Bernard Jan

A heart-wrenching memoir of a man's last three days in the life of his beloved cat. Bernard had spent nearly 15 years with Marcel, his cat. It had become his confidante, companion, like a sibling, seeing him through difficult situations, as watching his grandmother slowly fade and die from dementia to through troubling times as the dangerous and frightening Croatian War of Independence. He had basically grown up with him, and what pain and grief engulfed him as he watched the life of his best friend come to an end. The book is also like a letter to Marcel chronicling those last days, and a tribute to the life and experiences they had shared together. The reader can truly feel the anguish Bernard felt watching his beloved feline's life be extinguished. I received this copy from the author in exchange for an honest review. Thank you Bernard!

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review 2018-02-06 23:41
Whose Side Are You On?
The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs - Jon Scieszka,Lane Smith

AR: 3.0

Grade Level: 2-4

Summary: We've all read some form of The Three Little Pigs, right? Well, THE TRUE STORY OF THE 3 LITTLE PIGS! is an excellent book to read to young readers. It's even an excellent book for them to read even to themselves! This particular book is all about perspective, from the text even to the illustrations! It's extremely hilarious, even with relatable moments. 

Idea: I will use this book in my classroom for a unit about perspective. I may even have my students take the role of either a pig or the wolf, and act out how each character sees things from their pespective. 

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review 2018-01-16 19:46
Two Women, One Man Who Didn't Know How to Let Go
Too Late to Say Goodbye: A True Story of Murder and Betrayal - Ann Rule

The cases depicted in this book also showed up on Forensic File and Murderous Affairs. Apparently those shows just look for true crime thrillers to show.

 

This one didn't quite work for me just because I think that Rule had a huge reach about some things (she claimed one woman had to be brainwashed) and her back and forth to two different time periods didn't work all that well. The ending just kind of happens and I felt like there was more missing. 

 

"Too Late to Say Goodbye" is a true crime book about Jenn Corbin and Dolly Hearn. Jenn Corbin is found dead one morning with a gunshot wound. Initially thought as probable suicide, things about Jenn's marriage come to light which leads to questions about what could her husband, Doctor Bart Corbin (a dentist) have to possibly do with her death. When the manner of Jenn's death is investigated, it comes up that a woman that Bart dated during dentistry school also committed suicide found with a gunshot to her head. When the police start digging, it starts to look like Bart Corbin may have played a role in both women's death.

 

I thought Rule did a good job showing us Jenn and Dolly in her book. Rule better than anyone I think in true crime books is able to make the person(s) that are lost feel like living/breathing people that you mourn when they are gone.

 

I just think she missed the mark a bit with Jenn and Dolly. I don't think she meant to, but I thought she pretty much lays things at Dolly's feet with her not being forceful enough to not see Bart anymore after the number of accidents/minor crimes occurred. I just don't get how the police didn't do more when the guy was breaking into her apartment and poured hairspray into her contact lens solution. That right there was assault to me. 

 

Same problem with Jenn who goes looking for some comfort outside of her marriage via an online game. She at times seems to blame Jenn for getting catfished (that's a term now, not anymore) and says she thinks that the person in question brainwashed her. I wish that Rule had stuck with the story in this one and not had tried to psychoanalyze these women.

 

The writing was okay, but honestly, parts of the book read as filler. I think Rule wanted to stretch it out because the eventual trials end up being non-starters. 


The ending didn't work for me either since it felt like a lot of things were left unsaid. 

 

 

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