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text 2017-04-21 12:48
End of Watch - progress 33%
End of Watch: A Novel - Stephen King,Simon & Schuster Audio,Will Patton

Oh boy o boy, this is much more fun than his earlier attempts at a straightforward detective mystery. Keep on being yourself, Mr. King!

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review 2017-04-20 16:25
Weight Watchers Smart Points Cookbook: 100 Under 10: Top 100 Weight Watchers Recipes with less than 10 Smart Points; with Photos, Nutrition Facts, and Smart Points for every recipe - Erin Borden

Weight Watchers Smart Points Cookbook: 100 Under 10 by Erin Borden
Enjoyed this book although I do not follow the system as described. We are on a Mediterranean lifestyle so a lot of the dishes in this book we can actually eat.
Starts out with with WW is and smart point and how they work.. Categories of soups, vegetarian recipes, chicken, seafood which I loved the best, pork, beef chapters also.
Each recipe starts out with a color photo and list of ingredients. Most call for fat free or low sodium liquids along with fresh produce.
Instruction in how to make the dish, along with servings, smart points, and some nutritional information: has calories, total fat, carbs and proteins. The fat is not broken up into good and bad fat. There is also no sodium levels.
A KEEPER!

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review 2017-04-19 23:45
Finders Keepers ★★★★☆
Finders Keepers: A Novel - Stephen King

This was a much slower moving story than Mr. Mercedes, with the setup and history to the main action taking up the bulk of the book. But the author is so good at breathing life into the characters and sprinkling action and excitement into seemingly mundane scenes, that I was carried along without really even noticing it. And I was pleased that his awkward and unconvincing attempts at romance in the first book was mercifully absent in this one.

 

And does anyone do murder scenes better than Mr. King? NOPE.

 

Okay, I’m ready to dive into the last book!

 

Audio version, via Audible. Will Patton’s performance was masterful. He does much more than just allow the listener to distinguish between the voices of different characters. He uses a different voice for each scene, depending on the central character for that scene. He creates a unique voice, with breath, speech patterns, and pacing, for each character, that fully embodies the its characteristics. I especially loved his voice for Holly. His voice for Morris was absolutely menacing, it gave me chills.

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review 2017-04-19 17:01
Under Heaven by Guy Gavriel Kay
Under Heaven - Guy Gavriel Kay

Series: Under Heaven #1

 

Under Heaven is a standalone book that usually gets listed as coming before River of Stars because they both take place in Kitai (Kay’s version of China) and River of Stars takes place after Under Heaven (but at least a couple hundred years after).

 

Under Heaven follows the path of Shen Tai after a Kitan princess from a neighbouring country (she got married off) gives him a ridiculously extravagant and impractical gift because he’d taken it on himself to bury bodies from several battles in a remote mountainous area on the border during the mourning period for his father. So for two years he dug graves all day long while the ground was unfrozen and listened to the wails of ghosts of the unburied bodies at night. I think I mentioned in one of my updates that he’s a bit weird.

 

He basically has to stay alive long enough to try to claim the gift and figure out how to keep it long enough to make use of it without getting killed. Along the way we meet Wei Song, a female Kanlin warrior who serves as his bodyguard. I thought Wei Song was pretty cool. At one point it’s said that "She was small, and lethal." We also meet Tai’s sister Li-Mei who I thought stole the show, character-wise. She gets to exemplify that bravery is acting even when you’re afraid.

 

There are lots more characters and events at the Emperor’s court and a rebellion and so on, but I don’t want to give everything away (hopefully I haven’t spoiled anything as it is). I liked the novel but I didn’t rate it higher because honestly, Kay has done better, and the prose in this book isn’t as fluid or as lyrical as some of his other books. I’m used to Kay setting a rhythm and the text forcing you to follow it. There were also several asides to discuss the history as a whole because the later part of the book starts delving into macro-level events rather than following specific characters. Rather the narrative still follows the characters but the scope of the text broadens and I felt some human quality was lost in there.

 

At least I’m slowly catching up on my Kay reads?

 

I read this for square #24 of the booklikes-opoly board, “Read a book set in Africa or Asia” as I’m considering Kay’s alternate version of China to be set in Asia. Since this book has just over 600 pages, I get $5 to add to my bank.

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text 2017-04-18 23:49
Reading progress update: I've read 65%.
Under Heaven - Guy Gavriel Kay

I keep thinking of Rincewind kowtowing...

 

We're back to court shenanigans, although we keep cutting back to Li-Mei.

 

I'm not sure how I'm going to explain this book without getting into spoilers. I'll have to stick to early ones, I guess. I'm also not sure how I feel about it. I guess we'll see how well Kay nails the ending.

 

If I finished the book on the 19th, I can still roll, right?

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