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review 2019-03-13 22:25
Dear Angie, Your Family is Getting a Divorce




Trigger warning! Rape culture, racist undertones, religion


There is a scene of guys trying to smoke the girls out of a shed. Just guys being guys, of course. You see, they had a problem and needed the girls. Horrifying in itself, but what adds to the grossness is that some girls invited the main character Angie and her friend to the party for the sole purpose of them being for the boys "to get to know."


I don't want to assume, but what else were those boys going to do to those girls, but assault them, even rape them? If they were willing to go so far as to smoke them out of the shed; they REALLY wanted Angie and her friend Cris. Also, another disgusting thing is that they seemed to have a fetish for "the Mexican one" and Angie was just there as an extra.

I do think the boys would have hurt Angie and Cris had they not got out of the back of the shed. The shed catches on fire and now the boys are worried about being arrested. Ugh! It's brushed off as not a serious thing. This book is written like it's meant for middle grade.

This book is also highly religious, which I find odd that a book so much about God, trusting in the Lord, praying and stuff had such disgusting rape culture scenes, let alone had them and just let it go like it never happened. If you're not a religious person, I think some of the things they say about sin and relationships (divorce...etc) might upset you, or trigger you. I don't always know where I stand in the religious front and I really felt uncomfortable reading this.

This book had the mindset that you can pray everything away. It doesn't work that way. It is lovely to have someone to believe in and if prayer comforts you, that is great.

I don't think the book handles mental health well, either.


As far as writing style. It was a quick easy read, but it was sometimes phrased oddly and sometimes it felt like Angie just thought random things that had nothing to do with the plot. I don't know if that is because of it being so old or something else.


"I want to tell you about Cristella and her family. They are part Mexican. They live and talk just like anybody's family." Well of course they do!

"I will say this about Mary Jane. She is more "up" compared to what I am. She is a girl you could see in car with a high school boy right off." What does "up" even mean? What I do understand here is that we're basically slut-shaming an 8th grader?

"Also, she was forever and a day asking me if there weren't "any other little girls in my class besides Cristella." She didn't mind Cristella the way you may think--like some people don't like Mexicans or whatever." Why did this line even need to be put in the book?


**This book is so obscure that I had to add the info into Goodreads, picture, summary. I've had it since I was 12. The proof is inside the cover where I wrote my name, age and phone number. What was I thinking!? I read this at least once as a kid. It is so interesting to see what books you read that nowadays nobody has a clue about. Also kind of sad.

(However since I've now reread it, maybe this one can stay hidden...)


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review 2019-01-01 08:41
A Rare Book Of Cunning Device
A Rare Book of Cunning Device - Ben Aaronovitch,Kobna Holdbrook-Smith,Audible Studios

A Rare Book of Cunning Device is a short audiobook free on Audible that is a part of the ever expanding universe around PC Peter Grant and his 'Falcon' adventures. I like how the series is spread across all different ways of reading (besides the main books and some short stories, the graphic novels - for me at least - have become an integral part of the series).

It's too short, but way too good to miss if you're into the series. It focuses on The British Library, which is a wonderful place by the way if you've never visited it.

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review 2017-05-02 02:28
A Fun & Very Short Peter Grant story
A Rare Book of Cunning Device - Ben Aaronovitch,Kobna Holdbrook-Smith,Audible Studios

This is an audio-only release (for now anyway) about Peter (and Toby) go looking for a poltergeist in the stacks of the basements of The British Library. Harold Postmartin was hanging out at the Folly when Peter got the case, and wouldn't let him shrug it off for awhile, so he got to do a little field-work, too.


It was fun to see Postmartin in action and learn a bit more about him. Peter and Toby were their usual entertaining selves. The Librarian (who's name I can't remember, sorry), was fun -- the tie-in with Peter's family was, nice too. The Library (in both fact-based and clearly UF ways) was an interesting place, and I can easily see the need for Peter to return there on another case.


Holdbrook-Smith is just fun to listen to, if I heard another couple of books in this series, I'd probably hear him in my head for any future Peter Grant/Rivers of London books. Top-notch stuff there.


I gripe too much about short stories being to short, so I'll try not to here. This was a complete story, but it very easily could've gone on -- in fact when the file ended, I pretty much thought that my headphones ran out of juice. It was good enough to satisfy, but not so good that I can't grumble about it being short. This was fun, and though I'm not sure how giving a story away works to earn money for a library charity, I'll trust that it does some how and hope that it meets with plenty of success.

Source: irresponsiblereader.com/2017/05/01/a-rare-book-of-cunning-device-audiobook-by-ben-aaronovitch-kobna-holdbrook-smith
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text 2017-01-01 08:32
2016: The (non-fiction) books I liked best.
The Unknown Unknown: Bookshops and the Delight of Not Getting What You Wanted - Mark Forsyth
Used and Rare: Travels in the Book World - Lawrence Goldstone,Nancy Goldstone
The Elements of Eloquence: How to Turn the Perfect English Phrase - Mark Forsyth
The Etymologicon: A Circular Stroll through the Hidden Connections of the English Language - Mark Forsyth
Going to Hell in a Hen Basket: An Illustrated Dictionary of Modern Malapropisms - Robert Alden Rubin
Housekeeping vs. the Dirt - Nick Hornby
Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader - Anne Fadiman
Holy Sh*t: A Brief History of Swearing - Melissa Mohr
Completely Superior Person's Book Of Words - Peter Bowler
The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well - Meik Wiking

So I read a lot of non-fiction this year.  76 books.  I've been thinking about why my non-fiction reading exploded this year and all I can say is that this year I craved an escape into facts, or as must be evident by my list above, the desire to escape into a bookshop and hide for the duration.


With few exceptions, the ones I liked best, the 5 star books-I-want-to-hug were all about books or words.  A definite theme going on this year.  The exceptions were all over the place though: a gardening book, a cultural anthropology book and an illustrated book of the Psalms.  The two that didn't fit above are below:



The Produce Companion: From Balconies to Backyards--the Complete Guide to Growing, Pickling and Preserving - Meredith Kirton,Mandy Sinclair  The Produce Companion: From Balconies to Backyards--the Complete Guide to Growing, Pickling and Preserving - Meredith Kirton,Mandy Sinclair  









The Illuminated Book of Psalms: The Illustrated Text of all 150 Prayers and Hymns - Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers  The Illuminated Book of Psalms: The Illustrated Text of all 150 Prayers and Hymns - Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers  










My 4.5 star reads this year are also worth mentioning and even more numerous (15) and are much more varied in subject.  More books about books and books about words or grammar, but science and history also make a showing. These are books that were excellent but for whatever reason had something I questioned or found confronting.  With scientific books that's almost always animal related.  Sometimes the book just didn't make me want to hug it, but I still recommend it.  Who knows?  Maybe it'll be one you want to hug. :)  


Fucking Apostrophes

The Gift Of The Magi And Other Stories

The Book of Human Emotion

The Polysyllabic Spree

A Passion for Books: A Book Lover's Treasury 

Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology

The Book of the Dead: Lives of the Justly Famous and the Undeservedly Obscure

Lost in Translation

Between You & Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen

The Poisoner's Handbook

The Hotel on Place Vendome: Life, Death, and Betrayal at the Hotel Ritz in Paris

The Tale of the Dueling Neurosurgeons

The Day the World Came to Town: 9/11 in Gander, Newfoundland

The Sceptical Gardener: The Thinking Person’s Guide to Good Gardening

Why The Dutch Are Different: A Journey Into the Hidden Heart of the Netherlands


Happy Reading!

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review 2016-07-10 10:13
Used and Rare: Travels in the Book World - Lawrence Goldstone,Nancy Goldstone

So this is how collectors/addicts get started, from trying to get a used book at under $20 to spending hundreds of dollars on 1st editions (The really expensive books go for tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars but this is out of the authors' league). This book is a good read for those and *only those* who harbour secret (or not-so-secret) ambitions of starting their own book collection one day. Now, how does one attend a book auction here in Singapore?

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