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text 2018-06-24 06:15
The Flat Book Society: July read begins in 7 days!
The Inner Life of Cats: The Science and Secrets of Our Mysterious Feline Companions - Thomas McNamee

It's not too late to join us for The Flat Book Society's July ReadThe Inner Life of Cats: The Science and Secrets of Our Mysterious Feline Companions by Thomas McNamee  

 

Thomas McNamee blends scientific reportage with engaging, illustrative anecdotes about his own beloved cat, Augusta, to explore and illuminate the secrets and enigmas of her kind.

 

The Inner Life of Cats follows the development of the young Augusta while simultaneously explaining the basics of a kitten's physiological and psychological development. As the narrative progresses, McNamee also charts cats' evolution, explores a feral cat colony in Rome, tells the story of Augusta's life and adventures, and consults with behavioral experts, animal activists, and researchers, who will help readers more fully understand cats.

 

McNamee shows that with deeper knowledge of cats' developmental phases and individual idiosyncrasies, we can do a better job of guiding cats' maturation and improving the quality of their lives.

 

My book just arrived last week, and I'm looking forward to starting it next Sunday, July 1st.

 

Also, for those that are already members, or who'd like to join us, don't forget to vote for September's read - voting will close July 1st, so make sure you get in there and help us pick our next book!

 

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text 2018-06-23 23:23
Reading progress update: I've read 51%.
Sad Cypress - Agatha Christie

I'm so sorry, Lillelara, I'm not being a good reading buddy for this - I got side-tracked yesterday by the lovely weather, which made me (yes, made me) play tennis for most of the afternoon, and then I literally was too stiff and knackered to lift my arms...I regret nothing, except for not keeping up with the book. 

 

I managed to read much further today, tho... until the football. Ahem. It took a while to calm down after that finale and now I will probably finish the book tonight/tomorrow morning.

 

:D

 

Anyway, the book:

 

There is so much to love here: 

 

1. The opening scene had me hooked. The description of Elinor in shock was superb, I thought, and such a great setup to the story. It has the two storylines shoot off: One, where we find out how the trial is going to conclude, and the other where we find out about the murder. 

It is very much similar to Five Little Pigs in that structure and I really like it.

 

2. Roddy is a wuss, as Lillelara already described here, but I like him. He's just so ... unsure of everything, including himself.

 

3. Mary's position is described beautifully, and it must have hit home with quite a few people in a similar situation at the time that the book was set and published (tho it was set a few years before it was published (1940) - so, maybe set in the early to mid-30s?), when the class system took a hit and people found themselves in new "stations" and didn't know what to do with themselves. I really feel for Mary. She really wants people to like her. 

 

4. Dr Lord - Oh, gee... I loved him in the tv adaptation (mostly because he is played by Paul McGann...which needs no further explanation) but in the book he's a bit of a patronising git.

 

5. I did enjoy Laura's discussion of euthanasia, tho. Quite a serious topic for a Christie novel. 

 

6. And then we have this cracker: 

‘Aunt Agatha’s Advice column. “Keep your boy friend guessing! Don’t let him be too sure of you!”’

Hahahaha...

 

7. Nurse O'Brien / Nurse Hopkins - I don't like either of them, and it's not because of the the tv adaptation. It's the way they are described in the book and talking about other people.

 

I'm just about to start Part II, which brings HP on the scene. 

 

:D 

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review 2018-06-23 19:11
The Valley of Amazement
The Valley of Amazement - Amy Tan

I did something while reading this book that I have never done before: I flipped to the last page to see if it had a happy ending. Because good lord does Violet get put through the ringer.

 

This is often a difficult read, so I'll say upfront: if sexual exploitation makes you squeamish, you may want to skip this book. I'm usually one who wouldn't touch this with a ten-foot pole, but while the tone was unflinching, the details when divulged were detached enough to not affect me too much. Everyone has different tolerance levels and triggers, though, so it's something to consider.

 

This is set in the first half of the 1900s in China in the culture of the courtesan houses. It resembles Memoirs of a Geisha in that respect and it doesn't shy away from how young girls were sold and stolen into this life, but beyond the inner workings of the courtesan houses, this is a much different story with a different focus. 

 

As with all of Tan's work, this story is about the relationship between mothers and daughters, but unlike her other stories, this one is told primarily through Violet's POV. We follow her from a young, conceited girl growing up in her mother's courtesan house - not as a courtesan though, just to be clear on that point. She can only see how things effect her, how her mother is distant and aloof, and how she doesn't feel like she's loved enough. After they're separated by a ne'er-do-well and Violet is sold to another house, she must use her fierceness and determination to survive her new life and come to terms with the many twists and turns that her life makes. 

 

It's not all dire. She has a friend in the courtesan house to help her and protect her as much as possible, and she knows how to navigate this world better than most, though she makes many foolish decisions along the way. There are good moments as well, and Violet learns how to appreciate others, the depths of love and sacrifices that we make for each other along the way, all of which helps her to better understand the choices her own mother had made. But every time she takes a step forward, she's knocked twenty steps back. It's a long hard road, but there is a hopeful ending.

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review 2018-06-23 18:17
2 Out Of 5 "I'm going to make this quick" STARS
Disturbed - Jennifer Minar-Jaynes

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~BOOK BLURB~

Disturbed

Jennifer Jaynes

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On Halloween night five years ago, Chelsea Dutton’s college roommates were viciously stabbed to death, and Chelsea was critically injured. She was found hiding in her apartment’s bathtub, barely clinging to life.

With only fragments of shattered memory, she’s been trying her best to move past the nightmares ever since. Now in Boston, she lives a somewhat reclusive life, working from home as a medical transcriptionist and bingeing on mindless television shows.

She can’t shake the fear that her attacker is out there, waiting to finish what he started, and Elizabeth, a nurse she met after the murders, is the only person she can trust.

When someone from her past reemerges, Chelsea starts receiving disturbing messages and worries that her every move is being watched. As the messages mount and her memories begin to return, she’s led to a very terrifying and lonely place. But she needn’t be afraid. She won’t be alone there for long.

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

A formulaic plot with overly bland characters.  The declarations of love after one night of sex…eye-roll worthy.  The twist at the end was unexpected, but even that didn't up my level of enjoyment adequately.  At least it was quick one at six and a half hours.

 

๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏

~MY RATING~

2STARS - GRADE=D

๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Plot~ 2/5

Main Characters~ 2/5

Secondary Characters~ 2/5

The Feels~ 1/5

Pacing~ 2.5/5

Addictiveness~ 3/5

Theme or Tone~ 2/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 2/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 2.5/5

Originality~ 2/5

Ending~ 2.8/5

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Book Cover~ It's quite awful, actually.

Narration~ Carly Robins

Setting~ Boston, MA

Source~ Audiobook (KU Read & Listen)

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review 2018-06-23 15:26
Review: “The Flesh Cartel #13: The House Always Wins (The Flesh Cartel Season 4: Liberation)” (The Flesh Cartel, #13) by Rachel Haimowitz & Heidi Belleau
The Flesh Cartel #13: The House Always Wins (The Flesh Cartel Season 4: Liberation) - Heidi Belleau,Rachel Haimowitz

 

~ 4 stars ~

 

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