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review 2017-09-22 01:47
Why shoot a Butler? by Georgette Heyer
Why Shoot a Butler? - Georgette Heyer

I was worried that I wouldn't like this book because of my disastrous encounter with Venetia, one of Heyer's regency romances, but this was pretty good. 

 

Mr. Frank Amberley, a barrister visiting his relatives in the country, comes across a man shot dead in a parked car with a woman standing alongside whilst trying to following his cousin's poor directions for a short cut. He reports the murder but doesn't mention the woman because he strongly believes she didn't do it and doesn't trust the local constabulary not to try to pin it on her by mistake, apparently. You could easily accuse him of arrogance, I suppose, but he does seem to be a clever man.

 

This kicks off an amateur investigation where Amberley liaises with the police without telling them everything. I didn't guess the solution to the mystery although I had an inkling about part of it. I enjoyed the dialogue the most, I think. There was a lot of clever talking or whatever you want to call it, where characters don't exactly say what they mean but you follow along anyway, or characters mock each other without the author having to come out and say it. Or maybe others wouldn't say it was like that at all but I had fun with it regardless.

 

The last summing up chapter could have been a teensy bit shorter, but overall it was fun.

 

I read this for the "Terrifying Women" square for the Halloween Bingo but it could work equally well for "Murder Most Foul" and "Amateur Sleuth". It may work for "Country House Mystery" as well, although the number of suspects isn't quite as limited as some country house settings although you are still limited by being in the country.

 

Previous update:

52%

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text 2017-09-21 03:00
Reading progress update: I've read 52%.
Why Shoot a Butler? - Georgette Heyer

When Fountain came in apologising for keeping his visitor waiting, he was turning over the pages of a dusty volume culled from the obscurity of a top shelf and said absently: ‘Not at all, not at all. I have been looking over your books. My dear sir, are you aware that they are all arranged according to size?’

This book has a kind of wry humour that amuses me. And we now have multiple amateur detectives acting at cross purposes.

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review 2017-08-13 00:00
Winter Is Coming: Why Vladimir Putin and the Enemies of the Free World Must Be Stopped
Winter Is Coming: Why Vladimir Putin and the Enemies of the Free World Must Be Stopped - Garry Kasparov Unsurprisingly superficial. Chess players, sadly, rarely are able to orient adequately in life. This had been marvellously reflected in a well-known Nabokov's novel and this book is a testament to this.
An ex-chess-champion who decided to become a yet another safe-proclaimed Cassandra of a better-than-though politician. Gosh! God knows there already are millions, if not billions, of those on this overpopulated globe and any other professional would be of immensely more use. The author's a vastly worse politician than a chess player and a writer of even less qualifications. His analytical real-world skills are altogether nonexistent. Sadly none of these stopped him from penning this diatribe full of propaganda and fear-mongering:
Q: "Putin's Russia, like ISIS or Al Qaeda, defines itself in opposition to the free countries..." (c) Actually, one can reverse it: "The self-proclaimed free countries, like their allies ISIS or Al Qaeda (which do include the US-backed opposition groups in Syria, yep? *), define themselves in opposition to Russia." Both statements are opinions, and as such both are entitled to exist in a liberal world.

PS. I hope Mr K at least got paid for this nasty stuff from some country's taxes.
PSS. * https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/trump-ends-covert-cia-program-to-arm-anti-assad-rebels-in-syria-a-move-sought-by-moscow/2017/07/19/b6821a62-6beb-11e7-96ab-5f38140b38cc_story.html?hpid=hp_hp-top-table-low_ciasyria-310pm%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.6691d0530f17
*http://edition.cnn.com/2017/07/20/politics/cia-syria-anti-assad-rebels/index.html
*http://www.wnd.com/2015/02/u-s-backed-syrian-group-joins-islamist-fighters/
*https://southfront.org/isis-commanders-joined-us-backed-moderate-opposition-southeastern-syria-reports/
Really, WP, CNN and a bunch of other media basically confirm that there have been covert programs to train Muslim guerillas, financed until recent date by the dime of the US taxpayers, for Mr Trump to stop. Had there been none, would he have been able to stop any? Don't think so.
The next question should not be about Moscow. It should be what the hell did Mr Obama think when he authorised training guys who go back and forth between ISIS, US-backed opposition and God knows what other terroristic groups? What, there are no longer any poor people in the US?
Even a person with extremely poor imagination could think of other ways to utilize that money more productively, yep. For instance, one might pay off the US external debt which is the biggest on Earth to date.
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review 2017-07-15 19:19
Thirteen Reasons Why
Thirteen Reasons Why - Jay Asher

Going into the book, I knew Thirteen Reasons Why was a controversial book. I have personally battled depression in the past, but have never been near suicidal. So while I can't comment on the authenticity of how this story represents the mindset of someone who is suicidal, I can certainly believe that it rings true to at least some people. I watched the Netflix series as well, and there were differences. There were parts I thought played out better in the book and others I thought were more impactful in the series. I'll focus on the book here.

 

Hannah isn't a particularly likable character. In some ways, I'm glad for that though. The reader has to work a bit harder to maintain empathy with the narrator, and working harder for it makes you think a bit more about the circumstances. 

 

I don't think this book had anything that was a profoundly new concept. As I read through each of the 13 reasons, I had a memory flash of when something similar happened to me growing up. Things for teens may be more pronounced these days with the inclusion of social media, but it's not new stuff. Kids are cruel - always have been and always will be. Those cruel words and actions will have an impact on others. Some will get over it and some won't. Some will even be able to use it to make them stronger. I do think it might be more difficult to escape these days from cruel behavior because of how easily rumors and bullying can spread through social media, and I know that can be a real challenge. So even though not a profound new look at the struggles of teens, it's a unique way to bring forth the reminders that if we could all just be a bit kinder then we might actually make a huge impact in someone else's life. 

 

I do wish the book would have gone more into Hannah's mental health. Many kids go through similar experiences, yet they don't commit or even attempt suicide. Someone who is willing to carry it through has much deeper needs - and unfortunately the book didn't touch on that at all. 

 

I'd also like to point out that this is the kind of book that parents should read with their child. Some have slammed this book for the danger it causes because it glamorizes suicide and somewhat gives a pass as to why it's OK. Some will see it that way. Others won't. That's why it's important to read it with your teen and talk about it. 

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text 2017-07-13 21:12
Nonfiction Science Book Club: My Suggestions
Inferior: How Science Got Women Wrong—and the New Research That's Rewriting the Story - Angela Saini
How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had It Coming - Mike Brown
13 Things That Don't Make Sense 13 Things That Don't Make Sense 13 Things That Don't Make Sense - Michael Brooks
The Glass Universe: How the Ladies of the Harvard Observatory Took the Measure of the Stars - Dava Sobel
Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are? - Frans de Waal
The Day the Universe Changed - James Burke
How We Got to Now: Six Innovations That Made the Modern World - Steven Johnson
Black Hole Blues and Other Songs from Outer Space - Janna Levin
Seeing Further - Bill Bryson
Storm in a Teacup: The Physics of Everyday Life - Helen Czerski

In no order whatsoever (except "as I thought about it"):

 

 

Nonfiction Science Bookclub on booklikes is at http://booklikes.com/book-clubs/90/buddy-read-for-the-invention-of-nature 

Source: booklikes.com/book-clubs/90/buddy-read-for-the-invention-of-nature
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