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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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review 2017-06-23 09:13
Why Not Me? - B.J. Novak,Greg Daniels,Mindy Kaling,Mindy Kaling

I love Mindy Kaling! I really really do. And I must admit I started this book a little cautious because I read her last one with high expectations and felt a little let down at the end. This time I found myself laughing out loud almost all through and nodding like a crazy person when I agreed with her witty observations (thank goodness it was my bedside reading and not my commuting book). I'm sure her humour is not for everyone but it's certainly worth a read just for the text/email relayed love story close to the end. Loved it!

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-06-18 23:25
Regurgitation: Details from books that bother me
The Underground Railroad (Oprah's Book Club): A Novel - Colson Whitehead
Mermaid Moon (A Sunset Cove Novel) - Colleen Coble

Today is a pain day for me.  FYI: I have Fibromyalgia and RA.  Every day is a pain day to a degree but today it is making it hard for me to concentrate on reading.  This is when I turn to audiobooks or think about the books I have recently read and especially, the things that bothered me about them.  I may seem a little more snarky than usual but that is just another side-effect of being me.  I'll be back to normal later.  

 

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

 

Thinking back on this book I wonder about the part (Chapter/section) about the doctor that was digging up graves to dissect for his medical school requirements.  I thought that seemed to stick out like a sore thumb.  I am not a writer but it seems to me like that part of the book did not belong in the story, at least not in the way it was added.  It was like if you were talking to someone about something that happened at work and then suddenly switched to talking about how you sometimes like to climb into a bathtub filled with jello and roll around it in totally naked, and then went right back to talking about work again.  After that, there was only one small mention of that doctor's name near the end.  

 

Is that a super secret writing technique?  

 

I know grave robbing was something that was done then and I guess he really wanted to include it.  I think he should have made it a larger part of the book and maybe connected it with the main characters somehow.  I was waiting for him to dig up Mabel.  

 

I also read (in random history stuff) about doctors who performed experimental surgeries on slaves and children.  One poor woman had to go through over 30 surgeries before she died.  That is a horrible thing that I can't even fathom and he could have used that to make this section seem more worthy of inclusion.  

 

Okay, another book I recently read and really liked is Mermaid Moon by Colleen Coble.  I was mulling over some of the details from that book and one thing really stands out and makes me want to ask Colleen on which planet that would happen. This is in the exciting part of the book when... 

Hailey has been kidnapped and Mallory is going back to her house in Bangor, Maine as per the kidnapper's demands. The Sheriff there has arranged for deputies to be at the house to protect her and hopefully be able to get Hailey back safely.  Only, one of the deputies had to go pee. He must have drunk a gallon of coffee with his donuts and really had to go bad.  So bad, in fact, that he left his post to go next door to go pee and let the bad guy sneak in and grab the mom and haul her off, lock her in the creepy basement of some house and then set it on fire.  Why Colleen, why?  Couldn't he have requested someone else to take his place or put a crimp in it?  Seriously!

(spoiler show)

 

 

Why don't the spoiler code tags work for this post?  I know it says "Spoiler" at the top but the code tags in the text do not appear to be working.  

 

Thanks to Debbie for telling me how to fix the spoiler tags.  She said, "Sometimes with the spoiler tags you need to delete them, then highlight the spoiler text and click the "sp" spoiler icon again."  That worked!  

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text 2017-06-16 12:34
Bloggers write: Why I love circus books

 

A guest post by Lora from Lora's Rants and Reviews

 

Every child is enchanted by the idea of the circus at some point in their young life. For me, this began with the story of Toby Tyler, by James Otis, alternately titled Ten Weeks with a Circus. The story was also made into a movie called Toby Tyler as well as a radio dramatisation.

 

As I became an adult, I learned that the way animals were treated in the real life circus could be brutal at times and the big cats, whom I loved most, spent their lives in cages the size of a train car. Circuses are actually not legally allowed to keep animals in the UK. So, for me, the magic of the circus is relegated to fantasy; to the world of books.

 

While fiction satisfies my fascination with life behind the scenes of the circus, some non-fiction books are also very interesting, relating what this life was really like in the days when there was no regulation to speak of to keep the activities of circus folk completely legal. While circus is primarily a performance profession, there was a time when 'hooch tents' and violations of prohibition played a significant role on the seedy side of traveling entertainment.

 

Some stories relate this side of circus life as openly as the non-fiction books, like Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen. The author did her research well and many incidents, including a very amusing situation involving an elephant stealing lemonade, came from real anecdotes from circus people. There are some sad incidents concerning animals in the annals of real circus life as well, but these I try to avoid.

 

Toby Tyler, or Ten Weeks with a Circus - James Otis Water for Elephants - Sara Gruen

 

Circus books are my fantasy circus, where animals are never mistreated and it's all about the magic of entertainment. I am, however, fussy about authors doing their research properly. I have an aunt who traveled with the carnival in her youth and she taught me the differences between the circus and the carnival. A fast way to get me to abandon a book is to write in a carnival setting and mention a Big Top or to refer to circus people as Carnies.

 

These worlds have a few things in common, but distinct differences. I loved how Stephen King got around all that in Joyland  by setting the story in an amusement park owned by someone who had worked for both the circus and the carnival sometime in his past.

 

Joyland - Stephen King Mr. Stubbs's Brother: A Sequel to Toby Tyler (Illustrated Edition) (Dodo Press) - James Otis

 

I recently found another book by James Otis on Amazon, Mr. Stubbs's Brother: A Sequel to Toby Tyler. It was even free! Naturally this is high on my tbr, but I want to re-read Toby Tyler again first. These circus stories bring out my inner child and for just a little while, allow me to enter a world where it's all about the magic.

 

A Spark of Justice - J.D. Hawkins Under the Big Top: A Season with the Circus - Bruce Feiler The Advance Man: A Journey Into the World of the Circus - Jamie MacVicar

 

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If you missed the Book Love Story blog posts by BookLikes bloggers have a look here and join. Can't wait to read and re-post your book love stories! Remember to add why I love tag to your book love story.

 

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