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text 2020-05-28 22:32
DNF @ just over 40%.
The Stories of Eva Luna - Isabel Allende,Cynthia Farrell,Samantha Desz,Timothy Andres Pabon,Gibson Frazier,Joy Osmanski

Meh.  There's nothing inherently wrong with these stories, but I'm interminably bored -- I just may be over Allende at this point.  So, I'm just going to cash in on the 40% I've listened to and roll again.

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review 2020-05-28 18:39
A Woman of No Importance by Sonia Purnell
A Woman of No Importance - Sonia Purnell

This is an engaging book about a totally badass historical figure, though I’m left unconvinced that the author really had enough information to write a book about her.

Virginia Hall was an American woman who, during WWII, worked undercover in France for first the British and later the American intelligence agencies. She helped organize and arm the French Resistance, spied for the Allies, and later even directed guerilla activities herself. She faced incredible dangers to do so, and with about two years behind enemy lines, spent much more time in France than most operatives, despite the comrades regularly being hauled off by the Gestapo to be tortured and sent to death camps. She had plenty of adventures and near-misses, including once having to escape over the Pyrenees on foot in winter, an even more impressive feat given that she walked on a wooden leg after shooting herself in the foot years before.

Hall is certainly an impressive figure, and I am glad to have learned about her and enjoyed the book. After the first couple of chapters early on, relating the first 30-odd years of her life before sneaking into occupied France, the book is overwhelmingly focused on high-tension WWII exploits, and written in a fluid style that makes for quick reading. I’ve read my share of WWII books considering this is not my favorite subject, but I learned some new things here about the French Resistance, and the book introduces readers to numerous impressive men and women who risked and sometimes lost their lives fighting the Nazis.

That said, Hall herself – no surprise here – was secretive, and refused to share war stories even in later years with the niece to whom she was close, so I have some questions about where all the author’s information comes from. In particular, the author is quick to describe Hall’s thoughts and feelings about events without attributing them to any particular source, leaving me to suspect she made them up. Also, that same reticence on the part of the book’s subject left me confused about just how Hall was accomplishing the things she did. Somehow, Hall would arrive in a place where she knew no one, and despite Purnell’s repeated insistence that Hall was security-oriented and had no patience for loose-lipped operatives, within as little as two days she would have some new person apparently in on the secret, risking their life to accompany her on dangerous missions, while she risked hers in trusting them. Obviously Hall was an excellent judge of character since this virtually always worked out, but the book doesn’t give any sense of her methods, probably because the author doesn’t know.

I also came away with the sense that Purnell was perhaps a little too enamored of her subject, heavily criticizing anyone Hall didn’t get along with. It’s interesting that Hall’s career never really went anywhere except in occupied France: before the war she largely seems to have been held back in her attempted diplomatic career by gender prejudice, and it was at least partially the same story afterwards in her years with the CIA. However, I couldn’t entirely share the author’s indignation with the CIA’s failure to fully utilize Hall’s talents when during the decades after WWII the agency was busy toppling democratically-elected progressive leaders in Latin America to replace them with right-wingers who were friendly to American business interests and whose torture and murder of dissenters was pretty similar to the Nazis’ methods. While Hall’s having a desk job during those years doesn’t exempt her from her share of moral culpability – which Purnell never acknowledges – it at least lets the book focus instead on the straightforward excitement of the French Resistance years, with everything after that summed up in a single chapter at the end.

As an interesting and enjoyable book that introduced me to an impressive woman I would not otherwise have known about, I found this worth reading. But it’s sufficiently biased and speculative that I find it a bit difficult to recommend.

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review 2020-05-28 14:45
The Future Memory Man
The Future Memory Man: Episode Five of The Chronicles of the Harekaiian - Shanna Lauffey

by Shanna Lauffey

 

This is the fifth book in the series and the plot convolutions just get more interesting. One of the high points of this episode is that we finally meet Harlan, the time traveler Physicist who has been mentioned a few times since the beginning.

 

I love good science in a time travel novel and this one has obviously been well researched. I found myself looking up information on particle physics and finding books referred to that really exist. I now know a few names of top real life scientists in the field of temporal physics!

 

The beauty of it though, is that the story flows neatly despite the scientific information and it is accessible to the common person. I've never studied physics, but I followed just fine.

 

Apart from that, the character development continues to grow. There were multiple points of view and I'm starting to really get to know the subtleties of Marcus. We also get a look into some of Kallie's background and the changes that have happened over time with Connor start to come into focus.

 

It's tricky to review a book this far into a series because I don't want to write spoilers for previous episodes, but the plot deepens and takes some interesting turns. These are just getting better as they go along.

 

If you like time travel stories at all, read this series!

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text 2020-05-26 20:47
Book Club Choice
The Island of Sea Women - Lisa See

Mi-ja and Young-sook, two girls living on the Korean island of Jeju, are best friends that come from very different backgrounds. When they are old enough, they begin working in the sea with their village’s all-female diving collective, led by Young-sook’s mother. As the girls take up their positions as baby divers, they know they are beginning a life of excitement and responsibility but also danger.

Despite their love for each other, Mi-ja and Young-sook’s differences are impossible to ignore. The Island of Sea Women is an epoch set over many decades, beginning during a period of Japanese colonialism in the 1930s and 1940s, followed by World War II, the Korean War and its aftermath, through the era of cell phones and wet suits for the women divers. Throughout this time, the residents of Jeju find themselves caught between warring empires. Mi-ja is the daughter of a Japanese collaborator, and she will forever be marked by this association. Young-sook was born into a long line of haenyeo and will inherit her mother’s position leading the divers in their village. Little do the two friends know that after surviving hundreds of dives and developing the closest of bonds, forces outside their control will push their friendship to the breaking point.

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text 2020-05-26 20:32
10 Compelling Reasons Why You Need amazon smart watches

You may have now heard about the potential for shopping for low cost android good watches. But are these watches truly worth buying?

If you can imagine That which you listen to, you will get an affordable wise watches for Girls that could be very similar to your personal. If you buy the "cheap" watches, there's nothing to bother with. These watches may perhaps appear exactly like their dearer counterparts. So, is it genuine?

Once i began my exploration, I thought it had been the same point. All the web retailers have been professing that they've got the best android good watches. The costs could be somewhat bigger than the conventional ones, but what would you believe if they are often as useful as their pricey counterparts? This fashion, they won't glimpse so low-cost.

The unfortunate portion is I actually have no idea if these inexpensive good watches are even actual. A number of them glance so convincing. I had been ready to really have to sacrifice a small amount of high quality so that you can get the ideal offer. Then I discovered that "ordinary" inexpensive watches will also be pretend.

The 1 I obtained was made by Motorola, and it doesn't have the first model title on it. But however, I'd to pay the additional cost just to find the warranty. Should you be seriously seriously interested in buying a intelligent observe, you might like to search for a design which has been certified from the FTC.

There are 2 strategies to save money when shopping for android good watches. You can buy a second hand just one or get a completely new a single using a guarantee. Using this type of data, you can choose which a person is most suitable to suit your needs.

If you buy anew a person, make sure to invest in one that has the first manufacturer name. Even though yow will discover a few of the cheaper watches with generic names, it will never indicate that they're seriously the original kinds. Therefore, the one way to know the authenticity of a certain product is to get it from your official website.

Request the vendor to give you the FCID serial number if you obtain from a dependable supplier. This range identifies the particular owner on the watch. Without having it, it is worthless.

Should you ask for the FCID selection on the website, it will often samsung smart watches be incorporated. Having said that, It's also wise to ask for it from the seller. It'd be tough to learn the FCID amount on an on-line vendor, however it is worthwhile If you prefer a high quality android intelligent view.

Usually, additionally, you will obtain a novel serial range, which represents the manufacturer, If you don't ask for the FCID. This fashion, you'll be equipped to ensure that the watches you purchase are made via the Formal maker.

If the vendor is often a retail store's Internet site, you must by no means try out to examine the solutions ahead of acquiring them. If you can only examine the "visual appearance", there isn't any purpose to make any fuss in excess of an affordable sensible watches for Girls.

Why shell out a lot more on the much less expensive watches when you will get the identical options for much less? The main difference is the fact the original producers are presenting far better top quality in these products.

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