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text 2018-10-17 14:24
Reading progress update: I've read 75%.
The Waiting Sands - Susan Howatch

Well, that was unexpected.  (Not.)

 

 

Two of the main characters have just died

 

(spoiler show)

 

... and all I can think is, cool, we finally should be able to wrap things up now.

 

Seriously, this book has not aged well.

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text 2018-10-16 14:32
Reading progress update: I've read 33%.
The Waiting Sands - Susan Howatch

Not the edition I'm reading, but by far the most atmospheric cover of all the editions on BL.

 

I don't like either of the men -- if I'm not supposed to, job well done, Ms. Howatch.  If I am supposed to like one or all of them (or even find them intriguing) ... I guess it's a good thing we've moved on since the 1970s.  That said, as a teenager I'd probably have fallen for Daniel.

 

Kyle of Lochalsh. 
Got some photos of my own, too -- will have to look for them later.

And I'm pretty sure Roshven is inspired by Eilean Donan Castle ... which, after all, also figures in everything from James Bond to the Highlander movie (and which in reality isn't half as ancient as it is conveniently made to look).

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review 2018-10-15 14:59
A useful introduction, but one lacking in broader analysis
Women and Achievement in Nineteenth-Century Europe - Linda L. Clark

For women living in the West, the nineteenth century was one of considerable achievement. Though most lived lives defined by gender norms enshrined by class and tradition, a determined few sought to breach the barriers before them to gain greater opportunities across a variety of fields. This effort and its accomplishments is the subject of Linda Clark's book. In a series of chapters she surveys women's advancements across professions dominated by men, from the creative fields of art, literature and music to the increasingly professional realms of education, law and medicine. Though their numbers were limited, Clark credits them with making possible the careers of the hundreds, then thousands, of women who followed them in subsequent decades, making possible the opportunities heretofore denied them.

 

Clark's book is an informative account of the campaigns for women's rights at a pivotal point in European history. Her focus is almost exclusively on women at the upper ends of society, which is understandable as they were the ones with the means to wage such efforts. Yet their more clearly delineated lives can hamper her text, as at several points her text becomes little more than a series of biographies of remarkable individuals, with little in  the way of analysis that draws out broader conclusions. This focus on the specific rather than the general extends to her coverage of national restrictions; while an understandable approach, rarely does she break from this to offer any overarching assessment that justifies such a Europe-wide approach. This makes her book a useful introduction, but one that leaves readers to draw their own conclusions as to the broader factors behind the march of women towards greater rights and equality of opportunity in the West.

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review 2018-10-14 23:21
City of Brass
The City of Brass - S.A. Chakraborty

First, I would like to say I am glad I had someone read this to me, because some of these names, locations and titles were incomprehensible to me.

 

Now, as for the story, I loved the imagery. The vibrant world and history. But I found this plot wordy and dense. And when it was over, I was also left with a whole lot of unanswered questions. It seemed the plot meandered and snaked, which wouldn't normally be bad. But in this case, I felt like sometimes it forgot what it was trying to convey.

 

The characters were at least varied. We had the leading man, the womanizing secretly gay prince, the uptight warrior, the political king, the snobby princess. This book covered the whole gamete. 

 

If there is a second in this series, I don't know if I will bother with it. 

 

Edit: This is a trilogy. The second is called The Kingdom of Copper, and from the blurb I'm not interested much at all.

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review 2018-10-12 17:49
True Historical Horror
But You Did Not Come Back: A Memoir - Marceline Loridan-Ivens,Sandra Smith,Judith Perrignon
Marceline, was taken to a camp with her father when she was just 16. She writes of her nightmare, her community, her country, her family, but mostly the effect of losing her father and his dreams in such a way. Her painful memories that never diminished, while everyone kept telling her to just forget. Those who did not walk in her skin could never fully understand their bond and the cost of the break.
This is her story a feel of what being in her skin felt like during and after the war. Her life was forever altered and never safe and free. The story is beautiful, her words direct and full of heartbreak. I finished it still wishing he might come home. This war left few happy ever after stories. I will never forget her
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