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text 2018-12-30 01:18
Reading progress update: I've read 511 out of 792 pages.
Three Novels of the Early 1960s: The Zebra-Striped Hearse / The Chill / The Far Side of the Dollar - Ross Macdonald

I finished the second novel today, and it was amazing. Starting on the third in the collection, with a complete review to follow when I'm done with it.

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review 2018-12-12 16:13
SEASON'S READINGS Santa's On His Way anthology

 

 
 
Santa's on His WaySanta's On His Way anthology
By Lisa Jackson, Maisey Yates, Stacy Finz, Nicole Helm

What the Cowboy Wants for Christmas: Maisey YatesMeg, Charlie, and Noah all met as teens living in the same foster home. Meg fell instantly in love with Charlie for the last thirteen years she's waited for him, waited to be old enough, waited for him to get a good job, waited for him to come home from New York but this year she decided to stop waiting especially after finding him in bed with another woman. Noah has been a constant in Meg's life and has been in love with her for just as long and finally this year is the year he has his chance to finally show Meg how he feels.

Overall, it was a really nice and steamy read with lots of emotion. Meg looks back on her life and sees things differently than she use too and once she gets all that figured out everything falls into place.

Snowed In: Stacy Finz
My favorite of the book! I absolutely love Glory Junction. As soon as I read in the last Glory Junction book the animosity between Rachel and Boden I knew this was going to be great. Rachel Johnson left her big city corporate lawyer job to pursue her dream of being a baker. Now she owns a fantastic bakery and is looking to expand and she knows just the place. Boden Farmer turned the tired old bar into a gastro pub and he has plans to expand himself but in the meantime he's working the bar for parties which brings him in close proximity to Rachel. They are both prepping for the Christmas Day wedding when they get snowed in. With no distractions standing in their way they finally drop their walls low enough to let each other in but their is still the matter that they both want the same location for their business.

Overall, I loved this one. It's a quick and easy read with funny situations and loveable characters. Rachel has been burned once before so she's hesitant to let anyone else in it takes a grand gesture from Boden to show her he's worth the risk. 

A Cowboy Wedding for Christmas: Nicole Helm
Lindsay Tyler dreamed of leaving her hometown behind and she did she left after high school and vowed never to come back. Cal Barton thought he was enough for Lindsay, that she would stay for him and when she left town she broke his heart. After six years of living life on her own Lindsay is homesick she's had her time to grow up and discover who she really is and that person belongs with her family. When her brother gets engaged and she comes home for the wedding she's staying home for good. Now she just has to make it through the wedding at Cal's Christmas Tree Ranch without falling back in love with him.

Overall, this was a nice emotional read about how sometimes to need to be apart and discover who you are away from the comforts of home to really appreciate the place where you belong. 

A Baby For Christmas: Lisa Jackson
1995 Annie McFarlane is newly divorced when her husband's girlfriend ends up pregnant. After discovering she may never be able to conceive and then her husband leaving Annie was having a horrible year. 1996 Liam O'Shaughnessy needs to find the real killer of his boss before he gets convicted of murder his only lead is the woman who claimed she saw him there but she's disappeared but he's found her sister. Annie found solace in a small house in the middle of nowhere looking after an older couple ranch. Her plan was to stay a few more days before going to visit her brother and his family but late one night she discovers a baby on her front step with a note "For you Annie". The next night Liam shows up at her door claiming the baby is his and demands to know where her sister, the baby's mother, is but Annie has no idea and with a blizzard blowing in they are stuck together to work it out.
 
Overall, this one fell short. I love Lisa Jackson's older stuff and this feels like it's only half a book. It feels like there is so much missing from this story. I love the idea of it and the plot and if there is a full version of this story out there I want to read it but this as is is lacking.   

 
 

 

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review 2018-11-07 14:23
ARC REVIEW Highland Wolf by Hannah Howell

Highland Wolf (Murray Family, #15)

 

The Murrays #15, Originally published in '07 this edition has a new cover, I love the new cover. I liked this one more than the last Howell book I read. This one was just fine to pick up and read even though I haven't read the first 14 books. I truly enjoyed how this one played out and the characters were well written. Three years ago James Drummond was accused of murdering his wife; cast as an outlaw he went into hiding biding his time before he can come back prove his innocence and claim his land and his daughter. Annora MacKay the poor relation who was born on the wrong side of the sheets was moved Dunncraig Keep to take care of her cousin's daughter. 

Donnell MacKay is a selfish brute of a man who worries more about fancy living than the tenants of the Keep and village, his second is no better. Annora knows something is not right with Donnell's story and even though he tries to alienate her from the rest of the people they still like her and trust her more than they like Donnell. James needed access inside the keep to search for proof that he was framed. Under the disguise of a French woodcarver he easily gains entrance. With the help of Big Berta, the cook, James starts his search but Annora is there to tempt him. Once Annora finds out the truth about James she starts to help which pays off for they soon discover the truth but they still need concrete proof for the King's man to take action against Donnell. Their timetable is forced to move up when Donnell announces that Annora has to marry his second in command. James having already fallen in love with her won't let that happen.

 

Overall, it was a good read. I liked the characters and the plot. The romance between James and Annora pretty much instintaneous the sparks flew and by the time they gave in the chemistry between was combustible. Meggie, James' daughter, was adorable and wise beyond her years. Big Berta is a force to be reckoned with. It had a heartwarming and funny ending.  

 

 

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review 2018-07-03 09:15
 Zebra w barze, czyli Polak potrafi - Jacek Ślusarczyk

W dniu dzisiejszym chciałabym podzielić się z Wami opinią o książce, która jakiś czas temu ukazała się nakładem Wydawnictwa Alegoria. Jest to drugie wydanie powieści autorstwa Jacka Ślusarczyka „Zebra w barze… czyli Polak potrafi”. Głównymi bohaterami powieści są trzej młodzi mężczyźni, którzy poznają się tuż przed wyjazdem na praktyki rolnicze do Nowego Jorku, dzieje się to na przełomie lat 70tych i 80-tych.

Filip, Daniel i Jędrek ze względu na wykształcenie lub to czym parają się w życiu otrzymali od autora adekwatne pseudonimy i tak z każdą przeczytaną stroną poznajemy coraz bliżej perypetie Filozofa, Doktora i Mamuśki.

Obserwujemy ich zmagania z życiem na emigracji, które jak się okazuje nie jest jedynie kolorowym i słodkim zagranicznym snem. Jak w każdej przysłowiowej beczce miodu znajduje się również łyżka dziegciu… Śledząc perypetie bohaterów uświadamiamy sobie, że owych „łyżek” jest nawet znacznie więcej niż tylko jedna…

Niemniej jednak nie sposób pominąć także faktu, iż troje przyjaciół podczas pobytu na obczyźnie nabywa też wiele nowych, pozytywnych doświadczeń, które według mnie sporo uczą ich zarówno o sobie samych, jak również o ich wzajemnych relacjach. Ludzie, z którymi styka ich los są dla bohaterów często jedynymi w swoim rodzaju „lekcjami”, dzięki nim otwierają się oni coraz bardziej na nieznany im dotąd świat oraz odmienne od rodzimych ludzkie mentalności.

Atutem powieści jest spora dawka zdrowej ironii i sarkazmu, jakie niekiedy aż kipią z kart tej książki. Zaznaczyć należy też fakt, że chociaż na pierwszy rzut oka wykreowane przez autora postacie są dosyć mocno karykaturalne to, gdy przyjrzymy się im bliżej nabierają zupełnie innego charakteru. Okazuje się, że pod  pozorem groteskowości Jacek Ślusarczyk ukazuje człowieka, który próbuje odnaleźć się na zupełnie obcym dla niego terenie, w nieznanym środowisku. Istotę ludzką zmagającą się z lękami i obawami, ale jednocześnie pełną wiary w marzenia, skrywanych pragnień oraz nadziei na ich spełnienie.

Jeśli macie więc ochotę na nietuzinkową i wymagającą od czytelnika odrobiny przymrużenia oka lekturę to „Zebra w barze…” będzie dla Was strzałem w dziesiątkę!

 * https://www.facebook.com/Ksiazkowoczyta *

http://ksiazkowoczyta.blogspot.com/2018/07/ameryka-gwiazdzisty-sztandar-czujesz.html

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review 2018-04-14 13:28
Call Me Zebra - what is my role in my miserly, ill-fated life?
Call Me Zebra - Oloomi, Azareen Van der Vliet

First of all, I need to tell everyone who plans to read this that the audiobook is painful - not figuratively but literally. It hurt my ears. The voice is sharp and barking, which is perfect for the character, but my ears couldn't take it, so go with the printed version if you believe anything I have to say.

 

Zebra (formerly Bibi Abbas Abbas Hosseini, AKA "Dame of the Void",) the main character, is quite a challenge, though she knows it so that makes her a bit more bearable. She's a nut, but a good nut. Zebra  was born, quite literally, in a library among the books in Iran early in the war against Iraq. She is the last in a long line of autodidacts, all of whom pledge to “Love nothing except literature.” As an exile or refugee, it's hard to live and breathe literature. So they do it through memorization, and Zebra has committed to memory passages from every book imaginable. She takes her commitment to love nothing but literature very seriously, and she has no time to waste on people who don't share her passion for reason, which makes Zebra very alone if not lonely, with only an extremely crotchety bird making her life even more insane and helping to keep the people away.

 

Not only is she alone...perhaps, when she imagines her dead father counseling her against love, she is actually using literature as a defense against all of the crushing aloneness she's experiencing. (She, very reasonably, fears love, but she will never - ever - admit that, so she's built the most literate psychological defense system ever to avoid all the trouble that comes with people. Books are so simple compared to people, I think we can all agree.)

 

Beckett, Blanchod, Borges are her creed. She constantly runs through all the advice she's memorized to reason herself back into the perceived "right" frame of mind. She has to advance the matrix of literature, she has to experience the void to figure out "what is [my] role in my miserly, ill-fated life?"

 

I can relate to a lot of this. I'm sort of well-known in my therapy sessions for assiduously avoiding talk about feelings and other unmeasurable squishy things by citing research and getting very worked up about my theories and plotting studies that must be done NOW. Zebra was a lesson for me in exactly how annoying I am. Zebra is sure she can create a statistical formula for life, for literature, and eventually for love. She is almost sure she's an oracle - the last bastion of hope in a world that forgets all of her important things, like every single quote ever about anything. Sentimentality is bad. Reason and knowledge are good. People are morons and deserve every scolding she gives them. This is what she molds her life around...until she meets Ludo.

"A soul that knows it is loved but does not itself love betrays its sediment; what is at the bottom comes up." -- Nietzsche

So, Zebra has some very basic lessons to learn, and Ludo mostly deals with her running away from him, diving back between the book covers. All the while she stridently barks quotes at the reader until this reader was ready to either submit or give up completely. What I decided to do was set it down for a week and pick it back up. That break was what I needed. It didn't hurt that Zebra herself was in the process of being broken down too. She finally figures out, painfully, that perhaps home and people and love of something other than literature might be worth it. "Had I been waiting in vain for my life to become legible?"

 

As I said, she's a good nut.

 

 

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