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review 2019-10-14 00:36
Sometimes, you just know . . .
Radioactive: Marie and Pierre Curie, A Tale of Love and Fallout - Lauren Redniss

Sometimes, I have to think for a while -- or a long while -- about how I would "rate" a book. And sometimes, I just know as soon as I close the cover. 


Today was one of those days. This "graphic history" hit my emotional, intellectual, and artistic buttons in all the right ways, and as soon as I closed the back cover, I knew: Five stars. 


Highly recommend. Read it all in one sitting, for best effect. My time was about 1:45, so if you have time for a movie, you have time for this one. 



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review 2017-02-03 04:10
The Chosen - Chaim Potok


Chiam Potok

Hardcover, 416 pages
Published November 1st 2016 by Simon & Schuster (first published 1967)

ISBN13: 9781501142475


I have liked everything that I have read so far of Chaim Potok. The Chosen was the first I read, and I definitely enjoyed it again. What made this even better than reading it the first time was all the back material, photos, new forward, and more that was included in this 50th anniversary collection. Some of this back info was written by Potok himself. As a Christian reading this, I found it interesting to read about the Jewish faith. I find that Potok, while using the characters' faith as a part of the story, still allows the coming of age story, the friendship of and the struggles of each as individuals to be the main subjects of the story line. His main characters are well drawn and complex. I would definitely recommend this book.

****I received this book from Simon and Schuster through Goodreads' First Reads Giveaway.****


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review 2016-09-10 09:15
What the Eye Hears: A History of Tap Dancing - Brian Seibert


Brian Siebert

Hardcover, 624 pages
Published November 17th 2015 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
ISBN: 0865479534 (ISBN13: 9780865479531)

also available for Kindle and ebook.


Seibert has magnificently researched Tap;  starting with original steps brought in with Irish Jigs, African Drums, and Appalachian Clogging in very early American society, then through Thomas Jefferson's plantation, Charles Dicken's visit to the Five Pointes Dance Hall, and more. He wonderfully brings us through the minstrelsy, the jazz age, to Taps comeback with television, then movies and Broadway. Seibert leaves nothing out, making this a long book (624 pages). He includes some great photos throughout. the book is definitely an entertaining read while giving us, the readers, a remarkable view at a true piece of American history. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who dances, enjoys music, and wants to learn more.

****I received this book in a Goodreads giveaway from Farrar, Straus and Giroux in exchange for a fair review.****

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review 2016-05-19 04:39
American-Born Chinese
American Born Chinese - Gene Luen Yang

This National Book Award finalist YA graphic novel explores the ideas of the American Dream for immigrants and their children, who might not meet some of the parameters. Three seemingly separate stories—of Monkey from the ancient tale Monkey: The Journey to the West; of Jin, the son of immigrants; and of Chin Kee, every offensive stereotype rolled into one--all connect at the end.

I wonder how many of the people who pick up this book are even familiar with Monkey and his journey to the west (which I do really need to finish, though at this point I also need to start over). I wonder if I am missing something important in this story because I do not know his well enough.

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text 2015-06-06 07:17
Citizen: An American Lyric - Claudia Rankine

I have decided I need to read more poetry. Poetry is a huge, gaping hole for me. I know little. I struggle with it. Sometimes I find poetry that I love (Langston Hughes was a revelation).


Claudine Rankine's Citizen is my first book in my poetry resolution, so to speak. I have heard of this, and heard it was left off the Pulitzer poetry short list.


This is an excellent, and important, work. I personally was struck by the first section. The personal experiences related in a more prose-like form. But these stories are so relatable, because I have seen them. When I am at Smart and Final, I am not asked if I am paying with EBT. And then there is my neighborhood facebook group. I have come so close to leaving it, but instead commiserate with my Latina, white, and black friends who are also on the group (because we all live here, admittedly in the "less prestigious" aka "more diverse and not as crazy expensive" part of the neighborhood) about how offensive some of these people are. But that is several other infuriating stories. But the heartache and pain Rankine describes is real.


The later sections—in more typical poetry forms—were tougher for me. I do remember the incidents, but it took some reading. And it is worth noting that though this is subtitled "An American Lyric", both London and the World Cup put in an appearance. Because these issues are NOT American alone.


The amount of the Zidane section I read before finally figuring out the formatting is embarrassing. Me struggling with poetry.


I would love to know why the large sans serif font was chosen—is it meant to represent truth? Strength? Nakedness? Anything?


I regularly am told "I didn't see you!" by men, always older than me, who attempt to cut in front of me in line. I have always assumed it was because, as a woman, I am invisible or simply not important to them. Or they figure I have nothing better to be doing, while they do. Rankine believes this happening to her is due to her race. I assume gender. Perhaps it happens to men too? Are there really that many stupid/clueless/asshole-ish people out there?

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