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LibraryCin

LibraryCin

Joined March 2018

I read just about everything. Love cats (I volunteer with them, too), and dancing (right now, bellydance and contra dance).
review
LibraryCin
Last Winter | Carrie Mac
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Mehso-so

It took me a long time to get into the book. It was hard to follow for the first bit of the book, as there were a lot of characters I had trouble keeping straight. There were also a couple of shifts in time that I struggled with. Fiona was extremely unlikable; I guess I should try to have more sympathy, but it‘s hard when she won‘t take her mediation. But, the book really picked up in the second half as the avalanche hit, along with the aftermath.

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LibraryCin
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Mehso-so

This was interesting and so very sad. I didn‘t rate it higher, though, as I did lose interest occasionally. That might have been due to other things on my mind, I‘m not sure.

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LibraryCin
Insomnia | Stephen King
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Panpan

I listened to the audio, and the audio was ok; I guess I lost interest periodically, but I don‘t think it was the narrator or the audio at fault. This is one of, if not the, book I‘ve rated the lowest by King (of what I‘ve read, which is quite a bit), as he is one of my favourite authors. There were parts that I “liked” (or at least found more interesting), like the domestic abuse situation, but much of it just didn‘t interest me.

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LibraryCin
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Mehso-so

This is a continuation of “The Space Between Us” by the same author. Despite this being a sequel (and although I have), I don‘t think you need to have read the first book to read this one. The bits you need to know are told to you in this story (good thing, because I wouldn‘t have remembered any of it!). I liked this. Cont in comments...

LibraryCin It‘s not fast paced, but it‘s a nice story of friendship. With the way it ended, I feel like there is a possibility for another continuation (with a different focus). If another book came out with these characters, I would read it. 2mo
11 likes1 comment
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LibraryCin
The Family Upstairs | Lisa Jewell
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Mehso-so

The story is told from three different points of view, one of them narrating what happened 25 years ago before “the baby” (Libby) and the three dead people were found. It took me quite a while to figure out all the characters and although it wasn‘t overtly mentioned how the characters were related until later in the story, I did eventually figure it out. Cont in comments...

LibraryCin That being said, to get there took wading through figuring out a bunch of other characters, too. I have to admit the first half of the story wasn‘t nearly as interesting as the second half, likely because it took me so long to figure out all the characters. I would probably give the second half a bit higher rating than I‘m rating it overall. 2mo
13 likes1 comment
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LibraryCin
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Pickpick

I found the first half, with all the medicine and treatments and trying to hold her relationship together much more interesting than her road trip. The most interesting person (for me) she met on the road trip was the man on death row in Texas. He wrote to her early on in her cancer journey, and the parallels were really surprising to me. Something that scared me about the book was how much support and help she needed throughout.

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LibraryCin
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Mehso-so

It‘s short, but it has some nice (colour) illustrations, some of them coloured in so dark to represent the lack of visibility during the storms. There were even a few things I didn‘t know about (or if I‘ve read about them (this is likely) I‘d forgotten – like the electric charges in the air). There were even a couple of real photographs included at the end, but not only 1 from a 1935 storm, but one from 2011, as well.

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LibraryCin
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Pickpick

Gortner does a really good job of historical fiction from the viewpoint of a woman. I upped my rating in the last ¼ of the book or so, after Lucrezia married her second husband, whom she loved. The afterword goes a bit further into history after where the book leaves off so we know what happened to all the major players in the book, in addition to talking a bit about the author‘s research.

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LibraryCin
The Ophelia Cut: A Novel | John Lescroart
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Mehso-so

I liked the bulk of the storyline and it picked up in the second half during the trial, I thought. However, I found all the characters a bit confusing (there were a lot of them!), and they sometimes referred to them by first name, sometimes last name, sometimes a nickname. It was hard to figure out who was who and how they were related to one another in a lot of cases. Cont in comments...

LibraryCin It was only when I finished the book that I discovered this part of a series (in fact, it‘s #14!). So that probably explains some (unfinished) storylines. 2mo
5 likes1 comment
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LibraryCin
Book Clubbed | Lorna Barrett
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Mehso-so

I liked this one. I really enjoy many of the characters in this series, though there are definitely some odd “ducks” in the crowd! Tricia‘s (current lack of) love life is a bit creepy, though, as two former suitors are still interested and trying to win her back. This series is just as much about the characters and their relationships as the mysteries themselves. There was one extra worrisome (and surprising) bit in the book toward the end.

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LibraryCin
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Mehso-so

As for the audio book, it was read by the author herself and she did a great job; it held my interest. As with many anti-racist books, there are some things that are hard to hear and (as a white woman), it‘s sometimes hard to wrap my head around some of the horrible experiences of people of colour. I think I‘m also lucky that I work in a female-dominated profession

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LibraryCin
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Pickpick

As interesting as I found all of these stories as I read them, they do read like short stories, so by the end, I have already forgotten details of the earlier stories in the book. Even so, I was certainly very interested and very much “enjoyed” reading the stories. Many of the women killed via poison, but not all. There were a few very cruel women included (that is, they killed by other cruel ways); cont in comments...

LibraryCin the two that immediately come to mind were both nobility in their respective countries and time periods. I really liked the author‘s writing style, and she even injected a bit of humour at times. I also liked that the author was also able to find out personal information on these women, not just information about the murders they committed. 2mo
9 likes1 comment
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LibraryCin
Lake House | Marci Nault
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Mehso-so

I liked this. It didn‘t move quickly, but I honestly didn‘t really notice that about it until the end. I liked the relationships Heather ended up having with some of her neighbours and how those evolved (as well as the relationship with the grandson of one of the neighbours).

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LibraryCin
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Mehso-so

Every time she mentioned a scene or some dialogue or a song, I was able to easily picture it in my head. So it was fun to learn of so much that happened behind the scenes. At 21, but playing one of the children, Charmian was sort of between the adult and child actors on the set. She was primarily very positive with things she said about the people and the making of the movie. But there were a few little things. Cont in comments...

LibraryCin But I really think she is sincere in how much making the movie meant to her. So I did learn a few things about Christopher Plummer (Chris) and Julie Andrews, as well. There was a chapter near the end that told more of the actual von Trapp family and their real story, since so much of the movie was fictionalized; that was very interesting.
2mo
7 likes1 comment
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LibraryCin
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Pickpick

The start of this book pulled me right in. It did go back and forth in time between Alice and her crew there for five days filming and back in time to the townspeople and what went on at the time. It did slow down for a while with some set-up, but it picked up again. Creepy… those isolated buildings just left with stuff still on the table, etc. It was all so sudden.

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LibraryCin
Hour of the Witch | Chris Bohjalian
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Mehso-so

This was good. It felt slow-moving even though we got to Mary‘s petition for divorce fairly early on in the book, but of course, this wasn‘t the entirety of the story. There were a couple of twists toward the end. I found the bit about the forks interesting – that is, they were a new item and people looked on them suspiciously. I had no idea! I did like the book, but there are others by the author that I‘ve liked better.

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LibraryCin
Woman at 1,000 Degrees: A Novel | Hallgrimur Helgason
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Mehso-so

There were a few amusing parts, I thought, including Herra calling the local crematorium to make an appointment for her own cremation! Initially I found her current day situation more interesting, but as things progressed during the war, I liked those parts better. She wasn‘t a very likable woman, though that wasn‘t necessarily the case when she was younger. Although she also wasn‘t treated very well by her three sons nor their wives.

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LibraryCin
Pop Goes the Weasel | James Patterson
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Pickpick

I really liked this one. Although it got really frustrating with the diplomatic immunity. I don‘t understand the why of that… people with diplomatic immunity can just go murder people in other countries and are not able to be punished for it? I just don‘t get it! Maybe (in reality) it‘s not quite that simple?

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LibraryCin
Paper: An Elegy | Ian Sansom
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Mehso-so

The intro started off really interesting, also taking us through a day without paper. The rest of the book – though it had some interesting tidbits -- just wasn‘t quite as good. There was a lot of references to literature and art, and that kind of lost my interest there. Overall, though, I‘m rating it “ok”, but I feel like that might be a bit generous.

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LibraryCin
The Innocents | Michael Crummey
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Panpan

I listened to the audio. It was slow-moving and I couldn‘t get interested, though the Newfoundland accents and phrases are fun. I missed much of what happened in the book, but I didn‘t really care, either. I‘m not sure how old the kids were when their parents died and not sure how old they were at the end of the book, either. It was a bit ugly as they became teenagers with no one else around, though. Cont in comments...

LibraryCin When I saw this book was nominated for a few awards, that explained it for me (my not liking it). 2mo
8 likes1 comment
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LibraryCin
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Pickpick

I thought this was really good. It pulled me in quickly and I wanted to know what was going on. Of course, there are a few twists and turns along the way. And I constantly wondered what to believe of Lila. She‘s very cold, not very likable. Parts of the story are also from the point of view of Ginny, the lead investigator into Aaron‘s disappearance. The two women are both very smart and tough

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LibraryCin
Midnight Sun | Meyer
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Mehso-so

This was pretty slow-moving (as was the original, I believe), and I didn‘t think this one was as good, but it was interesting from the other point of view. I know some people found Edward‘s stalking of Bella creepy, but I didn‘t see it that way in the original. Cont in comments...

LibraryCin It really stood out from Edward‘s POV, though, since we could now see how often he really did watch her! The book really didn‘t pick up much until the baseball game, but things moved quickly after that. I sure don‘t like Rosalie! I listened to the audio and, overall, I‘m rating it good 2mo
8 likes1 comment
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LibraryCin
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Pickpick

In the first half, I found his personal life more interesting than his work/political life. But the second half really picked up for me. I found his time as a prisoner the most interesting part of the book. He (and the other political prisoners) managed to continue to fight as much as they could from within the prison walls. He really was an amazing man, but sadly his family life suffered for everything he did for the people of South Africa

11 likes1 stack add
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LibraryCin
The Testaments: A Novel | Margaret Atwood
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Pickpick

The audio and it was really good! The actress who plays Aunt Lydia in the tv show also narrated the character‘s storyline in “The Testaments”. Although I loved the audio, and would recommend it for those who listen to audio books, it was harder to tell Agnes and Daisy apart, especially when the storylines converged; earlier in the book, you can tell by the other characters and what is happening around them. Cont in comments...

LibraryCin The narrators are different and their voices are different, but I still couldn‘t remember which voice was who. BUT that did not detract from how much I liked the book. I also liked an added bit (can‘t recall if it‘s called such, but it‘s an epilogue) at the very end. I‘ve read “The Handmaid‘s Tale” twice and I liked this one quite a bit more 2mo
rwmg We're discussing it in my book club meeting tomorrow (Saturday)
2mo
Kristelh I liked this one better too 2mo
See All 6 Comments
LibraryCin @rwmg curious what the rest of your book club thought. 2mo
rwmg Lots of discussion relating it to current events. We are all of an age that we grew up with the idea that the world in general was getting better and better socially, and this was a realistic salutary reminder that this isn't necessarily so. Some found the multiple narrators confusing but one member who has problems getting through the assigned books in a month read “The Testaments“ in less than a week. 2mo
LibraryCin @rwmg thx, sounds like a good discussion. 2mo
15 likes6 comments
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LibraryCin
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Mehso-so

There was more on the technical equipment/aspects of the investigation than I‘m really interested in, but I appreciate that it was described so readers can get a better idea. There were some creepy things going on! I wasn‘t crazy about Stephen and Evelyn‘s relationship with Stephen now being a professor and Evelyn a student. Cont in comments...

LibraryCin I didn‘t find the “relationship” very interesting, even without the professor/student dynamic. I did like Elizabeth‘s story and how the place came to be haunted. The end did indicate that there might be a sequel, and I liked it enough to read the next book if there is one 2mo
7 likes1 comment
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LibraryCin
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Mehso-so

I thought this was a good story, but be warned that it is quite violent. It is frustrating to “watch” Patty not even try to get away from her abuser, but from what I hear that‘s not completely inaccurate. At first I couldn‘t figure out where William and Maggie fit into the story, but I figured it would eventually make sense, and it did.

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LibraryCin
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Panpan

It was pretty slow-going and I was bored so I skimmed some of the book. A little girl “the Count” met, Nina, was slightly interesting for a very short time. Later on, Sofia was occasionally interesting. The book gets the extra ¼ star for the ending, but for the most part, nothing happened and it was boring. I realize my opinion does not agree with most.

Ruthiella I didn‘t like his debut, which is also very popular, so I‘ve shied away from reading anything else. 2mo
BarbaraBB @Ruthiella This one is much better I thought! 2mo
rwmg @BarbaraBB I agree. It was a struggle getting through “Rules of Civility“ but I really enjoyed this one (which fortunately I read first). My book club's first choice for 2023 is “The Lincoln Highway“, which I must admit I'm eyeing with some trepidation. 2mo
LibraryCin @Ruthiella @BarbaraBB @rwmg i didnt like rules of civility eitg 2mo
LibraryCin *either 2mo
11 likes5 comments
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LibraryCin
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Pickpick


I really enjoyed this one, as well. It feels like not as much happened in this one as in some of the others, but we followed the seasons through a few more years as Laura (and Mary) grow up and are branching out on their own. I found it interesting that she could go back and forth between teaching and being a student. Obviously she didn‘t need to finish school to become a teacher. I really do love the descriptions of the prairie and the weather.

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LibraryCin
Shades of Grey | Clea Simon
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Mehso-so

It was good. Nothing really special, I didn't think, but it was good. It went into a little more detail than I was interested in with the English lit thesis stuff, but other than that, I liked it. I guess it's the first in a new series, and I probably won't seek out the next one, but if I come across it or it works for a group read or game, I might pick it up.

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LibraryCin
Ashfall | Mike Mullin
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Pickpick

This was really good. It drew me in right away. I thought the author did a really good job of the descriptions – of the noise, of the dark... It‘s scary the kinds of things people will do following a disaster like this. Some of the people Alex comes across are helpful, but many are not. I believe this is a trilogy, so it didn‘t fully finish. There was a short author‘s note at the end, as well, to talk about this kind of potential disaster

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LibraryCin
Annabel | Lauren Oliver
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Mehso-so

I don‘t remember much of the rest of the series, and this one is so short, it‘s hard to fill in the blanks with anything to refresh my awful memory. Overall the story was ok, but I would have liked to be able to fit it in with the rest of the series better. Plus, it didn‘t really end, but this was meant to be .5 in the series, so set before the first book, so maybe the first book followed up? I don‘t recall

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LibraryCin
Dance of Death | Douglas J Preston
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Mehso-so

I‘m not sure I really liked any of the characters in this one. However, I do like that so many of the characters come back from previous books. Characters that initially don‘t seem connected (or maybe that‘s just my fuzzy memory!). There was a twist near the end and the epilogue set up the next book in the series. I did like this enough to continue the series.

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LibraryCin
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Mehso-so

I listened to the audio and did miss parts. What I heard more of, I would rate “good”. But it‘s unfortunate I missed the stuff I did as I got distracted from listening. I do feel like I might have taken in more if I‘d read it. I don‘t think I‘d previously read as much of the aftermath as this book included, not just in the surrounding areas but about the people after everything died down. I did like that the narrator also read the footnotes

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LibraryCin
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Pickpick

Wow! First a bit of advice – don‘t read the chapter that describes the murders close to bedtime! It was terrifying and violent. With one of the authors having been there and the oral histories given by her brother who was also there and a couple of other people who tried to help, all put together, you get an awful feeling of being hunted (as I‘m sure both Margaret and Brian felt)! Cont in comments...

LibraryCin That being said, I am a fan of true crime, and I do like biographies, so all put together, a very very good book. And murders I had never heard of before this. 4mo
12 likes1 comment
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LibraryCin
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Mehso-so

This was good. The initial crash brought me in and although the memories initially weren‘t as interesting, I found it picked up a bit when Georgie got married, so I liked the second half of the story better. I also liked the comparisons to “Lilibet‘s” (Queen Elizabeth‘s) life and the little royal tidbits brought in that way. Cont in comments...

LibraryCin I thought it was amusing that all the women in Georgie‘s family had names that shortened into “male” names: Phil, Fred (she had an Aunt and Uncle Fred when her Aunt Fred married a Fred), Grand Dan… (ok, not quite all, but most) 4mo
11 likes1 comment
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LibraryCin
Hamnet | Maggie O'Farrell
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Mehso-so

I didn‘t like the characters. I found it hard to follow at the start: who was who and how are they connected to each other? I wasn‘t a fan of the writing style: everything felt detached to me – maybe this is why I didn‘t like the characters? Why oh why did we need to include the magical realism (did NOT like that at all!): cont in comments...

LibraryCin in addition to Agnes‘s (the mother‘s) foresight, which wasn‘t bad, there was another part that changed a huge part of the story, and I thought it was stupid! I feel like with everything I didn‘t like, I should rate it lower, but I am rating it ok, based on the story itself 4mo
18 likes1 comment
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LibraryCin
Little Red House | Liv Andersson
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Pickpick

Really good; pulled me in quickly and kept me wanting to read to find out what was going on. I‘ve read a lot of mystery-thrillers the past couple of years and sometimes they have blended into one another. This one will stand out in my memory. Have to say that Eve sure was a hateful character – both in 1997 and in Connie‘s memories as she looks back on how Eve treated her.

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LibraryCin
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Pickpick

The book also goes into detail about Birute‘s personal life. I‘ve read lots about Jane Goodall and Dian Fossey, but except for one graphic novel that included all three, this is the first I‘ve read about Birute. Her book alternates chapters between some of the orangutans and the other topics in the book (though, of course, they all overlap). Very good book, but know that there is a lot more to this one than “just” the animals.

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LibraryCin
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Pickpick

I liked this better than the first one. It‘s been a while since I read the first, but I think there were some parts where I was bored, I lost interest. That did not happen at all in this one. I liked (most of) the characters and even the ones I didn‘t like made for an interesting story. There is also a lot of prejudices, racism, and sexism, along with a lot of conflict, but it‘s a tight space shared for a long time. I really liked this one

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LibraryCin
The Virgin Queen's Daughter | Ella March Chase
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Mehso-so

I listened to the audio and did lose interest a number of times. Unfortunately, for some reason, although historical fiction used to be one of my favourite genres, it doesn‘t always grab me like it used to. Also, Elizabeth has never been my favourite historical person to read about. I‘m not sure what it is (or isn‘t) about her, but books abour her don‘t usually catch my interest for long.

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LibraryCin
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Pickpick

Leah‘s career brought her in contact with other celebrity Scientologists and so the two topics are entwined. I did find some of her stories of her acting and tv life interesting. It was frustrating, angering, and sad for Leah as she learned of more and more transgressions of higher authorities in the church. Cont in comments...

LibraryCin She never did find out where the wife of the leader disappeared to after years of hearing nothing from a woman Leah had considered a friend (and it appears that is still unknown). 5mo
11 likes1 stack add1 comment
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LibraryCin
How to Pronounce Knife: Stories | Souvankham Thammavongsa
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Mehso-so

I enjoyed the stories as I read them, so I‘m giving this a “good” rating, but like with the majority of short stories I read, I forget them. Even by the end of the (short) book, I have forgotten most of the stories. I give plenty of short story collections an “ok” rating, since I usually find they vary – I like some, but not others – but these (even listening on audio) were almost all ones I liked.

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LibraryCin
Royal Blood | Rhys Bowen
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Pickpick

There is to be a lot going on in this one, but I loved the setting at the castle in Transylvania and the slightly gothic atmosphere of it. I really enjoyed some of the secondary characters (and I do like Georgie, too), but what a hopeless case Queenie is! In addition to the gothic atmosphere, there was humour scattered throughout the book. I thought I might like this best of the series so far, but it looks like I also rated the 2nd book the same.

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LibraryCin
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Pickpick

Wow, crazy! It floors me that people would do something like this to begin with, but then to become so brainwashed as to think it was helping as they slowly starved to death. All very interesting. And this really happened!

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LibraryCin
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Mehso-so

I listened to the audio. The first half didn‘t catch my attention all that much; it was pretty slow moving. It picked up in the second half, though. I really did not like Mia. I‘m not sure there were any characters I liked, actually. I would have rated the first half “ok” at 3 stars, and wanted to up it to 3.5 stars due to the second half, but I dropped my rating just a touch as I was very unhappy with one of the things that happened near the end.

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LibraryCin
Iced: Fever Series | Karen Marie Moning
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Mehso-so

I didn‘t find that the author did much in the way of recap, or what she did do wasn‘t enough to really help me remember what was going on or who was who. The new storyline I found interesting. I thought I liked Dani as a secondary character in the other books, but I didn‘t like her much in this one. And all those horny men after a 14-year old!? Ugh! I am still rating it ok.

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LibraryCin
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly | Jean-Dominique Bauby
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Panpan

It makes sense that the book was short and the chapters were short given how difficult and how much time it must have taken to “write” this book. The chapters read like little essays. I found his ordeal much more interesting than the chapters on his dreams or reminiscences – those just seemed to ramble and I found them boring. I like the idea of the book, and it‘s incredible that he was able to do it at all, but it wasn‘t very interesting to me.

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LibraryCin
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Pickpick

This was really interesting and I was impressed how, with very little information she was able to dig deeper, particularly into statistics, to find that most of the stats in the media accounts are flawed. That is, one of the first peer reviewed articles (which, of course, was then cited in later peer reviewed articles) that did find that pit bulls caused the most deaths was based on flawed stats. Cont in comments...

LibraryCin I‘m impressed with this book and the amount of research that went into it. 6mo
8 likes1 comment
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LibraryCin
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Mehso-so

I enjoyed her chapters about her family and relationships more than the partying/student life. The book read sort of like essays. Eternity brought in some stats to go along with her own experiences. I found the stats easier to swallow, and of course, she went through what she went through, but I questioned some of her generalizations about white people; many of the “stereotypes”, black or white, she mentioned were things I had never heard of.

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LibraryCin
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Pickpick

Wow! Don‘t read the chapter that describes the murders close to bedtime! It was terrifying and violent. With one of the authors having been there and the oral histories given by her brother who was also there and a couple of other people who tried to help, all put together, you get an awful feeling of being hunted! I am a fan of true crime, and I do like biographies, so all together, a very good book. And murders I had never heard of before this.