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bell7

bell7

Joined March 2018

Librarian and avid reader. I read eclectically but fantasy is my go-to genre.
review
bell7
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Pickpick

Using questions he's received through his website, former NASA roboticist and webcomic artist of xkcd Randall Munroe here answers some outlandish "What ifs". The result is an entertaining Q&A that had me laughing out loud even when I couldn't follow the answer (I never did take physics). The audiobook is narrated by Wil Wheaton, and the book includes humorous stick figure cartoons, so whichever format you choose, you're bound to be entertained.

17 likes1 stack add
blurb
bell7
nightstand reader | Bob Brewer
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The state of my nightstand... All the library books I am reading or want to read soon! Hopefully I'll have a review it two to post after this weekend. 📚📖♥️

Samplergal You are all of us. 😂 4mo
15 likes1 comment
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bell7
The Golem and the Jinni | Helene Wecker
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Pickpick

We meet a golem who was created as the "perfect wife" for her master who then dies, and she has to find her own way in New York City, and a jinn that comes out of a bottle and lives with a Syrian immigrant tinsmith. The two could not be more different, but as two outsiders as magical creatures in a human city they meet and begin a friendship. This delightful story gives a unique take on the immigrant experience in turn of the century NYC.

Avanders I really enjoyed this one ☺️☺️ 5mo
bell7 @Avanders wasn't it grand? Such a great blend of fantastical and historical fiction! 5mo
24 likes2 comments
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bell7
Hairdo | Rachel B. Glaser
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Got a summer haircut and a ponytail to donate!

I honestly have been reading and just forgetting to post books 😂 I'll try to catch up a little on reviews over the next few days.

Texreader Looks great 6mo
bell7 @Texreader thank you! I was excited to go short 😁 6mo
Slajaunie So cute! Love your hair! 6mo
See All 8 Comments
DaveGreen7777 Awww! You are so beautiful! 😊 6mo
sprainedbrain Cute cut! ❤️ 6mo
Lady_Tigana_20 You look great! 6mo
bell7 @Lady_Tigana_20 thanks! 😀 6mo
19 likes8 comments
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bell7
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Had a great time getting together with LT/Litsy folks at ALA! Good food & conversation, and hopefully successful ARC hunting as well. Looking forward to the next one! @BookFreakOut

charl08 Great picture! 7mo
BookFreakOut Nice! I've started shelving a few things on LT (like...5 things but gotta start somewhere), and need to get connected with everyone there! My username is BookFreakOut on LT also. 7mo
bell7 @charl08 thanks! It was fun 😊 7mo
bell7 @BookFreakOut let me know if you start a thread in any of the challenge or book reading groups! You can find me as bell7 there too, and I'm active in the 75 book challenge group. 7mo
drneutron @BookFreakOut - I'm active in the 75ers too, same user name. Stop by and visit us! 7mo
22 likes5 comments
review
bell7
Mehso-so

This book follows four main characters across continents as they find out that the Nameless One, an evil wyrm banished a thousand years ago, may be waking soon. Political intrigue, worldbuilding and a show burn romance are done well. Epic fantasy clocking over 800 pages that I unfortunately found a little too long and sprawling to be entirely satisfying.

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bell7
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I've been reading this epic fantasy all week. Looking forward to making progress over the long weekend!

16 likes1 stack add
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bell7
A Cape Cod Notebook | Robert Finch
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Went on a road trip to Cape Cod with my sister and stumbled across the Cape & Islands Bookstore Trail. We visited eleven indie bookstores in the five days we were there. Here's a look at the mini collection of Cape history and local authors I now own 🙂

review
bell7
Crazy Rich Asians | Kevin Kwan
Mehso-so

I'm not great at picking up satirical humor in books, so perhaps this just wasn't quite right for me. Rachel Cho goes to Singapore with her boyfriend expecting a nice wedding with his friends and meeting his family. But what she doesn't know is his family isn't just well off... they're absolutely crazy rich, and they probably won't approve of his American Born Chinese girlfriend.

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bell7
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Taking a few minutes to read before I walk five, count them, five labs for the evening. It's just an overnight gig, and I'm reminding myself that it'll feel good to get the exercise!

22 likes1 stack add
review
bell7
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Mehso-so

It's not entirely author Kara Cooney's fault, but there's really not enough here for a full book. The historical record on Hapshepsut, the woman king of Egypt who ruled alongside her nephew (her brother/husband's son with another woman) is slim, so Cooney does a lot of "might have" and "could have" educated guesswork to attempt to bring this ancient ruler out of obscurity. Fascinating stuff, but frustrating reading experience.

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bell7
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Pickpick

It is a truth universally acknowledged that the romance I like best are inspired by Jane Austen. This one is not a retelling, but had fun references to Pride & Prejudice as well as other Austen works. Trisha Raje, of an elite Indian background, finds herself falling for Darcy, the cook who was hired for her brother's political dinners. Excellent fun which made me want to read more by Sonali Dev.

I read an eARC; the book is due out in May.

11 likes1 stack add
review
bell7
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Pickpick

Much like budgeting, time management is about opportunity costs: if I do this, I can't do that. But we don't always think of it that way. As a result, the biggest takeaway from the book is simple: take back control. It's definitely set up for middle or upper class Americans, generally working with kids, so your takeaway may be more or less applicable. But I found it a useful read.

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bell7
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Inspired by my current read, I'm going to start keeping a time log next week and try to keep it up for a couple of weeks to get a handle on how I budget my time. I think I generally use it the way I want to, but we'll see if this gives me any further Insight. Wish me luck!

wordzie 😎 10mo
14 likes1 comment
blurb
bell7
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1. Nope, I just watch other people's
2. Finishing dogsitting and going back home, reading, and tax prep
3. Knitting
4. Grand Canyon, Cape Cod and Yosemite
5. What book do you wish you could read again for the first time?

#friyayintro @howjessreads

SailorMoon Totally! Loved every word amd the tension and everything!!! 11mo
bell7 @SailorMoon nice! I read Gone Girl, and she can sure tell a twisty story (I just hated everyone 😂) 11mo
See All 12 Comments
bell7 @DebbieGrillo @CouronneDhiver oooh, haven't read either of those. I'll have to add them to the list! 11mo
bell7 @CouronneDhiver that's a powerful one, isn't it? I thought it was excellent as a reread 11mo
BlameJennyJane Oh, good question! 11mo
bell7 @BlameJennyJane another one I haven't read! I really should try Wally Lamb someday 11mo
BlameJennyJane @bell7 he‘s a wonderful author! 11mo
bell7 @JacqMac that's a good one! 11mo
18 likes12 comments
review
bell7
Cutting for Stone: A Novel | Abraham Verghese
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Pickpick

Marion and Shiva Stone are twin boys growing up in Addis Ababa, the children of a British surgeon and Carmelite nun from India. Marion relates this coming-of-age epic saga in reflective, elegiac prose as he explains how he had gotten to where he is today and deals with passion and betrayal. I enjoyed this reread for book club.

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bell7
The Far Field | Madhuri Vijay
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Mehso-so

After her mother's death, Shalini decides to travel from her home in Bangalore to Kashmir to find the traveling salesman that she remembers from her child's childhood. Vijay excels at description and capturing a moment, but the plot has a slow build to a climax that left me more annoyed than satisfied.

review
bell7
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Pickpick

Using copious interviews with friends and family of Fred Rogers, Maxwell King fleshes out a detailed biography of the man who became a "neighbor" to generations of children. This was a lovely walk down memory lane plus a lot of anecdotes I didn't know about one of my childhood heroes. A little long and repetitive, but still a wonderful read.

I forgot to take a separate pic of the cover, so here's the stack again - still reading the other three.

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bell7
The Far Field | Madhuri Vijay
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Here's a look at what I'm #currentlyreading! I'm not expecting to finish anything for several days, but I'll be digging into these books whenever I have time.

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bell7
Stars Uncharted | S. K. Dunstall
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Mehso-so

Nika Rik Terri is on the run from a company that wants to use her body exchanger. She was planning on leaving here abusive boyfriend, so this just gives her one more reason to run. Meanwhile, Josune Arriola is on a ship with Captain Hammond Roystan on a special mission, and runs afoul of the same company. Inventive SF with shades of Firefly, but the plot becomes chase scene after chase scene, and I just wanted to see a little more development.

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bell7
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Finishing up my reading in the #WinterStormReadathon! I'll start the tagged book tonight as I get ready for bed. Two books finished, and a couple hundred pages read altogether.

Texreader Well done! 12mo
BookishMarginalia Nice! I finished 2 books too! 12mo
23 likes2 comments
review
bell7
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Mehso-so

Hogan breaks down a survey of 10,000 millionaires in the U.S. to explain qualities and practices they have in common, break down myths about millionaires, and give you advice how to build wealth too. Practical info delivered like a motivational speaker, and very repetitive.

#WinterStormReadathon book 2.

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bell7
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It snowed, then iced and now it's snowing some more.

#WinterStormReadathon #MyView

GA_Bookworm07 Awesome view. Would love for ga to get some snow 12mo
bell7 @GA_Bookworm07 I love being snowed as long as I don't have to shovel or drive! 12mo
GA_Bookworm07 @bell7 here it wouldn't snow that much because if it did the town would shut down 12mo
24 likes3 comments
review
bell7
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Mehso-so

This short novel of a family sent to the Japanese internment camps during World War 2 packs a powerful punch. The lack of characters' names distances them, yet at the same time, presents an almost universal example of what the experience was like for a family. And that example is heartbreaking, all the more powerful for the spare writing style. It makes for a very uncomfortable reading experience - which is precisely what it's meant to be.

bell7 First book completed in the #WinterStormReadathon 12mo
18 likes1 comment
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bell7
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Alice likes the taste of this one 😂
#catsitting #catsoflitsy #WinterStormReadathon

CareBear Great picture! 🤣🤣 12mo
JoScho 😂😂😂 12mo
mabell So cute!! 12mo
Purrfectpages Love this! 😆 12mo
Puredragonstar And a #kal if I ever saw one! 😹😹😹 12mo
28 likes5 comments
blurb
bell7
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Here are the books on the docket for today's #WinterStormReadathon along with my morning coffee. Tagged book is on the Kindle and I'm #currentlyreading the top 3 and the bottom will be the next one to start after finishing one.

charl08 Love Otsuka: hope she is still writing. 12mo
bell7 @charl08 I really enjoyed The Buddha in the Attic so I'm hoping this one is just as good! 12mo
kspenmoll Love your mug! Enjoy reading @winterstormreadathon 12mo
bell7 @kspenmoll thanks! I'm dogsitting at someone else's place so can't take credit for the mug 😁 it is lovely though 12mo
19 likes4 comments
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bell7
Doggone Dogs! | Karen Beaumont
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I'm joining in the #winterstormreadathon and my buddy Toby is keeping me company while I read #dogsitting #dogsoflitsy

@MrBook @BookBabe

MrBook 😁👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻😻😻😻 12mo
BookBabe Glad to have you join us! 🤗 Happy reading! 📚 12mo
28 likes2 comments
review
bell7
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Mehso-so

When Alice arrives in Lowell in 1832, she's left her family's farm behind and dreams of making a new life for herself in the mills. She soon learns of problems at the mill, which come to a head when one of their own is murdered. And Alice just happens to have a fancy for the owner's son.

This was an okay read, but I kept wanting more somehow. The historical fiction (based on an actual murder trial) took a backseat to the romance.

bell7 I forgot to take a photo of the book itself, so here is a historic photo of a mill in my own hometown. 12mo
18 likes1 comment
review
bell7
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Pickpick

A manifesto for creating better, more meaningful gatherings, The Art of Gathering covers everything from your purpose to the end of the day. Parker's examples show how her principles can be used to liven everything from a dinner party with friends to a work meeting. Engaging reading and practical.

14 likes2 stack adds
review
bell7
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Pickpick

Book 3 of the Binti trilogy starts of with a bang, with her and her new friend Mwinyi racing back to her home and family, who may be in terrible danger as two opposing groups get close to war, her family caught in the middle. Can she, a master harmonizer, bring peace once again?

Binti develops exponentially throughout the trilogy, taking in new cultures and ways of understanding the world. The world building is fun, inventive and complex.

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bell7
Empire of Sand | Tasha Suri
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Pickpick

Mehr, a half-Amrithi noblewoman, finds herself in danger when she comes to the notice of the emperor after dancing one of her people's rites during a storm. Her father, the governor, has kept her safe and allowed her to practice her mother's beliefs, but now a group of mystics come and tell her she must marry one of their own. What choices does Mehr have to keep her family safe? A fantastic debut set in a world inspired by the Moghul empire.

16 likes2 stack adds
review
bell7
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Pickpick

Laurence and Temeraire continue with the Russians after giving Napoleon a huge defeat, but the brilliant strategist makes it back to France. Then Temeraire and Iskierka discover that their egg has been stolen by the French. This ninth and final book in a sprawling series concerning fine continents series comes to a satisfying end as forces come together in a final battle against Napoleon. Enjoyable, though I don't think I'd feel a need to reread.

10 likes1 stack add
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bell7
Blessings | Anna Quindlen
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Pickpick

An abandoned baby disrupts the lives of a goodhearted handyman who recently got out of jail and his old, crochety, rich employer. Secrets of Lydia Blessing and her family slowly unfold over the course of the summer. A heartwarming if slightly over the top story with a bittersweet ending that have my book club a lot to talk about.

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bell7
Blessings | Anna Quindlen
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A look at what I've been reading the last few days - League of Dragons for pure fun, The Art of Gathering for thought-provoking nonfiction, and Blessings for book group. #currentlyreading

review
bell7
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Pickpick

A fabulous book of book lists, libraries and bookstores is the perfect gift for all bibliophiles in your life. Jane Mount includes lovely art of book stacks as well. Sure to add to your toppling TBR stack and give you lots of genes to explore.

review
bell7
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Pickpick

Enjoyed my annual foray into Three Pines and the lives of Inspector Gamache and friends. Gamache is brought in as a notary of a will for someone he never met who leaves a fortune that may not exist. But apparently, someone's willing to kill for it. If you like the series, this fourteenth entry is an excellent one.

BookishMarginalia Loved it! 13mo
19 likes1 comment
review
bell7
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Pickpick

Watching this incorrigible puppy inspired this read.

Dog Sense is an informative and engaging (occasionally repetitive) explication of what we know about dog biology. Bradshaw focuses a large portion of the book highlighting differences between dogs and wolves and ways in which making comparisons let to poorer training practices. But then he also explains dog learning, senses, emotions, and more. Useful, too, though it's not a training manual.

blurb
bell7
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I started this yesterday and can't put it down! So far the latest installment in the Three Pines series is fabulous 🤗 #currentlyreading

review
bell7
Half of a Yellow Sun | Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
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Pickpick

A powerful look at the Biafran war in the 1960s through the eyes of several characters: Ugwu the houseboy, his boss and academic Odenigbo, his girlfriend Olanna, and a white Englishman Richard. The characters really come alive in this story, based in part on the experiences of the author's parents, and made me want to learn more about Nigeria's history. Fascinating and well-written historical fiction that I highly recommend.

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bell7
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Really enjoying this book of bookish lists, quizzes, recommendations, and illustrations by the Creator of the Ideal Bookshelf. Dare you to read it and *not* add something to the TBR list!

review
bell7
After This: A Novel | Alice McDermott
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Mehso-so

After This follows the Keane family from shortly after World War 2 when John and Mary meet, through Vietnam and the kids growing up. The chapters are somewhere between short stories and vignettes, mostly giving us domestic scenes and women's points of view in the Catholic family living on Long Island. I never connected with the characters or really loved the story, but her writing and imagery is lovely and I would try another of her books.

blurb
bell7
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Reading about the science of dog behavior while watching a few Labs #dogsitting #dogsoflitsy

review
bell7
Mehso-so

I stuck with it because I've been loving the series, but this one really fell flat for me. Starting a little after book 7 ended, we find Laurence and Temeraire separated, with Laurence washed up in Japan, after a storm. Their goal is China, but over 100 pages are them getting back together with one wrench thrown in the works: Laurence has lost any memory of his dragon. The last third or so was more engaging, and I will be finishing the series.

review
bell7
Across the Wall | Garth Nix
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Pickpick

Nix includes one novella set in the same world as his Abhorsen series and several short stories published from 1987 to 2005 in this eclectic short story collection that really show his writing chops. The novella was the weakest, but I really enjoyed the humor in "My Really Epic New Fantasy Series" and the choose your own adventure send up "Down to the Scum Quarter." Nix introduces each story with a little on its inspiration. Worthwhile reading.

review
bell7
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Pickpick

Bill Bryson brings his signature style and sense of awe (and sometimes the ridiculous) to this story of one summer - May to September 1927 - in the USA. Fascinating if a bit long, this was an entertaining and enlightening read.

18 likes1 stack add
review
bell7
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Pickpick

Count Alexander Rostov could've been killed after the Russian revolution, but instead he's given house arrest in the Metropol hotel. This lovely character study follows the fictional count and the various people in the hotel over several decades, unfolding a beautifully crafted narrative. I enjoyed every minute of this book.

23 likes1 stack add
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bell7
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I absolutely love this description of Count Rostov starting Montaigne's essays and deciding "it had been written with winter nights in mind. Without a doubt, it was a book for when the birds had flown south, the wood was stacked by the fireplace, and the fields were white with show; that is, for when one had no desire to venture out and one's friends has no desire to venture in."

review
bell7
Binti: Home | Nnedi Okorafor
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Pickpick

Binti, still reeling from events on her trip to Oozma Uni and dealing with PTSD, decides to return home with her new Meduse friend, Okwu. There, she is forced to confront some of her own preconceptions. If anything, I thought this was even better than the first.

18 likes1 stack add
blurb
bell7
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@howjessreads #friyayintro
1. All the Chronicles of Narnia, but this was the first at age 6 or 7.
2. Cake
3. Knitting - which goes together perfectly with audiobooks!
4. I love where I am, but if it had to be somewhere else, I think I'd pick London.
5. If you're reading this, consider yourself tagged!

CouronneDhiver Jolly ol‘ England! 🇬🇧 Well chosen 1y
bell7 @CouronneDhiver thanks! I didn't even notice but between my book and location choice, it's a bit of a theme, isn't it? 1y
23 likes1 stack add2 comments
review
bell7
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Mehso-so

An informative, if somewhat dry, overview of several areas of finances that individuals just starting out need to know. It covers everything from debt to insurance and even had a chapter on US military service benefits. Most is solid advice, though one or two comments left me scratching my head a bit. Read the ARC of the 2017 revised edition on my Kindle.