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The Mothers
The Mothers
Author: Brit Bennett
Genre: Literature & Fiction
Book Type: Hardcover
reviewed on + 805 more book reviews


The Mothers by Brit Bennet, as the title might suggest, is a book all about motherhood. The book begins with a suicide and an unwanted pregnancy and continues until the young people involved are in their thirties. Unfortunately, time passes, but the characters seem not to evolve. I keep waiting for growth, an understanding, an acceptance, or something. It does not come. The entire book remains at the fact that tragic decisions were made, and they altered many lives.

Read my complete review at http://www.memoriesfrombooks.com/2017/02/the-mothers.html

Reviewed for the Read It Forward program


A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty
reviewed on + 368 more book reviews


This story is told by three women-one 45, one 30, one 15. Grandmother, mother and daughter. Kept me reading.


Another Castle: Grimoire


This reminds me a lot of the 1980s She-ra but she's a little more rebellious and ready to kick butt and take names in this comic. The heroine wants to save the kingdom and be responsible for herself, not one to wait around for someone to save her and solve her problems. I love and appreciate this because she steps up to the challenge, even if some of the ideas she comes up with doesn't go as planned. She figures out how to work around them. The artwork is enjoyable with even some hidden easter eggs (Sailor moon!) A great read for both boys and girls of all ages.


Ransom Canyon (Ransom Canyon, Bk 1)
Ransom Canyon (Ransom Canyon, Bk 1)
Author: Jodi Thomas
Genre: Romance
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
reviewed on


1st of a good series


Designing the Future:  The Role of Technological Forecasting
reviewed on + 465 more book reviews


I posted this yesterday and then could not get it to come up for a brief review. Now I don't have the book with me, but caution that it is not an easy text to read. The author has an excellent reputation, was an original thinker, and this copy has a nice message wherein he gave it to his friend.


The Horse and His Boy (Chronicles of Narnia, Bk 3)
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Written in 1952. I read this over and over when I was young, and I took it all very seriously, including the mysterious reason a young boy should not be a slave in a certain house, as intimated on page 11.


Star Trek: The Original Series: No Time Like the Past
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Seven of Nine and the crew of the Original Series Enterprise revisit several locations of past Enterprise adventures on a quest to find a way to return her to her own timeline. An intriguing premise with a strong start but ultimately it became somewhat cliche and failed to deliver the Star Trek magic for me.


Pulse Audio Suspense Volume 1
Pulse Audio Suspense Volume 1
Author: Jim French
Book Type: Audio CD
reviewed on + 895 more book reviews


Stories reminded me of the Peter Gunn era. All 3 stories, each quite long enough in their own right, were of course centered around murder. Each story was enjoyable, kinda Alfred Hitchcockey. All 3 were OMG's not who dunnit's. Personally I loved this era so I truely enjoyed this CD. I'll look for volume 2.


The Wedding Game (Harlequin Historical, No 1312)
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I liked it, didn't love it. Interesting plot. The author set up a situation where it looked like an HEA was impossible, and then came up with a very clever solution.


Teach and Grow Rich: Share Your Knowledge to Create Global Impact, Freedom and Wealth
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Horribly empty of content. Full of groundless, vague generalities masquerading as truth. Mainly an advertisement for Iny's ultra-expensive courses on the topic.


Officer Buckle and Gloria
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Clever story. Cute illustrations. One that adults can enjoy as much as the kids. I was pleasantly surprised, too, when our 3-year-old and 5-year-old started coming up with their own "safety tips", some genuine and some silly, after reading this story.


Armed Madhouse: From Baghdad to New Orleans--Sordid Secrets and Strange Tales of a White House Gone Wild
reviewed on


This is my first (not the last) Greg Palast book. He is an incredible writer. The story will keep you engaged and quickly turning the pages!! It follows the relationship between the Bush family and the Saudi ruling family. It will possibly make you reevaluate 911.


Emma
Emma
Author: Alexander McCall Smith
Book Type: Paperback
reviewed on + 7 more book reviews


Could not get into this book. Very disappointed.


The Turn of the Screw
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The only thing I really enjoyed was Emma Thompson's performance. She's what kept me listing (and reading along at some parts).

I just didn't get it? It didn't get me? It literally did not pull me into the story or hold my true interest. Perhaps a second reading/listening in the future.


Nightblade: A Book of Underrealm (The Nightblade Epic) (Volume 1)
reviewed on + 84 more book reviews


I'm sorry I dragged my feet and waited so long to read this. I am that person who got a free copy and then let it sit for nearly two months. And once I cracked it open I kept, "One more chapter," until I couldn't keep my eyes open any longer (I started reading at a ridiculous hour). When I woke, I took care of my animals and then proceeded to power read to the end.

I've seen some people say they didn't like it, but that could be because the first in a series is always about setting the background and leading up the the climax. There was a lot of travel and backstory given. This book was wrapped in mystery, and not a lot of it was answered. But that just kept my interest. I just wanted to know what was going to happen. And there was some good action, so I'm not sure what mkre the naysayers want.

Who is Loren? What secrets is her past hiding from even her? Who is Jordel? Is he really a friend? Xain...is he a jerk, or is it just a matter of self preservation? And why the hell is Loren such a magnet for trouble?! Will her horrible father keep his promise and find her again? And I adore Gem and look forward to seeing where is story goes.

There are so many questions that need answering, and I'm eager to learn, which is exactly what a good series does. Loren has the potential to be an epic (female) protagonist. I am truly anxious to get to the next book. Applause to you Garrett Robinson for hooking me. I'll see you again at the end of book two, sir.


An Unattractive Vampire
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This is one of the best things I've read in vampire verse. Take an ancient, powerful vampire and throw him into the modern era where vampires are weak and beautiful. Throw in his nemesis reincarnated into the body of sociopathic eight-year-old boy, and an older sister who is taking zero crap. Shenanigans ensue. It's the battle of the ugly, ancient, and powerful versus the beautiful, famous, and not-so-bright.

While I did find the sister, Amanda, to be extraordinarily annoying, I found Simon, the boy nemesis to be very amusing. He kept Yulric--and basically everyone--on their toes. And I am totally on Yulric's side, because vampires are not actors pretending to be human, pretending to be vampires, and they certainly do not sparkle...But we can keep the good looks, lol.

It's a must read for fans of humor and vampires, and people who thought WTF?! after reading the sparkly vampire books.


Wolf Scent (Mountain Wolves) (Volume 1)
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This was really good. The writing was good and the story interesting. The transition from Leo half out of it in bed to him hobbling around making breakfast was too quick. It wasn't really a transition; he was in bed and then he wasn't. Also the idea of him hobbling through the woods, up a mountain in the dark because he was worried about a man he described as being a bear who could handle himself and knew the territory was a little "what?!" but the thought behind it was genuine. He was worried about Kirk and it was sweet. I'm happy the author went back to the danger Kirk had smelled in town; it wasn't just something mentioned off-handed and never brought up again. I'm looking forward to the next novella to see how things turn out with Leo and Kirk and just what is the "danger".


Blood Work (Terry McCaleb, Bk 1)
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The first two-thirds of this book are plodding and somewhat tedious - almost like a case study on crime solving. The pace then picked up so that the reader got the surprising plot twists that Connelly is known for. Recommended mainly for fans of the author.


Echo Park (Harry Bosch, Bk 12)
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Working in the Open-Unsolved Unit gives Detective Harry Bosch a chance to look into an unsolved case where he was the lead investigator. Thirteen years ago, 22-year-old Marie Gest walked out of a grocery store and was never seen again. Her car was found in the garage of an apartment available for rent. The District Attorney has now contacted Harry about the case against Raynard Wait. Wait was found driving around Echo Park with two bodies in the back of his van. In hopes of not getting the death penalty, Wait has offered a deal to give up the whereabouts of several bodies, including Marie Gest. Harry doesn't like the idea of taking the death penalty off of the table, but wants to bring Marie's body back to her family.

I loved the idea of Harry working to solve one of his old cases. But I thought the first half of this book really dragged. It felt like Harry and his partner, Kiz, spent the first 200 pages reading the old files and deciding what questions they would ask Raynard Wait. Finally at the half way point this book got very interesting. I did end up figuring out the twist in this story, but still enjoyed it. My rating: 4 Stars.


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In a nutshell the book examines trends in appraisal and sales values of enslaved blacks at all stages of life. The author details the somewhat expected and predictable fluctuations in the values placed on the enslaved as age increases.

For instance, the author shows that the value of an enslaved child rose as the child survived its first perilous years when infant mortality was high and the child's perceived usefulness in the planation labor force increased. Likewise, young adult male slaves increased in value as long as they remained "sound" and were capable of contributing mightily to their plantation's economy. Enslaved woman of childbearing age, while sometime seen as an inconvenience prior to the end of the trans-Atlantic slave trade in 1808, were highly valued for their labor and for their breeding capacity once importation of overseas captives became illegal. The topics of forced reproduction and "farming;" of human "stock" are well covered.

After the prime years of vitality, the author examines the decreasing valuation of enslaved people as their output diminishes with age and infirmity. At all stages of life, the enslaved were traded, sold, and insured for the benefit and enrichment of the enslavers, as was to be expected.

What wasn't as expected (and which leads to quite compelling discourse in this book) is the examination of what the author calls "soul value" and "ghost value." By the term "soul value," Ms. Berry is referring to the value the enslaved person places on him/herself; it is essentially the enslaved person's internal valuation of their own moral worth. This measure of value is address thought the book, but it takes on heightened importance in the final (and by far longest) chapter.

This culminating chapter delves into the morbid territory of "ghost value;" which is the value of an enslaved person's body after death. Specifically, this refers to the postmortem valuation and continued exploitation of enslaved bodies, often though a clandestine underground black market of cadavers used for anatomical research and/or display. Whether by means of post-mortem sale by the enslaver, exhumation by so-called "resurrectionists." or by execution, the enslavement of black bodies often did not end with death and a peaceful burial. This is one part of the use/abuse of enslaved black Americans that is seldom explored, but certainly needs to be. Bravo to the author for doing so. I highly recommend this book.

I received a free advanced copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

This review was originally written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers. February 25, 2017.


Dark of Night (Troubleshooters, Bk 14)
Dark of Night (Troubleshooters, Bk 14)
Author: Suzanne Brockmann
Genre: Romance
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
reviewed on + 1298 more book reviews


Troubleshooter Operative James Nash is dead...or that is what his best friend, Decker Lawrence, wants everyone to believe. Deck has stashed Jimmy in a safe house where he is recovering from his injuries. Only FBI Agent Jules Cassidy and Nash's fiancee, Tess Bailey, know the truth. That is until Troubleshooters receptionist Tracey Shapiro figures it out. Not knowing who exactly wants Nash dead, but fearing for Tracy's life since she knows the truth, Decker takes Tracy with him to stay at the safe house. But when Troubleshooter Dave Malkoff is attacked by someone wanting to know Nash's whereabouts, they know that whoever wants Nash dead will stop at nothing to succeed.

This book is an excellent addition to the series. Not only do we get lots of suspense, but several relationships change in this book. Sophia has loved Decker for years, but when she sees that Decker is comforting Tess Bailey, she finally gives up on him and decides to turn to her best friend, Dave Malkoff. Dave has loved Sophia since the day he met her. He knows he is her second choice and will do anything to be the man she deserves. Meanwhile, much to Decker's dismay, he finds out Tracy Shapiro is more than a receptionist that has trouble answering the phones. I loved the growth and changes in these characters. I can't wait to read the next book in the series. My rating: 5 Stars.


Animal Farm : Centennial Edition
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As we approach the changing of the guard in the US, and the new and very disturbing Trump administration, i thought i'd take some of my reading time to revisit some classic dystopian tales from my early years. I have not read Animal Farm since i was in high school, over 40 years ago. Reading it today is more chilling than ever. Looking back on my life, and the events of the past 40+ years, it is quite easy to see that we in the US have not escaped the fate that the prophecy of Animal Farm portrays. Rather, we are settling comfortably into it, as dull witted to it as the "lower animals" were in this brilliant story. And as we move into 2017, it is clear that the pigs at the top are much more equal than the rest of us. A classic, prophetic, brilliant tale, more frightening and sobering than ever before. Now to get my hands on a copy of Nineteen Eighty-Four, another on my high school reading list.


The Long Valley (Penguin Modern Classics)
reviewed on


This is a choice collection of Steinbeck's short stories. I enjoyed them very much, both in the stories and in the telling. This collection also includes The Red Pony stories, which i had already read. Reading them a second time helped reveal to me their special nature, parts i missed the first time through. I definitely recommend this collection!


Our Revolution: A Future to Believe In
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I arrived a little late to the Bernie Sanders party, but i'm glad i got to read his latest book. If our political landscape had more people with values and ethics like his, we indeed could have "A Future to Believe In". In the first 1/3 of the book Senator Sanders tells this story of his political life, up through the end of the primary. The last 2/3 of the book is a well researched and articulated manifesto to save our nation and our people. It is loaded with statistics and data, and explanations of how things political and governing work (actually, DON'T work). Lots of good information to put to use as we reaffirm our fight to reclaim our nation for our people - ALL our people. Great read that i highly recommend!


1984
1984
Author: George Orwell
Genre: Literature & Fiction
Book Type: Paperback
reviewed on


I had not read 1984 since i was a high school student, under the ominous cloud of my fundamentalist evangelical brainwashing. I had planned to re-read it recently, in light of the nature of politics in the U.S. this year, but did not have a copy. After hearing that Amazon SOLD OUT of the title around the time of the Trump inauguration, i had the luck of running across a copy in the Little Free Library box in our neighborhood!!! (https://littlefreelibrary.org/)
WOW! This book is amazing. I can't imagine being able to absorb the message and depth of this book at high school age. The warnings and prophecy conveyed through this superbly told tale are not only brilliant, but have deep implications in the society in which we live in today's world. It is equally relevant in the U.S. as it is in other "modern" nations and governments. It is unnerving to see so many of the dystopian concepts and techniques used by Big Brother being used by the U.S. government today, especially in this neo-GOP regime that took control of the White House and Congress in January. This book deserves its status as a classic, and should be read and discussed by every literate citizen while it is still permitted. The warnings conveyed are real dangers that threaten us all today. Beware.


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