Sunday, August 14, 2016

Review: Zigzag: A Nameless Detective Collection

Zigzag: A Nameless Detective Collection Zigzag: A Nameless Detective Collection by Bill Pronzini
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Normally, Pronzini gets a 4 or a 5 star rating, but this wasn't as compelling as his usual books. For one thing, it's actually a collection of 4 short stories/novellas. I wasn't expecting that, so when I got towards the end of the first one, I was very confused about how the case was already over with 2/3 of the book left. I don't remember the second story at all, and I fell asleep multiple times in the last one (which may have more to do with my lack of sleep than his writing or the plot).

Good, tight stories and characters, but I didn't get into them for some reason. The last one especially was silly--easily worked out ahead of time and then a cheap twist at the end. smh No.

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Friday, August 12, 2016

Review: The Night Ferry

The Night Ferry The Night Ferry by Michael Robotham
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Now that Ruiz has retired, the focus has necessarily shifted to other members of the police force. This time, the lead goes to Alicia Barba, a Sikh woman who has just recovered from a terrible accident and is trying to get job traction back. Then a former friend contacts her, suggesting they attend a school reunion. And then things completely unravel for Ali and she is the center of a hurricane in a rush to find her friend's unborn baby/ies and figure out her own personal life.

Depressing, and yet really amazing characterizations. I really must read more books by this author.

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Review: The Selected Letters of Laura Ingalls Wilder

The Selected Letters of Laura Ingalls Wilder The Selected Letters of Laura Ingalls Wilder by William Anderson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

While these can't possibly be all the letters Laura wrote, it does give a broad perspective on the sorts of things she did write to family, to friends, to publishers, and to children. Her sense of humor is quite funny. We would absolutely have argued over politics, and I'm sure she would have sharp words for some of my life choices. But I still can't help but like her.

Rose, though? I don't know, she still manages to piss me off even though these are all letters FROM Laura, who obviously loves her daughter dearly.

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Review: The Selected Letters of Laura Ingalls Wilder

The Selected Letters of Laura Ingalls Wilder The Selected Letters of Laura Ingalls Wilder by William Anderson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

While these can't possibly be all the letters Laura wrote, it does give a broad perspective on the sorts of things she did write to family, to friends, to publishers, and to children. Her sense of humor is quite funny. We would absolutely have argued over politics, and I'm sure she would have sharp words for some of my life choices. But I still can't help but like her.

Rose, though? I don't know, she still manages to piss me off even though these are all letters FROM Laura, who obviously loves her daughter dearly.

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Thursday, August 11, 2016

Review: Joyland

Joyland Joyland by Stephen King
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I do love how King always manages to perfectly outline each character in his books, even those who have very little space in the plot. What a fun book about life as behind the scenes in a tiny "theme park" (i.e. stationary carnival). Some spookiness, some creepiness, but nothing like his early Terrorize the Living Snot Out of You stuff. Sweet.

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Monday, August 08, 2016

Review: Founding Grammars: How Early America's War over Words Shaped Today's Language

Founding Grammars: How Early America's War over Words Shaped Today's Language Founding Grammars: How Early America's War over Words Shaped Today's Language by Rosemarie Ostler
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I'm throwing this back as it's not what I was really hoping for. It's quite good if you're interested in the actual history of language "rules" in this country. I finished the Webster chapter and realized that I didn't really care about any of the rest of the people--nor did I really care about Webster that much!--and gave up. :)

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Monday, August 01, 2016

Review: Make Me

Make Me Make Me by Lee Child
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a bit of a stretch. So many reasons that I wasn't really into this. Lots of sharp turns that seemed...too convoluted for a Reacher book. And really: "Mother's Rest" as the name of a town? Nope. And Deep Web, and snuff films and....too much, just too much.

However, the short story appended at the back about the Reacher brothers when they were both in the middle of their careers was AMAZING! Really excellent.

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Thursday, July 28, 2016

Review: The Master of the Prado

The Master of the Prado The Master of the Prado by Javier Sierra
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I'm not entirely sure what this book is. I was recommended to read something by Sierra, but I don't remember by whom or why. I enjoyed all the art backstory, but I'm not sure about the plot of the book. I can't tell if it's supposed to be an actual biography that he fictionalized, or if it's all completely fiction, including the symbolism behind the art.

Great story, creepy, unsettling, and ultimately...I dunno. It just seems to stop with no explanation of why he's suddenly, 20 years later, telling this story.

One thing's for sure: I should like to get to the Prado someday!

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Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Review: Hamilton: The Revolution

Hamilton: The Revolution Hamilton: The Revolution by Lin-Manuel Miranda
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I started the book-book, decided to listen to it instead, and now I need to retrieve the book so I can read the notes Lin has on the evolution of his writing. Also, having now listened to the cast recording, I need to go back and figure out what's going on visually in each scene.

Mariska Hargitay narrates this. What a great choice. Very relaxing voice, not particularly well-spoken, but easy to listen to.

My only beef is that Lin's voice is kind of annoying. Maybe it's his NY accent? A combination of the two? I love how he thinks, but ...oy.

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Saturday, July 23, 2016

Review: The Art of Language Invention: From Horse-Lords to Dark Elves, the Words Behind World-Building

The Art of Language Invention: From Horse-Lords to Dark Elves, the Words Behind World-Building The Art of Language Invention: From Horse-Lords to Dark Elves, the Words Behind World-Building by David J. Peterson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Only "unfinished" because I stalled out and need to move on to other books. I got the gist of this and I'm unlikely to be creating a fully-formed CONLANG anytime soon, but it's fun to read about what goes into making "alien languages" realistic. It does seem like a great deal of work for what is essentially a glorified hobby, but whatever floats your boat.....

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