Tuesday, January 08, 2019

Review: Shell Game

Shell Game Shell Game by Sara Paretsky
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Do not piss off Vic? She knows how to use martial arts, and she WILL start a fire in a locked room if that promises a possibility of escape! One of the better endings to a story in this series, but seriously convoluted case combining ancient Syrian artifacts and payday loans/penny stocks. Also, Vic ruins a lot of nice clothing and spends time in a hospital bed; also. someone sends a pup to the vet for surgery, so prepare to really hate the bad guys!

Please don't stop writing, ever, Ms. Paretsky!

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Review: A Map of Days

A Map of Days A Map of Days by Ransom Riggs
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Well, certainly not the most action-packed book of the series, at least not until the very end. We find all the usual cast of Peculiars hanging out in 21st century Florida while their world settles down from the war. Jacob is trying--and mostly failing--to settle back into his previous life, and find out exactly what his grandfather was up to after he came to America.

The American peculiar situation is dire, and Jacob is eventually determined to find a way to sort things out on this side of the Atlantic.

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Friday, December 14, 2018

Review: The Dirt on Ninth Grave

The Dirt on Ninth Grave The Dirt on Ninth Grave by Darynda Jones
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

And here we find Janey Doerr, amnesiac, in upstate New York working in a diner full of characters. She, too, is quite the character, but has no idea who she actually *IS*. And so she eventually starts to try to make sense of herself and all the weirdos around her, both supernatural and super-plain-old-human.

Fun change of pace, sort of a palate-cleanser as we head into battle again in the next book.

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Monday, December 10, 2018

Review: Your Brain Knows More Than You Think: the new frontiers of neuroplasticity

Your Brain Knows More Than You Think: the new frontiers of neuroplasticity Your Brain Knows More Than You Think: the new frontiers of neuroplasticity by Niels Birbaumer
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

The topic is fascinating to me, but the presentation is just off. Perhaps it's a translation issue (the author is German), but every time he tells a story about something I just want to smack him for being a jerk. It's been sitting here for a month untouched, so I'm giving it back for someone else at the library to read.

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Review: Dream Country

Dream Country Dream Country by Neil Gaiman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I'm really enjoying this series, but one of the stories in this volume was disturbing. And then at the end Gaiman adds the discussion between him and the artist about how to make it work the way the author wants. The story is seriously unpleasant and the discussion was respectful but also uggh. I didn't finish it.

I did like the cereal convention story though. That just made me laugh way too hard.

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Thursday, November 29, 2018

Review: The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle

The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a very strange, very Gothic, very twisty, complex book. It seems to be set in about 1925 on an isolated estate somewhere in England. Over the course of the book, the narrator--who exists inside different people for one day each for 8 days--has been tasked with solving the murder of the titular Evelyn Hardcastle. Just when the reader things she's got it nailed, the story twists away in a completely unexpected direction. There's really no one in the story very trustworthy or likable, but over the course of the book, we come to appreciate the different skills of various people, and the ability to listen and learn and change opinions.

I'm not excited about the explanation of the Big Picture part of this, but the ending of the mystery is absolutely wonderful. This book begs for a sequel, or at least a short "what actually happened next!?" story.

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Sunday, November 11, 2018

Review: Unthinkable: What the World's Most Extraordinary Brains Can Teach Us About Our Own

Unthinkable: What the World's Most Extraordinary Brains Can Teach Us About Our Own Unthinkable: What the World's Most Extraordinary Brains Can Teach Us About Our Own by Helen Thomson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

REALLY fascinating look at neuroscience and how the brain works, especially when it works outside the realm of what most would consider "normal." There are stories of people who get lost in their own house, people who think they are dead, people who can feel your pain and emotions as if they are experiencing them, and so on. Absolutely amazing what the brain does, and as she points out throughout the book, these "outliers" serve to show what capabilities we have in our head should we could figure out how to tap them.

I'm considering buying this so I can write all over it.

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Review: The Doll's House

The Doll's House The Doll's House by Neil Gaiman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Well, consider me hooked! I am going to have to finish this series now. This one was particularly "up my alley" but also I'm beginning to understand the flow of reading graphic novels. Yes, I know: slow on the uptake. This one involves a "Cereal Convention" that does not involve anything Cheerio-related.

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Sunday, October 28, 2018

Review: The Breakers

The Breakers The Breakers by Marcia Muller
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Quick in and out book here, about one of Shar's nieces disappearance. She makes a lot of discoveries about her family, some sad stuff happens, but nothing horrifying. Big changes afoot at the McCone homestead however, including a third cat, in the next book. Also, I knew who the bad guy was pretty much as soon as the character appeared on the page.

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Review: Field of Bones

Field of Bones Field of Bones by J.A. Jance
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Another solid entry in the series, this one finds Joanna on maternity leave (sort of), and a serial killer of young women on the loose. Creepy and a little too easily worked out, and man I really don't like Marliss at all!



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