Month: July 2021

by Elizabeth Graver

This book took me completely by surprise. In how close to home it was. I assumed from the jacket blurbs it was going to be about a troubled kid and a beekeeper- had no idea there was an element of mental illness in there, too. Warning for possible SPOILERS below.

At first this is a story about a mother moving with her pre-teen daughter from New York City to the countryside where she hopes for a fresh start. The daughter, Eva, has been caught shoplifting a number of times, she’s definitely got an attitude and maybe something else is going on. Her mother Miriam has to work long hours to support them, so Eva is left to her own devices- there’s a babysitter but she goes out bike riding and exploring alone. Finds a small farm nearby where a man puts out honey jars by the road for sale, on the honor system. You can guess what happens. Then Eva sneaks into the field where the hives are kept, and meets the beekeeper. She finds his work fascinating, starts pestering him with questions, hanging around, wanting to know more. He shows her things when he opens a hive, in spite of feeling uneasy about it. Meanwhile there’s chapters showing the mother’s point of view, and they weave into the past, telling what happened when Miriam first met Eva’s father. At first I thought this part so dull in comparison- personally I much preferred reading about how the bees were tended, and I related a lot more to the reclusive beekeeper, his reasons for settling on his grandmother’s farm leaving behind a lucrative desk job. . . but I soon found how relevant the backstory of Eva’s parents was.

SKIP this paragraph to avoid SPOILERS: her father had a mental illness, which he failed to disclose to Miriam when they first met, fell in love quickly and had a baby without much planning. He hadn’t had a bad episode in a long time and wanting to be better, thought he’d put it all behind him, until things slowly started unraveling. When Miriam finally realized something was seriously wrong, they were at a crisis point. This all felt way too familiar to me, as a reader- someone in my family has bipolar disorder, so I knew exactly what they were talking about it and a lot of it rang true to me. How the symptoms sneak up on you, subtly getting worse, but you don’t want it to be the mental illness so you don’t see it for what it is at first.. And after you’re always questioning: is my teen just being a teenager? is this normal mood swings? or is it a manic episode.

So I found the book really compelling, even though some of it was uneven, sometimes the dialog a bit awkward, the accident at the end a bit predictable, but not as shocking to me as in say, The Fire Pony. However the ending dropped off abruptly. I expected a bit more resolution- I was glad that Miriam finally told Eva more about her father, but she didn’t really explain the illness, and there was no hint of them finding out the answer to the big question: does Eva have it too. I suppose that’s realistic after all- you wouldn’t immediately tell an eleven-year-old who’s ready to find reasons to distrust you already, that you suspect she could have a serious mental health issue- but still I wanted to know more.

I liked this well enough I’ll look out for more by the same author.

Rating: 3/5
264 pages, 1999

I hadn’t mentioned it here yet, because I wasn’t sure how far we’d get: I signed up for our public library’s summer reading challenge with my kids. Sadly, they seem to have lost interest already- online gaming with friends is more compelling right now. I’ve started enjoying it though, and aim to complete. For this challenge, any one item on the list can be substituted by reading for half an hour. I’ve already used that option for lines 2 and 8. So far, this is what I’ve completed:

Re-read a book from your childhood- The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Read a book written by a local author- How Humans Became Intelligent by Lynnette Hartwig

Read a book outside- African Odyssey: 365 Days by Anup and Manoj Shah

Read a non-fiction book about a hobby that interests you- Brushed by Feathers by Frances Wood

This last one is about birdwatching, and set in the Pacific Northwest, around Puget Sound, where I grew up. I was going to count it for #15 read a book that took place in the state or country where you were born, and use another book on my shelf Honeybee, to count for the hobby interest. But when I opened Honeybee, it was awfully familiar. I looked on my blog: yep, I read this book back in 2011! Just recently acquired a copy for my collection, so it was on my TBR shelf at home. Moved it to shelve in the permanent collection, and I’ll have to find another book to count for home state or country. Of course, it would be easy to just go to the public library for this, but I obstinately want to read as much off my own shelves first!

A Year of Birdwatching in the West

by Frances Wood

I read this book off my shelf for the hobby interest part of a summer reading challenge. I enjoy seeing birds in my garden or on walks in natural areas, and am pleased when I can identify them, but have never felt compelled to keep lists or travel to see a certain species. I liked that the author shared the sighting that got her husband into birdwatching. the stunningly colorful painted bunting, and the captivating charm of pigeon guillemots that instantly became her personal favorite. This book is part introduction to birdwatching- explaining how to find birds, learn to recognize their songs, markings, habitat use, etc.- and part personal stories about her experiences observing birds. I think I liked the essay parts a little better. Also included are some legends on birds, and a lovely selection of quotes head the chapters- poems by Emily Dickinson, lines by John James Audubon, Charles Darwin, Henry David Thoreau, etc. It’s arranged by the seasons, with lists of bird species typically seen where she lives- on an island in Puget Sound- both resident birds and those that pass through on migration routes. The lists have lines to take notes on (I don’t think I’ll be making use of that). Charming ink drawings accompany the text.

My favorite parts were reading the factual details and behavioral accounts on hummingbirds, great blue herons, kingfishers and woodpeckers. There are a ton more species named and described- sometimes in brief, others with more detail. Most were familiar to me because I grew up in that area. A few I had to go look up pictures of them. When I thumbed back through the book to see what I’d like to mention in my post, very little jumped out at me. Not as compelling as some other books I’ve read on birds, but it’s nice enough.

Rating: 3/5
247 pages, 2004

This post is long overdue. I honestly forgot I was making it. Noticed a few days ago there was one post in my dashboard marked draft and I couldn’t think what I had written unfinished? Oh yeah, a list of books I want to read someday. So it’s up-to-date now but very long thus I didn’t feel like compiling a montage of cover images (which is usually the fun part). Instead to make it a little visually interesting, I arranged the lines by length. Hm. Not sure I’ll do it that way again. Well, here’s the list- links go to those who brought these books to my attention. Hope someday I’ll get to them!

First half: titles available at my public library:

What I Like About You by Marisa Kanter- It’s All About Books and Rhapsody in Books
Take our advice- gardening in Northern Virginia by Margaret Fisher
Brilliant Life of Eudora Honeysett by Annie Lyons- Last Book I Read
The Swallowed Man by Edward Carey- Curiosity Killed the Bookworm
Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro- Curiosity Killed the Bookworm
Katie the Catsitter by Colleen Venable from Musings of a Bookish Kitty
The Elephant’s Girl by Celesta Rimington- It’s All About Books
A Bookshop in Berlin by Françoise Frenkel- Captive Reader
King of Infinite Space by Lindsay Faye- A Bookish Type
The Evening Chorus by Helen Humphreys- Bookfoolery
Remote Control by Nnedi Okorafor- Rhapsody in Books
The Man Who Lived Underground by Richard Wright
The Wonder by Emma Donoghue- It’s All About Books
A Place to Hang the Moon by Kate Albus- Semicolon
Light Perpetual by Francis Spufford- A Bookish Type
My Life as a Cat by Carlie Sorosiak- Snips and Snails
Convenience Store Woman by Sayakja Murata from Book Chase
Secrets Between Us by Thrity Umrigar- Book Chase
Woman 99 by Greer Macallister from Small World Reads
How Stella Learned to Talk by Christina Hunger
The Cat I Never Named by Amra Sabic-El-Rayess
The Music of Bees by Eileen Garvin- Book Chase
World of Wonders by Aimee Nezhukumatathil
Ex Libris by Michiko Kakutani- Captive Reader
Things I Learned From Falling by C. Nelson
The Hummingbirds’ Gift by Sy Montgomery
Prairie Fires by Caroline Fraser- Semicolon
Earthlings by Sayaka Murata- Book Chase
Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell- Bookfoolery
Summerwater by Sarah Moss- Shelf Love
Admissions by Henry Marsh- Dear Author
Ridgeline by Michael Punke- Book Chase
List of Ten by Halli Gomez- Bookfoolery
Tracks by Robyn Davidson- Book Chase
The Glitter in the Green by Jon Dunn
North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell
The Ice Lion by Kathleen O’Neal Gear
Blue Mountain by Leavitt, Martine
The Silent Boy by Lois Lowry

Second half not available at my library:

A Herd of Red Deer by F.F. Darling
Ghosting by Jennie Erdal- Captive Reader
Summerwater by Sarah Moss- Book Chase
Cuttings by Christopher Lloyd- Captive Reader
Forager’s Pantry by Ellen Zachos- Garden Rant
Moutain Sheep: a study in behavior by V. Geist
A House in Sicily by Daphne Phelps- Read Warbler
The Council of Animals by Nick McDonell- Book Chase
The Reading Cure by Laura Freeman- Indextrious Reader
Written in Bone by Sue Black- Musings of a Bookish Kitty
Gardening Notes from a Late Bloomer by Clare Hastings
Rhapsody in Green by Charlotte Mendelson- Captive Reader
They Came Like Swallows by William Maxwell- Bookfoolery
Plum, Courgette and Green Bean Tart by Lisa Rose Wright
Fat Dogs and French Estates by Beth Haslam- Read Warbler
Of Gryphons and Other Monsters by Shannon McGee- Thistle
Deer-Resistant Native Plants for the Northeast by Clausen and Tepper
A Cat’s Guide to Bonding with Dragons by Chris Behrsin- Musings of a Bookish Kitty
Dragon of Ash and Stars by H. Leighton Dickson- Snips and Snails and Puppy Dog Tales
Comic Book Guide to Growing Food by Joseph Tychonievich- Sustainable Market Farming

by Lynnette Hartwig

The presumed subtitle of this book is: When did it start, Why did it happen, What else changed, and Who we are now. (I say “presumed” because it’s printed on the front cover and title page, but not part of the LCC line on the copyright page). This book is about evolution, specifically looking at why humans of all living things on Earth are the only ones to have developed language, intelligence and culture to excess. Excess, because she points out quite clearly that being smart isn’t necessary for success- thousands of creatures get by just fine on instinct alone, and have done so for eons. In fact, lots of them do many things far better than we ever could. The author posits that intelligence (and another characteristic I’ll mention in a second) is really a desperate measure evolution threw out there to save a species from dire straits in the past- and in our case it worked all too well. First she explains how genetic traits are held in reserve in the genome of species- which I already partly understood from having read The Ancestor’s Tale. While that book was really dense on details and explanations, this one is rather light in that regard- I was often left trying to connect the dots myself or wondering what got left out, or wishing for more examples, something. I suppose, like me, you’ve often heard the theory that long-ago ancestors of humans descended from trees to live on the savannah. This book says nope. Points out all the physical features of humans that don’t align with anything savannah animals use to survive- be it predator, prey or scavenger- and instead strongly suggests that humans evolved to live on the waterside. More like otters in that regard. And that we did so for thousands and thousands of years before changing. Much later drastic environmental changes pushed early hominids out into savannah habitat. Then a freak rise of intelligence enabled survival even though humans were so weak in comparison to other animals.

I found that all fascinating, and the arguments actually made sense to me. It’s the end part of the book that got me scratching my head. The idea that the one main feature setting humans apart from other animals is not our intelligence per se, or our ability to use language and tools- but our intense drive to make and build things, hoard things, look to the future. How negatively that can impact everything. Again the explanation makes sense, we do seem to all suffer from an inner need to have things, and even if this isn’t physical objects, to secure our future- to save up money for our children, or in other ways make sure we leave a legacy. We don’t live in the moment like animals do, just securing what we need now and satisfied with that. It might well be not only our undoing, but that of the entire planet and all other living things. Dark thoughts.

But then there’s the author’s odd rant about how inaccurate weather forecasting is. Or the pages and pages saying men loose their ability to think individually in groups, whereas women will always question the leader. Really? I am not sure that’s a gender character trait, surprised how the author is strongly insistent about it.

Then there’s the um, quality control issues. The book is pretty much self-published. I looked up the publishing company- it lists just under a dozen books, and ten of them are by this author. The book only has a few typos- and things I can easily overlook- a missing space, or a quotation mark where it doesn’t belong. But it has two pages pasted in (different paper color and texture)- one where it was apparently left out, for the foreword (which amused me because it felt like it was added as an afterthought and the first line of it is I hate Forewords and Introductions in books. I’ve read less than 5% of them. The other is pasted in about halfway through, not adding a missing page but rephrasing it including putting what was a footnote from another page into the text body. It doesn’t merge seamlessly with the rest of the text, it’s a rewritten segment and really stalled this reader trying to piece together how it was supposed to flow.

I did really appreciate there’s an index, but the references were almost all website articles and online videos. I think there were two or three articles from periodicals listed, and not a single book. Why do I expect that a book is more solid reference material than a documentary film or online article? Not sure, but I do.

Sigh. I have a friend who is a writer, and partnered with a writer (one is a poet/memoirist and the other writes screenplays) so I’ve heard a lot about how very difficult it is to get published. It’s such hard work to write a book, and a ton more work to promote it. But so often the quality falters when it’s self-published. I bought this book at a local-author event my public library hosted several years ago. I used to go every year with my writer friend. Came away too many times disappointed. Most of the books were of popular interests but not so much for me- lots of YA dystopian fiction and paranormal romance, for example. I only found a few I thought I’d like to read, and then thumbing through to read a sample, was not keen on the writing style. Took a chance on this one and still came away feeling let down. However I’m keeping it because the ideas presented on human evolution make so much sense to me. Great ideas, just would like to see more proof.

Rating: 3/5
242 pages, 2017

365 Days

by Anup and Manoj Shah

Brought this book home from a thrift store just last week, and instead of it sitting for years on my shelf like so many others, I started thumbing through it. Read it in between chapters of two other books, the last stretch in a long afternoon outside by the garden, when for once it was cool enough and breezy so the mosquitoes weren’t bad. Hearing birds and watching them bustle about while reading about wildlife and the change of seasons in a very different, also very hot, part of the world- was nice.

African Odyssey is a book of photographs, taken each one day of the year and presented in sequence as a photography team followed the great migration around the Serengeti plains and the Maasai Mara. They go from the rainy season into dry weather and back into rain. They follow the animals as the herds in turn follow the grass- traversing different types of terrain and river obstacles. Each photograph has a bit of text on a facing page- sometimes a description of the animal depicted, or of the weather they experienced that day, or of an interaction they observed between some species. So there are little stories and glimpses into the lives of the animals, which I liked. Reminded me somewhat of The Long African Day. Most of the photos are of familiar, iconic animals- lions and zebra, wildebeest and vultures, hippos, hyenas, giraffe and leopards. There’s also pictures of many birds I’m not familiar with, and one each of a striped hyena and an aardwolf, rarely seen. I learned a few facts I didn’t know before- such as, that giraffes often suffer heavily from parasites, and many of them die from it. But a lot of the info tidbits were repeated- I didn’t need to read twice that wildebeest are so physically efficient it takes them the same energy output to run as to walk. And while I appreciate that the photos didn’t avoid showing the unpleasant or brutal side of nature- prey animals being killed, predators feeding, young abandoned by their mothers or lost, etc- phrases like sudden death is no stranger on the plains felt a bit overused after a while.

My only other quibble is that the book itself is difficult to hold- it’s very thick and heavy, but has such a short spine, my hands got tired unless I propped it up on something and I didn’t want to torque the binding too much. Visually, the photographs are rich and lively, and I feel like I got a broad picture of what life is like for animals in that area of the world, how their struggles for survival depend on each other and intersect, with a nice amount of detail on individual incidents.

Rating: 3/5
744 pages, 2007

by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Lovely book I remember so well from my childhood. Although the characters aren’t so lovely themselves at first! but that’s part of the charm, seeing how they grow and change. Orphaned Mary Lennox is downright unpleasant when she arrives in England from India, where her parents had died of cholera. She’s to stay with her distant uncle in a huge old house full of unused rooms. He travels a lot and she’s pretty much left to her own devices. Bored and lonely, she wanders the grounds where she finds a gruff older gardener working. Mary discovers that there’s a locked garden somewhere on the grounds, and curiosity drives her to locate it, and find a way to get inside. She wants to know if anything is left alive, since the garden was locked up for ten years. Partly guided by a friendly robin, she does find the garden and its door- and then keeps it a secret as she works to bring it back to life herself- weeding and coaxing the flowers to grow. Of course she can’t hide it forever. Soon she makes friends with the housemaid’s boy Dickon, and lets him in on her secret. Later she makes a shocking discovery (at least, it shocked me as a child) that she has an invalid cousin, who keeps to his room in another part of the house. The boy is just as spoiled as she was upon arrival to the house, but now she wants to help him grow healthier and enjoy life- by showing him the garden. Together the children conspire to keep their use of the garden hidden from adults- while being out in the fresh air, exercising and enjoying other’s company seems to help the sickly cousin Colin grow stronger. Mary is convinced that the garden is magic- that being among the beautiful growing things helped her, and now it’s helping Colin.

It’s hard to argue with that. A lot of the story has some obvious metaphors- as spring unfolds with the growth of plants, Mary gradually blossoms into a lively, kind child (though she still has her moments of sour temper). It seems the author’s message was that attitude can have a huge influence on how one feels, even affected your health- but I think that’s only to a point. Maybe she carries this idea a little too far- especially in Colin’s case. Everyone around him believed he was a sickly baby who grew into a sickly child who might never live. So he believed it himself. Until Mary startled him out of feeling sorry for himself and took him out in to the garden. Nature the great healer. I liked better the beginning of the story when Mary was attempting to clear things in the garden and help the plants even though she knew so little about it, rather than the end when some of the characters got a bit preachy. But overall it’s still a wonderful story.

I wanted to read this one again because I watched a recent movie version of it with my ten-year-old. I expected some parts to be different from the book, but I was a little disappointed how different they were. For starters, there’s no dog in the original story. The movie left out the old gardener entirely, and he was one of my favorite characters! I was dismayed at how much the movie emphasized the idea of magic, rather than just wholesome living and positive attitudes, working their cure on Mary and Colin. And the garden was oddly full of tropical plants, not at all like I’d pictured it from the book. I recognize that nowadays people have issues with racist attitudes the book showed- particularly towards people of color, and the servants, and even maybe the Yorkshire accent is offensive? those things didn’t bother me at all on a re-read, I suppose nostalgia let me breeze over them too easily. For all that, I still much prefer the original book to what this movie portrayed. However I found in poking around online there’s quite a few older film versions, some look interesting and closer to what I felt was the original feel of the book. I might try and find a few!

Rating: 4/5
256 pages, 1911

More opinions:
Pages Unbound
Dear Author
Mr. Leeper’s Bookshelf
anyone else?

Chronicles of Chrestomanci, Vol II

by Diana Wynne Jones

This one was fun, although it took me a while to get into it. I think because it was covering the thoughts and journal entries and doings of so many different characters in brief snippets, I had trouble keeping them straight or caring who was who and doing what at first. The journal entries were curious because half of them written nonsense and one kid wrote in code, as they knew the teachers would read it. It’s set in a gloomy boarding school, on a world parallel to Earth but where magic exists, and witches are heavily persecuted. So much that anyone accused is in fear of their life, and words like magic are used as swears. When the book opens one teacher has received an anonymous note accusing another student of being a witch. He’s sure some of them are, because quite a few students were orphaned when a parent was burned at the stake, for being that. There follows a lot of ins and outs as various students try to figure out who might be a witch, who did the accusing, are some of the teachers witches too? it seems so. There’s all the usual school scuffles, vying for popularity, trying to avoid detention, pulling pranks on each other, etc- but with the added quirk of magic thrown in. Because yes, some of the kids can do magic- but several of them don’t realize it until later on- and it’s quite delightful to see them all come together in the end and realize who has been doing what, and why. Chrestomanci makes a significant appearance in this one, coming in near the end to help set things straight- but not without the kids getting roundly chastised for causing trouble- and I appreciated that this book had an explanation for Chrestomanci’s role because I had forgotten the details of that when I was reading Magicians of Caprona. Laughed out loud quite a few times while reading this, which is great.

Borrowed from the public library.

Rating: 3/5

Chronicles of Chrestomanci, Vol II

by Diana Wynne Jones

It was just over ten years ago that I read volume one of The Chronicles of Chrestomanci. Finally I’ve gotten around to volume two, which also includes two books, The Magicians of Caprona and Witch Week. Doing separate posts for them.

This story is set in an alternate Italy, where magic is everyday and two major families are at odds with each other in the city of Caprona. Meanwhile other cities are getting ready to wage war on Caprona, but the city can’t properly defend itself because of all the internal squabbling. It reminded me a lot of Romeo and Juliet– wild insults traded whenever two of the opposing families meet in the streets, while some of the young people don’t care why their elders and cousins fight all the time, and fall in love.

One of the main characters is Tonino, who struggles to learn magic spells that everyone else seems to have an easy time with. He gets kidnapped by an unknown enemy, and finds himself in tight quarters with a girl from the other family. At first they argue and call each other names, but then start to figure out their escape together. Not only that, but maybe that can also find how to active the magic song that should protect all of Caprona- the words having been long forgotten. Because in this world, magic is done by singing special songs. Honestly, I wasn’t too crazy about that aspect of it, though it was kinda interesting in being unlike how I’ve seen magic depicted in other books. I wasn’t too keen on the protecting angel idea either, but I loved the cats. How only certain people could communicate with them, and the cats’ presence always made magic stronger, and of course they were very much themselves as cats are. All the part in the middle when the kids are part of a forced puppet show was interesting too- very unique idea- though I did think of Pinnochio- and also couldn’t help remembering stories about Jack the Giant-Killer, but this was not like a repeat of those. I was glad to find that the ridiculous-seeming Duke was actually an intelligent man in the end, struggling under a strong enchantress and playing the part of the fool to avoid detection. The end was pretty exciting (well, at least for kids this book is aimed at) and quite tidily, the young boy at the center of the story not only helps save the day and bring the two warring families together to save their city, but he also finds out what his magic talent is. Chrestomanci? He’s kind of a deus ex machina figure who steps in at the end- he was alluded to earlier in the story but never played a role until he was there to help the other characters fit the pieces together, vanquish the real enemy (wasn’t who I expected so that was nice) and explain a few things. That’s okay. While not my favorite Diana Wynne Jones, I did enjoy this one.

Borrowed from the public library.

Rating: 3/5

More opinions: A Garden Carried in the Pocket
anyone else?

by Lev Grossman

Final in this magician series. I don’t quite know how I feel about it. The characters were more interesting- they’ve matured somewhat, and Quentin can understand things he would have only seethed about before (though he can’t always solve his problems, still). In this third book, he’s been kicked out of the magical land Fillory, and ends up back at the secret magician’s school Brakebills, where he asks for a teaching position. Very well done, showing how he viewed the other professors and the whole institution differently as an adult, than from when he was a student himself. Also how his relationship with his parents shifted, although I still didn’t get any feeling of them as people (although that made sense, seeing how Quentin was so estranged from them himself). As before, the storyline jumps around, sometimes from the perspective of his friends still in Fillory- who continue ruling as kings and queens but then go on an urgent quest when they discover something is seriously ailing the magical land. How perfectly the two storylines, and many incidents and details from the prior books, weave together into an surprising ending. Despite how parts of the book didn’t work for me, it almost made me want to read the whole series again from the beginning, to pick up things I must have missed the first time around.

What didn’t work for me: the chunk of pages in the middle where Quentin is contacted by a group hiring magicians to steal a magical object (which it turns out they don’t have a right to): it becomes this elaborate, dangerous, deceit-riddled heist. My eyes glazed over. Fight scenes and intrigue don’t interest me much, sigh. I was about ready to toss it and read something else, but I skimmed through and got to the part where they find an old journal, the firsthand account of a Chatwin boy- one of the first who went to Fillory, part of the untold story-within-a-story. Man, that was fascinating. All the stuff about the Fillory books and how they affected these characters, made me so wish that was a real series, itself. I also loved all the parts about the magical library, and just the book love in general that these characters had in their crazy quest. Because it winds up to be a frantic effort to save Fillory. Quentin does things I wouldn’t have expected. In fact, the whole series does. It continued to pull surprises on me, up until the end- turns and connections I never saw coming. Though I was disappointed about the dragons- they play a major role but it’s all offstage! I was expecting a huge major battle in the end, but the dragons solved it for everybody (at huge cost), and the reader just hears about it secondhand.

Oh, and Alice returns. Quentin encounters her as a niffin, (a ghost/demon thing she turned into when overtaxed her magic to save the others earlier in the series) and it becomes his mission to save her, to bring her back. This was very interesting and again, not at all how I expected it to turn out. I liked that Alice was angry with Quentin for trying to “save” her- who was he to assume she wanted to be human again? but their reconciliation later on seemed way too easy and quick. No real explanation of that. If they had really smoothed things over, I think it would have taken much longer, and with far more rocky moments.

Well, a lot to think about. Worth reading overall, even if the series had some parts that annoyed or bored me, tempting me to turn the book in early. I’d like to re-read it all several years from now, see what I think when I’m not so focused on following the basic chain of events.

Borrowed from the public library.

Rating: 3/5
401 pages, 2014


All books reviewed on this site are owned by me, or borrowed from the public library. Exceptions are a very occasional review copy sent to me by a publisher or author, as noted. Receiving a book does not influence my opinion or evaluation of it


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