Problematic Books in YA; The Ones that Romanticize Abuse — Reader Fox and a Box of Books

I don’t think I’d normally do this for many books, but something about this one just really bugged me. And I’ve been planning to write a detailed in-depth post series about books like this that exist in YA (mainly) or were inspired by YA (I’m sure everyone can name this book) where abusive relationships are […]

via Problematic Books in YA; The Ones that Romanticize Abuse — Reader Fox and a Box of Books

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Weekend reading📓

Hey, it’s Speedy Reader. It’s been an intense week, for lots of reasons, but I have had the chance to start an awesome new nonfiction book. It’s called Life and Death in the Andes by Kim MacQuarrie. It’s a collection of stories, arranged more or less geographically, that cover crime, history, religion, and culture. It really makes me want to visit South America. I’m loving this on audio. Enthusiastic recommendation here! What are you reading?

Limelight: a review

Limelight by Emily Organ (Penny Green #1)

Synopsis

How did an actress die twice?

London, 1883. Actress Lizzie Dixie drowned in the River Thames, so how was she murdered five years later in Highgate Cemetery?

Intrepid Fleet Street reporter Penny Green was a friend of Lizzie’s and Scotland Yard needs her help. Does Penny unwittingly hold clues to Lizzie’s mysterious death? Penny must work with Inspector James Blakely to investigate the worlds of theatre, showmen and politicians in search of the truth.

But who is following her? And who is sending her threatening letters?

Penny is about to discover that Lizzie’s life was more complicated, and dangerous, than she could ever have imagined.

Review

I finished this one yesterday and found myself trying to figure out how I felt about the book. I mean, I didn’t HATE it, but I didn’t like it either. Penny, our MC, has an interesting back story, but I still thought her actions didn’t make a lot of sense.

In the end, I think it was just that writing was pretty – well, average. We only got to really know 2 characters in the book, and they were still a little flat. The pacing was off, all the action occurs in the beginning and the very end. There was a lot of telling, a lot of dialogue, but not much to hint at what characters were actually feeling.

I do enjoy this time period, and I admit to being intrigued by the female reporter angle. But really, there are better Victorian era mysteries out there. I would not recommend this one and I don’t plan on reading more by this author. However, it is a first novel, so it’s possible the series gets better as it goes on. I won’t be bothered to find out.

Burning Ridge – a review

Burning Ridge, Timber Creek K9 #4

By Margaret Mizushima

Mattie Cobb is a police detective with a K9 partner working on a small town in Colorado. Her latest case turns out to have a very personal connection and her past will hold the answers she needs to solve the crime.

This is the 4th book in the series, but I didn’t feel lost for long. I really liked Maggie’s relationship with her dog, Robo. That was the best part of the book. I would definitely read more in this series.

The Inventor and the Tycoon: A Review

12786118 The Inventor and the Tycoon: A Gilded Age Murder and the Birth of the Moving Pictures

by Edward Ball

Synopsis: From the National Book Award-winning author of Slaves in the Family, a riveting true life/true crime narrative of the partnership between the murderer who invented the movies and the robber baron who built the railroads.

Review:

I am a sucker for historic true crime. I love reading about crime, detection, and the law from the past. This one sounded pretty interesting. I really liked the movie aspect of the story, more about the early days of film.

Unfortunately, this book didn’t really work for me. It’s a joint biography of two men in the 19th century, inventor Eadweard Muybridge and rail tycoon Leland Stanford. I liked the story about the building of the railroad – and the many references to Utah in there – and the story of the inventor/photographer was pretty interesting too. But together, they didn’t make any sense. The only connection, as far as I could tell, was that that had a brief business connection. But I’m sure that millionaire Stanford had lots of business dealing with a lot of people.

But the author chose to drop plenty of hints about the murder and then drop it for another chapter about the plight of Chinese workers on the railroad. Honestly, I finally just got bored and let it go. I need a better book about the the building of the railroad. This one just didn’t work for me.

What Summer Reading?

Every year for the last maybe 15 years I’ve participated in my library’s summer reading program. When the kids were little it was a great way for them to earn free prizes and keep them occupied when they were out of school. There were even fun prizes for the adults, from free t-shirts to books, candy, and free meals.

This year is the first time I didn’t participate. I signed up all right, but I didn’t finish a single book review. I don’t know what happened. It’s tempting to blame it all on depression, but I’m not aware of being more depressed than say, the year my dad died. It just seems like I haven’t been interested in reading lately.

Things are looking up slightly. I’ve finished a couple of books recently and I’m really enjoying this  month’s book club pick. I don’t know. Let’s hope it was just a fluke and I can enjoy a good book again.

Currently reading!

Happy weekend! Today was lazy after some health -related stuff this week, so I’m finally getting back into reading again. Here’s what I’m reading now.

Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson. Ok, I’d put this aside for now as it was getting to the heavy part, and I just couldn’t handle it, but I think it’s time to dig it out again.

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn. My first book by her and I’m not really connecting with it. Not sure about this one.

All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot. This one is for book club and I am *flying* through this. Love it.

What are you reading? Let me know in the comments.

Sawdust in His Shoes

Sawdust in His Shoes by Eloise McGraw Jarvis.

One minute Joe is on top of the world – fame, applause, friends – the next he is orphaned, homeless, and unemployed. When his father is killed, Joe hopes he’ll be able to stay in the circus and live with an old friend. But the court needs time to consider the matter. Soon the circus must move on and Joe is shoved into a boys’ home. Joe decides to set off on his own instead, but it’s only after meeting an extraordinary ordinary family that things finally start looking up.

A few years ago I read another book by Jarvis and really enjoyed it. (The Golden Goblet) When I heard she had a new book out, I was pleased but surprised. She must be pretty lucky to be writing new stuff so long after her previous book. It turns out that this is a new edition of her very first novel, which explains its old-fashioned feel. It’s set during the height of the traveling circus, when tractors were replacing horse drawn plows, when telephones were on the party line and no television existed. A circus was seen as glamorous and exotic, not quite respectable.

Joe is a brash, daring kid with a quick temper. He’s kind of a mess when his dad dies. It takes a family like the Dawsons to help him heal.

I really enjoyed this book. It did take me a little while to get into it, but that might have been me. Once I got started, the story moved well enough. I think most lids would like this one. It was clean and perfect for your animal loving kids. It would be good one to read aloud too.

What are you reading this weekend?

One of the reasons I haven’t posted much lately is that I haven’t been reading much. I’m not even going to try to catch up on what I have finished, but things are slowly looking up this week and I have a few books I’m working on.

The first is one for review called .Sawdust in His Shoes by Eloise Jarvis McGraw. I was excited to win this one from Library Thing because I’ve read one of her books before and really liked it. This one is about a boy who grew up in the circus. It has a very old-fashioned feel to it, but I don’t mean that in a bad way.

I’m also rereading Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson. It was our pick for book club in July. I was really into it but then I just got too depressed to finish. And I’m listening to a nonfiction book called Frontier Grit about pioneer women. Great stories but too much moralizing.

So what are you reading? Have a good weekend.