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2019 Reading Challenge

2019 Reading Challenge
Jill Elizabeth has read 0 books toward her goal of 200 books.
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Book Review: High Heel by Summer Brennan

I have found these Object Lessons books from Bloomsbury intriguing yet somewhat uneven so far. This one, however, is without a doubt my favorite to date…

High heels are such an emblem of femininity – for good or ill – and their fetishization by men and women alike is a fascinating topic in and of itself. Add in the layered feminist and sociopolitical ideology that Brennan weaves throughout the narrative and you find yourself with a very intriguing book that covers a lot of ground in a relatively short time. The organization is interesting. There are not chapters so much as sections, some of which are long and some quite short, but all of which offer food for thought and discussion on the topic of women’s shoes – and their implications, which are surprisingly broad-based and startlingly impactful – throughout history. Continue reading Book Review: High Heel by Summer Brennan

Book Review: The Night Before by Wendy Walker

This was a weird one, and ultimately a disappointment for it. I had high hopes based on the extremely provocative blurb, and the opening bits. The writing was good, the mysteries and suspense thick on the ground, and the characters seemed promisingly dark and uncertain. Unfortunately, it turned scattered all too quickly and I found myself rolling my eyes at the choices the characters made right up to the Big Reveal – and then I just sighed. I kept reading – Walker’s writing style is engaging, and I’ll admit I was still curious to see how on earth she’d close all the gaps, but things just felt like they were trying too hard to be mind-blastingly original in a genre that I’m starting to think needs to slow down a bit, publication-wise… Continue reading Book Review: The Night Before by Wendy Walker

Book Review: The Masterpiece by Fiona Davis

Fiona Davis’s books are such a delight to read. The blending of past and present (or in this case, past and less past) story lines to uncover a solution to a mystery of the past, tied to one of New York City’s great monument buildings, is a clever construct and one that educates and entertains in equal measure. This is my third foray into Davis’s world, and while I enjoyed it, I must confess that I did not find it quite as consistently compelling as the first two.

I vastly enjoyed the more historical story this time. Clara Darden and her 1920s New York felt alive and resonant in a way that Virginia’s 1970s city simply did not. It wasn’t until the Big Reveal that I finally felt a real connection to Virginia’s world. From there until the end I was thoroughly engaged and the book was as lovely as the earlier novels. Continue reading Book Review: The Masterpiece by Fiona Davis

Book Review: The Kingdom of Needle and Bone by Mira Grant

I LOVE Mira Grant (AND Seanan McGuire) and find her productivity astonishing – not just for sheer volume, which is impressive and entails multiple series from different author voices concurrently, but also for the consistently solid and varied quality of her titles. This woman publishes half a dozen books a year, minimum, under her various writing personas, and nearly each one hits it out of the park… I just love her writing style – no matter what name/intensity level she is writing under, the stories and characters are always complex, well thought out, and utterly original. This latest is no exception…

It’s a post-apocalyptic tale of a slightly different kind in that the world is not yet destroyed, but hovering on the verge of being so. And the apocalypse is, once again, of our own making. This time the issue is immunity – specifically herd immunity, and how it is being decimated by anti-vaccination fanatics. In a tale both timely and timeless, Grant uses her singular gift to present an entirely plausible and horrifyingly real vision of the world we may well find ourselves in if we continue to allow non-science (no coincidence that sounds so similar to “nonsense” in my mind) to chip away at the worldwide protection that vaccines provide all of us. Continue reading Book Review: The Kingdom of Needle and Bone by Mira Grant

Guest Post: Expand Your College Options Beyond the US by Jennifer Viemont

Today I’m bringing you a TOTALLY different type of post, but one that hits a topic near and dear to my heart: education. Specifically, higher education. Jennifer Viemont has some ideas about expanding your thinking to expand your options, and I hope you enjoy (and can profit from) them!

Expand Your College Options
by Jennifer Viemont

If you stress about how you’re going to pay for college — whether for yourself or your kids, you’re not alone. And it’s only getting more expensive! CNBC reports a 213% increase over 30 years. But there is a solution and you might not have heard of it before! It’s a more cost-effective alternative to the expensive United States colleges—in Europe, and it may be just the answer that you, your family, and your friends are looking for. Continue reading Guest Post: Expand Your College Options Beyond the US by Jennifer Viemont

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