Gone Bamboo is the second of Anthony Bourdain's fiction stories and it's just as good as the first one Bone in the Throat. Like I've said many times,Gone Bamboo is the second of Anthony Bourdain's fiction stories and it's just as good as the first one Bone in the Throat. Like I've said many times, Bourdain is one of my very favorite authors and he very rarely disappoints. Sadly, he's not really writing fiction anymore and more's the pity as he seems to have a talent for it.
Gone Bamboo is the direct sequel to Bone in the Throat and does feature Tommy Pagano and his girlfriend Tracy. However, this story is seen through the eyes of the hired killer couple Henry and Frances. Henry made a very important appearance in BitT, here we follow him to his island paradise home in the Caribean and meet his lady love Frances. This couple is just sarcastic comic gold, Frances is tough as nails and Henry is somewhat of a gentleman killer. They have their rules and heaven help you if you invade their peaceful island with your bullshit.
Events set in motion in BitT are concluded here, with the capo Donnie (Tommy's uncle) is taking refuge on Henry and Frances's island and the assorted people who want him dead and the feds protecting him are stirring no end of shit. The whole ride is fast paced and keeps you turning the pages. This was a 2 day read for me because I could barely put it down.
Again, pick this up, you'll be happy I introduced you to this author. And of course, there are restaurants and cooks galore in this one. It's not an Anthony Bourdain book without them....more
Alright, I'm going to put spoilers in here and you have been warned. I'm a lazy reviewer in that I'm not going to go through this whole review after IAlright, I'm going to put spoilers in here and you have been warned. I'm a lazy reviewer in that I'm not going to go through this whole review after I write it and find the spoilers and hide them from view. So please be aware that spoilers abound and I'm not hiding them.
Alright, we cool? Aright then, let's continue.
I loved this book and among my BDB reading friends this makes me a rarity. I know that a lot of the ladies (and a guy or two) that I discuss these books with won't agree with me one bit, but I'm hoping that this will at least explain my point of view a little.
Ward's output as of late has been rather spotty, with books I either didn't like at all or that I was unmoved by in any great sense. Now, I understand that I'm not reading great literature that will stand the test of time here, but I see no reason not to hold genre fiction to the same storytelling standards we hold other more "serious" (or at least as critics would put it) fiction to. So I've been rather brutal with much of Ward's ourve over the last 3 to 4 years. I've utterly panned her Fallen Angels series, and been cranky about misogyny I can no longer gracefully ignore in the BDB books. The King (BDB book immediately preceding this one) was better than what what she had been writing, but still not very moving. I'm happy to say that I was moved to both laughter and near tears with this one.
Note: I don't cry for books, so near tears for me is HUGE.
I've been an unabashed fan of the Shadow twins Trez and iAm since we started to really get more page time with them back in Lover Enshrined. I like a good mystery and frankly this series was DYING for some POC characters to come along. I've kept track of every moment they've had and collected hints of their species culture whenever they'd come up. So I will admit to be predisposed to favorable thoughts about this book before it was even published. This plot deviated from the normal HEA so set in stone in romance publishing (and since I come to PNR from the urban fantasy world and not the other way around, I don't really care about textbook HEAs that much, if at all) and it forced everyone to look at romantic heroes both male and female in a different light.
Not everyone likes that sort of thing. I do however, so it was my cup of tea.
The basic premise of the plot is that Trez is affianced to the heir to the Shadow throne, she's the future Queen as the Shadows are a matriarchal race. Trez has fled what is called the Territory to live on his own terms out in the human world. His twin iAm (it's never made clear whether they are identical or fraternal twins an admitted weak point in the plot) fled with him and they are close allies of Rhevenge and Xhex (two half vampire/half sympath characters). Time is up for Trez and he has to go back and do his duty to his people, marry the Princess and start providing the genetic material for heirs. He doesn't want to do this and he and iAm take refuge with the BDB at their mansion where he falls further in love with the vampire female Selena, a character he was shown to be favorably inclined to several books before it was made clear they would be a couple. Unfortunatly though, Selena has a terminal illness and how that plays out and how Trez deals with his destiny comprise the bulk of the book.
A large side plot involves iAm finding his own love interest Maichan in the Territory, she is a Shadow like he. This plot admittedly does not get enough page time and that's really too bad because I wanted to know a lot more about them than I was shown.
So what did I like and dislike? Let's start with the positives.
1. Selena, whom we've been getting to know through the two books that preceded this one (Lover at Last and The King) is easily the best and most emotionally realized Chosen character. The Chosen are typically shown as weak to the point of excessive damsels in distress (my least favorite character trope in the world) and are mostly one sided boring characters who could pretty much be interchangeable with each other. Selena is the exact opposite of this. She's bold, brash, she wants to wring the most out of life that she possibly can and have her own adventures. She's in the driver's seat to her own life and that is revelatory when it comes to the Chosen. Who are basically whatever their "hero" needs them to be or nothing more than a reward for their sex drives to find a home.
She is also terminally ill with a Chosen specific disease that occurs due to inbreeding. I'll spare you the gory details, it eventually turns them into living statues who can't move and they die in that form. There's lots of steps up to that point, but you can read that yourself. Having a terminally ill romantic lead is SO important. Commonly terminally ill people feel themselves unworthy of love and affection, choosing to isolate themselves so as to not be a burden on their loved ones. To see a character be shown as worth loving, as worth sex, as worth romance when she's looking her mortality in the face is... momentous.
As someone who recently had to deal with a cancer diagnoses and 2 go arounds with the disease, I can see myself in Selena. I got lucky, I'm okay now. She didn't get lucky... but reading about her choked me up, held me riveted, because that could have been me. Only by luck was it not. So let's just say I'm protective of Selena. I can honestly say I've never seen a heroine like her in a romance book, representation matters. Even if it's uncomfortable for mainstream romance readers, this demographic deserves page time too.
2. Trez is not your typical romance hero. Ward typically, with a few notable exceptions, has tended in recent years to specialize in males that are so alpha it stretches the bounds of belief that they would really be able to calm down for 5 minutes to have anything other than meaningless sex. Trez is insecure, is afraid of heights, can be selfish, knows how in debt he is to his brother and unlike Zadist, is wrapped up in paying him back. He's damaged sure (this series is contracturally obligated to have a damaged hero per book) but he seems far more self aware of it. He's more vulnerable than a lot of the others and as he comes from a matriarchal society, he's all about letting Selena have her adventures. Any other character in this series would never let her leave her bedroom, Trez takes her on a high speed car chase.
Sign me up for a slice of him.
3. iAm and the cooking. I could go on, but seriously, who doesn't want a man who not only wants to cook for you, but is DAMN good at it too? I'd marry him for that alone.
4. We FINALLY get to see the territory of the Shadows. Now, this one is half in the likes and half in the dislikes. Up until this book I honestly thought that the Shadows lived in either the Middle East or somewhere in eastern Africa. That's where ALL the clues were leading to, but apparently they've been living 2 hills away from the Shadow Colony in upstate New York. This was a jarring surprise that shouldn't have been, we should have known long before this book that the Shadows were local.
5. Selena's death and Trez's reaction. Selena doesn't make it folks, sorry to burst your bubble, but she doesn't. However her death is one of the more moving scenes in this entire series. She is the second love interest to die, the 1st being Wellsie. Now the Wellsie/Tohr/No'One storyline was a hot mess mated to a train wreck. It was forced and artificial. This one wasn't. Yes, their romance is tragic and doomed... if you want to look at it that way. Or you can look at it like I do: one day at a time. No one in this life is garunteed a tomorrow. No one is given the exact number of their days, every single last one can be your last. So live them and love hard. Nothing about this one seemed artificial. Trez was their for Selena every step of the way and his actions on her death bed were very emotionally effecting.
Afterwards, Trez is ready to die, long story short, he chooses life. His love dies and he has to choose whether to die with her or to continue to live. I really loved how whenever something good happened to him after her death, he looked heavenwards and thanked her and said he needed that. Unlike Tohr who never got to mourn in a healthy manner, that's what I feel like I'm seeing with Trez . I honestly believe that book by book we're going to get to go on a emotional journey with Trez. It won't be pat, it won't be the usual stuff, but it will be important. Grieving is important and it's well past time that someone in this series did it for real.
6. Rhage's survivors guilt by proxy. Long story short, Rhage and Mary faced a very similar set of circumstances but the Scribe Virgin interfered and saved Mary. Selena got no such miracles afforded to her and that's hard for him to deal with and he doesn't handle it with grace. It was very.. . humanizing. This sort of thing happens all the time and it was nice to see a fan favorite deal with it.
1. Oh Jesus Christ on a cracker, I do not give the slightest shit about Xcor and Layla. I do not want to read about them sexing each other up, I do not care about their overly emotional conversations, I do not care one whit about them in any respect. The only reason I will read their book is for the side plots. Once again their bullshit took up some serious page time and I skimmed all of it.
2. So Sola is out of town and dealing with her own shit with her grandmother, but Assail and his self indulgent drug habit are still taking up valuable page time. Without Sola the only thing I want to see to happen to this character is an overdose. This is one couple where the only one I care about is the female.
3. S'ex can go and die already. So in the book he just sits back and ALLOWS his infant daughter to be killed. Oh yeah, he's sad and weepy and it causes him to help overthrow the current Queen. And I don't give a fuck, he LET HIS DAUGHTER BE MURDERED. So he can go and die. I don't care what happens to him and I hope he gets his just desserts by a bullet in the head. I haven't hated a character like I hate him in a long time.
4. For a matriarchal species there weren't a whole lot of females to be found. Where were all the female warriors the Shadows were hinted at having in all the other books. It was all males as far as the eye can see. Also, Maichen is the Queen at the end of the book, but instead of seeing her ascend the throne we get S'ex promoted to a role identical to King, also we BARELY got to see the other Queen, Maichen's mother, do anything. I guess a female in this series can't have true power without abdicating it as soon as possible to a male. I was expecting more and feel a bit betrayed that it didn't happen.
5. iAm's plotline was given such short shrift it's nearly criminal. Honestly this guy deserved his own book and it's hard to ignore claims that he didn't get one because the powers that be refused to have more than one black hero in this series. Publishing racism at it's finest folks.
For these 5 reasons, while I loved this book, I have to take 1 star away. These nagged at me too much to give it 5 stars.
Many of my friends hated the amount that Jane was in this book, but I can skim right over her and not read her parts and at this point she's just someone I don't care about. I've made peace with the fact that Vutchrissa will never happen and that Jane (Ward's author avatar character) is never going anywhere. I don't like it, but it's not going to change. So unless a part with her in it is plot vital, I just skip over it.
In closing (to a REALLY long review) this book turned the tropes on their ears. It took chances and wasn't safe storytelling and I feel it should be rewarded for those choices. It brought me back into the BDB fold and nothing in years had really made me do that....more
This review contains spoilers and you have been warned.
Thanks to identity politics, I really wanted to love this book, I really did. But I didn't, no This review contains spoilers and you have been warned.
Thanks to identity politics, I really wanted to love this book, I really did. But I didn't, not even a little. I came to Starstruck with high expectations, maybe too high. The author, Yael Levy has become something of a name in traditional Jewish circles due to her attempts to merge the romance market with Orthodox Judaism. This is not an easy thing to do, but as the neverending slew of Christian romances out there prove (especially the oddball Amish ones), it can be done. Just not by this particular book.
Levy's other books have good reviews, Starstruck was mostly ignored by Goodreads and even by Amazon and Barnes & Noble, so I didn't have a lot to go on. Looking back on it I wish I had started on those other 2 books so I wouldn't feel so disappointed. Why do I feel that way? Well, I'm not an Orthodox Jew, but I am a Reform Jew (a very liberal sect of my religion) and I snatch up ANYTHING that has Jewish representation it. Something you wouldn't think would be so hard to find, but is.
Anyway, onto the book. This book has a duel lead and a duel romance with a side almost romance going on and that's too bad because the book simply isn't long enough for all that plot. At only 212 pages, there's just not enough time to really sink your teeth into ANYTHING that's happening and Holy Hannah is a lot happening.
First there's Abby and David Miller, a married couple with 3 children. Abby is a stay at home mom and David is finishing up his surgical residency at a local Brooklyn hospital. Abby is desperately bored with her life, totally under her mother's thumb, cannot fight for herself nor stand up for herself in any meaningful way. Her husband David is clueless to the point of me wondering if he was developmentally disabled and just a really crappy husband and father. There's a potential infidelity plotline thrown in here, in that David's residency partner Katrina wants to have an affair with him. She's nasty to Abby and flat out tells Abby she intends to take her husband. Does Abby pull it together to have an ACTUAL conversation about this to David and TELL him what this woman has said to her? Nope. Instead she cries a lot and seemingly takes a master class on how to humiliate herself and her husband publicly. Also, Abby is obsessed with soap operas and can't tell the difference between them and reality. Sadly, David is a clueless jerk who doesn't deserve a wife and family of any kind, so I read this HOPING they'd get a divorce. They don't.
Then there's Sarah Oppenheimer and Jeffery Hammond. Sarah is an assistant D.A. in Brooklyn and Jeffery is a beat cop helping her on a case. The case itself is rather interesting, their star crossed romance is not. Why star crossed? Sarah is Jewish and Jeffery is Christian, Sarah is observant and Jeffery is not, but he says over and over he'd never dream of converting to her faith. Sarah agonizes over this all and we're lead to believe that they have deep feelings for each other... but I didn't see it. Jeffery just pressures Sarah to have sex with him and she works herself around the axle telling him no. Um... that doesn't sound like love to me, just a jerk pressuring a woman to have sex that she doesn't really want to have. There's a nice guy named Boris who runs a butcher shop that's also interested in Sarah, and while they don't get together in the book, you have a feeling it's only a matter of time when the book ends.
Lastly there's Leah (last name never stated) and Micheal Smith. They too are interfaith. Leah is married with one daughter to a VERY abusive husband who beats her relentlessly. Micheal finds out and helps her get a get. A get is a Jewish writ of divorce, even after a couple gets a secular divorce, without a get in Judaism, they're still married. Only men can give gets, a woman cannot start the process, this is a HUGE social issue in Judaism with women trapped in marriages they can't get out of because they can't initiate a get. Anyway, he helps her get one, she leaves Brooklyn after being abandoned by everyone, because blaming abuse victims is cool now I guess. Her and Micheal don't get together, but the ending is nebulous and it's hinted that they will at a later date.
This book just left me cold. Abby is a total, delusional, nitwit. Sarah is written more as an archetype than a real person. Leah is left too vague and her resolution left too open. As for the guys, well... David is a jerk, Jeffery is a cad, Boris is a total sweetie, Michael is bit clueless, but ultimately very lovable and Leah's husband is never shown, just the bruises he leaves on her.
I was so eager to read this as I never get to see Jewish heroines in romance, PNR or UF, or honestly anywhere else really. I wanted to love it and instead got my hopes dashed on the rocks of reality. However, I will be giving her other book Brooklyn Love a try. Who knows? Maybe lighting will strike?...more
The Way Into series from Jewish Lights Publishing is a series I've been wanting to delve into for some time now. These are definately books that diveThe Way Into series from Jewish Lights Publishing is a series I've been wanting to delve into for some time now. These are definately books that dive into some weighty topics, they give you plenty of Jewish theological thought to chew on, but with the understanding that the reader needs more of an introduction than a PhD thesis. I started with the tikkun olam book because acts of charity and volunterism/social justice work are how I connect the most to my culture, my faith and G-d in general. For me tikkun olam is my Judaism in action.
I think this book gives the reader, Jew and non-Jew alike a very good jumping off point to understand the Jewish passion for liberal social reform throughout the centuries. There are quotes from the Talmud, the Mishnah, the Torah, pretty much the Tanankh in general in large quantities. This allows the reader to realize that for Jews, the bible is call to social action. It requires us to dive into society and make it better. Not just for us, not just for our fellow Jews, but EVERYONE. A concept not shared by certain other religions, for whom social reform is only for the group. The micro and not the marco as it were.
All this is well and good, but there are sections of this book that dragged, and dragged a lot. Mostly the sections about negative speech, and I get it, slander, lies and harmful gossip are bad. They are are bad for the the person being slandered and they are bad for the speaker. Basically the book is trying to say that speech doesn't exist in a vacuum and has consequences for everyone. I agree, but this section went on way too long. Rabbi Dorf ended up beating a dead horse here.
Also, the section about what parents owe their children was out of touch with the times and with reality. He talks about how parents need to help their children find spouses if they aren't married by their mid-twenties and to see college as a prospective marriage market. It's obvious that he wants a return the shidduch* sytem of old that the ultra orthodox still practice. However he realizes that that will never happen outside that demographic, so he tries every which way to have parents do everything but arrange marriages for their 'tagically single Jewish children'.
His section within this section about children and how Jews need to BREED, BREED, BREED was also nearly comically out of touch as well. He honestly mentions, several times that after the mid-twenties infertility issues begin to abound for women and sometimes for men and so Jewish singles need to be married by that time and having babies aplenty.
Once again, VERY out of touch with the times and with reality. I actually found this section a tad offensive and as though Rabbi Dorf, while attempting to posit himself as a liberal Jewish theologian, instead feels that women are merely recepticals for the next generation.
All in all a decent book, but one with some weighty flaws. For Jews, who can easily spot these inconsistencies I give this book 3 stars. For non-Jews, who aren't as equipped to spot the flaws in this book, I give it 2 stars. There are better books in which to learn about our philosophy of tikkun olam**.
*The shidduch system = An arranged dating system wherein a Jewish person's parents use a matchmaker to screen potential dates for their child in the hopes of finding a suitable marriage. Very akin to an arranged marriage, but with the children having the final say. No one in Judaism practices this anymore except for the Orthodox and even among them it is falling out of favor in all but the Haredi and Hasidic communities.
**Tikkun Olam = This means, literally, healing the world. A Jewish system of charitable philosophy.
Ok... what did I think? Alright there are going to be spoilers in this review, so if you haven't read the book and you don't want to be spoiled than mOk... what did I think? Alright there are going to be spoilers in this review, so if you haven't read the book and you don't want to be spoiled than may I politely suggest that you do not read this review. If that warning does not apply to you then, read on kimo sabe.
First off I look at a 3 star rating differently than most people. So let me reiterate my rating system:
1 star: So bad I lost brain cells.
2 stars: Not good, but my intelligence remained intact. Basically this rating is usually for books that weren't my thing at all but might be for someone else.
3 stars: Neutral. Not horrible, not great either. Not good, not bad. Everything balanced out to... meh. A flat reading experience that never moved me in any particular direction.
4 stars: I liked it.
5 stars: I liked it so much I'm going to wax poetic about it for a while.
1. I was REALLY unmoved by The King. Now I will fully admit that this could be because as a couple I usually find Wrath/Beth to be flat. I don't dislike them, but I'm usually not dying for info on them either. I just don't really care that much... but I don't hate them or anything.
Well... until this book. Where I ended up screaming into a pillow a few times because I wanted to launch both of them into outer space. Ugh, could they just... oh I don't know, have an honest and open conversation? If your main couple's drama is happening basically because they forgot how to talk, your drama sucks monkey balls. Frankly, that's a maneuver I have come to expect (and hate) from Qhuinn/Blaylock. This is not a plot point I will ever like so it made me screech in this book too.
Okay, so Beth wants a baby and Wrath doesn't. Not exactly an uncommon issue in marriages in real life, but good G-d, do I hope those marriages deal with this issue in a more adult fashion. So, Wrath unilaterally decides that they will NEVER have a baby. Which is a dick move on his part. There's no discussion, no nothing just "I am the king and what I say goes. DID YOU HEAR ME I'M THE KING?!" *insert boot stomping and fist smashing here like a 3 year old*. In fact Wrath behaves like a spoiled child throughout most of this book and it drove me nuts. Marriages aren't dictatorships and if you try to run yours like that, it's going to fail. He is a centuries old ADULT, he should act like one.
So you'd think I'd be all in Team Beth for this argument, right? Wrong. Instead of doing much of... anything in the book, she sits in a bed with Layla and eats ice cream and bemoans the state of her waistline. Now Ward has told us ad infinum that Beth is an active Queen who is elbows deep in helping her mate rule the vampires. Really? THEN SHOW HER ACTUALLY DOING THAT! All we ever get to see Beth do is sit on Wrath's lap and be hand fed, lounge around, watch endless amounts of tv, eat ice cream and play pool with Butch. That's it. If Ward wants me to believe that Beth has a function she damn well needs to show her doing something actually useful. Till then she's just a lap ornament for Wrath.
Anyway, Beth starts contemplating tricking Wrath into getting her pregnant... which is not healthy at all. People may give Layla and Qhuinn shit for deciding to have a baby without giving it anymore thought than they would picking out what sort of orange juice they want from the store, but you have to give them this one thing: nobody tricked anyone about the end result that would occur from that sex. Tricking someone into getting you pregnant is just as bad as unilaterally denying them the ability to ever be a mother because you think you have the right to do that. Both are equally bad and neither one of these two had a moral high ground to stand on.
2. I do not care about Assail, like at all. He's a junkie and unlike Phury there seems to be no extenuating circumstances to explain it. I'm not saying that Phury's tragic backstory makes his junkie behavior acceptable, but it IS explainable. Assail's isn't. He shoves so much coke up his nose because... why exactly? I just don't care. He likes the rush and the way it makes him feel, he seems to enjoy being able to stay up at all hours. Phury had actual emotional trauma, Assail, to the best of any reader's knowledge, has none.
3. I couldn't care less about Layla and Xcor if I went out and tried to buy a fuck to give. Is it just me or are Assail and Xcor the low rent versions of Phury and Zadist? Seriously, they are very similar characters but with NONE of the attention to detail and personality that made those two characters the fan favorites they are. I don't mind Layla, at this point I just don't care. She moves me in no particular direction in any way. So, since she's going to be mated to a character I can't bring myself to care about, they bore the hell out of me.
This book was a round robin of those two couples plus a character who were about as interesting as lump of granite to me and about as appealing after their various behaviors.
So... what did I like about this book, since the above seem to make me want to spit nails?
1. Trez, iAm and Selena: I love, love, LOVE those Shadow brothers. I love how they act, I love their mystery, I love their humor. Not one beat of them in this book left me flat. I ate up every page they were on. They waltzed in and stole the show. And thank G-d for that because the show NEEDED to be stolen by SOMEBODY!
I am an unabashed feminist, so the blatant misogyny in this series is very difficult for me to swallow with any grace. The Shadows belong to a matriarchy and the respect that Trez and iAm have for females/women having the G-d given right to determine their own destinies is something I can't stress enough how much I adore. Their sibling dynamic is wonderful, it has some shades of Zadist/Phury but not too much and it's very much it's own bond. Plus, hello, they're funny as hell half the time.
Selena is about the only Chosen that I like. She knows her own mind, she does her own thing and fuck you if you can't keep up. She's here to grab life by the horns and live it. THIS is what I wanted to see when the Chosen were freed and she's the ONLY one who's actually started down the character path I envisioned for that cult of sex and blood objectified females.
2. Sola. Holy Moses, I have been waiting for this character for so long! A human female badass who is also the stealth and guile hero. Xhex and Payne have the whole "I'll beat you to death right in up front and in your face." female vibe going for them. Sola will break into your house, crack your safe, spread your dirty laundry to everyone she can think of, bug your home. She's recon to the BDB's special forces. She's stealth and guile and they literally have NO ONE who fits that bill in the entire plotline. Oh, and she'll kill you if she has too. She's no shrinking human damsel.
3. Sola's grandmother: Hilarious. Totally hilarious. Her dynamic with Assail and his cousins comes right off the page and makes you laugh out loud. I want Sola's grandmother bossing EVERYONE round, so I can laugh my butt off, something this series has never really made me do all that much.
4. Payne: So, in this book Payne gets hurt, then puts Jane in her place when Jane tries to determine how Payne's event will be diseminated to the BDB. She also calls Jane out on some internalized sexism she has going on. Then she sneaks up on Wrath, gets the upper hand and then reminds him that he might be the King, but her mother is his god. She does what she has to to get her point across. She is a fully fledged warrior and you disrespect her on that to your peril. *love*
Can you tell most of what I liked had to do with female characters. I have to say, with the exception of Beth and to a lesser extent Layla, the female characters had a really good showing in this book. And about time too.
5. Wrath meeting with the commoners. It. Is. About. Time. The civilians in this series have barely been mentioned, nevermind shown.This was our first in depth look at this side of the BDB world and I really enjoyed it.
So, anything else I disliked? Why yes, yes there is:
1. Yet another female nearly loses her life giving birth. Again? Really Ward? Aren't you bored with this chestnut by now. EVERY female that has given birth has nearly died, and let's not forget the pregnant Wellsie who got shot to death. It's ridiculous, at this point pregnancy and birth are so lethal as to be unsustainable to keep the species alive. I'm getting to the point where I think that childless Ward is actually terrified of the whole process of pregnancy and birth because this reeks of phobia turned plotline. It makes no sense whatsoever for birth to be this lethal. Biologically this is ludicrous.
2. So in the end Wrath implements democracy to the vampire world. Very good. And then he subsequently gets elected King for life. What? Are you KIDDING me? What is this fanfic?
At the end of the day what I liked and what I disliked balanced each other out. I don't really like this book that much, but I don't actively dislike it either. It falls squarely in the middle, so it gets 3 stars and hopefully it will move someone else in way that it failed to do for me.
I found this book in a used bookstore a few years ago and just recently got around to reading it.
This is a fabulous introductory volume on the historyI found this book in a used bookstore a few years ago and just recently got around to reading it.
This is a fabulous introductory volume on the history of Native America as regards United States politics, law, treaty precedent, sovereignty, religon, citizenship and the very notion of plenury power. Too many people are utter neophytes on this topic and this book was apparently aimed at lower division students of your basic Intro to U.S. Government/poli sci college courses. The idea being that it would at least put the seeds of interest and knowledge into a new generation and that only good could come of educating students on at least the ground level of how Native Americans and reservations work in regards to politics and law.
Sadly most people in this country know nothing or next to nothing about tribal status in the United States and this is an excellent book for the average person to start with. The language is clear, concise and the imagery is compelling. It's not overwhelming nor is it overly preachy, but it whets the appitite for more and covers a decent range of topics to give it's audience a good grounding on pretty much all the basics. In fairness I knew all this stuff already, since this was my area of study in college... however, I felt that having this knowledge going in made for a better critical reading experience. So I feel justified in saying that this is a superlative book that fulfills it's purpose. You aren't going to come away an expert on anything from reading this, but you will come away with a firm grasp of basic tribal history as regards American civics and government.
The book is divided into twelve chapters all covering one facet of the unique relationship tribes share with the federal governement as sovereign nations who have a higher status than the states which surround their land.
2. Political Ideals, Traditions, Culture
4. Citizenship and Political Participation
5. Civil Liberties
6. Groups and Interests
7. Campaigns and Elections
12. Policy Issues
I took one star away from my review due to the content of chapter 2. Though well written and extremely passionate, it's essentially about the First Nations of Canada and how they are forced to interact with the Canadian parliment. I'm not really sure why this essay was included in a volume about U.S. politcal history. There is important information to be gleaned from this chapter about traditional tribal government styles in general, but it is useless in juxtaposing that information against the style of representational democracy that the United States uses.
All in all a good an informative book, perfect for an intro to poli sci course, or for the layman who just wants some knowledge about how Native America works....more
Well... this book was interesting, but in the end just plain old too long, considering the subject matter. 100 trees. I like trees, I do... but readinWell... this book was interesting, but in the end just plain old too long, considering the subject matter. 100 trees. I like trees, I do... but reading about the histories of 100 of them was too much and by the end I was dying for this book to be over.
3 stars because the information is good, there's just too much of it and too dryly written about....more
I recieved many miscellany books such as this recently and can't really figure out where to put them on my shelves, so for the time being... we're goiI recieved many miscellany books such as this recently and can't really figure out where to put them on my shelves, so for the time being... we're going to call them history. Whimsical history yes, but history nevertheless.
Alright, so this was an absolute treat. I honestly believe that it is impossible to be in a bad mood when you put this book down. It's that infectious and happy a kind of a book. Recently I started reading romance genre books a bit and it lead me to these sorts of books. The whimsical romance of the everyday. When did all that is considered romantic start being about brooding, jerky guys and weak women? When did we (and I) stop seeing the romantic in the small things?
Yes, I consider it both romantic and whimsical to read a book that tells me about the history of sequins, glass doorknobs, kimonos, silk fans, tea, champagne, lingerie, and even the history of words such as enthusiasm. I was told by my spouse that I had a ghost of smile on my face the entire time I would be sitting and reading this book.
We forget so much about how many wonderful objects and notions are part of our everyday life, it's nice to be reminded....more
This is a book of whimsical history, odd facts and strange happenings. It's a trivia book that I recieved for Hanukkah from a friend and it was a fullThis is a book of whimsical history, odd facts and strange happenings. It's a trivia book that I recieved for Hanukkah from a friend and it was a fully enjoyable read. There is something so entertaining to me about the truth is stranger than fiction genre of books. None of this information is ever going to come in useful to me outside of a Trivial Pursuit game, but I still feel like a I fed my brain nevertheless in a very fun and entertaining way.
I highly reccomend this book, especially after having read perhaps one too many heavy, weighty books. ...more
This was a buddy read for the Classic Horror Lovers group, and it was a great pick on the moderators parts. The book was written in the late 1940's anThis was a buddy read for the Classic Horror Lovers group, and it was a great pick on the moderators parts. The book was written in the late 1940's and as such, like most classic horror, has a very different feel to it than later day modern horror. Here the focus is on the creepy and chilling atmosphere of the tale versus blood and gore.
This tale is set on a New England small college campus. A very conservative one that is buccolic at the same time. Norman Saylor and his wife Tansy are young, up and comers at the university. On verge of a career coup for Norman and Tansy seems every part the perfect academic's wife. Till one night, everything changes. Norman goes snooping in his wife's closet and finds evidence of witchcraft. Of course, he confronts his wife about this and thus the plotline is set in motion.
Women everywhere are engaged in a war of magic, each fighting for their own slice of the pie, either directly for themselves, or indirectly, for their husbands. It's a world where nothing is as it seems and where by making Tansy destroy all her charms and magic, he leaves himself, and her, exquisitly vulnerable to the machinations of the 3 powerful witches that are set against them.
This book was written in the 1940's so one has to take it with a certain bit of salt. Leiber, like most men of that era, had certain set in stone opinions on the mental accuity of women in general and they do show up in this book. However, unlike most male authors of this time, he presents these opinions in a sort of tongue and cheek way. Like he can have enough distance from his time to not take it all so seriously.
Without giving away to much, the ending is a shocker, and fits in perfectly with this story of psychological horror and a witch's brutal war. I highly recommend this for anyone who has a love of classic horror or a good suspense story. ...more
After owning this book for over 6 years and trying 4 times to finish it, I sadly have to admit defeat. This book is just not a gripping read and is...After owning this book for over 6 years and trying 4 times to finish it, I sadly have to admit defeat. This book is just not a gripping read and is... well... painfully boring. It's not brain killingly awful, but just dry as sandpaper. Maybe I just don't like tulips enough to get into this? Maybe I need a bit more passion and whimsy in my garden writing? I don't know, but whatever it is... The Tulip didn't have it.
1. There are whole sections of untranslated French in this book. In two chapters it was so much material that I felt like I was unprepared for the following chapters. I have no idea if this is because I have the British version and not the one for the US, but regardless, if you don't read French, you're going to have issues with this book. This is something that should be noted on the book jacket.
2. Supposedly this is about the tulipomania that struck both the Ottoman Empire and Holland. A time when tulip bulbs where more valuable, monetarily, than houses in both countries. Instead it seemed like a good portion of the book was her translating old nursery catalogues. Very boring... I was expecting something else based on the book jacket.
In the end I was bored out of my mind for the 4th time in a row, couldn't finish the book and gave it away. It gets two stars instead of one because while it was boring, the facts were correct and it's not like I left the experience feeling angry that this shouldn't have been published. I'm sure it has an audience... I'm just not it. ...more