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Sunday, April 11, 2021
Friday, April 9, 2021
Four siblings (John, Susan, Titty, and Roger) visit the Lake District in Great Britain with their mother and baby sister while their father is busy working. Because this is the early twentieth century, they get permission to sail out to an island and camp there for several weeks, and have many adventures, both on the island and on their boat, the Swallow. They make friends with two sisters who sail their own boat and call themselves the Amazons, and after having a merry war, they make peace and continue having adventures together. Believable, jolly, sometimes exciting adventures that I just loved.
If This was a Movie, I Would Rate It: G. Clean, wholesome, and sweet.
This is my 18th book read and reviewed for my 3rd Classics Club list, and my 15th read off my TBR shelves for #TheUnreadShelfProject2021.
Wednesday, April 7, 2021
Monday, April 5, 2021
Thursday, April 1, 2021
In Recipe for Persuasion, Ashna Raje is slowly losing her late father's restaurant. Calling her relationship with her mother "strained" would be laughably underestimating their emotionally fraught battles. A few years earlier, a therapist "diagnosed her with PTSD resulting in acute clinical depression and anxiety" (p. 92), and Ashna battles her way through a lot of resulting issues throughout this story.
Ashna is convinced she can untangle the mess her life has become herself... until the last person in the world she ever wants to see again steps back into her life. She and Rico Silva, world-famous soccer star, were high school sweethearts, and when they end up paired together on a reality cooking show, everything in Ashna's life unravels faster than she can imagine.
The thing with unraveling a mess is that you can create something new and orderly out of it, once you finish the painful process of untying all the knots. Which Ashna eventually can appreciate, but it takes her a long time.
This book was a lot of fun, since I love to cook, but it also kind of left me wrung out for a day or so. Just so you know. I liked it better than Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors, mostly because I liked Ashna much better than the heroine of that one. But neither of them are books I'd re-read.
Particularly Good Bits:
The downside of choosing cowardice was that there was only so long you could hide. Problems were patient. They always waited you out (p. 22).
"Being who you're not takes too much energy" (p. 270).
In every part of her life, that was all she ever wanted to be, forcefully the same on the inside and the outside. Able to say what she wanted to say, able to do what she wanted to do, able to think of herself as she wanted to be thought of (p. 387).
If This was a Movie, I Would Rate It: R. Very R. Discussion of marital rape, lots of suggestive dialog, a love scene that is pretty graphic until it fades to black, lots of thinking about sexual topics, and quite a bit of bad language. I skimmed several parts that went beyond my comfort level.
Wednesday, March 31, 2021
Sunday, March 28, 2021
I love this book so much, I lingered over it and made it last me for days and days instead of gobbling it down like I did the first two. I would pause at favorite bits and savor them. I reread my favorite page in the whole series multiple times. I stopped and reread my favorite two chapters. I let myself savor the story, the characters, the writing. It was a glorious reread.
I was very much struck, this time, with Snape's correct assessment of Harry's character flaws. He says, "famous Harry Potter is a law unto himself. Let the ordinary people worry about his safety! Famous Harry Potter goes where he wants to, with no thought for the consequences" (p. 284). How right you are, Snape! Harry really does think he can do just about anything, and so far, he's gotten out of some bad scrapes pretty handily that he wouldn't have really needed to get out of if he hadn't gotten himself into them in the first place.
This is a common thing in kids books, where kids just ignore the wise adults and go their merry way and solve everything on their own by doing ridiculously dangerous things. I'm glad Rowling addresses that issue in her series, that she shows that this is NOT a good way to go about things, especially as the series progresses. Yes, Harry is not an ordinary boy... but he's also only a boy. And his stubborn belief that He Knows Best does have serious consequences at times. As Lupin says about himself and his friends at Harry's age, "We were young, thoughtless -- carried away with our own cleverness" (p. 355). It's a dangerous business, being young and thinking you're invincible.
Part of me wants to just stop here, with a vast array of possibilities ahead for Sirius and Harry, everything hopeful and unknown. I won't. I'll keep rereading the series. But I'm also going to very much enjoy the next couple of weeks before I start book four, of living in this in-between world for a bit.
|(Mine from my Instagram account.)|
Particularly Good Bits:
Meanwhile, in the rest of the castle, the usual magnificent Christmas decorations had been put up, despite the fact that hardly any of the students remained to enjoy them. Thick streamers of holly and mistletoe were strung along the corridors, mysterious lights shone from inside every suit of armor, and the Great Hall was filled with its usual twelve Christmas trees, glittering with golden stars. A powerful and delicious smell of cooking pervaded the corridors, and by Christmas Eve, it had grown so strong that even Scabbers poked his nose out of the shelter of Ron's pocket to sniff hopefully at the air (p. 222).
"What was there to be gained by fighting the most evil wizard who has ever existed?" said Black, with a terrible fury in his face. "Only innocent lives, Peter!" (p. 375).
Black's gaunt face broke into the first true smile Harry had seen upon it. The difference it made was startling, as though a person ten years younger were shining through the starved mask; for a moment, he was recognizable as the man who had laughed at Harry's parents' wedding (p. 379). (That's basically my favorite paragraph in the whole series.)
If This was a Movie, I Would Rate It: PG for some rude humor, mild bad language, peril to children, discussion of executions, and the very scary Dementors.