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AJ-ish/Sharyn

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katrinka

I mowed through a whole trilogy last Sunday. I think it really should have been together in one book, but kindle is inexpensive so I can't complain much.


The titles are The Secret Sense of Wildflower, Lily's Song, and Daisy's Fortune by Susan Gabriel. They're what people sometimes refer to as "beach reads" - page-turners that don't require any effort on the reader's part, that keep you engaged because you have to see what happens next. The genre is Southern Gothic (they're set in Appalachia and there's weirdness) and while the text is that YA level stuff that I sometimes find annoying, it's OK here, the author has an incisive understanding of human nature.

The first book is from the perspective of Wildflower, a 13 year old in the 1940's. She's dealing with the loss of her father in a sawmill accident. I don't like the term "trigger warning", but for lack of a better term, I have to use it here since there's a brutal rape that takes place. But there is also a striking NDE vision that goes with it. The "secret sense" is instinct and intuition, and it's quite plausible. I liked this one the best.

The second book focuses on Wildflower's daughter, Daisy, and it's set in the 50's. It deals in family secrets and the bigotry of the community. The "secret sense" events are a little more farfetched in this one, and I think that since it's revealed in this one that Wildflower is a lesbian, there should have been some hint of that in the first volume. She surely would have already been attracted to girls at 13? It's like the author only thought of it after the first book was published. The first one is so good that I'm sure people wanted more, so I'm guessing she complied even though she hadn't planned to write sequels in the beginning. But I can't complain much. The book nails the way "country people despise anything or anybody different...your daddy said we'd best be careful of who we trusted, that they could turn on a dime."

The third book is about Lily's daughter, Daisy, and yes there's a Tarot reading, though it's not stated which cards were drawn. In this one, the secret sense events are ramped up enough to the point that a lot of this is totally implausible. But by this time I was hooked and I didn't mind much. There's nothing wrong with a good ghost yarn. 😉 This one is set in the 1980's. And while there's a quality slide from the first book to this one, I liked seeing how the characters ended up.

All in all, I liked the trilogy. Comparisons to Sharyn McCrumb are probably inevitable, and while these books lack McCrumb's research and wit, like McCrumb's works they do draw you in and keep your nose in the kindle. Don't pick them up if you have work to do, it won't get done. These are for lazy days!

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  • 2 weeks later...
maenifold

I enjoyed "How the Hippies Saved Physics: Science, Counterculture, and the Quantum Revival" by David Kaiser, a non-fiction account of a group of young physicists in 1975 who were enamoured of thinking about the wilder possible implications of quantum mechanics, including whether it could explain psi effects. There's a tantalising reference to some of the physicists consorting with Tarot readers, psychics and magicians, I'd have liked to read more about that. On the whole it's a well-written popular science book, and it reminded me a bit of Chaos by James Gleick in that it's engaging about the people involved and interesting about how sometimes important developments percolate through the science community unexpectedly slowly.

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I've just finished reading Elle Minnow Pea: A Novel in Letters by Mark Dunn. I found it as I was trawling through Pinterest of all places. Here's the description from Amazon

 

'Ella Minnow Pea is a girl living happily on the fictional island of Nollop off the coast of South Carolina. Nollop was named after Nevin Nollop, author of the immortal phrase containing all the letters of the alphabet, “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.”

 

Now Ella finds herself acting to save her friends, family, and fellow citizens from the encroaching totalitarianism of the island’s Council, which has banned the use of certain letters of the alphabet as they fall from a memorial statue of Nevin Nollop. As the letters progressively drop from the statue they also disappear from the novel. The result is both a hilarious and moving story of one girl’s fight for freedom of expression, as well as a linguistic tour de force sure to delight word lover everywhere.'

 

It's not the usual kind of book I go for but it was a pretty fun quick read 😁

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lik trying to typ a lttr without a e

I just finished Ravensbruck: Life and Death in Hitler's Concentration Camp for Women
by Sarah Helm. Nasty. Knew it would be, but we have to remember. Shuddering at how closely Germany  in the mid-late 30's mirrors America today. Doesn't take much encouragement to bring out the worst in humans. 

I've just begun a new to me author of ancient egyptian fiction, Bird in a Snare (The Lord Hani Mysteries Book 1)
N.L. Holmes

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moved on from Bird in a Snare at about the half way point. Just seemed to go on and on. I don't know if I have less patience but life is too short to finish books that have no + side..

And Katrinka, I've become maddened by the recent proclivity of ebook publishers to give us one story in 3 books. 150 pages isn't a book and having to pay for all three not-books to get the story is setting my teeth on edge and I won't do it. How many pages is the first thing I check now, followed by 3 star reviews 🙂 which I find the most telling. 

 

Anyway, something light for me this week, OF Mutts And Men, by Spencer Quinn, the 10th Chet and Bernie book, Bernie being Bernie Little of the Little Detective Agency and Chet being the big dog in charge of grabbing perps by the pant leg. The books are told from Chet's point of view. Very refreshing, no politics at all unless you count the aquifer. I've enjoyed them on CD also. If you'd like an intro try https://smile.amazon.com/Iggy-Chronicles-One-Bernie-Mystery-ebook/dp/B00BL12BU4/ref=sr_1_24?dchild=1&qid=1600265358&refinements=p_27%3ASpencer+Quinn&s=digital-text&sr=1-24&text=Spencer+Quinn about Chet's neighbor Iggy, it's just .99 on kindle. 

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I've just finished reading Piranesi by Susanna Clark. I absolutely loved Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, so I was eagerly and impatiently waiting for this book. It is very different but I really enjoyed it, the little clues about what was really happening, the descriptions of the 'House'. A number of the statues described could represent tarot or lenormand cards (a percieved message from birds involve them perching on statues such as angel blowing a trumpet, a ship, clouds, mice eating grain.) which added to the whole thing for me.

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28 minutes ago, ilweran said:

I've just finished reading Piranesi by Susanna Clark. I absolutely loved Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, so I was eagerly and impatiently waiting for this book. It is very different but I really enjoyed it, the little clues about what was really happening, the descriptions of the 'House'. A number of the statues described could represent tarot or lenormand cards (a percieved message from birds involve them perching on statues such as angel blowing a trumpet, a ship, clouds, mice eating grain.) which added to the whole thing for me.

I’m still waiting for my copy to be delivered! I also absolutely loved Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell so it’s a relief to hear you say you enjoyed this one too. 

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2 minutes ago, Flaxen said:

I’m still waiting for my copy to be delivered! I also absolutely loved Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell so it’s a relief to hear you say you enjoyed this one too. 

 

I was going to have to wait a bit but got a Kobo discount code and found to my joy that it was a book that could be used with it. 25% off made it an instant buy. I then just had to rush through the book I was reading (Circe by Madeline Miller, another book I loved!) so I could give it the full attention I felt it deserved. 

 

Not seen anything online about lenormand or tarot links to some of the statues, or anyone else even mentioning it yet. You'll have to let me know what you think when you've read it 😄

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out in left field this week.. 3 Hour Tour (Dee Sanders Book 1) by LP Snyder 

I think it uses Gilligan's Island as a jumping off idea. To be honest, it makes Gilligan's Island seem like it was written by literary giants. By the time I pick up my kindle today, I expect I'll flick read a little and in the end dump it. My life minutes are important, I try to spend them wisely. 

I remember the days when I finished every book I started...and never read the last page first. I still never read the last page, but finish everything? Ha. There was much to be said of the days when there were editors and proofreaders. Hard to believe that is how Jacqueline Kennedy chose to spend her days. 

 

I'm also listening to Stephen Kings 11/24/63 for the second time. It is way longer than it needs to be but it gets there in the end. A be careful what you wish for book. 

Edited by AJ-ish/Sharyn
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On 9/21/2020 at 1:57 PM, ilweran said:

Not seen anything online about lenormand or tarot links to some of the statues, or anyone else even mentioning it yet. You'll have to let me know what you think when you've read it 😄

I’ve finished it and loved it! The imagery was really beautiful and quite haunting. I can so see what you mean about tarot and Lenormand references - there were a few places I found myself thinking of certain cards. Based on this and her previous work, I think she is well-versed in the history of magical societies and esoteric thinking. 

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On 9/24/2020 at 12:57 PM, Flaxen said:

I’ve finished it and loved it! The imagery was really beautiful and quite haunting. I can so see what you mean about tarot and Lenormand references - there were a few places I found myself thinking of certain cards. Based on this and her previous work, I think she is well-versed in the history of magical societies and esoteric thinking. 

 

So glad you liked it 🤗 I think I'm going to have to read it again very soon. I feel like I rushed into another book too quickly, sometimes I need time between books - currently reading Deeplight by Frances Hardinge and Bamboo Grove by Romy Wood - the latter I've been meaning to read for years ever since meeting the author at a work event. Decided now was the time, even though I was already reading a book and wanted to read Piranesi again.

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