Saturday, 21 January 2017

His Bloody Project

His Bloody Project: Documents Relating to the Case of Roderick MacraeHis Bloody Project: Documents Relating to the Case of Roderick Macrae by Graeme Macrae Burnet
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Coincidentally, after I finished this book, I listened to a CBC program about Indigenous issues in Canada. Both the book and the interview shared the following aspects:

-19th century racial theories;
-Colonial control over native peoples (in the book's case, the English over the Highlanders);
-and the power struggle between people who are kept under the heel of others.

The powerlessness of Roderick Macrae is what has stuck with me. As Bob Rae said in the interview: "People need the power to control their own lives" or else tragedy follows.

So despite my lack of an "a-ha moment" while reading the novel, I found I gained insight upon digestion.

FYI link to the Interview:

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The Storm

The StormThe Storm by Neil Broadfoot
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A fast-paced and sometimes gory crime story set in Edinburgh, Scotland - with a visit to the Isle of Skye. Part of the fun of this book is to see notable places mentioned and to hear a Scottish voice telling the tale. I thoroughly enjoyed being back in Scotland again.

The murder investigation is told from two points of view: one, a scalawag journalist; and two, a bright, ambitious police officer who doesn't fit into the mold. Even though Doug and Susie are kept apart in this book, their relationship is revealed and further complicated by the introduction of Rebecca to the series. To make matters worse in this triangle, Susie and Rebecca are friends. How could you, Doug?

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Sunday, 20 November 2016

Worlds of Ink and Shadow

Worlds of Ink and ShadowWorlds of Ink and Shadow by Lena Coakley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Really enjoyed reading this book: It made me believe that many fictional characters are living real lives in alternate realities. Great way to understand the inspirations for the novels of the Bronte sisters. Worlds of Ink and Shadow is a YA book, but as an adult reader, I am frustrated that some of the darker aspects of the Brontes (repressed sexuality, ambition, and rivalry) isn't explored more fully. Hmmm, guess I should pick up a copy of Wuthering Heights or Jane Eyre.

4.5 stars - keep thinking about this book

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Sunday, 13 November 2016

The Best Kind of People

The Best Kind of PeopleThe Best Kind of People by Zoe Whittall
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Solid, crafted writing from an unusual perspective: the wife, son and daughter of someone accused of sex crimes. The book details their year of living in isolation and suspension.

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Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Reading List for a Trumpish America

Some context, after the election. Five new books and one oldie, but a goodie. 

“Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead, once the United States of America” (back cover).

“America is on the verge of anarchy. Survival is all that matters now” (front cover).

“Trump, the silver spoon-fed child who, as a second grader, punched his music teacher in the eye, aspired ‘to be the toughest kid in the neighborhood’” (5).

“The public utterances of almost every populist politician today include the refrain ‘Take back control’” (31).

“The birthers cut straight to the chase and argued that Obama’s birth certificate was phony and that he was not born in America, a claim amplified by billionaire political huckster...Donald Trump” (135).

“During World War II, America’s fledgling aeronautics industry hired black female mathematicians to fill a labor shortage. These ‘human computers’ stayed on to work to NASA and made sure America won the Space Race. They fought for their country’s future, and for their share of the American dream. This is their untold story” (front cover).