Category Archives: Reason: LitHub Bingo

The Diary of “Helena Morley” by Helena Morley

Helena Morley, born in 1880, kept a very detailed diary from 1893 until 1895 when she was an early teen growing up in Brazil. It was originally published in Portuguese and then later translated into English. It’s an interesting glimpse into the life of a young teen. There are numerous footnotes explaining words that weren’t translated, who people and places are, and anything else to aid in understanding her diary. The translator always wrote I and Anotherperson instead of Anotherperson and I and that pretty much drove me crazy while reading it. If you are looking for a translated book to read, this is a good enough choice.

3 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2019: 114
Pages Read in 2019: 29,583
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Filed under Memoir, Reason: LitHub Bingo

Aztec Curse by EM Stone

Aztec Curse was kind of a frustrating book to read. The storyline was great. I loved the chapters that went back in time. I loved how the translation of the Codex went along with the story told in those chapters. But the dialogue. It didn’t sound at all like normal conversation. There was a lot of monologuing to explain things and sometimes it didn’t make any sense. For example, explaining archaeology-related things to her father who is also an archaeologist. The sex scene was sudden and weird and not necessary. I suspect it was stuck in there as a plot device to allow the main character to see another character shirtless. There are other ways to get a man shirtless and it really didn’t totally fit the characters to do it how the author chose. It was extremely gory in places. Often overly so. There was a lot of extra stuff that was totally unnecessary. I suppose those scenes helped with character development, but they didn’t move the story along and could have easily been cut. The wrap-up chapter was ridiculously full of monologuing that just recapped in detail what happened in the previous few chapters. It was like the author wanted the other characters to find out what happened and forgot it is boring to go over something the readers already know. The way the main character guessed what was in the Codex was often a huge stretch. Of course she was always exactly right (as proven by the chapters from the past). I did care about most of the characters and what happened to them. As I got near the end I wasn’t sure how the author would possibly be able to wrap it all up in such a short time (she did, and very well other than the recap at the very end). So this was a good book, but it had very definite issues. I almost feel like a bit of its potential was wasted.

3 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2019: 110
Pages Read in 2019: 28,510
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Filed under Reason: LitHub Bingo, Thriller

The Witch of Lime Street by David Jaher

The spiritist movement swept the US and Europe after World War I prompting Scientific American to test mediums to determine if they were the real thing or just performing magic tricks (Houdini was on the committee because he would be very likely to recognize tricks when he saw them). One woman, Margery, seemed promising. That is until Houdini unmasked her as no more authentic than any of the others they had tested. Parts of the book are very fascinating and parts are utterly dull. It’s drawn largely from transcripts of seances, most of which went pretty much the same with minor differences in the details. Because of this, the book is extraordinarily repetitive. If you are very interested in the spiritist movement, The Witch of Lime Street is a decent book to read. You just might want to skim during the boring, repetitive parts.

3 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2019: 107
Pages Read in 2019: 27,276
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Filed under Non-Fiction, Reason: LitHub Bingo

Tainted by Alexandra Moody

Tainted is a great start to the ARC series. I found myself looking forward to having a chance to pick up my Kindle to read again and finding it hard to tear myself away and put it down when I had to do other things. The characters are well-developed and are people I’d like to know in real life. The author’s use of tension in some parts is excellent. It’s super well-edited, too. An all around great book. I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys reading young adult dystopian.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2019: 106
Pages Read in 2019: 26,862
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Filed under Dystopian, Reason: LitHub Bingo

Kind is the New Classy by Candace Cameron Bure

What would the world be like if everyone took the time to be kind to each other? That’s the world Candace Cameron Bure is trying to help create through her advice in Kind Is the New Classy. Most of her ideas are obvious, but sometimes we need a little reminder. This book is very religious, filled with scripture quotes to back up what she is saying and why she is saying it. It’s very conversational, like two girlfriends having a chat about how to make the world better starting with themselves. She makes a lot of really great points. She is also very honest. She’s willing to describe times when she failed in being kind and what she learned from that failure and how she tried to make it better when she recognized what she had done wrong. It’s sprinkled with little tidbits here and there about her time on The View, Fuller House, and her personal life in general. If everyone truly implemented even just what one chapter of what this book describes doing, world suck would decrease exponentially. I bought the book as soon as it came out over a year ago, but for some reason I didn’t read it until now. As I read, I felt like God was telling me that I was reading it at the exact right time because of what I am doing right in the kindness arena and also what I need to work on that I now feel motivated to do thanks to Candace’s words and my current receptivity to them. I very highly recommend this book to all religious women who want to help make this world just a little bit better.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2019: 105
Pages Read in 2019: 26,648
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Filed under Reason: LitHub Bingo, Self-Help/Motivation

Auschwitz Belongs to Us All by Marta Ascoli

Marta Ascoli was a Jew living in Italy when Hitler’s forces invaded. Auschwitz Belongs to Us All is her story. It is short and told from a kind of technical, distant view. You can tell how traumatized she still was when she wrote the book. As with all Holocaust survivor stories, hers is heartbreaking and totally worth taking the time to read.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2019: 104
Pages Read in 2019: 26,376
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Filed under Memoir, Reason: LitHub Bingo

Bruno’s Dream by Iris Murdoch

If you like books about tangled family relationships and lots of cheating, Bruno’s Dream is the book for you. I did not enjoy it very much. The characters were all unlikable and utterly depressing. I just didn’t care about nearly all of them and when one started swimming in the Thames during a storm that cause it to flood, I kind of hoped he’d drown. The storylines for most of them were ridiculous. I don’t particularly recommend this book.

2 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2019: 103
Pages Read in 2019: 26,301
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Filed under Annual Wrap-Up, Realistic Fiction, Reason: LitHub Bingo