I’m still blogging – just not here right now

hey folks, I am still blogging, but I am at http://www.lovesmukiwa.blogspot.com
come check it out!

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One Perfect Day

one perfect day

 

 

How is it possible that I read two of the worst books ever back to back?
This is NOT a book about one perfect day. There was no perfect day.
One mother loses a son and the family chose to donate his organs, but the mother is not at peace with this choice or the loss of her son and is totally and completely depressed and “out-of it” for the duration of the tale. Her husband and daughter suffer in the background – at the physical loss of a brother and son and the emotional loss of a mother and wife.
Another mother is parent to a daughter awaiting an organ – who receives one when it was completely unexpected. Though her daughter receives the organ, the mother has great difficulty “transitioning” from the mother of a terminally ill child, to the mother of a healthy and living child.
Somehow into the mess of all this there is a sappy love story woven in. To me the love story is completely out of place and random – and I have no idea who has the perfect day.

I would give this story one star

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The Son of A Certain Woman

son of a certain womanThis book bothered me greatly and I don’t believe I am a prude. Teenage sexuality doesn’t bother me. I would just rather spend my time reading something other than about a boy lusting after his mother, masturbating, coming in his pants at his baptism, and having an arrangement with his mother to sleep with her!
When Percy wasn’t involved in some kind of lustful fantasy, the catholic brotherhood were deviously scamming, lying and peeping in an attempt to eliminate (by treachery, threats and finally assimilation) an unmarried, unbaptized mother and son from their community.
This book was a total fail for me.
I really TRIED to like it. I did! I loved the fact that it was a story told about St. John’s Newfoundland. I wanted Penelope and Medina to be able to be together and be happy – outside of the shadow of Brother McHugh. I wanted Percy to find a friend in his community.
The characters were well developed and I LIKED them. The sexuality was so over the top it completely killed it for me – and by sexuality I mean the Oedipal masturbatory lusting of Percy for his mother.

I would only given this book one star.

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A fort of nine towers

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I just finished the book “A Fort of Nine Towers”.
This is the story of a young man and his family living in Kabul, Afghanistan from the time the Russians were leaving Afghanistan to the present day.

“I have long carried this load of griefs in the cage of my heart. Now I have given them to you. I hope you are strong enough to hold them.” Qais Akbar Omar

Wow. A load of griefs is an understatement! This tale of life in Afghanistan written by one who lived through it all and triumphed is riveting. I am truly inspired by the positivity and love of life that comes through on every page in the face of mind boggling hardships this family endured.

I think each person as they go through life believes that they face hardship and struggle. I am certain we all do. Having said that, it is BEYOND humbling to read about the lives of people living in this same world, at the same time and being witness to the HORRENDOUS life circumstances that they endure. I cannot comprehend being imprisoned for the length of my hair, or bitten by a man to extort money from my father.

I lived as a child in Rhodesia/Zimbabwe in the throes of civil war. People in our community were imprisoned for having wagon wheels in their gardens (wagon wheels were seen as a symbol of colonialism). My father and uncle were imprisoned as they came into town on a rugby bus back from a tour. They allegedly offended members of the notorious fifth brigade. (The North Korean-trained 5th brigade was formed in 1981 and was used in genocidal operations against Ndebele-ethnic Mugabe opponents in Matabeleland). In school we had drills – not fire drills – but ambush drills. At the time I thought it was a “normal” part of growing up. I realize now more fully how much I was protected from many of the realities of the horrors of that war by my family. I only know the “stories” of my father being imprisoned himself – stories he told of making dice out of melting tar on the ground outside and playing dice games with his fellow cell mates. My father does not speak of the war even when asked. This book made me realize some of the emotional hardships my parents and grandparents must have faced and protected me from.

Fast forward to 2013. I am a gay, married female living in Canada and I enjoy SO MANY freedoms. I drive a my own car to my job each day from a house I own with my partner. I shop in stores fully stocked with food and anything else I may need, and walk around outside my home unaccompanied by the men in my family. I have been educated without opposition and have access to medical and dental facilities.

SO much of my life experience is incomparable to that of Mr.Omar’s, and still I felt deeply connected to him. I have the same love for my family and love for the world in which I live. At my core I feel the same love and loss that I felt from Mr. Omar. I am grateful that I was able to “carry this load of griefs” for just the two days it took me to read this story.

I laughed and I cried through it all.

Thank you Mr. Omar for this wonderful, wonderful book which I will read again and again and recommend to everyone.
I give this book five stars.

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Matchbox Girls

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This book was not at all what I expected. Fairies, Angels, Demons, Mortals, all in conflict over twin girls for reasons none of them are certain.
I liked this book because I get tired of the same stereotypical archetypal roles – angels are good, demons are bad, faeries are mischievous. This book really turned all of those on their heads. Each of the characters is motivated differently and good and evil depends on where you stand in terms of your motivation. How WONDERFUL to see in a book that good characters can do “bad” things to meet their goals and advance their purpose!
I am usually not one who likes ambiguity in a book – I like to read fast and have things spelled out for me, but I was very comfortable with the unknown in Matchbox girls. It created enough mystery to keep me interested without being so deep as to irritate me. (I’m such a shallow reader!!!)
I loved that there were strong female characters – MANY of them, and I look forward to the next book in this series.
I think this book is worth a second read, there’s a LOT of detail and a LOT subtlties between the relationships that would bear another (deeper) look. I’m usually not one for reading a book a second time but I would absolutely read this one again without hesitation.

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Riddle In Stone

 

Riddle in Stone (The Riddle in Stone, #1)

I just finished the book Riddle in Stone by Robert Evert. I absolutely loved the book and I highly recommend it.This is Evert’s first novel and I would love for the second to be published – so get out there and buy this one so we can follow along in the next adventure of Edmund! Edmund is one of my favorite hero’s. A librarian who has lived his whole live in a small town, dreaming of doing greater things “one day” is confronted with the harsh reality of his life outside the tavern. He is taken for granted by the community for the services he provides but no-one expects anything more from him – EVER. In a bit of an over reaction to this news, he makes some rash decisions. He leaves the community and walks headlong into an adventure he did not expect.
It is REFRESHING to read a story about someone who makes mistakes, didn’t listen to his parents growing up and  lacks skills as a result, and encounters disappointments in his journey. Edmund uses the skills he has and what he DOES know to overcome the obstacles he faces. One of the things I like the MOST about this story is the “reality” aspect. I find sometimes with fantasy novels that the fantasy aspect can be carried away and the stories are one remarkable feat of accomplishment after another. That is not the case in this story and I love it!!

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We’ll be the Last Ones to Let You Down

cover24176-smallThis is the first book I am reviewing for NetGalley.

This book is the memoir of Rachel Hanel, daughter of a gravedigger in Minnesota. Rachel grew up spending her time with her father as he maintained the graveyards and dug the graves around their hometown. I was fascinated by the themes of grief and loss in the book and I love the way the story has been crafted.

All my life I have had a fascination with graveyards, but have been terrified of them at the same time. I have not once experienced a death close to me. Sure, I have had grandparents pass away – when they were in another country or after being lost for many years to senility, but I have not yet lost anyone or known anyone close to me who has passed.  When I was 4 my uncle was killed in the civil war in Rhodesia. I have asked and asked those who knew him to tell me about him, but no-one ever has. The topic of his death, and his life, was taboo. For this reason I was absolutely captivated by the experiences if Hanel’s youth as she witnessed loss after loss after loss, and knew the stories of who these people were. Being related to the gravedigger it makes sense that one WOULD be privy to many details surrounding the deaths in a small community, but a few times I thought to myself “She knows ANOTHER one?” There’s a lot of death in this book!

I wish I had known Hanel in my youth. I can imagine myself riding my bike with her, or collecting flowers with her after memorial day.What an amazing experience she had – and communicated – in this book. I absolutely loved this book and highly recommend it.

I would give this book 5 stars.

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