Friday, May 16, 2014

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Friday, May 17, 2013

Girl who Played with Fire #BookReview

The Girl Who Played with Fire (Millennium, #2)The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Even better than the original. This second book picks up roughly two years after the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, bringing back Blomkvist and Salandar as the central figures, along with a cast of familiar and new faces.
I really enjoyed reading Girl with a Dragon Tattoo, despite having seen the movie first-- a practice I abhor.  I love this follow up in Girl who Played with Fire, because as a reader, I didn't see every plot twist--I didn't anticipate how it was all going to end from some previewed movie ending.  I love the way Larsson methodically reveals clues and plots as the investigation unfolds.  I have great admiration for Larsson's ability to tell the story from multiple vantage points, which guides the reader through glimpses, but leaves room for the reader to actively piece together the greater picture. For those who love crime and murder  investigations, this is a great read.  Even for those who don't typically go for that sort of thing, like me, this is still a great page turner.

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Monday, May 6, 2013

Book Review: Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey

Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey: The Lost Legacy of Highclere CastleLady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey: The Lost Legacy of Highclere Castle by Fiona Carnarvon

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

As the title implies, this is the story of the real family who lived in Highclere Castle.  One can't help but make comparisons to Downton Abbey.  There are definitely some similarities, as well as strong differences. The rich family history makes for a fascinating tale. The historic and somewhat factual tone allows the reader to envision the "characters" as real people, if only at the cost of loosing that personal and emotional bond to the "story." 
A remarkable quantity of personal family research is included, including private family letters and photos, which make the overall story very real. In reading, one gets the sense that the author spent hours scouring through boxes of family archives.  Unfortunately, from an historians stance, the text is overflowing with subjective bias. The author clearly has strong connections to the subject and only wishes to cast them in the best light; given that the author is the current Countess, this should not surprise the reader. Overall, a great read for anyone enthralled by turn of the century English country house lifestyle, not so great for those wishing to read a more conventional history on the subject.

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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Adventures in the ER

I am not a medical professional.  Please do not take any of my rambling opinions as sound advice.

I hate how I so often second guess whether it is right to take my son to the ER.  In the past, I have felt like I've waited and waited... tried to treat him at home, use home remedies to bring down the fever, put him in a steam filled bathroom to ease his breathing.  Only when it became painfully obvious that my efforts at nursing were failing did I take him in to the hospital, at which point they give you the "why didn't you bring this kid in three hours ago" look.  I'm sure medical professionals aren't nearly that judgemental, but as a mom, it's easy to feel guilty.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Check Out #Looksima

Spring is a great time to do some spring cleaning.  I love cleaning my closets because I feel it make room for the potential for a new, more stylish me.  Nothing makes your day better than receiving a few compliments.  For example, today I paired a new skirt with my styling new glasses and a string of pearls.  For the first time in quite awhile I had multiple compliments from coworkers... really made my day.

So this post is for all of my fashion conscious followers, and all those who aspire to be just a little more fashion forward with their looks.  I've recently discovered Looksima, a great service for those who are looking for their next great look, but don't have the time to browse dozens of magazines and shop all over town.
 Looksima's mission is to make professional stylist services affordable for a wide audience. Your personal online stylist will help you determine your look, then build customized fashions for different occasions. Then, like the latest online magazines, you will be linked directly to partner stores where you can buy the item online.  Oh, and this personalized styling advice is all yours, FREE.
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