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    6. Crossing to Safety - Wallace Stegner

      The secong group read of 2014

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    7. Book Group Archive

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  • Posts

    • How Much Land Does A Man Need is an old Tolstoy short story. My form teacher read it to my class when I was 13 and it has stuck with me. 

      So when I saw that it had been adapted into graphic novel form, I jumped at the chance. This is beautifully illustrated, creating scenes of pre-Revolution peasant life in Siberia. The man and his wife live a happy but poor life, but are tempted by their upwardly mobile city relations. It takes only minor provocation from the land agent to drive the village to rise up and seize (purchase) the land for the common good. But our hero wants more and more, and is willing to make unwise bargains to attain it.

      Needless to say - this is Tolstoy - it doesn't end well.

      I don't have too much experience of graphic novels, but this one seems to be faithful to the original story, to convey both the story and the atmosphere, and to seduce the reader with awesome illustration. I don't know how long graphic novels are supposed to take to read, but from memory this was about the same length as the original story. Some pages are dense, others contain just a single scene. 

      The title is available as both paper copy and eBook copy. I obtained a copying PDF, which gave me colour and zoom ability which I valued. It would be a shame to read this in black and white.   ****0
    • For now Meg!    The geraniums were delivered this morning and they are lovely.  Just waiting to hear from the young man who does the planting and he's really busy plus being a new father.  Our daughter has said that if all else fails she will plant them but really is not wanting to do it, not her thing, and she works full- time so needs time to herself.  I'm hoping that a border of white alyssum will contrast nicely with the two shades of geraniums.  I live in hope!    
    •             My favorites are:         Sonnet no 30 When to the sessions of sweet silent thought,   I summon up remembrance of things past,   I sigh the lack of many a thing I sought,   And with old woes new wail my dear time's waste:   Then can I drown an eye (unused to flow)   For precious friends hid in death's dateless night,   And weep afresh love's long since cancelled woe,   And moan th' expense of many a vanished sight.   Then can I grieve at grievances foregone,   And heavily from woe to woe tell o'er   The sad account of fore-bemoaned moan,   Which I new pay as if not paid before..     But if the while I think on thee (dear friend)     All losses are restored, and sorrows end.
    • Bleak House, Charles Dickens
    • First Grave on the Right,  Second Grave on the Left, Third Grave Dead Ahead, Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet,  Fifth Grave Past The Light,  Sixth Grave on the Edge,  Seventh Grave and No Body,  Eighth Grave after Dark,  The Dirt on Ninth Grave,  The Curse of Tenth Grave,  Eleventh Grave in Moonlight,  The Trouble with Twelfth Grave,    (The thirteenth and final book is due to be released in January 2019)

      As you are all probably aware, I have an inclination towards fantasy/paranormal themed books, so when I was made aware of the Charley Davidson Series of books I knew I had to have a little look!
       
      This 12 book series (the final 13th book is due to be released in early 2019) has kept me occupied now for the past few months, yes I have lost sleep... a lot of sleep! This is due to the fact I have been thinking I’ll just see what happens next, only find I’ve done an all-nighter or close to it not going to bed before about 4/5am (something I wouldn’t recommend doing, but these books seemed to take over and I just had to read a bit more).
       
      The general premise of the series revolves around Charley Davidson a young girl who works as a private investigator and helps out the local police department and in particular her uncle who is a cop in that police department with her unique talents.  She is a grim reaper, a portal to the afterlife, the dead come to her to cross over, or not as the case may be because if these people have died they give her information to find their killers before they cross – hence her rather spectacular record of solving homicides. Her family know she has unusual gifts but is unaware of the full extent of them.  Her stepmother is afraid of her and as such has rejected her all her life which as a result has made her relationship with her sister strained but she is incredibly close to her father something which also seems to piss off her stepmother somewhat. She is an extremely likeable quirky character who makes you smile and sometimes laugh out loud with some of the things she says and does.  As the books continue though we gradually find out that she is much more than what she appears to be.
       
      We learn that she remembers her own birth, her mother was her first customer, so to speak as her mother died during childbirth and crossed through her, she also remembers a dark forbidding figure standing over her after she was born, as she grew up this figure always seemed to appear when she was in danger, when she was abducted by a paedophile as a small child he appeared and severed the spine of the paedophile but not leaving a mark on him, and at other times during her childhood he appeared when she was in danger, she nicknamed this figure ‘Big Bad’ and it was the only thing she was truly ever afraid of, but seeing the spirits of the departed will do that to you. It is a complicated story with a core of well written, interesting characters, it has many layers and the revelations keep coming as the books continue, and the story unfolds and builds.  Unlike many other long series of books, this one is consistently good and there isn’t a weak book in the series, yes some of the revelations are mind-blowingly incredulous but it is fantasy and this series more than lives up to that title.
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