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sdbruening

sdbruening

Joined April 2016

Milwaukeean Bookworm
review
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Twice-Told Tales | Nethaniel Hawthorne
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Mehso-so

I wouldn‘t say it‘s a collection of horror short stories but most of them definitely have darkness, which I wasn‘t expecting. The trope of the funeral bell tolling and the funeral procession were overused, appearing in the majority of these stories. My favorite stories were The Prophetic Pictures, David Swan, Fancy‘s Show Box, Dr. Heidegger‘s Experiment, The Sister Years**, and The Threefold Destiny. Very New England history driven.

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Twice-Told Tales | Nethaniel Hawthorne
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🎨🧑‍🎨🪞

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The Borrowers | Mary Norton
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Pickpick

Loved it! Adorable. I read this because I saw and loved the Studio Ghibli movie The Secret World of Arrietty. The movie stays pretty well with the book, I think. I love the author‘s imagination in using human things for tiny people uses. I enjoyed that the family names of the Borrowers were where they lived like Overmantel, Harpsichord, Clock, and Rain-Pipe. They don‘t borrow, they steal, but they think human beans were made for Borrowers.

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Panpan

Disappointed in this one. It‘s bound so beautifully and smells great, but for something that‘s labeled as an atlas and says it celebrates great artwork inspired by Tolkien without too much explanation in the preface, there‘s not a lot of artwork and a lot of words. Also a lot of dense family tree type charts and timelines. Would much rather recommend reading illustrated editions of the Silmarillion, Hobbit, and Lord of the Rings.

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Saratoga Trunk | Edna Ferber, Stuart M. Rosen
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Pickpick

I enjoyed how vividly the settings and characters were described in Paris, New Orleans, and Saratoga. Clio‘s accompanied by an African lady and a midget at all times, and wooed by a Texan. Off to Saratoga to trick people so she can marry a millionaire. Ends up with the Texan anyway, who becomes a millionaire. So a colorful cast of characters. Pretty fun read but definitely has some questionable racial content.

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Pickpick

Very enjoyable, enlightening, and disturbing. A lot of these goddesses, heroines, and monsters have sad stories. This book has sexual and gruesome content at times, so don‘t give it to your young daughters to read! I was bummed that not all of the women had artwork for them, because the ones that did were lovely to see. The commentary on the stories had a sassy spin but not excessively. The modern pop culture references seemed superfluous.

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The World of Christopher Robin | Ernest Howard Shepard, Alan Alexander Milne
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Panpan

I thought this was going to be “the” Winnie the Pooh book, but it wasn‘t. It was a lot of silly, childish rhymes supposedly from Christopher Robin with a very few with Winnie the Pooh. I liked 11 out of 81 poems/stories.

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💰🤑

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Cool

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Pickpick

Excellent biography. Well-rounded with personal and business information. Engaging in a storytelling way while being authentic and factual.

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🎡🎢🎠❤️

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Tales Told in Holland | Olive Beaupre Miller
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Panpan

This book was published in 1916, so I was really hoping to like it as an antique treasure. Unfortunately the storytelling wandered confusingly. Many of the illustrations were supposed to be “kid versions” of famous Dutch paintings. Why not have the original paintings? Sexist and racist materials in some that doesn‘t surprise me, really, but does annoy me. The stories didn‘t draw me in enough. It was a mix of folk tales and historical retellings.

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Poems | Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
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“Of the past the old man‘s thoughts were, And the maiden‘s of the future.” Love that line.

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Poems | Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
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Ye who love the Haunts of nature 🌙🌲🌿🦅🌳🦌🍁🌽

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Giving Tree | Shel Silverstein
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Well, that was depressing. Selfish boy and man, just take, take, take instead of appreciating everything that wonderful tree did for him.

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Pickpick

What a gem of a book. Fell in love with the Hayao Miyazaki movie as a kid and didn‘t know it was based on this book until recently. The author made the story based on a picture her daughter drew, so cute. There are different little stories in the book than the movie with her deliveries. Since I saw the movie first, it doesn‘t matter to me! If anything, it‘s like bonus stories now. I got to read about several more great Kiki delivery stories.

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Mehso-so

Iger takes you through his life starting in sports television and his steep ascent to becoming Disney‘s CEO through positive relationships with his superiors who believed in him and the good, bold work he did at each stage. I got a bit of the good ol‘ boys club vibe from how he got promotions. He was responsible for acquiring Pixar, Star Wars, Marvel, and 20th Century Fox. Would recommend to business people to read rather than Disney people.

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Mehso-so

Since I have read all of Jane Austen‘s finished and unfinished novels, it was nice to have new Jane Austen material to read again! These are the things she wrote before she became a published author with her first novel. Most of it is humorous or satirical, so it was interesting to read that side of her. Mostly disconnected or unfinished things. The commentator was not the best. Unprofessional and informal at times.

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Jane Was Here: An Illustrated Guide to Jane Austen's England | Nicole Jacobsen, Devynn MacLennan, Lexi Nilson
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Pickpick

I really enjoyed this, but I think you really have to be a “Janeite” (as they call it) to appreciate it. Three American ladies took a trip to England to trace the steps of Jane Austen‘s life and her novels and movie adaptations. They kept track and drawings of all the things they saw, not just buildings but also people and animals and plants. Really charming collection, and I will definitely use this as a reference when I make my way to England!

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Hostage: A Novel | Robert Crais
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Pickpick

Ahhhhh, that was tough. I enjoyed the movie Hostage, and I didn‘t know it was a book first until recently. Found a first edition in a local bookstore. The movie was pretty loyal to the book. But Mars was even more horrifying of a person in the book than the movie, like really messed up serial killer. Lot of swearing, lot of gruesome sprinkled in. Hard to read. I think it was good the movie took out most of the organized crime stuff.

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Panpan

Of 40+ recipes, there are only 5 I‘d want to try in here. A lot of fiddly recipes, written for children, and a lot of vegan/gluten-free. Beautifully laid out but not a great cookbook for me.

Aimeesue Those owls though! 🦉 2mo
4 likes1 comment
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Panpan

It‘s certainly a beautiful book. Brightly colored, lots of pictures. It has fun facts from the film. I‘m not sure what makes this official versus unofficial, which I had before. The writing is geared toward children, who I imagine wouldn‘t be the ones reading this anyway. Many of the recipes are gluten free or vegan. The first half is savory, and the second half is sweet. Of the 40+ recipes, there are only 6 I‘m interested in making 😒

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The Personal Librarian | Marie Benedict, Victoria Christopher Murray
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Pickpick

Really engaging historical fiction novel about Belle da Costa Greene, J.P. Morgan‘s personal librarian, who was black passing as white. She‘s a force of nature to match Morgan and all the art and manuscript dealers to make the library a lasting legacy. Sometimes excessive storytelling to fill in the personal blanks, I think, but I supposed that‘s what makes it a page turner.

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Panpan

It was a relatively short book by page numbers, but it took a while to get through. A love square with Anne considering Festus, Bob, and John. She should have picked John. Most worthy of them all. But no, she picked the player, his brother. And then such a depressing ending with Uncle Benjy dying and finding out that John dies a few years later. On top of all this, I don‘t know why they all thought Anne was such a catch. She was just coy.

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Pickpick

I actually think this was the best in the series. Deeper themes, grief, getting more into the characters‘ past, present, and future. Nicely done.

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The Tea Dragon Festival | Katie O'Neill
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Mehso-so

Eh. Seemed forced. Hard to relate. This was a cool scene though.

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Moloka'i | Alan Brennert
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Pickpick

Well-written book and an important story to tell about Hawaiians with leprosy forced to live away from everyone. Just hard to read about death after death after death of people important to Rachel. I‘m glad she was able to meet her daughter and have 20 years to build that relationship with her and her grandchildren and to reconnect with her sister. Just really sad about the things she had to endure before that.

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Pickpick

I‘ve watched a lot of Jamie Oliver‘s shows on the Roku channel, so this was cool to read one his cookbooks. I love that he included not just a picture of the finished product for every recipe but also pictures of the process. I know of very few cookbooks that do that. Great for less experienced people. Although, I do think there are recipes that would be challenging for beginners. Lots of nice variety. There are 21 recipes I want to make in here.

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Tea Dragon Society | Katie O'Neill
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Pickpick

Beautiful artwork. The story wasn‘t super impactful but it was cozy. About friendships, apprenticing, and maintaining tradition. Perhaps loved the explanation of tea dragons and care at the end even more than the story!

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Pickpick

Got this book at Bob‘s Red Mill in Milwaukie, OR, just south of Portland, OR on vacation. So cool to see the headquarters in person! They have all kinds of Bob‘s Red Mill products at my grocery store in the natural food section. There are 31 recipes I want to try making in here. No pictures of recipes, though. I want to see how it‘s supposed to turn out!

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The Old Curiosity Shop | Charles Dickens
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Panpan

The characters in this story are caricatures. There‘s the evil like Quilp and the good like Nell and Kit. Quilp is punished by drowning, like Quilp. And the good are punished by sickness, like Nell. What a horrible ending. Dickens has the longest sentences and writes about 400 pages more than necessary. It‘s baffling to me that Dickens can write something beautiful like A Tale of Two Cities or David Copperfield, and then write something like this…

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Pickpick

An excellent sequel to the first in the series! Again, the reader was wonderful for the audiobook. I enjoyed the new characters and creatures of Austria and Wendell‘s realm. The author‘s description of the faeries enchant and scare. Emily is an enjoyable character to follow in her adventures, I find myself laughing out loud or nodding my head in agreement.

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Daisy Jones and The Six | Taylor Jenkins Reid
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Pickpick

Excellently written book and excellent narrators. I was a little thrown off when I read the author was inspired by Fleetwood Mac‘s turbulent band history, because I kept comparing them with the book. I loved the documentary style of storytelling, really unique for a fictional story. It was funny hearing each of the band member‘s perspectives about the same thing, like how they came to be called The Six or how much control Billy had in the group.

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Pickpick

I know a cookbook isn‘t really something you read cover to cover, but this one was! It‘s filled with Disney history as related to food in the parks as well as concept art for the food establishments. There are 22 recipes I‘d like to try to make. The downsides for me are 1) too many fried foods and 2) it seems like there are a lot of iconic Disney foods that are missing in here. A lot of Disney resort recipes rather than Disney park recipes.

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Sparrows in the Wind | Gail Carson Levine
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Panpan

The Two Princesses of Bamarre was one of my favorite books as a kid, so I thought I‘d give this one a try. Another story with two female protagonists. Didn‘t like it at all. Probably because I didn‘t like either of the narrators of the audiobook. Cassandra‘s conversations with her dog were annoying. It‘s frustrating knowing throughout the end of the story of the Trojan War, but nice that they were able to change fate a bit.

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Persian Poems | Peter Washington
Panpan

I can‘t say I really liked any of these poems. Saadi was okay.

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Pickpick

I know it took me a bit to get to it, but I found it in a used bookstore! Interesting reliving 2020 through poetry, but I just had COVID for the first time in December so actually kind of relevant for me. I am ridiculously impressed with what a great poet Amanda Gorman is. The wordplay and alliteration are so beautiful. I felt like the wind was knocked out of me after many of these poems and certain lines. So clever and provoking.

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Book Lovers | Emily Henry
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My 5 star rated books of 2023!

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The wordplay!! From “Compass”

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From “In the Deep”

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Mehso-so

Definitely for younger readers. Dialogue was almost too polite and cheerleader-y. However, it‘s fun to have a prequel perspective on the Nightmare story. We‘re introduced to the pumpkin king that precedes Jack. I was hoping for a little more depth to the story, but it was still fun.

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From “The Shallows”

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Panpan

Like the first book of lost tales, it‘s a lot of extraneous explanation from Christopher Tolkien about his father‘s work. The last few stories were unfinished but a few did have full narratives. I liked a couple of them, but the Turambar tale was super messed up and violent. A lot of this is more fleshed out in the Silmarillion.

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Mehso-so

The narrative didn‘t feel very consistent from part 1 to part 2. I was expecting to hear more about each of their most famous musicals, but they were kind of brief summaries. More like musical reviews rather than hearing more about the composer/lyricist process. This book was also published in the 1960s, so I think perspective on some of their shows has changed over time, particularly racial. Then again, Oklahoma and The Sound of Music are loved!

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Whaaaat? 😱 So cool.

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Tender is the Night | F. Scott Fitzgerald
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Mehso-so

I love his writing style in this book but the plot was dull. The surprise of finding out that Nicole was previously a psychological patient of Dick‘s was interesting, but it didn‘t get much more interesting after that. The back and forth in the chronology was a bit confusing at times. Annoyed at the infidelities on both parts. For how beautiful the writing was, I wish I liked the story more!

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Tender is the Night | F. Scott Fitzgerald
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The writing of this sentence. So beautiful. So vivid. F. Scott Fitzgerald, I tell ya!

TheBookHippie This one is my favorite of his. 8mo
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Mehso-so

The right kind of poetry to read for Thanksgiving! I liked 26 of these poems. Not a ton but enough to keep it.

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Mehso-so

Cute, fun read. Odd backstory on origins of witches and their families. Heartwarming coming together of people to make a nontraditional family. Bit of romance. Lacked depth for me but enjoyable.

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