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Book Reviews
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Ballad Of Songbirds And Snakes
by Collins, Suzanne

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It was interesting to learn more about Snow and the choices he made to turn out how he is in the original trilogy. The early Hunger Games were a lot more serious.

Duck And Goose
by Tad Hills

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Cute book

Frozen Big Snowman, Little Snowman
by Tish Rabe

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Anna was getting killed. Then she unfroze. Then they were friends and ice skated.

The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression
by Amity Shlaes

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The Great Depression, which engulfed the America of the 1930s, made its mark on American culture, economics, and politics. In The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression, Amity Shlaes sets out to examine why the original crash in 1929 led to a depression that lasted through the following decade, concluding that both Hoover’s and, to a greater extent, FDR’s uncertainty about capitalism as a system, desire for control, and interest in government planning led them to create an uncertain atmosphere where businesses could not regain their feet, prolonging the depression unnecessarily. Shlaes provides generous context for every argument that she makes. Several early chapters are devoted to introducing the political and economic situation in the 1920s, the intellectuals who would become influential voices during FDR’s terms, and the presidency of Herbert Hoover, whose policies set the stage for those pursued by FDR. Successive chapters deal with topics as varied as monetary policy, the TVA’s effect on the utilities industry, the administration’s clashes with the Supreme Court over the legality of federal intervention in state business legislation, the creation of special interest groups in the 1936 election, increasing unionization and propagandizing, and race relations. The efforts of private industry to cope with the changing situation are detailed throughout. Shlaes is a fair examiner. She does not blindly follow standard conservative rebuttals, which focus on monetary policy, supply-side economics, and the influence of communism in the era. Instead, she paints a nuanced picture of the many facets of the economy that intertwined to create each problem and explains the long-term effects of the solutions that the administration offered. She even allows that some New Deal policies had some good consequences, like the creation of roads and other public-interest construction, without overlooking their many harmful costs to private business, national expecations, and personal attitude. Stylistically, Shlaes’ writing is readable and enjoyable. Though the introductory detours mean that the reader does not enter the Depression for several chapters, they are all engaging and prove to be important in understanding the period as a whole. At times, her style is overly terse, and the constant use of abbreviations (NRA, TVA, CCC…) is confusing, but the latter is not really her fault. Personally, I would prefer footnotes to the bibliographic endnotes, which are difficult to refer to as one reads, but the story reads pleasantly enough that extensive footnotes would probably be distracting to all except devoted researchers. Altogether, The Forgotten Man is an excellent economic history of the Great Depression. If you have wondered about the effects of the Depression and the New Deal on twentieth-and twenty-first-century American culture, politics, and economics, I definitely recommend reading this book.

All Your Twisted Secrets
by Diana Urban

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I'd give this book 3.5 stars. Teen angst, suspense, pretty good plot and enough tension to make things interesting but I found I was skimming through parts of the ebook. character development in

The Time Keeper
by Mitch Albom

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This book is really philosophical and deep, and it makes you really think about the meaning of time. It is an amazing book that I would definitely recommend for people to read.

The Cat In The Hat
by Dr. Seuss

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I like it

Waking Beauty
by Leah Wilcox

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Extremely cute, I love everything about it

A Distant Mirror :The Calamitous 14th Century
by Barbara W. Tuchman

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The fourteenth century saw both heights of extravagance and depths of agony as the middle ages drew to a close. Barbara Tuchman examines the century through the lens of the life of one of the prominent French noblemen of the period, Enguerrand de Coucy VII. Tracing the rise of the bourgeois and the decline of chivalry, Tuchman takes as her theme the disorders of a society in ‘a period of unusual discomfort’, much of it manmade, as a ‘distant mirror’ on the similar disarray and disaster of the mid-twentieth century.[1] Tuchman’s choice of the life of Enguerrand de Coucy as a normal representative person is justified, because as a member of the nobility, enough records survive that we can understand his life better than the innumerable bourgeois and peasant figures who are lucky to be mentioned once in surviving documents. De Coucy’s mother died in the first cycle of the Black Death; upon reaching majority, he was involved in the opening stages of the Hundred Years’ War and, during the first truce, married the daughter of the English king. The ensuing double allegiance kept him out of renewed hostilities, but his valuable expertise did not allow him to sit out the fight for long. He was a reasonable and experienced man of his time who played a key role in most of the major events of the last half of the fourteenth century. Along the way, Tuchman detours to discuss practically every topic of interest in understanding fourteenth-century society, including fashion, trade, food, literature, language, marriage, medicine, art, and myriad surrounding figures. These tangents are helpful and interesting instead of distracting because Tuchman has chosen to study a remarkable and fascinating era. Beginning with global famine and the removal of the papacy to Avignon, the century witnessed the Hundred Years’ War (1337-1453); the Black Death; rampant banditry, interminable conflict, and corrupt government; bourgeois and peasant uprisings against the nobility’s fantastic wealth; the rule of kings and princes who ranged from heroic but vainglorious to literally mad; France’s prideful intrusions into Italy and the disastrous last crusade; and the Great Papal Schism during the death throes of the age of chivalry. The book’s scope is vast and well-researched, although it does have some flaws. Unfortunately, it ends before the end of the Hundred Years’ War, leaving the reader feeling rather tense despite an epilogue which aptly summarizes events over the next century; after nearly 600 pages of explicit detail, the short 16-page explanation doesn’t quite fill the gap. I would warn the reader that the book is full of descriptions of very graphic violence, which one shouldn’t leave out of a history book when they happened, but which make this book inappropriate for youthful readers. Ultimately, my biggest quarrel with the book is that Tuchman frequently shrugs off beliefs or actions that she does not understand as just ‘what they did in the 14th century’ – which is odd for someone making the argument that ‘[t]he interval of 600 years permits what is significant in human nature to stand out’.[2] A better path would be to seek to understand instead of to dismiss. A Distant Mirror is a fascinating history of the fourteenth century. For an introduction to the period that has both good storytelling and lots of historical detail, I certainly recommend it! [1] Tuchman, A Distant Mirror, xiii. [2] Tuchman, A Distant Mirror, xiv

Watch Your Whiskers Stilton
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I like the action in the book. I liked the game show that was actually a mouse trap. There was lots of toilet paper talk.

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