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Below are 20 journal entries, after skipping by the 20 most recent ones recorded in cuddle up with a good book's LiveJournal:

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Wednesday, January 20th, 2010
7:20 pm
[awallens]
January: Navajo Code Talkers
 Navajo Code Talkers Navajo Code
Talkers
by Nathan Aaseng


My rating: 3 of 5 stars
On the Pacific front during World War II, strange messages were picked up by American and Japanese forces on land and at sea. The messages were totally
unintelligible to everyone except a small select group within the Marine Corps: the Navajo code talkers-a group of Navajos communicating in a code based
on the Navajo language. This code, the first unbreakable one in U.S. history, was a key reason that the Allies were able to win in the Pacific.

Navajo Code Talkers tells the story of the special group, who proved themselves to be among the bravest, most valuable, and most loyal of American soldiers
during World War II.
This is a book marketed to young adults, and it was a good introduction to the Navajo Code talkers. Definitely a good introduction to this topic. Of course
though, there is more to learn , which I hope to do sooner rather than later.

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C5&SUBS
Saturday, January 16th, 2010
11:49 pm
[awallens]
January: child of Hitler
 Child of Hitler: Germany in the Days When God Wore a Swastika Child of Hitler: Germany in the Days When
God Wore a Swastika
by Alfons Heck


My rating: 3 of 5 stars
"A CHILD OF HITLER: GERMANY IN THE DAYS WHEN GOD WORE A SWASTIKA" is the no-holds-barred autobiography of a high-ranking leader of the Hitler Youth, who
now is an American citizen and a nationally recognized authority on Nazi youth indoctrination. The book is required reading in over 380 universities and
schools.
this was an amazing book. the author was very honest about his experiences and didn'thold anything back. I thought the book ended abruptly but overall
it was an oK book.

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1:40 pm
[awallens]
January: the Fire Rose
 The Fire Rose (Elemental Masters,#1) The
Fire Rose
by Mercedes Lackey


My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Accepting employment as a governess after hard times hit her family, medieval scholar Rosalind Hawkins is surprised when she learns that her mysterious
employer has no children and only wants her to read to him through a speaking tube. What secrets is her employer hiding behind the tube? what magical
abilities does he have?
this book took a while to get started. Once I settled myself down to read it, though, I really enjoyed it. I was kind of disappointed in the narration
of this book. Kristin alison is normally one of my favorite narrators, but her narration of this book wasn't as animated as I have heard her do in the
past. Overall, though, this was a good book with well-drawn characters. I am definitely compelled to read more of these books where I can find them.
Also, this was meant for young adult readers, I believe, and I can see how they would find it enchanting.

View all my reviews >>
1:34 pm
[awallens]
January: My Sister the Moon
 My Sister the Moon My Sister the
Moon
by Sue Harrison


My rating: 4 of 5 stars
An abused and unwanted daughter of the First Men Tribe, young Kiin knows the harsh realities of life in a frozen land at the top of the world. In an age
of ice millenia past, her destiny is tied to the brave sons of orphaned chagak and her chieftain mate kayugh -- one to whom, kiin is promised, the,other
for whom she yearns But the evil that her own family spawned drags the tormented young woman far from her people -- where savage cruelties, love and fate
will strengthen and change her... and give her the courage to fight for the future of her own helpless progeny.
this is the second in this trilogy by Harrison and it is as well-researched and touching as the first book. It took me a while to get into the book, but
it was wonderful once I did get it started. I highly recommend this one after you read the first.

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Saturday, January 9th, 2010
10:13 am
[awallens]
January: Haunted
 Haunted (Lady Grace Mysteries, #8) Haunted by Grace Cavendish


My rating: 3 of 5 stars
The Queen and her Maids of Honour are spending the summer at a nobleman's estate, where a new manor house is being built. But the work has to stop when
a mysterious spook appears. Could the ghost of a murdered Earl be haunting the site of his death? Grace begins to investigate and finds that there are
many rumours about the ghost - and uncovering the truth could be dangerous...
In past installments of this series, I have been impressed by the level of history the author brings to the series with out seeming to do so. I was disappointed
in this book, as there wasn't as much history. It's still an OK read, but if you're looking for more history, don't count on this book to provide it.

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Friday, January 1st, 2010
8:43 pm
[awallens]
best of reads, 2009
I gathered fifteen books together that were the best of for me. In no particular order, they are:
1. Brave heart by Randall Wallace
2. annie on my Mind by Nancy Garden
3. The Ugly Little Boy byIsaac Asimov
4. Priestess of the Forest by Ellen Evert Hopman
5. Terrier by Tamora Pierce
6. the Stand by Stephen King
7. Harm None by M. R. Sellars
8. Moonwalk by Michael Jackson
9. Body Sacred by Diane Sylvan
10. Return to Isis by Jean Stewart
11. Hearts and Bones by Margaret Lawrence
12. An Irish Country Doctor by Patrick Taylor
13. Cunt: A Declaration of Independence by Inga Muscio
14. Laughing Boy: A Navajo Love Story by Oliver La Farge
15. Sold by Patricia McCormick
5:17 pm
[awallens]
December: Tribe of Tigers
 The Tribe of Tiger The Tribe of
Tiger
by Elizabeth Marshall Thomas


My rating: 4 of 5 stars
From the plains of Africa to her very own backyard, noted author and anthropologist Elizabeth Marshall Thomas explores the world of cats, both large and
small in this classic bestseller. Inspired by her own feline's instinct to hunt and supported by her studies abroad, Thomas examines the life actions,
as well as the similarities and differences of these majestic creatures. Lions, tigers, pumas and housecats: Her observations shed light on their social
lives, thought processes, eating habits, and communication techniques, and reveal how they survive and coexist with each other and with humans.
This book was great, although the author couldn't decide if she wanted to do a serious study of cats or put her own twist on things. So instead of making
a decision, she kind of mishmashed them all together. I found this both annoying and interesting. I did find this a compelling read, though and if you
are interested in cats, you will, too.

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5:11 pm
[awallens]
December: Sold
 Sold Sold by Patricia
McCormick



My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Sold into prostitution, Lakshmi lives a nightmare and gradually forms friendships with the other girls that enable her to survive in this terrifying new
world. Then the day comes when she must make a decision to risk everything for a chance to reclaim her life.
this book is told in free-verse poetry. I read this book a few weeks ago but I couldn't even write about it until now. The book, especially read on audio,
is one of the most heart-breaking but very important books I have read in a long time. This book isn't for the faint-of-heart, but it does highlight the
problem of sex slavery in the world. I definitely highly recommend this book.

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Monday, December 28th, 2009
9:44 am
[awallens]
December: Hearts and Bones
 Hearts and Bones Hearts and Bones by Margaret
Lawrence



My rating: 5 of 5 stars
The physical and emotional scars of the Revolutionary War are an important part of this tremendous new first mystery -- the most exciting debut since Laurie
R. King and The Beekeeper's Apprentice. Like King's Mary Russell, the heroine of Lawrence's book is an unconventional woman, unwilling to be forced into
an historical mold. Hannah Trevor is a gifted, educated midwife who carries wisdom and sorrow with her in equal measures: one husband and three children
dead, another daughter born out of wedlock and deaf. When a young woman is raped and murdered, leaving behind a note that implicates her daughter's father,
Hannah is the only person in the small Maine town of Rufford with enough insight and experience to uncover the truth.
this book was more than the mystery, although that was pretty good in and of itself. The scars from the Revolutionary War period, the bitterness and anger
men and women held from this time and the crimes that resulted, are an integral part of American history that gets glossed over in the textbooks. Lawrence
does an excellent job of showing, not telling us, of this anger and betrayal, and I loved that. I also loved, absolutely loved!, Hannah and the fact she
wasn't a simpering heroine. She doesn't complain about her lot in life... And in fact she is determined to be as independent as she possibly can. She
uses her brain, wit and doesn't cave to anyone, but whether this is to her advantage or not will be seen in future books of this series which I can't wait
to read.

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Sunday, December 27th, 2009
11:56 pm
[awallens]
December: Monet's Ghost
 Monet's Ghost Monet's Ghost by Chelsea
Quinn Yarbro



My rating: 1 of 5 stars
Blessed with the ability to literally throw herself into paintings, art lover Geena Howe enters one of Monet's water lily paintings, where she encounters
a mysterious ghost in a Victorian castle."
I was so disappointed in this book. the premise was intriguing, a girl who can enter paintings at will. Unfortunately the book was boring, the main character
was by turns annoying and whiny and I was annoyed with the whole book. the ending was also way to abrupt.

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Monday, December 21st, 2009
1:40 am
[awallens]
December: I am Amelia Earhart
 I am Amelia Earhart I am Amelia Earhart
by Jane Mendolsohn


My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This book tells the story of Amelia Earhart and her navigator. It assumes they survived and how they lived on a deserted island. At first when I read
the novel, I didn't think it would qualify for the unbound women reading challenge As I read the novel, though, I was intrigued by the relationships between
the navigator, a man, and Amelia. Both were driven, both were stubborn. It was interesting to see how each manifested their frustrations and anger and
how ultimately they were more gender-free away from the constraints of society on an island where they had to rely on each other, and society's expectations
didn't matter. For that alone, I think this is an interesting read. I do wish the author didn't use so many changes in the point of view but overall this
was a good read.

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Wednesday, December 16th, 2009
11:01 am
[awallens]
December: The Heretic queen
 The Heretic Queen The Heretic
Queen
by Michelle Moran


My rating: 4 of 5 stars
In ancient Egypt, a forgotten princess must overcome her family’s past and remake history.

The winds of change are blowing through Thebes. A devastating palace fire has killed the Eighteenth Dynasty’s royal family—all with the exception of Nefertari,
the niece of the reviled former queen, Nefertiti. The girl’s deceased family has been branded as heretical, and no one in Egypt will speak their names.
A relic of a previous reign, Nefertari is pushed aside, an unimportant princess left to run wild in the palace. But this changes when she is taken under
the wing of the Pharaoh’s aunt, then brought to the Temple of Hathor, where she is educated in a manner befitting a future queen.

Soon Nefertari catches the eye of the Crown Prince, and despite her family’s history, they fall in love and wish to marry. Yet all of Egypt opposes this
union between the rising star of a new dynasty and the fading star of an old, heretical one. While political adversity sets the country on edge, Nefertari
becomes the wife of Ramesses the Great. Destined to be the most powerful Pharaoh in Egypt, he is also the man who must confront the most famous exodus
in history.

Sweeping in scope and meticulous in detail, The Heretic Queen is a novel of passion and power, heartbreak and redemption.
I am really becoming a fan of Michelle Moran. this is the second book I've read from her and I've liked both of them. the historical details are excellent
and seamlessly woven into the story. There are no asides to explain history... Which can be a problem. this book is just good. Can't wait to read more!

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Tuesday, December 15th, 2009
4:51 pm
[awallens]
December: James and the Giant Peach
 James and the Giant Peach James
and the Giant Peach
by Roald Dahl


My rating: 5 of 5 stars
When poor James Henry Trotter loses his parents in a horrible rhinoceros accident, he is forced to live with his two wicked aunts, Aunt Sponge and Aunt
Spiker. After three years he becomes "the saddest and loneliest boy you could find." Then one day, a wizened old man in a dark-green suit gives James a
bag of magic crystals that promise to reverse his misery forever. When James accidentally spills the crystals on his aunts' withered peach tree, he sets
the adventure in motion. From the old tree a single peach grows, and grows, and grows some more, until finally James climbs inside the giant fruit and
rolls away from his despicable aunts to a whole new life. James befriends an assortment of hilarious characters, including Grasshopper, Earthworm, Miss
Spider, and Centipede--each with his or her own song to sing. Roald Dahl's rich imagery and amusing characters ensure that parents will not tire of reading
this classic aloud, which they will no doubt be called to do over and over again! With the addition of witty black and white pencil drawings by Lane Smith
(of The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales and The True Story of the Three Little Pigs fame), upon which the animation for the Disney movie
was based, this classic, now in paperback, is bursting with renewed vigor. We'll just come right out and say it: James and the Giant Peach is one of the
finest children's books ever written. (Ages 9 to 12)
I may be the last person to read this book, but I was entranced by it. What a fun book at any age. Safe to say it was entrancing. Definitely a must-read
at any age. I know I'll read it over and over again when I'm blue.

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4:45 pm
[awallens]
December: Growing up in Coal Country
 Growing Up in Coal Country Growing
Up in Coal Country
by Susan Campbell Bartoletti


My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Inspired by her in-laws' recollections of working in coal country, Susan Campbell Bartoletti has gathered the voices of men, women, and children who immigrated
to and worked in northeastern Pennsylvania at the turn of the century. The story that emerges is not just a story of long hours, little pay, and hazardous
working conditions; it is also the uniquely American story of immigrant families working together to make a new life for themselves. It is a story of hardship
and sacrifice, yet also of triumph and the fulfillment of hopes and dreams.
I have always been interested in coal mining, and wanted to learn more about it. When I saw this book had been scanned for bookshare at 3 A.M. this morning,
I picked it up to give it a read. I often find that young adult books prepare me to read books for adults on the same topic and this book was no different.
this book is a great introduction to the trials, tribulations, joys and victories the coal miners and their children faced. Now to read more adult books
on the same topic.

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Thursday, December 10th, 2009
4:53 pm
[awallens]
December: Laughing Boy: A Navajo Love Story
 Laughing Boy:A Navajo Love Story Laughing
Boy: A Navajo Love Story
by Oliver La Farge


My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Capturing the essence of the Southwest in 1915, Oliver La Farge's Pulitzer Prize-winning first novel is an enduring American classic. At a ceremonial dance,
the young, earnest silversmith Laughing Boy falls in love with Slim Girl, a beautiful but elusive "American"-educated Navajo. As they experience all of
the joys and uncertainties of first love, the couple must face a changing way of life and its tragic consequences.
I would have given this book a higher rating, but I read it so fast I think it is one that will take a few days to fully digest. The conflict between the
American way of life and how the Navaho lived during that time was interesting and extremely well-done in this book. The author is to be comended for
such a good job. The end is sad, of course, but it is definitely a book well worth reading.

View all my reviews >>
4:49 pm
[awallens]
December: Eleanor of Acquitaine: A life
 Eleanor of Aquitaine:A Life (Ballantine Reader's Circle) Eleanor
of Aquitaine: A Life
by Alison Weir


My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Renowned in her time for being the most beautiful woman in Europe, the wife of two kings and mother of three, Eleanor of Aquitaine was one of the great
heroines of the Middle Ages. At a time when women were regarded as little more than chattel, Eleanor managed to defy convention as she exercised power
in the political sphere and crucial influence over her husbands and sons. In this beautifully written biography, Alison Weir paints a vibrant portrait
of this truly exceptional woman, and provides new insights into her intimate world. Eleanor of Aquitaine lived a long life of many contrasts, of splendor
and desolation, power and peril, and in this stunning narrative, Weir captures the woman— and the queen—in all her glory. With astonishing historic detail,
mesmerizing pageantry, and irresistible accounts of royal scandal and intrigue, she recreates not only a remarkable personality but a magnificent past
era.
As Weir says in the introduction, it was harder for her to do the research for this book because of the scarcity of sources. However, I appreciated she
told us what might be flaws in the writings she used... For example that not all chroniclers were to be trusted, etc. I like honesty like that in my history.
Very highly recommended.

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Friday, December 4th, 2009
8:31 am
[awallens]
November: Cunt: A Declaration of Independence, Unbound Number 2
 Cunt: A Declarationof Independence  (Expanded and Updated Second Edition) Cunt:
A Declaration of Independence
by Inga Muscio


My rating: 5 of 5 stars
An ancient title of respect for women, the word "cunt" long ago veered off this noble path. Inga Muscio traces the road from honor to expletive, giving
women the motivation and tools to claim “cunt” as a positive and powerful force in their lives. In this fully revised edition, she explores, with candidness
and humor, such traditional feminist issues as birth control, sexuality, jealousy between women, and prostitution with a fresh attitude for a new generation
of women. Sending out a call for every woman to be the Cuntlovin' Ruler of Her Sexual Universe, Muscio stands convention on its head by embracing all things
cunt-related. This edition is fully revised with updated resources, a new foreword from sexual pioneer Betty Dodson, and a new afterword by the author.
“Bright, sharp, empowering, long-lasting, useful, sexy....”—San Francisco Chronicle “... Cunt provides fertile ground for psychological growth.”—San Francisco
Bay Guardian “Cunt does for feminism what smoothies did for high-fiber diets—it reinvents the oft-indigestible into something sweet and delicious.”—Bust
Magazine

What can I say about this book that hasn't already been said?
When I scanned this book for Bookshare, I wondered if the administrators would make it adult, meaning women under the age of 18 couldn't read it with out
a parent or guardian signing a permission form. A friend and I both called bookstores in our separate areas of the country asking if they would sell this
book to under-eighteens and they both responded yes. Unfortunately, it was marked adult and even though the proofer and I both debated with Bookshare
staff, it was still marked adult, simply because of the title, and not the contents inside. they have explained the ruling but it still leaves a bad bad
taste in my mouth and smacks of censorship. Having said that, why don't I think the book should be marked adult and therefore be open to all teens? The
author deals with this subject with humor, compassion and passion. She takes a word which many men use to degrade women— including myself and probably
most of you— and makes it a word we can say with pride. She addresses natural birth control, natural methods of sanitation for when one is on her period,
and in this edition addresses transgender issues which she regrets neglecting in her previous edition. She gives women the strength to fight back both
physically and emotionally from men, and teaches women to be proud of themselves and their long long line of cunt-lovin' peers.
do I understand why this book can be offensive because of their title? yes, I do. Do I understand why Bookshare might want to restrict this to children?
Maybe although I maintain kids younger than ten are being called cunt by their peers, like it or not and this book could go a long way in helping girls
and young women deal with it. I never thought I'd see a book marked adult simply because of its title. the only thing I can promise bookshare members
and others in the community of women with disabilities is that I will do my best to provide other materials along the same vein in accessible format for
you and when you reach the age of 18 if you're not already, you can read this book.

View all my reviews >>
Tuesday, December 1st, 2009
9:40 pm
[awallens]
November: A voice of her own
 A Voiceof Her Own: Becoming Emily Dickinson A
Voice of Her Own: Becoming Emily Dickinson
by Barbara Dana


My rating: 5 of 5 stars
When something is most important to me and I do not want to lose it, I gather it into a poem. It is said that women must employ the needle and not the pen.
But I will be a Poet! That's who I am!

Before she was an iconic American poet, Emily Dickinson was a spirited girl eager to find her place in the world. Expected by family and friends to mold
to the prescribed role for women in mid-1800s New England, Emily was challenged to define herself on her own terms.

Award-winning author Barbara Dana brilliantly imagines the girlhood of this extraordinary young woman, capturing the cadences of her unique voice and bringing
her to radiant life.
I have always loved Emily dickinson and it had not faded over the years, but it had faded into the background. This book brought it all back out, though
and has inspired me to pick up E.D.'s works again. A Young Adult book that can do that is pure delight in my book.

View all my reviews >>
9:35 pm
[awallens]
November: Scent of Darkness
 Scent of Darkness (Darkness Chosen,#1) Scent
of Darkness
by Christina Dodd


My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Ann Smith loves her handsome, dynamic boss, Jasha Wilder, but her daring plan to seduce him goes awry when she encounters a powerful wolf who-before her
horrified eyes-changes into the man she adores. She soon discovers she can't escape her destiny, for she is the woman fated to break the curse that binds
his soul.
OK so you know my dark secret. I love reading romances. I can't stop myself sometimes.this was an OK romance... Most of the romances I read are just OK.
this one falls into that category. If you need something to take yourself away, this is the place to go.

View all my reviews >>
9:28 pm
[awallens]
November: Dark of the Moon
 Dark Of The Moon (Virgil Flowers,#1) Dark
Of The Moon
by John Sandford


My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Virgil Flowers-tall, lean, late thirties, three times divorced, hair way too long for a cop's-had kicked around for a while before joining the Minnesota
Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. First, it was the army and the military police, then the police in St. Paul, and finally Lucas Davenport had brought him
into the BCA, promising him, "We'll only give you the hard stuff." He'd been doing the hard stuff for three years now-but never anything like this. In
the small town of Bluestem, where everybody knows everybody, a house way up on a ridge explodes into flames, its owner, a man named Judd, trapped inside.
There is a lot of reason to hate him, Flowers discovers. Years ago, Judd had perpetrated a scam that'd driven a lot of local farmers out of business, even
to suicide. There are also rumors swirling around: of some very dicey activities with other men's wives; of involvement with some nutcase religious guy;
of an out-of-wedlock daughter. In fact, Flowers concludes, you'd probably have to dig around to find a person who didn't despise him. And that wasn't even
the reason Flowers had come to Bluestem. Three weeks before, there'd been another murder-two, in fact-a doctor and his wife, the doctor found propped up
in his backyard, both eyes shot out. There hadn't been a murder in Bluestem in years-and now, suddenly, three? Flowers knows two things: This wasn't a
coincidence, and this had to be personal. But just how personal is something even he doesn't realize, and may not find out until too late. Because the
next victim ... may be himself.
If you've read the Lucas Davenport series, or are like me and only read a few of the Davenport books, this is still a good read. Bonus points for including
towns I've heard of and making them and the people realistic.

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