Friday, November 08, 2019

Fiona Friday - One of each and a farewell note

This is my final post until ???  I have been diagnosed with breast cancer and will be undergoing surgery soon, so I've decided to go ahead and shut down the blog till my return. I'm not getting a good feel for how long it will take before I'm healed enough to return. Every last medical professional has said, "This is going to suck," and "You will max out your insurance, this year, and probably next." Okay, then. I guess we'll just take it as it comes. But, first . . . a Christmas story.

Christmas is my favorite holiday but Huzzybuns loves Thanksgiving because he loves to cook a big meal, even if it's only for the two of us. So, it was not a big surprise when I told him I wanted to decorate for Christmas early and he responded in horror, "NO! Christmas decorating starts the day after Thanksgiving!" Yes, yes, I know that, I said. But, I won't get to decorate because they're saying I'm not going to be able to lift my arms, so this is my only chance. He still couldn't be budged. But, then I went to Target and discovered a few little things that I thought would make a nice display. I cleaned the top of my lingerie chest (a chest of drawers shaped like a pyramid, bought long ago at Bombay & Co., for those who remember the store) and set them up. This is the result:

I was back at Target, yesterday, and I tried to buy some fake snow to cover the speaker but apparently the clerk didn't hand me that bag or we accidentally left it in the cart, so it'll just have to do. I love it. It's pretty, I got to do some Christmas decorating, and I'll be able to see it from the bed. Huz can handle any other decorating. I've done my part.

Early wishes for a Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year to any and all who drop by! See you in 2020.


©2019 Nancy Horner. All rights reserved. If you are reading this post at a site other than Bookfoolery or its RSS feed, you are reading a stolen feed. Email for written permission to reproduce text or photos.

Small Spaces and Dead Voices by Katherine Arden

I'm going to keep this as short as I can, but I decided to delay my Fiona Friday post by a few hours to squeeze in a final (double) review because I loved the books so much. Last week, I posted a photo of Dead Voices by Katherine Arden. The publicist said no review was necessary but I laughed inside because the entire reason I'm here is to read and talk about books. Of course I was going to read and review the book! However, as I was reading Dead Voices, it became apparent that there was a previous book and Dead Voices was giving away spoilers from the first. I loved Dead Voices and I didn't care about the spoilers, so I went ahead and ordered a copy of the first book, Small Spaces.

Small Spaces is Ollie's story. Ollie (short for Olivia) lost her mother, last year and has nightmares. She's tired of people looking at her with sympathy on their faces and just wants to get back to normal. Her mother was an adventurer and Ollie still loves the outdoors. She can throw a rock with tremendous accuracy, she's great at chess and she's an avid reader. So, when Ollie sees a woman dangling a book over a body of water, about to drop it, Ollie snatches the book away and hurries home with it.

The book tells a story of horror and when Ollie's class goes to a farm for a school outing, Ollie slowly begins to recognize bits of the story — familiar names, a similar mist in the area. When the bus breaks down and night begins to fall, the bus driver tells her to run and so does her mother's broken watch. Ollie listens. Coco, a new girl who is clumsy, bullied, and quick to tears follows along and so does Brian, a hockey player and popular guy who is surprisingly cheerful. Then, the watch says "HIDE". When the scarecrows come to life around them, are they in danger? And, when they see their classmates being marched off into a field, what should they do?

Highly recommended - Ohmygosh, what a terrifying book. I loved everything about Small Spaces. Because I had already read Dead Voices and was familiar with the children, the beginning was a little awkward for me, waiting for them to get to know each other, but the fact that I'd read the second book first didn't really cause as much trouble as I expected. Still, they really need to be read in order because the Bad Guy of the first book shows up in the second and they refer back to the adventure and horror of Small Spaces. Absolutely edge-of-your-seat, spine-tingling, holding-your-breath reading.


Dead Voices is, of course, the follow-up book to Small Spaces but now Ollie, Coco, and Brian are bonded because of their experience at the farm in Small Spaces. This time, they're headed to a ski resort that has just recently opened on the site of a former school. Ollie's dad and Coco's mom are in the front seat, the kids in the back, and they're driving in a snow storm. Coco is particularly nervous about the snow but Ollie's dad is a cheerful guy and he isn't worried.

On the way to the ski resort, Coco sees a man in a ski suit holding up his hand, as if to tell them to stop. Later on, she'll find out his story. At the ski resort, everything goes wrong. The power goes off, the gas stops, the generator doesn't work, and the ghost of a girl who died in a closet is haunting the children. Even worse, the ghost of the woman who locked her into the closet is still lurking. When the Smiling Man (the bad guy from Small Spaces) shows up and traps Ollie behind a mirror, then the other children are separated, will they be able to find each other and work together to escape the Smiling Man's trap?

Highly recommended - Again, this is a seriously scary book. Apart from the fact that the children are middle schoolers, it's hard to believe that this is a middle grade book because it's so intense. There's an added complication that gives the book some of the emotion of the first book: Ollie's dad and Coco's mom are getting a little giggly and sweet together.

In both books, Ollie's dad is a terrific character who provides some light moments and the children save themselves, although I tended to think of Dead Voices as Coco's story. Each book seems to focus on one child just a little more than the other two. I hope this means Brian is getting a book because I would definitely love to read a third book with Ollie, Coco, and Brian figuring their way out of a terrifying puzzle.

Side note: I took Small Spaces to my physical therapy appointment, yesterday, and my therapist (the one to whom I introduced Joe Hill) exclaimed with glee when he saw my copy of Small Spaces. He just bought a copy of Small Spaces and is planning to read it next. He didn't know there was a follow-up book, so he's excited about that. Of course, I was planning to recommend the series to him. I know that guy's reading taste pretty well after a couple years of talking books while he works on my neck.

I would not limit the reading of these books to middle schoolers. Young adults and older adults who like a creepy book will appreciate them just as much. They were terrific for fall reading and I may pull them out again for next year's RIP challenge.

©2019 Nancy Horner. All rights reserved. If you are reading this post at a site other than Bookfoolery or its RSS feed, you are reading a stolen feed. Email for written permission to reproduce text or photos.

Thursday, November 07, 2019

Vox by Christina Dalcher

In the world of Vox by Christina Dalcher, extremist Christians have taken over education, politics, healthcare, the banking system, and government in general in the United States. A televangelist is in a position of power in the government and the "separation of church and state" no longer exists. Dr. Jean McClellan didn't see it coming but her grad-school roommate did. While the earliest movement toward the far right was slow, things moved quickly after the latest president moved into office and women have been forced to stay quietly married at home, choose a mate, or face the consequences.

Change came quickly: the job losses, the wrist trackers, and the silence. Women in the America of Vox are no longer allowed to work, control money, or speak more than 100 words per day. The punishments for disobedience and aberrations (like homosexuality) are severe.

But, then something happens. The president's brother has been injured in a ski accident and the part of the brain that was Dr. McClellan's area in her research is the part that he's damaged. Suddenly, people are begging her to return to her work to find a cure. She's only interested under certain conditions. But, she knows that as soon as her work is done, she'll be back to subservience and quiet. And, there's something fishy going on. Did someone know the president's brother was going to suffer an injury? Is there more to the job than meets the eye?

Jean knows that she needs to find the answers but she also needs to try to drag out her research long enough to find a way to keep from returning to the circumstances of the past year. Will she be forced to rush a cure and return to being locked in silence, unable even to use hand gestures to speak? Or, will Jean and her friends and fellow researchers find a way to end the silence?

Highly recommended - I was so gripped by this book that I didn't want to set it down, the night I opened it. The result was a book in the face. Oops. I finally had no choice but to turn the light out because I kept falling asleep. But, I picked it up as soon as possible and finished it, the next day. Funny, since I'd seen mixed reviews and was concerned. I would never have guessed it would end up on the favorites pile. Good surprise! I did think there was a little bit of convenience to one particular plot point, and after I closed the book another plot point started to make very little sense, on reflection, but . . . who cares. I loved it.

My thanks to Berkley Books for the review copy! And, yes, I agree with the cover quote saying Vox is "sure to beg comparisons" to The Handmaid's Tale. I did occasionally think of Margaret Atwood's own dystopian version of a women-suppressing, mysogynistic society. Christina Dalcher's world, though, is unique. I never had the sensation that she was borrowing from Atwood in any way.

©2019 Nancy Horner. All rights reserved. If you are reading this post at a site other than Bookfoolery or its RSS feed, you are reading a stolen feed. Email for written permission to reproduce text or photos.

Wednesday, November 06, 2019

The Cats of Tanglewood Forest by Charles de Lint and Charles Vess

I'm going to keep this one short but I want to mention it because I loved it so much and it was the perfect story to keep me from falling into a reading rut. The Cats of Tanglewood Forest by Charles de Lint is the story of a girl, Lillian Kindred, who loves to spend time running barefoot through the Tanglewood Forest. Then, one day, Lillian is turned into a kitten by a magical circle of cats to keep her from dying. She's been bitten by a venomous snake and is lying on the forest floor when the cats surround her and cast a magic spell. They're not supposed to use their magic in such a way and the big cat who rules the kitties of the forest will not be happy, but they can't bear to watch a little girl die.

Can Lillian find a way to become human again? And, if she does, will she be able to bear the consequences of her choice?

Highly, highly recommended - I absolutely adored this magical gem of a book. Lillian is a sweet little girl who loves to explore, loves nature, but above all loves the elderly aunt who cares for her. It's alternately whimsical and terrifying, always magical and imaginative. The Cats of Tanglewood Forest is going on my favorites pile for 2019.

I'm not sure of the age range for The Cats of Tanglewood Forest, but I'm going to say it's probably classified as "middle grade". Of course, that always comes with a grain of sale. I had a child who was reading at middle grade level by 6 or 7 and one who didn't really get going till he was about that same age but then read his all-time favorite book, White Fang by Jack London, at 10 (and immediately dived into other 19th-century writing, which he still loves). At any rate, it's also great for an adult who is in the mood for a touch of magic and whimsy with some scary moments.

Notably, Charles Vess, the illustrator, and Charles de Lint are apparently best buddies and they came up with the idea together, although de Lint wrote and Vess illustrated. I'm so glad I bought this book because I will definitely return to it and it's one that my grandchildren can read when they get older and visit. Yes, I'm already thinking ahead to what they'll read when they hit middle grade age!

©2019 Nancy Horner. All rights reserved. If you are reading this post at a site other than Bookfoolery or its RSS feed, you are reading a stolen feed. Email for written permission to reproduce text or photos.

Where the Angels Lived by Margaret McMullan

Where the Angels Lived by Margaret McMullan is a memoir about the author's search for a relative's life story. The "angels" in the title refers to a family name, Engel, which translates to angel. When Margaret McMullan went to Israel and did some research at Yad Vashem, she discovered that Richard Engel de Janosi, a relative she never knew existed, had been killed in the Holocaust. She was charged with filling out a document about him for Yad Vashem and told that it was her duty to remember him.

With this task given to her, McMullan got a job teaching English literature in Hungary specifically so she could find out more about Richard and any other lost relatives. In the process, she learned all about the importance of her family, visited the places they'd lived, and slowly uncovered their stories. She was aided by some unknown relatives who came into her life during the search, made some new Hungarian friends, learned about the culture and traditions of Hungary, and became acquainted with the still-simmering anti-Semitism in the country.

Recommended - A little like a family detective story, part travel guide, and part Hungarian history. I really enjoyed this book. It took me forever to read, partly because we were working on preparing for Kiddo's wedding (which we were more involved in than the average groom's parents) and partly because I spent a lot of time looking up images of places and people mentioned. Where the Angels Lived has a lengthy bibliography and it was the mention of Marguerite Duras' memoir, The War, that prompted me to purchase a copy.

Obviously, I had a little fun with the photo. I just happened to have a pair of angel's wings from last Halloween. When I bought them, I thought it was unlikely I'd genuinely ever find a use for them but they were so cool! I feel like I've found their purpose as a prop.

I bought my copy of Where the Angels Lived for group discussion and unfortunately didn't finish the book till a week after my F2F group met. I'm glad I read it, though, and it just so happens that the author lives in my state, so the copy I bought was autographed. Bonus! I particularly recommend Where the Angels Lived to people who are interested in stories about family and culture or who are interested in stories of WWII, although it goes well beyond Richard's WWII story.

©2019 Nancy Horner. All rights reserved. If you are reading this post at a site other than Bookfoolery or its RSS feed, you are reading a stolen feed. Email for written permission to reproduce text or photos.

Tuesday, November 05, 2019

25 Days 'Til Christmas by Poppy Alexander

In 25 Days 'Til Christmas Kate (widowed 4 years ago) and her son Jack are having a challenging Christmas season but she's doing everything she can to make Christmas as magical as possible. She's come up with daily activities to keep Jack busy and try to keep him from realizing just how poor they have become. Kate works at a department store on a rolling contract. Every year, it's possible she could lose her job and this year the boss is being particularly threatening. At school, Jack is having difficulties and the faculty wants to send him to what we Americans would call a reform school, although the book is set in Bristol, England so it has a different name. At the same time, her mother-in-law is running out of pension money for use in the care home, where she is deteriorating rapidly from Alzheimer's, and the government is threatening to pull her supplementary funds.

Daniel lost his sister Zoe, last year, and it still stings. The one thing that he's looking forward to, this year, is seeing the woman he privately refers to as "Christmas Tree Girl". He hasn't ever formally met Kate, but he knows that she will be there selling Christmas trees in her little elf costume. He wonders if she'll remember him and wonder what became of Zoe. When Daniel's not working as a chartered surveyor, he answers a help line and listens to people's problems, talks them out of suicide, or sometimes is just there for the lonely.

Daniel and Kate have a little trouble getting together, at first, but eventually they meet and start seeing each other. The problem is that Kate is utterly overwhelmed with all her problems and unsure she can or should replace Jack's father, Tom. Is there a way to solve her financial issues beyond her home jewelry-making? How will she deal with the bullying and sexual innuendo by her boss? Can she get Jack into a school that will meet his needs and keep him happy, rather than one that's set up for those with bad behavior? What will she do about her mother-in-law's draining finances when she has so little of her own?

Recommended but I advise skimming some parts if you find them dull - There is a LOT going on in this book. There were times it was a bit too much for me and, at some point, I decided I'd be best off skimming certain bits. For example, Kate is put in charge of a fundraising effort for the department store and has to come up with costumes for her child and his best friend on top of everything else. I found the fundraising meetings as dull as they are in real life (been there), so eventually I decided to skim those and some other bits of meetings in which Daniel was trying to help the shopkeepers of a cluster of shops called Christmas Steps — which actually exists; you can look up photos online.

I think the author created a few too many threads in this story. And yet, like a Hallmark movie, it came together beautifully in the end, almost too perfectly (as a romance should). I closed the book happy and satisfied. When I went to rate the book, I noticed that someone had given it 1 star because she found it too sad, thanks to Kate's overwhelming financial issues. I actually enjoyed reading about the realistic struggle she was going through. I found at least one of the resolutions a little too easy and pat, so I knocked off a point for that and the occasional stretch (meetings, ugh) that I found dull, but overall I loved 25 Days 'Til Christmas. I liked Kate's creativity and determination to make things as cheery as possible for her son, and I adored Daniel for his kindness and generosity. They're a couple that you can root for and they deserve a lovely ending. A sweet Christmas story about hardship, grief, and finding happily-ever-after when it seems like nothing is ever going to be right, again.

©2019 Nancy Horner. All rights reserved. If you are reading this post at a site other than Bookfoolery or its RSS feed, you are reading a stolen feed. Email for written permission to reproduce text or photos.

Monday, November 04, 2019

Monday Malarkey

Recent arrivals:

  • Creatures: A Novel by Crissy Van Meter - from Algonquin Books for review via Shelf Awareness
  • Small Spaces by Katherine Arden (not pictured) - purchased after reading Dead Voices, the second in the Small Spaces series. 

Only two books, this week, unless you count the piles I got from the library sale (it's my bestie's fault — she draaaagggged me there!). You can see those at @bookfoolery on Instagram.

Books finished since last Malarkey:

  • 25 Days 'Til Christmas by Poppy Alexander
  • The Christmas Spirits on Tradd Street by Karen White
  • Dead Voices (Small Spaces #2) by Katherine Arden

I know it's a bit early for Christmas books. But, I'm glad I read them. I'm in the mood for Christmas books, already. I limited myself but bought 3 Christmas titles at the library sale (there were quite a few) and I'm looking forward to them. They're all older titles and since I'll be starting my break, soon, I will either say nothing or write a little about them at Instagram and Goodreads, but there likely will not be any more Christmas titles reviewed, here. I'm pretty sure I won't be back till at least January.

Dead Voices is the middle grade book I posted about on Thursday (just a photo) and I thought it was fantastic. I should have a review up by Thursday.

Currently reading:

  • Vox by Christina Dalcher

I decided I wasn't getting anywhere on the other books with bookmarks in them and I needed a fresh start, so I put them back in my TBR pile, marked them "Want to Read" at Goodreads, and I'll get back to them later. I'm halfway through Vox and had a little trouble putting it down, last night, till it fell on my face and I decided, "Oh, hey, maybe I ought to take a break and sleep a little." 

Posts since last Malarkey:

Wow, that's a lot of reviews, thanks to a Children's Day. Earth to Charlie and Moldilocks are my favorites of this week's reviewed reads. I liked all the children's books a lot, though. 

In other news:

I finished Glitch. It's a three-season story that ends in a surprisingly satisfying way, unlike most television. I was impressed. A full story arc! How often do you get that? I will miss watching it, but I really enjoyed this strange story about a group of people who are resurrected but, in the process, cause a major disturbance on Earth.

The best thing about Glitch (besides the fact that it tells a complete story from beginning to end) is that it's continually surprising. Don't read any spoilers if you want to view it and can avoid them. It's so much fun watching things unfold, not knowing what's going to happen next.

About that break . . . This is my last week at the blog but I'll let you know when I've finished posting as I do have a couple reviews pre-posted and at least a couple more books I'd like to review before I go. More on that, later in the week!

Update: I've been sitting here, writing a very short review because I want to cram in everything I've read, before I leave, and I realized that there aren't actually enough days left in the week. So, there may be some double-posting, this week. Also, I just received a couple of books that I ordered, so I'm going to add on to this post as this is my final Monday Malarkey till my return. I've decided Friday will officially be my last posting day. Here are the two books that arrived, today:

The Round House by Louise Erdrich was purchased at the request of a friend. She's in an online book group in which they discuss books about 4 times a year (I think via email) and she sometimes has trouble expressing her thoughts but has told me that she feels like when I describe a book it helps her wrap her mind around her own feelings. The Round House is their next discussion book and she asked me to read it and share my thoughts with her for precisely that reason. Honestly, I wanted an excuse to buy it, anyway.

Sal by Mick Kitson is a book that was recommended to me by an Instagram friend, Steve of @cape_of_good_books. Steve has become one of my favorite Instagrammers and this is the second time he's recommended a book to me. I still haven't opened the first, but I'm looking at my blog break as a time to mix things up a little bit, so maybe I'll manage to squeeze one or both in. Fingers crossed.

OK, back to work on those reviews. Happy Monday!

©2019 Nancy Horner. All rights reserved. If you are reading this post at a site other than Bookfoolery or its RSS feed, you are reading a stolen feed. Email for written permission to reproduce text or photos.

Saturday, November 02, 2019

Fiona Friday on the Wrong Day - Want dis.

When you set your empty bowl on the cat house roof. Note the little moving paw.

©2019 Nancy Horner. All rights reserved. If you are reading this post at a site other than Bookfoolery or its RSS feed, you are reading a stolen feed. Email for written permission to reproduce text or photos.

Friday, November 01, 2019

The Christmas Spirits on Tradd Street by Karen White

Melanie Trenholm has always seen ghosts and she lives in a house with spirits, at least one of whom comes only when needed. Now, in The Christmas Spirits on Tradd Street, the most recent release in a series full of mystery and paranormal elements, Melanie has recently discovered a dark presence in her stepdaughter Nola's room, seen a man in old-fashioned clothing where an archeological dig is going on around her cistern, and smells the scent of roses always left by the ghost of a woman she helped to release in the first Tradd Street book.

Marc Longo is back to annoying her, as well, and now he's searching for a new treasure (this time, a French treasure brought to the continent by the Marquis de Lafayette), trying to foist his way into the Tradd Street house with a film crew, and determined to one day own the place. His brother Anthony now owns the other estate associated with the Tradd Street home, both of which had the same owner in the past. Anthony was conned into taking on the estate when his brother discovered the original treasure he sought was not there. Now, Marc is convinced that there's a connection between the mausoleum at the estate Anthony now owns and the bricks in the cistern at Tradd Street. But a presence in the mausoleum is keeping them from investigating.

When Melanie and others in her circle check out the mausoleum and some documents Marc stole, they find pieces of a puzzle. Meanwhile, Melanie and her sister, Jayne see several new spirits from the Revolutionary War era at Anthony Longo's home and Anthony is having frequent accidents. What do bricks, peacocks, and the warnings of ghosts mean? Can Melanie unravel the mystery in time to have a relaxing Christmas with her family?

First, a little background on my own reading of the series. I've only read the first book, The House on Tradd Street, prior to this one. When The Christmas Spirits on Tradd Street was offered to me, I thought it was the perfect excuse to read The House on Tradd Street, which had been sitting on a pile in my library for years. Had I not recently read that first book, I would have been completely lost. Christmas Spirits stands alone well enough if you're familiar with at least the main characters but I would not go into the series in the middle. At the very least, you need an introduction. Fortunately, while a lot has happened and many new characters have been introduced, I had no trouble at all catching up on the general events of the books I've missed.

Recommended but not a favorite - If you have read and enjoyed past Tradd Street books, you'll probably love this one, as well. It is much like the other book I read, although obviously I can't speak for the rest. I remember there was a lot going on The House on Tradd Street and the same is true of The Christmas Spirits on Tradd Street. There are a ton of different elements to the story. Christmas, by the way, is more of a backdrop than a feature. While Melanie and Jack are facing some immense challenges caused by Marc's intervention in their lives, as well as working to unravel the mystery and stay a step ahead of Marc as he chases down the same paths, Melanie is also involved in preparations for a "progressive dinner" for the Christmas season (I had to look that up -- it's a meal where each course is served at a different house). There are other preparations, like buying presents and gathering for a family photo, but they're really secondary and you could be forgiven for occasionally forgetting Melanie and Jack even have small children.

There are almost too many characters in the story -- many of whom were introduced in various novels as the series has progressed. I had a little difficulty getting them all straight in my head and I'm not sure all of them were necessary to the plot. In the end, though, it was ultimately satisfying how the mystery was wrapped up and the problems I had with the book were the same ones I had with The House on Tradd Street: there's a bit too much going on, the writing is wordy (tight writing with few wasted words is my personal preference), and I find Melanie annoying. Those are really a matter of individual taste, not commentary on the storyline, though. I liked the story's complexity so I still recommend it to those who have an affinity for paranormal stories.

My thanks to Berkley Books for the review copy!

Fiona Friday will be on the wrong day, once again, this week. Tune in tomorrow for your weekly cat fix!

©2019 Nancy Horner. All rights reserved. If you are reading this post at a site other than Bookfoolery or its RSS feed, you are reading a stolen feed. Email for written permission to reproduce text or photos.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Coming up next . . .

Click to enbiggen.

Thanks for the free book @PenguinKids!

Everyone else . . . pretend that's dirt behind the skeleton, OK? :) I'm really looking forward to reading Dead Voices, but I have one more book ahead of it in the queue!

©2019 Nancy Horner. All rights reserved. If you are reading this post at a site other than Bookfoolery or its RSS feed, you are reading a stolen feed. Email for written permission to reproduce text or photos.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Moldilocks and the Three Scares by Lynne Marie and David Rodriguez Lorenzo - #3 for Children's Day

with room enough for four,
there lived three Scares:
Papa Scare, 
Mama Scare,
and Baby Scare. 

You can see where this is headed, already. Moldilocks and the Three Scares: A Zombie Tale by Lynne Marie and David Rodriguez Lorenzo is an updated, zombie-slash-monster version of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, and the first page (quoted above) hints at the twist at the end, as does the next page spread, which begins with Papa's musings:

One chilly night, Papa
sliced finger sandwiches and 
brewed a batch of Alpha-Bat 
Soup. "This recipe serves four. 
Just enough for one more."

Hint, hint. Mama wishes for an assistant. Baby says there's too much time and nobody to play with. The soup is poured in three bowls sized perfectly for Papa, who looks very much like Frankenstein, Mama, a Mummy (hahaha), and Baby, a little vampire. But, it's too hot. It boils Papa's bolts, unravels Mama, and gives Baby fang-ache, so they go off to walk the dog, Plasma. While they're gone, Moldilocks shows up, sleepwalking. She smells the soup and is lured to the house, which smells like home. She calls out but nobody is home so she tiptoes inside and, of course, samples all the soup. Too hot, too cold, just right, so she eats Baby's soup all up. You know the story. Moldilocks tries their chairs. Too hard, too soft, just right, but the baby's chair breaks. She tries their beds because she's sleepy. Too hard, too tight, and just right. She falls asleep.

The Three Scares arrive home, declare that someone has eaten their soup, tried their chairs, and tested their beds, always with Baby's being the one she ate, broke, or . . . fell asleep in, and there she is. Here's where the classic story takes a turn.

"HOW DARE YOU . . . 
. . . eat without us!" exclaimed Papa. "I've always
wanted another mouth to feed."

"You could be my
 lab assistant," mused 
Mama. "My nightmares have been answered." 

And, Baby is excited to have a playmate. As hinted at in the opening, there's room for four and the family is excited to add an extra member.

Highly recommended - What fun! I love an updated classic children's story and Moldilocks and the Three Scares is a joy with fun word play, like Baby holding out his Deady Bear and asking if Moldilocks wants to play Corpse and Robbers. Great for Halloween but also fun for any time of the year. Kids who love a surprising use of words will get the giggles and it's a sweet way to introduce the topic of adoption, showing how awesome it can be to add a family member! I love this book.

My thanks to Sterling Children's Books for the review copy! I would have loved to read this to my eldest granddaughter, this past weekend, since it's so perfectly holiday-appropriate, but it was way too noisy and crazy around the house with all the relatives and I totally forgot about it. Bummer. Might have to mail it to New Jersey so the kids can enjoy it. This is the final review for this Children's Day event! Thanks to all who stopped by!

©2019 Nancy Horner. All rights reserved. If you are reading this post at a site other than Bookfoolery or its RSS feed, you are reading a stolen feed. Email for written permission to reproduce text or photos.

The End of Something Wonderful by Stephanie V. W. Lucianovic and George Ermos - #2 for Children's Day

FIRST you need something dead, meaning
something that was once alive but isn't any longer. 
Your Something Dead will most likely be something
wonderful you loved very much as a pet, like a guinea
pig or a fish. 
Perhaps a pill bug. 

This is an oddly blunt beginning to a book about losing a pet, I thought, but when I read The End of Something Wonderful: A Practical Guide to a Backyard Funeral, it occurred to me that it's a necessary evil, talking about the loss of pets, and bluntness with a little dark humor is not unwarranted.

In The End of Something Wonderful, author Stephanie Lucianovic talks about the process of burying a pet but she keeps it light and fun. You'll need a box, but careful about the box you choose. A litter box, for example, is too stinky and jack-in-the-box is too springy. A shoe box is good for many pets. You'll have to dig a hole but the size depends upon the size of the Something Wonderful. You'll need permission to dig a hippopotamus-sized hole but most pets will fit in a fairly small hole. Don't bury something that's alive; that's rude. Sing or say a few words if you feel like it, maybe tell stories about your Something Wonderful.

You could also explain how being dead won't ever change how much you love them. But if you don't feel like saying it out loud, it's perfectly okay to hug that thought inside your heart, too. 

She tells you it's okay to laugh or cry at a funeral. The author also advises you not to dig your Something Wonderful back up, later, to see how things are going and then tells you it's okay if you're not quite ready to feel like the backyard funeral is over, after you're done.

You see, it's possible you still aren't all-the-way ready to say goodbye to your Something Wonderful that is now your Something Dead. 

Highly recommended - There is only one thing I really dislike about The End of Something Wonderful and I ran it past both Huzzybuns and Kiddo. Am I being picky? I asked. They both said yes, but I'll share anyway. On the final spread, it says funerals happen at the end of Something Wonderful but it's not the end of everything. You can always begin something wonderful again. And, the spread is an illustration of a little girl looking into a lobster tank, the implication being that maybe she can get a lobster for her new pet.

The problem I have is that there are fish on ice in the background and some of them are chopped into sections. In a book that has a fish as one of the Somethings Wonderful that were pets, I found that a little disturbing. Again, the family thought I was nuts. Fish are in the seafood shop; get used to it, woman. It still bothered me the second time I read the book but in general, I loved the book because it's such a positive look at losing a pet, laying it to rest, and moving on. Most children will have a pet of some kind and losing them is hard when they die. I've never read a book about burying a pet, as far as I can recall, and I love the fact that such a thing is available. I think there should be a book for everything and loss and grief are things children experience, so I'm giving this one two thumbs up. Apart from that final spread (Did I mention I refuse to touch raw meat and I'd happily go vegetarian if the cook would let me? I might be a little biased.) I also love the illustrations.

Many thanks to Sterling Children's Books for the review copy! This is #2 for Children's Day. The final review will be up later today.

©2019 Nancy Horner. All rights reserved. If you are reading this post at a site other than Bookfoolery or its RSS feed, you are reading a stolen feed. Email for written permission to reproduce text or photos.

The Many Colors of Harpreet Singh by Supriya Kelkar and Alea Marley with S. J. Singh - #1 for Children's Day

Harpreet Singh loved his colors.
Bright, muted pastel, or neon, he had one for every occasion. 
He wore yellow when he felt sunny, 
spreading cheer everywhere he went. 
He wore pink when he felt like celebrating, 
bopping along to bhangra beats. 
And he wore red when he needed 
an extra boost of courage. 

The Many Colors of Harpreet Singh is about a Sikh boy who color-coordinates his outfits with his patkas (turbans) and chooses the color based on his mood. He wears blue when he's nervous, gray when he's sad, white (that's white) when he wants to disappear. When Harpreet's family moves all the way across the country, from a land of beaches to a colder climate where it snows, Harpreet begins to wear colors that reflect the fact that he's not particularly happy with the move. He doesn't like the cold or snow and he just wants to be invisible at school. 

But, then one day Harpreet finds a hat with a smiley face on it and he knows who it belongs to. He takes it to the little girl who lost it and after exchanging a few words with her, he has a new friend. Harpreet starts wearing bright colors again: red for a regular school day, pink for a class party, then finally yellow

Yes, Harpreet Singh loved his colors. 
He had one for every occasion. 

Even for just hanging out with a 

Highly recommended - Besides the tale of Harpreet, the creative little boy who likes to match his outfit to his mood, and a story of dealing with a difficult move and finding a friend, there is an extra page of information about Sikhism by a "scholar and professor of Sikhism", just after the final page of the story. I love a book that teaches something new. The first time I read the book, I was evaluating as I read and it concerned me that "patka" wasn't immediately defined. This time, I knew that it was defined within the story and there was no need for a glossary, so I enjoyed the story more. A good tale for reinforcing color skills, talking about moving house and making new friends, and for learning about a religion that a lot of people don't know anything about. Lovely illustrations reflect the many moods and colors. I love this book. 

I received a copy of The Many Colors of Harpreet Singh from Sterling Children's Books for review. Many thanks! Today is Children's Day at Bookfoolery and this is the first of three posts. Back in a few hours!

©2019 Nancy Horner. All rights reserved. If you are reading this post at a site other than Bookfoolery or its RSS feed, you are reading a stolen feed. Email for written permission to reproduce text or photos.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Earth to Charlie by Justin Olson

First things first: Earth to Charlie has a cover that makes it look like sci-fi (and the title probably makes one think that, as well) but it's a young adult novel about an outcast who has been waiting for aliens to take him away since the night his mother said she was about to be picked up by aliens and that they'd return to fetch Charlie, later . . . and then she disappeared.

On the night that the book opens, Charlie hears a loud noise and sees a bright light. He's convinced it's the alien spaceship that's returned for him. This seems odd when you discover that he's in high school and years have passed; but, he's still utterly convinced that his mother was taken by aliens and all his father does in response to Charlie's obsession with aliens and his mother's disappearance is drink heavily and make himself scarce. He's not there for Charlie and he hasn't ever told him what he thinks, apart from his mother's claim being nonsense.

At school, Charlie is mercilessly bullied. But, then a new guy named Seth arrives and he wants to be Charlie's friend. Charlie is hesitant. He's a pariah. Why would anyone actually want to be his friend? There are a lot of other things going on: Charlie's grandma is in a nursing home deteriorating from Alzheimer's and he's the only person who ever visits her; Charlie's dad is drinking too much and not present so that Charlie feels alone at home; Charlie's 600-pound neighbor ends up in the hospital and Charlie offers to dog-sit the dog he usually walks but his dad doesn't want a dog in the house.

Then, Charlie meets up with a woman who keeps track of alien sightings and there's a subtle shift. What really happened to Charlie's mother? Will Charlie ever manage to speak to that girl he has a crush on? Will his father ever stop drinking and become a real dad to Charlie?

Highly recommended - A lovely, moving story of finding your way on Earth. I closed Earth to Charlie with happy tears in my eyes. When author David Abrams (Fobbit; Brave Deeds) recommended Earth to Charlie, my eye was initially caught by that gorgeous cover. And, it does look like a sci-fi cover, but I looked up the description and thought it still sounded appealing, after initially being disappointed that it wasn't sci-fi.

I'm so glad I bought Earth to Charlie. At the time I read it (about two weeks ago), I was fighting a book slump and it drew me right in. I wanted to know what happened to Charlie's mother, whether there was more to his friendship with Seth than Seth wanted to admit (this part is handled beautifully), what would happen with Charlie's neighbor and the dog. I also loved the relationships between Charlie and his grandmother and his friendships with the neighbor, the nice nurse at the nursing home, and Seth. Charlie is a terrific character, a truly good guy.

I'm pretty sure this is Justin Olson's first published book. I can't wait to see what he comes up with next.

©2019 Nancy Horner. All rights reserved. If you are reading this post at a site other than Bookfoolery or its RSS feed, you are reading a stolen feed. Email for written permission to reproduce text or photos.

Monday, October 28, 2019

Monday Malarkey

Recent arrivals (click on image to enlarge):

  • The War by Marguerite Duras - purchased
  • Disengagement by Daniella Levy - unsolicited from Meryl Zegarek Public Relations for review 
  • Flame Bringer by Elle Katherine White - from HarperCollins for review 
  • The Star-Crossed Sisters of Tuscany by Lori Nelson Speilman - from Berkley for review
  • Dead Voices by Katherine Arden - From Penguin/Putnam for promotion

OK, wow, not sure how I ended up with so many books, this week. Dead Voices is not meant for review but for a creative photo post and the title itself was a surprise; participants didn't choose the title they wanted but chose a type of candy and from there the book was selected by the publicist and sent (cool, eh?)  I've only done a creative photo promotion once before and I did review at the same time. I'll try to read Dead Voices ASAP so I can review either at the same time or shortly after because I don't generally promote books I haven't at least tried to read, although I do love posting creative photos.

Flame Bringer is a November release and the third in a series. I may have signed up for that one not realizing it was part of a series, so I'll read it and review out of order but if it's good I'll buy the first two, for sure. Kiddo and his new wife (!!!) are both avid readers of fantasy, so they may enjoy the series. And, I also have no idea how I got The Star-Crossed Sisters of Tuscany but doesn't it look marvelous? I love that cover. That and Disengagement are March/April releases, so I don't have to hurry up and read them before my break.

Books finished since last Malarkey:

  • Where the Angels Lived by Margaret McMullan 

Yep, just the one. But, for once I don't feel bad about only managing to read a single book. We had guests coming and Huzzybuns (with plenty of help from his family on the wedding day and the mother of the bride contributing some dishes) catered the reception of Kiddo's wedding on Saturday night. So, there was a whirlwind of activity going on. We didn't manage to finish tidying the house but we got the most important rooms clean, so that's good. Where the Angels Lived was last week's F2F discussion book and with all that was going on I didn't finish it till a week after the discussion, although I'm definitely glad I read it.

Currently reading:

  • 25 Days 'Til Christmas by Poppy Alexander

I should finish 25 Days 'Til Christmas, today. I've set everything else aside, for now, and will decide what to restart or return to in about a week, when I've finished the last of my scheduled reading.

Posts since last Malarkey:

In other news:

Kiddo and his beloved made it official on Saturday evening in the most colorful, festive, and yet spiritual and beautiful wedding ceremony I have ever attended. I have a new daughter-in-law! Woot! They had kind of a Medieval/Renaissance mash-up wedding and the reception hall was even set up with the bridal party's table perpendicular to that of the guests, so that it looked like the bridal party was seated at the high table, like royalty. A good portion of the guests chose to dress in Medieval or Renaissance clothing (it leaned Renaissance, but I was more Medieval peasant). And, here's something you'll love: many of the centerpieces at the reception had Harry Potter books in them, as the happy couple bonded over Harry Potter, D & D, their love of fantasy and sci-fi and Renaissance festivals. There were D & D dice in the boutonnieres. That was a surprise!

There were some hiccups with the catering because Huz had never done it before and there wasn't apparently a hospitality committee at the tiny church, but his family jumped in to help and because we're in the South, they actually had so many people offering to join in on the kitchen duties that they had to turn people away. Gotta love the natural hospitality of Southerners.

We had family hanging out at our house for 3 days and it was sooo fun. We had to lock the poor kitties in the bedroom. Fiona loves people but the noise level was even a bit too much for her, this time. She tried hanging out in the kitchen but she was looking a little terrified when I picked her up to move her to the master bedroom. Isabel, as always, went straight under the bed as soon as she heard strange voices. They're very happy about the quiet house, today, and currently snuggled up together on the reading chair. Snuggle season is open!

No TV, no movies, this week! You can probably figure out why . . .

©2019 Nancy Horner. All rights reserved. If you are reading this post at a site other than Bookfoolery or its RSS feed, you are reading a stolen feed. Email for written permission to reproduce text or photos.

Friday, October 25, 2019

Fiona Friday - Ironing plans: thwarted

©2019 Nancy Horner. All rights reserved. If you are reading this post at a site other than Bookfoolery or its RSS feed, you are reading a stolen feed. Email for written permission to reproduce text or photos.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Summary of The Mueller Report, Abridged and Introduced by Thomas E. Patterson

Corruptly. The word "corruptly" provides the intent element for obstruction of justice and means acting "knowingly and dishonestly" or "with an improper motive." The requisite showing is made when a person acted with an intent to obtain an "improper advantage for [him]self or someone else, inconsistent with official duty and the rights of others."

~p. 13

[...] the evidence does indicate that a thorough FBI investigation would uncover facts about the campaign and the President personally that the President could have understood to be crimes or that would give rise to personal and political concerns. 

~p. 58

During the summer of 2016, Cohen recalled that candidate Trump publicly claimed that he had nothing to do with Russia and then shortly afterwards privately checked with Cohen about the status of the Trump Tower Moscow project, which Cohen found "interesting." [...] Cohen said that at no time during the campaign did Trump tell him not to pursue the project or that the project should be abandoned. 

~p. 104

Our investigation found multiple acts by the President that were capable of exerting undue influence over law enforcement investigations, including the Russian-interference and obstruction investigations. The incidents were often carried out through one-on-one meetings in which the President sought to use his official power outside of usual channels. These actions ranged from efforts to remove the Special Counsel and to reverse the effect of the Attorney General's recusal; to the attempted use of official power to limit the scope of the investigation; to direct and indirect contacts with witnesses with the potential to influence their testimony. Viewing the acts collectively can help to illuminate their significance. For example, the President's direction to McGahn to have the Special Counsel removed was followed almost immediately by his direction to Lewandowski to tell the Attorney General to limit the scope of the Russia investigation to prospective election-interference only — a temporal connection that suggests that both acts were taken with a related purpose with respect to the investigation. 

~pp. 120-121

Please note that this is an abridgment of Volume II of The Mueller Report, the part about obstruction of justice. There are 10 or 11 specific charges of potential obstruction noted. The first volume describes Russian interference, which is eye-popping, so I still recommend reading the full report if you can find the time and strength. If you can't, Summary of the Mueller Report is great for getting a good look at what the president did to:

A. Try to stop the Special Counsel's investigation;
B. Try to limit the investigation to future election interference; 
C. Try to get various people to do jobs they shouldn't, deliver uncomfortable messages, lie, fire people, and even break the law;
D. Try to not-so-subtly convince people not to "flip" and work with the government when they were caught lying, 

and more. 

The Summary of the Mueller Report surprised me. Having read the full report (both volumes), I'd already been through the material. What this book does for you is make the report more readable. Instead of having to read around the redactions and look back and forth between the text and the footnotes to get a full picture of what's in the report, this abridgment consolidates the information and makes it flow. During the reading of the complete version of The Mueller Report, I clearly became weary of the back and forth and having to figure out what was being said when there were redactions, often in mid-sentence, and missed a few things. So, there were times during the reading of Summary of The Mueller Report that I found myself thinking, "Huh, I don't remember reading this." It was probably because the full report occasionally made me weary and I'd lose my focus. 

Recommended - The benefit of this abridgment of Volume II of The Mueller Report is flow. There are no footnotes at all and very few redactions. I appreciated Summary of The Mueller Report for the continuity and ease. Because it's an abridgment rather than a summary, there's still some legalese that can be a little difficult to understand if you haven't experienced legal writing, but if you're unwilling or unable to read the full report, it's worth that slight/occasional challenge to understand how the Special Counsel's team evaluated any known obstructive acts by the president, looked for a "nexus" or connection to determine whether his action had potential to do actual damage and then established whether or not there was intent. It also gives Americans a clear understanding of their current president's erratic temperament and inability or unwillingness to abide by laws and norms, which is distressing but important for citizens to understand. 

I received a copy of Summary of The Mueller Report from the author in exchange for my unbiased review. Note: This is an exception, rather than the rule. I generally do not accept any books for review directly from authors. However, I made an exception because I think The Mueller Report is that important. Many thanks to the author!

©2019 Nancy Horner. All rights reserved. If you are reading this post at a site other than Bookfoolery or its RSS feed, you are reading a stolen feed. Email for written permission to reproduce text or photos.

Monday, October 21, 2019

Monday Malarkey

Recent arrivals:

  • The Witches: Salem, 1692 by Stacy Schiff - purchased
  • A Good Neighborhood by Therese Anne Fowler - from St. Martin's Press for review
  • When We Believed in Mermaids by Barbara O'Neal - purchased

The Witches was a library sale purchase, so it just cost me a quarter. A Good Neighbor is both a funny story and one of the most exciting arrivals of fall. I put it on my wish list as soon as I read about it and then after it went onto my wish list it showed up on Shelf Awareness, so of course I signed up to try to win a copy.

But, here's the funny part. Someone else brought the mail in on the day A Good Neighbor arrived, whenever that was. We recently cleaned out our kitchen island and whoever brought that mail in plunked it on the dining table, where it was hidden by all the dishes and cooking items we set aside to give away. I found it while cleaning off the table and packing up the donations, today. Husband proclaims innocence. Fortunately, there were no bills in that particular pile. I think it's only been a week or two but some of our bills come with due dates that don't give you a lot of turn-around time, so I am not a fan of misplaced mail. At any rate, I may have squealed when I opened the envelope.

When We Believed in Mermaids was purchased for a read-along but I don't think I'm going to be able to join in, after all. Still, I wouldn't have gone ahead and bought it if I wasn't interested in the story and I may try to squeeze it in very soon.

Books finished since last Malarkey:

  • Earth to Charlie by Justin Olson

Ack! Just one book! But, it was a terrific read. I spent most of the week reading a short nonfiction book for my F2F group that I still haven't finished: Where the Angels Lived by Margaret McMullan. It's not a difficult read, but it's about the author's time in Hungary, digging up information about a relative who was killed in the Holocaust. Because I don't know much about Hungary, I've spent a lot of time looking up photos and further information on Hungarian squares, parks, buildings, statues, and details about various people mentioned. I would have loved it if the book had contained a photo section. There's a lot to look up. After 4 days of reading and missing the meeting, again, I decided I needed a break and none of the books with bookmarks in them appealed to me.

I let Earth to Charlie call to me. I've reviewed it at Goodreads, already, but since that cover is so appealing and the title hints at sci-fi, I should mention that it's not sci-fi but a YA about an outcast whose mother told him the aliens were coming to get her and they'd be back for him later, then she disappeared. I loved it.

Currently reading:

  • Where the Angels Lived by Margaret McMullan
  • 25 Days 'Til Christmas by Poppy Alexander
  • Birds of a Feather by M. C. McKinley
  • The Contender by William J. Mann 

I didn't read a single page from Birds of a Feather or The Contender (the Marlon Brando biography) so I may actually restart The Contender, soon. Birds of a Feather isn't one I'll need to restart. I misplaced Help the Witch by Tom Cox for a week and when I found it I decided to just save it for another time, so it's back on the TBR pile. I just started 25 Days 'Til Christmas, last night, and I already love it. 

Posts since last Malarkey:

The Mueller Report - The Washington Post version (review in 4 parts):
Part 1 - Mostly quotes with a little commentary
Part 2 - Mostly commentary with a couple quotes
Part 3 - Mostly quotes, again
Part 4 - Final quotes and commentary
Fiona Friday on the Wrong Day: Sharing (cat photo) 

I broke up my review of The Mueller Report into 4 parts because there were so many quotes I wanted to share. My commentary just elaborates to fill in the gaps a bit because of the sheer quantity of things I thought were worth mentioning. There are two parts to The Mueller Report, itself: the part in which the Special Counsel's team investigated Russian interference in the 2016 election and whether or not there was coordination between the Trump team and Russia (don't believe the president's attempt at yet another snow job – Russia interfered and Mueller has the receipts) and the part in which they investigated obstruction by the president. The Washington Post version has some added material that rounds it all out.

I'll review the Summary of the Mueller Report, this week. I still highly advise any and all Americans to read the report. Read a summary or abridgment, online or in book form, if you think the full report and other info is too much but there is so much misinformation being thrust our way on a daily basis that it's a must-read in some form.

In other news:

I think I'm close to finishing the third season of Glitch on Netflix, although I follow Rodger Corser on Instagram and I think he said there will be a 4th season, yay. It's a bizarre show but I love it because you never know what kind of twist they're going to throw in next. Who is a good or bad guy? Who will live or die? Will more people come back to life? It's fun. I didn't have a lot of time so I think I only watched 2 or 3 episodes but I'm loving it.

Falling for Vermont is the only Hallmark movie we watched, this week, and even Huzzybuns loved it. It's a 2017 movie about an author who is fed up with all the rushing around and public speaking (which she hates and fears) she has to do to promote her book series, which has now been made into a movie. She decides to take off for a few days in Vermont but has an automobile accident on the way and gets amnesia. The sheriff discovers her walking along the road and takes her to his small town.

It's autumn and there's a festival coming up so there's no place to stay. But the local doctor (a widower with an adorable child) offers to let her stay in his guest house. He figures he can also keep an eye on her because she has a head injury. She's disappeared for a couple days, before, so her boyfriend and publicist (or agent — not sure who the other person is) don't look for her and aren't particularly worried, at first, although they try to phone her repeatedly and it goes to voice mail.

Falling for Vermont is definitely a new favorite. It is a charming story with that touch of amnesia that I love.

We also watched Pirate Radio and loved it. One of the best things about that movie is the all-star cast (mostly British actors of renown). I'd heard of the true story but didn't realize there was a movie about the pirate radio station on a ship. In fact, I had the dates all wrong. I thought it happened more recently, although I'm not sure why I thought that.

At any rate, the movie is "a little slow" in husband's opinion, but I thought it was great. I particularly loved the triumphant ending.

©2019 Nancy Horner. All rights reserved. If you are reading this post at a site other than Bookfoolery or its RSS feed, you are reading a stolen feed. Email for written permission to reproduce text or photos.

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Fiona Friday on the Wrong Day - Sharing

©2019 Nancy Horner. All rights reserved. If you are reading this post at a site other than Bookfoolery or its RSS feed, you are reading a stolen feed. Email for written permission to reproduce text or photos.

Friday, October 18, 2019

Part 4 (Final) of Quotes from and Commentary on The Mueller Report - The Washington Post edition

Reminder: For consistency's sake, I'm finishing up The Mueller Report, today, and Fiona Friday will be moved to Saturday. I kept the spelling, sentence structure, punctuation, and capitalization from the book, whether or not I thought it was technically correct.

From description of the 37-page indictment US v. Internet Research Agency et al. 

The social media plot was hatched in 2014, before most Americans had begun to think about the presidential election. According to the indictment, by the spring of 2016, these Russians had decided they would support Trump and work to damage Clinton.

The Indictment was remarkable in its specificity, revealing that investigators had access to the group's internal communications, including an email from September 2017 in which one charged employee of the company wrote to a family member, "The FBI busted our work (not a joke)." The special counsel also alleged that these Russians worked off-line as well, asserting that three of those charged visited ten states to gather intelligence about US politics.

The group had online conversations with Americans, who became unwitting pawns, the special counsel alleged. The Russians persuaded Americans to hold rallies in support of Trump and paid for costumes and other materials so rallies could feature Americans dressed as Clinton in a prison jumpsuit. 

~p. 545

The following quotes are from the indictment itself:

By in or around May 2014, the ORGANIZATION's strategy included interfering with the 2016 U.S. presidential election, with the stated goal of "spread[ing] distrust towards the candidates and the political system in general."

~p. 552

To hide their Russian identities and ORGANIZATION affiliation, Defendants and their co-conspirators — particularly POLOZOV and the ORGANIZATION's IT department — purchased space on computer servers located inside the United States in order to set up virtual private networks ("VPNs"). Defendants and their co-conspirators connected from Russia to the U.S.-based infrastructure by way of these VPNs and conducted activity inside the United States — including accessing online social media accounts, opening new accounts, and communicating with real U.S. persons — while masking the Russian origin and control of the activity. 

Defendants and their co-conspirators also registered and controlled hundreds of web-based email accounts hosted by U.S. email providers under false names so as to appear to be U.S. persons and groups. 

~pp. 561-62

I don't want to go on copying this text for so long it puts everyone to sleep but the indictment goes on to say that the Russians stole U.S. identities, including social security numbers and dates of birth, which they used to create fake driver's licenses, open accounts at PayPal, and then use these as avenues for purchasing ads on social media sites.

The next quote is random as it comes from the transcript of Michael Cohen's sentencing hearing (just above this quote is information about Cohen's tax evasion) in 2018, but I think it's worth mentioning in the context of a president who refuses to reveal his tax forms and who has also bragged about being so smart that he doesn't have to pay taxes.

As Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes famously said, "Taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society." 

~p. 687

Last quote! The following is from the indictment of Roger Stone:

On or about August 2, 2016, Person 1 emailed STONE. Person 1 wrote that he was currently in Europe and planned to return in or around mid-August. Person 1 stated in part, "Word is friend in embassy plans 2 more dumps. One shortly after I'm back. 2nd in Oct. Impact planned to be very damaging." The phrase "friend in embassy" referred to the head of Organization 1. Person 1 added in the same email, "Time to let more than [the Clinton Campaign chairman] to be exposed as in bed w enemy if they are not ready to drop HRC. That appears to be the game hackers are now about. Would not hurt to start suggesting HRC old, memory bad, has stroke — neither he nor she well. I expect that much of next dump focus, setting stage for Foundation debacle. 

~pp. 702-3

Highly recommended - Please read this! The bottom line is that while it's a little exhausting because of the legalese, the redactions (some of which, I heard last night, may now have been challenged as unnecessary) and the footnotes, as well as the descriptions of the president's screaming rages, violation of laws and norms, and refusal to listen to advice, The Mueller Report is incredibly important for Americans to read. The Washington Post edition includes a lot of extras that round out the report itself — a 50-page introductory portion, Michael Cohen's sentencing hearing, Roger Stone's indictment, and more. They give context to what was happening on the Trump Campaign, the sheer quantity of contacts between Trump's people and the Russians, the depths to which the Trump Campaign and the Russians sank to tear down a candidate the Russian government knew would keep them from thriving as long as they remained aggressive (invading Ukraine, backing Assad), hostile to the Western World (Putin scoffs at democracy), and in serious violation of human rights. Yes, they were terrified of Clinton and their fear is on clear display in The Mueller Report.

After three years of gaslighting, lies, and distractions, a lot of Americans either are convinced Russia had nothing to do with election interference or don't know what to think. Many of us are also totally unaware of just how deep the obstruction ran (including destruction of documents and communications by the Trump team) and the fact that Wikileaks ceased to be an organization committed to exposing government wrongs and became a Russian asset, years ago. Now, we're being told Ukraine, whose people desire to be a democracy but have been fighting corruption and invasion for years, was the country that interfered in our election, not Russia. That's yet another attempt at gaslighting and one that I'm afraid some of my friends have already bought into. It may take time to read and you might have to take breaks, like I did, (I spread out the reading over months, literally) but if you're an American, you really should read The Mueller Report. I highly recommend The Washington Post edition because of the added material.

©2019 Nancy Horner. All rights reserved. If you are reading this post at a site other than Bookfoolery or its RSS feed, you are reading a stolen feed. Email for written permission to reproduce text or photos.