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.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Part 3 of Quotes from and Commentary on The Mueller Report - The Washington Post edition

I'll try to let the quotes speak for themselves, today.

Comey's briefing included the Steele reporting's unverified allegation that the Russians had compromising tapes of the President involving conduct when he was a private citizen during a 2013 trip to Moscow for the Miss Universe Pageant. During the 2016 presidential campaign, a similar claim may have reached candidate Trump. On October 30, 2016, Michael Cohen received a text from Russian businessman Giorgi Rtskhiladze that said, "Stopped flow of tapes from Russia but not sure if there's anything else. Just so you know. . ." [...] Rtskhiladze said "tapes" referred to compromising tapes of Trump rumored to be held by persons associated with the Russian real estate conglomerate Crocus Group [...]

~from footnote on p. 289

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. 

~p. 419

Note: The above quote is particularly relevant because it shows that the president has been going outside normal government channels since at least a few months after his inauguration. Corey Lewandowski, like Rudy Giuliani, is not and never was a government employee.

The obstruction-of-justice statute most readily applicable to our investigation is 18 U. S. C. § 1512(c)(2). Section 1512(c) provides: 

          (c) Whoever corruptly —

                    (1) alters, destroys, mutilates, or conceals a record, document, or other object, or attempts to do so, with the intent to impair the object's integrity or availability for use in an official proceeding; or

                    (2) otherwise obstructs, influences, or impedes any official proceeding, or attempts to do so, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both. 

~p. 422

[...] a balancing test applies to assess separation of-powers issues. Applying that test here, we concluded that Congress can validly make obstruction-of-justice statues applicable to corruptly motivated official acts of the President without impermissibly undermining his Article II functions. 

~p. 433

A general ban on corrupt action does not unduly intrude on the President's responsibility to "take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed." U.S. CONST. ART II §§ 3. To the contrary, the concept of "faithful execution" connotes the use of power in the interest of the public, not in the office holder's personal interests. [...] And immunizing the President from the generally applicable criminal prohibition against corrupt obstruction of official proceedings would seriously impair Congress's power to enact laws "to promote objectives within [its] constitutional authority," [...]

~p. 439

conspiracy to defraud the United States: A legal charge used against people thought to have worked together to commit fraud against the US government in some way, such as by impeding the functions of the Federal Election Commission or another government agency. The special counsel's office made use of this charge against former Trump campaign officials Paul Manafort and Rick Gates, and against the Russian organization that engineered a social media campaign to influence the 2016 election. This is the technical charge that pundits likely mean when they colloquially refer to "collusion," which envisions a conspiracy between Russians and Americans to defraud the US election system. 

~from "Glossary of Legal Terms," p. 513

[...] defendant PAPADOPOULOS understood that a principal foreign policy focus of the Campaign was an improved U.S. relationship with Russia. 

~p. 525

Notably, 9 pages after this quote, the document quoted above goes on to say that George Papadopolous met with a "Female Russian National" because he believed she had connections to high-level Russian government officials and could help him arrange a foreign policy trip to Russia. He spoke with said Russian National via Skype and email on several occasions. When he figured out this was problematic, Papadopoulos deactivated his Facebook account and changed phones.

I'm going to stop, here, because the next section is the indictment against the Russians and there's a substantial chunk that I want to quote. Part 4 should be the final part and then I'll review the summary I've mentioned repeatedly and recently finished reading.

©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 16, 2019

Part 2, Mostly Commentary on The Mueller Report - The Washington Post edition

This is Part 2 with limited quotes from The Mueller Report (with added commentary by moi).  The first quote is the last one from Volume I, the part on Russian interference, then I jump to the obstruction part. I started out quoting and realized there was so much more to comment upon that I ended up hardly using any direct quotes, this time, but I plan to go back to further quoting the report, tomorrow.

I'm skipping most of the quotes I considered posting about the Trump Tower meeting with Junior, Kushner, et al. because it has been endlessly reported on, but I think a single point is worth quoting because it clarifies how what appeared (at least from the news reports I've seen) to be a fairly harmless meeting that went nowhere could potentially have legal implications:

This series of events could implicate the federal election-law ban on contributions and donations by foreign nationals, 52 U.S.C. § 30121(a)(1)(A). Specifically, Goldstone passed along an offer purportedly from a Russian government official to provide "official documents and information" to the Trump Campaign for the purposes of influencing the presidential election. Trump Jr. appears to have accepted that offer and to have arranged a meeting to receive those materials. Documentary evidence in the form of email chains supports the inference that Kushner and Manafort were aware of that purpose and attended the June 9 meeting anticipating the receipt of helpful information to the Campaign from Russian sources. [...]

A threshold legal question is whether providing to a campaign "documents and information" of the type involved here would constitute a prohibited campaign contribution. The foreign contribution ban is not limited to contributions of money. 

~pp. 243-244

Volume II "addresses the President's actions towards the FBI's investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 presidential election and related matters, and his actions towards the Special Counsel's investigation." It comprises the majority of the 700-something pages of the report. One of my friends recently said Mueller had "no right" to investigate the president. While I'm not going to hunt down the explanation, the report actually defines what Mueller was charged with investigating and occasionally describes why something was not investigated (because it was outside their purview and/or there was some other governmental agency or office charged with that particular investigation, for example). But, when the Special Counsel was hired, his job specifically included any kind of outcome caused by the investigation itself. That includes such things as lying to the Special Counsel's office or other methods of obstruction. So, even before any obstruction happened, he had "the right" to investigate it, if and when it did occur. That was part of the Special Counsel's job description.

The "key issues and events" examined in the obstruction-of-justice inquiry were, as follows (the following are all followed by descriptions of generally 2-3 paragraphs on pp. 265-269 of The Washington Post version of The Mueller Report:

  • The Campaign's response to reports about Russian support for Trump. 
  • Conduct involving FBI Director Comey and Michael Flynn. 
  • The President's reaction to the continuing Russia investigation. 
  • The President's termination of Comey. 
  • The appointment of a Special Counsel and efforts to remove him. 
  • Efforts to curtail the Special Counsel's Investigation. 
  • Efforts to prevent public disclosure of evidence. 
  • Further efforts to have the Attorney General take control of the investigation. 
  • Efforts to have McGahn deny that the President had ordered him to have the Special Counsel removed. 
  • Conduct towards Flynn, Manafort, [redacted].
  • Conduct involving Michael Cohen. 
  • Overarching factual issues. 

So, almost all of those are about what the president and his campaign did to stop people (the press; investigators) from finding out the truth. Much of it, of course, was done in full view of the public. This is the thing that I'm sure most people who don't support Trump find baffling. It's recorded! Remember when he went on NBC news and said he thought "this Russia thing with Trump and Russia" would go away if he fired Comey? Remember when Trump wrote nice tweets about Michael Cohen until Cohen decided to tell the truth about what happened and then wrote threatening tweets about Cohen's family and called him a rat? I have friends who have no idea those things happened. They simply believe everything Trump says, regardless of how insane it is and how publicly it's been displayed.

What you really get out of Volume II is a serious case of exhaustion. It's like reading about a toddler who stole a dozen cookies, got chocolate all over his face, panicked about it and lied (but didn't bother washing his face), got mad when he was caught, then blamed everyone around him and had a screaming, kicking tantrum (or, series of tantrums). Then he kept pushing people around him out of the house, one by one, because they refused to say, "It's true. Johnny never touched the cookies. I saw him innocently sitting on the couch while it happened."

Volume II describes Trump's lies and waffling and tells the story of his attempts to stop the Special Counsel's investigation, via evidence obtained through interviews with those around the president and his own tweets and interviews. It describes his screaming rages, refusal to listen to advice on laws and norms, and requests for others (in and out of the government) to do things that were either inappropriate, illegal, or outside their job description. I was shocked to find that so many people simply ignore the president's instructions or put him off repeatedly, knowing what they're being asked to do is wrong. Instead of telling the American people how dangerous he is, they ignore him.

I'll post more from Volume II, tomorrow, and try to focus on the quotes rather than the commentary.

©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 15, 2019

Part 1 of Quotes from The Mueller Report - The Washington Post edition

There is so much to The Mueller Report that I've decided to start out by simply quoting it (with commentary, where appropriate) and I'll divide the quotes and any other info I type up into parts. The following quotes are from Volume I, which I think of as the "Russian Interference" portion of the report. It describes the specific organizations (directly related to the Russian government, and therefore authorized by Putin) that interfered in our American elections. These were selected to show a little of what American intelligence agencies know about the Russian interference in our 2016 election, which Putin has publicly admitted to, although never in the presence of our current president, when he gleefully says he didn't interfere and seems to get a tremendous kick out of Trump's acceptance of his word.

I don't know whether to think Trump knows and is pretending not to believe our intelligence agencies or he truly doesn't believe the intelligence, but it is astounding what the intelligence community knows, down to the people who paid for the interference, the buildings and rooms trolls worked in, how they created rallies with props like "Hillary for Prison" floats from afar, and how crypto currency was used to pay for much of what was done. In truth, Americans should be livid about the extent to which many of us were fooled by a hostile foreign government. I, for one, thought the "Hillary for Prison" campaign was something that my fellow Americans came up with. It was not.

By February 2016, internal IRA documents referred to support for the Trump Campaign and opposition to candidate Clinton. For example [...] "Main idea: Use any opportunity to criticize Hillary [Clinton] and the rest (except Sanders and Trump - we support them).

~p. 81

Note from the Internet on the IRA, as referenced above:

The Internet Research Agency (IRA; Russian: Агентство интернет-исследований, also known as Glavset and known in Russian Internet slang as the Trolls from Olgino) is a Russian company, based in Saint Petersburg, engaged in online influence operations on behalf of Russian business and political interests.

The investigation identified two different forms of connections between the IRA and members of the Trump Campaign. (The investigation identified no similar connections between the IRA and the Clinton Campaign.) First, on multiple occasions, members and surrogates of the Trump Campaign promoted — typically by linking, retweeting, or similar methods of reposting — pro-Trump or anti-Clinton content published by the IRA through IRA-controlled social media accounts. Additionally, in a few instances, IRA employees represented themselves as U.S. persons to communicate with members of the Trump Campaign in an effort to seek assistance and coordination on IRA-organized political rallies inside the United States. 

~p. 91

Two military units of the GRU carried out the computer intrusions into the Clinton Campaign, DNC and DCCC: Military Units 26165 and 74455. Military Unit 26165 is a GRU cyber unit dedicated to targeting military, political, governmental, and non-governmental organizations outside of Russia, including in the United States. The unit was sub-divided into departments with different specialties. One department, for example, developed specialized malicious software ("malware), while another department conducted large-scale spearfishing campaigns. 


Officers from Unit 74455 separately hacked computers belonging to state boards of elections, secretaries of state, and U. S. companies that supplied software and other technology related to the administration of U. S. elections. 

~pp. 94 - 95

The GRU's operations extended beyond stealing materials, and included releasing documents stolen from the Clinton Campaign and its supporters. The GRU carried out the anonymous release through two fictitious online personas that it created — DCLeaks and Guccifer 2.0 — and later Wikileaks. 

~p. 99

On November 3, 2015, the day after the Trump Organization transmitted the LOI (Letter of Intent), Sater emailed Cohen suggesting that the Trump Moscow project could be used to increase candidate Trump's chances at being elected, writing:

Buddy our boy can become President of the USA and we can engineer it. I will get all of Putins [sic] team to buy in on this, I will manage this process . . . 

~p. 129

[...] However, Cohen recalled conversations with Trump in which the candidate suggested that his campaign would be a significant "informercial" for Trump-branded properties. 

~p. 130

I include the following because the disinformation campaign by our current president and those surrounding him has successfully convinced many of his voters that there was no genuine basis for the investigation into coordination between the Trump Campaign and Russia or that it was based on entirely different sources or reasoning:

On May 6, 2016, 10 days after that meeting with Mifsud, Papadopoulos suggested to a representative of a foreign government that the Trump Campaign had received indications from the Russian government that it could assist the Campaign through the anonymous release of information that would be damaging to Hillary Clinton. 

***from a footnote to this sentence:

The foreign government conveyed this information to the U.S. government on July 26, 2016, a few days after WikiLeaks' release of Clinton-related emails. The FBI opened its investigation of potential coordination between Russia and the Trump Campaign a few days later based on the information. 

~p. 147

The following is a theme that is repeated throughout The Mueller Report. Each time the press managed to get wind of the connections between the Trump Campaign and Russia and reported on a particular interaction (as with George Papadopoulos), they immediately distanced themselves from the person receiving the negative press and removed him from the campaign. While I cannot possibly quote all of the information connecting the dots, it's substantial, often shocking, and the report indicates that direct coordination can't be proven partly because so much of what was requested by the Special Counsel's office (phone, text, and other documents) was destroyed:

In July 2016, after returning from Russia [Carter] Page traveled to the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. While there, Page met Russian Ambassador to the United States Sergey Kislyak [...]. Page emailed Campaign officials with feedback he said he received from ambassadors he had met at the Convention, and he wrote that Ambassador Kislyak was very worried about candidate Clinton's world views. [redacted]

Following the Convention, Page's trip to Moscow and his advocacy for pro-Russia foreign policy drew the media's attention and began to generate substantial press coverage. The Campaign responded by distancing itself from Page, describing him as an "informal foreign policy advisor" who did "not speak for Mr. Trump or the campaign." 

~p. 160

The last sentence of this portion gave me chills:

Soon after midnight on election night, [Kirill] Dmitriev messaged [redacted] who was traveling to New York to attend the 2016 World Chess championship. Dmitry Peskov, the Russian Federation's press secretary [...] was also attending the World Chess Championship. 

At approximately 2:40 a.m. on November 9, 2016, news reports stated that candidate Clinton had called President-Elect Trump to concede. At [redacted] wrote to Dmitriev, "Putin has won."

~p. 207

I have to stop here because the storms have arrived and today is predicted to be dangerously floody. There are 500 more pages, so I'm going to have to limit myself as to how much I quote but there is a tremendous amount of detail about the interference by Russia — and the Trump Campaign's willingness to accept it — known and published in The Mueller Report. Unfortunately, we're expecting storms all day, so I'm going to unplug the desktop to prevent potential damage from lightning. If I'm unable to get a post written in time to publish tomorrow, I should have one up by Thursday.

©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 14, 2019

Monday Malarkey

Recent arrivals:

  • September Moon by John Moore
  • Birds of a Feather: Joseph Cornell's Homage to Juan Gris by M. C. McKinley
  • The Hadley Academy for the Improbably Gifted by Conor Grennan

All of these were purchases. September Moon is a book that an Instagrammer I follow reads annually and the excerpt she posted was so beautiful that I would have joined along if I had a copy. Unfortunately, I had to order one from England, via Abe Books, so it didn't arrive till September was over. I may not save it till next September, it sounded so good. Isn't it gorgeous? Birds of a Feather is the book I was thinking about breaking my Amazon book-buying ban for and clearly I decided to go for it. It's about a series of box constructions by Joseph Cornell, all of which were done as an homage to Juan Gris, an artist Cornell admired. The book accompanied an exhibit of Cornell's boxes and the paintings and collages that inspired them. The Hadley Academy for the Improbably Gifted is a book I pre-ordered months ago, so it was a surprise to open the box with Birds of a Feather and find a second book inside.

Books finished since last Malarkey:

  • The End of Something Wonderful by Stephanie Lucianovic and George Ermos
  • The Many Colors of Harpreet Singh by Supriya Kelkar and Alea Marley with Simran Jeet Singh
  • Moldilocks and the Three Scares: A Zombie Tale by Lynne Marie and David Rodriguez Lorenzo
  • Summary of the Mueller Report, for those too busy to read it all by Thomas E. Patterson
  • The Cats of Tanglewood Forest by Charles de Lint and Charles Vess

I actually read the first three books (all children's books from Sterling) the moment they walked in the door but forgot to add them to last week's list. I hope to get those reviewed this week. The Summary of the Mueller Report was great, although reading about our president's terrible temper and the laws and norms he routinely breaks, all over again, was painful. Hope to get to that, this week, also. I may move Fiona Friday to Saturday to make sure I can fit everything in, although the three children's books will probably be reviewed in a single day, as usual. I like doing a Children's Day. The Cats of Tanglewood Forest is a book I picked up when nothing else was holding me. I just needed a change of pace. It worked; I was afraid I was about to fall into a reading slump but The Cats of Tanglewood Forest saved me. 

Currently reading:

  • Where the Angels Lived by Margaret McMullan
  • Birds of a Feather by M. C. McKinley
  • The Contender: The story of Marlon Brando by William J. Mann

Where the Angels Lived is nonfiction, about the author's search for information about a family member who died in Mauthausen concentration camp but whom her family had never mentioned. She moved to Hungary for 5 months to research his life and teach. It's this month's F2F discussion book and I hope I make it to discussion but it seems unlikely because we're getting close to Kiddo's wedding and we're helping with the planning. It's getting down to crunch time and there's still a lot to be done.

Posts since last Malarkey:

In other news:

Last week was just a forgetful week, I guess. I'm still watching the same programs: Glitch, NCIS, Chicago Fire, Poldark, The Durrells in Corfu. But, I forgot to mention that it's also Hallmark Channel movie season, at least for me. Husband and I watched two Hallmark movies, last week, and one this week.

Pumpkin Pie Wars surprised us both. While the male lead was a little stiff, the storyline was not so trite as the usual Hallmark script. It was cute, the story of the children of two women who have competing bakeries taking their places in the annual pumpkin pie baking competition. Both parents of both of the main characters were still alive! We're so accustomed to a "sad because of dead parent" line running through most of the Hallmark movies that my husband actually said, "This isn't a real Hallmark movie! Nobody's dead!" Haha, it's true. It was a very different story and we both loved it. There really wasn't a dark moment, either, although there was one brief moment that something went wrong for such a short time that it didn't even count. It went "dark throwaway line; all resolved".

I like it when the Hallmark movies don't fit into the normal pattern and the story was charming, so Pumpkin Pie Wars is definitely a new favorite.

Over the Moon in Love is a more typical Hallmark story and parts of it stressed me out but I still loved it. The heroine, Brooklyn, has had a natural talent for matchmaking all her life and turned it into a successful business. Now, she's trying to get a spot in a magazine that will help her take it to the next level. Meanwhile, a man she used to hang out with from childhood, Devin, has returned to town and there's still a spark between them but Brooklyn's never known quite how to use her matchmaking skill on herself.

The daughter of the man who will decide which business to feature in the national magazine has come to check out Over the Moon in Love (the name of the business), one of several businesses competing for the coveted article slot. But, then she sees Devin, who is really still in love with Brooklyn, and asks Brooklyn to set her up with him. It goes badly till she talks Brooklyn into helping her figure out how to attract Devin and then it goes too well. Will Devin end up with the wrong woman?

Loved this one, too. And, then I watched another Hallmark movie (which I apparently saw part of, last year, but it wasn't memorable), last night. It was terrible but I watched the whole thing, anyway. It had all of the usual hooks, two giggly female leads who were frankly annoying, the usual dead people on each side. The dark moment wasn't all that dark and lasted a hot second. I just didn't think the actors had any particular chemistry. But, I love the happily-ever-after, so I stuck it out.

©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 11, 2019

Fiona Friday - A cat story in 6 images

©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.