Not Posting due to illness

Hi!

I have the flu, have had it forever it feels like. I am still reading but not in any condition to post reviews.

I have multiple chronic illnesses so it doesn’t take much to shut me down.

Be back soon💗

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Lying in Wait by Liz Nugent

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Today’s audio book and crochet selection is #lyinginwait by #liznugent
This title is available as an ebook from #kindle and #googlebooks for $9.99
This is also available as an audio book from #audible for $11.90 and #googlebooks for $13.95
This title is currently unavailable to borrow from #hoopla or #libby

This is a psychological thriller featuring a prominent family and estate in Dublin, Ireland. The husband and father, Andrew, is a successful Judge. The wife and mother, Lydia, is a stay at home mom and the daughter of a wealthy well connected family, the house and estate are hers. Laurence is their only child, a very much bullied for being over weight mama’s boy.
The family of the victim, Annie Doyle, is not so blessed. They could best be described as working class and struggling.
This books is just a wild ride. The action begins with the first sentence, ‘My husband did not mean to kill Annie Doyle, but the lying tramp deserved it’. The tone the author uses throughout the narrative is perfect: humorous and horrifying at the same time.
Most of the action takes place in the early 80’s. There are flashbacks to the 40’s and the last 2 chapters take place in 2016. This story is told in multiple pov chapters between: Lydia, Laurence and Karen the sister of Annie Doyle.
I can’t say too much without ruining reveals. I found the ending particularly satisfying and unexpected.

This is definitely worth the read. I’m planning to read her book published before this, Unraveling Oliver, and it appears she released a book this year in Ireland as well, Skin Deep.

The Bargain I, II, III & IV by Vanessa Riley

Today’s ebook and crochet selection is #thebargainnovellas by #vanessariley
The ebooks for this series are available from #kindle and I think some of the novellas offered audio versions as well but I’m not sure.
Honestly these aren’t really worth purchasing.
This title is currently unavailable to borrow from #hoopla or #libby
This story was released in 4 novellas: part I, II, III & IV which I read on #kindle

The Bargain is an interracial historical romance set in Regency Era London and a colony in South Africa, Port Elizabeth. Of the 2 settings I found Port Elizabeth more interesting.
These novellas features the primary love interest and main character, Precious Jewell (PJ). Her love interest is the man holding her in bondage, Gareth Conroy, third Baron Welling.

I don’t really read many romances, it’s not a genre I’ve enjoyed since middle school. Still, I always loved historical romances and as a teen longed to read one featuring a character that looked like me. A theme of romance books I remember from my youth and ultimately why I lost interest in this genre, routinely involved the men love interest displaying toxic masculinity to the point of abusiveness; usually emotional abuse but occasionally even physical. I can remember non consensual spanking scenes sold as sexy. As a high schooler I became interested in feminism and moved away from reading these types of narratives.
I have to say that this story made me uncomfortable in many ways. This is delicate subject matter and just was not handled sensitively enough for me.
A love story between an abuser and the person they are abusing, which is the basis of a love story between the enslaved and their captor, is a hard sell. I’m not going to say it can’t be done. A highly skilled writer who was fully prepared to truly deal with the unsavory aspects of this narrative might make this work.
This story is unable to reasonably sell this as a story of love versus a story involving abuse and manipulation.

In the first installment Gareth extends PJ’s bondage via lies and manipulation. As PJ is living in London at this time, she has been freed from bondage since she arrived in the country. Gareth tricks her into extending her now gone bondage in an attempt to keep her with him. This is after she has already agreed to stay and his actions are unnecessary and cruel.

This author has published a lot of Regency era interracial romances and I was kind of excited to find her books. I highly doubt I’d read another of her romances because I found this to be extremely distasteful. Though none of the other novels may feature enslaved or formerly enslaved blacks as main characters. I’m sure that would make a huge difference to story dynamics.

Tara Revisited by Catherine Clinton

Today’s ebook and crochet selection is #tararevisited by #catherineclinton. This title is currently available to borrow as an ebook from #hoopla

While easy to read and interesting, this is just a fail on every other level. This is not a look at the civil war from the view of southern women both black and white.
Instead this book primarily focuses, at least 70-75%, on southern white women who held black people in bondage. There’s maybe 5-10% about middle class southern white women who became nurses or were the wives of overseers. Overseers wives, we know from The Slave Narratives, held a lot of power over the lives of enslaved peoples.
I’d say maybe 20% of the book deals with black women during the Civil War. Of that 20%, a minuscule amount of the narrative is actually from the pov of black enslaved women. A sizable portion is reflective of how southern white slave holding women were impacted by the actions and choices of black folks during this period. How these white women were frightened and inconvenienced by the growing freedoms of enslaved blacks. The author very much cherry picked the Slave Narratives as a source.
Even the language used in the black women sections was condescending and racialized. There’s a section on enslaved blacks being ‘self sufficient’ as in growing food and feeding themselves. White slave holders being self sufficient was the true surprise, as they had needed assistance to provide for themselves, hence the institution of chattel slavery. White slave holding women didn’t even feed their own infants, they had zero self sufficiency. Most enslaved people’s were responsible for growing their own food in addition to working sunrise to sunset, blacks were always self sufficient as in their labor more than provided for their consumption needs. West Africans were amazingly self sufficient and highly knowledgeable regardless of nation which is why they were attractive enough to Europeans to create the chattel slave trade in the first place. The author’s racism is cringe worthy.
White women on slave owning plantations: whether the wife or daughter of the owner or the overseer had a lot of control over the lives and punishment of the enslaved. Wives of slave holders hung children by their thumbs in closets, implored various other means of corporal punishment as well as deprivation and emotional punishment on enslaved peoples as young as infants. White women were often the instigator of sales and the break up of families. All of this is in the Slave Narratives. As well as various individually published slave narratives. Unfortunately the author did not choose to tell black enslaved women’s history where it incriminated white slave holding women or the confederacy.
Instead the sections on black enslaved women are told from primarily the pov of how white women are impacted by the enslaved. For example black men leaving and other enslaved families walking off after the war gets going which intensifies after the Emancipation Proclamation. How white women were impacted and felt about that as they were left in charge by their husbands.
At no point is it addressed that this is the best thing to happen to black people in the US since the first West African arrived here in what would become the US in chains. History tells us black folks left to seek out family members: lost parents, siblings, spouses and most especially children. Many left to take advantage of freedom or to go with their spouses and keep families together. Whole enslaved families but mostly individuals joined ‘contraband’ camps and later the Union Army, the men fought and the women cooked. No doubt this was a very exciting and anxiety provoking time for black women. There very world was being made anew. For black folks this is the war of independence.
I can not imagine the pride, joy, honor and happiness black enslaved women must’ve felt seeing black men in Union uniforms. This is not really discussed. Only from white women’s pov and as if black union soldiers existed solely to intimidate racist white southern women. Here’s the thing though, white women are responsible for their own racism and bigotry so if they felt fear at seeing armed black union soldiers, that should not be treated as a valid fear. Because it is not. Historically white women have always caused considerably more harm to black folks, than ever they have to them. If confused by this, Google Emmett Till and how his accuser lied and is still free to this day.
This book even backs up that more sexual assaults are reported against black enslaved women than white slave holding women by union soldiers. No mention made of southern white wen and women sexually assaulting black men, women and children for centuries, and how this must have continued amongst the confederacy during the war.
The author wants to paint southern white slave holding women as sympathetic and, well, they are not. White men weren’t the only ones who participated in the crimes against humanity that occurred during chattel slavery. White southern slave holding women are as complicit as their respective husbands, brothers, father’s, uncles, sons, etc. This text simply acknowledges that black enslaved women existed in the confederacy and stipulates, erroneously, that they were ‘managed’ not held by white women.
Sparingly is the term ‘white women’ used to designate white women in this text. Instead terms like ‘south carolina women on plantations’ which the reader is supposed to understand means white women. As if no black women existed on south carolina plantations or were they not women? In contrast black women are always identified, as African American, I prefer black. AA may have been more commonly used academically when this was published.

This book presents the confederacy: women and soldiers as heroes and brave souls. With the Union as tyrannical human rights violators who are prone to antagonistic violence.

The only problem is this books promises to give a ‘diverse’ view of the Civil War. This is a white southern slave holding view. That’s not at all diverse. What about poor white women who had husband’s that held no enslaved peoples? How did they feel watching rich slave holding white men buy their way out of serving in the Confederacy when their husbands had to fight? How did jewish southern women feel? Other woc living in the South? This book has an extremely narrow view.

White Confederates, women or not, were human rights violators and treasonous losers.

Every single white person who held enslaved peoples or participated in the chattel slave trade was a human rights violator and monster. As were blacks and other poc who profited off of the chattel slave trade.
That doesn’t mean those white slave holding women deserved to be assaulted by Union Soldiers, no one deserves that. However you can’t tell the story of enslaved black women without talking about how white women who held them in bondage used and abused them. I understand that makes it hard to make these white women sympathetic. That is as it should be. Southern white slave holding women are more than the crimes they participated in but they can’t be removed from their crimes wholesale. That would be a misrepresentation of actual history and disrespectful to their black enslaved victims.
To sum this up, white feminism writes a racist history of white slave holding women on plantations during the civil war. Tara is not revisited, this upholds much of the racist misconceptions that occur as a result of the ridiculous novel and movie, gone with the wind.

Currently on the Hook: Holiday Cables Throw modified version

I was intrigued by the idea of modifying Bonnie Barker’s Holiday Cables Throw pattern. I really found this pattern easy and did not become bored by the repetitive stitches. Also I was disappointed with the size of the finished afghan.

Ultimately I decided to go ahead and modify the pattern like I want now, while the pattern is still fresh in my mind, write down my changes so I can remember for future remakes. If I like a pattern I tend to make it and gift it often.

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Also my grandkids were visiting and they get way too excited by the hanging yarn set up I need in order to do graph crochet. This is so much easier to keep their sticky fingers out of.

This pattern needs to have a starting chain or foundation row that is a number divisible by 2 , 4 and that is divisible by 3 plus 2. Not that hard to do but does require thinking and planning. In the end I went with a base width of 152.

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The pattern is written for the blanket to be worked side to side. I modified the pattern to work bottom to top. I simply extended the woven stitch and celtic weave stitch sections. Let’s hope it ends up long enough but not too long. I considered doing the sections as written and doubling the pattern but hopefully this will also work. I left it this way because the celtic weave stitch makes up the middle of the afghan. So from there I can easily add or remove celtic weave rows until my estimated length is what I desire.

I really like the detail work of the pattern so I added an accent color in hopes it would highlight that detailed stitch work. I’m not sure that it brings more attention to the detail of the stitches but I do like the way it looks. I’m not enjoying hiding all of the yarn imvolved in changing colors but it’s honestly nothing compared to doing graphs.

I’m using my favorite Etimo Rose Tulip needles in 10 6mm and 10.5 6.5mm. Originally I wanted to use larger needles because my tension is much tighter than it used to be. I chose these needles because they are the most comfortable to use when my arthritis is flaring up. I’m satisfied with the results so far.

This is the original pattern: Holiday Cables Throw by Bonnie Barker.
Pattern free on Ravelry: https:/www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/holiday-cables-throw
Helpful YouTube videos: https://youtu.be/IxmI8v5Dk20

I’m also planning my next graph crochet project. I’m working on graphing this now:

Most likely I’ll graph the image on the right because it’s cleaner and adjust the words to those in the image on the left. I’m super excited about this design.

Fear Trump in the White House by Bob Woodward

Today’s audio book and crochet selection is #feartrumpinthewhitehouse by #bobwoodward
This title is available to purchase as an ebook from #kindle $14.99 and #googlebooks for $15.95
This title is also available as audio book from #googlebooks for ☆$14.95☆ and #audible for $19.59

This title is not currently available to borrow from #hoopla or #libby

This was extremely readable. I listened to this on audio yesterday. It was interesting enough to hold my interest all day. I briefly paused, started a new book I also like but in the end returned to listening to this and finished it.
This isn’t my first book on the 2016 Election, chump’s campaign or presidency. I’ve read: Unhinged by Omarosa Manigault Mewman, Fire and Fury by Michael Wolff, What Happened by Hillary Rodham Clinton, Hacks by Donna Brazile, and Unbelievable by Katy Tur. Most of the previously mentioned books have also doubled as biographies for the authors, with the exception of Fire and Fury. They have been packed full of info about the author I could give zero fucks about and mostly unsubstantiated gossip about the key players.
I give the most credibility to Donna Brazile who I think told a more narrow and focused tale.
I don’t think HRC lied and am not trying to imply that. Her book was about her and not really the campaign as a whole.
This book, in my opinion, gives the most complete picture of the chump White House. This does not read like an excited, gossipy, exposé at all. Instead we are taken through events that are thoroughly explained with participants that we are familiar with. The dysfunction of the white house isn’t offered as shocking. It’s offered as business as usual.
I don’t know what to say. I’m not shocked. Chumps antics have made us all jaded. Actions that I once would’ve found unbelievable in any person who held public office much the highest public office in the land, have become common place long before chump formally took office. I think the world has normalized so many bizarre and embarrassing presidential behaviors we’ve lost the ability to respond appropriately. It’s just too much.
So we have the now standard image of the president being managed by his staff. Priebus stealing documents off the Resolute Desk in hopes that chump will forget. It works too. I want to point out that this is how my husband and I handle our toddler grand kids. When they aren’t looking we take away obnoxious toys, hide them and hope they forget. That this strategy is successful with the president is both humorous and horrifying in equal measures.
What stuck with me was members of his cabinet needing to every single day explain the exact same facts to this man. Only for him to ignore or refuse to look at the facts. For example his stubborn misunderstanding that the US is a service economy and manufacturing jobs aren’t desired by the US workers. That for minimum wage people prefer a sit down job in nice clothes over standing on a line all day in front of a hot oven.
He is grossly incapable of understand diplomacy. That’s frightening. The book goes over how his personal or perceived personal relationships with other World Leaders impacts how he interacts with them. He is convinced President Xi of China likes him and is his friend. He doesn’t trust or believe his own advisors over other world leaders. Other world leaders know this and use this knowledge to manipulate him. He’s not intelligent at all and doesn’t trust the smart people in his own cabinet. It’s like a Mad TV skit.
Some advisors try repeatedly to explain why trade agreements and military presence are intertwined. Others just do business around him and without consulting him. It’s a mess.
He literally does not understand trade agreements or how our nation benefits from them.
He dislikes the President of South Korea, Moon Jae-in and is extremely rude to him and even yells at him. He truly does not understand that the primary purpose of our military in South Korea is about the 7 second nuclear warning versus the 15 minutes later warning we can get from Alaska. Why in the world should or would South Korea pay us for that privilege?
He doesn’t at all understand how business is even done in this country much less internationally.
He thinks the budget problems can be fixed by borrowing more money or just printing it.
He has the understanding of a toddler.
What this really brought home to me was how extremely corrupt the Republican Party is. They are just robbing the candy store and taking important papers off this foolish world leaders desk in hopes he’ll forget. They are managing him until they run out of patience or he gets mad at them for following the laws and established customs of the POTUS. He fires them for doing their jobs or they quit when they get exhausted from explaining the same thing over and over. The author describes the repetitiveness of this process as ‘groundhog day’ like the movie with Bill Murray.
Part of the problem is that chump believes he has the solution when he doesn’t understand the question or issue. He stubbornly clings to his solution even in the face of facts to the contrary. He is confused and has a bad memory so he just makes shit up as he goes along. He is unconcerned and unfamiliar with the truth.
The very last line of the book is, “You’re a fucking liar” in relation to chump.
I tend to give this book more credence than the others I’ve read. Woodward is a serious and credible reporter. Still I think it’ll be at least 25 years or more before we get the real scoop about this presidential shit show.

Unhinged by Omarosa Manigault Newman

Today’s audio book and crochet selection is #unhingedbook by #omarosamanigaultnewman
I won’t be offering my usual purchase information because in my opinion this is a book to read for free.

The book is mostly about Omarosa’s life. The juiciest info she’s released to the news station’s.
I never watched The Apprentice though I did watch Celebrity Big Brother and liked Omarosa on that show.
Honestly her coonery during the campaign bothers me. I’m not mad at her hu$tle but I don’t like her talking badly about protestors.
The book doesn’t fix that for me.
First she pretends that chump’s campaign rallies weren’t hot beds of racism where even reporters and camera operators were treated to racist remarks.
She pretends like chump wasn’t targeting marginalized people’s at these campaign rallies but was actually talking about Hillary planting troublemakers in the audience at the rally.
She paints anti-chump protesters as ‘scary’ and more violent than racists, especially Black and POC protesters. She, of course,  portrays the women’s march as cute and harmless.
She makes it seem like the blacklash she suffered was due to Black people being mean to her personally, rather than acknowledging she was justifiably ostracized for supporting bigotry.
I could respect her more if she was honest and didn’t pretend to save face.
Her pretense that she joined chump’s team to advocate for black folks is pure bullshit. She joined his team for what he agreed to pay her.
Her continued pretense that she was blind to chump’s racism and sexism is further bullshit.
Finally, I am proud of her for having the balls to expose his administration like this. She is playing his game, by his rules and kicking his ASS!
I’m glad I didn’t pay for this book.