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Showing posts from April 22, 2018

Review: The Girls in the Picture by Melanie Benjamin

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The Girls in the Picture by Melanie Benjamin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Nobody writes character-centric historical fiction better than Melanie Benjamin. Her story of Frances Marion and Mary Pickford in the early days of Hollywood is not only entertaining, it's informative and enlightening. I had no idea how much of an influence Frances had on Hollywood. And, for that matter, I didn't realize Mary Pickford was that powerful.

I love the way Melanie Benjamin's mind works, and I'm thankful that she can get what's in her head onto book pages.

Because I enjoyed the Audible version, I should say narrator Kimberly Farr is a fantastic actress and I will definitely listen to other books she narrates.


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Martine Performing Art Series to conclude with concert by Harmonia Chamber Singers

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Harmonia Chamber Singers, a Western New York a cappella group known for its innovative programming and stunning performances, will present “An Evening of a Cappella” at 7 p.m. Monday, April 30, at St. Bonaventure University’s Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts.
It is the final concert in the Martine Performing Arts Series, a yearlong program presented by the Department of Visual and Performing Arts in the university’s School of Arts and Sciences.
Founded in 2006 by Artistic Director Robert Pacillo, Harmonia Chamber Singers is a 21-member group that began as an experimental ensemble and quickly developed into one of the most sought-after a cappella groups in the region. Its performances span centuries of choral music, from Medieval chant to the present, and each concert is meant to be an emotional, exciting, educational and inspirational experience for the singers and their audience.
“Their music is finely tuned and strikes a nice balance among choral works from the 1800s t…
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The Cutting Edge by Jeffery Deaver
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A brutal triple murder in NYC's Diamond District sets Lincoln Rhyme, Amelia Sachs & crew into action. It seems "The Promisor" is targeting engaged couples, and for what seems like a rather crazy reason. At the same time, a series of earthquakes and explosions from resulting gas leaks has the city edge. I won't go any deeper into either set of circumstances because I don't want to leave spoilers. But I will say the story was going along nicely and then ... Wow! I didn't see that coming! Then just when I got over that twist ... Hold on, here's another one, and another. And then, even though (I see it now!) he put in some subtle foreshadowing, I did not anticipate the last, big, delightful (in a "Yay, more Rhyme and Sachs books" way) twist. Jeffery Deaver always delivers, and always leaves me wanting more. (Note: You can easily follow the story even if you haven't read other Lincoln…

Review: 'Somebody's Daughter' by Rochelle Weinstein

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Somebody's Daughter by Rochelle B. Weinstein


This is an interesting, contemporary character study about what can happen following a seemingly harmless teenage indiscretion. Every aspect of the Ross family's life is put under a microscope by friends, employees and townspeople after one of their 15-year-old twin daughters makes a bad decision at a party that, unbeknownst to her, is recorded on a cell phone and later sent to just about everyone in her school.

Zoe's (the twin) situation also uncovers memories and feelings her mother Emma has been trying to keep buried.

The boy involved in the indiscretion, along with the person who sent the video, also play prominent roles in the story.

This is a good reminder for parents that, because of technology, teens have a couple more potential problems to deal with when/if they make mistakes. "Somebody's Daughter" would be a good conversation starter for anyone who may not quite know how to talk to their teens about these i…