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Review: Mercury and Me

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Mercury and Me by Jim Hutton
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Of all the Freddie Mercury books to choose from, I had to go and choose this one. Big mistake! Although it purports to be an in depth look at Jim's life with Freddie and an up-close-and-personal never-before-reported look at Freddie, it seemed more like a great big middle finger to Mary Austin saying, "Ha ha. I gave him something you couldn't."

Also, the writing was terrible (I don't know how the narrator managed to get through it.) and, Jim seemed to be more in love with himself than he was with Freddie.

Disappointing on many levels.

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Review: The Masterpiece

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The Masterpiece by Fiona Davis
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I love historical fiction, especially when the main character (in both the 1920s and 1970s) is a strong woman. In this story, one is an artist; one is learning who she is after a divorce and other traumatic events.

One of the underlying themes is how women are treated differently. It was so blatant in the '20s that people "in the know" in the art world didn't think a woman artist's work would sell -- despite the fact she was a successful illustrator for Vogue magazine and designer for Studebaker.

In the 1970s portion, the woman learns Grand Central Terminal is in danger of having a skyscraper built on top of it and she wants to help (along with Jackie Onassis) stop that.

Grand Central -- and the Grand Central School of Art -- are where the two parts of the story come together.

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Review: Keep You Close

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Keep You Close by Karen Cleveland
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

FBI agent Steph Maddox realizes she doesn't know her teenage son as well as she thinks she does and he may be involved in something nefarious. She has to figure out if he's a willing participant in a plot or if he's being used, because the plot is bigger than anything a high school senior could plan on his own and involves the US intelligence community, members of Congress, and more.

This is a fast-paced thriller with suspense on every page and a plot that doesn't fully unfold until the very last line.

(view spoiler)[This made me think about what would happen if Putin picked smart people in the US to do his dirty work. (hide spoiler)]

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1st Quarter Books 2019

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These are the books I read from January through the end of March:

Review: The Summer We Lost Her

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The Summer We Lost Her by Tish Cohen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

This is a compelling family drama that shows what can happen when a husband and wife lose their way, and how tragedy can either break them or make them stronger.

Matt, a 50-something lawyer, and Elise, a 30-something Olympic-caliber equestrian, are in the Adirondacks to sell Matt's deceased grandfather's house. The trip started out badly when Matt and their 8-year-old daughter with cerebral palsy, Gracie, left NYC without Elise because she was having a problem getting her horse back from Florida and, because of that, she missed Gracie's first-ever school play.

It gets even more tense as Matt reconnects with the woman next door who he lost his virginity to when they were teenagers. Matt eventually learns some things about his grandfather (who raised him after his parents died) that would mean he was not the revered and phil…

#WednesdayWisdom

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Review: Saving Meghan

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Saving Meghan by D.J. Palmer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I would give the first half of this book 3 stars; the next quarter, 3 1/2; the final quarter, 5. The reason is that it was billed as a thriller but there was nothing thrilling in the first half and it was only mildly suspenseful. But I was rewarded for sticking with it because the last quarter of the book had me on the edge of my seat and was so twisty I couldn't -- and didn't -- figure out who the bad guy was.

The story is about Becky and Carl Gerard and their 15-year-old daughter Meghan, who has a mysterious illness. After one flare up a doctor thinks he has the answer and begins treating Meghan. But then when she develops symptoms not consistent with that illness another doctor suggests Becky may have Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy and, because of that Meghan is placed in a hospital psychiatric ward for teens and her care is turned over to Child Prote…

Quilt Exhibition Increases Awareness of Sexual Assault

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An upcoming exhibition of quilts at St. Bonaventure University’s Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts aims to comfort victims of sexual assault while focusing on the need to create safer environments for all.
“Discomforters,” an exhibition of quilts by fiber artist Ruta Butkus Marino, former curator at the Quick Center, opens Monday, April 1, and runs through Thursday, April 11. A panel discussion of sexual assault featuring Marino and panelists from the university and the local community will take place at 4 p.m. Wednesday, April 3, at the Quick Center. The panel discussion is open to all.
Words on Marino’s quilts are direct quotes taken from Project Unbreakable, a web-based photography project started in 2011 by then 19-year-old Grace Brown, the friend of a sexual assault survivor. Before disbanding the project, Brown collected more than 4,000 submissions from around the world, each photo showing a sexual-assault survivor holding a poster with a quote by his or her attac…

Benefit for The Arts

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The Laughing Owl Press Co. is hosting an Interactive Art Show to benefit Kane Area School District art classes, grades K-12 at the Thomas L. Kane Memorial Chapel. Come enjoy music by The Moon Whistlers while viewing an art exhibit featuring Brooke Balliet, Sara Aiello, Cathy Sirianni, select KASD students, and other talented artists. Light hors d’ouvres will be served. Tickets are $10 and are available at the Laughing Owl Press and at the door.