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Month in review

100 Words Per Minute by Adina Sara
After the Funeral by Edwin Murphy
Andrea by John O'Hara
The Art of Reading by Reading is Fundamental
Baby Island by Carol Ryrie Brink
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Contraband by Clarence Budington Kelland
Demons Don't Dream by Piers Anthony
Dirt in the Well by Linda Lyon
Games to Play with Babies by Jackie Silberg
Ginger by Charlotte Voake Gingerbread Baby by Jan Brett
The Golden Mean by Nick Bantock
Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
The Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle
The Gryphon by Nick Bantock
A House Divided by Pearl S. Buck
Little Cricket's Song by Readers Digest Association
The Leopard Hat by Valerie Steiker
Marianne Dreams by Catherine Storr
My Yard by Heinz Kluetmeier
The Old Maid by Edith Wharton
Sammy's Hill by Kristin Gore
Silver Lies by Ann Parker
The Summerfolk by Doris Burn
Sun Dog by Stephen King
Tortilla Flat by John Steinbeck
Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann
Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill by Mark Bittner

$275 Later...
At the Park
Babies Aren't Dolls
Bitter Herbs
BookCrossing Misadventures
Breakfast Hijinks
Chicken Pie
Coldy and Rainy
Don't 'Lurp Your 'Oup
Elephants on Mars
Getting Ready for School
Harriet's Teeth
How I Read
Hunting Eggs
In Search of a Wii
A Lazy Day
No Sleep and Six Teeth
Owl at School
Painting Again
Return to Normal
Where Have All the Books Gone?
You Know that Burning Plastic Smell

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Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

Canadian Book Challenge: 2019-2020

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Comments for Contraband

ContrabandContraband: 04/23/07

Contraband takes place in a border town aptly named Gibeon in the early years of Prohibition. Carmel Lee, a typical Kelland heroine, comes to Gibeon having inherited the local newspaper. Motivated by the drive to see the floundering paper succeed, she uncovers a vast network of corruption.

As with most Kelland books, the emphasis is on the plucky outsider trying keep the promises made while maintaining a sense of personal integrity. The plot usually revolves around the taking on of a new job and often time far afield of the protagonist's skills. Ingenuity and common sense mixed with pig-headedness help to find unique solutions to long unsolved problems.

I found it striking that Carmel puts herself in danger by taking on the head of this locally brewed crime syndicate. In many of Kelland's books the emphasis is more on the challenge of learning something new than on self sacrifice for a greater good.

The one bit that disappointed me with the book was the lackluster attempt at romance. There is no reason for Carmel to suddenly decide she wants a lover nor any reason for her to pick the man she does except perhaps to redeem the character who up until then had been mostly a source of expository information.

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