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Month in review

Reviews
Adventures of Rusty & Ginger Fox by Tim Ostermeyer
Anton and Cecil: Cats at Sea by Lisa Martin
Bird & Squirrel on the Run by James Burks
The Calling by Kelley Armstrong
Crunch Time by Diane Mott Davidson
The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt
Daylight Moonlight by Matt Patterson
Demons are a Ghoul's Best Friend by Victoria Laurie
The Drowned World by J.G. Ballard
Graceling by Kristin Cashore
Gringa in a Strange Land by Linda Dahl
I Love My New Toy! by Mo Willems
I Thought You Were Dead: A Love Story by Pete Nelson
Ill Wind by Nevada Barr
Into the Unknown by Stewart Ross
Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney
My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George
Naomi and the Horse-Flavored T-Shirt by Dan Boehl
Nicking Time by T. Traynor
Phantom Eyes by Scott Tracey
Rifka Takes a Bow by Rebecca Rosenberg Perlov
School Spirits by Rachel Hawkins
So Thick the Fog by Catherine Pomeroy Stewart
Storm Warning by Linda Sue Park
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
This Happy Place: Living the Good Life in America by Bentz Plagemann
The Time Fetch by Amy Herrick
A Timely Vision by Joyce Lavene and Jim Lavene
Tourmaline by Joanna Scott
Vespers Rising by Rick Riordan
What Color Is My World? by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

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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

My Kind of Mystery Reading Challenge 2017 February - January 2017-8




Their Eyes Were Watching God: 10/26/13

cover art

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston is a powerful piece of literature about a woman trying to find her place in the world. The book covers the life of Janie Crawford, from her childhood, raised by her former-slave grandmother, through two unhappy marriages, and a final tragic marriage.

Structurally it's one I would have struggled to read and probably not finished had I read it in print. It's an extended flashback, told in conversation between Janie, who has returned home in presumed disgrace, and her neighbor friend, Pheoby. The dialogue is written in a strong dialect — something that usually makes me go cross-eyed. As an audio, though, read by Ruby Dee, the layers of conversation and the strong dialect become theatrical.

Janie Crawford's first two marriages serve as the backdrop for her reason to leave a rather comfortable life as a widow and landowner in Eatonville, Florida. After two abusive marriages (one physical, one emotional) she meets a man with nothing except his charm and his willingness to treat Janie on her own terms. Although she is potentially putting everything at risk, she leaves town to work a farm near the Everglades.

And it's there among the farmers that she finds true happiness. Except, mother nature has other plans. The last chapters of the book read like a first hand account of the flooding of the Ninth Ward during Hurricane Katrina (except, of course for the setting). It's in this section that the book gets its title and what ultimately makes the book a tragedy.

Five stars

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