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Month in review

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Aground on St. Thomas by Rebecca M. Hale
Art & Max by David Wiesner
Ava and Taco Cat by Carol Weston
Book Scavenger by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman
Deep Blue by Jennifer Donnelly
Emily and the Strangers Volume 2: Breaking the Record by Rob Reger
Eric by Terry Pratchett
FBP: Federal Bureau of Physics Vol. 1: The Paradigm Shift by Simon Oliver
5 Centimeters per Second by Makoto Shinkai
The Flying Beaver Brothers: Birds vs. Bunnies by Maxwell Eaton III
Gaijin: American Prisoner of War by Matt Faulkner
The Gods of Second Chances by Dan Berne
Goodbye Stranger by Rebecca Stead
Hanging by a Thread by Monica Ferris
Hip Hop Family Tree, Vol. 2: 1981-1983 by Ed Piskor
I'll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios
Julius, the Baby of the World by Kevin Henkes
Monkey Truck by Michael Slack
Moonpenny Island by Tricia Springstubb
Omens by Kelley Armstrong
The Outside Dog by Charlotte Pomerantz
Paper Things by Jennifer Richard Jacobson
A Place to Call Home by Alexis Deacon
Rutabaga the Adventure Chef: Book 1 by Eric Colossal
The Salamander Spell by E.D. Baker
Sophie's Fish by A.E. Cannon
Speak Easily by Clarence Budington Kelland
The Terrible Two by Mac Barnett
25 Roses by Stephanie Faris
Ukulele Hayley by Judy Cox
The Witchy Worries of Abbie Adams by Rhonda Hayter

Miscellaneous
My favorite books published in 2015
Reading goals for 2016

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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



Speak Easily: 12/18/15

Speak Easily by Clarence Budington Kelland

Speak Easily by Clarence Budington Kelland was originally serialized as "Footlights." Set contemporaneously in the early days of the Great Depression, it's the story of a life long learner of independent means being thrust into the middle of mob life.

Reading this book felt like I was reading a crib sheet for a dozen different plots set within Terry Pratchett's Ankh-Moorpork. As the edition I was reading was a British one, it's entirely possible he did read the book. I'm not saying that he stole from Kelland, rather that fans of Discworld looking to expand their horizons, should read Speak Easily.

The revised title comes from the main character's inability, or perhaps, unwillingness to use slang. Keeping in mind that this story also takes place during Prohibition, it's his malaprop for the speak easy.

Imagine if you will the two main characters of Colour of Magic and The Light Fantastic merged together into one person. That's our protagonist. He's a life long student, kicked out of university, now carrying (albeit in a mental format) a phrase book into the inner city. Now give him Moist Von Lipwig's skill at making the impossible happen and put him in charge of a musical review as unlikely to succeed as the original envisioned play in The Producers.

Now imagine that plot turned into a film. Well, look no further than the 1932 adaptation staring Buster Keaton and Jimmy Durante. And thanks to Youtube, you can watch it!

Five stars

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