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Michael Mann, Meg Gardiner: Heat 2 (2022, HarperCollins Publishers) 3 stars

Review of 'Heat 2' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

Let’s be honest: you read this book for the crimes, and the crimes, dear reader, are pretty great. Exotic, high energy, yet methodical. If you loved the movie you might like this. The writing is clunky at times and the primary villain seems almost unnaturally lucky. The context and backstory for the original film characters are well crafted. The love stories kinda work but not really, imho.

My number one gripe is this: the right medium for this story is visual, not textual. The book is filled with specific positions and layouts and scene blocking that refer to very specific spatial positions and visualizing them to understand the flow can feel very clumsy. It’s the old “dancing about architecture” problem. I guess he just realized the actors were too old and a direct prequel wasn’t realistic, so he tried to do the next best thing. I’m glad I read it. …

Matt Haig: Midnight Library (2020, Penguin Publishing Group) 4 stars

Somewhere out beyond the edge of the universe there is a library that contains an …

Review of 'Midnight Library' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

Great read. Very emotional final 10%. Inspiring ending.

Side note: the string of disappointing male characters seemed a little contrived. The parade of disappointing dudes with banal flaws didn’t spoil the story, it’s just a bit distracting. I read it as the protagonist being so alienated from herself and her community that she mostly experienced her root life through the disappointments it brought, mired in regret and missing much of the joy

If I didn’t know the author was a heterosexual guy, I would have guessed that the author was a “dump him” feminist… i guess that’s a compliment to the author’s ability to get into the head of an opposite gender protagonist.

How the Irish Became White explodes a number of myths surrounding race in our society. …

Review of 'How the Irish Became White' on 'Goodreads'

No rating

Great concept, deep historical backing, but way too much random detail and academic patina that should have been scraped off before shipping this to print.

Imagine one hundred more passages like this one:

“Jefferson showed that he was aware of the danger, when he noted that the “wholesome” “party divisions of whig and tory” served to “keep out those of a more dangerous character.” His famous “firebell in the night” remark, then, wherein he warned that “a geographical line, coinciding with a marked principle, moral and political, once conceived and held up to the angry passions of men, will never be obliterated,” was as much, if not more, a reiteration of his opposition to placing the slave question on the national agenda as it was a meditation on the immorality of slavery.”

Or this:

“Binns arrived in Baltimore, then a major port for southeastern Pennsylvania, on September 1, 1801, after …