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  • Beloved by Morrison, Toni.
    ★★★★★

    In Tony Morrison's Beloved based on the true story of Margaret Garner a mother is so agrieved at the world as she knows it and the slavery her family has been entrenched in that she does what only one other classical character throughout history has done: murder her own child to spare it the pain of the world. Euripides, the Greek writer from the 5th century BC writes this via his character Medea in one of his plays. Here, Toni Morrison has given us an African-American spiritual version which is a classic which echos an ancient classic which calls for an end to the destruction of slavery across all history. Beloved is haunting and is the Novel which won her the Pulitzer Prize for Literature. Humanity owes her a huge hat tip for documenting tragic crimes against humanity in a such epic dialogue (through which she will be immortalized). Rest In Peace. 2019.

    Reviewed by Ellen A on Aug 10, 2019

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  • The black elfstone : the fall of Shannara by Brooks, Terry,
    ★★★★★

    All is not well for the High Druid of Paranor. Forces within seek his position, forces without seek his life. Exile seems the easiest alternative. At least Drisker Arc can stay alive.

    Tavo and Tarsha Kaynin were born gifted with the Wish Song’s magic. In Tavo, the gift has taken a dangerious turn, while for Tarsha, the gift brings the ability to heal.

    Their parents have shielded Tavo for as long as they could, but he’s gone from killing the neighbors pets to a bully in the village. Sending him to their uncle's farm is making bad matters worse for Tavo. 

    Tarsha knows she can save her brother, but only with the skill of a trained Druid. She set out to find a teacher before its too late to help Tavo.

    Can Drisker be the answer to Tarsha’s search; and can Tarsha be the motivation Drisker needs to get back all he has lost?

    Reviewed by Tamoul Q on Aug 2, 2019

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  • The savior by Ward, J. R.,
    ☆☆☆☆☆

    If you have been following the Black Dagger Brotherhood, the name Murhder will give you chills. His life is the stuff of nightmares. Held in a cold, lightless cell by the male who fathered him; the male responsible for the death of his mother... Murder's one goal in existence is get his hands around his Sire's throat and end him.

    Sara's brother has one chance to survive. All she has to do recover "the beloved" for a powerful male and he will release her brother - at least that's what he promised. The tool he's leaning her for the job just isn’t what she expected either.

    Together, Murhder and Sara find they have more in common than a mission of rescue or revenge.

    Reviewed by Tamoul Q on Aug 2, 2019

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  • African samurai : the true story of Yasuke, a… by Lockley, Thomas,
    ★★★★★

    Yasuke has seen more the world than most. He has learned to speak fluently in most languages used for commerce. His current employer sees that he has the best of everything in exchange for the shield Yasuke’s skills provide.

    The Jesuit Order has sent its highest ranking official to Japan to “convert the heathens” to Christianity, and advance Mother Church. The methods he will employ would be viewed as coercion by today’s standards, but in 1590, Jesuits controlled the Black Ships. The Black ships were not just conveyers of Silk from China. The Black Ship Captains were gun dealers whose cannons could tip the balance of power between feuding Lords. In the game of politics, one wrong move killed thousands.

    Against this backdrop, Yasuke’s story reads like a stranger in a strange land that learns to embrace his differences and celebrate his deadly skills.

    Reviewed by Tamoul Q on Aug 2, 2019

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  • The rage of dragons by Winter, Evan,
    ☆☆☆☆☆

    Evan Winter brings different cultural voice to the fantasy genre with a story as rich and compelling as any penned by Tolkien or Martin. 

    Omehi Queens have the power to call the Guardians - dragons. The Gifted are women with the ability to infuse Omehi warriors with tremendous endurance and strength during battle, their abilities come at dire cost.  They have survived near extinction, rebuilt their society, and lived in relative peace long enough for  grandfathers to become grandfathers.

    The Hedeni have discovered invaders are spreading and taking land that does not belong to them. Hedeni raiders test the stranger’s defenses and find they are not immortal. If they can bleed, they can be killed; and killed they shall be.

    Only the "Guardians" will stand between the Omehi and a terrible repeat of a history that ended in defeat.

    Reviewed by Tamoul Q on Aug 2, 2019

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  • Avon : building the world's premier company for… by Klepacki, Laura Ann.
    ★★★☆☆

    With all the excitement of a math exam, Klepacki takes us on an uninspired tour of Avon throughout its history. The exception is the fire breathing foreword by Andrea Jung, past CEO, that reads like a revised, feminist Think and Grow Rich. Yes, she got fired. For those who love Avon, they will appreciate the detailed company history and product profiles minus the mergers and acquisitions musical chairs of the 90’s.The book was published in 2005 when Avon was a behemoth and a love of America and Wall Street. Since then it has taken a roller coaster ride down to penny stock value. Can its business model of independent sales reps survive? Should it have gone to kiosks and stores sooner or avoided them altogether? Better advertising? Read the book and you be the judge. The book and company would make for an excellent case study in business school: how did this debacle happen and why hasn’t it been fixed?

    Reviewed by Robert S on Jul 20, 2019

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