March 31st, 2013

Chi_ :o

Books, boobs, and bacon

In random order!

* As ever, Awkward Stock Photos made me blink. Cut-off human breasts frozen in a giant ice cube? Oh wait, no, it's just nuts...
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* A warning, in case you never tried it and come across it in the store: Uncured bacon tastes nothing like bacon. It tastes like very bland ham. I ate the test pieces I cooked, but threw out the rest uncooked. What a waste of money.

It's too bad, because it was sliced nice and thick. I had high hopes for it. :/

* Book #13 of 2013: Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys. I spent most of Saturday reading, so I got through it faster than I usually would.

Between Shades of Gray tells the story of a young Lithuania girl and her family who were deported to Siberia by the Soviets. The characters were interesting and fully believable, the dialogue was perfectly realistic, and the story was unbelievable -- unbelievable in a "I can't believe people actually lived through that sort of thing" way.

It's odd to finish a book and not have a list of complaints about it. After the last two books I read, it almost feels like having a list is the norm. There were only two quibbles I had about Shades. One could be explained by this being a YA book instead of one for adults: If thousands of people were under the control of military overseers and were though of as sub-human, I'm sure there would be a lot more rape and forced sexual servitude going on. In the book there was only one woman. The second was the ending. I wish the author had gone more into the rescue and what came after... without the "happily ever after" epilogue (though maybe that was because this was a YA book, too).

It feels strange to say I enjoyed a book about a horrible period of time in which people were abused and killed, but I did. The characters were well written (even most of the bad guys were human, and one of them I wish I knew a whole lot more about). The story was interesting. Most importantly, I learned from this book. In this case, I learned how little I knew. I believe in my entire life I never gave a thought to Lithuania, and barely any more thought to what the Soviets did under Stalin. It was before my time and outside of my interests. I'd like to read more, but it's hard to find books that both look interesting and are available as ebooks...