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review 2017-09-24 03:46
And Then There Were None
And Then There Were None - Agatha Christie

OF COURSE I've heard of the grand dame of mystery, Agatha Christie, but have I ever taken the time to read any of her books? Nope. Thank you Halloween Bingo for giving me an incentive to try something new.

 

And Then There Were None is in many ways the archetype of a closed-circle mystery.  And I'm glad it was my first introduction to the genre.  

 

 

I don't know whether other Agatha Christie titles will make it to the top of my enormous list of things I would love to have read, but it's definitely a possibility.

 

Read for  

 

 

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review 2017-09-23 02:15
The Thin Man - Halloween Bingo Classic Noir Buddy Read
The Thin Man - Dashiell Hammett

I have mixed feelings about The Thin Man.

 

On the positive side, I have now read another classic novel that I probably wouldn't of even considered picking up if not for Halloween Bingo. Noir is commonly associated with movies. I can appreciate the moments of wonderful dialog sprinkled throughout that likely translated well to the screen and saw how Hammett was thinking cinematically as he created the story.

 

On the negative side, I didn't care much about the characters and was confused too much of the time. I don't think the story has aged well, both the pacing and the roles of women don't work as well in 2017 as they might have in 1933.  

 

 

 

I'll be counting this towards the Classic Noir square, which while it hasn't been called yet, is strategically placed on my card.

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review 2017-09-21 17:07
Gulp
Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal - Mary Roach

Several years ago, I listened to the audiobook version of Gulp.  My reaction at the time was “Fascinating, with just the right amount of yuck factor.” 

 

I re-read Gulp during the early part of September since it was picked as the first Flat Book Society read.  The chatty, anecdotal style that worked so well for the first listen, didn’t hold up as well to a (print) re-read.  The level of detail for many of the chapters seemed more appropriate for a podcast or a newspaper article than for a book, and perhaps would have been better if encountered in episodic form with a break between sections.

 

My least favorite parts were the early chapters discussing the history of Fletcherism (obsessive chewing) and the 19th century experiments on Alexis St. Martin (he of the fistulated stomach), both stories I’d previously encountered.  The book picked up a bit once Ms. Roach started talking about the Oral Processing Lab at Wageningen University in the Netherlands and other recent research into the digestive process.   I particularly liked the chapter debunking the story of Jonah and the "whale." While many find the closing chapter regarding stool transplants repugnant, as someone with a delicate digestion, I found the idea of recolonizing the digestive system fascinating.

 

If you can appreciate potty humor and are interested in a semi-random series of tidbits loosely connected to digestion, then you might want to pick up Gulp for your next audiobook or bathroom read.   

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-09-19 11:39
Reading Anniversaries: First in a Series & Singles–September Edition

 

 

 

 

These are the books that I read in different Septembers throughout my reading life and have left an impression on me.

 

2016

 

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I think I have said a lot on this topic and will be saying more in the future. To read what I have been saying, check out Project Frankenstein.

 

2015

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I have been known to express my love for this guy every now and then.

 

2014

 

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I think is one of the very few stories that I have read more than once. Both times, it has affected me in the same way. Even when I knew who the bad guy was the second time around, I was still sad at the futility of it all!

 

2013

 

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If you love reading about iffy characters who can never really be called protags and yet worm their way into your heart, then this series is for you! Plus, the author cares about his readers enough to respond to their tweets:

 

 

 

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The Queen of Mystery was born this month. While Miss Marple stories are always fun to read. I recently read Murder on the Orient Express (MotOE) and reviewed it. It is a pity that I didn’t read the entirety of A.C.’s works at a younger age. I am sure I would have appreciated them more. Back then, the twist in the Orient Express would have left me wowed!

 

I started watching Dr. Who recently and while Matt Smith will always be my favorite Doctor since he was also my first, I am enjoying the Peter Capaldi seasons as well. There is an even an episode inspired by MotOE that I wanted to share here. Of course, it has a Whovian twist to it but it was fun to watch!

 

 

 

2012

 

 

I don’t know what I expected these books to be like. I do know that I was pleasantly surprised by them. They were different and I found that refreshing. The second book also reminds me of the Billy & Mandy episode based on the myth:

 

 

 

 

 

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A book that starts off with an eerie atmosphere but becomes something different by the time you’ve read half of it. I liked the story and the characters even if I couldn’t connect to them. The movie is supposedly a letdown but I will have to watch it before I can comment on that. Eva Green can do all sorts of creepy roles. I enjoyed watching her in Penny Dreadful, which is yet another series that I have to complete both on the TV screen and paper!

 

 

 

 

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I loved Tigana for the oddest reason: I appreciated the patriotism that one of the characters displayed. I also liked the fact that it is a different shade of epic fantasy — a genre that will always have a special place in my heart.

 

2011

 

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Every reader has feel-good books. This series is one of mine. When I want to read something that wouldn’t make me think much and where family is always there for you (like mine is), I pick up the next book in this series. So far, the series has continued to be written. I read and reviewed the latest quite recently.

 

 

 

If creeptastic books are your thing, then you might wanna check these two out. The ominous way they are written is much scarier than if the horrors were laid out in front of us. Janni Lee Summer managed to do that in a more subtle way, which is why I went ahead and completed the series. I would love to see movies based on both of these!

 

2003

 

4397

 

I have read other works by J.S. but this one just pierced my heart. I mean, you continue reading a book, thinking that things will get better soon. They didn’t! Then you tell yourself, at least it might have a happy ending. It didn’t!

 

Which books did you read in September that left their mark on you?

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review 2017-09-19 02:44
Half-Off Ragnarok
Half-Off Ragnarok - Seanan McGuire

Afraid my opinion of Half-Off Ragnarok isn't all that original. 

 

If you like the cryptozoological world full of basilisks, bogeymen, Jhorlac and The Aeslin Mice created by Seanan McGuire, you are going to want to read volume #3 of The InCryptid series.  

 

Alex Price isn't quite as captivating as his perky older sister Verity.  Ohio isn't as exciting as NYC. The love interest isn't nearly as intriguing as Dominic. The Aeslin Mice make fewer appearances and have less of a role in the plot. But Half-Off Ragnarok is a decently paced urban fantasy with a lower body count than the previous volumes that moves the series along.

 

I'm counting Half-Off Ragnarok for

 

 

This book at the rest of the InCryptid Series would also work for

   

 

Seanan McGuire is the Featured Author Guest at Philcon this November.  It's day-trip distance for me and we are planning to attend.  If anyone else is going, please let me know, because I'd love to meet for coffee.

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