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text 2018-07-14 22:34
Finally sat down to update my bookshelf
Werner's Nomenclature of Colours: Adapted to Zoology, Botany, Chemistry, Minerology, Anatomy and the Arts - Patrick Syme
Single Malt Murder: A Whisky Business Mystery - Melinda Mullet,Gemma Dawson
The Accidental President: Harry S. Truman and the Four Months That Changed the World - A.J. Baime,Tony Messano
Sacre Bleu: A Comedy d'Art - Euan Morton,Christopher Moore


It has been a while since I have updated my shelves or even downloaded my purchases to my computer (a process even slower these days than adding them to my bookshelf here). But today had been housekeeping day and at least here I am up-to-date. Now I can go spend the rest of my credits. Or, perhaps I should invest some effort into finishing the books I have already bought. In other words, it is time to attack Mount TBR. <dashing knight in armor, on horseback and a flourish of trumpets>


The truth of the matter is that Mt. TBR is just not as daunting when it doesn't take up much needed physical space thus lacking the imperative to "get these books read and put away already." Moreover, I just am not inclined to read anything new right now or to even finish any of the three or four titles that I have begun and abandoned but am not ready to declare DNF. I have been enjoying a prolonged and relaxing period of working my way through my re-read list and it seems that the only thing that will be getting me out of this groove is that I am quickly reaching the end of the alphabet and thus the end of the list. Yes, I read the list A-Z and then start over; it saves having to choose what to read next or answering that age old question, "what do I feel like reading."


All told, I added one reference book, five books and six selections from the Great Courses catalog. I hope I chose well.



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review 2018-03-04 04:21
Review: Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal
Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal - Fisher Stevens,Christopher Moore

This was a hoot.  I mean it's the best Gospel I've ever read/heard.  It's kind of like what you  imagine the Bible would have read like if the powers-that-be actually cared to tell the truth rather than whatever version they thought would give them power over people.  But I digress.


This was funny and at the same time beautifully sad.  It tells about the love and loyalty that Biff had for his dear friend Joshua (a.k.a. Jesus).  Biff gets brought back to life two thousands years into the future to write his own Gospel, because the "official" ones are seriously lacking in details about Jesus' full life (which, shady if you ask me). And those exploits are pure comedy gold!


Josh decided that he to seek out help in order to learn how to be a Messiah, and of course Biff went along to protect him from his kind and trusting nature.  He basically made sure Josh didn't get hurt because of his unwillingness to be even a slight bit deceitful.  Over the course of seventeen years they learned from Magi who sought immortality, Buddhist Monks, and Yogis, inadvertently released and then banished a human eating demon.  They befriend the very last of the Yeti, Biff had lots of sex--purely for research purposes, and saved children from being sacrificed to Kali, the Hindu goddess of destruction.  There was lot of healing of the sick and some serious trial and error raising the dead.  And along the way they invent things like cappuccino and sarcasm.


And in the end it is sad, whether you follow the bible/religion or not.  Josh knew he had to die for the good of all the world not just the Jews.  It was something known to him for a very long while, and while he knew and had accepted it, he still struggled with it.  The fact that Josh had accepted his impending death didn't stop Biff and Maggie from trying to prevent it--from begging him not to allow it to happen.  I mean, who would want their bestie to die even if it were for the greater good?!


All-in-all it was a good story.  It's definitely worth the read; maybe even a re-read.


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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-10-12 07:32
Reading Anniversaries: First in a Series & Singles–October Edition



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




Minette Walters became an automatic buy for me right after I had read her for the first time. This novella wasn’t any different even though it was inspired by true events.



Set in London…good!


Shades of UF…good!

Part of a series…good!

Need I say more?


Okay, so this series has me confused. While I love the Asian culture that is prolific in the books, I keep thinking there is something missing. It could be that it took the lead couple like 3–4 books to even admit their feelings to each other. I don’t want to stop reading this series but I do have to be in the mood for it.


I haven’t read many MM novels but I did read this one and loved it.


My Mini-Review for this book: Everybody loves a good apocalypse and I’m no exception! There was a female lead who, if not exactly capable of kicking ass, was a leading geneticist– brains over brawn any day! The freaky way the vaccine changed them all was amazing-no death causing viruses or flesh-eating zombies, yet horrific in its own way. Prison takeovers are the scariest things ever and the author combined it with a post-apocalyptic scenario! The ever-present threat of the convicts getting to our heroine was sufficient to keep me reading.

I loved the fact that the author didn’t even need to show much violence to keep the readers hooked– she just let us imagine what “could” happen if they got to her.


Irreverence is a personal favorite of mine, which you might have guessed from my binge read of the Preacher graphic novels! This novel was funny but dragged in some places.

“If manta rays are going to be harmless, they should look more harmless, Pardee thought. Fuckers look like aquatic Draculas.”
“He didn’t understand religion. It was like heroin or golf: He knew a lot of people did it, but he didn’t understand why.”

I can’t stop myself once I have read the word, Steampunk, being associated with a book. This was a fun romp of a book and I enjoyed reading it, even if it did get bogged down in certain places.


Read my review here. My favorite stories from this bunch:

WEIGHTS AND MEASURES by Jodi Picoult ★★★★
 How parents deal with the loss of their 7-year-old daughter.

 She was a part of his stories..literally!

THE THERAPIST by Jeffery Deaver★★★★
 Nemes are very real and you may be susceptible to them!

PARALLEL LINES by Tim Powers★★★★
 Twins-one sister dies and decides she wants to come back.




The best part about anything written by Ilona & Gordon Andrews is probably that they manage to include important issues, such as rape, abuse, family, in it. But they do it in a way that makes you see why an issue’s important yet

In diplomacy, like in great many other things, the rules of engagement survive only until one remarkable person decides to break them.


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





Originally published at midureads.wordpress.com on October 12, 2017.

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text 2017-05-01 08:10
April Reading in Review
Norse Mythology - Neil Gaiman
Fast Women - Jennifer Crusie
The Haunted Grange Of Goresthorpe - Arthur Conan Doyle
Her Brilliant Career: Ten Extraordinary Women of the Fifties - Rachel Cooke
Roger, Sausage and Whippet - Christopher Moore
The Delight of Being Ordinary: A Road Trip with the Pope and the Dalai Lama - Roland Merullo
The Card Catalog: Books, Cards, and Literary Treasures - Carla D. Hayden,Library of Congress

I had 2 weeks of school holidays and Easter weekend in my favour this month, but unforeseen events put a hitch in my gitalong at the end of April.  Still I had a solid reading month and I'm not complaining at all.


28 books  / 7,511 pages read.


2 Five-star reads this time, although one of them is a re-read.  Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman  was so good in audio, I went out and bought a print copy for my shelves.  Fast Women by Jennifer Crusie is one of my all-time favourites and it never gets tired.


3 out of the 5 4.5 star reads were non-fiction, but one of those, Roger, Sausage and Whippet by Christopher Moore, a glossary of WWI terms, snuck a narrative in that was riveting, if only in its unexpectedness.  Her Brilliant Career: Ten Extraordinary Women of the Fifties by Rachel Cooke was great too, although as I said in my review, I'm not sure some of these women could be called roll models.  The Card Catalog: Books, Cards, and Literary Treasures by Carla D. Hayden, Library of Congress is one of those books you either appreciate, or you don't.  Obviously, I did.  


The Delight of Being Ordinary: A Road Trip with the Pope and the Dalai Lama by Roland Merullo is the fictional equivalent of The Card Catalog - it's not going to be for everyone, but I thoroughly enjoyed it and it left me chewing over more than a few things.


But by far, the breakout star of my month was The Haunted Grange Of Goresthorpe by Arthur Conan Doyle, a short ghost story that is believed to be one of the first Doyle wrote but was never published in his lifetime.  The only reason I dinged it 1/2 star is because the introduction is 30 pages longer than the story itself, and spends a lot of those 30 pages excusing the weakness of the story itself, which, by the way, isn't weak at all; it's a ripper of a ghost story.  If you like Doyle or ghosts, or both, you should find this story and read it.  


May your May be full of extraordinary reads.  And I don't mean maybe.  (sorry.)

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review 2017-04-12 03:37
Roger, Sausage & Whippet: A miscellany of Trench Lingo from the Great War
Roger, Sausage and Whippet - Christopher Moore

When I first picked up this book, I figured I'd flip through it, stopping at words that caught my eye along the way and be finished up with it in a few hours; it's a glossary, after all.


But then I discovered that each lettered section begins with the reproduction of a letter from the front; a man named Charles, writing to his parents, his brother and his nephew.  These were good - they were better than good, they turned a freaking glossary into a narrative, and in addition to learning new words (and meanings for old words), I had to keep flipping so I could find out what happened to Charles next, always sure that I was going to get to 'Z' to find a bad news telegram or something.  I didn't.


I knocked off 1/2 a star because, while Charles makes it to 'Z', you never find out what happens to him in the rest of the war.  A letter at the very start makes it clear he survived, but with 2 years of the war left, 'Z' leaves the reader with something of a small cliffhanger.


Still, way better than your average glossary for readability!


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