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review 2017-09-21 19:39
My Big Fat Supernatural Wedding / edited by P.N. Elrod
My Big Fat Supernatural Wedding - Jim Butcher,Sherrilyn Kenyon,Rachel Caine,Susan Krinard,P.N. Elrod,L.A. Banks,Charlaine Harris,Lori Handeland,Esther M. Friesner

An "ordinary" wedding can get crazy enough, so can you imagine what happens when otherworldly creatures are involved? Nine of the hottest authors of paranormal fiction answer that question in this delightful collection of supernatural wedding stories. What's the seating plan when rival clans of werewolves and vampires meet under the same roof? How can a couple in the throes of love overcome traps set by feuding relatives---who are experts at voodoo? Will you have a good marriage if your high-seas wedding is held on a cursed ship? How do you deal with a wedding singer who's just a little too good at impersonating Elvis? Shape-shifters, wizards, and magic, oh my!

 

Read to fill the “Supernatural” square of my 2017 Halloween Bingo card.

A collection of short fiction—these are almost always a mixed bag for me. I enjoyed all but one of the stories and my favourites were “Tacky” by Charlaine Harris and “Dead Man’s Chest” by Rachel Caine. Not surprising, as I am familiar with both authors.

There are lots of vampires and werewolves of course, but I loved the cursed pirate ship in Rachel Caine’s story and the spookily good Elvis impersonator in P.N. Elrod’s “All Shook Up.”

Definitely a worthwhile read if you enjoy any of the contributing authors or are looking for something new. I must say I wish there were more pirates in the urban fantasy genre!

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review 2017-09-04 11:27
A Society of Abatement: “Year of the Fat Knight - The Falstaff Diaries” by Antony Sher
Year of the Fat Knight: The Falstaff Diaries - Antony Sher

“Sartre said that there’s a God-shaped hole in all of us. Greg fills his with Shakespeare; the other day he said, laughing, ‘I’m not the director of a company, I’m the priest of a religion!’ and me? I have Falstaff inside me now – I can say it confidently at last – and that great, greedy, glorious bastard leaves no room for anything else at all.”

 

In “Year of the Fat Knight - The Falstaff Diaries” by Antony Sher

 

 

 

Reading stuff like this, always awakens my creative streak. Here's a little something for your (and my own) enjoyment I've just written that I think aptly summarises Sher's book.

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review 2017-08-28 23:09
13 Ways of Looking At a Fat Girl
13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl: Fiction - Mona Awad
I really don’t know what was so hilarious about this novel. From reading the synopsis, I expected some humorous moments while I read but in reality, I didn’t find anything funny. I did find a novel that I think reflected the situation at hand. No, I didn’t think this novel was sad, I thought it reflected the reality of what some individuals must face every day.
 
Being overweight, Misery went through a lot of self-discovery and change, as she tried to deal with her situation. Misery knew she was overweight and as a teen, she craved for attention. She was more concerned about pleasing others than herself. As the novel continued, her behavior started to bother me. She was reckless, she was going downhill, her self-esteem was suffering but she couldn’t see what was actually happening. Then, Misery changed. She became overly concerned about food and her body image. The weight started to come off but had she just changed her focus and not herself internally?
 
It’s a good novel that addresses how some woman feel about their bodies and how society influences it. I didn’t feel that this novel dove as deep as it should when addressing this issue. I did enjoy the short chapters but I wanted more. Weight and self-esteem go hand-in-hand in this issue as Misery shared her life with me.

 

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text 2017-08-25 09:50
Halloween Bingo 2017 - Some Book Suggestions
Cold Sight: Extrasensory Agents Book 1 - Leslie A. Kelly
Sleep With the Lights On - Maggie Shayne
Size 12 Is Not Fat - Meg Cabot
The Camelot Caper - Elizabeth Peters
Crocodile on the Sandbank - Elizabeth Peters
The Graveyard Book - Neil Gaiman
A Curious Beginning - Deanna Raybourn
The Restorer - Amanda Stevens
Wildwood Dancing - Juliet Marillier
The Dollhouse Murders - Betty Ren Wright

So I took some time and went through all the books that I have marked 'Read' on my GR, mainly for the Romantic Suspense square--it is my comfort, go-to genre after all.  But along the way, I found some books I'd like to list as possibilities for other squares as well.

 

I'm a wimp when it comes to horror, but imagine my surprise when I found how many books I've already read that could be considered horror--either because tagged at GR, or because they just seem to have horror elements.

 

Anyway...

 

 

I've got lists of books to recommend for Romantic Suspense, but I'm going to narrow it down to books I've personally enjoyed, that also might have a bit of a dark, gritty, chilling atmosphere.

 

Untraceable - Laura Griffin Snapped - Laura Griffin Shadow Fall (Tracers) - Laura Griffin Far Gone - Laura Griffin 

First of all, I would recommend anything written by Laura Griffin--her murder mysteries are pretty gritty, and her characters are tough and great to follow.  Not everything she's written is a murder mystery, and there are a couple military romances slipped into her Tracers series.  But for the most part, I've pretty much enjoyed every books of hers I've read.  I personally like to read books in order if it's a series, but her books can be read out of order or as stand-alones.  Untraceable is the first book in her Tracers series, and some of my personal favorite installments include: Snapped, Twisted, Exposed, Shadow Fall, and Deep Dark.  There's also a stand-alone book called Far Gone that's not bad either.

 

Stealing Shadows (Shadows, #1) - Kay Hooper Out of the Shadows (Shadows, #3) - Kay Hooper Touching Evil - Kay Hooper Chill of Fear - Kay Hooper

For a more supernatural experience, I would recommend Kay Hooper's Bishop/Special Crimes Unit series, which follows unit of FBI agents who are all psychic.  The truth is, the first few sub-trilogy arcs are pretty good--the most recent ones are kind of draggy.  I personally liked the first four sub-trilogies, and here are some of my personal favorites:

-- Stealing Shadows, Hiding in the Shadows, Out of the Shadows, Touching Evil, Whisper of Evil, Sense of Evil, Hunting Fear, Chill of Fear, Sleeping Fear.

 

Hunting Fear has a haunted hotel setting; Stealing Shadows is the first book in the series; Out of the Shadows is the strongest book of the series and has a serial killer.

 

Waking Nightmare - Kylie Brant Waking the Dead - Kylie Brant Deadly Dreams - Kylie Brant

Kylie Brant's Mindhunter series is also a personal favorite--they can be read as stand-alones as well, but brief references to previous characters will sometimes come up.  

  • The first book, Waking Nightmare is not a murder mystery, but a mystery nonetheless with a serial rapist.  
  • The second book, Waking Evil has some very subtle paranormal stuff and some significance to do with the woods; also takes place in a small town.
  • The third book, Waking the Dead has a serial killer.
  • The fourth book is about a kidnapping.
  • The fifth book, Deadly Dreams, is my personal favorite, with some paranormal stuff, and a serial arsonist/killer.
  • The sixth book is my least favorite, but involves murder.

 

Deadly Fear - Cynthia Eden Deadly Heat - Cynthia Eden Deadly Lies - Cynthia Eden

Cynthia Eden has a trilogy called Deadly that involves teams from a special FBI violent crimes unit.  All three books feature a serial killer, and the first book takes place in a small town:  Deadly Fear, Deadly Heat, Deadly Lies.

 

Leslie A. Kelly wrote two series I personally enjoyed a lot:  Black CATs and Extrasensory Agents.

 

Fade to Black - Leslie A. Kelly Pitch Black - Leslie A. Kelly Black at Heart - Leslie A. Kelly

 

Black CATs follows an FBI team that specializes in cyber crimes, and all three books involve a serial killer.  The first book takes place in a small town:  Fade to Black, Pitch Black, Black at Heart.

 

COLD SIGHT: Extrasensory Agents Book 1 - Leslie A. Kelly COLD TOUCH: Extrasensory Agents Book 2 - Leslie A. Kelly Cold Memory (Extrasensory Agents) - Leslie A. Kelly

Extrasensory Agents follows a group of psychic paranormal investigators, so these books may apply to the 'Amateur Sleuth' square as well as 'Supernatural.'  The first and third books take place in a small town.  Cold Sight, Cold Touch, Cold Memory.

 

Sleep With the Lights On - Maggie Shayne Wake to Darkness - Maggie Shayne Innocent Prey - Maggie Shayne Deadly Obsession - Maggie Shayne

I would also like to mention Maggie Shayne's Brown and de Luca series, which was phenomenal!  The first book is called Sleep with the Lights On, and follows Rachel de Luca who, after a corneal transplant, begins to see visions of people being murdered.  So this book would work for the 'Serial/Spree Killer' square, the 'Supernatural' square, and 'Amateur Sleuth' square, since Rachel is a book author.

 

A non-series book I would recommend is Maggie Shayne's The Gingerbread Man, which really just works for 'Romantic Suspense' and 'Terror in a Small Town.'

 

I wish I had more stand-alone books to recommend, but it looks like I've mainly been reading series books.  Some other romantic suspense authors I would suggest, however, would be Nora Roberts (duh) and Jayne Ann Krentz and Linda Howard.

 

 

 

 I don't read as many Cozy Mysteries as MbD does, but I DO have a couple particular cozy series I happened to like:

 

Size 12 Is Not Fat - Meg Cabot Truly, Madly - Heather Webber

Heather Wells by Meg Cabot -- the first book is Size 12 Is Not Fat

Lucy Valentine by Heather Webber -- the first book is Truly, Madly

 

Both series are five books long and very enjoyable.

 

Crocodile on the Sandbank - Elizabeth Peters The Camelot Caper - Elizabeth Peters Devil May Care - Elizabeth Peters

I'm personally planning on reading either the Crocodile on the Sandbank or The Camelot Caper, both books by Elizabeth Peters.  If the library happens to pick up one of my book recommendations before the game ends, I've also requested Devil May Care and The Jackal's Head... which will mean I'll have too many books to choose from...

 

 

 

This book has probably already been mentioned, as it will fit for several other squares, but I read The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (actually listened to it as a full-cast audio), and absolutely loved it.  There's murder, ghosts, supernatural... so many possibilities!

 

The Graveyard Book - Neil Gaiman The Dollhouse Murders - Betty Ren Wright 

Meanwhile, I'm also going to recommend The Dollhouse Murders by Betty Ren Wright, which is a children's ghost story, involving, well, the titular haunted dollhouse.  I read this when I was in middle school and it scared the crap out of me... but I'm a weenie, so that means nothing.

 

The Ghost Bride is also an excellent book for these two squares, but like The Graveyard Book, it can fit in several other squares as well:  Supernatural, Magical Realism, Chilling Children, Terrifying Women, Diverse Voices... and if the Ox-Headed Patrol Guards from the Underworld count as Monsters, then it can go in that square as well.  And at the risk of giving away some of the end of book stuff, there's a mythological creature in there somewhere too.

 

The Ghost Bride - Yangsze Choo Phantom Evil by Heather Graham (2012-03-27) - Heather Graham;

Phantom Evil is the first book in Heather Graham's Krewe of Hunters, another series about paranormal law enforcement in the FBI--a bunch of psychics are gathered into a team to investigate murders that might involve ghostly happenings or a haunted house.

 

 

 

I didn't think I'd have anything to contribute to this square, but apparently I've read enough Amanda Quick historical romance/mysteries to have a few recommendations!

 

'Til Death Do Us Part - Amanda Quick The River Knows - Amanda Quick Wait Until Midnight (Jove Historical Romance) - Amanda Quick The Perfect Poison - Amanda Quick

'Til Death Do Us Part, The River Knows, Wait Until Midnight, and any of her Arcane Society historical novels would go in this square.  The Arcane Society books also count for 'Supernatural.'  

 

 

 

I consider Deanna Raybourn's books all 'Gothic', though some of them would also fit into the 'Darkest London' square.  I think Silent in the Grave, The Dark Enquiry, and her Veronica Speedwell books all take place in London.  All the books from both Lady Julia Grey and Veronica Speedwell would count towards 'Amateur Sleuth' as well.

 

Silent in the Grave - Deanna Raybourn A Curious Beginning - Deanna Raybourn

  • Julia Grey series:  Silent in the Grave, Silent in the Sanctuary, Silent on the Moor, The Dark Road to Darjeeling, and The Dark Enquiry
  • Veronica Speedwell series:  A Curious Beginning and A Perilous Undertaking

 

The Restorer - Amanda Stevens The Kingdom - Amanda Stevens The Prophet - Amanda Stevens

Amanda Stevens' The Graveyard Queen is another great series, considered Gothic, with ghosts and hauntings and murder and mayhem.  I've only read the first three books, but recently learned that there are now six total.  The first book is The Restorer, and while this book would also fit the 'Romantic Suspense' square, there really isn't a whole lot of romance in it.  I would even consider this series to be 'horror' as well.  The second book, The Kingdom, takes place in a small town.

 

 

 

I've only got one author I can think of to recommend for this square: Juliet Marillier.  She loves to use a forest or woods as her setting for a lot of books.  For instance, her young adult high fantasy series, the Shadowfell trilogy (Shadowfell, Raven Flight, The Calling) involve a lot of travel back and forth a forest, and there are fairy creatures significant to the forest.

Shadowfell - Juliet Marillier Raven Flight - Juliet Marillier The Caller - Juliet Marillier

 

Moonlight has already mentioned Daughter of the Forest in a previous post, a book that I've been meaning to read forever now, and has been sitting on my bookshelf for at least three years.

 

Daughter of the Forest - Juliet Marillier Wildwood Dancing - Juliet Marillier

Another young adult fantasy by Marillier is Wildwood Dancing, which involves anything from the supernatural, to talking frogs, to vampires, to a Gothic setting in a Transylvanian castle, to a significant forest with fairy creatures and a witch named Draguta.

 

 

***

 

Now that I've rambled on forever, I'm going to hop on over to Murder by Death's Halloween Bingo reading lists and put some of these suggestions there.  This post had been started mainly for the 'Romantic Suspense' square, and there are a lot of other Rom-suspense books I would recommend, but I wanted to focus more on the murder mysteries if I could.

 

If anyone has missed it, here is a link to MbD's compiled list of links to the Halloween Bingo reading lists.

 

 

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text 2017-06-29 20:00
Books I want
Take That, Adolf!: The Fighting Comic Books Of The Second World War - Mark Fertig,Jack Kirby,Will Eisner
Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud: The Rise and Reign of the Unruly Woman - Anne Helen Petersen

My sister handed me that first book, saying she wants it back.   I want to keep it.  I may splurge on it as a paper back book.   Barnes and Noble doesn't have it, so Amazon may be getting my business for this.

 

I flipped through this book and went, 'oh, shit, is this just punching Hitler in the face?'

 

To which my sister gleefully responded, 'yes, yes, it is.'   Of course, I was more gleeful about it.   Keep in mind, one half of my family was almost nearly wiped out by Hitler, and thus my sister and I believe that, say, punching nazis in the face is okay.   (I was worried, because she's a better person than I am, but her belief is also that they spout genocide and thus seeing Richard Spencer punched in the face to music is a thing of beauty.)

 

I want a copy of this book, dammit.   I do.   It's twenty bucks, though, and I can always borrow my sister's book for now.   (She let me have first read so this will be the priority this weekend.   It's mostly covers about comics set in WW2.   And, no, not all of the covers are punching Hitler, or nazis, in the face centric, but there are enough to make me go swoon-y over this.)

 

I saw Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud for the first time today about the rise of outspoken women, women who don't conform to the perception of what they should be.   Too gross, too pregnant, too queer, and I believe too rude are also plastered across the cover, although not part of the title.  

 

I was pretty much absent yesterday doing emotional wellbeing recovery things.   Watching Netflix - oddly enough, 13 Reasons Why calmed me down, and I now want to read the book which I hear is way better, playing games, just trying to breathe and not have a panic attack.   Thus I am still just as behind on reviews, and got very little reading done.   When I was present, I was sullen and withdrawn.  I think the whole buying a bathing suit didn't help: it reminds me of my body, makes me more present in my body, and it's not about being too fat.   It's about no matter how skinny I was, it's still meat, and I find organic life... um... too gross.   I've been reeling from doing this yesterday.  I've been too freaked out by water for a decade to take a bath - something I've managed to do recently, so progress - so I haven't had to go shopping for suits.   So that's ten years of not having to go through this grueling process that is an exercise in hatred of my body, futility, nihilism and not being able to find a comfortable top that fucking supports boobs. I already had a bottom and I have a rash guard shirt - UPF, made for the water - so I'll wear that.   Contemplating getting swim pants, but, ugh, expensive, and I want to see if I can make it. 

 

If anyone has suggestions, much appreciated.   Right now, I'm thinking a skirt wrap thing, and seeing if I can go in the water with that.   Although I might just go in the bikini and see what happens.   After all, I want to start swimming again - I used to love it! - and this will acclimate me.   I also have free access to the pool at school, yay, so I should get used to showing off my fat, gross body.   Maybe this book will help me cope with that, though. Or maybe not.   Someone suggested parading around in the bottoms until then, just to get used to it, and I'm thinking that might be best!  I've been walking a lot, and I want to swim, not to get slimmer so much as to feel healthier.   

 

Anyway, explanation of my going away yesterday.   I'm going to a friend's house to watch TV, although I'll try to get some comic reading in while he changes DVDs/under covers if it gets too boring.   Prolly not since we're hopefully watching more of The Maxx.  I will try to catch up on reviews in the next couple days, although I may wait until the weekend and flood you with like twenty or thirty reviews.   I know, right, cringe.  I'll try not to do that for you.   Little nervous today, but much better.   (Getting my oil changed because I remembered I needed it and panicked helped, and the guys at the place are go to are fucking amazing.)  

 

I don't have time to post the pic right now, but I've acquired a Black Bolt funko.   Yass.   I will most definitely post one of him and DD and some special guys all at once in a post in the future.   Hopefully tonight as a reward for getting through reviews, maybe tomorrow as a reward for getting through reviews.   Because I'll get to play with my guys!   (Yeah, yeah, I tend to focus on guys.   It's an attraction thing.   I'm not cutting women out of the equation, but I skew towards guys, mostly because I like 'em violent, and dumb, and well... tends to be guys.   Y'know what?   I just skew towards them.   Throw me some Virginia - Vision is not her last name - or some Arcee or Windblade or Nautica, and I'll bite, but I skew towards dudes.)

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