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text 2018-09-23 05:25
Change of Plans for Bingo Read

The Scarf - Robert Bloch  Winter's Bone - Daniel Woodrell  

I have a lot of ongoing personal book projects that I try to fold into any book challenges or games that I play. When my father passed away earlier this year, one of the ways I wanted to remember him was through the legacy of books and the family love of reading. I have several books on my TBR shelf that are connected to him in some way, as gifts or inheritance or just topics that were dear to him.

 

The Scarf is from a box of books that belonged to his mother, who apparently belonged to a book club. I planned to use this for the Modern Noir square, but in looking more closely at the genre description, this was written much too early (1947) to be considered "modern" noir. And it really doesn't fit any other squares that I haven't already completed. 

 

So I think I will use The Scarf for my free square, and for Modern Noir I'll do a re-read on Winter's Bone, since I didn't write a review for it when I read it six years ago. 

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review 2018-09-22 23:05
The Colour of Magic ★★★★☆
The First Discworld Novels: The Colour of Magic and The Light Fantastic - Terry Pratchett

When I read this eight years ago, it was my first taste of Discworld. I was amazed and delighted, and I immediately set out to collect and read every single one. Of course, there are so many books, and the series seems to follow a construction and logic all its own, so after flailing about for a couple of books, I decided to read them one subseries at a time, starting with Witches. With one Witches book to go, I’m now starting over, re-reading the entire Discworld universe in chronological order of published dates, together with the Booklikes Discworld group.

 

In this second reading of The Colour of Magic, I felt just as delighted with Rincewind and Twoflower and especially the Luggage as when it was new. But with the perspective of having read some of the later books in the series, I was a little impatient with the construction of the story as a whole. It felt jumpy, disconnected, less of a coherent story and more of a series of vignettes. And the abrupt ending was maddening, with an awful temptation to jump straight into Light Fantastic to continue the story. But it’s a fun look back at the early rough construction of the Discworld universe, its odd peoples and laws and rules and funny asides. I needed this lighthearted romp – it was a nice break from a world that sometimes seems to have had its good humor sucked dry – and am looking forward to the next respite with The Light Fantastic, this coming December.

 

Previous Updates:

9/21/18:  26/175pg

9/21/18: 121/175pg

 

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text 2018-09-22 17:20
The Colour of Magic - 121/175 pg
The First Discworld Novels: The Colour of Magic and The Light Fantastic - Terry Pratchett

"Rincewind tried to force the memory out of his mind, but it was rather enjoying itself there, terrorising the other occupants and kicking over the furniture."

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text 2018-09-21 16:05
The Colour of Magic - 26/175 pg
The First Discworld Novels: The Colour of Magic and The Light Fantastic - Terry Pratchett

"No, what he didn't like about heroes was that they were usually suicidally gloomy when sober and homicidally insane when drunk. There were too many of them, too. Some of the most notable questing grounds near the city were a veritable hubub in the season. There was talk of organizing a rota."

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review 2018-09-16 18:32
The Devil in the White City ★★★☆☆
The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America - Erik Larson

While interesting, this book was just not very satisfying, in the end. If it was supposed to be a story of the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, then I would have wanted a lot more of the first person experiences of those who attended it and more of how it impacted daily life in the century that followed. If it was supposed to be a story of H.H. Holmes and his murder castle, then I would have wanted a little more in depth about his victims and the society and atmosphere that allowed him to operate as he did. Instead, it was both stories, sort of folded into one another, but not really meshing. Plus another superficially told story of the Chicago mayor’s murder. Altogether, it was an okay read, but tbh I skimmed a lot of the parts detailing all the politics and finances and schmoozing that went into getting the Fair built.

 

One thing was clear, and that is that the targeting and victimizing of vulnerable women is the same as it ever was:

Rather, the trick lay in choosing a woman of the correct sensibility. Candidates would need a degree of stenographic and typewriting skill, but what he most looked for and was so very adept at sensing was that alluring amalgam of isolation, weakness, and need. Jack the Ripper had found it in the impoverished whores of Whitechapel; Holmes saw it in transitional women, fresh clean young things free for the first time in history but unsure of what that freedom meant and of the risks it entailed. What he craved was possession and the power it gave him; what he adored was anticipation – the slow acquisition of love, then life, and finally the secrets within.

 

 

Hardcover edition. I read this for the 2018 Halloween Bingo square Creepy Carnivals: horror/mystery/supernatural/suspense set in or concerning a carnival, amusement park, or other party/festival. This book fits as the setting is the Worlds Fair, even including the first ever Ferris Wheel.

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