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text 2018-09-17 23:14
It's Monday! Plus a Halloween Bingo Update, Just Because... | 09/17/2018
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week.  It's a great post to organise yourself.  It's an opportunity to visit and comment, and er... add to that ever growing TBR pile!  So welcome in everyone.  This meme started with J Kaye's Blog and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey.  Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date.  And here we are!

 

 


 


I've been pretty out of touch over the weekend, because of a lot of family things.  My big brother just got engaged and had a party for it.  There was food involved and lots of the happy!

There was partying and fun had by all, and also an appetizer called Bacon Crack that involved maple syrup, brown sugar, honey, black pepper, and cayenne pepper.  Unfortunately there is no photo to speak of because I pretty much demolished said appetizer before I thought to take a picture.  We'll compensate another time when I can figure out how to make this appetizer and show it off.  All we need to know is: Yummy!

Meanwhile, this meant that I didn't really have a whole lot of time to read... although to be fair, I DID spend a good amount of free time NOT DOING A DARN THING AT ALL!  During that time, I tried to read one of my Halloween Bingo books, but kept getting distracted by the four month old Bichon Frise my brother brought up with him while he was in town.

Everyone, meet Bear:

 


And just because I can, here's a double whammy of cute.  Here's a pic of the only few seconds that Bear and Baby weren't getting on each other's nerves.

 


You're all welcome!  =D

 

 

What I Read Last Week

 


My 'books read' for last week looked pretty pathetic.  But that's mainly because I found myself starting a million books instead of finishing anything.  And also, life happens.

 

 

What I'm Currently Reading

 

 

 

What I'm Planning to Read Next

 

 

 

Other Plans On the Blog

 

As far as Halloween Bingo goes, I'd been wanting to update every week, maybe on Fridays or Saturdays.  But with the weekend being so busy, that didn't happen this past weekend, so everyone get's the all-purpose 'It's Monday!' update post instead.  And also, it wasn't like I had a lot of update to make, being as how I'm still only at two books read despite all the many squares on my card that have been called.

My plans have pretty much been a bit mussed up.  But never fear, I'm not really going hardcore reading challenge go-getter this year, so I'm going to just aim to finish all the books I'm planning to read for Halloween Bingo, whether or not I finish them all within the allotted Halloween Bingo time.

I will probably have two new reviews ready to post sometime this week: for The Liar's Club series, and for The Name of the Star.  Meanwhile, I'm hoping to finish up Dance of the Gods at least by tomorrow, then work on Get Well Soon.  I'll be reading The Color of Magic on and off, though I'm hearing great things about it, so it might suck me in.  I need to find time for The Big Over Easy, and more importantly, I also need to get start on Valley of Silence as soon as I finish Dance of the Gods, if only because I need to get it read before it auto-returns to the e-book library next week.

Then I'm going to see about my next Halloween Bingo update, probably to be posted this coming Saturday, on 9/22.

Not... too much... right?


And just for kicks, here's my table/card visual aid if anyone's interested.

 

Called:
Read:  
Called:
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Called:
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Called: 09/09/18
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Called:
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~*~*~*~
Called: 09/05/18
Read:  
Called: 09/03/18
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Called:
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Called: 09/17/18
Read:  
Called:
Read: 09/03/18
~*~*~*~
Called: 09/01/18
Read:  
Called:
Read:  
Called:
Read:  
Called:
Read:  
Called:
Read:  
~*~*~*~
Called:
Read:  
Called:
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Called:
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Called:
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Called: 09/13/18
Read:  
~*~*~*~
Called:
Read:  
Called: 09/11/18
Read:  
Called:
Read:  
Called:
Read: 09/06/18
Called: 09/07/18
Read:  
Halloween Bingo 2018
Ani's Book Abyss

 

 

Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2018/09/its-monday-plus-halloween-bingo-update.html
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review 2018-09-17 22:28
Killer Librarian / Mary Lou Kirwin
Killer Librarian (Thorndike Press Large Print Mystery Series) - Mary Lou Kirwin

Champion of the mystery section at a small-town Minnesota library, Karen Nash is about to embark on a dream trip to London, a literary tour inspired by every murderous intrigue, wily suspect, and ingenious crime found in the pages of the British mysteries that she devours. But she's clueless why the love of her mid-life, Dave, would dump her hours before takeoff, until she spies him at the airport with a young honey on his arm! She decides the best revenge (for now) is to get on that plane anyway . . . and entertain schemes for Dave's untimely demise while crossing the pond.
After touching ground in the hallowed homeland of Christie, Sayers, and Peters, she checks into a cozy B & B run by charming bibliophile Caldwell Perkins. Soon she's spilling tears in her pint at the corner pub, sharing her heartbreak saga with a stranger. That night, a B & B guest drops out of circulation permanently. And when Dave and his cutie turn up in London, Karen realizes they are an assassin's target. With the meticulous attention to detail that makes her a killer librarian, Karen sleuths her way through her own real-life mystery in which library science meets the art of murder.

 

I read this book for the Cozy Mystery square of my 2018 Halloween Bingo card.

I’m not usually a tremendous fan of the cozy mystery genre—I tend to like things a bit darker and more threatening--but I was charmed by this librarian-reluctantly-turned-sleuth tale that also incorporated a gentle romance.

Karen Nash is a successful librarian who has always dreamed of visiting England, the land of all of her favourite authors. She has carefully planned her upcoming vacation, trying to indulge her passion for literature while not boring her plumber boyfriend Dave. But the course of true love never did run smooth and Dave dumps Karen just days before they are to embark on this adventure. What’s a girl to do? Karen buys her own plane ticket and goes anyway, finding at the airport that Dave has replaced her with a younger woman. Understandably angry, Karen conceals herself as best she can on the flight, then follows the couple upon landing in London.

Who hasn’t been dumped and fantasized about taking revenge on the former object of our affection? Karen books into her B&B and is pleased to find that the owner loves books as much as she does. When she goes looking for some juice in the middle of her first night, she stumbles over the body of a fellow customer, complicating her situation.

The remainder of the book deals with meeting the other denizens of the B&B, being touristy in London, causing trouble for the disloyal Dave, pursuing the new man in her life, plus solving the murder mystery. A very full schedule. Karen is a woman after my own heart, a planner, a reader, and a very competent woman.

Perfect if you want a warm, fuzzy reading experience with a very gentle mystery attached to it. Truly, the story is much more about Karen and how she sorts out her life after it’s been shaken up. Very enjoyable.

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review 2018-09-17 21:55
Jaws / Peter Benchley
Jaws - Peter Benchley

It was just another day in the life of a small Atlantic resort until the terror from the deep came to prey on unwary holiday makers. The first sign of trouble a warning of what was to come took the form of a young woman's body, or what was left of it, washed up on the long, white stretch of beach. A summer of terror has begun.

 

I read this book for the Fear the Drowning Deep square of my 2018 Halloween Bingo card.

This is purportedly a book about a monster shark. I would beg to differ—the shark is just a catalyst for the very human drama that became the main thing for me. Police chief Martin Brody is a conscientious policeman—he isn’t perfect and he knows it, but he is striving to do the right thing. He’s not up against the shark really, he’s up against those with money who want to make more money. Shutting down the town beach during the July 4th weekend is going to hurt the community economically, but powerful people seem to value money over human life.

We get a good look at “the old boys club” in action in Jaws. Their indifference to potential deaths is far scarier than the enormous Great White that is cruising the shore. They are as indifferent as the beast itself. We also get a glimpse back in time to society in the 1970s—women are still mostly housewives, maybe with a side job to help with family finances. Only the elderly woman who runs the post office seems to be able to speak her mind without reservation, as she has no husband to police her behaviour.

The icthyologist who admires the shark, but has a sexual liaison with Ellen Brody, ends up self-destructing—it’s unclear which issue he’s being punished for, siding with nature against humanity or breaking societal expectations with another man’s wife.

I’m pretty sure that I read this back in junior high school (at the time it was originally published), but the only familiar thing was that cover! I’m pretty sure that my teenage self was reading entirely for the sharky bits, not so much for the human stuff.

 

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review 2018-09-17 19:47
Parable of the Sower / Octavia Butler
Parable of the Sower - Octavia E. Butler

In 2025, with the world descending into madness and anarchy, one woman begins a fateful journey toward a better future

Lauren Olamina and her family live in one of the only safe neighborhoods remaining on the outskirts of Los Angeles. Behind the walls of their defended enclave, Lauren’s father, a preacher, and a handful of other citizens try to salvage what remains of a culture that has been destroyed by drugs, disease, war, and chronic water shortages. While her father tries to lead people on the righteous path, Lauren struggles with hyperempathy, a condition that makes her extraordinarily sensitive to the pain of others.

When fire destroys their compound, Lauren’s family is killed and she is forced out into a world that is fraught with danger. With a handful of other refugees, Lauren must make her way north to safety, along the way conceiving a revolutionary idea that may mean salvation for all mankind.

 

What a powerful view of a dystopian near future! Just like Margaret Atwood, Octavia Butler was able to scan the news of the time (early 1990s) and extrapolate from those stories to produce this tale exploring where North America might be headed. Her version of a United States that has been reduced to third world status is striking for how possible it feels. Although Canada features as a desired destination for the economic refugees, Butler tells us nothing of what is really happening north of the border, content to show us the plight of regular Americans.

The trends that she was working with? Effects of drug use (made me think of our current fentanyl crisis), the growing rich/poor gap, the precarious nature of employment, the willingness to build & fill prisons, the unwillingness to build & repair schools & libraries, the tendency to value the economy over the environment, and climate-driven weather change (and the resulting change in what crops will grow and food price inflation). Butler could foresee this twenty years ago—how much closer are we today to this exact situation? Oh, this makes me think so much of Atwood’s The Handmaid's Tale, where you can really feel like the whole book scenario could easily come true.

Of course this wouldn’t be Octavia Butler if there wasn’t some exploration of the power dynamic between people and groups of people as well. The main character, Lauren, progresses from childhood, governed by her Baptist father, to leader of people migrating north and founding her own religion. We get to see Lauren and her brother Keith struggle with their father’s authority in different ways and the outcome of those struggles. Butler certainly makes the reader see the value of having a community—a chosen circle of people who both give & receive support.

My only complaint might be that it is so United States focused, rather like Stephen King’s The Stand. It could have been even better, in my opinion, had she widened the scope to include other parts of the world, rather like Emily St. John Mandel’s Station Eleven.

This is book number 295 of my Science Fiction and Fantasy Reading Project.

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review 2018-09-16 08:18
Sharks and Other Sea Monsters
Sharks And Other Sea Monsters - Robert Sabuda,Matthew Reinhart

Our return yesterday left us with the worst jet-lag either of us has ever experienced and this pop up book was the most complicated reading I was capable of before passing out on the couch for the duration.

 

But boy, what a pop up book it is.  I have 2 others in this series, one on Dinosaurs and one on Megafauna, and this one is at least as good as the others.  The art work is amazing, and the explanations are perfect for young readers and old readers alike; I especially appreciate the pronunciation guide for each of the ancient beasts.  I learned more than a little bit while reading/flapping the pages around and making 'nom nom nom' noises.  The cats were super impressed with my ancient beasts impersonations.

 

I highly recommend this and the other books for anyone who still looks with wonder at a well made pop up book.  No kids required.

 

 

I'm not cheeky enough to claim it, but this book would totally qualify for the Fear the Drowning Deep square of Halloween bingo 2018.  ;-)

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