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review 2018-04-19 22:22
Review: The Misadventures of Michael McMichaels Vol. 1: The Angry Alligator
The Misadventures of Michael McMichaels Vol. 1: The Angry Alligator - Tony Penn,Brian Martin

Are you a kid that thinks everything can go wrong does. The Misadventures of Michael McMichaels maybe a good book for you. It a story with morals and life lessons. The first book is about The Angry Alligator. Ever hear the saying The Gator gonna get you or eat you. 

The child in the book say say this to Michael and it gives him the idea of it really happening. The lessons in the book is about not lying about something you did. You know once you tell one lie it get harder to tell the truth as you go to cover up one lie after another.

Well Michael lies and lies and it get all tangled up. You are in a big mess when you should have just told the truth in the first place and you would not be needing to cover up more lies. I also like the saying The truth will set you free.

Source: nrcbooks.blogspot.com/2018/04/review-misadventures-of-michael.html
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text 2018-04-16 21:08
Updates: Serpents in Eden, edited by Martin Edwards
Serpents in Eden (British Library Crime Classics) - Martin Edwards

I'm reading this collection for The Detection Club. I will update this post as I read the stories.

 

Table of Contents:

 

The Black Doctor by Arthur Conan Doyle: This is a non-Holmes story about a doctor of color (from the Argentine, so the precise racial background is undefined) practicing in a small rural community. It's interesting for the off-hand manner in which the doctor's minority status is addressed, as it is not a barrier to his ultimate engagement to a prominent white woman in town. The mystery is sort of obvious. 3 stars.

 

Murder by Proxy

The Fad of the Fisherman

The Genuine Tabard

The Gylston Slander

The Long Barrow

The Naturalist at Law

A Proper Mystery

Direct Evidence

Inquest

The Scarecrow

Clue in the Mustard

Our Pageant

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review 2018-04-16 10:49
Enjoyable collection of crime short stories
CWA Anthology of Short Stories: Mystery Tour - Martin Edwards

 

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This collection of CWA short stories about various crimes is most enjoyable and by a variety of thriller writers including Ann Cleeves and other well-known authors. The stories are gathered under the theme of travel and, as one might expect from a collection of short stories, some are better than others – or rather more pleasing depending on the individual's taste (for example, I particularly enjoyed the last one by William Ryan).

I read these between full novels as a nice short alternative and I recommend them to all lovers of crime fiction.

 

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text 2018-04-12 05:00
Free books and Favorite Authors

 

The genre of supernatural suspense is broad, with varying types and degrees of “paranormality” (I think I just invented a word), so there’s something here for all tastes.

 

I’ve read and can enthusiastically recommended three of the books in this promotion.

M.L. Eaton and Virginia King are my mystical mystery sisters, and we share a reading audience. When the Clocks Stopped is a time-slip mystery spanning two centuries in a small English village on Romney Marsh. The language is beautiful and the plot truly original, a blend of history and mystery. I totally fall into the settings, swept away, and feel as if I know the characters as real people. Laying Ghosts, like all of Virginia King’s work, is powerful psychological suspense influenced by folklore and mythology while set in current times. When I read her books, I always stay up later than I mean to, wrapped up in Selkie Moon’s adventures, and then have profound, provocative dreams.

 

The other book I want to rave about is Beyond Dead, a paranormal cozy mystery by Jordaina Sydney Robinson. What if when you died, you didn’t go to hell, but to work? Her style and humor are incomparable, especially the dialogue.

 

The Calling, book one in my Mae Martin Psychic Mystery series, is part of this promotion as well.

 

Happy reading! I hope you discover some new favorite authors.

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text 2018-04-10 19:42
Lists!
Horror: The 100 Best Books - Stephen Jones,Kim Newman
The Top 500 Heavy Metal Albums of All Time - Martin Popoff
The Great Movies - Roger Ebert,Mary Corliss
Thrillers: 100 Must-Reads - David Morrell,Hank Wagner
Fantasy: The 100 Best Books - James Cawthorn,Michael Moorcock,James Cawthorne
Science Fiction: The 100 Best Novels: an English-language selection, 1949-1984 - David Pringle

In case you haven't noticed, I'm a bit of a geek. Like many geeks, I love lists; reading them, making them, debating them or flat disagreeing with them, I love it all. As such, I have quite a few books that are, basically, "best of" lists. I love these because they point me at good stuff I haven't experienced yet.

It struck me that there are many different ways to compile such a book, each with it's own benefits and drawbacks. So, here are a few different ways of doing it, with examples.

 

1. Utterly Subjective, Single Author

 

Example: The Great Movies - Roger Ebert,Mary Corliss  The Great Movies - Roger Ebert,Mary Corliss  

 

This style is probably the simplest: You list your favorite examples of a thing and explain why. This is the style I employ on this blog, and the style Ebert employed in his Great Movies series.

 

Benefits: Ease of writing, pleasantness of experience, enthusiasm, easy to organize.

 

Drawbacks: No data to fall back on, personal exposure, not authoritative.

 

You don't have to watch, read, or listen to anything you don't want to, but people can attack you for your opinions (risky in the internet era). Still, it's a lot of fun to just gush about the stuff you love.

 

2. Attempted Objective, Single Author

 

Example: Science Fiction: The 100 Best Novels: an English-language selection, 1949-1984 - David Pringle  Science Fiction: The 100 Best Novels: an English-language selection, 1949-1984 - David Pringle  

 

Here, the author makes their best stab at an "official" list, compiling examples because of importance, influence, quality, or other criteria based on their own judgement.

 

Benefits: More comprehensive and authoritative, helpful creative/critical exercise.

 

Drawbacks: "Why this one and not...", exposure to works that one finds unpleasant, "important" works that don't hold up.

 

This kind of list is great for the author in two ways: They have to step outside of themselves, and it's a chance to dig into classics they haven't gotten around to (and any purchases are tax-deductible, because it's "research"). Still, they have to slog through some works they don't like, and will still be open to accusations of bias. Hell, they will be biased, no matter how hard they try to avoid it. This will also affect the passion in the writing. And they still don't have concrete data backing them up.

 

3. Subjective Take on Objective Data, Single Author

 

Example: The Top 500 Heavy Metal Albums of All Time - Martin Popoff   The Top 500 Heavy Metal Albums of All Time - Martin Popoff  

 

Gather data from various polls, interviews or other outside sources, compile a ranking, and then express your opinion of the various works, their placement, etc.

 

Benefits: Opportunities for snark, exposure to new works, not having to dredge your own brain.

 

Drawbacks: Frustration, works you may find awful/offensive, disappointment when some of your favorites are low on the list or absent altogether.

 

This one is just too much work for me, although it would be interesting to, say, watch and review every Best Picture winner, in order. Watching Crash again would be a chore, though.

 

4. Utterly subjective, Multi-Author

 

Horror: The 100 Best Books - Stephen Jones,Kim Newman   Horror: The 100 Best Books - Stephen Jones,Kim Newman  

 

Get a bunch of people to talk about their favorite works. What could possibly go wrong?

 

Benefits: Less writing, lots of discoveries, high enthusiasm.

 

Drawbacks: Logistical nightmare, missed deadlines, explaining the concept repeatedly.

 

Now I just need to find 100 people in the field who have enough time to write a piece, make sure there are no double-ups (two people picking the same subject), editing each piece, communicate with various agents/publishers, etc. If you prefer organizing to writing, not a bad choice, but keeping your ducks in a row can be a bear. Plus, there will be classics/"essentials" that no one picks, but you can blame your contributors for that.

 

5. Attempted Objective, Multi-Author

 

Fantasy: The 100 Best Books - James Cawthorn,Michael Moorcock,James Cawthorne   Fantasy: The 100 Best Books - James Cawthorn,Michael Moorcock,James Cawthorne  

 

You and a cohort come up with a list of classics, then divide and conquer.

 

Benefits: Lessened workload, interesting conversations, a united front.

 

Drawbacks: Arguments, resentment.

 

Doing an SF list but hate Heinlein? You can have your friend write that piece while you review that Ellison collection. Great, but what happens if one of you has a personal crisis? The other has to step up, leading to a potentially unbalanced workload. And the hashing out of the actual list can be both fun and frustrating, while dealing with each other's criticism of your writing styles just might suck. Just kidding, it'll be fine!

 

6. Subjective Takes on Objective Data, Multi-Author

 

Example: Thrillers: 100 Must-Reads - David Morrell,Hank Wagner   Thrillers: 100 Must-Reads - David Morrell,Hank Wagner  

 

Gather the pertinent data to compile a list, then get other people in the field to discuss their favorites from said list.

 

Benefits: Enthusiasm, less writing, hard data.

 

Drawbacks: Logistical issues, unpicked subjects.

 

Here, you have the same issues as #4, except you're backed up by data. But what if nobody really wants to write about something on the list? That falls to you, and can lead to some entries having all the verve of a high school book report.

 

 

Anyway, thanks for reading this list about books of lists.

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