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text 2017-08-19 23:30
Halloween Bingo 2017: My Reading Pool / Shortlist -- and My Bingo Marker!

 

Aaaargh ... decisions, decisions.  Ask a Libra to make a snap decision, and you'll be waiting 'till doomsday.

 

So, in true Libra style, I haven't managed to narrow my list down to a single book for most of my card's squares yet -- but I've at least come up with a pool from which to pick my reads, with several books that would qualify for more than one square and a resulting short list with a certain preference per square. Which still doesn't mean I won't end up reading something completely different for one or more squares eventually, of course, judging by how things went last year. -- My 2017 pool / shortlist list includes mostly books I have not yet read, though augmented by a few audio versions of books that I've read before, but where I'm really, really interested in the audio version, which I'm not yet familiar with.

 

Anyway, this is the plan for now:

 

Most likely: Donna Andrews: Lord of the Wings

Alternatively:

* Diane Mott Davidson: Catering to Nobody
* One or more stories from Martin Greenberg's and Ed Gorman's (eds.) Cat Crimes
* ... or something by Lilian Jackson Braun




Most likely: Emily Brontë: Wuthering Heights
(audio return visit courtesy of either Michael Kitchen or Prunella Scales and Samuel West)

Alternatively:

* Wilkie Collins: The Woman In White
(audio version read by Nigel Anthony and Susan Jameson)

* Jane Austen: Northanger Abbey
(audio return visit courtesy of Anna Massey)
* Isak Dinesen: Seven Gothic Tales
* Carol Goodman: The Lake of Dead Languages
* ... or something by Daphne du Maurier




Candace Robb: The Apothecary Rose




Most likely: Simon Brett: A book from a four-novel omibus edition including An Amateur Corpse, Star Trap, So Much Blood, and Cast, in Order of Disappearance

Alternatively:

* Georgette Heyer: Why Shoot a Butler?
* Margery Allingham: The Crime at Black Dudley
(audio version read by David Thorpe)
* Carol Goodman: The Lake of Dead Languages
* Minette Walters: The Shape of Snakes




Most likely: Something from James D. Doss's Charlie Moon series (one of my great discoveries from last year's bingo)

Or one of Walter Mosley's Easy Rawlins mysteries

Alternatively:

Sherman Alexie: Indian Killer




Terry Pratchett: Carpe Jugulum




One or more stories from Martin Edwards's (ed.) and the British Library's Miraculous Mysteries: Locked-Room Murders and Impossible Crimes




Most likely: Agatha Christie: Mrs. McGinty's Dead
(audio return visit courtesy of Hugh Fraser)
Or one or more stories from Martin Edwards's (ed.) and the British Library's Serpents in Eden: Countryside Crimes

Alternatively:

* Carol Goodman: The Lake of Dead Languages
* Josephine Tey: Brat Farrar, To Love and Be Wise, or The Singing Sands
* Georgette Heyer: Why Shoot a Butler?
* Peter May: The Lewis Man
* S.D. Sykes: Plague Land
* Arthur Conan Doyle: The Mystery of Cloomber
* Michael Jecks: The Devil's Acolyte
* Stephen Booth: Dancing with the Virgins
* Karen Maitland: The Owl Killers
* Martha Grimes: The End of the Pier
* Minette Walters: The Breaker




One of two "Joker" Squares:

 

To be filled in as my whimsy takes me (with apologies to Dorothy L. Sayers), either with one of the other mystery squares' alternate books, or with a murder mystery that doesn't meet any of the more specific squares' requirements.  In going through my shelves, I found to my shame that I own several bingo cards' worth of books that would fill this square alone, some of them bought years ago ... clearly something needs to be done about that, even if it's one book at a time!




Isabel Allende: Cuentos de Eva Luna (The Stories of Eva Luna) or
Gabriel García Márquez: Crónica de una muerte anunciada (Chronicle of a Death Foretold)




Most likely: One or more stories from Charles Dickens: Complete Ghost Stories or
Sharyn McCrumb: She Walks These Hills

Alternatively:

Stephen King: Bag of Bones




Terry Pratchett: Men at Arms




Obviously and as per definition in the rules, the second "Joker" Square.

 

Equally as per definition, the possibles for this square also include my alternate reads for the non-mystery squares.




Most likely: Cornell Woolrich: The Bride Wore Black

Alternatively:

* Raymond Chandler: Farewell My Lovely or The Long Goodbye

* James M. Cain: Mildred Pierce
* Horace McCoy: They Shoot Horses, Don't They?
* David Goodis: Shoot the Piano Player or Dark Passage
* ... or something else by Cornell Woolrich, e.g., Phantom Lady or I Married a Dead Man




Most likely: Ruth Rendell: Not in the Flesh
(audio version read by Christopher Ravenscroft, aka Inspector Burden in the TV series)

Alternately:

* Carol Goodman: The Lake of Dead Languages
* Sharyn McCrumb: She Walks These Hills




Most likely: Peter May: Coffin Road

Alternatively:

* Stephen King: Bag of Bones or Hearts in Atlantis
* Denise Mina: Field of Blood
* Carol Goodman: The Lake of Dead Languages
* Minette Walters: The Breaker
* Jonathan Kellerman: When The Bough Breaks, Time Bomb, Blood Test, or Billy Straight

* Greg Iles: 24 Hours




Most likely: Sharyn McCrumb: She Walks These Hills

Alternatively:

* Karen Maitland: The Owl Killers
* Greg Iles: Sleep No More




Most likely: Margery Allingham: The Crime at Black Dudley
(audio version read by David Thorpe)

Alternatively:

* One or more stories from Martin Edwards's (ed.) and the British Library's Murder at the Manor: Country House Mysteries
* Georgette Heyer: They Found Him Dead
* Ellis Peters: Black is the Colour of My True-Love's Heart




Most likely: Something from Terry Pratchett's Discworld / Witches subseries -- either Equal Rites or Maskerade

Alternatively:

Karen Maitland: The Owl Killers

Shirley Jackson: The Witchcraft of Salem Village




Most likely: Antonia Hodgson: The Devil in the Marshalsea

Alternatively:

* Rory Clements: Martyr
* Philip Gooden: Sleep of Death 
* Minette Walters: The Shape of Snakes
* Ngaio Marsh: Death in Ecstasy

* One or more stories from Martin Edwards's (ed.) and the British Library's Capital Crimes: London Mysteries




Most likely: Robert Louis Stevenson: The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
(audio return visit courtesy of Sir Christopher Lee)

Alternatively:

* H.G. Wells: The Island of Dr. Moreau 

* ... or something by Edgar Allan Poe




Most likely: Something from Ovid's Metamorphoses

Alternatively:

* Robert Louis Stevenson: The Bottle Imp
* Christina Rossetti: Goblin Market
* H.G. Wells: The Island of Dr. Moreau




Most likely: Jo Nesbø: The Snowman

Alternatively:

* Val McDermid: The Retribution
* Denise Mina: Sanctum 
* Mo Hayder: Birdman
* Caleb Carr: The Alienist
* Jonathan Kellerman: The Butcher's Theater
* Greg Iles: Mortal Fear




Most likely: The Medieval Murderers: House of Shadows

Alternatively:

* Sharyn McCrumb: She Walks These Hills
* Shirley Jackson: The Haunting of Hill House
* Stephen King: Bag of Bones
* Carol Goodman: The Lake of Dead Languages

* Michael Jecks: The Devil's Acolyte




Ooohhh, you know -- something by Shirley Jackson ... if I don't wimp out in the end; otherwise something by Daphne du Maurier.




 Now, as for my 2017 bingo marker ... it's rather an obvious choice this year; I mean, how could I possibly not?!

 

 

Merken

Merken

Merken

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review 2017-08-12 18:21
Dragonfly Falling by Adrian Tchaikovksy
Dragonfly Falling - Adrian Tchaikovsky

Series: Shadows of the Apt #2

 

Adrian Tchaikovsky's earlier books aren't quite as good as his later books, but they're still entertaining. This one took me quite a while to get through for a variety of reasons, but in my defence, it's a good 700 pages.

 

This installment brings war to the Lowlands in the form of battles for ant cities and a siege of Collegium. Each city battle doesn't actually take all that long, so I'm not sure they quite qualify as sieges, but I'm not sure what other word would be more appropriate. The plot was interesting and the battles were handled well, but I think the sheer amount of war in this one became a bit of a grind. Part of that was the subplot with Totho, which I wasn't sure I really liked at first.

 

I'll admit that I was starting to doubt whether I really wanted to continue with this series partway through the book because of the aforementioned sensation of the machinery of war just grinding along, but the ending and resolution helped rekindle my interest so I'll definitely slot the next one into my reading schedule at some point. This is most definitely not a series I'd want to read all ten books of at once though.

 

My copy had the newer cover:

 

 

I like it better, so I'm adding it here.

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text 2017-08-08 08:20
The Status of Project Frankenstein & Other Updates

 

Reading Goal

 

I have completed the goal that I set for myself this year on Goodreads. Really happy that I’m getting some reading done even with life being as crazy as it is.

 

 

Project Frankenstein

 

 

I have finished 11 out of the 14 books that I originally included in the post. My opinion about Frankenstein & Philosophy has yet to change!


    1. Parent Material: Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
    2. Others’ Take: The Mammoth Book of Frankenstein by Stephen Jones
    3. Historical Retakes: Anno Frankenstein by Jonathan Green
    4. Genre Spins: Steampunk: Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein by Zdenko Basic
    5. Young Adult Forays: Dr. Frankenstein’s Daughters by Suzanne Weyn
    6. Sci-Fi Pastiche: Prodigal Son by Dean Koontz
    7. Philosophical Entree: Frankenstein and Philosophy by Nicholas Michaud
    8. Series Picker-Uppers: The Second Birth of Frankenstein by Will Hill
    9. PrequelsThis Dark Endeavor by Kenneth Oppel
    10. Precipitating Conditions: The Lady and Her Monsters by Roseanne Montillo
    11. Character Spotlight: My Frankenstein by Michael J. Lee
    12. Technological Difficulties: Frankenstein’s Cat by Emily Anthes
    13. Changed Perspectives: Frankenstein’s Monster by Susan Heyboer O’Keefe
    14. Graphic Detail: Monster Of Frankenstein by Dick Briefer, David Jacobs, Alicia Jo Rabins Edwards

 

Book Bingo

Besides this, I am also playing Book Bingo with my workmates. At the moment, I’m reading a book for the Female Protagonist shelf. My love for dinosaurs is no secret and this book is packed with facts and speculations equally, which makes it juicier. More on this in my review!

 

To see how I fared in the previous round, click here!

 

 

I am also a part of buddy reads going on here for Jane Yellowrock seriesMidnight Texas series, and sciency books on The Flat Book Society!

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text 2017-08-04 13:54
#3 Follow Friday with book bloggers: Tigus

Say Hello to Tigus in #FFWithBookBloggers session!

 

Follow Tigus on BookLikes: http://tigus.booklikes.com/

 

Tell us how did your book love begin?

 

I was about eight years old, and I remember reading Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, outside and tucked into corners of the schoolyard, while other kids ran around and played. Just before that, I had had a Grade 2 teacher, Mrs. Rainsborough who would read Judy Blume and Beverly Cleary to the class, and that's probably the earliest I remember loving stories and figuring out that there was a lot more where that came from. Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing - Judy Blume  

 

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (Translated by F. P. Walter and Illustrated by Milo Winter) - Jules Verne,Milo Winter,F. P. WalterThe Mouse and the Motorcycle - Beverly Cleary,Louis Darling,Tracy Dockray

 

I was into comic books around then, chiefly Spider-Man at first; Amazing Spider-Man #s 147, 149-50 (the culmination of the Jackal storyline) was a great lure...and since it functioned as a pretty cool Murder Mystery, that fit in well with my first Hardy Boys book, a good one, The Disappearing Floor. As I was growing out of that series for young readers, I jumped to one of two Agatha Christie books lying around the house--And Then There Were None --and that really hooked me on Mystery novels.

 

The Disappearing Floor - Franklin W. Dixon And Then There Were None - Agatha Christie

 

Science Fiction movies and TV shows were a big deal in the late 1970s, and my earliest SF reading commitments were Jack Williamson, and the Perry Rhodan English translations.

 

Death Waits in Semispace - Kurt Mahr Action: Division 3 - Kurt Mahr

 

Your BookLikes Shelf is packed with different genres: mysteries, biographies, sci-fi and fantasy, graphic novels, horrors. What makes you pick the book in a given genre?

 

I have these lists of recommended reading, mainly "100 Best" Lists, in book form, many of them out of date now, which became a bit of a publishing trend, let's say from about 1985-1990. Of course, the internet provides this sort of thing now--and my old lists have become a way to select books that have aged somewhat as the years go by and I acquire the titles.

 

Recently, there was this British mag, Crime Scene Magazine, that has kind of got me sweeping up just about everything they positively review; sadly, I think the mag is cancelled as of issue 7, so it the issues will serve as a finite list that I can actually finish up with someday!

 

All of this List reliance, though, probably takes a back seat to simply going to a big bookstore and browsing around for an hour or so; if I've been buying too many "List" choices, I make the trip about picking books out of the blue, based mainly on a back-cover synopsis, and certainly if I already know and love the writer's work.

 

What made you start writing about books/book blogging?

 

Well I don't actually write that many reviews, or do lengthy blogs, do I? I give updates each day, with some kind of quick reaction to what I just read, which at least keeps me around as an active, reliably present member. I like making my own Lists at BookLikes; that's fun!

 

Anyway, as for how all that started, it was after really committing to the internet around 1998 (I was kind of a holdout), and then discovering some forums and chatrooms and meeting people. Now it's kind of second nature, and my chief aim, as I get older, is to pick a few BookLikes friends who make their own updates that keep me interested in what they're reading...and not fight with anyone or insult anyone's taste.

 

via

 

Your profile picture on BookLikes blog - why Walter Matthau?

 

Is there any other reasonable choice? Actually, that particular image is sort of a classic one, even amongst his various mugshots, because it ends the film The Taking Of Pelham One-Two-Three (original version), and he's overdoing the hangdog look as he gives a gaze of shame to a villain who has just slipped up and given himself away. This was one of the first fairly violent movies I remember watching to the end on late-night TV as a kid...although I discovered later that it had been drastically edited, and was much more violent and cussword-ridden than I could have guessed. Displaced from the film, that Matthau face does reflect my inherent cynicism, though I try to keep even a cynical sense of humor, so I don't have to go the whole nine yards and just put up an Eeyore picture.

 

Did blogging have an impact on your reading life?

 

I would say not much, in any concrete sense. Getting feedback from friends will alert me to a book that looks interesting, now and then. My little bitty blogs don't affect much of anything, but give me a bit of pleasure. I would say that when I really love a book, it becomes a mission to spread the word a bit, and it's neat to see it up on someone's Planning To Read postings shortly after that (That was ME! I did that! They may not ever read it, but...I did that!).

 

When you write a book review - do you have a scheduled plan what to include or is it a spontaneous reaction to what you’ve just read?

 

If I'm writing a review, I've probably been inspired to not be lazy and get it done because three or four points about the book have crystallized in my mind. If I've walked home from the coffee shop, or for any other reason not had access to a computer right after finishing a fabulous book (I do not own a cellphone), that's actually a good thing, because I'll fill time analyzing the book in my head, sorting ideas and thoughts, and getting to a point where this light goes on and won't go off: "I think we've got a review here...so write it before you forget everything!" Still, I confess I don't write many reviews. I do love commenting on books as I go through them, though!

 

What are your three favorite book covers?

 

I love the cover on my old copy of Orbitsville, a novel by Bob Shaw; the cover art is by Tim White. I love the "stars as the ground' reversal, and just the way the trees and buildings are rendered--softly--with no sharp edges and an air of peace and gentleness, which is what Orbitsville is all about when you read the book. I would give anything to live in Orbitsville, and Tim White's version is especially appealing.

 

Meanwhile, the Agatha Christie novel I rudely passed on when I was a kid at home--in favor of And Then There Were None (which oddly did not have the better cover) was a Fontana (I think) paperback edition with this nifty skull/candy-apple image as the main attraction; I love the stark effectiveness of it: evil melds with childhood innocence; terror merging with fondly-remembered fun and games. I especially like how the image actually seems to be really wet, gooey, ooze dripping down--the eyes having almost a tactile response, maybe even a smell unwittingly imagined. I remember now...I think I wanted to save what looked like the better Christie choice for later; that was the thinking.

 

Lastly, I'll mention a Baen paperback edition of a Retief collection by Keith Laumer... Retief of the CDT. So arrogant and cocky is Retief--but then he does look like he's earned a bit of a swelled head, given the state of the giant beastie lying behind him.

 

Retief of the CDT - Keith Laumer

 

Which books are you most excited recommending to your followers?

 

I'm not sure how to answer this. If the point is not for me to just list my all-time favorites, then I would say as an alternative to that kind of excitement, it's most fun when someone reads something I loved not long after I read it, so that if conversation breaks out--even healthy disagreement on just how good the book is (or not)--I never have go to "Well, I read it a long time ago...".

 

What’s your reading spot? We’d love to see the photos :)

 

Well you're not gonna get photos, because I avoid cellphones, and what you would see is your standard coffee shop, with perhaps a focus on a favored table near the window and far from talkers and people who make strange noises. Go to a Starbucks and figure out which table the bookworm would sit at, and take a picture of it, because that's where I'd be. It would be a boring, underwhelming picture, but it's heaven for me with a book and a beverage.

 

via Tigus blog Shelf

 

A paper book or an e-book?

 

Just paper books, so far. Maybe e-books sometime up in the future.

 

Three title for a dessert island?

 

I'm not going to stew over this painful question for very long, because it can become very frustrating to make choices. I'll pick The Count of Monte Christo, amongst books that I have not read yet, because it's long, and I have faith that I will enjoy it. Then, I'll change gears, and pick two books I have already read: I'll take my favorite book of all time (so far): The Anubis Gates, by Tim Powers. And I'll bring my favorite Wodehouse's Quick Service.

 

The Count of Monte Christo - Alexandre DumasThe Anubis Gates (Ace Science Fiction) - Tim PowersQuick Service - P.G. Wodehouse

 

A book that changed your life?

 

Why Men Are The Way They Are, by Warren Farrell. 

 

Favorite quote?

 

Some rise by sin, and some by virtue fall.

William Shakespeare, Measure For Measure

 

If you could meet one author, who would it be?

 

PG. Wodehouse, no contest. I did get to meet Robert Silverberg, briefly, at TorCon 3 in 2003, and he signed my copy of Up the Line. That was cool!

 

Shelfie time! Please share your home library photos :)

 

That's just not going to happen, but can we compromise with a photo taken of me today at work, with a cellphone (not mine)?

 

 

Missed previous Follow Friday talks? Use ffwithbookbloggers tag or click the catch up links:

 

 

See you next Friday!

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text 2017-08-03 14:55
What did you read in July, and how to find reading challenge posts?

 

Seven months checked, five still to go. Have a look at BookLikes bloggers July reads and let us know how are you doing in your 2017 reading challenge. Click the blogs' headings to visit the blog pages and follow the reviewers.

 

Scroll down to view more June reading reviews from book bloggers. Happy reading!

 

I'm super excited that I was able to read 7 books this month. I've been struggling for a long while. My health and not having a good system in place has affected me greatly, but now I think I have a good one. I talked about it in a previous post. I will listen up to 5% of each book for the month and... continue reading
 
Gork, the Teenage Dragon - Gabe Hudson In The Still - Jacqueline Chadwick Dark and Stars (Serengeti, #2) - J.B. Rockwell The Late Show - Michael Connelly
I didn't finish nearly as much as I'd intended to this month -- every book I've read over the last couple of weeks has taken me at least 1 more day than I'd estimated/planned. There are two books I was supposed to read and write about in July that I haven't started yet -- whoops. Still, I read a lot of pretty good stuff this month, and that's the important thing, right?... continue reading

 

Artificial Sweethearts (North Pole, Minnesota) - Julie Hammerle  Lumberjanes Vol. 1 - Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, Brooke Allen  Thor, Vol. 1 - Coipel Olivier, J. Michael Straczynski Wilde Like Me - Louise Pentland

Favorite book(s) of the month: every single one of them

THIS HAS BEEN SUCH A GOOD READING MONTH.

I didn't expect it. I felt a bit of a reading slump coming but I powered through it... continue reading

 

Bone White - Ronald Malfi A Game of Ghosts: A Charlie Parker Thriller - John Connolly For Those Who Dream Monsters - Anna Taborska, Steve Upham, Charles Black, Reggie Oliver, Reggie Oliver Norse Mythology - Neil Gaiman

In July I read 19 books! ... continue reading

 

The Doctor's Undoing (Love Inspired Historical) - Allie Pleiter Persepolis I & II - Marjane Satrapi A Walk in the Woods - Bill Bryson Licensed for Trouble - Susan May Warren

Two things helped push the number of books I read this month higher than usual: 24in48 Read-a-thon and binge reading series via COYER. Since the start of COYER, I have managed to read through 4 series (1 was a duet, the others were longer). I will not be adding any more books to the list in August because I want to finish off the list. I am finding myself to be a definite mood reader (see binge reading a series) rather than a list follower... continue reading

 

 

If you've missed June wrap ups by other BookLikes bloggers, have a look at the following posts, and feel invited to read and join :) If we haven't included your post link, let us know in the comment section below.

 

 

To check what other readers are reading in 2017 reading challenge click the tag underneath this post:

 

 

OR type the tag in the book search box above and select TAGS:

 

 

And you'll see a collection of posts WITH this tag. Only posts with a tag will be presented.

 

 

If you haven't used the tags yet, we do highly recommend using them in your BookLikes posts.Type in a tag and press comma to insert it OR use your most recent tags OR search an accurate tag in your tag list and select.

Tags are great and they will organize your blog posts and improve deliverability of your writings among community.

Let's tag! :-)

 

Happy writing and tagging!

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