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Search tags: diverse-voices
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text 2017-09-21 13:37
My Diverse Voices Square

For this square, I'm thinking about reading Cassandra Khaw's Rupert Wong, Cannibal Chef.

Rupert Wong, Cannibal Chef (Gods and Monsters) - Cassandra Khaw 

For some reason the publisher (Abaddon) isn't showing the same cover as the one I purchased, so mine looks like this:

 

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review 2017-09-20 13:20
Intriguing and involved
The Kingdom of Gods - N.K. Jemisin

Interesting and a story I found captivating, I really wanted to know what was going to happen with Shahar, Sieh and Dekarta and what their friendship would do with the world. They were three interesting people and what happened to Sieh was intriguing, his having to deal with issues he never had to before, particularly friendship and love.

Good end to the series, look forward to reading more by N.K. Jemisin.

This one is going to be used for the Diverse Voices square, though it could have also been used for supernatural and Demons and probably Chilling Children

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text 2017-09-12 11:03
Halloween Book Bingo

This is for my own reference and I intend to tick off stuff as I go (my work PC hates the image of my bingo sheet and I borrow books from my work - libraries).  Bolded is the squares I have, strike through is done and dusted, underlined is called.  I'm also going to list possible books and state the book I've read for the square here for my own reference.

 


The 31 spaces:

Locked room mystery: A subgenre of detective fiction in which a crime—almost always murder—is committed under circumstances which it was seemingly impossible for the perpetrator to commit the crime and/or evade detection in the course of getting in and out of the crime scene.

Country house mystery: A closed circle mystery, occurring at a gathering like a house party. Revenant of Thraxton Hall by Vaughn Entwhistle

Classic noir: A subgenre of mystery that includes authors such as Dashiell Hammett, James Cain, Raymond Chandler and Cornell Woolrich. Anything that also qualifies as "hard-boiled" will work for this square. The Thin Man by Dashiel Hammett

Murder most foul: any murder mystery! And only to Deceive by Tasha Alexander

Amateur sleuth: this mystery will have a main character who is not a member of law enforcement. Monk's Hood by Ellis Peters

Romantic suspense: any romance which has a significant sub-plot that involves mystery, thriller or suspense.

Serial/spree killer: any book that involves a serial killer or a spree killer, no matter what genre/sub-genre it involves.

Cozy mystery: a subgenre of crime fiction in which sex and violence are downplayed or treated humorously, and the crime and detection take place in a small, socially intimate community.

American horror story: horror, set in the USA.

Genre: horror: this seems obvious.

Gothic: any book with significant: a genre or mode of literature and film that combines fiction and horror, death, and at times romance. 

Darkest London: any mystery, suspense, horror or supernatural book set in London. Frail Human Heart by Zoe Marriott


Modern Masters of Horror: horror published in or after 2000. The masterful These Deathless Bones by Cassandra Klaw

Supernatural: mystery, suspense or horror books which include elements that defy current understanding of the natural world, including magic, witchcraft and/or crypto-zoological aspects.

Ghost: any mystery, suspense or horror which involves a ghost, or a character who believes that the events involve a ghost.

Haunted houses: any structure or location that is, or is believed to be, "haunted" qualifies - it doesn't need to be a house.

Vampires

Werewolves

Witches

Demons

Classic horror: horror that was published prior to 1980

Chilling children: any book tagged horror, YA horror or MG horror that includes a child or children as a main character.

Aliens: beings from outer space.

Monsters: any crytpozoological or mythological creature that isn't a vampire, werewolf, or demon. Or zombie.

The dead will walk: basically, zombies.

80's horror: any horror published between 1980 and 1989, or which is set in that time period.


In the dark, dark woods: a mystery, suspense, horror or supernatural book in which a forest/woods plays a significant role, or which has a forest/woods on the cover.

Terror in a small town: horror set in a small town.

Magical realism: a genre which expresses a primarily realistic view of the real world while also adding or revealing magical elements.

Terrifying women: any mystery, suspense, horror or supernatural book written by a woman.  Death by Water by Kerry Greenwood

Diverse voices: any mystery, suspense, horror or supernatural book written by an author of color. Currently reading Kingdom of Gods by N.K. Jemisin for this

 

I'm going to have to work on 80s Horror and actually anything with horror in the title, Diverse Voices (mostly because I don't pay attention to the race, colour or creed of an author, so now I have to look) and Locked Room Mysteries because I read a full book of these a while ago.  Easy ones are going to be Terrifying Women (90% of what I read are women) and Darkest London, because I have a Peter Grant Mystery waiting for me.  We'll see how we do.

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review 2017-09-10 23:33
Halloween Bingo - Diverse Voices - Breathless
Mycroft Holmes - Anna Waterhouse,Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

 

 

 

 

Ah, yes, that CloudLibrary thing was just toooooo tempting.  I've been wanting to read this for quite some time, but never think of looking for it when I'm at the library.  When it popped up on the Mysteries page of the CloudLibrary thing, I couldn't resist the temptation.  The Essex Serpent was too boring.

 

And no, I don't know the author!!!

 

Okay, let's start with this: I never, ever, ever again want to hear that complaint about Victorian women characters who are acting too far ahead of their time.

 

If it weren't for people, real life people, living out their visions for a better future, we wouldn't be where we are today.

 

The fictional Mycroft Holmes, as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar envisioned him, was generations ahead of his time, but he wasn't alone.  Neither was Cyrus Douglas.  Neither were those women we writers posit as being ahead of their time.  Charlotte Pitt?  No, not at all.  Someone had to do it.  Why not her?

 

Mycroft Holmes was a lot to take in.  Maybe too much.  There was sooooo much action -- and frankly, so much killing -- that I got a bit glassy-eyed toward the end. 

 

I had read most of the Conan Doyle stories when I was in high school or shortly after, then reread many of them in my early twenties.  Mycroft seemed more action and adventure oriented than mystery, but the hints of supernatural were there to be solved, and of course the underlying mystery of just what was going on and why; Sherlock's tales were more cerebral.  Whether the further adventures of Mycroft the character would be different remains to be seen.

 

The historical and technical details were a bonus, though I suspect they may have also stalled the action for some readers, who of course were free to skip over them if they so desired.

 

The text was not, however, without errors. (No text is.  Period.)

 

There were a couple of references to "pants."  One I remember in particular was to Mycroft putting something in a pants pocket.  Though of course written by Americans, both Mycroft and Cyrus Douglas would have spoken the Queen's English, in which pants are underclothes and trousers have pockets.

 

Then another that was just . . . oops.

 

 

The first "black" is unnecessary --  "The velvet that draped its ornate gold frame had once been black. . . ."  No, of course it's not a big thing.  It's nitpicky.  But it's there.  Not quite a Richard Collier penny. . . . but niggling.

 

 

Four hundred meters -- well, Englishmen like Holmes and Douglas would have thought in yards, and 440 yards is a quarter mile, so it's not likely they'd have been able to discern a body lying face down at that distance.

 

There were a few other historical details, some I checked and some I didn't, that might have pulled a reader out of the story.  Of those I checked, only one remained questionable, and it wasn't really important enough to worry about.

 

What was important was the way diverse history was presented, by a 20th century (mostly) author writing about a 19th century fictional character in the 21st century. 

 

A few more snippets might be of interest along those lines, especially because the book was written/published in 2015.

 

 

From page 53  . . .

 

 

From pp. 59-60 . . .

 

 

 

 

From pp. 89-90 . . .

 

 

 

"Moral insanity" was the common term in Mycroft's time; the suggestion in Mycroft Holmes is that Pritchard's term was synonymous with what we in the 21st century would call psychopathy or sociopathy, though the legal use of the terms is different. 

 

Fiction can be fun.  It can also have meaning.

 

A great read.  Slightly longish, but still great.

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review 2017-09-02 21:10
Most boring Zombie Dystopia Book I Have Ever Read
Zone One - Colson Whitehead

I read this for the "Diverse Voices" square. "Zone One" by Colson Whitehead. Whitehead is an African American author. I read one other book by him "The Underground Railroad" and decided that if that book was fantastic, this would be too. Unfortunately that wasn't true. This book was divided into three parts and the only part that became mildly interesting was the "Saturday" section. "Sunday" was the shortest and for that I'm thankful. Though the writing was top notch, the flow was off and I was bored. Maybe if this was told in the first person it would have worked better.

 

Story begins with a Mark Spitz (not his real name) remembering visiting his Uncle in New York. From there the book lumbers along til you get to the point, the world has devolved due to something that has turned some of us into skels (zombies). Mark and his unit have come back to take over what is called Zone One (island south of Canal Street). The idea is that they sweep buildings to ensure that all of the undead are out down. Mark is part of a three person (don't know why so few) unit that is sweeping. We find out units at play throughout the course of the story. Mark and his unit mates (Gary and Kaitlyn) all have roles to play in this new world. 

 

Beginning with a countdown (Friday) you know something is going to happen by the end of the book. Too bad I could see it coming a mile away. Hello plot contrivance my old friend. What? Yes, I know you have nothing to do with this, but you have to admit this was a mess. 

 

Friday, Saturday, and Sunday are just hodgepodge tales of things that happened to Mark pre zombie plague and after. It is not told in a linear format so enjoy that. It jumps around a lot to the point that I stopped trying to make sense of the timeline. I just didn't care and wanted to be done. 

 

I also started thinking about The Walking Dead and realizing that show even with it's heaps of issues, is still better than this book. There's actually development of some of the characters over time and even when it feels like the A plot has ground to a halt, there's still something to root for. I didn't care a whit about any of the characters we meet. We don't get to know them at all. 

 

 

 

 

I think Whitehead wanted to show that at our core, humans, are selfish and when push comes to shove we will trample on each other to get out alive. But that's too cynical for me. We read of some settlements that are set up now that the worst of the plague seems to be over. But what's that plot contrivance? Yeah I don't know, that all got ignored for that whatever ending.

 

Part of the book is taken up by people's "Last Night" tales, AKA the last night before the end of the world as they knew it. That was an interesting idea. Whitehead would have been better off just making that the book. Follow unit members as they go to secure a building, settle up for the night and tell each other their stories. Also tell it in the damn first person. Sigh. 

 

The flow was awful. "Friday" was the worst of the sections. If you can get through that, cheers. 

 

The setting is in America and mostly in New York with some forays here and there with Mark Spitz. 

 

The ending was an eyeroll moment. I actually want to read another book for this square, but will see where I get with my reads. Back to the library this goes. 

 

 

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