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text 2018-04-12 19:19
TBR Thursday
Heir to the Empire - Timothy Zahn
Just One Damned Thing After Another - Jodi Taylor
Unbuttoned : a History of Mackenzie King's Secret Life - Christopher Dummitt
The Dirty Book Club - Lisi Harrison
Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World - Haruki Murakami,Alfred Birnbaum
Lion in the Valley - Elizabeth Peters
Magic's Price - Mercedes Lackey
Smilla's Sense of Snow - Peter Høeg,Tiina Nunnally
Tithe - Holly Black
The Good Women of China: Hidden Voices - Xinran

My TBR pile has got a bit out of control!!

 

First ones due at the library are Heir to the Empire, Just One Damned Thing After Another, and Unbuttoned.  There are also holds on Smilla's Sense of Snow and Tithe, but those dates are further away.  Plus The Good Women of China is an interlibrary loan, so I will have to pay attention to it.

 

Heir to the Empire, Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, and Magic's Price are all part of my Science Fiction and Fantasy Reading Project, which I am enjoying getting back into.

 

My guilty pleasures are Lion in the Valley (Amelia Peacock, I want to see what you're doing in Egypt this time) and Tithe (Holly Black's world of the Fae is calling to me).  But neither of them will count towards any of my reading challenges for 2018.

 

My other task for this weekend is to take a load of books to the used book store to trade and to sort out books to donate to the Calgary Reads Book Sale which will happen in May.  I've got to find some boxes that I can part with to pack, too.  (And then in May I'll attend the book sale and undo some of the good that I have done for my bookshelves).

 

I've also got to bake something to go to brunch on Sunday--I'll probably either make a tried-and-true Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread (http://www.lazyglutenfree.com/2013/06/gluten-free-cinnamon-swirl-banana-bread.html) or I'll try an experimental Pumpkin Pie Crumble (https://www.calgarycoop.com/cooking/pumpkin-pie-crumble). 

 

Have a great weekend, friends!

 

 

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text 2018-04-05 16:16
TBR Thursday
The Awakening of Miss Prim: A Novel - Natalia Sanmartin Fenollera
Corvus - Harold Johnson
The Dirty Book Club - Lisi Harrison
Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World - Haruki Murakami,Alfred Birnbaum
The Dragon Reborn - Robert Jordan
Unbuttoned : a History of Mackenzie King's Secret Life - Christopher Dummitt
Heir to the Empire - Timothy Zahn

So, I skipped ahead in my reading queue last week and read two "just picked up books" instead of what had been sitting by my reading chair for a while.  (Burn Bright and Who Cooked Adam Smith's Dinner?)   As a result, four of these books are repeats from last week's TBR post.

 

Finally, Unbuttoned has arrived at my library!  Mackenzie King is one of the most intriguing Prime Ministers that Canada has ever had.  He never married, he was devoted to his mother and his dog, and (as the book blurb tells us) he communed with ghosts and cavorted with prostitutes.  Plus he left detailed diaries which let us in on all the weird details. (Never trust someone else to burn your journals!)  There's been a long wait-list for this one and its available for me at the library!

 

Also, there are two more titles for my Science Fiction and Fantasy Reading Project--The Dragon Reborn and Heir to the Empire.  Its great to be getting back to this project a bit more seriously and there's some fun reading ahead.

 

What else is new?  Well, I bought a new toilet last night.  I've been meaning to get one that would use less water for some time now and a notice from my condo management company got me moving on it.  My current toilet was one of the originals when the building was constructed (1979) and some of them apparently have flaws which occasionally cause catastrophic failures.  They are urging us to change them out asap.  So, I have a date with a plumber on Monday. 

 

Have a good weekend, everyone!

 

 

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text 2018-03-29 19:09
TBR Thursday
The House at Baker Street (A Mrs Hudson and Mary Watson Investigation) - Michelle Birkby
Vlad: The Last Confession - C.C. Humphreys
The Amber Spyglass - Philip Pullman
The Awakening of Miss Prim: A Novel - Natalia Sanmartin Fenollera
Corvus - Harold Johnson
The Dirty Book Club - Lisi Harrison
Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World - Haruki Murakami,Alfred Birnbaum

A couple of hang-overs from last week:  The House on Baker Street and Vlad : the Last Confession.  They'll move to the top of the pile, as will The Amber Spyglass, because it has holds on it at the library.  Its my PopSugar challenge book for the "Childhood Classic You've Never Read" category.

 

Two books are about books and/or librarians:  The Awakening of Miss Prim and The Dirty Book Club.  They will both count towards book challenges as well, plus they sound like a lot of fun.

 

Corvus is a book by Harold Johnson, who will be a guest of honor at this year's When Words Collide conference here in Calgary.  I try to read something written by all the guests of honor before the conference, which takes place in August.

 

And, last but not least, another entry in the Science Fiction and Fantasy Reading Project:  Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Haruki Murakami.

 

I've got at least two Easter celebrations to attend, requiring a bit of driving, then I've booked myself the Monday off as well.  So, two days to get my house in order, a bit of laundry done, and a new toilet purchased to be ready for the plumber the next week.  Not sure how much reading will take place, but I have no doubt that some will.

 

Happy Easter, everyone!

 

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review 2017-11-05 00:00
Men Without Women
Men Without Women - Haruki Murakami,Phil... Men Without Women - Haruki Murakami,Philip Gabriel,Ted Goossen I'm a huge fan of Haruki Murakami, and have read all but one or two of his books. This one didn't much do it for me, but I think the problem was more with me than with Murakami. At the moment, I'm finding myself in a place where I could use more fluff and less about screwed up young men. I'm especially in a place where the sexual fantasies and hang-ups of young men aren't of much interest to me. I admit to being an elderly, repressed Calvinist, and I wasn't able to set that part of me aside while I was reading these seven stories. I'd read several of these stories previously, probably in The New Yorker, or some such place. I think I liked them better then, but then the reading was a one-off thing, not a whole series. So, I'm suggesting one reads this collection a story at a time, with much other stuff in between revisits to this collection. At least that's what I'd have done, were I not under the gun, so to speak, to get the book read before its library due date.

Having written more-or-less of a downer of a review, no one should go to his grave without having read Murakami, and this is as good a place to begin as anywhere else.
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text 2017-10-09 18:33
Haruki Murakami, everywhere

One thing I've noticed after looking at a lot of blurbs, descriptions, and reviews of Japanese novels in translation is that so many of them include some mention of Haruki Murakami. The basic formula looks like this: [New-to-reviewer Japanese author] is a blend of Haruki Murakami and [first big-name author the reviewer can think of whose primary genre is the same as the Japanese book being reviewed].

 

I've never read any of Murakami's books or stories, so for all I know some of those other Japanese authors' works do have something in common with his works...but probably not all of them. The most amusing blurb I've come across so far was the one that said Koji Suzuki's Ring was a blend of Haruki Murakami and Stephen King. It's been a while since I've read any of King's works, but Ring didn't remind me of them in terms of content or style, so I doubt the comparison to Murakami was any better. It was basically just "this author is like the first Japanese author I can think of and the first horror author I can think of."

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