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review 2017-12-11 23:55
16 Tasks of the Festive Season: Square 9 Reads (Winter Solstice / Yaldā Night and Yuletide)
The Poetry - David Shaw-Parker,Christina Rossetti,Ghizela Rowe
Goblin Market - Christina Rossetti
A Christmas Visitor - Anne Perry
Colour Scheme - Ngaio Marsh,Ric Jerrom

Book themes for Winter Solstice and Yaldā Night: Read a book of poetry.

Book themes for Yuletide: Read a book set in the midst of a snowy or icy winter.

 

Holiday Book Joker as Bonus Joker: A book set on Winter Solstice (or Summer Solstice in the Southern Hemisphere)

 

  

 

Winter Solstice and Yaldā Night Read: Christina Rossetti: The Poetry

A wonderful reading of some of Christina Rossetti's best-known poems by David Shaw-Parker and Ghizela Rowe, including her long narrative The Goblin Market, which I also own (and reread, for the occasion) in a delightful hardcopy edition illustrated with images by Christina's elder brother, the Pre-Raphaelite painter Dante Gabriel Rossetti.  Not holiday reading per se (and The Goblin Market is decidedly dark), but still very fitting poetic complementary material for the holiday season.  Highly recommended!

 

  

 

Yuletide Read: Anne Perry: A Christmas Visitor

Anne Perry's Christmas novellas are spin-offs of her major Victorian series (Thomas & Charlotte Pitt, and William Monk, respectively), featuring supporting characters from those series as their protagonists.  A Christmas Visitor is the second of those novellas, and its protagonist is Henry Stanhope, a mathematician friend of William Monk's.  Stanhope travels to the snow-laden Lake District to spend Christmas with the family of his longstanding friend Judah Dreghorn; only to discover that just prior to his arrival Judah has apparently slipped on a set of ice-sheeted stones crossing a brook on his estate.  What initially looked like an accident, at closer inspection is revealed to be murder, and while everybody's favorite and allegedly most likely suspect is soon found, it falls to Henry to find out what really happened.

 

Perry's writing is very atmospheric and captures the Lake District, 19th century rural society, and the Christmas spirit to perfection -- I loved this story right up until its very end, which (even for a Christmas book) struck me as overly moralizing and sentimental on the one hand, and just that decisive bit too neat on the other hand.  (Readers not enamored of mysteries hingeing on certain points of law might be turned off on those grounds)  Still, for a quick read to get into the spirit of the season (and be served up a nicely-plotted mystery into the bargain), I could hardly have done better -- and the stellar reading by Terrence Hardiman contributed greatly to my enjoyment.

 

  

 

Winter Solstice Book Joker Bonus Read: Ngaio Marsh: Colour Scheme

One of my favorite mysteries from Ngaio Marsh's Roderick Alleyn series, here served up in an unabridged reading by Ric Jerrom.  The story is set in Marsh's native New Zealand and begins on Summer Solstice, which is Winter Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere and thus makes the book eligible for this particular holiday's book joker.

 

The mystery is set at a spa hotel near a hot springs / mud pot / small version of Yellowstone National Park type of area, where a gentleman who has made one enemy too many (i.e., your classic Golden Age murder victim) one day is found to have fallen into a boiling hot mud pot.  (He may or may not also have been a German spy -- the story is set in the 1940s -- but this is one of the rare exceptions of a Golden Age mystery with that kind of angle that is blessedly devoid of "5th column" shenanigans, and where the war background is actually used skillfully to demonstrate how WWII affected daily life even in seemingly remote New Zealand.)  Also present at the spa is, inter alia, a star of the British stage and screen (unabashedly based on Sir Laurence Olivier) -- secretary in tow -- as well as, arriving on the day after the "accidental" death that very probably wasn't an accident, a Mr. Septimus Small, whom none of the other denizens of the spa manage to figure out, and who soon inspires the wildest conjectures as to his identity and occupation.

 

Upon revisiting the mystery -- thanks in no small part to Ric Jerrom's excellent narration and portrayal of the characters -- I found the story's inner logic (and the path to the solution) decidedly more obvious than when I first read it a few years ago, but then again, this time I knew where the whole thing was headed and, consequently, I was not as distracted by minutiae as the first time around.

 

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review 2017-12-09 20:50
One Sweet Summer - Cali MacKay
  a lovely story, really enjoyed it. not to heavy or intense esp on the intimate scenes. nice if you just want a good romance with a little spice

 

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text 2017-12-02 02:45
16 Festive Tasks - Square 14 - Dies Natalis Solis Invicti
Open Road Summer - Emery Lord

As the name suggests, Open Road Summer takes place in the summer.

 

 

Book themes for Dies Natalis Solis Invicti: Celebrate the sun and read a book that has a beach or seaside setting. –OR– a book set during summertime. –OR– set in the Southern Hemisphere.

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text 2017-12-01 00:30
November Re-cap
She Rides Shotgun: A Novel - Jordan Harper
Norse Mythology - Neil Gaiman
In a Perfect World - Trish Doller
False Hearts - Laura Lam
Sweetest Venom (The Virtue Series) (Volume 2) - Mia Asher
The Wife Between Us - Greer Hendricks,Sarah Pekkanen
This Song Will Save Your Life - Leila Sales
Open Road Summer - Emery Lord
Dreamfall - Amy Plum
The Sandcastle Empire - Kayla Olson

plus 2 more...

 

 

3203579118664831

 

 

 

  

   It seems like this month has lasted forever...probably due to the fact that I've been sick for about 3 weeks now, a terrible cold...also due to the fact that I worked 3rds for the week of Thanksgiving. All while being sick...It's been a mediocre reading month...a few good ones and the rest...kind of meh.  False Hearts was definitely my fav of the month.

 

 

(Audiobook) She Rides Shotgun by Jordan Harper

Finish Date:  11/01

3.8/5 STARS - GRADE=B

 

(Audiobook) Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman

Finish Date:  11/03

3/5 STARS - GRADE=C

 

(Kindle eBook) In A Perfect World by Trish Doller

Finish Date:  11/04

3.7/5 STARS - GRADE=B

 

(Audiobook) False Hearts by Laura Lam

Finish Date:  11/09

5/5 STARS - GRADE=A+

 

(Audiobook) Sweetest Venom by Mia Asher

Finish Date:  11/11

3.7/5 STARS - GRADE=B

 

(Netgalley eARC) The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen

Finish Date:  11/13

3.7/5 STARS - GRADE=B

 

(Audiobook) This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales

Finish Date:  11/16

4.5/5 STARS - GRADE=A-

 

(Kindle eBook) Open Road Summer by Emery Lord

Finish Date:  11/17

4.5/5 STARS - GRADE=A-

 

(Audiobook) Dreamfall by Amy Plum

Finish Date:  11/18

3/5 STARS - GRADE=C

 

(Audiobook) The Sandcastle Empire by Kayla Olson

Finish Date:  11/24

3.8/5 STARS - GRADE=B

 

(Audiobook) Until It Fades by KA Tucker

Finish Date:  11/28

4.3/5 STARS - GRADE=A-

 

(Kindle eBook) Sekret by Lindsay Smith

Finish Date:  11/30

3.8/5 STARS - GRADE=B

 

12 books total

4,080 pages

8 of them Audiobooks, 3 Kindle eBooks, and 1 Netgalley Arc

 

 

 

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review 2017-11-28 18:22
It's nastalgia time...
Boys of Summer - Cooper Davis

It's been more than a couple of years since I read this one and while Brian Pallino did a wonderful job on the narration I guess this story has lost a little of it's glow for me. I still enjoyed it alot just not quite as much as the first time around but all in I'm glad happy I revisited the 'Boys of Summer'.

 

Ok, if you know me than you knew this was coming and I have to admit while The Ataris did an admirable job of it...for me no one beats Don Henley on this one...Boys of Summer

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