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review 2017-08-22 20:21
Optical Delusion - Hunter Shea
Optical Delusion - Hunter Shea

Hunter Shea has tapped into our childhood for his latest offering of fear. Remember those ads in the backs of comic books? Muscles like Charles Atlas. Sea monkeys. Joy buzzers. Fake ice cubes with a fly in the middle. Gum that turns your mouth black. Oh, and the ever popular, X-ray glasses. I certainly remember them. More specifically, I remember wanting them and my mom saying "absolutely not". Well, what would happen if she did allow me to get those x-ray glasses and after 10 minutes of making my eyes hurt, I tossed them aside only to have my dad pick them up and put them on. And, what if, in between the fuzzy-eyed headache it produced, he saw a glimpse of a girl's panties she had on underneath her clothing? And what if, in desperate attempts to get more than a glimpse or two of what the females looked like under their winter clothing, it caused something else? Something more hideous, more macabre, and it wouldn't let you turn away?


Optical Delusion was a fun ride into every boy that grew up in the 1970s and 80s past and warped it with a Twilight Zone twist and an EC Comic turn. My last couple of reads from Shea have been my favorites. He's honed his chops the last few years and is churning out nothing but quality lately. So much so, that he's quickly become one of my go to writers that can't miss.



5 Victoria's Secrets out of 5


* This ARC was provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


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review 2016-02-21 00:00
TAKEN BY THE X-RAY TECH: A Reluctant First Anal Sex With Doctor Short (Doctor/Patient Sex Encounter)
TAKEN BY THE X-RAY TECH: A Reluctant Fir... TAKEN BY THE X-RAY TECH: A Reluctant First Anal Sex With Doctor Short (Doctor/Patient Sex Encounter) - Nancy Brockton Very short and not worth what it costs on Amazon in my opinion.

I have some issues:
Firstly, the title. An x-ray tech and a doctor is not the same thing!

And apparently all the x-ray facilities were not open.. What, there are no emergency services??

Also, no lube?? *sigh* NO preparation at all in fact, just right to the action...

Pretty sure this wasn't worth my time...

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review 2016-02-07 00:00
The Art of X-Ray Reading
The Art of X-Ray Reading - Roy Peter Cla... The Art of X-Ray Reading - Roy Peter Clark I’m a voracious reader, but this book made me feel like I’ve never truly read a book. I mean that in the most complimentary way. I didn’t realize how much I was missing when I read, until I read this book. It’s a very eye-opening experience that lead to many aha moments and a ton of "OMG, I can't believe I missed that!" moments.

Each chapter focuses on a specific work and at the end of each chapter is a writing lesson. These lessons are the key elements that the reader should take away from that chapter. At the end of the book is a section called “Great Sentences From Famous Authors” and this is a chance to practice your new x-ray reading skills. Following this exercise are the “Twelve Steps to Get Started As An X-Ray Reader” which is a good reference to help new x-ray readers begin reading on a whole new level.

Out of the 25 works mentioned in this book, I’ve only read about half of them. Now that I have a new pair of x-ray reading glasses on, I want to reread these (as well as some of the others) with fresh eyes. I love The Great Gatsby, but wow, did I miss a lot! I missed the themes and symbolism, especially. I’m a Charles Dickens fan and I read Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch, but somehow I missed her parallel to A Christmas Carol. How in the world did I miss that? (I knew the concept of intertextuality, but I didn’t know that’s what it was called.) I love it when I notice it in literature, but I’m sure there are many times when it slips by me unnoticed.

One of the most eye-opening experiences was the chapter about Hemingway. Although I never read A Farewell to Arms, I did read The Sun Also Rises. I was very disappointed in it, so I gave it a low two-star rating. I noticed it received a lot of high ratings and I couldn’t understand why. I wasn’t fond of his terse prose and Hemingway fans are always saying that if you don’t like Hemingway, then you don’t understand him. I thought they were just being pretentious snobs, but after reading The Art of X-Ray Reading, I realize that I truly didn’t understand Hemingway. I missed his rhythm and his intentional repetition and omission of words. I was too busy reading on the level of the story that I wasn’t reading it on the level of the text.

This is one of those books that you’ll not only want to add to your home library, especially aspiring writers, but also a book that you’ll want to read more than once. I checked this book out at my local library, but I already know that I’ll be buying it, rereading it and write in it. I want to absorb everything Roy Peter Clark teaches in this book (and his other books) and internalize it completely. I highly recommend this book to avid readers and aspiring writers.
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review 2015-11-16 14:20
Cat in an Alien X-Ray - Carole Nelson Douglas

As I draw closer to the end of Midnight Louie's "alphabet" books, I'm feeling a little melancholy. Not only are Louie's family of ferals and his assorted feline friends like extended family, so are the human characters.


In this book, PR whiz Temple Barr has agreed to meet a rather eccentric hotelier, Silas T. Farnum, who is promising her the proverbial opportunity of a lifetime. While Temple is deciding whether or not to take on the project, a dead body is found on Farnum's property ... and Farnum decides to pretend she's his PR person already. So there's that.


Then there's the ongoing rivalry (both real and imagined) between Max and Matt for Temple's attention ... despite Matt being engaged to her and Max's amnesia making it difficult for him to remember just what their involvement was.


So, once again Temple is up to her high-heeled shoes in intrigue, and it looks like only Louie and the rest of that Cat Pack are going to be able to sort out all of the muddled clues.


I am ridiculously fond of these cozies.

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review 2014-10-26 19:30
I wish I could find the image/review that alerted me to this book...
X-Ray - Francois Nars,Andre Leon Talley,Sam Shahid

It was so fantastical in a playfully morbid way that I thought... how can the rest of this book not be brilliant?  I had no interest in the magazine, but did clip the article out, and actually would go and salivate over this $80 book.   Should I buy it on faith?


Years later, I found it less than half priced - I think thirty - at a discount book store.  It was in pretty shabby condition - the dust jacket, at least - but I snapped it up.  I flipped through to the image, the one image, that had captivated me for so long.   And then I read the rest of the book, only slightly disappointed that not very many of the images had the fantastical or sci-fi looks I'd hoped for. 


So disappointed that I soon picked it up again, sure that I'd missed something.  Of course, I had.  I'd missed the playfulness that wasn't a take on death and rotting, or how alien one could look.  I'd missed the tropes and sexuality and the way that Nars not only played with them, but did so with a sense of artistry - of composition and color - and how he twisted and teased at my expectations as an art lover and reader. 


Sex, death, fairytales, and tropes that one encounters in every day life are all taken and spun on their heads.   And the reason it's so easy to miss, especially the first time through?   The images are so luscious and many present themselves as ordinary in contrast to the look of human-not-human of the cover of the image of Kembra Pfahler - the latter was the image that I had lusted after so long -  that it's easy to pass them off as ordinary, and nothing special other than keen sense of color and composition. 


They're worth a second look.   A hundredth look.   As shabby as this book was when I first got it, it's nothing to the ripped and torn air about it now.   It's been read, and loved, quite heavily over the years I've had it.   I've shown it off, I've hidden it away and pulled it out when I feel shitty, to cheer me up.   While one image may be morbid, even that one is done with such a slyness, such a wink and tip of the hat, that it does manage to make me feel happier. 


And the index is the back is brilliant: miniatures of the images, with name and occupation of the models in the back.   Some are, in fact, models, others are singers, stylists, actors, and even one school child.   It's easy to find out more about whomever you're looking for.   Best index I've ever see in an art book. 


I've hoped to see much more from Nars since my second read of this book.   Sadly, he's focused all of his attention on his makeup and books about how to pretty yourself up.   I mean, good for everyone else, and even sometimes me: I've bought some of his makeup after reading this book and it's brilliant.  But I'd rather have another photography book from him to be honest. 

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