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Robin M

Book a Week 2017 - BW39: Freedom to read

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Ok, you guys inspired me to check my Bingo list for spooky-ish reads, and here's what I'm thinking for October:

 

Mules and Men - Zora Neale Hurston

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (which I've read before, but don't remember much)

The Terror - Dan Simmons

Death with Interruptions - Jose Saramago

The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter

Sunshine - Robin McKinley

Heart-Shaped Box - Joe Hill

The Brief History of the Dead - Kevin Brockmeier

 

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I'm halfway through Ulysses and since I finished my last audiobook, added in The Teaching Company's course. I'm two lectures in and thoroughly enjoying it. I love when teachers are enthusiastic about their subject (I had a similar experience with Dante's Divine Comedy-I highly recommend the course).

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I finished The Massacre of Mankind, by Stephen Baxter. This was a sequel to Wells's The War of the Worlds. In the end, I really liked it. It was that rarest of books: a 21st century Utopia.  Other than Ada Palmer and Jo Walton, I don't know too many other recent books that I'd be able to classify that way - there is a lot of post-apocalyptic and dystopian fiction, but not so much of the hopeful stuff. I also liked the strong female lead, and all of the references to fictional characters from WotW tickled me. And the speculative/alternative history part - what the early 20th century might have looked like had the Martian actually attacked in 1907 - was very well done. Many historical figures and twists on historical events were featured, and they all felt quite plausible.

 

Now, there were a couple of plot points that were highly improbably - clearly they were there only to get the relevant characters in the right place at the right time - but overall, it was a worthy homage to WotW and a really well done work of alternative history/speculative fiction. And, a utopia no less.

 

This was my 199th book completed this year. I'll definitely beat my goal of 241, but I will probably not be able to cross off all 240 squares for the Big Bingo by the end of the year - out of necessity I'm reading a lot of books at this point that don't count, either about health or Lyme treatment, or books for the girls's school. And there are a few categories that I think I'm just going to let go - I took a shot, but I just can't bring myself to be interested enough to read a whole book about Fashion, or the Crimean War, or a couple of other categories, and I think I'm going to give myself a break on those. We'll see, but as of now that's what I'm thinking. 

Edited by Chrysalis Academy
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Other than JennW, did anyone else watch the Vietnam doc by Burns/Novick?  It wrapped up last night.  Personally I was so glad that Tim O'Brien and Philip Caputo were part of the documentary; both had books that helped me better understand the war that took up the first 10 years of my life.  The Things They Carried and A Rumor of War were the books that enlightened me...and the last episode started and ended with O'Brien reading from The Things They Carried.  Frances FitzGerald's Fire in the Lake and Michael Herr's Dispatches are also recommended. 

 

Okay, back to Dracula talk!

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A one day only classic that is currently free for Kindle readers ~

 

Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray 

 

"This classic story of two nineteenth-century social climbers is the basis for countless films and TV series, and one of the UK’s “Best-Loved Novels.â€

Before the Real Housewives, there were Becky Sharp and Amelia Sedley. Ruthless and cunning, Becky may have been born in a lower class, but now that she’s graduated from school, she’s ready to climb up to a better life—and do whatever it takes to get there. Her friend Emmy, however, is the opposite. She may have mastered music, dancing, and embroidery like any young woman of her class, but she utterly lacks a backbone.
 
Together these friends navigate the perils of Regency society as they search for love and happiness. Social battles are waged against the backdrop of the Napoleonic Wars, and when the smoke finally clears, there’s no telling who will come out victorious.
 
A satirical masterpiece, Vanity Fair was #14 on The Guardian’s list of the 100 Best Novels and #122 in the BBC’s “Big Read†poll for the UK’s best-loved novel. It has inspired numerous adaptations, from early silent films to a 2004 movie by Mira Nair starring Reese Witherspoon as Becky."

 

Regards,

Kareni

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Here's a list that has some titles that have not yet been mentioned including one that is described as hilarious ~

 

The 10 Best Vampire Novels No One Has Read  by Paul Goat Allen

 

"Just because a novel is on a national bestseller list—or sells hundreds of thousands of copies—doesn’t necessarily mean it’s good. The reverse is also true, especially of genre fiction, fringy fiction—a lot of the good stuff comes and goes virtually unnoticed.

 

Take vampire fiction, for example.

 

I’ve been reviewing science fiction, fantasy, and horror for almost 20 years now—and I’ve been reading the stuff obsessively since I was a kid—and during that time, I’ve discovered some jaw-droppingly good vampire novels. And the fascinating thing is that quite a few of my most memorable bloodsucking reads have been either self-published or released by a relatively small press—including more than half of the titles listed below...."

 

Regards,

Kareni

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I finished The Massacre of Mankind, by Stephen Baxter. This was a sequel to Wells's The War of the Worlds. In the end, I really liked it. It was that rarest of books: a 21st century Utopia.  Other than Ada Palmer and Jo Walton, I don't know too many other recent books that I'd be able to classify that way - there is a lot of post-apocalyptic and dystopian fiction, but not so much of the hopeful stuff. I also liked the strong female lead, and all of the references to fictional characters from WotW tickled me. And the speculative/alternative history part - what the early 20th century might have looked like had the Martian actually attacked in 1907 - was very well done. Many historical figures and twists on historical events were featured, and they all felt quite plausible.

 

Now, there were a couple of plot points that were highly improbably - clearly they were there only to get the relevant characters in the right place at the right time - but overall, it was a worthy homage to WotW and a really well done work of alternative history/speculative fiction. And, a utopia no less.

 

 

That sounds really interesting.  I just re-read War of the Worlds a few years ago, so I think it's fresh enough in my mind that a utopian sequel could be fun. :)

 

 

This was my 199th book completed this year. I'll definitely beat my goal of 241, but I will probably not be able to cross off all 240 squares for the Big Bingo by the end of the year - out of necessity I'm reading a lot of books at this point that don't count, either about health or Lyme treatment, or books for the girls's school. And there are a few categories that I think I'm just going to let go - I took a shot, but I just can't bring myself to be interested enough to read a whole book about Fashion, or the Crimean War, or a couple of other categories, and I think I'm going to give myself a break on those. We'll see, but as of now that's what I'm thinking. 

 

 

 

Have you read any of the Thursday Next books by Jasper Fforde (starts with The Eyre Affair)?  An alternate universe Crimean War figures large in that one (ironically that book was written before the current Crimean crisis when no one even knew where Crimea was).  I was thinking of reading the sequel for that square and hoping that there's still a Crimean War going on (showed no signs of stopping at the end  of Book 1...)

 

Sorry you're having to read so many books about Lyme.   :(

 

Edited by Matryoshka
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Other than JennW, did anyone else watch the Vietnam doc by Burns/Novick?  It wrapped up last night.  Personally I was so glad that Tim O'Brien and Philip Caputo were part of the documentary; both had books that helped me better understand the war that took up the first 10 years of my life.  The Things They Carried and A Rumor of War were the books that enlightened me...and the last episode started and ended with O'Brien reading from The Things They Carried.  Frances FitzGerald's Fire in the Lake and Michael Herr's Dispatches are also recommended. 

 

Okay, back to Dracula talk!

 

Dh & I still have a few episodes left to watch. I was pleased to see Tim O'Brien in an earlier episode and am glad to hear he will be back again. I've read some, but not all, of The Things They Carried. It was very affecting, so much so that it was hard to read more. 

 

We had to read David Halberstam's Ho, a biography of Ho Chi Minh, in my 10th grade history class. Saigon had fallen the year before, so it was still a raw topic, and in retrospect it was a daring book for a history teacher to assign. 

 

I've managed to keep a light counterpoint in my reading this week. So far I've read another Linda Castillo mystery set in Ohio Amish country, and am halfway through A Thinking Woman's Guide to Real Magic, a very smart and fun fantasy in a similar vein to Uprooted. 

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Other than JennW, did anyone else watch the Vietnam doc by Burns/Novick?  It wrapped up last night.  Personally I was so glad that Tim O'Brien and Philip Caputo were part of the documentary; both had books that helped me better understand the war that took up the first 10 years of my life.  The Things They Carried and A Rumor of War were the books that enlightened me...and the last episode started and ended with O'Brien reading from The Things They Carried.  Frances FitzGerald's Fire in the Lake and Michael Herr's Dispatches are also recommended. 

 

I did not get a chance to watch any TV last night... but if you're looking for another excellent Vietnam book, I'd highly recommend The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen.  One of my 5-star reads this year.

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from Jenn:
We had to read David Halberstam's Ho, a biography of Ho Chi Minh, in my 10th grade history class. Saigon had fallen the year before, so it was still a raw topic, and in retrospect it was a daring book for a history teacher to assign.

 

I'll say! very daring.  But good for you I am sure.  Of course I made dd13 watch the whole thing with us.  I had lots of asides etc. and so it was kind of not fun I couldn't pause the (broadcast) tv to explain things to her.  I really like Tim O'Brien's work, esp. his murder/mystery (can't remember what it is called) and the other VN book Going After Cacciato (sp? phone!).

I did not get a chance to watch any TV last night... but if you're looking for another excellent Vietnam book, I'd highly recommend The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen.  One of my 5-star reads this year.

Thanks, Erin; that is on my list.  After this doc I think I am "done" with Vietnam for a while.

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I finished The Massacre of Mankind, by Stephen Baxter. This was a sequel to Wells's The War of the Worlds. In the end, I really liked it. It was that rarest of books: a 21st century Utopia.  Other than Ada Palmer and Jo Walton, I don't know too many other recent books that I'd be able to classify that way - there is a lot of post-apocalyptic and dystopian fiction, but not so much of the hopeful stuff. I also liked the strong female lead, and all of the references to fictional characters from WotW tickled me. And the speculative/alternative history part - what the early 20th century might have looked like had the Martian actually attacked in 1907 - was very well done. Many historical figures and twists on historical events were featured, and they all felt quite plausible.

 

Now, there were a couple of plot points that were highly improbably - clearly they were there only to get the relevant characters in the right place at the right time - but overall, it was a worthy homage to WotW and a really well done work of alternative history/speculative fiction. And, a utopia no less.

 

This was my 199th book completed this year. I'll definitely beat my goal of 241, but I will probably not be able to cross off all 240 squares for the Big Bingo by the end of the year - out of necessity I'm reading a lot of books at this point that don't count, either about health or Lyme treatment, or books for the girls's school. And there are a few categories that I think I'm just going to let go - I took a shot, but I just can't bring myself to be interested enough to read a whole book about Fashion, or the Crimean War, or a couple of other categories, and I think I'm going to give myself a break on those. We'll see, but as of now that's what I'm thinking. 

 

I'm pretty sure the hero of A Civil Contract by GH was in the Crimean War.

 

ETA - I think you've probably already read that one though so ... I'm out of suggestions.

 

ETA - I second the Jasper Fford suggestion. I didn't even think about that!

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And a few more lists ~

 

15 Bloody Good Vampire Books by Carolyn Cox

 

"In this post-Twilight world, it can be hard to sift through the sheer variety of vampire books out there to find ones that satisfy your specific tastes. Do you prefer urban fantasy vampire stories, or ones with a scientific angle? Are you hungry for books with a horror bite, or those that poke a little fun at the genre's tropes?  

 

Below, we've curated a list of fifteen great books from across the broad spectrum of vampire literature that are guaranteed not to—ahem—suck...."

**

 

11 Scary Books To Read Before Halloween by Sadie Trombetta

 

"Halloween is, hands down, my favorite holiday. Sure, you get a big dinner on Thanksgiving and presents on Christmas, but on Halloween you get something even better: an entire night dedicated to mischief, frights, and, most of all, candy. There's something about getting dressed up, getting scared, and getting sugar high (OK, or drunk, whatever, we're all adults here) all at once that makes Halloween the perfect holiday.

 

Though the days of trick or treating might be behind you, there are plenty of ways you can still get in the spirit of the holiday. You can carve pumpkins, decorate your apartment with fake spiderwebs, or stock your cubicle with candy, but no Halloween is really complete unless you get the crap scared out of you, right? You can curl up on the couch on a dark and windy night and watch your favorite old horror movies, or you can see how quickly you can give yourself the heebie jeebies with the help of a terrifying book, because there is nothing that gets you in the Halloween mood better than a good scary story...."

**

 

45 seriously spooky (but not quite scary) books by Anne (from Modern Mrs Darcy)

 

"I dreaded Halloween story hour as a kid. (Classic HSP.) The librarian inevitably read us too many ghost stories, and I’d spend the half hour with my fingers in my ears, humming softly to myself and trying not to hear. It never worked, and I’d have nightmares for weeks. My poor sensitive soul just couldn’t handle it.

 

Now that I’m an adult, I still hate scary stories. I don’t read horror novels, not ever. But I do enjoy a good creepy book. I love chilling mysteries and psychological thrillers: books that make my hair stand on end, but still allow me to sleep at night...."

 

Regards,

Kareni

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I'm halfway through Ulysses and since I finished my last audiobook, added in The Teaching Company's course. I'm two lectures in and thoroughly enjoying it. I love when teachers are enthusiastic about their subject (I had a similar experience with Dante's Divine Comedy-I highly recommend the course).

 

Thanks for the recommendation. I'll have to check it out.

 

I did not get a chance to watch any TV last night... but if you're looking for another excellent Vietnam book, I'd highly recommend The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen.  One of my 5-star reads this year.

 

 

That's been on the shelf for a while but for some reason I'm reluctant to pick it up and start reading even though I know it will be excellent.

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That sounds really interesting.  I just re-read War of the Worlds a few years ago, so I think it's fresh enough in my mind that a utopian sequel could be fun. :)

 

 

 

Have you read any of the Thursday Next books by Jasper Fforde (starts with The Eyre Affair)?  An alternate universe Crimean War figures large in that one (ironically that book was written before the current Crimean crisis when no one even knew where Crimea was).  I was thinking of reading the sequel for that square and hoping that there's still a Crimean War going on (showed no signs of stopping at the end  of Book 1...)

 

Sorry you're having to read so many books about Lyme.   :(

 

I did read The Eyre Affair, which I liked, and Lost in a Good Book, which was ok, and then started and abandoned the 3rd one because if felt like too much of the same. I didn't like it enough to re-read it.

 

I'm pretty sure the hero of A Civil Contract by GH was in the Crimean War.

 

ETA - I think you've probably already read that one though so ... I'm out of suggestions.

 

ETA - I second the Jasper Fford suggestion. I didn't even think about that!

 

Now, i would re-read Georgette Heyer. But A Civil Contract was during the Napoleonic War, if I recall correctly - the big drama was Napoleon escaping from Elba and Adam going against his father-in-law's advice because of his confidence in Wellington's ability to defeat him. Unfortunately, all well before the Crimean War.  

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Ahh, but Tolstoy has several novellas or short stories set during the Crimean War, right? Maybe I can try one of those . . . . 

 

The Sevastopol Sketches (which I haven't read) are set during the Crimean War, during the Siege of Sevastopol, which Tolstoy experienced personally. (Somebody earlier was wondering if he had had actual experience in battle; yes he had).

 

I don't know offhand what else he wrote set in the Crimea, though if I were less lazy I'm sure Google would tell me. The Cossacks (which I have read, and it was quite good) is a short novel set in the Caucasian War. Maybe it counts... both wars were about the same time, and start with 'C'...

 

If we're pre-planning our Spooky Reading, I was going to read Maugham's The Magician, about a fictionalized Aleister Crowley. Jane?

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I did read The Eyre Affair, which I liked, and Lost in a Good Book, which was ok, and then started and abandoned the 3rd one because if felt like too much of the same. I didn't like it enough to re-read it.

 

 

Now, i would re-read Georgette Heyer. But A Civil Contract was during the Napoleonic War, if I recall correctly - the big drama was Napoleon escaping from Elba and Adam going against his father-in-law's advice because of his confidence in Wellington's ability to defeat him. Unfortunately, all well before the Crimean War.  

 

Well it's really embarrassing to be wrong about history on a homeschool board but here I am ... :blushing: ... you are right! I guess I'll be forced to re-re-read that book to refresh my poor memory.

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The Sevastopol Sketches (which I haven't read) are set during the Crimean War, during the Siege of Sevastopol, which Tolstoy experienced personally. (Somebody earlier was wondering if he had had actual experience in battle; yes he had).

 

I don't know offhand what else he wrote set in the Crimea, though if I were less lazy I'm sure Google would tell me. The Cossacks (which I have read, and it was quite good) is a short novel set in the Caucasian War. Maybe it counts... both wars were about the same time, and start with 'C'...

 

If we're pre-planning our Spooky Reading, I was going to read Maugham's The Magician, about a fictionalized Aleister Crowley. Jane?

 

Cakes and Ales is in my to-be-read stack since there always seems to be a Maugham or two hiding in the dusties.  The only version of The Magician available through my library is in audio.  So I think I'll say yes to a fictionalized Crowley in the hope that I make some progress on my knitting as I listen.

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And there are a few categories that I think I'm just going to let go - I took a shot, but I just can't bring myself to be interested enough to read a whole book about Fashion, or the Crimean War, or a couple of other categories, and I think I'm going to give myself a break on those.

 

Some historical romances I've read that have a Crimean War component ~

 

Love in the Afternoon (Hathaways Book 5) by Lisa Kleypas

 

This is a romance that has the heroine assuming someone else's identity and writing letters to the hero while he is serving in the Crimea.  There is also a PTSD aspect when the hero returns home.

 

Coming Home for Christmas: A Christmas in Paradise\O Christmas Tree\No Crib for a Bed  by Carla Kelly

 

One of the three stories in this collection is set in the Crimea.

 

 

Also a book I read some time ago for a challenge on another site.  Here's what I wrote then:

 

The Devil Lancer: A Novel of the Crimean War by Astrid Amara.

 

The events in this book took place in the 1850s primarily on the Crimean peninsula which is located in the Black Sea. I’d describe the story as a blend of historical and paranormal fiction. One of the main characters is a British captain in the Lancers division; the other is a half-Russian, half-English officer who is possessed by a demon. On the plus side, the book is incredibly well researched and it was an easy read. I learned about the Crimean war – the waiting, the boredom, the deaths from disease, cold, and fighting, the poor command. However, it took time for me to understand the story line, and I didn’t feel connected to either character. I’m happy to have read this book, but I don’t think it’s one I’ll be re-reading.  It's a male/male romance.

 

Regards,

Kareni

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Rose, you could also approach the Crimean War by reading something about Florence Nightingale or Alexis Soyer.

 

If push comes to shove, you can always do a picture book.  :biggrinjester:  Not that I've been known to do those <<cough, cough -- banned books week last year>>. (The Adventurous Chef: Alexis Soyer, which I read with my dc when they were younger, was where I first learned of Alexis Soyer.)

 

08-pict.jpg

 

Kareni, thanks for the awesome vampire book links! I want to toss Frankenstein books aside & go running off with armfuls of vampire books! Yes, poor old Frankenstein's creation -- shunned yet again by another human! :leaving:

 

Amy, have you guys read Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book? (I'm thinking surely you have. The first chapter is the scariest, imo. After that, it's a teeny weeny bit creepy, but it's really just charming. And I don't say that lightly about a book with "graveyard" in the title.) You can even watch/listen to Neil Gaiman read it here. A Night in the Lonesome October by Roger Zelazny might (might) also work for you & your family. (Any others want to pipe up with opinions on whether or not those books might work for Amy & family???)

 

 

Picture books!!! That could solve *all* my problems!!!!!  :biggrinjester:

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If we're pre-planning our Spooky Reading, I was going to read Maugham's The Magician, about a fictionalized Aleister Crowley. Jane?

 

 

Cakes and Ales is in my to-be-read stack since there always seems to be a Maugham or two hiding in the dusties.  The only version of The Magician available through my library is in audio.  So I think I'll say yes to a fictionalized Crowley in the hope that I make some progress on my knitting as I listen.

 

Ah!  It appears that old Alistair is at work!  I downloaded The Magician and discovered that the book that my library claims is by Somerset Maugham is really by someone named Sol Stein!

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I have spent a couple hours going over the lists provided by Kareni and Stacia. My holds are at the limit and my wish lists are full.....well not full because I think they hold 5000 books but a couple of pages are filled with spooky books. I think I 'm ready......

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I have spent a couple hours going over the lists provided by Kareni and Stacia. My holds are at the limit and my wish lists are full.....well not full because I think they hold 5000 books but a couple of pages are filled with spooky books. I think I 'm ready......

 

Clearly my job is done.

 

And, yes, I think you're ready.  Go, go, go!

 

Regards,

Kareni

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I'm caught up in War and Peace and even started to read a little in the next section.

 

I've been listening to Hamilton: the Revolution and while I'm finding it interesting there are some insider references that I don't get - both theater and hip-hop/rap insider references. Also, I'm not familiar with the big names in hip-hop so that also has me a little outside the loop as I listen. Still, I think anyone who like me is a fan of the soundtrack, and who has (unrealistic?) dreams of seeing the show before they die would probably like this. I haven't yet reached the part where Lin-Manuel Miranda reads, but Mariska Hargitay does a good job as narrator for her part.

 

I also decided it's time to get back to filling in my BaW bingo card. I started Hyperion for the outer space square. Dh read it and said he liked it overall but didn't like the ending and that he isn't really interested in reading the rest of the series. He started to say more but at that point I told him to stop telling me things because I want to read it and form my own opinion. :D

 

Also for bingo, I downloaded the sample of Den of Thieves for the finance square. It looks quite interesting (considering that many finance books are dull) but the Kindle version is $15 and my neither of my e-libraries has it. Thankfully my local library has a print copy so I placed a hold. 

 

I'm in the minority and didn't like The Historian. In fact, I couldn't finish it because I was so bored with it. 

 

I won't be reading a spooky October book but I'm looking forward to the birthstone challenge. I put Nicholas and Alexandra on my library wish list months ago and plan to read it for the A in Opal. Apparently no one else at my library is interested because every time I check the website the title is available. I'm still going to wait until Sunday to check it out so I can have it for more days in October than if I check it out today or tomorrow.

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Ah!  It appears that old Alistair is at work!  I downloaded The Magician and discovered that the book that my library claims is by Somerset Maugham is really by someone named Sol Stein!

Well that's no good. How about I read it quick and send it to you.

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Today I read with pleasure Murder in All Honour: A Doyle and Acton Mystery by Anne Cleeland.  This is the fifth book in the series that I've been inhaling. 

 

"Things are a bit grim at Scotland Yard, this Christmas. On the heels of a nasty corruption scandal, the CID must now contend with a killer who is murdering pregnant women, so as to steal their babies. Chief Inspector Acton doesn't want Doyle anywhere near this case, of course, but she can't shake the feeling that there is more to his concern than his usual over-protectiveness—and more to this case than the usual psycho-killer."

 

I also finished a reread the second book in the same series ~ Murder in Retribution (A New Scotland Yard Mystery)  by Anne Cleeland

 

Regards,

Kareni

 

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I'm working on clearing my virtual stack so I can start my spooky reads. I have several romances and a couple of cozies before I really dig in.

 

I finished JD Robb's Secrets in Death (#45) this morning https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32835140-secrets-in-death. I'm not sure if I am the first one to finish it or not. Robin doesn't have it listed in Good reads but she normally reads these on release day! ;) i am curious about her opinion. Being very picky here but my only complaints were a new character who took up way too much space (Dewinter) and a reference to a prior book that I couldn't remember (Magdalena). I could have used a bit more of a story recap considering it came from book 24......thank you google. I still enjoyed it immensely but am hoping Dewinter goes back into the background because the cast of regulars is already huge.

 

I gave up on Sarum for now. That's certainly one advantage with a book that hops through the century's with no consistent characters other than a couple of family names. Easy to put down for a month occasionally!

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:hurray:

 

I think I feel more able to aim above picture books (unlike last year). :lol:

 

How about one of the following banned classics?

  • Beloved or Song of Solomon, both by Toni Morrison
  • Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
  • The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
I have read (eons ago) The Catcher in the Rye but none of the others.

 

Or, if we want something from the most challenged list from 2016, there are some young adult books on there:

  • This One Summer written by Mariko Tamaki and illustrated by Jillian Tamaki
  • Drama written and illustrated by Raina Telgemeier
  • Two Boys Kissing written by David Levithan
  • or other YA ones on the list

So, select one of the above & that's what we'll tackle this year.

How about Catch-22? I haven't read it, and our book club just spent September reading WWII books and discussing them.

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On spooky reads...

 

Put me down as another that likes Dracula much more than Frankenstein.  I would love to see a copy of her original version before Percy Shelley "improved" it by making the language more flowery and overwrought.  

 

I love Dracula even though I'm not always a big fan of modern Vampire books.  Though I may have eaten through a bunch of the Anne Rice's books a number of years ago (which were okay and I eventually got tired of) and of course I love Buffy...  (but NOT Twilight, Vampire Diaries...)  I guess it has to be the right vampires. :lol:

 

The books I've been waiting for October to read/listen to:

 

- Something Wicked This Way Comes

- We Have Always Lived in the Castle

 

LOL, I'm not going to have a long list because I've got other bingo books to read.  And it seems my life has gotten busier this fall and I'm slowing down... ohnoes!

 

and I'm not sure if it counts as spooky (although, big cockroach...), but I think I may take a crack at Die Verwandlung/ The Metamporphosis by Kafka.  Since the only audio I managed to get ahold of recently was a Maya Angelou, I may take a crack at that row on BigBingo after all, and Kafka will fit nicely into the "Author I think I hate" row - I've read some Kafka before that annoyed me, but none of the famous stuff, although they've been on my 'should read' list forever... well, I may have actually read Die Verwandlung in college and put it out of my mind.  I know the plot, but is it because I read it or just because everyone knows the plot?...  But it's nice and short.  Don't think I want to pick a long book for that square...

 

 

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Yesterday I finished Intrusion by Mary McCluskey.  I am still kind of shaken by it.  It's about a couple who lose their 17yo son in a car accident and focuses on the wife's grief.  A woman she grew up with shows up.  She knows what grief is like as she recently lost her husband of 18 years.  The woman inserts herself into the couple's life and seems like she's being so helpful and loving and caring.  The ending is not what I expected in the least.  It was so disturbing.

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My nondriving son is volunteering at an Oktoberfest. A friend of mine was supposed to come to the Oktoberfest with me, but she is sick so I am here by myself for a few hours. Looking around, I am pretty darn sure I am the only person in the beer/music hall reading a book:)

 

ETA: Changed Octoberfest to Oktoberfest. I really should have known that.

Edited by Penguin
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A one day only classic that is currently free for Kindle readers ~

 

No Name by Wilkie Collins  

 

"A tragic tale of family and misfortune from the author of The Woman in White

When their beloved parents die in quick succession, Magdalen and Norah Vanstone find that their world has been torn asunder. Through a legal technicality, their father’s will renders them without a legitimate claim to their inheritance. All of their family’s money goes to their uncle, and the orphaned girls are left reeling. Reduced to utter poverty, Norah takes a job as a governess. But Magdalen is determined to win back what is rightfully theirs.
 
In this deft and moving story, Wilkie Collins weaves a powerful narrative of justice and familial bonds."

**

 

And a hodgepodge of other currently free books ~

 

 

The Stones Cry Out: Book 1 in the Raleigh Harmon mysteries  by Sibella Giorello  

 

Broken Skies by Theresa Kay

 

Goodnight  by Susie Tate

 

Regards,

Kareni

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Sounds good. I have always wanted to read it.

 

I finished Frankenstein's Monster by Susan Heyboer O'Keefe. It was disturbing & sad, yet the final few pages offered hope. I think she did a fair turn to the extended tale of Frankenstein's creature -- the story from his viewpoint, picking up where the original story stopped. Rose, since you like Frankenstein, this might be one you would want to read, if you haven't already read it.

 

That said, I'm not sure I'm in the mood to read further Frankenstein-themed/based stories. Both books, imo, range between intense rage & immense sadness. They're just harrowing.

 

 

The one Frankenstein-themed story that I absolutely love, love, love, is The Bride.  It's not a book but a movie, with Jennifer Beals and Sting of all people. (He is Frankenstein and she is the Bride of Frankenstein).  I don't remember who played the Monster, but he spent most of the movie traveling with a circus as a freak.  He is intelligent and conflicted about his humanity, not a witless brute like in most movie versions.  But I just loved that take on the story for some reason.  It ends with hope.

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My nondriving son is volunteering at an Octoberfest. A friend of mine was supposed to come to the Octoberfest with me, but she is sick so I am here by myself for a few hours. Looking around, I am pretty darn sure I am the only person in the beer/music hall reading a book:)

I have this odd vision of a woman reading while all around her people are dancing the Chicken Dance! :lol:

 

Stacia, I started listening to Stoker's Manuscript this afternoon. Just what I was looking for so thanks for the recommendation.

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I have this odd vision of a woman reading while all around her people are dancing the Chicken Dance! :lol:

 

:lol: No beer and no dancing for me, but I did eat well. Potato pancakes with applesauce, German potato salad, and sauerkraut. 

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I have this odd vision of a woman reading while all around her people are dancing the Chicken Dance! :lol:

 

Stacia, I started listening to Stoker's Manuscript this afternoon. Just what I was looking for so thanks for the recommendation.

 

Speaking of Chicken Dances . . . I just started listening to Love Among the Chickens! (Wodehouse)

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re: vampires

I have too many books from the library, but one in the pile that I'm saving for October is Soulless by Gail Carriger. Haven't started it. Don't know if it's properly spooky. But according to the blurb it does have vampires. I chose this by googling "best steampunk books" or something like that to find something for that bingo square. The book itself is of disappointingly small dimensions--hope the font size isn't ridiculous. I can't even read my old copy of Frankenstein because it's just not physically pleasing to read print that small and scrunched together. Here's the Soulless blurb:

 

Alexia Tarabotti is laboring under a great many social tribulations. First, she has no soul. Second, she's a spinster whose father is both Italian and dead. Third, she was rudely attacked by a vampire, breaking all standards of social etiquette. 

Where to go from there? From bad to worse apparently, for Alexia accidentally kills the vampire -- and then the appalling Lord Maccon (loud, messy, gorgeous, and werewolf) is sent by Queen Victoria to investigate. 

With unexpected vampires appearing and expected vampires disappearing, everyone seems to believe Alexia responsible. Can she figure out what is actually happening to 
London's high society? Will her soulless ability to negate supernatural powers prove useful or just plain embarrassing? Finally, who is the real enemy, and do they have treacle tart?

SOULLESS is the first book of the Parasol Protectorate series: a comedy of manners set in Victorian London, full of werewolves, vampires, dirigibles, and tea-drinking.

Edited by Ali in OR
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re: vampires

I have too many books from the library, but one in the pile that I'm saving for October is Soulless by Gail Carriger. Haven't started it. Don't know if it's properly spooky. But according to the blurb it does have vampires. I chose this by googling "best steampunk books" or something like that to find something for that bingo square. The book itself is of disappointingly small dimensions--hope the font size isn't ridiculous. I can't even read my old copy of Frankenstein because it's just not physically pleasing to read print that small and scrunched together. Here's the Soulless blurb:

 

Alexia Tarabotti is laboring under a great many social tribulations. First, she has no soul. Second, she's a spinster whose father is both Italian and dead. Third, she was rudely attacked by a vampire, breaking all standards of social etiquette. 

Where to go from there? From bad to worse apparently, for Alexia accidentally kills the vampire -- and then the appalling Lord Maccon (loud, messy, gorgeous, and werewolf) is sent by Queen Victoria to investigate. 

 

With unexpected vampires appearing and expected vampires disappearing, everyone seems to believe Alexia responsible. Can she figure out what is actually happening to London's high society? Will her soulless ability to negate supernatural powers prove useful or just plain embarrassing? Finally, who is the real enemy, and do they have treacle tart?

 

SOULLESS is the first book of the Parasol Protectorate series: a comedy of manners set in Victorian London, full of werewolves, vampires, dirigibles, and tea-drinking.

 

I read that for my Steampunk square. Parts of it I really liked - it had an excellent heroine - but I personally don't like romance novels where there is making out (meaning, Flufferton yes, Harlequin no thanks).  I don't mind sex being part of the story, but I don't like it to be written in a way that seems like it's directed at arousing the reader, as opposed to describing what the character is experiencing. For me, this book erred too much toward the former. But I realize I'm pretty conservative in my reading choices - in this one small way - so YMMV.

 

My first thought was that Soulless was going to be like The Grand Sophy but with vampires & werewolves. But someone let Fern Michaels in there somewhere.

Edited by Chrysalis Academy
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I'm working on clearing my virtual stack so I can start my spooky reads. I have several romances and a couple of cozies before I really dig in.

 

I finished JD Robb's Secrets in Death (#45) this morning https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32835140-secrets-in-death. I'm not sure if I am the first one to finish it or not. Robin doesn't have it listed in Good reads but she normally reads these on release day! ;) i am curious about her opinion. Being very picky here but my only complaints were a new character who took up way too much space (Dewinter) and a reference to a prior book that I couldn't remember (Magdalena). I could have used a bit more of a story recap considering it came from book 24......thank you google. I still enjoyed it immensely but am hoping Dewinter goes back into the background because the cast of regulars is already huge.

 

I gave up on Sarum for now. That's certainly one advantage with a book that hops through the century's with no consistent characters other than a couple of family names. Easy to put down for a month occasionally!

I'm horrible with updating Goodreads and usually end up doing it the end of the year.  I got Secrets on release day and thoroughly enjoyed it and am listening in audiobook format at the present. Loving all the interplay between characters as usual and with every story discover something new about Eve and/or Roark.  Yes, DeWinter is sort of abrasive but don't mind her.  My favorite series of course, which is why I end up rereading the whole thing every couple years.  

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I finished reading Any Way You Dream It by Monique McDonell.  HUGE need of an editor for this one.  Seriously, does it not embarrass one to put a book with so many errors up for sale?!?!  The story was predictable.  It ended precisely how I wanted it to end.  However, the two main characters got so irritating that by the end I didn't much care if it ended the way I wanted it to.

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I love Spooky month. Just because I found my mystery book doesn't mean I am not willing to try others. So if someone else has a favourite please let me know. I plan to immerse myself in spooky! ;)

Besides The Historian, I enjoyed Vlad by C.C. Humphries, Dracula The Undead by Dacre Stoker, Anno Dracula by Kim Newman, Vampire's Violin by Michael Romkey as well as cozy mystery ghost story by cleo coyle aka Alice Kimberly The Ghost and Mrs. McClure

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