Saturday Miscellany—10/12/19

Yeah, I’ve been quiet this week, I’ve been running on fumes for most of it, I’m not sure why. Given the number of Book Tour Stops I’ve got scheduled for next week, I’ll be a little noisier (or, I’ll have a few tour organizers and authors not speaking to me).

But that’s for another day (at least Tuesday). For now, here are the odds ‘n ends over the week about books and reading that caught my eye. You’ve probably seen some/most/all of them, but just in case:

    A Book-ish Related Podcast Episode you might want to give a listen to:

  • Once & Future Podcast, Ep. 200: Felicia Day—Anton Strout celebrates his 200th episode with this great chat with Felicia Day (I’ve got to make time for this book)

    This Week’s New Releases include one book I’ve already read and three that sound like they’d be up my alley, but I don’t know if I’ll manage to get to (make sure you click the links to get the full blurbs on these):

  • The Princess Beard by Kevin Hearne, Delilah S. Dawson—high seas adventure, hijinks, many jokes, many elf butts and personal growth are featured in this concluding Tale of Pell. My original post is here.
  • Look Both Ways:
    A Tale Told in Ten Blocks
    by Jayson Reynolds—a novel told in ten stories about what happens after the school bell rings and people walk home. There’s also a bus falling from the sky that no one notices.
  • How Rory Thorne Destroyed the Multiverse by K. Eason—a mix of Fairy-Tale and Space Opera
  • Tuesday Mooney Talks to Ghosts by Kate Racculia—a dying billionaire sends one woman and a cast of dreamers and rivals on a treasure hunt.

Lastly, yesterday I posted a couple of things with a new bullet style (in case you’re one of the 2% that noticed), today, I’m back to ol’ reliable. What do you think—are those others too much for a post like this? Would it just make things too noisy?

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Universal Monster Book Tag


Witty and Sarcastic Book Club tagged me in her little creation—a tag based on Universal’s Classic Movie Monsters. There’s a lot of recency bias in my pics, but oh well—I liked the list. I really need to do more things like this, it was fun.

While trying to come up with the last couple of entries for this, I took a Facebook break and read a couple of posts on a Nero Wolfe fan group, and realized I could fill my blanks from that Corpus. Then it occurred to me that I could do one of these with entries only from the Nero Wolfe series. Or, the Spenser series. Huh. (I’d have trouble with some other series depending how you define “sequel” below). Watch me control the impulse.

bullet Dracula: a book with a charismatic villain
The Silence of the Lambs
My Pick: Gotta go with Hannibal Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs, every other charismatic villain I can think of pales in comparison.
Bonus Nero Wolfe Pick: (yeah, so much for restraint—this was a fun additional challenge) Paul Chapin in The League of Frightened Men (my post about the book)
Bonus Spenser Pick: The Gray Man in Small Vices

bullet The Invisible Man: A book that has more going on than meets the eye
The Last Adventure of Constance Verity
My Pick: The Last Adventure of Constance Verity by A. Lee Martinez (my post about the book)
Bonus Nero Wolfe Pick: Even in the Best Families
Bonus Spenser Pick: Early Autumn

bullet Wolf-Man: A complicated character
Needle Song
My Pick: Doc Slidesmith in Needle Song (my post about the book)
Bonus Nero Wolfe Pick: Can I just use Nero Wolfe? Eh, Orrie Cather in A Family Affair
Bonus Spenser Pick: Patricia Utley in Mortal Stakes

bullet Frankenstein: A book with a misunderstood character
The Unkindest Tide
My Pick: The Luidaeg in The Unkindest Tide by Seanan McGuire (my post about the book)
Bonus Nero Wolfe Pick: Over My Dead Body (my post about the book)
Bonus Spenser Pick: Hawk, A Promised Land

bullet The Bride of Frankenstein: A sequel you enjoyed more than the first book
Stoned Love
My Pick: Stoned Love by Ian Patrick (my post about the book)
Bonus Nero Wolfe Pick: The League of Frightened Men (yeah, that’s the second time this shows up, but it’s the sequel…) (my post about the book)
Bonus Spenser Pick: God Bless the Child

bullet Creature from the Black Lagoon: An incredibly unique book
A Star-Reckoner's Lot

(there’s a better cover now, but this is the first)

My Pick: A Star-Reckoner’s Lot by Darrell Drake (my post about the book)
Bonus Nero Wolfe Pick: Some Buried Ceasar (my post about the book)
Bonus Spenser Pick: A Savage Place

bullet The Mummy: A book that wraps up nicely (see what I did there?)
Every Heart a Doorway
My Pick: Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire (my post about the book)
Bonus Nero Wolfe Pick: This applies to almost every one of them, I’m going to go with The Doorbell Rang
Bonus Spenser Pick: The Judas Goat

I’m not going to tag anyone, but I’d encourage any reader to give it a shot. I’d like to see your lists.

Also, I’ve been thinking for awhile I needed to do a re-read of the Spenser series. This post has convinced me I really need to get on that.

WWW Wednesday, 10-October-2019

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! I haven’t been able to get as much finished as I’ve wanted to since Thursday, so why not try something simple?

This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived on Taking on a World of Words — and shown to me by Aurore-Anne-Chehoke at Diary-of-a-black-city-girl.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Easy enough, right?

What are you currently reading?

The current thing I’ve got going is listening to the audiobook of This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper, Ramon De Ocampo (narrator).

What did you recently finish reading?

I just finished Don’t Get Involved by F. J. Curlew and will be posting both my take on the book and a Q&A with the author next week.

What do you think you’ll read next?

My next book will probably be The Dead of Winter by A.B. Gibson, an Appalachian Trail Murder Mystery.

Hit me with your Three W’s in the comments!

Opening Lines—System Failure by Joe Zieja

Head & Shoulders used to tell us that, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” That’s true for wearing dark shirts, and it’s especially true for books. Sometimes the characters will hook the reader, sometimes the premise, sometimes it’s just knowing the author—but nothing beats a great opening for getting a reader to commit. This is one of the better openings I’ve read recently. I’m sure we can all relate to it.

Lucinda Hiri was pretty sure taking over the galaxy hadn’t been in the job description when she was offered this intern position six months ago. Then again, it wasn’t impossible. The Snaggardir corporation’s paperwork was notoriously long and detailed, vetted by droves of lawyers at every level of approval to make sure that the language had all the right loopholes in all the right places. Lucinda supposed that somewhere on page 356 there could have been a small asterisk that said “in the event a nascent people rise up after two hundred years of secret collusion, you will be required to take detailed notes at their strategy meetings.”

It had seemed like a dream come true at the time. Sal Snaggardir and his family’s company were arguably the most powerful economic force in the galaxy. The possibilities for her career as a businesswoman were endless. Not liking interning at some space technology company on Urp, where she would likely move laterally for the entirety of her disappointing, coffee-supported life. Snaggardir’s was the place to make it big.

In retrospect, though Lucinda should have noticed that Mr. Snaggardir was trying to conceal just how big his company had gotten. Subsidiary corporations literally thousands of banks all across the galaxy holding funds under different names, and that nondisclosure agreement she signed threatening to eradicate her family line if she ever told anyone anything about the company. The legal department said that was boilerplate, and, really, what did she know? She was just a thirty-year-old unpaid intern with three advanced degrees in business arts.

from System Failure by Joe Zieja

Saturday Miscellany—10/5/19

A brief one this week—but such is the joy of being miscellaneous, right? Here are the odds ‘n ends over the week about books and reading that caught my eye. You’ve probably seen some/most/all of them, but just in case:

Lastly, I’d like to say hi and extend a warm welcome to Mohit Malviya, jackiesreadingcorner, and Patrick Lynn for following the blog this week. Don’t be a stranger, and use that comment box, would you?

WWW Wednesday, 2-October-2019

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! It’s been a while since I’ve done this, I figured it was time to dust this off.

This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived on Taking on a World of Words — and shown to me by Aurore-Anne-Chehoke at Diary-of-a-black-city-girl.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Easy enough, right?

What are you currently reading?

I’m a little over one-third done with the audiobook for Last Argument of Kings by Joe Abercrombie, narrated by Steven Pacey. I read this a few years ago, and have forgotten almost all of it (I remembered most of the first two volumes). I’m having a blast with it. I’m also about 80 pages away from finishing System Failure by Joe Zieja. This Sci-fi comedy trilogy is one of my favorites from the last few years, and it’s going out strong.

What did you recently finish reading?

Monday, I finished Justice Gone by N. Lombardi Jr and Ghosts of You by Cathy Ulrich. I’ll be posting about these both over the next couple of days.

What do you think you’ll read next?

I’m not sure what my next audiobook will be, I should probably figure that out before my commute tomorrow. My next book will probably be A Bloody Arrogant Power by Malcolm J Wardlaw, a near-future dystopia seems like a good follow-up to a comedic space opera.

Hit me with your Three W’s in the comments!

Celebrate the Little Things book tag


Witty and Sarcastic Book Club tagged me in this, and it seemed like a nice way to take a moment and take a look at things. Like she said, it’s good to celebrate the little things. Because really, the little things add up to the big things.

⇒ Who was your very first follower? If you can still find it out, then tag them and give them a shout out!
Shannon A. Thompson, she jumped on during the first week and hooked me up with a couple of books/book tours after that. It’s been a couple of years since we’ve interacted. But she’s still on board, so, hey—thanks!! It was an ego boost then, and even another one now.

⇒ What was the last milestone you reached?
100 NetGalley reviews—just last week. Honestly, I’m bad at noting milestones, so it’s kind of noteworthy that I can even list one.

⇒ What was the very first post you posted on your blog? Share it with us!
Cleverly entitled, Getting Started, was the first thing I posted here. I added some other posts with earlier dates, to match the day I wrote the review on Goodreads and to add some content. 2,400+ posts later, I’m still kicking.

⇒ Who was your most recent follower? Tag them and give them a shout out!
My most recent follower was Patrick Lynn—and I can see myself spending a lot of time on his blog.

⇒ What was the last post you posted and who was the very first person who took their time to click the like button?
My last post was Pub Day Repost: A Time Traveler’s Theory of Relativity by Nicole Valentine: A Captivating MG Mix of Science and Magic and the first to like it was Mohit Malviya

⇒ How many months have you been blogging for?
Here? I’ve been blogging for 74 months. But I’ve been blogging for 204 months (long enough that I had to break out the calculator to get that number. I was an English major).

⇒ Do you have any bloggers you’re friends with? Give them a shout out!
And here’s where I leave someone off the list and cause offense. Great fun.</sarcasm>. I’d list Bookstooge, SC Flynn (who has pretty much disappeared, but was a reliable presence long enough to leap to mind). Paul’s Picks, Witty and Sarcastic, and Emma at damppebbles would be the stand-outs now.

⇒ Who originally created the last meme or tag you participateId in? Give them a shout out!
I really don’t do a lot of memes/tags (but I enjoy it when I do, I should do more). This summer, I did a few WWW Wednesdays. It was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived on Taking on a World of Words—and shown to me by Aurore-Anne-Chehoke at Diary-of-a-black-city-girl.

⇒ Have you any social media related to your blog? Share it with us!
Facebook
Twitter
Tumblr
Booklikes
Bloglovin’

⇒ Last but not least, give thanks to all of your followers.
I’ll do a better job on Nov. 28 (well, history suggests I will, who knows what’ll happen between now and then). But I do honestly appreciate those who read this; comment here; follow on the blog or one of the social media sites I posted above or e-mail; talk to me about what I post or books in general. You legitimize my hobby/obsession and I appreciate it.

One more thanks that I should give—my youngest son put that little graphic together for me. I expect to get a few more out of him soon.

I’m not going to tag anyone, but I’d encourage any reader to give it a shot. It’s a fun exercise.