Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Random End-of-Summer Book Haul Continues...

Well, damn.  Just when I hauled one set of books, here comes another.  Friday, it appears, I lost control with book hauling.  No worries.  All this was less than $7.
Since I’m suddenly on a “replenishing my love of fantasy” kick, I finagled my way to books #3 [Phoenix and Ashes] and #4 [The Wizard of London] in Mercedes Lackey’s Elemental Masters series.  I bought them in the same place (public library used bookstore) for the same $1 price.  Apiece.  I figured why the hell not, before someone gets to them first.  After all, I noticed book #5 had suddenly went missing after my previous visit.  So I hurriedly grabbed these two.  

Monday, August 15, 2016

Random Mini Book Haul (SO RANDOM)

After reading The Serpent’s Shadow, I was still in the air about how quickly I wanted to pick up another Mercedes Lackey Elemental Masters book.  Removing this post from all the details on that hesitation, I’ll just link to my video thoughts on the book.  Nevertheless, it goes without saying that if you find a book you’re even slightly interested in nudged on a shelf for a $1, you may as well get it.  So, as luck would have it, I got this pristine copy of the second book in Lackey’s Elemental Masters series, The Gates of Sleep.  Why the hell not, eh?  Might as well for the future.
(Goodreads info on the book is linked HERE!)
Now this next book was one that had me gasping when I uncovered it during the whole browsing process.  Seriously, I was that surprised and pumped with glee.  A Cold Day for Murder is the first book in Dana Stabenow’s Alaska-based Kate Shugak mystery series.  I bought the third book back in March.  Needless to say, it’s been sitting around waiting on the first.  But, no lie, I really couldn’t believe my eyes when this book struck me.
(Goodreads info on the book is linked HERE!)
Well, that’s it.  Not really intentional, but hey.  When you’re in the stacks, you’re in the stacks!
Carry on.

Final Thoughts | The Serpent's Shadow by Mercedes Lackey (VIDEO)

Final Thoughts | A Perfect Blood by Kim Harrison (VIDEO)

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Elizabeth Peters' Laughing Mummy Case

By this book we’ve established that British socialite turn Egyptologist, Amelia Peabody, is a wife and mother.  A series told in her first-person narrative, it's clear this life change is an adjustment of sorts.  Especially from the solitary life she led in the first book.  Now Amelia, her husband Radcliffe, and their four-year-old son heighten the thrill of her adventures.  As well as comedy.
As for the third book, The Mummy Case, Amelia’s infamous archaeologist and Egyptologist husband has been invited to a pyramid excavation.  Or, to be clear, he’s prompted dispatched to sniffle among the rubble of an abandoned excavation.  Somewhat at arms length, archaeologist in his profession never really wants him around.  He’s known as the “Father of Curses,” and is thus better left on the outskirts of any great discovery.  
Angered by this, Amelia’s husband decides to take on the "rubble" task anyway.  Gathering his wife and son, he ships his family out of England and into Egypt.  There may be nothing in and on this barren excavation handed to him, but he’ll make do to prove something to the rejecters of his talents as an archaeologist.  He has his pride and dignity after all, as well as a crew of shaky–but fiercely loyal–crewmen.  
But matters get choppy when his wife starts snooping around the crime scene of an antiques dealer she recently visited, for a scrap of papyrus.  Then an excavated Mummy case goes missing.  A suspicious Christian fellowship begins banning citizens together in the nearby village, but with their own secrets of abuse to hide.  An equally suspicious gang made up of Egyptian men are boiling for a fight to kick the fellowship out of their village.  And, eventually, Emerson, Amelia, and Ramses find themselves buried in the well of a pyramid.  While a killer runs loose covering his tracks.
Sounds like a lot, right?  Well, it’s an adventure that shouldn’t be missed!

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Catch Rita Mae Brown's Cat

So what exactly is going on in Rita Mae Brown’s Cat as Cat Can, book #10 in her popular Mrs. Murphy pet detective cozy series?  Well, as always with these books, the story opens up with the change of seasons; in this particular entry, it’s finally spring again.  And with spring comes the blossoming of special events in the small town of Crozet, Virginia.  This spring, it’s time for the residents to get dolled up for the annual Dogwood Festival.  Meanwhile, strange occurrences are happening around town.  And with Crozet’s postmistress, Minor “Harry” Haristeen, somewhere in the middle of said occurrences. 
It started with a dead woodpecker found on her back porch.  Before one of her cats could take the bird’s corpse into its claws, Harry snatches it up.  Because of the bird's uniqueness, she plans to take it to a local taxidermist.  And, while going about her business, Harry then finds her friend, Miranda Hogendobber, in the midst of a hubcap robbery.  Miranda walked into a local grocery store, and walked out to find someone swiped her hubcaps in a blink.  Considering the hubcaps' worth, Miranda, Harry, and Deputy Cynthia Cooper make way to the local salvage yard first.
But then the bodies start piling up.  It began with one of the owners of the salvage yard turning up dead, and follows with the taxidermist Harry visited only days before with her dead woodpecker.
Believing the two deaths are connected, Harry investigates.  And as she gets closer to the killer, her team of pets have to stay miles ahead of her to keep her safe.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Library Reserves Came Through. Too Soon, Though?

So what do you do when you’ve put together this amazing monthly TBR (video and all) to keep you reading, while you wait on your library reserves to come in?  And what do you do when the catch is that the waiting time was shorter than you anticipated?  Talk about my inexperience with the whole reserving books thing.  

I just happened to stop by the library to get some blog posts drafts done, when I realized the books I placed on reserve Tuesday were in (didn’t exactly receive that email notification I, ahem, signed for).  What’s a guy to do?  Stick to the TBR and take breaks between planned reading?
Anyway, per my recent rash of Anna Pigeon obsessed posts, I finally got a copy of Barr’s latest Pigeon book, Boar Island (Anna Pigeon #19).  After this, I’ll be done with Anna Pigeon for another two years.  At least I believe Barr's next book is due in 2018.  Anyway, not exactly impressed with the turn out of Pigeon’s 18th adventure, Destroyer Angel, I have to admit that I’m kind of ready to finish this up and go on hiatus.  The last few books in the series were hit-or-miss.  And the worse yet was book #16, Burn.  I haven’t been hearing a lot of good reviews on Boar Island; some reviewers citing there is less Anna and too much returning characters from her previous adventure.  One reviewer even suggested readers skip to the last 50 pages and call it a day.  We’ll see.  Knowing this book will involve a few characters from the previous book, I have to say I’m not exactly excited to revisit them either.  You know how it is, when the star of the show isn’t present.
And finally another China Bayles book.  Haven’t read her since mid-May, when I finished book #6 in the series, Love Lies Bleeding.  Literally been waiting around for a copy of book #7, Chile Death.  And now it’s in my hands.  Rented, but present.  Looks like China will be attending an annual chili cook-off in her home of Pecan Springs, Texas.  Evidently a cook-off judge dies from an allergic reaction to peanuts.  But who puts peanuts in a pot of chili?  Somebody who knew exactly what he or she were doing.  That’s who!
Anyway, here’s to more fun summer reads.

Do you reserve library books often?  And when they come in, do you drop what you're reading to get into your reserves?

Thursday, August 4, 2016

3 Moments (Among Many) Ruth Pointer's Autobiography Gave Feels

Often an autobiographer’s life story is what it is.  Aside from vague descriptions, missing stamps in its chronological makeup, and the ever so unhelpful broken grammar; what can I say about someone’s personal story at the end of the day?  I guess I could go in deep on why I’ve chosen to read an individual’s autobiography.  But in this matter there’s no fuss; I’m a fan of Ruth Pointer.  And, well, I wanted to get to know her story beyond tabloids and news bulletins of days past.  So here arrives her autobiography, Still So Excited.  

Though, given, she’s not the type of celebrity to draw that much attention to herself.  At least not beyond her and her group’s heydays during the 1980’s.  Nonetheless, I’m here–as a fan of this melodic contralto voice.  And instead of running down her story with a boring review, I wanted to share what hit me most within her journey.  It’s my way of delving into the death of her sister and band mate, June.  And on into Ruth’s upbringing, stardom, addictions, and eventual change in life.  All while playing my favorite Pointer numbers in my ear buds as I type away.

Ruth On Individuality and Authority
“My resentment of authority and those who wielded it manifested itself in different ways.  I remember the first time was when I was in third grade at Cole Elementary School.  My teacher was Mrs. Bolin, an elderly white woman who didn’t bother checking her obvious distaste for people of color at the schoolhouse door.  One day she was conducting a reading group in front of the class.  I was sitting in the back row reading a book and eating an apple when all of a sudden Mrs. Bolin charged up and yelled, ‘I said no talking!’  Then she slapped me hard in the face. 
“Turning the other check never even occurred to me.  Instead, I stood up, yelled ‘I wasn’t talking!’ and slapped her back.”

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