Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Got the NEW Patricia Cornwell Kay Scarpetta Book...

Unnatural Death
, BABY! Happy Release Day! Can't believe I've been reading Kay Scarpetta's crime-filled adventures for fourteen years now. Never missed a book since 2009! And why should I when Kay Scarpetta is my literary aunt in my head. 

Anyway, I'll never forget that night in July 2009 where--after having bought the book the year previous--I laid across my bed and read The Body Farm in its entirety during one long night. I've been hooked on the series since! 

I've held out throughout the not-so-great "hard" books. Loved time spent during Kay's revival era ten years ago. And love Kay in her newfound era where more of the peculiar is fused into her medical examiner cases. Such as the illusion of Bigfoot trampling over two rogue government officials taking refuge in the Virginia woodlands.

Or... so it all seems...

CHOP IT UP: Spirit of the Wood by Kristen Britain


Sunday, November 19, 2023

A Relaxed Reading Update of the Top 100 Mystery Novels of All Time

Anyway, two two-way ways to support the channel... Books mentioned in the video are (Amazon affiliate link): 1. The Circular Staircase by Mary Roberts Rinehart 2. The Hot Rock by Donald E. Westlake 3. The Firm by John Grisham *** Though it's to be fully determined after I finish my own project (currently in the works); I am an affiliate with BookBud.ai and welcome you to check out the site via my affiliate link above ***


Tuesday, November 14, 2023

How My Reading Kitchen Table Be...









Thursday, November 9, 2023

CHOP IT UP: They Shoot Horses, Don't They by

They Shoot Horses, Don't They? (1935) follows the story of an aspiring movie director named Robert. It also follows an aspiring actress (film extra) named Gloria. The story begins with Robert on trial for Gloria's murder, the circumstances of which revert back to when the two met each other outside of Paramount Studios. At the studio gates, both appeared hoping to run into someone who would give them access to their dreams and desires (though Gloria is trying to catch a bus up out of there). 

Nevertheless, where Robert is still ambitious and hopeful, Gloria is the exact opposite. She is overtly pessimistic, depressed, and downright bitter. Regardless, as an increased effort to be seen by the big wigs of Hollywood, the two enter a dancehall marathon. Surely "Hollywood" would be in the audience looking for new talent, right? Well, more or less. Within this dancehall marathon the story spirals, resulting in Gloria's murder by Robert. And it's her murder that doubles as the answer to the book title's question: They Shoot Horses, Don't They?

I actually enjoyed the book. But not for the reason many might think. Yes, the book hosts subtle (and some cases, not so...) racial overtones, bigotry, sexism, and a host of other issues that cropped up from this book written in the 1930s. Most of that is to be expected for an American noir piece of its time. However, I think what might make many readers wince is the insistence of the character of Gloria's desire to be dead. 

And, yet, with her every utterance and aggressive behavior on display, I found her both fascinatingly relatable and—quite frankly—funny. She had a lot of gall because she spoke truth to other characters. She was just so abrasive. So pessimistic. So, what I've gathered that hit home to me: TIRED OF EVERYTHING. Or, as exemplified by the metaphor of the dancehall marathon, she was tired of spending her life in circles trying to find a way out. 

Meanwhile, Gloria saw through how many of the other characters laid into their facades, such as the two older ladies who interrupted the marathon to preach about the morality of the contestants. According to Gloria, in regards to these ladies' daughters (she assumed they had daughters):
…”That’s generally what happens to daughters of reformers,” Gloria said. “Sooner or later they all get laid and most of ‘em don’t know enough to keep from getting knocked up. You drive ‘em away from home with your goddam lectures on purity and decency, and you’re too busy meddling around to teach ‘em the facts of life—“
That was one of many examples of Gloria.

Anyway, love her or hate her. She was a character.

In the end, Gloria ruined Robert's life. But did she, really? The two had a choice. Gloria could have chosen to keep living. And Robert did not have to kill Gloria to set her free of her suffering. And, one could say, of his suffering from her insufferable presences and thirst for her own death as a release. In the end, Gloria won. As she corrupted and ruined his life and got the death that she wanted.

The funny thing about such final thoughts is that--like the dancehall marathon--the reader could go in circles about it. Still, I understood Gloria. I got it. She was hurt. Broken. Bitter. Tired. And just wanted out. It's depressing.

As someone who absolutely loved the character of Gloria, what can I say? Other than I feel like her sometimes myself. The shit just made sense, Gloria. It made sense. (And I'm leaving this on a fun note.)

Tuesday, November 7, 2023

First November 2023 New Releases are in...

November is already feeling kind of spicy and exciting. Don't quite know where to start. But these are at least four books on my November 2023 Reading Menu! FYI. Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros made a surprise TBR visit, after having been recommended/suggested to me multiple times by different people since its release back in May. For once--which rarely EVER happens--I decided to bite the bullet and see what all the hype is about. Either way, let's go NOVEMBER Reading!

Edit: I'm about to go finish playing Alan Wake II while I'm between books!

November 2023 TBR Menu

Naturally, as all readers understand, this is fairly tentative. The idea is to read all the new releases I'm looking forward to, catch up on a series I gorged on back in July, and support an independent author. With that said, I just thought the whole dang thing was cute. You know, putting said TBR (tentatively) onto a makeshift wedding menu. How classy we've gotten lately.

FYI. The ultra-popular Rebecca Yarros book is on there because I kept hearing good things about it. While I'm not into dragons, I kind of decided I'd give it a try. See what all the fuss is about. Which is SO not like me. Anyway, bon appetit!

Monday, November 6, 2023

3 authors I would like to have lunch with…

...and the single question I would ask them...

1. Toni Morrison

1987’s Beloved blessed you with a Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1988. Do you think the esteemed and prized recognition you received for Beloved put pressure on your following efforts? I ask this because I have always had a difficult time finding myself immersed in your books post-Beloved. Due to this overwhelming feeling with trying to reach for the stories and plots behind the heavier prose. Sometimes I--as the reader--would just like the know what's going on.

2. Sue Grafton

How did you manage to get inside of my head to create a literary figure (as well as mystery genre icon) somehow incredibly relatable to me as Kinsey Millhone? Her wit, no-nonsense attitude, inconsistencies, and loner-ish-ness is so ME!

3. Mercedes Lackey

You come up with some great fantasy ideas. However, I sometimes tend to love your storytelling, while struggling with some of the directions you take with your plot. Then, on occasion, it’s the other way around where the plot supersedes your storytelling. So my question is how often do you allow your characters to dictate your story to release yourself from a functioning, well-rounded plot? Some of your books often leave great storytelling potential on the table [plot]. Such as the mother in the first Bardic Voices book.

Sunday, November 5, 2023

My Favorite Bookmarks I Own

Man, I love bookmarks. But, at the same time, know I can't own (nor necessarily use) all that I come across. Regardless, the last thing I do when I go to a bookstore is look through the bookmarks. Shoot!, sometimes I be knocking them all over the floor trying to find one I like. Overtime I've collected more than a much needed few. And these are my favorite bookmarks I alternate with--per whatever book I'm reading at the time. 

Sometimes I kind of place a book's theme with an adjacent bookmark. Like if I'm reading fantasy with a young woman in lead, I'll use my Alice in Wonderland bookmark. Or say I'm reading a mystery; Buffy's my go-to. It's not a strict kind of thing, but just something fun I like to do.

It's clear that I'm a Golden Girls fan. As for my Jacob bookmark from the Twilight series, clearly it's been around for a longggggg time.

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