Showing posts with label Books. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Books. Show all posts

Saturday, December 19, 2020

Saturday Night Clean-Up

You know what this means...?  Time to clean up and get rid of some books!  What's going to make the cut?


Tuesday, July 21, 2020

We Got Some NEW Black Mysteries Up in HERE!

Ahhhh, some black writers writing mysteries.  Should I scream once again on how excited one is?  I mean, I have been doing so up and down these blogging streets for over seven years now.  Ain’t a thing gon’ change either?  Anyway, here’s what I got.  Two released in 2020 (one as recently as last week), and a newfound series came falling into my lap.  For more info click the links below (they are Amazon affiliate).







Monday, May 4, 2020

A Special Video Blog Exclusive: "Build Your Investigator" TAG


What's up those who've managed to read this. I'm doing something a little unusual here in two or three ways. First: I've created a TAG video. Two: This video was suppose to be up in March as my last #MarchMysteryMadness video. The lag has to do with me deciding to take some time to be "still" in regards to this virus business ripping up the world. And to spend a little time off BookTube to focus on just life (or preparation in this case) and family matters. I hope everyone is doing okay during this time. Stay safe and keep your prayers up! As for the TAG questions: 1. Name Your Investigator 2. How would your investigator get involved with his/her first crime/case? 3. What's your investigator's appearance like? 4. What's your investigator's financial status and goals like? 5. What's your investigator's background like? 6. What's your investigator's talents, skills and values? 7. What's your investigator's personality like?

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

6 Ways I Try to “Save a Little Change at the Bookstore Retail Chains”



1.  JOIN MEMBERSHIP PROGRAMS

Yearly, shell out the $25 for your favorite bookstore chain‘s membership program. You’ll earn it back in savings before long, especially as it concerns saving 10% on purchases. Plus, free shipping! I don’t know about you, but I hate paying for shipping. That’s one reason why I keep up with my memberships, as well as subscribe to Amazon prime. (Off course: I won’t buy anything off Fingerhut unless free shipping pops up as an offering.) No, for real; I love being a member. The added benefit is it cuts the bookseller from giving you his or her pitch to become one.


2. HIT UP THE BARGAIN SECTION FIRST

New releases take something like twelve months at least to hit the bargain/remainder section. So you may find a cheaper deal there. Such as a newly released mass market’s hardback counterpart a full 90% off from its original price. Which, in turn, stomps on the mass market's current price. Plus, that area has better deals on exclusive classics you may be interested in reading. And don't get me started on how you can use that area to racked up on book-ish gifts. Whether it's a book, stationary supplies, diaries, or neat little ole kits; there's always something to be had in the bargain section.


3.  SIGN UP FOR COUPONS & MASSAGE THE SYSTEM 


Member or not, coupons are available by simply signing up to receive emails. While I’ve never received physical coupons in the mail from Books-A-Million, they do offer the use of coupon scans via your cell phone. Super convenient! However, Barnes & Noble periodically send physical coupons in the mail. They usually come around certain holidays and all throughout the summer months. So sign up to receive emails. But also remember to delete those emails quickly if you've placed your book spending on a budget. Because we all know how inciting the situation can get with those blood-red numbers reading a certain percentage off.


Thursday, September 5, 2019

NEW RELEASE ~ J D Robb's Vendetta in Death ~ Eve Dallas Came to Town Again


Vendetta in Death by J. D. Robb (Amazon affiliate link)

"She calls herself Lady Justice. And once she has chosen a man as her target, she turns herself into a tall blonde or a curvaceous redhead, makes herself as alluring and seductive as possible to them. Once they are in her grasp, they are powerless. 
The first victim is wealthy businessman Nigel McEnroy. His company’s human resources department has already paid out settlements to a couple of his young victims―but they don’t know that his crimes go far beyond workplace harassment. Lady Justice knows. And in one shocking night of brutality, she makes him pay a much steeper price. 
Now Eve Dallas and her husband, Roarke, are combing through the evidence of McEnroy’s secret life. His compulsive need to record his misdeeds provides them with a wide range of suspects, but the true identity of Lady Justice remains elusive. It’s a challenging case, made even more difficult by McEnroy’s widow, who reacts to the investigation with fury, denial, and threats. Meanwhile, Lady Justice’s criminal crusade is escalating rapidly, and if Eve can’t stop this vigilante, there’s no telling how much blood may be spilled…"


Wednesday, April 10, 2019

A Little Library Book LOVE

I love my public library. No, I mean I loveeeee [insert expletive] that place. I’m there 1-2 times a week. And, even as I write this, I want to make a library run. Depending on how sunny it is outside; that place is one of the first stops I like to get out to. Skip the lunch date, eh? Well, unless it's with somebody cute and interesting to talk to. As well as more engaging than a book.

Anyway, there are thousands of reasons why I (and everyone else I hope) love his or her public library. Yet, I wanted to talk about one superficial and simple reason why I love library books themselves. We’ll consider this an off-beat and celebrator post on library book love.

Recently, with purpose, I shelved my trade paperback copy of Nanjing Requiem by Ha Jin. Why? Because I favored my library’s hardback copy. Beforehand, I couldn’t read my book club edition copy of Gary Phillips’ High Hand. So, instead, checked out my library’s copy.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

CHOP IT UP: The Sailor Who Fell From Grace With the Sea by Yukio Mishima

The Sailor Who Fell From Grace With the Sea by Yukio Mishima

A thirteen-year-old teen named Noboru is mentally disturbed and troubled. Most of his troublesome characteristics come spurred by the loss of his father. And, also, through his association with a gang of like-minded thirteen-year-old boys. This gang shares a mantra: reject the world of adults and the responsibilities it takes to be one. For Noboru, he doesn’t have a father around pushing him to be a man, and thus an adult. He's, more or less, the luckier one within the gang.

Yet, this changes once his widowed mother begins a relationship with a sailor named Ryuji. At first Noboru welcomes Ryuji with admiration for him and his occupation as a sailor. You see, Noboru loves ships and has aspirations of becoming a sailor himself. But once the relationship between Ryuji and Noboru’s mother turns toward marriage, Noboru's attitude turns dark. Noboru can't grasp why Ryuji is willing to put aside his life as a sailor to marry his mother. And Ryuji's decision to do so enrages Noboru.

Feeling betrayed, Noboru seeks the help of his gang to get revenge on Ryuji. And so hatches their plan to take out the sailor who fell from grace with the sea.

I can tell you right now that I don’t know what to make of this book.

I’m not going make up something about knowing what Mishima meant to do with this story. I mean… I could… but it ain’t in me right now to do so. Plus, I’m more inclined to believe I have to be a reader who is more proficient with him as a person, let alone a writer.
So all I can say for sure is two things. ONE: I read this book because I loved Mishima’s Confessions of a Mask. TWO: Boy, does he know how to grab all your attention with this craft. Outside of that, I have theories about what this book conveyed. But I'm a little hesitate.
Even so, it was a cryptic and tormenting story. One where I couldn't wrap my head around some character’s actions–from a reasonable point. My overarching view was how we’re dealing with some spoiled, neurotic sociopaths. Their behavior conveyed holding on to the “sacredness” of adolescence at all cost. And one way to maintain "sacredness" is to embrace anarchy. To remove oneself from societal institutions, laws and systems. To remain in the “system” is equal to living a life with little to no meaning.
I’m just going to leave it at that.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Library 25 Cent Sale ~ Basically Book Upgrades

Everybody loves when his or her library unloads the 25 cent book sale. I managed to make it to mines a weekend or two ago (depends on when this post goes up), and didn’t find much. Yet, for what I did get, I took the opportunity. I upgraded two mass market books, featuring series I enjoy reading, into hardbacks. And another two… well… like any reader, there’s always an “interest” story to tell. But first the hardbacks.


"The devastating fire tore through the horse farm, destroying everything it touched. Picking through the wreckage, Dr. Kay Scarpetta uncovers human remains—the work of an audacious and wily killer who uses fire to mask his brutal murders. And when Scarpetta learns that her old nemesis, Carrie Grethen, has escaped from a hospital for the criminally insane and is somehow involved, the investigation becomes personal. Tragedy strikes close to home. And Scarpetta must match Grethen’s every move with one of her own to douse the inferno of evil that threatens everyone around her..."
Yeah. Yeah. Read the book almost ten years ago. Since I found myself in the mood of changing my mass market copies into hardback, this decent copy will do. This is the book where Cornwell made a wild misstep by killing off one of the series main characters. Why? Because she brought his ass back three books later. It was clear she needed him. Either way, it is what it is.

Friday, November 2, 2018

GUEST POST ~ The Perfect Idiot by Frank Iodice

The Perfect Idiot by Frank Iodice



Title: The Perfect Idiot
Author: Frank Iodice
Genre: Fiction
Release Date: Winter 2019
List Price: TBA 
Publisher: Articoli Liberi
Synopsis: A Perfect Idiot is a poetic, tender novel. Odette is a six years old girl. She is living in a foster home in the south of France when she meets the narrator, a night custodian, and decides he should be her father. To look for him, Odette escapes with the help of an old Argentinian prostitute, Signorina Rosario Rossi, who has quite an original philosophy of life, and her ex-boyfriend, don Vito Palladino, an irreverent parish priest…

Frank Iodice created a series of marginal, eccentic characters trapped in a story full of delicate and yet bitter regrets.  With his sense of humor and his humanity, he was albe to help them find meaning in their unfulfilled lives.



Uno. 
Meli Montreux was always tired every morning she arrived. She gave me the impression that someone hadn't let her sleep. I imagined that a big hairy brute forced her to stay up all night. When she walked in, she sat down placing her chin on the palm of her hand. Her honest face, framed by her short, disheveled hair, didn't show the traces of violence that I found in the other social workers. It couldn't be described like any other face; probably it came very close to what I would call now perfection. Meli often wore long skirts with flowers, and smiled with her lips closed. 
Up there in Sospel we had a big black cat found on the street. That night, he was waiting for the fat from my ham; he stared at me from the sill of a window so low that it could also work as a door if you had long legs. I ate without looking outside and didn't share my ham with the cat. I didn't have the time because, a few days later, I died. 
On the hill across the way, there was the white building where the General lived. He was explaining to the cleaning woman how to wash his balcony, one tile at a time. The cypresses with a few branches out of place swayed, imitating the clouds. A beetle came in and began to beat against the wrong wall. It's going to end up killing itself, I thought. In the meantime, I listed the scenes I had seen in the previous days. 
I very much enjoyed making lists.

Uno. A mother thanks cars while crossing the street: her daughter imitates her and thanks the cars. Another mother doesn't thank the cars: her daughter imitates her and doesn't thank. Heredity of civility.
Due. The hairdresser complains about the stink from the public toilets. There's pee everywhere, she screams, but the pee is perfumed by anise, so that the hairdresser hopes no one has heard her.
Tre. This morning the girls were playing with the cat, which, at least apparently, didn't smile at them. From the back of the garden came the deep chirps of the blackbirds and the pleasant cold of the land. 
I liked the cat, too. Early in the morning, we were the only ones in the garden. We kept each other company while waiting for the others. I felt the calm of the green, old estate. The caretakers arrived at seven in the morning. On the weekend at seven-thirty. 
I was the custodian. I’ve always been a custodian. At night I was the only one to watch over the children. I brought books and sweets with me. I had been reading almost a book a day ever since my own childhood. As for the pastries, the kids and I ate them in secret, at least a couple each. The ones with a lot of cream were the hardest to hide. 
In that place on the edge of Nice, I could imagine the city any way I wanted because I didn't hear its noise. When I left in the morning, after my night shift, I felt my legs heavy and lazy. I had time to see details that, otherwise, I wouldn't have noticed: like the noise the hairdresser made when she placed nail polish in the window (the hairdresser was also the beautician of the town) the little bottles clattered against each other or hit the glass and made the same sound of pebbles on the beach, a liquid pleasing knocking. There was also the girl with the long neck, who left home with a bunch of flowers in her hand. She might have been the daughter of the florist, a woman with the same neck, whose shop was a little down the street, but I enjoyed imagining that she received a fresh bunch every evening, and that the next morning she passed them on to someone else.

‘A child who doesn’t read is a child who doesn’t dream.’
Articoli Liberi is based in the south of France. We are a nonprofit organization born to diffuse free books to schools all over the world. We distribute for free and we use the proceeds from the online sales to print extra copies. The objective is to join as more students as we can and pass down the importance of reading to the new generation.

We are a group of friends, all different from each other, but united by a unique big passion: reading. We believe that a book keeps in its pages the ideas of the person who wrote it, but also those of the person who reads and will speak about it. And for this exchange of ideas, we started exchanging books.
We decided to collaborate with Frank Iodice and publish his amazing novel because (as it was with his ‘Brief Dialogue on Happiness with Pepe Mujica’) it contains all the messages that we ourselves try to leave to the young: the importance of personal freedom; love for reading and for a simple life; rebellion against the modern politics of hate and obsessive competition.
‘A Perfect Idiot’ was originally published in Italian as ‘Un perfetto idiota’, by Edizioni Il Foglio, in February 2017. An excerpt from the first version of this translation project appeared in Trafika Europe 14 - Italian Piazza, in July 2018. Then the author reworked the whole novel and turned it into a new novel, as he himself explained to us:

‘I had to change the structure of every sentence, cutting almost 50 pages in total. Many paragraphs from the original version simply didn’t work in English. So, I adapted my story to an English-speaker readership. And I must admit that I prefer it now. The story goes right where I want it to go’.

The English version will be distributed for free to schools (starting with a conference plan across France, Italy, and the UK50 copies to each school).

It will be also presented at the Writers Weekend, Augusta University, in March 2019, by the author and Giada Biasetti, one of the professors that collaborated on this wonderful project.
If you want to know more about our future encounters with the students or our nice books, follow us at articoliliberi.blog.

Diffusing books for free has turned out to be our vocation, but we constantly need your support if we want to succeed.


We are proud of the cover art. It was realized by Gary Taxali, an acclaimed, award-winning fine artist and illustrator, known for his retro stylized art in the realm of pop. Gary was glad to participate in our project and offered his terrific artwork wishing us the best with this mission. Find out more about Gary Taxali at garytaxali.com.


Frank Iodice is an Italian freelance journalist and writer. He is the author of numerous novels, like ‘La meccanica dei sentimenti’ (Eretica Edizioni 2018), ‘Matroneum’ (Il Foglio 2018), ‘Un perfetto idiota’ (Il Foglio 2017) and many more. 10.000 copies of his ‘Brief Dialogue on Happiness with Pepe Mujica’ have been distributed for free to French and Italian high schools.
He lives between Paris and Lyon.  His blog is frankiodice.it


Monday, October 8, 2018

5 Reading Slump Killers ("with" Cynthia Bailey)


Every reader goes through this mess: you’ve finished a book (outstanding or awful) and can’t decide what to read next.  Or if you even want to follow up your reading so shortly.  So you ponder over what's your mood looking like–in concerns to your next choice in a book.  And sometimes that pondering goes on a little too long.  Sometimes... your decision gets clouded.  

After finishing a book, I usually take a day or two off from reading.  Sometimes that day or two sticks around a little longer.  And three days is always too long.  Then it begins to sting when I have four bookshelves riddled with unread titles glaring at me wondering what the hell I‘m doing sitting around without a book in hand.  One shelf wants to be chosen.  One book desperately wants to be elected.  And I just sit there like a chump biting my lip and as indecisive as ever.  Something has blocked me from reading.  My mood?  Energy?  Maybe solicitude from my last book?  All I know is days are ticking by and I can't seem to find a dang thing I want to read and it's pissing me off.



It's a reading slump indeed. 

So I, like many book bloggers, decided to create another remedy post for readers who need to get through a reading slump.  And if one method listed doesn't work, another one always will.  So let's go!


1.  GET ORGANIZED

Hell, I’ve learned long ago how throwing away and getting rid of old junk kills some spectrum of my anxiety.  There’s this sort of alleviating transference I get from donating old clothes; alongside tossing pay stubs, art supplies, and old birthday cards into trash bags.  Seriously, when miscellany leaves happiness circulates within the soul.  

So one method that often helps me pull out of a reading slump is getting my shelves organized.  By “getting organized” I mean going to a shelf to pull unread titles off to compile what I haven‘t read and how long its been hanging around–and deciding what should hang around.  Something about pulling unread books off, piling them up, and actually looking at them helps get me centered.  It’s revisiting titles long acquired that at one point I was excited.  That is until time and other books caused my enthusiasm to slip by, before deciding what's next for said title.  And, naturally, the benefit is I find myself donating piles of unread and clutter-clogging books after a change in interests.
  

This method allows me to focus on the now.  Not the then and not the later.  We hate to admit it, but there is a level of anxiety and agitation we get from being book lovers who simply can't read and take every book with us throughout life.  Heck, I would even equate books to friendships: they have their seasons, chile.  And only the most trustworthy, loyal and respectful can stay.  Oh, and enriching.  Never keep something around that doesn't enrich your life.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Book Raiding Reading TBR



I only read two books in September.  One was–undoubtedly–the latest J. D. Robb release, Leverage in Death.  The other was Tracy Clark’s Broken Places–which I wrapped on the 11th of the month.  And that’s it.  Nothing read since the 11th.  And that’s mainly because Shadow of the Tomb Raider came out the following day and it has consumed my life.  Both in good–considering I’m a long-time fan and veteran of the Croft–and wrong ways.  Nonetheless, a game such as this pulled me entirely away from my first passion: books.  However, I’ve already read about 60 books this year, so I think it’s okay for me to take it easy from here on out if I choose to.

But I just can’t do it like that.  I have to read.  I MUST be reading.  I covet and crave books.  Even when I’m not actively reading a book, I’m pausing to touch a book and rifle through the pages just for comfort.

So I decided to make myself an Book Raiding TBR.  I choose unread books from my shelves that’ll cover 5 areas that I love most about the Tomb Raider series (both old and rebooted).  One: Crafty Female Lead.  Two: Sprinkles of Mythology.  Three: Survival Adventures.  Four: Ancient Musty Tombs.  Five: History and Relics.  This TBR will work.  And it will stick.  And it will bring me back to reading daily.


On a photography assignment in the northern territory of Mount Marsabit, American adventuress Jade del Cameron and her friends hope to film the area's colossal elephants. Instead, they discover the mutilated remains of four elephants and a man. Although the authorities suspect Abyssinian poachers and raiders in search of ivory and slaves, Jade has her own suspicions. Could it have been Harry Hascombe, her nemesis and unremitting suitor? Soon the Kikuyu boy accompanying her is captured by slave traders. Ultimately, it will take all of Jade's mettle to rescue her guide from slave traders, protect the animals, and expose another kind of beast.
As of today (October 1st) I’m already 140 pages away from the end of the first book on my Book Raiding TBR, Stalking Ivory by Suzanne Arruda.  Last time I read a book in this series was as far back as 2014.  More or less moved by that entry [Mark of the Lion], I haven’t picked up anything by this author since.  However, last year I did purchase the following three books for potential future reading.  And here I am finally jumping back into African safaris during the 1920’s with Arruda’s bold and sharp war vet (does being a nurse in WWI count as a vet?) turned photographer Jade Del Cameron.  Though Arruda’s plotting often comes across as “random” and “rash,” I’m having fun.  I can definitely see this series sticking around after all.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Recent Thriftbooks Book Haul

I haven’t done a book haul in a hot minute.  I haven’t actually WRITTEN a blog post in an extra hot minute.  So I said, “what the hee-hah”.  I’ll combine the two forces (go Captain Planet), and see what the hell I can get out of the experience.  Mainly, I’m looking for my mojo for writing blog posts back.  I miss it.  And, considering in July I paid for another year of ownership of my domain name, I’ve got to get something here back in order...


(Already it feels good pounding on the keys.) 

So I’m going to share my recent purchases from Thriftbooks.  I have a few criticisms with the site–as a consumer.  Yet, I still use it because the books are in fairly good condition.  Also they're cheap and you get free shipping on orders $10 and over, which takes some of the guilt of purchasing books you'll take forever to even read away.  So they–essentially–have your ass over a barrel.  Anyway, I was inspired by these picks for a few different reasons, and I’ll share those reasons as I move along in the post.  And as always, for those of you who are familiar with the books, drop me a comment concerning your thoughts (though try not to spoil them) on each.  I always love hearing from other readers.

So one overarching reason I purchased at least three of the books is because I checked them out from my public library–though I never found myself in the mood to read them.  Or, in the case of Moon Called, I started reading the book a day before J. D. Robb’s latest release [Leverage in Death] came out.  Which, essentially, halted the whole process because everything stops with a new In Death release.  And I mean EVERYTHING, bih.

Nonetheless, here goes…

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

#ReadSoulLit FauxCast | Where I'm Bound by Allen Ballard


Where I'm Bound by Allen B. Ballard on Amazon (affiliate link): https://amzn.to/2pJV0Dr

A former slave turned cavalry scout becomes a hero for an African-American cavalry regiment in the Civil War. But, as the war draws to an end, the soldier, Joe Duckett, embarks on his most dangerous mission yet-to return to the plantation from which he escaped to find his wife and daughter.A Washington Post Notable Book. Also a winner of the First Novelist Award from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association."The important story of black soldiers in the Union Army has finally found a writer of historical fiction equal to the occasion." James A McPherson, Professor of History, Princeton University

Monday, December 19, 2016

Random Thought: Why Murder Mysteries Never Talk About This...?


So listen (err, read). I finished reading Chaos by Patricia Cornwell a couple of weeks ago. Now, for those familiar with the series, it follows the narrative of a medical examiner using her profession of forensics and pathology to out-craft a crafty criminal or two. Good deal, right? Sure. But here’s what bits of illumination crawled across my mind during my reading of the book. Given that the series follows the theme of death and autopsies, why do authors skip details related to one particular ickier part of death? What's that I have in mind? Well...shit...
Sure many of us don’t need that piece of detail, but let’s talk about it all the same.
Writers setting up a crime or autopsy scene are quick to dish details such as the body’s temperature (algor mortis). Then there’s the examination of the body’s state/condition–as an observation of this can help relay the time of death.
Authors will relay to the reader if the victim is in a state of rigor mortis (where the body's muscles stiffen shortly after death). Rigor mortis can last for about a day or two–give or take. Which, once observed, helps the reader and protagonist unfold the crime with an invaluable clue. But what if the body is found after its been through rigor? The author will, of course, then relay how the body is in a relaxed state of livor mortis (where gravity pools blood in the body).
So with those many relaxed muscles–including the body’s sphincter–why do authors never describe a pile of shit stuck underneath the victim? Okay, okay. Sure this doesn’t always happen–given all your muscles are too relaxed to push anything from your gut. But because it does happen, why have I yet to read a fictional crime scene where the author describes a corpse’s having released his or her bowels or bladder? Though a murder victim can hardly be described with pleasantries, I would like to read an author just once take it a step grosser. That’s right. Gross me all the way out!
Just a thought.
Next I’ll talk about SEX in romance…

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