Showing posts with label Read-Along. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Read-Along. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

#SaveOurCozies | Extended Haul

Because I’m so excited about #SaveOurCozies, I had to stock up on a few new titles.  Many listed has always been on my radar, but never quite made it home.  These are books I’ve noticed time and time again in stores, but have yet to slide into.  Until now!  But to be extra, extra clear, I had to be sure they were each the first in their respective reading order.  Never trusting the read order placed inside the first few pages of any given series, I took my time investigating these suckers.  Nothing’ll piss me off more than picking up a new series midway through; a personal aggravation of mine, if you will.  So let me list and share what each series (as well as their individual hooks) is about.  At least for those who are new to them like myself.  And no, the Nora Roberts Public Secrets (1990) book isn’t a cozy.  Though there is a kidnapping and possible murder involved.  I’ve just always wanted to read the damn book and found it for 25 cents!  (For those who have read it, please share your thoughts.  I’m an on/off Roberts reader outside of her J. D. Robb series.)

#SaveOurCozies | Video TBR & Campaign Links

Channels/Supporters Mentioned
Elizabeth (Youtube Channel)
Angie (Blog)
 Charlaine Harris Books Mentioned (Amazon Affiliate Links)
An Ice Cold Grave (Harper Connelly #3)

Sunday, April 3, 2016

#MarchMysteryMadness | Challenge #8: The Not-So Kid-Gloves Sleuth

March may be over, but not #MarchMysteryMadness.  I mean, if it still applies.  Anyway, I’m two challenges from completion, and with full intentions on finishing one more book.  Even if I have to spill over into April.  (Not much of a reading difference, though.  Considering I’m tackling my favorite genre in April as well.)  Which is why I’m moving forward with the final challenge.  

It's Challenge #8: The Not-So Kid-Gloves Sleuth.  This challenge aims for a classic mystery straight out of just about everyone’s childhood.  I chose Nancy Drew; arriving with the first book in her series, The Secret of the Old Clock.  I’ve had run-ins with Drew, mainly back in middle school.  I fulfilled several English projects on her books in 7th grade.  So it’s nice to go back and reacquaint myself with this classic, 1930’s iconic sleuth. 

Mystery Madness
Mystery Madness 2 members 2016 March Mystery Madness Challenge Group. More details to follow.

Books we've read

View this group on Goodreads »

Friday, February 19, 2016

#MarchMysteryMadness Challenge List

Goodreads Group: March Mystery Madness
~~~~~ The Food/Craft/Hobby Cozy~~~~~
1.       “It wasn’t the way that Hannah preferred to attract new clientele, but she had to admit that finding Ron’s body had been good for business.  The Cookie Jar was jam-packed with customers.  Some of them were even standing while they munched their cookies, and every one of them wanted her opinion on what happened to Ron LasSalle.”
Everybody has a craft–a hobby.  Whether it’s baking sugar cookies or crocheting Forget-Me-Not dollies.  Maybe even culturing herbs for organic dishes.  Or are you into nature photography and are a dedicated bibliophile?  Now imagine engaging with your day-to-day passions when a body suddenly crosses your path.  What would you do?  Do you have what it takes to balance your craft with solving murders?  Explore the possibilities by reading a cozy mystery with a food/craft/hobby theme.
~~~~~ The Get Christie Love Lead~~~~~
2.       “Finally, after all my procrastinating and avoiding Bessie’s calls, I was able to put the finishing touches on my report, explaining exactly how I had spent her money (I didn’t include the manicure), apologizing for what I hadn’t been able to find out, but pointing out that her involvement may have sparked the cops’ renewed interest in the case.  I included the name of the lawyer that Jake had given me as well as the contact for the program for Rayshawn.  I also warned her in strong language that Rayshawn had been on the verge of committing a serious felony and had some serious problems that had to be dealt with, and if she and Viola didn’t make sure he got help, I’d be forced to go to the authorities with information that would result in his arrest.”
Find and follow your inner Christie Love and Foxy Brown.  Read a mystery/crime fiction novel powered by an African (-American) female sleuth.  Or, from Tokyo to Seoul.  Shanghai to Kolkata.  Or even New York to Los Angles.  Read a mystery/crime fiction novel featuring a sleuth with an Eastern perspective on matters.  (In general, a book featuring a person of color taking lead.)
~~~~~ The Christie/Poe Complex~~~~~
3.      “I wish I could write as mysterious as a cat.”
“Dogs are wise. They crawl away into a quiet corner and lick their wounds and do not rejoin the world until they are whole once more.”

Did you know Edgar Allan Poe did mystery and crime fiction before mystery and crime fiction were even a thing?  Let’s face it; he’s the godfather of the genre.  He’s the seed to this entire challenge.  Therefore, your challenge is simple: indulge in one or all three of Poe’s mystery shorts…
A.     The Murders in the Rue Morgue
B.     The Mystery of Marie Roget
C.     The Purloined Letter
Or how about the matriarch of mystery and crime fiction, Agatha Christie?

Sunday, February 7, 2016

#ReadSoulLit Jubilee by Margaret Walker

QUICK.  Get on Twitter and Youtube and search #ReadSoulLit!  You may be asking what does that mean–outside of its obvious nature.  However, as a quick explanation, many Booktubers are reading Jubliee by Margaret Walker during February.  For Black History Month of course!  I'll link to Booktuber, Frenchie at Brown Girl Reading's, video on the project HERE.  As for myself, I recently got my copy of the book.  I'm behind on the reading, but still wanted to share for those reading this post who would like to jump on board and participate.  That is all…

"Here is the classic--and true--story of Vyry, the child of a white plantation owner and his black mistress, a Southern Civil War heroine to rival Scarlett O'Hara. Vyry bears witness to the South's prewar opulence and its brutality, to its wartime ruin and the subsequent promise of Reconstruction. It is a story that Margaret Walker heard as a child from her grandmother, the real Vyry's daughter. The author spent thirty years researching the novel so that the world might know the intelligent, strong, and brave black woman called Vyry. The phenomenal acclaim this best-selling book has achieved from readers black and white, young and old, attests to her success."
~ Synopsis from 

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Fear Street Read-Along: First Date

What a killer way to put a spin on the [first] date from hell experience us lucky few got to partake in in high school.  I should back pedal a bit and state that I was not actually one of those lucky few I just mentioned.  High school and dating were polar opposite topics from one another.  First I had to figure out whether the person I was interested in was available (and I mean "available" beyond simply dating another).  Next I had to figure out how to take ownership of that interest--should it exist--to propose a date.  All this done under secrecy of course.  Needless to say, I never got to the ownership portion because trying to figure out whether a person was interested in me took the energy of a Hercule Poirot investigation to find a conclusion.  And said conclusion was always one of complete and utter disappointment.  Therefore, I stuck with my books as a general rule.  First Date by R. L. Stine being one of them.  No, actually, I wasn’t even thinking about dating sometime in middle school when I first read it.  

So here I am re-reading the book and my dating game hasn’t grown by anything other than a centimeter.  But that’s neither here nor there at the moment.  Staying on topic, I picked up and re-read First Date as a Booktube Read-Along orchestrated by me and another Booktuber named thefictionfairy.  I drew the book out randomly, sticking my hand in the light blue tub that I sadly keep all of my 52-Plus-Some Fear Street books today.  I need a bookshelf, naturally.  Nevertheless, First Date was what I drew out.  I frowned in a curious manner, realizing that it seemed almost coincidental that I picked this book up blindly and could not remember a single incident that took place between its 165 pages.  Like I said, it’s been years.  I stopped reading/collecting Fear Street at the end of ‘97, so it had to have been at least seventeen years since I read it.  And while I can easily pick up the majority of Fear Street titles and recall their stories, this one I couldn’t.  This led me to the realization that this might’ve been one that I read only once back in the day.  Fast-forward to 2014 and you can consider me pleased to have spent my morning reliving the nostalgia created by venturing back into an R. L. Stine thriller.  Honestly, it was like slipping into an old pair of shoes, but with a fresh pair of eyes. 

Like many of Stine’s Fear Street books, the plot to First Date is simple--as well as the writing.  Fifteen-year-old Chelsea Richards is the new girl at Shadyside High, and she also comes across as terribly unself-confident.  Seen as shy, and often self-serving nasty jabs at her weight, Chelsea is quiet and lonely; however, she has created one friend, Nina, at her new school.  It doesn’t help that Chelsea’s one friend often (but not always) disregards Chelsea's personal concerns to relish her own, particularly in the form of her turbulent relationship with her boyfriend Doug.  This bit of aloof behavior from her friend only stirs further insecurities in Chelsea.  Additionally, so does to the un-ignorable fact that Nina has a boyfriend, as opposed to Chelsea's boyfriend-less reality.  Nevertheless, high school life gets a little more interesting when Chelsea encounters a new boy named Will, who appears equally shy as her.  In chorus to the plot, a boy who goes by the name Spark converse with the shy Chelsea while she‘s on the clock at her father‘s restaurant.  Suddenly Chelsea has two guys coming for her attention.  The problem is that one of them is a neurotic murderer on the lam!

First Date was probably R. L. Stine lite, at least in my estimation.  I can recall a few gorier books where some scenes were to wild to forget.  Remember the wheelchair girl who stabbed her friend with an ice skating blade in Broken Hearts?  Or Holly strangled with her own scarf in What Holly Heard?  And let us not even forget to mention the characters that stick with you.  Of course my favorite is Corky from his cheerleader series, but also Emily from The Stepsister.  Not to mention the rich, snobby Reva Dalby from the Silent Night trilogy and Honey from Best Friend.  In any regard, the death count and memorable characters in First Date are limited, but Stine provided a strong peek into the killer’s psychology as well as that of Chelsea’s.

I can never decide which do I like most between Stine’s murder mysteries and paranormal style books.  Actually, that’s not even a legit question.  I love them all.  Well, there are a handful of Fear Street books I didn’t to much care for and one that I never managed through.  Nevertheless, what I will say is that Stine is certainly the numero uno author on my list of writing influences.  And that was evident as I read First Date.  It brought me back to days in school where I was happy for in-house suspension because I could sit at a desk all day--for a whole exciting week--writing stories similar to his.  Many of those stories I still have, both a combination of murder mystery and paranormal stories.  He is responsible for my love of the mystery genre and is probably a solid example of urban fantasy and the YA fiction of today.  Per your taste, of course.

Now I want to stick my hand in that big blue tub and pull out another one.

Did you grow up with reading R. L. Stine--Goosebumps or Fear Street?  What is your fondest memory engaging with this numerous catalog of middle grade to teen thrillers?

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