Showing posts with label TBR. Show all posts
Showing posts with label TBR. Show all posts

Friday, November 20, 2020

Final Non-Fiction November Pick ~ TURN UP


FYI: This book is EXPENSIVE!  I used a membership discount AND a coupon (y'all know I do those coupons)!  Oh, chile.  But I had to have it for myself. :)

Friday, May 15, 2020

New Valerie Wilson Wesley Book & Series on the WAY!

"Odessa Jones doesn't trust her second sight. The extrasensory "gift" that her Aunt Phoenix claims will always protect her let Dessa down in a major way when she was blindsided by the death of her husband. Now, with her failing catering business looming over her, not to mention the possible loss of her home and continuing grieving, Dessa's last chance to keep her life together is a job at a real estate agency with a shady past.

With volatile boss Charlie Risko and a ramshackle operation, it's far from a dream job, but working at Risko Realty veers more into nightmare territory when Charlie is found murdered. Dessa knows she had a "glimmer"--or premonition--of death the day before, and is troubled to think she could have predicted Charlie's death. Her second sight kicks in again when a coworker is arrested for Charlie's murder - and Dessa knows for certain that he's innocent. This time, Dessa doesn't want to ignore her gift. She teams up with friend, former detective, and current barbeque cook Lennox Royal to help her track down the killer - but will her glimmers help save her before the killer strikes again?"
Get READYYYYYYY!  Release January 26, 2021 (as of now, I guess)

Monday, May 11, 2020

Muller & Paretsky Short Story Haul

Soooooo, I'm not that great at keeping up with short stories.  But shoottttttt I miss the cheeseburger and FRIES out of reading Marcia Muller's Sharon McCone private-eye stories.  And equally that of Sara Paretsky's V. I. Warshawski series.  I've tidied up these series; totally up-to-date with these two iconic contemporary woman private-eye stories.  Now I really miss these author, and most certainly the voices of their characters.  So short stories it is!  

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

"ABCD" May Reading TBR

Heyyyyyy. I hope and pray everyone is doing well and keeping safe out there.

So we all like to do little things to create a monthly TBR (given we've decided to make one to begin with). Especially to keep from spending hours or even days between books. And when you factor in today’s virus crisis, now is a good time to get down to reading with a bit of a charge. With a rhythm. With a nice, striding... pace. More so, it's a time to tackle unreads books (I know, I know) that have overdue property taxes on shelf space. Since browsing our favorite libraries and bookstores ain’t happening any time soon, it's an unfortunate but re-calibrating opportunity to play our reading cards. In, of course, fun and interesting ways.

So the first two weeks (or so-so) of May got me creating what I’ve dubbed an ”ABCD May TBR”.


My first shelf was my “A” shelf. Unread books with "A" last name authors. Alphabet order through the pickings. Let's go! Maya ANgelou’s autobiography, A Song Flung Up to Heaven, beat Margaret ATwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale. True enough. Yet, I took a little concession and choose the latter. Why? Two reason. One: never read an Atwood, but read plenty Angelous. Two: because this is an alarming time to explore some disturbing dystopian/totalitarian state novels. And I’m going to throw this out there: Gilead (do your research on that). So let's keep it real with the potential parallels we all fear on the horizon. The phrase "It'll never happen here" comes to mind.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Sweet 16 - Tentative High School Revisited Reading TBR

The first thing I thought when I woke up New Year’s Day was how in two months it’ll be twenty years since I turned sixteen-years-old. How. In. The. BLOODY. FUCKIN’. HELL! Did. This. Happen? No. Seriously. Where was I in the last twenty years?

Anyway, for whatever reason I kept thinking about this blind leap through time. And as I started grudging around looking for something to start the new year reading (while fussing and sipping coffee), I eventually slumped into nostalgia. I thought about how R. L. Stine's Fear Street Cheerleaders series introduced me to the Whodunit of reading. I thought about how much I grew from ages 13 to 18 being a loyal and dedicated reader to K. A. Applegate's Animorphs series from its debut in '96 to its end in '01.

Needless to say, the reflections on my teenage reading kept coming. I thought about how I tried to emulate many of my favorite authors by writing similar stories to theirs back then. And, well, I thought about time and how it goes by so fast. As well as how memories keep us warm and remind us how special our lives really are when things don't always seem so sweet in the here and now.

That's when I got up to create a TBR reflecting my readings back in and around 1999–give or take. Authors like Naoko Takeuchi [Sailor Moon], K. A. Applegate [Animorphs], R. L. Stine [Fear Street], and T. A. Barron [The Ancient One] all came to mind. Luckily, I’ve kept all my early readings and decided to pull a few out to compose a sort of Sweet 16 Tentative High School Revisited Reading TBR to take on between my regular reading.

Let's kill some cheerleaders with R. L. Stine, baby!

Friday, December 14, 2018

(PART 2) Short Days/Cold Nights Cozy Reading TBR


I have been nailing these cozy mystery reads to “close out” 2018–having read 8 books since the 19th of November. And the weather has definitely been instrumental in my success. It has kept me closed off and anti-social (just the way I like it). And the house is warm and too cozy to get out and brave the elements for no good reason other than food and work. Nonetheless, to keep matters going, I'm continuing ONLY to pick the cozies I already own. Pulling them off the shelf to extend my Short Days/Cold Nights Cozy Reading TBR. And here remains the last three I have in mind.

1. The ever-popular Rhys Bowen is finally getting a fair turn. I picked up Her Royal Spyness–book one in her Lady Georgiana series–a few years back. It never got a proper turn until now. I spent a few hours reading Her Royal Spyness by candlelight and reading light alone. Oh, while dealing with a nasty electric meter and switchboard replacement problem. Anyway, fifty pages in and I found myself hooked. When I first bought the book, I didn’t want to go into all the Swing music, banjo sleeves, Grapes of Wrath d├ęcor of the 1930s. I knew the series was popular and knew I would get there one day. That has recently changed. I’m loving the voice of this book.
Forget Sleeping.  Let's READ!

2. Gunpowder Green, by Laura Childs, is the second book in her Teashop Mystery. The series features a cozy mystery favorite amateur sleuth, Theodosia Browning. I read the first book (Death by Darjeeling) this past summer. I was looking for a Susan Wittig Albert China Bayle fix at the time. It more or less provided, but was promising enough to come back for more.

3. 1966’s The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax by Dorothy Gilman will close this TBR out. And I’m going to keep this list short because I have coffee brewing, while I’m ready to read!


Wednesday, November 28, 2018

CHOP IT UP: Them Bones by Carolyn Haines

"No self-respecting lady would allow herself to end up in Sarah Booth's situation. Unwed, unemployed, and over thirty, she's flat broke and about to lose the family plantation. Not to mention being haunted by the ghost of her great-great-grandmother's nanny, who never misses an opportunity to remind her of her sorry state--or to suggest a plan of action, like ransoming her friend's prize pooch to raise some cash.
But soon Sarah Booth's walk on the criminal side leads her deeper into unladylike territory, and she's hired to solve a murder. Did gorgeous, landed Hamilton Garrett V really kill his mother twenty years ago? And if so, what is Sarah Booth doing falling for this possible murderer? When she asks one too many questions and a new corpse turns up, she is suddenly a suspect herself...and Sarah Booth finds that digging up the bones of the past could leave her rolling over in her grave."

This.  Book.  Was.  Hard to put down.  Really, this buster was hard to let go of once I got started.  It was nothing like I'd anticipated when I initially picked it up at my public library used bookstore.  The Mississippi setting, I wanted. A poor and single and interestingly unconventional Southern Belle playing detective, delivered me. Old family murders to uncover, I needed. Good ole boy threats, a plus. But an actual and active ghost communicating with the protagonist in a blase fashion took me completely off guard.  And it was soooo good. 

Monday, November 26, 2018

CHOP IT UP: Fool's Puzzle by Earlene Fowler

"Leaving behind memories of her late husband, Benni Harper is making a fresh start...Moving to the trendy California town of San Celina, she takes an exciting new job as director of a folk-art museum. While setting up an exhibit of handmade quilts, she stumbles upon the body of a brutally stabbed artist. Hoping to conduct an investigation on her own, she crosses paths with the local police chief, who thinks this short and sassy cowgirl should leave detecting to the cops and join him for dinner. But it's hard to keep a country girl down, and soon Benni uncovers an alarming pattern of family secrets, small-town lies--and the shocking truth about the night her husband died..."
The minute I finished the book and marked it as READ (two stars) on Goodreads.  Using my phone, I wrote this about the book just to "get it out".

Started out with a fair amount of promise, but devolved the further it progressed. All the excitement of a cozy mystery with a quilting and folk-art hook was removed and flushed early on. Instead the focus was on a MC who was not only boldly immature, but adolescent-level illogical in her reasoning and investigative prowess. It did not make her cute. It did not make her relatable. It made her unreliable and irritating to be around during the experience. Further frustration with the story arrived when the author kept (and I mean KEPT) insisting on ushering in a romance between her MC and a moody cop. Cliches. Cliches. Cliches. I kept rolling my eyes, as it was all so desperate to the point of nausea. Yes, there was a mystery. Yet, apparently, the mystery wasn't the book's real point.

It just so happens I bought the second book in the series for a dollar the other day.  She's getting one more shot, dude.  

One more...


Monday, November 19, 2018

Short Days/Cold Nights Cozy Reading TBR

I don’t know about you, but I have a love/hate relationship with this time of year. You know how it can be; daylight savings, long nights, cold nights, all the drain board attention of the holidays. Then I like this time of year for the complete "cozy comfort next to a heater" thing. Cutting all social interactions out for a period of time being the biggest plus. Because if I’m not out of the house before 5pm, I’m not going anywhere unless necessary. Luckily I can read at work which is from 10pm to 6am. That's the roll of the DICE, girl! Who can beat that? Anyway, lots of coffee, comfort, Korean dramas, and reading.
Which is why I decided to pull some cozy mysteries off my shelves to composite a little TBR for the season. Because, for sure, I can also get lazy this time of year and opt to just chill if I’m not careful. As for the books, some I bought years ago and haven’t gotten into. Some newly acquired. Some staple authors/series. And maybe one is the second book in a series I started some time ago.
So my list is... (the book's links are Amazon affiliate)

Of course, I couldn’t get everything. I still have The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax by Dorothy Gilman and Gunpowder Green (book 2 in Tea Shop Mysteries) by Laura Child are waiting in the "alternative" wings.
As for The Long Quiche Goodbye by Avery Aames. Yes, I’m tempted to DNF it–having read 50 pages. Yet, instead, I’ll put it on the side for another day. Too many characters too soon. And all which seem forced to exude like and relatability.

Monday, November 12, 2018

CHOP IT UP: From Doon with Death by Ruth Rendell

A shy and introverted housewife named Margaret Parsons has disappeared. One day she walked out of her Kingsmarkham, Sussex home–never to return. Her distraught husbands waste zero time seeking help from a neighboring detective. And alongside this detective comes his partner, Chief Inspector Wexford. Then Margaret’s body turns up, murdered by strangulation and abandoned near local farmland.

Who in the world could have committed such a crime? Was it personal? Was it random? Was there something dark in Margaret’s past catching up with her in the now? How could something so horrible happen to this quiet housewife? One who indulges herself in gardening and caring for her husband? Or could it be the husband who is responsible?

Regardless, Inspector Wexford looks closer into Margaret’s past. Trusting this will bring answers to her murder. And it does as a collection of rare books inscribed by an unknown lover points to the culprit.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Final Book Raiding TBR Pick

A lucky surprise has fallen into my lap. Didn’t know about this book. Didn’t expect it. It came out a week or two after Shadow of the Tomb Raider itself. Ran into it at the bookstore. And there was no question regarding my purchase. It's a tie-in to the game, and not an exact novelization of the game. Basically, it covers the story between the events that happened after Lara removed the dagger from the Temple of the Moon (and of course survived the subsequent tsunami), and before her plane crashed into the jungle (with Jonah and Miguel). As I'm writing this I'm already 85 pages away from the end. AND I LOVE IT! Like, what other perfect way to end my October Book Reading TBR?

"In a brand-new adventure, Lara Croft must evade the agents of Trinity and discover an ancient secret. When a mysterious stranger offers to help Lara uncover a clue that could give her the upper hand, she embarks on an expedition to a system of caves in Colombia. However, once they learn of Lara's plans, Trinity will stop at nothing to reach the location first. Trinity believes they can turn the tables on Lara, but in the darkness of the underground caverns, there are terrors in the depths that neither Lara nor Trinity anticipated."

My October Reading Work is Done!

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

4 Reasons Why I Enjoyed the F Outta Kristen Britain's Green Rider ~ As a Below Average Reader of Fantasy Books (Though I Want to Improve That Average Desperately, Making This a Great Start)

"On her long journey home from school after a fight that will surely lead to her expulsion, Karigan G'ladheon ponders her uncertain future. As she trudges through the immense Green Cloak forest, her thoughts are interrupted by the clattering of hooves, as a galloping horse bursts from the woods.  
The rider is slumped over his mount's neck, impaled by two black-shafted arrows. As the young man lies dying on the road, he tells Karigan he is a Green Rider, one of the legendary messengers of the king of Sacoridia.  
Before he dies, he begs Karigan to deliver the “life and death” message he bears to King Zachary. When she reluctantly he agrees, he makes her swear on his sword to complete his mission, whispering with his dying breath, "Beware the shadow man...".  
Taking on the golden-winged horse brooch that is the symbol of the Green Riders, Karigan is swept into a world of deadly danger and complex magic, her life forever changed. Compelled by forces she cannot understand, Karigan is accompanied by the silent specter of the fallen messenger and hounded by dark beings bent on seeing that the message, and its reluctant carrier, never reach their destination."

There are times when a book's cover will just… well… summon you.  It'll be a book cover that commands you–from a bookshelf in some random bookstore–to buy and read it.  While this year I managed to find a small piece of territory in the science-fiction space opera sub-genre (bless your sweet ASS Tanya Huff for creating Torin Kerr), my itch for a strictly traditional fantasy book had yet to be fulfilled.  Until I saw a mass market copy of Kristen Britain Green Rider at my local Barnes & Noble, and immediately became enchanted and curious by its cover.  It was giving me T. A. Barron The Ancient One tease (my favorite fantasy book).  Ever hesitate from being burned before, I waited matters out.  And each visit it kept calling.  No.  Screaming actually.  

But 500 pages for a fantasy book takes determination and stamina for a reader like myself, so I needed it in the comfort of a hardback if I was going to take it on by the book's weight alone.  Ordered online.  Spent five days reading it (took a day off so it would've been four).  And it was a win!  For once, I got shit right for myself based solely off a cover.

Nevertheless, I’ve stated this before how I’m not that great at taking on fantasy novels.  Why?  Maintenance.  Upkeep.  And little much-needed reference materials to draw from as I delve into all these innovative and imaginative lanes authors have created for themselves and readers.  I always need just a little something extra to remain anchored into the story.  And I can say brevity on the exposition concerning world-building and magic systems is essential to my reading experience.  I guess that brevity is what separates the "epic" in "epic fantasy" from... well... I guess "fantasy."   Forgive my ineptitude on the subject, because Green Rider does away with all my fantasy-reading anxieties and here’s why...

"Karigan thought desperately.  She thought back to summer evenings in an empty warehouse on her father's estate where the cargo master practiced swordplay with her.  For one lesson, he left the wooden practice swords leaning against the wall and devoted the session to what she could do with her bare hands."
"'I once asked her what she wanted to do with her life,' Rendle said.  'She told me, something adventurous.  She wanted to be a merchant like her father.  It is not many children who choose to follow their parents' footsteps.'" 
"She dreamed also of her mother's ring, which Jendara wore.  Sometimes she dreamed that her mother chastised her for her carelessness.  Other times, her mother held her in a warm embrace....  How did a simple schoolgirl ever get into such a mess?"
The quick backstory of the lead character, Karigan, is simple enough.  Her father created a successful shipping business out of nothing.  This put her family in the spectrum of influence and aristocracy, though they are humble and quiet living below their means.  Her mother died some years ago, leaving just Karigan and her father.  And, also, leaving Karigan with very little baggage about the loss to mull depressingly over.  To further her educational purposes, she went to an elite school where she was later suspended because she crossed a governor's son on the practice field.  A big no-no.

Total Pageviews