Down the TBR Hole 15

TBRHole

This is a meme started by Lia at Lost in a Story. The “rules” are:

  • Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 (or even more!) if you’re feeling adventurous) books. Of course, if you do this weekly, you start where you left off the last time.
  • Read the synopses of the books.
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

I’m modifying this a little since my to-read shelf is a mess of books that are mostly in storage. Instead, I’m going to look at my wishlist—all those books I add on a whim during my travels around the book blogging community—and weed out the ones that don’t quite sound as good now. The “keepers” I’m going to look for at online libraries or add to my Amazon wishlist.

The Serialist cover The Serialist by David Gordon

Hmm, this still sounds pretty good: a pulp writer who is working on a serial killer’s memoir has to get to the bottom of new murders. Even if it is possibly on the literary side, KEEP.

The Poisoned Island cover The Poisoned Island by Lloyd Shepherd

I’m always looking for a mystery with some interesting element. This one: 1812 London with some connection to burgeoning scientific efforts. KEEP.

The Winter People cover The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon

Modern day connection to events a hundred years ago… It’s a trope that I’m not too keen on lately. GO.

The Mad Sculptor cover The Mad Sculptor: The Maniac, the Model, and the Murder that Shook the Nation by Harold Schechter

I don’t think I already own a book about a sensational murder in the 30s. Sounds good and pulpy. KEEP.

The Bohemians cover The Bohemians: Mark Twain and the San Francisco Writers Who Reinvented American Literature by Ben Tarnoff

I feel like I should want to read this book, and maybe it’s because I’m just finishing up a broad book about the 1830s, but I think this one is going to have to GO.

Anyone have any experience with any of these? Any arguments for KEEP or GO?

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It’s Monday, What Are You… 7/9

…Reading?

These last two weeks have been kind of blah reading-wise. Actually, blah everything-wise. That’s how it goes for me in summer. Too much heat and brightness.

Heaven's Ditch: God, Gold, and Murder on the Erie Canal World of Trouble (The Last Policeman, #3) The Science of Illusions
  • Heaven’s Ditch: God, Gold, and Murder on the Erie Canal by Jack Kelly – This book is interesting, but it’s also slow-going. Kelly follows several threads of intertwined events; there’s just so much going on. I’m about halfway through.
  • World of Trouble (The Last Policeman #3) by Ben H. Winters – I’m over 60% finished. I’ll probably finish it this week.
  • The Science of Illusions by Jacques Ninio – Starting this today. It will probably be a bit of a “dip-in” book for the next week or so.
  • Short stories: “Secret Keeper” by Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam and “The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle” by Arthur Conan Doyle

It's Monday! What Are You ReadingIt’s Monday! What Are You Reading, hosted by Book Date!

Wrapping June 2018

Reading

Good-ish reading month.

  • Books Finished: 5
    • Highlights: Fall of Man in Wilmslow byDavid Langercrantz and
      The Burglar Was Caught by a Skeleton
      by Jeremy Clay were both solid interesting reads.
  • Books DNFed: 4 – Yeah, I know!
  • Short Stories Read: 25
    • Highlights: “Playing with Fire” by Arthur Conan Doyle (a non-Sherlock Holmes story concerning a séance before Doyle was into spiritualism) and “Bog Girl” by Karen Russell.
  • Challenge Updates:
    • 20 Books of Summer: I’m 4/15, which is a little behind, but I did DNF one of the books on my list.
    • 2018 Nonfiction Reading Challenge: No progress on my list and I’m slightly below the 25% nonfiction  mark (24%).
    • 2018 TBR Challenge: No progress here either. I’m reading Heaven’s Ditch, which is good, but a little slow.
    • Wild West Reading Challenge: I’ve read 3/6 for this challenge, so right on track for the middle of the year!
    • Shelf Maintenance: Added three books; one I’ve already read, one was a prize, one is an October deadline ARC.

Continue reading “Wrapping June 2018”

It’s Monday, What Are You… 6/25

…Reading?

Finished Last Week:

Fall of Man in Wilmslow: A Novel of Alan TuringThe Burglar Caught by a Skeleton And Other Singular Tales from the Victorian PressDrive

Three books? I know, amazing (for me). I’ve already reviewed Fall of Man in Wilmslow and I’ll have a review of Jeremy Clay’s Victorian press anthology The Burglar Caught by a Skeleton (hopefully) on Thursday.

Drive by James Sallis was an impulse “read”: it’s a novella and I listened to it while working on a Minecraft project. I probably won’t review it. I was mostly interested in differences between it and the movie. I would say that the screenplay took certain aspects of the novella and streamlined them into a much smoother narrative. Some of the events in the novella feel more random, more real. Both have their advantages.

This Week:

The Floating Light Bulb (An Eli Marks Mystery Book 5)Heaven's Ditch: God, Gold, and Murder on the Erie Canal

It's Monday! What Are You ReadingIt’s Monday! What Are You Reading, hosted by Book Date!

…Watching?

Penn & Teller: Fool Us is back on TV tonight if you’re in the States. Here’s a promo bit from the past week.

…Doing?

Gearing up for the release of Our Past in the Uncanny Valley. I’ll have a post on Wednesday with the cover. Otherwise, I’m girding myself for the long, hot part of the summer.

What Was I Doing?

(Apparently, the 25th of June isn’t historically a big blogging day for me…)

Five Word Story Challenge

Balsamo
Balsalmo, from John Gaughan’s collection, Photo courtesy Michael Carbonaro

Lori @ Betwined Reads tagged me a couple weeks ago for this fun little writing challenge. I meant to get it done last week in place of my Wednesday writing update, but I’m not the best at keeping to a blogging schedule. Witness! this will be a Tuesday post.

The “Rules”

  • Thank the person who tagged you.
  • Close your eyes, open to random pages, and point your finger on a random word in the last book you have read. Articles do not count.
  • Repeat the above rule 5 times.
  • List the 5 random words you have.
  • Create a 5 sentence flash fiction using your 5 random words. Each sentence must contain at least one word from your list. You can change the tense of the word as needed.
  • Tag 3 people.

The Stuff

Thanks, Lori!

Okay, I actually picked my words last week from the book I had just finished:  The Doctor and the Kid by Mike Resnick.

The Doctor and the Kid (Weird West Tales, #2)

My words: twisted, strange, justified, credibility, always.

My five sentences:

While the mainstay of his magic act was a talking skull, she had never thought of him as particularly twisted. Oh, sure, he was a little strange. Geniuses were justified in their eccentricities. But the contents of his workshop certainly lent some…credibility…to his reputation.

“He knows to always give any audience what they want,” grinned the skull.

My five sentences are somewhat inspired by the source material and the stories of automata that I’ve been reading and editing, but are mostly me reverting to a fanciful version of Joseffy and his marvelous creations, subjects I haven’t written about in a while.

I am terrible at tagging people. If you’re a writer, take some time out to do this exercise. It’s fun! And if you’re a reader, give it go too. Stories are everywhere!

Down the TBR Hole 14

TBRHole

This is a meme started by Lia at Lost in a Story. The “rules” are:

  • Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 (or even more!) if you’re feeling adventurous) books. Of course, if you do this weekly, you start where you left off the last time.
  • Read the synopses of the books.
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

I’m modifying this a little since my to-read shelf is a mess of books that are mostly in storage. Instead, I’m going to look at my wishlist—all those books I add on a whim during my travels around the book blogging community—and weed out the ones that don’t quite sound as good now. The “keepers” I’m going to look for at online libraries or add to my Amazon wishlist.

Empty Mansions cover Empty Mansions: The Mysterious Life of Huguette Clark and the Spending of a Great American Fortune by Bill Dedman & Paul Clark Newell Jr.

Nonfiction about a 19th century industrialist family. I was going to say “go” but I’m sucked back in. KEEP.

A Very British Murder cover A Very British Murder by Lucy Worsley

On the other hand, this one doesn’t *quite* seem as interesting as when I added it. I think I’d rather just read Victorian literature. GO.

The Golden Day cover The Golden Day by Ursula Dubosarsky

Hmm… Yeah… I can kind of see why I added this to my list, but sounds a little more literary than I care for. GO.

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell cover Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke

Look, we all cave to peer pressure sometimes. Adding this book to my TBR list is an example. I know a lot of people have enjoyed this book, but I doubt I’m ever going to want to invest the time in this 1000 page behemoth. GO.

Budapest cover Budapest by Chico Buarque, Alison Entrekin (Translation)

Wait, what? GO.

Kind of a Monday bloodbath in the TBR Hole…

Anyone have experience with any of these? Arguments for KEEP or GO?

It’s Monday, What Are You… 6/11

…Reading?

Fall of Man in Wilmslow: A Novel of Alan Turing Summerland
  •  Fall of Man in Wilmslow by David Lagercrantz – About half way with this. It’s been a strangely fast read.
  • Summerland by Hannu Rajaniemi – At the 20% mark. It’s been a strangely slow read.
  • And a bunch of short stories…

It's Monday! What Are You ReadingIt’s Monday! What Are You Reading, hosted by Book Date!

…Watching?

I’m watching The Toys that Made Us, a Netflix documentary series. Another way to take advantage of Gen X’s appetite for nostalgia? Yes. But there are some pretty good stories behind these toys too. Plus, the series highlights the number of people behind each toy line. Nothing, even toys, is ever created by one person alone in their basement.

…Doing?

I have nothing of note on the docket for the next month. Yes, I get more excited when I have nothing going on. Well, other than work.

What Was I Doing?