Magic Monday, 1/14/19


I like Mondays. I also like magic. I figured I’d combine the two and make a Monday feature that is truly me: a little bit of magic and a look at the week ahead.

Today’s bit of magic comes via Dean Carnegie and his Magic Detective blog. Last week, he featured a guest post by Ron Pearson about his upcoming play Minerva, Queen of Handcuffs. The play is opening in Edmonton, Canada and sounds wonderful. Minerva was a female escapologist and a contemporary of Houdini’s. Dean gave Minerva her own post back in 2017.

The video below is of Miranda Allen, aka Tianna the Traveller, the young lady who plays Minerva.

It’s Monday! What am I…

…reading?

Duped: Double Lives, False Identities, and the Con Man I Almost Married
Trilby
Laurant: Man of Many Mysteries
  • Duped: Double Lives, False Identities, and the Con Man I Almost Married by Abby Ellin – I should have this finished up by mid-week. Intending to post a review on Wednesday.
  • Trilby by George du Maurier – And then I’ll read the January installment of Trillby. I’m looking forward to it.
  • Laurant: The Man of Many Mysteries by Gabe Fajuri – Then a jaunt into magic!
  • Short stories: “In a Wide Sky, Hidden” by William Ledbetter, a Sherlock Holmes mystery, and more from The Black Cat.

…doing?

Well, I got the last of the Christmas decorations down early last week and the apartment is back to being a plain, old apartment again.

AB league started last week. We won our first game. I realized that I am the oldest woman in either division this time around, though not the woman with the most experience. I did cover the 16 year-old on the other team during the last point that didn’t matter. (It was hard cap and we were already up by two.) Should be a fun team and with some skill, so I can’t ask for much more than that.

Getting back to writing this week. Did I say that last week too? I’m afraid to look back… I plan on doing a writing post on Wednesday.

What *was* I doing?

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Down the TBR Hole 17

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 Amazing Harvey: A Mystery

The Amazing Harvey: A Mystery by Don Passman

It’s a mystery with a magcian characters. If it weren’t a little hard to find, I probably would have already bought it! KEEP.

Born of Illusion (Born of Illusion, #1)

Born of Illusion by Teri Brown

She’s an illusionist, her mother is a renowned medium, and oh, I didn’t realize that this was set in Jazz age New York. But it does have a paranormal aspect… KEEP, since it’s available on Hoopla.

Mr. Fox

Mr. Fox by Helen Oyeyemi

I don’t remember why this book was on my Wishlist. It might be good, but I don’t think it’s anything I’m ever going to get to. GO.

The Metamorphosis: The Apprenticeship of Harry Houdini

The Metamorphosis: The Apprenticeship of Harry Houdini by Bruce Macnab

I have a few Houdini books. I’m kind of tired of Houdini. This is about his early career, but do I need to know more about his early career? GO.

Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day

Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day by Ben Loory

I usually don’t fall for a cover, but I *really* like this cover. Fantasy and magical realism short stories? Sounds like a future Deal Me In list. KEEP.

Magic Monday, 1/7/19


I like Mondays. I also like magic. I figured I’d combine the two and make a Monday feature that is truly me: a little bit of magic and a look at the week ahead.

I figure the New Year is a good time to revive my twist on celebrating the first day of the week: Magic Monday.

To kick off the year, let’s start with Eric Chien’s award-winning Ribbon routine. It’s on the longer side, but well worth it.

It’s Monday! What am I…

…reading?

Duped: Double Lives, False Identities, and the Con Man I Almost Married
Ashes to Ashes: The Songs of David Bowie, 1976-2016
Don Quixote
  • Duped: Double Lives, False Identities, and the Con Man I Almost Married by Abby Ellin
  • Ashes to Ashes: The Songs of David Bowie by Chris O’Leary
  • Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
  • Short stories: “A Dog’s Story” by Gardner Dozois for Deal Me In, “The Disappearance of Lady Francis Carfax” by Arthur Conan Doyle, some tales from The Black Cat.

…doing?

It’s finally starting to feel like the holidays are over. With New Year’s Eve and Day on Monday and Tuesday of last week, it was kind of easy to ignore the rest of the three day “week.” Even (especially?) working from home, it can be easy to fall into a vacation trap.

This week, I’m looking to get back to writing in a more regular manner and generally get back into some sort of schedule. And AB League starts! Between the holidays and colder weather (it’s been in the 50s!!!), I didn’t play much ultimate in December. The holiday goodies are taking their toll on my waistline.

What *was* I doing?

#AMonthOfFaves ~ Favorite Books Read This Year

For the month of December, join hosts  GirlxoxoTraveling with T and Estella’s Revenge for their annual #AMonthofFaves blog event—a fun way to recap the year that was. They have every day of the event (Monday, Wednesday and Friday) planned out, and you can join in anytime! More details.

Mon. | Dec. 31 – Favorite Books Read This Year

Favorite Fiction Novel

All the Crooked Saints

All the Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater

This book was a surprise to me, which has probably increased my warm feelings for it. It has all the things that I like in fiction: great setting, characters I want to spend time with, and a interesting enough plot.
My Review

Fiction Novel Runners-Up

A Long Fatal Love Chase
World of Trouble (The Last Policeman, #3)

A Long Fatal Love Chase by Louisa May Alcott is not the best novel ever written. No, really, it’s okay to say that about a classic author’s work. But, I really enjoyed this book. It’s the sort of sensational story that gave novels a gloriously bad name. My Review

I didn’t give Ben H. Winter’s Countdown City and World of Trouble super high ratings, but I realized some time last week that there weren’t anymore Hank Palace tales left and that made me a little sad. I’ll have to reread these books before I say for sure, but Hank might be one of my favorite characters ever. My Review

Continue reading “#AMonthOfFaves ~ Favorite Books Read This Year”

More Challenges for 2019

Remember this post, not a week old, and my insistence that I wasn’t going to join more than one official year-long challenge? Yeah, well, I’m weak and the internet is full of good ideas.

Nick’s Chapter-a-Day Read-Alongs

Four books, 365 chapters.

  • Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes – January 1 to May 8
  • The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas – May 9 to September 2
  • Lilith by George MacDonald – September 3 to October 19
  • The Old Curiosity Shop by Charles Dickens – October 20 to December 31

All the Details: Announcing the 2019 Chapter-a-Day Read-Along

2019 Nonfiction Reading Challenge

Is it okay to join a challenge for something I was going to do anyway? I’m going to say “yes,” especially when it comes to nonfiction.

My goal is to read at least 36% nonfiction, which is about what I averaged in 2018.

I hesitate to set a list, but here are a few titles I’d like to get to in 2019:

  • Laurant: Man of Many Mysteries by Gabe Fajuri
  • Jay’s Journal of Anomalies by Ricky Jay
  • The Lady from the Black Lagoon: Hollywood Monsters and the Lost Legacy of Milicent Patrick by Mallory O’Meara
  • Duped: Double Lives, False Identities, and the Con Man I Almost Married by Abby Ellin
  • The Man from the Train: The Solving of a Century-Old Serial Killer Mystery by Bill James
  • I’ll Be Gone in the Dark One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer by Michelle McNamara
  • In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin by Erik Larson
  • The Beautiful Cigar Girl: Mary Rogers, Edgar Allan Poe, and the Invention of Murder by Daniel Stashower

All the Details: 2019 Nonfiction Reading Challenge


#AMonthOfFaves ~ This Is How We Read

For the month of December, join hosts  GirlxoxoTraveling with T and Estella’s Revenge for their annual #AMonthofFaves blog event—a fun way to recap the year that was. They have every day of the event (Monday, Wednesday and Friday) planned out, and you can join in anytime! More details.

FRI. | Dec. 28 – #AMonthofFaves ~ This Is How We Read and Blogged This Year – eg. Number of books read so far, genre you read the most from, picture of favorite (or most often used) reading location, most read author, % eBooks, hardcovers, paperbacks and/or audiobooks, hint at what your favorite read of the year is (let us guess), types of books you wish you read more of, month you read the most and least). …

Reading Stats

As of 12/28/18, presented with little comment.

Books Read: 59

Average Rating: 3.3 out of 5
DNFs: 17

Unique Authors: 54
New Authors: 32
Most Read Author: Steve Hockensmith (3)

% Fiction: 64%
% Nonfiction: 36%

Continue reading “#AMonthOfFaves ~ This Is How We Read”

#AMonthOfFaves ~ Goals & Challenges

For the month of December, join hosts  GirlxoxoTraveling with T and Estella’s Revenge for their annual #AMonthofFaves blog event—a fun way to recap the year that was. They have every day of the event (Monday, Wednesday and Friday) planned out, and you can join in anytime! More details.

MON. | Dec. 24 – #AMonthofFaves Challenges and Goals –  Reading challenges, personal goals, resolutions – how did you do? What are your goals for this month, this season or next year. Check in here.

I’m going to stick to reading goals here because writing and personal goals are a whole other ball of wax.

Continue reading “#AMonthOfFaves ~ Goals & Challenges”