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Bout of Books 26

Bout of Books

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly Rubidoux Apple. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 19th and runs through Sunday, August 25th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, Twitter chats, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 26 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team

I need to finish up some formatting work, but then I’m calling in “sick.”

TBR

The Count of Monte Cristo Moby-Dick
Guilt Is a Ghost: A Vera Van Slyke Ghostly Mystery (Vera Van Slyke Ghostly Mysteries Book 2) The Zombie Ball: (An Eli Marks Mystery Book 6) (The Eli Marks Mysteries) by [Gaspard, John]

I need to catch up on The Count of Monte Cristo and Moby-Dick readalongs. Then finish Guilt is a Ghost by Tim Prasil. By the end of the week, I hope have started The Zombie Ball by John Gaspard. Plus short stories:

  • “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” by Edgar Allan Poe
  • “A Defender of Faith” by John D. Barry
  • “Tim’s Vacation” by L. E. Shattuck
  • “Wet Horses” by Alice MacGowan
  • A story for Deal Me In

Updates & Challenges

Monday:

Moby-Dick, ch. 10-11
The Count of Monte Cristo, ch. 102-103
“A Defender of Faith”  by John D. Barry

Sunday Salon, 8/18/19

Sunday Salon

Reading and Such

I focused on working on the VOTS archive this week and that’s pretty much all I had the overhead for. So, not much reading was done. I’m behind on all my readalongs. I’m looking forward to participating in Bout of Books starting tomorrow.

During my bi-weekly trip to the library, I ended up reading “There’s a Hole in the City” by Richard Bowes (from Ghosts: Recent Hauntings, ed. Paula Guran, but also found at Nightmare magazine) while looking for Glen Hirshberg fiction. It’s a rather good ghost story, told in the wake of 9/11.

For Deal Me In, I picked my last wild card, 2. I went to my list of bookmarked stories and picked “Two Years Dead” by Kathryn Kania from Fireside Magazine. Yes, another ghost story. This one very sweet. Opening line: “When I opened up my OKCupid profile, I was already two years dead.”

DealMeIn
Hosted by Jay @ Bibliophilopolis
What’s Deal Me In?

There is definitely a trend occurring with my reading. Along with my classic readalongs I’m also reading lots of mysteries and ghost stories. I’m far away from the end of summer, but September is coming. And R.I.P. is coming…

TV of the Week

I said I was swearing off cinematic universes, but I guess I made an exception for a literary universe. I’m a sometimes Stephen King fan. Some of his work, I’ve liked; some, not as much. Castle Rock was pretty okay as far as  horror TV goes. I had recently tried to watch the first season of Channel Zero, but I didn’t really didn’t care for it. It seemed to go all over the place without doing a good enough job of world-building. I’ve usually liked American Horror Story, but each season seems to go on about five episodes too long at which point it goes off the rails. Castle Rock, of course, has a world in place and was restrained, for what it could be.

Other Stuff

I finished over half of what I had left of the VOTS archive. I would have gotten further, but we opened Fall League registration as well. So, more reformatting this week along with Bout of Books festivities.


The Sunday Salon is a linkup hosted by Deb @ Readerbuzz

Down the TBR Hole 24

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.

God's Bankers cover God’s Bankers: A History of Money and Power at the Vatican by Gerald Posner

This book still sounds fascinating to me: history of a very secretive place/organization viewed through its accumulation and relation to money. The only way this could be more to my taste would be if it had something to do with magic. I’ll have to settle with just religion. KEEP.

The Bullet Catch cover The Bullet Catch by Amy Axelrod & David Axelrod

Speaking of magic… Oh, this book sounds pretty darn good, settling itself firmly in WWI-era without adding too many bells and whistles. KEEP.

Cinnamon and Gunpowder cover Cinnamon and Gunpowder by Eli Brown

I think every time I do this there is going to be one of those books that’s probably really good, that I added to my list due to recommendations, but if I haven’t gotten to it yet, I’m probably not going to get to it ever. This is that book this time. GO.

The Girl with No Hands cover The Girl with No Hands and Other Tales by Angela Slatter

I have way too many short stories on my plate as it is. GO.

alt text Great War Fashion: Tales from the History Wardrobe by Lucy Adlington

Ooo, this looks nice and crunchy. I’m not a fashion person, but clothes can tell you a lot about an era. And this is available as a reasonably priced ebook! KEEP.

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

Sunday Salon, 8/11/19

Sunday Salon

Books & Such

Finished The Spectacle of Illusion and posted a short review of it and Unmentionable. I also caught up on my Poe reading. I’ve been trying to read all the way through the unabridged Poe, but I’ll be honest: sometimes, Poe isn’t very good. I’m not a fan of snarky, satirical Poe.

The Unabridged Edgar Allan Poe
The Count of Monte Cristo Moby Dick

I really didn’t plan to read this many “classics” at once but, well, that’s how it goes sometimes.  Tim Prasil’s Guilt is a Ghost is my “modern” pick for the week, at least in terms of author.

Ghost, Poe, the first Halloween decorations in stores, and football and basketball talk is turning my thoughts toward autumn readathons/challenges. Thinking about Monsterathon. Know of any others? Tell me about ’em!

Show of the Week

Forever (2014) is another of those not-great-but-fun shows that lasted maybe a season. The premise doesn’t really work if you think about it, but I like super longevity as a reason for a Holmes-like intellect. It’s the cast, though, that is especially enjoyable. If you’re in the US, you can watch on CW Seed.

Other Stuff

I find that I’ve become a chronic starter. I start a lot of projects, both professional and recreational, and then get annoyed at myself for not finishing things. (See also readalongs/reading challenges…) So, I want to work on that.

This week, I want to focus on the VOTS archive. A few years back, I switched the website to a responsive layout using Bootstrap. Most of the 20 year archive has been more or less converted, but there’s still a section from Fall 2007 through 2011 that is the old design.

Also in the realm of thing I took on that require more time and focus than I have available, I finished off the content from the screenwriting class. While I won’t be completing a screenplay in the near future, I did find some of the discussion on planning plot to be maybe helpful. Time will tell if it bears fruit.


The Sunday Salon is a linkup hosted by Deb @ Readerbuzz

Sunday Salon, 8/4/19

Sunday Salon

Books and Such

I decided last minute to join the “Reverse” Readathon. Usually, Dewey’s Readathon starts at 5am for me. 5am isn’t *terribly* early, but I never sleep well before it. The Reverse Readathon started 5pm on Friday and I enjoyed that more. I think I probably read as much as usual, but never felt totally wasted.

I finished reading PHYSIC, which I had been neglecting, read most of Unmentionable: The Victorian Lady’s Guide to Sex, Marriage, and Manners by Therese Oneill (an impulse checkout), and listened to some M. R. James short stories.

Also this week I joined the Moby-Dick Readalong, hosted by Brona’s Books. While I’ve been wanting to reread Moby-Dick, I wasn’t going to until next year due to the readalongs that Nick is hosting, but I figured I’d be able to add a little white whale to my TBR.

 

I look forward to finishing The Spectacle of Illusion by Matthew Tompkins and starting Guilt is a Ghost by Tim Prasil.

Deal Me In: J “The Uninvited” by Michael Gilbert from Alfred Hitchcock’s Stories Not for the Nervous. There’s something charming about retired spies, living in the English countryside with a pet dog and a regularly scheduled backgammon game. Never mind the occasional murderous foreign national…

DealMeIn
Hosted by Jay @ Bibliophilopolis
What’s Deal Me In?

Movie of the Week

I decided that in August I want to stay away from the big franchises. Don’t get me wrong, I like a good superhero movie, but I’m just a little tired of sequels, remakes, and cinematic universes. So far in August, I’ve watched A Monster Calls and Hell or High Water.

As a part of my screenwriting class I also read the screenplay to Hell or High Water. There are some differences, but both are really, really good. It’s also really obvious how much movies are a collaborative process. The screenwriter provides a scaffold and so many of the details are added by the cast and crew. I really wish they had a video of the first scene. It’s a beautiful interpretation of what’s in the screenplay.

Other Stuff

We finally got some monsoons here in Arizona. Usually, we have some storms by mid-July, but we really didn’t get our first one until the 30th. Honestly, the high temps haven’t been super hot, but with no storm systems, the lows don’t get better than 88-ish degrees. It’s August though; only two more months of summer left!

Been watching more ultimate frisbee than I’ve been playing. Rain cancelled my Tuesday league game and Wednesday’s pickup game. Eric and I haven’t been getting out to run and throw either. Did throw some on an ambient-lit field the other night. I don’t remember the last time I went a week without at least throwing.


The Sunday Salon is a linkup hosted by Deb @ Readerbuzz

Sunday Salon, 7/28/19

Sunday Salon

Books

Finished reading Scripting Hitchcock by Walter Raubicheck & Walter Srebnick and The Violent Century by Lavie Tidhar.

Scripting Hitchcock was a look at the collaborative writing of Psycho (1960), The Birds (1963) and Marnie (1964). These three films were made near the end of Hitchcock’s career. Each was an adaptation and each had a different screenwriter: Joseph Stefano, Evan Hunter, and Jay Presson Allen respectively. Raubicheck and Srebnick interviewed each of the screenwriters to compare the processes that went into writing the films.

I’ll have a review of The Violent Century on Thursday, or thereabout.

My TBR stack for the week:

PHYSIC Spectacle of Illusion

Movies

The local Harkins Cinema had a few showings of Blade Runner (1982) on the schedule as a tribute to Rutger Hauer, who passed away recently. While we’re both fans of the film, neither Eric nor I had ever seen it in the theater. Man, this is such a great looking film. It’s a dark film, but you’re never left not seeing what’s in the shadows. The cut they screened was the “Final Cut,” which smooths out some of the editing without needing the voice-over.

Other Stuff

Occasionally, my arthritis flares up in my jaw, which is kind of miserable. It makes my face hurt and is just…tiring. Lots of naps have been taken.

I signed up for a screenwriting class on Saturday. Partially as a lark, partially because I’ve wanted to learn more about screenwriting for a while now. Should be fun.

 


The Sunday Salon is a linkup hosted by Deb @ Readerbuzz

Down the TBR Hole #23

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.

Seer of Shadows cover The Seer of Shadows by Avi

If I remember correctly my niece likes Avi quite a bit. This story, with its history of photography, still interests me. KEEP, though it being YA has been a deterrent thus far.

Arthur & George cover Arthur & George by Julian Barnes

Oh, this is fiction. I am mistaking it for another book, I think. Doyle for the Defence, maybe? GO.

 

Man from Beyond cover The Man from Beyond by Gabriel Brownstein

Another fiction with Arthur Conan Doyle? Once upon a time I put these on my TBR, but that was before a lot of Arthur Conan Doyle nonfiction. GO.

Chaucer's Tale cover Chaucer’s Tale: 1386 and the Road to Canterbury by Paul Strohm

I was ready to send this one packing, that I’d never get to it. But the blurb is really compelling. I love hearing about history as the backdrop for specific people or places. KEEP.

Deadwood cover Deadwood by Pete Dexter

Instead, I think this is going to be the history I’m never going to get to. GO.

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