Top Ten Tuesday: Problems Only a Bibliophile Could Have


This week’s Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by the Broke and the Bookish) asks an intriguing question.  What are the Top Ten Bookish Things You Wish You Could Quit (Or Have Quit).

As usual, my responses will be varied.

Bookish Things I’ve Quit

  1.  Dean Koontz novels.  Because of the proximity of his last name, Koontz’s novels were often near Stephen King novels in the bookstore and/or library.   My parents shared one of his books with me in high school and I really enjoyed it.  And for a while I read more of Koontz and would read his new novels as they were published.  Which led to my reason for giving up Koontz — every time I read a new novel of his, it felt like I’d read it before.  It’s not that his novels are all the same, but they all feel the same when I’m reading them.  So, I eventually stopped reading him and haven’t picked up anything he’s done lately.  It probably helped that I didn’t care for the Odd Thomas series.
  2. Expecting the movie/tv version to be as good as the book.  This one is a difficult one for any bibliophile and it’s been especially difficult for me.  And while I probably haven’t completely divested myself of this habit, I hope I’ve mellowed a bit on it.  I realized that books only have the budget of my imagination and that there may be things in the novel that pique my interest but won’t necessarily translate well to the screen or make into the screenplay.  And that’s OK.  I’ve accepted it and tried to stop complaining too much.   (Side note:  This helped me enjoy watching The Martian. It also cropped up when I caught a few minutes of Pet Semetary on cable last week and was reminded that I didn’t like that adaptation because one sequence from the movie barely scratched the surface of how riveting, horrifying and memorable it was in the novel.)
  3. Reading all the Doctor Who/Star Trek novels that are published.  I love a good tie-in novel.   They’re the chewing gum of books for me and can be a pleasant palate cleanser.  But as the years have gone along, I’ve become a bit more selective in the ones I read.  Part of it is that there are simply so many tie-in books published for my two favorite shows that I don’t necessarily have the time or funds to read them all.   And part of it is that some of the Trek novels have created their own  canon beyond the end of the series and movies and I’m hopelessly behind on them.

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Musing Mondays: Seasonal Reading List


Time again to start the week with Musing Mondays hosted by A Daily Rhythm. It’s been a few weeks since I participated, so let’s try to get back into the swing of things.

Today’s random question asks: Do you make a seasonal reading list? How do you choose what goes on it?

While there are certain books and certain types of books I enjoy reading during the various seasons of the year, I have to admit I don’t necessarily make a seasonal reading list.

But I do like to read certain things at certain times of the year.  For the past several years, for example, I have enjoyed listened to a different audio version of A Christmas Carol.    Each narrator brings something unique to the performance and it may lead me to see something about this familiar story in a new way.

I also enjoy a good scary story or two around Halloween.

Growing up, I checked out a record (yes, I’m old….) from the library that had Vincent Price reading stories by Edgar Allen Poe.  One of them that was very memorable was a rendition of the Telltale Heart.   Price’s voice was just perfect for the reading and telling of the story and it’s stuck with me.  I don’t recall what other stories were on the record (I copied it onto cassette tape), but I’d love to hear some of them again.

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Review: The Doctors Are In by Graeme Burke and Robert Smith?

The Doctors Are In: The Essential and Unofficial Guide to Doctor Who's Greatest Time Lord

Reading The Doctors Are In reminded me a lot of those heady days when I first got on-line and discovered there were fellow Doctor Who fans out there who loved to debate the show as much as I did. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to me since I’ve had debates with at least one half of this writing duo about various aspects of my favorite television show long before I picked up this book.

But reading this in-depth look at each era of the good Doctor (wisely divided up into two eras for the fourth Doctor because, let’s face it, there are two eras to Tom Baker’s run on the show), I couldn’t help but feel like certain only flames were being fanned and I kept looking around for the reply button so I could begin to debate Robert Smith? and Graeme Burke on various points they have about each era of the show. (This is especially true when they pick their five stories that represent each era of the show. Because really — “Planet of the Spiders”?!? You must be messing with me!)

Reading Smith? and Burke’s debates about various eras of the show and the actors who played the Doctor is entertaining and informative. And while this book isn’t exactly breaking new ground, it has a leg up in that you can feel the passion and fandom these two have for the series.

This may be a selling point for some and it may be a detraction for others. If you’re looking for a by the numbers look at the Doctors, you may want to look elsewhere. If you’re looking for spirited debate among two long time fans who don’t agree on everything, this is worth picking up and spending time with. It may even make you want to debate the two and it may even make you want to visit the stories they refer to in their top five of the era. And while I can find some points of contention I have with some of their arguments (I’ve finally found that one fan who doesn’t love “Genesis of the Daleks.” He’s wrong, of course.), these come more from my feelings on the show than on Smith? and Burke laying out their points.

In the interest of full disclosure, I received a digital ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Review: Bittersweet Creek by Sally Kilpatrick

Bittersweet Creek

Bad blood has existed for years between the Satterfields and McElroys. But when Romy is assigned to tutor high school football player Julian, sparks begin to fly and the two fall madly in love. Planning to elope the night of their high school graduation, Julian stood Romy up, never offering a reason why he didn’t meet her and head off to Nashville to follow their dreams together.

A decade later, Romy is coming home to take care of her father and with a new boyfriend in tow. The new boyfriend comes from a well-to-do family and has every intention of making an honest woman of Romy. But there’s one small catch.

Actually, there are several catches before Romy and her new boyfriend can live happily ever after. There’s the question of just who and where she wants to live out happily ever after.

Set in the same small town as The Happy Hour Choir, Sally Kilpatrick’s sophomore novel Bittersweet Creek not only lives up to the high expectations I had for it, but it eclipses them. Kilpatrick sets up a romance that has obstacles to it — and they’re obstacles that are authentic and earned. There are moments in this novel when we’re just as uncertain who Romy will choose as Romy is and there are moments when I couldn’t quite figure out what was going to come next — because Kilpatrick had created a believable scenario where one of many choices could happen. Continue reading

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Re-Opening The X-Files: Pusher, Teso Dos Bechos, Hell Money

xfiles pusher

Mulder: Modell psyched the guy out, he put the whammy on him!
Scully: Please explain to me the scientific nature of the Whammy.


Vince Gilligan’s second episode of The X-Files is not only a superb monster-of-the-week story, but it can also be looked at as a rough draft for Breaking Bad.   There are elements of Walter White in Robert Patrick Modell — cancer, a “little” man who wants to be something more.   And both characters give us a quotable through line.  In Walter’s case it’s “I’m the one who knocks” and with Modell it’s “Cerulean blue.”

OK, so maybe I’m reading a bit too much into things and being overly analytical.  But I can’t help it because “Pusher” is one of my favorite “stand alone” episodes of the show.

Part of what makes the story work so well is the connection we see between Mulder and Modell. If Modell were just your average monster of the week, I’m not sure he’d be so memorable. The fact that he gets under Mulder’s skin so and takes such a personal interest in Mulder is what makes the episode work.  Modell is an ordinary guy who dreams of being something more — in this case, he wants to be a ninja warrior.   He wants respect, he wants power and he’s willing to put his own life on the line to do it.   Continue reading

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Top Ten Tuesday: Fall TBR List


It’s time again for Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by the Broke and the Bookish).  This week, we’re looking at our fall TBR list.

As with all things, this could change as I get distracted by new and shiny books.


  1.  A Banquet of Consequences by Elizabeth George
  2. Star Wars: Aftermath  by Chuck Wendig
  3. The Bazaar of Bad Dreams by Stephen King
  4. Make Me by Lee Child
  5. X by Sue Grafton
  6. The Girl With the Deep Blue Eyes by Lawrence Block
  7. Doctor Who: Big Bang Generation  by Gary Russell
  8. The Crossing by Michael Connelly
  9. The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen
  10. A Crown of Thorns and Roses by Sarah Maas



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Musing Mondays: Rainy Days and Mondays


Time to kick off the week with Musing Mondays hosted by A Daily Rhythm.

This week’s random question asks: Is a rainy day likely to inspire you to read?

It all depends.  It could depend on what other activities I have planned for that day or things that need to be accomplished.  Or it could depend on if there is football being broadcast on television or a show that I’d like to catch that evening.

But on a rainy day, I hope I can find a bit of time to enjoy a good book.

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