Monthly Archives: September 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Fall Reading

TOPTENTUESDAY

As the days get shorter, the nights get cooler and the leaves start to change, it’s time to consider what I’m going to read this fall.  As with many bibliophiles, I’ve got a long list of books that I’d like to read.  And that just happens to be the theme of this week’s Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by the Broke and the Bookish).

Here are ten books I’m looking forward to reading this season (between watching football games and celebrating fall with my wife and Shortcake).

  1. sleepingbeauties Bless Her Heart by Sally Kilpatrick.
  2. Artemis by Andy Weir.
  3. Fierce Kingdom by Gin Phillips
  4. The Massacre of Mankind by Stephen Baxter
  5. Sleeping Beauties by Stephen King and Owen King
  6. Strange Weather by Joe Hill
  7. A Plague of Giants by Kevin Hearne
  8. The Midnight Line by Lee Child
  9. Working Fire by Emily Bleeker
  10. Slade House by David Mitchell
  11. Doctor Who: Survival by Rona Munroe (Audiobook re-visiting)

I’m sure I’ll find more books as we get through the fall.

And if anyone has any recommendations for fall reading, please let me know!

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TV: Doctor Who: Revenge of the Cybermen

Revenge_of_the_Cybermen_1984_VHS_UKThere are a lot of things about “Revenge of the Cybermen” that don’t make sense.

But the biggest thing comes not from anything that takes place on-screen but the serial’s place in Doctor Who history.

Back in the 80’s as VCRs became more and more common in homes, the BBC decided to test the waters with a commercially released classic Doctor Who serial.  And for this honor, they decided to pick something from what many fans considered the pinnacle of Doctor Who – the Tom Baker starring, Robert Holmes script-editing, Phillip Hinchcliffe producing years.

Somehow classics like “The Ark in Space,” “The Pyramids of Mars” or “The Robots of Death” were passed by and instead the world got “Revenge of the Cybermen.”

Who-lore from the era tells us that the BBC polled fans at a convention and a mix-up between “Revenge of the Cybermen” and the then missing “Tomb of the Cybermen” occurred.  Seems fans wanted “Tomb.”  Instead we got “Revenge.” Continue reading

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Review: Eleanor Olyphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely FineEleanor Oliphant may think she’s completely fine. But spend a few pages with her and you’ll find out that she’s not quite as fine as she thinks she is.

Eleanor wants for nothing physically. Her regular job provides a steady income that allows her to provide for the basic human necessities as well as a few extras. For example, enough vodka to pass the hours of her weekend until it’s time to go back to work again. She has her weekly conversations with her Mummy and she looks forward to certain documentary programs on the radio or television.

Yes, Eleanor is doing just fine, thank you.

Except she’s not really. Emotionally distant from herself and those around her (at one point, Eleanor points out that her foster child upbringing taught her to stop “wanting” things that weren’t vital to her survival), Eleanor has finally found the man of her dreams. He’s the singer for an up and coming band and while the two haven’t met, Eleanor just knows that once they meet, it will be love at first sight and things will start being more than just “fine.” Continue reading

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TV Round-Up: The Orville, “Old Wounds”

xzsw7urvcxqpskxv40ggBased on the promotional material and my expectations of what constitutes a Seth MacFarlane show, I expected The Orville to be a bit more Galaxy Quest than Star Trek.

Turns out FOX took all the “funny” and “zingy” one-liner parts of the premiere and edited those into a (much repeated) commercial for the show.

It’s almost as if Fox doesn’t quite know what kind of show Seth MacFarlane is giving them.

Which could be because The Orville doesn’t seem to know what kind of show it wants to be either. That’s my big takeaway from the first episode, “Old Wounds.” Continue reading

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Waiting on Wednesday: Bless Her Heart by Sally Kilpatrick

waitingonwednesdayMy local library branch was closed for three weeks for renovation.   So, I not only experience withdrawals but I also had a huge stack of stuff I’d put on reserve come in, leading to a truly epic check-out.  That’s why I wasn’t able to participate in the Waiting on Wednesday (hosted by Breaking the Spine) last week.

But now as I whittle down the pile, deciding what to return and put on reserve again for future reading, I’m looking into the future for more books to add to my TBR pile.

This week it’s the latest novel by one of my favorite authors and a good friend, Sally Kilpatrick.   Her new novel, Bless Her Heart, hits physical and digital shelves on Halloween.

blessherheartLaugh-out-loud funny and unabashedly uplifting, with just the right amount of Southern sass, Sally Kilpatrick’s wonderful novel centers on one woman’s journey from unhappy marriage to a surprising second chance . . .

On the day Posy Love discovers that her born-again husband has been ministering to some of his flock a little too eagerly, she also learns that he’s left her broke and homeless. Posy married Chad five years ago in hopes of finding the stability her hippie mother couldn’t provide. Instead she got all the trappings of security–house, car, seemingly respectable husband–at the price of her freedom.

Posy’s mother, Lark, accepts her daughter’s return home with grace, though her sister can’t resist pointing out that being a sweet Southern wife hasn’t worked out as planned. And so, with the Seven Deadly Sins as a guide, Posy decides to let loose for once. Envy is easy to check off the list–Posy only has to look at her best friend’s adorable baby for that.

One very drunken night at The Fountain bar takes care of gluttony. As for lust–her long-time friend, John, is suddenly becoming much more than a pal. One by one, Posy is bulldozing through her old beliefs about love, family–and what it really means to be good. And she’s finding that breaking a few rules might be the perfect way to heal a heart…

I’ve read all of Sally’s books and enjoyed them.  I’m really looking forward to her new novel and hoping I may get an early peek if it arrives on the Galley of Nets in the near future.

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Loved Growing Up

TOPTENTUESDAY

One of the things I’ve loved about being an uncle is sharing some of the books I read over and over again with my nieces and nephews.  It’s fun to visit old friends again or wander the bookstore or library and see which books have withstood the test of time and which ones are no longer still in print.

And with Shortcake, I look forward to sharing those books with her and discovering new favorites.

I will admit I had a tendency to check-out and re-read some of the same set of books over and over again growing up.  Some I can still recall the title of, while others I can remember snippets and passages from but I can’t recall the title or author.  (And believe me, I’ve spent a few minutes on Google trying to see if I can put together enough pieces to find them!)

For this week’s Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by the Broke and the Bookish), I’ve decided to share some of my favorite books I read growing up. Continue reading

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Review: Marvel Masterworks: The Amazing Spider-Man, Volume 13

Marvel Masterworks: The Amazing Spider-Man, Vol. 13Collecting a dozen or so issues of the original run of The Amazing Spider-Man, this may represent the most memorable stories of the Gerry Conway era. Starting off with the epic two-part story that “changed comics forever,” “The Night Gwen Stacey Died” set a new tone for the Peter Parker and his secret identity. It’s one of the few comic book deaths (outside of Uncle Ben) that has really stuck, though Marvel has certainly tried to mess with this by having clones of Gwen come back and then later revelations that Gwen and Norman Osborne were hooking up while she was off in London.

The two part story that features the end of Gwen and the original Green Goblin has been retold and given homage in multiple re-tellings of the Spider-Man story. But few are better than what Conway does in these two issues. Knowing the ending allows you to sit back and really examine how Conway and the creative team on ASM toyed with readers of the day, building up and foreshadowing the two major deaths to come.

As if that monumental two-part saga weren’t enough, we also get the introduction of the Punisher to the Marvel-verse and the Jackal to the Spider-verse. And both of these introductions occur in the same issue. The sad part is that said issue isn’t necessarily much to write home about. The Punisher is an interesting force to be reckoned with, but in his debut, he’s pretty much a one-note character. The backstory that we associate with the character comes later. Continue reading

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Challenge Accepted: R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril XII (RIP XII)

ripxii800Fall is finally here!  Cooler days, changing colors, football and, of course, fall reading!

With the return of fall comes the return of the Readers Imbibing Peril challenge.  Started by Carl of Stainless Steel Droppings, the challenge will be hosted this year by My Capricious Life and Estella’s Revenge.

The purpose of the R.I.P. Challenge is to enjoy books that could be classified as:
  • Mystery.
  • Suspense.
  • Thriller.
  • Dark Fantasy.
  • Gothic.
  • Horror.
  • Supernatural.

There are a couple of participation levels and even a group read scheduled for October.

I’m in and trying for Peril 1. This means I’ll try to read four books of any length that fit the guidelines.  I’m pretty sure I can do it, especially in light of the fact that I’ve already got the new Stephen King book on reserve at my local library!

Find out more at the links listed above or you can just sign up here.

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Struggled To Get Through

TOPTENTUESDAY

There’s nothing quite like the feeling of reading a good book.  Breathlessly turning the pages to find out what happens next or finding that next great sentence or paragraph. Books that remind you why you love reading so much.

And then there is the other side of the coin with books that are a struggle to get through. This week’s Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by the Broke and the Bookish) looks at the books we had a hard time making it all the way to the end. Continue reading

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Review: Moonhead and the Music Machine by Andrew Rae

Moonhead and the Music MachineAn interesting take on young adult tropes, Moonhead and the Music Machine is one of the more bizarre and intriguing graphic novels I’ve read in recent memory.

Joey Moonhead is aptly named — he and his family have moons for heads. Trying to find his place in high school, Joey struggles between his parents’ expectations and his desire to fit in. When the school talent show comes up, Joey invents his own instrument and shocks his peer by not only playing but being pretty good at it.

Filled with things only a graphic novel can do, Moonhead and the Music Machine is an immersive, entertaining experience. On one level, it would be easy to zip through the story but doing that doesn’t allow for really taking in the various panels and visuals created by Andrew Rae. And while the story itself isn’t exactly a new one, Rae’s take on the coming of age young adult story is intriguing enough to make spending time with Joey Moonhead worth it.

In the interest of full disclosure, I received an ARC of this book from the Amazon Vine program.

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