Mstrust's ROOTs- I Almost Tripped On Them

Keskustelu2023 ROOT CHALLENGE

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Mstrust's ROOTs- I Almost Tripped On Them

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 1, 11:00 am

Welcome to my 2023 ROOTing!

I'm Jennifer and this is my fourth year of ROOTing, which has helped me alot in choosing books that are already on my shelf. My goal for every year has been 50% ROOTs, and I made that exactly in 2022.

Good luck to everyone!

tammikuu 1, 12:00 pm

Happy New Year. Looking forward to seeing what you're reading this year

tammikuu 1, 1:40 pm

Welcome back and have a great reading year!

tammikuu 1, 2:07 pm

Happy new year, and welcome back again!

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 1, 3:45 pm

>3 Robertgreaves: Happy new year, Robert!
>4 rabbitprincess: Thanks, Princess, and I wish the same for you!
>5 Jackie_K: Happy new year, Jackie! Thanks, I'm happy to ROOT again!

tammikuu 2, 5:16 am

>6 mstrust: Happy to see you back! These covers are so fun

tammikuu 2, 5:28 am

I do love the book covers! Happy ROOTing :-)

tammikuu 2, 10:42 am

>7 Caramellunacy: >8 KWharton: Thank you both, and happy rooting to you!

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 2, 10:44 am

1. Tales From the Haunted Mansion Volume II: Midnight at Madame Leota's by Amicus Arcane. The second in the series sees Haunted Mansion librarian Arcane bringing a grieving young man into the mansion because the stranger insists on a meeting with Madame Leota, whom he's heard was the best medium to have ever lived. The problem is that Madame Leota supposedly died years before, and the young man is searching for someone who can verify that she was genuine. That someone is Arcane, who is compelled to tell his visitor the life stories of several of the mansion's residents, such as the young girl who refuses to speak, or the "man" who lives in the mansion's graveyard.
This is the third I've read in the series (I've jumbled the order a bit), and each is sinister and fun, as Arcane can't stop himself from breaking into his own stories with asides for the reader.

I'm not sure how long I had this on my Kindle, but now I have more room and my first of 2023 is down!

tammikuu 3, 8:26 am

Happy New ROOTS thread! Good luck!

tammikuu 3, 9:47 am

Thanks, Lynda, and good luck to you!

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 3, 11:22 am

The first 2023 volume of Autumn Lives Here is up, with a look at movie tropes, true crime podcasts, and a red champagne cocktail. Come have a look:

tammikuu 5, 5:49 am

Great to see you're back, Jennifer. Happy reading!

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 5, 10:03 am

2. Mr. Monk and the Two Assistants by Lee Goldberg.

Natalie and her daughter Julie, with Monk tagging along, end up in the ER to have Julie's broken arm set. The nurse happens to be Sharona, Mr. Monk's former assistant, who had left Monk without a good-bye and returned to New Jersey to re-marry her ex-husband. Now, she's left her husband again, but this time it's because he's murdered one of his landscaping clients and is sitting in jail in L.A.
Natalie, Monk's current assistant, begins investigating the case herself, determined to find Sharona's husband innocent, because if he's guilty, Sharona is back for good and likely taking Natalie's job.
The Monk book series is fun, especially the ones written by Goldberg. I read this for the MysteryKit, but just realized it's also a ROOT.

tammikuu 5, 10:17 am

>14 MissWatson: Thank you, and Happy New Year!

tammikuu 5, 10:42 am

Hi Jennifer, Happy New Year and have a great time ROOTing.

tammikuu 5, 2:42 pm

Happy new year, Connie! I'm happy to see you!

tammikuu 5, 4:42 pm

Giggling at the covers and sending congratulations on two ROOTs already!

tammikuu 6, 4:26 pm

Thanks, MJ, I was surprised that both fit!

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 9, 11:29 am

3. Paul Is Undead by Alan Goldsher. Taking place in an alternative reality that is very much like our own, with the exception that zombies and vampires are a part of the population, The Beatles are still an iconic band of the 60's and early 70's. The major differences are that though they broke up, they are all still around because they are, with the exception of Ringo, zombies. Ringo is a ninja, and he was chosen to be their drummer because the others felt they needed to have at least one living member to be palatable to the audiences, what with their fingers tending to fall off during guitar solos, and they wanted someone with the skills to fight, because not everyone likes zombies.
This is the story of the rise of a "zombie" band, which angers the band The Zombies so much that their singer stalks The Beatles and regrets it. Mick Jagger also follows The Beatles, but that's because he's a trained zombie killer. And Roy Orbison is some kind of galactic creature whose sunglasses are tempering his mighty power. Yoko is a higher level ninja than Ringo.

The story is wild, and some passages are funny. I found the style, that of events being gone over from multiple angles as an investigative reporter interviews everyone involved in the band's history, to make the story drag quite a bit. It isn't what's being said, it's having to keep who's speaking straight because it jumps from character to character so much. But a pretty outrageous tale.

tammikuu 9, 12:14 pm

>21 mstrust: That sounds really 'strange'.

tammikuu 10, 10:32 am

It is! Very creative story but needed a different format, in my opinion.

tammikuu 10, 10:32 am

The newest Autumn Lives Here is up and it includes a chocolate cocktail, a slew of short horror movies, and the tragic story of Opal Petty

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 16, 11:36 am

4. You Are Not So Smart by David McRaney.
Explaining terms such as "Introspection", "The Affect Heuristic", "Extinction Burst" and "Hindsight Bias", the author then explains why our memories are untrustworthy, why we go along with things that we know are wrong, why fortune tellers still exist, and how easily we are manipulated.

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 17, 10:26 am

The newest Autumn Lives Here is up, and it's full of monstrous music, the real Twin Peaks murder, and Dexter.

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 27, 2:16 pm

5. Mary Jane by Jessica Anya Blau.
In Baltimore in 1975, fourteen year old Mary Jane has been hired to be the Summer nanny to five year old neighbor Izzy Cone. Mary Jane and Izzy come from very different households, with the Cones living in a mess, Mrs Cone not bothering to cook and Izzy's coloring book is of human anatomy. Mary Jane has grown up in a strict religious household where her mother controls her every move, which is why Mary Jane knows she has to lie to her mother in order to keep her job, especially when Dr. Cone moves two famous people into the house to treat the rockstar husband for drug addiction.
A coming of age story that focuses on the permissive and sometimes thoughtless parenting of the 70s. The reader has to wonder why the Cones would put a fourteen year old in charge of their daughter, and very quickly, the whole household, as level-headed Mary Jane becomes the housekeeper, cook and sounding board to the four adults in the house. I liked the story more in the beginning when I thought it would focus more on Mary Jane becoming independent of her parents, but it was much more about how the adults in the Cone household were too selfish to protect the children from their disastrous lives. At one point, Mary Jane is forced to take part in a group therapy session about infidelity. I also started focusing on how often these adults were touching her, kissing her forehead, asking about her feelings. Not a winner for me, but I didn't hate it.
This had been on my Kindle for 7 months.

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 14, 10:05 am

The Valentine's Autumn Lives Here is up, but you know I can't do sweet romance, now don't you? I've got murder!
Btw, if you read ALH on the computer, it's misaligned. Subscribe, get it on your phone, and it's in perfect order. Just in case you've always wondered why it's a little wonky.

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 17, 6:01 pm

6. I Am Half-Sick of Shadows by Alan Bradley. The fourth in the series. It's Christmas time and Flavia's father has had to rent out part of their crumbling ancestral home, Buckshaw, to a film company. To everyone's delight, the movie being filmed will star Phyllis Wyvern, the most famous movie actress. She even agrees to give a charity performance of a scene from Romeo and Juliet that captivates the audience of locals, who then find they've been snowed in during the festivities, making Flavia's discovery of a dead body a narrow pool of suspects.
Brilliant and self-confident Flavia is always fun, but who would have guessed that an eleven year-old would be so comfortable handling a corpse?
This has been on the shelf for 2 years.

helmikuu 19, 7:58 am

Hi Jennifer. >29 mstrust: I see you have read a Flavia book. I must get back to those books sometime soon.

helmikuu 20, 9:57 am

I'm going too slowly with them, but I don't have them all yet and I insist on reading them in order. I don't want to miss anything!

helmikuu 20, 1:28 pm

Good for you! And it's nice to have something fun to read in the future.

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 21, 10:19 am

I certainly do have some fun reads ahead, and I'm looking forward to the stack of Monk books I just bought at the sale on Sunday too. They're pretty funny.

Sorry, I don't know how to go to a particular posting, but if anyone wants to see my enormous haul from Sunday's book sale, it's #132

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 28, 12:22 pm

7. Eat, Memory: Great Writers At the Table Edited by Amanda Hesser.
A compilation of essays by a selection of international writers, all discussing pivotal moments in their lives that involved food. Ann Patchett discusses a trip to Paris with her boyfriend, sitting in a romantic restaurant and nearly breaking up because he didn't understand a word game she tried to teach him. Gary Shteyngart writes of growing up in Queens on a bland Russian diet that didn't satisfy him, and Chinese author Yiyun Li writes of the American drink Tang coming to China and becoming a status symbol. British author Pico Iyer discusses the importance of the local convenience store in the Japanese neighborhood, and George Saunders has a very funny essay called "The Absolutely No-Anything Diet", in which food is replaced with alcohol.
This has been on my shelf for 3 years.

maaliskuu 7, 11:20 am

8. Hell House by Richard Matheson.
A group of four people, selected and paid an enormous amount of money by a dying man, enter the infamous Hell House, site of dozens of murders and other strange deaths in the 1920s. It's known as the most haunted house. Staying there is a parapsychologist, his wife, a well-known medium, and a man who was a famous medium and survived Hell House as a teen 30 years before, but has stopped using his talent. He's there solely for the paycheck, which will come after spending a week living in Hell House and either proving or disproving that the afterlife exists.

Matheson has created an atmosphere of evil, as the dead who roam Hell House died from madness after months of non-stop orgies and death. The man who owned the house had the ability to control others, and that may have continued in the afterlife.
Published in 1971, the story features some spooky episodes, and the characters are pretty well mauled. Something that began drawing my attention away from the story was that the author had that 1970s male author way of writing female characters. The two women in the house are sexualized in a way the male characters aren't. By halfway through, the women are ripping their clothes off whenever a man is around. And Edith, the wife of Dr. Barrett, has apparently been involved in his work for years as an assistant, yet she hasn't retained any information at all. They don't have conversations as equals, instead, she asks questions about his work and health non-stop while he explains everything and gives her instructions. So, this was so-so for me just because I could predict how the characters would react. 3 stars

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 9, 1:38 pm

9. The Red Green Book: Wit and Wisdom of Possum Lodge by Steve Smith and Rick Green.

I was in the mood for something lighter after my last one, and this book was on my shelf and provided some nostalgia. I was a fan of the show and its weirdly clever tips for life. This book adds on that, with advice for getting a first job that includes "Be sociable. Ask your co-workers what they are eating. Ask to try some." "Get on a winning team and let them carry you."
The Possum Lake Lodge also has activity badges that can be earned, such as a Book Lover's badge that is earned by 1. buying a thick book and 2. explaining the plot and characters to the tester by just glancing over the blurb on the back cover.
A fun read for fans of the show.
This has been on my shelf just about two months.

maaliskuu 9, 1:42 pm

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 16, 1:41 pm

10. The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James.
In 2017, 20 year-old Carly drives cross-country to the little town of Fell, New York, to look for answers to a family mystery. In 1982, Carly's aunt Viv left home to go to New York City. She got to Fell without money or a car, and just landed the night shift at the Sun Down Motel. It doesn't take long for her to realize that really sinister things have happened at the motel and that the little town has an inordinate number of women who have been murdered.
She begins investigating the murders and the motel deaths.
In 2017, Carly is investigating the disappearance of Viv, which leads to the creepy motel happenings and the multiple murders.

One of the best books I'll read all year, and I already know it will be in my Top 5 for the year. The mystery within a mystery was so expertly done, and Viv and Carly, and their various accomplices, are so smart. I'm glad I already have another from St. James on the shelf.
I've had this one for a year.

maaliskuu 16, 3:19 pm

>38 mstrust: I read this one last year (I think) and really enjoyed the creepiness!

maaliskuu 16, 6:16 pm

Yes, creepy mysteries with some paranormal thrown in! I hope her other books are as good.

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 17, 11:23 am

11. The Forgotten Skills of Self-Sufficiency Used by the Mormon Pioneers by Caleb Warnock.

Didn't see this one coming, did you? I am neither Mormon nor a pioneer, but my mom picked this up for me somewhere because of the gardening chapters. Published in 2011, before the homesteading movement really took hold, this has lots of info on building a garden from traditional crops such as lettuce, grapes, beets, squash, etc. Also beneficial flowers, and how to hand-pollinate certain plants as well as how to long store and make cuttings, types of Mormon heirloom crops, and how to make beet sugar. There are also a couple of chapters on how to keep and care for chickens, if that's your thing.

This is my 11th ROOT out of a total of 18 reads so far.

maaliskuu 17, 11:53 am

Make it epic!

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 24, 8:14 pm

12. Tales From the Haunted Mansion Volume IV by Joe Esposito.

Middle schooler Shelley shows off in class by bringing the frog she's dissecting back to life. Already an outcast, this display of her scientific genius makes things worse, but it does bring her former best friend Hank back into her life. Hank's brother died a few years ago, but Shelley might be able to help.
Then we meet obnoxious Chris and his two friends, who don't really like Chris. When the class takes a trip to a local lighthouse, Chris claims he saw the legendary, and dead, pirate captain who is said to have hidden his treasure along the coast, and Chris talks the others into risking their lives to retrieve it.
The stories are all tied together by the story of asylum patient Prudence Pock, who was a famous horror writer at one time, but who now sits in her cell making up stories and waiting for visits from Dr. Ackerman, who finds her both terrifying and intriguing.

Another superb volume in the series, these fall under the tag of "horror lite" for me. They feature some horrible situations (children often die) and plenty of humor. 4.2 stars

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 30, 12:46 pm

23. Schooled by Ted Fox.

Jack had a high school nemesis, Chad, who lied about having cancer in order to win class president over Jack. They went their separate ways after high school, with Jack helping to found a company that did very well. Then he had a mishap in the breakroom and set the building on fire, and was fired in a video that went viral, forever labeling him as "that guy".
He's spent the last six years as a stay-at-home dad while his wife rises in her company, which means spending less time at home.
And then Chad moves into their neighborhood, and he's also a stay-at-home dad. The two both decide to run for president of the elementary school board, thereby recreating their high school friction.

A mostly light story that has some fun backstabbing and sabotage, along with much about the difficulty of parenting. The ending was unsatisfying for me, as *spoiler* it seemed like Jack let a lot of people down but was happy with himself.

I read this on my Kindle, where it had sat for a long time. Probably close to a year.

huhtikuu 9, 10:30 am

Happy Easter to you!

huhtikuu 9, 4:52 pm

Happy Easter to you too! :)

huhtikuu 10, 9:59 am

Thanks, Jackie, and I hope you had a good one!
We got to 91 on Easter and now we're going to be nearly 100, so that sucks.

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 16, 2:45 pm

14. The Sea Beast Takes A Lover by Michael Andreasen.
A collection of short stories that range from heart-breaking to surreal to disturbing. The title story is the fun, weird one, in which a giant octopus has fallen in love with an 18th Century ship, wrapping her tentacles around it so it can't leave her while she tries to be a part of the crew's life.
In "Our Fathers At Sea" the narrator is preparing for his father's Crating Day in a society in which the elderly are put in containers and dropped in the ocean. "Jenny" is narrated by Jenny's brother, her main caretaker, as Jenny was born headless. She can sign and walk, and feels herself to have some independence because she's unaware that her brother is maintaining what life she has and that he has added the burden of guilt when she's sexually assaulted. I skipped past the rest of "Andy, Lord of Ruin" when it became a litany of the small animals and creatures Andy kills. "Rockabye, Rocketboy" is the story of a porn star who is obsessed with teenage Rocketboy and contains some strange and graphic scenes.
It's an uneven collection, some with engaging writing and others long-winded.
I've had this one for 2 months.

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 18, 9:28 am

The new Autumn Lives Here is up, and we're looking at Shirley Jackson, spontaneous combustion and sprucing up the house with new decor.

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 25, 7:46 pm

15. The Library Book by Susan Orlean.
Orlean investigates the cause of the disastrous 1986 fire that engulfed the main branch of the Los Angeles Public Library, burning millions of books, periodicals and rare items. An incessant liar and part-time actor was arrested, with police and fire investigators sure that he was the culprit, but layers upon layers of circumstances worked in the suspect's favor and he never stood trial.
The fire and investigation are the framework of this book, but woven through is the history of how the L.A. public library system came to be, the stories of its various head librarians, the challenges of dealing with an increasing homeless and mentally ill population who come to the library just to be somewhere, and the vast number of services the library provides to the community.

I've had this for a year. It's #15 out of 27 overall reads.

huhtikuu 26, 4:39 pm

>50 mstrust: I quite fancy this one, I've heard good things about it. Yet another one for the list, I guess!

huhtikuu 26, 5:31 pm

Isn't it sad to find another book to want? ;-D

huhtikuu 27, 4:08 am

>52 mstrust: I'm heartbroken, obvs ;)

Muokkaaja: toukokuu 2, 1:55 pm

16. Embassy of the Dead by Will Mabbitt.
Jake runs into a scary stranger who wishes him good morning, then hands him a box, which turns out to contain a withered human finger. Not knowing what to do, he carries it around in his backpack because his parents have recently split and Jake can't decide on who to tell. His indecision may save his life, because the scary stranger returns and is required to bring Jake, an unlicensed human to opened Embassy property, to the Embassy of the Dead for eternal punishment.
A fast moving and original story about mistaken identity and all the red tape involved in being dead. It features the worst illustrations I've ever seen in a book. I won this from LT's ER, then shelved it and forgot about it for two years until I was notified that I've been naughty.

toukokuu 24, 8:02 am

Hi Jennifer. Finally getting to your thread and catching up with your reading. Some great stuff there.

I hope you are doing fine. You are certainly reading and that's a good thing.

toukokuu 24, 4:51 pm

Good to see you, Connie!
I'm doing very well, thanks! My dog is healing from a minor operation, I'm churning out my weekly Substack on time, and most of the family will be together in a few weeks.
I hope things are good for you!

toukokuu 30, 6:34 pm

Muokkaaja: toukokuu 31, 12:10 pm

17. The High Window by Raymond Chandler.

Marlowe takes the case of a rare gold coin that has been stolen from the home of a very wealthy and horrible old widow. She suspects her night club singer daughter-in-law, who recently left her spoiled son, so Marlowe sets off. Within two days he's stumbled across three dead men and finds that the widow has gotten him involved with very dangerous people.
A solid Marlowe noir with lots of entertaining wise-cracks and slang. First published in 1942.
Looks like I've had this about 8 months.

Muokkaaja: kesäkuu 6, 9:49 am

18. The Silence by Don DeLillo

Jim and Tessa are flying home from Paris when their plane crashes. They survive, Jim with a head wound, but are left in a vague, indifferent state. The power grid in NYC goes down that same day, so the couple, unable to make it home, goes to the Super Bowl gathering of a friend. There they meet a science teacher who can't stop talking about all the potentially awful reasons that the power is out, and all of them mean doom.
Published in 2020, clearly during the pandemic and at the height of fear, though I wouldn't call it a story just about fear. It's a bit of a cheat to double space what amounts to a short story and call it a novel. 3 stars

Muokkaaja: kesäkuu 12, 10:39 am

19. Death in the Air by Kate Winkler Dawson.
Two deadly stories that played out in London in 1952. Over the course of several days, the city was covered in a thick layer of smoky fog, condensed into a new word, "smog". The smog was so thick that people could hardly see in front of them, and spending any amount of time in the smog resulted in death for an estimated 12,000 people.
At the same time, a resident of Notting Hill, at the time a slum area of London, was luring women into the flat he shared with his wife. John Reginald Christie was a serial killer whose home, 10 Rillington, has gone down in infamy as the site where so many women, plus an infant and his own wife of 30 years, met their end at the hands of a fussy loser.
Winkler Dawson is always an amazing researcher, unearthing even the tiniest detail, so if you've read about either story before, you're likely to find a lot you hadn't come across before. She even interviewed a 102 year-old who was a patrolman during these events. When it comes to all the Parliament discourse over the smog and the fighting about it's cause and what to do about it, the story drags, but this was the author's first book. I'm a fan of her various podcasts and she can tell a story.

This was on my Kindle for a few months. It's my 19th ROOT out of a total of 34 books, so I'm doing okay.

kesäkuu 12, 11:40 am

>60 mstrust: Ooh, this sounds utterly fascinating, sort of similar to the premises of Erik Larson's books - what podcasts does she do?

kesäkuu 12, 12:08 pm

She has 3: Buried Bones with Paul Holes and Tenfold More Wicked, which is her long form true crime documentaries series, are both active right now. Wicked Words is on hiatus right now, and there she has true crime authors discuss their books and the crimes they researched.

kesäkuu 13, 11:50 am

>62 mstrust: Thanks! Will check them out

kesäkuu 13, 11:57 am

👍 I hope you find a new favorite.

Muokkaaja: kesäkuu 20, 12:30 pm

20. Tales from the Gas Station: Volume One by Jack Townsend.

Jack works at a 24 hour gas station out on the edge of an unnamed town, with much of the place surrounded by thick forest. He works incredibly long hours because they have trouble keeping their employees and he can't sleep anyway, probably due to the gas station being a hot spot for incredibly weird things, like doors suddenly appearing, plants along the perimeter that look and behave exactly like human hands, and a nearby murder cult that shop there. That's in addition to the regular shoplifting and vandalism.
Jack is hard to shock, but as things get stranger and more dangerous with each shift at the gas station, he starts a blog to get the occurrences out there in case anybody has answers, because he's worried.

This story may be the most crazy and fun I've come across. I know that the cover looks like a slasher horror, and it does have some horror elements, though I think it would best be described at Night Vale meets Invasion of the Body Snatchers meets Shaun of the Dead. I'm happy to find that it's a series.
This has been on my Kindle for a few months.

Muokkaaja: heinäkuu 1, 11:26 am

21. Cell by Stephen King.

Clay is away from his Maine home, in Boston for the day, when people begin attacking strangers. He notices that the attackers go from normal to berserk after using their cell phones, like a switch is flipped. Clay doesn't have a cell on him, and neither does Tom, a man he joins up with, and this is what saves them. They rescue Alice, and the three head north, hoping to reach Clay's family and see if they're alive or have turned into "phone-crazies". The group watch as the days and weeks change the crazies, they begin organizing under the direction of one man who can be anywhere the survivors are and send telepathic messages.

This isn't one of my favorites from King, in fact, the first dozen pages or so were a little ham-fisted, lacking the je ne sais quoi of most of his work. The annoying, constantly crying female character that is in other King novels is here in Alice, who reminded me a lot of Frannie from The Stand, and The Raggedy Man had a little of Randall Flagg about him. But the allegory of cell phones turning humans into mindless zombies is clear.

Muokkaaja: heinäkuu 9, 12:18 pm

22. Previous Convictions by A.A. Gill

A collection of essays and travel pieces by the late travel and food critic, who was one of the wittiest, funniest, most vulgar and observant writers. His topics here range from an assignment in Haiti, where he witnesses a murder and gets caught in the middle of a riot. In Brazil, he observes the lifestyle of both the rich and poor and gets pretty entranced with "bottoms". In New York, he commits to trying all the trendy gyms and their exercise programs. One of the funniest pieces is about golf, with Gill in a fury, listings everything he hates about the idea of golf and golfers, before becoming a golfer himself, and the most heartfelt essay is about his father's Alzheimer's. There's also a piece about hunting that is graphic at times, but also explains his stance.
Even if you think you aren't interested in the subject he's writing about, Gill could hold the reader's attention because he had such an unpredictable, original voice.

This is #22 out of a total of 39 reads, so I'm ahead of my 50% ROOTs goal.

Muokkaaja: heinäkuu 19, 10:04 am

23. The Deep Blue Good-By by John D. MacDonald

Travis McGee enjoys his lazy life in Lauderdale, where he lives on a nice yacht that he won in a card game and takes occasional work as an undercover investigator. He has many female friends, including one who begs McGee to help a dancer whose brutal boyfriend has run off with something valuable that belonged to her father, but she has no idea what that item is. McGee doesn't intend on getting into this situation until he hears the whole story, and the woman who needs help leads him to another victim of the same man, then on to more intended victims.

Muokkaaja: heinäkuu 26, 7:33 pm

24. Mr. Monk Is Miserable by Lee Goldberg

After tracking down Monk's therapist in Germany, Natalie convinces Monk to take a vacation in Paris, where she honeymooned with her late husband. But she's Monk assistant now, so a murder occurs on the plane ride and Natalie hopes that's a fluke. Then, while touring the catacombs, Monk spots a fresher skull, uncovering a recent murder, which turns out to have a link to another murder at dinner. The two are joined by Stottlemeyer and Randy as one victim was a San Francisco con man, so Natalie has to give up on her vacation. And the group discover that Randy's homemade cd has made it to France.
Another fun, quirky novel from Goldberg.

Muokkaaja: elokuu 9, 6:46 pm

44. What Am I Doing Here by Bruce Chatwin.

My first read of Chatwin's writing, and this book turns out to have been his last. The essays are grouped under titles, such as "Friends", which includes Diana Vreeland. "Encounters" includes a wild memoir of being in Africa with Werner Herzog and Klaus Kinski as they filmed a movie. He also writes of nomads, French fashion designer Madeleine Vionnet in Paris, and meeting a "wolf-boy" in India in 1978.
Reading Chatwin's essays is like getting an education about the world of the last 35 years of the 20th Century. He sought out the rare and unusual, often focusing on one person, or a small group, to tell the story of how they live. I'll look for more from him. 4 stars

Muokkaaja: elokuu 17, 4:48 pm

>70 mstrust:
Werner Herzog made a documentary about Bruce Chatwin, well worth a watch if you can find it. Nomad: In the footsteps of Bruce Chatwin

elokuu 11, 10:18 am

Thanks for the recommendation, I appreciate it!

Muokkaaja: elokuu 15, 11:19 am

26. Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay.

The first in the series, this introduces Dexter Morgan, a blood splatter specialist for the Miami police and a serial killer who hunts down other serial killers. While his co-workers are tracking down a killer who dismembers and packages the body parts like presents, Dexter is studying the methods of his fellow murderer with admiration, while also hoping he can solve the case on his own and take the killer out by his own method.

elokuu 20, 5:33 am

Hi Jennifer. I don't know what happened to the year and my activity on LT. I keep my book-related things up to date, but threads are a completely other thing. But I'm trying to do better keeping up with all my fellow-ROOTers.

elokuu 20, 3:34 pm

It gets away from all of us sometimes, so don't feel bad about it! My reading pace has suffered so much over this past year because I'm devoting so much time to researching and writing my Substack. All we can do it try and keep up :-D

Muokkaaja: elokuu 20, 3:49 pm

27. Vinyl Cafe Turns the Page by Stuart McLean.
I believe this was the last collection of Vinyl Cafe stories from McLean.
The Vinyl Cafe features the family of Dave, Morley, Stephanie, Sam and best friend Murphy, all facing some aspect of getting older. Dave and his friends decide to chip in for a neighborhood heart defibrillator, and he loses a friend. Morley manipulates her elderly mother into moving in, which is exhausting for both of them. Sam gets a job in a gourmet store and finds a mentor in the owner, and Murphy decides he needs to learn how to sign his name and starts a business. All the stories have the humorous tone that made the Vinyl Cafe so popular, but this collection often has a sense of nostalgia, of having the characters looking back.
If you enjoy Bill Bryson, you'd probably like The Vinyl Cafe books. 4 stars

syyskuu 2, 11:29 am

It's coming.

syyskuu 4, 11:36 am

My Autumn thread is up in the 75 Challenge, come see!

Muokkaaja: syyskuu 4, 7:17 pm

28. Bedside Manor by Jack Townsend.

Jack and his best friend Jerry go on a road trip to take Jack's mind off his problems. Their car breaks down on a lonely road that has no cell reception, but luckily there's a big, spooky mansion in sight. They ask for a phone, but with a storm approaching, it will be a long wait for a tow truck. They're offered a room, dry clothes and a strong invitation to join the murder mystery party downstairs. Jack feels something off about the manor and the people who have gathered for the game, but things are much worse than he could have guessed.
Part horror, part sci-fi, part Clue, this fun mystery is all unpredictable twists, you never know where it's going next. If you've read Townsend's Tales from the Gas Station, this is station attendant Jack's horrible vacation.
This was on my Kindle for several months.

Muokkaaja: syyskuu 12, 11:33 am

29. The Walking Dead Psychology by Travis Langley.

A book of essays that cover subjects such as survivor guilt, the effects of long-term fear and stress, what turns normal people into sociopaths, and how we perceive our own role in a group. Most of the essays are contributed by mental health professionals, professors, and one forensic examiner, so while the psychiatric insights are solid and in many cases could apply to real life situations, the traumatized characters of The Walking Dead are the ones being examined. There's a particularly good essay about season two bad guy Shane.
I'd read another Walker psychology book years ago and found it pretty dry. If you're interested in the subject, which covers trauma and survival, this is a good choice. The essays are pretty riveting.

Muokkaaja: syyskuu 16, 10:52 am

30. The Broken Girls by Simone St. James

Fiona is a writer of fluff magazine pieces, the kind that don't take much effort, and she's been fine with that even though her career is a disappointment to her famous father, an iconic writer and photographer. Fiona and her dad's lives were derailed twenty years before when Fiona's older sister was found dead on the grounds of isolated Idlewild Hall, an abandoned girl's school that has the reputation for being haunted.
Suddenly, the crumbling school has a new owner who plans on renovating and reopening the school, and this is what gets Fiona to the place her sister was dumped. She begins investigating the new owners, which leads to an investigation into multiple other deaths connected with the school, including the source of the rumored school ghost.
A spooky Victorian school, angry teens, and an investigative reporter, all set in shiveringly cold Vermont. Recommended.

Muokkaaja: syyskuu 18, 2:00 pm

31. Fifth-Grade Zombies by R.L. Stine.

Todd's parents have gone away on a year long business trip, sending him from Queens to cousins in Wisconsin. Todd is a twelve year-old who doesn't complain, in fact, he's looking forward to living with his cousins Mila and Skipper and his aunt and uncle. But it doesn't take long before Todd is catching on to his new family's strange behavior when it comes to the weird sounds coming from their cornfield, or that everyone in his new school must be in their classrooms before the gray bus pulls up to let the last load of kids out.
The Slappyworld books are the newer series of Goosebumps, written for the current generation. This 2021 book is faster paced, a little more graphic with gore, and the kids are smarter. But you still get Stine's trademark "noooo!"

syyskuu 19, 10:16 am

>81 mstrust: I remember enjoying that one too: horror without the gore - my favourite!

syyskuu 19, 10:40 am

You're right, it's so much more about the mysteries and atmosphere of the school.