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Week 9 & 10 of 2017

The Invention of Murder: How the Victorians Revelled in Death and Detection and Created Modern Crime - Judith Flanders Why I March: Images from the Woman's March Around the World - Abrams Books The Slippery Slope (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #10) - Brett Helquist, Lemony Snicket, Michael Kupperman The Grim Grotto (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #11) - Brett Helquist, Lemony Snicket, Michael Kupperman The Penultimate Peril (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #12) - Brett Helquist, Lemony Snicket, Michael Kupperman The End: Book the Thirteenth (A Series of Unfortunate Events) - Tim Curry, Lemony Snicket

 

And I'm back. My training has been completed, IT finally resolved my issue with logging into my profile on our system (it only took 2 1/2 weeks) so I can now do billing under my own user name, and we're back to 8 hour days, five days a week.

 

Books Read: 6

 

Why I March: I had to make a minor correction here. I previously had written that I had purchased this book from Amazon due to a review written by Grimlock ♥ Vision, but she pointed out in the comments that she hadn't read it yet, though she had written about it. So, I actually have Grimlock ♥ Vision to thank and Stacy Alesi, thank you so much both of you.There are so many powerful images packed into this book: men, women, children, the young, the old all marching for a cause. The royalties go to several nonprofit organizations. 5 stars

 

The Invention of Murder: This is one of my favorite non-fiction books. Judith Flanders walks the reader through some of the more well-known Victorian murders and the public's reaction to them; how people profited from them, how public opinion played a large role in the outcome of the trials, and the influence these murders had in the writings of some well-known authors including Charles Dickens, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and Wilkie Collins. 5 stars

 

The Slippery Slope, The Grim Grotto, The Penultimate Peril, The End: And this wrap-ups of A Series of Unfortunate Events. The series itself is, as it's name suggests, rather dark, but book eight, The Slippery Slope, is where it pulls out all the stops. 4 1/2 stars.

 

Week 8 of 2017 (Sleep? Who needs sleep?)

The Carnivorous Carnival: Book the Ninth (A Series of Unfortunate Events) - Tim Curry, Lemony Snicket

Last week was a slow week for me, ridiculously slow. We picked up a new customer at work sometime late last year. Despite the months spent preparing for last week when we officially started to handle the account, we had so many issues. Information they were suppose to be sending us was being sent over incorrectly, our system wasn't able to communicate with theirs, procedures they had put in place for us were randomly changed at the last minute and we weren't informed, and just when we thought we had everything figured out; there was a massive recall >: Sadly, this is probably the smoothest transition we've had with a customer :( With everything going on at work there was overtime, loads of overtime, and very little sleep. I managed to finish one entire book, read secretly under my desk while waiting for IT to call back for the third time, and I'm surprised I was able to finish it.

 

Books Read: 1

 

The Carnivorous Carnival: This is the ninth book in A Series of Unfortunate Events and it's currently my favorite of the series because it's the only thing that kept me from yelling at the IT guy. 5 stars.

 

Total Read for the Month: 18

 

Still doing good this year and fingers crossed I'll get back on track in March.

 

Week 7 of 2017

The Ersatz Elevator   - Michael Kupperman, Lemony Snicket, Brett Helquist The Vile Village - Lemony Snicket The Hostile Hospital  - Brett Helquist, Lemony Snicket, Michael Kupperman Champagne for One - Rex Stout, Lena Horne Black Orchids - Rex Stout The Silent Speaker - Rex Stout, Walter Mosley

 Books Read: 6

 

The Ersatz Elevator, The Vile Village, The Hostile Hospital: I'm continuing A Series of Unfortunate Events, hoping to finish by the end of this month. Sunny, Klaus, and Violet begin to investigate the VFD after the loss of the Quagmire triplets. At the end of The Vile Village the series breaks off from it's usual search for a guardian for the siblings and leaves them to fend for themselves completely. 4 1/2 stars.

 

Champagne For One, Black Orchids, The Silent Speaker: I stated last week in my round-up that going back and re-reading the Nero Wolfe books I enjoyed them even more than the first time, this continues to be accurate. Champagne For One is my favorite of the three I've finished this week (5 stars), Black Orchids comes in second (4 1/2 stars), and The Silent Speaker comes last (3 1/2 stars).

 

Ongoing Reads: 1

 

The Invention of Murder: How the Victorians Reveled in Death and Detection and Created Modern Crime: I'm still working my way through this. Reading this, I have to say, not much has changed in regards to how people behave during and after a murder investigation.

 

Week 6 of 2017

"Why Is This Night Different from All Other Nights?" (All the Wrong Questions) - Lemony Snicket, Seth The Bad Beginning   - Brett Helquist, Lemony Snicket, Michael Kupperman The Reptile Room   - Brett Helquist, Lemony Snicket, Michael Kupperman The Wide Window  - Brett Helquist, Lemony Snicket, Michael Kupperman The Miserable Mill  - Brett Helquist, Lemony Snicket, Michael Kupperman The Austere Academy - Michael Kupperman, Lemony Snicket, Brett Helquist The League of Frightened Men - Rex Stout Too Many Cooks - Rex Stout The Final Descent - Rick Yancey

This post is a little late this week. We were without internet since Sunday morning after a truck driver came through and took out a cable.

 

Books Read: 9

 

"Why is This Night Different From All Other Nights?": This is the last book in the All Wrong Questions series and just like A Series of Unfortunate Events, it doesn't end on a positive note. 4 stars.

 

The Bad Beginning, The Reptile Room, The Wide Window, The Miserable Mill, The Austere Academy: After finishing the All the Wrong Questions series I had to go and start reading this series again. I didn't realize it had been so long until I looked at my shelf on Booklikes. This is one of those series that I could read over and over again. I will say as much as I enjoy this series, I find that it doesn't really pick up until the fifth book The Austere Academy, though the preceding four books are still enjoyable. 4 stars for The Bad Beginning. 5 stars for the other four.

 

The League of Frightened Men, Too Many Cooks: Two more Nero Wolfe books and two more re-reads, I really am trying to cut down on re-reading. I'm actually enjoying these more the second time around and I'm curious how I'll rate the other books in this  series as I work my way through. 4 1/2 stars.

 

The Final Descent: This is the final book in The Monstrumologist series and I have to say, I don't think I have ever been so disappointed in a series ending (excluding Sherlock Season 4, I'm just pretending it never happened and hoping for another season). The author warns the reader going in that the format of this final book is quite different than the others, but it was still annoying. The ending itself was just ... I knew it was headed in that direction from the previous book, but I was just so unsatisfied in the ending. 1 star.

 

Ongoing Reads: 2

 

The Invention of Murder: How the Victorians Reveled in Death and Detection and Created Modern Crime: This book is quite interesting, but it's a slow read as well. I'm stuck reading this book only at home because my co-workers, who have never previously taken an interest in what I read, insist on coming over and asking a million questions about it. Aargh!

 

Champagne For One: Another Nero Wolfe book and I actually finished it Sunday morning, but it didn't seem right to count it in the previous weeks tally.

 

Week 5 of 2017 (A slow week)

The Isle of Blood - Rick Yancey Calvin and Hobbes: Homicidal Psycho Jungle Cat - Bill Watterson

Books Read: 2

 

The Isle of Blood: The third book in The Monstrumologist series. This is my favorite books so far, it's getting darker and more interesting as the series continues. 4 1/2 stars

 

Homicidal Psycho Jungle Cat: Once again, it's Calvin and Hobbes, not much to say about it. 4 1/2 stars.

Week 4 of 2017

Fer-de-Lance - Rex Stout, Loren D. Estleman Shouldn't You Be in School?  - LemonySnicket Paper Moon - Joe David Brown, Peter Bogdanovich Calvin and Hobbes: There's Treasure Everywhere - Bill Watterson The Indispensable Calvin and Hobbes - Bill Watterson

Books Read: 5

 

 

"Shouldn't You Be in School": This is the third book in the All the Wrong Questions series. 4 stars

 

Paper Moon: The back of the copy I have compares this with To Kill a Mockingbird, they're not in the same league at all. I found the characters extremely annoying and the book wondered all over until the last couple of chapters. The ending itself was unsatisfying and I really wouldn't recommend this. 2 1/2 stars

 

There's Treasure Everywhere and The Indispensable Calvin and Hobbes: I don't have much to say about these two, it's Calvin and Hobbes. 4 stars

 

Fer-De-Lance: Nero Wolfe ranks up there with Sherlock Holmes and Flavia for me. The books are dated and I found myself cringing at some of the comments made throughout, but I still love them. 4 stars.

 

Total Read for the Month: 12

 

I'm doing good so far this year and I'm on schedule, a little ahead in fact to complete 100 books this year.

Week 3 of 2017

The Curse of the Wendigo (Monstrumologist) - Rick Yancey Who Could That Be At This Hour? - Lemony Snicket, Seth When Did You See Her Last? - Lemony Snicket

Books Read: 3

 

 

"Who Could That Be at This Hour?": This is the first book in the All the Wrong Questions series. If you enjoyed A Series of Unfortunate Events, I highly recommend reading this. 4 stars.

 

"When Did You See Her Last?": The second book in the All the Wrong Questions series and it just keeps getting better. 4 stars

 

The Curse of the Wendigo: 4 stars

 

Week 2 of 2017

Oranges are Not the Only Fruit - Jeanette Winterson The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane - Nicolas Gessner, Martin Sheen, Jodie Foster Guards! Guards! - Terry Pratchett A Dance With Dragons - George R.R. Martin

I've seen several people do a weekly update of what they've read during the previous week and I'm going to attempt to do the same. I've been feeling really unmotivated over the last couple of months, I've walked past the same Netflix disc sitting next to our front door for two weeks straight and I just now managed to walk the extra five feet to the mailbox, so I'm hoping if I stick to a weekly update it'll keep me on track.

 

Books Read: 4

 

A Dance with Dragons: This is the only book I completed for my first Reading Challenge of the year, which I'm not counting towards my goal, since I didn't actually participate. I wish I had taken my time to finish this book. I enjoyed it, as I have the other books in the series, but now I have to wait for the next one, if it is ever finished. 4 1/2 stars

 

Oranges are Not the Only Fruit: This was just okay, in fact I enjoyed the introduction by the author more than I did the book. The story jumped around way too much for me and I think going into this I was expecting too much. I had several people recommend this to me, the fact that none of them had a copy to lend to me should have giving me something of a heads up. 2 1/2 stars

 

Guards! Guards!: Not much to say about this, out of all the Discworld books I've read so far this is my favorite. 4 stars

 

The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane: Ugh! I saw the movie first and liked it, so I read the book. I should have just stuck to the film. This is probably one of the few films that stay true to the book, unfortunately what kind of works in the movie, falls flat in the book. The book actually ends with "Rynn sat very still." On top of that, the ebook had clearly been created from a scanned copy that had been updated without anybody even taking a glance at it. 1 1/2 stars

Bout of Books 18.0: TBR

A Dance With Dragons - George R.R. Martin Oranges are Not the Only Fruit - Jeanette Winterson Becoming Nicole: The Transformation of an American Family - Amy Ellis Nutt

January 2nd – 8th

 

TBR

 

1. A Dance with Dragons by George R. R. Martin

 

2. Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson

 

3. Becoming Nicole by Amy Ellis Nutt

 

My list is short for my first readathon of 2017. This is partly due to me trying to get back into really reading again after the last two months and partly due to one of the books on my list being almost 1000 pages. I'm hoping to finish at least two of the three listed, but it would be great if I could finish all three.

Bout of Books 18: Sign-Up Post

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, January 2nd and runs through Sunday, January 8th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 18 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team

 

Bout of Books 18

 

2016 Wrap-Up & 2017 Reading Goals

2016 Wrap-Up:

 

2016, ignoring the last two months, has been a good year for me reading wise, pretty much everything else about this year has been pretty awful. I was hoping to read more in November and December, but I was too busy with work (last December wasn't nearly as busy) and way too many social obligations (mostly people who I only see once a year and can't even remember my name). I'm hoping now with the holidays out of the way I'll be able to get back into reading and review writing. Looking back I've chosen the 10 best and worst books of 2016:

 

10 Worst Books of 2016:

 

10. The Dragon's Chosen

9. Stargate SG-1: Alliances

8. A Cure for Madness

7. The Force Awakens

6. The Apple Tart of Hope

5. The Gilded Chain

4. The Art of Being Normal

3. Veronica's Grave

2. The Cursed Child Part 1 & 2

1. Ring

 

10 Best Books of 2016:

 

10. Postmortem: Establishing the Cause of the Death

9. London Stone

8. Vision: Volume 1

7. Scary Mary

6. We Have Always Lived in the Castle

5. Sherlock: Chronicles

4. Death in the Tunnel

3. When I First Knew

2. Clue

1. The Monstrumologist

 

Going into 2016 I had a list of goals I wanted to complete. I listed seven goals:

 

1. Participate in four readathons. (Completed)

 

Bout of Books 15.0

Dewey's 24-Hour Readathon 2x

Rainbowthon

 

2. Finish "The Wheel of Time" series. (Incomplete)

 

I'm still working on this series. I enjoy reading these books, but they are a long read and I find that I enjoy reading them more when I space them out.

 

3. Read The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas. (Incomplete)

 

I didn't get to this book this year, but I will be moving this goal to 2017.

 

4. Reduce Library shelf by half. (Completed)

 

At the start of the year I had 134 books on my list to borrow from the library, I managed to get the list down to 59. I removed a lot of books, due to having lost interest in them and several from reading.

 

5. Read Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens. (Completed)

 

I read this and gave it a four star rating.

 

6. Finish one series other than "The Wheel of Time". (Completed)

 

I completed The Harper Hall Trilogy, The Inkheart Trilogy, and Flavia de Luce (at least all the books that are currently out). I also managed to added a couple of more series to my TBR.

 

7. Read at least 100 books. (Completed)

 

116

 

2017 Reading Goals:

 

1. Participate in four readathons.

 

2. Reduce my Library TBR by half.

 

3. Read the following books:

 

The Count of Monte Cristo

A Dance with Dragons

Neurotribes

Anansi Boys

Becoming Nicole

Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit

A Dance with Dragons

Finish the following series Monstrumologist, Deathnote, Pendragon

 

4. Read 100 books.

 

I hope everybody has a safe and Happy New Year!

               

 

 

November Wrap-Up & December TBR

Neverwhere - Neil Gaiman Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops - Jen Campbell A Storm of Swords - George R.R. Martin The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Other Macabre Tales - Wahsington Irving

Progress: I haven't been on here much this month. A combination of the holidays, coming to terms with the results of the election, and my dads new puppy. Despite the sense of doom hovering around our house, my mom works in the mental health field and she's been spending a lot of time talking with concerned employees that are here with work visas that are afraid if they leave the country to visit family they won't be able to come back, and the craziness with the holidays, I managed to finish four books. I didn't read a single book that I wouldn't recommend to someone and I feel really great about what I accomplished this month, even if I'm still behind with reviews.

 

Books Read: 4

 

5 Stars: 0

 

4 Stars: 3

Neverwhere

Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops

A Storm of Swords

 

3 Stars: 1

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Other Macabre Tales

 

2 Stars: 0

 

Books I regret spending money on: 0

 

Reviews Written: 1

 

Reviews I need to write: 3

Bourne Ultimatum

American Gods

Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops

 

December TBR

I posted last month that I wanted to finish ten more books by the end of 2016. It's unlikely to haopen at this point, but I can hope. I have eight more to go on my list, seven if you exclude A Feast for Crows which I'm 100 pages away from completing. The remaining list includes NeuroTribesA Dance With DragonsAnansi Boys, Equal Rites, Moving Pictures, Small Gods, and Mort

Interim Errantry

Interim Errantry: Three Tales of the Young Wizards - Diane Duane

It's hard to write a compelling story in a shorter format. Diane Duane is one of those authors who struggles with a limited word count, and this is most evident when working through this collection.

 

Not On My Patch: This is the shortest work in the collection. It's frankly too short and pages that should have been spent building up to the end, is wasted on Nita getting ready to go Trick or Treating. When the fight starts at the end, there is no real sense of urgency or any investment in the outcome. 1 star

 

How Lovely Are Thy Branches: The second longest work in this collection fairs much better. There's still not enough time spent building up to the ending, but it's better than the previous story. 2 1/2 stars

 

Lifeboats: This is the longest work in the collection and where Duane really shines. It has all the elements I enjoy in the Young Wizards series, a conflict with a not so obvious solution and characters that really care, the ending was well worth the journey. 4 stars

The House of the Seven Gables

The House of the Seven Gables - Robert S. Levine, Nathaniel Hawthorne

I picked up this book because I was visiting the house the story was based on. Sadly, the tour of the house was a lot more interesting than the story. It started out great, the history behind the house and Colonel Pyncheon's death drew me in, which is why I settled on 3 stars. Hawthorne wrote a good beginning, but failed to follow through with the middle and ending. If I had taken notes while reading, they would have looked like this:

 

Nothings happening.

Nothings happening.

Nothings happening.

Nothings happening.

Ooh, wait, this looks interesting.

Never mind.

Nothings happening.

Nothings happening.

Nothings happening.

Finally, now we're getting somewhere.

Wait, that's it?!

 

The 'good part' doesn't start until page 200 and is cleared up a chapter later. Plus, I had to read pages of what Judge Jaffrey Pyncheon would have been doing that day, if he hadn't fallen victim to the 'family curse.'

 

As for fulfilling the elements of being considered a gothic novel, it missed the most important one, an atmosphere of terror and mystery. I think I'll give any more works by Hawthorne a pass, life's too short to read about nothing.

October Wrap-Up & November TBR

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: The Illustrated Edition - J.K. Rowling, Jim Kay We Have Always Lived in the Castle - Shirley Jackson, Jonathan Lethem The Monstrumologist  - Rick Yancey Faint of Heart - Jeff Strand Reaper Man - Terry Pratchett Interim Errantry: Three Tales of the Young Wizards - Diane Duane Death Note: Black Edition, Volume 1 - Taskeshi Obata, Tsugumi Ohba The Cater Street Hangman - Anne Perry

Books Read: 9

 

5 Stars: 2

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Illustrated Edition)

We Have Always Lived in the Castle

 

4 Stars: 3

The Monstrumologist

Faint of Heart

Reaper Man

 

3 Stars: 3

Interim Errantry

Death Note: Black Edition: Volume 1

The Cater Street Hangman

 

2 Stars: 0

 

Books I regret spending money on: 0

 

Reviews Written: 10

 

Reviews I need to write: 4

Interim Errantry

The House of the Seven Gables

Bourne Ultimatum

American Gods

 

November TBR

With only two months left until this year's reading challenge comes to a close, I've selected ten books that I want to finish before the New Year. If I read more than these ten, that's fine, but I do want to finish these books: NeuroTribes, A Storm of Swords , A Feast for Crows, A Dance With Dragons, Anansi Boys, Equal Rites, Moving Pictures, Small Gods, and Mort. I'm in the process of finishing up Neverwhere and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Other Macabre Tales from the Halloween Bingo, but once they are completed, I'm jumping right in to A Storm of Swords.

Halloween Bingo 2016: Final Update

As I am currently on a bus coming home from Salem, I am unable to post an updated bingo card. However, I did want to post one last update before the bingo closes. I completed a total of 18 books for Halloween Bingo 2016, got two bingos, and currently have three books I'm reading that I won't be able to finish before the bingo ends. Except for the book-that-must-not-be-named, I had a lot of wonderful reads this month. This was a lot of fun and I'm glad I participated. Thank you, Obsidian Blue and Moonlight Murder for hosting this. Happy Halloween!