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Not so much a blog; just lots of books

Currently reading

Maisie Dobbs
Jacqueline Winspear, Rita Barrington
Progress: 21/601minutes
The Once and Future King
T.H. White, Neville Jason
Progress: 681/1983minutes
Moby-Dick: or, The Whale (Penguin Classics)
Herman Melville
Manifold: Time
Stephen Baxter, Chris Schluep
Progress: 99/480pages
Cherie Priest
Progress: 13%
The Long War
Stephen Baxter, Terry Pratchett
Progress: 68/501pages

Booklikes-opoly Turn 17 (May 27th)

Hey, it's after midnight! (I started this post last night but got too sleepy to finish) My "real" turn 17 roll is:



So I guess I'll be scouring my TBR for titles that start with any letter from FRONTIER. Like these:


The Engines of God - Jack McDevitt  Fortune Like the Moon - Alys Clare  The Nun's Tale - Candace Robb  Tabula Rasa - Ruth Downie  


Now for the bonus rolls!


Bonus Roll 1:


This one shouldn't be too hard, but it'll take some thinking... maybe I'll just go with Agatha Christie and read Three Act Tragedy.


Three Act Tragedy - Agatha Christie 


Bonus Roll 2:


This one shouldn't be too hard. I just wonder what I should choose. I'm thinking Sky Coyote.

Sky Coyote - Kage Baker   


Do I get to roll again because I rolled doubles on my last bonus roll?



Reading progress update: I've read 6%.

— feeling confused
Boneshaker  - Cherie Priest

If your bread is so stale that it's barely edible, why wouldn't you eat it with the stew you're making to soften it up instead of eating it dry?


This one has been on the TBR for a really long time. I picked it because the random.org oracle spoke and declared that the time of Boneshaker was upon us (this was after the Morningstar decree). I've been procrastinating and not reading it most of the evening though, half waiting till I can roll for booklikes-opoly at midnight. However, maybe I should wait for morning, or wait to do my bonus rolls in the morning because I've had bad luck with rolls made too close to midnight.


Or I can read the book. Apparently there are zombies? Why did I want to read about zombies?

In Morningstar's Shadow by Aliette de Bodard

In Morningstar's Shadow: Dominion of the Fallen Stories - Aliette de Bodard


This is super short at 46 pages. Should I add dates read to count it or not? I'm undecided.


It's basically just a series of vignettes that provide a lead into Aliette de Bodard's book The House of Shattered Wings where we have fallen angels in Paris.

Nobody's Home by Tim Powers

Nobody's Home - Tim Powers

An Anubis Gates novella.


Jacky, our friendly cross-dressing girl set on avenging her fiancé from Anubis Gates, is featured in this novella where she encounters a woman being haunted by her dead husband. She saves her life, in fact, when the husband's ghost sets his wife on fire. So this story is all about exorcising ghosts since interacting with the husband's ghost wakes up the ghost of her fiancé (who is haunting her, naturally) and this makes them both magnets for all the other ghosts in the area. Apparently ghosts can see footsteps so to get away they have to climb and take a cab and they end up on the river seeking Nobody's help.


I saw this at the library and picked it up on a whim because I quite liked Anubis Gates. It was a quick read and kind of fun.

Death in the Clouds by Agatha Christie

Death in the Clouds - Agatha Christie

Series: Poirot # 12


This was a weird little mystery, partly because it's 1935 and Hercule Poirot is flying on an commercial airliner or aeroplane. It was also interesting to read about a commercial flight from back then and how the plane was arranged. I was initially a little confused because the diagram at the beginning referred to a "rear car" and I had a weird picture in my head of interlocking pieces of an airplane like a train and wasn't entirely sure I was correct about them being in a plane for a few pages. But they were.


A murder occurs during the flight when a woman is mysteriously killed by a poison dart that no one witnesses. Poirot is on the flight but too incommoded by air sickness to be paying much attention to anything, so he feels that he has to investigate afterwards to clear his name (some people on the inquiry jury apparently suspected him just because he was a foreigner).


I didn't see the end coming and I quite enjoyed the book, but the whole thing was just a little outrageous.


I read this for booklikes-opoly square #29 - The Monorail since it "involves travel by air". At 253 pages, this gives me $3 for my bank, so my balance is now $95.


Previous update:


Reading progress update: I've read 74 out of 87 pages.

Nobody's Home - Tim Powers


Tee hee, amusing typo: "feeet"

Reading progress update: I've read 63%.

Death in the Clouds - Agatha Christie

This book contains the following comment by Poirot:

"Ah, il a le sex appeal?"

Good lord.


Mr. Clancy's view that there is no such thing as too sensational an event in a mystery novel is amusing. He's a mystery writer in the novel.

Queens’ Play by Dorothy Dunnett

Queens' Play - Dorothy Dunnett

Series: Lymond Chronicles #2


Francis Crawford goes undercover to help protect little Queen Mary from the attempts on her life disguised as accidents. Of course he does this in a completely Lymond style where he almost gets sent home his first week and he’s later suspected of doing things he didn’t do. It was a fun novel and easier to read than the first one, but it didn’t have nearly as many aha moments that made the first book so great. I also found the ending to be a bit of a downer, but I do plan on reading the rest of the series.


I read this for the Water Works booklikes-opoly square “Read a book with water on the cover”. At 496 pages, this nets me another $5 for my bank which brings my total balance to $92.


I think I’m going to do a tally at the end of how many times I landed on each square because there are a lot of repeats…


Previous updates:




Booklikes-opoly Turn 16 (May 25th)

I finally finished Queens' Play by Dorothy Dunnett, so I rolled again this morning. I'll post my review later tonight probably.



The only book I can think of (on my immediate to read list) that involves travel by air for sure is Death in the Clouds by Agatha Christie. I'd be skipping over Three Act Tragedy for the moment but that's not really a big deal with this series. I think All Is Fair by Emma Newman continues to partially take place in London, so that may fit the set in a city with a subway. There are probably others... Decisions, decisions.


Death in the Clouds - Agatha Christie  All Is Fair - Emma Newman  


Reading progress update: I've read 100%.

Queens' Play - Dorothy Dunnett

Done! Now I can roll. I'll write a review later.

Reading progress update: I've read 80%.

Queens' Play - Dorothy Dunnett

I'm skeptical of the Lymond and Oonagh battle but the scene where little Mary Stewart brandishes a dagger while daring her visitor to attack her is awesome. 


I won't be finishing this tonight. 

Reading progress update: I've read 53%.

Queens' Play - Dorothy Dunnett

So far this book doesn't seem quite as engaging as the first one, although it is an easier read.  Less poetry but also fewer moments of awesome. I will admit that I was taken in by Lymond's disguise, however. Lymond has gone disguised to the French court to help protect the young Queen Mary who has been having "accidents".


I am just barely halfway through, so it's fairly safe to say that the shit has yet to hit the fan, and there may be plenty of awesomeness ahead.


I doubt I'll be able to finish tonight, but hopefully I'll be able to finish early enough tomorrow to be able to roll again. Hopefully. Perhaps next turn I shall choose a shorter book.


ETA (from a few pages later): Ok, I wasn't expecting THAT.


Btw, how does one pronounce the Irish name Oonagh?


Another edit: Apparently it's oo-nah, so it's just like Una, really. I'm assuming that's a name. It sounds like a name.

Reading progress update: I've listened 681 out of 1983 minutes.

The Once and Future King - T.H. White, Neville Jason

Finished the first book and started on the second.


I feel like taking a break, though, because it's feeling very long. The performance is pretty good, but it's more a less just a series of linked adventures so far, and my attention sometimes wanders.

Booklikes-opoly Turn 15 (May 21st)

(Edited to add some book possibilities.)


Rolling again after getting out of jail!




Square 23, Water Works, "Read a book with water on the cover, or where someone turns on the waterworks (i.e., cries) because of an emotional event."


Since I'm not sure which books that I plan to read might have someone crying, off I go to find water on a cover. I landed on this square before, on turn 7, but I'm not sure if I feel like reading the other possibility that I identified.




Ooh, some new possibilities!

The Malice - Peter C. Newman  Queens' Play - Dorothy Dunnett  One Hundred Ablutions - Jacqueline Carey  


I'm leaning towards Queens' Play, although The Malice is also very tempting.

Le collectionneur (translation: The Collector) by Chrystine Brouillet

Le collectionneur  - Chrystine Brouillet

Series: Maud Graham #3


I don’t feel like writing this in French. I don’t know if it’s been translated into English, though, so you may not be able to read it even if you find it interesting.


This series was recommended to me as a good French police procedural although I might label it a thriller. The author’s name was familiar and it turns out that I had read some of her children’s books. Weird. I don’t remember author names now but I remember the ones I read when I was nine or ten.


Anyway, the book was okay but pretty gruesome. There’s a serial killer who collects body parts and Maud Graham is assigned to the case to track him down. It sounds pretty pedestrian in a “thriller” kind of way, but what he does with the body parts is a little more original.

He preserves them using taxidermy skills and hangs them from a giant mobile that he’s constructed to move accompanied by an Elvis song. Horrifying, but somewhat original I guess. This book was published back in 1995 btw.

(show spoiler)


There are scenes from the killer’s point of view, but I didn’t really like how the book just randomly revealed his identify about halfway through the book in those scenes (it just started calling him by name and then referred to him as the killer). We still didn’t know who he was, but it was a weird transition and I had to go back and check the references.


We do find out why the book randomly started doing point of view scenes about a kid in Montreal running away to Quebec City. He gets taken in by Grégoire, Maud’s sixteen year old male prostitute friend (she tries to look out for him…I don’t know how they met – it may be covered in a previous book), which is a good thing because he protects him from all the people who would try to take advantage of a twelve-year-old kid on the street. I quite liked Grégoire, who shows himself to be quite intelligent and interesting. He’s sort of a feral stray that Maud is trying to tame while not scaring away.


Anyway, this was a fairly easy read and I can see myself picking up another one, maybe a much more recent one, when I feel like a quick French read. Maud also has a grey cat with green eyes called Léo and I can sympathize with some of her self-doubts.


I’m hoping to count this as another “Just Visiting” Jail read for booklikes-opoly and add another 215 pages to the Jail Library. My bank balance still stands at $87 because I haven’t earned any money, but I get to roll again today. Right after posting this!


And hey, this is my third French book read so far this year, and we’re only in May! Maybe I’ll get to my really pathetic goal of reading five French books in a year finally…


Previous Update:

42/215 pages

Reading progress update: I've read 42 out of 215 pages.

Le collectionneur  - Chrystine Brouillet

So now we have not only a chapter with the killer's point a view, but we have this Jalbert family too. What do they have to do with the story? And why does a twelve year old want to run away from home to Quebec city? I guess I'll find out.


Maybe I should have picked a more recent Maud Graham book to try rather than the first one in the series that my library had.