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Life & Everything

Bookish (and not so Bookish) Thoughts #101

December 13, 2017 | No comments


 

1. It’s December! Bring on all the Christmas music. (I’ve got the Science Christmas Songs stuck in my head.)

2. My Christmas decorations are up, but they are sadly not in the same league as these.

3. Kate has done the amazing job of going through all the best-of-2017-book-lists and summarized them into one massive list of the top 47 books. This year, I have not read a single book that made the list. I usually stay quite on top of recent publications, but I don’t know what happened this year.

4. My sister and my mother are coming to spend Christmas at my place, and I’ve got this insane idea that I’m gonna cook a proper Christmas dinner. (Including doing some fancy Christmas baking.) Check back after Christmas to see how this goes.

5. I recently finished two books that both, for very different reasons, made me want to write a review.

6. This video of a polar bear broke my heart.

7. Videos of amazing dogs heals my heart again.

8. We had a professional photographer at work yesterday morning and everyone could get a free headshot taken. I hate having my picture taken, but figured I should probably have a more professional photo than a selfie for all the work-related things. The timing was crappy – I had an appointment to get a haircut today so of course today my hair looks fabulous and yesterday it was a mess. (Also, I had just walked through wind and rain and snow to get to work right before the photo was taken). Still, it cannot be worse than a selfie, right?

Visit Christine at Bookishly Boisterous for more bookish (and not so bookish) thoughts.

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Librocubicularist, My Brain is Mostly Song Lyrics

Literary Mixtape: The Silent Girls

December 10, 2017 | No comments


 

I love mixtapes and I love books, so there should be no surprise that I have a soft spot for literary mixtapes (especially those by Rory and Kate). I don’t know why I have never made one of my own.

Maybe I have just not read the right book for it. That is, until now.

I recently read Eric Rickstad’s The Silent Girls, published in 2014. It wasn’t the best book I’ve ever read. Far from it. It is an interesting mystery in a nice setting but the characters are nothing special. It falls in that grey zone of ok books that are good reads, but when you’re done you quickly move on to the next one and don’t look back. The one exception that made The Silent Girls slightly more memorable is that it was littered with passages that made me feel that this book really required a soundtrack.

3/5

01. I Started a Joke / Bee Gees

“Nothing dulled the guilt or the loss.”

02. Dream On / Aerosmith

“But peril pressed in at the edges of a girl’s life, and worry planted roots in Rath’s heart and bloomed wild and reckless.”

03. Living in Danger / Ace of Base

“It was a loathsome fact about the human condition: Wherever there were girls, some would go missing, plucked like errant threads from the fabric of everyday life and cast into a lurid nightmare of someone else’s making.”

04. Here I Go Again / Whitesnake

“Rath gazed at the long, deserted stretch of road that ran north into Canada in just under a mile, then looked south to a length of road equally long and deserted.”

05. Love Is The Drug / Roxy Music

“Rath lit his cigarette, drew the smoke deep. It tasted like dryer lint, but he’d suck it to the filter anyway. That’s why they called it addiction.”

06. Why / Annie Lennox

“Ghosts from a past life he wished would remain dead.”

07. Before It Breaks / Brandi Carlile

“Hope was a luxury. And Rath had to knock on the door and ask the missing girl’s mother painful intrusive questions, yank scabs off tender wounds and gouge old sores, let the blood run fresh.”

08. Still Fighting It / Ben Folds

“Memory was a devil that wore many disguises.”

09. Brightest Light / FDVM

“She radiates. A smile like sunshine’s pouring from her.”

10. Dancing With Myself / Billy Idol

“She was unclear on what compelled her to run with such mania.”

11. Where Were You Last Night / Ankie Bagger

“This was the trouble with lying: it bred paranoia.”

12. Lost Stars / Adam Levine

“The recessed lights dimmed to leave the office in perpetual dusk.”

13. Better Alone / Carolina Liar

“Pain could always get worse.”

 

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Couch Potato, Librocubicularist

Books vs Film: The Bourne Identity

December 4, 2017 | 4 comments


 

I have a soft spot for the Bourne films, and I have been saying for years that I need to read the books. I finally read the first book, The Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum.

The film wins, hands down, because:

1. Matt Damon.

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Librocubicularist

6 Degrees of Separation: It

December 2, 2017 | 6 comments


 

6 Degrees of Separation is a book meme hosted by Kate at Books are My Favorite and Best. The goal is to construct a chain with 6 other books, using any criteria you want, and see where you end up.

The starting book this month is It by Stephen King. I have not yet read it, and cannot decide if I want to read it. I have conflicting feelings about King. I feel like I have not given his books an honest chance, and most of my opinions are based on Misery, which was the first of his books that I read (about 16 years ago). I hated it. I can no longer remember why, but I really hated it.

Another book I did not like was The Daydreamer Detective by SJ Pajonas. I cannot remember a single significant plot event in it, but the main character was one of the most annoying characters I have come across and there was absolutely to character development at all.

The main character was the main reason I gave Dead to Me by Stephen Edger a one star review. She did not have a single redeeming quality and I liked her less for every chapter.

The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson is another book I liked less for each chapter. The timeline (and plot) was all over the place without any logic and I didn’t care for the main character. I would not have finished it if it hadn’t been that I read it as a buddy-read together with a friend (who actually disliked it as much as I did).

Another book where the timeline (and plot) was all over the place was The Travelers by Chris Pavone. It is also a book that I read as a buddy read with another friend, and otherwise would have abandoned.

A book I really wish I had abandoned is A Game of Thrones by George RR Martin (considering I disliked it from the first chapter, over 800 pages is a lot to go through…). I much more prefer the tv show, and have no qualms about not giving the rest of the books in the series a chance.

This time, my chain took me from It, via books that were not my cup of tea, to A Game of Thrones.

Why don’t you join us and make your own chain? Starting with It, where will you end up? Visit Books Are My Favourite and Best to read the rules and see who else made a chain this month.

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Life & Everything

Bookish (and not so Bookish) Thoughts #100

November 29, 2017 | One comment


 

1. Today I walked to the grocery store down the street without crutches. It’s only like 600 meters roundtrip but after 4 months on crutches and going crazy not being able to go for walks, I’m calling today a huge a victory.

2. I want one of these wine advent calendars next year.

3. Love these fake subtitles.

4. I cannot believe it’s almost December. How did this year pass by so quickly? There is still so many books I was planning on reading this year that I haven’t gotten around to yet.

5. I need all of these this winter.

6. My mom got me a new phone (iphone 8) as an early Christmas and early birthday present. It is so shiny and pretty. (It also does not crash every 5 minutes which is a big step up from my old phone.)

7. I watched Home Again the other day. It was no Sweet Home Alabama but definitely one of Reese Witherspoon’s best movies.

8. It is Book Week Scotland. I had great plans of reading lots of Scottish murder mysteries this week, but haven’t had time to read anything at all. This year they also have lots of virtual events. I enjoyed watching crime writers play cluedo (while talking about their writing).

Visit Christine at Bookishly Boisterous for more bookish (and not so bookish) thoughts.

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Life & Everything

Bookish (and not so Bookish) Thoughts #99

November 22, 2017 | 2 comments


 

1. This is hopefully my last week on crutches. I’m looking forward to slowly starting to go on short walks again.

2. I started a bullet journal. I have only started a few spreads, but I’m finding it very relaxing.

3. What could possibly go wrong? (So, so many things)

4. I’m looking forward to seeing The Greatest Showman.

5. I finally started reading Robert Ludlum’s The Bourne Identity but so far, it just makes me want to watch the film again.

Visit Christine at Bookishly Boisterous for more bookish (and not so bookish) thoughts.

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Life & Everything

Bookish (and not so Bookish) Thoughts #98

November 9, 2017 | 4 comments


 

1. James Veitch is hilarious. It is possible that I spent an hour or two laughing at his videos.

2. We had our first winter storm of the season last weekend, with winds up to 25 m/s. I took it as a good excuse to not have to leave my apartment.

3. This is pretty cool.

4. I need a new podcast to listen to. Suggestions?

5. This week I was reminded about how weird the English language is.

6. The voting for the goodreads choice awards 2017 has started. I had only read 2 of the nominated books (across all 20 categories) and one was a book I didn’t particularly like. I thought I had been reading a lot of newly published books this year, but apparently not.

Visit Christine at Bookishly Boisterous for more bookish (and not so bookish) thoughts.

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Librocubicularist

Reading Recap | October 2017

November 6, 2017 | No comments


 

October was a great reading month. I read 26 books, and although quite a few of them were quite forgettable (or even boring) there were also lots of 4 star books. The three highlights this month were:

One Grave too Many by Beverly Connor ★★★★
Ebook | 404 pages (Read October 16-17)

First in a series about Diane Fallon, a museum director and forensic anthropologist in Maryland. I have a soft spot for crime series with forensic themes, and this one is my newest favourite. I loved it so much that I read five more books from the series this month, and none of them disappointed.

 
The Thirst by Jo Nesbø ★★★★
Ebook | 536 pages (Read October 10-11)

I have had mixed opinions about the Harry Hole books, but the latest one (published earlier this year) was a page turner and definitely my favourite of the series.

 
The Executioner by Chris Carter ★★★★
Ebook | 400 pages (Read October 10-15)

The second book about LAPD Detective Robert Hunter did not disappoint. This time, Hunter investigates a series of murder where the victims are killed by their greatest fear.

 
OTHER READS
★★★★
The Mermaids Singing by Val McDermid | Dead Guilty by Beverly Connor | Dead Secret by Beverly Connor | It’s Murder, My Son by Lauren Carr | Dead Hunt by Beverly Connor | Scattered Graves by Beverly Connor

★★★
The Blood Spilt by Åsa Larsson | Forty Words for Sorrow by Giles Blunt | A Cold Day in Paradise by Steve Hamilton | The Storm of the Century by Al Roker (audio) | Black Water Lilies by Michel Bussi | Even Dogs in the Wild by Ian Rankin (audio) | Land of Shadows by Rachel Howzell Hall | Wolves in the Dark by Gunnar Staalesen | Old Loves Die Hard by Lauren Carr | The Chesapeake Bride by Mariah Stewart | Dead Past by Beverly Connor | Blessed are Those Who Thirst by Anne Holt

★★
The Girls Next Door by Mel Sherratt | Fundraising the Dead by Sheila Connolly | To Davy Jones Below by Carola Dunn | Baltimore Blues by Laura Lippman | Skies of Ash by Rachel Howzell Hall | Rather be the Devil by Ian Rankin (audio) | Farm Fresh Murder by Paige Shelton

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Librocubicularist

6 Degrees of Separation: Less Than Zero

November 5, 2017 | 5 comments


 

6 Degrees of Separation is a book meme hosted by Kate at Books are My Favorite and Best. The goal is to construct a chain with 6 other books, using any criteria you want, and see where you end up.

The starting book this month is Less Than Zero by Bret Easton Ellis.

Zero Day (which I read last year) is the first book in David Baldacci’s series about war hero John Puller, now a top investigator in the US Army’s CID. I tend to read mostly police procedurals, but I quite enjoyed this series.

Another thriller series that I read last year, and where the main character is not a member of the police, is Jeff Abbott’s series about Sam Capra, a former CIA agent turned international spy. The fifth, and last, book in the series is called The First Order.

The First Prophet by Kay Hooper is the first book in a series called The Bishop Files. It is acctually a spin-off of Hooper’s other series Bishop/Special Crimes Unit about a special group of FBI agents with psychic abilities which I binge-read a few years ago.

I’m normally not a big fan of books with a paranormal theme, but another exception is The Gates of Evangeline by Hester Young. It is also another example of a book I enjoyed where the main character is not a member of the police; she’s a journalist/writer who plays an important part in both solving an old mystery and preventing a new crime.

The main character in Spåren på bryggan (The Tracks on the Pier) by Lars Rambe is also a journalist (named Fredrik Gransjö) who plays a big part in solving an old crime from 1965, as well as stopping a current crime spree.

I cannot resist making the final link to one of my all-time favourite books: Stieg Larsson’s The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. Like in Spåren på bryggan, its main character is a male journalist looking into an old case (from 1966).

This time, my chain took me from Less Than Zero, via series involving different government agencies and crime-solving journalists, to The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.

Why don’t you join us and make your own chain? Starting with Less Than Zero, where will you end up? Visit Books Are My Favourite and Best to read the rules and see who else made a chain this month.

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Life & Everything

Bookish (and not so Bookish) Thoughts #97

October 13, 2017 | One comment


 

1. We are going to see Varekai with Cirque du Soleil tonight.

2. I’ve read two good books in the last week: Black Water Lilies by Michel Bussi – a mystery set in France spanning decades (with a brilliant ending) – and The Thirst by Jo Nesbø, the eleventh book in his series about police detective Harry Hole in Oslo. It was definitely the best of the series. I could not put it down.

3. Love these beautiful photos.

4. PattyCake Productions unexpected musicals is the best thing on youtube right now. Michaeleficent and Beauty and the Bieber are both all kinds of awesome. Also, Look What You Made Me Brew is in my opinion better than the original.

5. I’m splurging and buying new shoes in preparation for when I can go for long walks again. New shoes makes me happy.

Visit Christine at Bookishly Boisterous for more bookish (and not so bookish) thoughts.

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