A Cineaste’s Bookshelf

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Valentine Book Haul

Valentine’s Day was pretty perfect for us. No fuss. We went to dinner at a favorite restaurant which was not full, then he took me to the bookstore. That evening at home, I sat on the floor with my beloved dog and watched some of Westminster. It was great. The books I chose were these:…
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ACCENT: DIFFERENT CLASS

Fans of Chocolat will not find any of the light-hearted playfulness of a quaint French village here. What the reader will find is the familiar theme of technology versus traditions, the future versus history. Harris brings us behind the chalk-dusted walls of a proper English boys school. St. Oswald’s is built of ancient fieldstone and event…
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Books for February

I have every intention of reading and reviewing each of these in the next couple of weeks, but I know that it’s likely a longer timeline. So consider this a preview of things to come, and maybe some of these titles will strike you even without my commentary. All images link to Goodreads page. Different…
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REVIEW: THE UNSEEING

Sarah Gale is a seamstress and convicted murderer awaiting execution in Newgate Prison. She was tried for assisting her boyfriend, James Greenacre, in the killing of another woman and has lost her case against the Crown. With only a few weeks until her sentence is carried out, Edmund Fleetwood, a barrister, is assigned to review…
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INTERVIEW with Michael Sims, on Arthur and Sherlock

Biographer, editor and man of letters Michael Sims agreed to let me pick his brain about Conan Doyle and Sherlock Holmes, a fascination we share. Sims was a distinguished speaker at the Baker Street Irregulars annual gathering in 2011. Sims’ newest book, Arthur and Sherlock, comes out January 24. Q: Did you read Sherlock Holmes…
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The Friday 56: The Gentle Axe

The Friday 56 is hosted by Freda’s Voice. Readers are invited to: Grab a book, any book. Turn to page 56 (or 56% in your eReader), find any sentence and post it. I just picked up The Gentle Axe by R.N. Morris from the library. It’s a creepy Russian mystery. Porfiry lifted his head, looked the pawnbroker in…
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REVIEW: THE BEAR AND THE NIGHTINGALE

Vasilisa is growing up in a small house in a tiny village on the edge of the dense Russian forest. The large family has a wise matriarch in her nurse who tells fairy tales and legends to get the children to sleep at night. Her stories about a winter prince and house spirits form their youthful…
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REVIEW: ARTHUR AND SHERLOCK

Rather than a biography of Arthur Conan Doyle, this is a history of all of the people surrounding the world’s greatest consulting detective. Instead of trying to encompass a whole (very accomplished) life, Sims chooses to take a magnifying glass to Conan Doyle’s early professional life as a student, doctor and writer, up until the…
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REVIEW: BITTEN BY WITCH FEVER

How interesting can a book about wallpaper be? Extremely.  Lucinda Hawksley has written a brief, approachable history of the use of wallpaper and arsenic in the Victorian era. While Regency decoration favored more muted color palettes, the Victorians embraced bright, gaudy and electric hues. This included the rich fabrics used to make women’s ball gowns…
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Top Ten Books for the First Half of 2017

I know I am not alone in saying I cannot wait for the dumpster fire that is 2016 to be over. I know that the calendar is arbitrary but there is something about having a fresh start that helps. I plan to do a great deal of reading on the upcoming winter break, and some…
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Top Ten New-To-Me

Authors I Read For The First Time In 2016 Chelsea Cain Confessions of a Teen Sleuth is hysterical. I didn’t know about it until a friend recommended it and, holey moley. Danielle Dutton Margaret the First is a strange and lovely biographical novel. It sort of defies description, which is something I love about it.…
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Books for December

In drear-nighted December / Too happy, happy brook, Thy bubblings ne’er remember / Apollo’s summer look; But with a sweet forgetting / They stay their crystal fretting, Never, never petting / About the frozen time. ~ John Keats We are finally moving back into our house for real. There are still some small items to be…
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Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Thanks

A time for harvest, a time to gather in and a time to remember all we are thankful for. And today, I’m thinking about the bookish things I am grateful for. Books (and reading) are an important part of my life and always have been. I would be a very different person without it. Here…
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Top Ten Tuesday: Recently Added to the TBR List

Is it a list? Or is it more of a pile? Probably some unholy combination of both. Like most voracious readers, I try to keep a running tally of books read and to be read. Of course there are those that show up in the mail unexpectedly (hooray for awesome publicists!) and are stacked near…
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It's Monday - What are you reading?

I just finished the amazing Arthur & Sherlock (review to come soon) and desperately wanted there to be more. Luckily, last week I received a lovely box of wonderfulness from Katie and Iris at Pegasus Books and I couldn’t wait to dive in. The Zoo: The Wild and Wonderful Tale of the Founding of London Zoo:…
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