A Cineaste’s Bookshelf

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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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Books for November

Gas looming through the fog in divers places in the streets, much as the sun may, from the spongey fields, be seen to loom by husbandman and ploughboy. Most of the shops lighted two hours before their time — as the gas seems to know, for it has a haggard and unwilling look. ~ Charles…
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Top Ten Tuesday: Halloween

Halloween is my favorite and October is one of my favorite times of year. One year, I was getting really excited for the holiday and wanted to decorate in September because it was getting close. A friend said, “Let’s face it. Isn’t it always kind of Halloween in your head anyway?” Yes. Yes it is.…
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It's Monday - What are you reading?

We did a lot this weekend. We moved back into our house. We are staying in an upstairs bedroom as construction is still ongoing through most of the house. We restocked our fridge which has been totally empty since the hurricane. And we watched the new Ghostbusters, which was pretty fun. I did not get to…
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It's Monday - What are you reading?

While being a Hurricane Matthew evacuee, I made my husband take me to a bookstore. I’d been eyeing Ghostland for a while and I’m nearly finished. Colin Dickey presents ghost stories in what I consider to be the most interesting way possible — as an indicator of that which a town is most obsessed with. He outlines the…
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REVIEW: THE MOTION OF PUPPETS

This is magical realism at its best. Kay Harper is an acrobat and contortionist. Her new husband, Theo, is a professor and writer who is working on a new book about Eadweard Muybridge. The two have decided to spend the summer in the old section of Quebec City. She has landed a gig with an…
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