A Cineaste’s Bookshelf

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REVIEW: MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS

Rather than a "locked room" mystery wherein the victim is found dead in a room where no one could have gotten in or out, Christie traps everyone together on a snowbound train. The victim, the suspects, and the detective are all stuck in the "locked room." The new movie version, directed by and starring Kenneth Branagh is problematic but it was much better than the trailers led me to believe.
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REVIEW: THE BUTCHERING ART

Lindsey Fitzharris gives us an unflinching look at the difficult, unsettling world of early medicine through the lens of Joseph Lister's career. Here, a fierce but kindly man can be seen as a genius with a heart, not a cold figure to be dissected.
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It's Monday - November 6

I am reading several things right now, though not as quickly as usual. I am also participating in NaNoWriMo again this year. Not sure why I do this to myself over and over... but here we are.
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ACCENT: DR JEKYLL AND MR SEEK

The book is told from the point of view of Jekyll's honorable, devoted lawyer, Mr. Gabriel Utterson. Just as time is about to elapse on officially declaring alter-ego Hyde dead, a man shows up claiming to be Jekyll. But Hyde was Jekyll... and Hyde was most certainly dead.
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Top Ten Tuesday - Unique Book Names

The Broke and Bookish have suggested unique book titles for this week's Top Ten Tuesday list.
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It's Monday - October 23

It's Monday, October 23. What are you reading?
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REVIEW: FRANKENSTEIN DREAMS

Within the pages of this collection, therefore, readers may consider "science fiction" to be loosely defined as tales of the fantastic that exclude the supernatural -- no ghosts, no deities, no magic. What may sound like an arbitrary distinction actually demonstrates separate ways for regarding the cosmos.
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Books for October

You heap the logs and try to fill / The little room with words and cheer, / But silent feet are on the hill, / Across the window veiled eyes peer. ~ Hortense King Flexner
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Penguin Halloween Collection

Now on the other side of the autumnal equinox, I started pulling some Halloween-ish books from my stacks and I realized I have a small selection from a Penguin Classics series. I definitely recommend these for anyone who wants a creepy, seasonal read.
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REVIEW: KOH-I-NOOR

Today, the Koh-i-Noor diamond is part of the crown jewels of England. Hundreds of visitors to the Tower of London see it everyday. This bit of shiny rock has an ancient, bloody past that begins long before British colonialism in India.
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Books for September

From dewy lanes at morning / The grapes' sweet odors rise; / At noon the roads all flutter / With yellow butterflies. ~ Helen Hunt Jackson
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ACCENT: THE AMBER SHADOWS

In the mid 1940s, Britain's most brilliant minds are working around the clock to break the German codes and intercepted messages. Bletchley Park was the central hive of this important work and its worker bees consisted of men and women of varied backgrounds.
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ACCENT: THE GRIP OF IT

Author Jac Jemc has spliced together the classic haunted house story with psychological, domestic suspense. The Grip of It is tight, sparse and yet deeply disturbing.
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BOOKS for August

No wind, no bird. The river flames like brass. / On either side, smitten as with a spell / Of silence, brood the fields. In the deep grass, / Edging the dusty roads, lie as they fell / Handfuls of shriveled leaves from tree and bush. ~ “August” by Lizette Woodworth Reese
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REVIEW: THE BEDLAM STACKS

Pulley creates details with such ease that the reader quickly accepts the ethereal beauty of the deep Andean forest. And she does so while keeping one foot in the reality of colonialism, missionaries, Victorian exploration and commerce. The reader will relish slowly absorbing the magic of The Bedlam Stacks.
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