A Cineaste’s Bookshelf

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Edgar Allan Poe and the Jewel of Peru

One frigid Philadelphia morning, Mr. Poe receives an odd parcel. It's the third such strange box from an unknown sender. Poe calls upon his friend, and ornithologist Father Keane to help him decipher the meaning of the taxidermied birds, feathers, moss and plants. The clues seem to suggest a sort of warning and very quickly their sender is revealed.
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Books to watch for in 2019

The main reason I love writing about books is that I get a sneak preview of what's coming. Remember when you were a kid and you got the giant catalog from JC Penney or Montgomery Ward and you would go through it and dream about your Christmas presents? Getting a publisher catalog and sifting through titles is a lot like that. And the fall / winter release season is always the biggest time of the year in book publishing. This week's Top Ten Tuesday is a preview of some of the books I can't wait to read, coming out in the second half of 2019.
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THE SNAKES by Sadie Jones

The roadtrip begins with a stop at Bea's brother's in Burgundy. Always the schlub of the family, he has been set up as the proprietor of a sagging bed-and-breakfast. In a constant state of (dis)repair, it would seem that Alex has spent more time pretending there have been guests than fixing the place up. The younger generation then prepares for a visit from the parents with dread.
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THE POISON THREAD by Laura Purcell

Channelling the likes of Alias Grace and The Unseeing, The Poison Thread tells a terrifying tale of confinement and madness. Dorothea Truelove, a perfectly saccharine name for the Victorian charity do-gooder, is a adherent to the study of phrenology. She visits Ruth Butterham, a teenaged seamstress, in Oakgate Prison and begins to suspect there is more to the girl's story.
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What are you reading?

My reading as of late has been a bit haphazard, I will admit. I also have multiple books going and I rotate between them as my mood suits. But the past month or so has been enormously stressful and I've found it difficult to concentrate long enough to read a few pages. A fewer major milestones at work have passed so I am working to get back into a rhythm again.
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D-DAY GIRLS by Sarah Rose

In 1942, an Allied victory was far from certain. Britain was barely holding its own after a battering in the Blitz and America was only just agreeing to enter the war. Using recently declassified files, diaries, interviews and more, Sarah Rose tells the stories of a handful of unlikely spies who paved the way for the Allied invasion.
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SMOKE AND ASHES by Abir Mukherjee

The adventures of Sam Wyndham and Surrender-Not continue in this third installment of the series by Abir Mukherjee. I haven’t read the other two but I had no trouble jumping right into the adventure in 1920s Calcutta. Set in the uneasy era between Queen Victoria’s stabling reign and the uprising of anti-colonial leaders, Sam Wyndham…
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Sea People

The mystery of Polynesian culture has baffled scientists, explorers and linguists for centuries. They are a people with shared traits scattered across tiny dots of land in a sea of ten million square miles. But where did they come from, and how did they get there? More importantly, how did they know to look there?
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Things That Make Me Pick Up a Book

My friends and family will probably say, "What makes you not pick up a book?" It's true -- I am incredibly drawn to them. A whole world exists in such a small footprint. But there are a few things that make a book irresistible to me.
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The Vanishing Man by Charles Finch

Finch explores Shakespearean rumor, English history, mystery, and a bit of a quest adventure. He winds together the Dissolution of the Monasteries, steamers on the Thames, riddles, and the complicated dance of high society. 
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The Stranger Diaries

Clare Cassidy, high school English teacher, is stunned when her friend and coworker is murdered. Shock turns to fear when she realizes the killer is referencing author R.M. Holland, the mystery writer Cassidy is researching. Inscrutable clues hover just around the edges of Holland's stories and former home.
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Books for March

“It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.” ― Charles Dickens, Great Expectations
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More Deadly Than The Male

Rudyard Kipling wrote, "For the female of the species is more deadly than the male," in his 1911 poem. It was not warriors or kings that need be feared, he suggested, but the women who worked in mischievous ways. Here editor Graeme Davis brings together ghostly horror stories penned by women from the long 19th century. 
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Latest additions to my reading list

It's amusing to look at my list and see how varied my it is: a Western, a copyediting book, French history, gothic fiction and more.
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REVIEW: THE PARAGON HOTEL

Alice James has jumped a cross-country train to escape from an unknown pursuer. Fighting off searing pain and feverish hallucinations, her Pullman porter insists she come to The Paragon Hotel to hide while she recuperates. This seems like a reasonable enough arrangement. But this is the 1920s, and Alice is white and The Paragon is only for blacks.
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