A Cineaste’s Bookshelf

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Books for August

Summer, do your worst! / Light your tinsel moon, and call on / Your performing stars to fall on / Headlong through your paper sky. ~ Dorothy Parker
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ACCENT: UNDER A DARK SKY

The desire to know whodunit keeps the reader coming back, but the overall story isn't one that will stick with the reader for its depth or even wild cleverness. It is simply a solid suspense novel -- and sometimes that's what you want to read.
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TOP TEN TUESDAY: Short and sweet

Short stories and novellas can get lost in the shadow of epic novels and great works of biography, but the compact storytelling form can pack a wallop. Aside from my standbys Poe, Maupassant and Conan Doyle, these are some of my favorite stories and novellas.
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TOP TEN TUESDAY: Best books of the year (so far)

We've tracked our way halfway around the sun. The days are already getting shorter, rather than longer. Soon we will be throwing on sweaters and drinking hot cocoa. Here are some of my favorite books from this year, so far.
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ACCENT: CITY OF DEVILS

This is a sparkling history of a brief time in a No Man's Land, and the bright people who burned fiercely, and all too quickly. 
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It's Monday - June 18

A delightful biography of a nonsense artist and a collection of funny essays from a traveling journalist. What are you reading this week?
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REVIEW: CONAN DOYLE FOR THE DEFENSE

Conan Doyle trained as a doctor, was a medical officer on Arctic and African voyages, brought downhill skiing to Switzerland, and investigated spiritualism and fairies. He also cleared the names of two wrongfully convicted men.
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REVIEW: DEAR MRS. BIRD

Emmy has been hired to help sort reader letters for the advice columnist Mrs. Bird. A gruff, old-fashioned woman, she refuses to answer anything that references the "unpleasantness," so Emmy begins to write her own replies.
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It's Monday - June 11

As we launch into summer, I'm trying to get a handle on my reading (and review) list for the next couple of months. I know -- a largely futile task. Here is a look at what I am reading now.
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REVIEW: Colonial Horrors

Early American cemeteries with grinning skull tombstones. Wood beam buildings with low ceilings. Early winter nights buffeted against gaping brick hearths. Old maple trees that creak in the wind.
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Books for June

In May, I took a little vacation and did a bit of traveling, which resulted in a bit less reading than usual for me. Having returned back to reality -- and an already very hot and muggy hometown -- I'm reorganizing the TBR pile for summer. Here's a look at what I'm reading this month.
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Top Ten Tuesday: Leaving for other worlds

This week's Top Ten Tuesday topic is bookish worlds we'd want to live in, or at least visit. Since I have spent most of my life imagining other worlds, this should be a cinch.
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ACCENT: LAST EQUATION OF ISAAC SEVERY

Isaac Severy, a brilliant physicist and mathematician is dead, and our protagonist is launched into a strange, real life scavenger hunt.
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Recent DNFs

As much as I love to read, sometimes there are books that just don't hit the right tone for me. But that doesn't mean it's terrible or that some of my readers might not be interested. These are books I did-not-finish (DNF) recently, but might deserve a second look from another reader.
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Top Ten Tuesday: Poems

April is National Poetry Month and this week's topic for Top Ten Tuesday is open, so I thought I would share lines from some of my favorite poets.
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