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2019: The Books I’ve Been Most Thankful For

24 Festive Tasks: Door 11 – Thanksgiving: Task 2 With another full month to go in the year, it may be a bit early to do this task, but a substantial number of the books I’m going to be reading in December will be Christmas rereads, so here we go. The books / authors I […]

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Halloween Bingo 2019: Tracking Post — Blackout! (And bingos Nos. 12 and 13.)

  Many thanks to Moonlight Reader and Obsidian Blue for hosting this game for the fourth year in a row, bigger and better than ever before! Witih today’s call, I’ve blacked out my card, in addition to collecting my final bingos (nos. 12 and 13). Somewhat to my surprise, after completing my books for my […]

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Terry Pratchett: Pyramids — Halloween Bingo 2019, Eighth Extra Square (Monsters) & Discworld October Group Read

I haven’t decided for which bingo square I’ll be using this, but from the blurb and from what I’ve read so far, it will fit — at a minimum — the Supernatural, Creepy Crawlies, Deadlands, Monsters, Ghost Stories, Relics and Curiosities, Murder Most Foul, and Grave or Graveyard bingo squares; possibly / probably also Spellbound, […]

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Discworld: October Group read starts TODAY

  The Discworld Group’s October group read is the series’s first stand-alone novel, Pyramids. The blurb: “In Pyramids, you’ll discover the tale of Teppic, a student at the Assassin’s Guild of Ankh-Morpok and prince of the tiny kingdom of Djelibeybi, thrust into the role of pharaoh after his father’s sudden death. It’s bad enough being […]

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Terry Pratchett: Monstrous Regiment

I had initially been planning to read Terry Pratchett’s Pyramids (also the Discworld group’s October group read) for this square, but given that I was ready for the square before October had rolled around and I still want to do the Discworld group read in any event, a quick switch to another one of Pratchett’s […]

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Halloween Bingo 2019: Tracking Post — Bingo No. 3 and Reading Blackout

* Triple Bingo Happy Dance * Well, that went by much faster than I had anticipated … Many thanks to Moonlight Reader and Obsidian Blue for hosting this game for the fourth year in a row, bigger and better than ever before! I’ll continue tracking my bingos of course — and since we now have […]

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Terry Pratchett: Guards! Guards!

This is a book that ought to be read today more than ever: The eighth Discworld novel and the first book of the Night Watch subseries — but first and foremost, an exploration of just how a political system can fail and slip into dictatorship right before everybody’s eyes. Whatever it was that motivated Pratchett […]

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Halloween Bingo 2019: The Third Week

Well, the third week really hit my bingo experience out of the ballpark this year — and not only Pbecause it finished with my first completed bingo; that was actually just the icing on the cake.  But it included no less than three absolutely knock-out fabulous books, plus a fourth that was almost as good […]

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Halloween Bingo 2019: The Second Week

A day late (though hopefully not a dollar short), here’s my “second bingo week” summary; and it’s a summary of a much better week than the first one turned out to be.  (So, yey!)  For one thing this is due to the books, all of which were either outright winners or at least enjoyable on […]

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Literature Reviews

Bob Berman: Earth-Shattering

Neither as “epic” nor as “profound” as the blurb promises, and definitely higher on the “popular” than on the “science” part of “popular science writing”.  Based on his style of writing, I can very well imagine Berman as a personable guide at his local observatory or as a host of popular radio science programs; the […]

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Terry Pratchett: Wyrd Sisters

Like a fine wine … … the kind of book that only gets better the more often you return to it. I’ve revisited Wyrd Sisters three times in the last two years alone, and every single time I’m savoring every single minute of the experience.  Definitely one of my favorite Discworld novels — next to […]

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Discworld: Here is your bimonthly belated reminder …

… that the next group read is upon us and has (umm, theoretically) already started, on August 1, to be precise.   (I swear I was going to post about this earlier this time around, but oh well …)   The book is Wyrd Sisters, the second of the Witches subseries — and the first […]

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Jan Zalasiewicz & Mark Williams: Skeletons — The Frame of Life

Less Than What It Could Have Been OK, so I admit I didn’t check on the authors’ scholarly credentials before picking this up — if I had, I might not have been so disappointed to find that this is not, after all (not even in part) a book dealing with the way in which skeletons […]

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Terry Pratchett: Sourcery

Ooooh, I like this one. It’s got a “knife to a gun fight” reference (only involving porcupines) and a [literally] kick-ass heroine, takes digs at Aladdin and The Lord of the Rings — especially The Two Towers –, the Four Horsepersons of the Apothe…ca…thingamagig make an appearance, and the Librarian is taking a stand — […]

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Discworld – Remaining 2019 Group Reads. NEXT ONE (SOURCERY) STARTS JUNE 1

For those who are planning to participate in the next Discworld group reads, these are, for the rest of this year:   * Sourcery (Rincewind #3) — beginning June 1 (tomorrow) * Wyrd Sisters (Witches #2) — beginning August 1 * Pyramids (Ancient Civilizations #1) – beginning October 1    — Coinciding with Halloween Bingo.  […]

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Kathryn Harkup: A Is for Arsenic

Should come with several prescriptions / warning labels The first caveat, obviously, being “don’t ever try this at home.”  Most of the poisons Harkup discusses are much harder to obtain these days than in Agatha Christie’s time, so for most of them the risk of being used as a murder weapon may have been mitigated […]

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Kathryn Harkup: A Is for Arsenic — Chapters 10 & 11: Phosphorus & Ricin

Phosphorus and Ricin — two particularly nasty ones.  And the way she’s describing the discovery of phosphorus, it sounds like something straight out of a sorcerer’s lab … byproduct of the search for the philosophers’ stone.  Why stop at gold, anyway?!       Overall Review and Comments on Other Chapters: Overall Review Introduction and […]

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Kathryn Harkup: A Is for Arsenic — Chapters 7-9: Monkshood, Nicotine, Opium

What does it say that I read the opium chapter this night, after having woken up at 4:00AM (against all habit)? I can see the temptation in using Sad Cypress as the anchor book for this chapter, and I’m glad Harkup gave an unambiguous spoiler warning this time around before proceeding to give away the […]

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Kathryn Harkup: A Is for Arsenic — Chapter 6: Hemlock

Oh, FIE.  Major spoiler alert. In the “Hemlock” chapter, Harkup gives away — without any prior warning whatsoever — the identity of not one but two of the key suspects in Five Little Pigs who ultimately turn out to be innocent, and she also reveals the answer to the question that Poirot is chiefly asked […]

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Kathryn Harkup: A Is for Arsenic — Chapter 4: Digitalis

I just finished the digitalis chapter — a fairly fast read, since for once this was one dealing with stuff of which I had at least a working knowledge going in. Christie herself discusses some of the basics re: digitalis in Appointment with Death and some of her short stories (most notably, The Herb of […]

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