Monday, July 16, 2018

Another Sun by Timothy Williams

Another Sun
by Timothy Williams

Find out more about this book and author:
Amazon | Goodreads

Published: 2014
Publisher: Soho Crime
Genre: Mystery, Paranormal, Caribbean, Guadeloupe
Paperback: 352
Rating: 4

First sentence(s):
It was past six o'clock and night had begun to fall.

The sun-drenched Caribbean island of Guadeloupe is technically part of France, subject to French law and loyal to the French Republic. But in 1980, the scars of colonialism are still fresh, and ethnic tensions and political unrest seethe just below the surface of everyday life.

French-Algerian judge Anne Marie Laveaud relocated to this beautiful Caribbean island confident that she could make it her new home. But her day-to-day life is rife with frustration. Now she is assigned a murder case in which she is sure the chief suspect, an elderly ex-con named Hégésippe Bray, is a political scapegoat. Her superiors are dismissive of her efforts to prove Bray innocent, and to add insult to injury, Bray himself won’t even speak to her because she’s a woman. But she won’t give up, and Anne Marie’s investigations lead her into a complex tangle of injustice, domestic terrorists, broken hearts, and maybe even voodoo.

Zombie sighting:
A sleepwalker. A zombie.
chapter 13, page 58

My two-bits:

The mystery was not too much of the draw for me on this one. I enjoyed the description of the people and culture of the islanders in regards to the racism and classism.


* part of Books, Inc. Foreign Intrigue Book Club (here)

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Pre-Dewey's Reverse Summer Read-a-thon: July 2018

Dewey's Reverse Summer Readathon
July 28 to July 29, 2018 (start: 11pm 2018 PST)

TO DO before read-a-thon:
- clear the calendar on event day
- do chores, housework, etc. before event
- plan easy main meals - minimal preparation
- stock up on favorite munchies

TO DO during read-a-thon:
- read, blog, mini-challenge
- go to cafe for lunch and reading

Reading list:

A Place for Us
by Fatima Farheen Mirza
-Literary, Family, India, Muslim
Amazon | Goodreads | my review: tba

When Dimple Met Rishi
by Sandhya Menon
-YA, Romance, Asian American, India
Amazon | Goodreads

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Lovely Books and Things - 7.14.18

Lovely Books and Things
My Weekly Books and Films Update

Linking up with:
Stacking the Shelves (details)
Sunday Post (details)
Mailbox Monday (details)



1. Finding summer dinner recipes online: Chicken Burger with Avocado Corn Salsa (here)

2. Enjoying the pianos scattered at the Flower Piano event in the San Francisco Botanical Garden (here) - loved the Quinta Tango performance

3. Late night drinking: Double Chocolate Boba Tea from Purple Kow
fyi: gotta finish reading Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan before the film release next month



When Dimple Met Rishi
by Sandhya Menon
-YA, Romance, India American
Amazon | Goodreads

ADDING this to my World Reads challenge - India (here)

by Caroline Kepnes
-Mystery, Thriller
Release date: June 19, 2018
Amazon | Goodreads

PART of the BookSparks Summer Reading Challenge 2018 (here).


The Tenth Island
Finding Joy, Beauty, and Unexpected Love in the Azores
by Diana Marcum
-Memoir, Travel, Spain
courtesy of Amazon Kindle First -Thanks!
Amazon | Goodreads

LOOKS like a good one for summertime.

Author event:

GREEN Apple Books on the Park hosted a reading and Q&A with Ottessa Moshfegh to present her latest, My Year of Rest and Relaxation. Ottessa shared some experiences on living in New York and China.

My Year of Rest and Relaxation
by Ottessa Moshfegh
-Literary, Mental Illness
Release date: July 10, 2018
Amazon | Goodreads

From one of our boldest, most celebrated new literary voices, a novel about a young woman's efforts to duck the ills of the world by embarking on an extended hibernation with the help of one of the worst psychiatrists in the annals of literature and the battery of medicines she prescribes

Our narrator should be happy, shouldn't she? She's young, thin, pretty, a recent Columbia graduate, works an easy job at a hip art gallery, lives in an apartment on the Upper East Side of Manhattan paid for, like the rest of her needs, by her inheritance. But there is a dark and vacuous hole in her heart, and it isn't just the loss of her parents, or the way her Wall Street boyfriend treats her, or her sadomasochistic relationship with her best friend, Reva. It's the year 2000 in a city aglitter with wealth and possibility; what could be so terribly wrong?

My Year of Rest and Relaxation is a powerful answer to that question. Through the story of a year spent under the influence of a truly mad combination of drugs designed to heal our heroine from her alienation from this world, Moshfegh shows us how reasonable, even necessary, alienation can be. Both tender and blackly funny, merciless and compassionate, it is a showcase for the gifts of one of our major writers working at the height of her powers.

OTHER things (kinda book-related):

Reverse Summer Readathon
July 28-29, 2018
11pm to 11pm PST (details)

GOING to try the new timing for this one.

RECENT fascination with miniatures has prompted me to create the first of a few Miniatures posts (here).

AND watched: in theatre

That Summer (2017)
Director: Göran Olsson (as Göran Hugo Olsson)
Stars: Peter Beard, Lee Radziwill, Edith Bouvier Beale
-Documentary | imdb | my rating: 5

Montauk, East Hampton, New York, 2016. Peter Beard discusses his work as a photographer, artist and diarist before reminiscing about his attempt to make a documentary in the summer of 1972 with his friend Lee Radziwill (younger sister of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis), focusing on their childhood and the 20th- century history of East Hampton.

BEING a fan of the documentary Grey Gardens, this was special treat to see. More of the same kind of footage but most especially scenes of the gals interacting with Lee Radziwill.

Fireworks, Should We See It from the Side or The Bottom? (2017)
Uchiage hanabi, shita kara miru ka? Yoko kara miru ka? (original title)
Directors: Akiyuki Shimbô, Nobuyuki Takeuchi
Writers: Shunji Iwai, Hitoshi Ône
Stars: Suzu Hirose, Masaki Suda, Mamoru Miyano
-Animation, Drama, Family, Japan | imdb | my rating: 4

Schoolchildren Norimichi, Yûsuke and Jun'ichi want to know if fireworks look round or flat from the side. They make a plan to find the answer at a fireworks display, while Nazuna schemes to run away with Norimichi or Yûsuke, whoever wins at the pool.

This film tells the story of a schoolgirl who finds a pretty transparent ball by the sea, on the day of a fireworks display of a religious festival in a seaside town in Japan. She plans to run away from home to escape from her unhappy home, as her mother is about to remarry for the third time. However, her escape fails until her male classmate finds out the supernatural power that the transparent ball has.

GROUNDHOG day kind of experience but unique in its own way. Certainly sparked fun conversation with the people I went to see this with.

Blindspotting (2018)
Director: Carlos López Estrada
Writers: Rafael Casal, Daveed Diggs
Stars: Daveed Diggs, Rafael Casal, Janina Gavankar
-Comedy, Drama | imdb | my rating: 5

Lifelong friends Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal co-wrote and star in this timely and wildly entertaining story about the intersection of race and class, set against the backdrop of a rapidly gentrifying Oakland.

THIS screening included a Q&A with director, Carlos, and David, Rafael, Janina and Utkarsh Ambudkar. A lively conversation with lots of laughs described the process and origination of the story and some people involved with the production.

Loved the innovative style and presentation of the main character in this story, Oakland.


* comment and TELL me what you have acquired for your shelves recently

Thanks for stopping by :-)

Friday, July 13, 2018

Dead If You Don't by Peter James

Dead If You Don't
by Peter James

Find out more about this book and author:
Website | Blog
Facebook | Instagram
YouTube | Twitter

Just released: July 1, 2018
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Hardback: 400
Rating: 4

Detective Superintendent Roy Grace series:
Dead Simple
Looking Good Dead
Not Dead Enough
Dead Man's Footsteps
Dead Tomorrow
Dead Like You
Dead Man's Grip
Not Dead Yet
Dead Man's Time
Want You Dead
You Are Dead
Love You Dead
Need You Dead
Dead If You Don't

First sentence(s):
The small white ball skittered over the numbers own the spinning roulette wheel, passing 36, 11, 30.

Kipp Brown, successful businessman and compulsive gambler, is having the worst run of luck of his life. He’s beginning to lose, big style. However, taking his teenage son, Mungo, to their club’s Saturday afternoon football match should have given him a welcome respite, if only for a few hours. But it’s at the stadium where his nightmare begins.

Within minutes of arriving at the game, Kipp bumps into a client. He takes his eye off Mungo for a few moments, and in that time, the boy disappears. Then he gets the terrifying message that someone has his child, and to get him back alive, Kipp will have to pay.

Defying instruction not to contact the police, Kipp reluctantly does just that, and Detective Superintendent Roy Grace is brought in to investigate. At first it seems a straightforward case of kidnap. But rapidly Grace finds himself entering a dark, criminal underbelly of the city, where the rules are different and nothing is what it seems.

Velvet sighting:
'What's the latest from the EOD on the device, Sir?' asked DC Velvet Wilde, another recent recruit to his team.
-chapter 42, page 119

My two-bits:

The 14th book in the series, Dead If You Don't, is the second book I have read in this series. And while I missed out on some history of the main players, I did not feel lost in the story. This is a treat to those who like Roy Grace and his investigative team.

The story is told in a multi-player mode with multi-perspectives and brief insights into each person (including the people at fault) - all pretty much unlikable sorts.

There is a touch of the Albanian immigrant experience.

The thriller aspect is heavier than the mystery. So, the suspense lies in finding out whether or not things get resolved and how it all goes down.


* review copy courtesy of publisher

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Miniatures pt1

After recently watching Hereditary miniatures have captured me. The main character is an artist of miniatures and the film has many scenes of miniature dioramas juxtaposing the storyline which was effective in the storytelling.

This will be the first post with a Miniatures theme. It has a dark mystery tinge.


Malice in Miniature
by Jeanne M. Dams
-Mystery, Cozy
Amazon | Goodreads | my review: tba


The Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death
by Corinne May Botz
-Art, Photography, Mystery, True Crime
Amazon | Goodreads

The Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death offers readers an extraordinary glimpse into the mind of a master criminal investigator. Frances Glessner Lee, a wealthy grandmother, founded the Department of Legal Medicine at Harvard in 1936 and was later appointed captain in the New Hampshire police. In the 1940s and 1950s she built dollhouse crime scenes based on real cases in order to train detectives to assess visual evidence. Still used in forensic training today, the eighteen Nutshell dioramas, on a scale of 1:12, display an astounding level of detail: pencils write, window shades move, whistles blow, and clues to the crimes are revealed to those who study the scenes carefully.

Corinne May Botz's lush color photographs lure viewers into every crevice of Frances Lee's models and breathe life into these deadly miniatures, which present the dark side of domestic life, unveiling tales of prostitution, alcoholism, and adultery. The accompanying line drawings, specially prepared for this volume, highlight the noteworthy forensic evidence in each case. Botz's introductory essay, which draws on archival research and interviews with Lee's family and police colleagues, presents a captivating portrait of Lee.


Listen to "Murder Is Her Hobby: Frances Glessner Lee and The Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death,” episode 10 from Sidedoor: A Podcast from the Smithsonian (here).


Hereditary (2018)
Director/Writer: Ari Aster
Stars: Toni Collette, Milly Shapiro, Gabriel Byrne, Alex Wolff
-Drama, Horror, Mystery | imdb | my review | my rating: 4

CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (2006)
Las Vegas, season 7
Miniature Killer storyline
Stars: William Petersen, Marg Helgenberger
-Crime, Drama, Mystery | imdb | my review: tba


* header image from Murder Is Her Hobby article (here) which is from The Nutshell Studies
Imagination Designs
Images from: Lovelytocu