Monday, September 21, 2020

Blacktop Wasteland by S.A. Cosby

Blacktop Wasteland
by S.A. Cosby
narrated by Adam Lazarre-White

Published: 2020
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Hardback: 304
Rating: 5
Mystery, Thriller, Noir | Goodreads
Travel destination: Virginia

Zombie sighting:
A few patients tethered to IV's were moving past the staff like forlorn zombies.
-chapter 33

First sentence(s):
Beauregard through the night sky looked like a painting.

Beauregard “Bug” Montage is an honest mechanic, a loving husband, and a hard-working dad. Bug knows there’s no future in the man he used to be: known from the hills of North Carolina to the beaches of Florida as the best wheelman on the East Coast.

He thought he'd left all that behind him, but as his carefully built new life begins to crumble, he finds himself drawn inexorably back into a world of blood and bullets. When a smooth-talking former associate comes calling with a can't-miss jewelry store heist, Bug feels he has no choice but to get back in the driver's seat. And Bug is at his best where the scent of gasoline mixes with the smell of fear.

Haunted by the ghost of who he used to be and the father who disappeared when he needed him most, Bug must find a way to navigate this blacktop wasteland... or die trying.

My two-bits:

Cars, heists, bad guys, good guys...

Great wild ride with this gritty contemporary story with a noir vibe and thrilling car chase scenes.


* Listened to audiobook version.

* part of Armchair Autumn Travel (here)

* part of part of Summertime time (here)

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Lovely Books and Things - 9.20.20

Lovely Books and Things
My Weekly Books and Films Update

Linking up with:
Sunday Post (details)
Mailbox Monday (details)



1. Back to long daily walks in fresh air! - yay! smoke-free again in San Francisco
2. Jane Austen's Persuasion adapted by Kerry Skam by Iowa Stage Theatre on YouTube - watch it free (here)
3. Snail mail


Death on the Nile
by Agatha Christie
Mystery, Crime, Egypt | Goodreads

Freebies: from Free Little Library

The Last Book Party
by Karen Dukess
Contemporary, Coming of Age, Cape Cod | Goodreads

We Went to the Woods
by Caite Dolan-Leach
Contemporary, Thriller, New York | Goodreads

The Christmas Boutique
by Jennifer Chiaverini
Christmas, Quilts | Goodreads

Virtual Author event: hosted by New York Times Books
Listen to archive of this (here)
A conversation between:

Homeland Elegies
by Ayad Akhtar
Literary | Goodreads

The Mars Room
by Rachel Kushner
Literary | Goodreads

Black Leopard, Red Wolf
by Marlon James
Literary | Goodreads


AND watched: on Netflix

Frances Ha (2012)
Director/Writer: Noah Baumbach
Writer: Greta Gerwig
Stars: Adam Driver, Greta Gerwig, Mickey Sumner
Comedy, Drama, Romance | imdb | my rating: 5

A New York woman (who doesn't really have an apartment) apprentices for a dance company (though she's not really a dancer) and throws herself headlong into her dreams, even as the possibility of realizing them dwindles.

Beautifully done coming of age story filmed in black and white.


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

*** THANKS to those on the front line during these times ***
Shelter In Place - Day 188, Week 28

Stay healthy! Be safe!

Thanks for stopping by :-)

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Mexican Gothic
by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
narrated by Frankie Corzo

Published: 2020
Publisher: Del Rey
Hardback: 301
Rating: 4
Historical, Horror, Mexico | Goodreads | Website
Travel destination: Mexico

First sentence(s):
The parties at the Tuñóns' house always ended unquestionably late, and since the hosts enjoyed costume parties in particular, it was not unusual to see Chinas Poblanos with their folkloric skirts and ribbons in their hair arrive in the company of a harlequin or a cowboy.

After receiving a frantic letter from her newlywed cousin begging for someone to save her from a mysterious doom, Noemí Taboada heads to High Place, a distant house in the Mexican countryside. She’s not sure what she will find - her cousin’s husband, a handsome Englishman, is a stranger, and Noemí knows little about the region.

Noemí is also an unlikely rescuer: She’s a glamorous debutante, and her chic gowns and perfect red lipstick are more suited for cocktail parties than amateur sleuthing. But she’s also tough and smart, with an indomitable will, and she is not afraid: not of her cousin’s new husband, who is both menacing and alluring; not of his father, the ancient patriarch who seems to be fascinated by Noemí; and not even of the house itself, which begins to invade Noemi’s dreams with visions of blood and doom.

Her only ally in this inhospitable abode is the family’s youngest son. Shy and gentle, he seems to want to help Noemí but might also be hiding dark knowledge of his family’s past. For there are many secrets behind the walls of High Place. The family’s once colossal wealth and faded mining empire kept them from prying eyes, but as Noemí digs deeper she unearths stories of violence and madness.

And Noemí, mesmerized by the terrifying yet seductive world of High Place, may soon find it impossible to ever leave this enigmatic house behind.

My two-bits:

Slow burn surreal horror with that gothic vibe as the title suggests. Perfectly haunting for the season.


* Listened to audiobook version.

* part of Armchair Autumn Travel (here)

Friday, September 18, 2020

The Book of Longings by Sue Monk Kidd

The Book of Longings
by Sue Monk Kidd
narrated by Mozhan Marnò

Published: 2020
Publisher: Viking
Hardback: 416
Rating: 4
Historical | Goodreads | Website
Travel destination: Israel, Egypt

First sentence(s):
I am Ana. I was the wife of Jesus ben Joseph of Nazareth. I called him Beloved and he, laughing, called me Little Thunder.

Raised in a wealthy family in Sepphoris with ties to the ruler of Galilee, Ana is rebellious and ambitious, a relentless seeker with a brilliant, curious mind and a daring spirit. She yearns for a pursuit worthy of her life, but finds no outlet for her considerable talents. Defying the expectations placed on women, she engages in furtive scholarly pursuits and writes secret narratives about neglected and silenced women. When she meets the eighteen-year-old Jesus, each is drawn to and enriched by the other’s spiritual and philosophical ideas. He becomes a floodgate for her intellect, but also the awakener of her heart.

Their marriage unfolds with love and conflict, humor and pathos in Nazareth, where Ana makes a home with Jesus, his brothers, James and Simon, and their mother, Mary. Here, Ana’s pent-up longings intensify amid the turbulent resistance to the Roman occupation of Israel, partially led by her charismatic adopted brother, Judas. She is sustained by her indomitable aunt Yaltha, who is searching for her long-lost daughter, as well as by other women, including her friend Tabitha, who is sold into slavery after she was raped, and Phasaelis, the shrewd wife of Herod Antipas. Ana’s impetuous streak occasionally invites danger. When one such foray forces her to flee Nazareth for her safety shortly before Jesus’s public ministry begins, she makes her way with Yaltha to Alexandria, where she eventually finds refuge and purpose in unexpected surroundings.

My two-bits:

Got a sense of the state of an independent forward thinking woman's perspective in this classic story of the past.

Because of the time period one could feel the strong theme of "waiting for men" for most of this story.


* Listened to audiobook version.

* part of ibc book club (here)

* part of Armchair Autumn Travel (here)

Thursday, September 17, 2020

The Snow Leopard by Peter Matthiessen

The Snow Leopard
by Peter Matthiessen

Published: 2008
Publisher: Penguin Books
Paperback: 336
Rating: 5
Memoir, Travel, Nepal | Goodreads
Travel destination: Nepal

First sentence(s):
In late September of 1973, I set out with GS on a journey to the Crystal Mountain, walking west under Annapurna and north along the Kali Gandaki River, then west and north again, around the Dhaulagiri peaks and accross the Kanjiroba two hundred and fifty miles or more to the Land of Dolpo, on the Tibetan Plateau.

When Matthiessen went to Nepal to study the Himalayan blue sheep and, possibly, to glimpse the rare and beautiful snow leopard, he undertook his five-week trek as winter snows were sweeping into the high passes.

My two-bits:

With all the trials and tribulations undergone including some life and death situations in this travel adventure, a lot of growth and introspection were the benefits.

Weekly feels posted on Sunday posts:
co-read with Naida at the the bookworm

Aug 17-23: Prologue & chapter 1
I got halfway through the introduction and decided to stop as it was getting too spoilery for me. I will get back to it later along with the acknowledgments which was also part of the front matter of the book.

Enjoying the details of the trek and learning about the various members of the party and how they function.

Aug 24-30: chapter 2
Importance of a good comfortable pair of hiking boots made an impression. Similar to what I found when I read Wild by Cheryl Strayed.

Love his writing style. Felt the cold, danger and beauty of the Himalayas as the search for the Blue Sheep and Snow Leopard continue.

"I am here to be here, like these rocks and sky and snow, like this hail that is falling down out of the sun." -page 108

Liked the reference and thoughts about the Yeti.

Aug 31-Sep 6: chapter 3
Meditation and expectations.

Sep 7-13: chapter 4 & wrap-up
Final thoughts and observations by the author of the place and people left me ready for a new outlook on future travel adventures.

* part of Armchair Autumn Travel (here)
Imagination Designs
Images from: Lovelytocu