Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Books and Puzzles: Black Lizard

This pairing includes a puzzle of Vincent Van Gogh's Souvenir de Mauve which is a piece dated March 1888 and the March Japanese Mystery Readalong Book Club selection, The Black Lizard / Beast in the Shadows by Edogawa Rampo.
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fyi: March 30 - Van Gogh's birthday

Sunday, March 28, 2021

Lovely Books and Things - 3.28.21

Lovely Books and Things
My Weekly Books and Films Update


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

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HAPPY THINGS:

1. Received my renewed passport in the mail faster than expected.
2. Learning about the Guerilla Girls political art (here)
3. Outdoor reading with a Matcha Latte at a cafe - The Black Lizard / Beast in the Shadows by Edogawa Rampo for Japanese Mystery Readalong Book Club (here)

~*~


Bought:
Play the Red Queen
by Juri Jurjevics
Mystery, Historical, Vietnam | Published: 2020 | Goodreads


Library: audiobook
In Order to Live
A North Korean Girl's Journey to Freedom
by Yeonmi Park, Maryanne Vollers
Memoir, Korea | Published: 2015 | Goodreads


Library:
Ex Libris
100+ Books to Read and Reread
by Michiko Kakutani
illustrated by Dana Tanamachi
Memoir, Essays | Published: 2020 | Goodreads


Freebies: from Free Little Library
Yolk
by Mary H.K. Choi
YA, Mental Health, Korean American | Published: 2021 | Goodreads


For Review:
VIDAS
Deep in Mexico and Spain
by Edward Stanton
Travel, Memoir, Mexico, Spain | Published: March 2021 | Goodreads
courtesy of publisher - Thanks!
The Bounty
by Janet Evanovich, Steve Hamilton
Mystery, Thriller, Paris | Published: March 2021 | Goodreads
courtesy of publisher - Thanks!

~*~

San Francisco School of Needlework & Design
Embroidery lecture series (details):
Erica Wilson - A Life in Stitches
by Linda Eaton and Anne Hilker
Biography, Embroidery | Published: 2020 | details | virtual exhibition

Elizabethan Lady, circa 1973 (source)

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AND watched: DVD
A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (2019)
Director: Marielle Heller
Writers: Micah Fitzerman-Blue, Noah Harpster
Inspired by article: "Can You Say... Hero?" by Tom Junod
Stars: Tom Hanks, Matthew Rhys, Chris Cooper
Biography, Drama | imdb | my rating: 5

Based on the true story of a real-life friendship between Fred Rogers and journalist Lloyd Vogel.

~*~

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

Thanks for stopping by :-)

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Women's Prize for Fiction 2021

Women's Prize for Fiction 2021
(details)
long list announced: March 10
short list announced: April 28
winner announced: July 7

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WINNER: tba

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Loving the looks of this list, so creating another self reading challenge for the year.

THE LONG LIST:
Because of You
by Dawn French
Literary, Contemporary, Family | Published: 2020 | Goodreads | my rating: tba

Burnt Sugar
by Avni Doshi
Literary, India | Published: 2020 (first 2019) | Goodreads | my rating: tba

Consent
by Annabel Lyon
Literary, Contemporary, Canada | Published: 2020 | Goodreads | my rating: tba

Detransition, Baby
by Torrey Peters
Literary, LGBTQ | Published: 2021 | Goodreads | my rating: tba

Exciting Times
by Naoise Dolan
Literary, LGBTQ, Ireland | Published: 2020 | Goodreads | my rating: 4
frustrating love triangle, but good

The Golden Rule
by Amanda Craig
Literary, Mystery | Published: 2020 | Goodreads | my rating: tba

How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House
by Cherie Jones
Literary, Historical, Barbados | Published: 2021 | Goodreads | my rating: 5
sad painful realities

Luster
by Raven Leilani
Literary, Contemporary, African American | Published: 2020 | Goodreads | my rating: 4
suburban fantasies, twisted relationships

No One Is Talking About This
by Patricia Lockwood
Literary, Fantasy | Published: 2021 | Goodreads | my rating: dnf

Nothing But Blue Sky
by Kathleen MacMahon
Literary | Published: 2020 | Goodreads | my rating: tba

Piranesi
by Susanna Clarke
Literary, Fantasy | Published: 2020 | Goodreads | my rating: 5
love how this unravels with its many halls and statues along the way

Small Pleasures
by Clare Chambers
Literary, Historical, LGBTQ | Published: 2020 | Goodreads | my rating: tba

Summer
by Ali Smith
Literary, Contemporary | Published: 2020 | Goodreads | my rating: tba

Transcendent Kingdom
by Yaa Gyasi
Literary, Contemporary, Africa | Published: 2020 | Goodreads | my rating: 5
religion, science, addiction, depression

Unsettled Ground
by Claire Fuller
Literary, Contemporary | Published: 2021 | Goodreads | my rating: tba

The Vanishing Half
by Brit Bennett
Literary, Historical | Published: 2020 | Goodreads | my rating: dnf

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Books and Puzzles: Infinite Country


Spring pairing with The Rocky Mountains (art by Charley Harper) and Infinite Country by Patricia Engel.

Books and Puzzles: Love and Friendship

A Jane Austen and France pairing of Love and Friendship book and film by Whit Stillman and Camont jigsaw puzzle by Rifle Paper Co. that reminded me of Pemberley... with a cuppa tea on the side.

Monday, March 22, 2021

Happy release: VIDAS by Edward Stanton

VIDAS
Deep in Mexico and Spain
by Edward Stanton
Travel, Memoir, Mexico, Spain | Published: March 2021 | Goodreads

When the American ministers of hate demonized Mexico and the coronavirus struck Spain, Edward Stanton sat down to write a homage to these countries that he knows as well as his own. The result is VIDAS: Deep in Mexico and Spain, the first travel memoir to portray the two most populous Spanish-speaking countries in one volume, written with the perspective of an American and the knowledge of an insider.

A wayward descendant of Mexico’s national hero, a femme fatale who recites poems in cantinas, a Tunisian prostitute in Barcelona, a Spanish psychiatrist who fights brave bulls, the wise owner of the world’s oldest restaurant. They are just a handful of the characters portrayed in this vibrant travel memoir. VIDAS: Deep in Mexico and Spain explores subjects as diverse as the art of blasphemy, the cult of the Virgin Mary, superstition and witchcraft, the bordellos of Mexico, Spain’s paradise of drink and food, the bullfight and the running of bulls in Pamplona, the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. Every chapter of this book depicts a different person or place, which combined create a cross section of the most populous Spanish-speaking countries in the New and Old World.

VIDAS: Deep in Mexico and Spain is a passage from childhood to adolescence and maturity, a tribute to nature and the open road, an exaltation of love, food and wine, a journey from the tender, mortal flesh to the luminous world of the spirit.


Sunday, March 21, 2021

Lovely Books and Things - 3.21.21

Lovely Books and Things
My Weekly Books and Films Update


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

~*~


HAPPY THINGS:

1. Irish Soda Bread from John Campbell's Bakery on Taraval

2. YouTube: Black Girl in a Big Dress - Join awkward African American Anglophile Adrienne (aka "Lady Kate") as she navigates 21st century issues with 19th century ideals...oh, and often while wearing a giant Victorian dress that would have made the queen herself envious. (here) Quite amusing!

3. Almond blossoms at Costco

~*~


Bought:
The Black Lizard / Beast in the Shadows
by Edogawa Rampo
translated by Ian Hughes
Mystery, Japan | Published: 2006 (first 1928) | Goodreads
for Japanese Mystery Readalong BC (here)

Unboxing:
The Lost Apothecary
by Sarah Penner
Historical, Mystery | Published: 2021 | Goodreads
decided to try this subscription box again
a bailey sarian aqua tofana vibe

Library: audiobook
When No One is Watching
by Alyssa Cole
Mystery, Thriller | Published: 2020 | Goodreads
for Crime Time with Pip and Simon (here)

Library:
Pavane for a Dead Princess
by Min-gyu Park
translated by Amber Hyun Jung Kim
Literature, Contemporary, Korea | Published: 2014 (first 2009) | Goodreads
for Read the World 21 (here)

Freebies: from Free Little Library
The Cruel Prince
by Holly Black
Fantasy, YA, Fae | Published: 2018 | Goodreads
Furyborn
by Claire Legrand
Fantasy, YA, Angels | Published: 2018 | Goodreads

~*~

Virtual Author event: hosted by Alta Magazine
Check out their calendar for future free author events (here)

Southland
by Nina Revoyr
Mystery, Historical, LGBTQ, Los Angeles | Published: 2003 | Goodreads


~*~

AND watched: virtual theatre
9-Man (2014)
A Streetball Battle
Director: Ursula Liang
Documentary, History, Sports, Asian American | imdb | my rating: 5

'9-Man' is an independent feature documentary about an isolated and exceptionally athletic Chinese-American sport that's much more than a pastime. Since the 1930s, young men have played this gritty streetball game competitively in the alleys and parking lots of Chinatown. At a time when anti-Chinese sentiment and laws like the Chinese Exclusion Act forced Chinese restaurant workers and laundrymen to socialize exclusively amongst themselves, nine-man offered both escape and fraternity for men who were separated from their families in China and facing extreme discrimination and distrust. Pivoting between oil-spotted Chinatown parking lots and jellyfish-filled banquet scenes, the film captures the spirit of nine-man as players not only battle for a championship but fight to preserve a sport that holds so much history.

~*~

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

Thanks for stopping by :-)

Friday, March 19, 2021

Dangerous Magic by Monica Fairview


Dangerous Magic
A Pride and Prejudice Variation
by Monica Fairview

Fantasy, Regency, Romance, Jane Austen theme
Published: March 2021
Goodreads | Website | Excerpt
my rating: 4

A sparkling tale of Regency England, a forced marriage, and two magicians who must work together to save the Kingdom.

Elizabeth Bennet is stunned when the Royal Mages come to her peaceful country home of Longbourn to take her away. She is even more bewildered when she is commanded to marry a powerful mage by the name of Fitzwilliam Darcy. She has always dreamed of marrying for love, and an arranged marriage with an arrogant stranger was never part of her plans.

But Darcy and Elizabeth have no choice in the matter. Uniting their two forms of magic is essential if the Kingdom is to defeat Napoleon’s mages. They may dislike each other on sight, but Darcy and Elizabeth have to overcome their differences and find common ground before it is too late. Fortunately, it is not long before the sparks begin to fly between them.

Join the author of ‘Fortune and Felicity’ in this Jane Austen Fantasy Variation, an enchanting story of determination, love, and hope against all odds.


my two-bits:

With a touch of magical elements, Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth go through a push-pull romance while preparing for a battle to save country and home. The story has a primary focus on the couple and their efforts to unite. No dancing. No pesky Mr. Collins.

I liked the friendship developed between Elizabeth and Caroline Bingley.

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Read The World Challenge 2021

Read The World 2021
hosted by end.notes
instagram challenge: #readtheworld21
January: Japan
Before the Coffee Gets Cold
by Toshikazu Kawaguchi
translated by Geoffrey Trousselot
Fantasy, Time Travel, Japan, (audio) | Published: 2019 (first 2015) | Goodreads | my rating: 5
importance of the present

February: South / East Africa
The Down Days
by Ilze Hugo
Dystopia, South Africa | Published: 2020 | Goodreads | my rating: 5
grief, hair, ghostbusters


March: Korea
If I Had Your Face
by Frances Cha
Literay, Feminism, South Korea | Published: 2020 | Goodreads | my rating: 5
beauty standards, friendship

April: Australia / New Zealand
The Wife and the Widow
by Christian White
Mystery, Thriller, Australia | Published: 2020 | Goodreads | my rating: 5
cool character twist

May: Mexico
VIDAS
Deep in Mexico and Spain
by Edward Stanton
Travel, Memoir, Mexico, Spain | Published: March 2021 | Goodreads

June: Scandinavia
July: Central America
August: Balkans
September: Western Europe
October: South/Central Asia
November: China
December: UK / Ireland
~*~

* header image source: reading woman travel

Monday, March 15, 2021

Happy release: Dangerous Magic by Monica Fairview

Dangerous Magic
A Pride and Prejudice Variation
by Monica Fairview
Fantasy, Regency, Jane Austen theme | Published: March 2021 | Goodreads | Website

A sparkling tale of Regency England, a forced marriage, and two magicians who must work together to save the Kingdom.

Elizabeth Bennet is stunned when the Royal Mages come to her peaceful country home of Longbourn to take her away. She is even more bewildered when she is commanded to marry a powerful mage by the name of Fitzwilliam Darcy. She has always dreamed of marrying for love, and an arranged marriage with an arrogant stranger was never part of her plans.

But Darcy and Elizabeth have no choice in the matter. Uniting their two forms of magic is essential if the Kingdom is to defeat Napoleon’s mages. They may dislike each other on sight, but Darcy and Elizabeth have to overcome their differences and find common ground before it is too late. Fortunately, it is not long before the sparks begin to fly between them.

Join the author of ‘Fortune and Felicity’ in this Jane Austen Fantasy Variation, an enchanting story of determination, love, and hope against all odds.


About the author:
Monica Fairview writes Jane Austen sequels and variations as well as Regencies. Her latest novel is a Pride and Prejudice fantasy variation, Dangerous Magic. Her biggest claim to fame is living in Elizabeth Gaskell’s house in Manchester, long before the house was restored. After studying in the USA, she taught literature, then became an acupuncturist. She now lives near London.

Monica loves anything to do with the nineteenth century, and obsessively follows every period drama she can find. Some of her favorites are ‘North and South’, ‘Bright Star’ and ‘War and Peace’, and a dozen others that she couldn’t possibly list here. Of course, she has watched Pride and Prejudice (1995 and 2005) more times than she could count on her hands and toes.

Monica enjoys reading fantasy and post-apocalyptic novels but avoids zombies like the plague. She loves to laugh, drink tea, and visit National Trust historic properties [those were the days!], and she is convinced that her two cats can understand everything she says.

WEBSITEBLOG |GOODREADS |  FACEBOOK | TWITTER | PINTEREST

Excerpt:

Elizabeth disliked the idea of having to share a room. Not in principle, of course. She had always shared with her sister Jane, but this was different. When Lady Alice first took her to the Maidens’ Hall, she had implied that all single ladies shared rooms, to ensure that they stuck to the rules.

“We cannot have you sneaking off to see Mr. Darcy before you are married,” she had added, turning her stern look on Elizabeth.

Elizabeth had laughed. The very idea that she could possibly be tempted to meet clandestinely with the austere Mr. Darcy was ridiculous. If anything, after their last encounter, she would have preferred never to meet him again.

Elizabeth had quickly discovered that sharing rooms was only true in the case of young apprentices at the Academy, not adult Royal mages. However, when she heard she was to board with Miss Caroline Bingley, Elizabeth did not mind. She had liked Mr. Bingley on sight, and she was certain she would get on with his sister. The tall, fashionably dressed young lady was surprised at discovering that an extra bed was being put in her bedchamber for Elizabeth, but she was polite and willing to be helpful. Miss Bingley showed her around the Maidens’ Hall, introduced her to some of the other mages, and explained what to expect and where to find things.

Sitting on her bed that first afternoon, Elizabeth leaned her back on the wall and confided her unhappiness to Miss Bingley, much as she would have done with her sister Jane. She shared the story of how the mages had appeared out of the blue and practically dragged her to the Hall to marry Mr. Darcy.

Miss Bingley listened without interruption, but then as Elizabeth came to the end of her tale, she gave a little contemptuous laugh.

“You do know that Mr. Darcy owns one of the largest estates in Derbyshire,” said Miss Bingley. “And that he possesses a large fortune.”

“I know it now. I did not know it at the time.”

“Surely now, armed with that knowledge, you must be thrilled at such an opportunity.”

“Not at all,” replied Elizabeth, “Now that I have met Mr. Darcy, I am even less inclined to marry him.”

Miss Bingley stared but said nothing. Elizabeth sighed. If they had given her the time to pack her things, she might have brought a book, but she had nothing to do now. She wanted to write a letter to her family, but she needed to find out where to obtain paper and ink.

Before she could ask, however, Miss Bingley spoke again.

“What academy did you study at before you came here?”

“I didn’t study at one. There wasn’t an academy anywhere near where we lived, and my father didn’t want to part with me.” “You never studied magic formally?”

Elizabeth shook her head with a smile. “No.”

Again, Miss Bingley gawked. Elizabeth began to wonder if Miss Bingley was as friendly as she appeared.

There was a long silence. “You know,” said Miss Bingley, suddenly, “most young ladies would give an arm and a leg to be able to marry Mr. Darcy.”

“I would imagine that would rather defeat the purpose.”

Miss Bingley wrinkled her forehead, perplexed.

“If they did give away an arm and a leg, it would be more difficult for them to assist Mr. Darcy, would it not?”

Miss Bingley snickered. “I suppose so. It was not meant to be literal, Miss Bennet.”

Elizabeth’s smile grew wider. “I have always thought the English language fascinating. One never knows quite how to understand things.”

Miss Bingley gave her a superior look and turned to pick up a book from the table near her bed.

“Is your book entertaining?” asked Elizabeth, feeling more cheerful now that she had flustered Miss Bingley.

“Hardly,” said Miss Bingley. “It is The Common Compendium of Spells.”

“You are studying spells, then? What do you read for pleasure, Miss Bingley?”

“We have no time to read for pleasure at the Hall, Miss Bennet.”

Elizabeth gave Miss Bingley a bemused look. “Then it is even worse than I imagined. There is nothing like the pleasure of a good novel.”

“We are not here for pleasure, Miss Bennet. We are here to save the Kingdom from Napoleon.”

“I suppose, then, that we must remain eternally grim.”

~*~

* excerpt courtesy of author
 
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