Monday, September 27, 2021

Books and Puzzles: Outlawed

by Anna North
Western, Historical, LGBTQ | Published: 2021 | Goodreads

In the year of our Lord 1894, I became an outlaw.

The day of her wedding, 17 year old Ada's life looks good; she loves her husband, and she loves working as an apprentice to her mother, a respected midwife. But after a year of marriage and no pregnancy, in a town where barren women are routinely hanged as witches, her survival depends on leaving behind everything she knows.

She joins up with the notorious Hole in the Wall Gang, a band of outlaws led by a preacher-turned-robber known to all as the Kid. Charismatic, grandiose, and mercurial, the Kid is determined to create a safe haven for outcast women. But to make this dream a reality, the Gang hatches a treacherous plan that may get them all killed. And Ada must decide whether she's willing to risk her life for the possibility of a new kind of future for them all.

Love Letter from Laramie
art by Charles Wysocki
Buffalo (1000 pcs)


* part of Wrangling Westerns (schedule)

Sunday, September 26, 2021

Lovely Books and Things - 9.26.21

Lovely Books and Things
My Weekly Books and Films Update

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



1. Listening to outdoor music at the Golden Gate Park Bandshell
2. Weekend with access to free HBO
3. Trompe-l'oeil paintings that include books by John Frederick Peto at the deYoung Museum


Library: audiobook
How Much of These Hills Is Gold
by C Pam Zhang
Western, Historical, Literary, China | Published: 2020 | Goodreads

84, Charing Cross Road
by Helene Hanff
Memoir, Epistolary | Published: 1990 (first 1970) | Goodreads

Freebies: from Little Free Library - thanks to the folks who share their books
Dangerous Alliance
An Austentacious Romance
by Jennieke Cohen
Historical, YA, Mystery, Jane Austen theme | Published: 2019 | Goodreads

Night Circus
by Erin Morgenstern
Fantasy, Magic, Romance | Published: 2011 | Goodreads


Virtual Author event: hosted by Murder By The Book
See archive of this (here)
Missing Hours
by Julia Dahl
Mystery, Thriller | Published: 2021 | Goodreads


AND watched: DVD
Good Lord Bird (2020)
tv series
Creator: Ethan Hawke
Based on book by: James McBride
Stars: Ethan Hawke, Joshua Caleb Johnson
Drama, History, War | imdb | my rating: 5

Ethan Hawke stars as abolitionist John Brown in this series based on the novel. "Onion" is a fictional enslaved boy who becomes a member of Brown's family of abolitionist soldiers and finds himself in the 1859 raid at Harpers Ferry.

AND watched: Netflix
Wine Country (2019)
Director: Amy Poehler
Writers: Liz Cackowski, Emily Spivey
Stars: Amy Poehler, Rachel Dratch, Tina Fey
Adventurem Comedy, Drama | imdb | my rating: 3

During a vacation to Napa Valley, a group of long time friends reunite and revisit past choices in this hilarious and heartfelt comedy from director Amy Poehler.


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

Thanks for stopping by :-)

Saturday, September 25, 2021

Westerns: Films


Cry Macho (2021)
Director: Clint Eastwood
Writers: Nick Schenk, N. Richard Nash
Stars: Clint Eastwood, Dwight Yoakam
Drama, Thriller, Western | imdb

A one-time rodeo star and washed-up horse breeder takes a job to bring a man's young son home and away from his alcoholic mom. On their journey, the horseman finds redemption through teaching the boy what it means to be a good man.

Godless (2017)
tv series
Director/Writer: Scott Frank
Stars: Jack O'Connell, Michelle Dockery
Drama, Western | imdb

In the 1880s American West, murderous outlaw gang leader Frank Griffin hunts for ex-protege Roy Goode. Frank's chase leads him to La Belle, New Mexico--a town inhabited, after a mining disaster, almost entirely by women.

Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts (2017)
Original title: Marlina si pembunuh dalam empat babak
Director/Writer: Mouly Surya
Writers: Rama Adi, Garin Nugroho
Stars: Marsha Timothy, Egy Fedly
Drama, Thriller, Western | imdb | my rating: 5

Marlina lives quietly in Sumba until one day a man named Markus and his gang try to rob her house and she kills him. Eventually, she is haunted by Markus, and her life turns in 180 degrees.

Westworld (1973)
Director/Writer: Michael Crichton
Stars: Yul Brynner, Richard Benjamin, James Brolin
Western, Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller | imdb | my rating: 5

A robot malfunction creates havoc and terror for unsuspecting vacationers at a futuristic, adult-themed amusement park.
Westworld (2016)
tv series on HBO: season 1 - the maze
Creators: Lisa Joy, Jonathan Nolan
Based on film by: Michael Crichton
Starring: Evan Rachel Wood, Jeffrey Wright, Ed Harris
Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi | imdb | my rating: 5
great job in the development of the original idea from the movie version

A Western-themed futuristic theme park, populated with artificial intelligence, allows high-paying guests to live out their fantasies with no consequences or retaliation from the android hosts, until now.

Westworld (2018)
tv series on HBO: season 2 - the door | my rating: 5
continues to wow me

Westworld (2020)
tv series on HBO: season 3 - the new world | my rating: 5
whew! twists and turns for the better


Power of the Dog (2021)
Director/Writer: Jane Campion
Based on book by: Thomas Savage
Stars: Benedict Cumberbatch, Kirsten Dunst
Drama, Romance, Western | imdb
Release date US: December 1, 2021

Charismatic rancher Phil Burbank inspires fear and awe in those around him. When his brother brings home a new wife and her son, Phil torments them until he finds himself exposed to the possibility of love.


* image source: Bull Rider

* part of Wrangling Westerns (schedule)

Friday, September 24, 2021

Westerns: Asian


How Much Of These Hills Is Gold
by C. Pam Zhang
Western, Historical, Literary, China | Published: 2020 | Goodreads

An electric debut novel set against the twilight of the American gold rush, two siblings are on the run in an unforgiving landscape--trying not just to survive but to find a home.

Ba dies in the night; Ma is already gone. Newly orphaned children of immigrants, Lucy and Sam are suddenly alone in a land that refutes their existence. Fleeing the threats of their western mining town, they set off to bury their father in the only way that will set them free from their past. Along the way, they encounter giant buffalo bones, tiger paw prints, and the specters of a ravaged landscape as well as family secrets, sibling rivalry, and glimpses of a different kind of future.
The Thousand Crimes of Ming Tsu
by Tom Lin
Western, Historical | Published: 2021 | Goodreads

Orphaned young, Ming Tsu, the son of Chinese immigrants, is raised by the notorious leader of a California crime syndicate, who trains him to be his deadly enforcer. But when Ming falls in love with Ada, the daughter of a powerful railroad magnate, and the two elope, he seizes the opportunity to escape to a different life. Soon after, in a violent raid, the tycoon’s henchmen kidnap Ada and conscript Ming into service for the Central Pacific Railroad.

Battered, heartbroken, and yet defiant, Ming partners with a blind clairvoyant known only as the prophet. Together the two set out to rescue his wife and to exact revenge on the men who destroyed Ming, aided by a troupe of magic-show performers, some with supernatural powers, whom they meet on the journey. Ming blazes his way across the West, settling old scores with a single-minded devotion that culminates in an explosive and unexpected finale.

* image source: Mustang Round Up

* part of Wrangling Westerns (schedule)

Thursday, September 23, 2021

Westerns: Alt


Annie And The Wolves
by Andromeda Romano-Lax
Western, Historical, SciFi | Published: 2021 | Goodreads

A modern-day historian finds her life intertwined with Annie Oakley’s in an electrifying novel that explores female revenge an the allure of changing one’s past.

Ruth McClintock is obsessed with Annie Oakley. For nearly a decade, she has been studying the legendary sharpshooter, convinced that a scarring childhood event was the impetus for her crusade to arm every American woman. This fruitless search has cost Ruth her doctorate, a book deal, and her fiancé. But Ruth may finally have the evidence she is looking for. She has managed to hunt down what may be a journal of Oakley’s midlife struggles, including secret visits to a psychoanalyst and the desire for vengeance against the “Wolves,” or those who have wronged her.

With the help of Reece, a tech-savvy senior at the local high school, Ruth attempts to establish the journal’s provenance, but she’s begun to have jarring out-of-body episodes that are possibly parallel to Annie’s own lived experiences. As she solves Annie’s mysteries, she also confronts her own, from the reasons behind her teenage sister’s suicide to a tragedy in her Minnesota town that she may be able to prevent.

The Escapement
by Lavie Tidhar
Fantasy, Westerns | Published: September 2021 | Goodreads

Into the Escapement rides the Stranger, a lone gunman on a quest to rescue his son in a strange parallel reality. But it is easy to lose one’s way on an endlessly shifting, unpredictable landscape. Especially in a place full of dangerous mirror-images of a child's beloved things: lawless heroes, giants made of stone, downtrodden clowns, spectacular symbol storms, and an endless war between gods and shadowy beings.

As the Stranger has learned, the Escapement is a dreamscape of deep mysteries, unlikely allies, and unwinnable battles. Yet the flower the he seeks still lies beyond the Mountains of Darkness. Time is running out as the Stranger journeys deeper into the secret heart of an unimaginable world.

The Hated
written by David F. Walker
art by Sean Damien Hill
colors by Mx. Struble
Western, Comic | Published: 2020 | details

It is 1872, and the war between the North and South is over. Neither side won. After years of bloody conflict, both sides entered into a truce, resulting in the formation of two nations, the Union States of America, where blacks are free, and the Confederate States of America, where blacks are still enslaved. Araminta Free is a former slave turned bounty hunter. She specializes in crossing the border into the Confederacy, and liberating slaves. She also tracks down Confederate war criminals, which has made her a woman with a price on her head in the southern nation. When a group of Confederate Raiders illegally ventures deep into the Union to kidnap free blacks and sell them into slavery, the stage is set for a deadly showdown between Araminta and the men who want her dead.

Whiskey When We're Dry
by John Larison
Western, Historical, LGBTQ | Published: 2019 | Goodreads

In the spring of 1885, seventeen-year-old Jessilyn Harney finds herself orphaned and alone on her family's homestead. Desperate to fend off starvation and predatory neighbors, she cuts off her hair, binds her chest, saddles her beloved mare, and sets off across the mountains to find her outlaw brother Noah and bring him home. A talented sharpshooter herself, Jess's quest lands her in the employ of the territory's violent, capricious Governor, whose militia is also hunting Noah—dead or alive.

Wrestling with her brother's outlaw identity, and haunted by questions about her own, Jess must outmaneuver those who underestimate her, ultimately rising to become a hero in her own right.


Pity The Beach
by Robin McLean
Western, Feminist | Published: November 2021 | Bookshop

Millennia ago, Ginny's family ranch was all grass and rock and wild horses. A thousand years hence, it'll all be peacefully underwater. In the matter-of-fact here and now, though, it's a hotbed of lust and resentment, and about to turn ugly, because Ginny's just cheated on her husband Dan with the man who lives next door.

Out on these prairies, word travels fast: everyone seems to know everyone's business. They know what Ginny did, and they know Ginny isn't sorry. She might not be proud of what she's done, but she doesn't regret it either. To be honest, she enjoyed the hell out of it, and as far as Ginny is concerned, that should be the end of the story. Problem is, no one else seems able to let it go. The community can't bear to let a woman like Ginny off the hook. Not with an attitude like hers.


* image source: Red Bandana

* part of Wrangling Westerns (schedule)

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Westerns: Contemporary


In the Distance
by Hernan Diaz
Historical, Western | Published: 2017 | Goodreads

A young Swedish boy finds himself penniless and alone in California. He travels east in search of his brother, moving on foot against the great push to the west. Driven back over and over again on his journey through vast expanses, Håkan meets naturalists, criminals, religious fanatics, Indians, and lawmen, and his exploits turn him into a legend. Díaz defies the conventions of historical fiction and genre (travel narratives, the bildungsroman, nature writing, the Western), offering a probing look at the stereotypes that populate our past and a portrait of radical foreignness.

At first, it was a contest, but in time the beasts understood that, with an embrace and the slightest push, they had to lie down on their side and stay until Håkan got up. He did this each time he thought he spied someone on the circular horizon. Had Håkan and his animals ever been spotted, the distant travelers would have taken the vanishing silhouettes for a mirage. But there were no such travelers—the moving shadows he saw almost every day in the distance were illusions. With the double intention of getting away from the trail and the cold, he had traveled south for days.

by Téa Obrecht
Historical, Western | Published: 2019 | Goodreads

In the lawless, drought-ridden lands of the Arizona Territory in 1893, two extraordinary lives unfold. Nora is an unflinching frontierswoman awaiting the return of the men in her life--her husband, who has gone in search of water for the parched household, and her elder sons, who have vanished after an explosive argument. Nora is biding her time with her youngest son, who is convinced that a mysterious beast is stalking the land around their home.

Meanwhile, Lurie is a former outlaw and a man haunted by ghosts. He sees lost souls who want something from him, and he finds reprieve from their longing in an unexpected relationship that inspires a momentous expedition across the West. The way in which Lurie's death-defying trek at last intersects with Nora's plight is the surprise and suspense of this brilliant novel.


* image source: Cowboy Boot

* part of Wrangling Westerns (schedule)

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Wrangling Westerns

Rounding up these rascals for a reading binge...

Westerns: Classics

Cattle Kingdom
by Alan LeMay
Western, Classics, Pulp | Published: 1948 | Goodreads

Billy Wheeler tries to solve the murder of the Brand 94 spread. He wants to bring justice to the range, solve a murder and win the woman he loves, but Billy's efforts are blocked by a treacherous Indian guide, a lawless wagon boss, and a rancher seeking vengeance.

Westerns: Contemporary
In the Distance by Hernan Diaz
Inland by Tea Obrecht

Westerns: Alt
Annie And The Wolves by Andromeda Romano-Lax
The Escapement by Lavie Tidhar
The Hated by David F. Walker
Whiskey When We're Dry by John Larison
Pity the Beach by Robin McLean

Westerns: Asian
How Much Of These Hills Is Gold by C. Pam Zhang
The Thousand Crimes of Ming Tsu by Tom Lin

Westerns: Films

Books and Puzzles: Outlawed (here)


* image source: Scratch Feed

Monday, September 20, 2021

On The Nightstand: Autumn

Flowers of September
at Farmer's Market


Just a couple for the upcoming Autumn Equinox...

by Ali Smith
Literary, Art, England | Published: 2016 | Goodreads

Daniel is a century old. Elisabeth, born in 1984, has her eye on the future. The United Kingdom is in pieces, divided by a historic once-in-a-generation summer.

Love is won, love is lost. Hope is hand in hand with hopelessness.

The seasons roll round, as ever...

Quartet in Autumn
by Barbara Pym
Literary, Classics, London | Published: 1977 | Goodreads

In 1970s London Edwin, Norman, Letty and Marcia work in the same office and suffer the same problem - loneliness. Lovingly and with delightful humour, Pym conducts us through their day-to-day existence: their preoccupations, their irritations, their judgements, and - perhaps most keenly felt - their worries about having somehow missed out on life as post-war Britain shifted around them.

Sunday, September 19, 2021

Lovely Books and Things - 9.19.21

Lovely Books and Things
My Weekly Books and Films Update

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



1. Starting the search for pumpkin related treats in San Francisco - lattes, donuts, scones, pies, etc.
2. Listening to classical or jazz music on a vinyl record player
3. Umbrella Alley in Fisherman's Wharf (here)


The Kindred Spirits Supper Club
by Amy E. Reichert
Romance, Comedy, Ghosts, Food | Published: 2021 | Goodreads

Freebies: from Little Free Library - thanks to the folks who share their books
The Lighthouse
by P.D. James
Mystery, Crime, England | Published: 2006 (first 2005) | Goodreads

Death of an Addict
by M.C. Beaton
Mystery, Cozy, Scotland | Published: 2001 | Goodreads

Virtual Author event: hosted by Murder By The Book
See archive of this (here)
Enola Holmes and the Black Barouche
by Nancy Springer
Mystery, Historical, YA | Published: 2021 | Goodreads


AND watched: theatre

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)
Director/Screenplay: Destin Daniel Cretton
Screenplay: Dave Callaham, Andrew Lanham
Based on Marvel comics by: Steve Englehart, Jim Starlin
Stars: Simu Liu, Awkwafina, Tony Chiu-Wai Leung
Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Humor, China | imdb | my rating: 5
hit all the elements of fun fantasy

Shang-Chi, the master of unarmed weaponry-based Kung Fu, is forced to confront his past after being drawn into the Ten Rings organization.

Blue Bayou (2021)
Director/Writer: Justin Chon
Stars: Justin Chon, Alicia Vikander
Drama, New Orleans | imdb | my rating: 5
beautiful, heartwrenching, melancholy

As a Korean-American man raised in the Louisiana bayou works hard to make a life for his family, he must confront the ghosts of his past as he discovers that he could be deported from the only country he has ever called home.


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

Thanks for stopping by :-)

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Austen in Autumn


More Persuasion theme...

Persuasion by Jane Austen
vintage cover art from Magnum Easy Eye Books / Lancer Books, 1968


The Stars We Steal
by Alexa Donne
YA, SciFi, Retelling of Persuasion by Jane Austen | Published: 2020 | Goodreads

Engagement season is in the air. Eighteen-year-old Princess Leonie “Leo” Kolburg, heir to a faded European spaceship, only has one thing on her mind: which lucky bachelor can save her family from financial ruin?

But when Leo’s childhood friend and first love Elliot returns as the captain of a successful whiskey ship, everything changes. Elliot was the one that got away, the boy Leo’s family deemed to be unsuitable for marriage. Now, he’s the biggest catch of the season and he seems determined to make Leo’s life miserable. But old habits die hard, and as Leo navigates the glittering balls of the Valg Season, she finds herself falling for her first love in a game of love, lies, and past regrets.

For Darkness Shows the Stars
by Diana Peterfreund
YA, SciFi, inspired by Persuasion by Jane Austen | Published: 2012 | Goodreads

It's been several generations since a genetic experiment gone wrong caused the Reduction, decimating humanity and giving rise to a Luddite nobility who outlawed most technology. Elliot North has always known her place in this world. Four years ago Elliot refused to run away with her childhood sweetheart, the servant Kai, choosing duty to her family's estate over love. Since then the world has changed: a new class of Post-Reductionists is jumpstarting the wheel of progress, and Elliot's estate is foundering, forcing her to rent land to the mysterious Cloud Fleet, a group of shipbuilders that includes renowned explorer Captain Malakai Wentforth--an almost unrecognizable Kai. And while Elliot wonders if this could be their second chance, Kai seems determined to show Elliot exactly what she gave up when she let him go. But Elliot soon discovers her old friend carries a secret--one that could change their society . . . or bring it to its knees. And again, she's faced with a choice: cling to what she's been raised to believe, or cast her lot with the only boy she's ever loved, even if she's lost him forever.

Arsenic with Austen
by Katherine Bolger Hyde
Mystery, Cozy, Jane Austen theme | Published: 2016 | Goodreads

When Emily Cavanaugh inherits a fortune from her great aunt, she expects her life to change. She doesn't expect to embark on a murder investigation, confront the man who broke her heart 35 years before, and nearly lose her own life.

Emily travels to the sleepy coastal village of Stony Beach, Oregon, to claim her inheritance, centered in a beautiful Victorian estate called Windy Corner but also including a substantial portion of the real estate of the whole town. As she gets to know the town's eccentric inhabitants--including her own once-and-possibly-future love, Sheriff Luke Richards--she learns of a covert plan to develop Stony Beach into a major resort. She also hears hints that her aunt may have been murdered. Soon another suspicious death confirms this, and before long Emily herself experiences a near-fatal accident.

Meanwhile, Emily reads Persuasion, hoping to find belated happiness with her first love as Anne Elliot did with Captain Wentworth. She notices a similarity between her not-quite-cousin Brock Runcible, heir to a smaller portion of her aunt's property, and Mr. Elliot in Persuasion, and her suspicions of Brock crystallize. But as she and Luke continue to investigate and events speed toward a climax, Emily realizes that underneath the innocent-looking rocks of Stony Beach lurk festering jealousies that would have shocked even the worst of Jane Austen's charming reprobates.

Persuasion by Jane Austen
theatre production by Ross Valley Players (here)


Virtual Persuasion Bingo with JASNA


VISIT: Jane Austen's House with Books and Bao


* header image source: Pemberley/Chatsworth
Imagination Designs
Images from: Lovelytocu