Monday, July 14, 2014

Monday Malarkey - Getting back in the swing of blogging

Slowly coming down off the post-house-sale cloud, here, and I think I'm ready to jump right back into bookishness.  Wahoo!  Here are this week's arrivals:

Left to right, top then bottom:

  • Soviet Ghosts by Rebecca Litchfield - purchase. I saw a sampling of the photos in Soviet Ghosts online -- a book of photos which were taken in buildings left abandoned after the fall of the U.S.S.R. - and found that it set my mind whirling with story ideas, so I pre-ordered it and I'm happy that I did. It's a fascinating picture book and I'm looking forward to reading about the author's experience, as well.
  • 2 A.M. at The Cat's Pajamas by Marie-Helene Bertino - from Crown via Shelf Awareness.  The cover is even prettier than it appears. Look how it puts every other book's cover to shame!
  • Flying Shoes by Lisa Howorth - from a friend. I'm very excited about Flying Shoes because Lisa Howorth is co-owner of Square Books in Oxford, our favorite indie bookstore in the state. I would have bought a copy at some point but Shannon saved me a trip. Thanks, Shannon!
  • Whirlwind by Robert Liparulo - via Paperback Swap. I read the first book in the Dreamhouse Kings series eons ago and loved it enough to put all of the follow-up books on my PBS wish list. Unfortunately, it's taken so long to receive the books (and they didn't arrive in any particular order) that I'm not even sure which titles I own. Once we've emptied the remaining boxes of books we've not yet unpacked, hopefully I'll get that sorted and then perhaps I can reread the first book and move forward in the series.
  • The Frangipani Hotel by Violet Kupersmith - sent by a friend. I hear there are ghosts. That's good enough for me. My thanks to Mandy for passing this one on!

Last week's posts:

After last week's Monday Malarkey, I spent a lot of time running back and forth from old house to new to old, hoping to catch the moment the tree fell (that tree's removal was a Big Fat Hairy Deal), clearing out cabinets we'd overlooked, sweeping floors (our cheap vacuum cleaner worked for a while and then suddenly began spitting out dirt and finally just upchucked big balls of dirt all over the floor -- it was pretty funny, except for the fact that it made such a mess I had to start all over), then closing on the sale of the house. After the closing, I was stunned at how exhausted I felt. It took days to recover.  But, I did manage two posts, last week -- not much but better than nothing:

Last week's reads:

  • Parsons Green by Fiona Bagley
  • Landing Gear by Kate Pullinger
  • The Half-Life of Molly Pierce by Katrina Leno

Currently reading:

  • Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer - Just started this one last night (a library check-out) after finishing The Half-Life of Molly Pierce.
  • The Paramedics by James O. Page - Haven't gotten far on this one but I'm enjoying it; the history of emergency medicine is fascinating.

Just ditched:

  • Straight Man by Richard Russo - A good book but not the right one for the moment. I realized that I should probably move on after my Fiona Friday post, when I said I can only stand to read about two chapters of Straight Man at a time. After I said that, it occurred to me that if I feel like I can only read a little chunk at a time, it's probably not the book for me at this moment, whether it's a terrific read or not. I do love the hero but I'll read it another time.

TV viewing:

Apart from the usual Emergency! reruns, which I watch while walking on the treadmill, last week was a brain-dead, random-flipping week till last night. Then, I inexplicably returned to normal and looked up BBC productions. We ended up watching two episodes of Whitechapel: The Ripper Returns

To be honest, it was Rupert Penry-Jones' face that made me hesitate long enough to read about the series. I'm not a big fan of mysteries but I like Penry-Jones and the husband nodded approval, so we gave it a go and ended up watching the first 2 out of 3 episodes. I think we were both surprised at how entertaining the show is. 

Penry-Jones plays Detective Inspector Joseph Chandler, who has been given his job mostly as a favor to his father. He's obsessive-compulsive and not particularly knowledgeable or qualified. The other detectives are sloppy but competent. Chandler forces them to clean up and tries to overlook their jeers when he puts his trust in a "Ripperologist" who believes the crimes they're attempting to solve are copycat crimes by someone imitating Jack the Ripper. As he becomes more immersed in the job and his competence rises, Chandler grows sloppier at the same time his underlings are spiffing up their wardrobes. 

Sometimes the images of murdered women can be gruesome, as you might imagine, but I think the creators of Whitechapel did a pretty good job of putting distance between the camera and the dead bodies and blurring things artistically enough to make the gruesome bits tolerable. Otherwise, I likely would not have made it through two episodes, in spite of the fact that Whitechapel is often quite humorous. I'm looking forward to watching the conclusion, tonight.

And, hopefully, this will be a normal posting week as the "Just Finished" category in my sidebar has grown pretty intimidating. 

Happy Monday!

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  1. I got the Cat's Pajama's book too and the cover is soooo pretty. I can't wait to read it. Looks a little quirky and I love quirky.

    1. Isn't it gorgeous? I love the color and the sparkle. Quirky is good. Thumbs up to quirky. :)


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