RIP XII: On a Roll, Book and a Movie

It's not even the end of September and I've met my RIP XII goal. Yay, me! I finished World of Trouble by Ben Winters, and watched a not-quite-horror movie The Silenced.

World of Trouble is the final book in the Last Policeman Series. I reviewed The Last Policeman and even though I read Countdown City for a Read-a-thon apparently I didn't review that one.

When we last saw Henry Palace, he was heading out to find his sister in the final days of humanity. Nicki joined a cult-like group who believes the asteroid's trajectory can be changed by a mysterious scientist, but the Government is preventing it for some reason. With only days left before the asteroid's meant to hit Earth, Henry is feels the pressure to find her. Using his police skills he pursues Nicki and her people to a town in Ohio, but they don't appear to be there- or they're very well hidden.

The world has changed a lot since the beginning of The Last Policemen. There is panic, there is resignation, there is fear. Henry must be wary of the people he meets along the way. The rules of civilization are no longer being followed. He doesn't know what he'll find in the towns he travels through.

It's a quieter book than the first in the series. He has less contact with people now. He's focused on one mission, to find his sister. The reality of the situation finally touches Henry in a way it didn't in the first book. How will this series end? I don't want to give too much away. I can only say that it gave me a lot to think about.

For RIP XII: Peril on the Screen, I watched The Silenced, a Korean movie you can find on Netflix. The movie is set in 1938 at a boarding school deep in the forest. There is something reminiscent of The Shining about the title sequence as a car winds it's way through the trees.

One of the passengers is Joo-ran aka Shizuko, a new girl at the school. She's meek and sickly, struck with TB. The school's headmistress tells her they will soon cure her. She begins a medical treatment involving injections. Some of the other girls act strangely toward her. There was another student with the same name who disappeared late one night, never to be heard from again. They resent her as an apparent replacement for their missing friend.

One girl takes Shizuko under her wing. Yeon-duk is an athletic girl who works hard so she can be chosen for a mysterious trip to Tokyo. She makes friends with Shizuko and they spend their time wandering around in the forest near the school.

Strange things begin to happen to the other girls and eventually Shizuko herself. She and her new friend try to find out what is really going on at this weird school.

It's hard to judge the quality of the acting when you don't know the language. I think the girls were fine, but some of the Baddies laid it on a bit thick. (There is one young guy, and I thought, 'Dude, less swagger.') The cinematography was beautiful, and costumes pretty great. This movie is less scary than I thought it was going to be. It's more of a mystery. There is some bizarre body horror as Shizuko is a witness to some freaky contortions by her classmates, but that's about it for scares.

The Silenced was fine. Netflix suggests I watch Oh My Ghost! a series about a horny virgin ghost who possesses a chef. Um, okay?

RIP Begins With The Changeling and Twin Peaks

Hello again! Happy Sunday. I hope everyone is doing well and staying safe from storms. The weather is gray here but not too bad so far. Hurricanes don't touch us much until October. 

The girl is back in school. I'm hoping for a good academic year. Last year was pretty stressful. A teacher can make or break a year for someone as anxious as my child. And one of hers last year made me want to pull my hair out. So far, she seems optimistic about her classes. Fingers crossed!!!

I've finished one book for RIP XII already. Yay! An audio of The Changeling by Victor Lavalle. Here's the scoop.

Once upon a time, a man and his wife lived in the magical land of New York City. They recently became parents. They lived happily until the mother started behaving strangely. She declared that their baby wasn't a real baby. Her husband began to worry. One day the mother did a terrible thing and then disappeared. Her husband goes on a quest to find her that leads him to unfamiliar lands and horrible creatures.

So, yes, this is a modern fairy tale. Not the Disney sort, but more of the Grimm's variety. When I started The Changeling, it read as any novel of a modern couple falling in love and starting a family. Apollo has issues, his father left his mother when he was young. Emma has a hard time adjusting to being a working mom. Normal stuff. It was moving at a snail's pace and I wondered if it was going anywhere. Then it got Bon...kers! BONKERS! I don't want to give too much away but it's a for real fairy tale. The kind you would hear on Myths and Legends Podcast (which, btw, is very good). Dark and full of wtf moments.

I found The Changeling enjoyable for the most part. It was slow at times, but when there was action, it was intense. Fairy tales always have a message, usually a heavy handed one, and this one is no exception. What is a good parent? How does the past shape the parent we become? And just for fun, are you posting on Facebook too much? (Answer: Yes, you are.)

Warning for those with small children: you might want to sit this one out if little ones in peril make you upset. I know I wouldn't have been able to read this when my girl was a baby.

The author is also the narrator, which I'm just realizing now. He was actually pretty good. That's not always the case. 
And I watched the finale of Twin Peaks: The Return. I don't even know.




Those are all my thoughts.

Did you watch Twin Peaks, 2017? How are you holding up?

RIP XII : I'm Here For It!

Yay! Readers Imbibing Peril season is here again, for the twelfth time. Wow! Since I've participating the last 10 years, I had to jump in again. There are many ways to participate but I'm choosing- 

Peril the Third:We all want you to participate. This Peril involves reading one book that fits within the R.I.P. definition.

I'm hoping to read more. We'll see. I picked up a few classics while on vacation.

  • The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte
  • The Lovecraft Compendium by HP Lovecraft
  • Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
I'm currently listening to The Changeling by Victor LaValle on audio. It seem like a good choice. I have a few things on my reader and I'm sure I could find more on my shelves. So, hopefully I will read a book or two!

And thanks to Heather and Andi for hosting!

Another Post. Plus The Grip of It, the Perils of Home Ownership

Hey gang! How's things? Good I hope. I hope you all kept your vision after the solar eclipse. There wasn't a lot to see here, but now I have an earworm for the rest of the year.

I'm going to get listy. Here's what's new.

On the Personal Front

I'm riding out the end of summer. It's actually been pretty good. I've been driving the girl around everywhere, but that's not so bad. We've been busy and I have to say we've had a better summer than some in the past. We're taking it day by day and not making big plans. She seems to be enjoying the season more than usual and I think it's because she's arguing with me less. (I'm knocking on all the wood.) I don't know about you, but I'm less inclined to want to drive someone and their friends to the beach after an hour long argument about nothing. Perhaps she's learning that keeping mama happy is to her own benefit.

At the Movies

I went to see Kidnap with a friend. It was fine. Halle Berry is an Oscar winning actress for a reason. She gives great face performance. Unfortunately, having her in Kidnap just highlighted the terribleness of the rest of the movie. There's a lot of overacting. And some of the lines...yeesh. But it was fun to watch her slam her seemingly indestructible Chrysler minivan into just about every surface she encounters. Who knew a minivan could outrun a Mustang GT?! Enjoy this one on Netflix in a couple of months.

Books? Yes.

I listened to The Grip of It by Jac Jemc. A Millennial couple moves from the city to a small town to avoid the husband's gambling problem because apparently they've never heard of the online gambling. They purchase a low rent Winchester Mystery House with weird hidden panels and funky vibes. I'm not sure of the reasoning here. "Hey Babe, want to live our own Shirley Jackson fantasy/nightmare?" They work on the fixer upper but not even The Property Brothers can save them from this real estate disaster. First, there are weird noises, items appear and disappear. Then they find themselves waking up in their neighbour's house with no memory of how they got there. Strange drawings appear on the walls and they feel they are losing their grip on reality.

I was really into The Grip of It at the beginning, but then I found that the happenings got repetitive. Some of the things that happened seemed pointless and I couldn't understand why this couple kept the things they did from each other. The husband's gambling problem didn't appear to have any real consequences other than moving to a nice little town. Oh the humanity. The ending was hurried and I didn't feel satisfied with how things were wrapped up. There were too many open endings.

How's Blogging Going?

There are over 1600 unopened messages in my blog gmail account. If you sent me one, I'm probably never going to find it. I'm thinking of just deleting everything in it unread. Sorry.

Warning: Blogging jargon ahead!

Google informs me that I'm supposed to install a SSL certificate on my blog for user security but since I have a custom domain Blogger won't let me. What a pain in the arse.

I don't have the energy to migrate my blog elsewhere. I find the whole thing annoying and it doesn't make me want to hop right back into blogging when I don't really understand what I'm supposed to do. I dunno. Anyone else dealing with this situation?

That's about it this week. See you all again soon!

A Possible New Format and a Look at The Home-Maker by Dorothy Canfield-Fisher

Hey, I just finished a book! Like, just finished it... moments ago. I figure I'll give a few thoughts on it while I'm sitting here listening to the rain.

The Home-Maker
The Home-Maker by Dorothy Canfield-Fisher
The Home Maker is a look at the home life of Eva and Lester Knapp. Lester hates his job at the
department store. Lucky for him, he's just been fired. Not so lucky for him is the fact that he has a wife and three children to provide for. Lester decides to take the George Bailey Solution, since he believes his family would be better off without him.

Eva is equally unhappy with their home situation. Not only is she frustrated with her husband's lack of ambition, but she finds that's she not cut out for child rearing. She can keep a beautiful home, cook a healthy meal, but the children confuse and frustrate her.

After Lester ends up bed ridden, Eva takes over Lester's role as bread winner. Surprisingly, she's good at it. Really, really good at it. She's never been happier. Lester too is suited to the life as a home-maker. The trouble is what will the neighbours and society make of this reversal of gender roles.

The Home-Maker was written in 1924 so it was pretty radical at the time. Men looking after the children? Women working outside the home? Scandalous! It does, however, still have relevance today. Women still do most of the house cleaning. And how many people have heard someone say a father was "babysitting" his own children? Lester remarks late in the book, "society is really based on a contempt for women's work in the home." Work is only valued when you can put a dollar value on it.

Although I enjoyed The Home-Maker most of the time, I found Lester's poetic musings aggravating. There tended to be tangents and flowery language that maybe didn't age well.

I'm glad I finally finished it so that I can move onto something new.

Speaking of home making, I've painted three rooms in my house since I finished working. I'm not sure when I'll be back to work again so I'm trying to do All The Things now. I'm happy with the results. A fresh coat of paint makes everything look new again. I got to tell you though, I'm painted out. I think I'm taking a paint break.

This might be my new format for reviews. I'm going to add them to random posts. Not exclusively book reviews.


No, I Haven't Been Hacked. It's Really Me. And a Review.

So, Hi! The last time I post here it was the end of April. Wow. I thought I should check out my blog and make sure it wasn't taken over by Russian hackers or something. I actually couldn't figure out how to sign into my blog. That was a tense 30 seconds.

Anyway, how are you, my one reader who still has me in their blog feed? Do people have blog feeds anymore? I don't know. I'm not sure if book blogging is even a thing anymore. I feel so old fashioned right now. I'm so out of the loop.

I'm fine. I read my 6th book this year. Crazy, right? It was Wyllard's Weird. It was not weird. It's a sensation novel by Mary Elizabeth Braddon. It wasn't as good as Lady Audley's Secret. That one is hard to beat. Hey, let's review it while we're here.

Wyllard's Weird begins in Cornwall where a young French woman jumps to her death from a train. Or did she? There is some question as to whether she jumped or was pushed. The local coroner, Edward Heathcote, suspects the cousin of his old flame, a Mr Bothwell, who refuses to say what his business was that had him on the train that day. Things get sticky when Heathcote's sister becomes engaged to Bothwell. Is she about to marry a murderer? To ease his mind, Heathcote travels to the streets of Paris, and uncovers a cold case, the murder of an actress ten years before, that might be connected to the recent death of the French girl.

This one started out strong. Who's this French girl? Did someone push her? (Of course they did.) Heathcote is a competent detective. He follows all the clues. Unfortunately, it becomes quite apparent who the murderer is about halfway through and then it's just killing time until Heathcote reveals it all at the end. It's rather anticlimactic.

It's also somewhat frustrating to read all the digs Braddon gets at the French. You can murder anyone in France and get away with it if you have a romantic enough reason for it, according to this book. The Great French Detective gives up easily and is no match for this English amateur who solves a ten year old murder in a matter of weeks. There's a dose of victim blaming, although Braddon beats us over the head with the idea that even though she was an actress the deceased was as pure as the driven snow. (FYI, Braddon had been an actress.) There's also a subplot involving emotional infidelity and gambling addiction.

So, not the best ending, but there's still some good stuff in there. Wyllard's Weird was published 23 years after the success of Lady Audley's Secret, so maybe it's a case of phoning it in.

Ps- LibriVox reader Lynne Thompson is pretty good.

What else? I saw Wonder Woman. A+++ I loved it so much. I'm watching Twin Peaks. I can't even tell you what I'm feeling about that. I change my mind every week. Do I like Dougie or have I had enough of him? Not sure.

She's not sure either
I started watching A Handmaid's Tale. Yikes. And the final season of Orphan Black. (This week's episode broke me.)

Lots of TV and not many books. 

I think that's about it. I'm not sure what to do with myself or where you can find me. I'm pretty sure I'm going to delete my Twitter. It's just a dumpster fire on there. Where does anyone go to just talk about books? Litsy? Maybe try me there. 


I'm Doing It: 24 Hour Readathon

Yes, I'm going to read at least one book today! Considering I've only read 3 books this year. (I know!) That's a big deal.

So the usual questions answered here: I'm in Nova Scotia, Canada. I'm looking forward to reading The Blank Wall by Elisabeth Sanaxy Holding and eating lemon squares I made last night. This is not my first rodeo and I will be taking it slow and breezy today. I haven't been reading at all lately. (Obviously.) All the books I will read are short and not literary. I learned that the hard way last time.

I am on Litsy as Chrisbookarama. I am posting most of my updates there. On Twitter, I am following the #readathon only. That is the only way I'm am able to deal with Twitter.

On my list is

  • The Blank Wall by Elisabeth Sanaxy Holding
  • Countdown City by Ben Winters
  • Roadside Picnic by Arkady Strugatsky
  • Some Lumberjanes
  • Whatever is short on my reader
Good luck readers! See you around the Readathonosphere.