January with the King’s Men

January started with my first official appointment to a chiropractor. I mentioned elsewhere that he wasn’t really confident he could put me back together, but that’s there and not here. Not being able to run has given me more time to read…much more than I realized. You can get a lot done with an extra 4-5 hours a week! With that being said, here are the books:

Fiction:

  • Clara Callan by Richard B. Wright. This story stayed with me for a really long time.
  • Tea From an Empty Cup by Pat Cadigan. I think I was most disappointed by this one because I saw the ending a mile away.
  • On the Beach by Nevil Shute. I listened to this on audio and I still can’t stop thinking about it.
  • Black Alibi by Cornell Woolrich. I read this one in a day.
  • Wake Up, Darlin’ Corey by M.K. Wren. Another really short book.
  • What Did It Mean? by Angela Thirkell. I gave up on this one after 120 pages. Boring!

Nonfiction:

  • Partisans: Marriage, Politics, and Betrayal Among the New York Intellectuals by David Laskin.
  • War Child by Emmanuel Jal. Probably the most raw and captivating story of the month. Read in a weekend.
  • Traveller’s Prelude by Freya Stark
  • Practicing History by Barbara Tuchman. No one does history like Barbara. (AB/print)
  • Last Cheater’s Waltz by Ellen Meloy. She has a wicked sense of humor.

Series continuations:

  • Mrs. Pollifax and the Golden Triangle by Dorothy Gilman. The last Pollifax mystery I will read.  Read in a day.

Early Reviews:

  • Brain Food: the Surprising Science of Eating for Cognitive Health by Lisa Mosconi. This took me a really long time to read. You may have seen it on other lists. There was just a lot to it.

 


Black Alibi

Woolrich, Cornell. Black Alibi. New York: Collier Books, 1942.

Reason read: Woolrich was born in December. This book didn’t come in time to read it during the month of December, but I’m breaking a rule and reading it in January because it is so short. Read over one weekend.

In the South American city of Cuidad Real a glamorous woman enters a trendy, high-profile restaurant with a black panther tenuously tethered to the end of a thin gold leash. For Kiki Walker, an up and coming singer, no publicity stunt is too outrageous even though the big cat and Kiki are equally on edge. It isn’t long before disaster strikes and the panther is sprung free. Of course he is! That’s when the grisly murders begin. Young women in different parts of Cuidad Real are found torn to bits but is the panther to blame? One man doesn’t think so. How does an out of work booking agent clear his panther’s reputation when all evidence points to the cat?
Black Alibi is set in an era when establishments hired people to dust off your shoes or straighten your errant hair and the end is a little hokey but, overall, a very entertaining read.

Lines I liked, “One’s sense can identify one’s aura of sounds at all time” (p 41) and “Pain was a thing between oneself and one’s God” (p 52).

Author fact: Woolrich died in 1965 and according to a bio on the IMDB website, his funeral went unattended. So sad!

Book trivia: this piece of trivia is unique to my book alone. This is my handwriting from when I was in high school and this is definitely something I would do. I am constantly thinking of lyrics and I loved smiley faces back in the day. However, I don’t remember writing this at all. Nor do I ever remember reading this book before. Odd.

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Nancy said: “Woolrich’s [people] are anxious and afraid, stuck in a world that is full of shocking and dangerous surprises” (p 66).

BookLust Twist: from Book Lust in the chapter called “Les Crimes Noir” (p 65).


December Whatnot

Here’s something of a shocker. I am running a 5k during the first week of December! Actually, it shouldn’t be that much of a surprise because I mentioned signing up for it in the last post…just yesterday. But. But! But, enough about the first week of December. Let’s talk about the last week of December! I am looking forward to a week off from work with nothing to do except read, read, read. Another opportunity to gorge on books is a six hour car ride when I won’t be driving. A perfect opportunity to finished a shorter book! And speaking of books, Here is the list:

Fiction:

  • God Lives in St. Petersburg and Other Stories by Tom Bissell ~ in honor of a day in December as being one of the coldest days in Russian history.
  • Fay by  Larry Brown ~ in honor of December being Southern Literature Month.
  • Fearless Treasure by Noel Streatfeild in honor of Streatfeild’s birth month. Actually, no library would lend Fearless Treasure without charging an ILL fee so I am reading Ballet Shoes instead. Good thing I wasn’t looking forward to reading fantasy!
  • Wanting by Richard Flanagan ~ in honor of Tasmania’s taste fest which happens in December. To be honest, I don’t know how I made this connection.
  • The Doomsday Book by Connie Willis ~ in honor of Willis being born in December. Confessional: this is a huge book so I started it a little early (AB & print).
  • The Beach by Alex Garland in honor of Thailand’s Constitution Day observance in December.

Nonfiction:

  • Iron and Silk by Mark Salzman ~ in honor of Mark Salzman’s birth month being in December.
  • Nero Wolf at West Thirty Fourth Street: the life and times of America’s Largest Private Detective by William S. Baring-Gold ~ in honor of Rex Stout’s birth month.

Series continuations:

  • Mrs. Pollifax and the Golden Buddha by Dorothy Gilman ~ to continue the series started in September in honor of Grandparents’ month.

Early Review for LibraryThing:

  • I was supposed to receive Jam Today by Tod Davies last month but hasn’t arrived yet. Maybe I’ll get it this month.
  • I am also suppose to receive Pep Talk for Writers by Grant Faulkner by Dec 29th, 2017. We’ll see about that!

For fun:

  • Hit Reset: Revolutionary Yoga for Athletes by Erin Taylor ~ because I’m still trying keep running.

If there is time:

  • Between the Assassinations by Avavind Adiga ~in honor of Vivah Panchami
  • Black Alibi by Cornell Woolrich ~ in honor of Woolrich’s birth month