A Bookaholic, Pro-life, Pro-Family, Pro-Oxford Comma, Catholic (with Asperger's) who reads and writes as her obsession. I've been reading over 400 books a year lately. These are my ramblings on some of the books I read. To read about all the books I read and comment on, visit me at LibraryThing or Goodreads.

I've been blogging since 2007 and at this point (July 2015) am trying my hand at turning the theme of this blog towards mystery, thriller, and crime, fiction and nonfiction. I have some special interest topics and categories within this broad genre which include (but are not limited to) serial killers, scandi-crime, Victorian history and historicals, history of the criminally insane and asylums, psychopathology, death, funerary practices and burial, corpses, true crime and anything dealing with the real life macabre, or that portrayed in fiction.

I also read a short story a day from various collections, sometimes anthologies othertimes collections of a single author's work. These reviews are also posted here and while they are of mixed genre the mystery, thriller, horror, gothic and macabre often appear within their pages as well.

I also blog about
graphic novels and manga on a separate BLOG.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Books on Marianology: The Perfect Woman by Fr. Leo. A. Pursley & CEM Eucharistic Marian Centres First Scheme of Meditations on the Rosary

The Perfect Woman by Fr. Leo. A. Pursley
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Booklet, 30 pages
Published by St. Paul Editions
Source: yard sale

A short essay copyrighted "Our Sunday Visitor" but with no date. The latest date mentioned in the book is 1954, but that is referred to as in the past. Not exactly thrilling reading, the writing is a little dry. The information is interesting though and certainly worth the read. Fr. Pursley takes a quote from a non-Christian source, a Wordsworth poem.

"A perfect woman, nobly planned,
To warn, to comfort, and command."

He explains that this woman could only be the Blessed Virgen. She is not perfection as only God is, but she is the perfect woman. He then goes on to expound each of these roles applied to Mary: nobly planned, to give warning, to give comfort, and to command. If you have no idea what Mary stands for to us as Christians, this booklet will provide that knowledge in a convincing manner. Many people are quoted from scripture and their books, plus literary persons. Father Purley also gives an excellent description of the valuable and powerful place women have within the Catholic Faith. I'll end with this quote:

"... Men may study to be learned; women should study in order to be wise. ... Woman is not, by nature or grace, the mere echo of man. She is truly free only when she is free to be herself, to envelop herself those qualities that make her more womanly. She is not emancipated when she is gifted the dubious privilege of being less womanly. Whether she is destined for marriage or not, she is alway a mother at heart; she is always a fountain of life, not only in a physical sense but in a moral and spiritual self...."

CEM Eucharistic Marian Centres First Scheme of Meditations on the Rosary by C.E.M.
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Booklet, 70 pages
Published 1986 by Central Secretariot, Roma
first published 1973
Source: yard sale

This is an interesting little booklet. It is for members of the CEM, Italian for Eucharistic Marian Centres. The book gives a brief history saying the movement is worldwide and celebrating 42 years, as of 1973. I can't find any information on these centres or groups so am thinking it has been disbanded or had a name change. The booklet has a signature within a signature. The outside wrap explains the history, purpose, rules, and prayers of the centres. The most interesting thing to be found in this section is an Exorcism prayer/ritual. The text proper introduces a special way of reciting the Rosary as a group. It covers the Joyful, Sorrowful, and Glorious Mysteries. It explains the procedure and each decade has an introduction to be read by the leader giving thoughts of reflection. This is the meat of the book and I liked it very much. The rest of the main signature concludes with many prayers including popular ones such as the Angelus and Litany of The Blessed Virgin, but most are new to me. Not an exciting book but instructional and I'll use it for the unique Rosary approach.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Foreverland is Dead by Tony Bertauski

Foreverland is Dead by Tony Bertauski
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

ebook, 288 pg
Published June 8th 2013 by CreateSpace Independent Publishing
Source: Purchased the kindle eition

Foreverland (#2)

This was absolutely fantastic! At first, I wasn't feeling the vibe as much as book one in the series, but I was still liking it and then it hit a point of no return for me. And the ending! OMG, the ending! Wonderful dystopia. This book takes place immediately after book one but it switches to the girls' story which is very different and has completely different characters. So it does take a bit to find the groove but it's set in the same "universe" so there is that familiarity. It is really very good. I have bought the final book, plus the freebie prequel) and can't wait to continue reading!!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Choose Your Own Comment Adventure!

I just found out about this and it is a way to counter the book blogging trend of no comments these days. I'm as guilty as anyone else but I miss the old days where we were a smaller community and everyone knew everyone either from following their blogs or just seeing their names regularly in other people's comments.  This "Adventure" is hosted and conceived by Megan at Leafing Through Life. Click here to join the fun.

1. Bloggin' Bout Books - I found out about this challenge when I clicked on her comment on my blog. Susan and I have followed each other for years. So I went back and found her first post where she blogs about "Never Missing, Never Found—a new YA novel by Amanda Panitch. It is definitely my kind of book and added to the tbr. Susan laments about the fact that thrillers have never been a popular YA genre and like myself has recently found several coming out these days. Here's to hoping it's a new trend.

2. The Book Mine Set - Nobody had commented on this post yet so I went to my blog feeder and my first (non-strictly comic book related) blog is John's who I have been following for at least ten years. We even both got interviewed in the newspaper when he gave them my name when his Canadian Reading Challenge became popular! John is an interesting fellow for many reasons, one being that he lives in the Canadian Arctic! His latest review is on an Arctic explorer which is one of my favourite topics:  "The Man Who Mapped the Arctic by Peter Steele".

3. kay's reading life - Oh dear, nobody had commented on that post either so I'm back to my blog feeder and my next book blogger. Again, I've been following Kay for years. She used to blog under a different name. She's given up blogging for the time being but still pops in from time to time and her latest post tells us all about Litsy the newest reading app. I'm so jealous about it and want to join but it's US only at the moment so no go for me yet. ETA: Oops Litsy is worldwide. The reason I can't join is they only have an Apple app at the moment. I'm waiting for an Android app!

4. read_warbler - Kay's first commenter was Cathy. I've read Cathy from time to time. Her latest post is a list of the books she read in June. I haven't read any of them but 4 of the six are mysteries so right up my alley. One was a Georges Simenon book and he's one of my favourite writers. I read his psychological books, though, not the Maigret ones.

5. Here, There, and Everywhere (2nd edition) - Cathy's first commenter was DesLily who I used to read all the time when there was only a first edition! She's a big fantasy fan which I used to be (still am actually) but have not read that genre seriously in years now. Her real name is Pat and it looks like she's on a mystery/thriller run these days. Her latest post is about "Since She Went Away by David Bell". I've never even heard of the author but this is just the type of thing I like to read. Pat's read seven of his books now. I'll certainly have to put him on my list.

6.  Tea Time with Marce - Pat's first commenter was "read-warbler" again so I'm back to my blog feed. Next book blog is Marce's; I love everything she reads as she's big on mystery/thrillers and she has kept my tbr full ever since I started reading her a few years back. She lives in Bermuda of all places! Marce talks about Andrea Kane's latest book in a series I've not read, "The Murder That Never Was". I did read the author once though and liked it. This series is some sort of forensics/intrigue theme which sounds to die for!

7. Alternate Readality - Marce's first commenter was Jenny. This is my first ever visit to her blog. Her latest post is on "Wedding Night by Sophie Kinsella". I haven't read this author as I do not like chick lit at all and unfortunately, Jenny didn't find this one very satisfying either giving it only 2 stars. But she reads other types of books and I'll be back to visit again.

8. On the Wings of Books - Jenny's first commenter was Marce again but since she got so many comments on this one I went to the next commenter, Kimberly. Another first time ever blog visit! Kimberly posts about the second book in a series "Cream of the Crop by Alice Clayton".  This is a romance that doesn't interest me but one of the main topics is cheese, which I adore! I loved Kimberly's review though and will be back to read her reviews,

9. The Written Word - Kimberly didn't have any comments yet on this post and the next post had Jenny again ... soooo I'm back to my blog feeder. I've been reading Kelly's blog since I started book blogging. She's had a tough time blogging the last couple of years and this year tried out a "Week in Review" format and has been 100% successful. It is so nice to read her regularly again. Her week in review includes a novel, an audio book, and several comics/graphic novels. Kelly is a great commenter so always has lots of comments on her blog.

10. I Wish I lived in a Library - My final stop heading over from Kelly's is another new-to-me blogger. Katherine P has probably the best-named book blog I've ever heard! Katherine blogs about an author I've heard of but never read, "Better Get to Livin' by Sally Kilpatrick". This book sounds so me! It takes place in a funeral home and the main character is a beautician there who can talk to dead people! That book fits the theme of this blog so much I just have to read it!!

Well, that was a lot of fun. I'm so glad I participated!

Investigation Discovery: The Vanishing Women edited by James Ellis

Investigation Discovery: The Vanishing Women edited by James Ellis
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Magazine, 98 pages
Published July 2016 by Topic Media Lab
Source: Purchased print edition

A feature magazine about the six missing women from Chillicothe, Ohio since May 2014. I had not heard of this case and ID's presentation is very respectful to the families. In fact, it is also somewhat of an ode to the six women. We are told all about who they were, how they disappeared and in four cases, the finding of their bodies. This is all and well and hopefully, will serve to bring further tips and information to the police. However, from a true crime reader perspective, it is not satisfying as nobody has been caught, no suspect is named and in reality, we don't even know if the six disappearances are related. One is already labelled a suicide though the police are willing to look at any future evidence contrariwise. The photographs show lots of pictures of scenery and architecture mostly. The best part of the magazine from an entertainment perspective for the true crime reader are approx. the last 20 pages which feature other missing women cases, some solved, some not, some rescued, others only bodies found. This part includes Elizabeth Smart, Jaycee Dugard and the Cleveland Three along with other perhaps less known cases. For reading, I preferred ID's previous magazines, but we can at least take heart that this feature may lead to new information coming forth.

PS - The day after I wrote this review Jason McCrary was convicted of the murder of one of the women featured here, Timberly Claytor! Yeah!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Crazy Dead by Suzanne F. Kingsmill

Crazy Dead by Suzanne F. Kingsmill
My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars

Paperback, 264 pages
Published July 19th 2016 by Dundurn Group
Source: egalley via edelweiss

Cordi O'Callaghan (#4)

I don't usually start with book 4 of a mystery series but the plot of this one just sounded too good to pass on. Unfortunately, it didn't meet my expectations.The whole plot and the characters were too far-fetched and just not plausible. I just can't imagine real people reacting the way these characters did. The ending is very weird and totally unsatisfying. I'm not sure if it is a "too be continued" or it signifies the end of the series.I kind of feel like I might be more clued in if I'd read the first books, but on the other hand, the book read well, not ever hardly mentioning the previous plots or characters. The whole book is a bit of a mess, really. Though something tells me that if I happened upon the first book in this series I'd probably read it just to make sure it wasn't because I starting in the wrong place with the books.

Monday, July 18, 2016

The Problem with Socialism by Thomas Dilorenzo

The Problem with Socialism by Thomas Dilorenzo
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Hardcover, 256 pages
Published July 18th 2016 by Regnery Publishing
Source: egalley via edelweiss

This is probably the first book about politics that I have read. I am however an extremely political person :-) The greatest evil facing us today from within our own governments and authorities in power is socialism. This is a tremendous book written in layman's language by a man with a PhD in economics. Most of the chapters I knew the topic being discussed but I've learnt a wealth of history, quotes and names of those worthy of reading and quoting. While not written for students I think every young person graduating high school should read this book to help temper the socialistic ideology taught in public schools. There is a strange fascination about socialism from today's youth; those who didn't suffer the Cold War or live behind the Iron Curtain honestly haven't a clue about what it really is. Socialism = Communism = Fascism and this book in simple terms from a professor of the subject will tell you the history of where socialism came from, how it's been implemented and the escape from it in the 80s. That history may repeat itself in this way is unforgivable. I learned a lot of information about the more political topics such as unions, centralised banking, economic repercussions, and while I've always known minimum wage is a joke used to placate the masses, that chapter was very enlightening. My favourite chapters though were the one on "The Socialist Roots of Fascism".I had figured this out on my own several years ago but finding a well-written concise essay such as this was refreshing. Secondly,the chapter on the socialised public school system was very well put-together. As a believer in alternative education and the voucher system, this chapter again sends me to other people to read and quotes to remember. An excellent book that should be read by anyone of any age who wonders what's wrong with socialism and certainly by the youth entering the adult, voting public so they can learn the history of this ideology which falsely presents itself as charming to the "working" class. I underlined so many passages and added so many notes to the book, I'm bound to be referencing it many times.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Alfred Hitchcock: A Brief Life by Peter Ackroyd

Alfred Hitchcock: A Brief Life by Peter Ackroyd
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

ebook, 288 pages
Published April 2nd 2015 by Chatto & Windus
American publication to come: October 25th 2016 by Nan A. Talese
Source: egalley via edelweiss

A Brief Life series

Superb! I am a huge Hitchcock fan and have read much about his movies and life. Yet I still knew I must read Ackroyd's "Brief Life" of the director because of the enjoyment I got out of his brief life take on Poe. This is not an extensive biography, hence the name of Ackroyd's biographical series "A Brief Life", however, it is tremendously full and detailed. Ackroyd takes the "auteur" approach of a director by telling Hitchcock's life story chronologically movie by movie. It is as much a history of his work as it is of himself. Written in an engaging narrative the author manages to give detailed information on every movie Hitchcock made always including screenwriter, what book (story) if any it was based on, cameraman, music writer and actors. Starting with a brief section on his early life from birth, it doesn't take long until the book moves on to Hitch's first movie. The information is comprehensive and does give spoilers on plot for every movie and most books. Through reading this I've found that I've seen every Hitchcock movie, at least once, except for one silent film and one early British movie which didn't ring any bells for me either by name or plot. Even if you know a lot about Hitchcock already this is a must read for fans as it includes fantastic information on his personal life, relationship with daughter and wife and his many obsessive relations with some of his female stars.