A Cineaste’s Bookshelf

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Books for Late Summer

A collection of new, recent, and upcoming books that didn't wow me enough to write full reviews, but were still interesting enough to share with other readers.
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REVIEW: Maiden Voyages

In this historic nonfiction, Siân Evans highlights the role of women on the transatlantic ships, particularly in the years between the wars. Evans chooses a few specific figures to represent the various job that made travel by ship possible for women. 
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REVIEW: The Dead Letter

With mistaken identities, missing inheritances, mysterious disappearances, I cannot get enough of Victorian sensation novels. The Dead Letter can be counted as the first American detective novel.
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REVIEW: Couple Found Slain

Mikita Brottman's deep dive into this suburban true crime goes beyond the 'whodunit', and even the 'whydunit' aspect. Instead, she focuses on the aftermath from the point of view of the murderer. 
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REVIEW: The Reason for the Darkness of the Night

The book is primarily a biography, but views its subject through the lens of science and writing efforts. Clear lines are drawn between Poe's life events, the scientific community's academic conversation, and Poe's literary output. From "Sonnet-To Science" to this cosmological treatise Eureka, Poe diligently worked to bring the ethereal nature of poetry and the tangible study of sciences.
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REVIEW: The Madhouse at the End of the Earth

In 1897, Belgian explorer Adrian de Gerlache set out to map the the vast expanse of the mysterious continent of Antarctica. Their mission becomes one of merely surviving the long unforgiving months of Antarctic night.
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Books for June

There seem to be a bumper crop of true crime primers and guides this summer. Grab these for some edifying and informative reads. Crack open one of these on the beach and it might even convince people to leave you alone...
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REVIEW: The Kingdoms by Natasha Pulley

As far as I am concerned, Natasha Pulley can do no wrong. I have loved every one of her books and this is no exception. She has an ability to make the fantastical seem not only realistic, but casually so. In her world, time travel and parallel universes are perfectly reasonable.
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REVIEW: The Artful Dickens

Literary critic John Mullan investigates and analyzes the writing tricks of Dickens through a series of essays in The Artful Dickens. The essays are a fresh take on beloved writings and bring new enjoyment to old favorites.
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REVIEW: The Crown Agent

There's a reason why this novel was shortlisted for the Bloody Scotland Scottish Crime Debut of the Year​. A few reasons, really. It hits on just about every classic Scottish mystery element readers know and love. 
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Books for March

There's an Irish saying: "May you get all your wishes but one, so that you will always have something to strive for." I'd say the bookworm has this covered - there is always one more book to read.
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Books for February

In addition to joining the #ReadChristie2021 book club, here are some of the titles I've read recently.
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REVIEW: Dear Miss Kopp

In the sixth installment of the Kopp Sister chronicles, we see the adventures of the Kopps at war recounted via a series of letters written to one another.
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Best Reads of 2020

I read a lot. All the time, really. A few years ago I finally learned to allow myself to stop reading books that I wasn't enjoying and move on to another title. The end of the year is an arbitrary marker but it's as good a time as any to look back and review the pages I've read. Here are eight books I enjoyed reading this year.
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Books for November

I've been borrowing lots of library books lately. There are tons of titles from new writers and a library card is the best way to test them out. If you don't have a library card, why not? It's free and easy. Plus, librarians love it and circulation numbers help them stay open! Add these to your list for your next trip to the library.
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