A Cineaste’s Bookshelf

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Top Ten Tuesday: Still Not Read

We all do it -- get really excited for a new book, make sure it's preordered or on the library waitlist, count down the days until we can get it in our hands, hug it all the way home, then add it to pile and promptly begin to feel guilty about not reading it immediately.
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REVIEW: The Cat Who Saved Books

Rintaro is a rather shy high school student. He spends his free time working in his secondhand bookstore, which he has inherited after his grandfather died. One evening the bell over the door jingles and in walks a cat.
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Books for April

I know I have been delinquent in my book reviews, but I promise I AM reading. So much reading. In fact, this past week was the most crowded publishing day the industry has seen in a long time. So while I work my way through the literal piles of books to review, here's a few new and upcoming titles to check out this month.
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REVIEW: The Third Pole

Author Mark Synnott was part of a crew hired to investigate the probable route of George Mallory and Sandy Irvine. They were the leads of a 1924 British expedition to summit the peak. The men left base camp for the top of the world and were last spotted about 800 feet from the summit. They were never seen alive again. Experts would argue whether the pair made it to the top before succumbing to the mountain.
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REVIEW: Observations by Gaslight

There are only a handful of authors that I trust implicitly. There are even fewer that I trust working within the world of Sherlock Holmes. Lyndsay Faye is the only writer I can think of who checks both boxes.
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Books for February

“There is always in February some one day, at least, when one smells the yet distant, but surely coming, summer.” — Gertrude Jekyll
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REVIEW: Defenestrate

Nick and his twin Marta (also the narrator) are convinced their family history carries a curse -- their people die from falling. Ever since a Victorian era Czech ancestor pushed a stonemason off of a scaffold, his progeny suffered the consequences.
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REVIEW: The Shadows of Men

Abir Mukherjee has created an amazing set of characters and stories. In this fifth installment of Wyndham and Banerjee mysteries, the pair must unravel a political conspiracy and clear Surendranath's name. 
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REVIEW: Murder's A Swine

Nap Lombard wrote this novel set in Blitz London while they were living it. In fact, they were air-raid wardens themselves -- the simultaneous monotony and chaos of inspired their writing.
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Best reads of 2021

Some were books to be reviewed, some were stumbled upon at the library, some were glaring at my from the stacks in my library and I finally melted under the pressure. These are my favorite reads of the year.
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REVIEW: The Woman They Could Not Silence

Being restrained and told you are insane, when you are perfectly well, is one of the more terrifying fears. Dozens of movies and novels use this premise as their kernel of horror. For some, the terror is real. In 1860, Elizabeth Packard was institutionalized against her will. Her logical intelligence and extreme perseverance were her only tools. She used her time effectively.
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REVIEW: A Surprise for Christmas

Whoever says crime and Christmas don't go together is just wrong. Editor Martin Edwards has put together a delightful selection of Yuletide crime stories, cheerful enough to put any reader into the holiday spirit. 
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REVIEW: The Corpse in the Waxworks

Carr's writing shines brightest when he's describing the seedy underground of Paris in the 1930s. Dark cobblestone alleys, worn doors with skeleton keys, smoky jazz clubs, mansions from a past age.
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Books for November

Here are some new and forthcoming books to look for, with a preview of some full reviews to come from me later in the month.
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REVIEW: The Summoning

A grief vampire. A hoaxer. A snake oil salesman. People claiming to be mediums have a number of epithets, especially ones who target the mourning. But then she begins to notice some of her readings are frighteningly accurate.
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