Life and Things
Not much going on this week. I did get some writing done. Bounced back and forth between if I should or shouldn’t participate in NaNoWriMo next month and finally settled on ‘no’ for health reasons. Found several past book reviews that never got posted to Port Jericho, so I’ve started scheduling them. Did some more sketches.
Books read, reviewed, and posted/scheduled this past week
The Others Among Us by Hanan Anoun, 3*
Riters by Roy Harris, 3*
Wild and Wonderful (and Paranormal) West Virginia by Denver Michaels, 4*
Favourite Read of the Week
Riters by Roy Harris
‘Four generations in space searching for a new world and today they learn how their insignificant band came to command a monolithic ship known as Protostar…exactly, one hundred years after stepping aboard. From the depths of the NORAD command center, they trace the passion and sacrifices that lead to a last ditch effort to find civilization a new home.
“Riters” embodies the spirit of works like “Catch 22”, and the sixties cult classic, “Been Down So Long, It Looks Like Up to Me”. Combining the absurd and insightful with the hysterical and tragic, Harris choreographs an unexpected embrace of opposites in a world far stranger than one where machines are conscious.’
Mad or Bad: Crime and Insanity in Victorian Britain by David Vaughn
‘In a violent 19th century, desperate attempts by the alienists – a new wave of ‘mad-doctor’ – brought the insanity plea into Victorian courts. Defining psychological conditions in an attempt at acquittal, they faced ridicule, obstruction – even professional ruin – as they strove for acceptance and struggled for change. It left ‘mad people’ hanged for offenses they could not remember, and ‘bad’ people freed on unscrupulous pleas.
Written in accessible language, this book – unlike any before it – retells twenty-five cases, from the renowned to obscure, including an attempt to murder a bemused Queen Victoria; the poisoner Dove and the much-feared magician; the king’s former wet-nurse who slaughtered six children; the worst serial killer in Britain…and more.
A Who’s Who introduces the principal players – lifesaving medics, like Maudsley and Bucknill; intransigent lawyers like Bramwell and Parke., while a convenient Glossary of ‘terms and conditions’: ranging from ‘Insane on Arraignment’ to Her Majesty’s Pleasure, ‘Ticket of Leave’ to ‘Burden of Proof’, helps to explain the outcomes of the cases.
Insanity Conditions presents, in glossary format, the diagnosed maladies put forward in court. Rarely accepted, more often rejected, by those keen on justice in its traditional form.
A History of Debate explains the titular subject – through graspable language and a window in time. How the ones found ‘not guilty on the grounds of insanity’ were curiously handled in Victorian law.
A chapter devoted to madness and women – from hysteria to murder, ‘monthly madness’ to crime. Raising opportune questions about the issue of gender, and exposing the truths of a masculine world.’
Next Up (maybe)
Damn Fine Story by Chuck Wendig, NG
Gauntlet Fall by Maddy Edwards, Oct 20, Xpresso
The Everett Exorcism by Lincoln Cole, Oct 24, Independent
Your Crossroads, Your Choice by EP Apicello. ASAP
The Cottingley Secret by Hazel Gaynor CBR
Besieged by Kevin Hearne CBR
Dragon Teeth by Michael Crichton. CBR
A few egalleys, and a few bought books. Ones I’m looking forward to include:
Renegades by Marissa Meyer
‘Secret identities. Extraordinary powers. She wants vengeance. He wants justice.
The Renegades are a syndicate of prodigies—humans with extraordinary abilities—who emerged from the ruins of a crumbled society and established peace and order where chaos reigned. As champions of justice, they remain a symbol of hope and courage to everyone . . . except the villains they once overthrew.
Nova has a reason to hate the Renegades, and she is on a mission for vengeance. As she gets closer to her target, she meets Adrian, a Renegade boy who believes in justice—and in Nova. But Nova’s allegiance is to a villain who has the power to end them both.
New from Marissa Meyer, author of the #1 New York Times–bestselling Heartless, comes a high-stakes world of adventure, passion, danger, and betrayal.’
Kill Creek by Scott Thomas
‘At the end of a dark prairie road, nearly forgotten in the Kansas countryside, is the Finch House. For years it has remained empty, overgrown, abandoned. Soon the door will be opened for the first time in decades. But something is waiting, lurking in the shadows, anxious to meet its new guests…
When best-selling horror author Sam McGarver is invited to spend Halloween night in one of the country’s most infamous haunted houses, he reluctantly agrees. At least he won’t be alone; joining him are three other masters of the macabre, writers who have helped shape modern horror. But what begins as a simple publicity stunt will become a fight for survival. The entity they have awakened will follow them, torment them, threatening to make them a part of the bloody legacy of Kill Creek.’
Watching Glass Shatter by James J Cudney
‘After 40 years of marriage, Olivia Glass thought she could handle the unexpected death of her husband, but when Ben’s will reveals a long-held, life-altering secret, she suffers a blow no widow should ever experience.
Olivia learns that she gave birth to a baby who later died in the nursery. Instead of telling his wife what happened, Ben switched the child with another. And as if that’s not enough, Ben’s will doesn’t reveal which of their five sons is truly not hers.
While an attorney searches for the answers, Olivia visits each of her sons to share a final connection before facing the truth that will change the dynamics of an already grief-stricken family. During the visits, Olivia learns that each of her sons has been harboring a painful secret, just like his father.
Olivia challenges herself to re-assemble and save their relationships. But will the secrets destroy their family beyond repair?’