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Currently reading

The Secrets of Drearcliff Grange School
John Henry Newman
Progress: 62/472 pages
Deathstroke, The Terminator Vol. 3: Nuclear Winter
Steve Erwin, Marv Wolfman
Progress: 6/272 pages
The Big Book of Jack the Ripper (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard Original)
Otto Penzler
Progress: 210/848 pages

My Next Read

after the Kim Newman book, I'll be on to this:



this sequel to Death Wish has actually been filmed, and was Directed by James Wan, who did the first Saw film, and, as I understand it, is the Director of the upcoming Aquaman.




apparently, Brian Garfield wrote Death Sentence as a novel of "atonement"--that is, to take a step back from suggesting vigilantism is sort of cool and perhaps necessary, and that you can just get away with it, wash your hands, and go back to your old life without any fallout. the film version of Death Sentence--which I really love, along with the other vigilante movie from 2007, The Brave One--doesn't use Paul Kersey as the main character, instead giving Kevin Bacon an all-new shattered man to play, but despite all the gore and violence in the film, it does ultimately preach against vigilantism, and how horrible the consequences of it could be for a family. going after evil people, for either justice or revenge, could easily make things worse, and worse, until there's nothing left. actually, Jodi Foster's The Brave One is the more traditional Death Wish format: a victim becomes a vigilante after a tragedy, stalks the streets at night for a while and is lucky enough, after dispatching various other criminals, to eventually encounter those who victimized her, deal with them harshly, and retire the vigilante persona and go back to normal life, even with a cop or two having figured things out.


I expect the original Death Sentence novel will have mainly a thematic similarity to the Kevin Bacon film, but be somewhat different in plot developments; it was published in 1975. I'm skipping over reading the Death Wish novel first, for now, as Death Sentence is one I'm more anxious to compare with the film treatment.

Reading progress update: I've read 62 out of 472 pages.

The Secrets of Drearcliff Grange School - John Henry Newman

oh good, it's funny! I didn't realize how desperate I was for something humorous until I started Chapter 1 of this and started chuckling to myself fairly regularly. added to that, all the girls are cool except for the bullies, of course. I don't like the fact that one of the meanies has some form of telepathy, but over on the friendly side, we have one student with magical sleight-of-hand abilities, and our main character, Amy, can do her floating thing (though she needs to work on it). my favorite girl at this point is Kali; she's a pip and a half!


so far this book seems a good bet for the Harry Potter or Miss Peregrine crowd, with just a smidgen of School for Scumbags, by Danny King, thrown in. no matter what it reminds me of, this is the sort of craziness and charm I needed right now.

Reading progress update: I've read 164 out of 341 pages.

The Woman in Cabin 10 - Helen Ruth Elizabeth Ware

I'm enjoying it, and it reads very smooth and easy, but it's not the most original thing I've ever read. a lot of very familiar scenarios. my favorite Murder Mystery is a "boat trip"--The False Inspector Dew--and some other good ones have created in me a fondness for the sub-genre, so all the claustrophobic effect, and the roster of strangers who may or may not be a threat to the main character, are fun things for me to get into again. we'll see; I have no idea how this book is going to rate with me by the end, but not 5 stars, because 5 stars means something either more original, or something so freakin' cool that it overrides all complaints including "reminds me of such-and-such, a bit". I don't think this is that.

Reading progress update: I've read 90 out of 341 pages.

The Woman in Cabin 10 - Helen Ruth Elizabeth Ware



what was that splash? did someone fall off the boat? did someone jump off the boat? was someone pushed off the boat? was...someone dumped off the boat?


besides that: Lo drinks too much, and Ben is a jerk.

Reading progress update: I've read 46 out of 341 pages.

The Woman in Cabin 10 - Helen Ruth Elizabeth Ware

leaving behind a burglar and a boyfriend, sleep-deprived Lo boards cruise-ship Aurora Borealis. Lo is in Cabin 9, so, who...?

My Next Read


it looks like something along the lines of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children; that's what I'm kind of expecting. on the other hand, if it contains mainly the completely unexpected...that sounds even better!

Reading progress update: I've read 2 out of 341 pages.

The Woman in Cabin 10 - Helen Ruth Elizabeth Ware

this was a gift, so it's about time that I get to it, so the person who gave it to me doesn't feel slighted. other than that, it does look promising, though I see that a BookLikes buddy gave it only 2 stars. oh well. we'll see.

Reading progress update: I've read 224 out of 224 pages.

One, Two, Buckle My Shoe - Agatha Christie

y'know, I really kind of liked this one, a lot. it's just too clever to give 3.5 stars, and I didn't know there was a Poirot outing that felt like this--so different than Evil Under the Sun, or Murder On The Orient Express, and yet almost as clever in the clues and tricks as any of those top-tier entries. there's a certain streamlined brevity to it--it doesn't have the beautiful "sprawl" of a "country house" murder, or one where Poirot works out of one main environment, and he has to travel about a lot, here--but, again, I love that it doesn't feel like the others, and I love that, when you add up the puzzle and red-herring elements that flesh out this novel, it's almost as satisfying and brilliant as her best. almost.


I'm now very curious about the other, less worshipped Poirot books I have not read...

Reading progress update: I've read 163 out of 224 pages.

One, Two, Buckle My Shoe - Agatha Christie

for a Poirot whodunit, it sure has turned into rather a thrilling, action-packed affair. melodrama and spiky personalities on display during Poirot's stay at Blunt's charming picturesque abode (lovely gardens). strange encounters and sudden violence...culminating in the master detective having an epiphany while singing an enlightening hymn lyric in church.


by gosh, I think he's figured it out before me!


(actually, that happens all the time.)

Reading progress update: I've read 97 out of 224 pages.

One, Two, Buckle My Shoe - Agatha Christie

it's very enjoyable--this whole idea of the suspect pool consisting mainly of whoever went into and out of the building where the deceased (suicide? a murder?) dentist's office is located, on that fateful day. Poirot was there too, though, so...once again...tough luck for any murderer hoping to get away with it. a few thoughts: I wonder why India keeps cropping up, from various angles. I'm wondering if I should focus mainly on the people who were actually known to be in the building right around the time of death...or did someone from earlier come back?? I wonder if Blunt is the key to the whole thing (he's the one with the political background that could endanger him...and yet, he's not the one who died). 


I've also got my eye on the alternate titles that have been used for this novel: An Overdose of Death, and The Patriotic Murders (plural). I'm far enough along to know why the older Fontana edition featured a gun prominently on the cover...but the edition I have features poison and a syringe, front and center. 


the hoax-telegram angle showed up in a Freeman Wills Crofts novel I read not too long ago, and if that is anything to go by and draw from...that telegram is not some innocent prank. that at least I'm pretty sure of. anyway--fully expect to wrap this up tomorrow, and I hope the solution is a nifty one. I know this isn't a particularly famous Christie novel, but I would still love to be flabbergasted at the end. maybe not Roger Ackroyd-level flabbergasted, but still...

My Next Read


I hope it's brilliant!

Reading progress update: I've read 1 out of 224 pages.

One, Two, Buckle My Shoe - Agatha Christie

this is my first Agatha Christie read since Sad Cypress--another Poirot novel--several years ago, so I'm anxious to get to it. don't know anything about the Mystery content, except for the general set-up offered by the back cover, and I am hoping for a bit of an improvement over Sad Cypress, which was okay.

Reading progress update: I've read 339 out of 396 pages.

The Wrong Stars (Axiom) - Tim Pratt

can't quite finish it tonight, because I'm too tired after a long day. but there's tomorrow morning, to tackle the finale and clear the decks for Agatha Christie! overall I have enjoyed The Wrong Stars all the way through up to page 339, and hopefully I'm in for a rousing last bit...though I'm braced for a cliffhanger ending. shall keep my eyes open for Book Two.

Reading progress update: I've read 258 out of 396 pages.

The Wrong Stars (Axiom) - Tim Pratt

tense and unpredictable Infiltration-and-Rescue mission going on; going okay so far, with one person rescued quickly--but Callie, and Elena and the team are definitely the underdogs.

Reading progress update: I've read 224 out of 396 pages.

The Wrong Stars (Axiom) - Tim Pratt

it's intelligent, and--thank goodness--it's fun! guess I'll be doing the whole series.

Reading progress update: I've read 138 out of 396 pages.

The Wrong Stars (Axiom) - Tim Pratt

this is exactly what I wanted right now--an irresistible Space Opera adventure with great characters, a wonderful and complex future scenario, lots of surprises, and some enigmatic aliens (with just a hint of, maybe, some even weirder aliens, lurking just out of sight...).


I haven't been this happy reading an SF book in a while!