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LG

Familiar Diversions

I'm a librarian who loves anime, manga, and reading a wide variety of genres.

Currently reading

Dramacon Ultimate Edition
Svetlana Chmakova
Progress: 62/630 pages
Murder for Tea (The Cozy Tea Shoppe Mysteries #1)
Vered Ehsani
Progress: 13/191 pages
Gorgeous Carat, Volume 01
You Higuri
Progress: 40/170 pages
Log Horizon, Vol. 1: The Beginning of Another World
Mamare Touno
Progress: 101/213 pages
Princess Prince
Tomoko Taniguchi
Progress: 310/336 pages
FREE: Locke & Key
Tatiana Maslany, Audible Studios, Joe Hill, Gabriel Rodríguez, Kate Mulgrew, Haley Joel Osment, Full Cast
Progress: 91/806 minutes
Now You're One of Us
Mitsuko Volek, Michael Volek, Asa Nonami
Progress: 188/239 pages
The Keeper of Lost Causes
Jussi Adler-Olsen, Lisa Hartford

Recommendations? - Workplace/Office thriller or horror

A week or so ago, I watched a South Korean horror/thriller movie called Office. It started off with one of the office workers going home, killing his whole family, and then running off somewhere. The police, looking for leads, talked to his coworkers, who all felt that he wasn't the type of man to do such a thing. The movie then focused on one of the office interns, a young woman who'd been working her butt off for 5 months, desperately hoping to be hired on as a full-time employee. The only person in the office who'd ever been nice to her was the guy who murdered his whole family. As the movie progressed, viewers got to gradually watch all the cracks appear - the abusive boss, upper-management that only cared about what news of the murders would do to the company's image, employees who were expected to devote all their time to their jobs, etc. The ending was a bit weird, and I'm still not sure if there were supposed to be supernatural aspects or not.

 

At any rate, I'd like recommendations of books like this: thrillers or horror in workplace settings, preferably office jobs. I'd prefer a tense/suspenseful tone over something more comedic. I've been looking for recommendation lists that might work and here's what I have so far. Feel free to say you'd second one of the recommendations on the list. I haven't read any of these books.

 

- The Firm by John Grisham

- The Intern's Handbook by Shane Kuhn

- My Work is Not Yet Done: Three Tales of Corporate Horror by Thomas Ligotti

- The Subsidiary by Matias Celedon

- The Consultant by Bentley Little

 

As far as stuff I've actually read goes, the closest things I can think of are:

 

- Horrorstor by Grady Hendrix - Not quite what I was thinking of, but it's horror in a workplace, so it fits in a way.

- Fear and Trembling by Amelie Nothumb - Neither horror nor a thriller. I recall it being a bit of a black comedy, but it's been years since I read it, so I could be remembering wrong.

Reading progress update: I've read 188 out of 239 pages.

Now You're One of Us - Mitsuko Volek, Michael Volek, Asa Nonami

Both Noriko and I are unimpressed and a little confused by what's going on right now. The family has told Noriko their secret, supposedly, but since it's part of what she's been accusing them of for a good chunk of the book, it's a little weird that they're suddenly admitting to it now. And everyone in the family is acting like Noriko is some sort of blessed miracle-worker for "healing" a member of the family, never mind that it wasn't that long ago that she told them she knew that person was doing better than they were letting on.

Reading progress update: I've read 62 out of 630 pages.

Dramacon Ultimate Edition - Svetlana Chmakova

I have three days to finish this. It's technically a reread, but it's been so long since I last read it that I can't recall much about it, other than that I thought it was so-so. This one volume collects all three volumes of the original series.

 

The world of this series includes a manga publisher, Mangapop, that's a thinly veiled stand-in for Tokyopop. There's an OEL manga artist/writer that the main character and her boyfriend idolize because she's the first one to get signed by Mangapop for her OEL manga. It's weird reading this, knowing that Tokyopop imploded later on, leaving a bunch of OEL manga authors with no way to finish or republish their series because of difficulties with getting their rights back.

Reading progress update: I've read 13 out of 191 pages.

Murder for Tea (The Cozy Tea Shoppe Mysteries #1) - Vered Ehsani

I realized that one of the ebooks I recently downloaded would work for my current Snakes and Ladders square. That said, I'm not sure it's going to work out. It's the first in a series, but it's also a spinoff of another series. At least one review said that it was fine to jump in at this point, but there have already been lots of mentions of characters and events that readers are expected to know about. For example, a demon lady who can transform into an elephant-sized praying mantis and who has a tendency to decapitate men. And who seems to simultaneously be the main character's ally and enemy?

 

The book is set in Nairobi in 1900. At the moment, based on the characters who have gotten physical descriptions, it seems to be very, very white.

Snakes and Ladders: My 6th, 7th, and 8th rolls - disaster narrowly avoided

 

Finished books reserved for later:

Coffee Boy - Austin Chant  (61 pages - too short to count as a book)

- Chain Letter - Christopher Pike  (185 pages - too short to count as a book)

- What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions - Randall Munroe,Wil Wheaton,John Murray Press  (6 hours and 36 minutes - counts as a book)

- On What Grounds - Cleo Coyle  (7 hours and 59 minutes - counts as a book)

 

Books read for the game:

1. Square 1: Neanderthal Seeks Human - Penny Reid  [dice: 1+2]

2. Square 4: The Midnight Club - Christopher Pike doesn't fit square requirements [dice: 3]

3. Square 7: Suddenly Royal - Nichole Chase  [dice: 1+5]

4. Square 13: Patient Zero - Ray Porter,Jonathan Maberry  [dice: 5+5]

5. Square 23: Salvation of a Saint - Keigo Higashino,Alexander O. Smith  doesn't fit square requirements [dice: 2]

6. Square 5: The Queen of Ieflaria (Tales of Inthya #1) - Effie Calvin  + Coffee Boy - Austin Chant  [dice: 3+5]

 

I'm using both The Queen of Ieflaria and Coffee Boy for this square. The Queen of Ieflaria was published in 2018, while Coffee Boy was published in 2016. The requirement for the square is to read something published in 2018, and I've met that, with the work that has the most number of pages no less. I rolled two dice:

 

 

That gets me to Square 13. The requirement for that one: Author is a man. Happily, one of the books I finished while I was working on The Queen of Ieflaria works for this square. I'm going to use Randall Munroe's What If?

 

7. Square 13: What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions - Randall Munroe  [dice: 3+3]

 

 

This puts me on Square 19. The requirement for that square: Set in the UK.

 

Nothing I've finished and have on reserve is set in the UK. Same for anything else I'm currently reading. I could easily find a book that works for the square, but I spent so long sitting in one spot that I kind of want to roll again. I'm just going to use Cleo Coyle's On What Grounds right now. Will my impatience doom me? I guess I'm about to find out...

 

8. Square 19: On What Grounds - Cleo Coyle  doesn't fit square requirement [dice: 5]

 

 

Oh wow. I just narrowly avoided landing on the same stupid snake that put me on Square 5. In only three rolls, I could have ended up right back where I started. I absolutely need to not roll a 1 next time. The best way to do that would be to roll two dice. The requirement for this square: Set in Africa.

 

I think I only have one work in my collection that fits this requirement: Nnedi Okorafor's Binti: Home. It'll have to wait until I'm done with a couple library books, so either I can save those for future rolls or risk rolling a 1 and use them right away.

 

RULES OF THE GAME:

 

Everyone starts on 1. There are two alternative ways to move forward.

 

1. Read a book that fits the description on the space number as listed below and you can roll two dice to move forward more quickly.

 

2. However, if you can't find a book to fit the square, don't worry about it. You can read any book, and roll one dice on random.org.  This is to ensure that if a reader cannot find a book to fill the square, no one gets bogged down and can't move on.

 

All books must be at least 200 pages long. Short stories count, so long as you read enough of them from a collection to equal 200 pages. 

 

You do not need to hit space 100 with an exact roll. In order to win, you must complete space 100 as written.

 

Spaces:

 

1. Author is a woman

2. Genre: mystery

3. Set in the twentieth century

4. Published in 2019

5. Published in 2018

6. Title has a color word in it

7. Author's last name begins with the letters A, B, C, or D.

8. Author's last name begins with the letters E, F, G, or H.

9. Author's last name begins with the letters H, I, J, or K

10. Author's last name begins with the letters L, M, N or O

11. Author's last name begins with the letters P, Q, R, or S

12. Author's last name begins with the letters T, U, V, W, X, Y, or Z

13. Author is a man

14. Author is dead

15. Genre: romance

16. Genre: fantasy

17. Genre: horror

18. Set in a school

19. Set in the UK

20. Set in a country that is not your country of residence

21. Set in Europe

22. Set in Asia

23. Set in Australia/Oceania

24. Set in Africa

25. Snake - go back to 5

26. Part of a series that is more than 5 books long

27. Set during WWI or WWII

28. Written between 1900 and 1999

29. Someone travels by plane

30. Someone travels by train

31. Road trip

32. Genre: thriller

33. Set in North America

34. Snake - go back to 1

35. Has been adapted as a movie

36. Set in Central or South America

37. Has won an award

38. Newest release by a favorite author

39. A reread

40. Characters involved in the entertainment industry

41. Characters involved in politics

42. Characters involved in sports/sports industry

43. Characters involved in the law

44. Characters involved in cooking/baking

43. Characters involved in medicine

44. Characters involved in science/technology

45. A book that has been on your tbr for more than one year

46. A book that has been on your tbr for more than two years

47. Snake - go back to 19

48. A book you acquired in February, 2019.

49. Recommended by a friend

50. Has a domestic animal on the cover

51. Has a wild animal on the cover

52. Has a tree or flower on the cover

53. Has something that can be used as a weapon on the cover

54. Is more than 400 pages long

55. Is more than 500 pages long

56. Was published more than 100 years ago

57. Was published more than 50 years ago

58. Was published more than 25 years ago

59. Was published more than 10 years ago

60. Was published last year

61. Cover is more than 50% red

62. Cover is more than 50% green

63. Cover is more than 50% blue

64. Cover is more than 50% yellow

65. Snake - go back to 52

66. Part of a series that is more than 10 books long

67. Set in a city with a population of greater than 5 million people (link)

68. Something related to weddings on the cover

69. Something related to travel on the cover

70. Something related to fall/autumn on the cover

71. Involves the beach/ocean/lake 

72. Involves the mountains/forests 

73. Categorized as YA

74. Categorized as Middle Grade

75. Set in a fantasy world

76. Set in a world with magic

77. Has a "food" word in the title

78. Set in a small town (fictional or real)

79. Main character is a woman

80. Main character is a man

81. Ghost story

82. Genre: urban fantasy

83. Genre: cozy mystery

84. Genre: police procedural

85. Written by an author who has published more than 10 books

86. Author's debut book

87. Snake - go back to 57

88. Comic/graphic novel

89. Published between 2000 and 2017

90. A new-to-you author

91. Snake - go back to 61

92. Reread of a childhood favorite

93. Author's first/last initial same as yours (real or BL handle)

94. Non-fiction

95. Memoir

96. From your favorite genre

97. Title starts with any of the letters in SNAKE

98. Title starts with any of the letters in LADDERS

99. Snake - go back to 69

100. Let BL pick it for you: post 4 choices and read the one that gets the most votes!

 

ADDITIONS TO THE RULES

See comments to the post for further explanations or to ask questions

 

When you start on square 1, you need to read a book before you can roll. If your book fills the square, you get to roll two dice. If your book doesn't not fit the square, roll one dice only.

 

With respect to the ladder squares: You must read a book in order to climb the ladder. Once you finish the book for the ladder square, climb the ladder to the ending square. If you read a book that fits the ending square, roll two dice to move on, otherwise, roll one dice.

 

For audiobook substitutions, either check the print book to determine if it is more than 200 pages long, or any audiobook that is a minimum of 5 hours & 30 minutes qualifies.

Reading progress update: I've read 157 out of 159 pages.

The Queen of Ieflaria (Tales of Inthya #1) - Effie Calvin

This is the true last page - the rest is author info and other stuff.

 

Aww, this was sweet. But there are some annoying unresolved threads. Yes, I know this is part of a series, but the second book has different main characters and several of the unresolved threads I'm thinking of really should have been dealt with in this book, with this couple. So that's going to bring the rating down a bit. Also, it turns out the dragons were pretty important, and yet they didn't have an on-page appearance until about the last 40 pages. This really should have been a longer work.

 

Ooh, you know what this means? I get to roll the dice again! YAY.

Tacoma free over at Humble Bundle, while supplies last (or until the 22 hours are up)

Ooh. If I didn't already own it, I'd get it. And I say this despite the bouts of motion sickness it gave me.

 

It's less a game than a story in videogame form. Your character is investigating an incident at a space station that was populated by 6 humans, their cat, and an AI named ODIN. My favorite characters were ODIN and Sareh, the station medic who struggled with panic attacks, although I also enjoyed trying to track down the cat in each scene.

 

No major spoilers, but since I spent the entire game worrying that I was going to see the moment when the cat died:

the cat gets through the whole thing just fine.

(show spoiler)

I reviewed the game on my blog and gave it 3.5 stars on LibraryThing. I felt it was worth paying for, and it's definitely worth getting for free.

Reading progress update: I've listened 479 out of 479 minutes.

On What Grounds  - Cleo Coyle

Finished! I have no intention of continuing on with this series. The coffee-making aspect should have been fascinating, and instead I felt like I was repeatedly being lectured at by someone who'd declare my usual coffee drinking habits to be uncultured garbage. The love triangle that I disliked was left at a point where it could (and probably would) rear its ugly head yet again in the next book, and the mystery aspect did nothing for me.

Reading progress update: I've listened 316 out of 479 minutes.

On What Grounds  - Cleo Coyle

I don't really like these characters and am not particularly attached to the narrator, so I increased the narration speed.

 

There's a bit of a love triangle going on, and I dislike it. It involves Clare, who has been divorced for a number of years, and either her ex-husband or the cop who's helping her with the "accident" at her coffee house (the cops are no longer officially investigating, because there's no evidence of foul play).

 

The ex-husband: At some point before or after their marriage collapsed, he was addicted to cocaine. He's supposedly clean now, and trying to worm his way back into Clare's life. He's a charmer, and it doesn't hurt that his mother, who is also Clare's boss and coffee idol, is on his side.

 

The cop: He's married and has at least one child. He's been pretty closed-mouthed, but it seems like his marriage is having problems, and he seems potentially as interested in Clare as she is in him.

 

Of the two options, I prefer the ex-husband because he seems to have genuinely grown up a bit from however he was when he and Clare were together. Still, he is only the lesser of two evils. These options suck.

Zombie apocalypse team

I don't have a Twitter account, but I saw this and thought it sounded fun. I have a genius doctor with occasional debilitating headaches and tinnitus (from a Korean show called Quiz from God), a con man (from Terry Pratchett's Going Postal), and a coffeehouse manager (from Cleo Coyle's On What Grounds). If the con man and doctor can help us talk our way into a safe place before we get overrun by zombies, we might be fine. Unfortunately, the coffeehouse manager and I would be utterly useless.

 

What about the rest of you?

Reading progress update: I've listened 158 out of 479 minutes.

On What Grounds  - Cleo Coyle

I imagine this particular part would be like a gut punch for anyone directly affected by 9/11. It's relatively brief, but there are a few mentions of deaths.

Reading progress update: I've listened 113 out of 479 minutes.

On What Grounds  - Cleo Coyle

In my experience, cozy mysteries that have a food or crafting theme will often include recipes or projects. This one sort of does a similar thing, except it's incorporated directly into the text. Clare has just walked off to make some coffee for one of the detectives investigating the attack at her coffeehouse, and readers are now being treated to multi-step advice on how to store coffee. Earlier, it was instructions on how to make a perfect cup of coffee (with a coffee press or something? I admit that I wasn't paying a lot of attention).

 

I still feel like the attack isn't getting enough weight. It feels like coffee, the coffeehouse, and even the stupid 100-year-old plaque (supposedly the coffeehouse's only signage, and worth nearly $1000) are all more important than the attack.

Ooh, a package

Total Eclipse of the Eternal Heart - Syundei 春泥

I just got notified that this has been delivered. It's by the same author who wrote/illustrated Go For It, Nakamura! - this looks to be a good deal darker than that work, but I'm hoping it's just as enjoyable.

Reading progress update: I've listened 107 out of 479 minutes.

On What Grounds  - Cleo Coyle

I finally have confirmation that the employee is not dead, just badly injured.

Reading progress update: I've listened 67 out of 479 minutes.

On What Grounds  - Cleo Coyle

Over half an hour later, I think the story might finally have turned back to the murder/attempted murder again. Clare is thinking about Greek coffee, which is what she was making while the police were questioning her about what happened to her employee.

Snakes and Ladders: Not my 6th roll, just keeping track

I'm not rolling until I finish The Queen of Ieflaria, but I have enough finished reads saved up that I wanted to write an update and list them out. I don't know yet whether I'll be saving any of these for squares they actually fit - it'll probably depend on how I feel about the requirements for the next square I'm on.

 

Finished books reserved for later:

Coffee Boy - Austin Chant  (61 pages - too short to count as a book)

- Chain Letter - Christopher Pike  (185 pages - too short to count as a book)

- What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions - Randall Munroe,Wil Wheaton,John Murray Press  (6 hours and 36 minutes - counts as a book)

 

Books read for the game:

1. Square 1: Neanderthal Seeks Human - Penny Reid  [dice: 1+2]

2. Square 4: The Midnight Club - Christopher Pike doesn't fit square requirements [dice: 3]

3. Square 7: Suddenly Royal - Nichole Chase  [dice: 1+5]

4. Square 13: Patient Zero - Ray Porter,Jonathan Maberry  [dice: 5+5]

5. Square 23: Salvation of a Saint - Keigo Higashino,Alexander O. Smith  doesn't fit square requirements [dice: 2]

6. On Square 5, still reading

 

 

 

RULES OF THE GAME:

 

Everyone starts on 1. There are two alternative ways to move forward.

 

1. Read a book that fits the description on the space number as listed below and you can roll two dice to move forward more quickly.

 

2. However, if you can't find a book to fit the square, don't worry about it. You can read any book, and roll one dice on random.org.  This is to ensure that if a reader cannot find a book to fill the square, no one gets bogged down and can't move on.

 

All books must be at least 200 pages long. Short stories count, so long as you read enough of them from a collection to equal 200 pages. 

 

You do not need to hit space 100 with an exact roll. In order to win, you must complete space 100 as written.

 

Spaces:

 

1. Author is a woman

2. Genre: mystery

3. Set in the twentieth century

4. Published in 2019

5. Published in 2018

6. Title has a color word in it

7. Author's last name begins with the letters A, B, C, or D.

8. Author's last name begins with the letters E, F, G, or H.

9. Author's last name begins with the letters H, I, J, or K

10. Author's last name begins with the letters L, M, N or O

11. Author's last name begins with the letters P, Q, R, or S

12. Author's last name begins with the letters T, U, V, W, X, Y, or Z

13. Author is a man

14. Author is dead

15. Genre: romance

16. Genre: fantasy

17. Genre: horror

18. Set in a school

19. Set in the UK

20. Set in a country that is not your country of residence

21. Set in Europe

22. Set in Asia

23. Set in Australia/Oceania

24. Set in Africa

25. Snake - go back to 5

26. Part of a series that is more than 5 books long

27. Set during WWI or WWII

28. Written between 1900 and 1999

29. Someone travels by plane

30. Someone travels by train

31. Road trip

32. Genre: thriller

33. Set in North America

34. Snake - go back to 1

35. Has been adapted as a movie

36. Set in Central or South America

37. Has won an award

38. Newest release by a favorite author

39. A reread

40. Characters involved in the entertainment industry

41. Characters involved in politics

42. Characters involved in sports/sports industry

43. Characters involved in the law

44. Characters involved in cooking/baking

43. Characters involved in medicine

44. Characters involved in science/technology

45. A book that has been on your tbr for more than one year

46. A book that has been on your tbr for more than two years

47. Snake - go back to 19

48. A book you acquired in February, 2019.

49. Recommended by a friend

50. Has a domestic animal on the cover

51. Has a wild animal on the cover

52. Has a tree or flower on the cover

53. Has something that can be used as a weapon on the cover

54. Is more than 400 pages long

55. Is more than 500 pages long

56. Was published more than 100 years ago

57. Was published more than 50 years ago

58. Was published more than 25 years ago

59. Was published more than 10 years ago

60. Was published last year

61. Cover is more than 50% red

62. Cover is more than 50% green

63. Cover is more than 50% blue

64. Cover is more than 50% yellow

65. Snake - go back to 52

66. Part of a series that is more than 10 books long

67. Set in a city with a population of greater than 5 million people (link)

68. Something related to weddings on the cover

69. Something related to travel on the cover

70. Something related to fall/autumn on the cover

71. Involves the beach/ocean/lake 

72. Involves the mountains/forests 

73. Categorized as YA

74. Categorized as Middle Grade

75. Set in a fantasy world

76. Set in a world with magic

77. Has a "food" word in the title

78. Set in a small town (fictional or real)

79. Main character is a woman

80. Main character is a man

81. Ghost story

82. Genre: urban fantasy

83. Genre: cozy mystery

84. Genre: police procedural

85. Written by an author who has published more than 10 books

86. Author's debut book

87. Snake - go back to 57

88. Comic/graphic novel

89. Published between 2000 and 2017

90. A new-to-you author

91. Snake - go back to 61

92. Reread of a childhood favorite

93. Author's first/last initial same as yours (real or BL handle)

94. Non-fiction

95. Memoir

96. From your favorite genre

97. Title starts with any of the letters in SNAKE

98. Title starts with any of the letters in LADDERS

99. Snake - go back to 69

100. Let BL pick it for you: post 4 choices and read the one that gets the most votes!

 

ADDITIONS TO THE RULES

See comments to the post for further explanations or to ask questions

 

When you start on square 1, you need to read a book before you can roll. If your book fills the square, you get to roll two dice. If your book doesn't not fit the square, roll one dice only.

 

With respect to the ladder squares: You must read a book in order to climb the ladder. Once you finish the book for the ladder square, climb the ladder to the ending square. If you read a book that fits the ending square, roll two dice to move on, otherwise, roll one dice.

 

For audiobook substitutions, either check the print book to determine if it is more than 200 pages long, or any audiobook that is a minimum of 5 hours & 30 minutes qualifies.