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LG

Familiar Diversions

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

Currently reading

The Tokyo Zodiac Murders (Pushkin Vertigo)
Shika MacKenzie, Soji Shimada, Ross MacKenzie
Progress: 102/316 pages
The Bishop's Pawn (A Marc Edwards Mystery Book 7)
Don Gutteridge
Progress: 47/239 pages
Welcome to Night Vale: A Novel
Dylan Marron, Jeffrey Cranor, Cecil Baldwin, Retta Andresen, Joseph Fink, Harper Audio, Dan Bittner, Therese Plummer
Progress: 211/722 minutes
Jane Jensen: Gabriel Knight, Adventure Games, Hidden Objects (Influential Video Game Designers)
Jennifer deWinter, Carly A. Kocurek, Anastasia Salter
The No Asshole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn't
Robert I. Sutton
Progress: 140/210 pages
The Invisible Orientation: An Introduction to Asexuality
Julie Sondra Decker
The Mystic Marriage
Heather Rose Jones
Progress: 302/426 pages
Ichi-F: A Worker's Graphic Memoir of the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant
Kazuto Tatsuta
Progress: 448/553 pages
The Naked Sun
Isaac Asimov
Progress: 20/187 pages
Fluency
Jennifer Foehner Wells
Progress: 58/367 pages

Free E-book: Black London: Life before Emancipation by Gretchen Holbrook Gerzina

Black London: Life Before Emancipation - Gretchen Holbrook Gerzina

I saw this mentioned on Twitter (@medievalpoc). You can read online or download a PDF, Kindle file, or EPUB.

Reading progress update: I've read 35 out of 97 pages.

The Dark Victorian: Risen Volume One - Elizabeth Watasin

I think this is approximately where I stopped reading this morning. It's clearer now that, yes, this will work for the Ghost square, although the character still isn't quite what I'd normally think of as a ghost: Artifice is referred to as an artificial ghost and has the ability to take ghostly form and move through walls, but she spends most of her time solid.

Reading progress update: I've listened 124 out of 722 minutes.

Welcome to Night Vale: A Novel - Dylan Marron, Jeffrey Cranor, Cecil Baldwin, Retta Andresen, Joseph Fink, Harper Audio, Dan Bittner, Therese Plummer

"'The search for truth takes us to dangerous places,' said Old Woman Josie. 'Often it takes us to that most dangerous place: the library. You know who said that? No? George Washington did. Minutes before librarians ate him.'"

 

Ooh, I hope there's going to be a scene inside the public library.

 

At the moment, it looks like this book might be about the origins of the Man in the Tan Jacket, although I'm still not sure how Diane (the employee in my previous post) and Josh (Diane's shapeshifting son) are involved. Maybe the Man in the Tan Jacket is

Josh's father?

(show spoiler)

Reading progress update: I've listened 104 out of 722 minutes.

Welcome to Night Vale: A Novel - Dylan Marron, Jeffrey Cranor, Cecil Baldwin, Retta Andresen, Joseph Fink, Harper Audio, Dan Bittner, Therese Plummer

(If just reading about spiders freaks you out, skip this post.)

 

A nerve-wracking employee-boss conversation, not so much for the topic (although that's pretty weird), as for what's going on around them as they're talking. The employee knows that there's a tarantula walking around on her boss and assumes it's a pet, because that's a perfectly normal sort of pet for a Night Vale resident to bring to work. I mean, consider Night Vale cats. And apparently Night Vale goldfish eat mice on a daily basis. Anyway, the boss is unaware of the tarantula and is, in fact, deathly afraid of spiders. The employee actually asks her boss about the spider's name at one point, but the boss thinks she's referring to a picture of her son. She never does find out about the spider that spent nearly the entire meeting touching her (::shudder::).

Non-book post...

I'm going to be spending the next few hours telling folks not to panic when our glitchy printing system tells them they somehow both have money for printing and also no money for printing. I'm up to 6 people so far, let's see how long it takes to hit double digits. Siiigh. I was hoping this issue would be fixed by today.

Reading progress update: I've read 20 out of 97 pages.

The Dark Victorian: Risen Volume One - Elizabeth Watasin

I picked this up a while back after several reviews here on Booklikes put it on my radar. I decided to read this for Halloween Bingo because 1) it's short and 2) it looked like it would qualify for several squares. I was hoping to use it for the Ghost square, but so far it's a better candidate for squares that haven't been called yet, The Dead Will Walk (several reanimated cats and a horse), Supernatural, and Darkest London. Nothing yet that I'd say qualifies as a ghost.

 

So far this isn't necessarily bad, but it's not grabbing me enough to make me want the rest of the series. Still plenty of time, though.

Halloween Bingo update #4

 

Cozy Mystery got a cat sticker, now that I've finished K.B. Owen's Unseemly Pursuits.

 

Finished But Not Yet Marked:

 

Lure of the Mummy - Janis Susan May - Supernatural, Monsters, Terrifying Women

 

Finished and Marked:

 

 

The Drops of God 2 - Shu Okimoto,Tadashi Agi - Free Square

 

Parasite Eve - Hideaki Sena - Genre: Horror, Chilling Children, Monsters, and Diverse Voices

 

Unseemly Pursuits: A Concordia Wells Mystery - K.B. Owen - Cozy Mystery, Murder Most Foul, Amateur Sleuth, and Terrifying Women

Reading progress update: I've read 270 out of 270 pages.

Unseemly Pursuits: A Concordia Wells Mystery - K.B. Owen

Finished! It was okay. There were so many things going on that it felt a little scattered, and I caught at least one error, maybe two - the one I'm sure about is that the dean was supposed to be bald, and yet at one point in the story he'd suddenly gained enough hair to have to push it out of his eyes. At any rate, I'll probably get the next book in the series. Looks like the author is no longer on Smashwords, but thankfully she didn't go Amazon-only - I can still get the books via Kobo.

 

As far as Halloween Bingo goes, this would work for Cozy Mystery, Murder Most Foul, Amateur Sleuth, and Terrifying Women. Although Murder Most Foul would get me closer to Bingo, I feel like it fits Cozy Mystery a lot better since the murder had to share so much page-time with other mysterious happenings.

 

Interactive story game: To Be or Not To Be

 

I've had this for a while but only just started playing it. And yes, you can find some of Kate Beaton's artwork  in it, but also artwork by a bunch of other people. It's a "choose your own adventure" version of Shakespeare's Hamlet, in which you can either play as Hamlet, Hamlet's father, or Ophelia. Nearly every ending presents you with a unique piece of artwork, and there are lots of endings.

 

At the moment, I've mostly just played as Ophelia, who is utterly awesome. She can solve Hamlet's problems logically and boringly, or she can go full-on murder queen. It took me three tries to manage it, but it's quite possible for her to go on a killing spree that results in the death of literally every character in Hamlet. Sometimes things get a little surreal too. In my longest playthrough, Ophelia and Hamlet teamed up to kill Claudius. After they gifted Claudius with a "choose your own adventure" book with a plot eerily similar to Claudius's own life, Ophelia briefly became Claudius, who became Ophelia just at things were starting to look bad for him, who decided to skip out on this whole "Hamlet's acting weird" thing and take a vacation. The game briefly (very briefly) became a dating sim, but then Ophelia sprang into action again to take on some terrorists and live happily ever after all on her own.

 

My main complaint at the moment is that although the game has "checkpoints" (decision points you can go back to and replay, so you can try other options), you can't create your own, so you end up having to replay certain chunks of the game a lot. The "skip" button helps, but it's still annoying.

 

This also available in actual book form (I'm not sure which came first), for those who'd prefer that.

Reading progress update: I've read 102 out of 272 pages.

Unseemly Pursuits: A Concordia Wells Mystery - K.B. Owen

I have a feeling I'll be picking up the third book in this series at some point. There isn't anything specific about this that I love, but it's a very comfortable read. At the moment we have one missing Egyptian artifact, one surprise Egyptian artifact, one dead body, one person who has confessed to being the murderer (but who almost certainly isn't - the real murderer seems extremely obvious at the moment, so here's hoping there's more to it), and one possible attempt to kill the horrible principal. Concordia's love interest, David, has had a couple appearances but otherwise hasn't been around much.

Reading progress update: I've read 37 out of 272 pages.

Unseemly Pursuits: A Concordia Wells Mystery - K.B. Owen

I'm going to be using this for the Cozy Mystery square, or maybe Murder Most Foul. It's been 2 or 3 years since I read the first book in the series. I gave it 3 stars - a nice read, but forgettable. I remember there being a potential love interest, but I can't recall what happened to him. I had thought he was still in the picture, but his name hasn't come up even once so far.

 

Someone has just been murdered, and it wasn't the horrible new principal. Surprising.

Reading progress update: I've listened 86 out of 722 minutes.

Welcome to Night Vale: A Novel - Dylan Marron, Jeffrey Cranor, Cecil Baldwin, Retta Andresen, Joseph Fink, Harper Audio, Dan Bittner, Therese Plummer

Aside from the lack of weather reports and very limited amount of Cecil Palmer (although lots of Cecil Baldwin, the actor who voices him and who has done all the book's narration so far), this is very much like listening to a Welcome to Night Vale podcast. I'm not entirely sure that's a good thing.

 

While I'm used to the strangeness of the podcast, I was expecting the book to be structured a little more like a regular SFF novel. Audio was probably the best way to go with this - I keep wondering how long I'd last if I were reading the paper version.

 

It's been interesting so far, although occasionally difficult to follow when it starts going into detail on things that could happen or might have happened. It's easy to lose track of what's happening in the present.

Reading progress update: I've listened to 1 out of 722 minutes.

Welcome to Night Vale: A Novel - Dylan Marron, Jeffrey Cranor, Cecil Baldwin, Retta Andresen, Joseph Fink, Harper Audio, Dan Bittner, Therese Plummer

I've had this in paper and audio format ever since it came out, but I dragged my feet on it because I couldn't decide whether to start with the paper book or the audio. Looks like I've finally decided: I'm going with the audio. I only listen to audiobooks while at work, so if I really get into the story I could always continue on with my paper copy at home.

 

This might work for Halloween Bingo, but it's tough to know for sure until I've listened to it. I know that the Night Vale world in general has lots of things that could qualify it for various squares.

Halloween Bingo update #3

 

No new squares marked - I'm just making sure Lure of the Mummy is listed and ready to be marked when an appropriate square gets called.

 

Finished But Not Yet Marked:

 

Lure of the Mummy - Janis Susan May - Supernatural, Monsters, Terrifying Women

 

Finished and Marked:

 

 

The Drops of God 2 - Shu Okimoto,Tadashi Agi - Free Square

 

Parasite Eve - Hideaki Sena - Genre: Horror, Chilling Children, Monsters, and Diverse Voices

Reading progress update: I've read 72 out of 72 pages.

Lure of the Mummy - Janis Susan May

There were a couple slightly creepy parts, but overall I wouldn't call this scary. Bert was pretty awful, but I suppose that was the point. I just wish he

hadn't dragged poor Melanie down with him.

(show spoiler)

 

As far as Halloween Bingo goes, this would work for my Supernatural square and maybe the Monsters square, if mummies count. (Edit: Oh, and Terrifying Women!)

Relisten finished!

The Goblin Emperor - Kyle McCarley, Katherine Addison

I still love it. Kyle McCarley does a great job with the narration, despite one or two mistakes, and the story still works excellently for me as a comfort read. Definitely an audiobook that was more than worth the credit I spent on it.