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Moonlight Reader

Welcome to 2019! 

Currently reading

The Secret History
Donna Tartt
William Shakespeare
Progress: 1 %
Late Eclipses
Seanan McGuire
Albion: The Origins of the English Imagination
Peter Ackroyd

Reading progress update: I've read 18%

The Secret History - Donna Tartt

Even though I have a ton of books that would directly fit the prompt I am on:


22. Read a book with a word that refers to women's roles, such as wife, daughter, mother, mistress or title, such as "Mrs., Miss or Duchess, in the title, or a book that has a strong female lead character.


My library hold just came in for this book, so I decided last night to play my race car, and race around the board to space #3: 


3. Read a book set in a school or college, or that is considered a "classic," (using any criteria that you want) or that is frequently banned.


And read this one, which is set in fictional Hampden College, in New Hampshire. I also passed Go, and therefore collect $5.00!

Reading progress update: I've read 1 out of 560 pages.

Albion: The Origins of the English Imagination - Peter Ackroyd

I need a NF for booklikes-opoly, and Chris' Fish Place recommended this on the Crowdsourced list, so I thought I would give it a try. It looks like it will fit in nicely with what I've been reading!

A very few NF history selections

Everybody Was So Young: Gerald and Sara Murphy: A Lost Generation Love Story - Amanda Vaill The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America - Tony Goldwyn, Erik Larson Killers of the Flower Moon - David Grann The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon - David Grann

I don't read a lot of NF, but I really enjoyed these. 


Vaill, Amanda: Everybody Was So Young: Gerald and Sara Murphy: A Lost Generation Love Story.  Set during the 1920's at Villa American in the south of France. 


Larson, Erik: Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic and Madness at the Fair That Changed America: set during the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago. 


Grann, David: Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI: Oklahama, 1920s.


and The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon. Explorer, 1925, London, NY & the Amazon.

Reading progress update: I've read 85%.

A Plague on Both Your Houses  - Susanna Gregory



I almost always guess the solution. Not always - but close. I always guess at least part of the solution.


I did not see any of this coming. 

Booklikes-opoly 2019 - the tracking post

Game Updates



Game Play


Bank: $114.00 

Novelty cards currently in my pocket: Robot, Race Car, & Cat


Bank Transactions:


5/20/19: Beginning balance, $20.00

5/22/19: Palace of Treason, +$5.00

5/24/19: Family Matters, +$3.00

5/24/19: Pass Go, +$5.00

5/31/19: The Moonstone, +$3.00

5/31/19: A Fatal Inversion, +$5.00

6/2/19: The Division Bell Mystery, +$3.00

6/2/19: Pass Go, +$5.00

6/9/19: The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, +$3.00

6/9/19: Below the Clock, +$3.00

6/9/19: A Local Habitation, +$3.00

6/11/19: A Passage to India, +$3.00

6/13/19: A Great Deliverance, +5.00

6/13/19: Pass Go, +$5.00

6/15/19: My Cousin Rachel, +$3.00

6/17/19: The Colour of Murder, +$3.00

6/30/19: Wolf Hall, +$5.00

6/30/19: The Glass Devil, +$3.00

7/2/19: Pass Go, +5.00

7/15/19: Well-Schooled in Murder, +$5.00

7/15/19: A Fountain Filled With Blood, +$3.00

7/15/19: Out of the Deep I Cry, +$3.00

7/15/19: Bring Up the Bodies, +$5.00

7/15/19: The Key to Rebecca, +$3.00 (used cat card)

7/15/19: Pass Go, +$5.00

7/18/19: Pass Go, +$5.00


Total: $119.00


Roll 18a:


I am up to 300 pages in A Plague On Both Your Houses, which is sufficient to get me my $3.00 contribution to the bail fund! Therefore, I am rolling again.



17. Why? Read a book that is non-fiction or a book with the word "why" in the title.


Doubles - roll again!


22. Read a book with a word that refers to women's roles, such as wife, daughter, mother, mistress or title, such as "Mrs., Miss or Duchess, in the title, or a book that has a strong female lead character. 


I decided to play my RACE CAR here, and race around the board to space #3:


3. Read a book set in a school or college, or that is considered a "classic," (using any criteria that you want) or that is frequently banned.


So I could read The Secret History by Donna Tartt. I also passed GO on my little trip.

read more »

Reading progress update: I've read 75%.

A Plague on Both Your Houses  - Susanna Gregory

Convoluted plot, indeed! I have NO idea what is going on here!


I am so enjoying this book, though. I read a lot more Victorian, Edwardian, WWI, Interwar, WWII historical fiction, so I always forget how much I enjoy historical mysteries set during the medieval period. I am excited to have found two new, long (and inexpensive) series to indulge in! 


This series - Matthew Bartholomew - has 24 installments, with the most current available for preorder and scheduled for release on 8/1/19, and Gregory's second series, Thomas Chaloner series is up to 14 installments, the most recent having been released last year.

To add to the historical list!

I'm too lazy to add cover images or links.


I'm mostly going to offer YA historical in this post, with an Agatha Christie thrown in because every list needs at least one Christie. Even the historical list!


Christie, Agatha: Death Comes As The End. So, this isn't all that good, but it was Christie's sole foray into historical mysteries and, for Christie fans especially, is an interesting look at how she transfers her customary plot devices into a historical setting. In addition, the history isn't too bad - Christie was married to an archaeologist and was fascinated by other cultures, and it shows in her setting.


Sepetys, Ruta: Out of the Easy and Salt to the Sea. Sepetys writes well-done YA historical fiction. Out of the Easy is set in New Orleans, in the 1950's, and was the first book by Sepetys that I read. Salt to the Sea is set during WWII and tackles the torpedoing of the ship Wilhelm Gustloff, which resulted in the death of an estimated 9400 people. I have not read her other WWII book, Between Shades of Gray.


Winters, Cat: In the Shadow of Blackbirds, The Cure for Dreaming, The Univited, Yesternight. Cat Winters writes intriguing YA historical fiction with magical realism undertones. In the Shadow of Blackbirds is set during the Spanish Influenza of 1918, and is my favorite of all that I've read; The Cure for Dreaming is set in turn of the century Oregon, and has strong (and wonderful) feminist overtones; The Uninvited is also set in 1918 and is a bit of ghost story. Yesternight is the weakest of all that I've read, set in 1925 Oregon. As you might have guessed, Winters is a local author to me. I have not read Odd and True or The Steep and Thorny Way, although I own both of them. As an aside, any book by Winters would be GREAT for Halloween bingo!


Donnelly, Jennifer: A Northern Light and Revolution. A Northern Light is set in 1906, and tackles the same murder that inspired Theodore Dreiser's An American Tragedy, which was adapted for film as A Place in the Sun starring a young, gorgeous Elizabeth Taylor Revolution is a dual narrative, one set in contemporary Paris, the other during the French Revolution.


Donnelly also has a multigenerational trilogy of adult historical fiction titled The Tea Rose, The Winter Rose and The Wild Rose that are also quite entertaining. The Tea Rose is the best of the three, and begins in London, 1888. The series ends with WWI in The Wild Rose, which is not as good as the other two.


Salerni, Dianne: The Caged Graves. This is the only book I've read by Salerni, and it's a winner. It's set in 1867, in Catawissa, PA, and was inspired by a pair of real "caged graves" in Catawissa. 


Berry, Julie: The Passion of Dolssa. Set in Provence in 1241, it's about a young woman with mystic religious experiences being hunted as a heretic by a vengeful friar. This book blew me away.


Ibbotson, Eva: A Countess Below Stairs. Ibbotson is actually probably best known for her MG fantasy, including Which Witch. She also wrote a small series of teen historical romance, which included A Countess Below Stairs, set in the immediate aftermath of the Russian Revolution; A Company of Swans, set in 1912 Cambridge, England; The Reluctant Heiress, 1922 Vienna; and The Morning Gift, WWII Vienna/London. These are light reading, perfect for a teen looking for a charming historical romance. I read them as an adult and enjoyed them in the same way that I enjoy a Harlequin romance traditional regency or a box of really delicious chocolates - not deep, but easy and fun. 


Alexander, Lloyd: The Chronicles of Prydain: so, I'm on the fence about whether this qualifies since Prydain is a fictional place. However, Alexander based Prydain on historical Wales, and the entire series is based on the Mabinogian, so I'm offering it. Let me know if you think that it's too far out for inclusion. First book is The Book of Three.


I also concur with the following that are already on the list: Elizabeth Wein (Code Name Verity & Rose Under Fire); T.H. White's Once and Future King; Mary Stewart's Merlin series.


That's enough for now! I'll come back with more.

The historical fiction list

A Plague on Both Your Houses  - Susanna Gregory

has already inflated my TBR! These are available for the kindle for between a buck and three bucks, which is just what I need, right?


Themis - you recommended the series. I am starting with this one, but I'm wondering if you have a preference between Matthew Bartholomew and Thomas Chaloner. They both look good, so I decided to go with the one set in Cambridge because Cambridge, although I was tempted by the other one because it starts in a post-Cromwell world.

Wow - that ending

Bring Up the Bodies (Thomas Cromwell, #2) - Hilary Mantel

I finally finished my 4th of July rolls, and will be rolling again this morning, but I have to set down a few thoughts about this book.


I'm not sure that I liked it quite as much as Wolf Hall, at least for the first 3/4, but holy cow, the last 75 pages or so was just amazing. Even though I know how Anne Boleyn died, the unfolding of it was breathtakingly, heartstoppingly suspenseful. How did Mantel make an event that everyone knows about so devastating?


I mean, I didn't even like Anne Boleyn very much, and she is a very complicated historical figure, but that was not a trial. It was a murder. She was murdered. There was so little evidence to suggest that she was guilty of any of the things she was accused of, and the trumped up, convenient nature of the entire thing - from poor Mark Weston to the rest of the men to Anne herself - is just appalling. Henry VIII was a piece of self-centered shit.


And Cromwell? Well, again, he's a complicated historical figure, but his part in that whole farce was unforgivable. Although, presumably, he'll get his in book 3.


If you live by the sword, you die by the sword. Especially if you are working for King Henry VIII.



Reading progress update: I've read 1 out of 411 pages.

Bring Up the Bodies (Thomas Cromwell, #2) - Hilary Mantel

I am starting this one - the last of my 4th of July reads!

Macbeth in July?

Macbeth - William Shakespeare

Elentarri and I are going to do a Macbeth buddy read.


I have acquired my audiobook version (Arkangel audiobook) with Harriet Walter as Lady Macbeth (so, so excited here), and my Folgers print edition has arrived.


My plan is to do an Act a day, which means that it will take me 5 days to read/listen to it. I'm also going to watch at least one version after I finish reading, and I'm planning a buddy read of the Nesbo Hogarth retelling later in July!


So, Elentarri, when shall we begin? My audiobook is 2 1/2 hours long, so that's about 30 minutes a day to listen along.


Does anyone else want to join us for Macbeth in July?


Lay on, Macduff!

What an ending

A Fountain Filled With Blood - Julia Spencer-Fleming

I have read this before, but I had totally forgotten how intense the last 25% of the book is. I wasn't really feeling it at first, and was a little bit disappointed, because I remembered the series being stronger than what I was getting from about the first 30% of the book. 


The chemistry between Russ and Clare was great, of course, and we are introduced to Margy Van Alstyne, Russ's mother, who is a hoot, so that was fun. It didn't feel like Spencer-Flaming was handling the hate-crime motive for the murders very well, though - it seemed heavy handed and awkward - during the first part of the book.


But then, holy hell, it just took off, and next thing you know, I am just unable to tear my eyes away from my kindle. The ending was amazing and heart-dropping at the same time.


Anyway, I am going onto the third book, because I can't help myself. I need more Russ and Clare.

The Key to Rebecca

The Key to Rebecca - Ken Follett

My digital hold on this one popped up, so I decided to read it instead of the next October Daye installment. Plus, it was the 4th of July, so a spy novel felt like just the right thing, since the worthless oxygen-thief currently occupying Pennsylvania Avenue has basically invited Russian spies into our country to wreak havoc.


I digress.


Anyway, this is a GREAT spy novel. It's riveting and genuinely suspenseful. I don't want to spoil it for anyone, so I'm not going to talk about the ending - because for those of us who are reading spy fiction this summer, I recommend it.


It's set during WWII, mostly in Cairo, where a British officer is on the trail of a German spy who is, somehow, transmitting British war plans to Rommel as he begins his campaign to take Egypt. Because it's historical fiction, we know how it will turn out, right - Rommel is defeated in the North African campaign.


But Follett takes this bit of history and what is known and he writes an espionage tale into the gaps of it. And it's terrific.


So, I'm subbing this in for space 7, using one of my cat cards!

My July 4th Booklikes-opoly rolls - updated

Well-Schooled in Murder - Elizabeth  George A Fountain Filled With Blood - Julia Spencer-Fleming Bring Up the Bodies (Thomas Cromwell, #2) - Hilary Mantel The Key to Rebecca - Ken Follett Out of the Deep I Cry - Julia Spencer-Fleming

Today is my roll day, so I'm going to start with my normal roll:



This takes me to space #4: 


Read a book that was published during the months of May, June or July, or that contains an item that would be used as a school supply or an article of clothing or an accessory pictured on the cover.


Fortuitously, the next Lynley book, Well-Schooled in Murder, was published in May of 2007! Yippee!


First of my extra rolls:



comes up doubles, and takes me the race car. I put it in my pocket, and roll again!



which puts me on:


15. Read a book with a tree (or trees) on the cover, or that is set in a mountain community.


A Fountain Filled With Blood is set in Miller's Kill, NY, a community in the Adirondack mountains, which fulfills this prompt! That's the one book that I am for sure going to read, so that's great that I can fit it in without using one of my novelty cards!


Roll for my second extra roll:



which puts me on:


20. Read a book that features a dog or which has a dog on the cover or that is set in an area known for its lakes or on a fictional lake.


At this point, I must move onto the next Russ & Clare mystery, called Out of the Deep I Cry, which is set in Millers Kill, in the Adirondacks, and area that is both known for its lakes and which takes place on a lake.


My third extra roll:



Puts me on the BL space, which means that I go to the Wheel Decide:



which tells me to "read a book that has been on my TBR for more than a year"


So many possibilities for this one, including Bring Up the Bodies, which is the sequel to Wolf Hall, and which I bought when it was published back in September, 2012, well over a year ago.


and then because I had doubles, I roll again:



Which puts me on Go, so I collect $5.00 and roll again!



which takes me around the board, past where I started rolling, to:


7. Read a book that has a house on the cover, or that is related to something unique about your community (for example, if your community has a strawberry festival, read a book with strawberries on the cover).



Playing one of my cat cards - I read The Key to Rebecca by Ken Follett.

Happy 4th of July

Image result for happy fourth of july gif


Addressing an audience of about 600 at the newly constructed Corinthian Hall, Frederick Douglass started out by acknowledging that the signers of the Declaration of Independence were “brave” and “great” men, and that the way they wanted the Republic to look was in the right spirit. But, he said, speaking more than a decade before slavery was ended nationally, a lot of work still needed to be done so that all citizens can enjoy “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Above “your national, tumultuous joy” — the July 4th celebrations of white Americans — were the “mournful wails of millions” whose heavy chains “are, today, rendered more intolerable by the jubilee shouts that reach them.”


What have I, or those I represent, to do with your national independence? Are the great principles of political freedom and of natural justice, embodied in that Declaration of Independence, extended to us? and am I, therefore, called upon to bring our humble offering to the national altar, and to confess the benefits and express devout gratitude for the blessings resulting from your independence to us?…


I say it with a sad sense of the disparity between us. I am not included within the pale of glorious anniversary! Your high independence only reveals the immeasurable distance between us. The blessings in which you, this day, rejoice, are not enjoyed in common. The rich inheritance of justice, liberty, prosperity and independence, bequeathed by your fathers, is shared by you, not by me. The sunlight that brought light and healing to you, has brought stripes and death to me. This Fourth July is yours, not mine. You may rejoice, I must mourn…


What, to the American slave, is your 4th of July? I answer; a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim. To him, your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty, an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sounds of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your denunciation of tyrants, brass fronted impudence; your shouts of liberty and equality, hollow mockery; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings, with all your religious parade and solemnity, are, to Him, mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy — a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages. There is not a nation on the earth guilty of practices more shocking and bloody than are the people of the United States, at this very hour.

Source: http://time.com/5614930/frederick-douglass-fourth-of-july
Reblogged from Obsidian Blue


Macbeth - William Shakespeare Macbeth - Jo Nesbo Macbeth - Alan Cumming, A.J. Hartley, David Hewson

My first dive into Shakespeare is going to be MacBeth, since that was the universal recommendation.


I've bought the Arkangel audiobook, and the Folger's library text will arrive on Friday. I'm also planning on reading the Hogarth's Shakespeare MacBeth by Nesbo, and possibly the Hewson audiobook. I have 10 audible credits right now, so I can definitely afford the audiobook!