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What are you Reading? Jumentous July 2019 edition

I'm now reading Jeffery Deaver's The Stone Monkey, fourth in the Lincoln Rhymes series (of which I have only read the third, The Empty Chair). And if anyone's ever seen the movie "The Bone Collector" (with Denzel Washington and Angelina Jolie), that was apparently based on the first book in the series.

I'm about six chapters in and it's dealing with a Chinese human trafficker who's killed a whole bunch of people over the years and Lincoln's attempts to track him down.


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Small God of the Dozens
Just finished 'The Blade Itself' by Joe Abercrombie.
Bit of a slow start but great character development and a sharp sense of humour in the book.
I guess I might describe it as being a bit of a cross between GOT and the Dark Wheel series. Lots of political intrigue and back-stabbing in a very cynical, low magic world.
Just starting the second book...
I love this series, and the stand-alones that kinda accompany the main series. Great stuff.

I'm taking a little break from Sandman Slim to re-read Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency. Why you ask? Well, I had this idea to recreate a very Dirk-ian character in 5e. A Halfling Wildmage (or Diviner)/Inquisitive with the Lucky feat. I don't have a campaign to play him in yet, but darn it I'm writing it up anyway. I'll just have to find a way to bring the fundamental interconnectedness of all things to 5e.

I finished The Stone Monkey (very good, lots of plot twists that made perfect sense in hindsight - the best kind!) and have now moved on to The Vanished Man, the fifth book in the Lincoln Rhymes series. Apparently stage magic is going to be involved - it should be interesting.

I've also noted I'm speeding through these Jeffery Deaver novels at an unprecedented rate, devoting a lot more time to reading over the weekends than normal. That's a pretty good indicator of how well they're written: I don't want to stop reading them!



checked out the following this week:

The trial of Lizzie Borden : a true story by Cara Robertson
[sblock]The Trial of Lizzie Borden tells the true story of one of the most sensational murder trials in American history. When Andrew and Abby Borden were brutally hacked to death in Fall River, Massachusetts, in August 1892, the arrest of the couple’s younger daughter Lizzie turned the case into international news and her trial into a spectacle unparalleled in American history. Reporters flocked to the scene. Well-known columnists took up conspicuous seats in the courtroom. The defendant was relentlessly scrutinized for signs of guilt or innocence. Everyone—rich and poor, suffragists and social conservatives, legal scholars and laypeople—had an opinion about Lizzie Borden’s guilt or innocence. Was she a cold-blooded murderess or an unjustly persecuted lady? Did she or didn’t she?

The popular fascination with the Borden murders and its central enigmatic character has endured for more than one hundred years. Immortalized in rhyme, told and retold in every conceivable genre, the murders have secured a place in the American pantheon of mythic horror, but one typically wrenched from its historical moment. In contrast, Cara Robertson explores the stories Lizzie Borden’s culture wanted and expected to hear and how those stories influenced the debate inside and outside of the courtroom. Based on transcripts of the Borden legal proceedings, contemporary newspaper accounts, unpublished local accounts, and recently unearthed letters from Lizzie herself, The Trial of Lizzie Borden offers a window onto America in the Gilded Age, showcasing its most deeply held convictions and its most troubling social anxieties.[/sblock]

fml by Shaun David Hutchinson

[sblock]Tonight’s the night: Simon’s big chance to finally get with Cassie. Cassie, who he’s loved for ages. Cassie, who is newly boyfriend-free. Cassie, who just happens to be throwing the biggest party of the year. Simon’s plan is simple: He’ll go to the party, she’ll fall in love with him, they’ll make out like crazy, and the night will be a complete success.

But things don’t ever go as planned…especially when it comes to Cassie.

In two alternating plotlines, Simon goes after the girl of his dreams and stumbles toward his destiny. It’s one night, one party, and a thousand ways for things to go wrong…but a million ways for them to go right.[/sblock]

The Revenge Playbook by Rachael Allen
[sblock]Don't get mad, get even! In this poignant and hilarious novel, Rachael Allen brilliantly explores the nuances of high school hierarchies, the traumas sustained on the path to finding true love, and the joy of discovering a friend where you least expect.

In the small town of Ranburne, high school football rules and the players are treated like kings. How they treat the girls they go to school with? That's a completely different story. Liv, Peyton, Melanie Jane, and Ana each have their own reason for wanting to teach the team a lesson—but it's only when circumstances bring them together that they come up with the plan to steal the one thing the boys hold sacred. All they have to do is beat them at their own game.[/sblock]

and lastly,

Weapons of Mass Destruction: Specters of the Nuclear Age by Martin Miller

[sblock]FOREWORD by Richard Rhodes, Pulitzer-Prize winning author of The Making of the Atomic Bomb: "A unique and powerful book -- a source for our understanding and a memento mori, to remind us of where we are and what the future might hold, for good or for ill."

DESCRIPTION: The Nuclear Age properly began with the discovery of the nucleus by Ernest Rutherford in 1911, but its impact on civilization began with the use of atomic bombs against Japan in WWII. The development of atomic bombs forever changed the world. From having a single bomb immediately after the Nagasaki attack, the United States would go on to build some 70,000 nuclear bombs over the course of the Cold War. The colossal brinkmanship with the Soviet Union threatened each country's people. Why were so many bombs thought to be necessary? How did the infrastructure come about to enable the delicate business of building and deploying so many bombs? This book answers these questions and more; through high quality photographs the full flowering of the warheads and delivery systems of the nuclear age are shown in chilling detail.[/sblock]

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