Isn't this a stunning cover? I love that the script also has images within in. Strangely, I haven't read any Anne Cleeves' books before this particular one, nor have I seen the show created from this series. It's on my list! I'm just very, very behind on TV shows. The show is called Shetland (and the cinematography gorgeous because they filmed in the Shetland Islands). Well, okay, I saw the first few minutes of it, which doesn't truly count.
Raven Black is the first book in the series. I picked up the second one yesterday (it's called White Nights). The setting is the Shetland Islands which are apart of Scotland.
Shockingly (or not if you can see my TBR), I own quite a few Adichie books but I haven't gotten to them yet. I have read this one because I caught Adichie on the Daily Show and I enjoyed the interview. This title is also easy to read in one sitting because it's on the thinner side.
This book is adapted from Adichie's Ted Talk. For me, Adichie has such a lovely voice. It's one of those accents that could read that Wall Street stock ticker and I'd be content.
Well, goodness! I didn't mean to fall into a black hole. I moved house, everything is a mess, and I fell behind on free time.
I decided to change the layout of the website a bit. Maybe making the font a bit bigger. Hopefully that helps with reading and navigation. I might need to spend some time going back into the archives to make sure it all looks passable. I'll just add it to my to-do list and hope I get to it...this month.
I was shocked to see that the police arrested a man who may/may not be LISK/Gilgo Beach Killer. I suppose I was surprised because I didn't think there was much evidence that could conclusively lead to a person but apparently that was not the case! The book I read about the people who were murdered and buried in the Gilgo Beach area is called Lost Girls and is by Robert Kolker. I appreciated the intense focus on the victims instead of the purported killer (at the time of print - completely unknown). I hope this focus on the victim continues as a standard in true crime.
I read a LOT last year. Maybe I'll do a mid-year reading graph...for the year before. It was well over 300 books. Strangely, with Twitter imploding and Reddit being on strike, I've been spending less time on social media. I feel like it's so obvious to say that there is this correlation/causation between mental health and social media but since being off...I've been able to sit down and watch more TV and new movies (being less antsy). I purposefully did not join any of the new social media apps that popped up (ex: Threads) to keep my time for myself.
Papergang is a UK subscription, so I don't get it at the same time as people in the UK and Europe do. This isn't a big deal to me, but I suppose it's worth mentioning because half the time I don't know what the month is because they don't number/label it that way.
May 2021: Summer Vibes
I ~think~ I have almost all my photos uploaded, edited and done. It made sense to break them up with June by itself. Unless I find more. Ugh. The weather has been killing me so I'm so much slower than I normally am.
I've done zero laundry. I'm about to go about my life in a housecoat if this continues. Hopefully I'll catch up this weekend.
This was one of the most colorful Postmark'd boxes. It was super cute! It was rainbow themed! I love rainbows just for how pretty they are.
I'm in 2022 now! I'll probably play catch up again and hopefully be set by mid-May. I'm a little behind on my letters for the pen pal exchange too. A whole bunch came at one time which is fantastic but I'm really only to do about one a day in return.
January 2021 was a "Books for Elixer" pick, which means it was a fantasy genre pick. Every other month is fantasy, and the rest of the time is romance. I've hit quite a few fantasy posts in a row.
April's theme was a cowboy type themed. It had one of the coolest postcards I've ever seen.
Postmark'd is a subscription for mail and stamps. There's always a monthly theme. It's one of my favorite ways to get cards (although now my local indie is stocking some, so that's a relief).
April 2021: "Howdy" Postbox
I think this is the last 2021 box for Postmark'd. I think. So after half of 2022, I've caught up? I bet I'll find more stuff later. That's on me. Here we go!
November 2021: "Cooking with love"
Georgette Heyer is considered one of the earliest modern romance writers. While I've read some of her romances, I tend to like her country house mysteries. They are cozy, which is not my normal mystery-sub-genre love, but it works.
I have no idea why PBS doesn't make a whole masterpiece mystery about them. I guess licensing won't allow it. Or perhaps there's some other reason I'm missing.
So, I picked this book up because it reminded me of another book I enjoyed which was How the Irish Saved Civilization (by a different author, Thomas Cahill I think?). It's the theme of a culture, usually through diaspora, sharing literature/philosophy/art, etc.
With the Irish book, the argument is that because Irish monasteries housed writing and not gold, they were often repositories of knowledge lost by other European countries during the Medieval ages. Only through the diaspora and inclusion of Ireland (usually via British invasion) was this knowledge dispersed. Granted, it wasn't like the Middle East, Asia, Africa, or the Americas were wandering around clueless...they also had a strong literary tradition of all this stuff, but still.
This book is more on Philosophy and Education that was passed through Scottish diaspora. I took a lot of philosophy courses in college, so this wasn't totally new to me, but I think it can be a bit dry if that's an uninteresting subject. I thought it was really interesting but I'm a huge nerd. The Scottish diaspora was in tandem with the Highland clearances and with the British Empire "colonizing" the world. Colonizing or you know...invading.
NPR did an interview with Arthur Herman, which I managed to embed. I love NPR.
Herman was a coordinator of the Smithsonian's Western Heritage Program. He now a senior fellow at a Think Tank called the Hudson Institute. Think tanks can be full of brilliant people or morons. The Hudson Institute is a conservative think tank that writes semi-interesting reports and blows smoke up conservative men's assholes. So... the norm I suppose. No, seriously, look at who they give awards to and then tell me I'm wrong because I am not.
I live and work around politicians. They need a lot of smoke blowing. A small, select few need to be put in a padded room. We don't have to name names. We all know who.
I spent all of yesterday re-organizing my skincare tower. Tower makes it seem like a huge deal. It's a small little multi-drawer unit. It's small, I swear! It's just tall. I organized it the exact same. Total waste of my time but my brain likes it.
My Chronicle Book Box is my UK book subscription box. I picked the quarterly option and the mystery/thriller genre. It's really a brilliant box. There are three books, newly released included. Plus, some little goodies that tend to be quite thrilling to my eye. I've gotten "goodies" from other boxes that are crap or just filler.
They are a UK box. I do pay more for shipping but it's worth it for me. Just something to note.
I was pretty excited to begin this book. I love books about art crime (Mostly the gentleman thief variety). Art and antiquities crime is a huge international black market. Truly harrowing to think about.
Adam Worth was a master criminal, known for his frauds and deceptions, but also for stealing a painting of Georgianna Cavendish (Duchess of something) by Thomas Gainsborough. There are run-ins with the Pinkertons (before they became totally union busting jerkfaces), safe cracking, crimes across Europe and America.
Adam Worth is also the supposed inspiration for Moriarity in the Sherlock Holmes books. Allegedly. Ben Macintyre does talk about this in one of the chapters, so fun to read about it.
For the Book Drop in February, I received a romance option. I have the mix of romance and fantasy, so they switch off depending on the month. I'm behind in my reading from subscription boxes so I haven't yet read this title.
The book drop is my monthly book subscription (I also get a quarterly one from the UK). I enjoy it because my taste is different than The Book Drop's taste/selection, so I get to try new authors. Which I need help with as I tend to read the same authors over and over (no complaints...I just end up in the mystery section every time).
Anne Stuart is probably one of my favorite authors. I tend to go to her when I get in a book slump (the Ice and Fire series usually). She bounces around different sub-genres in the romance genre, so she's done romantic-suspense, gothics, historical, contemporaries, etc. This one follows a bit of noir bent (in the sense that it plays with it).
I found this one in my local used bookstore, but some of her older releases can be rough to find! Sometimes she releases a kindle version, so that's been great. She has a lot of books out...like a lot. She's a reader's dream come true. I've seen this likened to Catspaw, and I can see it. It's a bit zanier than that one to me, but I get it!
November isn't as bad as last May. I'm getting closer. Sorta!
Macy's is my only beauty box that I get. I stay subscribed because sometimes their waitlist is impossible. I tend to have more hits than misses with the box. Only giving away a few things. This month's theme was Yves Saint Laurent. I like YSL makeup, although it can be on the higher end. I also have some of their fragrances, so I was quite excited for this box.
I believe this is the second brand take over, with the first being Jo Malone. I like these high-end takeovers. The bag even matches! It's a brown/purple (almost eggplant?) YSL bag.
Ooo, we're getting into my favorite subject matter in nonfiction---artsy farsty stuff. LOVE it. I'll read anything with art theft, art forgery, and art history. Endless fascinated. I took a lot of classes in art history and humanities in college (way back when), so this book wasn't filled with all new information for me. I loved re-exploring it though.
Alexander Lee focuses on the Renaissance period and touches on the money and power that moved the art to its greatest zenith for the time. Michelangelo, Brunelleschi, and Raphael were just a few of the artists that were patronized by the wealthy and powerful (like the Popes, the Medicis, the royal families of Europe, etc.) that were in constant power struggles with each other and within their own ranks. It's truly fascinating...even if you don't like art.
Oh gosh. May 2021? The Pandemic really wrecked me didn't it?
Well, I mean it did. I stayed on my couch for most of it and binged true crime shows. Uuuggghhh....
Postmark'd is a card subscription service that I desperately need. I don't really have a nice shop for that stuff where I live. It's a bit of a bummer. Lots of monogram places...but my monogram isn't thrilling. Anyways, May 2021 had a lovely spring theme.