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#2024HalfWay
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vivastory
Matilda | Roald Dahl
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Book 11 of #2024Halfway is Dahl's iconic story of the patron saint of bibliophiles: Matilda. I have read a good handful of Dahl's morbid & macabre adult stories & have now read 3 of his books that can be enjoyed by all ages & in the latter category Matilda is a definite favorite. Dahl's wordplay is in top form & Quentin Blake's illustrations are the perfect enhancement to this coming of age story.

vivastory BONUS:
Patricia Highsmith's “Tremor Of Forgery.“ This is a book with more questions than answers & is the most political novel by Highsmith that I have read. The MC is a chameleon like character, similar to Tom Ripley, & this was one that I thought about for days afterwards. Highsmith doesn't hit the reader with clever plot twists but gets under their skin in very subtle ways & will have you questioning motivations. Absolutely fantastic.
1mo
Branwen This is my absolute FAVORITE Dahl story! 1mo
54 likes2 comments
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vivastory
"A Good Man is Hard to Find" | Flannery O'Connor
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Book 10 of #2024Halfway is a story collection by this problematic author. The title story is a masterpiece of tonal surprise & it is the range in registers among O'Connor's misfits that make her southern gothic stories work so well, even if she seemed to have trouble perceiving & valuing it in her own personal life.

vivastory BONUS:
AK Blakemore's “The Glutton“. I have read my fair share of horror novels in 2024, but the most visceral reading experience has been Blakemore's tale of Tartare in the late 18th C France who is able to swallow anything & everything presented to him. The reader learns how this comes about & although Tartare is initially abrasive, by the end of his story he def wins their sympathy.
(edited) 1mo
Reggie Oof A Good Man is Hard to Find. Everytime they take someone out to the bushes to shoot until the grandma is the last left. This story always gives me a shiver. 1mo
vivastory @Reggie Yes! It's her belief in the goodness of humanity, despite literally hearing her family being killed right next to her that gets to me (edited) 1mo
54 likes1 stack add3 comments
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vivastory
Run Man Run | Chester B. Himes
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Known for the Harlem Detective series, Book 8 of #2024Halfway is Himes' brilliant standalone novel of unchecked police brutality in NYC. I read this in the LOA '64-69 omnibus & it was def one of my favorites. A cat & mouse story of racial tension featuring a psychotic police officer. This was a relentless read & sadly just as relevant 6 decades later.

vivastory BONUS:
J.W. Ocker's “Twelve Nights At Rotter;s House.“ This meta haunted house horror novel is one of the best I have read this year & is one I would recommend going in knowing as little as possible. Highly recommend.
1mo
Aimeesue Nice review - Himes is so good! 1mo
Libby1 @vivastory and @Aimeesue - can his books be read out of order? I‘m putting together a list of possible thrillers for my Book Club to vote on and was thinking of adding Cotton Comes to Harlem. It‘s not the first book of the series, so do you think it can be read as a stand alone? Also, is it moa detective story than a thriller? Thanks for your thoughts! 1mo
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vivastory @Libby1 The only Himes that I have read so far is “Run Man Run“. I def plan on reading more though, esp w/ the recent release of 1mo
vivastory @Libby1 Your book club sounds like fun btw! 1mo
Aimeesue @Libby1 I think it‘d be fine to go with Cotton. It‘s been a while since I read them, but i recall there being a whole lot of character development going on from book to book. (edited) 1mo
54 likes6 comments
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vivastory
Cursed Bunny | Bora Chung
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Another favorite story collection for book 7 of #2024Halfway I was greatly impressed by the range in this collection. There was body horror, fantasy, stories that reminded me of Black Mirror at it's finest. A wide range of spec-fic with great commentary. Bora Chung is def an author I will be keeping an eye on in the future.

vivastory BONUS:
Todd Kiesling “Scanlines.“ A thoughtful, & reflective, horror novella set in the early 90s about how certain video images can impact you forever. In the novella a group of teens inadvertently see a video of congressman Benjamin Hardy kill themselves on live tv. This was based on real events. Although they are all deeply unnerved & disturbed by what they see, some feel a compulsion to revisit the video & it changes their lives.
(edited) 1mo
Hooked_on_books I LOVED Cursed Bunny! 1mo
Branwen Okay, I absolutely LOVE this cover! 😍 1mo
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vivastory @Branwen It really draws you in. Almost dares you to read it! 1mo
vivastory @Hooked_on_books I have Chung's latest on my TBR shelves, looking forward to it! 1mo
Hooked_on_books Me too! 1mo
57 likes6 comments
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vivastory
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I have been on a real short story kick all year long & one of my favorites was my reread of Gaiman's “Fragile Things.“ I wrote in a post several months ago about gems such as “A Study In Emerald,“ “October In the Chair,“ “Forbidden Brides of the Faceless etc,“ “Closing Time,“ “Bitter Grounds,“ “Instructions,“ “Feeders & Eaters,“ “How To Talk To Girls at Parties“ & “The Monarch of the Glen.“ These remain among the best I have read this year.

vivastory BONUS: Last month I listened to a lot of audiobooks, which is a bit unusual for me. What was extremely unusual was that they were almost all fiction. I listened to numerous short form works, mostly various amazon original stories (& the entire creature feature collection). One of the standouts of the month was Caroline Kepnes' “Bad Friend“. I remember I was driving through a grocery store parking lot to pick up dinner & something was (CONT) 1mo
vivastory revealed that just made me stop my car in the lot lol. A compelling story with a terrific narrator. 1mo
Branwen How to Talk to Girls at Parties is one of those stories that I feel like will stick with me forever! I read it ages ago, and still think about it often! 1mo
50 likes4 comments
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vivastory
Deadly Class: Compendium | Rick Remender
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I have not forgotten about my #2024Halfway countdown. Life gets in the ways (life=work & work related nonsense). Resuming on book 4 & using the trusty number generator is Rick Remender's 12 volume graphic novel series Deadly Class. In years past the best character work that I read were often in classics. But, this year I just can't stop thinking about the excellent character work in this series. Is it violent? Yes. Is it over the top at (CONT)

vivastory times? It can be a graphic commentary, but if it is excessive it seems to be a commentary on the excesses of American culture depicted. I have encountered A LOT of characters this year reading & retain a special place in my heart for both the music & characters in Remener's Deadly Class. (edited) 1mo
vivastory BONUS: Ragnar Jonasson's “Snowblind“. This one kept me guessing to the very end & had a fantastic sense of place. I had read Jonasson before, but “Snowblind“ really helped cement my love for international mystery/thrillers. 1mo
BarbaraBB Glas you are continuing! I liked Snowblind too. 1mo
vivastory @BarbaraBB Thanks, friend! I was at a bookstore today & saw book 3 in the Dark Iceland series. I was seriously tempted to pick it up 1mo
49 likes4 comments
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vivastory
Chain-Gang All-Stars: A Novel | Adjei-Brenyah, Nana K
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Book 3 of #2024Halfway is one of the first books I read this year & one that I immediately knew would end up as a favorite of the year. My enthusiasm for this fantastic novel has not waned. Spec-fic with a great cast of characters that reads like realism a couple of years down the line depending on what day you are looking at the newspaper.

vivastory BONUS: Togawa's Master Key. My reading rabbit hole this year has been suspense novels, largely published in the 50s & 60s. One of the first I read this year is Tagawa's brilliant novel that utilizes a simple plot device of the titular master key in a boarding house for women to tell a twisting & twisted story. 2mo
BarbaraBB I still have to read this one. Looking forward to it 2mo
Branwen I still can't get over how amazing this book is! 😱 2mo
55 likes1 stack add3 comments
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vivastory
Doom Patrol: Weight of the Worlds | Gerard Way, Mikey Way
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Book 2 of #2024Halfway is Doom Patrol. My introduction to the wild & thought provoking world of DP was via Gerard Way's terrific 3 vol. run. The exact same month I also read Grant Morrison's 6 vol. run. Although I found Morrison to be a bit too cerebral & experimental at times, I appreciated him pushing the boundaries of the form. IMO Way hit all of the right notes in his volumes & really illuminated what makes Doom Patrol so great.

vivastory BONUS: Hailey Piper's Benny Rose Cannibal King is one that I have vey recently read & posted about. At 160 pages, it's just a bit above what I would consider novella length but it is def one that you can read in a sitting or two. For those who like seasonal horror, I would recommend this as it takes place on Halloween. 2mo
41 likes1 comment
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vivastory
Yellowface | R F Kuang
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As we have a couple of weeks left in the month, I am going to try to daily post my favorite books that I have read so far. I have read a lot this year, so I will be posting only those that I have given 5 stars to. But I will also be posting a bonus favorite in the comments section as well. The order of these is by number generator.
#2024HalfWay Book 1
I somewhat recently heard in a podcast that Kuang had described “Yellowface“ as a horror (CONT)

vivastory story of loneliness in publishing. I thought that was really interesting. “Yellowface“ is a dissection of the issues surrounding identity & appropriation in publishing. I was expecting to be hit over the head, but found this to nuanced in many ways. One of the big surprises of the year for me. 2mo
vivastory BONUS: Kawaguchi's “Before The Coffee Gets Cold“ This was another real surprise for me & I was unexpectedly deeply moved by it. I'm not sure if I would have rated it quite as high, had I not read it when I did (during the winter & snowbound) but I think that our ratings are often impacted by environmental factors. While I have yet to read more in the series, I fully intend to. 2mo
KathyWheeler Yellowface seems to be polarizing, but I loved it. (edited) 2mo
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sarahbarnes I was really impressed by Yellowface, too. 2mo
BarbaraBB Looking forward to your list, I‘ll join you towards the end of June, I haven‘t read that many 5⭐️ books (edited) 2mo
Cathythoughts I‘ll look forward to your posts. I loved Yellowface. 2mo
vivastory @sarahbarnes I was really surprised by it as I had mixed feelings on the other Kuang book I read 2mo
vivastory @BarbaraBB I thought about waiting until June but I already had enough 5 ⭐books that it made sense for me to do it now. I look forward to your list📚📚📚 2mo
vivastory @Cathythoughts Thanks! It was a lot of fun going through my reading log for the year 📚📚 2mo
Reggie I love how even though at every turn June makes the wrong decision I was made to almost sympathize with her. Lol 2mo
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