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Michael_Gee

Michael_Gee

Joined May 2016

1 Big Book w/mom+1 w/seniors BC+1 w/partner for horror BC+1 bedtime Goosebumps+1 just for me. 📚🤓🍸🖤
review
Michael_Gee
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Pickpick

This replaced Green Mansions as my bedside book these past few months. I found myself picking it up when I felt particularly low or stressed. It‘s good for lifting your mood. Murakami talks about his extensive t-shirt collection in a laidback, humorous way and the result is a tender compilation that spans records, whiskey, a Goodwill store in Hawaii, & much more, including the pleasure of good design, even when the meaning is unknown.

vivastory I love Murakami's stories. I imagine they would make for good bedside reading. This is the one I read 2w
17 likes1 comment
blurb
Michael_Gee
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Couldn‘t sleep, so picked up a book we‘ve had unread for years. I read the 1st 2 stories and got Manual for Cleaning Women/Last Night at the Lobster vibes. Banner captures the resilience of small town working class gays & the spiritual vacuity of American suburbia.

But lovey moments can take place in empty parking lots. The image that sticks with me is a bat flying in and out of the light from a lamppost outside a Pizza Hut. Bleakly tender.

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Michael_Gee

Towards the end of our book club meeting one lady stood up and said: “Did any of you ENJOY reading this book or did you just analyze it while you read?!”

JackOBotts 😳 Daaaaaaaannnnng! 😆😆 1mo
Michael_Gee @JackOBotts 😆 Yup. 1mo
Aims42 Oh my 🤭 Lol 1mo
25 likes3 comments
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Michael_Gee
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Two days ago [the Potomac] had swept into this same bank the body of a young woman, but one that only the old corner, Doc Kip, could identify as young. The river and its scavenging fish had done their work.

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Michael_Gee
A Princess of Dragons | Amanda Tweten
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Just got home from the book release party.🦋 , 🫧, & 🍪

👸 🐉

review
Michael_Gee
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Mehso-so

I‘ve always loved cats and scary stories. 🌕 🐈

This was a real trip down memory lane. I remember identifying with cat-obsessed Wendy and relishing the descriptions of her transformation into a wild werecat. He nails both those elements. Otherwise the book is as schlocky as you‘d expect! LOL moment when the witchy “Mrs. Bast” is revealed to be a cat groomer whose “clients” she snatches from alleys to sprinkle with cornstarch. Okay?

Michael_Gee In the background is a portion of a Ruby Bradford calendar. 😻 She is a serious cat lover! Check out her work at Project Onward. 1mo
23 likes1 comment
blurb
Michael_Gee
The Count of Monte Cristo | Alexander Dumas

I have been on such a BUMMER kick of “blah” reads (sorry for all my “so-so” reviews 😕) that I just want to throw out a blurb and say I am loving this book. It‘s exciting! I actually don‘t know where it‘s going all the time, and it‘s exactly what I want out of a novel. 😄

LeahBergen It‘s such a great read! 1mo
KathyWheeler I loved this book. 1mo
Michael_Gee @KathyWheeler @LeahBergen oh good! Glad to hear it keeps up. Loving it so far! 1mo
cinda.marie I had to read this in high school and I loved it! 1mo
24 likes4 comments
review
Michael_Gee
The Fervor | Alma Katsu
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Mehso-so

A parable about America today told through a paranoia-thriller set in the 1940s w/archetypical characters. It bypasses the (easier) claustrophobia of an internment camp to get at the claustrophobia of being a minority in the US & how quickly the walls close in. Unlike her other novels, this one lacks the rootedness in a historical era perhaps b/c its intention is to hold a mirror to our time. More below ⬇️

Michael_Gee But it doesn‘t work for me as a novel. Many lines are the equivalent of looking directly to camera, & this along w/small inconsistencies & a deux ex machina never allowed me to fully get into the story. The message is clear but as a novel it is like a hastily built shack. You can see the builder & her world through the many gaps between the boards. 1mo
LiteraryinLawrence What a well written review! 1mo
Michael_Gee @LiteraryinLawrence oh wow, thank you! It‘s hard to distill all your thoughts into the allotted characters here. I will read any historical horror novel Alma Katsu puts out, this one just didn‘t work for me. 1mo
20 likes3 comments
review
Michael_Gee
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Mehso-so

Like a 90 Day Fiancée storyline but I found it surprisingly weighty: 2 estranged sisters come together to unentangle their father from a younger woman‘s clutches. Their frustration with their horny, hapless, selfish father is palpable. Running beneath this deceptively madcap plot (the prose is airy but the events touch on grim) is a story about grief and reckoning with your family‘s past and own immigrant journey.

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Michael_Gee
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Mehso-so

Reread this for horror book club. Our group‘s first manga! Turns out this may not have been the best choice. While Ito‘s graphics are of course stunning, the structure of the five interconnected stories was so similar that our conversation floundered. I liked the two short pieces at the end, which were odd and unexplained. This collection is repetitive but still has that blend of unsettling horror, grossness, & humor that I like in his work.

RaeLovesToRead Oh God. That's horrible 😭😭😭 I really can't cope with Junji Ito, hahaha 😵 1mo
Michael_Gee @RaeLovesToRead HA! I know. Some of his images make me put the book down and take a breather. One of the people that came to book club is especially disturbed by body horror and said this was tough for them. 1mo
RaeLovesToRead I am that person too! 😅😅 Think I would have skipped book club that week 😉 1mo
15 likes3 comments
review
Michael_Gee
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Mehso-so

This book is so weighted down with extra padding it‘s no wonder the narrative can‘t drag itself to the Lincoln Highway. Too many POVs! I ask you, yes, I ask you (so much of that kind of phrasing), why do we get Abernathy? And why do we have to see the same scenes twice? This isn‘t Rashomon.

Towles‘ style is too precious for my taste. Not a pan tho. He‘s a good storyteller & there were 3 choices that surprised me. I look forward to the b/c disc.

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Michael_Gee
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Mehso-so

A graphic novel adaptation of a final Lovecraft tale that brings together elements of his earlier works; a story of dreams and recovered memories of past lives. Lovecraft is an unusual choice. So much of the pleasure that comes from reading him is his language and the horror is lurking and ineffable. I liked seeing his descriptions put to page & appreciated the beauty, but missed the creeping horror I usually feel when reading his stories.

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Michael_Gee
Fadeout | Joseph Hansen
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Mehso-so

Continuing my streak of detective fiction, I read this re-issued novel featuring an openly homosexual investigator. I really liked this. I could see this as a Ryan Murphy show. It has a good sense of atmosphere, a cast of colorful characters, and a solid (if uncomplicated) plot w/ a tug of war between earnest optimism and defeat. It is a vivid snapshot of its time (book was 1st published in 1970). I will read the next one.

17 likes1 stack add
blurb
Michael_Gee

I have a buildup of Litsy posts from the past weeks, one of which is from when I was at Tattered Cover on Colfax (where I couldn‘t tear myself away from their unique horror section). Tagged was staff recommended so I read the shortest story in a plushy armchair. It was so vile, gory, violent, & visceral. I was horrified. And then I got to the end & I was sitting there w/tears on my face. Horror can be so beautifully surprising.

vivastory This has been lingering on my TBR for awhile & your post made me place a hold for it at the library. Looking forward to it & I completely agree with your sentiment! I'm really looking forward to the adaptation of Joe Hill's Black Phone w/ a screenplay by Cargill. 2mo
16 likes1 comment
quote
Michael_Gee
Fadeout | Joseph Hansen

I‘m sitting here going through the motions of feeling sorry for myself & lonely and forsaken. Repeating a ritual I began too many years ago to count, & perfected through a number of farewell performances. But actors wear out roles. I‘ve worn out this one. I can‘t do it anymore. The sketch wasn‘t hard when I understood it was 50% fake. When I was young enough to know ⬇️

Michael_Gee at the back of my mind there‘d be another girl soon and, if that one left, another…I don‘t know that anymore. So the fun‘s gone out of mourning. 3mo
18 likes1 comment
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Michael_Gee
Pet Sematary | Stephen King
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LeahBergen Eek! 😆😆 3mo
RaeLovesToRead Gorgeous kitty!!! 😍 3mo
vivastory 😂😂 3mo
readordierachel Uncanny 😆 3mo
30 likes4 comments
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Michael_Gee
Black Helicopters | Caitln R. Kiernan
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I don‘t want to review b/c I‘m not sure what I just listened to. I don‘t rec this as an audiobook, not because of Justine Eyre (who does a fantastic job differentiating so many characters) but b/c the story itself is so convoluted. That isn‘t a bad thing, but I think it needs to be re-read in the moment and shld involve skipping back a few pp to refresh one‘s memory. It‘s fragmented, poetic, Lovecraftian. Will I try it again though? Prob not, no.

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Michael_Gee
Fadeout | Joseph Hansen
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Her mouth sagged open. She looked the way people her age, his age, wish they didn‘t when they see themselves in the bathroom mirror first thing in the morning.

Cathythoughts Great picture 👍 3mo
22 likes1 comment
review
Michael_Gee
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Panpan

The narrative flows from one uncomplicated situation to another with an and-then, and-then rhythm that is soothingly undramatic, rather like staring out a train window at passing scenery. Our untrained genius MC Jack is universally adored by all the big hitters of the Lost Generation despite not seeming to have any discernible character trait other than naïveté. The passion for art shines most potently/uniquely thru the character Margaret ⬇️

Michael_Gee Who has the most interesting things to say about art and politics while also, poignantly, being the one character who so wants to be an artist but isn‘t seen as having the talent. 3mo
23 likes1 comment
quote
Michael_Gee

But France did not have a normal government: it had a collection of caffeinated intellectuals conducting passionate nonstop shouting matches in the former royal riding school of the Tuileries palace.

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Michael_Gee
Katherine's Wish | Linda Lappin

Thanks to Litsy, I was made aware of this short radio play inspired by the friendship between Virginia Woolf and Katherine Mansfield & adapted from the tagged book:

https://yorickradio.buzzsprout.com/1084415/10203906-radio-revelry-a-public-of-tw...

I listened to it on its release date but have been MIA from Litsy for a week or so. I have some catching up to do but my first priority was to shout out @LindaLappin ‘s work! ✍️

LindaLappin thank you so much for the listen, I appreciate the support, as will the young actors & producer who worked hard to put this together. Amazing how much work goes into 20 mins. of radio performance. Hoping to assemble another short episode from the book for the 100th anniversary of KM's death next year & also do an dramatized audiobook of my 1st novel The Etruscan with the same group. thanks again

3mo
21 likes1 comment
review
Michael_Gee
The Other | Thomas Tryon
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Pickpick

Like a beautiful horror movie (I could see this being adapted by Ari Aster), it‘s gorgeous and poetic when it isn‘t disturbing and grisly. A book that made me jolt awake in the night, convinced there was a creepy kid plotting in the corner. Carefully and precisely built. I loved this. New favorite.

vivastory Oh, man. I'd love to see this as an Ari Aster movie! 4mo
LeahBergen Yes! Such a good read. 4mo
36 likes2 comments
review
Michael_Gee
The Neon Jungle: A Novel | John D. MacDonald
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Pickpick

A look through a narrow, gritty window at a white 1950s city neighborhood decayed by addiction. Each chapter dips into the mind of a different character, all struggling basically with the choice to focus on self or community. This is woven through a propulsive story that simmers with the threat of violence & finally explodes in nightmarish murder.

Bookwomble The title being a mashup of Burnett's "The Asphalt Jungle" and Algren's "The Neon Wilderness", I had to triple-check what I was reading before I recognised it was neither ? 4mo
Bookwomble Love the cover 😍 4mo
Michael_Gee @Bookwomble How funny! I haven‘t read either of those, but this was published after them so I bet he/the publishers were banking on that confusion/association. 4mo
Bookwomble @Michael_Gee No doubt. The cover is suggestive of both the others. Burnett's is a nice heist caper, which was made into a film giving Marilyn Munroe her biggest part up to that time. Algren's is his usual dour self, telling stories of urban alienation, which I've always assumed gave The Verve the title for their song on the Urban Hymns album. Connections! ⛓🙂 4mo
26 likes2 stack adds4 comments
blurb
Michael_Gee
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This biography of Alex Dumas, the father of Alexandre Dumas, is anything but dry history. Reading about the son of a black slave who rises to prominence in the late eighteenth century is already engaging, and Reiss tells the story with a contemporary flair. Dumas‘s “new digs” are behind the Louvre and then there‘s this great beginning to a sentence: “Sexual adventure was trendy in 1784.”

36 likes2 stack adds
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Michael_Gee
The Neon Jungle: A Novel | John D. MacDonald
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I‘m just one big smell of stale bedroom and warm gin.

LeahBergen This pic! 🤣 4mo
18 likes1 comment
review
Michael_Gee
The Lady in the Lake | Raymond Chandler
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Pickpick

A mix of tawdry & art and I love it. No matter how grim or gruesome, there‘s always some description that delights, making this a fun read. The California atmosphere is palpable. The intricate plot isn‘t too fast to miss Marlowe‘s moments of introspection, showing us that beneath his blasé crust is a man holding onto hope that decency will rise above the artificiality and muck of a country morally decayed and consumed with the pursuit of pleasure.

readordierachel Amazing cover 4mo
28 likes1 comment
blurb
Michael_Gee
The Lady in the Lake | Raymond Chandler

We know she will never be available for the very fact that she‘s had sex. She will turn out to be evil, or double dealing, or truly pure but sacrificed at the altar of Good in a bleak world of Evil. The only good option is the one you let go in the first third of the novel, the beautician/reporter (which tells you all you need to know). Marlowe knows where to find her if he ever wants to be penned in by a collared deer.

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Michael_Gee
The Lady in the Lake | Raymond Chandler
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She knows the difference between good perfume and cheap perfume but more importantly she doesn‘t LIKE perfume. It is the stench of a man‘s hands; a tomcat‘s spray to mark his territory. She airily rises above it. She has had sex—but you know she only did it outta misguided lurve!! But she‘ll never be attainable to Marlowe.

Cathythoughts 👌I must reread some of these ❤️ 4mo
23 likes1 comment
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Michael_Gee
The Lady in the Lake | Raymond Chandler
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So then there is the unattainable Wild One, the femme fatale, the goddess of noir. She is to be worshiped and feared. These women come with A Past, meaning they have secret passions & powerful knowledge but also & importantly means they are Sexually Experienced, which titillates Marlowe. His interview is almost flirtatious, he calls “polite” society‘s bluff while loving that she‘s a part of it (she knows a cheap synthetic when she smells it!).

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Michael_Gee
The Lady in the Lake | Raymond Chandler
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The tame doe is rather like the wives described by their husbands: in reach and often in the way. Wives are boring, even disposable: Muriel faithful & long-suffering; Crystal, expensive to keep, much like a bratty teenager; Mrs. Almore a money-grubbing sleaze: all are sexually available, either to their husbands, gigolos, or anyone! but no husband is faithful to these domesticated females. All eyes turn from what has been had and is easily held.

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Michael_Gee
The Lady in the Lake | Raymond Chandler
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The deer metaphor an apt way to describe the simplistic & moralistic way women are depicted. Women are frequently referred to as “females,” which stresses an animalistic nature. “Little Fawns,” like the fluffy blonde telephone operator, can be amusing but are only escapism, rather like the resort. Marlowe can amuse himself flirting with the little fawn, but when it comes down to it her Bambi ways are not sustainably interesting.

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Michael_Gee
The Lady in the Lake | Raymond Chandler
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So I‘m in the bathtub (a little stoned), reading, & thinking abt the 3 noticeable deer sightings: Little Fawn Lake is the weekend getaway location where (in what is either a colorful anecdote of 1940s America OR wonderfully surreal) Marlowe encounters a tame doe walking down the road in a leather collar. Later it blocks his exit and he simply goes over the railing. At night, he is startled by a wild deer, untouchable & powerful.

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Michael_Gee
Tim and Pete | James Robert Baker
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@Reggie 💜
Tim & Pete is moving from Seattle to San Fran!

Reggie Yay!! And Greg Araki!!!! Totally Fcked Up, The Doom Generation, and Mysterious Skin are my favorites of his. 4mo
17 likes1 comment
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Michael_Gee
The Lady in the Lake | Raymond Chandler
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Chandler‘s Marlowe turns his world into laconic, disillusioned poetry. The war is mentioned on the 1st page and weaves thru the narrative obliquely. Atrocities cast a glare on the artificially of the ppl Marlowe observes, “the males in leisure jackets & liquor breaths & the females in high-pitched laughs, oxblood fingernails & dirty knuckles.” Marlowe is tough but observant, sad, sensitive. Life is a “long grim fight.”

LeahBergen What a great cover! 4mo
Michael_Gee Yeah! I got it at a charity shop just for that cover. I‘ve read it before and figured it would be worth a reread for the cover alone! 4mo
23 likes1 stack add2 comments
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Michael_Gee
The Lady in the Lake | Raymond Chandler
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The man was a hefty dark handsome lad with fine shoulders and legs, sleek dark hair and white teeth. Six feet of a standard type of homewrecker. Arms to hold you close and all his brains in his face.

sprainedbrain What a great description! 4mo
22 likes1 comment
review
Michael_Gee
Hell Hound | Ken Greenhall, Jessica Hamilton
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Pickpick

When we found out our nephew was to be named Baxter, my partner and I knew it was time to read Hell Hound! We thought we‘d give it to him when he grows up, but…we‘ll have to see. This cynical book abt a sociopathic dog and his Hitler-loving teen owner isn‘t for everyone. It is disturbing & often made me queasy, but it‘s also thoughtful and complex. I‘m impressed by what KG accomplished. It can be wry, occasionally lovely, but always really dark.

vivastory Wasn't there a movie based on this? It sounds familiar... 4mo
Michael_Gee @vivastory Yes! It is French and was called Baxter. 4mo
khooliha This was my first Ken Greenhall and it made me a fan. I still have like half of his small bibliography left, but I gotta savor these knife sharp books. 4mo
Michael_Gee @khooliha Yes!! What a great way to describe his writing. I was surprised and impressed by how different this voice was from Childgrave. Definitely want to read all his work now. 4mo
LeahBergen I‘ve read a couple of books by this author but not this one! 4mo
26 likes5 comments
review
Michael_Gee
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Pickpick

Tuttle evokes both dread & terror and horniness & mind-blowing ecstasy in this novel that reads quickly in horror-movie clarity while also being an intimate study of the loneliness of women spurned by men who see their inner lives as a threat.

I‘ve yet to read a Paperbacks From Hell rerelease that I haven‘t loved.

Detail from Giovanni Boldini‘s “Figure of a Woman” from ~1900-1910 @ the St Louis Art Museum (nice to finally revisit yesterday)

22 likes1 stack add
review
Michael_Gee
The Blessing Way | Tony Hillerman
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Mehso-so

Written with what feels like the unbridled enthusiasm of a good-hearted Boy Scout, Hillerman is (& he would agree, according to his biographer) much more interested in depicting Navajo culture and the western landscape than in his murder-mystery plot, which is vaguely wrapped up with a sort of hand-waving explanation. But it‘s short! 🐺

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Michael_Gee
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Mehso-so

Horror turns inward: After getting stuck in the head with a bat, Marco experiences a surreal series of nightmares blurring into his reality & phone calls from “Keith” who says he lives in Marco‘s basement…the horror being unable to trust your interpretation of reality. The most disturbing moment is when a character turns inside out (so gross!). What may hide inside us, in our metaphorical basements, is what is most horrifying.

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Michael_Gee
The Perfect Date | R.L. Stine
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Pickpick

Lemme tell you: You think you know what this story is, but ya don‘t. This book had no business being as entertaining is it is. Our main dude Brady is just so unhinged & Rosha‘s ruse so laughably transparent, but the writing is punchy and the plot gets increasingly bizarre. My partner and I just cackled reading it. It was a delight. Two thumbs up.

Love the cover but a better tagline would be: “Is she the girl of his dreams…or nightmares?”

KathyWheeler Adorable kitty! 5mo
Bookzombie I love your book model! 💕🐈 5mo
Michael_Gee @Bookzombie @KathyWheeler Thank y‘all! He‘s pretty cute, I think. 🐱 5mo
37 likes1 stack add3 comments
blurb
Michael_Gee
Coverup | Jay Bennett

Jay Bennett was a commercial writer able to change with the trends of the times. He wrote first for radio dramas in the forties than transitioned to television in the fifties (adapting Hamlet into a serialized “Shakespearean soap opera”) & then to editing and novel writing, writing YA novels in the 90s. This book may be trash but I respect a writer who kept at it. Knowing he adapted Hamlet does make me wonder if he saw Gatsby elements in Coverup.

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Michael_Gee
Coverup | Jay Bennett
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Panpan

Worse than usual 90s teen fare. The truncated, repetitive sentences reach a pitch of hilarity (“Some one was killed. Killed instantly without a sound or a murmur. But killed. Killed.”). Behind this hit-&-run story is a more interesting one of Brad & Gatsby—er, Alden‘s—closeted love. Bennett dips into moody teenage angst and the result is delightful (“I thought we would be friends to the end of our lives. Like the sun in the sky. Like that.”).

Christyco125 How did I miss this winner in the ‘90s? It sounds like it would have fit in nicely with all my R.L. Stines and Christopher Pikes. 😁 5mo
19 likes1 comment
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Michael_Gee
The Other Black Girl | Zakiya Dalila Harris
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Pickpick

Oh wow, I blew through this. I had to force myself to take breaks but only when absolutely necessary. Litsy reviews are all over the place! Several mention pacing issues, which I agree with. I thought 75% had the tension of a thriller but then there‘s a reveal to the reader not shared with the MC, and it slows down. Still, I loved it. It‘s so paranoid and tense and heartbreaking. Looking forward to this w/end when I get to talk abt it w/friends.

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Michael_Gee
Green Mansions | William Henry Hudson
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Mehso-so

@Bookwomble I finished it!

Over the course of months I picked this up from my nightstand. Because of this desultory approach (which I enjoyed) & b/c I‘d usually had a few 🍸, I appreciated the gorgeous nature writing & didn‘t worry too much about the scant plot so I was surprised by the intense and disturbing climax.

Bookwomble Sounds interesting. I'll have to dig it out this year! 😄 5mo
26 likes1 comment
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Michael_Gee
The Other Black Girl | Zakiya Dalila Harris

She‘d even done a little writing, just to have something to do while drinking. 🍷

17 likes1 stack add
review
Michael_Gee
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Mehso-so

This collection is a little like the written equivalent of old radio drama rebroadcasts of strange tales. It‘s fun pulp with some delicious gothic nuggets. It was an enjoyable collection to linger over (I read it over about eight months).

readordierachel That cover sure is fabulous 5mo
Michael_Gee @readordierachel Yeah, they did a great job! It was fun to read a story and then look back at the cover to see what image might correspond to it. 5mo
22 likes2 comments
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Michael_Gee
Green Mansions | William Henry Hudson
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Just learned on Instagram that Audrey Hepburn was in a movie adaptation of this book I‘m slowly making my way through. Odd!!

readordierachel I've never heard of either! 5mo
27 likes1 comment
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Michael_Gee
The Count of Monte Cristo | Alexander Dumas
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This year‘s Big Book with my mom: it‘s gonna fly by! Our first month‘s reading ended at a dramatic break, when Dantès is led into the dungeon at the Château D‘If. I think I‘m going to enjoy this adventure novel.

vivastory I have the same edition! I hope to read it this year 5mo
Michael_Gee @vivastory This edition was too attractive to pass up! 5mo
LeahBergen It‘s a surprisingly speedy read, isn‘t it? 5mo
Michael_Gee @LeahBergen Yes! Way more than I expected. 5mo
Pip2 I just read this a couple months back and the same edition! Never a dull moment, an epic story! 5mo
32 likes5 comments
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Michael_Gee
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Imagine if an elegant, eccentric aunt gave her nephew a hand-stitched one-piece made with a fine fabric and he made a nylon thong out of it and threw the scraps in her face.

5feet.of.fury Hahaha sooooo the book was better than the movie then? I‘ll have to read it! 5mo
Michael_Gee @5feet.of.fury I liked it! The audiobook version was good and only about four hours. 5mo
Reggie Lololol 5mo
21 likes3 comments
review
Michael_Gee
Pickpick

Don‘t you just love when you are telling someone about a book you just read and suddenly you start crying? Was not prepared for that. Whew. Anyway. This was a surprisingly compelling examination of grief and guilt and I think my experience benefited from not having seen the movie. As mentioned in a previous post, the modernization attempts are unneeded & don‘t succeed, esp because the gender dynamics & Vietnam-era student unrest don‘t translate.

Reggie I listened to a podcast discuss this book and thought holy hell that sounds nothing like the movie. 5mo
Michael_Gee @Reggie I watched the movie last night after finishing the book. It was funny how different it was. Fundamentally different while retaining the fragments of the book‘s framework 5mo
23 likes1 stack add2 comments