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stretchkev

stretchkev

Joined November 2019

LibraryThing member stretch

TinyCat library

Stuff will be read. That is all that is promised.
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Maeve Fly by CJ Leede
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stretchkev
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Pickpick

A very thorough history of horror literature through the 20th century. All the major influences and authors are covered here. I've added a ton of backlog to my own reading list. There's definitely some omissions here and there but it would be impossible to cover every author. Only wish Nevins highlighted more translated works in the horrors from other countries, so many good stories we are missing. Perhaps that says more about publishing.

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stretchkev
Unboxed | Briana Morgan
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Mehso-so

Not the strongest drama ever. But a mostly fun play about losing sight of the important things in social media driven ecosystem.

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stretchkev
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Panpan

Most like this more than I did. It was all too predictable to get truly immersed in the story. It is well written, just wish she had twisted the trope in a new way.

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stretchkev
Whalefall: A Novel | Daniel Kraus
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Pickpick

A very unique fact paced retelling of Jonah and the Whale. Claustrophobic in both the Whale and family expectations. Really well done for a concept that is hard pull off within a modern context.

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stretchkev
Nails and Eyes | Kaori Fujino
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Pickpick

Fujino plays and twist horror tropes in beautiful ways subtle ways. It's biggest flaw is all the stories could be longer.

Need more Japanese horror in bookish life.

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stretchkev
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Panpan

Mostly forgettable. But quick read, not much stands out in this long short story.

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stretchkev
The Consultant | Bentley Little
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Bailedbailed

Little's stuff always gets weird, but never in interesting way.

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stretchkev
Conjuring the Witch | Jessica Leonard
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Pickpick

This is a pitch perfect. Small town, small minded religious with horror. Could not have come to a better end.

Supernatural but not full witch-y stereotypes. Was the kind of witch horror I have been looking for, for a long time

ericarobynreads I need to read this soon!! I own a copy! 10mo
29 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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stretchkev
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Mehso-so

Rincewind and the luggage are great characters. The sarcasm and general story lines are good. I should like these stories. I think why these are just meh for me is that it lacks the distinct place, like the Chalk or Ankh-Morpork to anchor the story, making it all feel unmoored.

The Witches series feels much the same to me, with the Tiffany Aching series making the correction to the amorphous settings

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stretchkev
Bad Vibrations | Lucy Leitner
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Mehso-so

Great new-age wellness cult honor setup, but when the action kicks off it falls flat for me. The Villains felt too cutout and didn't match the deep setup, another novella that could have used more room to breath.

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stretchkev
Rape a Love Story | Joyce Carol Oates
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Pickpick

Deeply dark and deeply raw.

I think I have finally found my Oates wheelhouse. The criminal revenge tales.

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stretchkev
The Short Timers | Hasford Gustav
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Pickpick

A remarkable and harrowing novel about the Vietnam War. A raw semi-autobiographical account capturing the brutal dehumanizing effects of war. The pacing is intense and chaotic fitting the narrative perfectly. It is quite the novel.

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stretchkev
Yellowface | R F Kuang
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Pickpick

At times a cutting satire on the publishing machinery and who gets to tell certain stories. At others overwrought. The characters are two shallow for the who gets to tell what kind of stories to hit. Still well written and an opening for a discussion.

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stretchkev
Lute | Jennifer Marie Thorne
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Panpan

Folk horror is always a tough subgenre for me, never quite connecting with it. Lute fits the me not connecting with premise which is fine, however this book isn't just meh, but is in the bad camp for it's awful, obnoxious terrible American narrator that we are stuck with. She is both naive and a bit daft which makes the plot jumpy and provides 0 insight into the characters we are supposed to empathize with or something. It's direction less at best

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stretchkev
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Mehso-so

A fun campy horror convention turned on its head. Not the most memorable but wasn't badly written. A little thin and could have been expanded into a longer more drawn out story.

Reggie Yeah, the one I read from him was a little meh. He seems so nice but I‘m not inspired to pick up another one by him. 13mo
stretchkev @Reggie Conceptually it was a good story, just too short after the buildup. Cool guy on interviews so I'll give Clown in the Cornfield a go but be quick on the DNF if it goes in the same direction. 13mo
27 likes2 comments
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stretchkev
Biogenesis | Tatsuaki Ishiguro
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Mehso-so

Hard hard science fiction stories. Told in report format 4 strange case studies reading like real biological studies. The drama is in the science. No plot, no interpersonal character angst. Not for everyone.

Liz_M “Not for everyone“ 😂 Thanks of the warning. 😁 1y
32 likes1 comment
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stretchkev
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Panpan

Good slasher bones and great setting. Ruined by stoner dialogue, too much sarcasm, and a villain with the dumbest reasoning for spree killing ever.

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stretchkev
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Pickpick

Great addition to the series. There are now a couple lose threads that I hope get tied together in the next school story!

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stretchkev
Lemon | Motojirō Kajii
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Pickpick

Short Story

A unique and quit metaphor about death and dying.

Realistic reflection on the decay, loneliness, and even small joys on the process. Not the most comforting read ever, but a worthwhile one.

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stretchkev
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Mehso-so

Mostly good. A more or less a how to guide for becoming an active listener. Wanted a bit more science or objectivity to this and a bit less biographical anecdotes. Not bad but didn't really live up to the promise of the synopsis for me.

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stretchkev
I Am Legend | Richard Matheson
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Panpan

I am not a vampire guy, but Matheson found a way to make them even more tedious and boring. Hated the weirdly horny alcoholic main protagonist and everything he did and said.

Feels like a zombie book but he wanted to twist with dumb vampires. It would still be boring but would make more sense.

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stretchkev
Untitled | Untitled
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Books on the Freezer prompts. Not an official graphic but it'll work for now!

Couple of these are going to be a challenge to find books for 😅

Reggie I don‘t do challenges but this looks like fun. 1y
stretchkev @Reggie yeah, this is as close to a challenge as I get. It's far more passive to see how the horror I read fits the prompts and fill the gaps as needed. Has expanded my TBR to include something other depressed/abused children and slashers. 1y
26 likes2 comments
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stretchkev
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A fun challenge. Found I kept to a couple of categories and never really touched the YA one. Hope Books in Freezer comes out with another horror challenge for 2023. I like this one it's pretty easy to follow lol. Or I might have to find something else like it.

thegreensofa I wish I was strong enough to read Horror. That looks fun! I wonder if it would have worked for Thrillers. I‘d probably be the same as you with no YA ticked off too. 1y
stretchkev @thegreensofa horror and thriller are so close that I think all but the monster can be swapped easily, it did force me to branch out a little. It is fun to stretch a little within the genre otherwise I think I'd stick too closely to a narrow sunset and burn out quick. 1y
thegreensofa You are so right! The two are very close. Maybe changing Monster to Animal could do it. I burnt out on Thrillers and started Japanese style thrillers to shake up a bit. And I agree to branch out reading challenges (and surprise subscription box!) are my superpowers 😁. 1y
Bookzombie I picked this challenge up about mid-year last year and missed it by one too. Horror novel with a black protagonist. 1y
25 likes4 comments
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stretchkev
Untitled | Untitled
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Pretty good year! Happy New Year y'all!

#Top22of22

Ruthiella Happy New Year to you too! I also found this one amazingly good 1y
stretchkev @Ruthiella Really was on of my favorites of the year. Fernandez book deals a lot 9f the same themes, go back and forth on these as favorites of the year. 1y
Reggie Crossroads and FantasticLand!! Happy New Year! 1y
27 likes3 comments
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stretchkev
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Pickpick

Four loosely related mysteries taking place within the police force of a metropolitan Prefecture. The stories deal largely with the internal machinations of the force. Why certain personnel refuse to step down, minor scandals, ambition, and politics navigating a bureaucratically dense system.

These vignettes are told in a very Japanese style, full of proper etiquette and deference paid to superiors. Each taking a slow and twisty turn.

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stretchkev
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Mehso-so

Maybe I've read too many of these type books, but I found the big twist predictable. Not a bad story if a bit drawn out in places. Well drawn up for the twist in the plot, even if I saw it coming.

Still mostly enjoyable.

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stretchkev
Chopping Spree | Angela Sylvaine
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Mehso-so

I do like the Rewind or Die series, they are unapologetically campy horror that is short and to the point. Perfectly short slashers on a theme.

Camp Neverland - Campy witch story seeking revenge against the men/boys that have done them wrong. An actual witchy horror, which doesn‘t come that often. I bit eye rolling as a scientist reading about astrology type jiggery pokery.

Chopping Spree - twisted subversive 80s mall slasher. Great playlist.

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stretchkev
Dear Laura | Gemma Amor
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Mehso-so

Creepy pen pal stories are always a bit hard to pull off. This one is solid, the letters will put you on edge. The story around the letters lacked the details necessary to land the impact. It was an almost there book for me

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stretchkev
Go Down Hard | Ali Seay
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Pickpick

Reverse hunter-hunted story, uniquely told. Fun a readable slasher with a predictable ending but hella good ride. A total page turner.

27 likes1 stack add
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stretchkev
Only The Stains Remain | Ross Jeffery
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Pickpick

Jude and Kyle, close brothers, suffer horrible abuse from their uncles after the tragic death of their mother. The abuse is brutal, destroying any remenants of the childhood they had left. As an adult Jude seeks violent retribution. The revenge is sweet, liberating, freeing.

28 likes1 stack add
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stretchkev
Administrator | Taku Mayumura
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Mehso-so

Series of stories of future space governed by a administrator regime with a complex robotic structure. Highly contemplative, admins thinking about their role, their problems, thier unique worlds, their future, thier purpose. No conflict, no plots. Just a lot of contemplations. Not a book most will like.

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stretchkev
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Pickpick

Fated to be murdered from birth a pretty girl must try to make life. All the while people close to her violently pass. Reverse 4th wall breaking thriller. It's an indictment that it'd never get published in the mainstream but it should Yardley deserves a wider audience. A dark and original fairy tale full of fourth wall breaking explores the intricacies of destiny, death, beauty, personal relationships, and everyday life.

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stretchkev
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Bailedbailed

Yes, match fixing is bad and a thing in soccer. Corruption at the highest level taints the sport. Trouble with Declan Hill is that he is a crime reporter that wants the organized crime part of match fixing to be far more sinister than it actually is, far too conspiracy driven for my taste.

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stretchkev
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Pickpick

A very different coming of age story. A twelve year old boy determined to take part in a spelling bee and achieve one proud moment in his young life will ignore his drunk, abusive mother's death until after he achieves his goal. He just wants one proud moment before he disappears into the system. For days she rots in a festering house while the young boy continues to fend for himself and prepare for his big moment.

Reggie Jesus!! And also: stacked. 2y
23 likes1 stack add1 comment
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stretchkev
Little Dead Red | Mercedes M. Yardley
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Pickpick

A modern day retelling of “Little Red Riding Hood“ of a young girl disappearing on her way to taking soup to her grandmother in a nursing home. Along the way she is preyed upon by a wolf she is all too familiar with. The mystery that unfolds and the actions of desperate mother seeing vengeance is a well written, perfectly paced, and twisted tale. Yardley has done this retelling justice even if the ending diverges from the original.

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stretchkev
My Bucketlist | Axel & Ash
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Bit of a TBR bucket list of some long-term books I want to get off the pile in next year or two. No real timeline to this, a reminder for things not forget.

RaeLovesToRead Love this... I need to make a Book Bucket List too! 😄 Neuromancer was seriously pants though...🤭 (sorry 😅) 2y
stretchkev @RaeLovesToRead I think it might be a bust too... Even if it is a DNF it still off the list 🙂 2y
22 likes2 comments
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stretchkev
Wordy Shipmates | Sarah Vowell
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Mehso-so

Two for One:

Laserwriter II: A very New York story; a New York of a certain time and place. Good story but I am very much not the New Yorker from that time or place.

Wordy Shipmates: Humorous recounting of the words spilled by the early colonists. Tries too hard to laugh out loud funny. Falls a bit flat.

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stretchkev
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Pickpick

A very comprohensive overview of the modern understaning of the peopleing of North America. It is expert account of the most current scientifc, cultural, and archeaological findings from the past right to the present. Can be dense she does not shy away from scitenific jargon, but isn't too academic to be outside the general audience grasp. Although it took me a minute to remeber all those lessons on DNA.

26 likes1 stack add
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stretchkev
Death Sentences | Chiaki Kawamata
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Pickpick

Death Sentences is a genre bending, page turner of a book that is impossible to fit into a box of any kind. Part hard boil detective, part literary survey of the surrealist movement, part dystopian science fiction, part thriller, all tied together by a Ring like plot device that is somehow incredibly readable.

BarbaraBB It sounds great but difficult too! 2y
stretchkev @BarbaraBB The surrealist bits are pretty surface level, mostly there to add a bit of flavor, nothing too difficult. I no nothing about surrealism, besides learning a few names and a litany of “interesting“ deaths I'm still pretty clueless about them. Certainly a more cerebral aspect to the story than a typical thriller but not all that intellectually taxing either. Not everyone will be a fan of the stilted Japanese writing style. 2y
BarbaraBB I mostly love that style. Thank you for explaining! I‘ll stack! 2y
27 likes1 stack add3 comments
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stretchkev
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Bailedbailed

This one was too experimental for me to get a handle on.

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stretchkev
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Pickpick

While recovering from a nervous breakdown caused by her previous employment, an unnamed narrator takes a series of temp jobs. Looking for a perfect job that isn't really a job, more a simple task. With each new job requiring the narrator to become more emotionally invested, even as the job description becomes less challenging.

Really, this story is Tsumra's subtle exploration of Japanese workplace relations and entrenched gender bias.

Ruthiella Sounds great, though it also might hit a little too close to home. 😬 2y
21 likes1 comment
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stretchkev
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Pickpick

Such a well written book, highly academic account of the very beginnings of Aum Shrinikyo to the destructive cult it has become. A study in the gradual turn to violence by a charismatic leader is universal and not unique to this one cult. There is something to be learned about all such movements from this incredibly thorough but readable study of a new religious movement turned sour.

Terrible cover.

Hazel2019 Lol yeah the cover could use some work. 2y
17 likes1 stack add1 comment
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stretchkev
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Pickpick

A guy wrench account of a doc/victim of the days' after the atomic bombing of Hiroshima.

A personal diary not meant for publication it has a remarkable literary quality.

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stretchkev
Seven Japanese Tales | Junichiro Tanizaki
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Pickpick

The tattooist is about control, exacting pain - creating works of art. After meeting a woman of formidable potential, all the power is shifted to her. He loses himself to her and becomes the subjugated. Having withstood the pain with grace, the young woman rises to become like the women of the paintings, to reach her true potential.

This was my first bit of fiction from Junichiro Tanizaki, and I was blown away, great story from beginning to end.

Cathythoughts Great review! I never read The Makioka Sisters yet ( I‘ve had it awhile) so I‘ll stack this one 👍🏻😁 (edited) 2y
Graywacke Yes, great post! A new author name to me. 2y
24 likes1 stack add2 comments
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stretchkev
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Pickpick

A group of misfits use their unique skills to deliver the dead to their rightful resting place even if it entails some righteous retribution. Twisted, darkly comic manga that is graphic and is basically all the content warnings.

Digged every episodic story, and look forward to dipping into this series from time to time.

WARNING: graphic and doesn't shy away from horrible humans. Not for everyone!

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stretchkev
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Mehso-so

A bit too cozy of science fiction for me. Plus, I actively hate the robot. Think I need a story with a bit of teeth to keep me hooked.

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stretchkev
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Pickpick

I was never a dinosaur fossil kid, coming late to geology I got to fall for this little guy => the Trilobite.

Existing for some 270 million years, with 25,000 species, makes this in my book one of the coolest animals to ever roam the sea floor.

Full of spectacular pictures, this recently published this book is a definitive, well written reference to everything Trilobite, I mean everything from origin to what we understand about their color.

Graywacke This is cool. What do we know about their color? 2y
stretchkev @Graywacke with some recentish examples cross-sectional analysis has revealed coloration striations that indicate the mottling, and even some of the exotic coloration with in the fossil record are in fact valid and not just hallmarks of the fossilization process. Obviously, the exoskeleton coloration is altered by the fossilization process but with new techniques and well-preserved examples are shedding light on camouflages, sexual selection, etc 2y
stretchkev Any conclusion about colors and what they mean of course is a contentious topic with tons of debate. Still interesting to see the state of the science.

There are all kinds of things that I learned about Trilobites from this work that can't quite be covered in a Litsy review.
2y
See All 7 Comments
rockpools And this right here is one of the reasons I love Litsy. Super fascinating randomness! 2y
LiteraryinLawrence Trilobite will always remind me of the show Friends. 😋 2y
Graywacke @stretchkev of course. I‘ll have to hunt down or wait for a longer review from you. I‘m taking home trilobite mottling. Lovely detail to imagine. 2y
stretchkev @Graywacke Plan on getting something up on CR as soon as I find some way to post more of the beautiful 'examples' for general interest. Got to figure out an easy hosting site for multiple pictures at once. 2y
26 likes7 comments
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stretchkev
Horrorama | Lucas Mangum, Matt Harvey, A S Coomer
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Panpan

A collection of 3 novellas inspired by B horror type movies. Maybe too inspired. These were cheesy side for me. Straight bargain bin B horror - the second story was probably the best of the 3. At least it didn't devolve into cheesy plot devices like the others.

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stretchkev
Untitled | Untitled
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Quick half year check-in on the BIF 2022 Challenge. A bit behind but I think I have this covered by the end of the year.

vivastory What did you think of the Hightower? I haven't read it, but I'm intrigued.... 2y
stretchkev @vivastory It was really well written and good story about how far a mother's grief will drive her. One of the best body horror/ghost stories I've read in a while. Read it in a single sitting. It'll be on the list of the best reads of the year, but not sure if it'll be a favorite book list of all time type of read. Should review it here at some point lol.

I have her other book on the TBR, so hopefully her quality stays strong.
(edited) 2y
BeeMagical I love the name of this challenge😂👏🏻 2y
stretchkev @BeeMagical it's a great podcast for adding an endless amount of book recommendations! 2y
vivastory Thanks! I just placed an order for it. I have really been enjoying indie horror authors the past few years, so looking forward to it. 2y
12 likes5 comments
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stretchkev
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Pickpick

Akutagawa is a masterful short story writing. Translating the Dostoevskys' Parable of the Onion into Japanese cultural setting was so, so well done. A bad person saved from himself by making better choices, and the consequences of selfish choices, what compassion really means. A lot to think about in such a compact story.

Graywacke Cool 2y
18 likes1 comment