Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Mini Reviews! Sherlock Holmes Edition

 


These reviews will be mini, because these are both short stories featuring the BSBs, so here goes! 

A Scandal in Bohemia is where we first meet one Miss Irene Adler, aka The Woman. She's smart, super duper smart and a super duper character. The funsies start when a King in disguise comes to the BSBs to see about getting a photo back from Irene Adler, he knew her as an opera singer a while back and had a little thing with her. Now he's set to marry and doesn't want anything to put a damper on that plan. Though Irene could be a problem. She's got some goods on him (the photo) that could potentially cause said scandal. He just wants the photo back. 

So thusly, the BSBs. 

The plot moves swiftly, the dialogue is on point. The frustration that SH has over being bested by The Woman is immensely satisfying and I loved it very much! This was a great story, and I gave it a 5 star on Goodreads. 


The Red-Headed League  

Okay, so this one didn't really grab me as much as ASIB, but I have to say after thinking a bit more about it I like it a lot more. It's simple, it's unique (for the time) and it was a bit of fun putting the pieces together along with the BSBs. 

So it goes like this. A pawn broker with RED HAIR, answers an ad in the paper trying to enlist men with RED HAIR to join this super selective group of men with RED HAIR. His assistant is the one that shows him said ad and encourages him to apply. So he goes to check it out and what do you know, he gets selected! He gets money every week for showing up for a certain amount of hours per day and doing what he's told..which is pretty sus to be but whatever. It doesn't interfere with his main gig, so he's all about it. This goes on for a bit and he leaves his assistant to run his shop while he's gone..since it's usually slow during that part of the day. Well all of a sudden the RHL is shut down. No word, no reason, just thanks for coming now go away!

So the pawn broker goes to the boys for help and thusly here we are. It's ridiculous, entertaining, and kind of obvious what was going on but also bewildering that no one in the story seemed to question what was going on (save for SH of course). In this one, it's not the "mystery" that was the star. It was the characters themselves and how when it clicked..they all facepalmed themselves..(at least that was what played out in my mind) at the end. 

I originally gave it a 3 star but after thinking about it again, I went back and upped it to a 4 star on Goodreads.  

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Melissa Reads Sherlock: A Study in Scarlet and The Sign of Four (Reviews)



 What can I say about Sherlock that's not been said before? He's pompous, arrogant, and 99.9% of the time absolutely correct! I have always wanted to read these stories, but always was put off by false ideas that they were "too dry" or that I would be annoyed as hell by Sherlock's personality. I've watched the TV series based on the character and loved them, but for some reason I always figured that Sherlock in book form wouldn't click with me. I was totally, completely wrong! 

I started with A Study in Scarlet. Where it all begins....We meet John Watson and learn a bit about him first. Then we're introduced to the man himself..Sherlock Holmes. We see how they get to know each other, sus out each other's personalities and how they can work together. I loved this part of the story very much! You get a taste of how incredibly intelligent both characters are in their own ways, and how ridiculous they are as well. 

The plot goes like this. There's a murder, regular ole normal coppers are stumped. In swoops SH with his main man John to help out. They poke around, do some think thunking then BOOM! Murder solved, murderer caught. Simple? Easy peezy? That part yes, but it's the WHY that made this fun. 

You get a little "flash back to the past" that explains the murderer's motive. A little backstory for the wee murder plot to make sense. I did so enjoy this bit. At the time I was like, okay I get it but how will this roll around and connect back to the "present" with the murder and murderer, but it did. It did very well. 

So my first foray into the tales of the Baker Street Bros, kept me happily reading along. Good job and good story! 

I gave it a 4 star on Goodreads. 

Now onto The Sign of  Four

Fans of the Bernadict Bumberbutton series will recognize a familiar name/face, one Mary Morstan. Well Miss Mary stumbles into the BSB (baker street bros..I'm totally calling them that now) bachelor pad needing some help. Her father went missing 10 years ago, and she can't find him. After a bit of years, she starts to get a single big ass pearl in the mail. She can't explain it but she knows it's in connection with her father's disappearance, so who does she call for help? You guessed it! Mr. "I LOVE COCAINE" himself, Sherlock Holmes and his buddy John. 

Now, this was a good story, but the mystery was a bit lacking for me. It was solid as per usual, but it just didn't have the same ooomph as ASIS, to me.  I did enjoy getting a better view into Sherlock's personality. He's got flaws...oh whew boy does this man have flaws! I did think that John and Mary's burgeoning relationship was sweet and cute. I couldn't help but put Martin Freeman and Amanda Abbington's faces in my brain when I was reading it. It was adorbs! 

The mystery aspect wasn't the shining star of this story, but the character development and the addition of Toby the wonderdog push this one up from my original 3 stars to 4 stars on goodreads. 

 

Monday, March 27, 2023

Monday Post- Reading For the Week!


 I'm blowing through the Sherlock Holmes short adventures! So I have a smattering of those on the plans for this week! I'm also reading Madame Bovary, and The Shadow of Theron. 

This week you can look forward to a few things on here. 

Tuesday: Review of A Study in Scarlet and The Sign of the Four (sherlock novels)

Wednesday: "Mini" reviews for a few of the Sherlock shorts I've read so far. 

Friday: Blog tour Post for Battlefield Earth

Then starting on Saturday I will be participating in the Spring Into Horror Readathon (see post a few down) and trying to shift things up and read a few horror/gothic books! Any suggestions? 

Tell me about what you are reading this week! 

Friday, March 24, 2023

Weekend Readathon!

 

This might just become a new thing for me! Last weekend was what I would consider a rip-roaring success! So I figured why not try another one? So same thing applies for last weekend. I will have a stack of books I will graze from...here they be!



I have several of the Sherlock Holmes short stories that I am wanting to read as well. Plus, I might also add to the mix a few others. I'll update as I go, of course! I am starting today but it's a somewhat busy day, so I don't expect miraculous progress! 

Friday Update: 

  • The Five Orange Pips (SH)-FINISHED
  • Started-The Man with the Twisted Lip (SH)
  • Started-Madam Bovary
  • (Already started) The Shadow of Theron (start page-8)
Saturday Update:

Woke up just a bit later than I had planned, but now I'm caffeinated and ready to dive into some reading before work! I'm working 10-3pm CST today, so a little under 2 hours to spend reading!

Starting with The Man with the Twisted Lip (SH)
  • Finished-The Man with the Twisted Lip
  • Started-Madam Bovary

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Spring into Horror Readathon

 

Starting April 1st and ending on April 30th, I will be participating in the Spring into Horror Readathon! Click the pic above to visit the sign up page! 

Here's the details:

The one main "rule" of Spring into Horror is that you must read at least ONE scary book (which can be a thriller, mystery, Gothic novel, or similar for those who are faint of heart). I hope you will indulge the scary beyond the one book, but that is entirely up to you. It is all about the reading after all.

My as of now, list for this event!

  • The Lady in White 
  • Dracula
  • Pet Semetary
  • And Then There Were None
This list might change as the even gets closer but for now this is it! I'm trying to adhere to the theme as well as I can! 

Monday, March 20, 2023

It's Monday! What Am I Reading This Week?

 

I had a great reading weekend, so I plan on keeping the momentum going this week! 

Stay Tuned for a few reviews coming up! 

  • A Study in Scarlet
  • The Sign of The Four 
  • A Scandal in Bohemia
  • The Red-Headed League
  • The Moonstone
For my books this week:



  • A Case of Identity 
  • Murder at an Irish Bakery
  • The Shadow of Theron
I may mix in a few more SH short stories, they're just so fun and easy to read! But for now this is my proposed selection! 

What are you reading this week? Let me know by leaving a comment or linking back to your own post! 

Saturday, March 18, 2023

Weekend Readathon: Saturday and Sunday Edition

 


My lovelies! I've got work today (a 5 hour shift) and then it's FREEEDOOOMMM until Monday. I'm keeping my plate pretty much clear until then, so I can read a bajillion pages! 

To Start I plan on finishing A Scandal in Bohemia, maybe this morning. It is a short SH story after all. Then it's diving back into The Moonstone. 

After that, I'm not sure if I'll keep to the mystery theme with Murder at an Irish Bakery or jump into some fantasy? Who knows! I will update as I go today and tomorrow! 

Saturday Update:

I finished up A Scandal in Bohemia at about 7am. I still have a few hours before work, so I went right into The Red Headed League, another SH short story. 

Finished: 
























Continued: Started today on page 53



















Saturday Totals: 2 short stories and 21 pages of The Moonstone. 
-My dude and I ordered a pizza and watched a movie. I worked 5 hours of the day, so I am pleased with my progress. No work tomorrow, so I plan on getting a LOT read! 

SUNDAY 

I'm starting my reading at around 7:30 A.M CST. I plan to stay in The Moonstone for a couple of hours, then switch to Murder in an Irish Bakery (gotta keep that mystery theme going, I guess). Then after a bit of that I will flip back to The Moonstone. Yes, I know this just encourages my book A.D.D., but I can't help it!

Starting The Moonstone at page 75. 

Mid-Day Check In:

Loving The Moonstone! I took a short nap around noon, and went back to reading. I'm on page 183 now (as of 3:05 pm CST)

Haven't yet switched up yet. The story is getting soooo good so I may just stick to it all day! 

I did not finish the Moonstone. My eyeballs pretty much crapped out on me at about 935pm. I did make it to the halfway mark of the book! It is a pretty nice mystery/family drama. I think I'll finish it tomorrow! 

Friday, March 17, 2023

Weekend Readathon Update Post (Friday)

 


I am loving The Moonstone! It's going splendidly! I've spent every spare moment today (other than a nap in between work shifts, gobbling it up! Though I have bounced over to getting started with A Scandal in Bohemia. I find it strange that lately my reading has gone to mysteries! Intriguing! (Pretend I did that in a thoughtful Sherlock-y way!)

Total Read Today:

The Moonstone: 53 pages

A Scandal In Bohemia: 5 pages


Tomorrow I have a nice chunk of work, but from 3pm onwards until Monday I am freeeeeee! I will post an update tomorrow and Sunday, with that one being my Grand Finale. 

Friday Check In And Weekend Reading Plans

 


Finished: 


Got a spiffy little chunk read:


Starting today and going on through Sunday at Midnight (No more Last of Us...*cries*) I will be doing my own personal Weekend Readathon!

No rules, just read as much as I can. i.e.-any spare moment I have. I aim to finish at least one book. 

My stack includes these lovelies:

  • The Moonstone 
  • A Scandal in Bohemia (SH short story)
  • The Red-Headed League (SH, ss)
  • Murder at an Irish Bakery by Carleen O'Connor
  • The Shadow of Theron by Kathryn Troy
  • White Teeth by Zadie Smith 
I do have work today and Saturday but I am stupid behind on my Goodreads goals, so here we go! Coffee will fuel me through! 

What are you reading this weekend? 

Monday, March 13, 2023

This Week's Reading!

 Howdy! Long time, no post...right? Well, I've cut back on some things, rearranged some things, and now I think I finally have a "workable" schedule for things. Vague? Yup! No worries, what that means is you can expect more "reliable" posts from your girl from now on! Yay! 

So with that said, here be my book choices for the week!


I am working my way through the Complete Novels and Stories of Sherlock Holmes. I've already finished A Study In Scarlet and now I'm whittling through The Sign of Four. So that is my first one. Next I'll get into The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins. I haven't started that one yet! I am not expecting to finish it completely this week (unless it just sucks me right in) but I want to get a nice hunk of it read.



I am teaching myself Latin and working quite a bit this week, so I will fit my reading in where I can. I do expect that this will be a challenge, but whatever! 


So what's on your plate this week? 

Monday, February 27, 2023

What Are You Reading?

I know it's been a while since I posted, been a lazy book person. I will admit it, but I'm going to get my booty back in gear! I've got three books on my plate this week! 

First up:

Then I'm wanting to finish up Vanity Fair and White Teeth. 
I am also teaching myself Latin, which I've become slightly obsessed with lately, but I'm going to reign that back a bit so I can focus on reading. I want to catch up on my Good Reads yearly goal! I'm so so so behind on that! 

So what is it that you are reading? Let me know! 


Saturday, February 18, 2023

A Reservoir Man by L.J. Ambrosio (Spotlight and Giveaway)

 

A Reservoir Man, critics have hailed this explosive and timely work as “a must-read coming-of-age story of 2022.” Twists and turns further pull the reader into Michael’s action-packed tale, with powerful themes, from betrayal and family to secrets and identity. “Be sure not to blink because you just might miss a pivotal moment in Michael’s rousing, larger-than-life story.” -- R.C. Gibson, Indiestoday.com. “This book is a dream, a gamble, a utopia, even.” -- Kalyan Panja, Bookmarkks.

Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/61401919-a-reservoir-man

Buy Link - https://geni.us/Xc1oErq


Author Bio

Louis J. Ambrosio ran one of the most nurturing bi-coastal talent agencies in Los Angeles and New York. He started his career as a theatrical producer, running two major regional theaters for eight seasons. Ambrosio also distinguished himself as an award-winning film producer and novelist over the course of his impressive career.

Follow him at:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ljambrosioauthor/

Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/louis.ambrosio

Twitter: https://twitter.com/authorlambrosio

Website : https://ljambrosio.blogspot.com/



GIVEAWAY DETAILS:

The Author is kindly offering up one copy of his book. To enter, please leave a comment below! I'll choose one winner from the lot. 


This Post is Brought to you by: 




Facebook Blogger Group - Zooloo's Book Tours Blogger Group

Friday, February 3, 2023

A Winter's Respite #Readathon (Month-long) and an Impromptu Readathon This Weekend for Me!

 



I am waaaaay behind on my reading goals, so from now until Sunday at midnight I will be doing my own little private read-a-thon! I have work this weekend but anytime I am not sleeping or working or eating I will have my nose in a book! I'm aiming to get at least three books finished by Sunday! Can I do it? ...probably not, but boy would it be swell if I did!

So starting out I've got a copy of A Tale Of Darkness by Jacob Ruder. It's a fantasy book, by a new author. It looks to be a quick, yet good read. I've already cracked into it! 


**Edit: I did not know that A Winter's Respite was happening! I've just signed up as this will be a good way for me to catch up on what I'm behind on! Click the pic to go to the readathon page to sign up too! 


Update: This was a quick read. So book 1 down already! Review will come soon! Now onto the next one! Woot! 
Next up: 
I'm going to try to make a very big dent in Vanity Fair! I'm already 100 pages in, but this is a BIG book!



I will not make multiple posts, but keep this one updated as the weekend rolls on! Wish me luck and all that jazz! 

Monday, January 16, 2023

What's Up? It's Monday! Reading Plans and a Bit more!


 So a few things I've been noticing as this year has started off. I make plans to read and life gets in the way. Boo! I'm behind on my goodreads goal, not for lack of want but lack of time. I think I might adjust if I can. I'm also going  to NOT plan things out as strictly as I have been, it just makes it seem like a chore and not a pleasure. 

So this week I'll be dipping in and out of the few books that I've been chugging through. The Princes in the Tower, Vanity Fair, and Adam Bede. So far all of them are good in their own way and I'm enjoying them. I will allow myself to pick up whatever floats my boat otherwise during the week. My goal this week is just to READ MORE consistently when and where I can!

Non-Bookish things:


I wouldn't call myself a "gamer" per se but I do have a few that I have played and loved tremendously. One of them being The Last of Us. I won't bore you with the whole story (you can read it here) but the games (at least the first one) has so many amazing things about it. There's great storytelling, great character development and wonderful gameplay. It's one of the best, in my opinion, post apocalyptic video game ever made! I was hopeful and yet cautious when I heard the news that they would make it into a tv show adaption. I was concerned by the choices for the main characters, Ellie and Joel, because their chemistry and relationship is what drives the main story. I love Pedro Pascal and I liked Bella Ramsay in their previous roles, but couldn't click with them as two of my fav video game characters, at least from the promos. So I went into the show with trepidation.

From the moment the show started, I was grinning from ear to ear. I do love that they got the look and the feel of the games on point. I loved (and cried)  the fact that they got Joel's relationship with his daughter Sarah (a main personality trait for Joel) so so so perfect. I was so geekily happy that they slipped in a few of my favorite lines from the game into the show. It's only been one episode but you can tell that the whole team loves the source material and want to do the best job at translating it into a different form of media, and for that I am very pleased. I have gone from trepidation to elation and very hopeful that the show will continue to do a good job with one of my favorite games. I'll keep watching!

Did you watch? What did you think? 

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

My Thoughts: Burn (The Last City) by Dylan Steel

 

Book Blurb:

Alphastad. The last city left standing. A refuge for a remnant of humanity. Until it isn’t.
Charlie lives on the streets — the lowest level in a city of towers. The government doesn’t care about her existence — not like if she were an upstanding citizen living on a middle or upper level. To everyone above her, she’s forgettable scum, utterly insignificant… which is exactly what she wants.

The streets of Alphastad are dangerous. Charlie’s only survived them the last three years by pledging her loyalty to the leader of her sector and by keeping her past a secret.

But when a riot breaks out, the government retaliates by cutting off the food supply and transforming Alphastad from Earth’s last refuge to a tomb. As a street runner, Charlie can smuggle in rations — if she’s willing to risk the secret she’s already killed to keep.

My thoughts: (No Spoilers)

This book started off with a lot of action, a lot of vague world building, and a handful of characters being introduced without much in the way of explanation. It was a little confusing to be dropped into what seemed like the middle of an action movie type plot. However, we got to "meet" the main character Charlie and her friend Harper and some of the others in her sector. 

Charlie is a tough girl. She's definitely earned her way up to the top, but also still has some softness. She barely avoids being a stereotype by actually being a decently written character. Her past is vague, but we know that it's kept her moving and kept her on the lower levels. 

The world building is dropped in bits and pieces, at least at the start of the book. We know it's a post apocalyptic world. We know that people are segregated. The lower class is at the bottom and the higher at top. Food is scarce, water is scarce..at least for the lower classes. The whole shebang is ruled by a man called the Prime. 

Let's talk characters shall we? I've already mentioned Charlie. She was decently written. Soft and tough. I liked her. She could have been tooo cliched, but something about her kept her from going that direction. Her best friend Harper, doesn't get much page time but she's cute, loyal and lovable. Then we have Luke. At first I was rolling my eyes as he seemed to be set up for the "enemies to lovers" trope, but I was pleasantly surprised! He too was well written and fun. 

I will say that yes there are some of the common tropes in this genre, however; I found myself looking past that at the characters and the story that was being told. The twists were somewhat surprising and I can honestly say that I didn't see one of them coming. The ending set up the next book perfectly. 

All in all, I liked the book. I will most likely read the next in the series and will do so happily. 

Monday, January 9, 2023

What Are You Reading?


 Hello my lovely friends on the interwebs! It's Monday again and you know what that means? But first, I'll give you a lil update on last week's reading!

  • Adam Bede-I really am enjoying this. I didn't think I would when I started. I'm a little bit (okay a lot) behind the reading schedule but I am tackling this like today! I wanna catch up!
  • Vanity Fair-There is no set schedule other than the deadline of March 31st, so I am well on track for this one. 
  • The Hobbit-Poor Bilbo, I haven't really started on this one. 
  • Burn by Dylan Steel-this was a review copy that looked interesting. I finished this one yesterday and you can expect the review up tomorrow. It was good! 
So onwards to what will be read this week!

I will still be chugging along with Adam Bede, The Hobbit, and Vanity Fair. But my main focus will be on reading and reviewing The Snow Hare by Paula Lichtarowicz and catching up on the read-a-long bits for The Princes in the Tower by Alison Weir. 



Monday, January 2, 2023

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

 

Hello everyone! It's Monday again, so you know what that means? I've got quite a lovely bunch of books that I am cracking into! I've finished the LoTRs series! Woot Woot! So I've decided to dive into some classics! 

Here's what's on my plate this week:

(Reading a chapter a day) 

(A goodreads read-a-long) 


Sunday, January 1, 2023

Happy New Year!

 

Out with the old and in with the new! Happy New Year everyone! I'm kicking off 2023 with a bit of a personal readathon! I'm spending the day getting as much reading as I can in. I'm also starting a challenge read-a-long too! 

I'm going to finish up The Return of the King today. I'm also going to start on a review book AND I'm getting my chapter in for the read-a-long!


The readalong is The George Eliot: Chapter a Day hosted by One Catholic Life. I'll post updates on this as I go along and have any thoughts on the readings. By the end of the year I should have 6 of her works finished! (You can find the schedule for the readings/books on the link) 

First book we're going through is: 


I've also set my Goodreads 2023 challenge! I'm aiming for 115 books this year! Add me as a buddy! 

I have also started up a Bullet Journal for 2023, I aim to be more organized and productive. I'm going with a minimalistic approach so I can focus more on getting things done than getting crafty! 

With all that being said, I do hope that you all have a great day! I'm looking forward to all the bookish goodies that will be coming up in the new year!