Tuesday, August 27, 2019

The House of Silk: A Sherlock Holmes Novel (by Anthony Horowitz)

Taking a break from trying to make it through the "book written in a prison" category for the Read Harder Challenge (I'm on my third book) to read a "new" Sherlock Holmes mystery by Anthony Horowitz.

He does a great job of capturing Conan Doyle's voice, and also John Watson's as the narrator. It does feel a bit like he's making sure to squeeze in all of Sherlock's greatest hits (from a clever disguise to Mycroft to a Moriarty cameo) but it comes together well. Worth a read for Holmes fans who are interested.

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Monday, August 12, 2019

Since You’ve Been Gone (by Morgan Matson)

I love a good summertime YA in the summer! Our protagonist Emily only has one friend, a manic pixie dream girl named Sloane. When Sloane disappears, leaving Emily a list of tasks to push her out of her comfort zone, she decides to try the tasks in the hope of finding Sloane again.

Emily is likeable in her willingness to slowly come out of her very hard shell over the course of the summer. The friendships that build over the course of the novel (and the romance too, of course) are charming. Weirdly there are a lot of typos in the Kindle edition. But I enjoyed this nevertheless.

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Monday, August 05, 2019

A Couple of Gossipy Hollywood Books

The Castle on Sunset: Life, Death, Love, Art, and Scandal at Hollywood's Chateau Marmont (by Shawn Levy)

Chateau Marmont is on Sunset Boulevard and has been a fixture in Hollywood since the early days. I loved reading the history of the building and the people who have stayed there, which dovetails with the history of Hollywood the place as well as the industry itself. As opposed to the second book on my list (see below) this is meticulously sourced and researched, and full of interesting gossip as well as historical perspective. Recommended!

Full Service: My Adventures in Hollywood and the Secret Sex Lives of the Stars (by Scotty Bowers)

I considered using the tags "graphic novel" and "fantasy" for this. The graphic part comes in because the sexual secrets of the stars are examined in more detail than you'd ever want, and the fantasy party because in the clear light of day, it seems like half of this has to be made-up or exaggerated.  But you go along for the ride anyway, and read about Scotty Bowers having had every kind of sexual encounter under the sun, including some very uncomfortable childhood experiences that he is at pains to mention he was totally fine with. Some of the sex secrtets get gross, but it's also interesting to find out more about Katharine Hepburn's lesbianism and Cary Grant's relationship with Randolph Scott, to name just a couple. Everyone in Hollywood -- man or woman -- seemingly met Scotty Bowers,  became his "very good friend" and then jumped into bed with him. Oh and also he was cheating on one of his wives the whole time too. This was crazy trash but who could put it down?

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