Reading & Books

Books I Read in November 2022

November was an extremely murder mystery month, apparently.

I enjoyed the two Enola Holmes movies on Netflix, mainly because I liked the actors and less so because the movies were spectacularly good, then discovered that they were based on books. So I went ahead and read the books, which are YA, but still fun and frequently fairly dark. Also, Enola Holmes is a much more entertaining character in the books than the movies.

I recently signed up at BookBub.com, which emails you every day with bargains on books from categories you select, which is where I found The Searcher and the ACF Bookens “cozy mysteries.”

The Searcher was excellent – retired American cop moves to Ireland and stumbles into a dark mystery in the quaint, country village where he settles. Easily the best read this month. I’ve really enjoyed Tana French’s other books, too, so I’m looking forward to anything else she writes.

The ACF Bookens mysteries started strong – Crossed by Death was quite good – but rapidly got more outlandish and tedious as the series went on. I assume these things come out on a yearly schedule, so they probably suffered from being read back to back to back. A lot of series are more enjoyable when you’ve had a year away to miss the characters, and these books are apparently mostly about the characters and the slice of life feel than the mysteries.

  1. The Case of the Missing Marquess: An Enola Holmes Mystery, Nancy Springer
  2. The Case of the Left-Handed Lady: An Enola Holmes Mystery, Nancy Springer
  3. The Case of the Bizarre Bouquets: An Enola Holmes Mystery, Nancy Springer
  4. The Case of the Peculiar Pink Fan: An Enola Holmes Mystery, Nancy Springer
  5. The Case of the Cryptic Crinoline: An Enola Holmes Mystery, Nancy Springer
  6. The Case of the Disappearing Duchess: An Enola Holmes Mystery, Nancy Springer
  7. Enola Holmes and the Black Barouche, Nancy Springer
  8. Enola Holmes and the Boy in Buttons, Nancy Springer
  9. Enola Holmes and the Elegant Escapade, Nancy Springer
  10. The Searcher, Tana French
  11. Crossed By Death (Stitches In Crime Book 1), ACF Bookens
  12. Bobbins and Bodies (Stitches In Crime Book 2), ACF Bookens
  13. Hanged by a Thread (Stitches In Crime Book 3), ACF Bookens
  14. Counted Corpse (Stitches In Crime Book 4), ACF Bookens
  15. Stitch X For Murder (Stitches In Crime Book 5), ACF Bookens
  16. Sewn at the Crime (Stitches In Crime Book 6), ACF Bookens
  17. Blood and Back Stitches (Stitches In Crime Book 7), ACF Bookens
  18. Fatal Floss (Stitches In Crime Book 8), ACF Bookens
  19. Strangled Skein (Stitches In Crime Book 9), ACF Bookens
  20. Publishable By Death (St. Marin’s Cozy Mystery Series Book 1), ACF Bookens
TV & Movies

Movie Night(s)

I spent Thanksgiving week watching movies (and reading books). The book list – which is, so far, entirely mysteries – will be up in a couple of days, but here’s a look at some of the movies we caught.

Slumberland

Slumberland (a Netflix Original) features Jason Momoa and some other folks. It was fun and occasionally funny, which I was expecting, and both sweet and sad, which I was not. It was extremely a kids’ movie and it shows, so adult viewers might need to cut it a bit of slack, but over all, it was a decent enough movie. Also, Jason Momoa was clearly having an absolute ball.

The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special

The GotG Holiday Special (Disney+) was 45 minutes of Christmasy fluff and gags and laugh-out-loud moments (“You can’t run from me, Bacon!”), with a sweet ending. It was also a bit of set-up for GotG 3, which I think comes out sometime next year? But not like, wildly necessary set-up, so don’t sweat it too much if you miss it. I’m sure the movie will catch you up on things. Overall, it was a hoot, and if you have access (or can get access, yarrr!), definitely give it a watch some night.

Black Adam

Black Adam (streaming and in theaters) was so disappointing. I mean, I didn’t go into it with high hopes, but I figured that even the Rock’s crappy movies are usually at least mildly entertaining because the Rock is in them. But man, even he couldn’t save this thing. Like, Dwayne Johnson’s whole thing is his charisma, which is such a palpable force that they just went ahead and made it into a super power in the Jumanji movies. And yet, somehow, Black Adam sucked all the life out of him and turned him into something about as compelling as wet toilet paper. Like, damn. That’s actually kind of impressive, now that I think about it. Pair that with a hot mess of a plot, absolutely painful dialogue, and the complete waste of both Peirce Brosnan and Aldis Hodge, and you’ve got a seriously tedious two hours on your hands.

Link Roundups & LinkDumps

Twitter, Pelosi, Trump, North Korea, more

📝 Housekeeping notes: I’m re-categorizing posts and updating the categories I use on this site, so if you spot things that seem miscategorized, that’s because they are. I may eventually get them all updated, but I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting on it to happen.

🦤 Twitter is still, technically, there. Y’know, functioning. You can go post a tweet, other people can still see it, etc. But… probably not for much longer? Musk activated Hardcore Mode on Twitter yesterday at 5pm on the West Coast and it seems like most of the remaining employees bowed out, leaving Musk with something that, by all reports, barely qualifies as a skeleton crew. The World Cup starts tomorrow, and apparently that kicks Twitter’s ass as far as site traffic and whatnot goes. A lot of people who should know about such things think Twitter may buckle under the stress and lack of help. I guess we’ll see.

🏛️ Nancy Pelosi stepped down from Dem leadership yesterday. A few contenders for the throne include Hakeem Jeffries, Katherine Clark, and Pete Aguilar.

⚖️ Jesse Benton, a Republican political strategist who was pardoned by Trump in 2020 for a campaign finance crime, just got convicted of another campaign finance crime. He helped Russian businessman, pyramid scheme-runner, and former Russian naval officer Roman Vasilenko illegally contribute to Trump’s campaign.

🍊 Hey, remember when Trump tweeted that classified photo from a secret intelligence satellite? Good times.

🇰🇵 In case you don’t have enough to fret about, North Korea just tested an ICBM that could probably hit mainland US.

🍊 Speaking of Trump, the Mercers claim they won’t be funding him this go around. Pretty sure Murdoch and the Koch brothers have told him to piss in the wind, too. With three major GOP donors telling him to go pound sand, I’d be keeping a mighty close eye on Trump’s campaign funding if I were a person in charge of such things.

🍊 Still speaking of Trump, the DoJ has appointed a special counselor, Jack Smith, to oversee the investigations over the stolen documents found at Mar-A-Lago and Trump’s involvement in Jan. 6. I’m seeing a lot of people online either complaining because it’ll slow down investigations or hush them up or some such, or treating this like the second coming of Robert Mueller, only, y’know, this time we’ll get him for sure, guys! I think that about the most it shows is that the DoJ is taking things seriously, I guess?

💉 There’s a vaccine for aggressive breast cancers going into Phase II human trials. Neat!

-fin-

Link Roundups & LinkDumps

Trump, Facebook, Pelosi

Today has been another long, busy day.