BW31: True Crime
Feeling ambitious, I decided to make the peach pie totally from scratch. An hour and a half later, from making the crust to pealing the peaches to fluting the dough edges. Not perfect or pretty but I did it. It was delicious!
I hadn't planned on July being my reread month but once I started reading the first book in the Armand Gamache series, decided to read the whole series. Discovered there were a few in the middle I hadn't read so thankfully for Kindle Unlimited was able to read those. Love the cast of characters, the mystery playing out in the midst of some personal crisis, how they solved the crime. After a while the descriptors attached to some of the characters got a little old but other than that, each story's killer was unique. There were some surprises and red herrings to throw every one off. All in all, enjoyed the series and now have to wait until November for #18 A World of Curiosities.
Started one of Jennifer Estep's newest series A Sense of Danger. Good so far.
James M's review of THE DARK KNIGHT RISES (2012)
Well, this is it.
After seven years and two movies, we've reached the end of the Christopher Nolan Batman trilogy starring Christian Bale, the series of Batman movies that brought the Dark Knight himself back to his darker roots and reinvigorated Batman for a new generation of audiences in an era where superhero movies were on the rise in popularity.
And THE DARK KNIGHT RISES, our movie we are covering, came out in the same year as THE AVENGERS, the very film that really ensured the superhero craze that is still going on to this day.
Following the battle with The Joker and Harvey Dent/Two Face's death in THE DARK KNIGHT, Batman faces his greatest trial yet when Bane arrives in Gotham City to destroy it. The battle pushes the Dark Knight and his allies almost to the breaking point with Bane and his goons taking control of the city and threatening it with destruction, even Batman's taken out of commission for a time.
But in the end, Batman gets back up and Gotham rises up against its oppressors. And after a long-fought battle, Bane is defeated and Gotham is saved with it's dark protector seemingly sacrificing himself until Alfred discovers later that Bruce is still alive and has hooked up with Silena Kyle aka Catwoman, a perfect ending to a decently-made trilogy.
What else can I say about the movie?
Christian Bale's acting was the best part of the film alongside Michael Caine's portrayal of Bruce's butler, even Gary Oldman nailed it as Commissioner Gordon. And you could say this was Tom Hardy's first comic book movie role, playing Bane, almost six years before he played the role of Eddie Brock/Venom.
The action in this movie is perhaps the most well put together in any action movie, especially superhero films. You gotta love the fight choreography as well as the musical score and how well the tone is handled with the story, you can feel suspense at nearly every turn to a point where you're worried about the future of Gotham by the end. I wasn't worried, I knew that our heroes would be fine.
Is there potential for more stories set in this universe?
Maybe, but for now, let the Nolan-verse version of Batman and his crew have their happy ending. However, rumor has it that Bale's Batman may show up in THE FLASH, which is coming out in 2023 and will be about exploring the multiverse. Michael Keaton's version of Batman is coming back, so why can't Christian Bale's version of Batman make his return as well?
Overall, this trilogy, along with so many other superhero films and film trilogies, is the best one yet. This film deserves the love it got at the time and I say the score is a ten out of ten just as the entire trilogy deserves that big old 10/10. Mr. Nolan, you were amazing. And Bale, congratulations on playing your role in making Batman a dark hero again.
Now, we rest.
James M's review of Doctor Who: The Legend of the Sea Devils
Sorry for the delay, Whovians.
Today, we're here to discuss/review LEGEND OF THE SEA DEVILS, the Thirteenth Doctor's penultimate episode before the big one and the second special of 2022 after the New Year's Eve of The Daleks episode.
In this serial, The Doctor, Dan and Yaz visit a Chinese town under siege from the Sea Devils and have to team up with a pirate queen in order to defeat them. Despite all the odds against them, they saved the world and defeated the group of Sea Devil pirates causing trouble while The Doctor's relationship with Yaz is explored even further. That's right, The Doctor and Yaz have become a couple, you gotta love these kinds of relationships and stuff.
Anyway, what do I think of this episode?
It's dang good, has quite the entertainment value like all Doctor Who episodes have to a degree. And nearing the end of her run, Jodie Whittaker has done an impressive job as the Time Lord. While it sure has been fun, the end is nigh again and nothing lasts forever.
The action was quite well-choreographed and the pacing did not feel off in the slightest, even the actors as well as the crew knew what they were doing with this wild episode.
Overall, LEGEND OF THE SEA DEVILS gets a solid score of 9/10. If you're a long-time Whovian who wants to see the aquatic dinosaur people again, this is just the show for you.
Now, its time for the endgame. Next time, The Doctor will meet some old friends and foes again and face her impending regeneration. Bring on the Fourteenth Doctor, BBC.
BW30: Bookish miscellanea
It week 30 in our 52 Books Quest and this week we celebrate Amelia Earhart day, National Tequila day, Culinarians day, All or Nothing day, National Love is Kind day, National Milk Chocolate day, National Lasagna day, National Cheesecake day, and last but not least. Paperback book day. Hmm, I think I'm hungry!
My neighbor dropped off a bag of peaches from his garden today. I decided I should make lasagna as well as a peach pie this week, so off the the grocery store I went. And while I was there, I got to thinking how we have been in kind of a food rut lately and should pick up something different for a change versus the same ole, same ole. I ended up with a potpourri of items.
I'm currently on #14 Kingdom of the Blind in Louise Penny's Armand Gamache reread and still enjoying the heck out of the series.
"The investigation into what happened six months ago—the events that led to his suspension—has dragged on, into the dead of winter. And while most of the opioids he allowed to slip though his hands, in order to bring down the cartels, have been retrieved, there is one devastating exception.
Enough narcotic to kill thousands has disappeared into inner city Montreal. With the deadly drug about to hit the streets, Gamache races for answers.
As he uses increasingly audacious, even desperate, measures to retrieve the drug, Armand Gamache begins to see his own blind spots. And the terrible things hiding there."
James and I are also listening to Ready Player One on Audible.
BW29: Fall of the Evening Star
It's book week 29 in our 52 Books quest and highlighting Kenneth Patchen.
I bookmark things on my computer, buy cards with unique sayings, add books to my wishlist and I'll come across them later and wonder what was I thinking. What struck me at the time and why did I save it? This poem is one of those saved and forgotten. I was going through bookmarks, deleting those I don't use anymore and found it. Don't know when I bookmarked it, but I'm glad I found it again. Love the imagery. Reminds me of reading and rereading stories and getting something completely different out of them versus the first time. Sigh! So lovely.
BW28: Southern Fiction and my roots
It's book week 28 in our 52 books quest and it's all about southern fiction.
I was born and raised in the south before we headed out to wild and wacky California. But my roots will always remain in Texas where I was born, then Alabama to Georgia during my formative high school and college years. Yes, I was one of those who used to call everybody hon or sweetie or darlin. And dropped the g's on all words ending in ing. I had to work hard to lose the accent once we landed in California, however my southern accent still creeps back in when I'm tired or I hear someone speaking with a drawl. But Y'ALL has stuck with me ever since. And I bet y'all are wondering why I'm telling you this. Why our next 52 Books Bingo category, of course!
I have Fannie Flag's Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistlestop Café on the nightstand for my southern fiction read.
I thought I had read the whole Armand Gamache series previously but I guess I was wrong. Started with A Brutal Telling way back in 2009, jumped back to book one, then bounced around over the years. Enjoying binging the series, reading each one, learning more about each character, as well as discovering who the murderer is in each one. Happily books one through five are on Kindle Unlimited and I have the rest in my stacks. Just finished Bury Your Dead which broke my heart several times, but the fascinating history lead me to look up info on Quebec and Champlain which provided some relief from the emotional impact of Armand reliving the shoot out and his conversations with Morin.
Recently finished Emily Henry's Beach Reads which was excellent and about two authors emotional struggle to get past their grief of destroyed relationships while writing their novels.
"Augustus Everett is an acclaimed author of literary fiction. January Andrews writes bestselling romance. When she pens a happily ever after, he kills off his entire cast.
They’re polar opposites.
In fact, the only thing they have in common is that for the next three months, they're living in neighboring beach houses, broke, and bogged down with writer's block. Until, one hazy evening, one thing leads to another and they strike a deal designed to force them out of their creative ruts: Augustus will spend the summer writing something happy, and January will pen the next Great American Novel. She’ll take him on field trips worthy of any rom-com montage, and he’ll take her to interview surviving members of a backwoods death cult (obviously). Everyone will finish a book and no one will fall in love. Really."
James M's review of IDW Sonic issue 50
BW27: 52 Books July Crime Spree - American Mysteries
It's book week 27 in our 52 Books Quest and this month's crime spree is all about American Mysteries. I have a lot of those on my night stand.
Read The Cat and The City by Nick Bradley. It's odd and intriguing but not my cup of tea. Too crude and not very uplifting. Good premise with cat tying all the tales together but the stories left me depressed
On my nightstand:
Carlos Ruiz Zafon's second book in the Cemetery of Lost books - The Angel's Game. I finished Shadow of the Wind and didn't remember any of it, so like reading for the very first time. Plenty of twists and turns and tales within tales.
Rebecca Zanetti's first book in her Deep Op's series - Hidden
Brandon Sanderon's third book in the Stormlight Archive - Oathbringer
George Eliot's Middlemarch (not making much progress but hope to soon.