Wednesday, December 30, 2020

2020 Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks

Welcome to the 2020 

Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks 

Challenge




Also home to 

Well Educated Mind, Agatha Christie, Mind Voyages, 
Sounds of Silence, Brit Trip perpetual challenges 
as well as 52 Books Bingo and Ladies of Fiction Bookology 





The rules are very simple 


  • The challenge will run from January 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020 
  • Our book weeks will begin on Sunday
  • Week one will begin on Wednesday, January 1 and run through January 11. 
  • Participants may join at any time. 
  • All books are acceptable except children books.** 
  • All forms of books are acceptable including e-books, audio books, etc. 
  • Re-reads are acceptable as long as they are read after January 1, 2020
  • Books may overlap other challenges. 
  • If you have an blog, create an entry post linking to this blog. 
  • Sign up with Mr. Linky in the "I'm participating post" in the sidebar
  • If you don't have a blog or any social media account, post your weekly book in the comments section of each weekly post. 
  • Mr. Linky will be added to the bottom of the each weekly post for you to link to reviews of your reads. The link widget closes at the end of each book week



The goal is to read 52 books. How you get there is up to you. All the challenges are optional. Mix it up anyway you like. 



**in reference to children books. If a child is reading the book and involved in the challenge, then that's okay. If an adult is doing read aloud with kids, the book should be geared for the 9 - 12 age group and over 100 pages. If you are an adult reading for your own enjoyment, a good rule of thumb to use:  "is there some complexity to the story or is it too simple?" If it's too simple, then it doesn't count.

Sunday, November 22, 2020

BW47: Best of 2020

"Reading is like breathing in, Writing is like breathing out" ~ Pam Allyn     What a wonderful quote!  Reading to me is as necessary as breathing and writing has become much the same. I get grumpy without my daily dose of words.  I am ever so thankful for books and those who make them possible from the writers to the publishers to the online and brick mortar stores from whom I can satisfy my bookish sweet tooth.  Especially writers, as we are the beneficiary of  their creativity. They inspire, entertain, enrich our lives, teach us how to do new things, enlighten us with knowledge, make us laugh or cry, and ponder the meaning of history and life.  

From classic literature to comic books, there is a wide variety to satisfy every reading palate. As we head into the end of the year, the best of lists are being released and the desire is great to fill our shelves, both virtual and physical with those books we want to read. My year ends with an end of the year shopping extravaganza, before I institute a buying ban at the beginning of the new year.  Usually until April, sometimes longer, to give myself time to enjoy those which reside on my shelf for a bit before abandoning them to the temptation of the new. 

Ready for the best of the best?  Let's begin with New York Time's 100 Notable Books of 2020 and the 10 best books through time

According to Oprah, these are the best of 2020

Financial Times shares their 20 best from crime to history to economics.

Esquire presents 44 of the best books to elevate your reading list

Electric Literature offers up 20 Small Press Books you may have missed in 2020.

Five Books shares a plethora of  top 5 lists from award shortlists to audiobooks.

And let's not forget the Greatest Books  of all time. 

Stay tuned to NPR's Book Concierge who will be coming out with their year end interactive reading guide for 2020 in a couple weeks. Meanwhile 2013 to 2019 lists are available. 

Have fun following rabbit trails. 


Happy Thanksgiving from my family to yours!


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Please share your book reviews and link to your website, blog, Goodreads, Google+, Tumblers, or Instagram page. If you do not have a social media account, please leave a comment to let us know what you are reading. The link widget closes at the end of each book week.

In the Your Name field, type your name and the name of the book in parenthesis. In the Your URL field paste a link to your post, then check the privacy box and click enter.


Sunday, November 15, 2020

BW46: Bookish Birthdays and Events




Happy Sunday! Today is I Love to Write Day so grab your pens or pencils and write a note, a poem, a letter, get back to work or start working on that novel you've been planning forever. Your muse is waiting for you.  Are you ready for an interesting exercise?  All you have to do is put pen to paper and answer the question, "Writing is like..." And no, writing isn't like a box of chocolates. *grin* 

Meanwhile it's time for another round of author birthdays.  

Nov 15: German novelist  Gerhart Hauptmann who won the 1912 Nobel Prize in Literature and poet Marianne Moore  winner of the1951 Pulitzer Prize.  

Nov 16 George S Kaufman, playwright and journalist as well as Portuguese novelist José Saramago, 1998 Nobel Prize winner, and Nigerian author Chinua Achebe.

Nov 17:  Dutch Poet Joost van Den Vondel and civil war historian Shelby Foote

Nov 18: Canadian novelist Margaret Atwood and British dramatist Sir W.S. Gilbert

Nov 19: Poet Allen Tate 

Nov 20: Swedish novelist Selma Lagerlöf, 1909 Nobel Prize winner, and South African novelist Nadine Gordimer, 1991 Nobel Prize winner.

Nov 21:  French Philosopher Voltaire,  and American feminist author, Marilyn French.


Celebrate Native American Heritage Month  with Everybody Reads 2020: Native Voices: Own voices memoir, poetry and novels by Indigenous people or 31 Native American Authors to Read Right Now

Many book events around the world have turned to celebrating online this year and The Miami Book Fair's special events starts today with many authors interviews available on demand.  As well as  Portland Book Festival (November 5th through the 21st.), the Gaudeamus Book Fair in Romania (November 16th to the 22th) and  Dublin Book Festival 2020 (November 27th through December 6th.)

The Baillie Gifford Prize 2020 longlist has been released for the best in Nonfiction with the winners to be announced November 15th and the winners of the 2020 National Book awards Longlist will be announced on November 18.  

World Philosophy Day is coming up on Thursday, November 18 and a perfect time to dive into the mind of the 12 Famous Philosophers and Their Guiding Principles.  Perhaps add one or two to your reading list for next year. 

Have fun following rabbit trails! 

Cheers! 


Please share your book reviews and link to your website, blog, Goodreads, Google+, Tumblers, or Instagram page. If you do not have a social media account, please leave a comment to let us know what you are reading. The link widget closes at the end of each book week.

In the Your Name field, type your name and the name of the book in parenthesis. In the Your URL field paste a link to your post, then check the privacy box and click enter.





Sunday, November 8, 2020

BW45: Ladies of Fiction bookology - Jayne Ann Krentz and Cherie Priest


 

This month you are getting two for the price of one with Cherie Priest and Jayne Anne Krentz.  I somehow missed highlighting Krentz last month so the two red heads get to share this month.  Both the ladies currently reside in Washington.  

Jayne Ann Krentz encompasses three different worlds writing contemporary romantic suspense as well as historical romantic suspense under the pseudonym of Amanda Quick, and futuristic paranormal suspense under her real name, Jayne Castle. Krentz has written many books under 7 different pens names over the years from the 80's to the present. I've read quite a few and all are very entertaining. 

Cherie Priest has written over two dozen books as well as multiple short stories in the steampunk, horror, and mysteries genres.  She is best known for her Clockwork Century series starting with Boneshaker which I have on my shelves and am looking forward to reading. 

There are a number of ways to complete the bookology challenge, including but not limited to:

Spell out the author's name - one book per letter from the title on the cover.
Read one or more books written by the author.
Read a book written in the country or time period of the author.


Cheers and happy reading! 


Please share your book reviews and link to your website, blog, Goodreads, Google+, Tumblers, or Instagram page. If you do not have a social media account, please leave a comment to let us know what you are reading. The link widget closes at the end of each book week.

In the Your Name field, type your name and the name of the book in parenthesis. In the Your URL field paste a link to your post, then check the privacy box and click enter.


Sunday, November 1, 2020

BW44: Non fiction November




 

Welcome to November and National Novel Writing Month, Native American Heritage month, National Caregiver Appreciation month.   This week we celebrate National Author Day, so if you have some time this week thank an author for all their wonderful words via email, snail mail, facebook, or twitter. We are also observing Dio De los Muertos, voting on U.S. General Election Day, if you haven't already, as well as letting our Men Make Dinner Day, and if you are like me, having a Margarita with my Nacho's on  National Nacho Day

We are celebrating all things non fiction this month from the practical to the literary and creative. Fill your mind with facts and figures, history and geography, cultural and biographical, or learn something new from cooking to woodworking. There is a wide variety to appeal to most everyone.

Annie Dillard on the Art of the Essay and the Different Responsibilities of Narrative Nonfiction, Poetry, and Short Stories

25 great nonfiction essays you can read online for free

Fiction v nonfiction – English literature's made-up divide

A Reading List for Stronger Creative Non-Fiction

Creative Nonfiction Magazine

100 Great Narrative Nonfiction Books

The Best Nonfiction Books of 2020

The Best Celebrity Memoirs to Read

50 Cookbooks We're Diving Into This Fall

11 Nonfiction books that read like fiction

Works of Nonfiction to Rival Any Great Thriller Novel

Have fun following rabbit trails.  ~Cheers


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Sunday, October 25, 2020

BW43: 52 Books Bingo - Ghosts and Goblins

 



We approach All Hallows Eve where the veil between the living and the dead is thin and Ghosts and Goblins come out to play.    

There are a wide variety of fantasy novels where goblins come out to play from historical fiction to futuristic to mythology.  You'd generally think of goblins as evil creatures but they come in all shapes and sizes and I'm sure the last thing on your mind is romance, however some authors have taken the goblin mythology and written stories with goblins as romantic leads and heroes such as in Shona Husk's Shadowland Series.

Ghost stories abound from the real to the  creepy to the spooky to the surreal to romance and ghostly detectives and cozy mysteries.   And let's not forget Gargoyles!  

Read a book with ghost in the title or picture on the cover.

Read a book with goblin in the title or picture on the cover.

Read a book with gargoyle in the title or picture on the cover.

Challenge yourself and spell out ghost, goblin, or gargoyle, one book per each letter in the title.


A few more links to close out our October Spooktacular reading month: 

9 books to creep you out this Halloween season

2020 Halloween reads for Kids and Teens. 

Goblins: Books for kids

11 Haunted Novels with Emotional Ghosts

Top 10 Unconventional Ghosts in Literature 

Have fun following rabbit trails! 

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Sunday, October 18, 2020

BW42: October by Paul Laurence Dunbar

 


October

By

Paul Laurence Dunbar 



October is the treasurer of the year,
And all the months pay bounty to her store;
The fields and orchards still their tribute bear,
And fill her brimming coffers more and more.
But she, with youthful lavishness,
Spends all her wealth in gaudy dress,
And decks herself in garments bold
Of scarlet, purple, red, and gold.
She heedeth not how swift the hours fly,
But smiles and sings her happy life along;
She only sees above a shining sky;
She only hears the breezes' voice in song.
Her garments trail the woodlands through,
And gather pearls of early dew
That sparkle, till the roguish Sun
Creeps up and steals them every one.
But what cares she that jewels should be lost,
When all of Nature's bounteous wealth is hers?
Though princely fortunes may have been their cost,
Not one regret her calm demeanor stirs.
Whole-hearted, happy, careless, free,
She lives her life out joyously,
Nor cares when Frost stalks o'er her way
And turns her auburn locks to gray.


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Sunday, October 11, 2020

BW41: 41 things

 



And now for something completely different!

Welcome to all things forty one this week.  People, places, things, dates that have something to do with 41.  



Read a book about the 41st President:  41 A Portrait of My Father by George W. Bush 




President only for 32 days in 1841 - William Henry Harrison 

President from 1841 -1845 - John Tyler 






What Beatles song repeats the title in the lyrics forty-one times? Let it be.  Read a book with Let It Be in the title


Have fun following rabbits trails, exploring events and people from 41BC all the way up to 2014.  




Please share your book reviews and link to your website, blog, Goodreads, Google+, Tumblers, or Instagram page. If you do not have a social media account, please leave a comment to let us know what you are reading. The link widget closes at the end of each book week.

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Sunday, October 4, 2020

BW40: October Spooktacular


 

Welcome to our October Spooktacular reading month.  It's time to dip your toes into the water and scare yourself silly.  Read thrilling stories stocked with the mysterious and shocking, paranormal stories brimming with ghosts and goblins, or urban mysteries packed with vampires and werewolves.  If you are anything like me, I can't stand horror books filled with blood and guts.  Give me a psychological thriller any day, roiling with nail biting, spine chilling suspense, creepy settings, and characters you certainly wouldn't want to meet in a dark alley.  

Choose from a wide variety of classics to the contemporary, or the Hitchcockian and Lovecraftian to Stephen King and his son, Joe Hill, to Dean Koontz, to the men and ladies of suspense.

If you haven't read Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, now would be the perfect time.  Put away all your preconceived notions from the movies as the book is very different and will shock and amaze you.  If you have read it, dip your toes into retellings of the story as well as the reimagining's of  Bram Stoker's Dracula

From the really scary to the mild:

The 20 Most Anticipated Horror Books of 2020

Best Horror of 2020

31 Psychological Thriller Books That Mess with Your Head

Lock Your Doors: 8 Young Adult Thriller Books 

2020 Halloween reads for Kids and Teens

Currently on my night stand are Dean Koontz's Devoted, Josh Malerman's Bird Box, Dan Simmon's Hollow Man, and Marisha Pessl's Night Film, to name a few. Hmm! Which should I read first?

~Cheers to a spooktacular reading month~ 


Please share your book reviews and link to your website, blog, Goodreads, Google+, Tumblers, or Instagram page. If you do not have a social media account, please leave a comment to let us know what you are reading. The link widget closes at the end of each book week.

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Sunday, September 27, 2020

BW39: Freedom to Read


 

This week we celebrate the freedom to read. Beginning in 210bc with Chinese emperor Shih Huang Ti, to the present, books have been challenged, outright banned and even burned for the thoughts and ideas written in their pages.  Challengers have many reasons, afraid their children will be exposed to differences they choose not to acknowledge, afraid they will be exposed to people or language or ideas they don't agree with. 

The fear of words, ones that teach and reach right into your very soul and expose you to new ideas, is a powerful thing. Letters on a page. One word, two, a sentence, a paragraph, one building upon another, to a book full of  words that motivate, illuminate, educate, and open our eyes, our minds, our hearts and souls to different people, cultures, and worlds, both real and imaginary.  Books that lift us up, fill us with joy as well as sorrow, teach us to analyze and debate and think about what if.   

Banned Books Week was created in 1982 by the American Library Association Office of Intellectual Freedom, in response to challenges and requests to ban books from libraries and bookstores due to their content.  Eight out of the top ten most challenged books for 2019 were for their LGBTQIA+ content. The last two, the Harry Potter series for exposing children to magic and witchcraft and nefarious characters, and The Handmaid's Tale for vulgarity and sexual overtones.  Every year, the ALA receives complaints and requests to remove classic books from the library and/or the curriculum. 

How Banning Books Marginalizes Children

Why Your Kid Should Read Banned Books

Parental fear and cultural erasure: The logic behind banning books.

California School District considers ban on classic books.

Who Should Decide What Books Are Allowed In Prison?

Kuwait relaxes book censorship laws after banning thousands of titles

Editorial on Punjab Curriculum and Textbook Board Banning books part I and Part II

Around the globe - A Map of Forbidden Books in 2019 

Access a database of 70,000 books banned around the world going back to 1575

Celebrate your freedom to read a banned or challenged book this week! 


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Sunday, September 20, 2020

BW38: September Equinox

 


Time for the changing of the seasonal guard with Autumn marching into view in the Northern Hemisphere and Spring in the Southern Hemisphere. What's the first thing to comes to mind when you think about Autumn or Spring?  Either the leaves are changing colors or flowers are beginning to bloom - nature's  circle of life.  Which brings us to our Fall Reading Mini Challenge.  

Read a book with Fall or Spring in the title

Read a book with seasons or weather in the title

Read a book with woods, forests, leaves, or trees on the cover

Read a book with a color in the title

Read a book about colors 

Read a book about color guards

Pick a color and pick a book with the color on the cover

Read a book with a colorful character

Read a book with a character with color in their name.

Settle in to read one of the New Books for FallOprah's picks for Fall, 12 books to keep you occupied for the rest of 2020 or Books set in the Southern Hemisphere

Challenge yourself to Spell out Equinox, Autumn, Fall, or Spring, using one book for each letter from the title. 

Happy Equinox!  ~Cheers~ 

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Saturday, September 12, 2020

BW37: In the Grass by Hamlin Garland




In the Grass

By 

Hamlin Garland 

(09/14/1860 to 03/04/1940)



O TO lie in long grasses!
O to dream of the plain!
Where the west wind sings as it passes
A weird and unceasing refrain;
Where the rank grass wallows and tosses,
And the plains’ ring dazzles the eye;
Where hardly a silver cloud bosses
The flashing steel arch of the sky.

To watch the gay gulls as they flutter
Like snowflakes and fall down the sky,
To swoop in the deeps of the hollows,
Where the crow’s-foot tosses awry,
And gnats in the lee of the thickets
Are swirling like waltzers in glee
To the harsh, shrill creak of the crickets,
And the song of the lark and the bee.

O far-off plains of my west land!
O lands of winds and the free,
Swift deer—my mist-clad plain!
From my bed in the heart of the forest,
From the clasp and the girdle of pain
Your light through my darkness passes;
To your meadows in dreaming I fly
To plunge in the deeps of your grasses,
To bask in the light of your sky!



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Sunday, September 6, 2020

BW36: 52 Books Bingo - Antebellum

Courtesy of Realtor.com - Antebellum architecture

Our next 52 Books Bingo category is taking us back to the Antebellum period which took place after the war of 1812 (1812-1815) and before the civil war (1861-1865). A period of time in which American writers wrote about American themes and created the short story genre and the penny press.    

Views through Pen and Ink: North Carolina's Antebellum Literature Records an Era

American Literature-American Romantic or Antebellum Era: 1800-60

Women in Antebellum America

Antebellum Era Books

Antebellum Books 

North American Slave Narratives 

American Literature before 1865

Library of Southern Literature - Antebellum period

Historical Romance Antebellum Books

Read about one or more Presidents who served from 1816 to 1861 from James Madison (1809-1817), James Monroe (1817-1825),  John Quincy Adams (1825-1829),  Andrew Jackson (1829 - 1837),  Martin Van Buren (1837-1841), William Henry Harrison (1841), John Tyler (1841-1845), James Polk (1845-1849), Zachary Taylor (1849-1850), Millard Fillmore (1850-1853), Franklin Pierce (1853-1857), to James Buchanan (1857 - 1861).  

Take some time to armchair travel through history this year! 


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Saturday, August 29, 2020

BW35: Ladies of Fiction Bookology - Sarah Dunant



Welcome to September and our celebration of Library Card sign up month, Be Kind to Writers and Editors Month, Classical Music Month, and Hispanic Heritage Month.  Don't forget to Be Late for Something Day (9/5), Read a Book Day (9/6), or help someone to read on International literacy Day (9/8).   Remember the fallen on 9/11, honor your grandparents on 9/13, appreciate being a citizen of the U.S. and read the constitution on 9/17. Talk like a pirate on 9/19, celebrate the equinox and think like a hobbit on 9/22, and read a banned or challenged book during Banned Book Week starting September 27th.  Wow, busy month. 

We are also celebrating the writings of our Ladies of Fiction Bookology author, Sarah Dunant, writer of thrillers and historical fiction set during the renaissance.  The british writer recently turned 70 and currently splits her time between London and Florence.  

There are a number of ways to complete the bookology challenge, including but not limited to:

Spell out the author's name - one book per letter from the title on the cover.
Read one or more books written by the author.
Read a book written in the country or time period of the author.

Learn more about Sarah through history you can see and smell, The answers history gives us depend on the questions we ask it’ and fashion and fiction.

~Cheers and happy reading! 

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Sunday, August 23, 2020

BW34: Our Singing Strength by Robert Frost





Our Singing Strength
by 
 Robert Frost


It snowed in spring on earth so dry and warm
The flakes could find no landing place to form.
Hordes spent themselves to make it wet and cold,
And still they failed of any lasting hold.
They made no white impression on the black.
They disappeared as if earth sent them back.
Not till from separate flakes they changed at night
To almost strips and tapes of ragged white
Did grass and garden ground confess it snowed,
And all go back to winter but the road.
Next day the scene was piled and puffed and dead.
The grass lay flattened under one great tread.
Borne down until the end almost took root,
The rangey bough anticipated fruit
With snowball cupped in every opening bud.
The road alone maintained itself in mud,
Whatever its secret was of greater heat
From inward fires or brush of passing feet.
In spring more mortal singers than belong
To any one place cover us with song.
Thrush, bluebird, blackbird, sparrow, and robin throng;
Some to go further north to Hudson's Bay,
Some that have come too far north back away,
Really a very few to build and stay.
Now was seen how these liked belated snow.
the field had nowhere left for them to go;
They'd soon exhausted all there was in flying;
The trees they'd had enough of with once trying
And setting off their heavy powder load.
They could find nothing open but the road.
So there they let their lives be narrowed in
By thousands the bad weather made akin.
The road became a channel running flocks
Of glossy birds like ripples over rocks.
I drove them under foot in bits of flight
That kept the ground, almost disputing right
Of way with me from apathy of wing,
A talking twitter all they had to sing.
A few I must have driven to despair
Made quick asides, but having done in air
A whir among white branches great and small
As in some too much carven marble hall
Where one false wing beat would have brought down all,
Came tamely back in front of me, the Drover,
To suffer the same driven nightmare over.
One such storm in a lifetime couldn't teach them
That back behind pursuit it couldn't reach them;
None flew behind me to be left alone.
Well, something for a snowstorm to have shown
The country's singing strength thus brought together,
That though repressed and moody with the weather
Was none the less there ready to be freed
And sing the wildflowers up from root and seed.
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Sunday, August 16, 2020

BW33: Pick a book by the cover




Are you ready for a mini challenge?  Me too!  Book covers that are dark and haunting, colorful and bold, a mystery, the challenge it presents intrigues me. Sometimes it the title alone that draws my eye.  Use to be I only looked for books by familiar authors.  Then, several years ago I joined a challenge in which one of the tasks was to pick a book by its cover. The hard part - don't read the blurb and find out what it is about beforehand.   

I discovered the temptation to read the synopsis, then a few pages to see if it drew me in impossible to resist.  Especially in person.  However, I could resist when looking at books online.   Since then I have chosen books a few times using this method and usually end up with something excellent.  Also, I couldn't pick books by authors I've already read. 

Utilizing Amazon's new releases I wondered through their virtual literature and fiction section and the following covers are what drew my eye this time. 









I added C.J. Archer's first book in her Clock and Steel series, Witchmaker's Daughter to my virtual stacks. All her covers are intriguing.  The rest have been added to my wish list. 

So your mission this week is to pick a book by it's cover.  Have fun, be bold, let your eyes feast and see what tickles your fancy.  


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Sunday, August 9, 2020

BW32: 52 Books Bingo - Noir


Our next 52 Books Bingo Category is taking us into the world of Noir where it can be dark and deadly with mysterious and flawed characters, and right and wrong aren't clearly defined.

The genre is defined as "Books made up of stories that contain elements of crime, eroticism, cynicism, moral ambiguity, cruelty, strangeness, and fatalism. The stories are often set in remote areas in urban, rural, and/or out of the way settings or non-distinct settings, like the open road. Noir genre books may or may not include a private eye, detective, or femme fatale. The stories often have an elusive phenomenon or have something that’s just out of reach of the main characters."

The Best Noir Authors

12 Crime Noir Books That Will Have You Reaching for Your Trench Coat

The Rise of Rural Noir 

Guide to Nordic Noir

Noir from around the globe 

Pages of Noir: The Books that Became Film Noir

Hardboiled World: Four Creative Noir Traditions From Around the Globe

"The Noir Genre Helps Mediate between Reality and Fiction”: An Interview with José Salvador Ruiz

Mystery & Detective Novels by Women of Color

Le Chat Noir—Black Cats on the Cover

Have fun exploring the world of Noir.



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