Chris' Fish Place

Thoughts on things, mostly books.




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Amityville Horrible - Kelley Armstrong, Maurizio Manzieri

I have to say that Jamie is my favorite character in the series. Mostly, because she is the everywoman who just happens to be able to talk to ghosts. She is not stupid, though she think she is, but she is the most normal of the women in the series. She also is a modern woman who is in a relationship with a man who gets that her career is important to her. And they are older, not those young things. True, the plot is a little predictable, but Armstrong does make use and have fun with the reality genre. This is a nice edition to the series.

A lyric

The Ink Readers of Doi Saket: A Tor.Com Original - Thomas Olde Heuvelt

This a rather beautiful little fable. It is meandering, it is a wish, it is a butterfly. There is beauty here.

Ghosts of Florida: The Haunted Locations of Jacksonville, Jacksonville Beach, Atlantic Beach and St. Augustine - Jeffrey Fisher

Very general descriptions of places, but an interesting read.

Sometimes Freebies aren't bad - Ghostly stories

Ghost Stories: The Most Terrifying REAL ghost stories from around the world - NO - Ellen Foster

Not a bad little book. There are some typos and errors. Overall, however, the book is a nice little read and nicely varied.


America's Secret Hauntings (Most Haunted Places Series) - Sarah Ashley

While I am slightly annoyed that my home state was not in this book, Ashley's book is quite a good collection of haunted places, including histories of the places. Nicely done, with illustrations. Ashley's tone is good and engaging. Not a dull read.

You Can't Touch My Hair: And Other Things I Still Have to Explain - Phoebe Robinson, Jessica Williams

In the sake of fairness, I should note that like Robinson, I think Lisa Bonet is the da bomb. I always loved Denise best, mostly because she was the oldest girl who was regularly on the Cosby Show. However, I do think it is interesting that Robinson slights as proof as Bonet's awesome ablitiy her husbands (Lennie Kratvitz and Jason Moma). Not that I blame her, and not that I am innocent of doing it. Perhaps that itself is proof about why feminism is so needed today.

The best essays in this collection are the ones about hair, hence the title. As a white person, I never knew people asked African Americans if they could touch the woman's hair - it never occured to me that any such request was anything other than rude. But when I started teaching, I did learn about the rude behavior.

Robinson's essays on hair are also about why women style thier hair (and some of these points are true for any woman). It balances nicely Chris Rock's movie about hair. I wish this had been out about two years ago when a student of mine wrote her research paper about the issue. I would love to know what the student thought of this book.

The most compelling essay outside of the hair is about Robinson's experience on television or attempting to audtion for roles.

The pop culture tone of the book can wear a little thin. There are almost too many jokes.

Thoughts and Prayers to London and England.

Please Read - Signal Boost for Fellow Reviewer Frank Errington

Hello peeps. If you spend any time in the horror community, you might have run across a reviewer by the name of Frank Errington. He’s simply an all-around good dude in an all-around crappy situation. He needs a kidney. Currently he’s looking for a live donor. I asked him if I could boost the signal with my blog and he said sure, so below you will find an image of Frank and a phone number. You can call Frank direct and he’ll give you info on how to find out if you’d be a suitable donor. I tried, but the transplant people told me my prediabetes automatically disqualified me. Maybe you can help.


Take care of each other,




Reblogged from Grimlock ♥ Vision

I do have a model of Kipper

Penelope - Norman Thelwell, Norman Thelwell

What's not to like about Thelwell?


I want Kipper, I really do.

The secret of La Baie

The Hudson's Bay Company: The History and Legacy of the Famous English Trading Company in Colonial America - Charles River Editors

Good little history. When Charles River Editors does it right, it goes out of the ballpark.

This is a cool series

Secret Washington  D.C. - Sharon Pendana

Nice little volume. Gave me some new places to see. I love this series.  There is this cool multi house something that I want to go to next time I visit.

Why I love Reading

I know that these posts are supposed to be genre based, but that's not goint to work for me.


For me, reading is life.  I know it is for many of us on sites like this or Goodreads or Librarything.  Pick your poision.  You have more books than you know what to do with.  The ereader is the book haul.  Your bedroom or house is simply a place where you sleep or live with books.  It's library with an alternate function.


I was, am, never the out going one.  I am the shy one, the quiet one, the one with her head in the book because the best thing about human race in many class is literature.  At first, books are an escape.  There's magic.  There's horses.  There's dragons.  The underdog wins.  The unpopularity doesn't matter because the book doesn't care.  You meet people like you in books.  The characters don't give a damn what your hang ups are, and they don't betray you - at least not in the real world way.  You can forget, submerge, be on Mars, Krynn, MIddle Earth, Medevial France, the Tudor Court, a mole in a hole.  


And you can stop reading.  You are in control and not in control.  It's a good feeling.


Because books are there.  Once, you just needed a library card.  Now, you need a phone or computer.  


Then you get older, and you realize that books teach you.  That Robin McKinley's Hero and the Crown didn't just teach about story telling but about being a woman.  That non-fiction is worth reading too, even if it is about those long dead people.  


Non-fiction boards your mind.  Fiction does too.


It keeps you sane because it is the rabbit hole and the ruby slippers.  The way out, the way back.  It can protect you from those other humans, yet educate you about them too.


It is a way to make friends.


One of my oldest friends is my friend because we both loved The Hero and the Crown.  Today, we have many books in companion, and some we don't. I went to my first protest with my book club.   Every friend I have on a site like Booklikes or Goodreads is there because of books.  Books aren't about life; they are a key to life.


I love reading because it helped me find my voice.

Currently Free on Kindle

House of Rejoicing: Part 1 of The Book of Coming Forth by Day (Volume 1) - Libbie Hawker Sea Monsters: A History of Creatures from the Haunted Deep in Legend and Lore - Charles River Editors Buckingham Palace: The History of the British Royal Family's Most Famous Residence - Charles River Editors

Following books currently free on kindle.  


House of Rejoicing

Sea Monsters Charles River Editors

Buckingham Palace Charles River Editors

Harry Potter and Muggles

While I was not the targeted audience for harry Potter when it was first released, I did eventually read the books, and one of my fondest memories is sitting outside the local coffee shop with two friends discussing horauxes.  Yet, I always felt some disquiet or something off when reading Harry Potter.  Part of it had to do with Hermione, but that wasn’t the real reason.  I could never really but my finger on it.  And then I realized that while Harry Potter starts as an outsider, the true outsiders of the book are the readers.


                In fact, this is true for many books.  Yet with Potter it means something different.  Harry, Ron, and Hermione work in part because they start as outsiders, as the un-cools, though as the series progresses that status shifts, as it must be considering what happens in each book.  Ron does, however, function as the least of the trilogy and thereby a latch key to the group.  But in the realm of the book, the readers are muggles, and muggles are really not that important, to anyone.


                Yes, anyone.


Read the rest here

Out in April

The Little Mermaid - Metaphrog

Disclaimer: ARC via Netgalley.


                “The Little Mermaid” is, perhaps, one of Anderson’s most well-known tales, though most people I would wager, do not know the source material and cling to the Disney version.  The duo of Metaphrog does not do Disney.


                Which is a good thing.


                Anderson’s tale left me conflicted when I re-read it as an adult, leaves me conflicted whenever I read it know.  It isn’t the stepping on knives bit; it’s how the prince treats the mermaid.  She sleeps at the foot of his bed, he pets her, she is his dog – faithful to the end.  But in fairness to the prince, it isn’t that the mermaid wants him; she really wants a soul.  He is a way to gain a story.  The whole relationship is strange, yet the mermaid succeeds to a degree because she has more of the “Christian virtues” that the prince should have.


                In some ways, this excellent adaption of the story shies away from those issues.  The Little Mermaid here is in love with the prince (and perhaps legs).  The adaption’s ending is faithful to the choice that Anderson’s character makes. Yet, the image is subtly different for the choice occurs before the wedding.  Despite the use of legs, including slit dresses, Metaphrog seem to have tamped down the sexual elements of the story as well as the idea of a soul -the term immortal is used instead, which means the original mermaid might not have had a problem with that. 


                Those issues aside there is much to love in this.  The artwork – blues and greens – is wonderful.  The paneling of the story is  great.  There are people of color, though the two central characters are white.  The Sea Witch is not an Ursula type and comes across as a helper.


Short Stories from Hogwarts of Power, Politics and Pesky Poltergeists (Pottermore Presents) - J.K. Rowling

These are not so much short stories about but character sketches, almost as if Rowling was showing her character sheets for Umbridge and Slughorn among others. The highlights are also a list of the Minsters of Magic, which includes some funny tidbits. If you are a Harry Potter fan, these are worth a read and nicely add to the universe.