Chris' Fish Place

Thoughts on things, mostly books.




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They were 91 days in a city and didn't go to a bookstore! WTF!!!!

Montreal For 91 Days - Michael Powell, Jürgen Horn
I was all set to give this book four stars. True, it didn't mention a single bookstore and implied that the only French Canadian Cuisine was poutine, but the writers focus on little known festivals as well as drawing attention to some lesser known places. Plus, they like my favorite place- Notre Dame de Bon Secours, so cool.

But then I read the section about St. Joseph's Observatory. Look, it's true that Montreal's St Joseph's is a bit of a pilgrimage type tourist trap. And while I might disagree, I can see using the term over the top in describing. (Though it is unclear if the pair toured the international nativity collection, which has some pretty awesome artwork), but there was something very off about the tone in that section. Look, I get the writers might be atheists or agnostics, fine, and they might look on the claim of a miraculous saint healing cripples with a bit of a jaded eye, but to take a mocking tone is a bit too far. Look, you might not believe it, fine - but what gives you the right to poke fun, even gently, at the people who do? There was a level of snark and mockery in the section that contributed to a picture of the two men standing and laughing at the pilgrims. Let be clear, I don't think they did, and when they describe other churches, there is none of that mocking tone. It's why it stood out so much here. That tone put me off. It came across as cruel.


Bingo # 2



And there is a review wave coming.

The fact that Chris Evans just posted a highlight from Hannah Arendt on twitter gives me all kinds of feels.

25 Everyday Examples of Rape Culture

Reblogged from Debbie's Spurts


Updated Bingo Card - Black Out but no Bingo

Diverse Voices Square

The Forbidden Daughter - Shobhan Bantwal

So I wasn't intending to use this for bingo, but is a quasi murder mystery.  I mean there is a murder and kidnapping.


Bantwal is basing the story in part on a clinc that was found to have aborted girl fetus in a wall in India a few years back as well as the practice of gender selection abortion.


The plot is somewhat predictable, but what is totally enjoyable is the friendship among Isha and her sister in law, Shelia.  Isha and her daughters are lovely characters.  The conflict that Isha feels that only with  her in laws and her own life is well done.

New Release Square

Codex 1962: A Trilogy - Sjón

I'm not quite sure what I just read.


No, really.


Sjon's writing has always been fluid and stunning.  And that's here.  


I liked the first two books the best.  The last, seems to be an written form of Sjon's own morality.


The first book is a wonderful expression of reader and writer working together.  So wonderful and brillant.  There is this whole sequence of reaching into a hous and a mind.


It's just wonderfully strange.

Bookmarks for Halloween Bingo


So I have quite a few spares of the bookmarks below and the Incredibles Stickers.  Free to a good home.  Message our wonderful Halloween Book Bingo Creators or me.


WW - 76 

Banned Books: 48

Harry Potter: 54

Stickers: 48



Classic Horror Square - Oppsie

The Return - De la Mare,  Walter

I realized I did not post this review for the classic horror square, even though I marked the square as read.


De La Mare's novel tells the story of a young man who wakes up with a different face.  I mean, a totally different face.  The horror is the lack of reason and how it changes his life.  Oh, and it happened after he fell asleep in a graveyard.


I prefer De La Mare's short stories.  This was more of a character study, but you don't like the guy because he refuses to understand where his wife is coming from.

Guess What

I'm going to see King Lear iin 2019.  With GLENDA FUCKING JACKSON as King Lear.




And Pedro Pascal is in it too.

Updated Bingo Card

Cat with pumpkin - Read and called

Cat - read, not called

Pumpkin - called but not read



Deadlands Square

Into the Vampire City - Phil Tucker

This is one of those books that you wanted to be better.  The heroine is a poc, she is not in a love triangle, and she is pretty determined.  The vampires are bloodthirsty, and the alternate American states and the vampire work.


The thing is when Selah discovers her power - her acceptable of the strange thing occurs in less than a finger snap.  She becomes a somewhat different person.  It isn't a smooth transition and is somewhat jarring.


Yet, the book is fun.

Country House Square

Death at the Dog - Joanna Cannan

This is a country house mystery, but the country house is in part a pub where everyone drinks.  The victim is killed while at the bar.


The story takes place during the Blackout in WW II.  It is also filled with how people look at women and men in terms of gender roles. The possible suspects include a jealous wife, two wanna be alpha males, a writer, and the bartender.


The mystery is solved by a man sent from London, who is conflicted.


It's entertaining but not particularly enthralling.

Drowning Deep Square

Water Monsters South of the Border - Denver Michaels

Loch Ness isn't the only body of water with monsters.  In this book, Michaels looks at water monster stories from Central and South America. He does so with a good dose of healthy disbelief.  So while he wants the stories to be true, she does not disregard rational reasons.


He does have discussions about the various legends, and at one points, goes off into wondering about if dinosaurs are still around.


Still it is a nice little collection of, at the very least, folklore with good and helpful footnotes.