Dark & Stormy Summer Reading Challenge: Update

Cruddy photo taken of a beautiful sight: The Empire State building at Dusk


There are only three ingredients to a Dark & Stormy: dark rum, ginger beer and a slice of lime. It’s that simple and yet, apparently that hard. Last week, I was in a bar in NYC and I ordered a D&S. The bartender got the ginger beer and lime part right; but proceeded to pour in a jigger of white rum. It was sad. I was sad; but only for a little bit: I was busy falling love all over again with the people in the audiobook industry; The view was fantastic; and I switched to gin-and-tonics for the remainder of the evening 🙂

Sooo, last Tuesday I was on a plane and thereby missed posting what would have been the first of my weekly posts in this personal quest of mine to read fifty books this summer. I’m about ten days into my Dark & Stormy Summer Reading Challenge and two things to note: 1) So far I haven’t read any of the books from the list I posted at the beginning and 2) This is actually a weak start to the challenge –  for the most part shorts and light reading. Hopefully, I’ll have something review-worthy next week 🙂

  1. “The Yellow Wallpaper” (by Charlotte Perkins Gilman; narrated by Dawn Harvey) – A nineteenth-century short story about a woman sequestered in an attic room and who becomes increasingly obsessed with the wallpaper; An exposition in top-grade horror writing;
  2. A Wallflower Christmas (Wallflower series, Book #5; by Lisa Kleypas) – A disappointing follow-up to the Wallflower series. Fans of the series catch a glimpse into the lives of the protags of the original quartet and; bear witness to the weakly developed romance of an honorary Wallflower; Skip it and you won’t have missed anything;
  3. Painted Horses (by Malcolm Brooks) – Beautifully written novel about a young archaeologist sent out to Montana to check out an area slated for dam development; To be released August 5;
  4. Flying Saucer to the Center of Your Mind: Selected Writings of John A. Keel (by John A. Keel; narrated by Michael Hacker) – Admittedly, I’ve only listened to a little bit of this; but enough to get the ideas or the “philosophy” of Keel. I’m very much an X-Files/Twilight Zone fan which, in this context means that I’m very much open to unconventional ideas; but Keel is too much of a crackpot for my tastes; Still I may end up listening to an essay or two here and there as the summer progresses;
  5. Cam Jansen and the Mystery of the Stolen Diamonds (Cam Jansen series, Book #1 by David A. Adler; narrated by Alyson Silverman) – Cam Jensen has a photographic memory which becomes useful as she witnesses a jewelry store robbery; Children’s mystery ably narrated, but nothing overall to write home about;
  6. “A Study in Emerald” (written and narrated by Neil Gaiman) – A short story set in Victorian England. This is a rather strange little mystery involving the investigation of the death of a German noble in London. I listened to this three years ago and was more than a little bemused by it then and, I can’t say that I’m anymore enlightened now. Maybe if I read some H.P. Lovecraft before I try it again?

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