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CBR9 #4: Missing People: Disturbing Stories From The Last 100 Years: People That Disappeared Without A Trace by Roger P. Mills

I am a big fan of true crime books, and normally I'm pretty forgiving about the occasional typo or incorrect word, but this book unfortunately didn't make up in content what it lacked in style.

The book covered what could have been interesting ground, including the missing Malaysian Air flight, the Sodder family fire, and several other disappearances from both recent times and the distant past. However, none of them were covered with any depth, and it seemed clear that the author did not do any of his own research. These were basically brief summaries of the cases, sometimes with the addition of bizarre conspiracy theories as to what may have happened to the missing people. 

In addition, I found the tone perhaps too conversational for the subject matter. While I don't mind a slightly less formal tone (M William Phelps's work comes to mind) I found this to be uneven and distracting. 

I would also agree with other reviewers who complained that this ebook was only about 60% …
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CBR9 #3: Missing Wives, Missing Lives by JJ Slate

There's a lot of discussion these days about things that are dangerous to women--is it heart disease? Is it stress? Car accidents? Drugs? Serial killers? Trans women in bathrooms?--but it seems like one of the biggest hazards to women are the men in their lives.

This book details the cases of thirty women who vanished. Stretching back to 1976, and with cases as recent as 2007, the women featured in this book seemingly disappeared off the face of the earth, never to be seen again. For some, the legal system was able to prove a case against the men in their lives, but for others, the search for justice may never be resolved.

The amazing thing to me was the stories that the husbands gave upon their wives' disappearances. "So, you had a fight, and she just left the house--at 3am. In her pajamas. Barefoot. Without her purse, or her glasses, or her car, or her TEETH? Leaving her small dependent children behind. And you decided to say nothing for three weeks? And while she was gon…

CBR9 #2 - Southern Gods

I've had Southern Gods on my TBR list for so long I no longer remember why I put it there. Was it a recommendation from Amazon? From Goodreads? Did someone I know recommend it? Did it cross my path as a "If you liked __________ then you'll like this too!"

Maybe I heard it through the grapevine?

I only know that recently, I happened to come across it on my wishlist and decided to go ahead and splurge on it.

I'm glad I did.

In 1951 Memphis, war veteran and leg-breaker-for-hire Bull Ingraham gets a new assignment: a record company has lost one of their employees somewhere. Early Freeman set off to deliver new records to radio stations, and has seemingly disappeared off the face of the earth. His boss at Helios Records is anxious to find him...and also anxious to find a mysterious blues musician whose music can do terrible things to the living -- and to the dead.

Meanwhile, in Arkansas, Sarah Rheinhart leaves her abusive husband and returns to her family home, where …

Well, here goes nothing: CBR9 #1 - Finders Keepers by Stephen King

Another year, another attempt to complete a Cannonball Read. Last year I signed up and then didn't do a single review, which was pretty sad. Luckily, it's a new year, and I have a new chance to read and review and say "Fuck Cancer!"

So here we go!

Finders Keepers is the second book in King's Mr. Mercedes series, and is again more of a dectective thriller than the typical supernatural fare that you'd expect from a Stephen King novel. In this book, our heroes--former police detective Bill Hodges, anxiety-sufferer and super hacker Holly, and college student Jerome Richardson--are called in on a case by one of Jerome's sister's friends. They find themselves in a race against time, facing a dangerous and single-minded murder.

I liked the book a lot--the events unfurled in such a way that I spent much of the novel on the edge of my seat, watching as multiple groups of people converged in a suspense-filled climax. However, I wish we could have spent more time…

Greetings, 2016!

I did not get a lot of blogging done in 2015. It's not so much that I had nothing to say, and more that it didn't seem all that important to say it. But now here we are, in a new year! Let's review 2015, eulogize it, lay it to rest, and put out some goals for 2016, shall we?

I have always believed--without a shred of evidence, mind you--that New Year's Eve sets the tone for your whole year. Whatever happens on that night will be reflected throughout the next 365 days, for better or for worse. Last year was...not great. I found myself home alone, crying to my cat while basically everyone I knew went to a party at Captain No-Fun's--a party that no one had the guts to tell me about, and let me figure it out via Facebook. I thought that meant that this would be a year of lonliness and desertion, just me and the cat, by ourselves, dealing with a world that didn't give a shit.

Weirdly, though, it turned out that it WAS an indicator of the year...I'd just interpre…

CBR7 #2: Ramona's Home by Lawrence Bassett

The first thing I have to admit up front is that this book was written by my all-time favorite high school English teacher, so I am a little bit biased. The man was (and still is, I assume) wonderful, smart, hilarious, and also completely insane. I totally adored him.

Ramona's Home is the story of Ramona Schuyler, a woman in her fifties who has returned to her small hometown to serve as the chief of police. Ramona had left town as soon as she could, and spent most of her life in the miliary an MP or as a state trooper. She hasn't been back in town all that long when the father of her childhood best friend kills himself. As she investigates, Ramona discovers that the town has been keeping some awful secrets, and she tries to decide if it's worth shining a light on them. She also tries to figure out where her place in this is, and whether she even has one.

There were a lot of things I really liked about the book, most importantly Ramona herself. As a character, she's toug…

CBR7 #1: NOS4A2 by Joe Hill

Cannonball Read #7 has BEGUN!

My first book is Joe Hill's NOS4A2, which was received as a gift in the CBR Book Exchange this year. I was extremely excited, because I've been hearing really good things about this book, and I really enjoyed Hill's Heart Shaped Box.

The main character in the story is Victoria McQueen, called Vic by some, and The Brat to her father. She discovers one day that she has the ability to slip through space to find things, driven to wherever she wants to go by crossing over an old wooden bridge. Usually, she uses it to find items people have lost, but one day when she's a teenager, she uses it to go looking for trouble. As it always has, the bridge takes her to exactly what she asked for. What she finds on the other side is another person who also has a way to slip in and out of the world, but his activities are not as benign as Vic's. Although she manages to escape from Charlie Manx when she's seventeen, the rest of her life will turn on…