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Hooeeey, did we have fun at Game Night. There were flying hedgehogs, wild birds, and stupendous halfling acrobatics, with nary a pilloried feeling or a shooked fist of outrage. We shall do it again in a week or so. Please keep your eye on our Facebook page for more details. 

And while we will probably mention Game Night next week, we know that most of you probably won’t be reading this newsletter in a timely manner because Thursday falls on the Fourth of July, and the only reading that gets done then is the small print on the back of those *ahem* celebratory noise-makers. The “maintain a respectful distance while this incendiary device is expelling its combustible contents” sort of fine print. And that’s totally okay. We’re not going to be doing any reading on Thursday either, except for the fine print about calorie content and % alcohol by volume, but we’re doing our reading for science!

All right, enough with the BS about taking a day off. You take one. We’ll take one. It’s okay. Everyone is doing it. There’s no harm done. Except, you know, this newsletter will be sitting in your inbox, waiting for you. Lonely little newsletter. Not this newsletter. The next newsletter. This newsletter is the one making you feel guilty about the next one, even though the next one isn’t even here yet. Who knows? Maybe there won’t be any books released next week, and the next newsletter will be filled with nothing but blather—like this, in fact—and you’ll sit there, a slightly stunned look on your face. Thinking: “Man, I could be trying to light my neighbor’s yard on fire with those ground bloom thingies that always seem like they’re going to crawl up your pant leg when you light them. But I’m being a dedicated reader instead, and wow, look what that dedication got me. A long post about nothing, really, and to think that I was feeling all guilty about this all week. And . . . yeah, nothing.” 

But, like we said, that’s next week’s newsletter. This one isn’t like that. Not at all. And, really, this is all hypothetical, because next week’s newsletter might be the bestest newsletter ever (read: probably not). It might be the newsletter that arrives in your inbox just as you were hoping for some sign from the universe that the world was a magical place. Oh, gosh golly! It could be, couldn’t it! It really could be! How can we manage to wait until next Thursday to find out? Why must we tease you so? 

[Ed. note: Don’t let Mark phone in next week’s newsletter.]

Anyway, it’s the end of the month, which means lots of mass market paperbacks. We bet you’re ready for those, aren’t you? 
 


First up is James Brabazon’s The Break Line, which sets a high bar with a blurb from Lee Child that actually seems like it’s not just three adjectives thrown together. And Sebastian Junger is either really impressed or doesn’t read a lot; it’s hard to say from his breathless exhortation that “The Break Line . . . plunges you into the most extraordinary and exciting world of cover operations I have ever seen.” Gregg Hurwitz calls it a “gruesome delight,” which is, ah, weird sort of praise, when you get right down to it. 

Oh, oh. You want to know what the book is about. Okay, okay. So, it’s about a guy, named Max, who British Intelligence always uses when they need some bad guys taken care of (probably in a “gruesome” manner). And Max never misses, except when he does at the beginning of this book—maybe this is the delightfully “gruesome” part?—which results in him owing a debt that must be paid. His handlers send him on a mission to a place where someone even more vicious and villainous than Max holds sway, and it is up to Max to set things right. Unless, of course, he figures out that this is all a cheap trick to get rid of him because he knows too much!

TL;DR version: This one starts hard-boiled, and then gets put back in the pan for another turn, along with a bunch of half-cooked ammunition. Fireworks ensue. Maintain a respectful distance bla bla bla . . . 

Oh, look. More than seven hundred words already. Whew. This is getting long. Well, we’ll just pick up here next week. Until then, keep reading! Play some games! And try not to blow your fingers off  like someone probably does in Brabazon’s book. Or during a neighborhood Fourth of July party. Don’t be that person! And besides, it’s hard to read a book without fingers. So, be safe as a role model for future readers. 



Overheard At The Store »»

NADIA: I’m still mad at you—what are you wearing? 

PODGE:     [    ]

NADIA: I don’t—I don’t understand—just take those things off already!

PODGE: What? Oh? Why did you take my thunder muffs? 

NADIA: Have you been outside recently? We don’t get thunderstorms in this region. 

HODGE:      [    ]

PODGE: SHE THINKS IT IS GOING TO RAIN SOON.

NADIA: That’s not what I said. Why are you shouting?

PODGE: He can’t hear so good with the thunder muffs on.

NADIA: I—obviously. I get that. Look, Podge—

HODGE:     [    ]

PODGE: NO, THERE ISN’T A BADGER. 

NADIA: Would you—

HODGE:     [    ]

PODGE: LOOK FOR YOURSELF, YOU FAT DUMPLING. THERE ARE NO BADGERS. 

HODGE:     [    ]

NADIA: Stop yelling, Podge. This is a bookstore. 

PODGE: What? Do library rules extend to bookstores? Oh, dear. I thought—

NADIA: No, no. That’s not it. It’s more that you’re a small animal and YOU’RE YELLING. 

PODGE: Oh, okay. I hear your words, cranky lady. No need to go all Scary Monster on me. 

NADIA: Podge. Podge. Slow down. What’s with the headphones? 

PODGE: The what? 

NADIA: The—the things—<sigh>—the “thunder muffs.” 

PODGE: Oh, pretty cool, aren’t they? 

HODGE:     [    ]

PODGE: SHE LIKES MY—

NADIA: Podge. Stop—

PODGE: Oh, sorry. She—she     [    ]

HODGE:     [    ]

NADIA: On one hand, if these mean that the two of you are going to communicate exclusively with hand signals, I might be inclined to get behind this idea. 

PODGE: BADGER! BADGER!

HODGE: THERE’S NO BADGER, PODGE! I KNOW WHERE YOU SLEEP! COME BACK HERE! I’M GOING TO PULL YOUR TAIL FUR OUT!

NADIA: The Fourth of July can’t come soon enough. 


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