So I still haven't quite finalized my reading list for Obsidian Blue and Moonlight Murder's Halloween Bingo, but I'm getting there. At least, I think I am? Anyway's, here's the tentative list so far:
Read by Candlelight -
Gallows Hill by Lois Duncan
Magical Realism -
Bone Gap by Laura Ruby
Spells of Blood and Kin by Claire Humphrey
House of Leaves by Mark Z Danielewski
Black Cat -
The Black Cat by Edgar Allen Poe
Diverse Authors -
The Girl From the Well by Rin Chupeco
Ghost/Haunted House -
The Haunting of Maddie Clare by Simone St. James
Young Adult -
The Diviners by Libba Bray
Scary Women -
We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson
Read Along -
Ammie, Come Home by Barbara Michaels
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley
The Vanishing by Wendy Webb
Creepy Crawlies -
The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes (I don't know if there are many bugs in this, but there's a creepy looking insect on the cover so I'm hoping that counts!)
Persuasion by Jane Austen
Locked Room -
And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
Dark and Stormy -
Devil May Care by Elizabeth Peters
New England -
Death at Woods Hole by Frances McNamara
Full Moon -
Bird Box by Josh Malerman
Sunshine by Robin McKinley
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Classic Horror -
The Turn of the Screw by Henry James
Set on Halloween -
Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury
Neverwhere is the story of Richard Mayhew, a 30 something Londoner who, through a random act of kindness, finds himself caught up in an adventure in "London Below", an alternate London that operates under it's own set of behaviours and rules (physics included). This is a pretty standard quest narrative, to be honest, featuring your typical damsel in distress, wild beastie and pursuit by second tier bad guys, so nothing really new, but it does manage to entertain as the narrative is brisk and moves well. I suspect that had I been reading the book, it likely would have come away with 3 stars. A lot of the characters feel a bit thin, the women are particularly one note, lacking much complexity, and Natalie Dormer, and Sophie Okonedo in particular, deserve a lot of credit for imbuing their characters with more depth than I suspect is apparent on the page. James McAvoy makes a very appealing Richard, which is important because Richard does occasionally come off as a bit of a twit, but I would have to say that, and this will come as no surprise to anyone who knows me, Anthony Head and David Schofield really walk away with the production. To be fair, they do have the fun parts (Mr. Croup and Valdemar, respectively). All in all, definitely an entertaining way to spend 3 hours! Thanks BBC!
When I first started reading this I was certain it was going to be a 4 star book. The writing is fun and stylish, with a sardonic wit I generally enjoy, and Chandler sure knows how to turn a phrase. Sadly, the book is also racist, homophobic and rampantly sexist. I'm sure some would argue that it's simply reflective of the time and place it was written in but frankly that's just not enough to give it a free pass for me. What a disappointment.
Beloved is the story of Sethe, a former slave who escaped to the free state of Ohio, her daughter Denver, and the ghost that they are haunted by. There is a lot to unpack in this novel; thematically there are issues of slavery, race, mothers and daughters, PTSD, and structurally there's post modernism, eloquence or sparcity of language to convey horrible truths, how gothic conventions are applied to explore the thematic issues and whether those elevate or devalue the thematic structure. Basically there's just a whole lot in the text and the subtext to explore. It's kind of a deconstructionist's wet dream. But. Here's the thing. I think readers would be doing a disservice to the book and themselves to go into it with anything other than a desire to read the story. And I would recommend being sure you have a dedicated amount of time carved out to read it as this, I think, works best as a one sitting read, at least the first time. The writing has moments of heart stuttering beauty and eloquence but it can also be challenging in a way that very likely alienates some readers. Stream of consciousness tends to be an in or out kind of lit convention, and Morrison's use of it is further complicated by it's infrequency. The only reason I think she pulls it off is because her narrative is already so back and forth between past and present that the change in structure slips right in to place. I did't love that aspect, to be honest. I understand why she does it, but I did find it a bit too jarring. As far as the story line goes, this is a hard book. And it should be. Because slavery is a hard subject. But Morrison weaves the story in a way that it's accessible and engaging, teasing the reader with a bit of mystery before hitting us with the cold and horrible reality. It's a very skilled path she lays and there are some scenes that I will carry with me forever.
This was cute. A little idiosyncratic at times, although that could just be because I'm old, but definitely a lot of fun for anyone involved in either gaming or fandom culture. I'm not sure I'd recommend it to anyone outside of these specific interests, as they make up a significant portion of both character and plot, but the romance genre has room for everything and anyone who has ever fallen in love with a show or a game will happily connect to Tessa and her crew. The obstacles aren't anything new or unique here, but I was impressed with the way they're all resolved in a mature manner and don't slide into the cliche, and the story rides along at a very respectable 3 and a half stars all the way up to the declaration, which is so sweet and fluffy and smile-inducing that I bumped it up to 4.
I'm not going to lie, I didn't expect to like this as much as I did. The set up is relatively simple; one child is accused of bullying another at the kindergarten orientation of a beachside community public school on the Golden Coast (I think) of Australia. Lines are drawn, sides are taken and the whole thing culminates in a death 6 months later, on the night of the school fundraiser. Moriarty gets the cutthroat, teeth-gritting politics of the playground just right. She's disturbingly accurate, actually, and as someone finally (FINALLY *fistpump* Booyah!) phasing out of that stage of parenthood, I certainly found the storyline relatable. While the main characters weren't particularly unique, they were likeable and engaging. The success of the story though, really relied on the pacing and tone and Ms. Moriarty definitely pulled it off. There's a lot of skill at play here. I found myself reading compulsively as each secret was disclosed, becoming more and more invested in the outcome. And I have to say I was pretty satisfied with the ending. I hear that HBO is making it a series. I can't wait to see if it lives up to the book. :)
Holy cats! This comic is ah-mazing! It's fun and witty and so very, very charming. The characters are fresh and endearing, with very distinct voices. I love them all! The story is fast paced and engaging with just the right blend of action, suspense and humour. And the panels are gorgeous - colourful and vivid. There's just so much to love here! I am smitten. Friendship to the max!
A lot of wank. That's pretty much all that's going on here. I can see how this stands as one of the foundations of contemporary Fantasy as a genre, but other than that, it's just a lot of standing around and comparing dick sizes, really. Grendel and his mother take up 6, maybe 8 stanzas of the entire poem. What a disappointment.