Posts Tagged ‘Reading’


(picture by HeroinForMyHeroine)

“It was a fine morning, bright and dry, though with a distinct feeling of impending autumn in the air. The street was unusually quiet, but for the dying chimes of a nearby church clock and the rustle of a few newly fallen leaves drifting along the pavement and gathering beside me in a little twirling heap.
Michael Cox – The Meaning of the Night

Ah, September.  I can feel Fall just around the corner.

I love Fall. Fall is the turning of leaves, that brisk, crisp feeling in the air – you can smell it. Fall is legend and lore, magical and bewitching. Fall is pumpkins, pumpkin spice latte, pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie, pumpkin cheesecake, candy corn pumpkins, the Great Pumpkin, and the Pumpkin King. Fall is Jack-o’-lanterns, corn stalks, ravens, and black cats. Witches, mummies, Draculas, and Frankensteins. Elves, fairies, piskies, trolls, and goblins. Fall is hot apple cider and funnel cake. Fall is bouquets of sharpened pencils and You’ve Got Mail. Fall is the prelude to the holiday season.

“…they told of dripping stone walls in uninhabited castles and of ivy-clad monastery ruins by moonlight, dank charnel houses and overgrown graveyards, of howlings and shriekings, groanings and scuttlings and the clanking of chains, of hooded monks and headless horseman, vampires and bloodhounds, bats and rats and spiders, of men found at dawn and women turned white-haired and raving lunatic, and of vanished corpses and curses upon heirs.”
Susan Hill – The Woman in Black

And with September begins my traditional two month Halloween reading fest. I first began this tradition in 2004 and I eagerly anticipate it all year long. Have I mentioned how much I love Halloween and Fall?


Here are this year’s Halloween reading picks to choose from (in no particular order and subject to change). So many choices and so little time…

  1. Isis – Douglas Clegg
  2. The Gates – John Connolly
  3. The Man In the Picture – Susan Hill
  4. Practical Magic – Alice Hoffman  (reread)
  5. The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane – Kathrine Howe
  6. Salem’s Lot – Stephen King
  7. The Walking Dead Volume 1: Days Gone Bye – Robert Kirkman  (graphic novel)
  8. The Historian – Elizabeth Kostova  (reread)
  9. Hell House – Richard Matheson
  10. Her Fearful Symmetry – Audrey Niffenegger
  11. The Stress of Her Regard – Tim Powers
  12. Dracula – Bram Stoker  (reread)
  13. The Picture of Dorian Gray – Oscar Wilde  (graphic novel)
  14. House of Mystery Vol. 1: Room and Boredom – Bill Willingham & Matthew Sturges  (graphic novel)
  15. House of Mystery Vol. 2: Love Stories For Dead People – Bill Willingham & Matthew Sturges  (graphic novel)
  16. The Angel’s Game – Carlos Ruiz Zafon


And what Halloween would be complete without a reading of Sleepy Hollow and Dracula’s Guest? I hope to fit in several short story readings – my favorites as well as a couple short story collections.

  1. Nocturnes – John Connolly
  2. Nightmare at 20,000 Feet – Richard Matheson

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Story Sisters?

Story SistersSo I was all set to give Alice Hoffman’s new novel, The Story Sisters, a try after reading the synopsis again on Amazon… up until this sentence: “The always dazzling Hoffman has outdone herself in this bewitching weave of psychologically astute fantasy and shattering realism, encompassing rape, drug addiction, disease, and fatal accidents.”  Um…encompassing rape, drug addiction, etc?  I think I’ll pass on this one.

Is it just me or have Hoffman’s last few novels progressively gotten darker and more depressing with each novel? I really disliked The Third Angel and never connected with any of the characters.

Although Alice Hoffman remains one of my favorite authors, I will hold off on reading this new one unless convinced otherwise by many shining reviews and recommendations…

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The Forest Beyond

“…staring down occasionally upon the forest beyond, as though expecting the wolves and witches and ogres from the stories suddenly to materialize below, for the descriptions in the books matched so accurately the woods bordering the house that it was almost impossible to believe they were not one and the same.”


lost_big1The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly was by far my favorite novel read in 2008. Upon beginning the book, I immediately fell in love with the language and storytelling. It is an enchanting and very grim adult fairy tale interwoven with classic fairy tales retold (in a very twisted fashion). A truly wonderful read and a book for book lovers. Very bittersweet. I can’t say enough how much I love this book. It is one of those novels that I wish I could read again for the first time.

“Once upon a time – for that is how all stories should begin – there was a boy who lost his mother.”


(Illustrations by Anne M. Anderson commissioned specially for the limited edition.)

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Both Reading

“Sometimes they would sit in the parlor together, both reading – in entirely separate worlds, to be sure, but joined somehow. When this happened, other people in the family couldn’t bring themselves to disturb them. All that could be heard in the parlor was the sound of pages, turning..”
Alice Hoffman – Blackbird House


(Picture taken at our apartment)

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