Sunday, November 24, 2019

One Month Until Christmas 2019

Hello All!
It has been a while since I posted and I do apologize. Every time I make a commitment to post more regularly, my life takes a turn, and time seems to evaporate.
In this post I will share the results of my previous post and my reading progress from fall as well.  I have also discovered some amazing podcasts by way of my fourteen year old son who is turning into a rabid podcast devour-er, which I will share on my podcasts page.
On to the Fall read-a-thons results.  This is the time of year that I love to hunker down and read some new scary reading.  It is also a bridge to my next favorite season which is Christmas.  As I mentioned earlier, time seems to be evaporating on me.  I never truly had time to settle down these last couple of months, and read any good books ... except one.  Thanks to a read-a-long that was hosted by Michelle Miller at Seasons of Reading.  The read-a-long was set at a pace that I could easily follow, and I could catch up before bed if needed.  The read-a-long book that was chosen was Doctor Sleep by Stephen King.  This book is promoted as The Shining Part II.  In all honesty, it is very much a standalone read, and I haven''t enjoyed a Stephen King book in a long time as much as this book.  So even though, the quantity of books read over the fall wasn't there, the quality certainly was, thanks to the read-a-long.  I look forward to reviewing this book in the near future...after I watch the movie of course.
The other cool thing we did in our Castle Macabre group was a watch-a-long of a movie called Midsommar. I initially wasn't able to attend as I was already preoccupied at the predetermined time that we were all supposed hit play on our recordings but, I came home early and the participants actually paused their watching so I could catch up to the point at which they were watching.  Who would do that?  The group is so awesome. And so I was able to watch this movie with a great bunch of people and discuss certain aspects while viewing.  It was such fun.
That was about the extent of my fall fun.  Not even close to my previous post where I had a pretty ambitious layout of what my actual plan was. I was also not able to participate in the Dewey''s 24 Hour Read-a-thon. I was pretty bummed out about that, but things happen. Still! I am good with what I was able to accomplish and I enjoyed every minute I was able to spend doing it.
But now it is the end of November and exactly one month until Christmas Eve.  So now it is time for the ... Christmas Spirit Reading Challenge. I do love Christmas and I am going to attempt to get out of this reading slump I am in.  I signed up about two minutes ago, and if you love Christmas stories and reading everything festive, you can do so here  as well.  It is a very relaxed read-a-thon that you can read at your own pace and interact with some truly lovely people, who also love reading.

I will post my unambitious TBR list and hope that I can find time to finish one of these books.  They will all help me get into the Christmas Spirit! The first on my list will be "The Christmas Carol", by Charles Dickens.  I have seen 4 adaptations of this story in movie form, it is time I read this story from start to finish.  From there I have a sequel to the Christmas Carol titled "Mr. Dicken''s and His Carol" by Samantha Silva.  Looking forward to both of these reads.  If I still have time after that, I will partake in a little "More Holmes for the Holidays", which is an anthology of Sherlock Holmes short mystery stories set during the Christmas season.  How cool is that!?

That is it for now.  Good Reading to all, and to all a good book!

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Book Review #SpringHorror #Readathon Lost Boy Lost Girl by John Saul


Book number two in my Spring into Horror readathon choices.

Synopsis: A woman commits suicide for no apparent reason. A week later, her son—beautiful, troubled fifteen-year-old Mark Underhill—vanishes from the face of the earth. To his uncle, horror novelist Timothy Underhill, Mark’s inexplicable absence feels like a second death. After his sister-in-law’s funeral, Tim searches his hometown of Millhaven for clues that might help him unravel this mystery of death and disappearance. He soon learns that a pedophile murderer is on the loose in the vicinity, and that shortly before his mother’s suicide Mark had become obsessed with an abandoned house where he imagined the killer might have taken refuge.

As we can expect from the author who gave us the ultimate ghost story back in 1979, Lost Boy, Lost Girl eventually takes us down the path of being another haunted house masterpiece.  The house at 3323 North Michigan Street becomes a living breathing evil character in its own right. It has everything haunted houses should have including poltergeists, hidden rooms, and hidden staircases.

From the opening page, this story oozes a creepy Gothic style atmosphere, which we have all seen in our most disturbed dreams, and thus , we can relate.  And the story just gets spokky and creepier , every turn of  the page.  There are two subplots in this story that "never the twain shall meet."  One involving a ghost, and the other, a serial killer.  We are left guessing Mark's fate throughout the book.

Excerpt: "Gradually his panic left him, and he got out of bed and went to his window. Out in the night, something happened: a bloated, dark shape melted through the barbed wire at the top of the wall....Mark's reawakened terror, cold as dry ice, brushed his stomach and his lungs."

Peter Straub has a distinct writing style, unlike any author I have experienced.  I read Ghost Story a long time ago, and still remember the ongoing underlying dread that was always wriggling at the back of my mind while reading it.  I felt the exact type of dread while reading this book.  There are many story tellers out there that smack you in the face with gore horror, then there are some that raise the goose pimples on your flesh and stand the hair up on the back of your neck, with a subtlety that few can match.

This book is a fine example of the latter. No huge jump scares, no huge crazy twists you didn't see coming. But a story of fantastic imagery and writing that makes the reader think and visualize every page of the book. Different readers will interpret this book entirely differently than myself. That is the beauty of this story. The reader must invest themselves in this novel, draw their own conclusions and be rewarded by a literary masterpiece that you will want to read, again and again.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Book Review #SpringHorror #Readathon The Dead Run by Adam Mansbach


This is my first book choice in the Seasons of Reading Spring into Horror Readathon.

Synopsis: "On both sides of the border, girls are going missing and bodies are beginning to surface. It’s a deadly epidemic of crime that plunges a small-town police chief into a monster of an investigation he's not equipped to handle. An ancient evil has returned, and now everyone—the innocent and the guilty—must face their deepest terrors."

The main character, Jess Galvan, is wrongfully imprisoned in a Mexican jail.  His only hope of escape comes with a deal to transport a weird package across the Mexican border within 24 hours.  If he succeeds, he will be a free man.  Along the way he will encounter all the typical horror types (not really typical at all) .. corrupt police officers, prostitutes, biker gangs and of course demons/zombies.

When I picked up this book to read, I really had no idea what I was about to experience.  I must say I was pleasantly surprised by the book, that was written by the author who I knew wrote "Go the F**ck to Sleep", although, I still have not read that book.  After I read this book, I couldn't get the smile off of my face.  Not because the book is funny, although, in some high tension spots, it is exactly that.  Not that I felt fulfilled after reading the book, because that is not the type of read it is.. at all.  No, it was because this book was absolutely FUN to read.

Oh, sure!  There was tons of gore in the book.  Mostly described at a topical level that kind of makes you swallow twice, just to make sure nothing comes up.  Sure, there was a lot of characters that didn't make sense and a story line that borders on the absurd...but it all comes together and works beautifully.  This book was a fantastic read and really hard to put down.  A real "page turner" as it were.  The lead character may curse mightily throughout the story, but the plot grabs you from the first page and doesn't let you go.   This is a horror/thriller/supernatural/zombie/noir  story that really shouldn't work, but it absolutely DOES!  Part of the magic is Mansbach's writing style.  His character development is solid, the action scenes are vivid and the plot twists are numerous and seamless.  You are on a roller coaster ride with no brakes, and at Mansbach's mercy to let him throw whatever piece of action/horror he wants to throw at you.

The plot is impossible to predict because the author injects a bit of paranormal fun into the story at just the right times.  As a result, anything can happen... and it usually does.  The story does stay rooted in the real world in Mexico which just adds to the believability of the story and the characters. Although violent, The Dead Run is a first-rate horror novel, written to entertain to the fullest.  I absolutely recommend this book for the pure fun of reading something, in a style you have never experienced before.





Saturday, March 30, 2019

#SpringHorror #Readathon and Spring!

Good day to all my blog followers.  It has been a few frigid months since I have blogged on this site.  Many reasons and excuses why, but too many to even mention.  So on we go with the reason I write this blog.  Reading!

The last time I wrote on here it was winter and the Christmas season was winding down.  I had also participated in the Winter's Respite readathon, but did not post my readings or my TBR list.  It was a very busy time for me but I still found some time to do what I love.

Today, it is two days from April 1st, (of the year 2019), which to me, very nearly marks the beginning of spring.  Michelle, down at the Seasons of Reading blogspot, hosts a very laid back type of readathon this time of year called the Spring into Horror readathon.

This is always one of my favorite readathons to participate in, as I love reading horror, and as a bonus, I see what all the other participants are reading, which usually translates into a larger TBR list for yours truly.  This year, I have chosen a not so ambitious list of two books to read during this year's readathon.  As I have said before, in many of my previous posts, I am just a damn slow reader.  But that doesn't mean I can't participate in readathons.  Everyone is welcome, as you are too.  There is always time to join.  Just click the picture above and it will take you to the registration page.  The participants are super friendly and always ready to chat.  If you feel drawn to read horror this spring, this is the place for you.  The readathon officially starts at 12:00 am CDT on April 1 and ends at 11:59 pm on April 30.

Below is an image of my TBR list for this year and a link to download it if you are at all interested. SpringHorror TBR 2019

SpringHorror TBR 2019


The first book I chose is Lost Boy Lost Girl by, who I consider one of my favorite horror writers , Peter Straub.


A woman commits suicide for no apparent reason. A week later, her son– fifteen-year-old Mark Underhill–vanishes. His uncle, novelist Timothy Underhill, searches his hometown of Millhaven for clues that might help unravel this horrible dual mystery.

The Second Book is by an author I have been watching, and wanting to read her books, but haven't had a chance until now.  This book is the first in a trilogy called Parasitology. The book is aptly titled, Parasite by Mira Grant.


It’s a SF/horror/thriller about people being taken over by tapeworms and becoming tapeworm powered zombies.... and it apparently ends in a cliffhanger.  I may have my next two books already planned out for me if this book lives up to its hype.  This one sounds like fun.

There you have it.  Book reviews should follow after the #SpringHorror #Readathon is finished.  Hope you all continue to have fun and read.