Fine Print

Questions from: For Love Of Reading, Answering The Bookish A-Z Questions- From The Spectacled Bean

Anna Alma-Tadema – Sir Lawrence Alma-Tademas Library in Townshend House, London [1884]

Author You’ve Read the Most Books From: Stephen King, I’ve been reading his books since I read  ” Carrie ” in 1975. I was babysitting and the kids had fallen asleep and nothing was on TV and the book was on a shelf with a zillion other paperbacks. I’m not sure why I picked it.

Best Sequel: YA fiction ‘ Ghosts I Have Been ” which was a follow up to ” The Ghost Belonged to Me ” by  Richard Peck. I’m a fan of the entire ” Blossom Culp ” series and I read them before Halloween every year. Hands down, the Blossom Culp stories are the best ghost stories EVER.

Currently Reading: The White Wolf Of The Hartz Mountains by Captain Frederick Marryat. I was watching a show about ghost stories and monsters and they got onto the subject of Werewolves and this book came up.  I’ve been aware that there isn’t a lot about werewolves that hasn’t been drawn from Hollywood movies so I actually bought this book and another one called The Werewolf of Paris by Endore which was published in 1933. So far  oh so very good reading!

Drink Choice While Reading: I don’t eat or drink while I’m reading.  In my case reading is the best appetite suppressant in the world!

E reader or physical book: Physical books.  I like the way they smell.

Fictional character you probably would have dated in high school: Hercule Poirot

Glad You Gave this Book a Chance: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter – just good old fashioned fun.

Hidden Gem: I have a collection of ‘adventures’ from The Mysterious Package Company and in on o the adventures a ‘clue’ was this book- Madame Tussaud: A Life in Wax byKate Berridge . I bought the book and read it and I LOVED it. What a story! What a life!

Important Moment in Your Reading Life: I started to read M.R. James- not only did I fall in love with stories and his writing he influenced my own writing and made it richer: Ghost Stories of an Antiquary- collection of M.R James’ work.

Just Finished: Wisconsin Death Trip by Michael Lesy.  I read it because I have been going to Wisconsin to visit my son and granddaughter and I thought it would be good to catch up on the local history so I’d  have a feel for the place. We toured a bunch of cemeteries and saw the place where Ed Gein died.

Kind of Books I Won’t Read: Fantasy novels- I could never get into “Sword and Sorcery” books. So I can’t say I WON’T read them. They just don’t interest me. But who knows? One day I might run across one that I like. God knows there’s enough of them out there.

Longest Book You’ve Read: ” The Stand ” by Stephen King. And what happens midway through this huge book? He nukes the characters because, if the story King told is true he got stuck and that’s how he moved the plot forward.

Major Book Hangover Because Of: The Ring by Koji Suzuki. The movie only had elements of the book and the book itself was much darker and complicated in a good way. But that’s the book I pick up and  surfed through because a passage will pop up in my head and I’ll say to myself, ” Wait. That’s weird. Let me take a look at that again. ”

Number of Cases You Own: Ha. I don’t. They’re too confining.

One Book You’ve Read Multiple Times: The Christmas Ghost Stories of Charles Dickens compiled by Peter Haining

Quote That Inspires You, or Gives You All the Feels, From a Book You’ve Read:

“No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality; even larks and katydids are supposed, by some, to dream. Hill House, not sane, stood by itself against its hills, holding darkness within; it had stood so for eighty years and might stand for eighty more. Within, walls continued upright, bricks met neatly, floors were firm, and doors were sensibly shut; silence lay steadily against the wood and stone of Hill House, and whatever walked there, walked alone.”
― Shirley Jackson, The Haunting of Hill House

Reading Regret: I read ” Eat Him If You Like ” by Jean Teulé, Emily Phillips (Translator). It was a sad and horrible story about human nature and after I finished it I couldn’t watch the news for weeks. I don’t regret reading the book and I liked it. I regret that after I finished it I put it in my backpack and lost it. I should have treated it better, it was an important story and spoke to what was going on in our world in 2018.

Series You Started and Need to Finish: The Corfu Trilogy by Gerald Durrell. I love these books, they are so rich that I want to read them slowly, the way I read Charles Dickens because I like to savor each word. So it’s going to take me time to read the Corfu Trilogy.

Three of Your All Time Favorite Books:

The Club Dumas by Arturo Pérez-Reverte, Sonia Soto (Translator)

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

Unapologetic Fanperson For: J.K Rowling. I love the Harry Potter Books and the movies. LOVE THEM.

Very Excited For This Release- it’s not a new release. It’s in my Fall/Winter reading stack. It’s called “Etidorhpa or the End of Earth: The Strange History of a Mysterious Being and The Account of a Remarkable Journey by John Uri Lloyd. It looks super strange and I can’t wait to get into it.

Worst Bookish Habit: Ripping up bits of paper to use as bookmarks. I’ve even used candy wrappers. It makes a mess and I don’t know why I keep doing it.

X Marks the Spot—start at the top left of your shelf and pick the 27th book:

Giordano Bruno: Philosopher/Heretic by Ingrid D. Rowland. I loved this book. It’s not a ‘ docu-drama’ but it still manages to to hit those notes that scream ‘ story, this is a GREAT STORY’.

Your Latest Book Purchase:

I Know What I Saw: Modern-Day Encounters with Monsters of New Urban Legend and Ancient Lore by Linda Godfrey. That’s for Halloween reading so I’ll be reading it in a week or two.

Zzz-Snatcher Book (the last book that kept you up late): Years and years ago I read ” Salem’s Lot ” when I pulled a shift at the crematorium at the funeral home I worked for.  In the back room there is a space where, in plastic totes, we stored the toys that people left at their children’s graveside. The more I read the more I thought about that room and those toys and when I read the book anywhere else ( or when I re-read it a few years ago ) I got a few chapters in, thought about that room and spent a half hour just staring at my ceiling with my copy of ” Salem’s Lot ” on my chest.




It’s National Read A Book Day Everybody!

Photographer Unknown

Today is National Read a Book Day.

I thought that meant you chose a book- or books to read or celebrate.

Realistically it’s not a day where you can actually choose a book and freely celebrate it because there’s a very good chance your selection is going to be burned to the ground.

With that in mind, there are ways to play it safe so that you can participate in this cool day.

You will find lists of recommended books on-line and by recommended it should be added these are classics that you need to read if you want to be considered,  ‘well read’. I’ve read some of those books and truthfully it was painful the first few times around and I probably wouldn’t read them again.

If you’re afraid of getting lost in a field of book titles and you don’t know which way to turn,  never fear. Your search can narrowed by the  list of authors you should NOT read because they have said or believe in unpopular and taken hurtful positions- which by nature is what most authors do.

For example Stephen King kills kids and animals in his books on pretty much a regular basis and a lot of novels and romance novels include brutal rape scenes because, let’s face it there is a big part of the population that is entertained by that.   So I’m  not sure why stamping out authors who take distasteful positions  is ‘ a thing ‘,  but it is what it is.

Of course there are books that are outright banned ( and that list is added to almost daily, if not hourly ).

The banned book list grows and spread like noxious weeds because the people who tend that sour patch of Earth desperately need to control the physical world . They desperately need to shape the world in their own image and they have found a novel way to accomplish that Herculean task:

They obliterate  fictional worlds instead.  So as long as there are frustrated Gods and Goddesses walking among us, there will always be  banned book lists.

With all of this being said, if you’re determined to participate in today’s festivities, I DO have a suggestion to finding that special book to spend the day with.

I would recommend going to a book shelf, stand in front of it,  close your eyes and point.

Happy National Read A Book Day.


My Autumn Reading Recommendations

I was going through my books and found this little gem that I would like to recommend for your Autumn reading pleasure

It’s called,   ” Death Makes A Holiday by David Skal. “

I cheated a bit and reprinted my Goodreads review, but if you want to know why I liked this book, then you’ll get that. If you want to know what it’s about- read it. Seriously it really is great history of the Halloween culture.

Right off I am going to say that I really enjoyed this book because it’s chock full of info , but I feel that the Chapter about the history of haunted houses ( Home Is Where The Hearse Is) was EXCEPTIONAL. Hands down it was more informative and enjoyable then a documentary I recently saw on Netflix on the subject.

In addition I found Skal’s work on explaining the multiple roots of Halloween, and how those roots will continue to grow and spread as Western society’s views on death, superstition and religion change.

As a Halloween fan ( to put it mildly) I am glad to have read  that my favorite holiday is actually alive and will continue to grow and surprise me.

My Autumn Reading Recommendations

I thought I’d do a write up ( of sorts ) of the books I have read that  I think would make great Autumn Reading. I thought I’d start off with this one because it’s just AWESOME.

An interesting life, an interesting story- perfect for late night Autumn reading:

Doctor Mutter’s Marvels.

“A mesmerizing biography of the brilliant and eccentric medical innovator who revolutionized American surgery and founded the country’s most famous museum of medical oddities”

I could tell you all about this book because I’ve read it about a half dozen times. But no spoilers. Read. This. Book.

It’s an adventure story.

Here’s a little video about the collection at the Mutter Museum

Do you know what a wet specimen is? Watch the video and you’ll find out.

I hope you’ll check this book out. If you do, please let me know in the comments what you thought of it.