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text 2017-11-30 15:50
November Wrap-up
Devil's Day - Andrew Michael Hurley
Captives of the Flame (The Fall of the Towers, #1) - Samuel R. Delany
Dark Carnival - Nancy K. Duplechain
Fools and Mortals - Bernard Cornwell
First Person: A novel - Richard Flanagan
Children's book: Moshe Comes to Visit: Fun Rhyming book about Overcoming fears and positive thinking - Tehila Sade Moyal,Fatima Pires
Ramses the Damned: The Passion of Cleopatra - Anne Rice,Christopher Rice
The Discovery of Witches - Hopkins, Matthew

Eight books finished this month and two more well in progress. An easy favourite among the above would be Fools and Mortals, but Cornwell is a great author. Dark Carnival gets the award for best indie and I've put her other two books on my ereaderiq list.

 

This was mostly a month for clearing Netgalley and fulfilling holiday Bingo reads. I have one and a half netgalley books still to finish and highly recommend The Toy Makers, which I'm halfway through! I also have the science book to finish for my Newtonmass square, but it's time travel so I'm enjoying that too.

 

I have some books put aside for this year's Christmas reads.  I'll post about those soon.

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review 2017-11-22 09:51
Dark Carnival
Dark Carnival - Nancy K. Duplechain

by Nancy K. Duplechain

 

Fantasy meets voodoo in New Orleans. Leigh Benoit comes from a family of paladins, people with special abilities who heal the sick and keep dark forces at bay. She is sent to New Orleans for training as a Traiteur, a healer, but she is also caught up in a quest to find a cursed antique mask as time for Mardi Grau draws near.

 

I found this an interesting alternative Fantasy. The paladins have individual 'gifts' in a way that reminded me of X-men, though more subtle. Leigh meets some of her own kind who are friendly and some who are not so friendly, but they have a common quest to stop dark forces. Apart from being followed by a "cute guy" (oh gee, where do you suppose THAT will go?) the story has a lot of original elements that make it a fascinating read.

 

Leigh is likable and no wiser than her nemesis about why she was sent for training when adequate training for what she is meant to do was available at home. There is some other purpose for why she needed to come to New Orleans, which we learn eventually.

 

For the most part, this book really held my attention. There were a couple of places where I thought Leigh and her companions were just a little too lucky in a battle or some really horrific imagery fizzled into nothing, but most of it moved the story along and kept me interested in Leigh's eventual fate.

 

This is one of those gems I sometimes find in the free slush pile, a book I've really enjoyed reading. There is a series, but the book stands alone very well. Some fascinating ideas and alternative ways of using Biblical entities as characters.

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review 2017-11-14 19:06
Halloween Carnival Vol. 1
Halloween Carnival Volume 1 - Lisa Morton,Kevin Lucia,John Little,Brian James Freeman,Robert R. McCammon

Halloween Carnival is a collection of 3 short stories and two novellas. It would’ve been perfect reading on Halloween night but I’m a slacker and watched movies instead.

 

Strange Candy by Robert McCammon

 

A man thoughtlessly and rather stupidity (if you ask me) eats a strange looking piece of unwrapped candy out of his child's Halloween bag. Seriously, who does that?! After ingesting the gross thing, he finds himself no longer in his living room and begins to meet strangers who give him final messages to pass along to their loved ones. He writes nothing down but manages to remember it all. Ah, to have such a brain, what must that be like? Anyway, it has a twisty-twist at the end. It’s sad and I really enjoyed it all. 4 Stars

 

The Rage of Achilles or When Mockingbirds Sing by Kevin Lucia

 

Father Ward wasn't expecting a visitor on Halloween but he got one anyway. A grief stricken father begs for absolution. This is another sad story about love, grief and regret and a dedicated priest who witnesses the supernatural. It’ll haunt you with its beautiful sorrow. 4.5 Stars

 

Demon Air by John R. little

 

This story? I don’t know what it was besides a great disappointment to me. A woman is on a flight to find herself and she does a lot of navel gazing for most of the story until things finally go strangely awry. When the pilot thanks everyone for flying “Demon Air” I was entranced. Gross things begin to happen, passengers are tormented and then it abruptly ends and the fun is over nearly before it’s begun. Such a tease! This story had quite a bit of promise but in the end was a total let down. It felt rushed and unfocused and as if two stories were smashed together and neither ended up satisfying in the end. 2 Stars

 

La Hacienda de los Muertos Lisa Morton

 

Trick is a washed up actor ready to film a horror flick in the most haunted town in Mexico. Before the film can get going, Trick must deal with the supernatural. I thought this was interesting but pretty standard stuff. It wasn’t sad, or horrible or particularly scary either. I’d give it a 3.

 

#MakeHalloweenScaryAgain Mark Allan Gunnells

 

A horror writer posts a hashtag on his Facebook page hoping to drum up a little interest in his novels but he attracts a weirdo who takes it way too seriously instead. Now he’s involved in a murder investigation and spends the days leading up to Halloween hunting down the madman terrorizing his town. This was a decent, if slightly predictable, tale of mystery, murder, and Halloween that kept me turning the pages to discover if I was right about the killer and I was! I feel so smart :) 3 Stars

 

I received a copy of this book via Netgalley.

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text 2017-11-11 17:32
November 11 in the Rhine Valley -- Yet Another Sort of Holiday ... and Party! (Also: Task for Square 11 of the "16 Festive Tasks": Soyal)

In the Rhine Valley, where I live, November 11 has yet another meaning, in addition to (and even more so than) the two holidays we included in the "16 Festive Tasks":

 

11/11, 11:11 AM marks the opening of the carnival season, which ends roughly three months later on Ash Wednesday (this season: Feb. 14, 2018), which in turn marks the beginning of the six-week lent period leading up to Easter.  While the Thursday and the weekend immediately preceding Ash Wednesday are the high points of the Rhineland carnival celebrations, the opening of what is known hereabouts as "the fifth season" on 11/11 at 11:11 AM is a major first highlight which essentially turns the complete centres of the area's cities -- and none more so than Cologne, the Rhine Valley's "carnival capital" -- into one big party zone, complete with people dressing up, the popular carnival music bands' first big stage appearances of the season, the first appearances of the "carnival princes" (three representatives of the major carnival clubs that preside over the whole season's events), and their honor guards (the members of the carnival clubs, dressed up in uniforms initially created to mock those of the Prussian militia -- e.g., see bottom row of photos from Bonn), etc.  To wit (all pictures of today, chiefly taken from the website of our local TV station, WDR):

 

Cologne

 


 

More Cologne photos here -- as well as a short video, courtesy of a Cologne newspaper (Youtube link here; on BL, the video won't show in dashboard view but only if you open this post in blog view)

 

 

Bonn:

   

Bottom row: representatives of the "Bonn City Soldiers"

More Bonn photos here.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Addendum: It just occurs to me that this matches the requirements of the Tasks for Soyal: Like many Native American festivities, Soyal involves rituals such as dances. What local / religious / folk traditions or customs exist where you live? Tell us about one of them. (If you can, post pictures for illustration.) 

 

(Hah.  Talk about game hosts not knowing their own games ...)

 

 

Merken

Merken

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text 2017-11-02 22:45
October 2017 Round Up!
Cthulhu Blues (Spectra Files) - Douglas Wynne
The Age of Innocence - Edith Wharton
Halloween Carnival Volume 4 - Kealan Patrick Burke,C.A. Suleiman,Ray Garton,Brian James Freeman,Bev Vincent
Coraline - Neil Gaiman,Dave McKean
The Trials of Solomon Parker - Eric Scott Fischl
Lightning Men: A Novel - Thomas Mullen
Strange Weather: Four Short Novels - Joe Hill
Blackwater: The Complete Saga - Michael McDowell,Matt Godfrey
Henry & Glenn Forever & Ever - Tom Neely
Halloween Carnival Volume 5 - Lisa Tuttle,Kevin Quigley,Norman Prentiss,Richard Chizmar,Brian James Freeman

 

October was a crazy month here at the Horror Corner! 

 

The most important, (and beautiful thing), was that my lovely niece married her best friend of 20+ years. The ceremony was wonderful and the reception a lot of fun!

 

 

 

Then, two weeks after that was the Merrimack Valley Halloween Book Festival!

You can find my post about that HERE.

 

Here's a photo of myself with Rio Youers. Isn't he the cutest? He's also extremely gracious and very funny. 

 

All of this is why I only read 10 books this month! 

 

Graphic Novels: Henry & Glenn Forever & Ever by Tom Neely and friends.

 

Total: 1

 

Audio Books:

 

Blackwater: The Complete Saga by Michael McDowell, narrated by Matt Godfrey

The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton 

Coraline written and narrated by Neil Gaiman

 

Total: 3

 

ARCS:

 

Cthulhu Blues by Douglas Wynne

Halloween Carnival: Volume 4

Halloween Carnival: Volume 5

The Trials of Solomon Parker by Eric Scott Fischl

Lightning Men by Thomas Mullen

Strange Weather by Joe Hill

 

Total: 6

 

 

READING CHALLENGES

 

Horror Aficionados Mount TBR Challenge: 

(Horror Aficionados Group on Goodreads)

Goal: Read 40 books I already own in 2017

 

 

January Count: 1

February Count: 2 

March and April Count: 0

May: 2 (Boo! and The Well)

June & July: 0

August: 1-The Talented Mr. Ripley

September: 1  Carter & Lovecraft

October 0 (But had LOTS of fun with Halloween Bingo!)

Running Count: 7

 

Graphic Novel Challenge:

(Paced Reading Group on GR)

Goal: Read 25 Graphic novels in 2017 

 

January count: 5

February count: 2

March count: 5

April count: 5

May count: 3

June count: 4

July count: 4

August count: 5

September: 1

October: 1

 

Running Count: 35! Challenge Met!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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