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review 2017-10-18 21:19
Not Going on My Favorite List, But Still Pretty Great Book
Hangsaman - Shirley Jackson

Look, just know that this book is weird. It switches from first to third person sometimes too. And then you honestly don't know what's real or not real so you feel very confused at times. And you also may end up not liking anyone (I know I didn't) but may come away feeling sorry for Natalie (I did) and then just confused again. Just go read Moonlight Reader's REVIEW of this book since it will make way more sense than my mutterings about things below.


First, Natalie and her family are messed up. You find that out quickly when you realize her terrible father refers to himself as God everyday when they are having breakfast. Her mother is scared of being alone with her father (I know I would be too) and also scared of doing anything wrong. Natalie's brother, Bud is barely there and Natalie is at times doing her best to please her father, but also trying to help her mother though she has barely concealed contempt for her at times. 


When Natalie starts having a back and forth conversation with a police detective you don't know if Jackson is trying to allude to something that is going to happen, or it's all just in Natalie's imagination.

When Natalie finally leaves for college, things get worse for her. She realizes that she has no friends, the other girls call her "Spooky" and you start to realize that what you are being told is not the whole truth as a reader. I started to pick up on things here and there and realized that Natalie was not realizing what was not being said a lot of times. When Natalie weirdly befriends one of her professor's wives, things actually seem a bit better, but you realize she has fallen into the mess of another family that she is finding even heard to extricate herself from. 


I think the writing at times got a bit muddled (sorry Ms. Jackson) I assume that is intentional, since I have read some of Jackson's other works, and it seems as if she chooses each word with care. Some sentences last an entire paragraph. At times it made my eyes glaze over. And you start to realize that maybe Jackson is doing that on purpose since you start to realize that maybe Natalie is speaking some of this out of the way stuff out loud. 

The flow was a bit off for me though. Due to the writing I mentioned above, it just made things grind to a halt at times. Since this is such a short book it should not have taken me that long to finish it, but it did. I think that after Natalie goes away to school things drag a bit until she meet's her professor's wife. 


The setting of a young girl's home and than college experience was interesting. I just don't remember being alone at college. My brother was an upperclassman so everyone called me Little (insert my brother's name here) so I didn't even have my own identity, I was just his little sister even after he graduated. I will say that everyone treated me differently though. He was a jock, and though I was in high school, I decided to just focus on my grades and not play any sports. When the school's basketball coach found out I could play and how good I was apparently she was not happy.


Image result for not my problem gif


I digress. The ending of the book gets increasingly dark and leaves the reader with a feeling that something worse is coming Natalie's way due to what all the signs are pointing to regarding her behavior. 


I wouldn't really call this a Gothic book or even a straight up horror story though Goodreads classifies it as such. It's just an interesting look at the different stages in a woman's life. We have the young girl (naive and at times defiant) the newlywed (scared of what she did by giving up her own identity) and the married woman (realizing that being married was not the ultimate prize that she thought it would be). So you do get the maiden, the mother, and the crone in this one giving a cautionary tale about what it means to be a woman. 


Image result for the maiden the mother the crone



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text 2017-10-18 21:00
Amazon Credit Book Haul!
The Witchcraft of Salem Village - Shirley Jackson
Better Off Wed (Annabelle Archer Wedding Planner Mystery Book 1) - Laura Durham,Laura Durham
The Cruelest Month - Louise Penny

So I decided to get some things that I have been curious about, but had not gone out and bought.


The Witchcraft of Salem Village (Landmark Books) by [Jackson, Shirley]The Cruelest Month: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel (A Chief Inspector Gamache Mystery Book 3) by [Penny, Louise]Midnight Curse (Disrupted Magic Book 1) by [Olson, Melissa F.]Angels' Blood (Guild Hunter Book 1) by [Singh, Nalini]

Summer at the Comfort Food Cafe by [Johnson, Debbie]Christmas at the Comfort Food Cafe by [Johnson, Debbie]The Cosy Teashop in the Castle: The bestselling feel-good rom com of the year by [Roberts, Caroline]A Christmas Spark by [Knight, Ciara]

The Cosy Christmas Teashop: Cakes, castles and wedding bells – the perfect Christmas romance for 2016 by [Roberts, Caroline]Keeping the Moon by [Dessen, Sarah]Poison in Paddington (A Cozy Mystery) (Cassie Coburn Mysteries Book 1) by [Silver, Samantha]Witches' Brew (Witch Cozy Mystery) (Vampires and Wine Book 1) by [Best, Morgana]

Better Off Wed (Annabelle Archer Wedding Planner Mystery Book 1) by [Durham, Laura]Fierce (Not Quite a Billionaire Book 1) by [James, Rosalind]




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text 2017-10-18 15:56
Reading progress update: I've read 100%.
Hangsaman - Shirley Jackson

Image result for christian slater golden globes gif


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text 2017-10-17 21:37
Reading progress update: I've read 40%.
Hangsaman - Shirley Jackson

I don't know what to think. I find this interesting. A girl off to college alone and realizing slowly that she is really alone. Has now made friends (somewhat) with her English professor's wife who seems angry and resentful at the man. 

Natalie seems incapable of being able to talk to people. And part of me wonders which reality is correct. Natalie's reality, or the random girl who showed up in her room and told her that everyone calls her Spooky. 


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review 2017-10-17 20:13
We Have Always Lived in the Castle ★★★★☆
We Have Always Lived in the Castle - Shirley Jackson,Bernadette Dunne

Shirley Jackson is so good at taking us inside the heads of characters who really don’t fully understand how disturbed they are, and neither do we, until we do. And that a-ha moment, when clarity hits. This story leaves me with even more questions about what is real or not and fascinated with the dynamics between individual characters, their family unit, and between them and the townsfolk. And maybe it’s because I was reading Carpe Jugulum at the same time, I couldn’t help thinking of

those final scenes in terms of classic stories of villagers becoming a howling mob with torches and pitchforks to storm the castle where the monster lives. Or maybe that was intentional on the author's part. The girls in their isolation in that big old house with their almost mythic backstory of murder really kind of fit the monster in the castle and angry, frightened villagers, don't they?

(spoiler show)


Audiobook via Audible. Bernadette Dunn’s performance is as outstanding as it was for The Haunting of Hill House.

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