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Search tags: best-of-2018
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text 2018-10-22 16:27
Reading progress update: I've read 220 out of 496 pages.
Black Sun Rising - C.S. Friedman


I am loving this fantasy novel.  It has refreshing differences and comfortable similarities to so much fantasy that I've read.



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text 2018-10-22 15:56
Reading progress update: I've read 17 out of 640 pages.
Werewolves and Shape Shifters: Encounters with the Beasts Within - George R.R. Martin,H.P. Lovecraft,Neil Gaiman,Tessa Gratton,Bentley Little,Zak Jarvis,Violet Glaze,Peter Giglio,Mercedes M. Yardley,Dieter Meyer,Scott Bradley,Brad C. Hodson,Nicole Cushing,Alice Henderson,Alethea Kontis,Steve Duffy,Maxwell Hart,Richard Ch


I completed "The Company of Wolves" which was just as creepy and bizarre as the movie based off this story.

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review 2018-10-22 15:29
"Joyland" by Stephen King - highly recommended
Joyland - Stephen King

"Joyland", an Amusement Park in Nor2th Carolina in 1973, sells fun to all the rubes conies who walk through its gates. In "Joyland" the novel, Stephen King sells his readers a total immersion in a time long past, in a youth long-lost and in a Carnie culture now extinct. He sells the possibility of abilities beyond the normal and most of all he sells the possibility that ordinary young people can do things that make the world better.


Part of King's power to immerse us in "Joyland" is that he doesn't just set his story in 1973 and hope to take you there. He has the story told as what the now-sixty-year-old Devin Jones remembers of the summer, forty years earlier, that changed the life of his younger self.


This looking back changes the nature of the telling. It gives us the views and experiences of Devin then and Devin now. It gifts us with both intimacy and distance. It also allows the sixty-year-old Devin to be wiser and more articulate than a young man in his twenties was likely to be, which means king can stud his prose with pleasing phrases, that enhance the text the way herbs and spice enliven food. Here's an example that says something I know to be true better than I would be able to say it and yet is still a phrase that fits neatly in the story and comes believably off the tongue of the narrator.

"When it comes to the past, everyone writes fiction."

Although this book is short by Stephen King standards (283 page) it is as richly textured as any of his novels. 


The background is given by the "Carnie" world which exists as an invisible overlay on the world the visitors see. It has its own language, rituals, roles and rules and King brings them all to life the eyes of a young man hungry for something to become part of.


The plot is driven partly by a murder mystery, with Devin trying to discover who killed the pretty girl who is now thought to haunt the House of Horror ride and by a strong sense of foreboding imparted by a  the predictions of Carnie fortune teller,' who may actually have flashes of The Sight, for people Devin needs to look out for.


The emotional impact of the book comes from Devin Jones' coming of age story. We see him fall in love with Carnie life because it allows him to become someone more than he has been. When he "wears the fur" and becomes a loveable dog character, he discovers that he can make kids light up with joy, He finds that he wants to be the bringer of all good thing and this leads him to fall in love first with a dying boy he sees each day on the boardwalk and then with the boy's mother because of her love for the boy and her strength and of course, because she's hot.


As I read this book, I was so pleased with it that I wondered whether King's normal "woo-woo" topics would spoil my pleasure by force-fitting the supernatural onto a story that was already compelling. I should have had more faith. As he did with "The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon", King weaves the supernatural in to enhance the story, rather than letting it become the story. He makes The Sight and ghosts feel as real as the rides in Amusement Park.


King avoids clichéed romance and tacky nostalgia by being deeply truthful. He also fits every emotional button available with merciless skill, leaving his readers feeling they too have been for a hell of a carnie ride.  


I listened to the audiobook version of "Joyland" which is expertly performed by Michael Kelly who manages to give just the right mix of innocence and regret to Devin Jones-

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review 2018-10-22 13:49
Review: “Dead in the Garden” (Grasmere Cottage Mystery, #1) by Dahlia Donovan
Dead in the Garden - Dahlia Donovan


~ 4 stars ~


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text 2018-10-22 13:12
Halloween Bingo 2018 - update

Oooh, I'm so close I can almost smell a bingo. I've now got 12 squares which are called and read. 



Small monochrome kitty = called but not read

Small colour kitty = read but not called

Large colour kitty = read and called


Currently reading


Terrifying Women - Shell Game, Sara Paretsky (called 9/11/18)




9/01/18 Modern Noir - The Last Coyote, Michael Connelly (read but not called)

9/03/18 Supernatural - Iron and Magic, Ilona Andrews (called and read)

9/09/18 Cryptozoologist - Discount Armageddon, Seanan McGuire (called and read) 

9/11/18 Relics and Curiosities - The Story of the Amulet, E Nesbit (called and read)

9/14/18 Spellbound - Equal Rites, Terry Pratchett (called and read)

9/16/18 Shifters - Magic Triumphs, Ilona Andrews (called and read)

9/25/18 New Release - Early Riser, Jasper Fforde (called and read)

9/30/18 Creepy Carnivals - Nights at the Circus, Angela Carter (called and read)

10/02/18 Ghost Stories - The Canterville Ghost, Oscar Wilde (called and read)

10/06/18 Genre: Suspense - Be Buried in the Rain, Barbara Michaels (called and read)

10/10/18 Country House Mystery - Brat Farrar, Josephine Tey (called and read)

10/12/18 Darkest London - The Furthest Station, Ben Aaronovitch (called and read)

10/20/18 Diverse Voices - White is for Witching, Helen Oyeyemi (called and read)


Still to read


Southern Gothic - Living Dead in Dallas, Charlene Harris (called 9/9/18)

A Grimm Tale - Heartless, Marissa Meyer (called 9/13/18)

Diverse Voices - TBA (called 9/21/18)
Murder Most Foul - Tombland, C J Sansom (called 9/23/18)

Amateur Sleuth - TBA (called 9/25/18)

Doomsday - The Chrysalids, John Wyndham (called 10/3/18)
13 - The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater (called 10/07/18)

Terror in a Small Town - TBA (called 10/09/18)

Fear the Drowning Deep - The Kraken Wakes, John Wyndham (called 10/17/18)

Deadlands - A Discovery of Witches, Deborah Harkness


Baker Street Irregulars - TBA

Free Square - Lethal White, Robert Galbraith


Let the games begin.

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