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text 2017-09-19 10:37
I was a little chilled today
These Deathless Bones: A Tor.com Origina... These Deathless Bones: A Tor.com Original - Cassandra Khaw

But now I need sunshine and lollipops and fluff.  This is a chilling read, justified and terrible and scary.


I could use this for Chilling Children or Witches but I think I'm going to use it for Modern masters of Horror as this is masterful. I didn't intend to read it but it dragged me in and kept me reading.

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text 2017-09-13 03:41
Thoughts on the Eve of the 2017 Man Booker Shortlist
Home Fire: A Novel - Kamila Shamsie
Exit West - Mohsin Hamid
Days Without End - Sebastian Barry
Autumn: A Novel - Ali Smith
The Underground Railroad - Colson Whitehead
Solar Bones - Mike McCormack
History of Wolves - Emily Fridlund

The Man Booker Prize shortlist announcement is hours away and I've been working hard to read my way through the list. Despite my best intentions, I was only able to completely read seven of this year's nominees as well as three others in part. That leaves three novels that are at this point a complete mystery to me, so I cannot speak on them. Here are some thoughts on who might make the list tomorrow.

I think Home Fire, Exit West, and Days Without End are the three strongest contenders from the ten I've read. I will be surprised if these three do not make the shortlist. I'll be really surprised if none of the three do.

Personally, I didn't enjoy The Underground Railroad much, but I think it also stands a good chance of being shortlisted. I'll be annoyed if wins the Prize given how much attention it has garnered this year, but a shortlist nomination would be accepted.

Rounding out the list is difficult. Autumn and Solar Bones are possible contenders.

I'd love to see History of Wolves on the list as it has been a personal favorite, so far. I know many readers had a very different reaction to this novel, however, so it's a long shot to make the list. (And it has zero chance of winning the Prize.)

If I had to put money on six and only six titles, they'd be
1. Home Fire
2. Days Without End
3. Exit West
4. The Underground Railroad
5. Autumn

6. History of Wolves (anything's possible, right?)

Have you been reading the Man Booker nominees? Have any thoughts on who might be shortlisted?

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text 2017-09-08 11:07
A reshuffle, Ghosts and Center square
Mirror Mirror - Anthony M. Strong
SLEEPY HOLLOW: Bridge of Bones (Jason Crane Book 2) - Richard Gleaves

It came to my attention that after already shuffling a few books around, the one I eventually started reading for center square is over 500 pages. It's a key position and a book I've been wanting to read, plus I've read too far to stop now!


So, after looking at my options, I've decided the one I had lined up for Ghosts isn't that important to me and I've moved Bridge of Bones to the Ghosts square and looked through my Horror folder specifically looking for something short for Center square.


Mirror, Mirror will do nicely. 53 pages. Phew!

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text 2017-09-08 00:58
Not a bad little story
Doll Bones - Holly Black

Having read lots of John Bellairs and similar authors growing up, I would say that this book is as well done as those. The story isn't too convoluted but is just messy enough to feel realistic. The ghost of a girl who's bones were used to make a china doll wants to be buried, and drags three friends into a quest to do so. In the course of the quest they have obstacles to overcome with resolutions that make sense but aren't handed to them for the most part. Most of the adults they encounter treat them as would be expected. Waitresses and shop owners treat them as regular customers. Bus station personnel and librarians try to track them down or make them call their parents. No kindly old eccentric smoothing their way by covering for them with other adults.


I personally didn't find the story too creepy, but my freak-out quotient is pretty high, so I wouldn't hold that against the book. The interpersonal relationships are believable and echoing the theme of what to do when your body's growing older but your soul is resisting "growing up". That I can definitely relate to. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a tween-levelish "horror" book. Not overly frightening but will most assuredly make you look sideways at china dolls for a while. 


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review 2017-09-05 09:41
Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark Books by Alvin Schwartz, Stephen Gammell (Artwork), Brett Helquist (Updated Artwork)

I love these stories. I much prefer the original artwork by Stephen Gammell. It is nostalgic, plus I feel like the artwork and stories belong together. The stories are not the same without the original art. That being said, there is nothing wrong with the updated art by Brett Helquist; it isn't bad, just I have no idea why they would even change the art in the first place.


If I were to run across Brett Helquist's artwork somewhere else and they were not tied to this books and my childhood nostalgia, I would really like them quite a lot. I am interested in his work and would read other books he does the artwork for. In fact, I love the art in A Series of Unfortunate Events.


Original Covers & Art



Updated Covers & Art


Comparison of their art style: Stephen verses Brett

As you can see, both are very good, but people who grew up with the original might agree with me in saying Stephen's is much more frightening and belongs with the text.





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