Welcome to the Fourth Annual game of Halloween bingo! This is the time of year to read horror and mystery, scary books with gothic themes and other dark fiction.
I won't be around much for the next week or so - we're on the family vacation! I'll be checking in briefly, but I probably won't post much.
My sweet boy crossed the rainbow bridge this afternoon at 4:30 PST. It's been coming for awhile as you know. He stopped eating 3 days ago and the time had come to do what was right by him, and ease his passing.
We were able to have a vet tech come to the house, and he passed gently, surrounded by the friends who loved him best. I will always be grateful for the extra time we had he with him. He was almost 14 when he left us for the last time.
Here he is, young and strong.
This is the weakest of any of the books by Ellis that I've read so far. The mystery made very little sense and the characters were pretty universally behaving like idiots (except for Cat).
The Nikki Galena books are not nearly as good as the Jackman & Evans books - but they were her starting place and she's improved a lot as a story teller in the interim. I'm not giving up on Nikki Galena, and I'll be curious to see the series develop.
2019: I skipped listening to this one the last couple of years, so it's with great delight that I've returned to it for the "Sleepy Hollow" square on my bingo card. My 2016 and 2013 updates are below.
As an aside, the new boy that I mention in the 2014 updates is now my daughter's fiancee and will become my son-in-law in just over a month!
I'm doing my yearly listen to this wonderful narration of Irving's classic tale of humor and horror.
“He was tall, but exceedingly lank, with narrow shoulders, long arms and legs, hands that dangled a mile out of his sleeves, feet that might have served for shovels, and his whole frame most loosely hung together. His head was small, and flat at top, with huge ears, large green glassy eyes, and a long snipe nose, so that it looked like a weather-cock perched upon his spindle neck to tell which way the wind blew. To see him striding along the profile of a hill on a windy day, with his clothes bagging and fluttering about him, one might have mistaken him for the genius of famine descending upon the earth, or some scarecrow eloped from a cornfield.”
This is my third time through, and it is just as wonderful as the first time I listened. Actually, it might even be more wonderful, because it has taken on that patina that only the best and most comforting of reads ever acquires!
Yes, that is Tom Mison, who plays Ichabod Crane in Sleepy Hollow - one of my absolute favorite television shows.
Several weeks ago, someone pointed me in the direction of a free audible version of Washington Irving's classic short story, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (title links to audible page), brilliantly read by Tom Mison.
I had a chance to actually listen to the story on Friday, when I had a several hour drive to pick up my daughter at college and bring her home for the weekend. I am not sure that I had ever actually read this classic story, although I do remember seeing a play that had been adapted from the story.
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is a fantastic listen, with its arcane and beautiful language, read in Mison's buttery British voice. If you are a fan of the show, there is an enhancement in hearing him, with his agile and gorgeous voice, doing the reading (it always amazing to me how much a good narrator adds to the experience of listening to a story).
This isn't horror, though. It is gently comedic slice of American life stuff - the narrator tells the story of Ichabod Crane, gangling school-master and social climber, humorously, making a bit of fun of him. There are meditations on geography, local ghost stories, farming, teaching, women, and, most of all, food. Ichabod is more than a little obsessed with filling his belly, so the discussions of pie and cake are seemingly endless. The end is amusing, and just vague enough to make one wonder.
I loved it. My daughter - who was riding with me - was less amused, taking the position that out of the one hour and fifteen minute story, the last five minutes was the only part that really mattered. Of course, she spent most of the ride texting a new boy with whom she is smitten, and she doesn't really like pie, so who asked her anyway?
It is only an hour and fifteen minutes long, and is totally free on audible. I found it completely delightful.
In 2019, I will be using this one for:
Category name in bold: called
Book title in bold: read
Book title in italics: currently reading
Planned books in parentheses
Film at 11: The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
Magical Realism: (All The Bad Apples by Moira Fowley-Doyle)
Modern Noir: (Arctic Chill by Arnaldur Indridason)
Dark Academia: (Fear University by Meg Collett)
International Woman of Mystery: Shadow on the Fens by Joy Ellis
Creepy Crawlies: Speaks the Nightbird by Robert McCammon
In the Dark, Dark Woods: (Odd and True by Cat Winters)
Paint it Black:
A Grimm Tale: (The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden)
Country House Mystery:
Locked Room Mystery:
Relics and Curiosities:
Sleepy Hollow: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving
New Release: (The Testaments by Margaret Atwood)
Baker Street Irregulars:
Read but not called: uncarved pumpkin
Called but not read: orange frame
Read & called: carved pumpkin with orange frame
Catch up on the bingo calls here!
9/1/19: Ghost stories
9/2/19: Genre: Horror
9/3/19: Creepy Crawlies
9/4/19: Amateur Sleuth
I ended up really enjoying this, although it could have been pared down significantly. McCammon's pace was a bit leisurely even for me, and I enjoy a slow-paced tale.
Overall, though, I liked Matthew Corbett and thought that the historical aspects were very well done. Colonial America is not one of my areas of interest, so I'm not even an "amateur expert," but it rang very true to me and I liked the setting. There was an abundance of gore, bodily effluent, rats, leeches and other unpleasant elements that historical fiction often glosses over.
This isn't really a supernatural story, and, although it would work for Spellbound with the witchcraft plot points, I've actually decided to use it for Creepy Crawlies, based on the prevalence of critters that scuttle, slither, bite and scratch that were part of the story.
I am really intrigued by the next book in the series, Queen of Bedlam, which has even better reviews than Speaks the Nightbird, although I'm not sure that I will get to it during Halloween Bingo. I'm vaguely planning on reading it for one of the squares that is not on my card (Serial/Spree killer, Modern Masters of Horror, or American Horror Story), so I won't start reading until I've blacked out my actual card.