Moonlight Madness

Moonlight Madness

The third annual game of Booklikes Halloween Bingo starts 9/1/18! Join us and play!

3.5 Stars
Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett
Equal Rites  - Terry Pratchett

So, this was my first foray into Discworld - and I've been given the impression that it's an early Discworld and shouldn't serve as my final impression of the series. This led me to believe that it probably wasn't very good, or at least not very good relative to the series as a whole.


I liked the set up a lot, though I do feel like Pratchett left a lot of possibilities on the table with respect to Eskarina being accidentally made to be the first female wizard. I really liked Granny Weatherwax, although I'm getting the impression that she isn't a granny at all, which I find sort of confusing. I picture her as being quite an attractive, spry youngish witch. Could be wrong about that, but she seemed to capture a great deal of male attention and complained about her lack of crone-ishness. 


I really just decided to sort of let the book flow over me, enveloping me in a sense of Discworldishness, since Pratchett's writing style is decidedly unique and, for me at least, needs to be approached with a sense of open-mindedness and adventure. 


So, I liked it and I'm excited to read more.

Equal Rites  - Terry Pratchett

I decided to read this in preparation for the Official Booklikes Halloween Bingo Buddy Read, which is Wyrd Sisters.


This is my first Discworld book!

Official Buddy Read Selected!
Wyrd Sisters - Terry Pratchett

The official buddy read for Halloween Bingo is Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett!


I am really excited about this one! I've never read any of the Discworld books, and I've been meaning to check them out for years. Wyrd Sisters looks like fun.


Join us - the read begins 10/1/18!

Runoff Poll for Official Buddy Read

This poll is closed!


I am going to close voting on this poll at noon, which gives everyone about an hour and forty minutes to get their vote in!


Since the first and second choices were only one vote apart, we're going to do a run off poll! Vote for the one you want to read.


Run-off Poll for Official BL Bingo Buddy Read
The Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett
The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole
Created with QuizMaker

Poll for the Official Buddy Read!

This poll is closed, and the run off poll has been posted.


I'm reposting this for everyone who hasn't yet voted! You have about 90 minutes to get your vote in!


It looks like I'll be doing a runoff poll at this point, since the top two choices are quite close together. 


We're doing one official buddy read for Booklikes Bingo, starting on 10/1/18. The theme was "haunted house."


If you are interested in joining us for the official buddy read, please vote your choice here!


Oh, and voting will close tomorrow at 5:00 p.m. PST!


Official BL Bingo Buddy Read Selection!
Hell House by Robert Matheson
The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters
The Sundial by Shirley Jackson
The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole
Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett

4 Stars
Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse
Trail of Lightning (The Sixth World) - Rebecca Roanhorse

A huge shout-out to both Mike Finn - Audiobook Junkie and Chris' Fish Place, whose reviews of this book were so compelling that I couldn't resist picking up Trail of Lightning. I've linked to their reviews - and they are both so well written that they've left me with little to say!


Let me just talk about my reaction to the book. First, reading an own voices book focused on the Native American legendarium was amazing. Roanhouse's world building was so good. The main character, Maggie, was complex, layered, interesting and developed over the course of the book in a way that felt very organic and natural. Kai is a fantastic character, and I can't wait to see where Roanhorse takes his character in the next book.


He'd BETTER be in the next book!


This book would fit right into Halloween bingo, qualifying for Cryptozoologist, A Grimm Tale (Native American folklore/legend), New Release (published 6/26/18), Deadlands (zombie type creatures), Terrifying Women, Supernatural, Doomsday, Spellbound and Shifters.

4.5 Stars
The Chronicles of Barsetshire by Anthony Trollope
The Warden - Anthony Trollope

I really love Anthony Trollope, and his Chronicles of Barsetshire, to me, reach a level of Victorian perfection that was only attained by a select few authors and books. He manages to perfectly balance satire and seriousness, acerbity and sweetness, and he writes with an infinitely generous spirit. Even his villains are delightful in their villainy.


The road to hell is, of course, paved with good intentions, which is the entire point of The Warden. This is really a novella, not a novel, clocking in at a mere 122 pages, approximately 20% as long as the average Trollopian festival of Victorian awesomeness, which makes it quite accessible for readers who do not necessarily enjoy 800 pages of flowery 19th century prose.


It lacks Obadiah Slope, however, who makes his first, unctuously delicious appearance in the next book, Barchester Towers.


This book fits precisely zero squares in Halloween bingo, although the question of what will the wholly honest and forthright Mr. Septimus Hardy do after being accused of nefarious self-dealing by his daughter's lover, the extremely bold Mr. Bold, does create a bit of gentle suspense.

3 Stars
Indexing by Seanan McGuire
Indexing - Seanan McGuire

I usually love Seanan McGuire - the InCryptids series is one of my all time favorites, and what I've read of October Daye I've liked. I loved the first book in her Wayward Children series, Every Heart a Doorway.


Everything about Indexing should have worked for me - I liked the concept of the fairy tale narrative repeating itself endlessly, and a shadowy government agency tasked with making sure that the rest of us don't get accidentally caught up in the terrible effects of it was fun. It was also super-cheap - I paid $1.79 for the kindle book back when I bought it.


Unfortunately, my overall feeling at the end of the book was "meh." Maybe it was the serial format - the book began its life as part of the short-lived kindle serial experiment, so it was really a collection of chapters with an overarching narrative, but McGuire had to spend time recapping for readers who entered the serial at a point other than the beginning.


I also felt like it wasn't as fully-realized as some of her other books. Again, maybe this is a byproduct of the serial format, but it felt rather jumpy and unconnected at times. 


When I bought this one, I also grabbed the second in the series. There was enough that I liked about the first book that I'm sure I'll read it at some point, but if I hadn't already bought the second book, I'd give it a miss.


If you are still interested after my mediocre review, this book would fit A Grimm Tale, Supernatural and Terrifying Women squares for Halloween Bingo!

Open Road Book Haul!

I snapped up a few of the $1.99 books yesterday, including two by authors I've been wanting to try for a while.


Nothing Venture - Patricia WentworthA courageous heroine risks her life to save the man she loves 
Jervis Weare is in a predicament. According to Ambrose Weare’s will, his grandson must marry within three months or the vast estate goes to his great-niece: Jervis’s fiancée Rosamund Carew. But the deceiving society beauty has just dumped Jervis, which leaves him scrambling to find another bride.
Nan Forsyth has secretly loved Jervis for ten years. He has no inkling that Nan once saved his life and is now about to come to his rescue again. She knows that with her working-class background and the emotionally fragile sister she’s raising on her own, she’s hardly the proper wife for Jervis. Yet marry him she does; though to Jervis, it’s strictly a business arrangement. They’re barely wed before the past comes back to haunt them—a past Jervis can’t remember, but someone else does. Now Nan must save Jervis one last time before a murderous plot a decade in the making comes full circle.
Nothing Venture is a classic British mystery from the acclaimed author of the Miss Silver Mysteries.


Deep Creek - Dana HandIdaho Territory, June 1887. A small-town judge takes his young daughter fishing, and she catches a man. Another body surfaces, then another. The final toll: over 30 Chinese gold miners brutally murdered. Their San Francisco employer hires Idaho lawman Joe Vincent to solve the case.

Soon he journeys up the wild Snake River with Lee Loi, an ambitious young company investigator, and Grace Sundown, a métis mountain guide with too many secrets. As they track the killers across the Pacific Northwest, through haunted canyons and city streets, each must put aside lies and old grievances to survive a quest that will change them forever.

Deep Creek is a historical thriller inspired by actual events and people: the 1887 massacre of Chinese miners in remote and beautiful Hells Canyon, the middle-aged judge who went after their slayers, and the sham race-murder trial that followed. This American tragedy was long suppressed and the victims nearly forgotten; Deep Creek teams history and imagination to illuminate how and why, in a seamless, fast-moving tale of courage and redemption, loss and love. A dazzling new novel for fans of Leif Enger, Lisa See, and Ivan Doig.


Buried For Pleasure - Edmund CrispinIt's a naughty world, a tiresome world, a world notably lacking in witty epigrams. In short, it's a world that is crying out for Gervase Fen, and so he has declared himself a candidate for Parliament, ready to serve the good people of]]where was it again? Fen's political ambitions, though, get just a little sidetracked by the murdered policeman who crops up on the campaign trail, not to mention the escaped (and naked) lunatic who's convinced he's Woodrow Wilson. And then there's the peculiar clergyman and the love-struck pig]]






Murder at Fenway Park - Troy SoosA Red Sox rookie is accused of murder in the first Mickey Rawlings historical mystery “that will leave readers eager for subsequent innings” (Publishers Weekly).
Boston, 1912. Fenway has just opened, Ty Cobb is a nationwide sensation, and rookie Mickey Rawlings has finally made it to the majors. But just when he sets foot inside the confines of the green monster, his all-star dreams come crashing down—Rawlings is fingered for the monstrous murder of his teammate Red Corriden.
Sure, someone decided to use Red for batting practice. But just because Rawlings has fouled off a lot of balls in his time doesn’t mean the cops have to be as blind as a rookie ump when it comes to his innocence. With no one watching his back, Rawlings has no choice but to switch his baseball cap for a sleuthing hat to clear his name. Otherwise, it’s going to be a short season in the majors and a long one behind bars . . .


Fog of Doubt - Christianna Brand

Few were disappointed when Raoul Vernet was found with his head bashed in, dead in a pool of his own blood. On vacation in England, the Belgian seducer comes to visit Matilda, an old flame from a few years before. She agrees despite suspicions that Vernet has been deploying his legendary charm on another member of the family: young Rosie, who has returned from her Swiss boarding school carrying a child.


None of the family members were in the house when Raoul was killed, but all were within a fog-choked London mile. Rosie calls in the brilliant Inspector Cockrill to clear the family's name, but what he finds is a twisted clan of seven people, each as likely to laugh at a murder as commit one.


Wolf Winter - Clare FrancisWhen two Norwegians are murdered in cold blood after mistakenly wandering into Soviet wilderness, their family and friends navigate the bitter winter as they try to unveil the mystery behind their deaths.

Halvard Starheim, a savvy and seasoned explorer, delays his Mount Everest expedition to search for his fellow explorer and close friend, Jan. Ragna Johansen, Jan’s beautiful widow; and Norwegian journalist Rolf Berg—who is hiding a secret about his role in this deadly international conspiracy—join Starheim on the dangerous mission.

Interweaving the stories of these three key players, author Clare Francis sets the stage for a final showdown in the freezing Arctic winter, when they will finally discover the truth behind the murders. 


Bingo Card Tutorial

So, Linda was asking about filling in the bingo card with images, so I thought I would do a little tutorial of how PicMonkey works. This is my favorite photo editing site because there is so much fun stuff available to play with - pretty much all of my images come off of PicMonkey.


PicMonkey has a free version and a premium version. I have the premium version, but the free version will work fine for this.


So, to begin - I download the bingo card to a folder on my computer. I reuse the image and when I'm done modifying it, I resave it under the same name so I'm always using the most current (i.e., filled in) version.


When you open PicMonkey, this is what it looks like:



You want the edit function, not the design or the collage. Although the collage function is awesome for making book cover collages and the actual bingo card itself, soI use it a lot!


When you click on edit, it opens up some options to choose an image, including computer. Browse and find your bingo card on your computer and upload it.


It will look more or less like this:



You find the overlays under either the butterfly or the apple. The apple has the themes, which is what is showing over on the left hand side. There are tons of available themes, including 6 Halloween-style themes and at least 3 Christmas-style themes. That is where you will find your cute overlays for your bingo markers.



These are under the Trick or Treat theme. You click on them, and then drag them into place. Super simple! Sometimes they need to be resized, which is easy to do!


Anyway, I hope that helps! Have fun!

Reblogged from Moonlight Madness
Do you have questions about Halloween Bingo?

I created a new discussion thread:


Halloween Bingo 2018, Rules, Category Descriptions, Links, and Other FAQS!


Ask away!

Bingo grand prize and a few smaller prizes, too

Who remembers my Halloween Quilt from last year?


To help you remember, here's a picture:



Well, as you can see from the picture below, I have a ton of fabric scraps of various sizes left over!



So, ahem, the grand prize for this year's Halloween Bingo is a Moonlight Madness handmade Halloween-themed throw quilt for you to snuggle under for next year's Halloween Bingo game!




The quilt will be approximately 50" by 60". The top will use a variety of Halloween themed fabrics. The back will be a soft flannel of some type. It will be essentially 100% cotton, and machine washable. It won't be quite as elaborate as the quilt I made myself, because that took about two years to finish. I can't necessarily predict the completion date, but you will have it prior to the end of 2018.


To win:


Each bingo gets the individual player one entry into the drawing, up to four. If you black out your card, you get another four entries, up to a total of eight! I will draw the winner using on 11/10/18. Everyone can enter, including overseas players, although you might have to wait a bit longer for the prize, since I will send it by the cheapest means possible, possibly overland by camel . . .


In addition:


I will be making two Halloween book/tote bags to send out as bingo prizes. The first drawing for a book bag will occur on October 1, and everyone who has a bingo during the month of September gets one entry.


The second drawing will occur on November 1, and everyone who has a bingo during the game gets one entry.


Let's play!

Halloween Bingo Buddy Read!

This year's buddy read theme is:


Haunted House



We will be doing one buddy read to begin on October 1, 2018


Please nominate ONE book that is related to the general theme of "haunted houses". Prior to nominating something obscure, do some research on sourcing. Ideally, the book will be still in print for a reasonable price, and will be widely available through the library so everyone can join in if they want to!

Nominations are open through next Monday! Once the nominations are closed, I'll make some decisions about polling. If there are more than 5 or 6 nominations, I'll probably do two polls - an initial poll to narrow down the choices, and then a final poll to select the book. 

As was the case last year, the buddy read book can be used as a "wild card" to fill any space, so long as the reader finishes the book and posts at least one substantive post on the discussion thread! Buddy reads can be a lot of fun!

Thanks, everyone!


Nominations thread and other information can be found here!


There is plenty of time to still request your bingo card!


Where should you go to sign up?


Right here!

Halloween Bingo 2018: New categories, new lists - FINAL LIST

UPDATE 7 August - FINAL with categories 21-31


Please note:  Recommendations to the lists will get added ASAP, but there might be lags here and there as unreasonable people demand I participate in real life.  


Also, if I start getting overwhelmed/confused by the number of comments on a list, and I've already added the books suggested, I may delete that comment thread.  I'll NEVER delete actual conversations, but if it's strictly a recommendation comment, deleting it might keep me from doing daft things, like adding the book multiple times.


Per Moonlight Madness' request, I've created new lists for the new categories (and where applicable, renamed old lists).  This is the final post of list links for all the 2018 categories.  


This post will be updated as the new categories are announced.


Creepy Carnivals

Southern Gothic  (short, needs suggestions!)


New Release (no list)

Genre: Suspense  This list was originally "Romantic Suspense" but as the category is ANY suspense book, I've renamed it. 

Baker Street Irregulars

Shifters  (I've broken out Vampires from the old Vampires vs. Werewolves, so there are now 2 lists)


Spellbound  (The original Witches list, renamed)

Modern Noir


Ghost Stories


A Grimm Tale

Relics and Curiosities

Deadlands  see also: Vampires


Modern Masters of Horror (Combined with Genre: Horror, but marked as 'Modern' in the notes.


Genre: Horror

Cryptozoologist  (see also: Shifters and Vampires)

Fear the Drowning Deep


Classic Horror

Romantic Suspense


Country House Mystery 

Terror in a Small Town


Cozy Mystery

Darkest London

Amateur Sleuth

Terrifying Women

Murder Most Foul (Since this category is any mystery, I've put my own spin on this list)

Diverse Voices


Good luck to everyone!

Reblogged from Murder by Death
Squares - the rest sliced and diced!