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Locus Amoenus: All By My Shelf

Watch the amazing Locus juggle several books at once, and try not to drop any! Free admission.

Professional Reader

Currently reading

One Corpse Too Many (The Chronicles of Brother Cadfael Book 2)
Ellis Peters
Progress: 20%
Shameless: A Sexual Reformation
Nadia Bolz-Weber
House of Leaves
Mark Z. Danielewski

Halloween Bingo Pre-Party: The Classics

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd - Agatha Christie Carrie - Stephen King The Exorcist - William Peter Blatty The Omen - David Seltzer The Cask of Amontillado - Edgar Allan Poe The Canterville Ghost - Oscar Wilde, Inga Moore


These are some of the first works I read in horror and mystery, and ones that still stand out for me.

Halloween Bingo Squares: Cryptozoologist

Stoker's Wilde  - Melissa Prusi, Steven Hopstaken

I was going to read this one now, since I had received a Netgalley copy and hadn't had time to review before now. But I'm going to leave it for Halloween Bingo, since it fits nicely into my Cryptozoologist square.

Final Thoughts: Sourcery

Sourcery - Terry Pratchett

I can never get enough of Pratchett's way with words, especially his descriptions:


He looked the kind of person who, when they blink, you mark it off on the calendar.


This was a really fun novel, with some great characters: Rincewind, of course, but also Conina and Nijel, a repeat appearance by Death, and some very inept Horsepersons of the Apocalypse (or Apocralypse, as they call it). Oh, and the Luggage.


I know the next Discworld club read has started, but I'm going to save Wyrd Sisters for the Halloween Bingo, since it works perfectly for one of my squares.

Halloween Bingo Pre-Party: Favorite Horror Reads

Four and Twenty Blackbirds - Cherie Priest Bag of Bones - Stephen King Ring - Koji Suzuki, Glynne Walley


My favorite horror reads are ones that involve some kind of mystery, one that gets more horrifying the more you unravel it. Ghost stories do that for me: mysterious deaths, haunted asylums, that one spirit that keeps trying to tell you something.

Calling All Halloween Bingo Participants! Anyone Interested in Bookmarks?

Hello Bingo Friends!


I wanted to contribute a little something to this year's Halloween Bingo, and decided to offer handmade bookmarks in seasonal colors to commemorate the event to any participants who are interested.


Aside from reading, one of my other passions is bobbin lace, and I love making bookmarks. So I'll be making some Halloween-colored bookmarks like the one below, with a black center and different seasonal edgings (depending on what colors are in my thread stash)!


If you're participating in the Bingo (i.e. you have a card) and would like a bookmark, please send me a message telling me where I should send it, and I'll do so as soon as it's done. I already have one ready to go, and I'll keep making them as long as requests come in.


Don't be shy! I'll be happy to make them!







Halloween Bingo Pre-Party: Most Anticipated Read for 2019 Halloween Bingo

House of Leaves - Mark Z. Danielewski



Definitely House of Leaves. In fact, that one might be my early start book. I heard about it on a podcast about a year ago, and bought it immediately (in paper, since that was one of the recommendations). And, as happens with many books, I never got around to it. So now it's first on my list! My edition is the "remastered" one (whatever that means in terms of books), and looks gorgeous.

Final Thoughts: Tell No One

Tell No One - Harlan Coben

As I mentioned in a previous update, I picked this up from Overdrive looking for a quick read in between longer works. And it was quick indeed, partly thanks to the twists and turns that kept me hooked on the story. Also, kudos to the author for managing to throw in a final twist on the very last page.


My biggest complaint would be the outlandishness of a few aspects of the plot. However, I'm not a habitual reader of suspense novels, so for all I know this is just par for the course. I also wasn't crazy about the switch between first person and third person POVs, although as I suspected I understood why it was written this way by the end.

Halloween Bingo: My Card!


I'm so excited! Thank you, Moonlight Reader!

Reading progress update: I've read 43%.

Tell No One - Harlan Coben

The plot is still gripping, even with its various threads pulling in different directions.


My only dislike so far is the way the POVs change: first-person chapters (or sections) from the POV of the protagonist, interspersed with third-person sections/chapters from the perspective of other characters. I find the shifts distracting, but hopefully there will be a good reason down the road for this choice.

Reading progress update: I've read 16%.

Tell No One - Harlan Coben

I picked this one up on a whim. I was looking for a quick suspenseful read, and went searching through Overdrive on my Kobo to see what was available for loan. The description for this one sounded intriguing, and I hit the borrow button.


So far it's sucked me in like a black hole, in the best sense possible. :D I love books that have me going breathlessly from one chapter to the next, and so far this one does not disappoint. If I like it enough, I'll definitely put this author on my to-read list.

Halloween Bingo Pre-Party: Favorite Seasonal Covers

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies - Seth Grahame-Smith Coraline and Other Stories - Neil Gaiman, Dave McKean So Mote it Be - Isobel Bird The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (Graphic Novel) - Bo Hampton, Tracey Hampton, Washington Irving Four and Twenty Blackbirds - Cherie Priest Wyrd Sisters - Terry Pratchett The Haunting of Hill House - Shirley Jackson, Laura Miller It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown - Charles M. Schulz Pet Sematary - Stephen King


I'll make this largely a visual post, since it's all about judging a book by its cover ;)

Halloween Bingo Pre-Party: Favorite Series with Supernatural Elements

His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows  - J.K. Rowling


I skipped yesterday's question because this is my first Halloween Bingo, so here we are on the next one.


I don't know how well this series fits into the "supernatural elements" category, but I'm going with Pullman's His Dark Materials. Barring that, Harry Potter.


I can't think of any purely horror series I've read and liked (I reviewed a trilogy a few months back that was absolutely abysmal), so I'll have to keep an eye out for other people's posts today, to get some ideas!

Halloween Bingo Pre-Party: Favorite Ghostly Tales

The Shining - Stephen King Bag of Bones - Stephen King The Canterville Ghost - Oscar Wilde, Inga Moore Ring - Koji Suzuki, Glynne Walley Beloved - Toni Morrison Four and Twenty Blackbirds - Cherie Priest


As I mentioned in the previous question, I love ghosts, especially the vengeful kind. I also like ghost stories where the ghost may or may not be a figment of someone's imagination.


My top pick for ghost story (and it's really so much more than a ghost story) is Beloved, by Toni Morrison, which starts with the line "124 was spiteful."

Halloween Bingo Pre-Party: Vampires, Werewolves, Zombies, or Other?

Hellsing, Vol. 01 - Duane Johnson, Kohta Hirano The Historian - Elizabeth Kostova Four and Twenty Blackbirds - Cherie Priest Ring - Koji Suzuki, Glynne Walley Bag of Bones - Stephen King Dracula and Other Stories by Bram Stoker. (Complete and Unabridged). Includes Dracula, the Jewel of Seven Stars, the Man (Aka: The Gates of Life), the - Bram Stoker


I'm a vampire girl, mostly because it's what I've read more of compared to werewolves and zombies. I especially like the way they've been reimagined throughout time and media.


But if I had to choose from Other, I'd definitely go for ghosts, especially the kind that haunt asylums and abandoned homes because something terrible happened to them.

Halloween Bingo Pre-Party: Mystery or Horror?


I'm in! This should be fun: my favorite holiday and two of my favorite genres!


Horror or Mystery?




Although lately, I've had a harder time finding good horror. I prefer creepy, unexplainable events style horror to slasher stories; in fact, the less violence the better. It's scarier when it's implied, and just at the edges of one's peripheral vision.


For mysteries, I like old-fashioned whodunnits (Christie!) or cozies (there's a great series I read based around a cross stitch store, whose title I can't remember at the moment).

Final Thoughts: Desfile de ciervos

Desfile de ciervos - Manuel Vicent

This was an amazing read, but would probably make little sense to anyone not familiar with the political, social, and cultural goings-on in Spain during the 1990s. The story is loosely held together by a painting of the royal family commissioned in the 90s, but left unfinished for two decades. In a reverse Dorian Gray theme, the figures in the painting remain untouched while Spanish society (and the subjects of the portrait itself) decays around them.


Edit: Also, it's good to be back in the land of reading and writing. It's been a complicated couple of months, but things are finally slowing down enough for me to relax with books!