Thursday, October 30, 2014
This has to be one of the most classic Halloween stories and when you think about it...it's really unique? The loose inspiration for the current Fox series as well has brought it back into fashion!
This new edition from Penguin Classics contains all of Washington Irving's most interesting characters. I really enjoyed reading the actual original stories...The Legend of Sleepy Hollow has a very authentic American fall feel to it that I think is really enjoyable. I haven't read all of the stories, yet, but I'm looking forward to it! And while the giveaway is for Halloween and gives you a chance to discover this story for yourself, it's actually appropriate for the entire fall season since some of the stories are titled with Christmas :)
About the Book
Chilling real-life accounts of witches, from medieval Europe through colonial America, compiled by the New York Times bestselling author of The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane and Conversion
From a manual for witch hunters written by King James himself in 1597, to court documents from the Salem witch trials of 1692, to newspaper coverage of a woman stoned to death on the streets of Philadelphia while the Continental Congress met, The Penguin Book of Witches is a treasury of historical accounts of accused witches that sheds light on the reality behind the legends. Bringing to life stories like that of Eunice Cole, tried for attacking a teenage girl with a rock and buried with a stake through her heart; Jane Jacobs, a Bostonian so often accused of witchcraft that she took her tormentors to court on charges of slander; and Increase Mather, an exorcism-performing minister famed for his knowledge of witches, this volume provides a unique tour through the darkest history of English and North American witchcraft.
To win, just fill out the form below. You are welcome to try at winning at winning both titles.
Posted by Amy at 11:08 PM
Wednesday, October 29, 2014
Posted by Amy at 10:50 PM
Monday, October 27, 2014
I was really looking forward to reading this book the moment I first heard about it, so when I had a few hours of down time, I eagerly dug in. I really did like it a lot and I think it functions great as a thriller, but I would like to forewarn that the jacket copy gives away way too much. It sets up an event that doesn't happen until midway through the book, and this can have the very unfortunate side effect of making the book feel like it's dragging because you are waiting for something specific to happen. Couple that with the prologue and it was too much.
I still liked the book a lot, though. It's about a woman on the run from her past life who ends up renting a room that hasn't even been fully moved out of yet. The cash rent system works for her, though. But, everyone in the house has a secret, and the meeting of so many different kinds of people leads to some unusual events. Meanwhile, none of them are aware that a killer also lurks among them.
As I was reading this book, it reminded me that while we often think of horror books during the fall and Halloween season, a really really effective tool in any horror story can be oppressive heat. The Killer Next Door uses it magnificently. It is just SO HOT. This in and of itself is of course horrifying...who likes the heat? But also is great impetus for things to happen, people open their doors, air things out, and if they don't it raises suspicions. Rear Window, or The Ruins would be other good examples of heat in horror stories, imo.
There's also some...well dramatic irony? The reader knows some of what is causing problems for the residents, but they don't. It's very disgusting, and knowing this--while they are dealing with it and trying to figure it out, was also effective in creating tension and suspense.
And the book makes two shoutouts to The Walking Dead so kudos for that!
Liked it a lot! Think serial killer novel, but not typical and you have this book, I think!
I received a copy from the publisher.
Posted by Amy at 11:10 PM
Sunday, October 26, 2014
I loved Melissa Marr's Wicked Lovely series and Carnival of Souls (a series she isn't finishing for reasons I'm unclear on) so I was eager to check out her latest YA offering. If you like thrillers that aren't supernatural or overly scary for your October reading, this is a good one!
Made for You is about Eve a young privileged and popular girl. She has a stalker, but she's unaware of it until he attempts to take her life. As she's recovered from the attack, she realizes that when she touches people, she senses how they will die. This troubles her, but also begins to give her clues into her stalker and she quickly realizes those she loves might be in danger. She begins to piece things together in order to try stop her stalker...but can she figure out who it is in time?
This is a fairly quick paced read, with plenty of intrigue. I liked the intrigue of her sensing people's deaths, especially since it wasn't always tied to her own predicament...the reality of death and things ending became a sort of burden to her. I also liked this twist because it presented questions about how playing with knowledge of future events can affect and impact the future.
It's not all doom and gloom! There is a love story and some really nice family moments, too. Plus, I love Melissa Marr for including a shout-out to Sara Zarr's books!
I read an egalley that was provided to me by the publisher. Recommended!
Posted by Amy at 8:52 PM
Monday, October 20, 2014
Great episode, I suspect the show is really on a roll.
Loved all things Rick and Michonne. Love that Michonne is fighting for some kind of life and therefore doesn't miss her sword, lol. It's actually character growth, I think, though I suspect she'll be just fine to be reunited with it since she's so quick and able with it. I love what the sword represents to Michonne's character and I will have to spend some time thinking about it more.
Lol, I don't know really know why Rick is still the leader (i.e. when everyone told Abraham they'd do what Rick said) but whatever, the show seems to want to have a leader. For those of you who are primarily Carol fans, was Rick's ...uh...asking her if they'd have him, enough? I do love Carol, but I know that I'm biased towards Rick and I felt that he did humble himself with her, but at the same time seemed to express that he still wasn't sure over what she'd done. I do get why it might be a hard thing to come to terms with... I know fandom is quick to forgive, but it's only because the show had her kill people that barely had screen time. If she'd killed Daryl or Maggie or Glenn for the sake of the group, I feel like it would have had more impact insofar as viewers understanding how it felt to the others. But obviously, I'm glad she didn't! Anyway, I found it interesting that she echoed Tyreese's words, i.e. I can't talk about it.
Father Gilliam is intriguing! Also, I loved the church scene, like they were eating a potluck and Abraham gave a sermon, lol. And Tara asked for Maggie's forgiveness. I don't know it was all nicely placed and just exuded warmth.
Daryl and Carol totally took off without telling anyone! And omg poor Bob. That was an exceptionally well done piece of horror, I must say, though so very sad. Bob was totally bitten, right? :( So sad.
Also, I've been kind of...what are they doing with Tyreese, but Chad L. Coleman, who plays Tyreese, pointed out on The Talking Dead that it's an interesting gender role reversal..which I totally hadn't thought about at all.
Tell me all your thoughts and feelings!
Posted by Amy at 12:27 AM
Saturday, October 18, 2014
I find stories about selkie to be pretty fascinating and I always love a story set on islands...there's a unique kind of atmosphere inherent in such stories and islands by nature evoke ideas of both the unforgiving forces of nature, the beauty of the sea, and isolation. As such, an island setting was absolutely perfect for the story Elisabeth Gifford told in The Sea House. To top it off, I love dual narratives where the past affects the present and we get to hear both stories!
Ruth and her husband are renovating an old house to be a bed and breakfast. One day they make a startling discovery in their floors...the bones of a small child that appears to have a mermaid tail. But Ruth herself is battling demons from her past. As she seeks to discover what happened so many years ago, she is confronted with her own unsettled past...a past she must confront if she is to have a successful future with her husband and soon to be born child.
The Sea House is a lovely book..I was instantly intrigued by the idea of researching if selkie were real and the fact the characters very much believe they might be keeps you guessing! But more than anything I love a good story about healing which The Sea House delivers. Sometimes it can be hard to read of another person's misery..the feelings, the unease, and the pain all leapt of the page. But the book in no way keeps you hanging. There can be a way forward and much to my satisfaction, sometimes the past is not what we think. Which is a pretty fascinating idea in itself, considering how much we let it shape our actions and future. There's also even a hint of a love story!
The writing itself is very nice, especially in capturing feelings of emotional intensity--in being able to harness them into words and convey them to the reader. The history is fun and intriguing told through letters, diary entries, and first person accounts and while you might be able to predict what some of the things that happened are, it's still interesting to read exactly how the unfolded. It's also really cool that this book is inspired by an actual letter that a clergyman wrote about seeing a selkie! Also of note is that this book portrays characters of faith who are also very interested in science with no conflict.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review. I am participating in a blog tour...there is a button below that if you click on it will take you to a giveaway.
Purchase the Book!
Posted by Amy at 12:03 AM
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
About the Book
The year is 1867 and Ruth Holtz, based on Moore’s own great grandmother’s story, has the ideal Amish life. She has a loving husband, prosperous farm, several healthy and beautiful children, and the security of living in the Amish community. But soon enough, her world begins to unravel when the English arrive and inspire her husband to seek a new life in Idaho.
As a dutiful wife, Ruth goes along when her husband breaks the rules of their Order. But her willingness to comply disintegrates and she is forced to accept help from some unlikely allies, only to end in betrayal. As Ruth strives for a better future she needs to make unimaginable sacrifices, risk her faith and family, and transform to a truly modern woman.
I have one copy to give away to a United States address. Just fill out the form below to enter! Winner will be notified via email. Giveaway closes October 31.
Posted by Amy at 10:45 PM