Welcome

A Bookaholic, Pro-life, Pro-Family, Pro-Oxford Comma, Catholic (with Asperger's) who reads and writes as her obsession. I've been reading over 400 books a year lately. These are my ramblings on some of the books I read. To read about all the books I read and comment on, visit me at LibraryThing or Goodreads.

I've been blogging since 2007 and at this point (July 2015) am trying my hand at turning the theme of this blog towards mystery, thriller, and crime, fiction and nonfiction. I have some special interest topics and categories within this broad genre which include (but are not limited to) serial killers, scandi-crime, Victorian history and historicals, history of the criminally insane and asylums, psychopathology, death, funerary practices and burial, corpses, true crime and anything dealing with the real life macabre, or that portrayed in fiction.

I also read a short story a day from various collections, sometimes anthologies othertimes collections of a single author's work. These reviews are also posted here and while they are of mixed genre the mystery, thriller, horror, gothic and macabre often appear within their pages as well.


I also blog about
graphic novels and manga on a separate BLOG.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Bonita Faye by Margaret Moseley

Bonita Faye by Margaret Moseley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Kindle Edition, 240 pages
Expected publication: February 23rd 2016 by Brash Books
first published May 1996
Source: egalley from Brash Books


A fantastic surprise! I would say I was hooked by the first chapter but truth be told I was hooked by the first paragraph! Bonita Faye is quite the character and if you are used to reading southern fiction Bonita is up there with the best. This is not a spoiler because I'm going to talk about the very first sentence in the book. Bonita Faye starts her story off by telling us her secret, that she killed her no-good husband Billy Roy and does in such a charming manner I was soon gasping with laughter. Bonita is writing from her golden years and goes back and forth into the past to tell us her story which centres around that defining moment that changed her life when that abusive overbearing man left her life. It's hard to describe the genre here, I wouldn't call it mystery but there are more than the one murder so I'm apt to call it Southern Noir with high doses of humour. Sincerely, the book is more about a young Okie (part Arkie) woman raped by her step-father at 14, married to black-eyed Billy Roy at 17, uneducated who takes her life (and another's) into her own hands one day and sets forth to learn to accept her soul, love herself, and find the true-love of her life, but she finds two. Half the book takes place in Paris, France in the days after the liberation and end of WWII. This is where she has her awakening and education but darkness is here too. It's a gritty story, with the poverty and abuse of Bonita's early life, the Resistance and Nazi-occupied France repercussions still alive in the new French society, her last husband fights in the Korean war and Bonita has lived a hardscrabble life to get where she gets. However, throughout this book, it is first and foremost a Southern Fiction tale of charm and comedy. Humour is the order of the day and I've literally not enjoyed a book simply so much because it made me smile for some time. Bonita is the type of woman you want to have for a friend, a true southern woman, perhaps from the wrong side of the tracks, but she raised herself up and kept the best of both worlds chucking what she had no use for from each. Laugh out loud funny with its hijinx and charm.



Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Cobweb Walking by Sara Banerji

Cobweb Walking by Sara Banerji
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Paperback, 160 pages
Published September 1st 2012 by Bloomsbury
First published 1986
Source: egalley via netgalley


I've read one other book by this author and I feel like I've stumbled upon a hidden gem. There are currently no reviews for this book on either Librarything or Goodreads and only one on Amazon but I haven't read it. I feel intimidated to be putting my paltry so-called review out there alone. This book defies genre but is imbued with magical realism throughout. One cannot offer up a summary as this is a short book, an odd tale that defies summing up without giving away the secrets. While the story is entirely realistic, it is told by a seventeen-year-old female dwarf who lives in a fairy tale world which as just been shattered by a bomb. Her real name is Morgan but her Daddy calls her Fairy. She can walk on cobwebs and leaves no footprints in the snow yet now for the first time ever she is by herself lost in the "city" and people are staring at her, children point and one even asked its mother if she were real. Something terrible has happened, more terrible than the bomb; we need to find out what Morgan's secret is. This is beautifully written and mesmerizing. Such an odd story, yet compelling. I can't say anything else without giving the story away, but, in the end, I was of two minds. One half of me felt sorry for Morgan; that she had been raised too over-protected while the other half was jealous that she was allowed to live in such a special fairytale world before she had to come of age, as we all must eventually.



Monday, February 1, 2016

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? #4


This meme is held over on Book Date's blog and here we talk about what we are Currently Reading, What we read/posted the last week and what we plan on reading next week. I won't be posting what's coming up; you can get an idea by looking in my sidebars. 

What I am Currently Reading

Fiction:

I'm just starting this but it will be my third by the author.
 All My Puny Sorrows by Miriam Toews

Non-Fiction:

This is going to take me a while to read but I'm really enjoying it. I've gone from the early thirties to early 50's. Rock n roll is about to hit the scene in the next chapter! Elvis is going to hit the airwaves and Jerry Lee is finally going to get noticed.

Manga/Graphic Novel:






















I always have a short story collection going as I read one short story every morning with my cup of coffee. My current collection continues to be:

The Moonlit Road and Other Ghost and Horror Stories by Ambrose Bierce


What I Finished Reading and/or Posted This Week
Stopping for a Spell: Three Magical Fantasies by Diana Wynne Jones
Harry Lane is Innocent by J. Scaddon
The Skeleton Tree by Iain Lawrence

Manga/Graphic Novels
The Seven Deadly Sins 12 by Nakaba Suzuki
Noragami: Stray God 10 by Adachitoka
Cool Japan Guide: Fun in the Land of Manga, Lucky Cats and Ramen by Abby Denson
Sons of the Devil, Volume 1 by Brian Buccellato
Apollo: The Brilliant One by George O'Connor

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Stopping for a Spell: Three Magical Fantasies by Diana Wynne Jones

Stopping for a Spell: Three Magical Fantasies by Diana Wynne Jones; illus by Chris Mould
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Paperback, 144 pgs
Published July 1st 2004 by HarperCollins Publishers
first published May 27th 1993
Source: thrift store


A collection of three previously published stories by Diana Wynne Jones. The first two were published as individual titles in Great Britain and the third was included in a British anthology. They were then collected together and published for the first time in North America as this combined edition. The stories all follow a theme of the "uninvited guest" and are aimed at the younger reader, perhaps 10 and under. They are hilarious fantasies told with tongue firmly planted in cheek and should please readers of any age who like a bit of wicked fun. Diana's fans will find these short stories to be little gems they may not have come across before and they are sure to delight Wynne Jones' followers. It will remain a keeper for my shelves.

1} Chair Person (1989) - Pure delight! An old chair that's been sat in front of the TV for longer than anyone can remember is losing its stuffing and the family finally decides to replace it. After a spill from a second-hand shop's toy magician's kit brings the chair to life the pretentious chair person moves in, won't leave, embarrasses and bosses them, making them desperate to find a way to get rid of him. Hilarious! (5/5)

2) The Four Grannies (1980) - This one feels a bit Roald Dahl-ish. Erg and Emily's parents go away for four days and call a granny to come look after them for the duration. Due to divorces, the children have four grannies and each is horrible in her own unique way. None can take on the job, but of course, in the end, all of them arrive after the parents leave. Nasty grannies and a magic chopstick-wand make for a wild first day. (4/5)

3) Who Got Rid of Angus Flint? (orig. The Fearsome Friend) (1975) - This is the shortest story and quite silly, but nevertheless quite fun and certainly will entertain its intended young audience of perhaps 7-9. Angus Flint, a friend of Dad Roberts from college days calls upon him out of the blue asking if he can stay for a while since his wife has just left him. Upon his arrival, the family is dismayed to find him a belligerent, self-centered, bossy, ungrateful tyrant who rules their roost. The parents manage by escaping by day leaving the kids with the brunt of Angus's bullish eccentricities and finding a way to make him leave. Fun but no explanation as to where the magic comes from and the story is mostly geared toward younger children. (3/5)



Friday, January 29, 2016

Harry Lane is Innocent by J. Scaddon

Harry Lane is Innocent by J. Scaddon
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Kindle Edition, 95 pages
Published September 10th 2015
Source: Kindle freebie


Oh my, an intense, emotional read. The last pages were almost unbearable to read. Time was running out, my heart was pounding and I was afraid to find out how the book might end. Very well written! The book starts off with a frightening scene and then turns towards a plot that has been done before but the author makes it his own. A mentally challenged man in the wrong place at the wrong time is charged with a murder he didn't commit and the police easily manipulate a confession out of him. Set in late 1940s London, England, this is a powerfully emotional tale of the innocence of the mentally child-like and the man-made justice system that is, and always will be, flawed. Sad and compelling.



Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The Skeleton Tree by Iain Lawrence

The Skeleton Tree by Iain Lawrence
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Hardcover, 288 pages
Published January 5th 2016 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Source: Review copy from Random Penguin House Canada


I enjoy survival stories and have been impressed with the two previous books I've read (here and here) by this author. The Skeleton Tree lived up to my expectations. Two young boys are sailing down the Alaskan coast with Jack, uncle to one of the boys when a storm hits and tragedy strikes ending with Jack drowning right before his nephew's eyes. The two boys end stranded on the coast of Alaska with a forest behind them and mountains close by. This is a survival story and theirs isn't as tough as some situations can be, but it is realistic. They've landed near a river during salmon season, they find a rough-made cabin that someone had prepared to be there for a while but obviously left in a hurry, and the elder boy is outdoorsy. But the boys know they won't make it through a winter, so they try to prepare. These boy's don't know each other either and therein lies a mystery. The nephew is twelve, the other 15. Frank, the teenager is mean, bossy, a know-it-all and the two never truly have a happy day together as they can't get along with his attitude hanging over everything, but why did Uncle Jack bring them both along. He was going to tell them something before the storm. And Chris is sure Frank knows the answers and maybe that is why he hates him. The dialogue is real between the teens, the situations are intense and one never knows whether rescue or revealing the secret is the ultimate goal of the plot. The ending leaves one pondering about the boys' future and I like that in a book; it helps to make the characters seem more real. Well-written, with a good pace, and a fast page-turner for me. Highly recommended for young teen boys. I must read more of this author.



Monday, January 25, 2016

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? #3



This meme is held over on Book Date's blog and here we talk about what we are Currently Reading, What we read/posted the last week and what we plan on reading next week. I won't be posting what's coming up. 

I do have a request for suggestions if anyone can help. I'm trying to read a book from all 50 states + DC and only have 2 states left. So does anybody have any suggestions for a thriller, crime or detective novel set in either Delaware or Idaho? Thanks so much!

What I am Currently Reading:

Fiction

I've read one other book by this author and she is *brilliant*! A hidden gem!
 Cobweb Walking by Sara Banerji




















NonFiction

I'm only a few chapters in but, so far I can tell I'm really enjoying this. 
 Unconquered: The Saga of Cousins Jerry Lee Lewis, Jimmy Swaggart, and Mickey Gilley




















Manga/Graphic Novel


 Sons of the Devil Vol. 1 by Brian Buccellato; illus. by Toni Infante




















I always have a short story collection going as I read one short story every morning with my cup of coffee. My current collection is:

The Moonlit Road and Other Ghost and Horror Stories by Ambrose Bierce


What I Finished Reading and/or Posted This Week
Maximum Insecurity: A Doctor in the Supermax by William Wright, MD
Miracleville by Monique Polak
Green Tea and Other Ghost Stories by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Shade Me by Jennifer Brown


Manga/Graphic Novel
Devil Survivor 2 by Satoru Matsuba
Chi's Sweet Home, Volume 12 by Kanata Konami
Inuyashiki 2 by Hiroya Oku
Poison Ivy: Cycle of Life and Death #1 of 6 by Amy Chu
Vinland Saga 7 by Makoto Yukimura
The Kurdles by Robert Goodin
The Flash, Vol. 7: Savage World by Robert Venditti