29 October 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Fun Guys

The lawn is full of fungi this autumn! These pretties -- I think they're Amanita muscaria var. guessowii
(American Eastern Yellow Fly Agaric), but I am no mycologist -- are slowly forming a fairy ring around our big pine tree.

28 October 2014

Top 10 Tuesday: Halloween Spirit

For this week's Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by the horrific Broke & Bookish, we're talking about our top ten books and/or movies to get in the Halloween spirit.

  • Coraline by Neil Gaiman
  • When Coraline steps through a door to find another house strangely similar to her own (only better), things seem marvelous.
    But there's another mother there, and another father, and they want her to stay and be their little girl. They want to change her and never let her go.
  • The Dollhouse Murders by Betty Ren Wright
  • Amy is terrified. She hears scratching and scurrying noises coming from the dollhouse, and the dolls she was playing with are not where she left them. Dolls can't move by themselves, she tells herself. But every night when Amy goes into the attic to check on the dollhouse, it is filled with an eerie light and the dolls have moved again!
  • The Gashlycrumb Tinies by Edward Gorey
  • A is for Amy who fell down the stairs. B is for Basil assaulted by bears. C is for Clara who wasted away. D is for Desmond thrown out of a sleigh ...
  • Hallowe'en Party by Agatha Christie
  • At a Hallowe’en party, Joyce—a hostile thirteen-year-old—boasts that she once witnessed a murder. When no one believes her, she storms off home. But within hours her body is found, still in the house, drowned in an apple-bobbing tub.
    That night, Hercule Poirot is called in to find the "evil presence." But first he must establish whether he is looking for a murderer or a double murderer ...
  • The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury
  • On Halloween Night, eight trick-or-treaters gather at the haunted house by the edge of town, ready for adventure. But when Something whisks their friend Pip away, only one man, the sinister Carapace Clavicle Moundshroud, can help the boys find him.
  • The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson (movie also recommended)
  • First published in 1959, Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House has been hailed as a perfect work of unnerving terror. It is the story of four seekers who arrive at a notoriously unfriendly pile called Hill House: Dr. Montague, an occult scholar looking for solid evidence of a “haunting”; Theodora, his lighthearted assistant; Eleanor, a friendless, fragile young woman well acquainted with poltergeists; and Luke, the future heir of Hill House. At first, their stay seems destined to be merely a spooky encounter with inexplicable phenomena. But Hill House is gathering its powers—and soon it will choose one of them to make its own.
  • Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist (movie also recommended)
  • It is autumn 1981 when inconceivable horror comes to Blackeberg, a suburb in Sweden. The body of a teenager is found, emptied of blood, the murder rumored to be part of a ritual killing. Twelve-year-old Oskar is personally hoping that revenge has come at long last---revenge for the bullying he endures at school, day after day.
  • Tales of Mystery and Terror by Edgar Allan Poe
  • Thirteen stories of horror, suspense and the supernatural. "The Pit and the Pendulum," "The Fall of the House of Usher," and "The Black Cat" are just three of Edgar Allan Poe's most famous tales in this chilling collection.
  • Wait Till Helen Comes: A Ghost Story by Mary Downing Hahn
  • Heather has found a new friend, out in the graveyard behind our home -- a girl named Helen who died with her family in a mysterious fire over a hundred years ago. Now her ghost returns to lure children into the pond ... to drown! I don't want to believe in ghosts, but I've followed Heather into the graveyard and watch her talk to Helen. And I'm terrified. Not for myself, but for Heather ...


22 October 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Sleepy Kitty

Hedwig snoozing on the window seat. She loves her fuzzy gray cushion, all squishy and good.

21 October 2014

Top 10 Tuesday: New Series

This week, for Top Ten Tuesday, we're talking about the new series we want to start. I'm not really a series reader and, when I am, I tend to glom onto series everyone else is done with. But here are five new series I do want to read:


  • The Silo Saga by Hugh Howey. There are three books in the series (Wool, Shift, Dust) and they're all out so none of that pesky forgetting-about-the-series-while-waiting-for-the-next-book-to-come-out.

In a ruined and toxic future, a community exists in a giant silo underground, hundreds of stories deep. There, men and women live in a society full of regulations they believe are meant to protect them. Sheriff Holston, who has unwaveringly upheld the silo's rules for years, unexpectedly breaks the greatest taboo of all: He asks to go outside.

  • The Last Policeman series by Ben Winters. All three books (The Last Policeman, Countdown City, World of Trouble) are out.

The Last Policeman presents a fascinating portrait of a pre-apocalyptic United States. The economy spirals downward while crops rot in the fields. Churches and synagogues are packed. People all over the world are walking off the job—but not Hank Palace. He's investigating a death by hanging in a city that sees a dozen suicides every week—except this one feels suspicious, and Palace is the only cop who cares.

  • Worldbreaker Saga by Kameron Hurley. Only the first book, The Mirror Empire, is already out.

On the eve of a recurring catastrophic event known to extinguish nations and reshape continents, a troubled orphan evades death and slavery to uncover her own bloody past... while a world goes to war with itself.

  • Red Rising Trilogy by Pierce Brown. The second book, Golden Son, is due out in January 2015.

Darrow is a Red, a member of the lowest caste in the color-coded society of the future. Like his fellow Reds, he works all day, believing that he and his people are making the surface of Mars livable for future generations. Yet he spends his life willingly, knowing that his blood and sweat will one day result in a better world for his children.

  • After the End by Amy Plum. The second book, Until the Beginning, is due out in May 2015.

Juneau grew up fearing the outside world. The elders told her that beyond the borders of their land in the Alaskan wilderness, nuclear war had destroyed everything. But when Juneau returns from a hunting trip one day and discovers her people have been abducted, she sets off to find them. And leaving the boundaries for the very first time, she learns the horrifying truth: World War III never happened. Nothing was destroyed. Everything she'd ever been taught was a lie.