Sunday, September 29, 2013

All Hallow's Read 2013

I love reading scary books. Love it. But I have a problem. I'm a huge fraidy-cat! I get spooked all the time. Getting into bed and I catch my reflection in the mirror? Frozen in terror and can't sleep. Hear the neighbors dog barking and then it suddenly stops? Heart pounding. Walking across the street and a bird flies up in my face? Duck and cover. I  don't even have to have read or seen anything scary; my imagination is happy to do all the work. The lamest things get my adrenaline going and kick my flight instinct into gear (I have yet to determine if a fight instinct is present, but so far it looks like not). But despite all that, I love wrapping my self up in a blanket, listening to the rain (I'm in Seattle; it's probably raining), having some candles lit, and reading something decidedly creepy. Unsettling. Eerie even. I love that feeling of being so perfectly uncomfortable.

Reading about vengeful houses or blood-soaked ghosts or evil ventriloquist dummies just doesn't really do it in June though. What that means for me is that all of my scary reading gets done in the fall and early winter. But since I get so scared so easily, I can only take so much before my heart will give out, so really it just ends up being October that I read the scary stuff (and maybe it's not even that scary...). This lines up perfectly with All Hallow's Read!

Don't know about All Hallow's Read? Just watch. Neil Gaiman will explain it all.

I know, I know. All Hallow's Read is about giving someone else a scary book to read. I'll still do that! I'm all about giving books. But I add extra flair by reading scary books too. Because I'm all about scary books in October. And extra flair.

Here's my All Hallow's Read lineup for 2013:

The White Devil by Justin Evans

American social outcast Andrew Taylor is shipped off to a prestigious London boarding school where his classmates think he murdered their star athlete and a very pale boy haunts his every move.
The Ghost Writer by John Harwood

Uncovering the ghost stories written by his great-grandmother has disturbed some family secrets and Gerard learns more about his mysterious family than he ever wanted to know.
Coraline by Neil Gaiman

Coraline meets her "other" parents on the far side of a mysterious passageway in a strangely paralleled and perfect world, but not all is as idyllic as it seems.
We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson

A visiting cousin disrupts the lives of two bizarrely sinister sisters and reveals their possibly violent past in this suspenseful and psychological novel.

I might not get to all of them, but that's the plan. Okay. That's enough. Just thinking about my All Hallow's Reading is creeping me out.

What are you reading for All Hallow's Read? What terror are you gifting?
Leave a Comment telling me about your All Hallow's Read plans and you might be the recipient of one of my All Hallow's Read gifts!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Waiting for All Souls Book #3?

Deborah Harkness' best-selling All Souls trilogy introduces Diana Bishop, a stubborn Oxford researcher with family ties to witchcraft, and Matthew Clairmont, an alluring and dangerous vampire, in A Discovery of Witches. After spending most of her life trying to keep her head down and remain unnoticed by the magical community, Diana attracts unwanted attention when she uncovers an enchanted manuscript in the Bodleian library.

They have defied the Council and now Diana and Matthew escape to an inaccessible, yet -- for Matthew -- familiar place to not only hide from their adversaries, but also to unlock the dark secrets of Ashmole 782. In the second installment, Shadow of Night, Deborah Harkness' expertise in the history of magic and science in Europe really shines.

The third book doesn't have a publication date or publicized cover art yet, but it does have a title! The Book of Life should be released in 2014 and I expect there to be a long queue for it at the library... Get your hold requests in early!

If you're like me, you don't like waiting around for the next book in the series to be published. I tend to stay away from active series or ones that are in their early stages because when I get wrapped up in a story and involved with the characters, I find having to wait for the next book to be really jarring. That being said, sometimes I (often accidentally) start a series (like I did with The Diviners by Libba Bray) and I can't help but wait on the edge of my seat for the next book. Such is also the case with A Discovery of Witches. If you're waiting too -- and from Deborah Harkness' website, it sounds like we've got a minimum of 6 months, but likely longer to wait -- maybe some of these books will get you through.

The Thinking Woman's Guide to Real Magic by Emily Croy Barker

Schlumpy graduate student Nora stumbles through a portal and is transformed into a glamorous socialite, but the veneer quickly comes away to reveal the dark side of this new, magical world.

For more modern women in un-modern times and places, you may be interested in following this up with Diana Gabaldon's epic Outlander series.
The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova

When her father suddenly goes missing after researching Vlad the Impaler, the unnamed narrator follows his research across Europe and finds that Dracula may be to blame for both her father and mother's disappearances in this suspenseful and atmospheric Gothic novel.

Love this? Check out Labyrinth by Kate Mosse.
The Demon Lover by Juliet Dark

After writing the bestselling The Sex Lives of Demon Lovers, Professor Callie McFay -- a demonology and folklore expert -- encounters a seductive demon in her own bedroom and discovers more than just the faculty lives at Fairwick College.

The Demon Lover is the first in the Fairwick Chronicles, followed by The Water Witch and The Angel Stone, which was just released at the beginning of September 2013.

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