The better to see you, my dear
Pre-party Part 2: Most Anticipated Read for 2019 Halloween Bingo
Flowers in the Attic - V.C. Andrews

I'm really looking forward to the over the top drama this is bound to be filled with. I suspect it will be an experience akin to The Castle of Otranto, that I'll want to both laugh and grimace at the same time a lot, and enjoy it for exactly the same reasons it ought to be despised.


Pre-party Part 2: Book Suggestions for the New Squares

Some of these will be obvious or widely read already, but...



Dark Academia:


Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J. K. Rowling

The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman


Dystopian Hellscape:


1984 by George Orwell

The Giver by Lois Lowry

The Time Machine by H. G. Wells

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Matched by Ally Condie

Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi


International Woman of Mystery:





In the Woods by Tana French

One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest by Ken Kessey

The Turn of the Screw by Henry James


Truly Terrifying: Since I don't read much non-fiction, I'll skip this one.


Paint it Black:


Stories of Your Life and Others - Ted Chiang  Coraline - Neil Gaiman,Dave McKean  The Phantom of the Opera - Gaston Leroux,Alexander Teixeira de Mattos  American Gods - Neil Gaiman  Fingersmith - Sarah Waters  The Night Circus - Erin Morgenstern  The Forest of Hands and Teeth - Carrie Ryan  The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins The Road - Cormac McCarthy  



Stranger Things: Guys? I am in need of suggestions for this one. The only ones I can think from the parallel world aspect (and have already read those) are:


IterWorld by Neal Gaiman and Michael Reaves.

The Langoliers by Stephen King

The Subtle Knife by Philip Pullman


Film at 11:


Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Dracula by Bram Stocker

The Shining by Stephen King

Pet Sametary by Stephen King

Misery by Stephen King

It by Stephen King

The Green Mile by Stephen King

Sphere by Michael Crichton

Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton

Jumanji by Chris Van Allsburg

Stardust by Neal Gaiman

Inkheart by Cornelia Funke

The Princess Bride

The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien

Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by Frank Baum

The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button by Scott Fitzgerald

Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by CS Lewis

Peter Pan by JM Barrie

The Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum

The War of the Worlds by HG Wells

The Day of the Triffids by Wyndham

The Neverending Story by Michael Ende

Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane

I am Legend by Richard Matheson

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman

Jaws by Peter Benchley

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt


So many more... this list from Goodreads has books that have been turned into movies


King of Fear: Most of the titles I see look like the page turning variety, and I'm likely to read several, but lord, some of those look... not good. That said, beyond the few semi classics sprinkled around, I'd steer towards these:


The Secret Place by Tana French
The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz
My Soul to Keep by Tananarive Due
Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
Gravity by Tess Gerritsen


Pre-party Part 2: Favourite past Halloween Bingo squares


Since I'm such a fan of fairy-tale retellings, magic, and weird wee creatures, it is little surprise that these would turn up to be my favourites.



I'm also partial to those squares that push me to fulfill my yearly reading projects and clean up the long languishing titles of my tbr



Pre-party Part 1
Everlost - Neal Shusterman The Graveyard Book -  Dave Mckean (Illustrator), Neil Gaiman Nights at the Circus - Angela Carter His Majesty's Dragon - Naomi Novik Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil - John Berendt Murder on the Orient Express - Agatha Christie The Murder of Roger Ackroyd - Agatha Christie The Crucible - Arthur Miller, Christopher Bigsby The Haunting of Hill House - Shirley Jackson, Laura Miller Joyland - Stephen King

Joining the Halloween Bing pre-party a bit on the late side, but having a blast with all the traffic on my feed. Now, let's see:


Mystery or Horror?: Horror all the way

Vampires, Werewolves, Zombies or Other?: I'm partial to Witches, though the hodgepodges where everything simmers on the same pot are mighty fun.

Favourite Ghostly Tales:

The Everlost Series by Neal Shusterman and The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. They are all written for that nebulous gap between children books and adult, and they are the that perfect balance of cruel and kind that often becomes emotional.


Favourites from Halloween Bingos Past:


Lol! This might get long.


It took me 1 page to realize I had a new favourite author with Nights at the Circus, by Angela Carter. Naomi Novik's His Majesty's Dragon (Temeraire #1) amply jumped my expectation's bar. Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt surprised me by how engrossed I got into a book where there is not exactly something like a plot.


The year before last, I was happy to find that Murder on the Orient Express and The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie are as good as promised. And horrified by how excellent and still current The Crucible by Arthur Miller is. I was also surprised by The Haunting of Hill House, after what I felt was a lackluster experience with Shirley Jackson's We've Always Lived in the Castle, and so very glad that I took the game's reviews to heart. Joyland by Stephen King ended up being a campy and perfectly nostalgic read. I also read The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula Le Guin, that while polarizing, is still my favourite of hers (well, maybe fighting for top with Four Ways to Forgiveness)


Favourite Series with Supernatural Elements:


Kate Daniels by Ilona Andrews. Takes a couple of books to find some polish, but they are immensely entertaining. On a darker bent, I quite liked the Darkfever Series by Karen Marie Moning, but they are more of a problematic-elements guilty pleasure.


Favourite Seasonal Covers:


Favourite Halloween Bingo Authors:


Since I always end up picking at least one more book, Stephen King. If I search for number of entries during the game, John Wyndham and Agatha Christie too. And Illona Andrews, because I'm always up for a re-read.


All 61 squares revealed: 1 through 18

All of the new squares (and scares) have been revealed, and I got these posts put together over the past few days, so I'm ready to reveal ALL OF THE SQUARES!


Buckle up, butter cup.


A note on book lists: where we have already got a working book list, I've linked to it. However, word of clarification: the rules have changed a bit in the last 3 years - so not every book on the booklists is necessarily a horror, supernatural, mystery or suspense book. If it shows up on a booklist it has been approved for game play on that space and is "grandfathered in" to eligibility.


The new categories don't have a book list associated with them yet.


I am going to do this in three posts, because they are going to be very long! You've seen the 9 new squares:




1. Dark Academia: Any mystery, suspense, supernatural or horror that takes place at a school - high school, college, boarding school, etc.

2. Dystopian Hellscape: This is a multi-genre square! Any book that relates to the fictional depiction of a dystopian society, such as The Handmaid's Tale or The Hunger Games, would qualify! 

3. International Woman of Mystery: This one is fairly obvious and is a twist on the "Terrifying Women" of years past - the only question is what does "international" mean? Basically, it means international to you - the reader. I'm in the U.S., so "international" means women mystery authors from Europe, South America, Asia, etc...




4. Psych: Psychological thrillers, plot twists and suspense, unreliable narrators and other mind-fuckery. And, as an aside, any Halloween Bingo book that takes place within or related to an insane asylum, haunted or otherwise, would qualify!

5. Truly Terrifying: Non-fiction that has elements of suspense, horror or mystery, including true crime, both contemporary and historical. Examples would be The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher by Kate Summerscale, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, or The Amityville Horror by Jay Anson. If you have another idea, run it by me - just remember that it has to fit into the general Halloween Bingo criteria of mystery, suspense, horror or supernatural!

6. Paint It Black: Any book with a cover that is primarily black or has the word black in the title, was written by a black author, or relates to rock and roll music.





7. Stranger Things: this is a twist on the past 80's Horror square with elements of the television show  - any horror that has supernatural elements, portal/parallel universes, government plots gone awry or is set or was written in the 1980's. 

8. Film at 11:  The idea for this new space comes courtesy of Linda Hilton! Generally, in order to qualify for Halloween bingo, all books must fit into one of the general genres of horror, mystery, suspense or supernatural. This space is filled by any Halloween bingo book that has been adapted to film or television. For extra fun, you can watch the adaptation - although this is an optional add on!

9. King of Fear: You can read anything written by Stephen King or Joe Hill, or recommended by Stephen King (as long as the recommendation is otherwise eligible for Halloween Bingo). 


The "horror" squares:




10. Genre: Horror: Anything that qualifies as horror. Book list linked here.

11. Southern Gothic: horror set in the Southern part of the United States; Book list linked here

12. Modern Masters of Horror: horror published in or after 2000. Book list linked here. See horror booklist - notes identify sub-categories.




13. Fear Street: 1980's and 1990's vintage pulp-style series horror, targeted to teens, such as Point Horror, Fear Street and horror fiction that is written/published primarily for a YA or MG audience. Examples would include The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey. Book list linked here

14. Terror in a Small Town: any horror book where the action primarily occurs in a small town or village. Examples would include: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury, It by Stephen King. Book list linked here

15. Slasher Stories: books that share the tropes of classic slasher movies: teen characters, indestructible killers and/or multiple victims. Book list linked here




16. Classic Horror: horror fiction that was published prior to 1980; Book list linked here

17. American Horror Story: horror set in the United States. See horror booklist - notes identify sub-categories.

19. Stone Cold Horror: this is a late addition because I had too much YA horror, so I combined a couple of categories into Fear Street & needed something else for the horror genre! Horror that takes place primarily in a winter/cold/snow type setting. 



Reblogged from Reading is my ESCAPE from Reality!
All 61 squares revealed: 39 through 61

The remaining, non-genre specific squares - you can read anything that is horror, mystery, suspense or supernatural that otherwise fits the square prompt.




39. Thirteen (13): any book that relates to bad luck, superstition, or the number 13, either in the title/book/series/page count. Booklist linked here.

40. A Grimm Tale:  any fairy tale or retelling of fairy tales, folklore, legends, etc. Book list linked here.

41. Aliens: any mystery, horror, suspense or supernatural book that includes aliens, either here on earth, or in space. Book list linked here.




42. Creepy Carnivals:  horror/mystery/supernatural set in or concerning a carnival, amusement park, or other party/festival - think Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury, Joyland by Stephen King or Hallowe'en Party by Agatha Christie; Book list linked here.

43. Creepy Crawlies: this is a throw back from 2016! Books with bugs, snakes, spiders, worms and other things that slither, scuttle or crawl, includes viruses and other parasites. Book list linked here.

44. In The Dark, Dark Woods: a mystery, suspense, horror or supernatural book in which the forest/woods plays a significant role, or which has a forest/woods on the cover. Book list linked here.




45. Darkest London: mystery, horror, supernatural, or suspense set in London. Book list linked here.

46. Demons: Any book involving demons, demonic possession or other such elements. Book list linked here.

47. Diverse voices: written by an author of color. Book list linked here




48. Doomsday:  anything related to the end of the world, doomsday cults, or a post-apocalypse world. Book list linked here.

49. Fear the Drowning Deep: books with sea-related elements: sea creatures, ships, and sharks. Book list linked here

50. Full Moon: a book with an image of the moon on the cover, the word moon in the title, or where a full moon figures prominently in the story. Book list linked here




51. Gothic: any book with significant: a genre or mode of literature and film that combines fiction and horror, death, and at times romance. Book list linked here.

52. Grave or Graveyard: Books that have a grave or graveyard on their covers, in their titles, or any book primarily set in a graveyard. Book list linked here.

53. Halloween: This is a combination of the "pumpkin" and the "halloween" squares from 2016. so, any book set on halloween or has halloween in the title or that has a pumpkin on the cover, or in the title, etc.. will work for this square. Book lists linked here: pumpkins and halloween




54. Monsters: This square covers any crytpozoological or mythological creature that isn't a vampire, werewolf, or demon. Or zombie. Book list linked here.

55. New Release: mystery, suspense, horror or supernatural that was published after 10/31/18.

56. Read by Flashlight or Candlelight: Back by popular request! Any mystery, suspense, supernatural or horror book - the trick here is to spend an hour or so reading by flashlight or candlelight. Take a picture and share it with us, if you want to!




57. Relics and Curiosities: concerning magical, supernatural or haunted objects, such as spell-books, talismans or swords; Book list linked here.

58. Sleepy Hollow: this is the new version of set in New England, with a shout-out to that most New England of all stories, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Book list linked here

59. Free square: Our friend, Poe, is back for his fourth outing!




60. Black Cat: We haven't seen this square since our first bingo game, back in 2016! Any book that has a black cat in the title, on the cover, or in the story. Book list linked here.

61. It Was A Dark and Stormy Night: This is another throwback to 2016 - any book that takes place on "a dark and stormy night." Book list linked here.


Reblogged from Obsidian Blue
All 61 squares revealed: 19 through 38

The Mystery & Supernatural squares!


The Mystery Squares:




19. Genre: Mystery: anything that fits into the mystery genre. Book list linked here.

20. Amateur Sleuth: this mystery will have a main character who is not a member of law enforcement. This can include retired police officers and private detectives. Book list linked here.

21. Baker Street Irregulars: mystery that involves children/teens in crime solving. Book list linked here.






22. Classic Noir: mysteries published prior to 1980 with noir elements, including authors like Raymond Chandler, Cornell Woolrich and Dashiell Hammett. Book list linked here.

23. Country House Mystery:  a closed circle murder set during a gathering like a house party. Book list linked here.

24. Cozy Mystery:  a subgenre of crime fiction in which sex and violence are downplayed or treated humorously, and the crime and detection take place in a small, socially intimate community. Book list linked here.




25. Genre: Suspense: anything that fits into the suspense genre. Book list linked here.

26. Locked Room Mystery: a subgenre of detective fiction in which a crime (almost always murder) is committed in circumstances under which it was seemingly impossible for the perpetrator to commit the crime or evade detection in the course of getting in and out of the crime scene. Book list linked here.

27. Modern Noir:  mystery with noir elements, including authors like James Ellroy, Ian Rankin, anything that falls generally under the category of Nordic Noir, Tartan Noir, Granite Noir, etc; Book list linked here.





28. Romantic Suspense: any romance which has a significant sub-plot that involves mystery, thriller or suspense; also gothic romance. Book list linked here.

29. Serial/Spree Killer: a sub-genre of crime fiction that involves the detection of serial or spree killers. Book list linked here.

30. Murder Most Foul: any murder mystery. Book list linked here.


The Supernatural Squares:




31. Cryptozoologist: any supernatural creature, from Ammit to Ziz. Check out the book lists for monsters, vampires, shifters, or deadlands.

32. Deadlands:  elements of the undead - zombies, wights, vampires and other revenants; Book list linked here.

33. Ghost Stories: any story involving ghosts or hauntings - includes haunted houses. Book list linked here.




34. Magical Realism: a style of fiction that paints a realistic view of the modern world while also adding magical elements Book list linked here.

35. Shifters: werewolves, skin-walkers and all other therianthropes. Book list linked here.

36. Spellbound: books containing witches, warlocks, sorcerors and witchcraft; Book list linked here.




37. Supernatural: mystery, suspense or horror books which include elements that defy current understanding of the natural world, including magic, witchcraft and/or crypto-zoological aspects. Book list linked here.

38. Vampires: vampires, preferably non-sparkly, in all of their glorious fictional permutations. Book list linked here.

Reblogged from Obsidian Blue

Reblogged from Hol
Memorial Day extra rolls

I've just come back from work, and will have a busy, busy, busy weekend all-around, but I'll leave this here to integrate into the tracking post and the books chosen later.




Looks like I have my reading week planed already *grin*


Roll 2: Blopoly Tracking Post


Roll 1:


The Bear and the Nightingale - Katherine Arden




Roll 2:


So, enough pages (over 200) to donate $3. Goody, I get to clean up my reading shelf.



Reading progress update: I've read 368 out of 368 pages.
The Bear and the Nightingale - Katherine Arden

Gorgeous. I'll write a review in a bit. I'm rolling before the day closes *grin*


Reading progress update: I've read 12 out of 368 pages.
The Bear and the Nightingale - Katherine Arden

I've decided on this one for my first Booklikes-opoly roll, and I'm loving the fairy-tale tone of it.


4 Stars
Path can be corrected (as many times as necessary)
The Silver Chair - C.S. Lewis, Pauline Baynes

Cute and entertaining, subtly and annoyingly misogynistic, and as entrenched in Christian-lore as ever. The friendships are well done, and the world built is beautiful. The animal companion steals trophy of best loved character yet again.


I liked the over-all message of this one a lot better.

4 Stars
Nice flavoring, wished it dared more
Unmasking Miss Appleby - Emily Larkin

This was cute!


Some over the top soap-opera bits, rosy romance (a couple of weeks a solid relationship does not make, but I'll take it on suspension of disbelief) and all, it was a nice romance and the fantasy flavor was pretty awesome (that gift makes me so envious! The possibilities!).


I confess I toyed with the idea that it would go further and more bravely into the possible dynamics, but it went the expected extremely straight road. It was not something I thought the author would have the balls to go with, but felt a bit like a missed opportunity. And the bit where the guy goes into a rage over having maybe fucked someone that once had been male was... I can hear protest over the times mores and law, and verisimilitude, from my shoulder devil and it still sits wrong (specially given that we have fairies, and magical gifts, duh). The part where the man was more upset about the loss of trust than anything else was really good though.

4.5 Stars
Those two dorks
Artificial Condition - Martha Wells

I'm so happy with this series. So much fast fun.


Also, the general attitude bot has towards humanity is such a refreshing one.


I enjoyed the buddy duo/opposite personalities taking on a mission that this volume embraced too.

4.5 Stars
Simple language unfurling
Breakfast at Tiffany's and Three Stories - Truman Capote

More character studies and vignettes than stories, the deceptively simple way they are written is perfect.


The gem of the lot is certainly Breakfast at Tiffany's. In essence the movie was faithful to the story (except the end), but Holly is a crueler and wilder character in the pages, less cute, more vindictive, and all the more tragic for her yearning of freedom and belonging at once. And compelling, like some free animal you could find in a jungle. Holly's own word is that she aspires to be "natural" and it fits.


Christmas Memory and Diamond Guitar fight for second spot, but the first edges over because I'm a sucker for nostalgic little things that contain the world.


House of Flowers was... oddly pretty in imagery, and surprisingly positive in a way. Maybe subverting tropes was the name of the game.

currently reading

Progress: 189/366pages
Progress: 27/260pages
Progress: 46/160pages
Progress: 140/288pages
Progress: 69/264pages