Julie Reads in 2023

KeskusteluClub Read 2023

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Julie Reads in 2023

Muokkaaja: joulukuu 30, 2022, 4:46 pm

Hi, and welcome to my 2023 Club Read thread!

I'm Julie. I live in the Greater Boston/Metro South area of Massachusetts. Along with reading, I also enjoy logic puzzles, jigsaw puzzles, writing, hiking, and recently birding and bird photography.

The main fiction genres I read are murder mystery, fantasy (mostly urban/contemporary, but sometimes secondary world, as well), and, more recently, gothic, some specific types of horror and supernatural, and Weird Fiction. I also occasionally dip my toes into literary, contemporary, historical fiction, science fiction, and other genres.

I also read nonfiction, both narrative and non-narrative. I have a particular interest in writing craft books.

In 2022, I started reading short story collections, which had never been a big part of my reading life before, and I definitely intend to continue that into 2023. I'm also planning to start reading essay collections in the coming year.

There was an explosion of new read-alongs created for 2023 and shared on Tumblr as a result of the huge success and popularity of the 2022 Dracula Daily, which wrapped up in November. I'm signed up for an online read-along of ACD's Sherlock Holmes short stories called Letters from Watson, which starts January 1.

I can't remember how long it goes for - possibly the entire year, possibly only a number of months. I may be signed up for a few other online read-alongs as well; I can't remember everything I signed up for.

Whether I'll stick to all of the online read-alongs I'm signed up for, I'm not sure yet. It depends on how many I signed up for, how interesting and fun they end up being, and how busy I am, among other things.

I don't have any other more specific plans for my 2023 reading, other than hopefully paring down the ever-expanding TBR at least a little, and reading more BoMBs. The unread books on my shelves are starting to look at me funny when I walk by! :)

Here's to a fulfilling and enjoyable year of reading in 2023!

Muokkaaja: kesäkuu 14, 12:28 pm

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 7, 10:53 am

Quarter Three




Muokkaaja: tammikuu 7, 10:54 am

Quarter Four




Muokkaaja: elokuu 19, 11:24 am

Short Stories
1. My Father's Vampire by Len Moffatt & Alvin Taylor: 4 stars
2. The Adventure of the Gloria Scott by Arthur Conan Doyle: 3 stars
3. The Adventure of the Musgrave Ritual by Arthur Conan Doyle: 3.5 stars
4.The Feather Pillow (El almohadón de plumas) by Horacio Quiroga translated by Margaret Sayers Peden: 1.5 stars
5. The Fisherman’s Special by H. L. Thomson: 3 stars
6. The Adventure of the Speckled Band by Arthur Conan Doyle: 3.5 stars
7. The Adventure of the Resident Patient by Arthur Conan Doyle: 3.5 stars
8. The Adventure of the Noble Client by Arthur Conan Doyle: 3.5 stars
9. The Adventure of the Second Stain by Arthur Conan Doyle
10. The Frog by Granville S Hoss: 3 stars
11. Frogfather by Manly Wade Wellman: 3.5 stars
12. The Gargoyle Sacrifice by Tina L Jens: 2.5 stars
13. Ghouls of the Sea by J. B. S. Fullilove: 3.5 stars
14. The Adventure of the Reigate Squire(s) by Arthur Conan Doyle
15. A Scandal in Bohemia by Arthur Conan Doyle
16. The Man with the Twisted Lip by Arthur Conan Doyle
17. The Five Orange Pips by Arthur Conan Doyle
18. A Case of Identity by Arthur Conan Doyle
19. The Red-headed League by Arthur Conan Doyle
20. The Adventure of the Dying Detective by Arthur Conan Doyle
21. The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle by Arthur Conan Doyle
22. The Adventure of the Yellow Face by Arthur Conan Doyle
23. The Adventure of the Greek Interpreter by Arthur Conan Doyle
24. The Boscombe Valley Mystery by Arthur Conan Doyle
25. The Adventure of the Stockbroker’s Clerk by Arthur Conan Doyle
26. The Adventure of the Naval Treaty by Arthur Conan Doyle: 4 stars
27. The Adventure of the Cardboard Box by Arthur Conan Doyle
28. The Adventure of the Engineer’s Thumb by Arthur Conan Doyle: 4 stars
29. The Gray Wolf by George MacDonald: 3 stars
30. The Green-and-Gold Bug by J. M. Alvey: 2 stars
31. The House on the Rynek by Dermot Chesson Spence
32. I'll Be Glad When I'm Dead by Charles King
33. The Adventure of the Crooked Man by Arthur Conan Doyle
34. He and His Son by Ruth Calderon, translated by Ilana Kurshan
35. Sorrow in the Cave by Ruth Calderon, translated by Ilana Kurshan
36. The Adventure of Wisteria Lodge by Arthur Conan Doyle
37. The Inn by Rex Ernest: 3 stars
38. Itching for Action by Charles Garofalo: 3 stars
39. The Adventure of Silver Blaze by Arthur Conan Doyle
40. Jikininki by Lafcadio Hearn: 3 stars
41. John Mortonson's Funeral by Ambrose Bierce: 1.5 stars
42. The Keen Eyes and Ears of Kara Kedi by Claude Farrère: 2.5 stars
43. Orkahaugr by Lin Anderson: 3 stars
44. Ancient and Modern by Val McDermid: 4 stars
45. Kissing the Shuttle by E. S. Thomson: 5 stars
46. Painting the Forth Bridge by Doug Johnstone: 3.5 stars
47. The Last Siege of Bothwell Castle by Chris Brookmyre: 4 stars
48. Sanctuary by Sara Sheridan: 4 stars
49. Stevenson’s Candle by Stuart MacBride: 2 stars
50. History Lesson by Gordon Brown: 3 stars
51. Come Friendly Bombs by Louise Welsh: 4 stars
52. The Twa Corbies of Cardross by Craig Robertson: 3.5 stars
53. Nemo Me Impune Lacessit by Denise Mina: 2.5 stars
54. The Return by Ann Cleeves: 3 stars
55. Pitcher Plant by Adam-Troy Castro: 4 stars
56. What Everyone Knows by Seanan McGuire: 3.5 stars
57. The Storyteller’s Replacement by N. K. Jemisin: 3.5 stars
58. Poor Unfortunate Fools by Silvia Park : 3.5 stars
59. The Kelpie by Manley Wade Wellman: 3 stars
60. Ladies in Waiting by Hugh B. Cave: 2.5 stars
61. Laura by Saki: 1 star
62. Left by the Tide by Edward E. Schiff: 3 stars
63. The Lesser Brethren Mourn by Seabury Quinn: 4 stars
64. Six Hangings in the Land of Unkillable Women by Theodore McCombs: 4 stars
65. The Marmot by Alison V. Harding: 3 stars
66. Metzengerstein by Edgar Allen Poe: 1 star
67. Mimic by Donald A. Wollheim: 2.5 stars
68. Mive by Carl Jacobi: 3.5 stars
69. The Moon-Slave by Barry Pain: 3.5 stars
70. Monsters in the Night by Clarke Ashton Smith: 3.5 stars
71. Mother of Monsters by Guy de Maupassant: 1 star
72. Mother of Toads by Clark Ashton Smith: 3 stars
73. Mummy by Kelsey Percival Kitchel: 3 stars
74. My Father, the Cat by Henry Slesar: 4 stars
75. The Necromancer by Arthur Gray: 2.5 stars
76. Night Shapes by Robert Weinberg: 2.5 stars
77. The Owl on the Moor by August Derleth and Mark Schorer: 3.5 stars
78. The Phantom Drug by A. W. Kapfer: 3 stars
79. The Place of Hairy Death by Anthony M. Rud: 3.5 stars
80. The Plant-Thing by R. G. Macready: 2 stars
81. The Power of the Dog by G. G. Pendarves: 3 stars
82. A Problem of the Dark by Frances Arthur: 3 stars
83. Professor Jonkin's Cannibal Plant by Howard R. Garis: 3 stars
84. The Quare Gander by J. Sheridan LeFanu: 1.5 stars
85. The Real Wolf by Thomas Ligotti: 3 stars
86. The Sacrifice by Miroslaw Lipinski: 3 stars
87. The Seeds from Outside by Edmond Hamilton: 3.5 stars
88. Seeing the World by Ramsey Campbell: 2.5 stars
89. Seven Drops of Blood by H. F. Jamison: 1.5 stars
90. The Adventure of the Empty House by Arthur Conan Doyle: 4 stars
91. The Adventure of the Golden Pince-Nez by Arthur Conan Doyle: 3 stars
92. The Adventure of the Three Students by Arthur Conan Doyle: 3 stars
93. The Adventure of the Solitary Cyclist by Arthur Conan Doyle: 3 stars
94. The Adventure of Black Peter by Arthur Conan Doyle: 3 stars
95. The Adventure of the Norwood Builder by Arthur Conan Doyle: 3.5 stars
96. The Adventure of the Bruce-Partington Plans by Arthur Conan Doyle: 3 stars
97. Short and Nasty by Darrell Schweitzer: 4 stars
98. The Silver Knife by Ralph Allen Lang: 3 stars
99. The Sky Garden by Peter Cannon: 3.5 stars
100. Smoke Fantasy by Thomas R. Jordan: 3 stars

Muokkaaja: kesäkuu 10, 10:35 am

Articles and Blog Posts
1. Everything You Know About Obesity is Wrong by Michael Hobbes
2. What autistics mean when we say this world is not made for us: How fun activities push autistics into the margins by Terra Vance
3. The NFL Isn’t Built for This by Alex Kirshner
4. These Cancer Patients Wanted to Get Rid of Their Breasts for Good. Their Doctors Had Other Ideas by Catherine Guthrie
5. The Difference Between a Milkshake and a Frappe by Aimee Tucker
6. Who was Beethoven’s mysterious Elise? Historian concludes she never existed by Dalya Alberge
7. How the James Webb Space Telescope changed astronomy in its first year by Georgina Torbet
8. 'Flight': A Great Way To Try New Things from Merriam-Webster
9. UnitedHealthcare Tried to Deny Coverage to a Chronically Ill Patient. He Fought Back, Exposing the Insurer’s Inner Workings by David Armstrong, Patrick Rucker, and Maya Miller
10. Five Stories About Precocious Young Wizards by James David Nicoll
11. Job Listings Abound, but Many are Fake by Te-Ping Chen
12. How Cigna Saves Millions by Having Its Doctors Reject Claims Without Reading Them by Patrick Rucker, Maya Miller and David Armstrong
13. Big Tech's big downgrade by Ed Zitron
14. The looming threat of AI to Hollywood, and why it should matter to you by Alissa Wilkinson
15. "What they've done is extremely evil": Pennsylvania hospital shutdown spurs questions about private equity in health care by Jon Lapook and Michael Kaplan
16. Painting the Town Red: What Art Can Add to a Mystery by Cyndi Macmillan
17. ‘I am not a broken version of normal’ — autistic people argue for a stronger voice in research by Emiliano Rodríguez Mega
18. Over 100 Anti-LGBTQ+ Laws Passed In The Last Five Years — Half Of Them This Year by Kaleigh Rogers and Mary Radcliffe
19. Why our allergies are getting worse —and what to do about it by Dave Davies
20. 15 Obscure Words for Everyday Feelings and Emotions by Paul Anthony Jones
21. The death of ownership by Nathan Proctor
22. Noise Is All around Us—and It’s Affecting You More than You Think by Bojan Fürst

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 2, 9:51 pm


tammikuu 2, 9:57 pm

I've started my year off with More Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops by Jen Campbell. So far, I'm enjoying it.

I've also started the short story The Adventure of the Gloria Scott through Letters from Watson, and read an article about obesity from the Huffington Post.

I have two bird feeders that I will be hanging probably next weekend (I tried to do it by myself only to discover that I will need help, so it has to wait). Even without bird feeders, I have been able to see birds in the front yard from my balcony. My first bird of the year was a Dark-eyed Junco.

Here's to 2023. May it be sweet and fulfilling, in reading and in everything else.

tammikuu 3, 1:13 am

>9 Julie_in_the_Library: I've been thinking I should fill some bird feeders lately. My first bird this year was a blue jay. Someone posted this in response on my Facebook page - you might enjoy it too: https://blog.lauraerickson.com/2011/01/first-bird-of-new-year-what-does-it.html

tammikuu 3, 8:22 am

>10 WelshBookworm: That was absolutely delightful! Thanks so much for sharing! You should go for it with the bird feeders. I find that seeing some birds out the windows throughout the day makes my days so much better, no matter what else is going on.

tammikuu 3, 12:26 pm

I've finished my first book of the year!

More Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops by Jen Campbell: 3 stars

This is a cute little book full of, as the title implies, funny things customers have said in bookshops. The first section is full of quotes the author encountered in her capacity as a bookseller at an antiquarian bookshop in London; the second is full of quotes submitted by other booksellers and librarians around the world; and the last section is for quotes that occurred at signings Campbell did for this book's predecessor.

A lot of the entries are very funny. I laughed out loud while reading plenty. But some entries feel mean-spirited, and some were less funny and more disturbing. There were a few entries that were, to me at least, outright offensive, though YMMV. And while I had some fun reading this, it didn't make me think or change my perspective or offer any deeper meaning. Ultimately, it was cute and fun, but forgettable, so I went with three stars - not bad, not good, just sort of there. I won't be seeking out the first volume.

tammikuu 3, 3:29 pm

Happy new year, Julie!

>7 Julie_in_the_Library:

Good article. Until/unless the environment changes--from the way people are forced to live and shop for food to the messages currently peddled--the problem is only going to get worse.

tammikuu 3, 5:24 pm

>13 LolaWalser: Thanks! Happy new year to you, too! And yeah, I agree re the article. It's incredibly frustrating, and also infuriating. But still good to know, I think.

tammikuu 3, 6:12 pm

>12 Julie_in_the_Library: On the other hand, a book like that is never going to change anyone's perspective on anything - it is there to entertain and not much else :)

Happy New Year!

tammikuu 3, 6:14 pm

>13 LolaWalser: That's true!

tammikuu 4, 7:12 am

>11 Julie_in_the_Library: Laughing doves built a nest on the light above our deck and their second clutch hatched about a week before Christmas. The babies (two) have left the nest but are still hanging around the deck (I think the parents still go there to feed them) and the first thing I do when I wake up (and then multiple times throughout the day) is to peer through the blinds to see if they're there.

tammikuu 4, 7:53 am

tammikuu 5, 12:30 pm

Hi Julie. Happy New Year. Enjoy Sherlock. Glad you’re tracking short stories you read.

tammikuu 5, 12:31 pm

I've started my next book - The Children on the Hill by Jennifer McMahon. I'm only a few pages in so far, though.

I've read a short story from my "between book" (Thanks to rocketj for the concept!) 100 Creepy Little Creature Stories: Father’s Vampire by Len Moffatt and Alvin Taylor. I quite enjoyed it, and rated it 4 stars.

I've also read two more articles, one on the difficulty of organized activities for Autistic people and the other on the NFL response to Damar Hamlin's mid-game cardiac arrest in last week's game.

I already know very well, being Autistic myself, how difficult it can be to move through the world this way, but I have an interest in seeing how other Autistic people articulate it. And, of course, every Autistic person is different, with a unique point of view on the world.

I don't actually watch or care much about football, but my parents and sister do. And living where I do, very close to Gillette Stadium, football is a big deal around here, besides. The article was interesting, and I'm interested to see what my parents' and sister's opinions on the subject will be the next time I see them.

tammikuu 7, 8:57 pm

>12 Julie_in_the_Library: I read the first volume back in 2016, and my comment on it was that it was essentially a bookstore focused Not Always Right collection. Cute and fun, but forgettable sums it up nicely, I think. I might see if my local library has this second one, but it doesn't strike me as something I would want to own.

tammikuu 8, 9:09 am

tammikuu 8, 11:23 am

Happy New Year, Julie. I used to love my bird feeders when I lived in NJ until we were banned from having them because they attracted the bears. I had a bear on my deck one time after we took down our bird feeders, but he was just checking out my hanging flower baskets. 😄 I’m in MA now, but in a condo, so not able to hang a feeder here either. I do enjoy them at my daughter’s house.

I’ll be stopping in from time to time to see what you are reading.

tammikuu 8, 1:36 pm

>23 NanaCC: I'm in a condo, too, but luckily I'm able to hang some from the ceiling of my balcony. I'm glad that you're still able to enjoy them at your daughter's house.

tammikuu 8, 1:47 pm

>1 Julie_in_the_Library: I have had periods, both before and after LT, reading Gothic novels of various kinds. I have several tags related to them in my library (but all have the word Gothic in it) should you like to take a peek. I still read one or two occasionally if I run into something that intrigues me....

tammikuu 8, 1:50 pm

>25 avaland: ooh! I'll have to take a look!

tammikuu 8, 3:25 pm

Happy New Year, Julie. We enjoy filling our bird feeders too. The past couple of autumns we've had one or two squirrels stealing from them too (which I don't mind).

tammikuu 9, 8:24 am

The bird feeders are finally hung properly, so hopefully I start getting some birds soon!

The first part of "The Adventure of the Musgrave Ritual" showed up in my inbox this morning, so I've started that. The final two parts should come along this week.

tammikuu 13, 5:09 pm

I've finished The Children on the Hill by Jennifer McMahon. I'll be writing a longer review, but for now I'll just say that it was a great read and I fully enjoyed it. 4 stars.

tammikuu 13, 6:56 pm

The Children on the Hill by Jennifer McMahon: 4 stars

1978: At her renowned treatment center in picturesque Vermont, the brilliant psychiatrist, Dr. Helen Hildreth, is acclaimed for her compassionate work with the mentally ill. But when's she home with her cherished grandchildren, Vi and Eric, she's just Gran-teaching them how to take care of their pets, preparing them home-cooked meals, providing them with care and attention and love. Then one day Gran brings home a child to stay with the family. Iris-silent, hollow-eyed, skittish, and feral-does not behave like a normal girl. Still, Violet is thrilled to have a new playmate. She and Eric invite Iris to join their Monster Club, where they catalogue all kinds of monsters and dream up ways to defeat them. Before long, Iris begins to come out of her shell. She and Vi and Eric do everything together: ride their bicycles, go to the drive-in, meet at their clubhouse in secret to hunt monsters. Because, as Vi explains, monsters are everywhere. 2019: Lizzy Shelley, the host of the popular podcast Monsters Among Us, is traveling to Vermont, where a young girl has been abducted, and a monster sighting has the town in an uproar. She's determined to hunt it down, because Lizzy knows better than anyone that monsters are real-and one of them is her very own sister.

Another excellent suspense novel from Jennifer McMahon. The suspense plot and mystery pulled me along and kept me engaged from start to finish.

As usual, McMahon's rendering of character and setting were excellent, and the tension and timelines were well handled. I love the way that McMahon reveals the secret at the heart of her novel jigsaw piece by jigsaw piece, switching between the two timelines, the monster book, and the journalist's book and letting you realize how they fit together as she builds to the reveal. I put together some of the clues as I read, and I enjoyed that lovely zing that always comes when I hit reveals that confirmed my guesses.

The ending was satisfying - surprising but also fitting and believable. The threads of the story were all tied up but not so tightly as to feel pat or contrived, and each character's choices and final situations felt true to the people McMahon had created throughout the story.

The novel's exploration of monsters and monstrousness was interesting and insightful. The references to other monster stories, including Mary Shelly's Frankenstein, were fun and added depth and meaning to the story. I'd never thought of connectingFrankenstein with eugenics before, but in hindsight it makes sense.

I enjoyed this novel from start to finish, and it made me think as well. Definitely a full 4 star book.

helmikuu 3, 8:48 am

I'm currently reading World on the Wing: The Global Odyssey of Migratory Birds by Scott Weidensaul. I'm partway through chapter eight of ten, and still enjoying it a lot.

In the meantime, I've also read two more short stories from 100 Creepy Little Creature Stories and three more Sherlock Holmes short stories as part of Letters from Watson.

"The Feather Pillow (El almohadón de plumas)" by Horacio Quiroga, translated from the Spanish in 1976, I did not enjoy or think highly of at all. My notes for this one read "dumb. All tell no show. No characterization, so no investment in fate of characters. 1.5 only because it wasn’t actively offensive." It's possible that some of this is the fault of the translation. But quite frankly, I doubt I'd have thought any more highly of it were I able to read it in the original Spanish.

The Fisherman’s Special by H. L. Thomson, on the other hand, I noted was "not bad" and "entertaining enough" despite the predictable ending, and rated a solid 3 stars.

I enjoyed reading "The Adventure of the Speckled Band," "The Adventure of the Resident Patient," and "The Adventure of the Noble Client" and rated them 3, 3.5, and 3.5 stars respectively. (The first one would have been 3.5 as well, except for the sheer amount of uncomfortable, albeit period-typical, bigotry throughout.

I'm getting a good variety of birds on the balcony now that I've got feeders up, and I'm participating in Project FeederWatch.

I may post some photos later if I remember.

helmikuu 3, 9:27 am

>31 Julie_in_the_Library: Yes, photos please. I need to get my feeders up. I've decided to risk the bears.

helmikuu 3, 11:08 am

>31 Julie_in_the_Library: I'm participating in Project FeederWatch
I did this for several years when I lived in the city and had feeders on the balcony. Then I moved 1/2 mile to a house surrounded by trees, and tried feeders in various places, but anywhere that is accessible for viewing is also accessible to a multitude of clever squirrels, and the birds apparently have enough other options that they aren't much interested in the feeders. I'd like to see your photos too!

helmikuu 3, 5:59 pm

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 3, 6:04 pm

helmikuu 3, 6:40 pm

These are great! I've been bad about keeping my feeders loaded up, but I get a lot of the same birds when I do. Have you gotten any juncos? They are my favorite.

helmikuu 3, 10:29 pm

Gorgeous little birds!

helmikuu 4, 10:15 am

>36 japaul22: I get tons of juncos. I'm doing FeederWatch today, and so far, the most I've had at once is 5.

>37 LolaWalser: Thanks!

helmikuu 4, 10:25 am

>38 Julie_in_the_Library: I feel like the juncos travel in small groups. I always see six at my feeder and I feel like they are the same six!

helmikuu 5, 10:03 pm

Those are great photos! I love the titmice... and juncos too. I don't put out seed because of our outdoor cats, but they come around anyway.

helmikuu 8, 6:07 am

Beautiful photos!!! Thank you for sharing them. We moved to a new apartment a year ago and still have not done up the balcony, but I hope to put up a feeder once we have done so. One of the very few things I miss about the old apartment is that we had a small terrace and were able to watch sparrows, blue tits and robins.
I had to google what a junco is!

>31 Julie_in_the_Library: What a great Sherlock Holmes project! I wish to do something similar but always put it off - maybe I can start sometime this year. Your progress is encouraging me to just try it!

helmikuu 8, 8:25 am

>40 lisapeet: Luckily, I'm on a second floor with a balcony, and the only outdoor cats in the development just can't get up here. (It would be different if my direct next door neighbor had one, but she doesn't).

I'm glad that you like my photos!

>41 MissBrangwen: If you want to join in on Letters from Watson, you can start any time!

It's done via substack email subscription, so you don't need to procure a copy of any of the stories. They get sent right to your inbox. It's one story a week, broken up into three parts. That really makes it easy, because each email is short enough to squeeze into your day without too much trouble.

We're only partway through the sixth story (The Adventure of the Second Stain) now. There's an archive on the site of everything that's gone out so far. They're all pretty short, and the emails are three times a week, so you'd be able to catch up pretty easily.

A lot of the group discussion, joking, and meme-making is happening on Tumblr (using #Letters from Watson), but I'd be happy to discuss the stories here, as well.

By the way, if anyone is looking to read something else this way, there are lots of options. Last year's Dracula Daily inspired a lot of similar projects. Here's a master list of what we're calling "tumblr book clubs." Scroll down to get to the 2023 ones.

As people on tumblr have noted, a lot of the classics, like the Holmes stories and Dracula, would originally have been presented in a serialized format, albeit in newspapers rather than via substack email. Reading those works this way provides an interesting insight into that original reading experience, especially if you're participating in the social aspect on tumblr as well.

And for works that were never published serially, it's still a way to fit them into a busy schedule, and a built-in community to read along with.

I'm only doing Letters from Watson right now, but I may dabble with one or two others as the year goes on.

helmikuu 8, 8:39 am

>42 Julie_in_the_Library: Thank you for explaining the whole process to me! I am not ready to join another kind of group read right now, and I have a Penguin edition that I wish to read from, so I don't think I will join at this point. However, the sub stacks emails still sound good and I will keep this in mind!
I am happy that it works so well for you and thank you again for taking the time to explain! :-)

"As people on tumblr have noted, a lot of the classics, like the Holmes stories and Dracula, would originally have been presented in a serialized format, albeit in newspapers rather than via substack email. Reading those works this way provides an interesting insight into that original reading experience, especially if you're participating in the social aspect on tumblr as well." This is a good point and I have sometimes thought about how the reading experience of certain works might have been different from ours because of the serialization.

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 10, 8:10 am

A World on the Wing: The Global Odyssey of Migratory Birds by Scott Weidensaul: 4 stars

This book took me a long time to read - 26 days, according to my spreadsheet - but it was worth every minute. It's filled with fascinating facts and funny and poignant anecdotes, and has a spread of full-color photos in the middle.

Weidensaul's prose is elegant and easy to read, and his passion, love, and indeed, as he himself notes in the book, reverence, for his subject shines through throughout.

There is a good balance between narrative anecdotes and info dumping, for lack of a better term. The pacing between the two is likewise well handled, keeping either from becoming monotonous or overwhelming.

I will say that there are long chunks of text without page breaks, though there are paragraph breaks. The large chunks between natural stopping points mean that it is not well suited for reading in two to five minute chunks of time clawed out of a busy day. This book demands reading time that is set aside to get the most from it.

The theme of global anthropogenic climate change runs throughout the book. It can be a bit depressing, not to mention frightening, seeing the damage laid out the way that it is in this book. But Weidensaul takes pains to emphasize at every turn that there is hope, and that we still have time and chance to repair the damage. That, and the fact that climate change is a theme but not the main focus, keeps the book from being too depressing or upsetting to read.

Weidensaul is open about his agenda with the book, emphasizing the ways that what is good for birds is also good for humans, and vice versa, and as using all of his rhetorical powers to instill in his readers the same love and thus desire to protect birds as he feels himself. He wants to save the birds, and he wants his readers to want that, too.

That being said, it never feels like an Issue Book, lecture, or Morality Lesson. The agenda is there, and not hidden, but Weidensaul never lets it get in the way of writing a good book.

I really enjoyed A World on the Wing. I don't think it's for everyone - people without at least some interest in birds may find it boring. People who require their nonfiction to be narrative in format will likely have trouble with this as well. But I definitely recommend it to anyone interested in birds. It's a solid four star book, and I'm glad I picked it up off the shelf.

helmikuu 10, 6:34 pm

>44 Julie_in_the_Library: good balance between narrative anecdotes and info dumping
I have this book, and who knows, maybe I'll read it this year, though I have a few other bird books that may slip ahead of it in the queue.

helmikuu 11, 1:40 pm

>45 qebo: it was really very good. I hope that you enjoy it, whenever you get around to it.

helmikuu 11, 2:30 pm

I enjoy your bird pictures, keep them coming if you want. We had feeders out at our last house and loved watching the birds and keeping track of the regulars. Here there are gangs of enormous squirrels who have managed to disassemble even the toughest of the allegedly squirrel-proof feeders we tried. We've decided to let them finish off the seeds left in the final attempt and then just give up. The birds won't feed with the squirrels there anyway.

helmikuu 11, 2:58 pm

>47 RidgewayGirl: Have you tried adding hot sauce to the seeds? Squirrels can taste it and have the same reaction we would, but it doesn't bother the birds at all.

helmikuu 14, 8:31 am

I've read a few more stories from my current "between book," 100 Creepy Little Creature Stories.

"The Frog" by Granville S Hoss: 3 stars. According to my notes, "not too long. Prose is fine. Ending imagery is creepy."

"Frogfather" by Manly Wade Wellman: 3.5 stars. I enjoyed this one. I noted that it had "good prose" and "good characterization." The plot and ending were also satisfying. I probably would have rated this one a full 4 stars out of 5, if not for the fact that Wellman's use of the Wise Native trope detracted from my enjoyment some.

"The Gargoyle Sacrifice" by Tina L Jens: 2.5 stars. In this case, the rating says more about me and my personal taste than the quality of the story. I was very excited to see a woman author, as the editors of this collection seem to favor men. This is a more modern story than many, written in 1994. Jens did a good job of establishing character and setting, especially in so short a story. That takes real skill and effort. The story is well plotted and well written. There isn't anything actually wrong with it, per se. But it is not my type of story at all, and I did enjoy reading it. I was uncomfortable the whole way through. In my notes, I described it as "sordid," "grimy," and "grubby." Many horror fans will likely enjoy this a lot, but I'm not one of them.

"Ghouls of the Sea" by J. B. S. Fullilove: 3.5 stars. As far as I can tell from some cursory googling, this is the only piece of fiction the author ever published, which is a shame. This story did not create narrative transport, due to the now-archaic, stilted prose style, but in a story like this, I actually prefer that. This way, I can read the whole thing without getting freaked out. I can't watch or read modern zombie stuff, but the level of detachment and lack of verisimilitude in a story like this makes it safe for me to enjoy. It won't be everyone's cup of tea, but it works for me.

maaliskuu 18, 10:07 am

I've finished Treasury of Poetry for Children. (I want there to be an article in that title, but there isn't. Why is there no article in that title???). I've rated it 3 stars. Review to come.

maaliskuu 23, 8:23 am

I've put aside Song of Achilles for the moment. it just doesn't have the momentum to pull me through right now. Now I'm reading The Bullet that Missed, the third in Richard Osman's Thursday Murder Club series. I loved the first two, and I'm really enjoying this one, so far, as well.

Review on Treasury of Poetry for Children to come, probably this weekend.

Muokkaaja: kesäkuu 2, 8:26 am

I'm back! I've finally finished The Ode Less Travelled: Unlocking the Poet Within by Stephen Fry. I'm still chugging away with 100 Creepy Little Creature Stories - I need to go to the library and renew that; they've once again concluded that I've lost it, I've had it so long now. And I'm still keeping up with Letters from Watson, the Sherlock Holmes short story email read-along.

I've added the short stories I've read - including a couple midrashic tales by Ruth Calderon that I encountered at this year's Tikkun Leil Shavuot - to my list above. I've also added more articles that I've read, including an excellent one about Autism research that I read this week.

I do plan to catch up on review writing, though no promises as to when. Still, it's good to be back!

kesäkuu 2, 4:43 pm

kesäkuu 3, 9:33 am

>53 dianeham: Thanks! I missed all of you, as well!

kesäkuu 3, 10:22 am

Treasury of Poetry for Children edited by Susie Gibbs, illustrated by Diz Wallis, forward by Charles Causley: 3 stars

This is, as the title suggests, a poetry collection for children. I've had my copy since early childhood - I don't actually remember receiving it, or ever not having it on my bookshelf. It was published by Macmillan in 1998, when I was seven years old.

I've always been fond of this book. It contains the first poem I ever loved: "Leonardo" by Charles Causley, which I shared over on the poetry thread a while back and with which I'm still enamoured to this day. I'll probably always have a soft spot for this collection, and a physical spot for it on my shelves.

But having reread it from cover to cover this year, I cannot say that it is good.

It isn't quite bad, either. There are things that I like, for themselves, without the rosy haze of nostalgia: Diz Wallis's illustrations are charming and fun, and all well suited to the poems that they accompany.

The font and texgt size are perfect for a children's volume, and the cover design, with its golden lettering on the title, does make the book feel special, like something that contains treasure. The size and heft of the book are also good, small enough to not be unwieldy for a kid while big enough to feel grown-up and important.

And the three complete indeces, of poems by title, poets, and poems by first line, are excellent. The first line index is especially useful. (I realize that this is probaly, if not standard, then at least common in poetry collections. But I still like it enough to mention it here.)

And content-wise, I noted liking about 23 of the poems collected. (And admittedly, I'm not the intended audience anymore by at least a good two decades).

However, the collection also has some negative qualities that I couldn't ignore.

For one thing, for a purportedly secular poetry collection aimed at (English speaking) children of all backgrounds, this book contains a lot of Christian poems, including one outright Christian prayer. This is only made more obvious - and more of a problem - by the fact that there are no non-Christain religious poems, or even poems about non-Christian religious holidays. If there has been a mix of poetry from varying religions, I would have no objection. But the sheer amount of Christian poetry, coupled with the complete absence of any other religion's poetry, is an undeniable strike against the book.

Another strike against it, and a related one, at that, is the lack of diversity among the poets included. There are relatively few poems by non-white poets, and even fewer poems in translation or from other cultures.

I also disliked the formatting choice to put the poets' names after the poems instead of at the top with the titles, but that's a personal preference thing, rather than an actual issue with the book.

So overall, Treasury of Poetry for Children has its upsides and downsides. I wouldn't reccommend it, but I also won't be weeding it from my own shelves anytime soon. Given that, I've rated it a neutral 3 stars.

kesäkuu 3, 10:03 pm

Welcome back, Julie

kesäkuu 4, 8:06 am

>56 labfs39: Thanks!

kesäkuu 4, 9:32 am

Some more brief reviews of short stories from 100 Creepy Little Creature Stories:

"The Gray Wolf" by George MacDonald (1864): left me wanting to know more, including what was going on. I noted that it would have worked better as a TV episode or short film than it did as a short story - the story struck me as better suited to visual media than prose. Additionally, the prose style of this one was not for me. Not bad, though. 3 stars

"The Green-and-Gold Bug" by J. M. Alvey (1924): The thing that struck me the most with this one was the weird tone, which read almost more like someone telling a joke than a story. The last paragraph, especially, reads like a punch line. I also noted the abrupt ending. The dialogue is stilted and bizarre. Also, whole thing is obviously and inescapably racist. 2 stars

"The House on the Rynek" by Dermot Chesson Spence (1936): This one was difficult for me review and rate in the way that stories that unexpectedly touch on personal subjects often are. Overall, the prose style works for me. The story is immersive and achieved narrative transport. The creature bit is weird, and it took me a few reads of that paragraph to understand what was being described as happening, but that's not that uncommon for me with weird fiction. The frame is very, very thin, and could stand to be more substantial, but that was not a huge drawback.

As to the role that antisemitism played in the story and how it was handled, my feelings are much more mixed. On the whole, the subject seemed to be treated pretty respectifully. On the other hand, the use of a murdered Jew as plot device in this type of story is uncomfortable at best, espeically from a gentile author, especially in 1936. The way the plot resolves also complicates matters. No star rating on this one.

"I'll Be Glad When I'm Dead" by Charles King (1946): My notes for this one were "fun. Enjoyed story. Narrative voice fit content. No real depth or anything, but a nice bit of fun without any real detractions. 3.5 stars."

"Indigestion" by Barry N. Malzberg (1977): This one was not for me. I didn't like it at all. My issues were not with writing, story structure, or prose quality, but simply personal taste. 1 star

"The Inn" by Rex Ernest (1937): fine little story. Nothing to dislike, but nothing special either. Ending was predicatable. 3 stars.

kesäkuu 4, 10:14 am

>55 Julie_in_the_Library: It can be a dangerous thing, to revisit our childhood favorites!

kesäkuu 14, 12:23 pm

Bloody Scotland ed. by James Crawford: 4 stars

This is a collection of crime fiction stories that a friend brought back for me from Scotland this past October. The collection comprises twelve short stories, each inspired by and centering in some way around a different Scottish landmark. There's an introduction by Crawford at the begninng, and a map of all twelve locations followed by brief descriptions and visiting information for each location at the end. Finally, there are bios for each contributing author.

I enjoyed most of the stories. There were a few I didn't care for, and a few that were just okay, but more that I actively liked.

I like the concept of having each writer submit a piece inspired by a specific Scottish landmark, and that each story was prefaced with a picture. I do think it would have been even better had the pictures been in color, but I also recognize the likely practical reasons why this wasn't done. I really appreciate the map and brief information on each location at the end of the volume.

I’m not sure what the rationale was behind the order of the stories, especially the first and last, which are not among the strongest in the collection. I'm not sure that changing the order would have done anything to or for the overall effect, though, so it's mostly just idle wondering rather than a true complaint.

I'll be posting my reviews of the individual stories in a separate post.

kesäkuu 14, 3:20 pm

As promised, reviews of the short stories in Bloody Scotland:

"Orkahaugr" by Lin Anderson: 3 stars. This one didn’t suck me in. The prose was clunky on a sentence-level. There was no narrative transport or immersion. The story itself wasn't bad. It would have worked better with better sentence-level writing. The ending worked for me. The presence of the supernatural in this type of collection surprised me. All in all, just okay.

"Ancient and Modern" by Val McDermid: 4 stars. The use of the setting felt natural, not forced or wrenched. The story pulled me in from the beginning and kept me in through the end. The sentence-level prose is good. The ending was satisfying. Good pacing, structure, length. The tension is handled well. I liked this.

"Kissing the Shuttle" by E S Thomson: 5 stars. This one had immersive prose and was great on a sentence-level. The structure works, and the tension is well handled. The setting is integral to story, and doesn’t feel forced or tacked on. The POV and characterization are believable and well rendered. The story pulled me in and kept me in. Nothing felt extraneous; the length is just right. The topic of rape is handled well, treated seriously and with respect, and without reveling in any gory details or depicting it on page at all. The setting feels real and well fleshed out and vivid. The use of sensory detail, especially sound, is very good and works well with theme. Really really good.

"Painting the Forth Bridge" by Doug Johnstone: 3.5 stars. Too much tension, not enough relief for my personal taste. The tension just keeps mounting inexorably until the end. Very interesting play on points of view – the last scene, especially, makes it very clear how different the situation looks from the POV character’s perspective vs everyone else’s perspectives. The POV and main character are well done – the protagonist is round, believable, and nuanced. Very technically good, just too tense for me personally. The way that the tension is handled is clearly deliberate and done to great effect.

"The Last Siege of Bothwell Castle" by Chris Brookmyre: 4 stars. This one starts a bit slow, but gets much better once the actual plot kicks off not far in. Fun, and at many points funny. Plot holds together well. Structure works. Ending was good. Made me smile. I enjoyed reading this.

"Sanctuary" by Sara Sheridan: 4 stars. This one features immersive prose and a well done, very deep character perspective. Well constructed and well written. The ending fits.

"Stevenson’s Candle" by Stuart MacBride: 2 stars. characters are one-dimensional, flat. The story is disjointed and difficult to follow. The twist comes out of nowhere, and does not make sense in hindsight. There is no foreshadowing, just wham. It felt less like a constructed story and more like a series of incidents. Too random. Too much coincidence. Felt pointless, if that makes sense.

"History Lesson" by Gordon Brown: 3 stars. This feels almost like the beginning of a story more than a complete story itself. Too obvious/overt with the themes. Sentence-level prose is clunky. Doesn’t really feel like there’s much point or impact.

"Come Friendly Bombs" by Louise Welsh: 4 stars. Reads less like crime fiction and more like horror. Also feels like lit fic, almost. Not quite sure what we’re meant to think happened, but for once I’m not put off by the ambiguous ending. It works for the story. Prose worked for me, as did tone and characterization.

"The Twa Corbies of Cardross" by Craig Robertson: 3.5 stars. Very stylized, but I like it. The prose does feel forced in places – it works best where there’s just narration and no dialogue. Interesting conceit, and done well, I think. I enjoyed it, but definitely not for everyone. Read a bit like a folk story.

"Nemo Me Impune Lacessit" by Denise Mina: 2.5 stars. The characters felt flat, especially Jake. The story felt unbelievable - it lacked verisimilitude. It also made me really uncomfortable as someone with a pervasive developmental disorder– real disabled, mentally ill, or even just misbehaving children aren’t just evil like this. This feels like a demonizing of mentally ill/developmentally or otherwise disabled kids, and an excuse for the caregivers and parents who abuse and even murder them. Obviously that's me pulling in personal context, but every reader brings their personal context to everything they read. In this case, I just couldn't enjoy the story. I think it would have worked better for me with a supernatural or horror conceit of posession or something like it, to explain Jake's behavior, but not like this. From a technical standpoint, the prose feels detached, but it isn't bad. The pacing and structure are fine. This one is not badly written, just not for me.

"The Return" by Ann Cleeves: 3 stars. All tell and no show. Too detached. Too reliant on the narrator just knowing or figuring stuff out and then relating it to us. The protagonist is too perfect, and the ending is too pat. Not uncomfortable or off-putting to read, just not very good.

kesäkuu 17, 10:22 am

I'm saving my reviews of the stories from The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2019 for once I've finished the whole volume, since there are only 20 stories.

For now, some more brief reviews of stories from 100 Creepy Little Creature Stories:

"Itching for Action" by Charles Garofalo: 3 stars. The prose is stilted. That keeps the reader at a remove from the story, even as the dialog tries to be naturalistic and slangy. On a prose level, not well written. There is POV jumping without any space breaks between paragraphs of differing POVs, which is jarring and amateurish. The story never outright tells the reader what is actually going on, but the ending implies it so strongly that any reader is sure to understand, which I did appreciate. Mildly unpleasant to read, but not nearly as gross as some other stories in the collection. There were some funny moments and lines.

"Jikininki" by Lafcadio Hearn: 3 stars. I’ve actually read this story before; it’s in Hearn’s collection Kwaidan. I bought it for a college class and read it cover to cover in July 2021. There’s a brief review of the collection as a whole on my 2021 thread. As to this story and my thoughts on it this time around: there was no narrative transport or immersion in the story. The prose style is formal and removed. We are kept at a distance and not given a window into any character’s interiority. The story itself is interesting enough, though I think readers with more background and understanding of Japanese culture and religion will get much more out of it than I did.

"John Mortonson's Funeral" by Ambrose Bierce: 1.5 stars. Not really a story, more of a single scene. Microfiction rather than short story. Most of the scene is just an irony-tinged and rather mean description of a funeral. And then, out of absolutely nowhere, it turns out the deceased's cat was in the casket and ate his face. No narrative arc or structure, no real point to the story. Just judgy meaness followed by shock value.

"The Keen Eyes and Ears of Kara Kedi" by Claude Farrère: 2.5 stars. translation of La peur du chat 1907, no translator attributed. Strange. I liked the prose style - not distracting or clunky. Diary format kept me from true immersion. Not quite sure what happened, and finished the story confused, which I did not like. Ending was not satisfying.

"The Kelpie" by Manly Wade Wellman: 3 stars. the bit where Lu sees the kelpie climbing out of the tank is genuinely creepy. Fun little story, but nothing special.

"Ladies in Waiting" by Hugh B Cave: 2.5 stars. Nothing wrong with it, just not for me. Too sexual.

"Laura" by Saki: 1 star. reads more like a joke with a punchline than a short story, and racist to boot. My 2022 notes: “did not like. Satire. Fascile, surface, and also not funny. Everything felt flat. More a joke than a story.”

"Left by the Tide" by Edward E. Schiff: 3 stars. Fine; nothing special. Generic

"The Lesser Brethren Mourn" by Seabury Quinn: 4 stars. I liked it. Not really sure it’s horror, or even that creepy, by the end, but I liked it. It’s definitely weird, perhaps even Weird, but also comforting and warm. I like the first person POV voice, and the prose gives it a good sense of setting and character. Well written.

"The Marmot" by Alison V. Harding: 3 stars. a little racist. Otherwise average

"Metzengerstein" by Edgar Allen Poe: 1 star. Difficult to parse. Did nothing for me.

"Mimic" by Donald A. Wollheim: 2.5 stars. Just not very good.

kesäkuu 28, 8:25 am

I'm having surgery tomorrow, so I might disappear again for a bit. Or I might only disappear for a few days and be back to commenting on threads by next week. I don't know what the recovery will be like, since I've never had surgery before.

kesäkuu 28, 12:40 pm

>63 Julie_in_the_Library:


Wishing you good luck and speedy recovery.

kesäkuu 28, 3:24 pm

>64 LolaWalser: Thanks. I've been told it shouldn't be too bad. It's laproscopic. I tested positive for a BRCA mutation, so I'm taking preventative steps.

kesäkuu 28, 3:29 pm

>65 Julie_in_the_Library: I had a laparoscopic surgery last year and I was back on my feet the same day with just movement and weight restrictions for a bit. Just listen to them on the pain killers (I managed with just NSAIDs but you need to follow the schedule for the first few days - once the pain is there, you are kinda screwed - keeping it away is the key).

But everyone is different so I hope all goes well and you have a speedy recovery!

kesäkuu 28, 3:34 pm

>66 AnnieMod: Thanks! That's really good to know.

kesäkuu 28, 4:04 pm

>63 Julie_in_the_Library: Wishing you all the best, with a quick and uneventful recovery. Take your time and allow your body to heal.

kesäkuu 28, 5:23 pm

>67 Julie_in_the_Library: Yeah, the other thing... >68 RidgewayGirl: reminded me.

If all runs well, you will feel a LOT better than you expected to. Don't push it - the internal parts need to heal -- even if you do not feel like you need the rest/restrictions. In the week after the surgery I had a lot more energy than I had had for months before that (part of it was that the pain killers were taking care of my arthritic knee issues as well so I literally could move well for the first time in weeks) - so I felt like I could push harder than the doctors allowed me to. Not a good idea... at all :) So if they say not to lift, push or pull more than 5 pounds, it means 5 pounds. If they say no more than 10 minutes continuous walk for the first week? You just don't do it. :) Even if it feels like you can and feel well doing it.

kesäkuu 28, 7:59 pm

>65 Julie_in_the_Library:

Sounds like a timely intervention. Great strides have been made in this category in the last couple decades.

heinäkuu 1, 8:15 am

I've come through my surgery and am recovering at my parents' place. Things are going pretty well so far. Thanks for all of you well-wishes and advice!

heinäkuu 1, 11:18 am

>71 Julie_in_the_Library: Great to read that things are going well for you. All the best for a speedy and easy recovery.

heinäkuu 8, 9:58 am

I read Neil Gaiman's collection Fragile Things last year. I think I reviewed the collection as a whole in my 2022 Club Read thread, but I definitely never posted my thoughts on the individual stories.

I've now posted those thoughts in my short story review thread in the Short Stories group, in case anyone wants to go take a look.

heinäkuu 8, 11:08 am

I've also posted my reviews of the first 28 stories in 100 Creepy Little Creature Stories - the ones that I read in 2022 - on my short story review thread in the Short Stories group.

heinäkuu 19, 8:22 am

Some more brief reviews of stories from 100 Creepy Little Creature Stories:

"Mive" by Carl Jacobi (1928): 3.5 stars. Opening description of the marsh is very good. Very atmospheric. Went weird, but not in a bad way. I enjoyed it.

"The Moon-Slave" by Barry Pain (1901): 3.5 stars. I enjoyed it. Ending reveal (it was the devil!) came out of nowhere but for one (1) line about the protagonist forgetting the words to a xtian prayer. All other signs pointed to the villain being the Moon itself right up until literally the last line of the story. The randomness of that plot twist kept this from a full 4 stars.

"Monsters in the Night" by Clark Ashton Smith (1954): 3.5 stars. Fun, quick little story. I enjoyed it.

"Mother of Monsters" (translation of La mère aux monstres) by Guy de Maupassant, translator from the French uncredited (1883, translation 1903): 1 star. Judgy, misogynist, ableist, classist. I did not enjoy it at all. The only positive thing I can say about this story is that the sentence-level prose is not bad.

"Mother of Toads" by Clark Ashton Smith (1938): 3 stars. Vivid, descriptive prose. Ending worked for story. A little gross, but not too bad. I didn’t really enjoy it, though.

"Mummy" by Kelsey Percival Kitchel (1929): 3 stars. Consistent first person narrative voice. Cliché plot, at least by today’s standards, just different set dressing. Nothing special, but also not bad.

"My Father, the Cat" by Henry Slesar (1957): 4 stars. Well written. Not horror, or even Weird Fiction. More fairy-tale or fantasy vibes. Tragic, sad. Very good. I liked it.

"The Necromancer" by Arthur Gray (1912): 2.5 stars. Overly wordy, formal, archaic prose. Took more effort to follow than I prefer, but I managed. Not very interesting or engaging.

heinäkuu 25, 12:41 pm

More brief reviews of stories from 100 Creepy Little Creature Stories:

"Night Shapes" by Robert Weinberg (1994): 2.5 stars. Amateurish. No immersion. Things just happen to the protagonist. No active choices from him affect the story.

"The Owl on the Moor" by August Derleth and Mark Schorer (1928): 3.5 stars. Prose is good. Enjoyed reading, through ending was expected. Fun but predictable, and the ending was too abrupt for frame narrative. No one ends a letter like that.

"The Phantom Drug" by A. W. Kapfer (1926): 3 stars. Silly; impossible to suspend disbelief with modern medical knowledge. Fun though.

"The Place of Hairy Death" by Anthony M. Rud (1934): 3.5 stars. Good up to the last line, which I don’t understand. Do mouse bites kill instantly? Well written, consistent narrative voice. Interesting and entertaining. Would be 4 stars if not for confusing ending.

"The Plant-Thing" by R. G. Macready (1925): 2 stars. Ending was abrupt. Story felt unfinished. Professor losing control of the plant-thing while the narrator was there, and so quickly, was too convenient and contrived. The plot, such as it is, is very thin and weak.

"The Power of the Dog" by G. G. Pendarves (1927): 3 stars. Well structured plot, with a fitting ending stinger. Prose is fine but stiff.

"A Problem of the Dark" by Frances Arthur (1927): 3 stars. Prose is fine. Story is structured fine. “Scientific” explanation of nightmare monster ghost thing is silly.

"Professor Jonkin's Cannibal Plant" by Howard R. Garis (1905): 3 stars. The word cannibal does not mean what Garis thinks it means. Possible inspiration for Little Shop of Horrors? Fun. I enjoyed it. Construction of story felt a bit weak.

"The Quare Gander" by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu (1975): 1.5 stars. The story could have been fun from what little I could make out, but the phonetically written out dialect makes it very difficult to parse and unpleasant to read.

heinäkuu 26, 6:31 pm

It's so much better to be at the recovery end of surgery than the anticipation end. Best wishes for an unremarkable recovery.

heinäkuu 27, 10:01 am

>77 RidgewayGirl: Thanks! I agree - the lead up to the surgery was much worse than the actual recovery.

heinäkuu 30, 11:16 am

More brief reviews of stories from 100 Creepy Little Creature Stories:

"The Real Wolf" by Thomas Ligotti (1988): 3 stars. Interesting use of the present tense first person.

"The Sacrifice" by Miroslaw Lipinski (1988): 3 stars. Interesting. Consistent narrative voice. A little detached.

"The Seeds from Outside" by Edmond Hamilton (1937): 3.5 stars. Narration gives the story a fable-like feel despite the fact that it’s sci-fi rather than fantasy. This one was sad, rather than scary, creepy, or horrific. I liked it.

"Seeing the World" by Ramsey Campbell (1984): 2.5 stars. Difficult to follow. Too surreal for my taste. Good sense of creeping, anticipatory horror, though.

"Seven Drops of Blood" by H. F. Jamison (1930): 1.5 stars. Difficult to follow. TWay too surreal for me. Did not enjoy.

elokuu 1, 9:53 am

Best wishes for a continued speedy recovery. I'm not sure about creepy stories, but the Bloody Scotland collection does sound interesting - great concept for sure.

elokuu 2, 9:40 am

>80 BLBera: Bloody Scotland was really interesting. I agree that it's a great concept. I'm lucky that my friend got her hands on a copy while she was there, which was pure luck.

elokuu 20, 6:53 pm

Just catching up on folks' threads now—glad the surgery went OK, and hope you're recovering well.