Mstrust #2- How Strange

Tämä viestiketju jatkaa tätä viestiketjua: Mstrust- A Thread As Cold As My Heart.

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Mstrust #2- How Strange

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 23, 2:20 pm

A fish-inspired home in Berkeley, Ca.

Welcome to my second thread of 2023. I'm Jennifer, I live in Phoenix and my 15th Thingaversary is at the end of March.
I live with husband Mike, anxiety-ridden Boxer, Coral, and frequently go to Las Vegas to see my family. I have somewhere over 3000 books in the house and I'm a slow as molasses reader. I return to the same genres: mystery, travel, horror and humor, but I have a whole bunch of authors that I intend to read for the first time this year. I have goals! They include new-to-me authors, a more productive garden ( I grow what vegetables, flowers and cactus I can), and I write a Substack called Autumn Lives Here, dedicated to Halloween, horror, true crime and weirdness and fun in general. My goal there is to double my readership this year. Come visit:

The Tacca Bat Flower

Doorstop of the Year: Well, I did not complete last year's, A Confederacy of Dunces, so that's rolling over.

Kits I'll be hosting in 2023:
April: Food Related/Horror Cookbooks- ScaredyKit-
May: True Unsolved Crimes- MysteryKit
September: Haunted Houses- ScaredyKit

My theme for this thread. Well, we all know by now that I like unusual, sometimes weird stuff. My first thought was an all weird books theme, but that quickly expanded to wanting unusual plants and unique foods...and by then it was a "strange, rare and unusual everything" theme. Guess we'll see what ends up here.

maaliskuu 23, 2:11 pm

Just kick the door and let yourself in.

maaliskuu 23, 2:42 pm

Happy new one!

maaliskuu 23, 2:52 pm

Happy new (and strange) thread!

maaliskuu 23, 3:46 pm

Happy new thread, Jennifer!

Wow, that Tacca Bat Flower looks very beautiful and strange.

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 23, 4:29 pm

>4 figsfromthistle: Thank you, glad you're here!
>5 drneutron: Thanks, Jim! Let's see how weird it can get!
>6 FAMeulstee: Thanks, Anita! Isn't it gorgeous and showy?

Normally I would offer my first guests cookies or coffee. But I thought pork belly bao would be more unexpected. Take.

maaliskuu 23, 6:09 pm

Happy new thread Jennifer!

maaliskuu 23, 7:46 pm

>8 quondame: Happy new one, Jennifer.

maaliskuu 24, 10:55 am

Happy New thread!!

maaliskuu 24, 12:34 pm

Happy New Thread!! Thanks for the delicious treat!!

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 24, 1:54 pm

>8 quondame: Thanks for coming over, Susan!
>9 PaulCranswick: Thank you, Paul!
>10 Carmenere: Thanks, Lynda, glad you're here!
>11 hredwards: Hey, Harold! You're welcome, and here's more:

Everyone grab a can of soursop juice. Paul, you're already familiar so maybe you can describe the flavor better than I can. I'd pin it down to "sweet" and "good". Don't let the strange name put you off.

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 24, 2:00 pm

So I had to go to the dentist early this morning to have a cap put back on. It was only a year old and pop right off on Wednesday night. The hygienist actually asked me if I had eaten "anything sticky, hard or chewy in the past year". I looked at her and said, "It's a cap. It's supposed to stay on."

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 24, 8:15 pm

22. Tales From the Haunted Mansion Volume IV by Joe Esposito.

Middle schooler Shelley shows off in class by bringing the frog she's dissecting back to life. Already an outcast, this display of her scientific genius makes things worse, but it does bring her former best friend Hank back into her life. Hank's brother died a few years ago, but Shelley might be able to help.
Then we meet obnoxious Chris and his two friends, who don't really like Chris. When the class takes a trip to a local lighthouse, Chris claims he saw the legendary, and dead, pirate captain who is said to have hidden his treasure along the coast, and Chris talks the others into risking their lives to retrieve it.
The stories are all tied together by the story of asylum patient Prudence Pock, who was a famous horror writer at one time, but who now sits in her cell making up stories and waiting for visits from Dr. Ackerman, who finds her both terrifying and intriguing.

Another superb volume in the series, these fall under the tag of "horror lite" for me. They feature some horrible situations (children often die) and plenty of humor. 4.2 stars

maaliskuu 24, 10:56 pm

Happy New Thread! I purchased The Sun Down Motel in paperback and I'm looking forward to reading it sometime this summer.

maaliskuu 25, 12:34 pm

Thank you!
You have a great read ahead of you, IMO. But if you hate it, blame someone else ;-)

maaliskuu 26, 10:02 pm

Happy Weird Thread!

>13 mstrust: You should have warned them you would be eating food before they put the cap on!

maaliskuu 27, 1:21 pm

I'm in!

>13 mstrust: Change dentists. Srsly.

Parker has developed the sniffle so I'm in search of dust bunnies. Plus, I have new across the street neighbors! They're Yankees, but they seem really nice and I'm sure they can't help being from up North. She's by far the nicer of the two, and he's published several papers on mathematical randomness, so we will probably get along. The only thing that bothers me is, watching them from my reading couch I've noticed that they have really bad posture, like they're even beaten down. I hope it's just a residual effect of living under the onerous restrictions and burdens up north, and they're not actual slouchers. Srsly, shoulders back, chin forward.

maaliskuu 27, 3:48 pm

>17 PaperbackPirate: Thank you, Nicole!
It was such a weird question. I'm in the chair and she's standing over me asking me if I've eaten this laundry list of textures, which included nuts. In a year. So I'm sure I made a face at her as I said a cap is supposed to stay in place.

>18 SomeGuyInVirginia: There you are! I swear I'm going to start insisting you wear a propeller cap so I can find you.
I've already told the dentist's office that I'm finding someone else.
So they've been fleeing to Lynchburg too. Don't you feel like standing on the curb and yelling, "You made your bed!" Tip: if you can't remember the husband's name, just address him as "nerd". He'll likely answer to it and you'll be friends.
My Southern parents moved to California, across the street from a family that had come from New York. They were odd. The kids weren't allowed to have anything to drink with dinner, and the son would lick his hand and chase all the girls on the street with it.

maaliskuu 27, 3:50 pm

Here's some strangeness from my own backyard.

I took this picture this morning. One of my sunflower blooms has another bloom right on the back of the bud. I'm raising two-headed flowers over here.

maaliskuu 28, 10:00 am

>20 mstrust: FEED ME!!!!!

maaliskuu 28, 10:09 am

Ha! It is weird!

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 28, 10:14 am

The newest Autumn Lives Here features the scariest shows from the BBC radio vault, spiked coffee, and the origins of the McNaughten Test. It's an open house week, everyone come get creepy.

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 28, 10:50 pm

Oh oh oh! Love me some radio shows! Thanks for the leads! I'll listen to them tonight.

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 29, 1:32 pm

I'm happy to point you towards the BBC scary shows! They are so well done and tend to have a slow, creepy build to them. For the longest time I thought Edward de Souza was a character written for the show because he drew his words out so slowly. Enjoy!

maaliskuu 28, 7:38 pm

>12 mstrust: Interesting drink

>13 mstrust: *snork* yes, it's supposed to stay on, especially for the price you pay for it it should last a lifetime!

>20 mstrust: Hmmm quite interesting.

Happy ( almost) mid week!

maaliskuu 29, 1:38 pm

I encourage anyone to give soursop juice a try, and the mango nectar will be nearby too, if your international store is like mine. I had a can of Limca soda from Hindustan a few days ago, produced by Coca-Cola. It's a lime-lemon flavor, much milder than Sprite.

And that one weird sunflower gets even weirder. Not only has the two-headed flower opened all the way, the larger flower has two petals growing out of the center, where the seeds grow.
Have a good week!

maaliskuu 29, 1:40 pm

I have never thought about how octopus are born. Until I saw this:

Eggs? Octopus come from eggs. Huh.

maaliskuu 29, 2:14 pm

>28 mstrust: Kinda cute.

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 29, 3:08 pm

>28 mstrust: Rule of thumb: If it’s not a mammal and isn’t a single-celled creature, it usually comes from eggs. Live births are actually the rarity when you look at the sheer total numbers of multi-cellular species—though there are some non-mammals (most notably some snake species) that do live birth, while monotremes like the platypus are egg-laying mammals. Always exceptions…. :)

maaliskuu 29, 7:18 pm

>28 mstrust: Octopuses come from eggs fast and hungry!

maaliskuu 29, 7:33 pm

>29 hredwards: Like cute little ghosts!
>30 CassieBash: Okay! :-D
>31 quondame: Think that little guy was jetting off to brunch?

maaliskuu 30, 12:40 pm

23. Schooled by Ted Fox.

Jack had a high school nemesis, Chad, who lied about having cancer in order to win class president over Jack. They went their separate ways after high school, with Jack helping to found a company that did very well. Then he had a mishap in the breakroom and set the building on fire, and was fired in a video that went viral, forever labeling him as "that guy".
He's spent the last six years as a stay-at-home dad while his wife rises in her company, which means spending less time at home.
And then Chad moves into their neighborhood, and he's also a stay-at-home dad. The two both decide to run for president of the elementary school board, thereby recreating their high school friction.

A mostly light story that has some fun backstabbing and sabotage, along with much about the difficulty of parenting. The ending was unsatisfying for me, as *spoiler* it seemed like Jack let a lot of people down but was happy with himself. 3 stars

maaliskuu 31, 10:26 am

>20 mstrust: Hmm, very interesting. Are you near Area 51?
>28 mstrust: Huh, I didn’t know octopus came from daisy petals. Who would have thought?! ;0)

Ok, enough strangeness for me today. Hope your Friday is Fabulous and not so strange…..unless you want it to be.

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 31, 12:02 pm

>34 Carmenere: Right? We have had those mystery lights in the sky...
That newborn looks like it knows what it's doing! I just saw that it immediately tried to get that little minnow.
Have a good weekend, Lynda.

maaliskuu 31, 12:06 pm

Strangeness for your weekend:

Sorry the pic is so small. This is Breakfast ramen noodles from Nissin, available at Walmart. A cup of noodles flavored as maple syrup pancakes, sausage and eggs. Limited edition.

maaliskuu 31, 12:25 pm

And if you are so inclined, join us over at April's ScaredyKit for "Food Horror!" month:

maaliskuu 31, 12:26 pm

A belated Happy New Thread, Jennifer!
Have a wonderful weekend.

maaliskuu 31, 5:24 pm

Thanks, Thomas! Have a good weekend yourself!

huhtikuu 1, 11:12 am

The "Spring Baking Championship" is back on the Food Network, which always gets me making stuff. I made dark chocolate marshmallow ice cream yesterday, and I have flank steak that's been in a garlic, citrus and cilantro marinade for two days.

And finally the Food Network is going to air Alexander McCall Smith's Scottish cooking show, called "Sheep Eats". This three episode show is a huge hit all over Europe. The first episode will feature fellow Scottish author Ian Rankin discussing oatmeal stout with Smith, and Tilda Swinton making oatmeal.
Smith will make melted cheese on toast at some point in the season, then make haggis in the finale.

huhtikuu 3, 10:21 am

>40 mstrust: I was actually thinking that sounded like an interesting show. :)

huhtikuu 3, 11:50 am

Me too! ;-D

huhtikuu 3, 12:06 pm

24. Drive-Thru Dreams by Adam Chandler.
The history of the best known American fast food restaurants, almost all chains that went national. The beginnings of McDonald's and quite a bit about Ray Kroc, and the start of Carl's/Hardee's, Dairy Queen, Burger King, White Castle, and many restaurants you know. There are discussions of car culture in America and how that affected these establishments, how certain foods are changed or replaced in international markets, and the author interviews author Michael Pollan about fast food and health.
I thought this book would be more fun, and there are little bits of humor here and there, but the author tends to be a little verbose while delivering his research, and I don't think the reader picking up this book about fast food history is expecting to end up knowing about the author's political leanings. But lots of research here, so I would recommend it for someone looking into the topic. 3 stars

huhtikuu 3, 10:12 pm

>43 mstrust: Want an interesting and disturbing food book? Try Swindled: The Dark History of Food Fraud, from Poisoned Candy to Counterfeit Coffee by Bee Wilson or Twinkie, Deconstructed by Steve Ettlinger. I also have Making Supper Safe by Ben Hewitt lying around in one of my to read piles. Since I still have to read it, I can’t vouch for how interesting that last one is, but I enjoyed the first 2, particularly “Swindled”.

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 4, 10:16 am

The latest Autumn Lives Here is up, with chilled pumpkin juice from Orlando, the story of the man who hated Poe, and a list of things I don't care for either.

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 7, 3:11 pm

Not so much strange as uniquely charming, this is the recipe for the Temperance Tea Cocktail from Limerick 101 in Ireland. It looks like a wholesome cup of floral tea but packs a wallop with the alcohol.

huhtikuu 7, 3:15 pm

>44 CassieBash: Ah, sorry, didn't mean to ignore you up there, Cassie!
I've read both Swindled and Twinkie, Deconstructed. Both interesting, though I think I got more out of Swindled, with the history of dangerous additives. It's hard to understand the willingness to poison people just to make a few bucks.
Thanks for pointing out Making Supper Safe, it looks like my kinda book!

huhtikuu 8, 12:08 pm

I suddenly realize that I forgot my Thingaversary a few weeks ago. I've been on LT for 15 years now. I'll bet my library has nearly doubled in that time.

huhtikuu 8, 4:29 pm

> Happy Thingaversary!! Isn't it wacky how a site dedicated to cataloging and book talk could induce what, at least in my case, is unfettered hoarding? 'Like hell is some clown in East Passaic going to have more books than I do!'

But seriously, no clown in East Passaic is going to have more books than I do.

Can't wait to read the substack!

You may have already posted this elsewhere, but what are your favorite horror books? My first two are vampire books - Dracula and Salem's Lot.

huhtikuu 8, 5:56 pm

Thanks, Larry! It's true, who among us hasn't tried to describe LT and started with, "Well, it's a place to catalog books, but really..." Nobody on the outside would expect this much socializing just going from the description.
And yeah, any fool in East Passaic says they have more books than you, we fight, using books like 2x4s. Everybody, take your glasses and retainers out, shit's gettin' real.

I don't believe I have posted about my favorite horror books, but even if I had, I would still be happy to discuss. Here's what I came up with real quick:
Dracula is on my list too.
And several haunted house stories- The Haunting of Hill House, Horrorstor, Twelve Nights at Rotter House, and the Tales from the Haunted Mansion series, which is written by Joe Esposito.
My favorite Stephen King books are The Stand and probably The Shining. Or Carrie.
And then there's Rosemary's Baby, John Dies at the End and The Gates by John Connolly, which is the funniest demonic book ever. Now I want to reread all of these.
And I have two short stories that I've loved forever: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and The Devil and Daniel Webster.

huhtikuu 9, 10:28 am

Happy Easter to you!

huhtikuu 9, 4:56 pm

Happy Easter! I hope the whole story is true!

huhtikuu 10, 9:58 am

Thanks, Larry! I hope you had a great Easter. It got to about 90 here yesterday. Today and tomorrow are expected to hit 97. So begins the summer of my discontent.
Did I tell you a story? I'm positive it was true, all of it. Unless I made it all up.

huhtikuu 10, 1:40 pm

>47 mstrust: Yes, “Swindled” was definitely darker (and by my extension of that definition, more interesting). Maybe I should dig out “Supper” for my next disturbing read?

>50 mstrust: I usually start with, “I’m not very social with my media, except for LibraryThing”—and then I describe it as social media for bookworms, with cataloging.

Struck by more book bullets. I’ve read several but not all on your list. “Horrorstor” has been on my radar, now “The Gates” has to be added too (because who couldn’t appreciate a funny demonic book?).

“Sleepy Hollow” and “Daniel Webster” are great classic short stories that all horror aficionados should read, but don’t overlook Ray Bradbury. The Jar from The October Country (in fact, just about any story from “The October Country”) is just so atmospheric and creepy. If you don’t mind disturbing fiction, there’s the YA Rotters by Daniel Kraus about grave robbers, and the YA science fiction book Living Hell by Catherine Jinks, in which a spaceship carrying a thousand people suddenly transforms into a living entity, and the humans find themselves on the wrong end of the immunological system, struggling to survive. Maybe not as creepy as the others, more survival fiction than horror in some ways, but the concept is just so different—and it’s informative without being too technical. Honestly, if you want to learn the basics of the immune system without too much jargon, this is the way to do it, lol!

Keep sharing the horror (titles), all!

huhtikuu 10, 3:06 pm

>50 mstrust: "Everybody, take your glasses and retainers out, shit's gettin' real." And toss your inhalers, it's victory or death! Remember, you're not allergic to peanuts, you're allergic to defeat! Charge!

My fav Stephen King has got to be Salems's Lot, then The Shining. I like horror but I can't remember the last time I read a scary book and wanted to recommend it. OH, now I remember- The Cabin at the End of the World, but mostly because the the only gay love apologoia I've ever heard that actually works for me. It's a heartbreaking book, be forewarned.

I'm surprised I don't take books to heart as much now, because when I was a kid every book I read changed to entire way I saw the world.

Have you seen the movie Barbarian? Did we have this discussion already? It's one of the most terrifying movies I have ever seen, and I saw Halloween in the theaters when it was first released.

>52 SomeGuyInVirginia: I've always hoped that the biblical stories where true, even when I couldn't think they were.

huhtikuu 10, 3:47 pm

>54 CassieBash: Horrorstor is at the top of my scary book list, Top Five for sure. I liked The October Country too, lots of strange stories.
Thanks for the recs!

>55 SomeGuyInVirginia: My tote bag may have books in it, but there are also rattraps in there ready to be thrown at faces. Just gimme a reason!
I know you've recommended The Cabin at the End of the World and I haven't worked up the courage to read it. The movie trailer was a button pusher too. Home invaders will have rattraps thrown at them.
We don't feel the everyday things as deeply because we've been through it so many times. When I see some young drama now, my eyes hurt from rolling them that hard.
I did see "Barbarian", and we discussed just briefly. Thanks for pointing it out, that was a really scary movie. Seriously, how many people did I have to tell "don't go down there!"? Did they listen? No.
I had passed the title several times and never stopped to see what it was about until you told me it was good.
I just watched "Midsommer", and that was scary and bizarre. I also watched a quirky one called "Lemon" starring Bret Gellman and Judy Greer and I'd recommend that for a fun break from scary.

huhtikuu 10, 4:06 pm

>56 mstrust: Snort!! "We don't feel the everyday things as deeply because we've been through it so many times. When I see some young drama now, my eyes hurt from rolling them that hard". It's hard to be intimidated by anybody, regardless of how passionately or violently they support their cause, when you know they can be vanquished by tossing a bag of peanuts at them.

Have you ever read Lie to Me by David Martin? That's one of my faves. The opening scene is a gorgeous, jet black joke. His Tap, Tap is another have, and I read it right after I'd moved to DC so I completely grooved on the atmosphere.

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 10, 5:13 pm

I haven't read anything by David Martin, and I'll just add touchstones so I can have a look. Lie to Me, Tap Tap. Thanks!
I'm reading two right now, Cackle and The Sea Beast Takes A Lover, a book of short stories.

* Oh, you awful thing, you tried to get me with another home invasion story. I'm gonna slap your hand!

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 11, 9:27 am

The new Autumn Lives Here is up, and I've got Elvira collectibles, the Donner Party, and Bat Boy!

huhtikuu 11, 10:15 am

Happy belated Thingaversary and Easter! Are you adding 15 + 1 books to your library to celebrate the annivesary?
Yikes, 97 is pretty hot....but it's a dry heat, right? hehehe

huhtikuu 11, 10:24 am

The Stand is my favorite Steve book, mainly because it was the first one I ever read, plus the characters and the sweeping story. I like The Shining and Salem's Lot. I remember reading Salem's Lot, lying across my bed on a summer afternoon with the windows open and a cool breeze coming in. I was lost in the story getting to a climactic point and my Mom came in quietly behind me and touched my foot. I yelled and threw the book across the room.
I also like It.

The scariest book I've read recently would have to be The Ruins by Scott Smith. That was not one of the best books I've read but for some reason it made me feel queasy and scared and has bothered me to this day. I can't explain it.

huhtikuu 11, 12:24 pm

>60 Carmenere: Than you, Lynda! * cue the sad music* I never get to buy books for my Thingaversary because I buy 50 books or more at the giant book sale in February. But I am reading one of my new books right now, and it's one that I'd forgotten I bought, so it's like getting it all over again.
Ninety-seven is hot no matter what, dang it! Our heat is still less humid than most places, but let me rant a little by saying that too many people have swimming pools here, and green lawns. It makes us more humid than we should be and has brought mosquitoes.

>61 hredwards: Wow, you dived right in with a book of over 1000 pages? Confidence!
I jumped two feet when the phone book hit the front door while I was reading The Haunting of Hill House, so I get it.
Now I'm going to start calling Stephen King books "Steve books". I'm stealing that from you.

And I forgot to put The Woman in Black on my list. That's a really good one.

huhtikuu 11, 1:01 pm

>62 mstrust: You're welcome.
I didn't realize The woman In Black was a book, I'll have to check that out. I liked the movie. My wife still laughs at me, because when he was standing looking out the window and she appeared behind him, I might have shrieked like a little girl. I said "might".

huhtikuu 11, 1:11 pm

>63 hredwards: I'm convinced that my house is haunted because something tickles the soles of my feet at night. I used to think was Parker, but it can't be Parker because I took the blankets in. I just hope it's a benevolent spirit. So far so good, I mean a ghost that wants to tickle feet seems kind of cool to me.

>61 hredwards: >62 mstrust: Steve books, yeah I like that, too. I've always been a champion, even waaaay back in the day when publishers accepted his money but were embarrassed by his books. I remember reading a book about publishing in the early '90s, written by an old school publisher, and his recounting how all these publishers snubbed Stephen King when they met up with him in an elevator during some kind of industry slap back in New York in the late 80s it early 90s. I had a few college professors I thought were truly amazing and who changed my worldview. The first was a sociology professor at Brigham Young University who taught us all to question authority, And the other was a creative writing professor who told us only chumps wrote for anything other than cash. But I'm superficial and never wanted to be anything else.

Oh oh oh! Have you read Prelude to a Certain Midnight? It was written decades ago, but I remember finishing it and thinking to myself, 'holy shit!'.

I'm a fan of David Martin but I must warn you that truly terrible things happen to his most sympathetic characters. Still, I hope the first chapter of Lie to Me is taught at some future University along with chaucers Canterbury tales. It's that gorgeous.

huhtikuu 11, 3:50 pm

>64 SomeGuyInVirginia: A ghost that tickles feet is kind of cool. My feet are really sensitive so that might creep me out. My dog likes my feet when I'm sleeping in my recliner and that drives me crazy.

I've been a fan of Stephen King since I bought an old paperback of The Stand (the original cut version) at a yard sale one summer when I was a teenager. I soon started devouring everything he wrote. I love his characters and the way his books were kind of interconnected, leaving little hints here and there about the others.
Then in High School my best friend was a fan of his too. I even wrote to him once and received a post card from him in answer, wishing myself and my best friend Dana well. (This was back when authors actually answered their mail and before he was a multimillionaire. Not that there is anything wrong with that.)
Now forty-five years later and a lot of water under the bridge Dana is my wife.
I still buy most of his books although I've slowed down reading them.

huhtikuu 11, 5:19 pm

>62 mstrust: >63 hredwards: I saw the play The Woman in Black in London in 1991 and miscarried on my return home so it is not a favorite.

huhtikuu 11, 6:10 pm

>63 hredwards: An excellent book, and I'd also recommend her Howard's End Is on the Landing. It's non-fiction and a little gossipy with lots of literary name dropping, which I loved.
And I'd say that I "might" have laughed at your shriek too!

>64 SomeGuyInVirginia: Ok, a ghost who tickles your feet is either the ghost of a child or a foot fetishist. Which do you hope for?
I agree, it took too long for people to start noticing that Steve's books were selling really well and generating movie adaptions and entering into pop culture. I remember about 20 years ago when he walked from his longtime publisher because they decided he wasn't their favorite author.
I have never heard of Prelude to a Certain Midnight, so thanks for another rec!
Btw, you should find a little surprise from me, if not today, then tomorrow.

>65 hredwards: How sweet that you and Dana are still together. You should send ol' Steve a message and let him know. Maybe he wants to come over for cake at your next anniversary.
I started with Carrie, which was given to me at a Job's Daughters convention, of all places. I was no more than thirteen and went on to read everything I could find by him.

>66 quondame: Oh dear, yes, that would make you avoid it forever. I'm sorry to hear that happened to you.

huhtikuu 12, 9:18 am

Happy belated Thingaversary and thank you for a lot of BB's, Jennifer!

huhtikuu 12, 10:44 am

>66 quondame: How awful. I'm sorry to hear that.

huhtikuu 12, 12:51 pm

>68 SirThomas: I'm happy to see you here, Thomas! And I'm glad we have a lot of book taste in common!

huhtikuu 12, 1:42 pm

Another fan of Steve Books! And I bet his original publisher is sorry now. Happy Hump Day!

>63 hredwards: So sorry. : (

huhtikuu 13, 10:16 am

I'll bet someone at that publishing house got fired!
Happy Thursday, Kim!

We're going to have three days of temps in the high 70's-low 80's, so I'm back to hoeing (my sister keeps laughing and asking if Mike minds all my hoeing). I pulled one red strawberry yesterday, but the day before was a radish, two carrots and a whole lot of mizuna flowers and leaves. It made a whole salad. My rolling carts are looking healthier since I put live worms in a few days ago. I know, gross, but beneficial.

huhtikuu 13, 10:33 am

25. Cackle by Rachel Harrison.
Annie has been dumped by her boyfriend of ten years and needs to find somewhere new to live because she can't afford NYC. She accepts a teaching post in an upstate school and find an apartment in a small town not far away in a quaint and lovely town, and despite her depression, Annie looks forward to meeting people here because she really doesn't have any close friends.
Meeting Sophie changes everything. Charming, helpful and beautiful, Sophie wants to be friends with Annie because she's lonely too. But Annie gets the feeling that the people here are afraid of Sophie, and after seeing the two women together so much, they seem afraid of Annie too. The more Annie learns about Sophie, the more confused she is about whether Sophie is her kind friend or an evil tyrant.
This fits in perfectly with this month's Food Horror theme on the ScaredyKit group. There is so much food being made, eaten, and shopped for: roast chicken dinner, pie, cake, pancakes, and Annie chooses a different flavor coffee every time she visits the local coffee shop.
4 stars

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 16, 2:46 pm

26. The Sea Beast Takes A Lover by Michael Andreasen.
A collection of short stories that range from heart-breaking to surreal to disturbing. The title story is the fun, weird one, in which a giant octopus has fallen in love with an 18th Century ship, wrapping her tentacles around it so it can't leave her while she tries to be a part of the crew's life.
In "Our Fathers At Sea" the narrator is preparing for his father's Crating Day in a society in which the elderly are put in containers and dropped in the ocean. "Jenny" is narrated by Jenny's brother, her main caretaker, as Jenny was born headless. She can sign and walk, and feels herself to have some independence because she's unaware that her brother is maintaining what life she has and that he has added the burden of guilt when she's sexually assaulted. I skipped past the rest of "Andy, Lord of Ruin" when it became a litany of the small animals and creatures Andy kills. "Rockabye, Rocketboy" is the story of a porn star who is obsessed with teenage Rocketboy and contains some strange and graphic scenes.
It's an uneven collection, some with engaging writing and others long-winded. 3.5 stars

huhtikuu 16, 3:15 pm

>74 mstrust: And I'm thinking pass on that one. Interesting, but no. Cackle sounds fun though!

huhtikuu 16, 7:31 pm

Yeah, I wouldn't call it a must, but the author does have a talent for creating bizarre plots.

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 16, 7:35 pm

Just a funny bit o' strangeness, unless you grew up around cattails and are familiar with this:

I didn't know they explode.

huhtikuu 17, 9:51 am

I think that one was just angry and ready to blow, I don't remember cattails doing that! Could be though, I haven't been around cattails since I was about 11. Bamboo is a big thing here in Lynchburg. Weird, because Central Virginia is about as far as you can get from the mysterious and perfumed East.

huhtikuu 17, 11:24 am

I think that one was just angry and ready to blow...
Ha! Apparently it is the angriest plant, because they unleash without much effort. Maybe it's only in winter? I don't know, they only ones I've ever touched have been dried for ugly arrangements.

huhtikuu 17, 10:57 pm

Come join May's MysteryKit for a month of unsolved mysteries:

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 18, 9:28 am

The new Autumn Lives Here is up, and we're looking at Shirley Jackson, spontaneous combustion and sprucing up the house with new decor.

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 19, 3:30 am

>77 mstrust: >79 mstrust: That's crazy -- I have never seen that before. And I have been around cattails before. WoW!

>80 mstrust: Starred. Thanks!

huhtikuu 19, 10:25 am

Isn't it something? Maybe we're just finding out about it because people have the ability to film it out at the ponds. There may be generations of cattail biters out there.
Glad you're joining us!

huhtikuu 19, 12:43 pm

Nature's corndogs.

huhtikuu 20, 7:44 am

Plants can be fun and weird. While not explosive, we utilized the natural tendency of snapdragons to produce miniature “skulls” for our haunted farm Halloween party theme.

huhtikuu 20, 2:30 pm

>84 hredwards: Ha! They do look like it.
>85 CassieBash: I can see that. I have both white and fuchsia snapdragons right now, and they would easily lend themselves to skulls.

Made my trip to the big baking store downtown this morning. Black and orange food gel, lots of extracts, sanding sugar, cookie cutters, boxes, and a zombie candy mold. Mike spotted it, and we had to go through all the cookie/candy molds after that.

huhtikuu 21, 3:03 pm

Just a heads up that the Book Depository is shutting down in less than a week. They're still taking orders until the 26th.

huhtikuu 22, 6:27 am

>86 mstrust: I love it!

huhtikuu 23, 1:12 pm

Thanks, Thomas! I hope you're having a good Sunday.

We've just come back from a little vintage swap meet downtown. Lots of MidCentury stuff, and I found a bracelet, plumeria earrings and a gold lame evening bag that looks to be 1960s. It'll all go nicely with one of my tiki dresses. I was carrying one of my totes from The Strand, and that got a lady at a stand raving about Powell's in Portland. We also got a little show from a man screaming at another seller who was too close to his space.
I got four strawberries from my plants this morning!

huhtikuu 24, 12:38 pm

I'd love to go to a vintage swap meet, that sounds like fun! We don't really have vintage stuff here in Lynchburg, at least not that I know of, but it seems like to kind of place that would be full of vintage stuff.

When I was looking at houses, I saw one on that was a Hollywood Regency museum, almost unchanged from when it was built in the 60s. Not just the house but the furniture looked like the furniture from Green Acres that they brought from Manhattan. Lime green, chartreuse, and white with gold highlighting everywhere. I'd have loved to have gone to that estate sale!

Parker's been sneezing so I'm taking him to the vet. He's not acting sick- eating, pooping, and playing- but it's been over a week. Plus, it's really hard to get an appointment with a vet here.

huhtikuu 24, 4:23 pm

>90 SomeGuyInVirginia: Ha! Sounds like The Draper Touch! Hollywood Regency is attributed to her.

huhtikuu 25, 9:45 am

>90 SomeGuyInVirginia: Going by your own home, Lynchburg seems to have the real antiques. The good stuff.
When I was little in SoCal, my mom had antique stores that she made the rounds to, so she has a carved bed that's 300 years old now, a hunter's cabinet about the same age, old porcelain. But by the time people retire to Arizona from somewhere else, they've shed the real antiques. But we do have a thriving MidCentury market here.
And you can find houses here that were furnished in 1970 and left until the owner died. The house three doors down was like that.
I feel for Parker, sounds like allergies. Coral had to go to the vet Friday morning because she got three cattails in her ear and she was crying. Our vet is so busy but I told Mike to take her anyway, they wouldn't let her sit there crying in the lobby.

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 25, 9:51 am

The latest Autumn Lives Here is up! I've got wendigos, Eve Ibbotson, and the twisted tale of Dr. Brown, which is really something. Have a look, this is a free post!

huhtikuu 25, 7:40 pm

27. The Library Book by Susan Orlean.
Orlean investigates the cause of the disastrous 1986 fire that engulfed the main branch of the Los Angeles Public Library, burning millions of books, periodicals and rare items. An incessant liar and part-time actor was arrested, with police and fire investigators sure that he was the culprit, but layers upon layers of circumstances worked in the suspect's favor and he never stood trial.
The fire and investigation are the framework of this book, but woven through is the history of how the L.A. public library system came to be, the stories of its various head librarians, the challenges of dealing with an increasing homeless and mentally ill population who come to the library just to be somewhere, and the vast number of services the library provides to the community. 4.5 stars

huhtikuu 26, 3:03 am

>94 mstrust: Wasn't that a great book? Loved it! Now I have to go check out your free link....

huhtikuu 26, 10:12 am

I really enjoyed it, including the chapter on the head librarians of the past, like Charles Lummis. I also liked that she hung out with present day librarians and saw the issues they face.
:-D Thanks for visiting Autumn Lives Here, hope you had fun!

huhtikuu 26, 4:51 pm

>94 mstrust: I'm certain that most of the pre-1940 books I can't find at LAPL went up in smoke! The Library Book at least is a good read come from a regrettable reality.

huhtikuu 26, 5:29 pm

It's likely. Millions of books destroyed, along with rare and one of a kind books. The city seems to have done its best in finding ways to save as much damaged stuff as possible, but it's sad that any book with glossy pages was unsalvageable.

huhtikuu 30, 10:11 am

We've spent the last two days at Tiki Oasis in Scottsdale, going to seminars, shopping and having cocktails. I don't have a lot of pictures, but a few. I need to resize them. My sister said she'd like something for her birthday and we found an amazing tiki mug for her.
Friday, we attended the "Space Age Architecture" seminar, which was about both Googie and tiki style buildings, some gone, some still standing. Then we went right into the "Tropical Tastings", which had reps from five different liquor companies, and one Hawaiian chocolate maker. After each rep did their presentation, we tasted each liquor neat, and the last 30 minutes were unlimited cocktails made with their products.
Yesterday, I attended a seminar on MidCentury home design while Mike went to one on cigars & cocktails. We had the signature cocktail of the weekend, the Tiki Stardust, (okay, I had two, plus a Purple People Eater, which was barely larger than a shot glass) which featured black volcanic salt and was very tasty.
On the way to the Oasis, we stopped at the new Black Rifle coffee shop and got two-for-one bags of coffee, and leaving the Oasis, there was the independent Poisoned Pen bookshop, so I had to drop in. I picked up The Southern Book Club Guide to Slaying Vampires and they let me take Felonious Monk for free because it was Indie Bookstore Day.

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 30, 10:35 am

Ok, here's the Tropical Tastings. Reps from whiskey, 2 rums, tequila and Coco Water Spiked. Fun seminar.

The MidCentury Home seminar. I thought it would be about home decor, but the guy was a realtor who does home remodeling to return period houses to their MidCentury look. I left about 5 minutes before it ended, they guy's flat, droning voice was putting me to sleep and it turned out that about a quarter of the audience had already left. They gave us a good cocktail though, called a Don Juan and it tasted like a spiked horchata.

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 30, 10:43 am

Tiki Stardust on left, Purple People Eater on right:

I normally don't do selfies, but I was in my outfit and wanted to send my sister something because she would have liked to be there. I left in the disapproving AV guy in the back.

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 30, 10:41 am

Happy Sunday! All caught up here. I jumped on a couple of books from Book Depository just to say "I was there at the finish". I purchased Rebecca, Piranesi and a lovely leather bound travel book to document to summer travels. I was hoping they'd include one of there book marks but sadly they did not :0(

Oh I just started reading The Sun Down Motel. Me like.

huhtikuu 30, 10:45 am

Glad you were able to get something from the BD. Too bad it's shutting down.
The Sun Down Motel totally sucked me in.

huhtikuu 30, 2:33 pm

>101 mstrust: Amazing drinks and a selfie!! Thanks for posting. I want the Tiki Stardust. That pepper on the side looks so enticing. And cute hat! : )

toukokuu 1, 5:41 am

Great pictures, thank you very much!
And we are not disapproving...

toukokuu 1, 12:19 pm

>104 Berly: I'm happy to show a little of what the oasis is about. I'm going to see if I find the recipe for the Stardust because it was very good. And that was Hawaiian volcanic salt on the glass, along with a pineapple wedge and a fresh orchid.
Thanks, I'm so glad I had the hat! As you can see, I don't care for standing around with the sun on my face, and it was 95 on Saturday. I was grateful there was a nice bar to sit and have cocktails, chat, and wait for Mike to come out of his cigar seminar. He sat down and gobbled half my spicy Korean chicken wings.
>105 SirThomas: Well, thank you, Thomas! Ha, I'm glad you don't mind me proving that I was there. And I swear I wasn't in the room alone, the audience was filling up the front and I sat in the middle.
Which reminds me, I want to see if I can find the recipe for the Don Juan cocktail too.

toukokuu 1, 12:43 pm

And one more. This is going to be my sister's birthday present. It's a mug from Tiki Land Trading Co. called "The Adventurer", and it's in the test color of the green pith helmet, which they didn't end up going with, so there aren't many of these.

And here's the Don Juan, which was delicious.
Don Juan Cocktail

1 3/4 oz Remy Martin cognac
1 oz Licor 43
1 oz orange juice
1/2 oz whole milk
1/2 oz cream or half & half

Shake all in an ice filled shaker and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with orange zest.

Muokkaaja: toukokuu 1, 1:25 pm

I don’t believe I’ve ever brought this up yet, seeing as how you like creative alcoholic beverages and disturbing stuff, but do you know about the medical podcast “This Podcast Will Kill You”? It focuses mainly on infectious diseases but at the beginning of each episode, they have a quarantini (and placiboritas for the virgin drinks) that ties to each episode. If you’re curious, here’s the direct link.

toukokuu 1, 1:26 pm

I don’t know why my code is taking you to a new group page; here’s the address to copy/paste.

toukokuu 1, 4:49 pm

>102 Carmenere: Holy cow, Jennifer, that's a spectacular author pic! Srsly, you have a winner.

Oh Lord, that had to have been a lot of fun. One of these days your people and my people will have to go on a pub crawl. FYI, my nametag reads 'Hello my name is Drink Up Buttercup.'

I asked ChatGPT to give me slogans I could have printed on t-shirts and sell to other losers, and 'Drink Up Buttercup' was my favorite. A friend of mine who's a bartender in St. Louis submitted 'Hey! My tits are down here!'

I also asked ChatGPT to write a song in the style of Greenday about a boy who loves his three-legged puppy and another in the Greenday style about a boy who's falling out of love with his three-legged puppy but secretly feels guilty about it. Both were pretty good.

toukokuu 2, 9:27 am

>108 CassieBash: I have heard of that podcast, but I've only listened once, I think. Thanks for pointing it out though, it's an odd podcast, but interesting.

>110 SomeGuyInVirginia: Ha, thanks! I love cat's eye glasses.
A pub crawl would be epic. I would say that songs would be written, but looks like you're doing that yourself. I haven't even looked at the AI stuff, other than following some artists that use it to make very otherworldly stuff.
What about a t-shirt that says "Next rounds on you." Seems to cover it. Or "Wanna fight?" You know, for the Irish pubs.

Muokkaaja: toukokuu 2, 9:33 am

I'm 50 volumes old! The latest Autumn Lives Here is up for my subscribers. This week:my favorites. Prepare yourself for movies, books and a maple cocktail.

Muokkaaja: toukokuu 2, 1:56 pm

28. Embassy of the Dead by Will Mabbitt.
Jake runs into a scary stranger who wishes him good morning, then hands him a box, which turns out to contain a withered human finger. Not knowing what to do, he carries it around in his backpack because his parents have recently split and Jake can't decide on who to tell. His indecision may save his life, because the scary stranger returns and is required to bring Jake, an unlicensed human to opened Embassy property, to the Embassy of the Dead for eternal punishment.
A fast moving and original story about mistaken identity and all the red tape involved in being dead. It features the worst illustrations I've ever seen in a book. I won this from LT's ER, then shelved it and forgot about it until I was notified that I've been naughty. 4 stars

toukokuu 3, 10:16 pm

>99 mstrust: - >101 mstrust:
Sounds like it was mostly fun! Thank you for sharing your pics. Always take a selfie.

toukokuu 4, 10:25 am

I'm happy to share the goings-on at Tiki Oasis, it is always mostly fun! Just wish they would hold it earlier in the month when it's a bit cooler.

toukokuu 4, 9:54 pm

>101 mstrust: Looks like a great seminar with some excellent drinks! A perfect selfie-love the hat!

toukokuu 5, 1:08 pm

Thanks! And something tells me we'll be signing up for next year's Tropical Tastings seminar.

Muokkaaja: toukokuu 9, 11:05 am

The new Autumn Lives Here is up, and I've got a special tribute to Mom, plus, her favorite thing (besides you). And learn about book curses through the ages. Why not?

toukokuu 9, 11:08 am

Once again, Coral is having an operation today. He got us in last minute, which we'd been hoping for for weeks. He's removing a large growth in her armpit, but also really looking at her jaw. She's been unable to open her mouth all the way, and he suspects the Valley Fever has gone into the bone.

toukokuu 9, 11:17 am

29. The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper by Hallie Rubenhold.

The author's focus is firmly on the lives of the five canonical victims of Jack the Ripper, not their deaths and not the unknown man who killed them. The amount of research done and the skill with with the author was able to show that these women had families who loved them, had struggles to survive, relationships and hopes, and most of all, that not all of them were prostitutes but simply poor, often homeless women who were lumped in as prostitutes simply because the police saw nearly all the women they dealt with in the East End as "fallen" women.
If you're looking for information about the actual murders, you'll find very little here, except for the aftermath on the families. 4.5 stars

toukokuu 9, 12:16 pm

>119 mstrust: Aw shit! I am so sorry, Jennifer. Will the vet be able to work on Coral's jaw today, also? It's a special kind of hell when your pet gets sick, and I'm sorry you and Coral are going through that.

toukokuu 9, 3:01 pm

Thanks, Larry dear. While she's out anyway from having the lump removed, he'll be able to do an x-ray on her jaw and poke around. She's adamant about not letting him look while she's awake, and between Mike, me and a flashlight, we couldn't see what was wrong either. That's why the doc suspects the fever has gone to her jaw.
We feel guilty every time she has to go to the doctor, but she's old enough that her face is turning white and healthy enough that she still jumps around and gets excited for treats. I'm going to scramble some eggs for her tonight, she loves them.

toukokuu 9, 3:18 pm

Oh Lord, I understand what you're going through and you have my love and support.

I told a friend one time that I knew that I was damned and wouldn't argue the point, but if I had a chance I'd show the Divine Judge several The Dodo clips that made me cry and, at least for a while, act like a better human being. And if that didn't work, then fuck it I didn't want to join whatever they were offering anyway.

Do not go gentle into that good night...

toukokuu 10, 12:19 pm

Thank you, Larry! You're so nice to think of my baby.
She came home last night, thrilled to be back but still stoned. She drank so much water that we were trying to stop her, but then gave up and let her drink til she peed the floor and threw up. She slept through most of the night. She's on new meds and hungry.

Do not go gentle into that good night... I imagine it will involve lots of flopping around, like a fish on a hook.

Muokkaaja: toukokuu 12, 4:01 pm

30. The Monster of Elendhaven by Jennifer Giesbrecht.

An original, odd little horror story. A boy grows up alone along the shore, being abused until he's big enough to fight back. Killing is remarkably easy for him and he likes to do it. He notices that Herr Leickenbloom, a small dandy who is the last of a aristocratic family, is a sorcerer, though one who works in insignificant ways. Johann, as the man who believes he's a monster has named himself, takes on the job of Florian Leickenbloom's manservant, partly because he's so attracted to the snob, but he also recognizes that Florian is an angry man who has been plotting for years. 4 stars

toukokuu 14, 9:55 am

>124 mstrust: How is Coral doing today? Did he figure out what was wrong with her jaw?

toukokuu 14, 10:31 am

She's doing well, thanks! Very eager to eat, so her meds must have cortisone. She's also back to wetting the floor. But, she seems happy and is healing. The vet believes the jaw pain is because of the valley fever. She's able to open her mouth wider now. She comes up to me everyday and yawns to show me how it's going.

toukokuu 14, 10:32 am

Happy Mother's Day!

toukokuu 14, 12:16 pm

I’m sorry to hear about Coral, but it sounds like she’s a fighter and in good spirits. We currently are nursing one of our cats who was clipped by a car; he will lose his tail completely and his spinal cord is exposed in one spot right up behind the tail. He may never walk quite right and may need to have his bladder manually expressed for the rest of his life, but we’re hopeful since he’s managed to stand a few moments and even walk, and he does urinate a bit on his own. He, too, is in good spirits and loves the attention. He was a barn cat, but he’s now obviously in the house. His twin misses him, as does another cat we have who used to play with him.

toukokuu 14, 3:03 pm

>107 mstrust: Wow, That's some Tiki! Has your sister received it?
Get well wishes to Coral. Hope she's back to her old self in no time.

Muokkaaja: toukokuu 15, 12:59 pm

>129 CassieBash: Thanks, Cassie. Coral is a dog who has been through the wringer and is still such a sweet girl. Every time a new illness occurs, we just look at her and say, "Jeez, dog, you've come up with a new one!"
Wow, your cat...I'm surprised he's alive. As long as he's still happy though, that's what matters.

>130 Carmenere: Hi, Lynda! We're giving Julie the tiki mug for her birthday in June when we all gather at Mom's house. June is a birthday month in my family so we'll be exchanging presents, maybe going for steaks. And she and I plan on going to Zak Bagans haunted museum.
Coral says "thanks!" Her appetite is good, she loves her treats and kisses, so back to normal. She'll need to have the stitches out once her side heals.

Oh, and my brother was just in Toronto this past week and sent me pics of him at a place selling maple products. I think I have some maple gifts in my future!

toukokuu 15, 3:51 pm

>131 mstrust: He’s very happy. The vet thinks that, because the only damage was high up on his back, that the vehicle was high enough that it only clipped his back, and that’s why he doesn’t seem to have any organ damage outside of the spinal column. Coral sounds like a wonderful dog, and I wish her a speedy recovery!

A haunted museum AND maple goodies?! Can it get any better?!? (Maybe if it’s maple pumpkin pie?)

toukokuu 16, 11:12 am

Sounds like a good time, doesn't it? I know there will be cake and casinos too!

Muokkaaja: toukokuu 16, 11:19 am

The latest Autumn Lives Here is up, and I've got a buncha international horror. Plus, meet a super mean woman, Bricktop Jackson from New Orleans.

toukokuu 19, 12:09 pm

Hi Jennifer, all the best to you and Coral - and a belated thank you for the hints for The Sun Down Motel and Eva Ibbotson - I enjoyed reading them very much.

toukokuu 19, 1:18 pm

Hi, Thomas! Thanks from both of us!
I'm glad you've taken my hints and liked them both. Was the Ibbotson from Autumn Lives Here? I know I included here on a list recently.

toukokuu 20, 2:33 am

It was not the special book, it was the author - you mentioned it and I gave it a try...

toukokuu 20, 11:57 am

She has many fun books, so if you liked that, you have more to look forward to.

toukokuu 22, 12:26 pm

I did name this thread "How Strange", so here ya go:

This giant hand sculpture stands atop an art museum in Wellington, New Zealand.

Muokkaaja: toukokuu 23, 9:43 am

A new Autumn Lives Here is up. This week: the Villisca ax murder house, hot weather horror movies, and maple latte icebox cake.

Here's a huge piece.

toukokuu 24, 11:41 am

Oh oh oh! Peacock TV is free, at least I'm pretty sure it is, and they have a show on there called The gentle art of swedish death cleaning. Season 1 episode 7, this guy with a huge tiki collection ask them to come in and help edit the collection and declutter so that his fiance will agree to move in.

Man he had some cool stuff. He had a black velvet painting of Charles Nelson Riley. Honestly, I'm not sure that it gets better than that.

The weather and Central Virginia is almost unbelievably gorgeous - the days are pleasantly warm and at night it dips into the '50s. So there! I saw an article in the London times about a coming heat wave for the UK, but they wouldn't even speculate on what highs might be. That's because they're freaking highs are going to be in the mid '70s. Bitches, please!

I bought the Witch Doctor tiki mug from tiki farm. I have an unboxed it yet and probably won't until I pay off the charge on the credit card.

toukokuu 24, 12:34 pm

I'm going to see if I have Peacock free. Like I need another streaming service, but if it's free. Which reminds me that our Sirius is about up.
I think the guy should get a new fiancee, someone who appreciates him and his mugs. I don't believe I posted a pic of my new mug from the oasis. Nothing special, but it's cool.
Congrats on your lack of self-control. What are you waiting for, unbox and enjoy!
And hooray for your nice weather! We're right around 100 everyday, though we're expecting a cool down to 96 in a few days.

toukokuu 24, 12:52 pm

31. How To Sell A Haunted House by Grady Hendrix.
Louise's parents are killed together in a car crash, which means she has to leave San Francisco and return home to South Carolina. Along with planning the funeral and cleaning out a house full of her mom's homemade puppets and huge doll collection, Louise knows she will have to deal with Mark, her hated loser brother, and he turns out to be just as childish as she remembers.
And then the strange stuff with the dolls start, and Louise makes the conscious decision to ignore it because she needs the house to sell fast so she can go home to her daughter. Determined to prove to Mark that there's nothing wrong with the house, Louise makes bad decisions that bring out the wrath of Pupkin, their mother's favorite puppet.
I thought this would be a straight up haunted house story, which I was looking forward to, but it's more roundabout. Hendrix is good at injecting humor into horror stories, and it's here. If dolls and puppets freak you out, this will be the scariest story you'll ever read. Dolls and puppets, toys in general, don't bother me, so while it had some intense scenes, it wasn't that scary for me. Now, the bigger plot, that of a Southern family with lots of buried secrets that come out in shocking fashion? Yeah, that's in my wheelhouse. 4 stars

toukokuu 29, 11:21 am

On Saturday night, my phone began rebooting itself over and over, then froze on the Samsung screen. Wouldn't do anything else, even turn off. We went to the Verizon store yesterday, and the employee said that my particular phone tends to burn out after around two years. We have a warranty, so the new phone is on the way, but of course we're sandwiched between a holiday and our trip to Mom's for mine and my sister's birthdays. Small window for it to arrive in, and we have to download everything from my phone to the new one and send the old one back to them within a week.

Muokkaaja: toukokuu 30, 11:36 am

A new Autumn Lives Here is up. The most haunted hotel in Boston, and differences between ravens and crows. It's creepy fun!

toukokuu 31, 12:05 pm

32. The High Window by Raymond Chandler.

Marlowe takes the case of a rare gold coin that has been stolen from the home of a very wealthy and horrible old widow. She suspects her night club singer daughter-in-law, who recently left her spoiled son, so Marlowe sets off. Within two days he's stumbled across three dead men and finds that the widow has gotten him involved with very dangerous people.
A solid Marlowe noir with lots of entertaining wise-cracks and slang. First published in 1942. 4 stars

kesäkuu 4, 4:23 am

>107 mstrust: orange juice with milk? I can't imagine it, but I guess the alcohol overrides everything else. Cool mug too!

>145 mstrust: I love a raven. They are so mysterious and dark.

kesäkuu 4, 8:39 am

>143 mstrust: ooooi, that one's been on my radar. I'm glad you enjoyed it and I'll move it up on my list.

>144 mstrust: What?! Phone burnout after two years?! What a con job. Glad the warranty kicked in

Enjoy the birthday festivities! Happy birthday!

kesäkuu 4, 11:36 am

>144 mstrust: Yikes, I didn't know Samsung's phones could be stuck in endless boot loops! Our Samsung Blu-ray player suffered that fate a few years ago (along with many others around the world). I think that time it was because of a faulty firmware update. Glad you were able to get a new phone!

Muokkaaja: kesäkuu 6, 9:33 am

>147 LovingLit: I swear, it's a good cocktail. I was hoping they would still be handing them out after the seminar, but they were gone.
I wrote about crows and ravens because I like them both and they can be difficult to tell the difference. I learned a lot with that one.
>148 Carmenere: That one can be read as a straight horror, or you might get a giggle. Hendrix is good at both.
Yes, it just decided at the worst time that it was DONE. But it arrived just in time for us to download all my stuff and mail the old one to them before we had to leave. At least you don't have to stand around the store waiting for an employee to do it anymore.
And thanks, I had a good time exchanging presents with my sister. And Mom went overboard with the gift cards.
>149 rabbitprincess: Yep, all it would do is reboot over and over, and after maybe five or six reboots, it froze. I went four days without a phone. The horror!

But I've been in Vegas for several days and most of the family was there. My sister and I went to a haunted museum, and that will come up in my Substack soon. Lots of meals, presents, casinos. And Mom got food poisoning.

Muokkaaja: kesäkuu 6, 9:29 am

The new Autumn Lives Here is up. Cold crime investigator Paul Holes, a ghoulish tiki cocktail, and big movie news. This week is free.

Muokkaaja: kesäkuu 6, 9:45 am

33. The Silence by Don DeLillo

Jim and Tessa are flying home from Paris when their plane crashes. They survive, Jim with a head wound, but are left in a vague, indifferent state. The power grid in NYC goes down that same day, so the couple, unable to make it home, goes to the Super Bowl gathering of a friend. There they meet a science teacher who can't stop talking about all the potentially awful reasons that the power is out, and all of them mean doom.
Published in 2020, clearly during the pandemic and at the height of fear, though I wouldn't call it a story just about fear. It's a bit of a cheat to double space what amounts to a short story and call it a novel. 3 stars

kesäkuu 6, 10:51 am

Popping in to say Hi!

kesäkuu 7, 12:06 pm

Hi, Kim!

kesäkuu 7, 10:04 pm

Stopping by to say hi, Jennifer. I just love the titles of your threads, " A Thread as Your Heart" and " How Strange". I read The Sun down Motel a couple of years ago, as well as The Broken Girls and they were good , creepy fun. I'm a big fan of Flavia de Luce, but sadly I have read all of the series.

kesäkuu 8, 2:21 pm

Hi, Deb!
Thanks for the compliment about my titles. I guess I'm good at spur of the moment stuff, because when I sit down and begin making a new thread, I usually say, "oh crap, I need a title."
I loved the Sun Down and look forward to starting another from her, and from Catriona Ward. And Alan Bradley. I love Flavia.
Right now I'm juggling Kate Winkler-Dawson's first book, along with three others.