Books, hockey, and a bucketful of snark

Being the musings of a Yorkshire lass living in the USA. I'm a book geek, bird nerd, grammar Nazi, and hockey nut.  Sarcasm is my default setting. 

House of Leaves - Mark Z. Danielewski

If you're still trying to think of books for the Halloween Bingo game, House of Leaves would be an excellent choice for a number of squares. 


I read it a while back, but for some reason I hadn't added it my Booklikes shelves. I stumbled across my paperback copy this morning. (To be honest, I'm not sure how I'd missed it earlier seeing as it's bloody enormous).


Haunted houses, things that go bump in the night, unreliable narrators... what more do you need?

Etched in Bone  - Anne Bishop

You mean I've got to wait until March 2017 before I can get my hands on this!?


A Certain Slant of Light  - Laura Whitcomb

This is my choice for the YA Horror bingo square. I loved the cover and the description intrigued me.


In the class of the high school English teacher she has been haunting, Helen feels them: for the first time in 130 years, human eyes are looking at her. They belong to a boy, a boy who has not seemed remarkable until now. And Helen—terrified, but intrigued—is drawn to him. The fact that he is in a body and she is not presents this unlikely couple with their first challenge. But as the lovers struggle to find a way to be together, they begin to discover the secrets of their former lives and of the young people they come to possess.

Hallowe'en Party - Agatha Christie

I've just been looking at other people's Halloween reading lists and saw this one on @lillelara's list. Click here


What a great choice. There's a full moon and a pumpkin on the cover (two squares right there). It's set at Halloween (another square), and it's by a woman mystery writer (boom, another two squares).


Just thought I'd share.

But everyone else was doing it!


Look who's back in time for Halloween Bingo.



Bruins Gal's Hallowe'en Bingo List


It isn’t quite finished and I reserve the right to change my mind at any time, but here is my current list for the Halloween bingo. My only rule is I am not allowed to buy any books for the challenge. They must all come from my own shelves, or borrowed from the library.


Read by candlelight/flashlight

The Weirdstone of Brisingamen, Alan Garner – I wanted one of my favourite childhood reads for this category, but as I ranted yesterday, it’s no longer in print. So I had a think and came up with Alan Garner. I chose this one, because the sequel fits nicely into another category, but I could easily have also picked Elidor or The Owl Service. If you enjoyed The Dark is Rising series, you’ll love these. (Overdrive)


Magical realism

The Ghost Bride, Yangsze Choo – This has been on my Kindle for a very long time, and now seems to be the perfect time to read it. (Kindle).



Wyrd Sisters - Terry Pratchett - So many choices for this one, but I’m going for humour and who better than Granny Weatherwax and friends? (Overdrive).


Genre: Horror

The Shining, Stephen King – Who else, but the modern master of the horror genre (bookshelf)


Black cat

The Price, Neil Gaiman - Again, so many choices, but rather than the obvious Edgar Allen Poe (who is cropping up later in the list), and Derek Tangye’s A Cat Affair which always makes me cry, I’ve chosen a short story by Neil Gaiman. (bookshelf)


Diverse authors can be spooky fun

My Soul to Keep, Tananarive Due - recommended by Obsidian and Moonlight, and sounds very interesting. (overdrive)


Ghost stories and haunted houses

The Haunting of Hill House, Shirley Jackson – a classic which I’ve never read, so now would be a good time to remedy that. I bought it second-hand last year along with Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book. How fortuitous was that? (bookshelf).


Young adult horror

A Certain Slant of Light, Laura Witcomb - apparently more psychological horror than all-out blood and gore. Which suits me just fine.(overdrive)


Scary women (authors)

The Yellow Wallpaper, Charlotte Perkins Gilman – Locked in a room with no access to books? That’s pretty damn scary. (library)


Reads with (Booklikes) friends

Which to choose?


Grave or graveyard

The Graveyard Book, Neil Gaiman – I know I only read this last year, but hey it’s Gaiman. (bookshelf)


Genre: Mystery

The Big Over Easy, Jasper Fforde – Back to humour for this one, and I don’t need an excuse to read a bit of Jasper. (bookshelf)


Free Space

Whatever takes my fancy! But if Magic Binds becomes available then this is where it will go.



Every Heart a Doorway, Seanan McGuire – I bought this recently when it was a Kindle daily deal, and it seems to fit quite nicely into this category (kindle)


Creepy crawlies

Day of the Triffids, John Wyndham - great suggestion from Char. Killer plants are just as bad as creepy crawlies. (bookshelf)


"Fall" into a good book

The Fall of the House of Usher, Edgar Allen Poe – you can’t have a list like this without the undisputed master of the genre (Overdrive)


Locked room mystery

Murders in the Rue Morgue, Edgar Allen Poe – see above (overdrive)


It was a dark and stormy night

Still working on this one


Set in New England

The Night Strangers, Chris Bohjalian – Thought about The Witch of Blackbird Pond, or maybe some Stephen King or Joe Hill, but found this one in the library and thought why not?  (library)


Full Moon

The Moon of Gomrath, Alan Garner – The follow-up to The Weirdstone of Brisingamen fits beautifully into this category. And it features the Morrigan. What’s not to like? (library)


Vampires vs Werewolves

Etiquette and Espionage, Gail Carriger - So many to choose from! But this is one that’s been on my kindle for a while, and I loved the Parasol Protectorate books. However, if Magic Binds becomes available during the Bingo game, I am reserving the right to change my mind (kindle).



The Rook, Daniel O'Malley – Another kindle daily deal, and another perfect fit. (kindle)


Classic horror

The Monkey's Paw, W W Jacobs – a classic short story and one which was parodied by The Simpsons. Will also probably read a couple of other Victorian classics (overdrive)



Halloween Party, Agatha Christie - stumbled across this one on Lillelara's list and it's perfect. (library)


Set on Halloween

Something Wicked this Way Comes, Ray Bradbury – Gotta get Bradbury in there somewhere. If it’s as good as Dandelion Wine, I’m in for a treat (kindle)


You have no idea how much I'm looking forward to this.


Out of print? Seriously?

Candle in Her Room (Knight Books) - Ruth Mabel Arthur


But I loved this one as a child. And it would have been perfect for my 'read by candlelight/flashlight' square. Because that's pretty much what I did the first time I read it.


I've blethered about this book before,


This is the edition I had, and I was totally that girl on the cover.


It's a fabulously spooky tale of a wooden doll who exerts a malevolent influence on three generations of a family. I'm sure this was the book that started my love of ghost stories and all things Gothic. But god, it terrified me.


Sadly though, it's been out of print for years, and I have no idea where my very battered copy ended up. It's not on my shelves here, so I guess it could be in a box in my parents' attic. And I'm not going back to the UK to try and find it, just in case I also stumble across a wooden doll called Dido.....


Ah well, I'm just going to have to find another book to read by candlelight, but at least this little journey down memory lane has given me a couple more ideas, and a great excuse to re-read Alan Garner, another author whose books simultaneously entertained, educated, and scared the holy crap out of me. Some children's authors told me about unicorns and princesses; Garner introduced me to the Morrigan, and I don't think I've quite got over it.



I'm in safe paws
I'm in safe paws

Didn't take long for the damage assessor to call round. 

Well that was exciting!
Well that was exciting!

Two seconds before that picture was taken, I was standing right where that branch has fallen. Luckily I realized what was was happening and darted into the house before the branch came down.

Getting ready for Halloween Bingo!
Getting ready for Halloween Bingo!

So my only rule for the bingo is I mustn't buy any books for the game. But that shouldn't be a problem because I've got plenty of books on my shelves (see picture), or on my kindle which will help me knock off quite a few squares. Some will be re-reads and some are ones that have been sitting patiently in my TBR pile. 


Library books are OK, as are kindle freebies and books that are out of copyright and/or in the public domain. 


Looking at at my initial list, Pratchett, Gaiman, and Bradbury are probably going to take up quite a few squares between them. I've got Bradbury's Something Wicked this Way Comes on my kindle and I think it would be perfect for 'magic realism', plus I've been meaning to read it for ages. Ditto The Haunting of Hill House, which is a no-brainer for the haunted house square. 


The Shining is the latest book I picked up from the free to good home table at my gym, but I've got a sneaky feeling it's one of the few books King set somewhere other than New England. Meh, I'm sure I'll squeeze it in somewhere (dark and stormy night, maybe) and I've got Stones and Bones of New England as a fall-back anyway. 


Can't wait to get started. 

Reading progress update: I've read 24%.

The Luminaries - Eleanor Catton

I have absolutely no idea where this book is going, but I'm loving the ride.


It's like a mash-up of Wilkie Collins and Charles Dickens, with bits of Charles Palliser's The Quincunx thrown in for good measure, topped off with Sara Waters' Victorian romps.


It is 1866, and young Walter Moody has come to make his fortune upon the New Zealand goldfields. On the stormy night of his arrival, he stumbles across a tense gathering of twelve local men who have met in secret to discuss a series of unexplained events: A wealthy man has vanished, a prostitute has tried to end her life, and an enormous fortune has been discovered in the home of a luckless drunk. Moody is soon drawn into the mystery: a network of fates and fortunes that is as complex and exquisitely ornate as the night sky. Richly evoking a mid-nineteenth-century world of shipping, banking, and gold rush boom and bust, The Luminaries is a brilliantly constructed, fiendishly clever ghost story and a gripping page-turner.

Halloween Bingo: The Reveal


It's time to reveal our new bingo card!



Over the next 13 days, Obsidian and I will be posting some of our favorite books to fit under some of the categories.


Rules of the Game


  1. Have fun!
  2. The categories that are marked with an image are intended to be a bit of a free-for-all, so use your imagination in filling them! A cover image, the word within the title or text, or some sort of an allusion that only makes sense to you is fine - let us know how the book fits!
  3. There is a buddy read/read-along category. In a follow-up post, I'll be announcing a read-along that OB & I have planned for the month of October and participating in that will fill this category. In the alternative, Murder By Death has already announced an Ammie Come Home buddy read, which will start on September 1. And if you have a different idea, feel free to throw it out there!
  4. The center square is free, as always!


If you have questions or comments, post them below!


Reblogged from Moonlight Murder

Free books!

In The Kitchen - Monica Ali

I love it when I go for my evening stroll and find a small pile of 'free to good home' books. 


This time I managed to restrict myself to just one, but that was mainly because I'd read all the others in the pile rather than me not being greedy. 

Happy International Cat Day
Happy International Cat Day

The Ginger Ninja has informed me that today is International Cat Day. Although to be honest, he thinks every day is International Cat Day.

Reading progress update: I've read 5%.

The Luminaries - Eleanor Catton Quincunx - Charles Palliser

Oh I can tell already that I'm going to love this. Catton has absolutely nailed that 19th century writing style. 


I usually hate it when the book I'm reading is compared to either the latest blockbuster or a literary classic, because more often than not I end up rather underwhelmed. But The Luminaries is already reminding me of The Quincunx by Charls Palliser which I absolutely loved.

So true
So true

Currently reading

The Golden Notebook: A Novel
Doris Lessing
Progress: 20 %
The Luminaries
Eleanor Catton
Progress: 31 %