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. 

Halloween Bingo 2018 - Update

So the first book I read (Modern Noir) is the last but one to be called. Which means I can go to the library tonight and get something for Southern Gothic and/or Baker Street Irregulars and maybe sneak a last bingo call before the end of the month.



Small monochrome kitty = called but not read

Small colour kitty = read but not called

Large colour kitty = read and called


Currently reading






9/01/18 Modern Noir - The Last Coyote, Michael Connelly (read but not called)

9/03/18 Supernatural - Iron and Magic, Ilona Andrews (called and read)

9/09/18 Cryptozoologist - Discount Armageddon, Seanan McGuire (called and read) 

9/11/18 Relics and Curiosities - The Story of the Amulet, E Nesbit (called and read)

9/14/18 Spellbound - Equal Rites, Terry Pratchett (called and read)

9/16/18 Shifters - Magic Triumphs, Ilona Andrews (called and read)

9/25/18 New Release - Early Riser, Jasper Fforde (called and read)

9/30/18 Creepy Carnivals - Nights at the Circus, Angela Carter (called and read)

10/02/18 Ghost Stories - The Canterville Ghost, Oscar Wilde (called and read)

10/06/18 Genre: Suspense - Be Buried in the Rain, Barbara Michaels (called and read)

10/10/18 Country House Mystery - Brat Farrar, Josephine Tey (called and read)

10/12/18 Darkest London - The Furthest Station, Ben Aaronovitch (called and read)

10/20/18 Diverse Voices - White is for Witching, Helen Oyeyemi (called and read)

10/24/18 Terrifying Women - Shell Game, Sara Paretsky (called and read)


Still to read


Southern Gothic - Living Dead in Dallas, Charlene Harris (called 9/9/18)

A Grimm Tale - Heartless, Marissa Meyer (called 9/13/18)

Murder Most Foul - Tombland, C J Sansom (called 9/23/18)

Amateur Sleuth - TBA (called 9/25/18)

Doomsday - The Chrysalids, John Wyndham (called 10/3/18)
13 - The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater (called 10/07/18)

Terror in a Small Town - TBA (called 10/09/18)

Fear the Drowning Deep - The Kraken Wakes, John Wyndham (called 10/17/18)

Deadlands - A Discovery of Witches, Deborah Harkness (10/23/18)

Baker Street Irregulars - TBA

Free Square - Lethal White, Robert Galbraith


Let the games begin.

Halloween Bingo 2018 - Terrifying Women

Shell Game - Sara Paretsky

If you read Paretsky's V I Warshawski novels you will be in no doubt as to her political leanings. It's not overtly preachy and it's always been in the background. Until now.


In Shell Game the gloves are off. Paretsky calls out Trump and his administration and puts the spotlight on what it's like living in the US as an immigrant. She also looks at how desperate people get shilled by callous payday loan companies, and how vulnerable young women are preyed upon by powerful men and feel they don't have a voice. There are Russian mobsters cozying up with unscrupulous businessmen, casual racism, and corrupt ICE agents.


Politics aside, this is a cracking story about a missing woman, stolen artifacts from Yemen, and shady dealings on the stockmarket.



Halloween Bingo 2018 - Terrifying Women

Shell Game - Sara Paretsky

Not only a cracking story, but unashamedly feminist with plenty of side swipes at the Trump administration too.

Halloween Bingo 2018 - Terrifying Women

Shell Game - Sara Paretsky

Saturday nights I sometimes go to a club for dancing or music, but tonight I stretched out in front of the television, watching the Blackhawks while I ate pizza and drank half a bottle of Brunello.


For a moment, I thought I was reading about myself. 

Halloween Bingo 2018 - Terrifying Women

Shell Game - Sara Paretsky

Oh good Lord, there's another long-lost family member.


I can only hope she's not as irritating as Petra was. (Bernie gets a pass because she's a hockey player, but she was still pretty annoying).


Crap. It looks as if the long-lost niece has a sister. So there's another one out there somewhere.

Halloween Bingo 2018 - Diverse Voices

White Is For Witching - Helen Oyeyemi

Miranda Silver is in Dover, in the ground beneath her mother’s house.
Her throat is blocked with a slice of apple
(to stop her speaking words that may betray her)
her ears are filled with earth
(to keep her from hearing sounds that will confuse her)
her eyes are closed, but
her heart thrums hard like hummingbird wings.
Does she remember me at all I miss her I miss the way her eyes are the same shade of grey no matter the strength or weakness of the light I miss the taste of her I
see her in my sleep, a star planted seed-deep, her arms outstretched, her fists clenched, her black dress clinging to her like mud.
She chose this as the only way to fight the soucouyant.


With an opening like that, I couldn't help but be sucked into the book and it kept the weirdness and chills going for quite a while, and I was never sure what was real and what was imagined. There are some genuinely scary moments, and the whole feel of the book is very unsettling. This feeling is heightened by the multiple narrators whose voices switch mid-sentence with no warning. I was reminded of The Yellow Wallpaper and We Have Always Lived in the Castle, but unlike those books, this one ultimately fizzled out.


Halloween Bingo 2018 - Diverse Voices

White Is For Witching - Helen Oyeyemi

“I think Poe's quite good, actually. The whole casual horror thing. Like someone standing next to you and screaming their head off and you asking them what the fuck and them stopping for a moment to say 'Oh you know, I'm just afraid of death' and then they keep on with the screaming.”

Halloween Bingo 2018 - Diverse Voices

White Is For Witching - Helen Oyeyemi

“Dear Miranda Silver,
This house is bigger than you know! There are extra floors, with lots of people in them. They are looking people. They look at you, and they never move. We do not like them. We do not like this house, and we are glad to be going away. This is the end of our letter.”


Welp! I don't like the house either.

Halloween Bingo 2018 - Diverse Voices

White Is For Witching - Helen Oyeyemi

As a child, Miranda Silver developed pica, a rare eating disorder that causes its victims to consume nonedible substances. The death of her mother when Miranda is sixteen exacerbates her condition; nothing, however, satisfies a strange hunger passed down through the women in her family. And then there's the family house in Dover, England, converted to a bed-and-breakfast by  Miranda's father. Dover has long been known for its hostility towards outsiders. But the Silver House manifests a more conscious malice toward strangers, dispatching those visitors it despises. Enraged by the constant stream of foreign staff and guests, the house finally unleashes its most destructive power.


Yikes! I get the impression this is going to get very weird, very quickly.

Halloween Bingo 2018 - Diverse Voices

White Is For Witching - Helen Oyeyemi

Seeing as Shell Game is still in transit, I picked this up to read in the interim.


I read and enjoyed The Icarus Girl earlier this year, so thought I'd try another of Oyeyemi's novels.

Halloween Bingo 2018 - Darkest London

The Furthest Station - Ben Aaronovitch

This was a whole heap of fun. Not a full length novel and with none of the Faceless Man story arc, but an entertaining glimpse into Peter's ghostly detective duties outside of that.


And there's plenty of Molly time. You think Mrs Danvers is sinister? Wait until you meet Molly.


Molly was standing right next to the bed and holding a breakfast tray. Only Molly can make breakfast in bed a sinister experience, but over the years I've managed to suppress my instinct to leap up screaming. It's not getting any easier though.


Definitely looking forward to Lies Sleeping which is released next month.

Halloween Bingo 2018 - Terrifying Women

Shell Game - Sara Paretsky

Legendary sleuth V.I. Warshawski returns to the Windy City to save an old friend's nephew from a murder arrest. The case involves a stolen artifact that could implicate a shadowy network of international criminals. As V.I. investigates, the detective soon finds herself tangling with the Russian mob, ISIS backers, and a shady network of stock scams and stolen art that stretches from Chicago to the East Indies and the Middle East. In Shell Game, nothing and no one are what they seem, except for the detective herself, who loses sleep, money, and blood, but remains indomitable in her quest for justice.



Well I was planning on reading my Fear the Drowning Deep book, but look what's in transit on its way to the library for me to collect.


Reading progress update: I've read 68%.

The Furthest Station - Ben Aaronovitch

In this instance this was the aforementioned Thames Valley Police, who have about the same relationship with the Met as Everton FC has with Liverpool*.


*Note for Reynolds: Like the Yankees and the Red Sox only with added sectarianism.


Yup. Totally loving these footnotes.

Halloween Bingo 2018 - Darkest London

The Furthest Station - Ben Aaronovitch

Nicely done Mr Aaronovitch. 


Rather than clumsy edits in an attempt to make the book easier to understand for non-UK readers, any British quirks or oddities are explained in footnotes for the FBI agent from the earlier novels.


Well played Sir.

Halloween Bingo 2018 - Darkest London

The Furthest Station - Ben Aaronovitch

There have been ghosts on the London Underground, sad, harmless spectres whose presence does little more than give a frisson to travelling and boost tourism. But now there’s a rash of sightings on the Metropolitan Line and these ghosts are frightening, aggressive and seem to be looking for something.


Enter PC Peter Grant, junior member of the Metropolitan Police’s Special Assessment unit a.k.a. The Folly a.k.a. the only police officers whose official duties include ghost hunting. Together with Jaget Kumar, his counterpart at the British Transport Police, he must brave the terrifying crush of London’s rush hour to find the source of the ghosts.


Joined by Peter’s wannabe wizard cousin, a preschool river god and Toby the ghost hunting dog, their investigation takes a darker tone as they realise that a real person’s life might just be on the line.


And time is running out to save them.

Halloween Bingo 2018 - Country House Mystery

Brat Farrar - Josephine Tey, Robert Barnard

Oooh. This was so very, very good.


I kind of guessed how it was all going to turn out, but that didn't matter because the quality of the writing is just so perfect. Not a word out of place and a fantastic build up of tension.


Now to add more Josephine Tey to my TBR pile.

Currently reading

Brief Cases (Dresden Files)
Jim Butcher
Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal
Christopher Moore
Progress: 38 %
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking
Susan Cain
Progress: 70/368 pages
The Shining
Stephen King