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 2017 - Chilling Children

The Midwich Cuckoos - John Wyndham

Cuckoos lay eggs in other birds' nests. The clutch that was fathered on the quiet little village of Midwich, one night in September, proved to possess a monstrous will of its own. It promised to make the human race look as dated as the dinosaur.

 

Yeah, I know 'Chilling Children' hasn't been called yet, but after reading various comments about The Day of the Triffids yesterday, I decided I couldn't wait any longer to re-read one of my favourite books.

Halloween Bingo 2017 - Ghost

Thin Air - Michelle Paver

Ooh, I did enjoy this creepy little tale. Lots of chills, and you're never quite sure whether Stephen is really being haunted or if he's just suffering from altitude sickness.

 

And I loved the descriptions of the clothing and food. Paver has obviously done her research into the climbing expeditions of the 1930s, and they're a far cry from today. No breathable fabrics or energy drinks in those times. Woolly jumpers, mugs of hot tea, and peach brandy seemed to be what kept these climbers going.

 

Halloween Bingo 2017 - Ghost

Thin Air - Michelle Paver

Lunch is Plasmon biscuits with tinned pâté and Kendal Mint Cake.

 

Hah! Have now got such a craving for a piece of Romney's Kendal mint cake. I always carried a slab of the stuff in my rucksack when I was a teenager. Admittedly, the mountains of the Lake District weren't quite as high as the Himalayas, but it was very welcome when I got to the top. 

Halloween Bingo 2017 - Demons

First Grave on the Right - Darynda Jones

"Still this whole grim reaper thing should have come with a manual. Or a diagram of some kind. A flowchart would have been nice."

 

Personally, I would go with a spreadsheet. You can't go wrong with a spreadsheet. Especially one with pivot tables and a few VLOOKUPs.

 

I enjoyed this a lot. Charley Davidson is a very likeable heroine. She's sassy and snarky, and she knows she's pretty hot and isn't afraid of using it to her advantage. But she also has a big heart and wants to help people which tends to get her into a whole lot of trouble. And the fact that she's a grim reaper and can talk to dead people means that trouble is always close by.

Halloween Bingo 2017 - Demons

First Grave on the Right - Darynda Jones

It looks as if this could be used for a number of squares, but I'm going with 'Demons'.

Halloween Bingo 2017 - Free Space

Wildfire -  Ilona Andrews

She stepped closer, slid her arms around his neck, stretching herself against him, and kissed him on the mouth.

 

That was going too far. Half of me felt heartbreaking sadness at her desperation and the other half wanted to run over and punch her in the face.

 

Personally, I'd go for the punch in the face option.

 

 

I've thoroughly enjoyed this departure from the world of Kate Daniels, and there's enough of a teaser at the end to make me think the Andrews will be continuing the adventures of Nevada and Rogan.

Halloween Bingo 2017 - Free Space

Wildfire -  Ilona Andrews

"I understand that you and Connor have a relationship," Rynda said. "But I need him more than you right now. I hope you understand."

 

 

You're a better woman than I am, Nevada Baylor. I would have scratched her eyes out.

Halloween Bingo 2017 - Classic Horror

The Complete Works of Oscar Wilde - Oscar Wilde, Vyvyan Holland

"in every first novel the hero is the author as Christ or Faust." Oscar Wilde

 

And Dorian is definitely Faust. Pacts with the Devil never end well for the protagonist.

 

(I'd actually forgotten just how high the body count is for such a short novel. Lady Bracknell would be appalled.)

 

 

 

Halloween Bingo 2017 - Free Space

Wildfire -  Ilona Andrews

Yes, there was eyeball rolling from my husband when I returned from the library tonight. But I don't care. These books are great fun and I can't wait to get back in to the world of Nevada and Mad Rogan.

Reading progress update: I've read 17 out of 150 pages.

The Complete Works of Oscar Wilde - Oscar Wilde, Vyvyan Holland

"How sad it is!" murmured Dorian Gray, with his eyes still fixed upon his own portrait. "How sad it is! I shall grow old, and horrible, and dreadful. But this picture will remain always young. It will never be older than this particular day of June . . . If it were only the other way! If it were I who was to be always young, and the picture that was to grow old! For that - for that - I would give everything! Yes, there is nothing in the whole world I would not give! I would give my soul for that!"

 

Be careful what you wish for, Dorian.

Halloween Bingo 2017 - Classic Horror

The Complete Works of Oscar Wilde - Oscar Wilde, Vyvyan Holland

My favourite part of this book will always be the preface.

 

Those who find ugly meanings in beautiful things are corrupt without being charming. This is a fault.

 

There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written. That is all.

 

We can forgive a man for making a useful thing as long as he does not admire it. The only excuse for making a useless thing is that one admires it intensely.

 

All art is quite useless.

 

 

 

 

Halloween Bingo 2017 - Classic Horror

The Complete Works of Oscar Wilde - Oscar Wilde, Vyvyan Holland

Dorian Gray is the subject of a full-length portrait in oil by Basil Hallward, an artist who is impressed and infatuated by Dorian's beauty; he believes that Dorian's beauty is responsible for the new mode in his art as a painter. Through Basil, Dorian meets Lord Henry Wotton, and he soon is enthralled by the aristocrat's hedonistic worldview: that beauty and sensual fulfilment are the only things worth pursuing in life.

 

Newly understanding that his beauty will fade, Dorian expresses the desire to sell his soul, to ensure that the picture, rather than he, will age and fade. The wish is granted, and Dorian pursues a libertine life of varied and amoral experiences, while staying young and beautiful; all the while his portrait ages and records every sin.

 

None of my 'on holds' at the library are available yet, so I'm delving into my shelves for my next read.

 

The Picture of Dorian Gray is Oscar Wilde's only novel, and unsurprisingly considering the author and the subject, it caused a sensation when it was published. And that was after the editor removed 500 words for indecency.

 

 

 

Halloween Bingo 2017 - Cozy

The Cat Who Turned On and Off - Lilian Jackson Braun

This was a perfect antidote to the shenanigans of The Thin Man.

 

No dysfunctional families with a weird obsession with incest and cannibalism. No skeevy guys and because Jim Qwilleran is a recovering alcoholic, definitely no booze.

 

Ah yes, Jim Qwilleran. A man of his times (the early books were written in the 1960s). He sees women as decorative arm candy to be invited to Christmas parties. He prefers them to be subtle and he definitely knows what he likes when it comes to legs and cleavage. Hey Jim, women have brains you know.

 

But that's just feminist me quibbling. As cozies go, these books are fun and fluffy and Koko and Yum Yum totally steal the show as Siamese cats are wont to do.

 

Hallowen Bingo 2017 - Cozy

The Cat Who Turned On and Off - Lilian Jackson Braun

"No one ever owns a cat," he corrected her. "You share a common habitation on a basis of equal rights and mutual respect . . . although somehow the cat always comes out ahead of the deal. Siamese particularly have a way of getting the upper hand."

 

Sounds about right. 

Halloween Bingo 2017 - Cozy

The Cat Who Turned On and Off - Lilian Jackson Braun

"You see, no one thinks of Junktown as a community of living people - merely a column of statistics. If they would ring doorbells, they would find respectable foreign families, old couples with no desire to move to the suburbs, small businessmen like Mr Lombardo - all nationalities, all races, all ages, all types - including a certain trashy element that does no harm. That's the way a city should be - one big hearty stew. But politicians have an a la carte mentality. They refuse to mix the onions and carrots with the tenderloin tips."

 

Probably more true now than in 1968 when this was written.

Halloween Bingo 2017 - Cozy

The Cat Who Turned On and Off - Lilian Jackson Braun

Mrs Cobb started up the creaking staircase, her round hips bobbling from side to side and the backs of her fat knees bulging in a horizontal grin. Qwilleran was neither titillated nor repelled by the sight, but rather saddened that every woman was not blessed with a perfect figure.

 

Well boo hoo Mr Qwilleran, you're no prize pig yourself are you?

 

 

Currently reading

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking
Susan Cain
Progress: 70/368 pages
The Shining
Stephen King