Author Archives: Carol

Reader’s Workouts – 10/17

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You can certainly tell which days I worked 9-5 this week – Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. We were going to take a walk on Sunday, but it ended up raining.

This week’s activities:

Thursday – Walk with the dog, walk on my own
Sunday – Walk that I don’t remember, but is in my activities list
Monday – Walk on a nature trail

Meal ideas for next week:

Chicken casserole
Pork chops and apples
Pizza
Pork Fajita Salad
Chicken soup

Year Fitness Goals:

– Lose weight. Goal – Lose 26 lbs. (Currently at -15.6)
– Run 2 5ks, 1 10K and 1 half. Completed – 1 10K; 1 5K
– Hit my weekly step goal (56,000 steps) for 48 weeks. Weeks completed: 29

How was your week? Readers’ Workouts is hosted by Joy at Joy’s Book Blog.

Mailbox Monday – 10/16/2017

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Mailbox Monday

Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week. Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.

Tell us about your new arrivals by adding your Mailbox Monday post to the linky at mailboxmonday.wordpress.com.

I won a copy of Pride and Prejudice from Anna at Diary of an Eccentric. It’s a digital version that has been restored to its 1813 edition.

Mailbox Monday – 10/16/2017Pride and Prejudice: A Novel. In Three Volumes. by Jane Austen
Published by the editor on July 17, 2017 (first published 1813)
Source: Won
Genres: Classic
Pages: 431
Format: eBook
Buy on Amazon
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Edited by Sophie Turner

- Restored to the grammar, spelling, and punctuation of the 1813 Egerton first edition, save clear errors
- Forward by the editor
- Notes on historical context, including entails, debt, housekeeping, etiquette, and travelling
- Notes on Austen's grammar
- Detailed annotations for each volume - List of recommended further reading

The novel needs no introduction. But readers may not have realized that we have been losing “Pride and Prejudice” over the years, particularly digitally. Grammar, spelling, and punctuation have eroded significantly from the 1813 Egerton first edition, and many digital copies suffer from poor formatting.
In 2017, the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen’s death, her “darling Child” has been painstakingly restored to the three-volume 1813 first edition. Adjustments have only been made where there were errors in the 1813 text, and are noted in detailed annotations at the end of the novel.

Please enjoy this beloved story, restored to Jane Austen’s original voice.

I also received a couple of books for review.

Mailbox Monday – 10/16/2017Slay Bells Ring by Karen Rose Smith
Series: Caprice De Luca Home Staging Mystery #7
Published by Kensington on October 31, 2017
Source: NetGalley
Genres: Mystery, Christmas
Pages: 352
Format: eARC
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It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas, especially now that Caprice De Luca has wrapped up her holiday-themed staging gig at a stunning historic home in downtown Kismit, Pennsylvania. Behind all the red ribbon and glowing string lights, homeowners Chris and Sara Merriweather have it all. But Chris, a Vietnam vet who plays Santa every year at the community park, has been displaying strange behavior after a recent trip to Washington, D.C.
The joy of the season vanishes entirely when Chris is found murdered on Santa Lane, leaving behind his loyal malamute and lots of unfinished business. As Caprice uncovers hidden secrets in Santa's workshop, the pressure is on to catch the candy cane-wielding culprit--before she's next on a killer's deadly wish list . . .

Mailbox Monday – 10/16/2017Killer Holliday by Amy Korman
Series: Killer WASPS #4
Published by Witness Impulse on October 24, 2017
Source: Partners in Crime Tours
Genres: Mystery, Christmas
Pages: 320
Format: eARC
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Kristin Clark and her offbeat crew of Bryn Mawr socialites are ready for a fun and festive winter holiday—one that involves sipping martinis by a crackling yule log, hot guys beneath the mistletoe, and Gucci under the Christmas tree. But this year, Old Saint Nick has something more dangerous in store. A stranger dressed in a Santa suit has Kristin’s friends on his naughty list. First, Sophie’s favorite handbag is blasted by a bullet. Then, Father Christmas shatters her brother Chip’s car window with a golf club and leaves a threatening note demanding fifty grand. Both are convinced it has to be a mistake. But when Chip goes missing, the stakes become deadly. Eula Morris is also back in town for the holidays, more bossy and boastful than ever after winning a mega-jackpot in the lottery. She’s returned from a luxury cruise around the world with a handsome new boyfriend (who looks oddly familiar…) and a Samsonite suitcase filled with gold bars. When the suitcase is snatched, Eula implores Kristin and the team to track it down. Where is Chip? Why is a vengeful Santa targeting the gang? Who stole Eula’s suitcase? And how are these events linked? The WASPs and Kristen’s basset hound Waffles are on the case—before this white Christmas turns even darker…

I purchased Meddling Kids with an Audible credit.

Mailbox Monday – 10/16/2017Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero
Published by Random House Audio on July 11, 2017
Source: Purchased
Genres: Horror
Length: 12 hrs 53 mins
Format: Audiobook
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For fans of John Dies at the End and Welcome to Night Vale comes a tour de force of horror, humor, and H.P. Lovecraft. The surviving members of a forgotten teenage detective club (and their dog) must reunite as broken adults to finally solve the terrifying case that ruined them all and sent the wrong man to prison. Scooby Doo and the gang never had to do this!

The teen detectives once known as the Blyton Summer Detective Club (of Blyton Hills, a small mining town in the Zoinx River Valley in Oregon) are all grown up and haven't seen each other since their fateful, final case in 1977. Andy, the tomboy, is twenty-five and on the run, wanted in at least two states. Kerri, one-time kid genius and budding biologist, is bartending in New York, working on a serious drinking problem. At least she's got Tim, an excitable Weimaraner descended from the original canine member of the team. Nate, the horror nerd, has spent the last thirteen years in and out of mental health institutions, and currently resides in an asylum in Arhkam, Massachusetts. The only friend he still sees is Peter, the handsome jock turned movie star. The problem is, Peter's been dead for years.

The time has come to uncover the source of their nightmares and return to where it all began in 1977. This time, it better not be a man in a mask. The real monsters are waiting.

With raucous humor and brilliantly orchestrated mayhem, Edgar Cantero's Meddling Kids taps into our shared nostalgia for the books and cartoons we grew up with, and delivers an exuberant, eclectic, and highly entertaining celebration of horror, life, friendship, and many-tentacled, interdimensional demon spawn.

 

Slade House by David Mitchell

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Slade House by David Mitchell Slade House by David Mitchell
Narrator: Thomas Judd, Tania Rodrigues
Published by Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group on October 27, 2015
Source: Library
Genres: Horror
Length: 6 hrs 54 mins
Format: Audiobook
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Keep your eyes peeled for a small black iron door.

Down the road from a working-class British pub, along the brick wall of a narrow alley, if the conditions are exactly right, you’ll find the entrance to Slade House. A stranger will greet you by name and invite you inside. At first, you won’t want to leave. Later, you’ll find that you can’t. Every nine years, the house’s residents — an odd brother and sister — extend a unique invitation to someone who’s different or lonely: a precocious teenager, a recently divorced policeman, a shy college student. But what really goes on inside Slade House? For those who find out, it’s already too late...

Spanning five decades, from the last days of the 1970s to the present, leaping genres, and barreling toward an astonishing conclusion, this intricately woven novel will pull you into a reality-warping new vision of the haunted house story—as only David Mitchell could imagine it.

Maybe I should have read The Bone Clocks first. Maybe I just don’t get what makes people love David Mitchell. (Do people love David Mitchell?) Maybe it’s just not my typical genre?

I read Slade House for the RIP XII Group Read. I don’t know if I expected it to be spookier or more interesting or what. It was fine, but when I wasn’t listening to it, I didn’t think about it. I didn’t feel the need to share bits of it with anyone or tell my daughter she needs to read it – she’s a horror fan.

Slade House is a type of haunted house story. Basically, every 9 years a victim is lured into the house. Each time we get to know the victim; they each have a distinct personality, their own quirks, tragedies, or fears that make them relatable. We get some standard spooky house fare, portraits, creeky stairs, mysterious women looking out the windows, warning disembodied voices. But once they eat or drink something they are good and trapped and the Grayer Twins eat their souls. The Grayers are psychic adepts who are feeding their own immortality with other’s souls. There’s a complete system of how they do it involving a lacuna in the attic, a space where time stands still and an orison which is some kind of reality bubble that lets the twins seperate their victims’ souls from their bodies.

I listened to the audio version and the narrators were wonderful. They kept me involved in the story and I think the set-up with basically five different stories forming the novel kept me interested too, just to see who the twins got next. And wondering if there really were weapons in the cracks.

Discussion questions posted at Estella’s Revenge:

1. Slade House is broken up into five parts and is narrated by five characters. Which one did you like best and why? I think my favorite part was the section narrated by Sally. The world the Grayers create for this version of Slade House, with its college Halloween party, is the most fully formed. And I liked Sally and felt bad for her. She just wanted to be loved and to fit in. Also, I love how she comes back in a later section. She was stronger than any one would have given her credit for.

2. In my opinion, this is not a traditional”scary” book. Each new guest in the house reveals more about Slade House and the Grayer twins. Did you find any of it unsettling? I didn’t think it was particularly scary either. The first section with the little boy had some unsettling parts, but once the rhythm of Slade House was established, it became a bit predictable.

3. This quote, discuss: “Grief is an amputation, but hope is incurable hemophilia: you bleed and bleed and bleed.”  You grieve when you lose someone, but you no the loss is final. When there’s still hope that the person will be found, you never can get closure. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen it referred to exactly in that way, but it feels familiar.

4. Norah and Jonah…sympathetic or nah? Not really. I don’t feel like we really got a chance to know them as people.

5. We didn’t learn much about what Norah and Jonah do between each nine–year cycle, but we do know that they have a lot of freedom and many resources at their disposal. What would you do with a gifted existence like this one? Travel. Learn new skills.

6. The ending. What did you think? I actually liked the ending. A bit melodramatic, but that fit.

It is fun enough and for a semi-spooky October read it worked. I did like the ending, the last little bit that makes you wonder where the story will go next.

About David Mitchell

David Mitchell is the award-winning and bestselling author of The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, Black Swan Green, Cloud Atlas, Number9Dream, Ghostwritten and The Bone Clocks. Twice shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, Mitchell was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by TIME magazine in 2007. With KA Yoshida, Mitchell co-translated from the Japanese the international bestselling memoir, The Reason I Jump. He lives in Ireland with his wife and two children.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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