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ObsidianBlue

Obsidian Black Death

Government drone by day and book lover and geek girl by night!

 

And also partner in crime with Moonlight Murder. 

 

 

Currently reading

The Bell Witch: An American Haunting
Brent Monahan
The Lottery and Other Stories
Shirley Jackson
Progress: 199/320 pages
The Crystal Cave
Mary Stewart
The Complete Tales and Poems
Edgar Allan Poe
Progress: 345/1023 pages
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Reading progress update: I've read 199 out of 320 pages.

The Lottery and Other Stories - Shirley Jackson

Weirdly I don't feel like these books are horror per se, they are short stories about people that seem quite ordinary to me. I like the stories though, just not getting a horror vibe at this point.

 

So far my favorite stories have been: Like Mother Used to Make, The Renegade, After You My Dear Alphonse, Charles, and Elizabeth.

 

Halloween Bingo 2016: 20 Squares Completed, 5 Squares to Go, and 4 Bingos!

 

 

 

Books Read: 

 

Grave or Graveyard-The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

 

Free space- Six Scary Stories by Stephen King

 

Full MoonWinter Moon by Dean Koontz

 

Supernatural- The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

 

Locked room mystery- The Mystery of the Yellow Room by Gaston Leroux

 

Classic Horror- At the Mountains of Madness by H.P. Lovecraft

 

Set on Halloween- Dark Harvest by Norman Partridge

 

Pumpkin- Johnny Halloween: Tales of the Dark Season by Norman Partridge 

 

Vampires vs. werewolves- Hemlock Grove by Brian McGreevy

 

Diverse Authors Can be Spooky Fun- Adulthood Rites (Xenogenesis #2)by Octavia E. Butler 

 

Creepy Crawlies-  Go Eat Worms (Goosebumps #21) by R.L. Stine

 

Genre: Horror- The October Country by Ray Bradbury

 

Witches- The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare

 

Scary Women (Authors)- The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories by Angela Carter

 

Ghost Stories and Haunted Houses- The Amitville Horror by Jay Anson

 

Read by Candlelight or flashlight- 20th Century Ghosts by Joe Hill 

 

Genre: Mystery- Redemption Road by John Hart

 

Young Adult Horror- The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey

 

Set in New England- Harvest Home by Thomas Tyron

 

Black Cat- Black Cat Crossing: A Bad Luck Cat Mystery #1 by Kay Finch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Day in the Life of Blue (Culture in DC)

Yesterday was the dedication for the National Museum of African American History and Culture. A friend and I went for the dedication and official opening and were overwhelmed. President Obama is going to be remembered for being one of the best orators of our time. I really felt moved and it was wonderful to be in a crowd of thousands of people who were there to enjoy the day.

 

Since I have a timed ticket to get in (not until November unfortunately) we could not enter the museum yesterday. Instead we moved onto the National Museum of the American Indian (it has the best cafeteria) and explored some of the exhibits.

 

 

After spending about two hours there we quickly moved onto the National Book Festival!

 

 

I had a blast at that yesterday and yes bought a lot of books. Of course I did, you all know me!

 

We missed Stephen King giving the keynote address, and since we didn't really know anyone else that was speaking by the time we got there (we missed Shonda Rhimes and apparently Oprah was there too) we decided to pack it in after buying our books. 

 

Then we walked to a restaurant and had fun people watching and splitting a meal.

 

My feet and legs are tired (I ended up walking 8 miles yesterday) and I am going to hit the grocery store in a second and also get more stickers for my Bingo Board. 

 

Hope you are all having a wonderful Sunday. 

Not Enough to Hold my Interest-DNF at 22 Percent

Gothic Tales - Elizabeth Gaskell

Gothic Tales by Elizabeth Gaskell

Kindle Edition, New Ed edition , 420 pages
Published August 14th 2000 by Penguin Books

 

This is another bust for my Gothic square read. I just ended up DNFing it at 22 percent. I really didn't want to torture myself with continuing to read this.

 

The introduction was really long and I skipped over it. These were the stories that I finished and read.

 

"Disappearances" (3 stars)-It starts off listing random disappearances of men in the area. And I thought there would be a big pay off in the end. Instead it just came to an abrupt end.

 

"The Old Nurse's Story (4 stars)-I thought it was interesting reading about how an old woman did what she could at a younger age to keep her young charge safe from phantoms that haunted the grounds. The backstory to these phantoms was interesting and I still wonder though at the new lord of the house who didn't seem put out by the hauntings.

 

"The Poor Clare" (1 star)- I did not understand this one at all. I finally just gave up after re-reading it through twice. 

 

I tried to start the next story and found myself yawning and decided to just stop reading. I am annoyed I paid $9.99 for this kindle version since this is rife with typos all over that have "ibid = page XX" and whatever page number was in there. The book also had footnotes all through it, and when you would click on one it did not take you back to where you left off in the book. Every single time I hit the back arrow I would get kicked out of the book. So my frustration with the typos, the footnotes littered on every sentence just made me finally decide to throw in the white towel of surrender. 

 

A Good Luck Black Cat

Black Cat Crossing - Kay Finch

Black Cat Crossing (A Bad Luck Cat Mystery #1) by Kay Finch

Kindle Edition, 304 pages
Published September 1st 2015 by Berkley

 

A serviceable cozy mystery, I just found myself bored while reading. The main character, Sabrina, is living in Lavender, Texas in order to write her first novel, while helping out at her Aunt Rowe's vacation cottages. A cousin that Sabrina doesn't really recall meeting comes back to threaten her Aunt Rowe and is found hours later, dead in a river nearby. Sabrina investigates when it starts to look like her Aunt Rowe may be arrested for murder.

 

Reading about someone try to write a story is really boring. So we have that going on while Sabrina 'investigates'. And I put investigates in quotes because she doesn't really. She goes around in the most ham fisted way possible and asks people questions. Based on what people tell her, she adds, and crosses people off her suspect list. I kind of rolled my eyes a few times, because most of the things that Sabrina does is act indignant if people don't want to talk to her (she's not a cop) and she in my mind, is not that smart. Considering that Sabrina is trying to write a murder mystery, you think she be better at investigating them.  

 

The overall plot of who killed Sabrina's cousin tends to get overshadowed a lot by Sabrina becoming obsessed with a black cat that her aunt's general handyman wants to capture because he thinks the cat is bad luck. Of course after a while as a reader, you start to think that maybe the cat is magic since he keeps turning up every time Sabrina investigates and leads her to more clues. So the cat is definitely the smartest person in this whole story.

 

Sabrina's Aunt Rowe I had a problem with, she's not a sympathetic character, and seems really hardened to someone that Sabrina says was there for her in ways that her own mother was not. Sabrina has a not great relationship with her mother, and there is mention of a brother that we don't see her interacting with at all. Most of the characters in the book felt a little flat to me. For example, the character of Thomas we are introduced to Sabrina says that he is her aunt's best friend. But then we find out his age (30s, his aunt is in her 70s) and then it comes out that her aunt helped raise him. I found that whole thing interesting, but the book skips over it. 

 

I think the big problem though is that the author tried to introduce too many things. We have a friend of Sabrina's that is forcing her to get her act together so she can meet an agent and get signed on to complete a book. Her Aunt Rowe seems focused on ignoring that her nephew is dead. Sabrina is being told spooky things by a town resident who believes she is a witch. And Sabrina is interested in the local game warden, who happens to have the sheriff's deputy interest as well. I am sure the next book will sort all that out. I just think I will pass on reading any more of this series. I used to love cozy's but most of them start to read very formulaic after a while. 

 

The writing was okay, but the flow was all over the place. The story jumped around too much. The author also included recipes in the end, and I really didn't get why she did. Just because Sabrina bakes, it didn't make me want to bake anything she was mentioning because there were no details besides, I decided to bake some blah blah tarts. 

The setting of Lavender didn't read that special to me and just read as a typical small town where all of the businesses had quirky names. 

 

In the end Sabrina finds out who killed her cousin and why and gets answers to another death that happened decades earlier that didn't make a lot of sense to me. 


What a Bountiful Harvest

Harvest Home: A Novel - Thomas Tryon

Harvest Home by Thomas Tyron

Kindle Edition, 392 pages
Published September 24th 2013 by Open Road Media (first published 1973)
 
I read this for Halloween Bingo 2016 and for September's group read for the Horror Aficionados on Goodreads. 
 
Taking place in the early 1970s, a couple (Ned and Beth Constantine) and their young daughter (Kate) move to the small village of Cornwall Coombe in New England. 
 
Told in the first person by Ned, we have him at first charmed and then dismayed by the village of Cornwall Coombe. Ned starts to ask questions about people who have come before, what in the world happened to a young girl that made her kill herself, and why is Harvest Home (a celebration that occurs) so essential to the village. 
 
Ned is an aspiring painter, and his artistic bent is seen as setting him apart and a little above from the village full of farmers and farmers wives. However, after a while, Ned is seen as being a busy body who wants to meddle in things best left alone. 
 
I did love the character of Ned, though after a while even I was like, dude, come on, stop. He kept pushing and pushing and digging into things because in his mind, even though he was a new comer, he saw the village and inhabitants as backwards except for a few friends he made (the Widow, his next door neighbors, and a young man who helps him out around his new home) and I think in his mind, if he could pry the mystery off of the village, then things would be better. That he could make the village more align with what he wanted for it. Ned gets spooked early on in the book by a young girl that the village claims can see into the future and from then on he seems to be running from a fate that he ends up bringing about. 
 
What made me laugh, and ultimately what made the ending so satisfying, is that Ned really didn't think things through. He seemed to think that people didn't know what was going on and why. And though he was a man and was used to being in charge and decisive, it made him uncomfortable to see his wife and daughter growing apart from him, and women being in charge of this village. 
 
I was fascinated by so many characters, and could have read about this village for hours. To see how Tyron tied a village in America, back to England, and even then back to something else I thought was pretty smart. 
 
The writing was top notch throughout. The main reason why I didn't give this five stars though is that the book starts off slow (I mean really slow) and it takes a good long while before things start going. I think most readers would not even see this as a horror book at first because you start to feel after a while you are just reading about the day to day happenings in a small New England village and that's for a good 80 percent of the book before things take a turn.
 
The setting of Cornwall Coombe was perfectly done. I like how Tyron showed a town that was content to stay in the past and not change and how he throughout the story showed that change was going to come one way or another (he brings up a nearby commune, more and more young people wanting to move to New York and get away, one of the younger people in the village buying a tractor) to the village, and now my mind wonders about this fictional town and did it survive after the conclusion to the story. Could they go on with what they were doing or would they eventually have to move on from the old ways.
 
The ending answered so many questions and you know realize why one man in the town was reluctant to do much to help Ned. It would have been great to read a sequel and see how the town had gone on 7 years from the ending of this novel.
 
I can definitely see why it is a horror classic, and I really did enjoy this one a lot.
 
 

 

Not Enough Going on For Me to Keep Reading DNF at 26 Percent

My Soul to Keep - Tananarive Due

My Soul to Keep (African Immortals #1) by Tananarive Due

Kindle Edition, 355 pages
Published (first published June 29th 1997)
 
I was going to read and finish this for Halloween Bingo 2016, but since this is a DNF, it doesn't count towards the bingo. I finally just gave up reading this after I realized that I didn't like either main characters, and the book pace was so slow, it was positively glacial.
 
We find a man (or is he?) visiting an old woman in a retirement home. The man is sad to see that the woman has grown old (by the way this is really stupid when the reveal shows who he is, shocker dude, people get old) and then kills her to put her out of her and his misery.
 
We then switch to a woman named Jessica who is awoken when she finds her husband is in a panic because their dog seems to be in distress. We find out a lot about Jessica pretty early on, she is selfish as the day is long. Instead of really seeming upset about the dog, she is upset that she was the one who put her husband off of calling the vet when he thought something was going on with their dog. She's upset because her daughter is going to get upset and she doesn't know what she will do about that. And she's upset because she's going to have to get up and go to the work in the morning on very little sleep.
 
Then the book switches to the man in the beginning called Dawit (you would have to not be paying attention at all to realize who Dawit is) and we get his struggle to be in the world with mere humans. 

The book goes back and forth between Jessica and Dawit and you start to see a very sad pattern of both of them being selfish, neither one of them wanting to deal with other people and their problems really. 
 
There is a random murder thrown in and it didn't make any sense to me and all it did was make me dislike the character of Dawit a lot more.

The writing seemed okay, I think the issue for me is that I didn't get a sense of these two characters at all. They were very flat. Even the secondary characters (Jessica's mother and sister) don't come alive. Though we do get Jessica judging her sister for not having a man in her life so she thinks her sister is just upset that Jessica has a husband and daughter. 
 
The flow wasn't great. We jump back and forth between Jessica and Dawit and we find out how Dawit came to become immortal. Just take Jesus Christ, blood, and stir the plot.
 
I was disappointed because this series has been recommended to me for a long time and I really hope to read this and finish it off since there are three more books. Sadly, I am going to pass on finishing this and starting any of the other books. 

Reading progress update: I've read 100%.

Black Cat Crossing - Kay Finch

It was an okay cozy, but not enough interest for me to keep reading this series. The protagonist was kind of annoying after a while, and the mystery aspect was done poorly in my opinion. I think the flow was all over the place. And the protagonist becoming obsessed with protecting a mysterious black cat got old after a while. 

 

Reading progress update: I've read 22%.

Gothic Tales - Elizabeth Gaskell

I'm trying to get into this. But besides the one story, the other two didn't make a lot of sense. Also the book is riddled with errors, there's an ibid on every page referring to a page number randomly in sentences. 

 

 

Reading progress update: I've read 100%.

Harvest Home: A Novel - Thomas Tryon

Wow. What a good book. I like the callback to ancient rites and the ending of the book reminded me of a Greek story about the man who saw Artemis unadorned. 

 

Books are the best!

Reading progress update: I've read 48%.

Harvest Home: A Novel - Thomas Tryon

The book is moving along slow but surely. I do want to shake Ned a bit and tell him to stop meddling and pushing. I like the character of Worthy and feel worried for him since he doesn't want to be the new Lord.

 

Reading progress update: I've read 21%.

Harvest Home: A Novel - Thomas Tryon

Following the family of Ned, Beth, and Kate as they move from New York City to a New England village called Cornwall Coombe. The village seems practically ancient with how behind the times it is. The whole village is focused on corn and the harvest. Right now I just have a general sense of foreboding. Going to read this for the "Set in New England" square. 

 

 

 

Reading progress update: I've read 26%.

My Soul to Keep - Tananarive Due

Lord. David/Dawit is terrible. I just loathe this character. 

 

Jessica is insipid as hell. Her judging her sister for being single and not wanting to deal with her daughter's grief due to the dog dying is just not endearing this character to me.

 

I am bored senseless. There's no flow between David and Jessica's chapters. And David's beginning made no sense and him rejecting God because hey he doesn't want to answer for the mess he did is off putting. 

Reading progress update: I've read 5%.

My Soul to Keep - Tananarive Due

I switched another book out for this since I read some reviews and so far no BL was terribly impressed by it. Check out my tags in case you are wondering if this book can fit somewhere else you need it.


At 5 percent and pretty bored. Will see if there is enough to keep me reading past the 10 percent mark.

 

 

Halloween Bingo 2016: 18 Squares Completed, 7 to Go and 1 Bingo!

 

Books Read: 

 

Grave or Graveyard-The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

 

Free space- Six Scary Stories by Stephen King

 

Full MoonWinter Moon by Dean Koontz

 

Supernatural- The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

 

Locked room mystery- The Mystery of the Yellow Room by Gaston Leroux

 

Classic Horror- At the Mountains of Madness by H.P. Lovecraft

 

Set on Halloween- Dark Harvest by Norman Partridge

 

Pumpkin- Johnny Halloween: Tales of the Dark Season by Norman Partridge 

 

Vampires vs. werewolves- Hemlock Grove by Brian McGreevy

 

Diverse Authors Can be Spooky Fun- Adulthood Rites (Xenogenesis #2)by Octavia E. Butler 

 

Creepy Crawlies-  Go Eat Worms (Goosebumps #21) by R.L. Stine

 

Genre: Horror- The October Country by Ray Bradbury

 

Witches- The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare

 

Scary Women (Authors)- The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories by Angela Carter

 

Ghost Stories and Haunted Houses- The Amitville Horror by Jay Anson

 

Read by Candlelight or flashlight- 20th Century Ghosts by Joe Hill 

 

Genre: Mystery- Redemption Road by John Hart

 

Young Adult Horror- The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey