Day: November 1, 2020

Cats Fun and Games Literature Reviews

T.S. Eliot: Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats

For “cats are (still) very much like you and me” … A frequent reread, and my choice for the “Black Cat” square of this year’s Halloween Bingo card — as (almost) always, courtesy of my favorite audio performance by Sir John Gielgud and Irene Worth, as well as parts of th.  In case anybody is […]

Read More
Fun and Games Literature Reviews

Julie Smith (ed.) & Various Authors: New Orleans Noir

This year’s final bingo book: an anthology of mystery short stories set in New Orleans, by some of the Big Easy’s best-known crime writers.  As is usually the case with such compilations, some of the entries struck more of a chord with me than others, but taken together, they definitely conveyed an image of how […]

Read More
Literature Reviews

J.J. Connington: Nordenholt’s Million

This was a book I instantly knew I’d be saving for Halloween Bingo after I’d read its back cover blurb. And it proved chillingly topical for our times — it sort of describes the combined effect of Brexit (and Trump in the U.S.), venture capitalism, and a rampant, out-of-control biological pest coming together.  (As a […]

Read More
Fun and Games Literature Reviews

W. Stanley Moss: Ill Meet by Moonlight

The book I’ve wanted to read ever since I visited Anógia village, high up in the Cretan Mount Ida (or Psiloritis) massif, several years ago: The first-hand account of the WWII abduction of German Major General Heinrich Kreipe near his home in Heraklion, after which Kreipe was marched all the way up the mountain and, […]

Read More
Fun and Games Literature Reviews

Wilkie Collins: The Woman in White

Thank God for writers like Wilkie Collins, who always provide(s) me with enough options to fill at least one horror-related Halloween Bingo square without having to reach for a spell card … and still read something generally classified as “horror” (or “gothic”) without actually being scared out of my wits and unable to sleep afterwards.  […]

Read More
Fun and Games Literature Reviews

Patricia Highsmith: Ripley Under Ground

This year’s Halloween Bingo buddy read — thanks again to Christine, BrokenTune and Lillelara for the fun of reading this book together!  Somehow, that seems to be the way Patricia Highsmith’s books are enjoyed best … Though I have to say, while I struggled with Strangers on a Train, I’m getting a complete and total […]

Read More
Fun and Games Literature Reviews

Colin Dexter: The Dead of Jericho

Another comfort (re)read (well, its been that kind of year … and fall): It was more or less “six of this, half a dozen of the other” whether I’d use this book for the “Film at 11” Halloween Bingo square and something from Ellis Peters’s Brother Cadfael series for “Read by Flashlight or Candlelight” or […]

Read More
Fun and Games Literature Reviews

Alice Hoffman: The River King

This was, incredibly, my first taste of Hoffman’s writing — in hindsight, I’m wondering whether I should have started with her Practical Magic books after all (but then again, I might be wondering about the same thing in reverse — i.e., whether I should have started with this book — if I had).  Either way, […]

Read More
Fun and Games Literature Reviews

Ellis Peters: The Devil’s Novice

Another (re-re-)reread and, not just in its medieval setting, the perfect follow-up to Michael Jecks’s The Malice of Unnatural Death: The story of a young man professing an earnest desire to become a novice at Shrewsbury’s abbey of St. Peter and St. Paul and yet, soon revealing in his sleep that he is haunted by […]

Read More
Fun and Games Literature Reviews

Michael Jecks: The Malice of Unnatural Death

I’ve been a fan of Michael Jecks’s Knights Templar series for a number of years now, and although he pretty much grabbed me with the opening scene of that series’s very first book (and never mind that that particular book did come across as more of a typical “early” book later on), I keep enjoying […]

Read More
Fun and Games Literature Reviews

Sharyn McCrumb: The Ballad of Tom Dooley

Just as the Medieval Murderers series has, over the years, become my go-to series for “Relics and Curiosities”, Sharyn McCrumb’s Ballad series is my go-to series for the Southern Gothic bingo square.  I’ve enjoyed all of the books from that series that I’ve read so far; none more than The Ballad of Frankie Silver.  This particular […]

Read More
Fun and Games Literature Reviews

A.S. Byatt: Ragnarok

I decided to go with Byatt’s take on Ragnarök for the “Doomsday” Halloween Bingo square, because let’s face it, doomsday doesn’t get anymore terrifying than in Norse mythology — and I am glad that Byatt, for one, didn’t try to humanize the Norse deities, as so many other authors do in their attempt to make […]

Read More
Fun and Games Literature Reviews

The Medieval Murderers: The Lost Prophecies

This was a reread, which this time around I liked quite a bit better than when I first read it a few years ago.  The Medieval Murderers series of round robins are the perfect books for the “Relics and Curiosities” Halloween Bingo category, as their very concept consists in following one (supposedly cursed or unlucky) […]

Read More
Fun and Games Literature Reviews

Naomi Novik: Spinning Silver

Book 2 in Novik’s series of books updating classical fairy tales (though not, actually, a sequel to Uprooted — this one very much stands on its own ground): essentially, a blend of Rumpelstiltskin, Baba Yaga, and the English / British version of the elf lore, set in a fictional Eastern European country that is, however, […]

Read More
Cats Fun and Games Literature Reviews

Halloween Bingo 2020: The Rest of the Game and Wrap-Up

Sooo, that’s another bingo game behind us already!  Many thanks to our game hosts for successfully moving the game from BookLikes to a new venue and organizing one heck of a game despite that venue’s built-in limitations.  I had a great time and would only have wished I could have participated more throughout the game […]

Read More