2016 Halloween Book Bingo

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Halloween Bingo 2019 PreParty — Question for 08/02 (Day 2): Vampires, Werewolves, Zombies or Other?

Witches. One of my very first literary heroine was a little witch who manages to get the better of all the bigger, older witches after having been put down by them — the heroine of Otfried Preußler’s Little Witch.  (In fact, I loved that book enough to write my very first fan letter to the […]

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Halloween: Incidental Opera

 … well, sort of.  I’m not sure whether Bonn Opera actually had Halloween in mind when they scheduled the opening night of their production of Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor (based on Walter Scott’s Bride of Lammermoor) – it’s not overly likely, though I wouldn’t put it past them – but it of course fits the […]

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Black Cat Productions Presents: Bingos No. 12 & 13 and BINGO BLACK OUT!

     This has been enormously great fun; thanks to Moonlight Reader and Obsidian Blue for putting this together and hosting it!  I’ve loved following everybody’s reads – still sorry RL duties made me bow out for 2+ weeks smack in the middle of it all.  Most of my selections turned out to be enjoyable, […]

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Final Bingo Square: Grave or Graveyard

  Changed my mind (yet again) and switched books for my final bingo square, as I’m not sure I’ll be in much of a mind to finish my previous choice for “Grave or Graveyard,” Umberto Eco’s Cemetery of Prague. So I switched to the 2016 BBC audio adaptation of Dracula, starring David Suchet in the […]

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Literature Reviews

Peter May: The Blackhouse

  Book 1 of May’s Lewis Trilogy; a darkly atmospheric tale of childhood ghosts rearing their ugly heads to bring down the lives of a group of former schoolmates some 30+ years later; set on the northern end of the largest and northernmost of Scotland’s Outer Hebrides islands, the Isle of Lewis.  May does an […]

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Halloween Book Bingo 2016: Eleventh Update and BINGO No. 11

Home stretch – 24 books down, 1 to go!   Bingo No. 11 – the Books:   Magical Realism – Isabel Allende: La casa de los espíritus (The House of the Spirits) Isabel Allende’s breakout success and still one of my favorite novels by her (surpassed only by Of Love and Shadows): A multigenerational allegory […]

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Literature Reviews

Sherman Alexie: Reservation Blues

Well, more angry than spooky, actually, but anyway … Robert Johnson is running from the devil (“the Gentleman” in the book) and ends up on the Spokane reservation.  Afraid that “the Gentleman” might hear him if he plays his guitar, he hands it over to a young wannabe storyteller named Thomas Builds-the-Fire, who proceeds to […]

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Halloween Book Bingo 2016: Tenth Update and BINGO No. 10

  The Books: Diverse Authors Can Be Spooky Fun – Sherman Alexie: Reservation Blues Well, more angry than spooky, actually, but anyway … Robert Johnson is running from the devil (“the Gentleman” in the book) and ends up on the Spokane reservation.  Afraid that “the Gentleman” might hear him if he plays his guitar, he hands […]

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Arthur Conan Doyle: The Hound of the Baskervilles … and Dartmoor

“Yes, the setting is a worthy one. If the devil did desire to have a hand in the affairs of men ––”   “I have been in Devonshire.” “In spirit?” “Exactly … After you left I sent down to Stamford’s for the Ordnance map of this portion of the moor, and my spirit has hovered […]

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Halloween Book Bingo 2016: Ninth Update – Catch-Up Post and BINGOS No. 6-9

So, after having spent the past weekend and the better part of last night and today tying up half a dozen half-finished bingo reads that, naturally, hadn’t shown any progress whatsoever while I was exiled on planet work overload, for the time being I’m back on track.  And thus I am happy to finally be […]

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Literature Reviews

Horrace Walpole: The Castle of Otranto

The grandfather of all gothic literature, madly dashed out in the space of a mere eight days. Intended as a (semi-)satirical response to the “Frenchification” of the 18th century English stage, where – under the influence of Voltaire’s criticism of Shakespeare – scenes considered unduly “rough” and “uncultured” (like the gravediggers scene in Hamlet) were […]

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James D. Doss: White Shell Woman

  Oh dear God – why, oh why did I have Mr. Doss’s novels sitting on my shelves for ages without ever actually cracking a single spine while he was still alive and cranking out further installments to his series?  Man, am I glad to finally have remedied that omission, even if only after his […]

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Literature Reviews

Edgar Allan Poe: The Fall of the House of Usher

I’ve never been much taken with the wan, ghost-like appearance of the near-death Madeline Usher – and though I suspect Poe was at least partly writing from experience in describing Roderick Usher’s symptoms of suffering, that doesn’t necessarily induce me to feel particularly sympathetic to him – but let’s face it: this thing is a […]

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Literature Reviews

Mary Shelley: Frankenstein (Kenneth Branagh audio)

Originally my entry for this square was supposed to be an assortment of stories by Edgar Allan Poe (all of which I actually did (re)read as well, together with The Fall of the House of Usher (see below)), but browsing on Amazon I was reminded of the audio version of Frankenstein read by Kenneth Branagh, […]

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Literature Reviews

Isabel Allende: La casa de los espíritus (The House of the Spirits)

  Isabel Allende’s breakout success and still one of my favorite novels by her (surpassed only by Of Love and Shadows): A multigenerational allegory on the story of her native Chile – seen through the eyes of the novel’s female protagonists, the women of the Trueba clan; particularly the paranormally gifted Clara, as well as […]

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Literature Reviews

Arthur Conan Doyle: The Adventure of the Speckled Band

One of my all-time favorite stories by Conan Doyle.  Also one of the first-ever locked-room mysteries; if David Pirie (screenwriter of Dr. Bell and Mr. Doyle and the Dark Beginnings of Sherlock Holmes TV series and author of the novels based on that series) is to be believed, based on the solution to the mysterious […]

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Halloween Book Bingo 2016: Eighth Update – TRIPLE BINGO (Nos. 3-5)!

  The Books: Bingo No. 3: Witches – Terry Pratchett / Neil Gaiman: Good Omens Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman’s hilarious end-of-the-world spoof: Armageddon as foretold in the nice and accurate predictions of one Agnes Nutter, witch.  (Time of Armageddon: Next Saturday. Place: Tadfield, Oxfordshire.)  Starring one demon named CrawlyCrowley (who’s got just about enough […]

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Literature Reviews

Daphne Du Maurier: Jamaica Inn

17 year old Mary has made a deathbed-side promise to her mother to go and live with her aunt and uncle Patience and Joss after her mother has died.  So she exchanges the friendly South Cornwall farming town where she has grown up for Uncle Joss’s Jamaica Inn on the Bodmin Moor, which couldn’t possibly […]

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Literature Reviews

Agatha Christie: And Then There Were None

Ten people are invited to an island off the Devon coast by a Mr. and Mrs. U.N. Owen, who however never make an appearance themselves.  One by one, the invitees meet their death; not before, however, it is revealed that they themselves all have someone else’s death on their hands in turn and have gotten […]

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Literature Reviews

Gaston Leroux: Le mystère de la chambre jaune (The Mystery of the Yellow Room)

This book is billed as the first-ever locked room mystery, which isn’t entirely correct, as by the time it was published (1907), there already were several very well-known mysteries relying on the same feature (Edgar Allan Poe’s Murders in the Rue Morgue, as well as Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sign of Four and The Speckled Band), […]

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