Up next for #Scarathlon2022! I‘m a Buffy *fiend* but I never got into the comics. I‘m sure to have a lot of feelings.
This is an omnibus, so I‘ll be counting each volume as if it‘s a short story (in terms of points). #TeamMonsterMash
A true fairytale about loyalty and how the thirst for power corrupts.
I remember, distinctly, learning the word “amulet” as kid, encountering it for the first time in Bruce Coville‘s “The Unicorn Chronicles.” I know if I‘d stumbled upon this book as a child, I‘d be just as thrilled to encounter it here.
A Walk in Wolf Wood is no Thornyhold (another magical tale by Stewart — for adults) but I imagine 80‘s kids were totally charmed by it. 🐺🌚
Watched Hocus Pocus 2 with my husband, our bunny, & my mother-in-law this afternoon.
I thought the energy was a bit off & tamped down at first but it picked up speed by the end. It felt wrong that my favorite character wasn‘t a powerful woman...but oh well. Mayor Traske for President 2024!
The overall message is about sisterhood & the redistribution of power, which feels right. AND, may we all endeavor to remember: books are magic.
Getting started on my first #TeamMonsterMash #Scarathlon2022 read on this dreary, rainy day.
My husband & I are getting pedicures and are headed to a wedding later today. It starts at a farm and ends at a brewery, where they‘ve hired a metal band to play! 💀🖤💀
I hope the coffee I‘m currently imbibing does its job and wakes me up soon! 🥱
It‘s late. I‘m still awake…but just barely!
So, I‘m kicking off my first official #Scarathlon2022 post of October with a podcast episode of GhostHoney‘s Dream Machine. Gentle chaos is just what I need to lull me into a sweetly spooky sleep.
With this post *and* my early bird entries, I‘ve got +56 points to start. 👻
Let‘s go, #TeamMonsterMash! Happy October! 🎃
If Frieda were taking requests for songs on her mandolin, meant to describe this book, I‘d ask her to play Thao Nguyen‘s “Chivalry.” Thao sings, “I am tired / I am through/ When I love, I will love so hard / Harder than I could love with you.” Early Morning Riser is about a woman who wants to love someone “so hard,” and her family, friends, and especially the lover, who often fall short of the mark — but (and this is important) not always. 👇🏻
I got my nose pierced today. It hurt. 😅
I‘m a mood reader, so I‘ve compiled WAY more options for my #Scarathlon2022 TBR than I‘ll ever need…but here‘s my ~official~ list!
The first two are titles I‘ll definitely get to. One is a book club choice for my short stories book club with friends I‘ve had since high school. The second is the book club selection for my online book club with friends from college. We took a few years off after graduation but have been reading together since 2012!
My husband LOVES stories about vigilante justice. Recently, when we were watching the newest season of Stranger Things & El struck a bully across the face with her roller skate, he legitimately cackled. I‘ve *never* felt comfortable sharing in that kind of delight. This story is the exception. God, did it feel good to witness shitty, powerful men who are used to getting everything handed to them, get *exactly* what they deserve. 👇🏻
“The roof deck…is for men only. I‘ve never been invited and I‘ve never seen another female guest go up there.”
“You‘re saying women aren‘t allowed?” Jo asked.
“Of course we‘re *allowed,*” Harriet replied. “Women are allowed everywhere these days. Golf courses, nudie bars, the Racquet and Tennis Club. It would be scandalous if we weren‘t *allowed.* So instead, we‘re just not *invited.*”
Thursday is the Autumn Equinox. To mark it, some friends & I are visiting the grave of Mercy Lena Brown in Exeter, RI. Known as “America‘s First Vampire,” Mercy was a 19-year-old woman who died of consumption in 1892, was thought to “rise again”, & likely inspired Bram Stoker‘s Lucy (a portmanteau of Mercy Lena). Later, we‘ll be watching a vampire flick. These are films we won‘t be viewing that are on my To Watch list for October! #Scarathlon2022
I went on a bit of a book buying spree this morning. Angels, witches, and…apples? Guess which one cost me $40? 😱
Don‘t tell my husband, okay? 🙈
Going in, I was somehow unaware that this is primarily a romance. And boy, is it! Recently, I‘ve read a bunch of romance where the actual sex scenes were pretty lackluster. Not true here! Anyway, I really enjoyed this. The characters were very flawed but ultimately, lovable, damaged, and TRYING. An ebullient cover blurb calls it an “intimate character study.” I don‘t know if I‘d go *that* far — but I‘d definitely recommend it to fans of the genre!
It feels like audiobooks are taking me forever to get through lately. I don‘t know if it‘s the choices I‘m making or just me? I picked this one up on Katherine May‘s recommendation (author of Wintering). It was fine. Krasnostein investigates “belief.” She follows six believers, who each believe in something different (Buddhism, Creationism, aliens, etc). I was totally captivated by the death doula narrative…and far less by every other piece. 👇🏻
I joined the #Scarathlon hosted by @Clwojick & @StayCurious this year! #TeamMonsterMash
Though much remains uncertain (what I‘ll be reading, what I‘ll be watching, how much time I‘ll truly have to dedicate), what is absolutely clear is that I‘ll be watching the featured movie. I just found out about its existence and it looks delightfully TERRIBLE.
You can sign up here through 9/28!
I know this is LITsy not VOTEsy…but I deleted the rest of my social media for the month, so I‘m sharing this here. 😅
Proud of myself for waking up super early to vote in our local election this morning! ✌🏻
This 2nd book felt “less than” the first, somehow, but it was still a quiet joy. The investigation here is less “What do people need?” & more “What do *I* need?” And, “how can I be comfortable with the answer?” It‘s about knowing, intellectually, what advice to give & feeling the truth of it when you impart it to others but not allowing that same truth to speak when you turn your advice inwards. It‘s about self-discovery, & family — found & other.
This was a book club choice. I liked it more than I expected to for a book I didn‘t choose — but I still have complaints. I thought May‘s character seemed uneven: sometimes simple-minded (not just uneducated but oddly juvenile) & sometimes clever, keen, & resourceful. I also didn‘t get totally invested in the mystery/politics of the Queen‘s court. But it read quickly & the concept of “sin-eating” (expanded from an historical truth) is fascinating!
📣 PSA: It‘s still Summer!
In the acknowledgements, Holmes talks about getting over “second book blues” but there was no need to be nervous! I know folks ADORED Evvie Drake Starts Over, & I certainly enjoyed it…but it didn‘t capture my whole heart in the same way this sophomore effort did. And I‘m not just saying that because the love interest was a hunky librarian, either! 👇🏻
I haven‘t been following the #ManicMonday tag but @Librariana tagged me & I‘m using it as an excuse to promote my husband‘s band. #shameless 😅🙈
Book: Every Heart a Doorway
Author: Ephron, Nora
Movie: Empire Records
Band: Eric & the Nothing
Song: “Every Day is a Winding Road”
Listen here: https://open.spotify.com/album/3tI4VklURnv35EYML9XUtL?si=OG3siU6eQJKLwbZT0Cmm8g
I subscribe to Andrea Gibson‘s newsletter “Things That Don‘t Suck” & you should, too! First, note that their recent letters focus pretty intrinsically on their cancer diagnosis.
From the most recent missive:
“By the end of our lives, if we‘ve not said “WOW” thirty million times––we don‘t get into heaven.”
Also, I bought their book & lost it before reading it. If you could send “finding” vibes out so that it magically appears, I‘d appreciate it!
This book, about a fictional underground podcast that advocates for “a simple yet radical idea: an independent Vermont…separate from the United States, operating under a free local economy”, is McKibben‘s first novel. I read The End of Nature by him a long time ago (in high school, I think!), about the environmental crisis (the 10th anniversary edition was published in *1997*). And, I went to college in VT. So, I was primed to like this book.👇🏻
My book club is starting the lengthy process of putting together our 2023 reading list. It requires Google forms & multiple rounds of voting. 😅 I know you‘ll all appreciate the high degree of nerdiness.
Here are my submissions for the year to come! What do you think? Would *you* be in a book club with me? Have you read any? Would they make for good discussions? Are there any on your TBR? Any you‘d stay away from?
Tell me all about (& tag!) the fun, quirky lighthearted books you‘ve loved lately. 💓
Pictured: speaking of fun, here‘s a beer flight I recently enjoyed.
Celebrating our 7th wedding anniversary this weekend! 🎉 We‘ve been eating so much food. More to come (with a bookshop stop along the way)!
A romance-writing duo splits due to undisclosed circumstances, & must come back together to finish the last book of their contract despite their proclaimed hatred for one another.
I wolfed this one down…but I think my romance kick might be at an end (just as Fall descends; how timely). Some of the conflict felt fabricated & the villain of the piece was comically terrible/one-dimensional but there was plenty to like. 👇🏻
For some reason, I‘ve been telling myself lately that historical fiction isn‘t my thing — and I was dreading reading this book. Turns out, I was wrong! It‘s a story about female codebreakers during WWII. Concurrently, it‘s a story about fighting against societal expectations, and about life-defining relationships (both romantic and platonic). Remember, though: “there‘s a war on.” Don‘t read without your tissues! 😭
I went on vacation with my book club (friends from college); here are a few of us, all reading the same thing at the beach. 😅 It made me laugh.
If, like me (and many of my generation), you grew up obsessively watching My Girl on repeat, The Dead Romantics should hit you *just right.*
Though the death-business puns got a bit repetitive (like beating a dead horse), there was so much else to love in this novel that I hardly cared. Sweet, softly (quietly) sexy, sad, hopeful, and surprising, this book did my spooky little heart good. 🖤👻💗
Harlem Shuffle felt like a Great American Novel; or, like a play with a marked emphasis on set. Unfortunately (for me), it also felt very masculine. I found myself wishing there‘d been another perspective offered: Elizabeth‘s, Marie‘s, or Miss Laura‘s. The writing is top-notch, as is the commentary about classism, racism, consumerism, & capitalism. Still, I lost interest in the specific, behind-the-scenes details of jobs & heists. A reserved pick.
Short review: This book convinced me that I probably have buttworms and I still didn‘t hate it. That sounds like a ringing endorsement to my ears!
Long review: I vow to only read Jenny Lawson in audiobook format from now on. Her writing style is so conversational that it works much better for me than it does in print. I loved most of her essays: especially those about watches, buttons, fountains, & memory fog. 👇🏻
Me to Summertime: “Show-off.” 🙄
How do you *not* go overboard when you‘re a Librarian who finds out one of your best friends is having a baby girl?
Pictured: purchased books, bookplates by Phoebe Wahl, & the two of us. In photo 1, we‘re pretending that we *always* dress like goths as we head to a Rasputina show in college. Photo 2, her wearing ruffled bloomers beneath her bridesmaid dress at my wedding.
We have a long-running joke that our pet rabbit has a crush on Joshua Jackson. I found the most romantic frame while thrifting in VT & couldn‘t resist…
Valente‘s books always have a deep undercurrent. This time, it‘s empathy & connection; the fluidity & complexity of being; and the cycle of creation & destruction. It might sound mean to say that my favorite part of this book is the acknowledgments…but if, like me, you‘ve read Osmo Unknown from cover to cover, then you understand. The book is lovely (if a bit jam-packed). The acknowledgements, though, are *gorgeous* — tender, inspiring, & timely.
“What is that smell?”
“I don‘t know. It‘s like…cinnamon and birch bark and lavender…and something else. Crusty bread, maybe. Nutshells. It‘s…really nice, though, isn‘t it?”
“Just about the best thing I‘ve ever smelled, actually.”
I‘m going to need a candle inspired by this passage, please. Stat.
Confession: I no longer love the name of my #NewYearWhoDis event. It echoes a meme that was part of a particular moment in time…but it‘s started to feel a little bit dated and disingenuous to me. It might even be an example of cultural appropriation? “Dis” isn‘t slang I‘d ever feel comfortable using IRL.
ANYWAY. I‘m thinking of rebranding next year. What do you think? Yea? Nay? Ideas? My best so far is #AuldLangSpine (as a nod to NYE tradition).