Category Archives: Books

Twisted Ties Book Signing !!!!

This Sunday September 11th, 11 AM – 4 PM

Bekky’s Village Workshop, Peddler’s Village – Lahaska, PA

Come out and say Hi.  I’ll sign any existing copies and will have plenty of new copies if you do not have yours yet!

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neverending story

i like this darker vision of Falcor –

nesFalcor

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memoirs, galaxies and bean balls

It is unusual for my reading habits to venture out of the mystery genre, but occasionally they do.  It was the talented Neil Gaiman who advised would-be writers to read outside of the genre one writes to get a different perspective. Over the past few days I’ve finished four books: two memoirs, one piece of fiction and a sci-fi classic for the second time.

The memoirs are diametrically opposed in content but surprisingly similar in their approach; writing about the influential people in the author’s life.  In a sense I guess that’s what we all are anyway, the product of all those we have crossed paths and swords with over the years.

ebertebert itselfI was a Siskel & Ebert junkie, more than likely because I love movies and was, for a brief spell, a film critic for two radio stations and a local newspaper – and I mean local.  One of those freebie community papers waiting at the door of the supermarket, the ones shoppers grab ten or fifteen copies of so they have enough to start a fire, wrap fish or line the cat’s litter box.  I read Life Itself, Ebert’s final work before his death, in the hopes of finding more hollywood back story adventures and while there are flashes of those tales, each chapter focuses on a person central to Ebert’s life. Sometimes passages flounder into little more than a name-dropping festival, but on the whole there is enough humor and loving care Ebert shows for these folks to make it an enjoyable read.  Thumbs Up.

garden hoseThe same approach was applied to Tom Harvey’s Don’t Fight With the Garden Hose and Other Lessons I’ve Learned Along the Way.  I know – Tom who?  It doesn’t matter.  He’s just a guy and the people he writes about may be all strangers but he presents them with a loving hand to the point where I want to know these people.  The blog-style presentation is both humorous and heart-felt.

second foundationFinishing Asimov’s Second Foundation marks my second journey through the original Foundation trilogy.  I first read it as a teenager and couldn’t quite grasp the imagery required – this was a dozen years before Star Wars and just prior to 2001:A Space Odyssey – which shows the scope of Asimov’s imagination and vision – having written the books in the early 1950’s.  If anything, in this technological age, the ideas presented in the pages are even more plausible now.

high and insideFinally, one that really caught me off guard. Russell Rowland’s High and Inside is story of anger, redemption and forgiveness, told through Pete Hurley, a baseball pitcher whose career ends after he beans a batter in the head with a pitch.  The protagonist is an asshole narcissist who pisses everyone off, but there was something about Pete Hurley and the supporting cast that rang true enough to want more, leading to uncovering family skeletons and making amends.  There are some style issues that need smoothing but it’s not enough to keep the story from flowing and the characters from being true to life.  Play ball.

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swell – like i don’t have enough to read already

I visited Cheesecake Summer’s blog and found a post with this list, and an impressive one it is.  I’ve read 10 of them which means I have 40 new titles to add to my over-burdened to-be-read list.  The one’s I’ve read are in blue…

50 Scariest Books of All Time

  1. It – Stephen King
  2. Piercing – Ryu Murakami
  3. The Exorcist – William Peter Blatty
  4. Ghost Story – Peter Straub
  5. American Psycho – Bret Easton Ellis
  6. Hell House – Richard Matheson
  7. Dracula – Bram Stoker
  8. The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
  9. The Best of H.P. Lovecraft – H.P. Lovecraft
  10. The Turn of the Screw – Henry James
  11. House of Leaves – Mark Z. Danielewski
  12. The Haunting of Hill House – Shirley Jackson
  13. The Silence of the Lambs – Thomas Harris
  14. Rosemary’s Baby – Ira Levin
  15. The Amityville Horror – Jay Anson
  16. The Trial – Frankz Kafka
  17. Books of Blood – Clive Barker
  18. Blood Meridian – Cormac McCarthy
  19. Heart Shaped Box – Joe Hill
  20. Carrion Comfort – Dan Simmons
  21. The Complete Tales and Poems – Edgar Allan Poe
  22. Dawn – Octavia Butler
  23. We Need to Talk About Kevin – Lionel Shriver
  24. The Girl Next Door – Jack Ketchum
  25. The Painted Bird – Jerzy Kosinski
  26. The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks
  27. The Cipher – Kathe Koja
  28. Lord of the Flies – William Golding
  29. The Ruins – Scott Smith
  30. Ghost Stories of an Antiquary – M. R. James
  31. Naomi’s Room – Jonathan Aycliffe
  32. The Ritual – Adam Nevill
  33. Johnny Got His Gun – Dalton Trumbo
  34. Incarnate – Ramsey Campbell
  35. The Woman In Black – Susan Hill
  36. The Great God Pan – Arthur Machen
  37. Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark – Alvin Schwartz
  38. The October Country – Ray Bradbury
  39. White is for Witching – Helen Oyeyemi
  40. Let the Right One In – John Ajvide Lindqvist
  41. I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream – Harlan Ellison
  42. The Collector – John Fowles
  43. The Store – Bently Little
  44. Penpal – Dathan Auerbach
  45. In Cold Blood – Truman Capote
  46. Swan Song – Robert R. McCammon
  47. The Wolfen – Whitley Strieber
  48. The Hot Zone – Richard Preston
  49. The Killer Inside Me – Jim Thompson
  50. 1984 – George Orwell

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The Snowman

snowman102111I danced around reading this book having finished off Larsson’s Girl series and needed to bask in warmer climes before returning to the snows of Scandinavia, so I’m arriving late to the Nesbo Fan Club Dinner Dance. The construction of this work is what makes it shine; every writer’s dream is to build a work with Snowman’s perfect sense of timing. Nesbo is adept at peppering the story with subtle clues in an attempt to lead the reader into murky waters while performing the same connivery with his well-rounded cast of characters.  It’s a fun ride, smartly executed.

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Huh

I guess I low-balled it this year.  Either that or I have less of a life than I thought…

challenge copy

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it’s the most wonderful time of the year…redux

booksBuriedI feel like i just wrote this post, but it’s the third weekend in September once again which can only mean one thing….

THE ANNUAL COUNTY LIBRARY BOOK SALE.

This is truly my downfall each year, and i keep asking them to stop doing this as I already have too many sitting on my to-read shelve(s),  but when I can pick up 7 hard covers, including three first editions, for $14…well come on.  What can you expect from me?

And if that’s not bad enough, next weekend the sale continues – and the prices change to $2 a grocery bag full.

Really…  have mercy already.

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