Halloween Read-a-thon Sign Up + TBR!

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I just found out about this read a thon yesterday or the 10th, but I’m excited! I wish I’d found it sooner, though, because I could have used my last read (Bird Box) for my choice between like 3 or 4 prompts 😛 Oh well, it’s fine. This will just (hopefully) motivate me to read more of the books I want to read this month anyway.

I’m notoriously awful at sticking to a TBR, so who knows what will happen. These are just the books I’m considering and hoping to read. (The book covers link to goodreads.)

Ok, before I dive in, can I just say how freaking great Lauren’s images are for this challenge? You don’t have to use these, but they’re just too cute not to ❤


About the Read-A-Thon:

(Check out Lauren’s post for all the details.)

💀 The read-a-thon is going to run from the 10th October – 31st October.  

💀 You can join in at any time until the end of the read-a-thon. 

💀 You can read as many or as little books as you want!!!

💀 The books HAVE to be horror, thriller and/or have some kind of supernatural element!! Except for one challenge, but more on that below. I’m sorry if these genres aren’t your cup of tea, but it wouldn’t really be a Halloween themed read-a-thon otherwise.

💀 When posting your TBR link back to this post so other people can join in!! Share the spooky love!! If you don’t have a blog that’s okay!! You can post your TBR on Twitter, Instagram, Goodreads, YouTube – ANYWHERE!!

💀 Use the hashtag #HalloweenWR to share your progress on social media!!


The Challenges/My TBR:

 

 

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I’m thinking Abberations (edited by Jeremy C. Shipp) for this one. It’s a collection of short stories from different writers, and I love the cover. Or, I might read Outcast: Vol. 1 by Robert Kirkman because I’d forgotten the cover was creepy until now.

 

haunted-house

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So. Many. Choices! But I’m considering Heart Shaped Box by Joe Hill.

 

 

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I actually don’t have a lot of books on my shelves that would work for this, but I’m thinking of reading The Stepford Wives by Ira Levin.

 

 

I do about 90% of my reading at night, so I’m counting pretty much whatever for this one. But, I might add an extra bit of challenge to it and read one of the Goosebumps books I got last month in one night.

theexorcist1973179780
Oh this is soooo easy, and I’ve kind of already done it. In October, I marathon horror and thriller movies every single day. (Not loads every day, but at least one.) But, I’m thinking of doing the extra challenge and reading a book then watching the movie. Possibly The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty.

 

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I think I’m going with Trick for this, but I’m not sure what I’ll read. I’m thinking about This House is Haunted by John Boyne because it’s been on my Kindle for at least a year or two. (If I don’t read and watch The Exorcist, I might use it for this one.)

 

 

I might read 7 books, but I’m not sure I’ll manage 7 that fit this read-a-thon :/ I’m going to try, though!


Let me know if you’re participating in this read-a-thon, too!

Do you have any book recs that would fit any of these challenge categories? I’d love to hear about them 🙂

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T5W: Creepy Settings

T5W is a weekly meme created by Lainey from gingerreadslainey, now hosted by Sam from ThoughtsOnTomes. You can check out the goodreads group to learn more.

 

October 11th: Favorite Creepy Settings
–These don’t have to be from horror books, but any setting from any book that gave you the heebie jeebies…in a good way. 

 

Ok, picking only 5 was a little hard for this topic. And I had a hard time remembering what was actually creepy vs what was just bleak/dark/etc.

In no particular order…


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The Shining
by Stephen King–The Overlook Hotel:
I mean, come on. Giant, old, essentially empty hotel? It would be creepy without any kind of supernatural happenings.

 

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The Woman in Black by Susan Hill– Eel Marsh House & surrounding marshes: Again, the house was creepy enough, but add in the haunting? Nope, not staying there alone, thanks. Then there’s the marshes, which have claimed many lives and are possibly also haunted.

 

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The Accident Season by Moïra Fowley-Doyle– pretty much everywhere in it: Ok, it’s been 2 years since I read this one, but I remember large parts of the book having an eerie feel to them & the setting. The house was probably the creepiest, though.

 

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The Road by Cormac McCarthy– post-apocalyptic-America: This one I read a long time ago and so don’t remember a ton about it. I do, however, remembering it being very creepy as the father and son made their journey.

 

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Bird Box by Josh Malerman– the world, the river: Is it cheating to use a current read for this? I’m only about halfway through and am pleased to report that this is the first book in ages to actually kind of freak me out. A+ creepy setting creation.

 

 


Bonus settings (yeah, I know it’s T5W, but I’m adding more because I love this topic):

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë– Thornfield Hall: It wasn’t over-the-top creepy, but it definitely had that “There could be ghosts or anything in this place” kind of vibe.

The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon– the entire town of West Hall: I don’t want to say anything to spoil this one, but trust me, it’s a bit creepy.

Through the Woods by Emily Carroll– the woods?: The five stories in this graphic novel are awesome and all have a bit of creepiness to them.


What are some of your favorite creepy settings?

Is there a particular kind of creepy setting you prefer?

Blogtober babbling: I can’t say “No” to my kid about books

I think it’s because of the way I was brought up. I had books, but not many. A couple of family members would buy me a couple of books each for either Christmas or my birthday, and that was usually it for a year. Sometimes I was allowed to use money I got in my cards to go buy a book, but not often. We rarely went to bookstores, and, when we did, I thought I would die when it was time to leave. It wasn’t even that I wanted to buy tons of books. I just liked being around them.

Finally, when I was about 10 or 11, I was allowed to start going to the library a couple times a month. That was heaven. Looking back, I realize the library in the town I lived in was really small and actually not that great. But back then, it was my sanctuary. I didn’t have a good home life (I’ll spare you the details), and books were my escape. At school, I stayed in the library as often as possible, either reading, looking for books to check out, or helping the librarian. When I moved to the area I’m still kind of in, I stopped being able to go to the library. Or, when I did get to go, I was given about 15 minutes to find books. Two weeks later, they were returned (usually after hours by my guardian) and it was another few weeks to months before I got to go back. Fun times. (<<Sarcasm.)

Now, I’m all grown up and have a kid of my own. The first few years, I wasn’t sure my love of books had been passed on. Then, very suddenly, the obsession blossomed. One week, there was no interest in the books when we were at a bookstore. In fact, kid was bored senseless. Then, bam! Kid wanted ALL THE BOOKS! I was so proud and pleased ❤ (We live over an hour from the library, but try to go as often as possible. If we lived very close to one, both of us would probably buy a little less and borrow a lot more.)

The downside of this is that I just can not say no when kid wants a book. So, now there are two of us constantly drooling over the teetering stacks of books we’re toting around a bookstore, trying to decide which ones we absolutely must get, and which ones we can wait to buy. Poor husband. (He likes books, and likes that we’re approaching “we live in a library” status, but he doesn’t get as excited about books as kid and I do.)

Basically, in our home, books are treated as necessities for life. We don’t gift books, we gift other things (clothing, toys, games, etc.) I remember too many times getting something shaped like a book, being excited, ripping off the wrapping paper and discovering…not a book. I also remember getting too many books I had no interest in, but usually forced myself to read anyway because a) it was a book, and b) it was a gift and I would have gotten in trouble if I hadn’t read it.

I don’t want my kid growing up like that. I want my kid to not think of books as treats you get once or twice a year, and I want my kid to be able to read what’s interesting. Neither kid nor I get all the books we want. We’d need a house about 5 times bigger for that to even be a possibility 😛 But if kid finds a book and really wants it, I just can’t say no if it’s at all within my power to get the book.

Related anecdote: I was so proud over the weekend because we found the third Magnus Chase book. Kid has the first, but not the second, and I mentioned that. Kid’s eyes lit up and then kid said “I know where the second book is!” and shot off to get it. That’s the first time kid has remembered books in a series and been interested enough to know where they were in a store. It’s almost like how I was with Harry Potter ❤ I actually almost cried haha. I guess you kind of had to be there, and would have to know my kid to really understand what a big deal that was, but it’s definitely going in the baby book 😛

September Wrap Up + Book Haul

The last 8 days or so of September, I read like my life depended on absorbing as many books as possible. It was crazy. From the 22nd-30th, I read 9 books and 3 short stories, bringing my total things read in September to 4 short stories (for the Gothic September Poe read along) and 14 books.

It wasn’t exactly record-breaking, but I was impressed, especially since I’d been in a genre slump all year, and was falling into a general reading slump.

The Martian saved me, though. Something about the real/realistic science from it, coupled with the tone and pace, acted as a bridge between non-fiction and sci-fi for me. It was great, and I think I’m mostly out of my sci-fi/fantasy slump (as long as I don’t read too much of either close together).


I read…

september wrap up goodreads

Book, rating, link to reviews, and what Bookish Bingo square I used them for…

  • Batman: The Killing Joke by Alan Moore (3.5/5 stars)
  • “Berenice” by Edgar Allan Poe (4/5 stars)
  • Basic Witches by Jaya Saxena & Jess Zimmerman (4/5 stars, but I’m considering lowering it to 3.5/5) // My review //Co-Authored
  • Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher (4.5/5 stars) // “Person on Cover”
  • Blue Horses by Mary Oliver (4/5 stars) //Poetry or Verse
  • Halloween Carnival vol. 1 edited by Brian James Freeman (3/5 stars) // My review // “Horror
  • The Martian by Andy Weir (5/5 stars)
  • 27 Hours by Tristina Wright (3.5/5 stars) // My review // “LGBT
  • A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle (2/5 stars) // “First in a Series
  • Everything Must Go by Jenny Fran Davis (4.5/5 stars) // My review // “Set at a School
  • “William Wilson” by Edgar Allan Poe (3/5 stars)
  • The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (3/5 stars) // “Illustrations
  • Lumberjanes vol. 1 by Noelle Stevens (3/5 stars)
  • Horoscopes for the Dead by Billy Collins (3.5/5 stars)
  • “The Imp of the Perverse” by Edgar Allan Poe (4/5 stars)
  • “A Descent Into the Maelstrom” by Edgar Allan Poe (4/5 stars)
  • The Cottingley Secret by Hazel Gaynor (3.5/5 stars) // My review //Magic in the Real World
  • Quidditch Through the Ages by Kennilworthy Whisp (5/5 stars)

For the autumn challenges below, here’s my first post about them which has links to the origins.


I finished the Poe read along, but I ended up reading 3/4 stories in the last week or so, instead of one per week. It was fun and I should definitely get back to reading Poe more regularly.


Fall Bookish Bingo

fall bookish bingo MARKED

I’m so close to a Bingo already, yay!


R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril didn’t work out so well for me in September, so I need to step it up for October to reach my goal of 4 books. The only one I read (and counted) for R.I.P. in September was The Graveyard Book, which was one of the books I listed as a possible choice in my original post.


Yearly challenges updates:

For #RockMyTBR, I read The Killing Joke, but The Graveyard Book or The Martian would have counted, too.

And, finally, I got to check off a couple of tasks for both the PopSugar reading challenge, and the Book Riot Read Harder challenge. (I’ll post both lists at the end of the year, because I might swap some things around between now and then.)


Book Haul!

september haul

Left to right: 5 Goosebumps books! In a tin! (That I didn’t want to take the plastic off of yet, which I now realize was a mistake because the picture is garbage, ugh.) // Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay // Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly // The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan // Girls Burn Brighter by Shobha Rao (ARC) // Fever by Deon Meyer (ARC) // Doctor Who: City of Death by James Goss (ok, this one is technically husband’s, but I’m going to read it, to) // Caraval by Stephanie Garber // The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo.


Both of my grown-up cats were very interested in what I was doing. At least I managed to get one shot that didn’t have my other cat’s butt blocking 3/4 of the frame. Of course, I got this one shot because she decided to try to sit on my head while I was on my stomach on the ground taking the photo:/ 


How was your September, and what was your favorite read last month?

Are you participating in any autumn (or all-year) reading challenges?

Is there anything from my haul that you think I should read ASAP?

Book Review: 27 Hours by Tristina Wright

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Genres: YA; sci-fi; dystopian; LGBTQ+

Why I read it: It exploded on social media and after I heard the description, I had to read it. I got lucky and scored an e-ARC from Net Galley!

Who I’d recommend it to: YA sci-fi fans, especially if you’re looking for diverse reads. Must love puns.

My rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ (3.5 stars…maybe?)

Goodreads | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Amazon


What it’s about:

Rumor Mora fears two things: hellhounds too strong for him to kill, and failure. Jude Welton has two dreams: for humans to stop killing monsters, and for his strange abilities to vanish.

But in no reality should a boy raised to love monsters fall for a boy raised to kill them.

Nyx Llorca keeps two secrets: the moon speaks to her, and she’s in love with Dahlia, her best friend. Braeden Tennant wants two things: to get out from his mother’s shadow, and to unlearn Epsilon’s darkest secret.

They’ll both have to commit treason to find the truth.

During one twenty-seven-hour night, if they can’t stop the war between the colonies and the monsters from becoming a war of extinction, the things they wish for will never come true, and the things they fear will be all that’s left.

27 Hours is a sweeping, thrilling story featuring a stellar cast of queer teenagers battling to save their homes and possibly every human on Sahara as the clock ticks down to zero.


Review:

I want to start by saying that I really liked this book. It was one of my most anticipated 2017 releases, and I literally screamed and danced around when I was approved for an ARC.

 

At the end of the review, I’ve included some links to other blogs, including one from Tristina.

 

The good…

Wright’s writing is fantastic. With every scene, every character, every place, I felt like I was there and could see and hear it all. The descriptions were great. Every character really stood out, too. I never had the issue of confusing two of them, like I’ve experienced with some other books with such a huge cast. I’m really hoping that in the next book we’ll have more time with more chimeras, because I’m so freaking interested! I want to know everything about them and the different kinds. A couple were explained in 27 Hours, but there’s so much more to learn about them, and the moon. Oh. My. Gods. The moon, you guys! I don’t want to say much so I don’t spoil something, but holy crap it’s awesome and I want to know more! There are other things I really want to know more about that involve at least two of the characters and the moon and the chimeras, but I don’t want to talk about that because ~spoilers.~ But I’m really hoping it’s addressed more in the next book, because I need answers! (It’s not really a plot-hole kind of lack-of-answers, it’s just a really good thing to not fully explain in book one so it can be explored more later in the series.)

The diversity in this book is the best I’ve ever encountered, and I want a thousand more books with rep like this or better. We have multiple main POC characters, a bisexual deaf character, a couple of gay characters (if I remember right), a pansexual trans character, an asexual character, a lesbian couple and a gender neutral (I think, so please correct me if I’m wrong) character. There were probably more, but I stupidly didn’t take many notes about anything because I read this in like a day and didn’t think about it. So, A+ for diversity, I think. (But definitely check out other reviews from people whose voices count more than mine for things like the POC, deafness, ace, trans, and gender-neutral reps, because I really can’t make any comments or judgments about those. I’ve been seeing some not so positive comments about some of these reps since I read the book.) I can’t speak for most of the rep, but omg the pansexual character. My ❤ I had to take short breaks a couple of times because I related so much to what she was going through. What she experienced captured so well how I felt for a while in high school and shortly after, and it felt so good to finally see some pan rep in a book. I feel like I’ve been waiting my whole life for this, and I wish this book had existed when I was in high school.

The romances were so. freaking. cute. I’m usually thinking something like, “Ok, ok, I get it, they like each other, blah blah blah, can we get back to the story, now?” when I read a book with a romance sub-plot. Not so with 27 Hours. Honestly, I loved the romances. The puns from one character almost killed me, though. (I related to that, too.) From the very beginning, I was rooting for the couples as well as the individual characters. I don’t think I’ve ever wanted book characters to get together and be happy as much as I did while reading this book.

This book is action packed. Like, from the first couple of pages, it barely lets up until the very end. This is about a 400 page book and I almost read it in one sitting. (I read it during a read-a-thon, but that’s still not normal for me.) There are constant threats of danger, fight scenes, escape scenes, just…so much action. I was literally on the edge of my seat for a while, my eyes flying over the words as fast as they could to find out if everyone made it out of whatever situation they were in. It was intense, but awesome.

And the not so good…

All that said, I have been sitting, thinking about this book and how to review it for a couple of weeks because I had mixed feelings.

When I first started this book, I liked it. Very soon, I loved it. But, the whole time I was reading it, I kept thinking something was a little “off,” or at least something made me feel a little weird. The idea was a confused, insubstantial thing in the back of my mind until I came across a couple of reviews that put it into words far more eloquently, I’m sure, than I can. This is a story of, essentially, human settlers vs the native beings (called “chimeras,” or, the derogatory term “gargoyles”) of a moon far, far from Earth, and the war they’ve been fighting for a few decades. I remember thinking it reminded me of something, while I was reading, but I read it so fast I didn’t really process it until later. It reminds me of European “settlers” fighting with and stealing land from indigenous people all over the place here on Earth.

Looking back, it kind of bothers me that all the perspectives in the book are human characters, and there are no chapters from the chimeras’s POV. That might not be the case with the next books, I don’t know. I just wish there’d been at least a few chapters from a chimera’s, or multiple chimeras’s, POV. At no point, that I remember, does it come across that the actions of humans against chimeras are justified or anything like that, though. The issues of the colonization are addressed in the book, pretty directly, I think. It might not be perfect, but it’s not brushed aside or ignored.

Another thing that just confused me was how all the people seem to have gone from varied cultures from all over Earth to being very Westernized and speaking one language (“the human language”), as far as I remember. This is set in the future, but I don’t remember there being any indication of how far in the future it’s set. There are mentions of where people’s families came from on Earth, and what things are left that their ancestors brought with them, and I just think it’s a little weird that they would have all adopted one language and forgotten their old ones and their customs and traditions and stuff. (There were a couple of words that weren’t in English, like one character referring to her “abuela,” so some things from Earth and the other languages still exist, apparently, but not everything.)

I also don’t remember race (with humans) really being addressed much, other than indicating POC  or white characters. So…is racism and all the other nasty prejudices on Earth right now, no longer part of this universe? Because of the human-chimera relations, prejudices obviously still exist. But there’s never any mention of racism, homophobia, etc. with humans. Did we actually manage to eventually, in however many years in the future this is set, get past it? Is it just that way with the settlers on that moon? Maybe I’m over-thinking all of this, idk, but I have questions. (It’s also possible that I missed some explanations in my binge read.)

Lastly, while I thought the world-building was very good, there were times when I was really confused for a while. I think I eventually caught up because things were explained later, but the characters are, in my opinion, more developed and stronger than the world-building. That didn’t bother me too much because I usually prefer character driven stories, and I struggle with extensive world-building sometimes (I can’t keep track of everything, etc.), and I didn’t feel the world was under developed by the end. It’s just been left open enough for going deeper in subsequent books.

 

So…

I really, really liked this book, and I’ve been talking about it a lot. Is it perfect? No, but what book is? I think Tristina Wright did the best possible job she could, and it’s pretty clear that she put in the work for the reps in this book. You can’t please everyone or capture everyone’s identity in one book, because everyone’s experience is very different. I personally felt a connection to a couple of characters in this book at various points, but that doesn’t mean everyone will have the same experience.

I’m torn between 3 & 4 stars, but I’m leaving it at 4 for now, I think. Maybe I’ll say 3.5 stars.

I will most likely read the next book, and probably count down days to release day after we get an official date. (It’s going to be a while, I’m sure, since this one just came out on the 3rd.)

This was probably the hardest review I’ve ever written, and I’m still not sure I managed to say what I mean. I tried, and all I can do now is direct you to other posts from people who can talk about the things I can’t.


Additional reading:

Aimal’s review (colonialism, racial rep, etc. is discussed at length; great review, give it a read)
Laura’s review (has links and stuff to things people had issues with)
Tristina Wright’s statement/apology issued about race and queer IDs
Ann Elise’s review (ace/aro rep discussion)
Avery’s review (ace rep, gender rep)

There are probably many more blog posts out there that talk about these important subjects, from people more qualified than I am, but these were the ones I found shortly after reading the book, while trying to figure out how to put into words what I thought of everything.


Have you read it yet?

Let me know what you thought of it, or if you’re planning to read it 🙂

201 Movies for this Special, Spooky Time of Year

Yep, you read that right. Two. Hundred. And one. You guys, I’ve been making this list for days (I’m scheduling this post for the weekend, but it’s the 4th while I’m writing this) and my fingers are numb. (Just kidding. Mostly.)

Anyway… I started off making a list of horror movie recs, and that got out of hand so fast. I’m a major horror movie buff. I’ve been watching them my entire life (well, since I was 2 or 3, at least), and I’ve seen more than I can even remember. But, I know not everyone likes horror movies, so then I started including comedy-horrors. Then thrillers. Then family-friendly movies.

So, this is a list that pretty much runs the gamut, and I think there might be something for just about everyone on here.

I have seen everything on this list, but I didn’t love everything I included. Some of these are so bad they’re good (like, funny when they’re not meant to be, or so outlandish you find them amusing, etc.), if you know what I mean. I did not include a few popular, more recent movies, because I hated them. (Looking at you, It Follows and The Babadook…)

Also, a lot of these have been remade, but I’m recommending the original. There are a few remakes I did like (My Bloody Valentine, for one), but I rarely like them.

Lastly, several of these are movies in a series. I think I only listed first movies, but with a lot of them, I would recommend the entire series, or at least a few of them.


**Some of these movies, maybe even many of these movies, do/could have triggering scenes. If you’re not familiar with the movie and you have triggers, I strongly encourage you to google the movie and trigger warnings for it before watching.**


  1. 5ive Girls
  2. 28 Days Later
  3. 30 Days of Night
  4. 1408
  5. 2001 Maniacs
  6. The Addams Family
  7. Alien
  8. All the Boys Love Mandy Lane
  9. The Alphabet Killer
  10. The Amityville Horror
  11. An American Haunting
  12. An American Werewolf in London
  13. A Nightmare on Elm Street
  14. April Fools Day
  15. Atom Age Vampire
  16. Audition
  17. Beetlejuice
  18. The Birds
  19. The Black Cat
  20. The Blair Witch Project
  21. The Blob
  22. Bordello of Blood
  23. The Brain That Wouldn’t Die
  24. Bram Stoker’s Dracula
  25. Buffy the Vampire Slayer
  26. The Butterfly Effect
  27. Cabin Fever
  28. The Cabin in the Woods
  29. Campfire Tales
  30. Candyman
  31. Carnival of Souls
  32. Carrie
  33. Casper
  34. The Cell
  35. Cherry Falls
  36. Child’s Play
  37. The Conjuring
  38. Coraline
  39. The Corpse Bride
  40. The Covenant
  41. The Craft
  42. Creepshow
  43. The Crow
  44. Cry_Wolf
  45. Cursed
  46. Darkness Falls
  47. Dark Water
  48. Daybreakers
  49. Dead Silence
  50. Dead Snow
  51. Death Tunnel
  52. The Dentist
  53. Disturbia
  54. Dog Soldiers
  55. Donnie Darko
  56. Double, Double, Toil and Trouble
  57. Dracula
  58. Dracula 2000
  59. Dracula Untold
  60. Drag Me to Hell
  61. Dreamcatcher
  62. Elvira
  63. The Exorcist
  64. The Eye
  65. The Faculty
  66. Fido
  67. Final Destination
  68. The Fly
  69. The Fog
  70. The Fourth Kind
  71. Friday the 13th
  72. Fright Night
  73. From Dusk Til Dawn
  74. The Funhouse
  75. Ghostbusters
  76. Ghost Ship
  77. Ginger Snap
  78. Gremlins
  79. The Grudge
  80. Halloween
  81. Halloweentown
  82. Hansel & Gretel
  83. Harry Potter
  84. The Haunted Mansion
  85. Haunter
  86. The Haunting
  87. The Haunting in Connecticut
  88. Hellraiser
  89. Hideaway
  90. The Hills Have Eyes
  91. Hocus Pocus
  92. House on Haunted Hill
  93. Honeymoon
  94. Hostel
  95. Hotel Transylvania
  96. Hush
  97. Idle Hands
  98. I Eat Your Skin
  99. I Know What You Did Last Summer
  100. In Dreams
  101. Insidious
  102. I Spit on Your Grave
  103. Interview With the Vampire
  104. It
  105. Jeepers Creepers
  106. Jennifer’s Body
  107. John Carpenter’s Vampires
  108. John Dies at the End
  109. Last House on the Left
  110. The Legend of Hell House
  111. Leprechaun
  112. Let the Right One In
  113. Little Shop of Horrors
  114. The Lost Boys
  115. The Messengers
  116. Misery
  117. The Mothman Prophecies
  118. My Bloody Valentine
  119. My Soul to Take
  120. The Night Flier
  121. The Nightmare Before Christmas
  122. Night of the Living Dead
  123. Nosferatu
  124. Oculus
  125. The Omen
  126. One Missed Call
  127. Orphan
  128. The Others
  129. Pandorum
  130. Paranormal Activity
  131. Pathology
  132. The People Under the Stairs
  133. Pet Sematary
  134. Poltergeist
  135. Practical Magic
  136. Priest
  137. Psycho
  138. Pumpkinhead
  139. Puppet Master
  140. The Reaping
  141. Red Eye
  142. Regression
  143. Repo! The Genetic Opera
  144. Resident Evil
  145. The Ring
  146. The Rite
  147. The Rocky Horror Picture Show
  148. Rosemary’s Baby
  149. Saw
  150. Scream
  151. The Serpent and the Rainbow
  152. Shaun of the Dead
  153. The Shining
  154. Shutter
  155. Shutter Island
  156. The Silence of the Lambs
  157. The Sixth Sense
  158. Sleepy Hollow
  159. Snow White: A Tale of Terror
  160. Something Wicked This Way Comes
  161. Stigmata
  162. Stir of Echoes
  163. The Strangers
  164. Suspiria
  165. Sweeney Todd
  166. Teen Witch
  167. Teen Wolf
  168. Teeth
  169. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
  170. They
  171. Thir13een Ghosts
  172. Thirteen Ghosts
  173. Train
  174. Tremors
  175. Trick ‘r Treat
  176. Two Thousand Maniacs
  177. Underworld
  178. Urban Legend
  179. V/H/S
  180. Vacancy
  181. Vampyres
  182. Van Helsing
  183. The Ward
  184. The Wicker Man
  185. The Woman in Black
  186. What Lies Beneath
  187. When a Stranger Calls
  188. White Noise
  189. White Zombie
  190. Wicked Little Things
  191. The Wicker Man
  192. The Witch
  193. The Witches
  194. The Witches of Eastwick
  195. Wolf Creek
  196. The Worst Witch
  197. Would You Rather
  198. Wrong Turn
  199. Young Frankenstein
  200. Zombieland
  201. Zombie Strippers

Tell me about some of your favorite scary movies, or movies you like to watch around Halloween!

Book Review: The Cottingley Secret by Hazel Gaynor

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Genres: historical fiction; contemporary; magical realism

Why I read it: Cottingley fairies! I’ve known that story since I was a kid, and I’ve seen the pictures loads of times, so when I saw the word “Cottingley” in a book title, it was immediately added to my TBR and I entered the ARC giveaway on goodreads.

Who I’d recommend it to: If you like the blending of old and new stories (switching between present and past with connecting threads), a teeny bit of magical realism, and/or the mystery of the Cottingley fairies, you might like this.

My rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆ (3.5 stars)

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What it’s about:

1917… It was inexplicable, impossible, but it had to be true—didn’t it? When two young cousins, Frances Griffiths and Elsie Wright from Cottingley, England, claim to have photographed fairies at the bottom of the garden, their parents are astonished. But when one of the great novelists of the time, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, becomes convinced of the photographs’ authenticity, the girls become a national sensation, their discovery offering hope to those longing for something to believe in amid a world ravaged by war. Frances and Elsie will hide their secret for many decades. But Frances longs for the truth to be told.

One hundred years later… When Olivia Kavanagh finds an old manuscript in her late grandfather’s bookshop she becomes fascinated by the story it tells of two young girls who mystified the world. But it is the discovery of an old photograph that leads her to realize how the fairy girls’ lives intertwine with hers, connecting past to present, and blurring her understanding of what is real and what is imagined. As she begins to understand why a nation once believed in fairies, can Olivia find a way to believe in herself?


Review:

This took me ages to get through, but it was not the book’s fault, it was me. I’ve been in this awful reading slump all year for specifically SFF books, and, while this one isn’t super fantasy-ish, it was close enough for my slump to prevent me from making it very far in. (Then my surgery happened and that made it take even longer. Ugh.)

Anyway… As I said, I entered the giveaway for this because I saw the word “Cottingley” and, paired with that cover, I was sure before I even read the description that it would be about the Cottingley fairies, which I had a bit of an obsession with as a child. If you haven’t heard of the Cottingley fairies, google it. If you have no interest at all in what happened, I’d say skip this book. But, if you’re even just a bit curious, you might like it.

The story alternates between present day with Olivia, and events from the early 20th century recorded in a memoir later in life by Frances Griffiths. Olivia is still reeling from the recent loss of her grandfather when she finds out he left her his bookshop, Something Old. But that isn’t all he left her. He also left her a cat, Hemingway (who lives in the bookshop), and a manuscript. Within the manuscript, Olivia finds links to an old photograph she had as a child, and, later, connections to her own family. As she reads the book, peculiar things begin to happen in her own life that may or may not have logical explanations.

Along the way, she learns not only about the people in the story, but also about her family and herself. She’s been dealing with a lot, and some of her indecision and uncertainty really annoyed me for a while, even though I guess it was kind of understandable. So, when she finally starts taking control of her life, I was happy for her. Olivia is not my favorite character, and I actually found her a little boring at times, but by the end of the book I was definitely rooting for her.

For those of you who don’t like romance, don’t worry, it’s not really a part of this story. It’s there, kind of, but it isn’t a major plot point or anything and almost no time is spent on it. This is mostly about family and connections and accepting who you are and learning to stand on your own.

I expected to really love the Cottingley parts of this book, but I didn’t. (I did like them, I just didn’t love them.) It was an interesting way to go about mingling past and present in a historical fiction novel, but some of it seemed to drag by (that could have been the slump, though). I can’t imagine what Frances’s life was like, dealing with her father being away fighting in the war, and having her entire life altered so drastically. So, I felt for her, but her narrative wasn’t as compelling as I hoped it would be. Elsie honestly kind of irritated me, and most of the other characters didn’t leave much of an impression (they were minor). The exception to that was Ellen. My heart broke for her and I wanted the fairies to be real, just for her.

I’d really love to read Frances Griffiths’s own book (books?) about the Cottingley fairies, though, to see how much of the truth made it into this book. I do know that at least some of the “memoir” in this book lines up with what Frances said after confessing about the photographs.

For those who don’t know or care to look it up, Frances and Elsie confessed in the ’80s that they had faked the photographs. Why did they wait over 60 years? Because they’d fooled the world. Even Arthur Conan Doyle was taken in by their story, and subsequently wrote a couple of articles about it featuring the now famous photographs. (Yes, that Arthur Conan Doyle. He was a spiritualist and actually wrote a book about fairies called The Coming of the Fairies, though not many people know about it now.)

Basically, even though we know it was a hoax now, it’s still fascinating to read about, if you’re into this kind of thing. As for the fifth photograph (“The Fairy Bower”), I like to think Frances was telling the truth about that one.

…perhaps believing in fairies was more important than seeing them. In belief, there is hope and wonder. In seeing, there is often question and doubt.

Whether you believe/want to believe in fairies or not, this is still a great historical fiction novel, and I do recommend it. The writing is enchanting all on its own, the story has just a touch of magic, and the characters are so alive and believably human.