I had the pleasure of listening to the Alison Larkin Presents versions of Dickens' A Christmas Carol and Clement Clark Moore's The Night Before ChristI had the pleasure of listening to the Alison Larkin Presents versions of Dickens' A Christmas Carol and Clement Clark Moore's The Night Before Christmas. Anyone who knows me, knows I love A Christmas Carol. I usually either read it every year, or listen to some version on audio, in addition to watching all the film versions.
This particular version of A Christmas Carol was very entertaining. The narrator had a pleasing voice, and I was envisioning the story as I listened. It was quite a nice audio during my forays as Mom's taxi service. Teehee.
Alison Larkin narrated The Night Before Christmas herself and I just love her voice! She gave the traditional tale, that we all have loved since children, a very whimsical, yet heartwarming tone.
Listening to these classic Christmas tales in the lead up to the Christmas season was just what I needed to get me into the spirit. I highly recommend to anyone who loves Christmas, and enjoys listening to audiobooks....more
There's nothing quite like a book of really great short stories. And, to be honest, horror short stories are really the only short stories I read. I'mThere's nothing quite like a book of really great short stories. And, to be honest, horror short stories are really the only short stories I read. I'm not really a fan of the medium. However, the horror genre just seems to fit with short stories. For those of us who love the genre, the horror short story is like being deliciously frightened, over and over again.
Parent does not disappoint with this collection. Each story plays on an aspect of human nature and that person's demise, or downfall, at the hand of it.
Wrathbone - a story surrounding Abe Lincoln? I'm so there! In his introduction, Kealan Patrick Burke mentions the writing in Wrathbone having similarities to Poe. I couldn't agree more. The slow descent of Wrathbone into madness because of guilt and what can only be described as personal demons brought on by that guilt was truly masterful. I kept thinking of The Tell-Tale Heart as I was reading. Excellent.
The Only Good Lawyer - this story has greed and arrogance at its heart. A lawyer so motivated by the two that he's willing to do whatever it takes to win a case. He meets his match when voodoo comes into play. Chilling.
Dorian's Mirror - Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray is one of my favorites and this story is a unique play on that tale. At the heart of this one...pride and vanity. A model wishes that the mirror would age, but not him. He gets more than he asked for. Be careful about focusing too much on looks. A creepy, cautionary tale.
For the Birds - Okay, this one is more centered on a stupid human mistake, rather than a facet of human nature. Some birds aren't meant to eat meat. I'll leave it at that. Bloody disgusting, yet horrificly satisfying.
Revenge is a Dish - you guessed it. At the heart of this one...the desire for revenge is human nature, perhaps at its worst. Maurice is thrown overboard...in the ocean. My stomach dropped because I just knew the sharks were coming (shark phobia alert). Nope. It didn't go there, sort of. This one is a little tricky becasue technically the outcome is in Maurice's favor. But is it really? You'll see what I mean.
This is a perfect read for the Halloween season, or really any time of year for horror fans. I'm very impressed with Parent's writing. Very well put together and paced, the stories keep you on the edge of your seat and wanting to quickly proceed to the next story to see what's in store. Highly recommended....more
First, let me make a confession. I love horror movies with inbred people as the killers. Who can forget the power and tension of the first Wrong TurnFirst, let me make a confession. I love horror movies with inbred people as the killers. Who can forget the power and tension of the first Wrong Turn film (forget the sequels)? Texas Chainsaw Massacre...I believe there's an inbreeding story line in that one too. TCM is burned into any horror fans memory. Oh, and let's not forget Deliverance (not really horror, but horrific just the same). I'm sure there are more and I know I've pretty much seen them all. But let me get to my point...
What is more scary than a clan of inbreds who are also cannibals? Not much. There is something almost urban legend-esque about it. There's a reason why "Home" is one of my favorite X-Files episodes. It's just so damn disturbing. So, Rolfe comes along with Chasing Ghosts and his inbreds are some of the most disturbing I've ever encountered.
You know it's going to be a no-holds-barred, Game of Thrones style read when kids get killed early on. No punches are pulled and it makes for honest horror. Because what do a bunch of inbred dudes care about who they're killing? Not a damn thing.
Rolfe continues to impress me with each new book. Blood and Rain was a deliciously wild ride on the werewolf train and Things We Fear had me thinking along with the fear. You should not miss anything written by Rolfe. I promise. You will be thanking me later....more
Sometimes when I really, really like a book, I have a difficult time writing the review. I so want to do it, and the author, due justice.
Let me startSometimes when I really, really like a book, I have a difficult time writing the review. I so want to do it, and the author, due justice.
Let me start off by saying that Malfi's writing really evokes thoughts of Stephen King's writing. Now I know that some authors may hate being compared to famous authors, but let me just say that I mean it as the highest of compliments. There have been so many times that I've sat and read a King book and couldn't put it down. I felt exactly the same with The Night Parade. The story is just genius. Of course, I had to put it down...more than I wanted to. I couldn't wait to get back to it.
This "plague" that's setting itself up to bring about the end of humanity is not your run of the mill post-apocalyptic annihilator. Wanderer's Folly is something only a nightmare can dream up. If you get it, you're screwed. If you're immune, you're doubly screwed. That's all I'm going to say about that. There's another creepy aspect of Wanderer's Folly as well. The birds are dying/have died and the insects are getting bigger (without birds around to control their populations). I don't know about you, but I don't like insects, and I definitely do not want them growing larger.
There are moments in the book that had me so edge of my seat, I thought I was watching a Walking Dead episode. So intense. That feeling of not being able to trust anyone. Wanderer's Folly needs its own set of three questions to ask when you meet a stranger.
I really cannot recommend this book enough. Malfi has outdone himself with this one. It is clearly one of my top favorite reads of the year....more
As she did with The Reindeer Keeper and The Snowman Maker, Barbara has once again brought the true meaniThis review is from the 2015 Christmas season.
As she did with The Reindeer Keeper and The Snowman Maker, Barbara has once again brought the true meaning of Christmas in her newest novel, The Candle Giver, which completes her Christmas trilogy. In this book, we are brought full circle back to Abbey's farmhouse and all the characters from the prior books are brought together at Christmas.
The messages in this book are profound. Being able to believe, no matter your age. The ability to love again. The importance of endings, and new beginnings. The magic and whimsy of Christmas. It's all here.
This was the only book I read this season, as I had a lot going on personally (and why it took me so long to read it). I'm so glad it was this one. Barbara really knows Christmas and writes it so everyone can experience the joy of it. I highly recommend this and her the previous books in the trilogy to anyone who loves Christmas and loves a great story....more
Wow. What if Mr. Darcy was mistakenly thought the man who compromised Lydia Bennet, and was forced to enter into anPride and Prejudice, with a twist.
Wow. What if Mr. Darcy was mistakenly thought the man who compromised Lydia Bennet, and was forced to enter into an engagement with her to protect her honor? What if this led to a string of catastrophic events regarding all the P & P players and their engagements? Well, in this book, it happens.
Kincaid cleverly manipulates the original storyline of P & P and entertains with a funny, yet distressing story for those of us who love Jane Austen's stories. She takes some of the fringe characters, like Mr. Collins, Lydia, Charlotte Lucas, and delves more deeply into their moral character and mannerisms.
Lydia, ever irritating in the original, is so much more in this book with her tittering, her exclamations of "La!" and her incessant habit of getting the name of Pemberley wrong at every turn. In this version, one almost feels sorry for Wickham in the end.
I liked the fact that she made the characters of Mr. Collins and Charlotte come across as more passionate (toward each other). Mr. Collins was a little less irritating. Only a little.
Kincaid obviously knows her Jane Austen. She constructs a story here that ultimately stays true to the original, but throws in a nice twist to the plot that gives Austen fans a chance to enjoy Pride and Prejudice again, only in a more roundabout way. If you like retellings or variations of Jane Austen novels, then you will be a fan of this book....more
Fearless and powerful. That's the only way to describe this. An important volume of poetry, especially in light of what continues to happen hear in thFearless and powerful. That's the only way to describe this. An important volume of poetry, especially in light of what continues to happen hear in the U.S., and worldwide, in regards to the LGBTQ community. I commend Arisa White on her bravery and poignancy.
Of course, I am drawn to poems centering on family and injustice. My first favorite was "Auntie." The story of a family member whose "sexuality" is secreted away and always glossed over or embellished.
I listen for you in these moments of touch, declare through your friends what is not said.
I inventory looks, languishing on the sweet end of a woman's backside, her body, their eyes silk over air we just breathed, blink and their lids rest like water to shore, relishing as one does a kiss.
This orchestrated silence is viral; it heats all parts until my throats fevers. How do you manage this, auntie?
When your friends are around, your hands language near her to confirm she's close: on her forearm, the small of her back, you hold often, fingering notes to release perfect sound.
Together since the year of my birth, yet you are pantomime in the wings of our family's speech.
Why do you arch in shadows, accept the shade eclipsing her face?
The holidays would be more gay if we didn't ghost in dead air,
in wooden boxes, letters folded over and over again, in locked rooms
where shames are secretly arranged--
My second favorite "Gun(n)," which is dedicated to Sakia Gunn, a 15-year-old who was murdered for being gay in Newark, New Jersey in May 2003. I hear of such things occurring in our world and it breaks my heart. If Sakia would have had a gun, "I wold not know you" (line 2).
Gun(n) for Sakia Gunn
Sakia, if you had the weapon of your last name, I would not know you. This steady scrape against paper to transport fecund lament, never. If in your hands the pearl-handled gun
my stepfather kept in the broom closet-- I'd give you the aim I practiced at twelve. "Home is where the heart is"marks an average man's forehead and the trashcan is somewhere near his jewels.
If you brought me roses in high school, wrapped in newspaper to protect me from thorns, I would take them, and wash ink from my fingers in the jeans and jersey flood of your girlboy body. Let me be your girl.
4-evah 2 eternity onto my back. Your finger's ballpoint end, again and again practices the hear over i, and into the morning we stash whispers where over thread, thread crosses. I promise
I have impeccable aim. Pulling a trigger loosens mustangs in your veins. Piss into my mortar--an old war recipe makes bullets complete. Let your shower wash an asshole from the streets.
If you're shocked you life requires this exchange, come into my arms, Sakia. Come into my arms.
As described in the synopsis, the titles of these poems are from words used internationally as hate speech against gays and lesbians (there are notes at the end of the book explaining each definition). White's re-envisioning of the language to share "art, love, and understanding" is a touching tribute to a community that deserves so much love. Bravo!...more