29 September 2011

Where Did the Old Instagram App Go?

A review today, but not bookish in the least. More of a rant.

What the heck happened?

Recently, Lisa at Buttery Books (book club fans, you must visit their site!), asked me what software I used for my recent photos, and I clarified that all shots over the past few weeks were actually shot on my iPhone 3, using my beloved Instagram app. Not only is it an app that helps your captured iPhone photos look even more amazing, it was another example of social media - I could link Instagram with my Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook accounts, and had the option each time I snapped a photo if I wanted to share it on any of my sites, all three at once, or just share it in the Instagram world only.

Then, a few days ago, Instagram "updated" their app. As a result of this "better" version, Instagram users lost three dramatic photo filters: Apollo (a fun 1960s-aged filter), Poprocket (a blast of red to punch up the shot), and Gotham (a darker black and white filter). To replace these, they added three (or four?) new filters that have the exact same look. After a few days playing around with it, I couldn't tell any difference between Amaro and Rise, etc... and the filters that did carry over like the Kelvin option? Washed out or grainy. So bizarre.

So I went ahead and submitted my review to iTunes. Here is my One Star review below, and I encourage you to wait for when the team hopefully rolls out a corrected version.

I woke up one day and found that the "update" was really a poorly diluted version of the previous app. Three significant filters (Apollo, Poprocket, and my favorite Gotham) are gone, and replaced with filters that all bizarrely look the same - which means they are all pretty much either grainy or washed out.

What a shame that the Instagram team implemented this version. I'm going to give them the benefit of the doubt and hope that they realize their mistake, issue a Netflix-like apology to all of their users, and revert back to the previous version.

Bottom line? Don't download 2.0 - wait until the "real" update happens and they release 3.0 that is complete with corrections, original filters, and all with the unique punch that made Instagram the fun app they built their reputation off of.


25 September 2011

The Sunday Salon...Change is Coming.

So. This would be my first Sunday Salon post. I'm motivated to do it this week because I've been thinking about some changes that I'd like to implement at me ole blog. First, in the next couple of months, a new blog design is coming. It will be simple and contemporary, and hopefully a little bit vintage-y, and I'm really looking forward to working with the new designer.

And second, my reading tastes are changing. Drastically.

As with all of you who blog, part of the reason why I started mine was to track the books I've read, but I also wanted to go through my own self-exploration to analyze the type of book I truly enjoyed reading. What do I gravitate towards? What makes my heart skip that happy bookish beat when I think about picking it up? I wanted to look back at my list and identify any trends in my reading patterns. (Of course, this has a lot to do with what my day job is. I spend a lot of time analyzing data, spotting trends, identifying problems, and implementing a solution. Yeah, you guessed it - yawn).

But here's what I found and I don't think it's any great surprise for me. I'm moving away from books that I would categorize as lovey-dovey (yes, I'm probably the only who describes it in this manner). I don't mean romance novels since I never read those anyway. When I say I'm moving away from the fluffy stuff, I mean books written by, for example, Nicholas Sparks. Well, not like I read his stuff either. But you get what I mean. (There was an uproar on the Internet last year regarding the terms "women's fiction" and "chick lit." Recently, I discussed the topic and if those terms were offensive on a Facebook post and it was interesting to read reactions).

I've looked back at 2010 and 2011 and found that I've read a few like that. Some I enjoyed at the time, some I didn't, but without question they just aren't ones that jump out at me today. In fact, when I think about reading a book that falls into that category, I cringe. It's not generating that immediate eager book-fan response anymore. Maybe my tastes will change again in the future, but I'm comfortable asserting today that I'm really in love with reading historical fiction, classics, magical realism, non-fiction, Persephone Books, dystopian, sci-fi, fantasy (thank you to Game of Thrones), young adult, and oh yes, even horror fiction...

A lot of this comes as a result of the RIP Challenge. I've found that I've had the best reading experiences over the past few weeks than I've had in quite some time. The kind of feeling that when I think about picking up one of of the books in the TBR pile for the challenge, I get all über-excited and ready to just read for hours at a time.

I've got a few reviews to finish up, but I think that might be it for that type of book. Moving forward, I don't want to read a book that doesn't fall in the above categories that I love. If I do, I will just end up watching more TV, surfing on the Internet, reading other blogs, staring into space...anything else than reading.

So I'm not torturing myself anymore.
QUESTION...What do you think? Well, first, is it offensive to use the terms "women's fiction" or "chick lit?" And, did you find your reading tastes evolved after tracking them?


24 September 2011

Saturday Snapshot...Quiet Birthday Rain...

For more of this week's Saturday Snapshots, please visit Alyce with At Home With Books.

Last weekend was quiet and rainy, and although my husband and I originally planned to go the Italian Festival to celebrate my birthday, we ended up heading to a cute café for coffee, then spent the rest of the quiet day with family. After that, it was home to finish reading creepy Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier and then starting the gruesome Vlad: The Last Confession by C.C. Humphreys. It was one of my favorite days...


22 September 2011

Paperback Cover
Interested in the Salem Witch Trials? Then you should definitely read Kathleen Kent's two books, The Heretic's Daughter and The Wolves of Andover. The Wolves of Andover has now been released in paperback, and has also been retitled to The Traitor's Wife. Do not be confused - they are the same book!

Click to read my review of The Heretic's Daughter and here for The Wolves of Andover. I'll put it simply: I love Kathleen Kent's writing.

The haunting story of the real life Thomas and Martha Carrier during one of the most horrific moments in America's history during the Salem Witch Trials, is expertly drawn and shared in her capable hands. I highly recommend this book and if you enjoy learning about the Salem Witch Trials, you won't be disappointed.

Click here to visit Kathleen Kent's website and view the book trailer.
Click here to visit Kathleen Kent's blog.
Click here to follow Kathleen Kent on Twitter.
Click here to follow Kathleen Kent's Facebook page.


21 September 2011

Vlad: The Last Confession, by C.C. Humphreys

No question about it, I have a fascination with Dracula. Not just Bram Stoker's book, but the myth, the legend, and of course, Vlad Dracul-a or Vlad Tepes. The Impaler.

It was the subject of my first group read that I hosted at On the Ledge Readalongs last year and it continues to be something that hypnotizes me for its darkness, and frightens me just the same.

The History I Should Know More About:
(Dracul is the name of the father, and the -a at the end signifies "son of." Hence, Dracul-a, or Dracula).

Vlad and his younger brother Radu were members of the Order of the Dragon with their father, fighting enemies of Christianity, specifically the Turks, the powerhouse empire of the day. In order to cease the warring, the Sultan holds Young Vlad and Radu as hostages for approximately five years.

Young Vlad was extremely intelligent and excelled in history, languages, and war. Having to leave his brother behind who ultimately converts to Islam, Vlad returns to his home country of Wallachia and continues his father's quest to fight for Christianity. He becomes the leader of his country three different times, all the while warding off traitorous members of his own royal court. While history tends to focus more on the macabre when it comes Vlad, even little is known about Vlad actually providing one of the safest times in his country's history by assuring that anyone could travel on the open road without fear. Vlad punished thieves, rapists, and murderers equally with harsh death and the message was abundantly clear - to be a criminal under Vlad's rule meant death. As a leader, it meant safety for his people, and as a warlord, it meant a horrific end to an enemy's life. Vlad ultimately became known as Vlad Tepes for the barbarous execution of thousands of enemies and traitors by impalement. (Suffice it to say that I will not explain the process here as it turns my stomach, but the book is very, very clear on how it is performed). *shudder*

In Vlad: The Last Confession, C.C. Humphreys has invested a lot of time and research into crafting a version of the infamous voivode (ruler) of a tiny country in Eastern Europe. Although Bram Stoker immortalized the name, the actual man behind the legend is told in this version. It is centered on three crucial figures from Vlad's life: his lover, the beautiful Ilona; an unnamed man of religious counsel; and his both faithful and disloyal friend, Ion.

Told in flashback during a somewhat public confession before a Cardinal of Rome, a few monks, and a member of the Order of the Dragon, Vlad's acts in life are recounted, shared and debated in a cold castle five years after Vlad's death on the battlefield. Questions are posed - impalement is horrible, but during this time, for this supposed cause, was it necessary? Did it not strike fear into his enemies, into the traitors within his own court? The arguments abound as the confessions continue, which is to be sent for review by the Pope. The remaining Order of the Dragon hopes that the Church will forgive what Vlad did on behalf of God. Brutal, medieval, vicious - yes. Do the actions solely define the man that was also a friend, father, teacher, and lover? An impossible question to answer with 21st century eyes. Thank goodness we don't live in that time, so who knows how we would have wanted the leader of a country to be.

Let's be clear - this book is not for the faint of heart. Medieval torture is explicitly described, and the infamous moniker of "The Impaler" is so vividly drawn that when I first came to that section, I lost all my appetite for the dinner I had just started eating. Needless to say for me, I pulled the book closer and forgot all about my plate. After all, this time period seems like there was always war - one country fighting for another spot of land, or to crusade for one's religion, to defend one's honor. Death seemed to be everywhere, and never in a "pleasant" form. C.C. Humphreys is successful in richly describing a period in time that was fraught with despair and peril, while simultaneously revealing the man behind the legend and myth - a man who was conflicted, tormented by his own past, distrustful of others, hardened by his own horrific experiences with torture and suffering, and struggling with winning a war while watching deserters flee the ranks. It will never excuse the cruel actions, but perhaps it's a reminder to always look at history with more of a discerning eye and questioning nature. After all, somewhere in the middle of it all, might be the truth.

And for all its ghastly descriptions, nightmare-inducing, stomach-churning scenes - I was hooked and read this book fast. Excellently written and engaging, within two days I had experienced the trauma of this time and closed the book - expelling a breath in relief that it was over, but recognizing that it was in fact, an incredible read. My first reading of C.C. Humphreys and won't be my last. I'm also off to track down some of the sources he referenced as well...

About the Author
Chris (C.C.) Humphreys was born in Toronto and grew up in the UK. Following his family's established footprint in acting, he has acted all over the world, appearing on stage as Hamlet, on NBC as Caleb the Gladiator in "AD - Anno Domini," and Jack Absolute in Sheridan's "The Rivals." He has written seven historical novels including The French Execution and a trilogy for Young Adults called The Runestone Saga.

Not only is he an actor and writer, but he's also a fight choreographer. Pretty cool, huh?

Click here to visit the author on his website.

This is my fourth selection for the RIP Challenge VI hosted by Carl at Stainless Steel Droppings. While I've completed the level of Peril the First, I'm certainly not finished in reading this type of story. It's just now getting cooler in Virginia Beach, Halloween is right around the corner, and I've always loved the creepy, the spooky, and the horror in my books and movies. I think I'm just getting started. You can read more RIP reviews from other participants by clicking here.


20 September 2011

Rebecca, by Daphne du Maurier

I always put off reading this story because I thought it was a romance. Granted, I based this solely off the book cover, so imagine my delight as I got older and heard that it was instead, decidedly Gothic and creepy.

The entire story is told through a flashback of events that occurred when the unnamed narrator is a hired companion for Mrs. Van Hopper, a gossipy brute of a woman. While traveling through Monte Carlo, they meet Maxim de Winter, whose story is one that Mrs. Van Hopper willingly offers up. Maxim's recent loss of his first wife Rebecca is a sad fate, and as the young narrator spends more time with him, they decide within only a few weeks that they will get married and move to his estate, entitled Manderley.

But upon arriving to Maxim's estate, it becomes quite a different experience than she anticipated. The mansion is huge, with a full staff to keep up the house and grounds, and the ever-present ghost of the beautiful, social, and popular Rebecca is behind everything that is desirable about Manderley, and even the parties she's hosted are still talked about. But not only is she a part of Manderley's past, she is very much a part of a creepy and sinister presence about the house. Rebecca is everywhere that the new bride finds herself in - from the beautiful landscape of the grounds, the cove where Rebecca lost her life, the little cottage down by the sea that she used to rest in after she would go sailing. Rebecca is everywhere, and the new Mrs. De Winter, meek, quiet, and shy, cannot keep up. Even the housekeeper, Mrs. Danvers is cold and intimidating, harboring secrets that make the new bride fearful. She knows she is being compared by the housekeeper, the visitors to the house on their social calls, and she can't quite help feeling like even Maxim is doing the same, ultimately wondering if he is contemplating if he made the right choice to marry her.

I loved this story. I've read Du Maurier's short stories last year and enjoyed them, but this struck me much more than anything else and was much, much creepier. It is beautiful and dark and perfect for autumn. I absolutely recommend this story, and offer you up the introduction...
Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again. It seemed to me I stood by the iron gate leading to the drive, and for a while, I could not enter, for the way was barred to me. There was a padlock and a chain upon the gate. I called in my dream to the lodge-keeper, and had no answer, and peering closer through the rusted spokes of the gate I saw that the lodge was uninhabited.
No smoke came from the chimney, and the little lattice windows gaped forlorn. Then, like all dreamers, I was possessed of a sudden with supernatural powers and passed like a spirit through the barrier before me. The drive wound away in front of me, twisting and turning as it had always done, but as I advanced I was aware that a change had come upon it; it was narrow and unkept, not the drive that we had known. At first I was puzzled and did not understand, and it was only when I bent my head to avoid the low swinging branch of a tree that I realised what had happened.
This is my third selection for the RIP VI Challenge hosted by Carl at Stainless Steel Droppings. I plan to watch the film adaptation soon for the challenge as well. You can read more RIP reviews from other participants by clicking here.

Did you know? Apparently, the author of The Woman in Black by Susan Hill (the film is soon to be released with Daniel Radcliffe in the lead!) wrote the sequel to Rebecca, entitled Mrs. De Winter. It was published in 1994, and reviews across Amazon and Barnes and Noble are varied. Have you read it?

About the Author
Daphne du Maurier was a British author and playwright, and was born in 1907 and passed in 1989. Her stories have been adapted for films, including The Birds and Don't Look Now, both done by Alfred Hitchcock.

For a full bio of this incredible author, please click here. There are absolutely beautiful pictures of the author on that site, and it's clear that there will always be an established following of Daphne du Maurier.


17 September 2011

Saturday Snapshot...What I'll Miss About Florida...

For more of this week's Saturday Snapshots, please visit Alyce with At Home With Books.

The move from Florida to Virginia Beach is done. I'm happy to be back in an area I love, but there is so much about Florida I'll miss, especially since this is where my husband and I got married. In North Florida, the Neptune and Atlantic Beaches areas are barely known about, even though it's just outside of Jacksonville. When tourists visit Florida, they never go North; it's South Beach in Miami, the Gulf Coast, or the Keys. North Florida's First Coast on the Eastern side consequently has some of the best, uncrowded beaches around. And sand so firm you can ride your bike on the shoreline!

Jacksonville also has significant film history since it was the original Hollywood. New York producers looked for a spot to have their winter headquarters and they settled on Jacksonville for its easy railway access and warmer weather. Then, someone realized California had better weather...

Quick Creative Facts about Jacksonville
  • Jacksonville's 1st silent film studio was opened in 1908
  • The first picture made in Technicolor and the first feature length color movie ever produced in the United States was filmed on location in Jacksonville in 1917, entitled The Gulf Between
  • Jacksonville was a crucial part of African-American film history. Richard Norman produced films starring African-American actors showcasing positive images, versus the derogatory roles offered at the time and in contrast to the negative images The Birth of a Nation stereotyped.
  • G.I. Jane, starring Demi Moore (all the training scenes especially), Basic, starring John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson, and Forces of Nature, starring Sandra Bullock and Ben Affleck were filmed in Jacksonville.
  • Pete's Bar, established in 1933 in Neptune Beach (pictured below), was mentioned in John Grisham's book The Brethren.
So here's what I'll miss...

Neptune Beach
Neptune Beach
Pete's Bar, which was featured in a John Grisham novel
Indie bookstore, The BookMark
For more facts on Jacksonville, please click here.
To visit indie bookstore, The BookMark, please click here.


11 September 2011


...when it seemed every house in America and around the world had an American flag proudly displayed. We realized all of us, no matter where we lived, were so much stronger together.

Never Forget. Honor all who left us much, much, too early.

Everything remains exactly as it was. I am I, and you are you, and the old life that we lived so fondly together is untouched, unchanged. Whatever we were to each other, that we are still. Call me by the old familiar name. Speak of me in the easy way which you always used. Put no difference into your tone. Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow. Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes that we enjoyed together. Play, smile, think of me, pray for me. Let my name be ever the household word that it always was. Let it be spoken without an effort, without the ghost of a shadow upon it. Life means all that it ever meant. It is the same as it ever was. There is absolute and unbroken continuity. I am but waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just round the corner. All is well. Nothing is hurt; nothing is lost. One brief moment and all will be as it was before. ~ Henry Scott Holland


08 September 2011

Martin Misunderstood, by Karin Slaughter (Audio Review)

Oh, Martin.

Martin is so sorely misunderstood, the poor guy. For cryin' out loud, he's been picked on by everyone since he was a kid, and even his mother (yep, still lives with her), is a manipulative mess who never misses out on a low blow insult.

And for whatever reason, Martin as an adult, has never moved from his hometown. In fact, he works as an accountant at Southern Toilet Supply, and every co-worker is either a former classmate, or someone who just picked up the bullying because Martin is just a simpletons' idea of a perfect target. Insults normally directed to women are even keyed onto his car. There is no end to it.

So when Martin, a fan of crime fiction novels, becomes a suspect in a murder, the out-of-control spiraling of his life takes an even darker turn. Ann, the delightfully ordinary detective with her own secrets becomes the lead on his case, and it becomes even more demented and confusing. And I mean that in an extremely good way. The compelling twists that come about for Martin are preposterously simple, but satisfying, and the characters surrounding him are unintentionally, but stupidly evil. I enjoyed every second of it and the final reveal was a bit of a shock, I must admit.

At only two and a half hours, this audiobook is simultaneously hilarious and also terribly gloomy. The characters were perfectly constructed and the plot was a tightly woven maze of one bad coincidence and mistake after another. I can't imagine anyone listening to this in an afternoon and not enjoying it. It really was, in an odd way, the perfect way to spend a day. There are some sex scenes in which I would advise that you turn the volume down if you have the windows open...it is an absolute riot.

I picked this audio copy up from BEA in New York City this year when I attended the APA Audiobook and Author Tea event. Karin Slaughter, Brad Meltzer, and Tony Horwitz were the featured speakers. I've never read a Karin Slaughter book before (I know, where have I been?), but she piqued my interest when she informed the audience that when she first started writing her crime fiction novels, the general response from the reading public regarding a female detective using the F-word was extremely negative. As she stated, "People didn't seem to have a problem with the rape and murder of women, but to have a female cop drop the F-bomb? That got a response." Can you believe it? I'm certainly going to read her other books. I'm a happy camper for picking up Martin Misunderstood - the writing was unique, unexpected, and absolutely demented with its humor. I mean, I can't believe I laughed at some of the things that happened.

About the Author
Karin Slaughter is the #1 internationally bestselling author of several novels, including the Grant County series. A long-time resident of Atlanta, she splits her time between the kitchen and the living room.

Click here to visit the author on her website.
Click here to follow the author on her Facebook site.

About the Narrator
The audiobook narrator was (yes!!) Wayne Knight. You may know him from a little show called...Seinfeld. That's right, he was Newman, Jerry's nemesis. It was the first time listening to him and was also the first time I enjoyed listening to an audiobook with a male voice.

This is my second choice for the RIP Challenge. Again, I am surprised that I would have an audiobook as my next endeavor, but this one is fantastic.

You can read more RIP reviews by clicking here.


06 September 2011

Still Missing, by Chevy Stevens (Audio Review)

At first blush, Chevy Stevens' debut novel Still Missing (Winner of the 2011 Thriller Award for Best First Novel issued by the International Thriller Writers)  wouldn't be something I would consider for the R.I.P. Challenge VI, as it is neither Gothic or supernatural, although there is a mystery. I am reading Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier, which I love and would definitely count for the Challenge, so I thought this audiobook was more to while away the ten-plus hour road trip from Florida to Virginia last week. I wanted to try something a bit different, something suspenseful with an even better mystery to sort out.

When Still Missing was first released, it garnered rave reviews in the blogosphere and the general view was unanimous that the reader should dive into the book not really knowing too much of the plot. Wise advice, so here's a snapshot: Annie is a young realtor holding an open house on a beautiful day by the water in a quiet residential neighborhood in Vancouver. By the end of the day, tired and packing up, waiting for her boyfriend to meet her for dinner, the last walk-in arrives. Debating if she should turn him away, she instead decides to go ahead and show him the house. He seems harmless enough.

It was not what I was expecting. Since I plan to read more than four books for Peril the First, I am going to list this as my first book for the R.I.P. Challenge because there is a mystery and it is extremely scary.

What follows after Annie shows the house to the last minute walk-in is terrifying. Told through Annie's first-person perspective to her therapist after the crime has been committed, it is disturbing and horrifying, witnessing Annie's terror from the abduction and other offenses that are committed. And while the reader (listener) is reeling from the events of the story, it is only then that you learn that there is much, much more to keep you up at night. While surrounded by a small circle of friends, Annie continues to be tormented by the realization that the horror may not be over yet and that those around her could very well be more than they seem.

Chevy Stevens has certainly left her mark - while the subject matter in Still Missing was difficult and horrifying, it was a story that we couldn't stop listening to and it brought out a range of emotions for us. But I will not sugar coat this. This is an extremely tough story due to both the crime itself and the subsequent aftermath and mystery, and through an audiobook it is even more disturbing. However, since the story is told in first-person, the audio version seemed to suit the story best in that format, almost simulating the listener as Annie's therapist and engaging you into the story even more. Be warned - while an incredible and memorable story and one I recommend, the subject matter is graphic and violent. If you do listen to the audiobook, please let me know your thoughts.

About the Author (from her website)
Chevy Stevens grew up on a ranch on Vancouver Island and still calls the island home. For most of her adult life she worked in sales, first as a rep for a giftware company and then as a Realtor. At open houses, waiting between potential buyers, she spent hours scaring herself with thoughts of horrible things that could happen to her. Her most terrifying scenario, which began with being abducted, was the inspiration for Still Missing. After six months, Chevy sold her house and left real estate so she could finish the book.

She is also the author of the recently released Never Knowing.

Click here to visit the author on her website.
Click here to become a fan of the author on Facebook.
Click here to follow the author on Twitter.

About the Narrator
The narrator for this production, Angela Dawe, superbly carried off Annie's character. As with what you might expect or imagine, for those who have survived such a crime, the character Annie went through a range of emotions, from cold and clinical, to sarcastic, to devastated - and Angela Dawe represented each without fault. A tough role to voice, I'm sure, but she captured the character so effectively, I was speechless when the audio concluded. I look forward to more from this narrator. Click here to download Still Missing via iTunes.

From her bio: Angela Dawe is originaly from Lansing, Michigan and calls Chicago her home. You can also hear her voice for the following audiobooks: The Sheen on the Silk by Anne Perry, Wild Roses by Deb Caletti, and Savor the Moment by Nora Roberts.

R.I.P. Challenge VI
When downloading this before our road trip, I didn't think of this as something for Carl's R.I.P. Challenge VI. I hope it's okay to do so, since as we listened for the 10 straight hours without many stops, I couldn't imagine a story more representative of some of the categories for this challenge. While it is not Gothic or supernatural in any way, it is suspenseful, it is a mystery, and it is so very, very scary.

Click here to see a list of all of the reviews posted for this challenge thus far.

I've committed to Peril the First, which means that I should read four books by October 31st. This will be the first book for the challenge, but I am planning to read more than this level's requirement!


03 September 2011

Saturday Snapshot...Moving and Traveling

As many of you know, I've been in the hectic process of moving from North Florida to Virginia Beach. I lived here eight years ago and always loved it. When my husband was offered a great opportunity, we decided to snag it since I work from home and I can move my base operations anywhere. We had several delays in moving due to that lil hussy Irene, but we finally arrived this week and are in the slow process of unpacking in our new home and getting settled in. Although I'd love to continue walking down memory lane of my honeymoon in Italy two years ago, it's probably best that I share current pictures...

For more of this week's Saturday Snapshots, or if you'd like to participate, please visit Alyce with At Home With Books.

On the road...

Popular tourist site in South Carolina "South of the Border"

My husband's 1969 Chevelle...we love, love this car.


02 September 2011

R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril VI

Although I'm horrible with maintaining my commitments to challenges, this is one I've been eagerly anticipating since it will be my first year joining. For the sixth year in a row, founder and host of the RIP Challenge, Carl at Stainless Steel Droppings' annual challenge runs from September 1, 2011 through October 31, 2011. It celebrates all books and films that are creepy, mysterious, Gothic, and ghoulish...

Anyone can join, so if you enjoy reading everything from Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier to a contemporary crime and mystery novelist, why not jump in?

Peril the First is the level I think I'll join. I'll be reading four books of any length that fits into R.I.P. literature. As Carl writes, "It could be Stephen King or Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Ian Fleming, or Edgar Allan Poe...or anyone in between."

Here are my options. What do you think? Is there one on here that you've read and you know I have to read it? Let me know!

  • Rebecca, by Daphne du Maurier
  • The Ghost Stories of Edith Wharton, by Edith Wharton
  • The Keeper of Lost Causes, by Jussi Adler-Olsen
  • The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher, by Kate Summerscale
  • The Devouring, by Simon Holt (YA)
  • The Meaning of Night, by Michael Cox
  • A Discovery of Witches, by Deborah E. Harkness
  • Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, by Ransom Riggs
  • The Historian, by Elizabeth Kostova (I've read this twice. Once, when it first came out in 2005, and then last year for my On the Ledge Readalongs site. This year, I'm considering the audiobook because I've heard such accolades on the production).
  • Her Fearful Symmetry, by Audrey Niffenegger
  • In the Woods, by Tana French
  • The Woman in Black, by Susan Hill. (Daniel Radcliffe will soon be starring in the film version).
  • The Gallows Curse, by Andrew Hammond (YA)

Carl is also hosting a few readalongs as well, and I'm definitely going to dive into The Lantern, by Deborah Lawrenson. I've read a few reviews already that have me chomping at the bit to read it.

Side Note: I made it to Virginia Beach! The husband, the dog, the cat and me finally made it to our new home, received our furniture and we are slowly unpacking.

Dinner in Virginia Beach