Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Book Review | Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire

Down Among the Sticks and Bones is the second book in the Wayward Children series by Seanan McGuire.

Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire

Twin sisters Jack and Jill were seventeen when they found their way home and were packed off to Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children.

This is the story of what happened first…

Jacqueline was her mother’s perfect daughter—polite and quiet, always dressed as a princess. If her mother was sometimes a little strict, it’s because crafting the perfect daughter takes discipline.

Jillian was her father’s perfect daughter—adventurous, thrill-seeking, and a bit of a tom-boy. He really would have preferred a son, but you work with what you've got.

They were five when they learned that grown-ups can’t be trusted.

They were twelve when they walked down the impossible staircase and discovered that the pretense of love can never be enough to prepare you a life filled with magic in a land filled with mad scientists and death and choices.

Yeesss. Down Among the Sticks and Bones was quite different from Every Heart a Doorway. There was no second book slump happening here.

In Every Heart a Doorway, we met several kids who had returned from various fantasy worlds. Down Among the Sticks and Bones was the story of Jacqueline and Jillian's (Jack and Jill's) time spent in the Moors. I loved it! The Moors was such a dark fantasy world.

I'm planning to head straight into book three (Beneath a Sugar Sky). I have a feeling each book will be a unique experience, and I'm looking forward to it!

⭐⭐⭐⭐★

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Sunday, January 27, 2019

Recent Updates and Currently Reading | January 27

I was a terrible blogger and reader last week. It was one of those weeks where I was so mentally exhausted, I just wanted to curl up and watch TV at the end of the day.

Currently Reading


Geek Love by Katherine Dunn Easy Spanish Reader: A Three-Part Text for Beginning Students by William T. Tardy Harry Potter y la cámara secreta (Harry Potter #2) by J.K. Rowling, Adolfo Muñoz García (Translator)

Geek Love by Katherine Dunn - This is such a unique read. I'm reading Geek Love with Bark, Cat, Emily, Toni, and Tracy. I love these ladies. If it wasn't for them, I'm not sure I would have read much of anything last week.

Easy Spanish Reader: A Three-Part Text for Beginning Students by William T. Tardy - This is the best Spanish reader I've come across so far. I read half of it last night, and I have easily understood everything so far. I highly recommend it if you are practicing your Spanish reading and want a confidence boost.

Harry Potter y la cámara secreta (Harry Potter #2) by J.K. Rowling, Adolfo Muñoz García (Translator) - I'm also reading and enjoying the Spanish edition of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

Recent Acquisitions


The Dark Game by Jonathan Janz The Haunting of Henderson Close by Catherine Cavendish Black Wings by Megan Hart
Second Lives by P.D. Cacek Will Haunt You by Brian Kirk The Widening Gyre by Michael R. Johnston

A huge thank you to Flame Tree Press for sending me The Dark Game by Jonathan Janz, The Haunting of Henderson Close by Catherine Cavendish, Black Wings by Megan Hart, Second Lives by P.D. Cacek, Will Haunt You by Brian Kirk, and The Widening Gyre by Michael R. Johnston. They have been so amazing to reviewers.

Current Distractions



I'm hoping to rewatch all of Game of Thrones before the final season starts.

I finished watching season 3 of Daredevil this week. I'm sad. They made some mistakes, but overall I really liked the series. I would have liked to have seen more. My biggest complaints about season 3 were the use of tropes I'm tired of seeing and trying too hard to be Jessica Jones.

I'm now watching season 2 of The Punisher. So far it's a pretty gory show.

So what about you? Let me know what you're reading (or watching) this week or leave me some links!


This post is being shared as part of Book Date's It's Monday! What Are You Reading? and Caffeinated Book Reviewer's The Sunday Post.

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Sunday, January 20, 2019

Recent Updates and Currently Reading | January 20

Did you get snow this weekend? It doesn't snow here, but we did get some of that crazy wind! This past week was way too busy with a noticeable lack of reading, but my son had a slumber party Friday night and I spent my late night hours doing some much needed couch reading.

Posted Last Week


I posted my ⭐⭐⭐⭐★ review of Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire.

Finished Reading



Down Among the Sticks and Bones (Wayward Children #2) by Seanan McGuire ⭐⭐⭐⭐★ - I'm really enjoying this series!

American Primitive by Mary Oliver ⭐⭐⭐⭐★ - I'm taking part in a poetry challenge on Instagram this year. This month's prompt is "Female Poet". Mary Oliver passed away this week. It was time for me to pull this from my shelf.

Currently Reading



Beneath the Sugar Sky (Wayward Children #3) by Seanan McGuire - Yep. I'm hooked.

The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet (Wayfarers #1) by Becky Chambers - I've heard such amazing things about this one. I having trouble getting into it, but I'm not giving up yet.

Recent Acquisitions




Many thanks to Flame Tree Press for sending ARCS of Savage Species and The Nightmare Girl by Jonathan Janz. I'm excited to read these reprints of early Janz novels that I missed the first time around!

Many thanks to Dark Moon Books for sending copies of Pop the Clutch: Thrilling Tales of Rockabilly, Monsters, and Hot Rod Horror edited by Eric J. Guignard and Exploring Dark Short Fiction #3: A Primer to Nisi Shawl edited by Eric J. Guignard. Pop the Clutch is a collection of horror stories based on the "cool side of the 50s". I'm obsessed with the Exploring Dark Short Fiction series. I can't wait to check out the stories by Nisi Shawl!

Thank you to Sonora Taylor for sending an ARC of her upcoming release Without Condition.

Vampires in the Lemon Grove by Karen Russell - Vampires in the Lemon Grove is a collection of short stories from the author who wrote Swamplandia!.

So what about you? Let me know what you're reading this week or leave me some links!


This post is being shared as part of Book Date's It's Monday! What Are You Reading? and Caffeinated Book Reviewer's The Sunday Post.

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Monday, January 14, 2019

Book Review | Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire

Every Heart a Doorway is the first book in the Wayward Children series by Seanan McGuire.



Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children
No Solicitations
No Visitors
No Quests

Children have always disappeared under the right conditions; slipping through the shadows under a bed or at the back of a wardrobe, tumbling down rabbit holes and into old wells, and emerging somewhere... else.

But magical lands have little need for used-up miracle children.

Nancy tumbled once, but now she’s back. The things she’s experienced... they change a person. The children under Miss West’s care understand all too well. And each of them is seeking a way back to their own fantasy world.

But Nancy’s arrival marks a change at the Home. There’s a darkness just around each corner, and when tragedy strikes, it’s up to Nancy and her new-found schoolmates to get to the heart of the matter.

No matter the cost.

My number one take away reading reviews of the Wayward Children series is that it gets pretty weird. I definitely see precursors to that in Every Heart a Doorway. This book had some strange moments.

Every Heart a Doorway was also pretty amazing. It's about what happens to kids who visit fantasy worlds (think Narnia or Alice) and then come back to our world. I absolutely loved the imaginative quality of Every Heart a Doorway.

I'm glad I decided to catch up on this series this year. I know it's going to get weird, but I'm here for it.

⭐⭐⭐⭐

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Sunday, January 13, 2019

Recent Updates and Currently Reading | January 13

I'm still trying to get back to a normal routine after being off of work through the holidays. My brain is still in holiday mode. We've had gorgeous weather this weekend, though. I've been able to do a lot of work outside with the kids and the dogs running around.

Posted Last Week


I posted my ⭐⭐⭐⭐ review of Ghost Story by Peter Straub.

Finished Reading



Carrie by Stephen King ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ - This was such a fun buddy read. I think this was the first one ever with this group where we all liked the book. We are an opinionated bunch! Even though this was my fourth time to read it, I'm going to attempt to write a review this week.

Currently Reading



The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden - I'm really excited to finally be reading this! I'm buddy reading it this week with Toni the Reader, and I have such high hopes.

Recent Acquisitions



A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines - This was a recommendation from Tracy. She made it sound so beautiful so I had to buy it.

A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy #1) by Deborah Harkness - I didn't order this because the series is about to start, but I am excited there will be a series waiting for me once I read it!

Geek Love by Katherine Dunn - This has been on my wishlist for a while since it's Bark's favorite book. I'm looking forward to reading it with the Ladies of Horror Fiction team this month. (Let me know if you want to join in.)

Current Distractions



First Man sucked. It was the worst NASA related movie I've ever seen. It was too early to rent it so I have major buyers remorse right now.

Deadpool 2 was entertaining. I'm not big into Marvel, but I do enjoy Deadpool.

So what about you? Let me know what you're reading (or watching) this week or leave me some links!


This post is being shared as part of Book Date's It's Monday! What Are You Reading? and Caffeinated Book Reviewer's The Sunday Post.

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Monday, January 7, 2019

Book Review | Ghost Story by Peter Straub

Ghost Story is a horror novel written by Peter Straub.



In a seedy motel in Florida, a young man holds captive a little girl in a soiled pink dress. He is anxious, tormented, introspective. She is calm, passive, strangely detached. She says her name is Angie Maule.

In the small upstate town of Milburn, New York, four old friends meet to honor the traditions of the Chowder Society. They drink good whiskey and trade ghost stories. As chilling as these tales are, and as strangely prophetic, they pale before the horrific nightmares that began a year ago when one of their members attended a party for a visiting actress--and there died of a heart attack. Or was it fright? Ask the actress. She says her name is Ann-Veronica Moore.

In California, a talented young novelist teaching creative writing at Berkeley finds himself hopelessly obsessed with one of his students. She is exquisitely lovely, infernally elusive. She says her name is Alma Mobley.

What is the connection between these places, these people, these agonizing events?

I'm so glad to have finally read Ghost Story. Haunted houses and ghost stories have always been my favorite so I've been a little shocked and embarrassed at how long I've put off reading Ghost Story. It turned out to not be at all what I was expecting.

I've often heard Ghost Story is a slow read, and in some ways this was true for me as well. Ghost Story is made up of several stories from several points of view. With each new story, the narrative slowed down for me as I tried to keep track of who was who and what was happening when. The writing style even seemed to change, but without fail, I got pulled back into the story and into the enjoyment of the book.

Ghost Story wasn't actually a "ghost story". It was a tale of friendship and good versus evil. Those elements combined with Straub's storytelling, though, made for a really great read.

⭐⭐⭐⭐☆

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Sunday, January 6, 2019

Recent Updates and Currently Reading | January 6

Happy New Year everyone! I hope your first book of the year was amazing. I DNFed my first book, and I'm choosing to take that as a good sign. Many of us can probably all stand to be better about putting down books that aren't working for us so I'm OK with starting the new year that way.

Posted Last Week


You can tell I was off of work last week since I was actually managing to post on the blog! My goal for this year is consistency.

Here are all of the January releases I am anxious to read: Upcoming January 2019 Book Releases in Fantasy, Horror, and Science Fiction

I wrote a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ review for The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson.

I also shared all of the books that went into my TBR jar for 2019. I didn't put this in my post, but be sure to let me know if you want to read any of my TBR books with me! I had a few people ask for buddy reads when I shared by list on twitter, and I'd love to add you in.

Finished Reading



Ghost Story by Peter Straub ⭐⭐⭐⭐ - This may have suffered a little since I tried to read it over the holidays. It was a really great read, though.

Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire ⭐⭐⭐⭐ - I really enjoyed this one as well!

Currently Reading



Exploring Dark Short Fiction #2: A Primer to Kaaron Warren edited by Eric J. Guignard - I'm enjoying the heck out of Kaaron Warren's writing.

Carrie by Stephen King - This buddy read starts tomorrow (Monday) if you want to join! I'm reading Carrie with Lilyn, Tracy, Suzy, and Catherine. (Sorry if I forgot anyone! I need to double check today who all is in for this one.)

Recent Acquisitions



The Shining Girls by Lauren Buekes - I've never read Lauren Buekes, and I'm hoping to change that this year. Hopefully, I can manage to read a lot of female horror writers during Women in Horror Month in February.

The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks - I'm hoping to read a lot more thrillers this year! *fingers crossed*

The Passenger by Lisa Lutz - The same for this one!

So what about you? Let me know what you're reading this week or leave me some links!


This post is being shared as part of Book Date's It's Monday! What Are You Reading? and Caffeinated Book Reviewer's The Sunday Post.

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Thursday, January 3, 2019

2019 TBR Jar

Last year I implemented a TBR for 2018. My hope was to read 10 books from the jar during the year. For various reasons I only managed to read 6 books from the jar during 2018. That being said, some of my favorites books of 2018 were pulled from the jar so I'm calling it a big success!

I'm definitely going to continue using the jar through 2019. Last year it was filled with 15 books that had been on my shelves for far too long. This year I'm filling the jar with 16 books (I couldn't narrow it down any further!) that I really want to read but I know I will continue to push them to the side if I don't put them into the jar.



My plan is to pick one a month to read during that month. (There are extras in the jar to allow for mood reading, but I'm only going to allow myself to put a book back once. If I draw it again, I have to read it.)



Beloved by Toni Morrison
The Crown Conspiracy (The Riyria Revelations #1) by Michael J. Sullivan
The Girl Next Door by Jack Ketchum
The Hobbit, or There and Back Again by J.R.R. Tolkien



The House Next Door by Anne Rivers Siddons
Kindred by Octavia E. Butler
Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer
The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle #1) by Patrick Rothfuss



The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
Paradise Sky by Joe R. Lansdale
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Shift (Silo #2) by Hugh Howey



A Simple Plan by Scott B. Smith
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
Wolves of the Calla (The Dark Tower #5) by Stephen King
Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

Have you read any of the books in my TBR jar? Do any of them stand out as a book I don't want to skip this year?

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