Reviews, Vlogs

Reading Spooky Books

I was either super smart or super silly as I decided to spend a week reading a seasonal read every day. Seven spooky or at least, Halloween-esque books! Anything scary, spooky, creepy, or vaguely Halloween themed was eligible for this self imposed challenge.

I also went on a wee book haul that I couldn’t resist! In my defence, the majority of the books were holiday purchases but I can easily find an excuse for breaking my book buying ban. I was doing so well!

My vlog

Books included in this blog are:

Carmilla by Sheridan le Fanu

Cutthroat Cupcakes byCate Lawley

Interview With the Vampire by Anne Rice

A Pale Box on the Distant Shore by P.J. Nwosu *

Moon of the Crusted Snow by Waubgeshig Rice

The Final Girls Support Group by Grady Hendrix

How to Kill Men and Get Away With It by Katy Brent

*gifted

Vlogs

My Favourite Spooky Books

I am willing to admit that when it comes to the seasons, I am basic. So basic. I love autumn, I get excited about the leaves turning brown, and the abundance of cinnamon in treats.

I also love Halloween! Im a huge wuss though and as mush as I love watching spooky films, I have to look up the spoilers of any new scary films first. I also absolutely adore reading my favourite spooky books. I call them ‘spooky bookies’ because who can resist a rhyme? Especially in October when I sounds like part of a spell or something.

My favourite spooky books

These are my favourite spooky season books, the books that I look forward to rereading every October. Sometimes I don’t get to them all but I usually reread at least half of these annually. I adore a good gothic horror and for me, that means looking to my classic shelf,

I am always on the lookout for recommendations for gothic horrors. I’ve read a few excellent recently release gothic horrors and am hopeful that soon I can give a list of my favourites which will include some books from this century!

Blog

Christmas Rereading

‘Tis the season to do rereads
Fa la la la la
La la la la

I am a fan of rereading books that I have previously enjoyed but in December I really am all about the rereads. Are you a fan of rereading books that you’ve already adored?

I have some festive favourites that I like to read every December. In the most recent years, I have enjoyed 3 festive rereads- A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens and Hercule Poirot’s Christmas and Adventures of the Christmas Pudding both by Agatha Christie.

For me, it doesn’t feel like December until I’ve read at least one of these three beauties. My favourite way to enjoy these comforting rereads is to read the physical book while listening to them on audiobook. Like a book on tape!

A Christmas Carol is just the perfect read for Christmas! Part ghost story, part cautionary tale and ultimately heartwarming. I love Tiny Tim! I’m actually going to be reading the parallel text version of A Christmas Carol this year, I’m practicing my French reading skills (which are mediocre at best but I try). Also, this book is the reason why we have A Muppet Christmas Carol which pleases my soul.

It wouldn’t be a festive season without an Agatha Christie! I did toy with the idea of buying the Midwinter Murder short story collection but my mum had previously asked whether it was something I’d enjoy as a gift so I didn’t by it just in case. So I’m rereading the two most Christmassy Agatha Christie books; The Adventures of the Christmas Pudding and Hercule Poirot’s Christmas.

I always tell myself that I don’t enjoy short story collections but The Adventures of the Christmas Pudding is one of the exceptions to this rule (there’s an ever growing list of exceptions to this rule!). This is such a quick read and I find it perfect for December bedtime reading. There are only 5 stories and they’re all pretty short, yet most excellent.

Hercule Poirot’s Christmas is one of my favourite ever Agatha Christie books, it’s definitely in my top 5. This book is just so full of wintery vibes and really makes me feel festive, despite this book being about murder… there’s still some warm bits about family plus Poirot hating the cold is always amusing.

My December reading is all about the festive rereads but I also favour a heartwarming winter read. This year I have a lot of winter reads, so many that I wonder if I will get through them all. If I run out of time, I will just move them to my TBR pile for December 2022 and feel accomplished at planning so far ahead.

This year I found a new book that I’d like to add to future Yuletide rereading. This year I read Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik which I found to be a really lovely winter wonderland of a novel. I read it in August which was poor planning on my part but does mean that I really don’t fancy a reread of it so soon.

Do you have a favourite Christmas read?

Book Recommendation of the Month, Reviews, Uncategorized

Carmilla

This book was so amazing that it was chosen as my favourite book of October aka Caley’s Book Recommendation of the Month That Nobody Asked For

Isolated in a remote mansion in a Central European forest, Laura longs for companionship- until a carriage accident brings another young woman into her life: the secretive and sometimes erratic Carmella. As Carmilla’s actions become more puzzling and volatile, Laura develops bizarre symptoms, and as her health goes into decline, Laura and her father discover something monstrous.
Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu’s compelling tale of a young woman’s seduction by a female vampire was a source of influence for Bram Stoker’s Dracula, which it predates by over a quarter century.

This book is so super short at 139 pages but so much was included in these pages. I gave this book 5 stars and have added it to my list of books that I want to reread and it’s swooped (flapped it’s vampire wings?) onto my list of favourite classics.

In this book a mysterious stranger comes to stay at the mansion where Laura and her father live. Laura’s loneliness is so apparent throughout the start of the book. She is so dreadfully desperate for companionship. Despite the blurb telling me that Carmilla was a vampire didn’t stop me from rooting for their relationship, I wanted those two to just be happy but vampire novels rarely give the vampire a happy ending. They really should…maybe I shouldn’t have been rooting for the vampire

In this book the ‘big bad’ vampire is a young and beautiful aristocrat who seems so frail. I absolutely adored the vampire being so different to what I expected from a vampire. I do love vampire books so will happily read the classic wealthy vampire dude in a castle books (Dracula is still one of my favourite classics) I just loved the unexpected vampire appearance. It really helped to show how strong she was despite appearing so frail.

This book also had the most perfect description of an orgasm ever: My heart beat faster, my breathing rose and fell rapidly; then came a sobbing that rose into a sense of strangulation and turned into a dreadful convulsion, in which my senses left me and I became unconscious. Oh my! There were some beautifully romantic parts of this book and I really grew invested. The writing in this book was just exquisite and so beautiful. I could have read this book again straight after finishing it.

It’s so hard to believe that this book was first published in 1871 as it didn’t feel dated at all. Despite being so short in length, this book managed to make me feel such strong feelings for the characters, I even shed a little tear (only a little one).

I really enjoy vampire books and books with a strong female lead and this book gave me both. I highly recommend this book to everyone. EVERYONE! It’s glorious. Please read it and then we can talk about it

Reviews, Uncategorized

The Picture of Dorian Gray

Enthralled by his own exquisite portrait, Dorian Gray exchanges his soul for eternal youth and beauty. Influenced by his friend Lord Henry Wotton, he is drawn into a corrupt double life; indulging his desires in secret while remaining a gentleman in the eyes of polite society. Only his portrait bears the traces of his decadence. The novel was a succes de scandals and the book was later used as evidence against Wilde at the Old Bailey in 1895. It has lost none of its power to fascinate and disturb.

This was a reread for me as it felt perfect for an October read! It feels like an absolute ages since I last read it! I last read it pre-Goodreads or before I kept any log of books that I’d read so, it’s been at least 10 years but the impact was just as strong this time around. I gave this book 5 stars and gave it a promise not to wait so long before the next reread. This copy is the gorgeous clothbound classic cover that my partner bought me as a gift, I love a book with a ribbon book mark.

Dorian started the book as a young, rather innocent man but was quickly drawn into a life of corruption and swiftly began to disregard the feelings of others in favour of his own pleasure. It was really enjoyable reading about how quickly he was turned from the young man who just wanted to marry a penniless actress to the man who appeared young but had lost his way and given up on caring about anyone other than himself.

This book features one of my absolute favourite insults You’re a third-rate actress with a pretty face. Poor Sybil!

This book was a fascinating delve into corruption. As a reader it made me wonder if I’d be evil if the badness wouldn’t show on my face…probably not, I’d feel too bad. It was very thought provoking and this book really stuck with me

The book had a jump through time which really did wonders in showing just how far Dorian had sank into despair in such a short amount of time.

This book was more disturbing thank scary but absolutely perfect for a spooky seasonal read. It’s a firm favourite on my favourite classics list and I highly recommend it!