Mini Review: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

This is the first of my Halloween/October reads! Stay tuned for more. ๐Ÿ˜€

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The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is such an iconic piece of literature, I was really surprised to recall that I hadn’t read the actual story (Cliffnotes…ahem)! It’s talked about so much, and everyone knows about the Headless Horseman. Since it’s almost Halloween, it seemed like the perfect time to go through some classics that have escaped me.

Obviously, this is an older work, and as such the style is very different from what modern readers now expect. I was prepared for that (and for the derogatory terms used). However, I was still expecting a creepy, hair-raising tale…and honestly, was a bit disappointed. The lead up was great! Ichabod is SO ripe to be scared out of his wits, whether by normal or supernatural means…but nothing really happens.

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It seems that nothing too horrible went on, that maybe it was after all just a joke. The best part of course is the slight feeling of “what if…” we are left with, and the locale that Irving has built up. His descriptions of the place, the stories of hauntings, and the general feelings of creepinessย for the placeย that he gives us are worth far more than the actual main incident (which is astonishingly short, even given the short story form). Yawn.

3/5 stars. It was okay, but I was expecting better. Was this really THAT creepy when it was first published? I wonder.

Halloween Read-A-Thon

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I’m so excited to have found a group of people to do this with! As I wrote in my beginning of the month post, I was already planning to spend most of the month with Halloween-type books. This just makes it so much more fun! Many thanks to Lauren at Wonderless Reviews for putting it all together and making the gorgeous graphics available. Pretty much the rest of my month is going to be filled with spookiness and indulging my sense of the paranormal. ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€ I can’t wait to see what everyone else is reading.

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My pick: Stalking Jack the Ripper.ย This cover gives me a slight chill every time I look at it (there’s not actually blood pictured…but I keep thinking I see blood on the knife…), though from what I hear it’s not all THAT creepy of a book! I intend to find out.

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My pick: Dracula. I’m listening to this version from Audible, with different narrators for each person. So, sort of dramatized, but not exactly. I’m thoroughly enjoying it so far, but I keep getting annoyed at the way the women just accept being second-class citizens.

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My pick: Something Wicked This Way Comes. I don’t know a whole lot about this book, to be honest, but it sounds creepy AF. Lory at Emerald City Book Review posted about it a little while back and I put it on my list!

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My pick: The Werewolf of Paris. I’m trying to read some of the original supernatural stories this year, stories that started or shaped our modern day ideas of vampires, werewolves, etc. Obviously the legends of these types of creatures have been around much longer than even these books, but I thought this and Dracula were both good starts.

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My pick: Treat – Throne of Glass. I still have so many other books to read I have to mix it up a little or I will NEVER get through my pile of library books!

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My pick: The Architect of Song. While not specifically relating to Halloween, it does have a good deal to do with ghosts and again, sounds creepy AF. I am SO EXCITED to read this one!!

Fingers crossed I will get to all of these! Are you reading anything special for Halloween or autumn in general?

Looking Forwards and Back #3 – September/October

Um, no? September flew by WAY too fast. It is not possible for it to be October yet. Not that I really mind…I love October, I love the change of the seasons and the year. But…yeah. I feel like I lost a good bit of the month. Which, I sort of did. Some personal issues/stresses/sadness kept cropping up and basically my only coping strategy is to sleep, if books or knitting doesn’t fix it. Possibly not the BEST strategy, but…eh. I’m still here. So far. ๐Ÿ˜›

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I’m skipping my Something Else Sunday post in favor of this one, since I would like to NOT be an entire week behind on my recap post this month. As you can see, I only read six books this month. Last weekend I literally didn’t even touch a book. It was very sad indeed. But I got past it. ๐Ÿ˜‰ And here are the reviews for this month! I did horribly, averaged one a week…but one is better than none!

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The Reader – by Traci Chee. Wonderful book. Amazing. I ordered a signed copy, and am agreeing awaiting the sequel. ๐Ÿ˜€
Equal Rites – by Terry Pratchett. Awesome as expected.
Royal Blood – by Rhys Bowen. Middle of the road for this series, but not horrible.
The Cruelty – by Scott Bergstrom. Pretty solidly meh on this one.

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Anywho, I love Halloween and all the legends and stuffs that surround it. I’m using it as an excuse to go crazy on the paranormal/atmospheric/creepy type reads this month. As a result, a couple of books were shoved off of my immediate t0-read list. Which kind of makes me feel sad or like a failure, but, you know what…read what you love and what makes you happy at that time. I’ll have a full post on the titles I collected for October reads later this week…I’ll be lucky to get to more than 3 of them! But I love having choices. Haha. I’m focusing purely on my (very long overdue) library books, and my October/Halloween reads this month. I’ve added a few ARCs at the end of my list but don’t really expect to get to any of them. They’re just there to remind me, haha.

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These are the books currently keeping me from checking out any others at the library. Because, erm, they might have been renewed the maximum number of times and are now 2 weeks past the last due date. Oops.

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Somehow I still haven’t made it to Throne of Glass! Gah.

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Aaaaand all the creepy books! Haha. Or the ones I expect to be creepy. I’ve already started the audiobook of Dracula – which, by the way, is freaking amazing…the numerous narrators just MAKES the book, to me. I sort of doubt that I will get to Frankenstein, since it’s the least interesting of this particular lot, to me…but I would love to! So many creepy classics I’ve missed through the years.

What’s your favorite Halloween or creepy book for this time of year?

Haunted Hearts: Lit-Cube September Box

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I’m so excited to share this box with you guys! I’ve never had a Lit-Cube before but when I saw that A.G. Howard’s new book, The Architect of Song, was going to be the feature for September I jumped on it. So many good reviews and it sounds so creepily gothic. Perfect for the month before Hallowtober. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I haven’t actually read ANY of her books before so I’m even more excited! Also, she helped curate this box – how cool is that?!?

However, I must say I am absolutely DEVASTATED that I couldn’t order the Lit-Cube Halloween box (it wouldn’t have been here in time – *sob*). Because after seeing this one…I have no doubt at all it would have been fan-freaking-tastic.

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Look at all these goodies!!! So much gorgeousness. The little round soap you see right in the middle had the most amazing cinnamon-y smell, as soon as I opened the box I was looking for WHAT was giving off that delicious autumnal smell. Good things do indeed come in small packages, because it looks so unassuming! Anyway, the Lit-Cube (a one month subscription is $34.95 shipped to the U.S.) contained:

a Readable: A.G. Howard’s The Architect of Song (*squee*)

a Wearable: a gorgeous glass necklace with pressed flowers! :hearteyes:

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This necklace is so lovely. It’s surprisingly heavy and the flowers are beautifully delicate. I’m a little concerned that my clumsy self will snap the delicate chain, but it wouldn’t be hard to replace.

an Edible: hot chocolate!

Goodies: an amazingly gorgeous leather journal with a quote picked by A.G. Howard herself on the front, a dip pen and ink, and yummy soap (yes…I just used “yummy” to describe soap, I know)! Check out this journal…I am absolutely stunned that this was in the box along with a book!

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“Keep a green tree in your heart, and perhaps a singing bird will come.” I adore trees. This is so perfect.

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Looks like lovely paper inside, too!

The ink isn’t marked, so I have no idea what brand it is (it might have been on the card included with the box, but I accidentally threw it away with the packaging after I took the picture). The pen looks very fun, but as a fountain pen aficionado, I think it’s more for decoration than use! Yes, it’s meant for dipping only, but it feels very flimsy overall so I think I will just display it rather than try to use it.

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Tristan trying to get in on the book box action as I was trying to take pretty pictures – LOL

Overall I am THRILLED with this box! October’s theme is “Tale as Old As Time,” and while I had intended to just try one month…um…yeah. That’s happening. Hehe.

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This box was bought with my own funds and this review was not solicited in any way. ๐Ÿ™‚

The Wheel Turns

I love this time of year. This time and spring makes me feel the most connected with history, both my own personal history and the history of the world. I like the old traditions of Halloween, or Samhain as my Irish and Scottish ancestors probably would have called it. All the modern day gore and zombies aren’t what I love about the season. It’s the idea of the thinning of the veil, of our loved ones perhaps being able to see us or maaaaaybe even communicate with us that pulls me. My dear grandfather passed near this time, on October 6, 12 years ago, so perhaps that has something to do with it. Every October, I miss him and wish I could talk to him, even once more.

Samhain also seems to be my time to finish things. Around this time I feel a huge push to get things done, largely because I want to start new ones. But I really think there’s a desire for closure that pushes me too. Anyway, here is my large finish for this year’s Halloween season.

Halloween Sampler 2015

I’ll get some better pictures once it’s framed, but I’m so damn proud of it. It won’t hang on the wall this year, but definitely next. My husband even likes it and kept asking me if it was going to be done on time. I’d pick up another project and he would ask if it was finished. All kinds of motivation there!

Hope you all have a very happy, blessed Samhain.

Thinning of the Veil

I’m starting to wonder if there really is something to the claim that this time of year, the veil between the physical and spirit worlds is thinner. If it is, for me it’s manifesting in uneasy sleep, general feelings of unrest, and a desire to be home, in my home, as much as possible. I don’t think all the current stress at work is helping, but usually I am better able to deal with it than I seem to be right now. Usually I can override or ignore the negativity coming from others, but right now it just seems to beat me down and make me want to turtle up and not come out. While I like autumn’s beautiful colors, it does tend to make me somewhat sad as everything dies back or goes into hibernation for the winter. There’s a reason spring is my season.

Like today. I’m just dreading going to work, even though I typically like my job and today isn’t even supposed to be a very long day. I can’t tell if it’s my intuition telling me I’m going to have a bad day or just a general tired-and-needing-rest feeling.