Monday, 6 October 2014

more books read


 RIP Books:
'The Hallowe'en Tree by Ray Bradbury - what a delight this book is.  I had never heard of it until Chris at Stuff Dreams are Made Of made a reference to it sometime in the past year or so.  At some point after I picked up a copy, and finally read it last weekend.  This is a true Hallowe'en story book.  A visit to the imagination of Bradbury, the history of Hallowe'en from the beginning of time, and a life and death quest, all told in the gentle voice of Bradbury.  As it's written for children, it balances scary parts with fun adventures through time and space.   Plus, illustrations and for me, a book cover I love.  This is a fine story to read to get into the Hallowe'en spirit.  The Day of the Dead will never be quite the same for me.  A remarkable story, and highly recommended.   
Rating: Read with a cup of hot chocolate and cookies/brownies, for a truly delightful Hallowe'en adventure, served with shivers.   


***The best I can find is a comment Chris made in 2012's RIP opening post  comment he made here: http://susanflynn.blogspot.ca/2012/09/rip-vii-scary-fun-begins.html

                                                             
A non-RIP book,for a change:  To Darkness and To Death, #4 in the Clare Fergusson/ Russ Van Alstyne mystery series by Julia Spencer-Fleming.  After Book 3 and the dark story at the heart of it - a truly horrifying story that has the horror muted by telling it through flashback, so it's only in realizing what the story is about - what happened - that the horror is really felt.  After that, I wasn't sure what to expect in Book 4.  Could it be better? I think this one is.  It is told as 24 hours in the life of Miller's Kill, a small town in New York State.  24 hours where there is a kidnapping, a murder, and a surprise twist at the end.  Very good mystery.  For once too, Clare is not involved in the danger so much as on the outskirts of it, helping in the search for the missing woman.  We the reader are on the inside, following the various people drawn into the search, the missing woman, what happens to her next, the fall-out from an assault on someone else, all because of a land-deal that is going to happen that evening.  It's told straight-forward, no flashbacks, and is as ever utterly gripping.  On top of that, Clare is preparing for the visit from her Archbishop, who has heard some things about her......At the heart of it, a novel about sacrifice, love, and bravery.  It also managed to make me cry at the ending.  Not bad for a Book 4 of a series!  One of my favourites in this series. 
Rating:  Unputdownable.  Read it when you have an evening clear to curl up in a chair and relax the night away.
Note: this series is so good.  I already have Books 5 and 6 bought for my Christmas box.  I enjoy the mysteries, the supporting cast are fun, and especially, Clare and Russ as they wrestle and come to admit how they feel to each other adds an emotional depth to each novel in the series.  I am very glad that in this one, they are not cast off alone somewhere in the wilderness again with one another.  This time, the danger is different. 

So what are you reading for RIP?  Now that there is a month left, have you discovered a favourite book yet for this challenge?  I have several more on my pile to read, starting with Mind of Winter, for next weekend in between cooking our turkey for our Thanksgiving. Happiness is dark scary books in amongst celebrating life - kind of what Hallowe'en is, about, death and life. 

5 comments:

JaneGS said...

The more I hear about Bradbury the more I feel like finding a way to read some of his books. The one on Halloween sounds so interesting.

Like you, I really liked book 4 in the Ferguson/Van Alstyne mystery series. I liked the historical aspect to it, and it was a nice break from the horrific circumstances that Claire is usually in. I'll have to see if I'm current on the series--it's been awhile since I read one.

Chris Howard said...

Oh yay!! I'm so glad that you read The Halloween Tree :D Isn't it fantastic? And don't you just love that cover? It's become a tradition for me to read that one every year now. I just love Bradbury to death and still miss that man so much.

Susan said...

Jane: I've been slow to read Bradbury too, though I'm not sure why. I really enjoyed The Hallowe'en Tree. It wasn't like any other story you'll read about it! lol

Yes, there was a relief of the terrible straits Claire finds herself in, which was a nice change. I do enjoy this series so much. What book was the last one you read?

Chris: I really enjoyed it and I have you to thank!!!! YOu, dear blogger and friend :-) Some of the images in the book are lingering in my mind, especially the sugar skeleton heads, and the description of the picnics at the cemeteries. It was a delicious story about Hallowe'en, by which I mean it pleased my senses somehow - it's a fantasy, but grounded in death and fear of the dark and deliciously frightening because we all share those fears. So thank you for talking about it :-)

Cath said...

So glad you're enjoying Clare and Russ, Susan. I love the books I must say and will get to book 4 soon. I own that and then need to buy some more.

So far I think my favourite book for RIP has been Silver Borne by Patricia Briggs. I'd forgotten how much I love that series. I have two more of those to read. At the moment I'm reading The Unburied after seeing Pat's review of it. It's good... very gothicky.

Hope you enjoy your Thanksgiving!

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