I made a whole bunch of stuff as presents this year. We have a cross stitch with a goth literary theme and an embroidered deer skull with decorated frame.
I also crocheted four scarfs for my nieces and sister in law. Though I only remembered to take pictures of two.
Another big month for reading. Lots of fun stuff too!
The Twisted Ones, by T. Kingfisher
Continuing on my horror kick, I read Kingfisher’s other horror novel. This one takes place in rural North Carolina. Middle-aged Mouse goes to clean out her dead grandmother’s house, a house filled with 40 years of hording, she comes across the diary of her grandmother’s husband that indicates that the house is menaced by something wicked that lives in the dense forest that butts up against the home. Soon Mouse discovers that the house is connected to an other-worldly force and she may be in danger. It’s hard describe this one without really getting into it. Weird, uncanny, and frightening, this was a good one to give just enough of a scare. I liked it better, by a little bit, than The Hollow Places.
Faith Taking Flight, by Julie Murphy
I love Julie Murphy and I love the superhero Faith, so this origin story should have been right up my alley. It wasn’t quite. It’s a good origin story, but not well paced and the action seemed like an afterthought. It was a fun read and would be a great introduction to those who haven’t come across the comics. The fact that Faith is an unapologetic plus-sized superhero makes me want to introduce everyone to her stories, I just don’t think this book is quite the one to make people interested.
Rules for Being Dead, by Kim Powers
Set in the 1960s in a small Texas town, the story follows ten-year-old Clark after his mother dies mysteriously. It also follows his mother’s ghost as she watches over her kids. She doesn’t know what happened to her either. Clark’s mother had loved the movies and had imparted her love of films to her sons and it’s through that lens that we see Clark’s growth over the year following her death—his alcoholic father, his sympathetic new stepmom, the world at large. This is a lovely story, but terribly sad. Not usually my thing, but I really liked it.
Wide Open, by Deborah Coates
This one has been on my shelf for awhile, I think it was a present. Hallie Michaels has returned home from Afghanistan to attend her sister’s funeral. Due to an injury she received in battle weeks before, she can now see dead people, including her sister. Her sister, and several other ghosts of women, haunt her and she realizes she must find the truth behind their deaths. Part murder mystery, part fantasy, with a lot of love for the South Dakota landscape, this was a fine potato chip read.
Ten Thousand Doors of January, by Alix Harrow
Reread. This is an ambitious book and it thoroughly achieves its goals. I loved it even more the second time.
The Vanishing Stair, by Maureen Johnson
The Hand on the Wall, by Maureen Johnson
The sequel and conclusion to Truly Devious, which I read in October. Together all three books make a really great story. The current mystery and the 1930s mystery line up surprisingly and delightfully, and I found the ending to be well done. The three books together are worth a read, but make sure you have them all ready to go. The cliff hangers in the first and second books are no fun if you have to wait.
Mexican Gothic, by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
This book has been a bestseller this year and was on my anticipation list from last year. Turns out there are several Moreno-Garcia books on my TBR list. Also, horror. Still reading all the folk horror I can find (which isn’t much). This was a fun read full of crumbling mansion, and a storied family with oh-so-many skeletons in the closet. Noemí is a great main character—stubborn with something to prove, yet contradictory and naïve. This was not as scary as I hoped it would be, but it was pretty creepy. Definitely recommend.
The Best of Me, by David Sedaris
I listened to this one. Sedaris’s latest book is a selection of his work that he likes best. I’ve only listened to Sedaris read his stories and I can’t imagine reading them. His voice and delivery are so unique to him that it would be weird, to me, to read them in print. This audio was long, but definitely worth it.
Wrapped Up In You, by Talia Hibbert
A short novel by Hibbert, who I love for her Brown Sisters’ series. This is a Christmas tale about two long-time friends who’ve always been attracted to each other but have never said. Sweet and sassy, it was a lovely palate cleanser.
The Saint of Wolves and Butchers, by Alex Grecian
The opposite of a palate cleanser was this book. I picked it up a year or so ago to give to my mom but decided to read it first. We get present POV takes from Kansas State Trooper Skottie Foster and Nazi hunter Travis Roan as he is on the hunt for a rumored former Nazi living in Northwest Kansas. Then there is the story of Nazi officer Rudy Goodman from when illegally enters the U.S. up until present time where he has become the mystical healer of a church of his founding. It’s a thriller and paced really well. Not my usual read (there are a lot of those this month) but perfectly good. Probably would be a favorite for those interested in thrillers.
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