This year, as I’ve decided to spend less time on social media, it has meant I have more time for reading. As much as I love books, I’m a slow reader. Try as I might, the number of books I read each year can be pretty low (this is one of the reasons why I enjoy audio books so much)!
To help spread the word on what I’ve been reading, I thought I’d share my reviews here on the blog, and hope you’ll be interested in reading them too. These past couple of months I’ve been reading shorter works, which are a mix of audio books and e-books. My taste is usually eclectic, but lately, it comes as no surprise, my books of choice are of the Gothic/horror persuasion. 😉
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving
Even though I had seen the various film versions, this was the first time I read the book. I really liked it and was surprised by its humour. I pictured the Disney version of Ichabod Crane more than any other.
I enjoyed the setting and descriptions, especially those leading up to the introduction of the headless horseman. I listened to the audio version, which I also highly recommend. This is such a fun, quick read, and a perfect story for Halloween.
The Hay Bale by Priscilla Bettis
I know Priscilla Bettis through blogging, so when I heard she was releasing her first book, I had to get myself a copy. The Hay Bale is a quick read, and it’s one that hooks you in from the very beginning. Her use of imagery places you beside the main character, Claire, so that when we reach the final scenes, we are in suspense and horrified in equal measure.
The ending I suspected, but the events leading up to that conclusion was altogether creepy and disturbing thanks to the peculiar quirks of the local townspeople. This story packed an emotional punch and stayed with me long after I had finished reading. Highly recommended for horror fans. I look forward to reading more from Priscilla.
I’ve always enjoyed reading Stephen King’s shorter works, and this one certainly packs a punch. Combining crime and horror, it’s a coming-of-age story, where young Jamie Conklin can see dead people. He’s a sensitive, intelligent child with a good sense of humour (I had some laugh out loud moments). I felt drawn towards this character, so that when his naivety is gradually chipped away, it is truly heart breaking.
This is a story with memorable characters, some frightening scenes, and one that you can’t put down. I listened to the audio version, read by Seth Numrich. His reading helps draw the reader in, especially when Jamie is confronted by the character, Kenneth Therriault. Highly recommended.
Among the Headstones: Creepy Tales from the Graveyard. Edited by Rayne Hall
This collection of short stories is a lovely mix from new and established writers, as well as from classic authors such as Arthur Conan Doyle and Edgar Allan Poe. Each story takes you on a journey to graveyards throughout the world, so readers can experience different cultures and various forms of burial.
There are 27 stories in this collection, which range from creepy to unusual, as well as humorous, so there’s something for everyone. At the end of each story are the author’s comments, which is a nice way to find out more about them.
As with any collection, some stories will stand out more than others and demand a re-read, and there are many in this book. For me, some of these include The Shortcut, Another Oldie but Goodie, Lucretia’s Hum, The Legend of Merv the Swerve, The New Catacomb, Respects, and Heart Music.
If you enjoy a spooky story, this collection does not disappoint.
What books have you been reading this year? Do you have any recommendations to share? Are you a slow reader?
4 thoughts on “March Quarterly Book Reviews, 2022.”
Yippee, so thrilled to see The Hay Bale reviewed on your blog. Thank you for reading and reviewing it, Debbie! Thanks for picking up Among the Headstones, too.:-) I’ve read The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (and liked it), but I haven’t read King’s Later.
Recently I read Immortelle by Catherine McCarthy. It’s a novella set in Edwardian times in Wales. It’s very atmospheric and includes themes of motherhood and grief. I like the way McCarthy wove the art of pottery into the story. I think you’d like it.
My pleasure, Priscilla! I enjoyed your story in Among the Headstones. It was one of those stories when I reached the end I thought ‘hang on, I need to read that again.’ 😉
Thanks for the book recommendation, it does sound like something I’d be interested in. I’ll put it on my reading list!
Fabulous collection of work and authors, Debbie. (And wasn’t The Hay Bale wonderful?)
Thank you, Staci. And yes, The Hay Bale was an enjoyable read. It’s a story that definitely stays with you!
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