57 thoughts on “This is a Good Book for the Day of the Dead

  1. Ghost story…That reminds me that I should re-read The Uninvited by Dorothy Macardle. I’ve only read it once, but I remember it being good. Actually, I think this blog is how I found out there was a book; I was only familiar with the film until then. Forgot to watch the movie this Halloween because I was working, but I’m off now, and I think I’ll dig up the DVD as well as the book (Ray Milland, Gail Russell, and Ruth Hussey – I highly recommend that). A brother and sister move into their dream house and find out it’s haunted, then get close the daughter of the previous owner as they investigate.

    I certainly won’t get to that re-read this week, though, because I started streak reading Nalini Singh about a week and a half ago, and I’m still going. Unfortunately, library availability constrains me, and I’m reading the Psy/Changeling series mostly out of order. I am attempting to get the earlier books first and holding off on requesting the most recent ones. Four of them just got to my branch, and I’ll pick them up tomorrow. My favorite used bookstore is having a sale this weekend, so I’ll probably crack and buy a couple. I’m really enjoying the world-building.

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    1. I have that book; haven’t read it since I was a kid, but I remember loving it then. Must find it and read it again.

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    2. I really liked the Psy-Changeling series. And I recommend reading them in order if you can as there is an overarching story that is worth attention beyond the individual romances. (for the most part – I think it gets a bit lost in more recent books).

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      1. I started to notice that after a couple of books, so I went back to the beginning. A couple of the early ones are a little scarce in terms of library copies, though, so I have some holes to fill. Couldn’t make myself wait.

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    3. She does have really great world building. I prefer the Guild Hunter series. It’s a bit darker. But some of those can be read as stand-alone…

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  2. I’m reading Chesterton’s The Man Who Was Thursday, which previously passed me by. A weird and wonderful book about spies and anarchists in pre-WW1 England. So far, so good.

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    1. I went through a Chesterton phase in my teens – although I never tried the Father Brown stories. Loved his paradoxes, as I remember.

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      1. I ADORE Father Brown. He quickly replaced Sherlock Holmes in my heart (no small feat) when I discovered his stories in college. I also enjoy Chesterton’s poetry and theology. I haven’t read The Man Who Was Thursday yet, though I keep meaning to. Must get on that…

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  3. I have just read Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman. It’s not a ghost story or a mystery, although there are elements of hauntings and not knowing what’s going on. The story is compelling, it’s thoughtful, and I liked the writing.

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  4. I love ghost stories (the rest of horror not so much). One of my favorites was “The Woman in Black” by Susan Hill. Unsettling and short enough to be read in one sitting.

    I didn’t see the movie because I felt the first person narration was really key to the book and wouldn’t translate well.

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    1. It’s super frightening in the theatre – I’ve taken 3 separate school trips of jaded teens to the stage show and they’ve been frightened witless every time. Heh heh heh.

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  5. “The Graveyard Book,” by Neil Gaiman. It’s a perfect autumn read, and is especially appropriate for Day of the Dead.

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    1. Wow. I had no idea. I have never read a pirated book and had no idea it was so prevalent.

      Violette Malan’s Dhulyn and Parno series was cancelled by the publisher. I wonder if this is what happened to it. I was really disappointed because it is one of the series I have read beyond the second book.

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      1. I hope the authors can get rights to publish the series on their own. I feel like we need to nail this post to publisher’s doors like Luther’s 95 theses.

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    2. I wouldn’t pirate a book myself, but how do things like libraries and Overdrive (ebook library) affect this sort of thing? I’m all for getting stuff for free ( my budget and my bookshelves wouldn’t be able to keep up with me if I bought everything I read), but I’m not seeing how buying a secondhand copy, or borrowing from a library is better than finding a pirated copy, from the viewpoint of the author. Any thoughts?

      There was a series I enjoyed at the library that printed the first three books, but only had the fourth book available as an ebook. I wonder if this is what happened to it, as it was geared towards upper elementary/middle school (savvy enough to find a pirated ebook, broke enough to want to do it, not worldly enough to understand why it’s a bad idea).

      Thanks for the read!

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      1. This is one of the best list of descriptors I’ve seen in a while, “savvy enough to find a pirated ebook, broke enough to want to do it, not worldly enough to understand why it’s a bad idea”

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      2. HUGE difference. Libraries buy their books and they buy in bulk. Library sales are important to authors, excellent for authors.
        Pirated copies are just theft, copying something nobody but the publisher has a right to copy (thus copyright laws).

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      3. So buying books= good, borrowing from library (who buys book)= good. Second hand at least respects the author’s right to control distribution of their work, and pirate hurts authors, which is bad if you want to continue reading (because authors will not be able to afford to write and pay bills).

        I figured anything with multiple readers cuts down on an author’s income. But I guess if I find your book at the library and enjoy it, I might buy a copy, or copies of other books later. I feel slightly better about the untold numbers of books I’ve borrowed from the library.

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        1. I’m good with second hand stores. As you said, SOMEBODY bought the book, and it’s a good way to get readers.
          Pirating is stealing and really hits sales hard. It’s the difference between buying second hand and shoplifting.

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      4. Except in the comments on her post somewhere else (I want to say Kbook maybe) someone said that the average person who downloads a pirated book is in their middle 30s and reasonably well off.

        So they seem to be doing it because they don’t want to spend the money, not because they can’t.

        It also made me sad to see people trying to say her little experiment was only an ancedote, and piracy is probably not that prevalent. Yes, the publisher cut the print run in half but they sold it out in 2 days – I’m pretty sure that print runs are not supposed to sell out in 4 days.

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  6. Horror stories are not my thing so I have no recommendations there. However, if you have not read Connie Willis “Even the Queen”. She says it is her contribution to feminist literature. It is really funny.

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    1. I actually came over here to recommend “DOOMSDAY BOOK” by Connie Willis for the Day of the Dead. Grad student in history travels back in time to work on her dissertation and is dropped in the middle of the black plague. She’s vaccinated… the rest of the village isn’t. She struggles with helping the people around her, trying to make them comfortable but knowing they will die… and knowing they’ve been dead since a thousand + years before she was born.

      I love Willis in general and this isn’t my favorite of hers but I love the way she uses recursion and time to talk about the mysteries of the universe.

      The art classes at the high school where I teach made a very nice altar for Dia de los Muertos and invited the rest of the school to add offerings and memories to it. I meant to contribute but ran out of time…. So it goes.

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    2. After relaying to both daughters the basic biology of menses, I got a copy of that for them to read because I have never laughed so hard or identified so strongly with ANYTHING! They were horrified and amused, so I guess it worked.

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  7. I’m so glad the author figured out a way to prove that piracy has an impact with real numbers.

    The only books I don’t pay for are on Project Gutenberg. Because I don’t think life plus 75 is a reasonable copyright. But for a living author? I always pay.

    Now there are a few authors (David Weber) whom I will never buy again -but even then I wouldn’t steal from them.

    Besides Bookbub & Amazon kept sending me $1 & $2 books… ; )

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  8. Not horror, but at least it has a threatening title: “Buried for Pleasure” by Edmund Crispin was basically the last thing I read before the final push in our move. I giggled A LOT, especially about the political stuff. Appreciated the author’s mercy toward the harmless stray woman … many a mystery writer would have killed her off.

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  9. I just read Sheila Simonson’s new book, which is a mystery and therefore has a death in it . I think I am going to go on a Simonson binge.

    I read Eloisa James new book and was really bothered by the hero’s behavior which amounted at some points to sexual harassment. I’m sure I noticed it more because of all the recent scandals. But it made me think about how books like this help create a culture where it’s ok to keep touching a woman who doesn’t want it, to barge into her bedroom….he does in fact draw a line past which he won’t go without her explicit consent but you can see how men could say books like this tell them that kind of behavior is ok and women—or more particularly young women—who read this in a romance could have a harder time distinguishing between romantic infatuation and sexual harassment and not recognize that the latter would become sexual assault until it was too late.

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  10. Has anyone read Wilkie Collins’ The Woman in White? He also wrote The Moonstone. I prefer The Woman in White because there are so many female characters and each is fully recognizable.

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    1. I looooove The Woman in White!! (And The Moonstone, but you’re right, TWIW is so fabulous). Here is a hilarious recap of it by Sarah Rees Brennan, as part of a series on Gothic novels she blogged in anticipation of her own Gothic novel, Unspoken.

      Now I just want to go reread TWIW again……

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  11. I read both maybe 30 years ago . I don’t remember the details and neither became a re-read for me, for what that is worth

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  12. Speaking of Maggie Stiefvater (and All Saints’ Day, tangentially), I’m currently reading her newest book, All the Crooked Saints. I’m taking it pretty slowly, savoring her gorgeous prose and the characters and storytelling style she adopted for this book, unique from her other novels that I’ve read but still uniquely her. 🙂

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  13. Not entirely a ghost or mystery story, but I’ve always loved The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey, which involves a sidelined detective in hospital begging a friend to bring him some pictures of faces, because he’s bored. And, to his own satisfaction at least, he starts doing some mythbusting. No romance or actual ghosts, just friendship and independent thinking.

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    1. I read The Turn of the Screw after seeing here that it had been part of the inspiration for MTT. I… did not love it the way I loved MTT.

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  14. When I was a kid, there was a book called “Ghosts I Have Been” by Richard Peck that I’d loved. A few years ago, I re-read it, and miracle of miracles, the suck fairy had not been and gone. It was still a very good story — I was a little surprised to find it was Book #2 in a series, but it read perfectly fine as a stand-alone. Maybe it was one of the books that shaped my love for small-town fantasy.

    Recently, I’ve been reading a few stories online at American Folklore Net. I haven’t explored their tab with the Mexican folklore yet. Maybe after NaNo.

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    1. I just reread Princess Ashley and I’m wondering what his intent was–to counteract idealized teens in literature?–but I enjoyed it!

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  15. Reading the next Wayward Children book. It just dropped on NetGalley but the formatting is weird so I’m like “Arghhhh!” No pics yet either. So. I know I will like it EVEN MORE when it’s in print.

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  16. I hope Mary Higgins Clark writes another book with a pair of one of many of my favorite sleuths, Alvirah and Willy Meehan.

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  17. I just finished the first Junior Bender novel. Not completely sure how I feel about it, but I couldn’t put it down and I just bought the next one. It’s a great world (crooks in LA) and great characters, so it’s worth the read, but there was something I couldn’t put my finger on. Maybe the protagonist was just too damn good? Sometimes it takes me two or three books in a series before I can see what’s going on underneath that trips me up. But this first one was well worth the time.

    ETA: I take it back. It’s 5AM because I started the second in the series and had to keep reading. Good books.

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    1. I binged all the Junior Bender books in a long weekend last month. I found the series just noir enough, and although the solutions were easy to guess, the characters were engaging (especially Junior’s daughter) and the overall tone was a little melancholy, very wry, but not bleak or wallowing in angst. And one of the books has a ghost! _The Fame Thief_, I think?

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  18. I re-read ‘maybe next time’ for halloween – and I re-read the Alice teaser every couple of months – these are a couple of my favorite characters (and books)

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