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Thursday, October 29, 2020

Frankenstein Friday



The last Friday in October is known as Frankenstein Friday. It is a celebration of Mary Shelley, Dr. Frankenstein, and his Monster. The origin story of Frankenstein is one of my favorites and it starts in Indonesia. Mount Tambora, a volcano in Indonesia, erupted leaving lasting effects on the weather. 1816 was considered "The Year Without a Summer," or "eighteen hundred and froze to death." (Did Climate Inspire The Birth Of A Monster? by NELL GREENFIELDBOYCE ). This is the Summer that Mary Shelley, her husband Percy Bysshe Shelley, and Mary’s stepsister, Claire Clairmont went to Geneva to visit their friend Lord Byron. Lord Byron's physician John Polidori was also in attendance. The weather leaves the group trapped indoors. Looking for ways to entertain themselves, Byron challenged everyone to create a horror story.

"“I busied myself to think of a story,” Mary would write years later in the preface to one of the most famous horror novels of all time. “One which would speak to the mysterious fears of our nature, and awaken thrilling horror—one to make the reader dread to look round, to curdle the blood, and quicken the beatings of the heart.” Unfortunately, instead she “felt that blank incapability of invention which is the greatest misery of authorship, when dull Nothing replies to our anxious invocations.” -Mary Shelley (The Summer Storm That Inspired Frankenstein and Dracula by Erin Zaleski)

A conversation between Percy Shelley and Lord Byron on science and the possibility of reanimating corpses, settled into Mary's subconscious causing nightmarish visions as she tried to sleep. It was from these visions that Frankenstein was born.  



There is no greater novel and no more well-known monster than Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.



On a stormy night two hundred years ago, a young woman sat in a dark house and dreamed of her life as a writer. She longed to follow the path her own mother, Mary Wollstonecraft, had started down, but young Mary Shelley had yet to be inspired. As the night wore on, Mary grew more anxious. The next day was the deadline that her friend, the poet Lord Byron, had set for writing the best ghost story. After much talk of science and the secrets of life, Mary had gone to bed exhausted and frustrated that nothing she could think of was scary enough. But as she drifted off to sleep, she dreamed of a man that was not a man. He was a monster.



Coinciding with the 200th anniversary of the publication of Frankenstein in 1818, a prize-winning poet delivers a major new biography of Mary Shelley--as she has never been seen before.




The events of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein unfold from the perspective of Elizabeth Lavenza, who is adopted as a child by the Frankensteins as a companion for their volatile son Victor.



Frankenstein is the scariest of all the monsters in Miss Devel's castle until one night when he loses his head.



When his twin brother falls ill in the family's chateau in the independent republic of Geneva in the eighteenth century, sixteen-year-old Victor Frankenstein embarks on a dangerous and uncertain quest to create the forbidden Elixir of Life described in an ancient text in the family's secret Biblioteka Obscura.



In the nineteenth century, Dr. Victor Frankenstein brought his notorious creation to life, but a horrible turn of events forced him to abandon it and slip away from the public eye. Two centuries later, a serial killer is on the loose in New Orleans, gruesomely salvaging body parts from each of his victims, as if trying to assemble a perfect human being.

Detective Carson O’Connor is cool, cynical, and every bit as tough as she looks. Her partner, Michael Maddison, would back her up all the way to Hell itself–and that just maybe where their new case leads. For as they investigate the strange killings, O’Connor and Madison find themselves drawn into a weird underworld of deception and secrets where a man named Victor Helios has created an entire race of perfectly engineered people who are meant to take humankind’s place one day. But something is happening to some of Helios’s creations, and it may be that this bizarre serial killer is the least of the detectives’ worries.

From the masterly pen ofNew York Timesbestselling author Dean Koontz–and featuring an adaptation by legendary comic book writer Chuck Dixon and gorgeous illustrations by acclaimed artist Brett Booth–Dean Koontz’s Frankenstein: Prodigal Sonis a story filled with fast-paced action, gripping horror, and thrilling adventure.



"When science prodigy Tori Frankenstein accidentally kills a teen boy in a midnight car accident, there's only one thing for her to do--use her science project to bring him back to life"-- Provided by publisher.
Hollow Pines, Texas. When science prodigy Tori Frankenstein accidentally kills a teen boy in a midnight car accident, there's only one thing for her to do-- use her science project to bring him back to life. She names him Adam because he has no memory of his name-- in fact, he has no memory at all. She brings him to school to hide him in plain sight. But when someone starts killing boys-- and removing parts-- is Adam to blame?



"Lake Geneva, 1816. Nineteen-year-old Mary Shelley is inspired to write a story about a scientist who creates a new life-form. In Brexit Britain, a young transgender doctor called Ry is falling in love with Victor Stein, a celebrated professor leading the public debate around AI and carrying out some experiments of his own in a vast underground network of tunnels. Meanwhile, Ron Lord, just divorced and living with his mom again, is set to make his fortune launching a new generation of sex dolls for lonely men everywhere. Across the Atlantic, in Phoenix, Arizona, a cryogenics facility houses dozens of bodies of men and women who are medically and legally dead ... but waiting to return to life. What will happen when homo sapiens are no longer the smartest being on the planet? In fiercely intelligent prose, Jeanette Winterson shows us how much closer we are to that future than we realize. Funny and furious, bold and clear-sighted, Frankissstein is a love story about life itself"-- Provided by publisher.



From the critically acclaimed author of "In Darkling Wood" comes a spine-tingling novel inspired by the events of one stormy night in 1816 Switzerland, when Lord Byron and friends gathered to tell ghost stories--a night that resulted in the creation of Mary Shelley's novel, "Frankenstein."

Monday, October 26, 2020

Monster Mash



Ghouls and goblins
run and play,
while witches of lore
cast their spells, 
vampires and werewolves
hunt their prey,
as the undead are released
from the depths of hell.

Halloween is creeping up and beckoning us to indulge in the tales of the darkest creatures to ever enter the depths of our imaginations.



"The first book in a three-volume collection, The World of Lore : Monstrous Creatures shares the incredible true stories that inspired the legends of famous monsters, from werewolves to wendigo to the Jersey Devil"-- Provided by publisher.
"They live in shadows--deep in the forest, late in the night, in the dark recesses of our minds. They're spoken of in stories and superstitions, relics of an unenlightened age, old wives' tales, passed down through generations. Yet no matter how wary and jaded we have become, as individuals or as a society, a part of us remains vulnerable to them: werewolves and wendigos, poltergeists and vampires, angry elves and vengeful spirits. In this illustrated volume, the host of the hit podcast Lore serves as a guide on a fascinating journey through the history of these terrifying creatures, exploring not only the legends but what they tell us about ourselves ..."-- Amazon.com.



A tender and terrifying literary horror novel, the author's debut tells the story of a family that created a haunted house attraction called the Wandering Dark and the hereditary monsters--both metaphorical and all-too-real--that haunt them. 



In an alternate 1880s London, angels inhabit every public building, and vampires and werewolves walk the streets with human beings in a well-regulated truce. A fantastic utopia, except for a few things: Angels can Fall, and that Fall is like a nuclear bomb in both the physical and metaphysical worlds. And human beings remain human, with all their kindness and greed and passions and murderous intent. Jack the Ripper stalks the streets of this London too. But this London has an Angel. The Angel of the Crows.



"A supernatural thriller set in South Carolina in the '90s about a women's book club that must protect its suburban community from a mysterious stranger who turns out to be a real monster"-- Provided by publisher.



"A young woman living in a rigid, repressive society discovers dark powers within herself, with terrifying and far-reaching consequences, in this stunning, feminist fantasy debut. In the lands of Bethel, where the Prophet's word is the law, Immanuelle Moore's very existence is blasphemy. The daughter of a union with an outsider that cast her once-proud family into disgrace, Immanuelle does her best to worship the Father, follow Holy Protocol, and lead a life of submission, devotion, and absolute conformity, like all the women in the settlement. But a chance mishap lures her into the forbidden Darkwood surrounding Bethel, where the first prophet once chased and killed four powerful witches. Their spirits are still walking there, and they bestow a gift on Immanuelle: the diary of her dead mother, who Immanuelle is shocked to learn once sought sanctuary in the wood. Fascinated by secrets in the diary, Immanuelle finds herself struggling to understand how her mother could have consorted with the witches. But when she begins to learn grim truths about the Church and its history, she realizes the true threat to Bethel is its own darkness. And she starts to understand that if Bethel is to change, it must begin with her"-- Provided by publisher.



Gabriel Stone is desperate to escape the ghosts that haunt him in Massachusetts after his wife's death, so he moves to Maine, taking a position as a minister in the remote village of Pale Harbor. But not all is as it seems in the sleepy town. Strange, unsettling things have been happening, and the townspeople claim that only one person can be responsible: Sophronia Carver, a reclusive widow who must be a witch.



Traveling to an isolated writers' retreat deep in the Adirondacks, Jeremy Logan, an investigator who specializes in unexplained phenomena, discovers a dead hiker whose wounds suggest an unnatural attack before encountering numerous suspects and a woman scientist struggling with the death of her father.



When her mother is arrested by ICE, sixteen-year-old Argentinian Manu -- who thinks she is hiding in a Miami apartment because she is an undocumented immigrant -- discovers that her entire existence is illegal.
As an undocumented immigrant on the run from her father's Argentine crime-family, Manuela Azul is confined to a small apartment and a small life in Miami, Florida. Then her surrogate grandmother is attacked, lifelong lies are exposed, and her mother is arrested by ICE. Without a home, without answers, Manu investigates the only clue she has about her past: a mysterious "Z" emblem. It leads her to a secret world connected to her dead father and his criminal past. A world straight out of Argentine folklore, where the seventh consecutive daughter is born a bruja and the seventh consecutive son is a lobizón, a werewolf. A world where her unusual eyes allow her to belong. It's not just her U.S. residency that's illegal-- it's her entire existence. -- adapted from jacket



When a deadly virus is unleashed, the last few survivors become humanity's only hope. The symptoms include animalistic rage and a hunger for human flesh. But it is the group's own inner demons that must be overcome in order to save not only themselves but the last vestiges of humanity.



"Set in the present day, The Living Dead is an entirely new tale, the story of the zombie plague as George A. Romero wanted to tell it. A pair of medical examiners find themselves battling a dead man who won't stay dead. In a Midwestern trailer park, a Black teenage girl and a Muslim immigrant battle newly-risen friends and family. On a US aircraft carrier, living sailors hide from dead ones while a fanatic makes a new religion out of death. At a cable news station, a surviving anchor keeps broadcasting while his undead colleagues try to devour him. In DC, an autistic federal employee charts the outbreak, preserving data for a future that may never come."--Provided by publisher.


It                   World War Z

Friday, October 23, 2020

Horror




Suspense, tension, unearthly quiet, fear, dread, repulsion, halted breath, an unearthly terror gripping you, unraveling your sense of safety, and causes you to confront unimaginable horror. From Folk Tales to the News, Horror can come in many forms, it can twist the faith of a religious man, upend someone's history, and make you question everything you think you know. Tread lightly, my friends.



"In the latest thriller from New York Times bestseller Riley Sager, a woman returns to the house-made famous by her father's bestselling horror memoir. Is the place really haunted by evil forces, as her father claimed? Or are there more earthbound-and dangerous-secrets hidden within its walls?"-- Provided by publisher.




"A young woman discovers a strange portal in her uncle's house, leading to madness and terror in this gripping new novel from the author of the "innovative, unexpected, and absolutely chilling" (Mira Grant, Nebula Award-winning author) The Twisted Ones. Pray they are hungry. Kara finds the words in the mysterious bunker that she's discovered behind a hole in the wall of her uncle's house. Freshly divorced and living back at home, Kara now becomes obsessed with these cryptic words and starts exploring this peculiar area-only to discover that it holds portals to countless alternate realities. But these places are haunted by creatures that seem to hear thoughts...and the more one fears them, the stronger they become. With her distinctive "delightfully fresh and subversive" (SF Bluestocking) prose and the strange, sinister wonder found in Guillermo del Toro's Pan's Labyrinth, The Hollow Places is another compelling and white-knuckled horror novel that you won't be able to put down"-- Provided by publisher.



"When more than one hundred members of The Ark, a mysterious and sinister apocalypse cult, are found dead by poison at their isolated community in North Wales, those left alive are scattered to the winds with few coping skills and fewer answers. For twenty-one-year-old Romy, who has never known life outside the compound, learning how to live in a world she has been taught to fear is terrifying. Now Romy must start a new life for herself--and the child growing inside her. She is determined to find the rest of her family and keep her baby safe, no matter the cost. But as the horrors of her past start to resurface, she begins to realize that leaving her old life behind won't be easy. Outside the walls of The Ark, the real evil is growing"--Page 4 of cover.



"From one of the most important contemporary American writers, Cardiff, by the Sea is a bold, haunting collection of four previously unpublished novellas. Starting with the title novella-in which a romantic-minded young art historian is led to (re)discover a terrifying trauma after inheriting property in faraway Cardiff, Maine-through to "The Surviving Child"-which finds the young new wife of a famous poet's widow haunted by the dead poet's voice dancing in the wind, an inexplicably befouled well, and a compulsive draw to the same garage that already took two lives-Cardiff, by the Sea is ceaselessly sinister. In these psychologically daring, chillingly suspenseful novellas, Joyce Carol Oates writes about women facing threats past and present"-- Provided by publisher.



Something evil has swept into the small western Maine town of Castle Rock on the heels of the latest winter storm. Sheriff Norris Ridgewick and his team are desperately searching for two missing girls, but time is running out to bring them home alive



Single mother Kate Reese is on the run. Determined to improve life for her and her son, Christopher, she flees an abusive relationship in the middle of the night with Christopher at her side. Together, they find themselves drawn to the tight-knit community of Mill Grove, Pennsylvania. It's as far off the beaten track as they can get. Just one highway in, one highway out. At first, it seems like the perfect place to finally settle down. Then Christopher vanishes. For six awful days, no one can find him. Until Christopher emerges from the woods at the edge of town, unharmed but not unchanged. He returns with a voice in his head only he can hear, with a mission only he can complete: Build a treehouse in the woods by Christmas, or his mother and everyone in the town will never be the same again. Soon Kate and Christopher find themselves in the fight of their lives, caught in the middle of a war playing out between good and evil, with their small town as the battleground.



Someone, or something, is haunting the ship. Between mysterious disappearances and sudden deaths, the guests of the Titanic have found themselves suspended in an eerie, unsettling twilight zone from the moment they set sail. Several of them, including maid Annie Hebley, guest Mark Fletcher, and millionaires Madeleine Astor and Benjamin Guggenheim, are convinced there's something sinister--almost otherwordly--afoot. But before they can locate the source of the danger, as the world knows, disaster strikes.

Years later, Annie, having survived that fateful night, has attempted to put her life back together. Working as a nurse on the sixth voyage of the Titanic's sister ship, the Britannic, newly refitted as a hospital ship, she happens across an unconscious Mark, now a soldier fighting in World War I. At first, Annie is thrilled and relieved to learn that he too survived the sinking, but soon, Mark's presence awakens deep-buried feelings and secrets, forcing her to reckon with the demons of her past--as they both discover that the terror may not yet be over.

Brilliantly combining the supernatural with the height of the historical disaster, The Deep is an exploration of love and destiny, desire and innocence, and, above all, a quest to understand how our choices can lead us inexorably toward our doom.


"In 1991, Heather Cole and her friends were members of the Dead Girls Club. Obsessed with the macabre, the girls exchanged stories about serial killers and imaginary monsters, like the Red Lady, the spirit of a vengeful witch killed centuries before. Heather knew the stories were just that, until her best friend Becca began insisting the Red Lady was real - and she could prove it. That belief got Becca killed. It's been nearly thirty years, but Heather has never told anyone what really happened that night - that Becca was right and the Red Lady was real. She's done her best to put that fateful summer, Becca, and the Red Lady, behind her. Until a familiar necklace arrives in the mail, a necklace Heather hasn't seen since the night Becca died. The night Heather killed her. Now, someone else knows what she did ... and they're determined to make Heather pay"--Amazon.com



Dartmoor, with its mists, bleak winter weather, and an overwhelming sense of isolation, is the perfect place to build a prison. It's not a place many would choose to live--yet the Governor of Dartmoor Prison did just that. When Herbert Russell retired, he bought All Hallow's Hall--a rambling Tudor mansion on the edge of the moor and lived there all his life. Now he's dead, and his estranged family is set to inherit his estate. But when the dead man's family come to stay, the atmosphere of the moors seems to drift into every room. Floorboards creak, secret passageways echo, and wind whistles in the house's famous priest hole. And then, in the morning the family decides to leave All Hallow's Hall once and for all, their young son Timmy goes missing...



Far upstate, in New York's ancient forests, a drowned village lays beneath the dark, still waters of the Chilewaukee reservoir. Early in the 20th century, the town was destroyed for the greater good: bringing water to the millions living downstate. Or at least that's what the politicians from Manhattan insisted at the time. The local families, settled there since America's founding, were forced from their land, but they didn't move far, and some didn't move at all...

Now, a century later, the repercussions of human arrogance are finally making themselves known. An inspector assigned to oversee the dam, dangerously neglected for decades, witnesses something inexplicable. It turns out that more than the village was left behind in the waters of the Chill when it was abandoned. The townspeople didn't evacuate without a fight. A dark prophecy remained, too, and the time has come for it to be fulfilled. Those who remember must ask themselves: Who will be next? Sacrifices must be made. And as the dark waters begin to inexorably rise, the demand for a fresh sacrifice emerges from the deep...



"One mother's love may be all that stands between her family, an enigmatic presence - and madness. After years of city life, Orla and Shaw Bennett are ready for the quiet of New York's Adirondack mountains - or at least, they think they are. Settling into the perfect farmhouse with their two children, they are both charmed and unsettled by the expanse of their land, the privacy of their individual bedrooms, and the isolation of life a mile from any neighbor. But none of the Bennetts could expect what lies waiting in the woods, where secrets run dark and deep. When something begins to call to the family - from under the earth, beneath the trees, and within their minds - Orla realizes she might be the only one who can save them, if she can find out what this force wants before it's too late"--FantasticFiction.com.

Friday, October 16, 2020

October Decor



One of the best parts of October is adorning the house with Halloween and Fall decor. Scarecrows, Pumpkins, spiderwebs, and guazy ghosts are just some of what you can find on display. 



Scarecrows are a true American folk art form that adds charm and whimsy to any yard or garden. This is the only book to offer step-by-step instructions for creating scarecrows, from traditional to absolutely wild. Scarecrows includes more than 20 unique projects, plus tours through the gardens of North America's greatest scarecrow artists and tips for starting your own scarecrow festival.



"This gorgeous little book is glowing with wonderful photographs and easy-to-follow directions...Will make you grin like a jack-o'-lantern at the variety of departures from the norm it offers."--Chicago Tribune
From outdoor fun to indoor elegance, pumpkins aren't just for jack-o-lanterns anymore--as Country Living so beautifully demonstrates in dozens of sparkling, inspiring photographs. Whether tall or short, round or skinny, textured, sideways, or even upside-down, these autumnal jewels can offer a range of surprising and creative decorating options. Conjure up a creepy, ivy-haired witch or scare up some flying bats to flutter over the front door. Brighten a window ledge with a light-studded gourd or two. Or add a twist to seasonal decorating with pumpkin candy dishes, centerpieces, and candleholders. All the basics on size, shape, texture, colors, and carving techniques are covered.



An account of the annual competition among gardeners to grow the world's largest pumpkin journeys to county fairs and weigh-offs across the country in search of the ultimate prize, the world's first fifteen-hundred-pound pumpkin, over the course of a single season.



These 30+ costume, pumpkin, and home-decorating ideas are not just beautiful--they are scary beautiful. From unique pumpkin decorations to a “blood”-splashed dinner-party centerpiece to a Yard Specter made from two poles, a string of lights, and torn, draped fabric, these creepy but stylish Halloween projects will give your home a spooky, sophisticated look . . . with a gothic flair!



Jam-packed with exciting ideas for both children and adults, this guide book is sure to be a favorite resource for everyone who loves Halloween.



Here are 80 eerie projects—scary decorations, ghosts by the window, ghouls in your yard and on fences and porches. Creative ideas for every room and area will make your home the area’s Halloween masterpiece. Bonus: Party recipes, favors, and costumes. “The decorating ideas and party tips in this colorful book can make your Halloween a treat.”—Country Almanac.



Includes information for growing and harvesting more than 95 varieties of pumpkins, plus craft and carving projects from jack-o-lanterns to soaps, creams, and decorations. Also includes more than 30 tasty recipes even one for pumpkin beer!

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Black Poetry Day



"Black Poetry Day on October 17th honors past and present black poets. The day also commemorates the birth of the first published black poet in the United States. Jupiter Hammon was born in Long Island, New York, on October 17, 1711. 

The day celebrates the importance of black heritage and literacy. It also recognizes the contributions made by black poets and shows appreciation to black authors." via https://nationaldaycalendar.com/black-poetry-day-october-17/




Award-winning poet and writer Nikki Giovanni takes on the difficult task of selecting the 100 best African-American works from classic and contemporary poets.


An anthology of black American poetry from the days of slavery to the presen



"This is the first anthology of poems by and for the hip-hop generation ... It includes more than four decades of poets and covers the birth to the now of hip-hop culture and music and style"--Page xv.



A BreakBeat Poets anthology to celebrate and canonize the words of Black women across the diaspora.


Toi Derricotte



A Finalist for the 2019 National Book Award for Poetry
Recipient of the 2020 Frost Medal for Distinguished Lifetime Achievement in Poetry
BCALA Honor Book for Best Poetry Award 2020


Gwendolyn Brooks



Presents a collection of poems that provide monologues of a variety of voices, including urban children, Winnie Mandela, and Alabama civil rights workers.



The classic volume by the distinguished modern poet, winner of the 1950 Pulitzer Prize, and recipient of the National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, showcases an esteemed artist's technical mastery, her warm humanity, and her compassionate and illuminating response to a complex world.


Maya Angelou



Throughout her illustrious career in letters, Maya Angelou gifted, healed, and inspired the world with her words. Now the beauty and spirit of those words live on in this new and complete collection of poetry that reflects and honors the writer's remarkable life.



The latest collection in this acclaimed series features 25 of the finest poems by poet, author, playwright, and historian Maya Angelou, from the playful "Harlem Hopscotch" to the soul-stirring "Still I Rise." Each verse is illustrated with evocative pictures. Full color.


Langston Hughes


From the publication of his first book in 1926, Langston Hughes was hailed as the poet laureate of black America, the first to commemorate the experience of African Americans in a voice that no reader, black or white, could fail to hear. Lyrical and pungent, passionate and polemical, this volume is a treasure-an essential collection of the work of a poet whose words have entered our common language.



The first African-American themed book in the Poetry for Young People series, this volume features the poems of the extraordinary Langston Hughes, one of the central figures in the Harlem Renaissance. Full color.


Alice Walker



"With profound artistry, Walker searches for, discovers, and declares the fundamental beauty of existence, as she explores what it means to live life fully, to learn from it, and to grow both as an individual and as part of a greater spiritual community"--Dustjacket.



"Poetry is leading us," writes Alice Walker in The World Will Follow Joy. In this dazzling collection, the beloved writer offers over sixty new poems to incite and nurture contemporary activists. Hailed as a "lavishly gifted writer" (The New York Times), Walker imbues her poetry with evocative images, fresh language, anger, forgiveness, and profound wisdom. Casting her poetic eye toward history, politics, and nature, as well as to world figures such as Jimmy Carter, Gloria Steinem, and the Dalai Lama, she is indeed a "muse for our times” (Amy Goodman).

By attentively chronicling the conditions of human life today, Walker shows, as ever, her deep compassion, profound spirituality, and necessary political commitments. The poems in The World Will Follow Joy remind us of our human capacity to come together and take action, even in our troubled political times. Above all, the gems in this collection illuminate what it means to live in our world today.

Frankenstein Friday

The last Friday in October is known as Frankenstein Friday. It is a celebration of Mary Shelley, Dr. Frankenstein, and his Monster. The or...