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Tuesday Recap (#9)

My weekly summary of blog, books, and life.

Reviewed: Embassytown by China Miéville, The Tempering of Men by Sarah Monette & Elizabeth Bear, “White Charles” by Sarah Monette

The House with a Clock in Its Walls by John BellairsAlso read: The House with a Clock in its Walls by John Bellairs. This was a re-read for me – I’d stashed the book in my desk at work in case I finished whatever I’d brought with me to read on breaks. I love this series; I love all of John Bellairs’s books. Forget Goosebumps, these were the creepy books I loved as a kid. And you know, they’re still kind of creepy, with their old-fashioned magic and ghosts and zombies, their heavy Catholic flavor, and their really wonderful villains. I love all the characters — I love how Lewis is terrified and still determined to prove himself, and I love how Uncle Jonathan doesn’t quite know how to take care of him but tries anyway. And I love Mrs. Zimmerman and her love of purple. If she wants to be a witch with a purple dress and a purple cape and a glowing purple wand, she will be, and she will still kick your ass.

I might have to find the rest of this series and re-read it all, I think. (Oh woe, oh hardship…)

Fallen Grace by Mary HooperAlso also read: Fallen Grace by Mary Hooper, which I’ll be reviewing later this week.

In Other News: Although it’s not my job on the line, the Borders closing has encouraged me to step up the job search. Doesn’t hurt that there are more public library jobs being posted now than for the past three months together. Onward and upward, I suppose.

30 Days of Books: Day Twelve

Day 12 – A book or series of books you’ve read more than five times

The House With a Clock in Its Walls by John Bellairs. I can’t believe we’re this far into October and I haven’t read any John Bellairs yet! I’ve loved these books since I first discovered them when I was about twelve. House is a Lewis and Uncle Jonathan book, but overall I think I preferred the Johnny and Professor Childermass ones. (I have a very vivid memory of the scene of Professor Childermass reenacting some ancient sea battle in his bathtub, although I can’t remember which book it’s in.)

These books are wonderful ghost stories, creepy and with just the right touch of the realistic supernatural. There are evil wizards, curses, prophecies, hauntings, monsters, and wonderfully weird and believable characters. And, of course, many of the editions have Edward Gorey illustrations which are absolutely perfect.

They are, technically, young adult books, but I’ve certainly never let that get in the way. Bellairs did write one adult novel, The Face in the Frost, which is just as wonderful and strange as his kids’ novels, and really so similar to them that you wonder why the adult/ya distinction is even made in this case.

(I always think I like horror novels, and then I try to read mainstream horror and I hate it. I think I like YA horror novels, actually. I shall stick to my Bellairs from now on.)

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