Books around the Web: Horror

It is October; so that means that in some parts of the world it is autumn, full of red leaves and orange pumpkins. It also means that All Hollow’s Eve, more commonly known as Halloween, is fast approaching. And you know what that means? Ghosts, skeletons, witches, zombies and other assorted monsters will start to roam the streets, and houses, of the world. It’s time to scare yourself silly – join in the monster fun, or at the very least curl up with a book guaranteed to give you the heebie-jeebies. A book that forces you to check the outside doors and windows are all securely locked. Then close all the internal doors, turn on your bedside lamp and cover yourself in blankets.

Because everyone knows that a blanket is going to stop Freddie Kruger from slaughtering you – won’t it?

I fully believe that horror books are worse than horror movies! Why? Because you can walk out of a movie theatre, or turn the TV off – but even when you close a horror book it sits there on the shelf shifting, creaking while it growls threateningly at you. It watches you. It sneers at your fear. A well written horror story starts off by curdling the contents of your stomach, then you break out in a fearful cold sweat and your limbs to start trembling; as the fear builds up – because you just won’t stop turning those pages – you start to cry, funny little gaspy noises and then in sheer desperation and armed with the book you walk through the house turning on every light you can find.

Because everyone knows a fully lit up house is going to stop Freddie Kruger from slaughtering you – doesn’t it.

Why is reading horror so popular? Why do people get a pleasurable thrill out of reading it? Well there has been research – yes all those taxpayers dollars at work! Apparently thrill can produce dopamine and dopamine is a chemical that is released when we anticipate rewards. Dopamine is also released during sex and other pleasurable activities – personally sex is way more appealing than being scared to death – but that’s story!!! So people read scary books for the thrill – the adrenaline rush – for the dopamine to kick in! Just as an aside dopamine deficiency results in Parkinson’s disease, and people with low dopamine activity may be more prone to addiction. Maybe the drug rehabilitation centres should stock their libraries with horror stories!!!

Because everyone knows that getting a thrill from a scary book is going to stop Freddie Kruger from slaughtering you – unless it’s his book and you haven’t asked permission to read it!

Of course fans of the Horror genre will scoff and tell you that scary books can’t hurt you because you are not in them, you are nothing other than a passive onlooker to horrifying events. It is not you waking up to see a shadowy figure with a machete raised above her head standing beside your bed, it’s just a make believe character. The mass murders, vampires, zombies, demons, and other horrifying characters are not real. The screaming women being dragged off down a dark hallway, the child being sucked into a TV and the teens in the forest in the middle of the night being dismembered one by one – none of it real.

Because everyone knows that just knowing he’s not real isn’t going to stop Freddie Kruger from slaughtering you.

Horror stories have been around for thousands of years, fear is one of our primal emotions it is inbuilt from prehistoric times to keep humans alive; fear of what the outcome could be keeps us away from animals with sharp teeth and dangerous places. Around the campfire the stone age elders would tell stories to the little ones to keep them scared witless and safe. Word of mouth progressed to written stories and now there are many books designed to scare us silly. Horror stories reflect their time in history. Prehistoric man, without the scientific knowledge we have today, would have made up stories to explain what they couldn’t understand would invent monsters in the woods and caves that explained disappearing tribe members or unexplained deaths. The middle ages brought out ghosts and vampires, while modern times lean towards technology with scenarios such as alien invasions, zombie plagues, dystopia and psychological terrors such as chain saw massacres. Then there was revenge – killed people coming back as monsters to wipe out all those involved in their death.

Because everyone knows being dead is not going to stop Freddie Kruger from slaughtering you – again.

SO, if you insist on scaring yourselves to death this Halloween, or indeed any time, here are some links to some ‘horror-able’ book suggestions

· The 50 Scariest Books of all time

· Best Classic Horror Books

· A website devoted to horror fiction

And if you’re not contented in scaring yourself silly – why don’t we let our children horror – here is a link to an article, and book suggestions, telling you why children should read horror.

This post can also be found at Books and Musings from Downunder

Classics Challenge – Belated September Update


Hello you lovely folks!

Sorry for the delay in getting the September post for the Classics Challenge up. It’s all my fault. Serenity had her book done by far in time but I’ve been limping behind.

Also, we decided that we would skip the August part of the challenge which required as to read a modern classic. We both had a bit of an issue with this, even though the task was up to our own interpretation. However, unable to settle on a personal definition and/or a specific book, we decided to just skip this and stick to the old-fashioned classics.

Which brought us to September, for which the task of reading a children’s classic had been set. And without further ado, here is what we thought of the selected books:

Serenity: This month I happened to pick up Treasure Island for a challenge and was pleased to find out it fit for this month’s Classic as well! I love when I can double up on challenges🙂.

Treasure Island is iconic and most likely the beginning point of most of our pirates themed movies that have been popular in recent years. All the stereotypical pirate themes are there. You’ve got people missing limbs, eyepatches, rum, and of course, “15 men on a dead man’s chest”. For a book written in the late 1880s it read like a very modern story. It was fast paced and did not spend much time ruminating and examining scenery, which can sometimes be a slog with Classics.

So why only 3 charms? I just struggled to get into the story. I liked the main character, Jim, but the rest of them mostly fell flat to me. Even Long John Silver, the pirate who some say set the tone for all pirates, seemed wish-washy and I had a hard time deciding which side he was on. Yes, in the end the answer is probably that he was on no one’s side but his own, but I still just felt like it was too ambiguous for me.

So, it was a good story, but just not a great one for me. Solid 3 charms.

Cocktail Phoenix: At first, I wasn’t sure which book to pick up for September, but then I decided to go with a book which has been sitting on my shelf ever since I was a child, namely The Wind in the Willows. It is a beautiful hardcover edition of the story, translated into German since back then I didn’t read in English yet, and contained a lot of photos from the TV series.

Thinking back, I realised that I could not remember ever having finished this book, despite the fascinating photos and the adorable characters. Even now, I cannot bring myself to actually finish the book, or so it seems. Half-way into October, I am still only half-way through the book and I found myself wondering why that is.

As mentioned, the characters have a lovely aspect to them. They are individual and represent various traits that I personally find important to incorporate in children’s books as their adventures can teach valuable lessons. Nevertheless, whenever I pick up the book, I cannot bring myself to sit down and read more than just a few pages at a time. It may be the writing style, it may be the fact that children’s books are partially supposed to be read in small bursts as they’re read to/with children.

In the end, I think children’s books, for the most part, are simply not for me. I haven’t finished the book yet, but I will. I’ll just go at a slower pace and will eventually reach the end of it and will hopefully enjoy it all the while. For that reason as well, there will be no rating on this book.

Check back in a couple of weeks to see what we have read for the month of October – a classic by a female author.

October Read-A-Thon, #BCHeadFullOfGhostlyBooks

Book Charmers #BCHeadFullOfGhostlyBooks Read-A-Thon


October 1st -31st

Book Charmers October Read-A-Thon, #BCHeadFullOfGhostlyBooks is here!
This time of year, we all love to read those spooky books, weither they be horror, paranormal, thriller, or mystery. Join us by sharing your spooky reads and joining the discussion by adding the #BCHeadFullOfGhostlyBooks tag throughout October.

Read-A-Thon rules:
You can read any book you wish too, but you must have at least ONE horror, paranormal, thriller, or mystery book.

Other Events
°Mini Halloween Challenages
°Various Spooky Book Discussion

Link your Blog or Goodreads link below, Just Click on The Mister Kinky.

Luxury Apartments For Rent- Move In Today

The Graveyard Apartment: A NovelThe Graveyard Apartment: A Novel by Mariko Koike

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Right from the first page, this book just catches you attention!

Starts with an advertisement for a brand new apartment ready to see with affordable prices.

Families start moving in, and all is great…except for the graveyard that happens to be on three sides of this luxury building…(as if nothing seems odd about that).

The Kano family, who have had its set backs, hopes for a new start. They move into the apartment of their dreams, only to find out that all their neighbors are starting to move out…and fast.
The Basment seems to ward off all its residents…but who wants to go down anyway, the elevator is the only way down, no stairs, or anyway out if people get traped.

As the neighbors dwindle, the apartment starts to try to keep them in. Elevators get stuck, Windows won’t open, doors won’t budge. At last the Kano’s are left by themselves after trying to move…and the apartment will never Let them leave.

View all my reviews

Books around the web – Fantasy

Fantasy is a genre that uses magic and paranormal elements to build its story. The story is peopled with such beings as giants and fairies; Ghosts and wraiths; witches and vampires; trolls and elves, talking dogs, cats and mice – anything that is unbelievable. In fact, in a fantasy book most of the main characters do not exist except in the author’s mind, or in mythology, and humans are commonly in the minority.

Fantasy stands hand in hand with horror and science fiction and many stories do overlap these element. As a rule fantasy stands apart as there is no technology as we know it, and the spooky elements are not quite as macabre as full blown horror.

Because of the similarities between these three genres they are usually collectively known as Speculative Fiction. Other people also throw in dystopian fiction, apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction, and alternate history into the speculative Fiction umbrella as well. I can’t see the point myself – but this is becoming more common. I mean to say, yes I suppose you could have a flesh eating monster stalking the corridors of a spaceship eating all the elves – but it is rare – and if you know of such a book then let me know.

Fantasy isn’t bound by convention – it is utterly make believe – so the world and its inhabitants can be anything that enters the author’s mind. A tree gets in the way of a character’s progress? Then being fantasy the character can snap his fingers, or will have a fellow traveller to do it, and poof – the tree disappears. If this happened in the real world there would be so many forms to fill out that the character would just give up and go home. Magic is an extremely useful tool in fantasy.

So why would you read fantasy? Well, so much of reality is uninteresting and unexciting – it is lovely to slip into a fantasy book, where nothing is real, and let your imagination run free? Don’t get me wrong, life can certainly be grim for the fantasy characters – I mean the journey of the hobbit and friends in the Lord of the Rings was no picnic – and those orcs were quite revolting – but in the end and the sun came back and evil was apparently vanquished. In real life this does not always occur.

So if it is all made-up why should we read fantasy?

Alan Nicholas, self-described Attorney, avid reader, sometime writer thinks he has the answer in this long article:

He thinks fantasy readers are solely into escapism, its very reason for being is that nothing is real so it really is another time and another place and can’t possibly happen in our world. With science fiction there is an element of maybe it could happen – aliens could land – humans could go into space and live on other plants – so it is not pure escapism. Even horror can make you the reader stop and think, could this happen – could there be a Freddie Kruger out there coming to get you? When reading fantasy you know it is not true, and have a fair idea that a horrible troll is not going to come marching down the high street. Well I hope one won’t anyway.

So if your interest is piqued to try the Fantasy genre – here are some links to some recommended books:

Something for everyone – 100 fantasy books

Ten Must-Read Magical Books That Aren’t Harry Potter (although if you haven’t read the Harry Potter books – you should)

Fantasy books usually come in series – 30 of the best fantasy series of all time gives a plethora of fantasy reading ideas.


This post can also be found at Books and Musings from Downunder

The Worthless Book of Lies That Chelsea Handler Told Me

Lies That Chelsea Handler Told MeLies That Chelsea Handler Told Me by Chelsea Handler

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Pure Crap.

People who actually think it’s funny to ruin a honeymoon, or tell a “friends” boyfriend that she sleeps around….probably are not a good a friend as You think they are.

To think that people think this is alright…runining lives and relationships, thinking it’s funny to write about, and joke around about it….what type of a world are we living in???? I feel sorry for the next generation, if this is what the world is coming too.

View all my reviews

The Last Quarrel: Episode 1

The Last Quarrel: Episode 1 (The Arbalester Trilogy, #1)The Last Quarrel: Episode 1 by Duncan Lay
My rating: 2 of 5 stars


Maybe it’s me…but honestly, this book was not memorable.

The beginning grabbed me…but it lost me a long the way. Maybe because some the the “historical” aspects, didn’t seem quite historical enough, or maybe I just didn’t connect with the characters. The “bones” of the book were not too bad, which is why the 2 stars.

I will not be continuing with the series.

View all my reviews

Books I’d Buy Right This Second If Someone Handed Me A Fully Loaded Gift Card


Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the Broke and the Bookish.  This week’s topic is what would we buy if someone gave us an unlimited gift card.


A Game of Thrones: The 20th Anniversary Illustrated Edition: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book One. Right now I have only bought the series as ebooks as I am waiting for the series to finish to buy it in paper form. But this is tempting

Media of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone Deluxe Illustrated Edition Media of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Deluxe Illustrated Edition

Harry Potter Deluxe Illustrated Editions.  This series I do already own in hardback, but I am tempted to buy the illustrated books of this when it is available, though I doubt I’ll be able to afford this deluxe version.


The Complete Calvin and Hobbes. I grew up reading the series and would love to have this edition on my shelves.


5. Madonna in a Fur Coat was published in 1943, but has not been available in English until now.


The Beast’s Garden. Beauty and the Beast retelling by Kate Forsyth. I am excited!


Everything by Ilona Andrews. They’re my new obsession.

There’s not a listing on Goodreads, but The Art of Michael Whelan (Signed Limited Edition) for $400. I will admire and lust over from afar. The cover is from Crown of Shadows, but he’s done plenty of other fantasy book illustrations.

Classics Challenge – July!


Wow, so hard to believe that it’s the end of July already!  Where did the month go?  Hope it was as full of good reads as our was😀.

July’s theme was A European classic (non-British).  Let’s see what Cocktail Phoenix thought first…

Cocktail Phoenix: For July’s task, a European, but non-British, classic, I wasn’t quite sure 157993what to pick up but all the French classics that came to mind seemed very large and I would have had to start them earlier to be able to finish for this month.

I can’t quite remember if I ever read The Little Prince in its entirety when I was young. I do remember an extract relating to the rose, but other than that… So after a bit of debating back and forth, I decided to just go with it and finally read it.

The writing style seemed very odd to me and the story in general left me with a bit of a question mark stamped across my face. But I can definitely understand the appeal of the story, especially when read to children as the ideas and morals portrayed are important ones – and they will most likely never lose their value considering how much time has passed since the book was written and our modern times, and the principle of what is essential is invisible to the eye still remains as true now as it was then.

Not my favourite classic, but I can appreciate the reasoning behind such a story.

3 Charms.  170292301702924217029271


Serenity: For my non-British classic, I really wanted to go with Les Misérables since I started that last year and have been only sporadically working on it since.  BUT…life.  And 1400+ pages mixed with life was just a no-go this month.  So, instead I decided to 54479read Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne.  And I loved it!  I actually did an audio for this one and the Narrator, Frederick Davidson, was phenomenal!  Except his girl’s voice, but honestly, the lone female in this novel didn’t speak much, so not a big deal.

The story itself was pure adventure.  It is a fun story without all the deeper things that sometimes get dragged into classics.   That’s not the say the characters didn’t have
depth…they did…but the story was just more about the adventure and fun of the journey than it really was about watching a character grow.  I would love to read this to my kids as it shows so many great examples of how to act and react to the things life throws at you, all with a dash of adventure and humor!

Every once in a while, Verne does get a little long winded on the travel descriptions, but other than that this is a nice, easy entry into Classics for any who are intimidated by them.

So, 5 charms for me as I just needed this dose of fun and lighthearted reading this month!



In August we will return with a Modern Classic!  Until then, keep reading🙂

One Book – Two Views: The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making


Review from Sally906:

THE GIRL WHO CIRCUMNAVIGATED FAIRYLAND IN A SHIP OF HER OWN is the first book in the fairyland series which is getting rave reviews across the world. However, I just didn’t get it, in fact I found it extremely difficult to get into the imaginative, but very odd, story and, importantly, none of the characters actually drew me in and demanded I stay. The closest character I came to like was the book-loving Wyvern called A-Through-L, and he was loquacious and boring.

Look, there was SO much going on in the story, often all at once, with lots of mentions of other past and future adventures being thrown into the mix every few paragraphs, making story was hard to track. Then on top of that there were lots of characters being thrown at me one after the other without me being given the chance to bond with any of them. But wait there’s more! The main problem was I didn’t even bond with the strange child who is the centre of the story, September. For me to really enjoy a story I need to have feelings about, or be able to relate to, the main character – even if it is a severe dislike – the character needs to evoke some sort of emotion from me. But author Catherynne M Valente aroused no emotions from me for September; in fact even September didn’t seem to care about what happened to September. So if the main character is apathetic to her own fate – why should I care whether she gets eaten by river monsters, or killed by a witch? Don’t get me wrong Valente obviously has superb mastery of the English language – but it was if she put so much effort into her words, and waxed lyrical about every little thing, that the story got lost amongst the descriptions. The world building was absolutely amazing – but then it was peopled with characters that remained as flat as the pages I was reading.

As I said, THE GIRL WHO CIRCUMNAVIGATED FAIRYLAND IN A SHIP OF HER OWN has got rave reviews, so I am clearly in the minority here. It is listed for readers aged 10+, this stuns me as it would have to be a very advanced 10 year old who could read this. In fact, I wouldn’t recommend it for anyone under the age of 15. A lot of this is to do with the style in which it is written, not the concept of adventures in fairyland.

I kept think of Narnia, Alice in Wonderland and the Wizard of Oz – all bizarre stories if you think about them logically, but full of wonderful characters and words which pull you in – not leave you leaping for the dictionary every few minutes. In fact there is even mention made of a wardrobe that connects you to other worlds, so the author must be familiar with these works. Her version of a magical adventure just didn’t work for me – but as I have already mentioned it as lots of good reviews from other readers – so just but not my cup of tea.


Review from Lioness:

I’m always a fan of a good portal fantasy, where the protagonists start in our world and cross over to a world of fantasy, such as Chronicles of Narnia, Wizard of Oz, or one of my favorite books The Phantom Tollbooth.

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making (henceforth GWC) had the same of sort of fantastical adventure as The Phantom Tollbooth as September leaves her life for an adventure to Fairyland. She joins up with A-Through-L, aka “Ell”.  Ell is a wyverary, which is the offspring of a wyveryn and a library, and ended up being my favorite character.

GWC has a good sense of wordplay which made the book fun to read and I enjoyed the plot and how it all came together in the end. My only issue with GWC is I found it easy to put down, and I prefer when books make me want to keep reading.

I do plan to continue the series and look forward to reading the rest of the series, especially with the ending.