Monday, October 16, 2017

An Update

Some of you who don't follow my social media may wonder why the heck I've suddenly stopped posting and replying to comments. My grandmother has been ill for a few years- first breast cancer, then this year, lung cancer. She died on October 3rd at the ripe old age of 91 years. Although this isn't my first rodeo in terms of grandparents dying (technically, I only have 1 left), I was very close to my grandmother and lived with her when I was a young adult. I didn't realize how much it affected me until I walked into her apartment and saw the chair in the corner was vacant. It was real to me then, even though I'd known days before.

I plan to be back to blogging sometime, but I'm not sure if it will be soonish or laterish. I always thought the worst when I visited a blog where no one had posted in a long time, which is why I'm posting this now. Grief is a fickle beast, and I'd rather leave notice that I'm okay than keep people guessing.

Happy Reading,

Monday, October 2, 2017

MMRM: "The Blue Lenses" and "The Doll" by Daphne du Maurier


'Tis the season for the unearthly, the undead, and the downright macabre. Not everyone can read an entire book in time for Halloween- some of us are too busy with other books, or even other things (gasp). For those poor souls, I offer these reviews: I will be writing my thoughts on some of my favorite short stories for this spooky season, either one at a time or in pairs.

"The Blue Lenses" by Daphne du Maurier


Available to read for free, online here. There is a free audio edition of this short story (!) here. (The audio appears to have more sentences- I'm not sure if it was added on or not.)
Rating: 4 Stars (Excellent)
Content: Ages 12+ for mild head-bending.
Page Count: (unknown) pages
Year Published: 1959

Surgeries are a vulnerable time for most people, so it makes sense to write a weird horror tale about the subject. Without sight, would we judge people differently or the same? Daphne du Maurier does an excellent job of playing on some of the more basic fears most people have.

The Plot: A woman has surgery to repair her vision, but when her bandages are removed, her vision seems to have bizarrely deteriorated instead.

Colour was not important. The blue symmetry of vision itself was all important. To see, to feel. It was indeed a rebirth, the discovery of a world long lost to her.

               ~"The Blue Lenses" by Daphne du Maurier

If you happen to be having eye surgery, I would save this one for later. It's a bit unsettling.

Another note: This was included in an article on Bibliotherapy: what to read when you're at breaking point. I suggest reading the story first, as she includes a minor spoiler.

"The Doll" by Daphne du Maurier


Available to read for free, online here.
Rating: 3 Stars (Good)
Content: 14+ for implied sex scenes
Page Count: (unknown) pages
Year Published: 1937

Although du Maurier is best known for having a character named Rebecca in her novel of the same name, here is another instance she uses a similarly named character to sinister effect.

The Plot: A man finds himself bewitched by a girl who is liberal with her affections.

Honestly, I can't say I liked this one as well as "The Blue Lenses", which had a certain amount of depth that this one doesn't have. As horror stories go, this one is heavy on the atmosphere. But I can see why it went unpublished for 70 years- it just doesn't have as much punch as du Maurier's other works.

She said, "Is it possible to love someone so much that it gives one a pleasure, an unaccountable pleasure to hurt them? To hurt them by jealousy, I mean, and to hurt oneself  at the same time. Pleasure and pain, an equal mingling of pleasure and pain, just as an experiment, a rare sensation?"

            ~"The Doll" by Daphne du Maurier

If you're afraid of dolls and losing someone you love, I suppose this one may be more frightening. As someone unafraid of dolls, it wasn't that scary to me.

Until next time,

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Sci-Fi Summer Reading Challenge Wrap-up (Year 2)


The Sci-Fi Summer Reading Challenge Hosted by Rachelle @ Fortified by Books
My Goal: 6 Books
What I've Read: 12 Books!

Firstborn & Defending Elysium by Brandon Sanderson (Sci-fi Short Stories, 160 pages [June])
Parable of the Sower (Earthseed #1) by Octavia E. Butler (Dystopian, 345 pages [July])
The Mirror by Marlys Millhiser (Time Travel, 303 pages [July])
Naked in Death (In Death #1) by J.D. Robb (Sci-fi Thriller/Romance [July])
Glory in Death (In Death #2) by J.D. Robb (Sci-fi Thriller/Romance [Aug])
Immortal in Death (In Death #3) by J.D. Robb (Sci-fi Thriller/Romance [Aug])
River of Teeth (River of Teeth #1) by Sarah Gailey (Alt History [Aug])
Cards of Grief by Jane Yolen (Sci-fi [Aug])
Rapture in Death (In Death #4) by J.D. Robb (Sci-fi Thriller/Romance [Sept])
Ceremony in Death (In Death #5) by J.D. Robb (Sci-fi Thriller/Romance [Sept])
Vengeance in Death (In Death #6) by J.D. Robb (Sci-fi Thriller/Romance [Sept])
Holiday in Death (In Death #7) by J.D. Robb (Sci-fi Thriller/Romance [Sept])


Because I exceeded my goal (again) this year, I managed to make it to Jedi (again)! I found a new favorite sci-fi series that is pretty darn addictive (I have gathered up to #16 of the In Death series, thanks to Better World Books's fabulous prices on used books).

Thanks to Rachelle for hosting this! I was very surprised I made it to Jedi again, but I guess that's what happens when you get hooked on a series.

Happy Reading!


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