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October Read Choices

Hi, readers!

Welcome to fall! Is it time to wake Greenday up?
Ha ha I’m so funny.

Anyway, it is just about time for our October book! I have gotten a few suggestions from you and grabbed a couple of my own that looked interesting, so hopefully we have a good selection from which to choose.

I like to chronicle how our books and conversations turn out, but if you are uninterested in reading my thoughts and summations, feel free to skip down a few headings to where you will find summaries and the poll itself.

Sinister Magic

This book, despite it’s surprisingly positive reviews, did not meet a single one of our expectations or hopes.

Following a middle aged(ish) mom who fights supernatural crimes and apprehends magical criminals, I think there was a lot of room for some great plot and characters. I think we conclusively decided that it fell short in just about every single aspect.

There are quite a few books which follow it up, and there was only vague interest in potentially checking them out. The book had high potential and still has plenty of room to grow and expand to fill in the gaps of our disappointment, but we will have to see if that potential is enough to keep anyone’s interest.

The Rook

We are going to be meeting for our final discussion on this book this Saturday at 10:00 EDT.
So far, the consensus has been positive, interested, and hopeful for a good ending. With good prose, interesting characters, subtle but bright humor, it has been a pretty solid read in a lot of ways.

I already know of a couple of you who have finished it and intend on reading the sequel. I hope it meets your expectations!

Summaries for Our October Choices

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

307 pages
Nobody Owens, known to his friends as Bod, is a perfectly normal boy. Well, he would be perfectly normal if he didn’t live in a graveyard, being raised and educated by ghosts, with a solitary guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor the world of the dead.

There are dangers and adventures for Bod in the graveyard: the strange and terrible menace of the Sleer; a gravestone entrance to a desert that leads to the city of ghouls; friendship with a witch, and so much more.

But it is in the land of the living that real danger lurks, for it is there that the man Jack lives and he has already killed Bod’s family.

A deliciously dark masterwork by bestselling author Neil Gaiman, with illustrations by award-winning Dave McKean

The Best of H.P. Lovecraft, by H.P. Lovecraft

406 pages
“The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.”—H.P. Lovecraft

This is the collection that true fans of horror fiction must have: sixteen of H.P. Lovecraft’s most horrifying visions, including:

The Call of Cthulu: The first story in the infamous Cthulhu mythos—a creature spawned in the stars brings a menace of unimaginable evil to threaten all mankind.

The Dunwich Horror: An evil man’s desire to perform an unspeakable ritual leads him in search of the fabled text of The Necronomicon.

The Colour Out of Space: A horror from the skies—far worse than any nuclear fallout—transforms a man into a monster.

The Shadow Over Innsmouth: Rising from the depths of the sea, an unspeakable horror engulfs a quiet New England town.

Plus twelve more terrifying tales!

The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris

421 pages
Hannibal Lecter. The ultimate villain of modern fiction. Read the five-million-copy bestseller that scared the world silent. The Silence of the Lambs. A young FBI trainee. An evil genius locked away for unspeakable crimes. A plunge into the darkest chambers of a psychopath’s mind–in the deadly search for a serial killer. – back cover

Intensity by Dean Koontz

436 pages
Past midnight, Chyna Shepard, twenty-six, gazes out a moonlit window, unable to sleep on her first night in the Napa Valley home of her best friend’s family. Instinct proves reliable. A murderous sociopath, Edgler Foreman Vess, has entered the house, intent on killing everyone inside. A self-proclaimed “homicidal adventurer,” Vess lives only to satisfy all appetites as they arise, to immerse himself in sensation, to live without fear, remorse or limits, to live with “intensity.” Chyna is trapped in his deadly orbit.

Chyna is a survivor, toughened by a lifelong struggle for safety and self-respect. Now she will be tested as never before. At first her sole aim is to get out alive–until, by chance, she learns the identity of Vess’s next intended victim, a faraway innocent only she can save. Driven by a newly discovered thirst for meaning beyond mere self-preservation, Chyna musters every inner resource she has to save an endangered girl…as moment by moment, the terrifying threat of Edgler Foreman Vess intensifies.

 

Vote Here!

 

What Shall We Read for October?

  • The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. (54%, 7 Votes)
  • The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris (31%, 4 Votes)
  • The Best of H.P. Lovecraft: Bloodcurdling Tales of Horror and the Macabre by H.P. Lovecraft (8%, 1 Votes)
  • Intensity by Dean Koontz (8%, 1 Votes)

Total Voters: 13

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An Update and Info for September’s Read

Hello readers!
First of all, thank you from the bottom of my heart to the about ten of you who attended our first meeting on the third. I had no idea how this was going to go, and I was delightfully surprised that it went better than I ever could have imagined. You are an amazing group of people, and you brought so many insights and thoughtful ideas that I never would have come up with on my own. I’m thrilled to see how this group progresses and expands.
Next up, and this will be reflected in the calendar and about page, we are changing our meeting dates to Friday’s at 10pm EDT. Hopefully this will allow more people to comfortably attend without a workday on the horizon. I am still trying to figure out how best to work with our overseas readers who have to get up tragically early if they want to attend. Let’s all invade Canada and bring them with us!
Since I will be otherwise occupied on the 14th, our next meeting (where we will talk about the entirety of The Fifth Season) will be on August 21 at 10:00 pm EDT.
Friendly reminder to join the Discord server if you haven’t already. You can find the link to it in the social menu on this page. Also invite your friends to vote on our next book and join us! Remember that this is a commitment free group: attend if you want, skip a meeting if you like.

September’s Options

We will be reading urban fantasy this month, and I tried to find some options that you may not have read before.

You will find synopses for each book below, as well as links to their Goodreads pages. Below the summaries is the section where you can vote. Voting will close on August 15 at 11:59pm.

We will meet to discuss the first half of whatever book is chosen on September 4, and our final meeting for it will be on September 18. You can always check the calendar at the bottom of the homepage or reach out in the Discord group for info.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Around the world, black hand prints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.
In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grows dangerously low.
And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherworldly war.
Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real, she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious “errands”, she speaks many languages – not all of them human – and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.
When beautiful, haunted Akiva fixes fiery eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

Sinister Magic by Lindsay Buroker

(Note: this book does not appear to be on Bookshare)

I’m Val Thorvald, and I’m an assassin.
When magical bad guys hurt people, I take care of them. Permanently.
This doesn’t make me popular with the rest of the magical community—as you can tell from the numerous break-ins and assassination attempts I’ve endured over the years. But thanks to my half-elven blood, a powerful sword named Chopper, and a telepathic tiger with an attitude, I’ve always been able to handle my problems with aplomb. Maybe some cursing and swearing, too, but definitely aplomb.
That changes when my boss is afflicted with a mysterious disease, a government agent starts investigating me, and a godforsaken dragon shows up in the middle of my latest job.
I’ve taken down vampires, zombies, and ogres, but dragons are way, way more powerful. And it doesn’t look like this one is going to like me.
Worse than that, he wants to use his magic to compel me to do his bidding, as if I’m some weak-minded minion.
That’s not going to happen. I’d die before being some dragon’s slave.
But if I can’t figure out a way to avoid him, save my boss, and get rid of the government spook, I’m screwed. Or dead. Or screwed and dead. And that’s never comfortable.

The Rook by Daniel O’Malley

The body you are wearing used to be mine.” So begins the letter Myfanwy Thomas is holding when she awakes in a London park surrounded by bodies all wearing latex gloves. With no recollection of who she is, Myfanwy must follow the instructions her former self left behind to discover her identity and track down the agents who want to destroy her.
She soon learns that she is a Rook, a high-ranking member of a secret organization called the Chequy that battles the many supernatural forces at work in Britain. She also discovers that she possesses a rare, potentially deadly supernatural ability of her own.
In her quest to uncover which member of the Chequy betrayed her and why, Myfanwy encounters a person with four bodies, an aristocratic woman who can enter her dreams, a secret training facility where children are transformed into deadly fighters, and a conspiracy more vast than she ever could have imagined.

A Madness of Angels by Kate Griffin

For Matthew Swift, today is not like any other day. It is the day on which he returns to life.
Two years after his untimely death, Matthew Swift finds himself breathing once again, lying in bed in his London home.
Except that it’s no longer his bed, or his home. And the last time this sorcerer was seen alive, an unknown assailant had gouged a hole so deep in his chest that his death was irrefutable…despite his body never being found.
He doesn’t have long to mull over his resurrection though, or the changes that have been wrought upon him. His only concern now is vengeance. Vengeance upon his monstrous killer and vengeance upon the one who brought him back.

Vote here!

What shall we read for September?

  • Sinister Magic by Lindsay Buroker (45%, 5 Votes)
  • The Rook by Daniel O'Malley (36%, 4 Votes)
  • Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor (9%, 1 Votes)
  • A Madness of Angels by Kate Griffin (9%, 1 Votes)

Total Voters: 11

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Our first book!

As is pretty evident by the choices, I’m going with a more sci-fi theme for our first book. It’s a genre I’m unfamiliar with beyond one or two books, so I’m excited to try something new!
Since many of you have delved into this genre a lot already, feel free to let me know if you have already read all the options. Don’t select an option you’ve already read unless you truly don’t mind re-reading it with us.

I’m opening up next sections submissions now, so feel free to throw some titles at me. I’m thinking urban fantasy?

Just do us all a favor and pick the first book in a series, if you can.

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