Thursday, October 17, 2019

Cat Thursday


Welcome to the weekly meme (hosted by Michelle at True Book Addict) that celebrates the wonders and sometime hilarity of cats! Join us by posting a favorite lolcat pic you may have come across, famous cat art or even share with us pics of your own beloved cat(s). It's all for the love of cats! 





Horror Movie Challenge: Your Favorite Horror Remake

Favorite Horror Remake:


Source
Tagline: Perfection commands sacrifice.

Synopsis: Susie Bannion is a young American ballerina who travels to Berlin to study dancing at the Markos Tanz Company, one of the world's most renowned schools under Madame Blanc's management. On her very first day, one of the students who had been recently expelled from the school is murdered. As this appalling happening does not seem to be an isolated occurrence, the brilliant new student soon begins to suspect that the school might be involved in the homicide. Her mistrust heightens when Sarah, one of the girls at the school, tells her that Pat, before being killed, confided to her that she knew and guarded a terrifying dark secret.




I enjoyed the original but it was confusing. I felt that this remake brought all those elements together but in a new and different way that I could relate with. I absolutely loved the ending in the remake. It's a beautiful piece of horror.

There are other horror remakes that are good but this one stuck out first as I thought about it.

Check out the trailer.

Favorite Slasher Horror Movie

Source

Tagline: If this movie doesn't make your skin crawl ... it's on TOO TIGHT

Synopsis: It's time for Christmas break, and the sorority sisters make plans for the holiday, but the strange anonymous phone calls are beginning to put them on edge. When Clare disappears, they contact the police, who don't express much concern. Meanwhile Jess is planning to get an abortion, but boyfriend Peter is very much against it. The police finally begin to get concerned when a 13-year-old girl is found dead in the park. They set up a wiretap to the sorority house, but will they be in time to prevent a sorority girl attrition problem?





























This is hands-down my all-time favorite slasher! This came out a couple of years before Halloween and you can see some similar elements. Black Christmas took it to college where you're supposed to be safe and sound, especially during Christmas break. It's terrifying to never know who it is or why. Plus to see some familiar faces so young is a great treat. I've never looked at unicorns the same way either .... It's a classic for a reason. 

Check out the trailer




*Part of the 30-Day Horror Movie Challenge by Leah at Unleash the Flying Monkeys

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Horror Movie Challenge: Favorite Childhood-themed Horror Film

 Favorite Childhood-themed horror film:


Tagline: It doesn't think. It doesn't feel. It doesn't give up.


For nineteen-year-old Jay, Autumn should be about school, boys and week-ends out at the lake. But after a seemingly innocent sexual encounter, she finds herself plagued by strange visions and the inescapable sense that someone, something, is following her. Faced with this burden, Jay and her friends must find a way to escape the horrors, that seem to be only a few steps behind.



 

This is a beautiful horror film on the ultimate experience of becoming an adult--sex. Jay and her friends are on that cusp of becoming adults and this movie becomes the metaphor of all of the feelings that becoming an adult can be. It's layered. It has so much to say but this is the ultimate coming-of-age horror that continues to stick with me.

Check out the trailer.

Horror film you most relate to:


Tagline: Where there is imagination, there is darkness and from within that darkness lurks a being of unfathomable terror ... close to home. 

Synopsis: 

A single mother and her child fall into a deep well of paranoia when an eerie children's book titled "Mister Babadook" manifests in their home.



















I had a very emotional reaction to this film. Not only was it just a super scary but it was a visceral take on how difficult being a parent can be. I had post-partum depression of my son was born and I could relate to so many elements of this film. It's also a meditation on grief and how we deal and move through it. So many elements here that are worth revisiting time and again.

Check out the trailer here.


*Part of the 30-Day Horror Movie Challenge by Leah at Unleash the Flying Monkeys

30-Day Horror Movie Challenge 2019


I am definitely late to the challenge but I thought I'd join in anyway. I've been wanting to do a horror movie challenge and this one is perfect. This movie challenge is hosted by Leah at Unleash the Flying Monkeys blog.

I think I'll just try to jam a few of my favorite themes in where I can fro the rest of the month.

Wanna participate?
Here’s how to join the 30-Day Horror Movie Challenge:
You can start on whatever day you like.
(1) Make your picks and share it on your blog or site;
(2) Or, just leave a comment on the individual blog posts (linked below).
Here are the rules:
Simply pick your favorite horror movie for each day based on that day’s theme. But there’s a catch: you can’t pick the same horror movie more than once. So, if you pick SCREAM (1996) for your favorite slasher film, you can’t use it again for any other day including favorite horror film.

Day 01 – A horror film no one would expect you to love but you do
Day 02 – The horror film you most relate to
Day 03 – Your favorite slasher
Day 04 – Your favorite werewolf film
Day 05 – Your favorite monster movie
Day 06 – Your favorite vampire movie
Day 07 – Your favorite supernatural horror film
Day 08 – Your favorite anthology
Day 09 – Your favorite exploitation / grindhouse type film
Day 10 – Your favorite psychological horror film
Day 11 – Your favorite science fiction horror film
Day 12 – Your favorite horror film involving the occult
Day 13 – Your favorite horror comedy
Day 14 – Your favorite zombie film
Day 15 – Your favorite horror film involving serial killers
Day 16 – Your favorite childhood-themed horror film
Day 17 – Your favorite horror film remake
Day 18 – Your favorite foreign horror film (outside of your country of origin)
Day 19 – Your favorite horror film involving the powers of Hell or Satanism
Day 20 – Your favorite horror film involving a killer animal
Day 21 – Your favorite medical horror film
Day 22 – Your favorite horror-themed TV show
Day 23 – Your favorite made-for-TV horror film
Day 24 – A horror film in which you prefer the edited version over the director’s cut
Day 25 – A horror film you used to hate but now like
Day 26 – Your favorite horror film to watch as a child
Day 27 – Your favorite guilty pleasure
Day 28 – Your favorite horror film no one’s ever heard of
Day 29 – Your least favorite horror film of all time
Day 30 – Your favorite horror film of all time

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Black Water Rising and Pleasantville by Attica Locke

2019-09-05 16.08.26

Published: June 9th, 2009 by Amistad
Genre: Crime Fiction, Thriller
Format: Kindle, 427 pages, Own
Rating: 4 stars


Publisher's Summary: 

In her debut novel, Attica Locke—a writer and producer of FOX’s Empire—delivers an engrossing, complex, and cinematic thriller about crime and racial justice

Jay Porter is hardly the lawyer he set out to be. His most promising client is a low-rent call girl and he runs his fledgling law practice out of a dingy strip mall. But he's long since made peace with not living the American Dream and carefully tucked away his darkest sins: the guns, the FBI file, the trial that nearly destroyed him.

Houston, Texas, 1981. It is here that Jay believes he can make a fresh start. That is, until the night in a boat out on the bayou when he impulsively saves a woman from drowning—and opens a Pandora's box. Her secrets put Jay in danger, ensnaring him in a murder investigation that could cost him his practice, his family, and even his life. But before he can get to the bottom of a tangled mystery that reaches into the upper echelons of Houston's corporate power brokers, Jay must confront the demons of his past.

With pacing that captures the reader from the first scene through an exhilarating climax, Black Water Rising marks the arrival of an electrifying new talent.

My Thoughts:

This is the second book I've read of Attica Locke's. This one was just as good. She starts slow and it's a slow burn but one that pays off the last half of the book. Locke has a way of teaching us new things about Houston and its history with race, class, and big oil; and it's all within a fascinating and entertaining story.

Jay is a guy trying to do his best for his family, Bertie, who's pregnant with their first child. She's long-suffering but gives him the space he needs to do his job. He finds help from an old client who's a DIY private investigator and a journalist trying to break open a story.

This is a character-driven and world-driven story. It's slow but it's worth it. I learned a lot about Houston in the early 80s and what big Oil meant for that city and its people.

2019-10-01 09.41.43

Published: April 21st, 2009 by HarperCollins Publishers
Genre: Crime Fiction, Thriller
Format: Kindle, 433 pages, Own
Rating: 4 stars

Publisher's Summary:

In this sophisticated thriller, lawyer Jay Porter, hero of Locke’s bestseller Black Water Rising, returns to fight one last case, only to become embroiled once again in a dangerous game of shadowy politics and a witness to how far those in power are willing to go to win

Fifteen years after the events of Black Water Rising, Jay Porter is struggling to cope with catastrophic changes in his personal life and the disintegration of his environmental law practice. His victory against Cole Oil is still the crown jewel of his career, even if he hasn’t yet seen a dime thanks to appeals. But time has taken its toll. Tired and restless, he's ready to quit.

When a girl goes missing on Election Night, 1996, in the neighborhood of Pleasantville—a hamlet for upwardly-mobile blacks on the north side of Houston—Jay, a single father, is deeply disturbed. He’s been representing Pleasantville in the wake of a chemical fire, and the case is dragging on, raising doubts about his ability.

The missing girl was a volunteer for one of the local mayoral candidates, and her disappearance complicates an already heated campaign. When the nephew of one of the candidates, a Pleasantville local, is arrested, Jay reluctantly finds himself serving as a defense attorney. With a man’s life and his own reputation on the line, Jay is about to try his first murder in a case that will also put an electoral process on trial, exposing the dark side of power and those determined to keep it.

My Thoughts:

Jay Porter returns 15 years later since the first book of Black Water Rising. We're in the mid-90s and we get a lot of history about that time. It's a fun throw-back with Clinton, etc. Locke uses grief in her story with Jay and his children. Bertie has died from cancer the previous year and him and their kids are in free-fall. 

It's another slow burn the first half. We get character development, a run-down of the first novel plot, and the world of Houston in the mid-90s. Nothing exciting happens until Neal is arrested and Jay agrees to be his lawyer. The mystery wasn't as exciting or intriguing this time around. But the way Locke talks about politics and the formation of PACs and the smashing of voting blocs and the beginning of the end of our political system is flawless and is worth the read, if nothing else. I'm floored at the way Locke can teach us using crime fiction. This is crime fiction that's ethical and has something to say.

Read for R.I.P. 14 and FrightFall 




Week-in-Review: Fall Hiking

First week gone in October. I'm really trying to enjoy this gorgeous weather we're having. It's jacket weather during the days and chilly nights in the evening. It's perfect for making hot chocolate and getting out my kotatsu table!

We even managed a hike up in the mountains to see the beautiful fall colors! Only one tumble by G but after the promise of ice cream on the way home, he perked right up! Ha!

2019-10-06 14.38.59


2019-10-06 14.41.04



Last Week I:


Read:


4 books: Scariest Stories You've Every Heard by Mark Mills, The Forgotten Girl by India Brown Hill (Highly recommend this one), and The Conquest of Happiness by Bertrand Russell, and Chase the Darkness with Me: How One True-crime Reporter Started Solving Crimes by Billy Jensen.

Listened to:

Audible version of Dracula by Bram Stoker. It's a good one with a full-length cast!

Watched:

TV:



I finished off Marianne on Netflix and Light as a Feather on Hulu.


Movies



Haunt and Flatliners (2017) version. Haunt was surprisingly entertaining with a great ending. Fun surprise. Flatliners was just OK. Meh.

Made:

Birthday horror cupcakes for my neighbor and the cocktail Scooby Snack with coconut rum, banana liqueur, melon liqueur, pineapple juice, and whipping cream. Delicioso!

This Week I:

Am currently reading:


I am still reading The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman with G, Dead Voices by Katherine Arden also with G, Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand, The Agony House by Cherie Priest, Ghostland: An American in History in Haunted Places by Colin Dickey, Dracul by Dacre Stoker, and probably a few more later on this week!

Am currently listening to:

Dracula by Bram Stoker on Audible.

Am looking forward to:

I'm hoping to make some chocolate chip pumpkin cookies this weekend. Shrimp lemon garlic linguini as well and who knows? Some mulled wine? This is one of the cooler Octobers we've had in a few years so I'm loving it!

Also DH and G are headed out next week for a boys camping trip without me. G will meet new cousins and hang out with some old ones as well. All of DH's brothers and their boys are meeting up on the west coast. Mama bear is a little nervous but I know he's in safe hands but I'll be a little lonely this next week. I plan on getting extra work done and extra reading in!

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Cat Halloween Thursday! Moxie


Welcome to the weekly meme (hosted by Michelle at True Book Addict) that celebrates the wonders and sometime hilarity of cats! Join us by posting a favorite lolcat pic you may have come across, famous cat art or even share with us pics of your own beloved cat(s). It's all for the love of cats! 

It's Halloween cats all month long! And a story or two to warm the cockles...

The Atlantic has an article on Moxie, the black cat who's joined the campus at Kenyon College in Ohio. Read all about his crazy antics!

The college news did a video report on Moxie interviewing fellow students and Moxie's mother. It's a longer video but well worth the watch!



Funny cat Halloween memes:



Tuesday, October 1, 2019

FrightFall 2019 Signup

Once again it's that time of year again to read all the scary things and watch all the horrors! Michelle over at Castle Macabre and Seasons of Reading is hosting FrightFall. Head on over and sign up!



Once again, this year FrightFall is part of Something Wicked Fall at Castle Macabre. We're in the middle of a read-along of Stephen King's Doctor Sleep, we've been reading Gothic stories/books in September, and we had a watch-along of The Shining Saturday night. Our read-along continues this month, we're transitioning over to horror stories, and our next watch-along will be of the movie Midsommar on October 19. We're still working out the time. To weigh in, comment on the post in our Facebook group, reply in the Goodreads group, or comment on my Tweet on Twitter (@truebookaddict). For all the details on Something Wicked Fall, stop by Castle Macabre here.

Also, looking forward to Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon coming up October 26. Anyone else?

Remember, the one main "rule" of FrightFall is that you must read ONE scary book (which can be a thriller, mystery, Gothic novel, or similar for those who are faint of heart). The rest of the month? Keep reading scary if you want, or read whichever genre you choose.

Don't forget that you can participate even if you don't have a blog. Just link up with your Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram (and just post your updates from whichever venue you choose) AND don't forget our Facebook group, our Goodreads group, and our Instagram. If you have any questions about updates, etc., feel free to ask. I will post a mid-event check in post around the middle of the month so be sure to stop by and leave progress, or a link, in the comments.

Hashtag across all social media is #FrightFall Feel free to also use #SomethingWickedFall



I plan to read:

1. Bluebird, Bluebird by Attica Locke
2. Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand
3. The Fade by Demitria Lunetta
4. Absent by Katie Williams
5. Ghostland: An American History in Haunted Places by Colin Dickey

Plus more but that's on my main list right now! It changes from week to week!

September-in-Review: Rocky Mountains

Where did September go? We're officially in October and Fall is here. Time for hot cocoa and cider and scary movies and books!

A couple of weeks ago I made it to Colorado and enjoyed a week at the Rocky National Park with a friend. We hiked every day and ate amazing food and beer and saw all the wildlife. On our way back from Cub Lake we saw a herd of elk at the watering hole. Two other males (bulls) were also nearby trying to sneak either a look at the females (cows) or trying for a drink. Not sure but the big male scared the rest off and herded the females back to the water. We heard their bugling and it was so cool to hear all week. We woke up to their sounds. We even saw a couple of males eye each other in the back yard. No fighting happened but they displayed their antlers and then walked away.

We also had a few hares hopping around the property. And on a few hikes, we saw lots of fat chipmunks begging for food. We didn't give them any but one climbed onto my shoe expecting a treat. Yikes. I freaked. We came back the next day and another lady had allowed the chipmunk onto her lap! Don't feed the wildlife!

The Rockies are extremely high. I'm from Utah and figured the Rockies wouldn't be a big deal but I was wrong. 8,000-12,000ish feet cause me some altitude sickness. Not too bad but I got out of breath quick. But the gorgeous views of the glacial marked park are breath-taking. So worth it. I'm definitely taking the family back here to explore more of this beautiful park.

2019-09-25 10.40.53

Cub Lake with all the elk! I've never seen elk so close. It was a tad bit scary! he he


2019-09-25 10.42.56

Bear Lake, Sprague Lake. An easy hike to both but beautiful.


2019-09-25 10.45.02

Alpine Falls and Mills Lake. Some fall colors coming through. A view of Longs Peak which is over 14,000 feet! Crazy chipmunk...


2019-09-25 10.48.44

Lake Haiyaha. It was off the beaten path so not a lot of hikers when we got up there. The boulders are everywhere and it was so blue! Our best hike.

It was so fun to get away for a bit. DH held up the fort while I was gone. G and DH definitely missed me and gave me lots of love when I got back. It's nice to be appreciated.

This last weekend we put up most of the Fall and Halloween decorations. Colder air has moved in. I'm still holding out on the heater, though. I know the temps will rise this week again. 

G has decided to be Shaggy for Halloween so DH and I have decided to be Scooby-Doo and Velma respectively. I'm going to dye my sweater and skirt and my socks are in the mail. DH is going to carry around a stuffy version of Scooby-Doo and call it good! Ha. Simple and easy.

September I:


Read: 5 books in total: Wilder Girls by Rory Power, Countdown: 2979 Days Until the Moon by Suzanne Slade, Black Water Rising by Attica Locke, The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle, and Pleasantville by Attica Locke.

Listened to:

Scary Stories Podcast. It's a creepy story podcast where listeners write in with their own stories either true or fiction....they're really short so you can get small doses whenever you want. Spooked season 3 as well. Binge-listened to Room 40 about a mysterious man who's been in a coma for decades with his identity unknown. Pretty good.

Watched:

TV:


I've been on a horror TV show binge. Unbelievable on Netflix which is a must-see, all three seasons of Slasher (Netflix) also not for the faint of heart! Yikes, the new season of Scream(Netflix), two seasons of Light as a Feather(Hulu), and now Marianne on Netflix; it's French and it's pretty creepy!








Movies


It: Chapter Two, The Hustle, The Dead Don't Die, We Have Always Lived in the Castle, Booksmart, and Midsommar are the movies I watched last month. Booksmart and Midsommar were the best!

Made:

Time for soups, stews, and chilis!

This Week I:

Am currently reading:


The Golden Compass by Phillip Pullman with G aloud, Bluebird, Bluebird by Attica Locke, Conquest of Happiness by Bertrand Russell, Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand, and Dracul by Dacre Stoker.

Am currently listening to:

Scary story and mystery type podcasts still. Dracula by Bram Stoker on Audible.

Am looking forward to:

Fall hiking this weekend. Reading all the scary things, watching scary stuff, and getting ready for Halloween!


Thursday, September 12, 2019

Cat Thursday-- Cats and Books


Welcome to the weekly meme (hosted by Michelle at True Book Addict) that celebrates the wonders and sometime hilarity of cats! Join us by posting a favorite lolcat pic you may have come across, famous cat art or even share with us pics of your own beloved cat(s). It's all for the love of cats! 

I love the books and I love the cats, so here are some memes! Enjoy!






Thursday, September 5, 2019

Week-in-Review: Labor Day Weekend

Last week was fun but we were also sick...so it was kind of fun? G got sick over the weekend and then DH and I got sick and then we had to go camping! Major sinus issues and overall blergh feeling but we still managed to have a good time despite not feeling my best. I was probably a little grumpier than I intended to be with everyone but we got a bit of sleep, looked at the stars, read ghost stories around a fire, sang the Shaving Cream camp song over and over and over again...

2019-09-05 10.51.06


And some stuff in my garden grew! Peppers, jalapenos, and a large-ass cucumber! Woot!

2019-09-02 11.36.58


Overall, it was a successful Labor Day Weekend! I crashed hard Sunday and Monday and have been extra tired this week...but I am looking forward to finally feeling better soon. Maybe make some pico de gallo and stuffed jalapenos this weekend?

Last Week I:


ReadWilder Girls by Rory Power, Countdown: 2979 Days Until the Moon by Suzanne Slade

Listened to:

Still catching up on podcasts but plan on listening to my Audible recording of Dracula by Bram Stoker. Alan Cumings and Tim Curry are apart of the cast!

Watched:

TV:

I finished Good Omens on Amazon Prime. I liked it. It was funny and had a cute message. David Tennant. God. Love that man.

I also binge-watched Carnival Row after we got back from camping for three days. It was great to do just sit back after cleaning everything up and getting cleaned up to just sit and watch this. Not amazing but overall a beautifully done story.






Movies

Not much in new-to-me movies. I rewatched some faves with G like the new Ghostbusters and the original Lion King. But with September and October in full swing, I'm planning on getting a few more horror movies in!

Made:

Lots of campfire food last week. S'mores and breakfast burritos too.

This Week I:

Am currently reading:

The Golden Compass by Phillip Pullman, Black Water Rising by Attica Locke, Conquest of Happiness by Bertrand Russell.

Am currently listening to:

RadioLab

Am looking forward to:

I have a trip to Colorado a week from Saturday so I'm definitely looking forward to that!

But overall, I love this time of year. R.I.P is in full swing. Cooler evenings. Chilis and soups and pumpkin bread. Spooky books, movies, and decor.

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