This Year’s Summer Reads

I’m not sure if my summer reads are what most people consider summer reads. I tend not to choose the easy breezy ones — although I often like them when I do. This year’s load of novels is no exception, though, and I’ve gleefully read about about darkness and mayhem through hot, sunny days. Sunscreen and monsters are excellent companions.

These are the ones I liked the most:

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The One Book to Rule Them All

Rereading this one — am looking forward to feeling slightly insane for a while.

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Cake in Leipzig

A few months ago, I was i Leipzig.

This is what I found:

Cthulhu on the hotel room floor.

 

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The Dead Next Door

From I was nine to nineteen, I lived on the wooden half of a former island studded with ancient burial mounds. It’s not hard to see why the place has always been inhabited: the soil is rich, there was game in the woods, fresh water and easy access to the sea.

As kids, we didn’t pay much attention to the mounds – we knew what they were, of course, but they were also excellent castles or houses when needed be, especially since the grave robbers of yore had left shallow pits in some of them, digging in to search for gold. To us, these pits became separate rooms and chambers in our woodland castles.

Those were strange times. I did see funny things in those woods, but in hindsight it’s hard to tell what was my very active imagination (already then stuck on dark themes and fairy tales),  and what was actually there. Or what came first: the imagination or the fuel. Did those woods hatch my inner horror writer, or did my inner horror writer paint the woods in a dark palette?

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Some Very Good Reasons to Love Elisabeth of Bavaria

Erzsebet_kiralyne_photo_1867

O loved ones who live in distant times to come
and who now speaks to my soul,
will often be in your company:
will be revived when you read a poem.

Sometimes an odd bird flies into a royal cage. Elisabeth of Bavaria, “Sisi”, (1837 – 1898) was one of them. Strange and out of place, she spent much of her life battling mental illness and a sense of solitude. Although her struggles are well known today, she  still she is revered as the ultimate fairy tale princess: beautiful, mysterious and tragic.

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Cake in Vienna

This week, I was in Vienna.

This is what I saw:

Everything is big in Vienna.

Everything is big in Vienna

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Best reads in 2015

I read a lot last year. Much of it was mediocre, some of it bad, and a few books were shiny, glittering gems.

These are the jewels:

wylding hall

Wylding Hall by Elisabeth Hand

This is my no. 1 read last year, it still haunts me months after I finished – in a good way.

In the free-spirited 70’s a folk band is sent by their manager to Wylding Hall to work on their new album. During their stay they encounter a number of peculiar phenomenons and situations, culminating in the unexplained disappearance of their lead singer, the enigmatic Julian Blake. The story is told through a series of interviews with the remaining band members and acquaintances almost forty years later.

I fell head over heels for the unexplained mystery at the heart of the novel and the fascinating bits of folklore and legends. The ending sent chills down my spine.

Add to that great characters and beautiful writing, and it’s a winner.

Wrens are spooky birds!

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