Halloween Reads: Collected Ghost Stories of M.R. James

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neri's reads

Collected Ghost Stories by M.R. James, 1931

Published by Wordsworth Editions

First line: “It was, as far as I can ascertain, in September of the year 1811 that a post-chaise drew up before the door of Aswarby Hall, in the heart of Lincolnshire.”

Book Rx: For the reader with an active imagination. Best consumed alone, by lamplight.

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I first encountered M.R. James in a collection of ghost stories meant for children (older than I was then, surely). The first story in that book was Lost Hearts, which I later learned was one of James’. Its first line is above. Read More

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Halloween Reads: Through the Woods

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neri's reads

Through the Woods by Emily Carroll, 2014

Published by McElderry Books

First line: “When I was little I used to read before I slept at night. And I read by the light of a lamp clipped to my headboard. Stark white, and bright, I dreaded turning it off. What if I reached out… just past the edge of the bed and SOMETHING, waiting there, GRABBED ME and pulled me down, into the DARK”

Book Rx: Carroll is THE dream illustrator for my deepest, darkest nightmares (erm, if I had to nominate one). Highly recommended if you love beautiful, eerie art and haunting stories.

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I can’t remember when I first stumbled on to Emily Carroll’s website, www.emcarroll.com. What I do remember is reading through all her web comics in one sitting, both horrified and glued to my screen. I was hooked. Read More

mother

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on motherhood

Our family albums are in the Philippines. My mom is a meticulous record-keeper; each album bears a sticker on the spine to identify its contents (“1985-1987”, “Jakarta, 1992”) and the photo negatives are in similarly-labeled shoe-boxes. Most of the albums have cheesecloth cases to keep away the dust, all hand-sewn by Ma herself. Read More

swiss miss part 1: montreux

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europe / on the road / switzerland

Previous post on Nice/Bormes les Mimosas here.

Our hotel in Montreux, Hotel Eden Palace Au Lac, was straight out of a Wes Anderson set (I felt), with its mango ice cream-colored carpets, the rooms equipped with inner and outer doors, and the thick wooden side table which looked like it used to house a retro radio with knobs and dials (since removed, leaving the table with unexplained holes). My suspicions were confirmed when I leafed through the hotel flyer and discovered it was built in the 1870s. Read More

but first, a wedding

comment 1
europe / france / on the road

We were on the train en route to Toulon, headed to M’s wedding. To my right the sea whizzed past. I saw a few divers bobbing on the surface and wondered if there were reefs in the dazzling blue below.

I was armed with books. Before we left Hubby warned me about the number of train rides we’ll take on this trip (just us, I was apprehensive to bring baby this far and this high). I told him not to worry, that long train rides didn’t bother me as long as I had something to read. One of the books I brought was a dud — after page 49 it was suddenly page 248 — and I made a mental note to exchange it at Kinokuniya even though I had lost the receipt. “If they won’t take it, I’ll make them go viral!” I declared. He laughed, “No one would care.” Read More