Book Haul – 10 to 16 July 2020

The love of my chocaholic life, Caramilk, returned to the shelves this week so I’ve been well and truly overdosing on it for a few days. I hadn’t seen it in a store since pre-quarantine, so by my calculations it’s been about 287 years. I have a chocolate life philosophy that is definitely grammatically correct in another universe: Chocolate make it better! It applies to every aspect of my life, with the possible exception of my long term health.

There have been some big swells at the beach this week. I went to check it out for myself yesterday. The wind was making the waves really messy and the spray was everywhere as they were breaking, and it looked amazing! I braved the wind for a closer look. The waves were closer to the sand dunes than I’ve ever seen and I looked around for a helicopter a few times because that’s the sound the waves were making.

On a sadder note, I think I’m mourning one of my favourite birds. I say ‘I think’ because there’s a group of wild birds I feed and one hasn’t visited in almost two weeks. I get a lot of the walking wounded coming in for some TLC – a couple that are missing an eye, another whose foot was so badly damaged when they were born that they couldn’t stand on it for the first couple of months.

Sometimes a bird will disappear for weeks or even months and then all of a sudden they’ll visit again, so I don’t usually worry that much if I don’t see a specific bird for a while. However, the one I haven’t seen since 4 July has a broken beak and, in the close to four years since they were injured, they’ve relied on me to feed them.

Other injured birds are still able to get their own food but I haven’t seen this one manage it. When their beak was first injured they had so much trouble eating and drinking I didn’t think they’d survive. I’m really grateful to have had four extra years with them but I think it’s going to take a while before I stop hoping they’ll be there each time I walk outside.

Word of the Week: eldritch, which means “weird and sinister or ghostly”. (from

Bookish Highlight of the Week: I was granted a wish on NetGalley! Granted wishes happen so infrequently that it feels like the universe has unleashed a special brand of magic whenever I get a wish notification.

This week I reviewed:

Until next time, happy reading!

Kindle Black Hole of Good Intentions

Deep in a Wyoming mine, hell awaits. Nat Blackburn is given an offer he can’t refuse by President Teddy Roosevelt. Tales of gold in the abandoned mining town of Hecla abound. The only problem – those who go seeking their fortune never return. Along with his constant companion, Teta, a hired gun with a thirst for adventure, Nat travels to a barren land where even animals dare not tread. Black-eyed children, strange lights and ferocious wild men venture from the deep, dark ghost mine … as well as a sinister force hungry for fresh souls. 


Inspired by a true story, this supernatural thriller for fans of horror and true crime follows a tale as it evolves every twenty years – with terrifying results.

Ella Louise has lived in the woods surrounding Pilot’s Creek, Virginia, for nearly a decade. Publicly, she and her daughter, Jessica, are shunned by her upper-crust family and the local residents. Privately, desperate characters visit her apothecary for a cure to what ails them – until Ella Louise is blamed for the death of a prominent customer. Accused of witchcraft, Ella Louise and Jessica are burned at the stake in the middle of the night. Ella Louise’s burial site is never found, but the little girl has the most famous grave in the South: a steel-reinforced coffin surrounded by a fence of interconnected white crosses.

Their story will take the shape of an urban legend as it’s told around a campfire by a man forever marked by his childhood encounters with Jessica. Decades later, a boy at that campfire will cast Amber Pendleton as Jessica in a ’70s horror movie inspired by the Witch Girl of Pilot’s Creek. Amber’s experiences on that set and its meta-remake in the ’90s will ripple through pop culture, ruining her life and career after she becomes the target of a witch hunt.

Amber’s best chance to break the cycle of horror comes when a true-crime investigator tracks her down to interview her for his popular podcast. But will this final act of storytelling redeem her – or will it bring the story full circle, ready to be told once again? And again. And again

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