Book Haul – 9 to 17 October 2020

I’m changing the day I send my Book Haul posts out into the world. My blog went live on a Thursday so I started doing them each Thursday but it never really made sense to me. What week finishes on a Thursday?! So, although I’m late this week (TV called me last night), I’m aiming for Saturdays from now on.

This week I finished reading R.L. Stine’s The Babysitter series, which kinda devolved as it progressed. I’d only ever read the first two books before so it was interesting to find out what else Jenny went through but, realistically, the series should have been a standalone.

It did wake up some nostalgia in me so I’m planning on continuing to visit/revisit some Point horror books. I freaked myself out with a few of these as a kid and always wanted to read more. I managed to find some used copies a couple of years ago that I’ve planned on reading but never got around to. I think it’s time.

Word of the Week: Jólabókaflód. I’ve come across this bookish dream come true a few times before but each time I see that word again I want to tell everyone I know about it. Hint, hint, to anyone who’s reading this and wondering what I might like for Christmas, or any other day of the year. If you know me at all you already know this though.

Image from a Goldsboro email

Bookish Highlight of the Week: I haven’t finished it yet but Mercy House has sucked me in. I can’t say I love it because I’ve got this whole righteous anger thing happening with much of the storyline but I’m definitely invested in seeing things turn out well for the nuns and residents of Mercy House. If they don’t, there’ll be a whole other type of anger to deal with but I’m hoping it doesn’t come to that.

Recent Reads:


Kindle Black Hole of Good Intentions

There was nothing in the world as magical and terrifying as a girl.

Princess Guinevere has come to Camelot to wed a stranger: the charismatic King Arthur. With magic clawing at the kingdom’s borders, the great wizard Merlin conjured a solution – send in Guinevere to be Arthur’s wife … and his protector from those who want to see the young king’s idyllic city fail. The catch? Guinevere’s real name – and her true identity – is a secret. She is a changeling, a girl who has given up everything to protect Camelot. 

To keep Arthur safe, Guinevere must navigate a court in which the old – including Arthur’s own family – demand things continue as they have been, and the new – those drawn by the dream of Camelot – fight for a better way to live. And always, in the green hearts of forests and the black depths of lakes, magic lies in wait to reclaim the land. Arthur’s knights believe they are strong enough to face any threat, but Guinevere knows it will take more than swords to keep Camelot free.

Deadly jousts, duplicitous knights, and forbidden romances are nothing compared to the greatest threat of all: the girl with the long black hair, riding on horseback through the dark woods toward Arthur. Because when your whole existence is a lie, how can you trust even yourself?


Underprivileged and keenly self-aware, SoCal fourteen-year-old Layla Bailey isn’t used to being noticed. Except by mean girls who tweet about her ragged appearance. All she wants to do is indulge in her love of science, protect her vulnerable younger brother, and steer clear of her unstable mother.

Then a school competition calls for a biome. Layla chooses her own home, a hostile ecosystem of indoor fungi and secret shame. With a borrowed video camera, she captures it all. The mushrooms growing in her brother’s dresser. The black mold blooming up the apartment walls. The unmentionable things living in the dead fridge. All the inevitable exotic toxins that are Layla’s life. Then the video goes viral.

When Child Protective Services comes to call, Layla loses her family and her home. Defiant, she must face her bullies and friends alike, on her own. Unafraid at last of being seen, Layla accepts the mortifying reality of visibility. Now she has to figure out how to stay whole and stand behind the truth she has shown the world.


NetGalley

Eleven year-old Willow doesn’t want to go to her dad’s weird old summer camp any more than she wants her family to move to the weird old town where that camp is located. But her family – and fate itself – seem to have plans of their own. Soon Willow finds herself neck-deep in a confounding mystery involving stolen snacks, suspected vampires, and missing campers, all shrouded in the sinister fog that hides a generation of secrets at Camp … Whatever it’s called. 


When a child goes missing in Edinburgh’s darkest streets, young Ropa investigates. She’ll need to call on Zimbabwean magic as well as her Scottish pragmatism to hunt down clues. But as shadows lengthen, will the hunter become the hunted?

When ghosts talk, she will listen …

Ropa dropped out of school to become a ghostalker. Now she speaks to Edinburgh’s dead, carrying messages to the living. A girl’s gotta earn a living, and it seems harmless enough. Until, that is, the dead whisper that someone’s bewitching children – leaving them husks, empty of joy and life. It’s on Ropa’s patch, so she feels honor-bound to investigate. But what she learns will change her world.

She’ll dice with death (not part of her life plan …), discovering an occult library and a taste for hidden magic. She’ll also experience dark times. For Edinburgh hides a wealth of secrets, and Ropa’s gonna hunt them all down. 


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