What’s More Scary?

I have been in physical therapy for my hip for more than a month now and here’s the sad, sad thing. I don’t feel much different. I still have trouble sleeping a night (last night I woke up every two hours) and runs haven’t been that much easier. I managed over sixty miles for the month and finally finished the dreaded half (the one I have been babbling about for months now. Yeah, that one). I definitely made more time for the books. Here is the ginormous list:

Fiction:

  • Aristotle Detective by Margaret Anne Doody (finished in a week).
  • All Hallows’ Eve by Charles Williams.
  • Discarded Duke by Nancy Butler (finished in a week).
  • Beautiful Children by Charles Bock (AB / print). Word to the wise, don’t do it!
  • Breakfast on Pluto by Patrick McCabe

Nonfiction:

  • Whatever You Do, Don’t Run by Peter Allison (AB / print; finished in less than a week).
  • Sense of the World by Jason Roberts (AB / print).
  • I Will Bear Witness: a Diary of the Nazi Years (1933-1941) by Victor Klemperer ~ in honor of Mr. Klemperer’s birth month.
  • In the Valley of Mist by Justine Hardy

Series Continuations:

  • We are Betrayed by Vardis Fisher.
  • Amazing Mrs. Pollifax by Dorothy Gilman ( finished in four days).
  • Henry James: the Treacherous Years by Leon Edel (Can you believe I actually finished this within the same month?).

Early Review for LibraryThing:

  • Riot Days by Maria Alyokhina (read in four days).

All Hallows’ Eve

Williams, Charles. All Hallows’ Eve. New York: Pellegrini & Cudahy, 1948.

Reason read: This is a spooky story so I’m reading this for Halloween, of course.

This is a love story that thrives beyond the grave. Lester and Richard were married only the day before when Lester is killed┬áby a falling airplane. What are the chances? Now Lester is caught between two very different worlds – the living world where Richard still walks about grieving and Lester’s dead and silent world in limbo. She hasn’t made it into either heaven nor hell. Some people can sense her and some can even see her outright. Still others, she can walk clean through and they wouldn’t feel even the slightest whisper. Lester feels alone but she is not. Not really. Also killed in the bizarre crash was her living best friend, Evelyn. Both seek the afterlife forgiveness of a third girl, Betty, who Lester and Evelyn were cruel to in school. Betty is under the spell of evil in the form of her mother, Lady Wallingford, and religious and biological Father Simon Leclerc. Father Simon, better known as The Clerk, is seen as a prophet, a religious leader, a powerful orator able to sway large masses with his preaching…a devil in disguise who practices magic. He has Evelyn under his power as well. She turns out to be the evil one.

Williams is a strange author. His storytelling is dense and sometimes confusing. I likened it to hacking through a thick and oppressive jungle with a dull machete. You spend a lot of time slogging through the narrative and sometimes miss the finer nuances of the story. I found myself frequently rereading passages if only to orient myself to time and place.

Quotes (or imagery) I liked, “The two dead girls went together slowly out of the park” (p 22), and “She did not dichotomize; mechanics were not separate from spirit, nor from imagination, nor that from passion” (p 225).

Confessional: I had to look up two words from this book: sacerdotalism and susurration. Learn something new everyday.

Author fact: Williams wrote All Hallows’ Eve as part of a series called “The Aspects of Power.” It is #7 in the series and is the only one I’m reading for the challenge. for once, I am glad to be missing out.
Second author fact: Williams died following an operation.

Book trivia: All Hallows’ Eve has been compared to James’s Turn of the Screw. Second piece of trivia: T.S. Eliot wrote the introduction to All Hallows’ Eve.

Nancy said: Nancy called All Hallows’ Eve a “lost classic” (p 99); “Williams’s own spiritual beliefs lend a spellbinding conviction to the ensuing struggle between good and evil, magic and art” (p 100).

BookLust: from Book Lust in the chapter called “Ghost Stories” (p 99). True enough.


Boo to You October

The month had finally arrived for the half marathon, my first and only of 2017. Enough said about that.
Here are the books I have planned:

Fiction:

  • The Aristotle Detective by Margaret Anne Doody ~ in honor of Greece’s Ochi Day
  • All Hallows Eve by Charles Williams ~ in honor of what else? Halloween.

Nonfiction:

  • Whatever You Do, Don’t Run by Peter Allison ~ in honor of the first safari leader’s birth month (Major Sir William Wallace Cornwallis Harris born October 1848. How’s that for a name?) (AB / print)
  • Sense of the World: How a Blind Man Became History’s Greatest Traveler by Jason Roberts ~ in honor of James Holman’s birth month (AB)

Series Continuations:

  • The Amazing Mrs. Pollifax by Dorothy Gilman ~ to continue the series started in September in honor of Grandparents Day.
  • Henry James: the Master by Leon Edel ~ to continue (and finish) the series started in April in honor of James’s birth month
  • We are Betrayed by Vardis Fisher ~ to continue the series started in August

Early Review for LibraryThing:

  • Riot Days by Maria Alyokhina ~ and we are back to nonfiction.

If there is time:

  • Breakfast on Pluto by Patrick McCabe (fiction)
  • The Discarded Duke by Nancy Butler (fiction)
  • In the Valley of Mist by Justine Hardy (nonfiction)
  • I Will Bear Witness (vol.1) by Victor Klemperer (nonfiction)