Cleolinda Jones (cleolinda) wrote,
Cleolinda Jones

All reading, all the time

*points to icon* Married to the Sea icon for the taking. Enjoy.

marciamarcia: "Hey Cleo, would you be willing to throw out a brief pimp for someone else's book? I'm writing a little tome for Mental Floss (the Birmingham-based magazine of trivia, random facts, and general awesomeness). It's called "How To" and it'll teach you how to capture a giant squid, run away and join the circus, colonize your very own nation---and about 196 other things. It won't be on store shelves untillate 2007, but starting Tuesday I'll be posting a sneak-peek entry every week on I'd love it if you could pass the news on to the rest of the Cleoites. Thanks so much." Ahhh, Mental Floss. Good times.

foresthouse: "I'm looking for suggestions for quality short stories and/or novels from British or Canadian writers, such as her mother could use in teaching her British Literature high school seniors. Please post any suggestions here. My mother would really appreciate it, and also any suggestions you might have. :)"

Did I mention Marie Belloc Lowndes' story "The Lodger" the last time I posted Gothic lit? Because it's one of my favorites. But then, anything involving creepitude at wax museums tends to grab me.

Tonight's spotlighted (spotlit?) author: M.R. James. He has a tendency towards anticlimactic endings, but the imagery he does deliver--usually two or three paragraphs from that ending--is fantastic.

"Lost Hearts": When I was in my teens, I got a giant, oversized (but thin) illustrated book of classic (read: Edwardian) ghost stories called Mostly Ghostly. The stories were generally edited down--not to keep younger readers from the gore, because the gore in this story was front and center in the illustrations, but more so as not to tax their attention spans. And honestly, James does go on about with the antiquarian shop talk in his work as a general rule. I almost think the edited version of the story packs more punch, in part because it doesn't telegraph... well, you'll see.

"The Mezzotint": I can't remember the title of the Stephen King story for the life of me, but I think it has "Road Virus" somewhere in it. Anyway, "The Mezzotint" seems to be a great-great-grandfather to the Stephen King story, in the tradition of Paintings (or in this case, Engravings) That Change in Terrifying Ways. All the fun of the story is in the awful thrill of seeing what the engraving shows next; once you get to the last phase and you find out what it shows, the fun is pretty much over, and this is even before you find out the back story. But the awful thrill part? Fantastic.

"The Ash-Tree." Creepy witches!

"The Treasure of Abbot Thomas." Creepy treasure guardians!

"Count Magnus." Creepy Mini-Mes!

"Oh, Whistle, and I'll Come to You, My Lad." Creepy bedsheet monsters!

I'm not sure who I'm going to do next--I have a ton of possibilities. Hmm. Maybe Bernard Capes. Ooo, or maybe Ambrose Bierce.

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October: Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Tags: gothic, halloween
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